Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)

Obama: a yet another Neocon in foreign policy

He managed to inflate a giant, empty balloon of promises of hope and change for working Americans in domestic policy delivering goods and protecting ruling neoliberal kleptocracy

Thos who claim that Obama was born in Kenya miss the point: he was born in the "deep state"

News Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Recommended Links Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton New American Militarism Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
Obama, the Prince of Bait-and-Switch Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Robert Kagan Samantha Power Wolfowitz Doctrine
 "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Hillary Clinton email scandal Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Madeleine Albright Color revolutions Leo Strauss and the Neocons
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Deception as an art form The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept The ability and willingness to employ savage methods Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
Mayberry Machiavellians John Dilulio letter Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Big Uncle is Watching You Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Anatol Leiven on American Messianism
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Guardian paper LA Times Paper by Neal Gabler Washington Post paper by Mike Allen  From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014
Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few American Exceptionalism Politically Incorrect Humor Etc


It would be wrong to excuse the inaction of the Obama DOJ and SEC crews as being the result of some larger “corrosion of our collective values.”

The capos in those crews are the people doing the corroding, and not one of them was forced to (not) do what they did.

Notice that every last one of the initial bunch is presently being paid, by Wall Street, to the tune of millions of dollars per year. They opted to cover up crimes and take a pay-off in exchange. And they are owed punishment.

Obama said all the right things while methodically doing the bidding of oligarchy. He captured the imagination of millions, if not billions, around the world with his soaring rhetoric, yet rarely skipped a beat when it came to the advancement of imperial policies. He made bailing out Wall Street, droning civilians and cracking down on journalists seem progressive. He said one thing, did another, and people ate it up. This is an extraordinarily valuable quality when it comes to a vicious and unelected deep state that wants to keep a corrupt empire together.

Valissa -> jsn... , 01 March 2018 at 07:44 PM

 

According to Wikipedia

Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are "baited" by merchants' advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items ("switching").

 Obama is perhaps the most lethal combination of neolib & neocon, a darling of the "deep state". While deception was used by all presidential candidates, past and present, Obama can be called Prince of bait and switch tactics. Even "Slick Willy"  with his "it's economy stupid" did not reach the higher of betrayal of the electorate delivered by Obama  with his famous and completely fraudulent "change we can believe it" slogan.  

Nicknamed "Barack CIA 0bama" and 'teleprompter" he actually represents the second president closely allied with CIA (the first was Bush the Older; might be the third as Bill Clinton connections with  CIA during his time in Arkansas recently resurfaced too).  He symbolized the merge of  economic/financial interests  of financial oligarchy (neolib) with the imperial ambitions of neocon -- both well represented in US intelligence  services, especially CIA, which was actually created by Wall street lawyers for Wall street policies enforcement, despite initial desire of Truman to see it as an informational agency, and not cloak and dagger agency.  After Triumphal march of neoliberalism and quote coup against the New Deal under Reagan, the viability of the USA and the USA led global neoliberal empire is now closely tied to the viability of the transnational corporations, which the USA serving as an enforcer for the interests of international corporations.

Actually it is proper not to view Obama as a person. Obama is more of an artificially created brand. He was brought to power by the pure force of advertizing, which exploit the fact that you can project wishes of electorate into any person with no political history (the trick later repeated with Trump). That's how famous  fake slogan "change we can believe in" was created. Political promises that later will be  discarded with impunity were the rule of the political game in the USA probably since Reagan. With Obama they just achieved  a new level in which the person itself was also an artificial construct, an actor. 

They managed to prove that the real person does not matter (similarly to how Caligula wanted to make his  horse a senator). A constructed "image" is enough.  And absence of previous political experience is ideal prerequisite for the construction of the fake image that electorate wants (which is the essence of "change we can believe in" trick.) BTW, during Presidential elections cycle Obama managed to outspend republican McCain (the darling of MIC) mostly due to financial industry contributions. Tell me who is paying for your election, and I will tell what policies you will pursue ;-)

And Obama campaign once again demonstrated old truth: Democratic Party just plays the role of destroyer of radical left, while Republican Party plays the same role for radical right. This provides a kind of political stability. Those two parties being two wings of a singles "Neoliberal Party of the USA."  See also   Trump vs. Deep State.

And Obama was preselected by the same "deep state" handlers, which preselected Bill and Hillary Clinton. All talks about democracy after 1963, when "shadow government" came in power in the USA is akin to a slick advertizing trick. All the US people are allowed to do is to confirm one two preselected by deep state politicians (who later can prove to be a complete puppets, or not), providing political legitimacy.

Obama has close ties with the "deep state" are undeniable. Historically Obama spend some time working in Business International Corporation, the CIA outlet (Wikipedia)

In the late summer of 1983, future United States President Barack Obama interviewed for a job at Business International Corporation. He worked there for "little more than year."[3] As a research associate in its financial services division, he edited Financing Foreign Operations, a global reference service, and wrote for Business International Money Report, a weekly financial newsletter.[4] His responsibilities included "interviewing business experts, researching trends in foreign exchange, following market developments. . . . He wrote about currency swaps and leverage leases. . . . Obama also helped write financial reports on Mexico and Brazil.[5]

See also Verified CIA Front, Business International Corp, Paid for Obama’s Columbia College Tuition

 Export Blueprint

After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, Barack Obama went to work for a firm called Business International Corporation (BIC), a firm that was linked to economic intelligence gathering for the CIA.

For one year, Obama worked as a researcher in BIC’s financial services division where he wrote for two BIC publications, Financing Foreign Operations and Business International Money Report, a weekly newsletter. An informed source has told WMR that Obama’s tuition debt at Columbia was paid off by BIC.

In addition, WMR has learned that when Obama lived in Indonesia with his mother and his adoptive father Lolo Soetoro, the 20-year-old Obama, who was known as “Barry Soetoro,” traveled to Pakistan in 1981 and was hosted by the family of Muhammadmian Soomro, a Pakistani Sindhi who became acting President of Pakistan after the resignation of General Pervez Musharraf on August 18, 2008. WMR was told that the Obama/Soetoro trip to Pakistan, ostensibly to go “partridge hunting” with the Soomros, related to unknown CIA business.

The covert CIA program to assist the Afghan mujaheddin was already well underway at the time and Pakistan was the major base of operations for the CIA’s support. Obama also reportedly traveled to India, again, on unknown business for U.S. intelligence. WMR has been told by knowledgeable sources that Obama has, in the past, traveled on at least three passports: U.S., Indonesian, and British. BIC also maintained a European subsidiary, Business International S.A., in Geneva. BIC had long been associated with CIA activities since being founded by Eldridge Haynes, a self-professed liberal Democrat. The BIC headquarters was located at the prestigious address of 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan. BIC held a series of off-the-record, no press, meetings between top U.S. business executives and top government officials, including the President, and the Secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, Commerce, and Labor; the Attorney General, Senate leadership, and the heads of the Export-Import Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. BIC held international meetings in locations like Brussels and Mexico City.

In 1986, BIC was bought by the Economist Group in London and its operations were merged with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). There have been a number of reports that the EIU works as closely with Britain’s MI-6 intelligence service as BIC once worked with or for the CIA. One of BIC’s directors was the late Lord Pilkington, who was also a director of the Bank of England.

Obama’s work for a company having ties to the CIA barely registered a blip on the 2008 presidential campaign radar screen. At the very least, Obama helped in providing economic intelligence to the CIA as a contract employee. At most, Obama was, like previous BIC employees who operated abroad for the CIA, a full-fledged non-official cover (NOC) agent. Since President Obama has backpedaled on CIA renditions and torture, as well as warrantless electronic surveillance by U.S. intelligence, he owes the American people a full explanation of the circumstances behind his being hired by BIC, what his job actually entailed, and whether he continued to have a relationship with BIC or any other CIA operation while attending Harvard Law School and thereafter.

In foreign policy Obama was simply a close variation of Bush II, and can well be called Bush III. He behaved like a staunch neocon (like Hillary Clinton to whom he "outsourced" his foreign policy during his first term in the office). He was a firm believer in American Exceptionalism (which is a flavor of radical nationalism), in the necessity of the US global dominance at all costs, in the maintenance and expansion of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. He managed to destroy one country (Libya) and institute a regime change operation in other (Ukraine), unleashing civil war in both. He also unleashed  regime change operations and civil war in Syria, essentially creating ISIS.

During his presidency he never got tied of imperial adventures and bombing poor brown people (The Bush-Obama-Neocon Doctrine):

It’s official: When it comes to foreign policy, Barack Obama’s first term is really George W. Bush’s third. Bill Kristol, son of the late neoconservative godfather Irving Kristol and editor of the Weekly Standard, declared that Obama is “a born-again neocon” during a March 30 appearance on the Fox News Channel’s Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld. Kristol’s remark came in the context of a discussion of Obama’s consultation with Kristol and other influential columnists prior to his March 28 address to the nation about his military intervention in Libya. Gutfeld quizzed Kristol about the President’s asking him for “help” with his speech. Kristol denied that Obama had sought his help. Instead, Kristol said,

In case anyone missed the significance of Kristol’s comment, Gutfeld made it clear: “We’ve got the drones. We’ve got military tribunals. We’ve got Gitmo. We’re bombing Libya. People who voted for Obama got four more years of Bush.”

Kristol agreed, adding: “What’s the joke — they told me if I voted for McCain, we’d be going to war in a third Muslim country…. I voted for McCain and we’re doing it.”

Of course, to Kristol, calling someone a neocon is a compliment. Indeed, Kristol praised Obama’s speech on the Weekly Standard blog, saying the President “had rejoined — or joined — the historical American foreign policy mainstream.” The speech was “reassuring,” Kristol explained, saying, “The president was unapologetic, freedom-agenda-embracing, and didn’t shrink from defending the use of force or from appealing to American values and interests.” In other words, it was a neocon speech, cloaking the use of violence in the language of liberty and treating the U.S. military as the President’s personal mercenaries to reshape the globe rather than as defenders of the territorial United States.

This is not the first time Kristol and other neocons have lauded Obama’s foreign policy. After Obama made a speech in 2009 announcing he was sending more troops to Afghanistan — that is, he was replicating Bush’s Iraq “surge” in another location — Michael Goldfarb, a Weekly Standard writer, asked Kristol for his reaction to the speech. “He said he would have framed a few things differently,” Goldfarb related, “but his basic response was: ‘All hail Obama!’”

Similarly, when the President last August claimed that “the American combat mission in Iraq has ended” while asserting that “our commitment to Iraq’s future is not” ending, New York Post resident neocon John Podhoretz applauded Obama for his “rather neoconservative speech, in the sense that Neoconservatism has argued for aggressive American involvement in the world both for the world’s sake and for the sake of extending American freedoms in order to enhance and preserve American security.” [Emphasis in original.]

Sheldon Richman, writing in Freedom Daily, reminded readers of just exactly what neocon policies have wrought:

Just to be clear, the neocons were among the key architects of the war against Iraq in 1991, followed by the embargo that killed half a million children. That war and embargo set the stage for the 9/11 attacks, which were then used to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq (an ambition long predating 9/11) and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, American’s [sic] longest military engagement — all of which have killed more than a million people, wreaked political havoc, and made life in those countries (and elsewhere) miserable. Let’s not forget the drone assassination and special ops programs being run in a dozen Muslim countries. The neocon achievement also has helped drive the American people deep into debt.

Nice crowd Obama is hanging with these days. And that’s no exaggeration. Frederick Kagan, one of the top neocon brains and a signatory of the Project of the New American Century imperial manifesto, now works for Gen. David Petraeus.

Barack Obama, the candidate of “change we can believe in,” turned out to be the President of “more of the same.” Lest there remain any doubt about this, one need only turn to establishment news organ Time magazine. There Mark Halperin, explaining “why Obama’s Libya address was strong,” states quite bluntly: “George W. Bush could have delivered every sentence.”

In foreign policy the crown achievement of Obama was putsch in Ukraine, which brought in power far right government of Western Ukrainian nationalists, destroyed the Ukrainian economy, plunging the majority of population into abysmal, Central-African-level poverty (less then $2 a day) and unleashed civil war in Donbass region. But strategically it cut the most important of post-Soviet Republics from Russia, and that all that matters for Obama and his handlers. 

In internal, domestic  policy Obama was iether criminally negligent or criminally complicit , serving as a stooge of financial oligarchy. Essentially trying to imitate worst features of Clinton administration (despite deep hate between Obama and Clinton families, especially Michelle and Hillary; the later called Hillary Hilderbeast). He continued, but is much slower page (as after 2008 the wind changed the direction) the same deregulation policies and destruction the remnants of the New Deal.

The crown achievement of Obama is the push for TPP (derailed by Trump), which would  impoverish working Americans, proliferate McJobs and contractor jobs instead of normal full-time well paying jobs (that were the cornerstone of the New Deal) and enlarge the third country that exists within the USA today (50 million Americans who are on food stamps are in reality not a regular "upscale" US citizens, that world wants to imitate, but a citizens of this third world country within the USA).  In other words he was a selloff. The neoliberal transformation of the economy that all three last administrations advocated proved to be a cruel joke.

If you do not pay people well they can't buy the products on their income and go deeply into debts, trying to maintain their sliding standard of living.  While debt is freely available under neoliberalism to "shmucks" (lower 99% of the US population; the upper 0.1% is called  the "Masters of the Universe"), people can carry only so much of it and at some point the system goes into deep crisis and debt reached the critical mass and sink the economy. 

So you get into "let them eat cakes" situation, in which Obama and Hillary Clinton found themselves during the Democratic convention, when Sanders supporters walked out, it is understandable why they unleashed the new McCarthyism campaign against Russia. They faced the problem of  Demexit and fueling anti-Russian hysteria was a convenient way of offloading the responsibility for this political fiasco and preventing Demexit  from becoming a catastrophe for the neoliberalized by Bill Clinton Democratic Party, which betrayed its working class and lower middle class voters in favor of Wall street financial oligarchy.   

The rise of Trump and Bernie Sanders in the recent presidential election also signify the crisis of neoliberal governance within the USA. People simply became fed of immigration,. globalization and, most important, destruction of jobs and the standard of living for the majority of the population.

People are just fed up with the establishment and the prince of "bait and switch Obama, despite  much better  popularly ratings at the end of his presidency, he is as a disastrous president as Buss II was. Just with slightly darker skin, and without the same speech mistakes. Although it is difficult to say for any teleprompter loving President what was his actual level of conversation. Obama mostly avoid "open questions" interviews during his presidency which suggest that he was afraid of such encounters, where teleprompter is not available. 

What features defines the neocon foreign policy

 

The essence of imperial hubris is the belief that one's country is omnipotent; that the country can shape and create reality. The country's main aspiration is to create clients, dependencies and as the Godfather Zbigniew Bzrezinski candidly put it, "vassals".

Such a mindset does not just appreciate the reality of contingency; it also does not appreciate the nature of complex systems. The country's elites believe that both soft and hard power should be able to ensure the desired outcomes. But resistance to imperial designs and blowback from the imperial power's activities induce cognitive dissonance. Instead of such cognitive crises leading to a return to reality, they lead to denial amongst this elite. This elite lives in a bubble. Their discourse is intellectually incestuous and anybody that threatens this bubble is ostracized. Limits are set to what can be debated.

That is why realists like John Mearsheimer, Steve Walt, Michael Scheuer and Stephen Cohen are ignored by this elite even though their ideas are very germane. If other countries don't bow down to their dictates, they have only a combination of the following responses: sanctions, regime change and chaos. The paradox is that the more they double down with their delusions the more the country's power continues to decline. My only hope is that this doubling down will not take the world down with it.

Makutwa Omutiti | Aug 4, 2017 3:51:17 PM | 25

The neoconservative impulse became visible in modern American foreign policy since Reagan but became dominant ideology and foreign policy practice during criminal George W. Bush administration, which unleashed disastrous for American people Iraq war and destabilized the region, which eventually led to creation of ISIS. Those disastrous neoconservative policies were continued during Obama administration ("Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place. Especially sinister role was played  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton  while she was the Secretary of State. She was the butcher of Libya and Syria.

Unlike traditionalist conservatism (which in the USA survived in the form of Paleoconservatism) and preaches noninterventionism, Neoconservatism has nothing to do with conservative doctrine at all. This is neoliberal interpretation of Trotskyism -- neoTrotskyism. Like neofascism it glories militarism (in the form of New American Militarism as described by Professor Bacevich),. emphasizes confrontation, and regime change in countries hostile to the interests of global corporation and which are a barrier of spread of neoliberalism and extension of global, US dominated neoliberal empire. It is extremely jingoistic creed.

The unspoken assumptions of neocon cult have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual wars of neoliberal conquest. It also led to destabilization of the whole regions, creation of political Islam and at the end creation of ISIS and "institutionalization" of  suicide bombings as the only means to fight against global neoliberal empire by people deprived of regular military means.  From which many nations, suffered especially in Russia and Europe.  In Russia neocons supported radical Islam and Wahhabism preaching extremists (sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Gulf monarchies), considering it the lesser evil, and were trying to dismember Russia.  In Ukraine neocons supported far right nationalists with distinct national socialism leanings and history of crime against humanity (Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia - Wikipedia), which make the country a debt slave of IMF and dropped already low standard of living of population almost three times. Making the Ukraine probably the poorest country in Europe where large percent of population (especially pensioners and single mothers) needs to survive of less the $3 a day. Average (note the word "average")  pension in Ukraine is about $1500 grivna which at the current exchange rate is approximately $60. It was three times higher before the Maydan color revolution which State Department so skillfully organized. Everywhere they bring wars and disasters. And they impoverish the US middle class. To say nothing about desperate, completely robbed 50 or so million people with Mcjobs, who are liming essentially in the third world country that exists within the USA now  (Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 38 Straight Months ).  They are concerned mainly with enriching themselves and their masters from military industrial complex and bloating government bureaucracy. In other words they behave like the USSR nomenklatura -- a privileged, above the law class, degeneration of which eventually led to collapse of the USSR. Such a conservatives. And not unlike Party bureaucracy of the Third Reich, despite being disproportionally Jewish. 

And in foreign policy they were a real, unmitigated  disaster.  Or more correctly series of disaster of varying magnitudes. Iraq was a huge, humiliating disaster. Probably the biggest one.  Afghanistan was a disaster of lesser scale. Libya were another, more small scale disaster. Syria is a potentially huge disaster, due to international consequences of creating ISIS in this region.  Ukraine is a huge and very expensive disaster, which might lead to the WWIII, a nuclear holocaust (neocons like to speculate on tragedy of Jewish population during the WWII).   which revived the threat of nuclear war with Russia (and probably was done in the name of US security, as neocons understand it ;-). Moreover it moved Russia closer to China, which is no way is in the USA geopolitical interests. Starting from Clinton administration their attitude to Russia was essentially was: be our vassal, or you have no right to exist. Which is reckless attitude to the second most powerful nuclear armed state in the world.  Even taking into account huge difficulties and huge deterioration of the Russia military capabilities after the dissolution of the USSR they are playing with fire. And enjoying every minute of it. Just look at Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland, who was appointed as advisor to State Department by Hillary Clinton) face during his public speeches. This man is definitely enjoying himself and his wit. 

An assertion that the fundamental determinant of the relationship between states rests on military power and the willingness to use it is clearly wrong. It is a foreign policy equivalent to Al Capone idea that "You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone". It is very close to neo-Nazi idea that "War is a natural state, and peace is a utopian dream that induces softness, decadence and pacifism." The problem here is that it's the person who promotes this creed can be shot. Of course neocons are chickenhawks and prefer other people die for their misguided adventures.  

The idea  that disagreement about this postulate is tantamount to defeatism is simply silly. "Global unilateralism" is capable to bankrupt the USA.  Democracy promotion was a nice racket until probably 2008, but now way too many countries understand what it is about. The same is true about color revolutions.

It created level of anti-American sentiment at Middle East unheard before,  provoked rearmament of Russia and armament of China which together represent a formidable force able to turn the USA into radioactive ash no less effectively then the USA can turn them. 

Despite disastrous results of the Neocon foreign policy neocons remain a powerful, dominant political force in Washington. In recent Presidential race neocons are represented by Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Apr 19, 2018] Merkel is a CIA asset. She has skeletons in her closet from her time in East Germany, and her meteoric rise to power was clearly engineered by a third party she herself lacked both the experience and the power base within the party for doing it herself

Judging from German press, Germany really looks like a US colony, not even vassal state.
Notable quotes:
"... She was promoted over Kohl's natural successor, Schaeuble, who was discredited using comparatively trifling allegations of accepting improper donations (aka bribes) on behalf of the party. ..."
"... Merkel has betrayed German interests at every turn, most blatantly in the context of the Greek debt fiasco and the refugee fake crisis. She goes along with imposing sanctions on Russia, which hurts export-oriented Germany like no other Western country. ..."
"... Merkel's selection as chancellor does not explain why German electorate keep electing her party as majority, which then is in the position to name her as chancellor. German people have been lobotomized and neutered after decades of Soros-Neocon brainwashing. ..."
Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

WorkingClass , April 17, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT

The most interesting aspect of this false response to a false flag attack is the non participation by Germany. Turkey has one foot in both camps. Germany will be next to turn. Time is working against Imperial Washington.

Mike P , April 18, 2018 at 5:50 pm GMT

@WorkingClass

German expat here.

Merkel is a CIA asset. She has skeletons in her closet from her time in East Germany, and her meteoric rise to power was clearly engineered by a third party -- she herself lacked both the experience and the power base within the party for doing it herself. She was promoted over Kohl's natural successor, Schaeuble, who was discredited using comparatively trifling allegations of accepting improper donations (aka bribes) on behalf of the party.

Merkel has betrayed German interests at every turn, most blatantly in the context of the Greek debt fiasco and the refugee fake crisis. She goes along with imposing sanctions on Russia, which hurts export-oriented Germany like no other Western country. At the same time, the "ultra-right" (i.e. common sense) party "Alternative fuer Deutschland" is forever mired in ridiculous infighting, which regularly escalates just ahead of elections -- funny how that is. Must be those meddling Russians.

Long story short, hell will freeze over before Merkel decides herself what is for breakfast, never mind for policy. I wish we could clone Putin and import him.

Avery , April 18, 2018 at 6:30 pm GMT
@Mike P

Merkel's selection as chancellor does not explain why German electorate keep electing her party as majority, which then is in the position to name her as chancellor. German people have been lobotomized and neutered after decades of Soros-Neocon brainwashing.

There is no other explanation for people who are committing slow self-extermination as a distinct ethnos. Same with the French electorate: they had a chance to elect a true French patriot and instead chose another globalist weirdo poodle.

Mike P , April 18, 2018 at 7:49 pm GMT
@Avery

Merkel's party has no majority – actually her party's share of the vote is at historic lows with less than one third (traditionally it was 45-50%). She has moved that formerly conservative party to the left by co-opting green and welfare agendas of the competing parties. The other formerly strong party, the Social Democrats, have been reduced to a status of auxiliaries in an eternal "grand coalition". In spite of infighting, the new "right-wing" AfD came in third in the last elections.

But of course, as you say, the people's failure to get rid of her is due in large measure to relentless media brainwashing, they swallow the refugee nonsense because it is subliminally suggested that it atones for the "holocaust" etc. I don't read a single German newspaper anymore, the manure is just too depressing.

Sean , April 18, 2018 at 8:39 pm GMT
@Mike P

Militarily subsidised by Nato, Germany spends next to nothing on its own defence and is keeping wages down even more than usual by importing immigrants, thereby aiding its deindustrialising of the rest of the EU. Russia is declining in national power compared to Germany by getting into silly pissing contests with America. Adolf Hitler always said it would be necessary to sacrifice millions of Germans to make Germany Great. He would approve of Merkel.

Mike P , April 18, 2018 at 9:47 pm GMT
@Sean

What keeps German wages down, in real terms, is the Euro, not the migrants.

You are correct on the neglect of the armed forces. I have griped about it often, but I have recently changed my tune. If the forces were indeed up to snuff, this would only cause the U.S. to "ask" for their deployment in their many endless idiotic wars. Letting the troops degrade to some sort of war museum on wheels is a sly way of getting out of that – can't deploy in the short term, sorry, no spark plugs, but will be more than happy to go along for the next war so I now see this as one of the few things Merkel got right.

[Apr 18, 2018] Obama vs Trump: That is how the political mechanism of faux populism works.

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Apr 18, 2018 11:42:04 AM | 142

Don Bacon

Trump's actions have not matched his election rhetoric. Just like faux populist Obama. Obama also "caved" to pressure, and even set himself up for failure by emphasing "bipartisanship".

That is how the political mechanism of faux populism works.

Obama: Change you can believe in
Trump: Make America Great Again

Obama: Most transparent administration ever
Trump: Drain the Swamp

Obama: Deceiver: "Man of Peace" engaging in covert ops
Trump: Distractor: twitter, personal vendettas

Weakened by claims of unpatriotic inclinations:
Obama: Birthers (led by Trump who was close to Clinton's) - "Muslim socialist"!
Trump: Russia influence (pushed by 'NeverTrump' Clinton loyalists) - Putin's bitch!

There's more but I won't belabor the point.

[Apr 15, 2018] Obama And Lynch Jeopardized Clinton Email Investigation Comey

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

With the country's attention focused on James Comey's book publicity gala interview with ABC at 10pm ET, the former FBI Director has thrown former President Obama and his Attorney General Loretta Lynch under the bus, claiming they "jeopardized" the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Comey called out Obama and Lynch in his new book, A Higher Loyalty , set to come out on Tuesday. In it, he defends the FBI's top brass and counterintelligence investigators charged with probing Clinton's use of a private email server and mishandling of classified information, reports the Washington Examiner , which received an advanced copy.

" I never heard anyone on our team -- not one -- take a position that seemed driven by their personal political motivations . And more than that: I never heard an argument or observation I thought came from a political bias. Never ... Instead we debated, argued, listened, reflected, agonized, played devil's advocate, and even found opportunities to laugh as we hashed out major decisions .

("Guys, LMAO, we totally just exonerated Hillary! My sides! Hey Andy, how's Jill's Senate race going?")

Comey says that multiple public statements made by Obama about the investigation "jeopardized" the credibility of the FBI investigation - seemingly absolving Clinton of any crime before FBI investigators were able to complete their work .

" Contributing to this problem, regrettably, was President Obama . He had jeopardized the Department of Justice's credibility in the investigation by saying in a 60 Minutes interview on Oct. 11, 2015, that Clinton's email use was "a mistake" that had not endangered national security," Comey writes. "Then on Fox News on April 10, 2016, he said that Clinton may have been careless but did not do anything to intentionally harm national security, suggesting that the case involved overclassification of material in the government."

" President Obama is a very smart man who understands the law very well . To this day, I don't know why he spoke about the case publicly and seemed to absolve her before a final determination was made. If the president had already decided the matter, an outside observer could reasonably wonder, how on earth could his Department of Justice do anything other than follow his lead." - Washington Examiner

Of course, Comey had already begun drafting Clinton's exoneration before even interviewing her, something which appears to have been "forgotten" in his book.

" The truth was that the president -- as far as I knew, anyway -- he had only as much information as anyone following it in the media . He had not been briefed on our work at all. And if he was following the media, he knew nothing, because there had been no leaks at all up until that point. But, his comments still set all of us up for corrosive attacks if the case were completed with no charges brought."

"Matter" not "Investigation"

Comey also describes a September 2015 meeting with AG Lynch in which she asked him to describe the Clinton email investigation as a "matter" instead of an investigation.

"It occurred to me in the moment that this issue of semantics was strikingly similar to the fight the Clinton campaign had waged against The New York Times in July. Ever since then, the Clinton team had been employing a variety of euphemisms to avoid using the word 'investigation,'" Comey writes.

" The attorney general seemed to be directing me to align with the Clinton campaign strategy . Her "just do it" response to my question indicated that she had no legal or procedural justification for her request, at least not one grounded in our practices or traditions. Otherwise, I assume, she would have said so.

Comey said others present in the meeting with Lynch thought her request was odd and political as well - including one of the DOJ's senior leaders.

" I know the FBI attendees at our meeting saw her request as overtly political when we talked about it afterward . So did at least one of Lynch's senior leaders. George Toscas, then the number-three person in the department's National Security Division and someone I liked, smiled at the FBI team as we filed out, saying sarcastically, ' Well you are the Federal Bureau of Matters ,'" Comey recalled.

That said, Comey "didn't see any instance when Attorney General Lynch interfered with the conduct of the investigation," writing "Though I had been concerned about her direction to me at that point, I saw no indication afterward that she had any contact with the investigators or prosecutors on the case."

In response, Loretta Lynch promptly issued a statement in which she said that if James Comey " had any concerns regarding the email investigation, classified or not, he had ample opportunities to raise them with me both privately and in meetings. He never did."

[Apr 13, 2018] The End of International Law by Thierry Meyssan

Notable quotes:
"... Bill Clinton attacked Yugoslavia, blithely violating Internal Law. George Bush Jr. did the same by attacking Iraq, and Barack Obama by attacking Libya and Syria. As for Donald Trump, he has never hidden his distrust of supra-national rules. ..."
"... " Globalisation ", in other words the " globalisation of Anglo-Saxon values ", has created a class society between states. ..."
"... " Communication ", a new name for " propaganda ", has become the imperative in international relations. From the US Secretary of State brandishing a phial of pseudo-anthrax to the British Minister for Foreign Affairs lying about the origin of Novitchok in the Salisbury affair, lies have become the substitute for respect, and cause general mistrust. ..."
"... Russia is wondering today about the possible desire of the Western powers to block the United Nations. If this is so, it would create an alternative institution, but there would no longer be a forum which would enable the two blocks to discuss matters. ..."
Apr 13, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

o the Western powers hope to put an end to the constraints of International Law? That is the question asked by the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sergueï Lavrov, at the Moscow conference on International Security [ 1 ].

Over the last few years, Washington has been promoting the concept of " unilateralism ". International Law and the United Nations are supposed to bow to the power of the United States.

This concept of political life is born of the History of the United States - the colonists who came to the Americas intended to live as they chose and make a fortune there. Each community developed its own laws and refused the intervention of a central government in local affairs. The President and the Federal Congress are charged with Defense and Foreign Affairs, but like the citizens themselves, they refused to accept an authority above their own.

Bill Clinton attacked Yugoslavia, blithely violating Internal Law. George Bush Jr. did the same by attacking Iraq, and Barack Obama by attacking Libya and Syria. As for Donald Trump, he has never hidden his distrust of supra-national rules.

Making an allusion to the Cebrowski-Barnett doctrine [ 2 ], Sergueï Lavrov declared: " We have the clear impression that the United States seek to maintain a state of controlled chaos in this immense geopolitical area [the Near East], hoping to use it to justify the military presence of the USA in the region, without any time limit, in order to promote their own agenda ".

The United Kingdom also seem to feel quite comfortable with breaking the Law. Last month, it accused Moscow in the " Skripal affair ", without the slightest proof, and attempted to unite a majority of the General Assembly of the UN to exclude Russia from the Security Council. It would of course be easier for the Anglo-Saxons to unilaterally rewrite the Law without having to take notice of the opinions of their opponents.

Moscow does not believe that London took this initiative. It considers that Washington is calling the shots.

" Globalisation ", in other words the " globalisation of Anglo-Saxon values ", has created a class society between states. But we should not confuse this new problem with the existence of the right to a veto. Of course, the UNO, while it declares equality between states whatever their size, distinguishes, within the Security Council, five permanent members who have a veto. This Directorate, composed of the main victors of the Second World War, is a necessity for them to accept the principle of supra-national Law. However, when this Directorate fails to embody the Law, the General Assembly may take its place. At least in theory, because the smaller states which vote against a greater state are obliged to suffer retaliatory measures.

La " globalisation of Anglo-Saxon values " ignores honour and highlights profit, so that the weight of the propositions by any state will be measured only by the economic development of its country. However, over the years, three states have managed to gain an audience to the foundations of their propositions, and not in function of their economy – they are the Iran of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (today under house arrest in his own country), the Venezuela of Hugo Chávez, and the Holy See.

The confusion engendered by Anglo-Saxon values has led to the financing of intergovernmental organisations with private money. As one thing leads to another, the member states of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), for example, have progressively abandoned their propositional power to the profit of private telecom operators, who are united in a " consultative committee ".

" Communication ", a new name for " propaganda ", has become the imperative in international relations. From the US Secretary of State brandishing a phial of pseudo-anthrax to the British Minister for Foreign Affairs lying about the origin of Novitchok in the Salisbury affair, lies have become the substitute for respect, and cause general mistrust.

During the first years of its creation, the UNO attempted to forbid " war propaganda ", but today, it is the permanent members of the Security Council who indulge in it.

The worst occurred in 2012, when Washington managed to obtain the nomination of one of its worst war-hawks, Jeffrey Feltman, as the number 2 of the UNO [ 3 ]. From that date onward, wars have been orchestrated in New York by the very institution that is supposed to prevent them.

Russia is wondering today about the possible desire of the Western powers to block the United Nations. If this is so, it would create an alternative institution, but there would no longer be a forum which would enable the two blocks to discuss matters.

Just as a society which falls into chaos, where men are wolves for men when deprived of the Law, so the world will become a battle-field if it abandons International Law. Thierry Meyssan

[Apr 11, 2018] German MSM - leftish or rightish, doesn't matter - mindlessly repeat what our US colonial masters are telling them to

Notable quotes:
"... There is not a shred of independent, intelligent journalism left anywhere around here - and interestingly there is an amazing number of people who have completely given up believing the MSM and/or our government. ..."
Apr 11, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Martin MS | Apr 11, 2018 2:17:21 PM | 86

@ BM: My take on the situation in Germany: the MSM - leftish or rightish, doesn't matter - mindlessly repeat what our US colonial masters are telling them to.

There is not a shred of independent, intelligent journalism left anywhere around here - and interestingly there is an amazing number of people who have completely given up believing the MSM and/or our government.

But what can you do when the published opinions are completely manufactured and anyone has to suppose his neighbours all believe this idiocy?

Hmpf | Apr 11, 2018 2:06:44 PM | 113

@73 aaaaa

That's a bit of a stretch. Germans were demoralized long before, as each sane person knew the war will end in defeat from mid'42 on. Back in the days I had the somewhat questionable pleasure of talking to German ex-soldiers (two of my grand-uncles) that were deployed to the Eastern Front. Compared to the kind of warfare that was going on there, the fighting in the west and south was almost akin to being on vacation - I'm serious about that.

On average the Soviets, mainly comprised of todays Russian peoples, lost 16-18000 people a day, this is evidence of the fierceness of fighting and, also, to what amount of a beating the Russians can take without losing sight of their goal.

The Soviet Union did the real fighting against German forces. At all times there'd been about 85% of all German forces deployed to the east, without this there would had been no bombing campaign against Germany simply because the number of fighter aircraft available against allied bombers would had been overwhelming.

Except for a few elite units, hastily re-deployed from the east, the main force was inexperienced draftees with both a lack of proper training and equipment. All other experienced units stayed east in a desperate attempt to hold back the red army as long as any possible.

A very good friend of mine, who died a couple years back at age 84, was one of these unfortunate souls. When he turned 17 in late Dec.'44 he received an official letter that read 'A gift from the Fuhrer' - it was his draft note. That's been the kind of opponent the western allies faced late in the war, a bunch of badly under-equipped troops consisting of exhausted regulars and youths, that were scared shitless (his words, not mine).

Russia's a different kind of animal. They won WWII - European theater almost singlehandedly but had to pay dearly.

[Apr 10, 2018] Obama toxic narssissism

Apr 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

different clue , 4 years ago

Obama and his co-governators are doing their part to drive us toward World War Nuke with Russia. Why?

I have spent my time and energy thinking Obama's motives were primarily or even only all the beautiful money he will collect after he leaves office. I haven't fully wanted to accept Walrus's warnings that Obama is driven by a very real and pathological narcissism which will eventually lead Obama to do something amazingly stupid, even to the point of harming Obama's own interests. And it would be stupid for Obama to help cause World War Nuke because that would incinerate all of his beautiful money as well as incinerating the rest of us and much of civilization. So why is he taking and allowing his creatures to take this risk?
He certainly seems to dislike and resent Putin. The more Putin visibly fails to honor and validate Obama's vast regard for himself the more angry and offended Obama becomes. Could Putin's nonworshipful nonvalidation of Obama's own opinion of his own wisdom and power drive Obama's fragile brittle ego to a point of toxic narcissistic lashout? Does Obama's Inner Child look like this?

[Apr 09, 2018] Putin really dropped the ball on the Libya No-Fly Resolution trusting the evil empire

Apr 09, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Circe , Apr 8, 2018 3:59:20 PM | 93

Putin really dropped the ball on the Libya No-Fly Resolution trusting the evil empire. Now the stakes
are even higher. The absolute worse news in all this is that Trump is bringing in Bolton as his lunatic
wing man at the worst possible time when things were looking like they were wrapping up in Syria.
Bolton is the male version of Hillary on steroids. Trump is going to hide behind Bolton's
mustache - you know, me good cop; Bolton bad cop; IOW, don't blame me for what needs to be done. Trump gifted
Jerusalem to Netanyahu, and now he's going to gift him Syria too. The Iran deal will
also get scrapped soon and that's more gasoline on a fire that's about to get out of control. Here's one way
to distract from the Mueller investigation; start a war and rally the county under
a common cause: war with Syria, ergo Russia and then Iran.

It's as I said from day one: Trump can't help himself; he's always been a Zio-con and Adelson
is getting his money's worth. It's all going to happen as I always said it would. Trump was the perfect puppet.

Trump will look like the savior of the realm; a role his big fat ego always dreamed of and won't resist.

Now, there still might be a way out of this potential catastrophe. Admit it, wouldn't it be nice if Putin
really was holding back something big regarding Trump?

*sigh* - if only! Very soon would be a good time to drop it. Manafort?

James , Apr 8, 2018 4:35:09 PM | 99

Circe Medvedev was President

However the responsibility for what happened in Libya is with the western poweres of NATO

they. dropped the bombs and armed the jihadis.

The blame lies with them not Russia

As for the tone of the rest of your post-

War is not a pissing contest

It involves loss of life destruction of families, communities, countries.

Russia has a reason to be there - what is the agenda of the western powered beyond destroying a country like they did Libya

[Apr 05, 2018] Barack Obama supporters outraged by Bernie Sanders's 'deplorable' attack on Democratic Party on anniversary of Martin Luther King assassination by Peter Stubley

Apr 05, 2018 | independent.co.uk

Vermont Senator says business model of Democratic Party has been a failure for 15 years

Bernie Sanders has triggered a backlash by making comments interpreted as an attack on [Wall Street/CIA troll] Barack Obama on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. The senator for Vermont appeared to criticise the first black US President as he branded the Democratic Party a "failure".

Speaking in Jackson, Mississippi, he said Democrats had lost a record number of legislative seats. "The business model, if you like, of the Democratic Party for the last 15 years or so has been a failure,'' said the Vermont Senator...Mr Sanders's comments were quickly branded "patronising" and "deplorable".

[Mar 31, 2018] Merkel and Skripal poisoning -- a despicable position of German neolineral elite

The problems with Germany is that it does not have any independent press... German MSM are probably worse then the USA MSM in being neoliberal stooges, if not to say prostitutes.
Also Merkel is a staunch neoliberal politician hell bent on neoliberal globalization and who still cling to power and tried to use the USA as a leverage to stay in power
Notable quotes:
"... So in a certain sense, I can imagine that the Russians feel really betrayed by this kind of behavior by Merkel. Now, Merkel has a specific background. You know, many people have always asked themselves, what makes this woman tick? Nobody has been able to answer that question in any satisfying way. But I think the Russians really feel betrayed. ..."
"... Merkel is just obviously following like a puppy-dog -- even though puppies are cuter than Mrs. Merkel, I would say. But I think it's a serious matter, and I think people should absolutely not fall for this, because these are the kinds of things which can get out of control and be the trigger for a new world war, and who would want that? ..."
Mar 31, 2018 | larouchepac.com

How To Outflank Mad Theresa May's March to World War III LaRouchePAC

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think the case of France is a little bit more complicated, because Macron, who had a slightly different emphasis on the cooperation with the New Silk Road and China, than Merkel, for example; the French Foreign Minister Yves Le Drian just announced that Macron will go to Moscow in May. So I think that that looks a little bit different than Mrs. Merkel, who -- really, I mean, it's a complete shame, and obviously this new "Grand Coalition" government, which is not so grand, given the fact that they are all falling in the polls like a stone; I think this is really a reflection of the fact that there is presently no German elite worth being called the name.

And I think that people in Germany should really not accept that. The history of the German-Russian relationship, given the fact that there were two world wars, the Second World War being an unbelievable memory in every Russian person; and then the fact that Russia agreed to the German unification, without any shots being fired or tanks being deployed, -- you know, in a peaceful way. Russia gave up East Germany and agreed to the unification, and received promises at that time that NATO would never be expanded to the borders of Russia, a promise which was broken. And then you had all these escalations.

So in a certain sense, I can imagine that the Russians feel really betrayed by this kind of behavior by Merkel. Now, Merkel has a specific background. You know, many people have always asked themselves, what makes this woman tick? Nobody has been able to answer that question in any satisfying way. But I think the Russians really feel betrayed.

And I think the German people should go back to the kind of Ostpolitik, at minimum, which was characteristic for German attitude for a very long time, to have a policy of good-neighborliness, of peaceful dialogue, of cooperation. And I think this is really, really important that the population in Germany does not fall in line with this aggressive British policy which Merkel is just obviously following like a puppy-dog -- even though puppies are cuter than Mrs. Merkel, I would say. But I think it's a serious matter, and I think people should absolutely not fall for this, because these are the kinds of things which can get out of control and be the trigger for a new world war, and who would want that?

[Mar 30, 2018] Obama and his so called "national security" apparatus is primarily responsible for destroying Russian-American relations

This Nobel Peace Prize laureate was in realty a despicable and very dangerous warmongering bottom feeder with very close ties to CIA and Brennan
Notable quotes:
"... Obama and his so called "national security" apparatus is primarily responsible for destroying Russian-American relations ..."
Mar 30, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
SmoothieX12 -> Eric Newhill... , 29 March 2018 at 12:03 PM

should have been worked out during the eight years of Obama.

Obama and his so called "national security" apparatus is primarily responsible for destroying Russian-American relations . Obama also allowed, in fact helped, Al Qaeda and ISIS to unleash a mayhem in Syria. Libya also happened on his watch. Trump, for all his major faults, from the go was sabotaged by Obama (and HRC) establishment especially on the account of relations with Russia. I will reiterate--we literally, be it Obama or Trump Admin, have people who have no clue of Russia nor of US situation vis-a-vis Russia.

Take out few sober and professional US military people out of Trump Admin and there is a chance it all goes kaboom because people literally have no clue. In fact, track record and overwhelming empirical evidence support my simple thesis.

Russia can deal with Trump or they can face his wrath because sans Trump they will face the One Worlders' wrath.

This is precisely an example of what I am talking about. And what this wrath could be against Russia? Another Hollywood movie? You evidently have no idea what happened culturally in Russia over the last four years. I will omit purely economically and militarily. Nobody is afraid of NATO or US be it economically let alone militarily. It seems this simple fact goes constantly missing on anyone in US political top. It is no surprising -- the only sources in Russia which they have is a narrow strata of Russian so called "liberals" who, apart from being totally incompetent in any serious military-political or economic matter, tell only what their Western benefactors want them to say thus echo-chamber for non-stop delusion. But that is also why it is so dangerous.

Peter VE said in reply to Eric Newhill... , 29 March 2018 at 02:24 PM

"If putting down the big stick and playing nice/diplomacy is the answer, then all of the international issues should have been worked out during the eight years of Obama."

Perhaps you could check with the people of Ukraine, of Libya, or Yemen about how Obama put down the big stick. Or maybe the thousands whose relatives were assassinated by drones throughout the world. The foreign policy of the current resident is the same as the policy of the Obama administration, which was a continuation of the policy of the lesser Bush Administration. Mr. Trump promised a different policy on the campaign trail, but has chosen / been maneuvered into continuity.

[Mar 28, 2018] Inspector General Confirms Probe Of FBI s Criminal FISA Warrant Abuse To Spy On Trump

Mar 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The DOJ's Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced Wednesday that he is expanding his internal investigation into alleged FBI abuses surrounding Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications - and will be examining their relationship with former MI6 spy Christopher Steele. The announcement follows several requests from lawmakers and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"The OIG will initiate a review that will examine the Justice Department's and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) relating to a certain U.S. person," the statement reads.

It should be noted that the OIG's current investigation and upcoming report - which led to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's firing, is focused on the agency's handling of the Clinton email investigation. This new probe will focus on FISA abuse and surveillance of the Trump campaign.

On March 1, House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) wrote in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the FBI may have violated criminal statutes, as well as its own strict internal procedures by using unverified information to obtain a surveillance warrant on onetime Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.

Nunes referred to the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), which states that the "accuracy of information contained within FISA applications is of utmost importance... Only documented and verified information may be used to support FBI applications to the court."

A "FISA memo" released in February by the House Intel Committee (which has since closed its Russia investigation), points to FBI's use of the salacious and unverified "Steele Dossier" funded by the Clinton Campaign and the DNC.

"Former and current DOJ and FBI leadership have confirmed to the committee that unverified information from the Steele dossier comprised an essential part of the FISA applications related to Carter Page," Nunes wrote in his March 1 letter.

Meanwhile, a February 28 letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) requested that IG Horowitz "conduct a comprehensive review of potential improper political influence, misconduct, or mismanagement" in relation to the FBI's handling of counterintelligence and criminal investigations of the Trump campaign prior to the appointment of Robert Mueller.

Steele in the crosshairs

The OIG letter also notes "As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source."

The source, in this case, is Christopher Steele.

The House Intel Committe's "FISA memo" alleges that the political origins of the dossier - paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) - were not disclosed to the clandestine court that signed off on the warrant request, as DOJ officials knew Steele was being paid by democrats. Moreover, officials at the DOJ and FBI signed one warrant, and three renewals against Carter Page.

Considering that much of the Steele dossier came from a collaboration with high level Kremlin officials (a collusion if you will), Horowitz will be connecting dots that allegedly go from the Clinton campaign directly to the Kremlin.

Although the contents of the dossier were unable to be corroborated, the FBI told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that Steele's reputation was solid - and used a Yahoo News article written by Michael Isikoff to support the FISA application. The Isikoff article, however, contained information provided by Steele. In other words, the FBI made it appear to the FISA court that two separate sources supported their application, when in fact they both came from Steele.

(interestingly, Isikoff also wrote a hit piece to discredit an undercover FBI informant who testified to Congress last week about millions of dollars in bribes routed to the Clinton Foundation by Russian nuclear officials. Small world!)

So despite the FBI refusing to pay Steele $50,000 when he couldn't verify the dossier's claims, they still used it - in conjunction with a Steele sourced Yahoo! article to spy on a Trump campaign associate. And to make up for the fact that the underlying FISA claims were unverified, they "vouched" for Steele's reputation instead.

[Mar 28, 2018] Did the allies share this kind of information as standard practice or did Brennan somehow induce them to collect and report it? This question would fall within the scope of Mueller's investigation

Mar 28, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The Twisted Genius 27 March 2018 at 09:30 PM

The crux of Phil Giraldi's call for the investigation of Brennan centers on the intelligence provided by allied intel services concerning contact between Russian officials and some of Trump's people. Did the allies share this kind of information as standard practice or did Brennan somehow induce them to collect and report it? I agree that this question would fall within the scope of Mueller's investigation. Whether Mueller investigates the provenance of this allied intelligence is unknown. I hope he has already done so. If Brennan really thought those contacts between Russian officials and Trump's people posed a potential CI risk, he would have been derelict if he did not pursue the matter. After all, three Russian intelligence officers were already convicted of trying to recruit Page who became one of Trump's people.

Beyond L'Affaire Russe, there is much that needs to be investigated concerning the CIA's capture-kill MO during the entire GWOT era. Brennan was in the thick of that, but that is not a subject for Mueller.

[Mar 28, 2018] How Iraq War destabilized the world and why the neocons aren't finished yet by Rania Khalek

Notable quotes:
"... "The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in the United States as a 'blunder,' or even a 'colossal mistake.' It was a crime. Those who perpetrated it are still at large. Some of them have even been rehabilitated thanks to the horrors of Trumpism and a mostly amnesiac citizenry." ..."
"... "axis of evil" ..."
Mar 26, 2018 | www.rt.com

The Iraq War architects have been thoroughly rehabilitated and are planning their next adventure, even as the catastrophic ramifications of their crimes continue to reverberate around the world. Last week marked the 15th anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. April 9 will be the 15th anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. The consequences of these events are still playing out today, from Mali to Niger, to the Philippines. Iraq has never recovered and is only beginning to emerge from the trauma, while American officials plan the next military adventure.

Writing in the New York Times, Iraqi novelist Sinan Antoon observed : "The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in the United States as a 'blunder,' or even a 'colossal mistake.' It was a crime. Those who perpetrated it are still at large. Some of them have even been rehabilitated thanks to the horrors of Trumpism and a mostly amnesiac citizenry."

The rehabilitation of the neocons

Indeed, the rise of Trump has provided the cabal of Iraq War architects with a rebranding opportunity. After their utter failure in Iraq, these people were largely disgraced and no longer taken seriously outside of right-wing circles. But Trumpism, and the desire of liberals to oust the current president, has led to an anti-Trump coalition which includes at its helm many of the instrumental figures behind the Iraq invasion. The list includes David "axis of evil" Frum, former speechwriter to President George W. Bush and now a senior editor at the Atlantic, as well as neoconservative think tanker Bill Kristol, and George W. Bush , who is now celebrated as a pragmatic leader – even by nostalgic Democrats who contrast him with Trump.

Read more Remember when Trump was anti-Iraq War? Bolton hire just tip of iceberg in policy U-turn

Trump's victory in the Republican primary on a seemingly isolationist platform, which was obviously a facade, sent many of these neoconservatives running toward Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. Those who lined up behind Clinton have since been embraced by the Democratic establishment, while the more extreme neoconservative hawks who stuck by the Republican Party have effectively inserted themselves into the Trump administration. The most recent and terrifying of these is John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN. Bolton played a key role in politicizing the intelligence that was used to mislead the public about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And now he is Trump's national security advisor.

Bolton is a neoconservative extremist who has never seen a country he didn't want to bomb. On the top of his hit list is Iran and North Korea, though Bolton has expended most of his energy agitating for the US to bomb Iran , which he seeks to hand over to the Mujahedin E Khalq (MEK), a cultish group of Iranian exiles that has received backing from Israeli intelligence and was formerly classified as a terrorist organization by the United States.

In light of the Iraq war anniversary and the recent appointment of Bolton, it's a good time to survey the damage that neocons such as Bolton caused in Iraq. The war left an estimated 1 million Iraqis dead , 4.5 million displaced, 5 million orphaned, some 2 million widowed, and caused birth defects and cancer rates in some Iraqi cities that are significantly worse than those seen in the aftermath of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan at the end of the Second World War.

Read more 'Epidemic of birth defects & cancer in Iraq after US-led war'

But the destruction reaches far beyond just Iraq.

The new Jihad

The irony is that Trump's rise to the presidency is in many ways the fault of the Iraq War architects. Their policies in Iraq, which were recycled in Libya and Syria, led to the rise of Islamic State and the refugee crisis that fueled right-wing populists such as Trump and his counterparts in Europe. The war in Iraq revived a jihadist movement that was dead after the first few months of the war on Afghanistan, opening the floodgates to jihadists and their supporters from around the world.

When the US dismantled the Iraqi state in 2003, instead of replacing it with a functioning government it punished Sunni areas and installed a sectarian Shiite regime comprised of exiles with no popular support in the country. The US essentially created a new category known as the Sunni Arab and, where the state collapsed, it was Al-Qaeda who would fight on their behalf. The inflammation of sectarian fears and lack of security resulted in a power vacuum that opened the floodgates to Al-Qaeda in Iraq and ignited a gruesome civil war . AQI eventually morphed into the Islamic State of Iraq. Before morphing into ISIS, ISI established an Al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria called Jabhat al-Nusra, the strongest and most disciplined armed opposition group in the country.

ISIS and Al-Qaeda groups cultivate and thrive off of stateless zones as well as a Sunni Arab victimhood narrative , which started with the execution of Saddam Hussein and has been propagated throughout the region by popular gulf-funded religious figures and media outlets such as Al Jazeera Arabic .

Read more Fallujah battle toxic legacy: 'Damage done to DNA'

Beheadings became a hallmark of the Al Qaeda branch in Iraq under Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who, unlike Osama bin Laden began to focus on fighting the near enemy -- the Arab dictatorships, secular people and minorities -- as opposed to the far enemy of the infidel west. We would later see these beheadings in ISIS propaganda videos aimed at terrifying the west. There was a theory in the past in bin Laden's era that you should fight the far enemy, the west, before the near enemy. But under this new and evolved Al Qaeda, whether in Iraq or Yemen or Mali, we saw local franchises focused on slaughtering their fellow countrymen, with particular genocidal hatred for Shias.

The American occupation of an Arab country fueled this Salafi jihadist movement on a global scale. The occupation led to sympathy for this Iraqi jihad throughout the Muslim world, which meant foreign fighters coming in and a huge amount of funding from the gulf.

This global war on terror framework was also implemented by the US in countries such as Somalia and Yemen and across North Africa as well.

The Iraq War gave us Donald Trump

In spite of America's criminal disaster in Iraq, Barack Obama continued to implement regime change policies in both Libya and Syria by funding and arming right-wing insurgencies made up of none other than Al-Qaeda affiliates, the very ideology the US was supposedly fighting in its global war on terror. Like in Iraq, US intervention led to the rise of a failed state in Libya and in much of Syria.

Read more Israeli ex-defense minister says Trump's new NSC adviser Bolton was pushing him to strike Iran

In Syria, these failed state zones were then filled by thousands of foreign fighters coming in from the Turkish border, which the US tolerated as a means to put pressure on the Syrian regime, hoping the regime would offer concessions, which of course it never did. ISIS eventually took over many of these failed state areas and began kidnapping westerners and the group made millions of dollars in ransom money as a result.

The massive refugee flows which resulted from the US encouraging war and regime change in the Middle East led to the destabilization of much of Europe and to some extent, the rise of Donald Trump, who campaigned on the fear-mongering of ISIS, refugees and Muslims. You can trace all these and other terrible consequences to the US decision to encourage war and state collapse rather than to prioritize stability and order in the Middle East. It all started with the Iraq War.

The gift that keeps on giving

The ramifications of the Iraq War are still playing out today, having inspired Salafi jihadist movements from the Philippines to Mali and even Niger , where US soldiers were recently killed by jihadists.

Moreover, the war in Iraq, according to the very people who architected it, has strengthened Iran in the region. That isn't necessarily a bad thing given that Iran and its partners, such as Hezbollah and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), were crucial to defeating ISIS in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. But a strengthened Iran is a nightmare for the US as it threatens American, Saudi and Israeli hegemony in the region. So, the Iraq war planners are using the strong position of Iran – created by neoconservative policies – to push for a war with Iran. They've also expanded their hit list to include Russia, who they're still hoping to escalate against in Syria.

With Bolton as Trump's national security advisor, a war with Iran is now much more likely. For the war industry and the neocons who lobby for it, the Iraq war they started is the gift that keeps on giving.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Rania Khalek is an American journalist, writer and political commentator based in the Middle East.

[Mar 28, 2018] It's Not a Conspiracy Anymore; Public Belief in 'Deep State' Soars by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... Monmouth University Poll ..."
"... It's impossible to overstate the significance of the survey. The data suggest that representative democracy is a largely a fraud, that congressmen and senators are mostly sock-puppets who do the bidding of wealthy powerbrokers, and that the entire system is impervious to the will of the people. These are pretty damning results and a clear indication of how corrupt the system really is. ..."
"... So, along with the fact, that most Americans think democracy is a pipe-dream, a clear majority also believe that the country has changed into a frightening, lock-down police state in which government agents gather all-manner of electronic communications on everyone without the slightest suspicion of wrongdoing. ..."
"... There's no doubt in my mind that the relentless attacks on Donald Trump have reinforced the public's belief that the country is controlled by an invisible group of elites whose agents in the bureaucracy follow their diktats ..."
"... Brennan says "America will triumph over you." But whose America is he talking about? The American people elected Trump, he is the legitimate president of the United States. Many people may not like his policies, but they respect the system that put him in office. ..."
"... Brennan and his cadres of rogue agents have been at war with Trump since Day 1. Brennan does not accept the results of the election because it did not produce the outcome that he and his powerful constituents wanted. Brennan wants to destroy Trump. He even admits as much in his statement. ..."
"... And why do Brennan and his fatcat allies hate Trump so much? They don't. Because it's not really about Trump. It's about the presidency, the highest office in the land. The US Plutocrat Class honestly believe that they are entitled to govern the country that they physically own. It's theirs, they own it and they are taking it back. That's what this is all about ..."
Mar 28, 2018 | www.unz.com

On Monday, the Monmouth University Polling Institute released the results of a survey that found that "a large bipartisan majority feel that national policy is being manipulated or directed by a 'Deep State' of unelected government officials .. [1] Public Troubled By Deep State, Monmouth University Polling Institute

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from March 2 to 5, 2018 with 803 adults in the United States. The results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/m...31918/

According to the survey:" 6-in-10 Americans (60%) feel that unelected or appointed government officials have too much influence in determining federal policy. Just 26% say the right balance of power exists between elected and unelected officials in determining policy. Democrats (59%), Republicans (59%) and independents (62%) agree that appointed officials hold too much sway in the federal government. ("Public Troubled by 'Deep State", Monmouth.edu)

The survey appears to confirm that democracy in the United States is largely a sham. Our elected representatives are not the agents of political change, but cogs in a vast bureaucratic machine that operates mainly in the interests of the behemoth corporations and banks. Surprisingly, most Americans have not been taken in by the media's promotional hoopla about elections and democracy. They have a fairly-decent grasp of how the system works and who ultimately benefits from it. Check it out:

" Few Americans (13%) are very familiar with the term "Deep State ;" another 24% are somewhat familiar, while 63% say they are not familiar with this term. However, when the term is described as a group of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy, nearly 3-in-4 (74%) say they believe this type of apparatus exists in Washington. Only 1-in-5 say it does not exist." Belief in the probable existence of a Deep State comes from more than 7-in-10 Americans in each partisan group "

So while the cable news channels dismiss anyone who believes in the "Deep State" as a conspiracy theorist, it's clear that the majority of people think that's how the system really works, that is, "a group of unelected government and military officials secretly manipulate or direct national policy."

It's impossible to overstate the significance of the survey. The data suggest that representative democracy is a largely a fraud, that congressmen and senators are mostly sock-puppets who do the bidding of wealthy powerbrokers, and that the entire system is impervious to the will of the people. These are pretty damning results and a clear indication of how corrupt the system really is.

The Monmouth survey also found that "A majority of the American public believe that the U.S. government engages in widespread monitoring of its own citizens and worry that the U.S. government could be invading their own privacy." .

"Fully 8-in-10 believe that the U.S. government currently monitors or spies on the activities of American citizens, including a majority (53%)who say this activity is widespread Few Americans (18%) say government monitoring or spying on U.S. citizens is usually justified, with most (53%) saying it is only sometimes justified. Another 28% say this activity is rarely or never justified ." ("Public Troubled by 'Deep State", Monmouth.edu)

So, along with the fact, that most Americans think democracy is a pipe-dream, a clear majority also believe that the country has changed into a frightening, lock-down police state in which government agents gather all-manner of electronic communications on everyone without the slightest suspicion of wrongdoing. Once again, the data suggests that the American people know what is going on, know that the US has gone from a reasonably free country where civil liberties were protected under the law, to a state-of-the-art surveillance state ruled by invisible elites who see the American people as an obstacle to their global ambitions–but their awareness has not evolved into an organized movement for change. In any event, the public seems to understand that the USG is not as committed to human rights and civil liberties as the media would have one believe. That's a start.

There's no doubt in my mind that the relentless attacks on Donald Trump have reinforced the public's belief that the country is controlled by an invisible group of elites whose agents in the bureaucracy follow their diktats. From the time Trump became the GOP presidential nominee more than 18 months ago, a powerful faction of the Intelligence Community, law enforcement (FBI) and even elements form the Obama DOJ, have vigorously tried to sabotage his presidency, his credibility and his agenda. Without a scintilla of hard evidence to make their case, this same group and their dissembling allies in the media, have cast Trump as a disloyal collaborator who conspired to win the election by colluding with a foreign government. The magnitude of this fabrication is beyond anything we've seen before in American political history, and the absence of any verifiable proof makes it all the more alarming. As it happens, the Deep State is so powerful it can wage a full-blown assault on the highest elected office in the country without even showing probable cause. In other words, the president of the United States is not even accorded the same rights as a common crook. How does that happen?

Over the weekend, former CIA Director and "Russia-gate" ringleader John Brennan fired off an angry salvo at Trump on his Twitter account. Here's what he said:

"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America America will triumph over you."

Doesn't Brennan's statement help to reinforce the public's belief in the Deep State? How does a career bureaucrat who has never been elected to public office decide that it is appropriate to use the credibility of his former office to conduct a pitch-battle with the President of the United States?

Brennan says "America will triumph over you." But whose America is he talking about? The American people elected Trump, he is the legitimate president of the United States. Many people may not like his policies, but they respect the system that put him in office.

Not so, Brennan. Brennan and his cadres of rogue agents have been at war with Trump since Day 1. Brennan does not accept the results of the election because it did not produce the outcome that he and his powerful constituents wanted. Brennan wants to destroy Trump. He even admits as much in his statement.

And Brennan has been given a platform on the cable news channels so he can continue his assault on the presidency, not because he can prove that Trump is guilty of collusion or obstruction or whatever, but because the people who own the media have mobilized their deep state agents to carry out their vendetta to remove Trump from office by any means possible.

This is the "America" of which Brennan speaks. Not my America, but deep state America.

And why do Brennan and his fatcat allies hate Trump so much? They don't. Because it's not really about Trump. It's about the presidency, the highest office in the land. The US Plutocrat Class honestly believe that they are entitled to govern the country that they physically own. It's theirs, they own it and they are taking it back. That's what this is all about

... ... ...

[Mar 27, 2018] There are several problem with investigating Brennan

Mar 27, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I have known both Brennan and Giraldi for a long time. They are examples of the worst (Brennan) and the best (Giraldi) that the CIA has produced although I will remind that Giraldi started in the Army and was lured to Langley when already a well known and respected person in the intelligence community.

Brennan, at the beginning of his career was judged by CIA to be unsuited to be a field man and was made an analyst. I first knew him when I was Defense Attache in Jiddah and he was attached to Alan Fiers office. It was clear to me from the beginning that he was someone whom you should not trust or turn your back on.

Giraldi here lays out the case for Brennan's turpitude. Let Sessions act on this! Let him act! pl

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/lets-investigate-john-brennan/

  1. likbez says: March 27, 2018 at 9:44 pm GMT • 300 Words There are several problem with investigating Brennan:

    1. That will undermines further the US political system (which already is weakened by this slash and burn anti-Trump campaign, or color revolution, if you wish) and might open a can of worms. For example, Brennan was a really big player in Obama administration and probably was behind Nulandgate (UNZ comment):

    JR says:
    March 27, 2018 at 6:24 am GMT
    Within a week after Brennan's 'routine' visit in April 2014 to the Ukraine the Ukrainian army launched a civil war. That was within 2 weeks of the CIA instigated coup an the end of February 2014.

    2. Who might be able to do it ? Definitely not Trump Justice Department. They appointed Mueller to investigate Trump. Which is an action in the opposite direction.

    3. Brennan probably is the key person behind Russiagate and color revolution against Trump that still is running unabated. And that means that he has influential friends in high places. Including UK (the origin of Steele dossier, in which he was probably personally involved too ). Attacking Brennan might be viewed as an attack of this trusted ally. UNZ has several insightful comments on the topic. As Art said:

    Art says:
    March 27, 2018 at 8:38 pm GMT • 200 Words

    How Brennan came to power, should draw questions. Was the dethroning of Gen. David Petraeus, as CIA chief, a palace coup? Was Brennan spying on Petraeus? Was the NSA tapping his phones? Did the idea that a military man was heading the CIA, anathema to the institution – so they got rid of him?

    Just how much actual power does the CIA have in the American permanent Deep State?
    Congress is NO check on the CIA – all the politicians on the intel security committees are handpicked dedicated worshipers.

    The CIA is the most anti democracy organization on the planet. From its beginning, it has played with, subverted, and toppled democracies and sovereign governments. Today it assonates, tortures, and bombs people around the world. (Has Trump given them a free hand?)
    The commie cold war is over – let's not start another one. The CIA's covert activities must stop.
    (Spying is rational.)

    4. After a short initial period intelligence agencies become untouchable and the tail start wagging the dog (from the Art comment above): "Congress is NO check on the CIA – all the politicians on the intel security committees are handpicked dedicated worshipers. " Here we return to q.2 "Who might be able to do it ? " and we know the answer.


[Mar 27, 2018] Fifteen Years Ago, America Destroyed My Country by SINAN ANTOON

Notable quotes:
"... My short visit only confirmed my conviction and fear that the invasion would spell disaster for Iraqis. Removing Saddam was just a byproduct of another objective: dismantling the Iraqi state and its institutions. That state was replaced with a dysfunctional and corrupt semi-state. ..."
"... Paul Bremer III, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, announced the formation of the so-called Governing Council in July 2003. The names of its members were each followed by their sect and ethnicity . Many of the Iraqis we spoke to on that day were upset with institutionalization of an ethno-sectarian quota system. Ethnic and sectarian tensions already existed, but their translation into political currency was toxic. Those unsavory characters on the governing council, most of whom were allies of the United States from the preceding decade, went on to loot the country, making it one of the most corrupt in the world. ..."
"... The next time I returned to Baghdad was in 2013. The American tanks were gone, but the effects of the occupation were everywhere. I had low expectations, but I was still disheartened by the ugliness of the city where I had grown up and horrified by how dysfunctional, difficult and dangerous daily life had become for the great majority of Iraqis. ..."
"... I didn't expect the beautiful Basra I'd seen on 1970s postcards. That city had long disappeared. But the Basra I saw was so exhausted and polluted. The city had suffered a great deal during the Iran-Iraq war, and its decline accelerated after 2003. Basra was pale, dilapidated and chaotic thanks to the rampant corruption. Its rivers are polluted and ebbing. ..."
"... Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion) , and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter . ..."
Mar 19, 2018 | www.nytimes.com
Photo
A statue of Saddam Hussein in front of the burning National Olympic Committee in Baghdad in 2003. Credit Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

When I was 12, Saddam Hussein, vice president of Iraq at the time, carried out a huge purge and officially usurped total power. I was living in Baghdad then, and I developed an intuitive, visceral hatred of the dictator early on. That feeling only intensified and matured as I did. In the late 1990s, I wrote my first novel, "I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody," about daily life under Saddam's authoritarian regime. Furat, the narrator , was a young college student studying English literature at Baghdad University, as I had. He ends up in prison for cracking a joke about the dictator. Furat hallucinates and imagines Saddam's fall, just as I often did. I hoped I would witness that moment, whether in Iraq or from afar.

I left Iraq a few months after the 1991 Gulf War and went to graduate school in the United States, where I've been ever since. In 2002, when the cheerleading for the Iraq war started, I was vehemently against the proposed invasion. The United States had consistently supported dictators in the Arab world and was not in the business of exporting democracy, irrespective of the Bush administration's slogans. I recalled sitting in my family's living room with my aunt when I was a teenager, watching Iraqi television and seeing Donald Rumsfeld visiting Baghdad as an emissary from Ronald Reagan and shaking hands with Saddam . That memory made Mr. Rumsfeld's words in 2002 about freedom and democracy for Iraqis seem hollow. Moreover, having lived through two previous wars (the Iran-Iraq war of 1980 to 1988 and the Gulf War of 1991), I knew that the actual objectives of war were always camouflaged by well-designed lies that exploit collective fear and perpetuate national myths.

I was one of about 500 Iraqis in the diaspora -- of various ethnic and political backgrounds, many of whom were dissidents and victims of Saddam's regime -- who signed a petition: "No to war on Iraq. No to dictatorship." While condemning Saddam's reign of terror, we were against a "war that would cause more death and suffering" for innocent Iraqis and one that threatened to push the entire region into violent chaos. Our voices were not welcomed in mainstream media in the United States, which preferred the pro-war Iraqi-American who promised cheering crowds that would welcome invaders with "sweets and flowers." There were none.

The petition didn't make much of an impact. Fifteen years ago today, the invasion of Iraq began.

Three months later, I returned to Iraq for the first time since 1991 as part of a collective to film a documentary about Iraqis in a post-Saddam Iraq. We wanted to show my countrymen as three-dimensional beings, beyond the binary of Saddam versus the United States. In American media, Iraqis had been reduced to either victims of Saddam who longed for occupation or supporters and defenders of dictatorship who opposed the war. We wanted Iraqis to speak for themselves. For two weeks, we drove around Baghdad and spoke to many of its residents. Some were still hopeful, despite being drained by years of sanctions and dictatorship. But many were furious and worried about what was to come. The signs were already there: the typical arrogance and violence of a colonial occupying power.

Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, the Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.

My short visit only confirmed my conviction and fear that the invasion would spell disaster for Iraqis. Removing Saddam was just a byproduct of another objective: dismantling the Iraqi state and its institutions. That state was replaced with a dysfunctional and corrupt semi-state. We were still filming in Baghdad when L. Paul Bremer III, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, announced the formation of the so-called Governing Council in July 2003. The names of its members were each followed by their sect and ethnicity . Many of the Iraqis we spoke to on that day were upset with institutionalization of an ethno-sectarian quota system. Ethnic and sectarian tensions already existed, but their translation into political currency was toxic. Those unsavory characters on the governing council, most of whom were allies of the United States from the preceding decade, went on to loot the country, making it one of the most corrupt in the world.

We were fortunate to have been able to shoot our film in that brief period during which there was relative public security. Shortly after our visit, Iraq descended into violence; suicide bombings became the norm. The invasion made my country a magnet for terrorists ("We'll fight them there so we don't have to fight them here," President George W. Bush had said), and Iraq later descended into a sectarian civil war that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians and displaced hundreds of thousands more, irrevocably changing the country's demography.

The next time I returned to Baghdad was in 2013. The American tanks were gone, but the effects of the occupation were everywhere. I had low expectations, but I was still disheartened by the ugliness of the city where I had grown up and horrified by how dysfunctional, difficult and dangerous daily life had become for the great majority of Iraqis.

My last visit was in April 2017. I flew from New York, where I now live, to Kuwait, where I was giving a lecture. An Iraqi friend and I crossed the border by land. I was going to the city of Basra, in the south of Iraq. Basra was the only major Iraqi city I had not visited before. I was going to sign my books at the Friday book market of al-Farahidi Street, a weekly gathering for bibliophiles modeled after the famous Mutanabbi Street book market in Baghdad. I was driven around by friends. I didn't expect the beautiful Basra I'd seen on 1970s postcards. That city had long disappeared. But the Basra I saw was so exhausted and polluted. The city had suffered a great deal during the Iran-Iraq war, and its decline accelerated after 2003. Basra was pale, dilapidated and chaotic thanks to the rampant corruption. Its rivers are polluted and ebbing. Nonetheless, I made a pilgrimage to the famous statue of Iraq's greatest poet, Badr Shakir al-Sayyab.

One of the few sources of joy for me during these short visits were the encounters with Iraqis who had read my novels and were moved by them. These were novels I had written from afar, and through them, I tried to grapple with the painful disintegration of an entire country and the destruction of its social fabric. These texts are haunted by the ghosts of the dead, just as their author is.

No one knows for certain how many Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion 15 years ago. Some credible estimates put the number at more than one million. You can read that sentence again. The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in the United States as a "blunder," or even a "colossal mistake." It was a crime. Those who perpetrated it are still at large. Some of them have even been rehabilitated thanks to the horrors of Trumpism and a mostly amnesiac citizenry. (A year ago, I watched Mr. Bush on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," dancing and talking about his paintings.) The pundits and "experts" who sold us the war still go on doing what they do. I never thought that Iraq could ever be worse than it was during Saddam's reign, but that is what America's war achieved and bequeathed to Iraqis.

Sinan Antoon ( @sinanantoon ) is the author, most recently, of the novel "The Baghdad Eucharist." Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion) , and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter .

[Mar 27, 2018] Time to find out if CIA interfered in the 2016 election

Notable quotes:
"... Of course the CIA 'interfered' in the 2016 Presidential election. But our Elites do not want that discussed as a mere possibility. We might also look more closely at the CIA and the JFK assassination. ..."
"... The CIA is the child of British imperial secret service, as are the Mossad and the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency. 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. ..."
"... Why Mueller? Brennan isn't a president, or even a government official at all. He's a former federal employee who is wide open to investigation by the DOJ. Brennan's past terms employment are an open book to the DOJ or to Congress. ..."
"... John Brennan may well be the most dangerous and dirty CIA director in the Company's history. ..."
"... If the USA empire could have been established and maintained, without a CIA, I doubt. Empires are ruthless, 'perfidious Albion' was the expression for the British empire. ..."
"... Which brings us to John Brennan, the Central Intelligence Agency's chief under President Obama, who rushed to MSNBC this week to claim: "The fact that he has had this fawning attitude towards Mr. Putin and has not said anything negative about him, it continues to say something to me that he has something to fear and something serious to fear [from Russia]." ..."
"... Uh huh. Presidents have secrets but they also have power, so if you think they are easily blackmailable, Mr. Brennan may have a third-rate spy novel to sell you. What occurred to anybody who has followed matters closely was a different thought: Mr. Brennan, who has a few things to hide himself, has decided his best defense is a strong offense. ..."
"... For the truth is, Mr. Trump's version of the loudmouth demagogue is increasingly coming out on the better side of the emerging facts on Russia. The Kremlin wasn't the most consequential meddler in the 2016 election: It was James Comey's FBI, with Mr. Brennan standing obscurely at his elbow every step of the way. ..."
"... If a planted Russian intercept was instrumental in the fiasco of Mr. Comey's intervention in the Hillary Clinton email matter, as numerous leaks indicate, then that intercept would have come from Mr. Brennan's CIA. What's more, it likely came not with a shrug, but with a clear expectation that Mr. Comey would act to protect a Clinton presidency from an alleged Russian plot. ..."
"... John Brennan is a propaganda whore for the family that owns Comcast. Comcast runs NBC. I would call them the Roberts family, but none of them look like Henry Fonda, so I won't. I don't dare speculate what their real name is. ..."
"... Mike Morell is a propaganda whore for the family that owns Viacom. Viacom runs CBS. I don't care how convoluted those shysters made the exact corporate control of CBS, they run it. The family name of these nasty Viacom shysters ain't their real name either. ..."
"... Is this trolling or naïvete? All US investigating agencies are complicit, so who is going to investigate investigators? ..."
"... Americans are pragmatic people. Identifying John Brennan as a so-called "war criminal" because he was involved in all the extraneous crap the American Empire is pulling overseas won't get the interest of ordinary Americans. Calling John Brennan a "propaganda whore" for the family that controls Comcast will pique their interest. ..."
Mar 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

Mark James , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 6:26 am GMT

Trump is clearly having a perilous time trying to put together a defense team. He is made to look the fool on an hourly basis. It isn't even news anymore. Fans of his in the media were complaining about the 60 Minutes broadcast asking isn't "there more" in terms of news value?

It was with that pending backdrop that we heard from Brennan. It took no courage. Trump is in the ring and he's battered. Make no mistake others heard what Brennan was making clear. Yes, Trump is headed for the "dustbin" and it's just a matter of how. Brennan was telling those that matter to back off and let it happen. Quality legal counsel trust Trump about as much as Brennan does.

We saw the large number of Russians tossed out yesterday. Trump acquiesced, though made no statement. The decision was probably taken while the president was preparing for his Florida break and how best to react to his porn actress assignation, that never happened (in his mind).

Spisarevski , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 6:41 am GMT
Brennan should be investigated for the murder of Michael Hastings as well.
Realist , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 6:54 am GMT
Ummm, that's not going to happen. It's silly to think the Deep State is going to investigate itself.
utu , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 6:54 am GMT

Time to find out if CIA interfered in the 2016 election

Obviously it did. But was it CIA or DIA that helped to count Trump votes?

jacques sheete , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 7:01 am GMT
Another fine article by PG.

The system is obviously sick to the point of degeneracy yet some still proclaim that it can still be "reformed" if we somehow manage to magically get the right guy into the m̶o̶n̶a̶r̶c̶h̶y̶, I mean prezudensy.

'Taint gonna happen goys 'n squirrels.

It is a system that robs all who work for a living.

What, -- did I hear you say that this of which we have spoken, gives employment to lots of people? That is an insult to the intelligence of any thinking person, yet that statement is excusable as long as we continue the existing business and political scheme. As things now are, the main thing aimed at by the wealth grabbers is to use us -- to make of us mere machines to wear out in producing wealth for them.

-Charles A. Lindbergh, Why is your country at war and what happens to you after the war, and related subjects, p 36-7. (1917)

https://archive.org/stream/whyisyourcountr00lindgoog/whyisyourcountr00lindgoog_djvu.txt

But hey, keep castin' them there ballots for degenerates! That surely oughta do it. Eventually.

Uh-huh!

Fran Macadam , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 8:26 am GMT
The CIA engaging in a regime change operation? Who'd a thunk!

They used to joke darkly that the only country safe from having its government overthrown was the one that had no U.S. embassy.

The joke lost its punch line.

Mikhail , Website Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 9:12 am GMT
Brennan and James Clapper come across as anti-Russian bigots and liars. https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/01/11/misreading-trump-putin-and-us-russian-relations.html https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/12/12/countering-anti-russian-propaganda.html https://www.eurasiareview.com/24092017-another-absurd-russia-bashing-development-analysis/
Greg Bacon , Website Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 10:44 am GMT
Thanks to President Truman for both the CIA and recognizing the spawning of Israel, two demonic entities that have and continue to give both America and the world an endless amount of trouble, while leeching money out of our economy.

Thank Mr. Giraldi for not babbling on about the latest washed up porn star who claims that Trump bedded her, which makes for endless conversations among the rubes, while the CIA continues on with its world-wide assassination program, moving paid for jihadists to Syria, helping the head-chopping Saudi dictator remain in office, running opium out of Afghanistan and making sure 90% of the MSM keeps feeding toxic slop to people in the guise of news.

Jake , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 11:15 am GMT
AMEN!

Of course the CIA 'interfered' in the 2016 Presidential election. But our Elites do not want that discussed as a mere possibility. We might also look more closely at the CIA and the JFK assassination.

The CIA is the child of British imperial secret service, as are the Mossad and the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency. 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

ISmellBagels , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 11:24 am GMT
Morell:
"commitment to our nation's security: her belief that America is an exceptional nation that must lead in the world for the country to remain secure and prosperous; her understanding that diplomacy can be effective only if the country is perceived as willing and able to use force if necessary; and her capacity to make the most difficult decision of all: whether to put young American women and men in harm's way."

What a fine chunk of bullsheat. I wonder how long it took him to come up with that. Everybody with over 100 IQ knows who steers foreign policy, and they are not American patriots.

longfisher , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 11:47 am GMT
@Spisarevski

Yep.

jilles dykstra , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 11:51 am GMT
The CIA is the USA's secret army, of course the director is a criminal, judged by common standards.
If the CIA manipulated elections, I doubt, as nearly all military, they're not very intelligent.
jacques sheete , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 12:28 pm GMT
@CalDre

Only a mighty revolution will even begin to drain the massive D.C. swamp of the deleterious scum and muck that fills it.

However it has to be a revolution of the spirit and it has to be continuous as you no doubt already know.

Violent revolutions quickly burn themselves out and are soon co-opted by the usual sleaze. It's very apparent it even happened to the much vaunted Am Rev, and we see the inevitable results today. There never, ever, shall be any MAGA. It's merely circus time rhetoric and we all know that there's a sucker born every minute.

"But while I beheld with pleasure the dawn of liberty rising in Europe, I saw with regret the lustre of it fading in America
But a faction, acting in disguise, was rising in America; they had lost sight of first principles. They were beginning to contemplate government as a profitable monopoly, and the people as hereditary property."

THOMAS PAINE TO THE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES,
And particularly to the Leaders of the Federal Faction.
LETTER I, Nov 15, 1802

Sowhat , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 12:42 pm GMT
@CalDre

I Agree

Twodees Partain , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 12:51 pm GMT

"Brennan should be thoroughly investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, "

Why Mueller? Brennan isn't a president, or even a government official at all. He's a former federal employee who is wide open to investigation by the DOJ. Brennan's past terms employment are an open book to the DOJ or to Congress.

It probably wouldn't take a week for felony charges to be brought against him and he could be in jail waiting for a trial. Any ordinary citizen is subject to being hounded by the FBI and charged with multiple felonies, having charges piled up against him until he agrees to bargain with a guilty plea.

That happens all the time to ordinary citizens. The same could be done to Brennan, who is just another civilian now. I guess, though, that we would need to have an AG who would be willing to target a fellow Swamp Creature.

DESERT FOX , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
The government will never investigate Brennan or any of the other deep state organs as they are controlled by the Zionists who also control every facet of the gov, and this control was proven by the fact that Israel and the deep state did 911 and got away with it.

They might as well call for a real investigation of 911, have a snowballs chance in hell of getting that done.

ThreeCranes , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 1:23 pm GMT
You will gain a better understanding of Vladimir Putin if you study his career as a sportsman, 3rd degree blackbelt Judoka than by sifting through his career as an ex-spy.

First of all, Judo is a sport. It's not a "martial art". It's not meant to maim or injure -- though of course, people do get injured because they get thrown. Every particular technique that could inevitably result in injury has been culled from the sport. You don't "practice" Judo, you "play" it -- literally, that's what they say when talking about participation.

Practice sessions are democratic. Everyone practices against everyone else. Of course, this results in mismatches as rank beginners will at some point be paired up with advanced players. But this mismatch doesn't result in humiliation because the advanced take special pains to play cleanly, pull their throws i.e. execute them perfectly so the person thrown can land without injury to themselves and it also is an opportunity for every good Judoka to teach the novices.

There are some people who come to Judo who don't fit in. They standout because they can be seen really playing rough with those who are lower in rank than them. But this doesn't go unnoticed. As people cycle through opponents during the practice session, the bully will eventually be paired up with someone who is better than they are. And they will be taught a lesson. Either they learn and conform to the rules or they never show up again. Judo weeds out opportunistic bullies.

Now I hope the above helps people better understand Putin. To sum up: he is competitive but will try to win fairly, within the prescribed rules. He won't tolerate bullying by the stronger over the weaker, will, in fact, come to the aid of the weaker. Has a strong sense of tradition, of belonging to a school of thought and action that is greater than himself and that is worth preserving for its own sake, believes and more importantly, knows through experience, that belonging to such a school improves individual character. He is competent. I've seen film of him in practice and his technique is quite good. His third degree black belt was honestly earned, it wasn't an honorary award.

From the above it can be seen why he would have little respect for the current crop of weak, cowardly, politicians who rule America, lacking as they are in discipline, integrity and dedication to a larger, noble cause. He would, in fact, find it hard not to hold them in contempt but, keeping his eyes on the long-term goals of what's good for his country, masters his emotions when dealing with them face to face.

redmudhooch , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 2:16 pm GMT
Not all CIA is bad believe it or not..
Meet CIA Intelligence Officer Michael Scheuer, says Parkland and Las Vegas shootings were false flags and FBI is covering them up. Goes on to encourage Americans to arm themselves and stockpile ammo, seems he knows something we don't.
Trump should hire this guy, he doesn't mince words when it comes to Israel either, he is da man.
If only America had more guys like this in govt, how awesome would America be?

Former CIA Intelligence Officer Dr. Michael Scheuer

Che Guava , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 3:20 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

You have half a point, from my reading, Truman turned OSS into CIA. Do you think there was some magical and instant change in the organisation?

On Israel, he may have been having his shoulders twisted, but his writings are very clear that he found the proto-neocons to be very irritating, specifically the new arrivals from Europe.

As an outside observer, and excepting the cruel continuing of LeMay's firebombing and the two atomic bombs, the latter and former clearly war crimes, taking their records into account, I can not think of one U.S.A. president who was any good since Harding. Perhaps Coolidge.

They all have their moments, whether the moments are good, bad or meaningless, but the bad is always outweighing the good.

ChuckOrloski , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 3:48 pm GMT
Philip Giraldi wrote: "Time to find out if CIA interfered in the 2016 election."

Hi Phil,

If Brennan's CIA did not interfere in the volatile 2016 election, I'd be rather disappointed in them. Will explain. CIA Directors are typically partisan to whichever political party appoints them to serve. The agency has a long history of interference in foreign government elections, and a willingness to serve major corporate interests and foreign governments, i.e., Israel, those interests above & beyond dumb goyim basic needs.

Consequently, when a solid argument (with evidence) is made that CIA interfered in the 2016 presidential election, the first thing that must be cleared up is the "smoke" that the CIA works to defend the integrity of American "elections" which allot no other citizen option but to tolerate and accept Jewish Lobbies who influence (determine) both the outcome of Congressional & Executive offices.

No doubt, our country's sorry fate would be comforted by a high profile investigation into Brennan. However, who will conduct such investigation. Robert Mueller who was FBI Director during the uninvestigated 9/11 attacks?

And then we have 9/11′s CIA Director, George Tenet. I have no clue about CIA funding for it's operations, but given the huge annual budget allotment to the ZUS Department of Defense, how was it possible for ESPECIALLY the Pentagon to get victimized by a commercial airplane attack.

Even moreso than Brennan, does ex-Director Tenet deserve to stand accountable to a serious criminal coverup investigation, which of course would be the nation's first?

Below is a You Tube video that features an interesting interview with Mark Rossini, former-FBI "Counter Terrorism" agent and who served under Robert Mueller's command.

Minus any reference to (well known) nefarious Mossad activities in the U.S., Mr. Rossini tells a passionate story about his attempts to call attention to troublesome Saudi operations in the "Homeland" prior to 9/11 and how his agency was "coddling the Saudis."

Yes, to expose ex-Director Brennan's more recent "lies" is very necessary. But the man stood atop an agency that set an incredible example of "by deception we do war" and the collateral damage is
mankind. "Let's roll!"

Thank you, Philip.

Selah, Great and Holy Tuesday Commemoration of the Ten Wise Virgins (Mt 25:14)

SunBakedSuburb , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 4:23 pm GMT
"He [Brennan] said that the U.S. President is 'afraid of the president of Russia' and that the Kremlin 'may have something on him personally.' "

John Brennan may well be the most dangerous and dirty CIA director in the Company's history. I think he was engaging in projection when he uttered the above comments.

The true darkness at the heart of the 2016 'hacked' election story is that the Podesta emails revealed the existence of a pedophile cult in the upper echelons of D.C. society. And that John Podesta, a long-time CIA asset, was running the cult as an influence and blackmail operation. Brennan's hands were deep into that miasma, and he has been working overtime at misdirection since the election.

No fan of Trump and his crew here, but the other team, the D.C. establishment, are much worse.

Ronald Thomas West , Website Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 4:58 pm GMT
I dunno Phil, I mean asking Mueller to investigate Brennan is like asking the termites to run the exterminating business.

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/02/07/bob-manson-charlie-mueller/

^ It's almost funny

wayfarer , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 5:01 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

Now that was worth taking some time to read, thanks for an affecting narrative.

Chop-chop corner , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 5:01 pm GMT
Yes, investigate him, and while you're at it: https://jamesfetzer.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/wayne-madsen-john-brennan-cias-saudi_21.html
densa , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 5:20 pm GMT
We had our bipartisan corporate tax reduction, one of only two things our partisans can agree on. The other is the ongoing war to make Israel Great. Rinse and repeat.
jilles dykstra , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT
@redmudhooch

Depends on what you see as bad. If the USA empire could have been established and maintained, without a CIA, I doubt. Empires are ruthless, 'perfidious Albion' was the expression for the British empire.

Ian Hernon, 'Britain's Forgotten Wars, Colonial Campaigns of the 19th Century', 2003, 2007, Chalford -- Stroud

How an important British diplomat saw British control of the greater part of the world as the natural order of things

Lord Vansittart, 'The Mist Procession, The autobiography of LORD VANSITTART', London 1958

Great pity that death prevented the biography from going furher than 1938.

The machinations of Vansittart during the thirties are described in

Philip M. Taylor, 'The Projection of Britain, British Overseas Publicity and Propaganda 1919-1939′, Cambridge 1981
and

Lawrence R. Pratt, 'East of Malta, West of Suez', London, 1975

The ideas of Vansittart's friend Leeper one finds in
Sir Reginald Leeper, 'When Greek Meets Greek', London 1950
He more or less ruled Greece from 1945 to say 1950.

Charles Pewitt , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 5:33 pm GMT
Holman Jenkins Jr, Wall Street Journal columnist, is a cranky writer who was wrong about which faction to support in a New Hampshire supermarket war, but he is right when he suggests that John Brennan has decided that a good offense is the best defense. Call it the John Brennan attempt to replicate the Dan Fouts-era San Diego Chargers strategy of piling up the passing yards and the points and hoping that you have more points at the end of the game than your opponent.

Holman Jenkins Jr:

Which brings us to John Brennan, the Central Intelligence Agency's chief under President Obama, who rushed to MSNBC this week to claim: "The fact that he has had this fawning attitude towards Mr. Putin and has not said anything negative about him, it continues to say something to me that he has something to fear and something serious to fear [from Russia]."

Uh huh. Presidents have secrets but they also have power, so if you think they are easily blackmailable, Mr. Brennan may have a third-rate spy novel to sell you. What occurred to anybody who has followed matters closely was a different thought: Mr. Brennan, who has a few things to hide himself, has decided his best defense is a strong offense.

For the truth is, Mr. Trump's version of the loudmouth demagogue is increasingly coming out on the better side of the emerging facts on Russia. The Kremlin wasn't the most consequential meddler in the 2016 election: It was James Comey's FBI, with Mr. Brennan standing obscurely at his elbow every step of the way.

If a planted Russian intercept was instrumental in the fiasco of Mr. Comey's intervention in the Hillary Clinton email matter, as numerous leaks indicate, then that intercept would have come from Mr. Brennan's CIA. What's more, it likely came not with a shrug, but with a clear expectation that Mr. Comey would act to protect a Clinton presidency from an alleged Russian plot.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-trump-never-speaks-ill-of-putin-1521844128

Si1ver1ock , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 6:01 pm GMT
So how do you reform the Secret Police? It is an interesting idea. The National Security State has locked out any outside criticism and made reform almost impossible.

Then, there is also the whole indoctrination process. From hire to retire, these three letter agencies indoctrinate their employees with esprit de corps and being a team player with the greatest enthusiasm for the mission.

Pathological groupthink, ideologically pure, hermetically sealed. Eyes Only, NOFORN.

josealamia , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 6:07 pm GMT
Claim made by high level persons in the link, suggest need for deep investigation into who in the USA is getting paid to deliver or make available American taxpayer paid for resources to foreign payee governments conducting terrorism and destabilization programs?

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/03/27/556651/Kamal-Kharrazi-Institute-of-Policy-Studies-Islamabad-terrorism

very interesting

Charles Pewitt , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 6:08 pm GMT
John Brennan is a propaganda whore for the family that owns Comcast. Comcast runs NBC. I would call them the Roberts family, but none of them look like Henry Fonda, so I won't. I don't dare speculate what their real name is.

Mike Morell is a propaganda whore for the family that owns Viacom. Viacom runs CBS. I don't care how convoluted those shysters made the exact corporate control of CBS, they run it. The family name of these nasty Viacom shysters ain't their real name either.

President Trump should have declared war on the corporate propaganda apparatus and the Deep State on day number one of his administration. Trump let the shysters who run the corporate media and the treasonous rats in the Deep State off the hook.

President Trump won the GOP presidential primary and the presidency itself because Trump promised to put the safety, security and sovereignty of America first. The largest vote getter in terms of specific issues was the IMMIGRATION issue. Trump had the chance to fire every damn treasonous rat in the Deep State and he didn't do it. Trump betrayed his voters who wanted immigration reduced and illegal aliens deported.

President Trump should face a GOP presidential primary challenger. Maybe that will force Trump to remove the Deep State, remove the current controllers of the corporate media and put America first.

Trump should also call for an immigration moratorium and begin deporting all illegal aliens immediately.

Trump's problems with the corporate media and the Deep State stem from the fact that Trump didn't immediately remove them when he had the chance. Trump's voter base was more than ready for a "burn the boats on the beach" battle plan to defend the United States against the treasonous rats in the Deep State and the anti-White, anti-Christian shyster rats in the corporate media.

jacques sheete , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 6:28 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

He won't tolerate bullying by the stronger over the weaker, will, in fact, come to the aid of the weaker.

Thanks for your comment. Now I think I have an idea about why he seems so competent, and why said competence is especially enhanced when he's contrasted with the unmanly screwballs we've been burdened with for a very long time.

AnonFromTN , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 6:57 pm GMT
Is this trolling or naïvete? All US investigating agencies are complicit, so who is going to investigate investigators?
Anonymous [230] Disclaimer , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 7:06 pm GMT
@SunBakedSuburb

"He [Brennan] said that the U.S. President is 'afraid of the president of Russia' and that the Kremlin 'may have something on him personally.' "

Brennan is PROJECTING. They have the goods on HIM, and will squeeze out of him every last second of influence operations as long as he draws breath. Brennan will never be able to get off the HAMSTER WHEEL alive.

ChuckOrloski , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 7:12 pm GMT
@Charles Pewitt

Charles Pewitt wrote: "John Brennan is a propaganda whore for the family that owns Comcast."

Hi C.P., Above reflects the better part of Brennan' s character. More definitive is Mr. Giraldi's identifying him as a "possible war criminal." Also, why can not you see that "treasonous rats" rule? A learning deficiency? Thanks.

Anon [425] Disclaimer , Website Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 7:55 pm GMT
Wiki says he voted for communist Gus Hall in 1975. Actually THAT Brennan was better than later Brennan who just became a mindless shill for Empire.
Charles Pewitt , March 27, 2018 at 8:05 pm GMT

More definitive is Mr. Giraldi's identifying him as a "possible war criminal."

Americans are pragmatic people. Identifying John Brennan as a so-called "war criminal" because he was involved in all the extraneous crap the American Empire is pulling overseas won't get the interest of ordinary Americans. Calling John Brennan a "propaganda whore" for the family that controls Comcast will pique their interest.

I would suggest that John Brennan could be politically damaged the most by stating that John Brennan supports open borders mass immigration. John Brennan and the rest of the Deep State are dangerous to Americans because they all support open borders mass immigration. The corporate media all supports mass immigration.

Over 60 million of us voted for Trump because Trump said he would stop the unnecessary overseas wars, reduce immigration and scrap the sovereignty-sapping trade deal scams. We voted for Trump to make the American Empire act more like a republic. We're stuck with the American Empire until it croaks or is croaked in turn. And the empires all turn into rust again.

The treasonous rats in the American Empire's Deep State all push nation-wrecking mass immigration.

[Mar 27, 2018] Within a week after Brennan's 'routine' visit in April 2014 to the Ukraine the Ukrainian army launched a civil war. That was within 2 weeks of the CIA instigated coup an the end of February 2014

Mar 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

JR , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 6:24 am GMT

Within a week after Brennan's 'routine' visit in April 2014 to the Ukraine the Ukrainian army launched a civil war. That was within 2 weeks of the CIA instigated coup an the end of February 2014.

[Mar 27, 2018] Let's Investigate John Brennan, by Philip Giraldi

Highly recommended!
What is interesting is a strong Brennan connections with UK and his possiblke role in Steel dossier creation and propogation. Which actually were typical for many members of Trump administration. He also has connections with Saudi intelligence services
Notable quotes:
"... So Morell is by his own words clearly an idiot, which explains a lot about what is wrong with CIA and is probably why he is now a consultant with CBS News instead of serving as Agency Director under the beneficent gaze of President Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... Back in 2013 John Brennan, then Obama's counter-terrorism advisor, had a difficult time with the Senate Intelligence Committee explaining some things that he did when he was still working at CIA. ..."
"... He claimed that he had only "raised serious questions" in his own mind on the interrogation issue after reading the 525 page summary of the 6,000 page report prepared by the Senate Intelligence Committee which detailed the failure of the Agency program. Brennan's reaction, however, suggested at a minimum that he had read only the rebuttal material produced by CIA that had deliberately inflated the value of the intelligence produced. ..."
"... Surprisingly the subject of rendition, which Brennan must surely have been involved with while at CIA, hardly surfaced though two other interesting snippets emerged from the questioning. ..."
"... Brennan was not questioned at all about the conflict of interest or ethical issues raised by the revolving door that he benefited from when he left CIA as Deputy Executive Director in 2005 and joined a British-owned company called The Analysis Corporation (TAC) where he was named CEO. ..."
"... At the Center of the Storm ..."
"... Brennan certainly knew how to feather his nest and reward his friends, but the area that is still murky relates to what exactly he was up to in 2016 when he was CIA Director and also quite possibly working hard to help Hillary get elected. He was still at it well after Trump got elected and assumed office. In May 2017, his testimony before Congress was headlined in a Washington Post ..."
"... The precise money quote by Brennan that the two articles chiefly rely on is "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals." ..."
"... The testimony inevitably raises some questions about just what Brennan was actually up to. First of all, the CIA is not supposed to keep tabs on American citizens and tracking the activities of known associates of a presidential candidate should have sent warning bells off, yet Brennan clearly persisted in following the trail. ..."
"... it is clear that Brennan then used that information to request an FBI investigation into a possible Russian operation directed against potential key advisers if Trump were to somehow get nominated and elected, which admittedly was a longshot at the time. That is how Russiagate began. ..."
"... So, Mr. Brennan, for all his bluster and scarcely concealed anger, has a lot of baggage, to include his possible role in coordinating with other elements in the national security agencies as well as with overseas parties to get their candidate Hillary Clinton elected. ..."
Mar 27, 2018 | www.unz.com
Philip Giraldi • March 27, 2018 • 1,700 Words • 2 CommentsReply

Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan, a Barack Obama friend and protégé as well as a current paid contributor for NBC and MSNBC, has blasted President Donald Trump for congratulating President Vladimir Putin over his victory in recent Russian national elections. He said that the U.S. President is "afraid of the president of Russia" and that the Kremlin "may have something on him personally. The fact that he has had this fawning attitude toward Mr. Putin continues to say to me that he does have something to fear and something very serious to fear."

It is an indication of how low we have sunk as a nation that a possible war criminal like Brennan can feel free to use his former official status as a bully pulpit to claim that someone is a foreign spy without any real pushback or objection from the talking heads and billionaire manipulators that unfortunately run our country. If Trump is actually being blackmailed, as Brennan implies, what evidence is there for that? One might reasonably conclude that Brennan and his associates are actually angry because Trump has had the temerity to try to improve relations with Russia.

It is ironic that when President Trump does something right he gets assailed by the same crowd that piles on when he does something stupid, leading to the conclusion that unless The Donald is attacking another country, when he is lauded as becoming truly presidential, he cannot ever win with the inside the Beltway Establishment crowd. Brennan and a supporting cast of dissimulating former intelligence chiefs opposed Trump from the git-go and were perfectly willing to make things up to support Hillary and the status quo that she represented. It was, of course, a status quo that greatly and personally benefited that ex-government crowd which by now might well be described as the proverbial Deep State.

The claim that Trump is a Russian agent is not a new one since it is an easy mark to allege something that you don't have to prove. During the campaign, one was frequently confronted on the television by the humorless stare of the malignant Michael Morell, former acting CIA Director, who wrote in a mind numbing August 2016 op-ed how he was proud to support Hillary Clinton because of her "commitment to our nation's security: her belief that America is an exceptional nation that must lead in the world for the country to remain secure and prosperous; her understanding that diplomacy can be effective only if the country is perceived as willing and able to use force if necessary; and her capacity to make the most difficult decision of all: whether to put young American women and men in harm's way." Per Morell, she was a "proponent of a more aggressive approach [in Syria], one that might have prevented the Islamic State from gaining a foothold "

But Morell saved his finest vitriol for Donald Trump, observing how Vladimir Putin, a wily ex-career intelligence officer "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them" obtained the services of one fairly obscure American businessman named Trump without even physically meeting him. Morell, given his broad experience as an analyst and desk jockey, notes, "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation." An "unwitting agent" is a contradiction in terms, but one wouldn't expect Morell to know that. Nor would John Brennan, who was also an analyst and desk jockey before he was elevated by an equally witless President Barack Obama.

So Morell is by his own words clearly an idiot, which explains a lot about what is wrong with CIA and is probably why he is now a consultant with CBS News instead of serving as Agency Director under the beneficent gaze of President Hillary Clinton.

Well, Trump's fractured foreign policy aside, I have some real problems with folks like Michael Morell and John Brennan throwing stones. Both can be reasonably described as war criminals due to what they did during the war on terror and also as major subverters of the Constitution of the United States that has emerged as part of the saga of the 2016 election, the outcome of which, ironically, is being blamed on the Russians.

Back in 2013 John Brennan, then Obama's counter-terrorism advisor, had a difficult time with the Senate Intelligence Committee explaining some things that he did when he was still working at CIA. He was predictably attacked by some senators concerned over the expanding drone program, which he supervised; over CIA torture; for the kill lists that he helped manage; and regarding the pervasive government secrecy, which he surely condoned to cover up the questionable nature of the assassination lists and the drones. Not at all surprisingly, he was forced to defend the policies of the administration that he was then serving in, claiming that the United States is "at war with al-Qaeda." But he did cite his basic disagreement with the former CIA interrogation policies and expressed his surprise at learning that enhanced interrogation, which he refused to label torture because he is "no lawyer," had not provided any unique or actionable information. He claimed that he had only "raised serious questions" in his own mind on the interrogation issue after reading the 525 page summary of the 6,000 page report prepared by the Senate Intelligence Committee which detailed the failure of the Agency program. Brennan's reaction, however, suggested at a minimum that he had read only the rebuttal material produced by CIA that had deliberately inflated the value of the intelligence produced.

Surprisingly the subject of rendition, which Brennan must surely have been involved with while at CIA, hardly surfaced though two other interesting snippets emerged from the questioning. One was his confirmation that the government has its own secret list of innocent civilians killed by drones while at the same time contradicting himself by maintaining that the program does not actually exist and that if even if it did exist such fatalities do not occur. And more directly relevant to Brennan himself, Senator John D. Rockefeller provided an insight into the classified sections of the Senate report on CIA torture, mentioning that the enhanced interrogation program was both "managed incompetently" and "corrupted by personnel with pecuniary conflicts of interest." One would certainly like to learn more about the presumed contractors who profited corruptly from waterboarding and one would like to know if they were in any way punished, an interesting sidebar as Brennan has a number of times spoken about the need for accountability.

Brennan was not questioned at all about the conflict of interest or ethical issues raised by the revolving door that he benefited from when he left CIA as Deputy Executive Director in 2005 and joined a British-owned company called The Analysis Corporation (TAC) where he was named CEO. He made almost certainly some millions of dollars when the Agency and other federal agencies awarded TAC contracts to develop biometrics and set up systems to manage the government's various watch lists before rejoining the government with a full bank account to help him along his way. Brennan also reportedly knew how to return a favor, giving his former boss at CIA George Tenet a compensated advisory position in his company and also hosting in 2007 a book signing for Tenet's At the Center of the Storm . The by-invitation-only event included six hundred current and former intelligence officers, some of whom waited for hours to have Tenet sign copies of the book, which were provided by TAC.

Brennan certainly knew how to feather his nest and reward his friends, but the area that is still murky relates to what exactly he was up to in 2016 when he was CIA Director and also quite possibly working hard to help Hillary get elected. He was still at it well after Trump got elected and assumed office. In May 2017, his testimony before Congress was headlined in a Washington Post front page featured article as Brennan's explosive testimony just made it harder for the GOP to protect Trump . The article stated that Brennan during the 2016 campaign "reviewed intelligence that showed 'contacts and interaction' between Russian actors and people associated with the Trump campaign." Politico was also in on the chase in an article entitled Brennan: Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides .

The precise money quote by Brennan that the two articles chiefly rely on is "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals."

The testimony inevitably raises some questions about just what Brennan was actually up to. First of all, the CIA is not supposed to keep tabs on American citizens and tracking the activities of known associates of a presidential candidate should have sent warning bells off, yet Brennan clearly persisted in following the trail. What Brennan did not describe, because it was "classified," was how he came upon the information in the first place. We know from Politico and other sources that it came from foreign intelligence services, including the British, Dutch and Estonians, and there has to be a strong suspicion that the forwarding of at least some of that information might have been sought or possibly inspired by Brennan unofficially in the first place. But whatever the provenance of the intelligence, it is clear that Brennan then used that information to request an FBI investigation into a possible Russian operation directed against potential key advisers if Trump were to somehow get nominated and elected, which admittedly was a longshot at the time. That is how Russiagate began.

So, Mr. Brennan, for all his bluster and scarcely concealed anger, has a lot of baggage, to include his possible role in coordinating with other elements in the national security agencies as well as with overseas parties to get their candidate Hillary Clinton elected. Brennan should be thoroughly investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, to include subpoenaing all records at CIA relating to the Trump inquiries before requiring testimony under oath of Brennan himself with possible legal consequences if he is caught lying

[Mar 25, 2018] Neocon lobby and Iraq war

Mar 25, 2018 | www.unz.com

renfro , March 25, 2018 at 9:45 pm GMT

... US Senator Ernest Hollings was moved in May 2004 to acknowledge that the US invaded Iraq "to secure Israel," and "everybody" knows it.

...who played an important role in prodding the US into war: Richard Perle, chair of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board; Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Defense Secretary; and Charles Krauthammer, columnist and author.

Hollings referred to the cowardly reluctance of his Congressional colleagues to acknowledge this truth openly, saying that "nobody is willing to stand up and say what is going on ."

Due to "the pressures we get politically," he added, members of Congress uncritically support Israel and its policies.

Remarks by Ernest F. Hollings, May 20, 2004. Congressional Record -- Senate, May 20, 2004, pages S5921-S5925. Also ""Iraq Was Invaded to Secure Israel

[Mar 25, 2018] Brennan committed 'Sedition' against the Unites States when he used his lock-lips (called foot in mouth syndrome) and actions behind the scenes, and stepped over the line.

Mar 24, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

DianaLC , 22 March 2018 at 06:02 PM

I was quite surprised when I heard what Brennan said. To me, it seemed mostly an angry response to the election that had meant he would no longer have a position of power as he might have had under HRC. And I felt he had been entirely too emotional and bitter about that.

I guess I didn't think ahead to legal ramifications in regard to what he said. I just felt as I might have if I had heard a friend or a student spout angry nonsense when they had lost a job or had earned a low grade from another teacher.

But, you are absolutely correct. He should be sued. Furthermore, the people who paid him to make those statements without themselves questioning what he said or countering him in any way should also have to face repercussions.

I am so sick of the inability of the Democrats to accept that they lost to Trump and "their" political officials' Whiny and mean-spirited pronouncements. They are all pathetic.

Their behaviors makes it hard for some of us who aren't' always thrilled with Trump's Tweets and his counter-punching, etc., to criticize him as we hope for more civility and reason in our political discussions.

Thank you for your post.

J , 22 March 2018 at 08:27 PM
Brennan committed 'Sedition' against the Unites States when he used his lock-lips (called foot in mouth syndrome) and actions behind the scenes, and stepped over the line. Sedition is under the Treason Statute and there is no time limitations regarding prosecution for the act. Brennan, anytime of the POTUS's choosing can be legally detained and sent to GITMO and arranged before a Military Tribunal, and if found guilty taken out in the exercise yard and shot by firing squad.

Colonel,

It looks it's official that Trump is replacing McMasters with Bolton as his advisor on the NSC. Now we have one more pain-in-the-ass blockhead to worry about with Bolton on the NSC and having the President's ear.

tv -> turcopolier ... , 22 March 2018 at 08:41 PM
Col:
I would love to see Brennan and Clapper and Comey and McCabe and Strozk and all the rest of the dimwits tried and convicted.
Its just that I don't have any faith in the swamp to do the right thing.
Take a look at this recent budget - all Democrat wins, Republicans bend over as usual.
Democrats - the evil party.
Republicans - the stupid party.
And all joined in the brotherhood of the "imperial city."
eakens , 22 March 2018 at 10:09 PM
Clapper lied to Congress and nothing happened. Brennan should get sued so it can prove once again that the private sector can generally do things better than the public sector.
catherine , 22 March 2018 at 10:47 PM

I really don't care what Brennan says about Trump or Trump says about anyone.

Its all disgusting and a embarrassment to the country.

I do care that Trump has appointed the psychopath Bolton...as far as I am concerned that's Trump's third strike, he's out.

LondonBob , 23 March 2018 at 09:21 AM
Brennan sounds worried after the McCabe firing, should be.

... ... ...

Anna -> Flavius... , 23 March 2018 at 06:19 PM
Brennan, "A windbag and a fool."
-- Perhaps a claim to dementia will be the strongest point in his defense strategy. He is more than a fool - he has been a dangerous and potent warmonger and the major rot that let to violations of the US Constitution in the upper echelons of the US national security apparatus.
There is also a grave issue of competence: Where had they been when Awans had an open access to the classified documents on the congressional computers? Cooking the grandiose intrigues while being "guided" by the Lobby?
Bobo , 23 March 2018 at 08:33 PM
Looking at Brennan and Clapper the question needs asking "why after esteemed careers (in their minds) in govenment service rising to the pinnacle of their professions do they then move on as commentators on CNN and NBC where whatever credibility they may have had is now lost in being shown as just political hacks?

The President does seem to spend much Twitter time on Brennan which indicates Brennan is either not worth that time or the President knows what Brennan has done and is waiting for Justice to do its job.

Brennan certainly seems to be deflecting quite a bit so it means the onion is being peeled back getting closer to him. His actions and statements indicate a lack of discipline.

Sue him, I would wait and let him run his mouth further then pounce.

J -> Bobo... , 24 March 2018 at 09:37 AM
Trump gave Brennan enough rope to hang himself, and Brennan with his foot-in-mouth-symdrome has done just that. Brennan has committed Sedition which is under the Treason Statute, with no statue of time limitations for prosecution. Trump has a treasure trove of evidence against Brennan, and Trump knows it.

Trump is letting the rest of the nation see just how much of a dumb-ass Brennan really is.

[Mar 25, 2018] Germans media and voting for Mama Merkel

Notable quotes:
"... The mainstream media here in Germany, which is entirely and 100% under CIA control ..."
"... yes.... 100% right..... the servility of Germany with Merkel is disgusting and unbearable ..."
"... It's what one expects from Merkel and her NWO domesticated admin. EU gov'ts have been crying wolf for so long that few now believe a word coming from their media. ..."
Mar 25, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Serg Derbst2 days ago ,

I have the same worries. The mainstream media here in Germany, which is entirely and 100% under CIA control , has been ramping up anti-Russia propaganda since weeks. I didn't think it would be possible after the Ukraine conflict but it is even worse now. The comments of this filthy lunatic Boris Johnson but also of his boss-bitch Theresa May have been way below any line of decency. It's even below the kind of rhetoric Hitler has used when he talked about other statesmen such as (this fat, ugly war-criminal and mass murderer) Winston Churchill.

But it's not "the West" that is going to war, it is the Anglo-American establishment. "West" is an artificial propaganda term that should not be used anyway, because all it denotes is the countries dominated by Anglo-America. Germany and France, the only countries powerful enough to stop Anglo-American madness, are usually dancing to the tune of Warshington and London, but I am not so sure if they will really go all the way here, especially with Iran. Also and despite all the propaganda, while German and French people may not trust Russia and see Putin as a "dictator", they also see the US regime (especially with the Trumpet in charge) as nothing but a dangerous, trigger-happy war machinery. There is no way you could sell a war against Iran to them, also not the rest of Europe including Britain. I even have doubts about whether the American public would swallow such a war.

Either way, it will be a disaster for the "West" - economically, politically, militarily. In fact, it will be the end of the "West" and of the Anglo-American empire including the Zionist colony. So in the end there might be a great result of yet another horror. What Russia really needs to do now is to give both Syria and Iran the full power of Russian air defence.

CyricRenner Serg Derbsta day ago ,

Having spent some time in Germany, I have to agree with these comments. If you think the Propaganda is bad in the US and the UK, in Germany it is even worse. It is almost as if they are in competition to be the most servile and obedient to their masters. It is if history doesn't even exist. It is 1941 all over again. The difference being Germany has nothing to fight with and if it comes to war they will be absolutely pulverized to nuclear ash.

This is how stupid the media is to hype this Anti-Russian propaganda 24/7, 7 days a week. There is no real "alternative" news that I could find either. If there is a silver lining in all this though, is that many Germans don't take the media seriously at all anymore. When you overcook the pot, this is what can happen. Just like that fool Boris Johnson. He has now compared Putin to Hitler and the 1936 olympics. How stupid can this buffoon be? You think you can just carry on with business as usual once this stupid provocation with the poisoned spy blows over after saying something like that? He hasn't just insulted Putin, he has insulted all of Russia who sacrificed more than any other country to stop Hitler. I can't believe what low IQ clowns the UK is producing as politicians these days. It is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Nationalist Globalist Oligarch CyricRennera day ago ,

Does it really matter if the so called Germans take the media seriously?

They keep voting for Mama Merkel, that really tells me quite a bit about the people living in Germany and their political concerns.

Peter Jennings Nationalist Globalist Oligarch19 hours ago ,

Has Germany ever had an election without US interference? I would imagine that securing power for anyone they choose in the EU has been a doddle for the US, even Hitler's daughter. That would be a sick joke typical of US neocons.

Nationalist Globalist Oligarch Peter Jennings16 hours ago ,

Has the USA ever had an election with out interference from its ruling class?

Seems to me the only people really being represented anywhere are the elite, the common citizen is just unimportant fodder to be led and manipulated.

Canosin CyricRennera day ago ,

yes.... 100% right..... the servility of Germany with Merkel is disgusting and unbearable .....

wilmers13 CyricRenner3 hours ago ,

As a former journalist in Germany I agree. All German news and current affairs are sanitized. People who object to too much power in the hands of the US on German soil or who are against the wars will be sidelined or blacklisted, depending on what their job is. "They" prepare for a new war, or they would not need a new billion $ military hospital near Ramstein. It said in one article that the German government could not prevent it and had to contribute, too. Pawns.

On the whole, though, what they prepare is NOT a war by the West, it is by the US for Full Spectrum Dominance. They rope in allies,sure, but I'd like to be optimistic. After the Iraq and ME experiences the populations (also here in Australia) are not enthusiastic. So maybe this time it will be US vs .... and they cannot hide behind a coalition.

The governments of Germany and Australia always kowtow of course. Ramstein and Pine Gap are crucial for the warmongers.

Serg Derbst CyricRenner5 hours ago ,

Thank you for recognizing this, but you're wrong about the German alternative scene. I think it is one of the strongest out there, it is just, well, German. Not so aggressive and more analytical. If you ask me, what the world needs is German Spirit, but this spirit has been oppressed (largely voluntarily, I admit) for the past 70 years or so, but it is still there.

And when I say German, I mean the real meaning of it, so the cultural heritage of the German language. Switzerland, Austria and others are definitely included. Do you speak German?

Play Hide
joe CyricRenner9 hours ago ,

The globalists need low IQ people to carry out the water for them but their days are numbered anyways...

Peter Jennings CyricRenner19 hours ago ,

It's what one expects from Merkel and her NWO domesticated admin. EU gov'ts have been crying wolf for so long that few now believe a word coming from their media. Most sit there and view it all as a form of entertainment. Maybe it's the reason why many people in the west are ambivalent.

[Mar 25, 2018] Former CIA Director John Brennan Hired as Analyst for NBC News

Notable quotes:
"... "little strange" ..."
"... "news analysts?" ..."
"... The presence of former military and intelligence officials in newsrooms was once thought controversial. In 2008, the New York Times wrote an investigative analysis outlining the George W. Bush administration's use of military analysts to shape terrorism coverage. ..."
"... Internal Pentagon documents referred to them as "message force multipliers" or "surrogates" who could be counted on to deliver administration "themes and messages" to millions of Americans "in the form of their own opinions." ..."
Mar 24, 2018 | www.infowars.com
First appearance used to accuse Nunes of abusing role to protect Trump

Former CIA Director John Brennan has been hired as a paid contributor by NBC and MSNBC, the media company announced. He led the agency from 2013 to early 2017, under President Barack Obama.

Brennan's appointment comes amid the outcry over the memorandum released by House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-California) alleging impropriety by the FBI and DOJ while investigating claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

That Brennan previously lied to an NBC journalist about the CIA's attempts to thwart a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the agency's use of torture was apparently no deterrent to his appointment.

... ... ...

The irony of Brennan's new post was not lost on journalist and The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald, who pointed out that it was a "little strange" for the network to constantly denounce RT and Fox as "state TV" and then hire CIA Directors & Generals as your "news analysts?"

... ... ...

The presence of former military and intelligence officials in newsrooms was once thought controversial. In 2008, the New York Times wrote an investigative analysis outlining the George W. Bush administration's use of military analysts to shape terrorism coverage.

Internal Pentagon documents referred to them as "message force multipliers" or "surrogates" who could be counted on to deliver administration "themes and messages" to millions of Americans "in the form of their own opinions."

The largest contingent of analysts were affiliated with Fox News, followed by NBC and CNN, the investigation found.


Erich Sutton 2 months ago ,

Brennan is a bottom feeding cocksucker of the worst kind, he is a shining example of the privileged ivy league businessman model of American society who claims his great patriotism while simultaneously gutting the American Constitution, he's just a military industrial complex suit and tie wearing POS...That a national news network employs him is a fucking joke,,,,the CIA owns all of the national media!!!!!! The deep state has taken off the gloves and have made themselves visible for the first time!

giantgiantsfan1 2 months ago ,

This proves the deep state's control over the propaganda given out by the fake news outlets.

Erich Sutton giantgiantsfan1 2 months ago ,

Yes, it shows a direct connection contrary to their previous mode of operation....this is a bad sign for us all!

Roadrunner0 2 months ago ,

Hillary and the DNC were conned out of tens of millions of dollars by Fusion GPS and Steele.. They gave her what she wanted so desperately but too bad it was all lies supported by lies leaked to the MSM to corroborate what they were feeding her.. When it all blew up and they became aware of the con it was too late and they had already locked a strategy based on it with the implanted FBI and DOJ partisan traitors..

Erich Sutton Roadrunner0 2 months ago ,

Kind of like that....she was more complicit than you allude to...

Roadrunner0 2 months ago ,

It seems the CIA is unhappy with the delivery the MSM is giving to the CIA created talking points.. So now they put another insider to the front of the information war to deliver the lines first hand..

Erich Sutton Roadrunner0 2 months ago ,

Ultimately the CIA has controlled the media for decades but now they are doubling down and determined to show their presence, a desperate and bold move!!!!!

back in action • 2 months ago ,

Poop news creator, shadow president Brennan of the NWO intelligence service is back in action. Watch out for the Amazon of dung balls hes' going to roll now.

[Mar 23, 2018] It's amazing what obomber left around for the trumpster to use.

Mar 23, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: jo6pac | Mar 22, 2018 5:55:35 PM | 21

jo6pac , Mar 22, 2018 5:55:35 PM | 21
#4
It's amazing what obomber left around for the trumpster to use.

http://thehill.com/opinion/technology/379245-whats-genius-for-obama-is-scandal-when-it-comes-to-trump

[Mar 23, 2018] How many knows that Obama went to the WH with a regime change feather already in his cap

Mar 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

denk , March 23, 2018 at 4:21 am GMT

@ANON

For starter,

How many knows that Obama, the son of Africa , went to the WH with a regime change feather already in his cap, ?

Obama's Kenya caper ..

During the parliamentary elections of December 2007, a survey funded by USAID announces the victory of Odinga. On election day, John McCain announced that President Kibaki rigged the election in favor of his party and that in fact the opposition led by Odinga had won.

The NSA, in conjunction with local phone operators, sent anonymous text messages to the population.

In areas populated by the Luo (Odinga's ethnic group), they read "Dear Kenyans, the Kikuyu have stolen our children's future We must treat them in the only way that they understand with violence."

In areas populated by Kikuyu, they read: "The blood of any innocent Kikuyu will be paid. We will slaughter them right to the heart of the capital. For Justice, establish a list of Luos that you know. We will send you the phone numbers to call with such information."

Within days, this peaceful country sank into sectarian violence. The riots caused over 1 000 deaths and 300 000 displaced. 500 000 jobs were lost .

Madeleine Albright came back. She offered to mediate between President Kibaki and the opposition trying to overthrow him. With finesse, she stepped aside and placed in the spotlight the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights. The board of this respected NGO was newly chaired by the former Prime Minister of Norway, Thorbjørn Jagland.

Breaking with the Center's traditional impartiality, he sent two mediators on site, whose expenses were entirely footed by Madeleine Albright's NDI (that is to say ultimately out of the U.S. Department of State's budget): another former Norwegian Prime Minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, and former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan (the Ghanaian is very much on the scene in Scandinavian states since he married the niece of Raoul Wallenberg). Compelled to accept the compromises forced on him in order to restore civil peace, President Kibaki agreed to create a prime minister post and to entrust it to Raila Odinga, who immediately began reducing trade with China.
Small gifts between friends

http://www.voltairenet.org/article162559.html

[Mar 23, 2018] Sleazy Obama used Facebook illegally to get an advantage during 2012 elections

Mar 22, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

2012 Post Mortem

"It's Time to Break Up Facebook" [ Politico ]. " According to Carol Davidsen , a member of Obama's data team, "Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn't stop us once they realized that was what we were doing."

The social graph is Facebook's map of relationships between users and brands on its platform.

And after the election, she recently acknowledged, Facebook was 'very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn't have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side .'" Holy moly.

Altandmain , March 22, 2018 at 7:05 pm

Going back to the days of Obama and Clinton is not going to "save" democracy. That's a sham democracy where the rich really run things – a plutocracy pretending to be a democracy.

It's just that Trump has blown off the comfortable mask and the "big lie".

It should also be noted that inequality and economic despair brought about the conditions such that people would be willing to consider a demagogue like Trump to begin with.

[Mar 23, 2018] So on the 15th anniversary of the Iraq debacle, a neocon who cheered it on is rewarded with a national security post where he can cue up the attack on Iran that was always the ultimate prize for Israel's US stooges?

Mar 22, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com


Jim Haygood , , March 22, 2018 at 7:31 pm

So on the 15th anniversary of the Iraq debacle, a neocon who cheered it on is rewarded with a national security post where he can cue up the attack on Iran that was always the ultimate prize for Israel's US stooges?

Guess we'll be out marching again, just like last time. Bolton's walrus mustache is the 21st century version of Adolph H's toothbrush mustache. Down with the Persian Untermenschen! /sarc

Carolinian , , March 22, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Of course while working for Cheney Bolton was pretty confident about getting Dubya to start a war with Iran and that didn't happen. Here's a backgrounder that suggests that Bolton is tight with both Adelson and the Mossad so one way of looking at this has Russia fading as a target and Iran falling under the bulls eye. Trump's recent friendly phone call with Putin was contrary to instructions from his NSC and therefore presumably McMaster.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-a-john-bolton-appointment-is-scarier-than-you-think-mcmaster-trump/

Looked at optimistically it could be out of the frying pan and into a smaller frying pan (for us if not for Iran but that remains to be seen).

Of course looked at pessimistically it's terrible news but if the public and Congress are afraid of Trump gratuitously starting a new war then perhaps they should take away his power to do so. Seems the Constitution did have something to say about that.

barrisj , , March 22, 2018 at 10:21 pm

Tol'ja so these miserable wretches simply cannot die resurrection a promise any time a misfit administration takes power all that audition time on FoxNews paid off Trump stripping the cable channels of right-wing bloviators "best people for the jawb", don't you know.

[Mar 22, 2018] Michael Hastings' murder and John Brennan

Mar 22, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Mild- ly - Facetious , March 19, 2018 at 10:39 pm

Millions thanx, Bob H for this reminder of Michael Hastings' murder /// and of the "Putin-esk" eliminations of truth tellers within our own borders.

How Come Their TOTAL SILENCE regarding Reality Leigh Winner???? !!!!!

What truth did She Uncover/Expose ?????

SPEAK !!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!

Anon , March 20, 2018 at 8:21 am

Cut your disgusting bullying with capitalized words and bursts of punctuation marks. If you have a point, make it calmly and rationally. Otherwise stay out of the debate.

geeyp , March 20, 2018 at 1:57 am

Any time, Mr. H., that you come across an article pertaining to Michael Hastings, I need to see it. So please carry on! I haven't seen this one.

geeyp , March 20, 2018 at 2:05 am

Having read it now, I wouldn't expect too much from the Hoover Org. This, what I have referred to as a drone attack or a remote vehicle hack, was done with the encouragement of the man who Ray's article pertains to!

cmp , March 20, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Read the numerous stories' about Aubrey McClendon and his subsequent car crash. The crash was on March 2nd of 2016, and it was very similar to M.H.'s; as well.

[Mar 22, 2018] I hope Brennan is running scared, along with Power. It's like the Irish Mafia.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I agree that they are a big threat to life on earth. From the amount of ecological damage that our wars create, the number of people who we have killed or misplaced, to their planned war with Russia that could see the end of the human race and animals. That so many people are believing this Russian propaganda crap is beyond belief. These are the same people who used to question what the intelligence agencies were saying, but not any more. ..."
"... All Maxine "Lip Flappin" Waters does nowadays, like Adam Schiff, is ignore their districts in favor of Russiagate and get Trump out. They don't deserve their congressional positions. ..."
"... Ain't no one touching Schumer, and as for our president all he has to do is make another $10B donation to his favorite country and all this will go away. They done sold this country out many times over. ..."
"... The quaint idea that the public should "just trust" the "intelligence" (sic) "community" (sic) is trotted out by the propaganda media whenever anyone dares to question this gang of spies and dirty tricksters. As if these scum are somehow paragons of virtue and truthfulness! And the mass of Americans just swallow this rotten bait, and continue their profound sleep ..."
"... Yes, the secret agencies must be nearly abolished, as completely incompatible with democracy. ..."
"... I am wondering if Trump is going to make it out of this alive. ..."
"... I can see the pure evil in Brennan's eyes. He is dripping with hatred. Not that I like Trump, but our so-called intelligence agencies must be brought to heel if we are to have any hope for the future. People like Brennan need to be prosecuted and go to jail. ..."
"... Skip Scott -- Trump should keep his mouth shut, I know, but I can't blame the guy for speaking out, especially when he's been hounded by the press with something like 90+% negative coverage. He was right about his phones being "tapped", and everyone said he was out of his mind for saying such a thing. The Steele dossier is a phony, made-up dossier purposely invented to spy on Trump and bring in the Special Prosecutor. Everyone who had a hand in this should be behind bars. This has been an attempted coup against a duly-elected President. ..."
"... When the Inspector General's Report comes out, when Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy finally get the information they've been asking for, I think we're going to see people go to jail. They're now looking into Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation. ..."
"... These guys brought down the World Trade Center just to further their geopolitical agenda. Nothing is beyond their treachery. They don't have to assassinate the man, as they did the hapless Skripal's just to smear Russia one more time. They can bring down Airforce One and blame it on the Russians in some kind of grand two-fer, if they so choose (everyone knows those Russians just can't quit their evil ways). ..."
"... These spooks and their collaborators in the Pentagon, the MIC, Capitol Hill and the MSM have as effectively seized all power in this country as the Stalinists did in the Soviet Union. Idiots like Schumer sometimes unwittingly let the cat out of the bag, and he was right in pin-pointing who runs this country and to what extent they will go to destroy you to maintain their stake in ruling the planet ..."
"... Realist, very true, and you have summarized it so well. I am afraid this Skirpal incident in U.K. has been staged as a prelude to attack on Syria by U.S., U.K., Israel, and France, with Germany and other Western Nations cheering from the side. ..."
"... Trump is completely safe & will not be taken out? Why? Because Candidate Trump has completely backtracked from every foreign policy statements he made such as seeking peace with Russia? It's no coincidence that Trump was made to pay a visit to the one of the Deepstate's intelligence agencies at the CIA? ..."
"... I wonder to what extent Trump is whistling past the graveyard. Most women understand the dynamic: When you know you are under threat, pretend not to notice anything untoward ..."
"... "Power also saw fit to remind Trump where the power lies, so to speak. She warned him publicly that it is "not a good idea to piss off John Brennan." Didn't Michael Hastings piss off Brennan? ..."
"... Washington is like a continuing Soap Opera, as the real bad guys battle it out with the other really bad guys. We the people are mere pawns in their hands, to be influenced and duped to no end, as the lies swirl around and around until a citizen is completely buffaloed into submission. ..."
"... While reading this about John Brennan I could not help but think of JFK firing Allen Dulles. Again with the rhyming. ..."
"... "Former Assistant FBI Director James Kallstrom said that there was a plot among "high-ranking" people throughout government -- "not just the FBI," who coordinated in a plot to help Hillary Clinton avoid indictment. ..."
"... "I think we have ample facts revealed to us during this last year and a half that high-ranking people throughout government, not just the FBI, high-ranking people had a plot to not have Hillary Clinton, you know, indicted," Kallstrom told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo. ..."
"... "I think it goes right to the top. And it involves that whole strategy -- they were gonna win, nobody would have known any of this stuff, and they just unleashed the intelligence community. Look at the unmaskings. We haven't heard anything about that yet. Look at the way they violated the rights of all those American citizens." ..."
"... "Mike Whitney suspects that John Brennan was the mastermind behind Russia-gate." Looking at the pictures of Barack Obama with John Brennen, they seemed to have very cozy relationship. I wonder about Obama's role in this Russia-Gate. There are many unanswered questions about the top-echelons' role in this bizarre drama which may end up in many ominous consequences for the country and for the World. ..."
"... I think the intelligence agencies are the true source of nearly all of the problems..instead of gathering intelligence the IAs are effecting the events about which the intelligence is supposed to be about. Certainty Intelligence agencies can be credited with 9/11 and the war on Iraq. Interconnected between nations, shuffling in open-source form, secret sharing, false flag event production, and media delivered propaganda are activities which define the intelligence agencies. Secret means slave citizens are denied the knowledge that would allow them to understand how corrupt our societies are; so that the leaders of such societies can continue in the office that commands the power. ..."
"... Brilliantly stated, faraday's law. You've raised the all-important point that the intelligence agencies are are not simply gathering intelligence, they are also engaging in covert action, unlawfully, unaccountably, and unscrutinized. For all we know they could be spending their virtually unlimited funds on creating our enemies, thereby creating a need for our military industrial complex, the only entity that benefits from their work. ..."
"... Seems like the two wings of the Anglo-American establishment alliance are working in concert to defeat all who stand in their way and regain dominance over the western world. In Britain, Teresa May and the Tories -- who are losing popularity to the resurgent Labour party and its progressive leader Jeremy Corbyn -- are trying to blame Russia for a nerve agent attack. The blame game over there is evidence-free of course and the lies and weasel-word assertions are being effectively countered by, among others, ex-Ambassador Craig Murray ( https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/ ) in post after post. ..."
"... You present some interesting points, but John Brennan is no "Wild Bill Donovan" or even a William Casey with the backup of the fraternity of OSS which no longer has meetings. It seems to me that Brennan's and his diminishing followers' power lies with the media that has done the dance of "valued sources" and perception manipulation of the masses. Actually, "night of the long knives" occurred in Saudi Arabia when Prince "Bandar Bush" was captured and "interviewed" not by the FBI or the CIA, but most probably by individuals with videos of confessions which summarized the long history of the activities involving operatives conducting activities during the presidential administrations of both political parties but continuously for clans such as the Bush Dynasty and assorted associates within the institutions that are now domestically profiting from the policies of the President. ..."
"... But beyond this crisis is the larger one of how to harness the Deep State to reflect the nation's interests, not those few who run things now. Some say start to rid foreign intelligence of its operational arm which has been at the forefront of regime change and other mischief. ..."
"... Yes, the CIA operations division should be made small because it is abused for the hidden agendas of oligarchy, that the People would never approve. It should be monitored by an agency reporting directly to Congress. ..."
"... The Deep State, through the CIA, pursues a foreign policy that is often at odds with the wishes of the vast majority of the people in this country ..."
"... Brennans screech confirms that Trump is not just smoke and mirrors. He really hit the bureaucracy where it hurts, their pensions -- brilliant move. ..."
"... Trump and Brennan represent equally criminal factions of the ruling class, divided over foreign policy, particularly in the civil war in Syria, and more generally towards Russia. ..."
"... Brennan and the Democrats speak for powerful sections of the military-intelligence apparatus embittered by the failure of US intervention in Syria and Trump's apparent abandonment of the Islamic fundamentalist groups armed by the CIA to fight the Russian and Iranian-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad. They want to push further into the Syrian slaughter, regardless of the risk of open military conflict with Russia, the world's second strongest nuclear power. ..."
"... That "moral turpitude" reference seems to imply that there is some -- yet to be revealed -- scandal held in abeyance, fully capable of delivering a decisive blow. And, the "deep staters" are merely waiting for the right moment to pull this shark-toothed rabbit out of the hat. ..."
"... Former heads of the nation's top intelligence organization do not attack sitting presidents, let alone in such a visceral vituperative and public fashion. This is indication of deep fissures, quite beyond politics as most citizens understand. As the World Socialist Web Site published today: "There is no recent parallel for statements and actions such as those of the past three days. One would have to go back to the period before the American Civil War to find equivalent levels of tension, which in the late 1850s erupted in violence in the halls of Congress before exploding in full-scale military conflict." ..."
"... Trump is a maverick outsider so it's hard to get a handle on what or who he represents, but the Brennan/deep state side of the dispute is very much aligned with the corporate DNC Democratic Party. That they seem, by Brennan's comments, to consider themselves as the representation of "America" as they abandon constitutional and etiquette norms and articulate visceral hatred towards political rivals should serve as fair warning. ..."
"... Kevin Zeese: "He basically is a Senator for Israel. He totally supports the Israeli foreign policy viewpoint, which is a very hawkish, if you were a Republican you would call him a neocon." ..."
"... Thomas Hedges: "Schumer's staunch support for Israel has prompted him for example, to criticize the Obama administration, when in 2016, the United States abstained from a UN Security Council resolution re-affirming something the Council had almost unanimously upheld since 1979. Namely, that Israel's settlement building projects on Palestinian land violated international law." ..."
"... Brennan is history's most hilarious DCI. His grandiose hissy fit suggests that CIA continues the Dulles tradition of infiltrating the civil service with 'focal points -' illegal CIA moles infiltrating US government agencies -- and the IG fumigated one key out in firing McCabe. ..."
"... the MSM and the Left see the "crime" being that McCabe was fired, not that McCabe broke the law. Kind of like when they didn't see a crime in Hillary using her own personal servers, but saw the crime as being that the emails might have been hacked by a foreign government. That they had no evidence of this didn't matter. ..."
"... Brennan sounds like a desperate man. They must be getting closer to him. ..."
"... See how this works? The article is about Brennan. The comment is about Brennan's CIA. But immersive CIA propaganda immediately diverts the topic to CIA's synthetic warring factions, Hillary! Trump! Hillary! Trump! ..."
"... CIA runs your country. You're not going to get anywhere until you stop bickering about their presidential puppet rulers. ..."
"... The mention of John Brennan brings to mind the bizarre death of Rolling Stone's writer, Michael Hastings, who was reported to be working on a story about Brennan just before he had his "accident". ..."
"... Our MS Media is nothing more than Democrat Propaganda, and that situation will doom us to Russian interference. Every election the Russians can do the same as 2016: release the truth about justice not served. ..."
"... Israel has advised, trained and equipped, and ran "dirty war" operations in the Latin American "dirty war" conflicts in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Colombia. In the case of the Salvadoran "bloodbath", the Israelis were present from the beginning. Besides arms sales, they helped train ANSESAL, the secret police who were later to form the framework of the infamous death squads that would kill tens of thousands of mostly civilian activists. ..."
"... USMC activated. Well, I'd put my two-cents on POTUS. Just like we've all seen throughout our lives when the supposed tough guy starts making threats he is really scared Sh**less. Lots of these clowns are just going to disappear during the late night hours of the day never to be heard from again. ..."
"... Guys like Brennan are scared rats in a sinking ship, good riddance! ..."
"... What an amazingly illuminating article. Devin Nunes, who perfectly ok with wire taps as long as the target aren't from his party is somehow a noble individual. While I agree that Brennan should be in prison, it should be for torturing people ..."
Mar 21, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

backwardsevolution March 19, 2018 at 7:08 am

Great article. I hope Brennan is running scared, along with Power. It's like the Irish Mafia.

"Meanwhile, the Washington Post is dutifully playing its part in the deep-state game of intimidation. The following excerpt from Sunday's lead article conveys the intended message: "Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. 'This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI's going to win,' said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. 'You can't fight the FBI. They're going to torch him.'"

That sounds like something "Six Ways From Sunday" Schumer would say. In fact, I'd bet money that it is the shyster himself. That guy should be removed from the Senate in leg irons. He is a menace to society.

Abby , March 19, 2018 at 9:51 pm

I agree that they are a big threat to life on earth. From the amount of ecological damage that our wars create, the number of people who we have killed or misplaced, to their planned war with Russia that could see the end of the human race and animals. That so many people are believing this Russian propaganda crap is beyond belief. These are the same people who used to question what the intelligence agencies were saying, but not any more.

The fact that most of congress and people in other governments have made up the Russian propaganda is what needs to be exposed. This is a huge crime against humanity, IMO. This includes Bernie of all people. They are doing this so they can get their war on with Russia and escalate the Syrian war.

geeyp , March 20, 2018 at 3:02 am

Agreed. All Maxine "Lip Flappin" Waters does nowadays, like Adam Schiff, is ignore their districts in favor of Russiagate and get Trump out. They don't deserve their congressional positions. I wish to add a comment Coleen Rowley's piece. An update: Law Professor Jonathan Turley says Andrew M. will still get his pension, just have to wait until he's 57 (now 50). Can you understand this? What will it take to punish these arrogant evil little punks? And why should we pay their pensions, especially when so many of us get nothing!

Mike S , March 20, 2018 at 12:59 am

Ain't no one touching Schumer, and as for our president all he has to do is make another $10B donation to his favorite country and all this will go away. They done sold this country out many times over.

Brad Owen , March 19, 2018 at 12:16 pm

The draining of the swamp has now begun, and battle is about to be joined. That's the word from Alex Jones, Roy Potter and that youtube crowd of similar "guerilla journalists", who fill in for the Deep State-captured and untrustworthy MSM.

The Deep State miscalculated the alignment of forces for the upcoming, somewhat covert, civil war within the governing apparatus; Trump knows the military has his back, especially the Marines, and they are part & parcel of the Constitution. The Deep State is a sick Post-WWII mistake, rogue and criminal, and will be rolled up. There are a lot of jewels hidden in their unacknowledged black programs of great benefit to the World, if we can wrestle them away from these weaponizing psychopaths of the Deep State.

jean , March 20, 2018 at 2:53 pm

Unfortunately whistleblowers like Bill Binny and others can't get airtime on in corporate media but can get a voice on Alex Jones.

William Binney High Ranking NSA Whistle Blower Interview with Alex. Video for Bill Binney alex jones
? 34:25
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW-V-TOJVE8
Jun 14, 2017 -- Uploaded by N Jacobson
William Binney High Ranking NSA Whistle Blower Interview w/ Alex Jones 6-14-17 William Binney, and ..

Whistleblower Reveals NSA Blackmailing Top Govt Officials -- YouTube
Video for Russ tice alex jones
? 22:27
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZoV52qdaOA
Jun 8, 2014 -- Uploaded by The Alex Jones Channel
NSA whistleblower Russell Tice was a key source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the

saveourliberty , March 20, 2018 at 8:35 pm

Attacks on Alex Jones might be warranted, but I find those trivial in comparison for how he has awakened the masses and has given a bully-pit to those that have been silenced by the MSM. Choose your battles. Jones isn't one I want to silence though we can never let our guard down to co-option neither.

Andrew , March 20, 2018 at 7:04 am

An open threat to torch the POTUS and there are no consequences for making such threats? Like Brennan's clear threat? No judicial system to deal with those threats?

mike k , March 19, 2018 at 7:46 am

The quaint idea that the public should "just trust" the "intelligence" (sic) "community" (sic) is trotted out by the propaganda media whenever anyone dares to question this gang of spies and dirty tricksters. As if these scum are somehow paragons of virtue and truthfulness! And the mass of Americans just swallow this rotten bait, and continue their profound sleep ..

Sam F , March 20, 2018 at 6:32 am

Yes, the secret agencies must be nearly abolished, as completely incompatible with democracy.

Wolfbay , March 20, 2018 at 6:54 am

There are only 17 secret agencies. No room to cut.

toni , March 21, 2018 at 11:51 am

Why do you think that there all the shows on television and the movies where the good guy is the cop, or some federal agent?

Skip Scott , March 19, 2018 at 8:06 am

I am wondering if Trump is going to make it out of this alive. I know they don't want to tip their hand to the public, but if their media circus performance doesn't gain sufficient traction, it'll probably be time for a "lone nut" assassin. I can see the pure evil in Brennan's eyes. He is dripping with hatred. Not that I like Trump, but our so-called intelligence agencies must be brought to heel if we are to have any hope for the future. People like Brennan need to be prosecuted and go to jail.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 8:34 am

Skip Scott -- Trump should keep his mouth shut, I know, but I can't blame the guy for speaking out, especially when he's been hounded by the press with something like 90+% negative coverage. He was right about his phones being "tapped", and everyone said he was out of his mind for saying such a thing. The Steele dossier is a phony, made-up dossier purposely invented to spy on Trump and bring in the Special Prosecutor. Everyone who had a hand in this should be behind bars. This has been an attempted coup against a duly-elected President.

When the Inspector General's Report comes out, when Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy finally get the information they've been asking for, I think we're going to see people go to jail. They're now looking into Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation.

Never mind the damage being done re relations between Russia and the U.S. and the possible nuclear threat. These people truly are insane. I agree with you, these intelligence agencies really have gone rogue and need to be "brought to heel".

laninya , March 19, 2018 at 11:22 am

The day Trump keeps his mouth shut or stops tweeting is the day he and his revolution will be over. What do you think is smoking all these malefactors out into the open?

Steve Naidamast , March 19, 2018 at 12:51 pm

backwardsevolution

Former CIA Officer, Kevin Shipp, spoke out in an article I saw the other day that the FBI is working very methodically on the investigations into the Clinton Foundation. He expects that when it comes out so many "heads will roll" in the Congress and the Executive branch that we will have a Constitutional crises portending a collapse of the US government.

Can't wait to see these fireworks :-)

Typingperson , March 19, 2018 at 9:33 pm

Not holding my breath -- but I hope so!

Abby , March 19, 2018 at 9:55 pm

I read this article and I too hope that Shipp is right about this. The Clinton foundation and everything connected to them is rotten. They robbed Haiti's reconstruction funds and gave their friends and family members special access to bilking them. Everyone knew that they did that, yet no one said a word about it.

Dave P. , March 20, 2018 at 1:27 am

Steve, I watched this Youtube video of Kevin Shipp talking to this Group of citizens, last evening. It is really very informative. The title of the video was: "CIA Officer exposes the shadow government" dated Feb 19, 2018. This video is really worth watching.

Realist , March 19, 2018 at 3:38 pm

These guys brought down the World Trade Center just to further their geopolitical agenda. Nothing is beyond their treachery. They don't have to assassinate the man, as they did the hapless Skripal's just to smear Russia one more time. They can bring down Airforce One and blame it on the Russians in some kind of grand two-fer, if they so choose (everyone knows those Russians just can't quit their evil ways).

These spooks and their collaborators in the Pentagon, the MIC, Capitol Hill and the MSM have as effectively seized all power in this country as the Stalinists did in the Soviet Union. Idiots like Schumer sometimes unwittingly let the cat out of the bag, and he was right in pin-pointing who runs this country and to what extent they will go to destroy you to maintain their stake in ruling the planet .

All this has been clear for a long time now, yet nothing is ever done about it, probably because the task is too immense, these devils are too numerous and too deeply entrenched. Everything they say or do before the public is simply stagecraft and dramatics, and that includes all the gibbering that emanates from Congress each day, dispensed to you in a direct feed by the propaganda organs of the mass media which now includes most of the internet. You want to hear the truth? Go read a novel, maybe the publishing monolith will occasionally let slip an accurate description of our world couched in metaphor, a glitch in the Matrix, if you will.

Dave P. , March 20, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Realist, very true, and you have summarized it so well. I am afraid this Skirpal incident in U.K. has been staged as a prelude to attack on Syria by U.S., U.K., Israel, and France, with Germany and other Western Nations cheering from the side.

Most likely, a false flag event will staged in Syria very soon to justify it. And there will be some sort of action in Ukraine too. U.S., U.K., and France are deep in debt. China is rising economically, and I am afraid that these Western Imperial Nations will not let go their complete dominance over the planet without a fight.

Events may take a very sad and violent turn in no time.

Skip Scott , March 21, 2018 at 8:47 am

Realist.

That is a very scary scenario you propose about Air Force One, and quite conceivable. The way things are heating up, I suspect something in that order of magnitude very soon.

KiwiAntz , March 20, 2018 at 12:02 am

Trump is completely safe & will not be taken out? Why? Because Candidate Trump has completely backtracked from every foreign policy statements he made such as seeking peace with Russia? It's no coincidence that Trump was made to pay a visit to the one of the Deepstate's intelligence agencies at the CIA?

Trump would have been taken into a office & shown a continuous looped, Zapruder film of JFK getting his head blasted apart, as a warning of what happened to the last President who tried to destroy their power & influences? Remember Chuck Schumer's threat in 2017, warning Trump that the Intelligence Agencies have a number of ways, to take you down, if you rock the boat? Trump was shown what to expect if he doesn't toe the line & do what he's told by his real masters? Confirmation of Trump's obedience to the Deepstate agenda is that as he's now singing from the same song sheet that the Deepstate is singing from, completely backtracking most of his his election promises, making America great again, not by diplomacy but by endless war mongering & foreign interventions with no end in sight?

geeyp , March 20, 2018 at 12:51 am

We have known for sometime that the CIA and Google (not to mention WaPo and Jeff's garage sale site) are tight. Julian Assange's "When Google Met Wikileaks" is a go to for this. And you know that Eric Schmidt and Hillary Clinton are close connivers.

Litchfield , March 20, 2018 at 9:17 am

I wonder to what extent Trump is whistling past the graveyard. Most women understand the dynamic: When you know you are under threat, pretend not to notice anything untoward . . . So as not to trigger something really bad happening. If the picture changed dramatically -- say, with indictments of co-conspirators in the DNC shenanigans or the FBI collusion, or the Russiagate farce -- Trump might do some kind fo about-face. The big question, though, is his real relationship to and heartfelt convictions regarding Netanyahu/Israel.

Gregory Herr , March 20, 2018 at 6:45 pm

"Power also saw fit to remind Trump where the power lies, so to speak. She warned him publicly that it is "not a good idea to piss off John Brennan." Didn't Michael Hastings piss off Brennan?

Gregory Herr , March 20, 2018 at 7:15 pm

http://m.digitaljournal.com/news/world/wikileaks-cia-s-brennan-on-witch-hunt-when-hastings-was-killed/article/421913

Joe Tedesky , March 19, 2018 at 9:06 am

Washington is like a continuing Soap Opera, as the real bad guys battle it out with the other really bad guys. We the people are mere pawns in their hands, to be influenced and duped to no end, as the lies swirl around and around until a citizen is completely buffaloed into submission.

While reading this about John Brennan I could not help but think of JFK firing Allen Dulles. Again with the rhyming.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 9:07 am

Two short interviews with James Kallstrom at this site:

"Former Assistant FBI Director James Kallstrom said that there was a plot among "high-ranking" people throughout government -- "not just the FBI," who coordinated in a plot to help Hillary Clinton avoid indictment.

"I think we have ample facts revealed to us during this last year and a half that high-ranking people throughout government, not just the FBI, high-ranking people had a plot to not have Hillary Clinton, you know, indicted," Kallstrom told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo.

"I think it goes right to the top. And it involves that whole strategy -- they were gonna win, nobody would have known any of this stuff, and they just unleashed the intelligence community. Look at the unmaskings. We haven't heard anything about that yet. Look at the way they violated the rights of all those American citizens."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-18/ex-fbi-assistant-director-there-was-high-ranking-plot-protect-hillary-brennan

Tom Ratliff , March 19, 2018 at 11:36 am

Yes, very interesting interview with Kallstrom -- on mainstream media, which is important. Seems too many people understand what's really transpired for Trump -- or anyone -- to be in mortal danger. We'll see.

Brennan's tweet suggests he knows the walls are closing in on him.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , March 19, 2018 at 10:36 pm

I agree. If you're very strong, you don't bother making public threats against powerful people. You just break their backs without comment. Brennan comes across like he's been backed into a corner where he has no weapons and from which he knows there is no escape.

Mike Whitney suspects that John Brennan was the mastermind behind Russia-gate. http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/is-john-brennan-the-mastermind-behind-russiagate/

geeyp , March 20, 2018 at 1:15 am

It is what I already sussed out, Paul. In reading Whitney's piece, it reminded me that over the last eight years the State Department in their press gatherings continuously mocked any RT reporters and disrespected them. You could easily surmise from this that they had a hand in these propaganda smears and lies.

Dave P. , March 20, 2018 at 1:53 am

"Mike Whitney suspects that John Brennan was the mastermind behind Russia-gate." Looking at the pictures of Barack Obama with John Brennen, they seemed to have very cozy relationship. I wonder about Obama's role in this Russia-Gate. There are many unanswered questions about the top-echelons' role in this bizarre drama which may end up in many ominous consequences for the country and for the World.

Bob H , March 21, 2018 at 4:16 pm

Dave P(et.al.) it's getting more involved every day. It is interesting that the interview was on Fox as it indicates prominent Republicans may be leaning towards a more thorough investigation. However, if the investigation includes an inquiry into Cambridge Analytica they are likely to find that most of the fake news on Facebook that was influential in throwing the election to Trump was the result of Breitbart strategy with no Russian connection. Some Republicans may be willing to do this, but if it were conclusive I doubt whether either the Democrats or the Trump administration would come out on top; there are very few innocents that didn't add to the stench of the swamp. BTW: thanks for that valuable link B.E.!

Stephen J. , March 19, 2018 at 9:40 am

Is This the Land of the Free?

How will it end, or will it go on without end?
This feasting on blood that these demons depend
Will these diabolical devils ever be arraigned and indicted
And will we ever see the land of the free tried and convicted?

[more info at link below]

http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/04/is-this-land-of-free.html
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
"It has become embarrassing to be an American. Our country has had four war criminal presidents in succession. Clinton twice launched military attacks on Serbia, ordering NATO to bomb the former Yugoslavia twice, both in 1995 and in 1999, so that gives Bill two war crimes. George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and attacked provinces of Pakistan and Yemen from the air. That comes to four war crimes for Bush. Obama used NATO to destroy Libya and sent mercenaries to destroy Syria, thereby committing two war crimes. Trump attacked Syria with US forces, thereby becoming a war criminal early in his regime."

Paul Craig Roberts, Information Clearing House, April 15/16, 2017.

Bob Van Noy , March 19, 2018 at 3:10 pm

H. W., Kuwait, Sept. 11, 1990

https://www.politico.com/story/2009/09/president-bush-responds-to-iraqi-invasion-of-kuwait-sept-11-1990-026997

David Hamilton , March 20, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Yes, this "H.W., Kuwait" is the war crime that started the era of ruthless war-making in which we are now trapped. It is the era of the kicked-down Vietnam Syndrome, where we are free once again to enrich our mercenary corporations as we project our military force 'exceptionally' to 'creatively destroy' in our noble quest to guide the world to do things our way. Some may recall how, back then, the pundit and Congressional classes deployed propaganda that was the prototype for what we have since become accustomed to. "We are doing this for peace, so all you dissenters shut up." Nobody then would acknowledge that we had covertly -- and treacherously -- aided and abetted both Iran and Iraq during their 8-year war that immediately preceded our war. (Hush, hush, wink, wink, said the media.) Thus, we had no moral or legal standing to pronounce any country guilty of 'aggression', as we did Saddam's country, who we had also green-lighted into settling his border dispute with force. That alone was enough to reveal our collective disregard for Muslim life. The rules of engagement that allowed water treatment plants to be bombed only confirmed our disregard. Warnings of unintended (or intended?) consequences then, as later, went unheeded, such as the certainty of blow back when one betrays so many peoples of the world who thought we had 'principles'. Is it any wonder there was blow back, such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing? (By the way, Rep. Dick Gephardt, criticized in this article, eventually led a valiant but futile effort to derail the war momentum in the House.) Peace.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , March 19, 2018 at 11:13 pm

Paul Craig Roberts is a bit off. Each of the war crimes he mentions were waging wars of aggression. But there were a multitude of lesser war crimes committed in each of those wars. And his count is off. Bush's wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen did not cease being wars of aggression in 2008 simply because 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue acquired new tenants that year. Obama gets credit for the continuation of those four wars in addition to the wars first launched while he was in office. And Trump likewise must be given credit for his continuations of wars of aggression launched by his predecessors.

Michael Kenny , March 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

For over 50 years, I have applied the rule that I never take the word of anyone who has ever been connected with the CIA.

Skip Scott , March 20, 2018 at 8:21 am

Bullshit. I've seen your posts going back months, and you are a typical MSM propaganda apologist. If you know anything about "Operation Mockingbird", then you know that all of your past comments are "connected with the CIA".

Realist , March 20, 2018 at 11:17 pm

I'm telling ya, the guy seems like the amazing schizoid man these days.

faraday's law , March 19, 2018 at 11:05 am

I think the intelligence agencies are the true source of nearly all of the problems..instead of gathering intelligence the IAs are effecting the events about which the intelligence is supposed to be about. Certainty Intelligence agencies can be credited with 9/11 and the war on Iraq. Interconnected between nations, shuffling in open-source form, secret sharing, false flag event production, and media delivered propaganda are activities which define the intelligence agencies. Secret means slave citizens are denied the knowledge that would allow them to understand how corrupt our societies are; so that the leaders of such societies can continue in the office that commands the power.

Linda Wood , March 20, 2018 at 6:24 pm

Brilliantly stated, faraday's law. You've raised the all-important point that the intelligence agencies are are not simply gathering intelligence, they are also engaging in covert action, unlawfully, unaccountably, and unscrutinized. For all we know they could be spending their virtually unlimited funds on creating our enemies, thereby creating a need for our military industrial complex, the only entity that benefits from their work.

Dr. Ip , March 19, 2018 at 11:17 am

Seems like the two wings of the Anglo-American establishment alliance are working in concert to defeat all who stand in their way and regain dominance over the western world. In Britain, Teresa May and the Tories -- who are losing popularity to the resurgent Labour party and its progressive leader Jeremy Corbyn -- are trying to blame Russia for a nerve agent attack. The blame game over there is evidence-free of course and the lies and weasel-word assertions are being effectively countered by, among others, ex-Ambassador Craig Murray ( https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/ ) in post after post.

Over here, where the establishment Democrats and their cabal of friendly old Republicans (think: Mitt Romney) have lost their hold on direct power, they are trying to assert it through their long-time henchmen in the intelligence services. Ever since Wild Bill Donovan and the Dulles brothers, the intelligence services have been looking after their own survival and proliferation (and the profits of their masters) while, as a side-benefit, the United States got some security.

This clash of the services with Trump is only the latest in a series of clashes which Presidents have mostly lost (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, even Obama backed down after he became President) unless they were card-carrying members of the clan like Bush the First. So, you can expect Trump to lose as well unless he has the armed forces behind him and can purge the services of his enemies. We actually might have a night of the long knives coming. The question is of course if Caesar can survive the knifings!

Not that this Caesar is an Augustus or Marcus Aurelius

Marshall Smith , March 19, 2018 at 7:29 pm

You present some interesting points, but John Brennan is no "Wild Bill Donovan" or even a William Casey with the backup of the fraternity of OSS which no longer has meetings. It seems to me that Brennan's and his diminishing followers' power lies with the media that has done the dance of "valued sources" and perception manipulation of the masses. Actually, "night of the long knives" occurred in Saudi Arabia when Prince "Bandar Bush" was captured and "interviewed" not by the FBI or the CIA, but most probably by individuals with videos of confessions which summarized the long history of the activities involving operatives conducting activities during the presidential administrations of both political parties but continuously for clans such as the Bush Dynasty and assorted associates within the institutions that are now domestically profiting from the policies of the President.

Yes, Pres. Trump and his advisers (such as Peter Thiel and even possibly Erik Prince and individuals of varied backgrounds possibly to even include Rabbis, Cardinals and other wise men not members of the Brookings Institution or the CFR) knew the obstacles and the nature of the enemies that would unit against a Populist Movement. In addition to advisers aware of the cyber world and the underworld of intelligence/counter-intelligence operations, advisers aware of the functioning of institutions and how institutions change their "culture" were absolutely necessary when the "resistance" was sending the message non-stop that Pres. Trump was only a temporary resident of the White House, and he would follow the path of Nixon, but in short order! Well, it seems that even the FBI is cleaning house internally and even Brennan's supporters within the old intelligence community leadership are giving their endorsement to the President's choice for CIA Dir. and she has a loyal following among the rank and file members of that institution.

Yes, ministers of Egypt wanted to present documents on the Muslim Brotherhood and it's relationship with the Obama Adm.; and Prince Salman will probably bring gifts during his State Visit. Pres. Trump and his team will decide the time and date to unwrap the evidence that will shatter the camera lens and stop the presses! No knives or guns, please!

Herman , March 19, 2018 at 11:45 am

From Wikipedia:

"Moral turpitude is a legal concept in the United States and some other countries that refers to "an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community".[1] This term appears in U.S. immigration law beginning in the 19th century.[2]"

I guess the "community" Brennan was referring to was the Deep State. Not willingly but perhaps fortuitously Trump finds himself on the battlefield playing David and Goliath is there wearing a stone proof helmet. Obama liked to go after leakers, so long as the were underling leakers. If Trump is successful, which is to be hoped for but unlikely, how will the New York Times and Washington Post fill their editorial pages?

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, which is a paraphrase but apt.

But beyond this crisis is the larger one of how to harness the Deep State to reflect the nation's interests, not those few who run things now. Some say start to rid foreign intelligence of its operational arm which has been at the forefront of regime change and other mischief.

Sam F , March 19, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Yes, the CIA operations division should be made small because it is abused for the hidden agendas of oligarchy, that the People would never approve. It should be monitored by an agency reporting directly to Congress.

Joe Wallace , March 19, 2018 at 3:32 pm

Herman and Sam F:

"But beyond this crisis is the larger one of how to harness the Deep State to reflect the nation's interests, not those few who run things now. Some say start to rid foreign intelligence of its operational arm which has been at the forefront of regime change and other mischief."

"Yes, the CIA operations division should be made small because it is abused for the hidden agendas of oligarchy, that the People would never approve. It should be monitored by an agency reporting directly to Congress."

Not until Citizens United v FEC is overturned will we have a foreign policy that reflects the nation's interests, administered by elected officials who actually represent the will of the electorate. The Deep State, through the CIA, pursues a foreign policy that is often at odds with the wishes of the vast majority of the people in this country .

Sam F , March 20, 2018 at 6:55 am

Yes, but the judiciary that decided Citizens United are corruption leaders installed by corrupt politicians installed by the dictatorship of the rich. Until the rich are overthrown there will be no democracy in the US.

Stephen J. , March 19, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Has the System Become Corrupted?

I believe the system has become corrupted. The same people who parrot the words "rule of law" are according to numerous reports working hand in glove with terrorists. They even pass "laws" against terrorism, while at the same time consorting with terrorists. I guess "our hypocrite leaders" are above the law? The latest horrific terrorist bombing in Manchester raises questions about the spy agency "MI5."
[read more at link below] http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/06/has-system-become-corrupted.html

mike k , March 19, 2018 at 12:13 pm

Our problem is how to shock the American public into awareness of who their real enemies are: the Oligarchs, Deep State, Zionazis, MSM, MIC. What kind of major disclosure could start the ball rolling? What kind of outrage would be too much for the zombified public to brush off and continue sleeping? What the hell would it take to knock the middle class out of it's putrid comfort zone?

Linda Wood , March 20, 2018 at 7:04 pm

zendeviant, I think it will come to a national refusal to fund illegal activity on the part of our federal government. I don't think it will come to violence, which would accomplish less than nothing. Instead, I think the American people will take legal action to stop the hemorrhage of black funding.

Skip Scott , March 21, 2018 at 10:22 am

Linda-

Funding is not the issue. They just print the money and give it out. Our tax dollars are just demanded to make sure we are in submission. The Pentagon isn't even audited, and at this point would be impossible to audit. Legal action requires an uncompromised judiciary. Haven't seen that in my lifetime. It will take real "boots on the ground" from the people to get any real change. TPTB will only budge when their backs are against the wall.

Sam F , March 20, 2018 at 7:54 am

Fair question, Mike, although perhaps annoying at times to very well-meaning people. Middle class comfort is indeed the security of a corrupt government, and so affluence destroys democracy.

As you know, I have advocated a College of Policy Debate constituted to protect all points of view, and to conduct moderated text-only debate among university experts of several disciplines, of the status and possibilities of each world region, and the policy options. Debate summaries commented by all sides are to be made available for public study and comment.

The debates would require a higher standard of argument in foreign and domestic policy on all sides, and would have much reduced the group-think that led to our endless mad wars since WWII. Extreme and naïve politicians would be easier to expose, and media commentators would have a starting point and a standard for media investigation and analysis.

While most politicians will ignore and attack careful analysis, and "the common man avoids the truth [because] it is dangerous, no good can come of it, and it doesn't pay" (Mencken), the CPD can bring the knowledge of society into public debate, educate the electorate, discourage propaganda, and expose the wrongs of society and the corruption of government that desperately need reform.

If such a rational mechanism fails to awaken the public and cause reform, then we are doomed to overthrow of the dictatorship of the rich, requiring far greater degradation to motivate the people, and greater violence than any previous revolution due to the advance of technology. I fear that both will in fact occur, after a long era of US corruption.

Deniz , March 19, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Brennans screech confirms that Trump is not just smoke and mirrors. He really hit the bureaucracy where it hurts, their pensions -- brilliant move.

orwell , March 19, 2018 at 1:15 pm

It's nice to see that everybody here agrees about this situation. Really refreshing, and no pro-CIA/FBI TROLLS !!!!!!

Stephen J, , March 19, 2018 at 1:18 pm

Article of interest at link below. http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/march/19/pompeo-and-haspel-are-symptoms-of-a-deeper-problem/

Herry Smith , March 19, 2018 at 1:51 pm

I remember that Larry Johnson described this threat in detail more than a year ago https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMkR_5Sesgg It was on RT but he made a lot of sense. Appears to have been vindicated.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Herry Smith -- thanks for posting that interview. Larry Johnson was excellent, articulate, and he's going to be proven right.

Gregory Kruse , March 19, 2018 at 2:05 pm

"Shortly before his re-election in 2012, Obama reportedly was braced at a small dinner party by wealthy donors who wanted to know whatever happened to the 'progressive Obama.' The President did not take kindly to the criticism, rose from the table, and said, 'Don't you remember what happened to Dr. King?'"

Dr. Ip , March 19, 2018 at 3:06 pm

" Trump and Brennan represent equally criminal factions of the ruling class, divided over foreign policy, particularly in the civil war in Syria, and more generally towards Russia.

Brennan and the Democrats speak for powerful sections of the military-intelligence apparatus embittered by the failure of US intervention in Syria and Trump's apparent abandonment of the Islamic fundamentalist groups armed by the CIA to fight the Russian and Iranian-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad. They want to push further into the Syrian slaughter, regardless of the risk of open military conflict with Russia, the world's second strongest nuclear power. "

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/19/pers-m19.html

Bob Ford , March 19, 2018 at 3:15 pm

It is imperative to bring about a cleansing of the FBI and DOJ, removing high-ranking officials who place politics and personal agendas ahead of enforcing the law fairly and without bias. Will that mean a "war" with the deep state? Or are there enough people within the FBI and DOJ who WANT to remove the stains from their agencies? If so, we may see more corruption exposed in the coming days.
A cleansing of the CIA or NSA is probably not feasible, even though it is sorely needed. If the president tried, he would probably be regime-changed.

Bob Van Noy , March 19, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Craig Murray has been totally reliable on Russiagate from the beginning. There is an excellent synopsis of his web reporting with commentary at Unz for those interested. http://www.unz.com/article/russian-to-judgement/

JWalters , March 19, 2018 at 10:24 pm

Excellent link. Thanks very much. His theory that the murder of the ex-Russian spy in England was an Israeli false flag operation seems to me the most plausible theory, for the reasons he states. And it fits so well into the overall picture.

KiwiAntz , March 19, 2018 at 4:03 pm

What a Banana Republic America has become? Russia has just had it's election & we have had all the usual negative comments by Western Leaders regarding Putin & Russia's supposed lack of a democratic process in voting?

Russians, at least, voted for a well known individual in Putin with a proven track record, so they know exactly what they can look forward to, secure in that knowledge of certainty? Russia has no Deepstate puppeteer's pulling the strings behind the scenes!

Contrast that with America? The whole Political system is corrupt & dominated by Corporate money paying off its Leaders? The sick joke is America claims it's a Democracy which it isn't? It's a Fascist Oligarchy ruled by a unelected Deepstate, & it doesn't matter what Party or Leader you voted for, the Deepstate, shadow Govt never just marches on & rules?

It also raises the issue, is there any point in American's actually getting out & voting every 4 yrs, they may as well just stay home & have a beer instead, as this electoral process is a complete & utter farce! America's Deepstate Govt doesn't need or care for your vote? Your vote doesn't matter in the overall scheme of things? And that, by definition, is what America has become, a Banana Republic!

Typingperson , March 20, 2018 at 12:47 am

True. And sad.

Michael Wilk , March 19, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Speaking for myself, I'd love nothing more than to see that degenerate orange-painted child take the intel agencies and their scum-willing leaders down several pegs, just to remind them who is supposed to be working for whom. Alas, the Great Orange Dope hasn't the brains to do anything but screw things up. But give the boy credit for trying, bless his toupée-glue-crusted head.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Dumb like a fox: to be smart or cunning, but pretend you don't know what you're doing. President Trump is letting them hang themselves. As someone said above, he is smoking them out. It is working beautifully too. Who, besides Trump, could have or would have put up with what he's had to contend with? It took a tough, hard-shelled individual who wouldn't cow, someone who would hang in there long enough while the others (the Inspector General, intelligence committees) could do their work.

I grant you that President Trump's brain is not like Slick Willy's or polished smooth like the last Narcissist in Chief, but he's right about a lot of things: you can't have a country without borders; you can't have a country without making your own steel and a healthy manufacturing base; and you can't have a country run by the intelligence agencies.

I'm putting my money on Trump.

Michael Wilk , March 19, 2018 at 5:50 pm

That might be true if this country respected the borders of other nations or if it actually brought back steel-making and a healthy manufacturing base. But Caligula Drumpf never intended to bring any of that back, nor will he even try. Oh, he'll make a few token statements bragging about his exaggerated actions having actually achieved success, but that's all it will be is empty boasting. Let's face it: Drumpf supporters were had.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 6:11 pm

Too early to call. It took years to ship all of the jobs overseas (thanks, Slick Willy!), and it will take years to bring them back. Did you think Trump was magical, that he could bring the jobs back in one year with the wave of a wand or something? I mean, he's been a tad busy fighting the intelligence community, hasn't he?

If given the chance, he will secure the borders, decrease immigration, institute a merit-based immigration system, bring some jobs back (a lot are being automated). The globalists are losing, but it takes time.

The Swamp will take time to drain as well, but it's proceeding along quite nicely.

Michael Wilk , March 20, 2018 at 9:05 am

But Drumpf won't even try to bring the jobs back. This is not a matter of how quickly he can do something he's never going to do, but about his will to actually follow through on his campaign promises. There's simply no reason to believe Drumpf will bother. Why would he? He's got no stake in bringing manufacturing back to the U.S.

Bart Hansen , March 19, 2018 at 5:28 pm

That "six ways from Sunday" saying may keep Schumer in line; but for Trump, what could they possibly have against him that would in the least embarrass or bother his voters, himself or his family? Day after day he crosses a variety of moral red lines.

F. G. Sanford , March 19, 2018 at 6:22 pm

That "moral turpitude" reference seems to imply that there is some -- yet to be revealed -- scandal held in abeyance, fully capable of delivering a decisive blow. And, the "deep staters" are merely waiting for the right moment to pull this shark-toothed rabbit out of the hat. I can't help but wonder what you suspect they'll try next, Ray but this whole thing reminds me of an old friend's advice given to me during a dark and desolate period of my own life: "If they had something really good, they'd have used it by now."

jaycee , March 19, 2018 at 7:23 pm

A word of caution -- the intensely partisan fighting may induce a certain fascination as a spectator, like eye-witnessing the aftermath of a vehicle accident, but what is happening is without precedent, at least in modern history. Former heads of the nation's top intelligence organization do not attack sitting presidents, let alone in such a visceral vituperative and public fashion. This is indication of deep fissures, quite beyond politics as most citizens understand. As the World Socialist Web Site published today: "There is no recent parallel for statements and actions such as those of the past three days. One would have to go back to the period before the American Civil War to find equivalent levels of tension, which in the late 1850s erupted in violence in the halls of Congress before exploding in full-scale military conflict."

Trump is a maverick outsider so it's hard to get a handle on what or who he represents, but the Brennan/deep state side of the dispute is very much aligned with the corporate DNC Democratic Party. That they seem, by Brennan's comments, to consider themselves as the representation of "America" as they abandon constitutional and etiquette norms and articulate visceral hatred towards political rivals should serve as fair warning.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 8:25 pm

jaycee -- great post. I agree with what you've said: what is happening IS without precedent, Brennan/deep state ARE aligned with the Democrats, and they believe only THEY represent the true "America".

Dangerous game by very dangerous people who are systematically destroying the Constitution in their quest to retain power.

Over and over I've heard people who know Trump well say that he listens to them, but then makes up his own mind. They say he wants to stay true to what he promised to the American people, that that is actually important to him. Of course he's willing to compromise some, but he wants the basics of what he promised.

If the Swamp takes him out, the lid is going to come off.

Abe , March 19, 2018 at 7:24 pm

Chuck Schumer is a leading Democratic Party figure of the pro-Israel Lobby and a rabid Senate warhawk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=456&v=DlV5WChUWFk

Kevin Zeese: "He basically is a Senator for Israel. He totally supports the Israeli foreign policy viewpoint, which is a very hawkish, if you were a Republican you would call him a neocon."

Ariel Gold: "He has come out in strong opposition to the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement and was very supportive of New York Governor Cuomo's order to ban BDS in New York state, and Schumer made a direct statement in support of that."

Thomas Hedges: "Schumer's staunch support for Israel has prompted him for example, to criticize the Obama administration, when in 2016, the United States abstained from a UN Security Council resolution re-affirming something the Council had almost unanimously upheld since 1979. Namely, that Israel's settlement building projects on Palestinian land violated international law."

Ben Norton: "Schumer criticized the Obama administration for abstaining on this very basic resolution, which every other country voted for. So the US was still a pariah, because the US didn't vote for it, it just abstained on it. But to Schumer that was not enough, he wanted it to be completely vetoed, because anything that Israel does is sacrosanct, and anyone who criticizes it, in Schumer's eyes, is not someone he wants to ally with politically, so he'd rather affectively ally with Trump."

Thomas Hedges: "The most recent showing of that allegiance was [ ] when Schumer supported Trump's decision to launch an air strike on an Air Force base in Syria, something Israel also strongly supported. [ ] But perhaps Schumer's greatest show of allegiance to Israel, was his decision to oppose the Iran nuclear deal, without which experts have warned, would put the United States and Iran on a collision course."

Ben Norton: "Under President Obama, Schumer was one of the most prominent Democrats to oppose the Iran nuclear deal, and he was of course fearmongering about Iran, which to him is the devil incarnate, and he actually made factually false statements about the nuclear agreement, and claimed that it would allow Iran in 10 years to produce nuclear weapons etc."

Thomas Hedges: "Leading up to his decision, Schumer reassured Zionists that he was consulting the most credentialed men in Washington, including Henry Kissinger, an opponent of the deal, and the man who orchestrated the violent coup in Chile that toppled its democratically elected leader, as well as the architect of the very bloody Vietnam war."

Chuck Schumer: I spent some time with Dr. Kissinger, I'm spending time with excellence.

Ariel Gold: So it threatened to pull us into another war, and we're back in that threat again with Trump winning the election we hear a lot about undoing the Iran nuclear deal, and it's one of the things that Israel has been saying they would like to see come out of the Trump administration.

Thomas Hedges: Schumer's willingness to oppose the deal early on, which created an opening for other undecided Democrats to do the same, is a strong display of support for Israel.

JWalters , March 19, 2018 at 10:32 pm

Spot on about Chuck Schumer. The following link, from a Jewish-run, anti-Zionist website, proves that Schumer lies to Americans for the benefit of Israel. He puts Israel's interests above those of the US. He is an Israeli mole in the US government. "Schumer says he opposed the Iran deal because of 'threat to Israel'" http://mondoweiss.net/2018/03/schumer-opposed-because/

Opus Doi , March 19, 2018 at 7:40 pm

America will triumph over you. Wo wo wo. Wo wo wo. Doo doo-doo doo doo! ?

Brennan is history's most hilarious DCI. His grandiose hissy fit suggests that CIA continues the Dulles tradition of infiltrating the civil service with 'focal points -' illegal CIA moles infiltrating US government agencies -- and the IG fumigated one key out in firing McCabe.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 8:35 pm

Opus Doi -- and the MSM and the Left see the "crime" being that McCabe was fired, not that McCabe broke the law. Kind of like when they didn't see a crime in Hillary using her own personal servers, but saw the crime as being that the emails might have been hacked by a foreign government. That they had no evidence of this didn't matter.

Brennan sounds like a desperate man. They must be getting closer to him.

Opus Doi , March 20, 2018 at 7:56 am

See how this works? The article is about Brennan. The comment is about Brennan's CIA. But immersive CIA propaganda immediately diverts the topic to CIA's synthetic warring factions, Hillary! Trump! Hillary! Trump!

People need to come to grips with the fact that the past four presidents -- the ones you hate and the ones you like -- were all drawn from CIA nomenklatura. DCI Bush; Bill Clinton, recruited by Cord Meyer at Oxford; spy brat and hopeless Arubusto 'wildcatter' GW Bush; and Obama, son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased into Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman, invisible student at Columbia, honored guest of the future acting president of Pakistan before his career even started. Before CIA took over directly they thwarted (Truman, Eisenhower's disarmament plan, Carter's human rights initiative,) purged (Nixon, Carter,) shot at (Ford,) and shot (Kennedy, Reagan) their presidential figureheads.

CIA runs your country. You're not going to get anywhere until you stop bickering about their presidential puppet rulers.

Kenneth Rapoza , March 19, 2018 at 8:46 pm

Who makes the laws? He who makes the laws can break the laws. I would bet my life that Brenna, Hillary and all the "deep state" actors do not see one second in jail nor pay a nickel in fines.

backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 10:22 pm

Comey and McCabe were fired for breaking the law. Lots of laws have been broken. The only thing separating the U.S. and a Third World country is the Rule of Law. Start breaking laws and looking the other way on corruption and you've got a Banana Republic. Jail time coming up for some of them.

E. Leete , March 20, 2018 at 1:29 pm

"Give me control over a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws." -- Meyer A Rothschild

Whoever controls the creation and destruction of money, as well as credit regulation (this is the deep state; the massive financial matrix including the MIC -- all run by wealthpower giants with their insatiable desires for power to control nothing less than the entire planet) controls the government including the spook/spy agencies (this is the shadow government).

the two are intimately connected, of course, and function thru unbridled unconstitutional powers of secrecy -- empowered by the state secrets privilege

nothing changes until we once and for all time do away with the bankers having the power to issue our money as debt

because, again, it all starts with private control of money creation -- the most enormous farce in all of history and it rules yet today

"The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people." -- Theodore Roosevelt

"Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it." -- Woodrow Wilson

Bob H , March 19, 2018 at 9:59 pm

The mention of John Brennan brings to mind the bizarre death of Rolling Stone's writer, Michael Hastings, who was reported to be working on a story about Brennan just before he had his "accident".

https://news.vice.com/article/primary-sources-emails-show-fbi-worked-to-debunk-conspiracy-theories-following-michael-hastings-death

Hello Good World , March 19, 2018 at 11:26 pm

Imagine if a Trump tweet alleged that a man who was found guilty by the FBI was really innocent. Imagine if Trump tweeted that a man was really guilty despite no evidence found after almost 2 years of investigation.

What would be the response to either tweet be from the MS Media? Our MS Media is nothing more than Democrat Propaganda, and that situation will doom us to Russian interference. Every election the Russians can do the same as 2016: release the truth about justice not served.

Skip Scott , March 20, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Michael-

I'm no fan of Trump, but Hillary had absolutely no intention to "address the needs of the people". They are all globalizing warmongers who know how to say what needs to be said to get elected, and then do whatever their paymasters tell them. Hillary's speeches to her banker buddies unearthed via Podesta's email account show that she felt it necessary to have "private views" separate from her "public views". How much plainer could it be than that!

j. D. D. , March 20, 2018 at 7:59 am

"Does one collect a full pension in jail?" Brilliant, provocative and persuasive, in the way that any follower of Ray McGovern has come to expect.

Abe , March 21, 2018 at 11:38 am

As the Russia-gate fictions erode and Israel-gate emerges, the Hasbara troll army is scraping the bottom of the propaganda barrel.

Here we have "j. D. D." and the shrill refrain of "BobS"

For more hilarious Hasbara antics from comrade "BobS", see the CN comments at
https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/26/growing-risk-of-u-s-iran-hostilities-based-on-false-pretexts-intel-vets-warn/

Comrade "BobS" and fellow Hasbara troll "will" are positively obsessed about Reagan era "dirty wars" Central and South America. That's understandable.

Israel has advised, trained and equipped, and ran "dirty war" operations in the Latin American "dirty war" conflicts in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Colombia. In the case of the Salvadoran "bloodbath", the Israelis were present from the beginning. Besides arms sales, they helped train ANSESAL, the secret police who were later to form the framework of the infamous death squads that would kill tens of thousands of mostly civilian activists.

McGovern certainly understands what sort of "ally" Israel can be.

So keep on yappin' "BobS". We got you.

IsItAnyWonder , March 20, 2018 at 11:10 am

USMC activated. Well, I'd put my two-cents on POTUS. Just like we've all seen throughout our lives when the supposed tough guy starts making threats he is really scared Sh**less. Lots of these clowns are just going to disappear during the late night hours of the day never to be heard from again.

Our society is sitting on a knifes edge, anything at all happens to Trump and the entire nation will just burn to the ground with literal blood in the streets. No one needs to pound their chest and say what tough guy acts they will do since most of the heavy lifting is already going on with Spec Ops and very soon USMC.

Most of us would not have the skills are knowledge to do what is needed. Foggy Bottom is about to get a big enema along with the CIA to our benefit. Guys like Brennan are scared rats in a sinking ship, good riddance!

geeyp , March 20, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Excuse me Mr. Williamson, I think you are precisely right. This indeed is the time to get it all out. Expose it all. Lay it all out and go for it. These people have it coming to them.

will , March 20, 2018 at 1:23 pm

What an amazingly illuminating article. Devin Nunes, who perfectly ok with wire taps as long as the target aren't from his party is somehow a noble individual. While I agree that Brennan should be in prison, it should be for torturing people ...

Abe , March 21, 2018 at 12:18 pm

As the Russia-gate fictions erode and Israel-gate emerges, the Hasbara propaganda troll army keeps on sending in the clowns.

For more hilarious Hasbara antics from "works for a living" comrade "will", see the CN comments at
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/22/the-strangelovian-russia-gate-myth/

Comrade "will" and his fellow Hasbara troll "BobS" recite the same propaganda script, going on and on about the war in Latin America.

Of course, the trolls never mention the fact that the US government, especially the CIA, recruited an all-too-eager Israel to "support" the Central and South American military forces and intelligence units engaged in violent and widespread repression during the Reagan and Bush era "dirty wars".

Recently declassified 1983 US government documents have obtained by the Washington, DC-based National Security Archives through the Freedom of Information Act. One such declassified document is a 1983 memo from the notorious Colonel Oliver North of the Reagan Administration's National Security Council and reads: "As discussed with you yesterday, I asked CIA, Defense, and State to suggest practical assistance which the Israelis might offer in Guatemala and El Salvador."

Another document, this time a 1983 cable from the US Ambassador in Guatemala to Washington Frederic Chapin shows the money trail. Chapin says that at a time when the US did not want to be seen directly assisting Guatemala, "we have reason to believe that our good friends the Israelis are prepared, or already have, offered substantial amounts of military equipment to the GOG (Government of Guatemala) on credit terms up to 20 years (I pass over the importance of making huge concessionary loans to Israel so that it can make term loans in our own backyard)."

The Reagan and Bush era "dirty wars" were bad enough. The Israeli-Saudi-US Axis jumped the shark with Bush the Lesser and Obama wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Under Trump, Israel remains only to happy to continue providing "support" for Al Qaeda and ISIS.

So keep on blabbin', Hasbara troll team mates "will" and "BobS". We got you.

Drogon , March 20, 2018 at 6:45 pm

"It is an open secret that the CIA has been leaking like the proverbial sieve over the last two years or so" And this is supposed to be a bad thing? I'm sorry, but the more leaks the better IMO.

Ray McGovern , March 21, 2018 at 1:05 am

Drogon, You're right; usually the more leaks the better ..BUT these are "AUTHORIZED" leaks to co-opted journalists and PR people like Palmieri designed to give some "substance" to Russia-gate, for example. ray

Abe , March 21, 2018 at 11:04 am

Speaking of "AUTHORIZED" leaks: http://whitehouse.georgewbush.org/initiatives/posters/images/leaking-secrets.jpg

[Mar 22, 2018] John Brennan used the "Just Following Orders" Nazi Defense for CIA Director-Designate Gina Haspel

The Nuremberg judges rejected the Nuremberg defense, and both Jodl and Keitel were hanged. The United Nations International Law Commission later codified the underlying principle from Nuremberg as "the fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."
Mar 22, 2018 | theintercept.com

John Brennan, who ran the CIA under President Barack Obama, made similar remarks on Tuesday when asked about Haspel. The Bush administration had decided that its torture program was legal, said Brennan , and Haspel "tried to carry out her duties at CIA to the best of her ability, even when the CIA was asked to do some very difficult things."

Stephen J, , March 19, 2018 at 4:55 pm

Article of interest at link below.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
"WASHINGTON BREAKS OUT THE "JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS" NAZI DEFENSE FOR CIA DIRECTOR-DESIGNATE GINA HASPEL"
Jon Schwarz

Mar. 15
https://theintercept.com/2018/03/15/washington-breaks-out-the-just-following-orders-nazi-defense-for-cia-director-designate-gina-haspel/

Mild- ly - Facetious , March 19, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Many thanks, Stephen J.
-- but how will it direct us away from the "backward evolutionism" of brainwashed americans ?

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , March 19, 2018 at 11:57 pm

That defense didn't work for Japanese waterboarders: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2014/12/16/cheneys-claim-that-the-u-s-did-not-prosecute-japanese-soldiers-for-waterboarding/

will , March 20, 2018 at 1:41 pm

yet Mr. McGovern chooses to worry about Brennan's toothless defense of the Deputy Director of the FBI

[Mar 21, 2018] Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It is an open secret that the CIA has been leaking like the proverbial sieve over the last two years or so to its favorite stenographers at the New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post. ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... On April 6, 2017 I attended a panel discussion on "Russia's interference in our democracy" at the Clinton/Podesta Center for American Progress Fund. In my subsequent write-up I noted that panelist Palmieri had inadvertently dropped tidbits of evidence that I suggested "could get some former officials in deep kimchi -- if a serious investigation of leaking, for example, were to be conducted." ..."
"... Palmieri was asked to comment on "what was actually going on in late summer/early fall [2016]." She answered: "It was a surreal experience so I did appreciate that for the press to absorb the idea that behind the stage that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton was too fantastic for people to, um, for the press to process, to absorb . ..."
"... But she lost. And a month ago, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) threw down the gauntlet, indicating that there could be legal consequences, for example, for officials who misled the FISA court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and associates. ..."
"... John Brennan is widely reported to be Nunes's next target. Does one collect a full pension in jail? ..."
"... Unmasking: Senior national security officials are permitted to ask the National Security Agency to unmask the names of Americans in intercepted communications for national security reasons -- not for domestic political purposes. ..."
"... Brennan's words and attitude are a not-so-subtle reminder of the heavy influence and confidence of the deep state, including the media -- exercised to a fare-thee-well over the past two years. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Washington Post ..."
"... The Post, incidentally, waited until paragraph 41 of 44 to inform readers that it was the FBI's own Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General of the Department of Justice that found McCabe guilty, and that the charge was against McCabe, not the FBI. A quite different impression was conveyed by the large headline "Trump escalates attacks on FBI" as well as the first 40 paragraphs of Sunday's lead article. ..."
"... "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you," Schumer told Maddow. "So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this." Did Maddow ask Schumer if he was saying President of the United States should be afraid of the intelligence community? No, she let Schumer's theorem stand. ..."
Mar 19, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

With former CIA Director John Brennan accusing President Donald Trump of "moral turpitude" for his "scapegoating" of Andy McCabe, it remains to be seen whether a constitutional crisis will be averted, writes Ray McGovern.

What prompted former CIA Director John Brennan on Saturday to accuse President Donald Trump of "moral turpitude" and to predict, with an alliterative flourish, that Trump will end up "as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history"? The answer shines through the next sentence in Brennan's threatening tweet : "You may scapegoat Andy McCabe [former FBI Deputy Director fired Friday night] but you will not destroy America America will triumph over you."

It is easy to see why Brennan lost it. The Attorney General fired McCabe, denying him full retirement benefits, because McCabe "had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor -- including under oath -- on multiple occasions." There but for the grace of God go I, Brennan must have thought, whose stock in trade has been unauthorized disclosures.

In fact, Brennan can take but small, short-lived consolation in the fact that he succeeded in leaving with a full government pension. His own unauthorized disclosures and leaks probably dwarf in number, importance, and sensitivity those of McCabe. And many of those leaks appear to have been based on sensitive intercepted conversations from which the names of American citizens were unmasked for political purposes. Not to mention the leaks of faux intelligence like that contained in the dubious "dossier" cobbled together for the Democrats by British ex-spy Christopher Steele.

It is an open secret that the CIA has been leaking like the proverbial sieve over the last two years or so to its favorite stenographers at the New York Times and Washington Post. (At one point, the obvious whispering reached the point that the Wall Street Journal saw fit to complain that it was being neglected.) The leaking can be traced way back -- at least as far as the Clinton campaign's decision to blame the Russians for the publication of very damning DNC emails by WikiLeaks just three days before the Democratic National Convention.

This blame game turned out to be a hugely successful effort to divert attention from the content of the emails, which showed in bas relief the dirty tricks the DNC played on Bernie Sanders. The media readily fell in line, and all attention was deflected from the substance of the DNC emails to the question as to why the Russians supposedly "hacked into the DNC and gave the emails to WikiLeaks."

This media operation worked like a charm, but even Secretary Clinton's PR person, Jennifer Palmieri, conceded later that at first it strained credulity that the Russians would be doing what they were being accused of doing.

Magnificent Diversion

On April 6, 2017 I attended a panel discussion on "Russia's interference in our democracy" at the Clinton/Podesta Center for American Progress Fund. In my subsequent write-up I noted that panelist Palmieri had inadvertently dropped tidbits of evidence that I suggested "could get some former officials in deep kimchi -- if a serious investigation of leaking, for example, were to be conducted." (That time seems to be coming soon.)

Palmieri was asked to comment on "what was actually going on in late summer/early fall [2016]." She answered: "It was a surreal experience so I did appreciate that for the press to absorb the idea that behind the stage that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton was too fantastic for people to, um, for the press to process, to absorb .

"But then we go back to Brooklyn [Clinton headquarters] and heard from the -- mostly our sources were other intelligence, with the press who work in the intelligence sphere, and that's where we heard things and that's where we learned about the dossier and the other story lines that were swirling about; and how to process And along the way the administration started confirming various pieces of what they were concerned about what Russia was doing. So I do think that the answer for the Democrats now in both the House and the Senate is to talk about it more and make it more real."

So the leaking had an early start, and went on steroids during the months following the Democratic Convention up to the election -- and beyond.

As a Reminder

None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison.

But she lost. And a month ago, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) threw down the gauntlet, indicating that there could be legal consequences, for example, for officials who misled the FISA court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and associates. His words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of yet other miscreants. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said. "The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

John Brennan is widely reported to be Nunes's next target. Does one collect a full pension in jail?

Unmasking: Senior national security officials are permitted to ask the National Security Agency to unmask the names of Americans in intercepted communications for national security reasons -- not for domestic political purposes. Congressional committees have questioned why Obama's UN ambassador Samantha Power (as well as his national security adviser Susan Rice) made so many unmasking requests. Power is reported to have requested the unmasking of more than 260 Americans, most of them in the final days of the administration, including the names of Trump associates.

Deep State Intimidation

Back to John Brennan's bizarre tweet Saturday telling the President, "You may scapegoat Andy McCabe but you will not destroy America America will triumph over you." Unmasking the word "America," so to speak, one can readily discern the name "Brennan" underneath. Brennan's words and attitude are a not-so-subtle reminder of the heavy influence and confidence of the deep state, including the media -- exercised to a fare-thee-well over the past two years.

Later on Saturday, Samantha Power, with similar equities at stake, put an exclamation point behind what Brennan had tweeted earlier in the day. Power also saw fit to remind Trump where the power lies, so to speak. She warned him publicly that it is "not a good idea to piss off John Brennan."

Meanwhile, the Washington Post is dutifully playing its part in the deep-state game of intimidation. The following excerpt from Sunday's lead article conveys the intended message: "Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. 'This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI's going to win,' said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. 'You can't fight the FBI. They're going to torch him.'" [sic]

The Post, incidentally, waited until paragraph 41 of 44 to inform readers that it was the FBI's own Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General of the Department of Justice that found McCabe guilty, and that the charge was against McCabe, not the FBI. A quite different impression was conveyed by the large headline "Trump escalates attacks on FBI" as well as the first 40 paragraphs of Sunday's lead article.

Putting Down a Marker

It isn't as though Donald Trump wasn't warned, as are all incoming presidents, of the power of the Deep State that he needs to play ball with -- or else. Recall that just three days before President-elect Trump was visited by National Intelligence Director James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Michael Rogers, Trump was put on notice by none other than the Minority Leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer. Schumer has been around and knows the ropes; he is a veteran of 18 years in the House, and is in his 20th year in the Senate.

On Jan. 3, 2017 Schumer said it all, when he told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, that President-elect Trump is "being really dumb" by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia's cyber activities:

"Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you," Schumer told Maddow. "So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this." Did Maddow ask Schumer if he was saying President of the United States should be afraid of the intelligence community? No, she let Schumer's theorem stand.

With gauntlets now thrown down by both sides, we may not have to wait very long to see if Schumer is correct in his blithe prediction as to how the present constitutional crisis will be resolved.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as a CIA analyst under seven Presidents and nine CIA directors and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

[Mar 21, 2018] Brennan, Venality and Turpitude by Gary Leupp

Notable quotes:
"... "When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America America will triumph over you." ..."
"... Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan ; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan ; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900 . He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion , (AK Press). He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu ..."
Mar 21, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

John Brennan was CIA director from March 2013 to January 2017. If there is a "deep state" he's been a key figure in it in recent history. So it's particularly significant when he tweets, addressing the president:

"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America America will triumph over you."

Whoa. This is unusual.

... ... ...

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan ; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan ; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900 . He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion , (AK Press). He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu

[Mar 21, 2018] Washington's Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen

Highly recommended!
Mar 21, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

March 20 marks a major anniversary. You'd be forgiven for not knowing it. Fifteen years after we invaded Iraq, few in the US are addressing our legacy there. But it's worth recalling we shattered that country.

We made it a terrorist hotspot, as expected. US and British intelligence, in the months preceding the invasion, expected Bush's planned assault would invigorate Al-Qaeda. The group " would see an opportunity to accelerate its operational tempo and increase terrorist attacks," particularly " in the US and UK ," assessments warned. Due course for the War on Terror.

Follow-up reports confirmed these predictions. "The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement," Washington analysts explained in 2006.

Fawaz Gerges lists two groups this milieu produced: Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), "a creature of the 2003 US-led invasion," and ISIS, "an extension of AQI."

There were good reasons for anyone -- not just jihadists -- to resent US involvement. Consider sectarianism. "The most serious sectarian and ethnic tensions in Iraq's modern history followed the 2003 US-led occupation," Sami Ramadani affirmed . Nabil Al-Tikriti concurs , citing US policies that "led to a progressive, incessant increase in sectarian tensions." The Shia death squads " organized by U.S. operatives" were one such decision.

The extent to which these squads succeeded is, in part, what scholars debate when they tally the war deaths. Low estimates, like Iraq Body Count's, put civilians killed at just over 200,000. One research team determined some "half million deaths in Iraq could be attributable to the war." Physicians for Social Responsibility concluded "that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq," plus 300,000 more in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Iraqis surviving the inferno confronted a range of nightmares. The UN " reported that over 4.4 million Iraqis were internally displaced, and an additional 264,100 were refugees abroad," for example. US forces dealt with Iraqi prisoners -- 70-90% of whom were " arrested by mistake " -- by "arranging naked detainees in a pile and then jumping on them;" "breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees;" and "forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves," to list some of the ways we imparted , with the approval of top Bush administration officials, democratic principles.

Then there are the generations of future Iraqis in bomb-battered cities: Fallujah, Basra. In the former, "the reported increases in cancer and infant mortality are alarmingly high" -- perhaps " worse than Hiroshima " -- while "birth defects reached in 2010 unprecedented numbers." In the same vein, "a pattern of increase in congenital birth defects" plagues Basra, and "many suspect that pollution created by the bombardment of Iraqi cities has caused the current birth defect crisis in that country."

This bombardment began decades before 2003, it's crucial to clarify. We can recall UN Under-Secretary-General Martti Ahtisaari's mission to Baghdad after Operation Desert Storm. He and his team were familiar with the literature on the bombings, he wrote in March 1991, "fully conversant with media reports regarding the situation in Iraq," but realized upon arrival "that nothing that we had seen or read had quite prepared us for the particular form of devastation" -- "near-apocalyptic" -- "which has now befallen the country," condemning it "to a pre-industrial age" for the foreseeable future. This was the scale of ruin when the UN Security Council imposed sanctions. The measures were "at every turn shaped by the United States," whose "consistent policy " was "to inflict the most extreme economic damage possible on Iraq."

The policy was, in this respect, a ripping success. The UN estimated in 1995 that the sanctions had murdered over a half-million children -- " worth it ," Madeleine Albright said -- one factor prompting two successive UN Humanitarian Coordinators in Iraq to resign. Denis Halliday thought the sanctions "criminally flawed and genocidal;" Hans von Sponeck agreed , citing evidence of "conscious violation of human rights and humanitarian law on the part of governments represented in the Security Council, first and foremost those of the United States and the United Kingdom."

Eliminating hundreds of thousands of starving children was just the prequel to the occupation -- "the biggest cultural disaster since the descendants of Genghis Khan destroyed Baghdad in 1258," in one writer's judgment . But try to find more than a handful of commentators reflecting on any of these issues on this dark anniversary. Instead, silence shows the deep US capacity for forgetting.

Nick Alexandrov lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He can be reached at: nicholas.alexandrov@gmail.com

[Mar 21, 2018] How They Sold the Iraq War by Jeffrey St. Clair

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Americans were the victims of an elaborate con job, pelted with a daily barrage of threat inflation, distortions, deceptions and lies, not about tactics or strategy or war plans, but about justifications for war. The lies were aimed not at confusing Saddam's regime, but the American people. By the start of the war, 66 per cent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and 79 per cent thought he was close to having a nuclear weapon. ..."
"... This charade wouldn't have worked without a gullible or a complicit press corps. Victoria Clarke, who developed the Pentagon plan for embedded reports, put it succinctly a few weeks before the war began: "Media coverage of any future operation will to a large extent shape public perception." ..."
"... During the Vietnam War, TV images of maimed GIs and napalmed villages suburbanized opposition to the war and helped hasten the U.S. withdrawal. The Bush gang meant to turn the Vietnam phenomenon on its head by using TV as a force to propel the U.S.A. into a war that no one really wanted. ..."
"... When the Pentagon needed a heroic story, the press obliged. Jessica Lynch became the war's first instant celebrity. Here was a neo-gothic tale of a steely young woman wounded in a fierce battle, captured and tortured by ruthless enemies, and dramatically saved from certain death by a team of selfless rescuers, knights in camo and night-vision goggles. ..."
"... Back in 1988, the Post felt much differently about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. When reports trickled out about the gassing of Iranian troops, the Washington Post's editorial page shrugged off the massacres, calling the mass poisonings "a quirk of war." ..."
"... The Bush team displayed a similar amnesia. When Iraq used chemical weapons in grisly attacks on Iran, the U.S. government not only didn't object, it encouraged Saddam. ..."
"... Nothing sums up this unctuous approach more brazenly than MSNBC's firing of liberal talk show host Phil Donahue on the eve of the war. The network replaced the Donahue Show with a running segment called Countdown: Iraq, featuring the usual nightly coterie of retired generals, security flacks, and other cheerleaders for invasion. ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

The war on Iraq won't be remembered for how it was waged so much as for how it was sold. It was a propaganda war, a war of perception management, where loaded phrases, such as "weapons of mass destruction" and "rogue state" were hurled like precision weapons at the target audience: us.

To understand the Iraq war you don't need to consult generals, but the spin doctors and PR flacks who stage-managed the countdown to war from the murky corridors of Washington where politics, corporate spin and psy-ops spooks cohabit.

Consider the picaresque journey of Tony Blair's plagiarized dossier on Iraq, from a grad student's website to a cut-and-paste job in the prime minister's bombastic speech to the House of Commons. Blair, stubborn and verbose, paid a price for his grandiose puffery. Bush, who looted whole passages from Blair's speech for his own clumsy presentations, has skated freely through the tempest. Why?

Unlike Blair, the Bush team never wanted to present a legal case for war. They had no interest in making any of their allegations about Iraq hold up to a standard of proof. The real effort was aimed at amping up the mood for war by using the psychology of fear.

Facts were never important to the Bush team. They were disposable nuggets that could be discarded at will and replaced by whatever new rationale that played favorably with their polls and focus groups. The war was about weapons of mass destruction one week, al-Qaeda the next. When neither allegation could be substantiated on the ground, the fall back position became the mass graves (many from the Iran/Iraq war where the U.S.A. backed Iraq) proving that Saddam was an evil thug who deserved to be toppled. The motto of the Bush PR machine was: Move on. Don't explain. Say anything to conceal the perfidy behind the real motives for war. Never look back. Accuse the questioners of harboring unpatriotic sensibilities. Eventually, even the cagey Wolfowitz admitted that the official case for war was made mainly to make the invasion palatable, not to justify it.

The Bush claque of neocon hawks viewed the Iraq war as a product and, just like a new pair of Nikes, it required a roll-out campaign to soften up the consumers. The same techniques (and often the same PR gurus) that have been used to hawk cigarettes, SUVs and nuclear waste dumps were deployed to retail the Iraq war. To peddle the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and company recruited public relations gurus into top-level jobs at the Pentagon and the State Department. These spinmeisters soon had more say over how the rationale for war on Iraq should be presented than intelligence agencies and career diplomats. If the intelligence didn't fit the script, it was shaded, retooled or junked.

Take Charlotte Beers whom Powell picked as undersecretary of state in the post-9/11 world. Beers wasn't a diplomat. She wasn't even a politician. She was a grand diva of spin, known on the business and gossip pages as "the queen of Madison Avenue." On the strength of two advertising campaigns, one for Uncle Ben's Rice and another for Head and Shoulder's dandruff shampoo, Beers rocketed to the top of the heap in the PR world, heading two giant PR houses: Ogilvy and Mathers as well as J. Walter Thompson.

At the State Department Beers, who had met Powell in 1995 when they both served on the board of Gulf Airstream, worked at, in Powell's words, "the branding of U.S. foreign policy." She extracted more than $500 million from Congress for her Brand America campaign, which largely focused on beaming U.S. propaganda into the Muslim world, much of it directed at teens.

"Public diplomacy is a vital new arm in what will combat terrorism over time," said Beers. "All of a sudden we are in this position of redefining who America is, not only for ourselves, but for the outside world." Note the rapt attention Beers pays to the manipulation of perception, as opposed, say, to alterations of U.S. policy.

Old-fashioned diplomacy involves direct communication between representatives of nations, a conversational give and take, often fraught with deception (see April Glaspie), but an exchange nonetheless. Public diplomacy, as defined by Beers, is something else entirely. It's a one-way street, a unilateral broadcast of American propaganda directly to the public, domestic and international, a kind of informational carpet-bombing.

The themes of her campaigns were as simplistic and flimsy as a Bush press conference. The American incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq were all about bringing the balm of "freedom" to oppressed peoples. Hence, the title of the U.S. war: Operation Iraqi Freedom, where cruise missiles were depicted as instruments of liberation. Bush himself distilled the Beers equation to its bizarre essence: "This war is about peace."

Beers quietly resigned her post a few weeks before the first volley of tomahawk missiles battered Baghdad. From her point of view, the war itself was already won, the fireworks of shock and awe were all after play.

Over at the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld drafted Victoria "Torie" Clarke as his director of public affairs. Clarke knew the ropes inside the Beltway. Before becoming Rumsfeld's mouthpiece, she had commanded one of the world's great parlors for powerbrokers: Hill and Knowlton's D.C. office.

Almost immediately upon taking up her new gig, Clarke convened regular meetings with a select group of Washington's top private PR specialists and lobbyists to develop a marketing plan for the Pentagon's forthcoming terror wars. The group was filled with heavy-hitters and was strikingly bipartisan in composition. She called it the Rumsfeld Group and it included PR executive Sheila Tate, columnist Rich Lowry, and Republican political consultant Rich Galen.

The brain trust also boasted top Democratic fixer Tommy Boggs, brother of NPR's Cokie Roberts and son of the late Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana. At the very time Boggs was conferring with top Pentagon brass on how to frame the war on terror, he was also working feverishly for the royal family of Saudi Arabia. In 2002 alone, the Saudis paid his Qorvis PR firm $20.2 million to protect its interests in Washington. In the wake of hostile press coverage following the exposure of Saudi links to the 9/11 hijackers, the royal family needed all the well-placed help it could buy. They seem to have gotten their money's worth. Boggs' felicitous influence-peddling may help to explain why the references to Saudi funding of al-Qaeda were dropped from the recent congressional report on the investigation into intelligence failures and 9/11.

According to the trade publication PR Week, the Rumsfeld Group sent "messaging advice" to the Pentagon. The group told Clarke and Rumsfeld that in order to get the American public to buy into the war on terrorism, they needed to suggest a link to nation states, not just nebulous groups such as al-Qaeda. In other words, there needed to be a fixed target for the military campaigns, some distant place to drop cruise missiles and cluster bombs. They suggested the notion (already embedded in Rumsfeld's mind) of playing up the notion of so-called rogue states as the real masters of terrorism. Thus was born the Axis of Evil, which, of course, wasn't an "axis" at all, since two of the states, Iran and Iraq, hated each other, and neither had anything at all to do with the third, North Korea.

Tens of millions in federal money were poured into private public relations and media firms working to craft and broadcast the Bush dictat that Saddam had to be taken out before the Iraqi dictator blew up the world by dropping chemical and nuclear bombs from long-range drones. Many of these PR executives and image consultants were old friends of the high priests in the Bush inner sanctum. Indeed, they were veterans, like Cheney and Powell, of the previous war against Iraq, another engagement that was more spin than combat .

At the top of the list was John Rendon, head of the D.C. firm, the Rendon Group. Rendon is one of Washington's heaviest hitters, a Beltway fixer who never let political affiliation stand in the way of an assignment. Rendon served as a media consultant for Michael Dukakis and Jimmy Carter, as well as Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Whenever the Pentagon wanted to go to war, he offered his services at a price. During Desert Storm, Rendon pulled in $100,000 a month from the Kuwaiti royal family. He followed this up with a $23 million contract from the CIA to produce anti-Saddam propaganda in the region.

As part of this CIA project, Rendon created and named the Iraqi National Congress and tapped his friend Ahmed Chalabi, the shady financier, to head the organization.

Shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon handed the Rendon Group another big assignment: public relations for the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. Rendon was also deeply involved in the planning and public relations for the pre-emptive war on Iraq, though both Rendon and the Pentagon refuse to disclose the details of the group's work there.

But it's not hard to detect the manipulative hand of Rendon behind many of the Iraq war's signature events, including the toppling of the Saddam statue (by U.S. troops and Chalabi associates) and videotape of jubilant Iraqis waving American flags as the Third Infantry rolled by them. Rendon had pulled off the same stunt in the first Gulf War, handing out American flags to Kuwaitis and herding the media to the orchestrated demonstration. "Where do you think they got those American flags?" clucked Rendon in 1991. "That was my assignment."

The Rendon Group may also have had played a role in pushing the phony intelligence that has now come back to haunt the Bush administration. In December of 2002, Robert Dreyfuss reported that the inner circle of the Bush White House preferred the intelligence coming from Chalabi and his associates to that being proffered by analysts at the CIA.

So Rendon and his circle represented a new kind of off-the-shelf PSYOPs , the privatization of official propaganda. "I am not a national security strategist or a military tactician," said Rendon. "I am a politician, and a person who uses communication to meet public policy or corporate policy objectives. In fact, I am an information warrior and a perception manager."

What exactly, is perception management? The Pentagon defines it this way: "actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives and objective reasoning." In other words, lying about the intentions of the U.S. government. In a rare display of public frankness, the Pentagon actually let slip its plan (developed by Rendon) to establish a high-level den inside the Department Defense for perception management. They called it the Office of Strategic Influence and among its many missions was to plant false stories in the press.

Nothing stirs the corporate media into outbursts of pious outrage like an official government memo bragging about how the media are manipulated for political objectives. So the New York Times and Washington Post threw indignant fits about the Office of Strategic Influence; the Pentagon shut down the operation, and the press gloated with satisfaction on its victory. Yet, Rumsfeld told the Pentagon press corps that while he was killing the office, the same devious work would continue. "You can have the corpse," said Rumsfeld. "You can have the name. But I'm going to keep doing every single thing that needs to be done. And I have."

At a diplomatic level, despite the hired guns and the planted stories, this image war was lost. It failed to convince even America's most fervent allies and dependent client states that Iraq posed much of a threat. It failed to win the blessing of the U.N. and even NATO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington. At the end of the day, the vaunted coalition of the willing consisted of Britain, Spain, Italy, Australia, and a cohort of former Soviet bloc nations. Even so, the citizens of the nations that cast their lot with the U.S.A. overwhelmingly opposed the war.

Domestically, it was a different story. A population traumatized by terror threats and shattered economy became easy prey for the saturation bombing of the Bush message that Iraq was a terrorist state linked to al-Qaeda that was only minutes away from launching attacks on America with weapons of mass destruction.

Americans were the victims of an elaborate con job, pelted with a daily barrage of threat inflation, distortions, deceptions and lies, not about tactics or strategy or war plans, but about justifications for war. The lies were aimed not at confusing Saddam's regime, but the American people. By the start of the war, 66 per cent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and 79 per cent thought he was close to having a nuclear weapon.

Of course, the closest Saddam came to possessing a nuke was a rusting gas centrifuge buried for 13 years in the garden of Mahdi Obeidi, a retired Iraqi scientist. Iraq didn't have any functional chemical or biological weapons. In fact, it didn't even possess any SCUD missiles, despite erroneous reports fed by Pentagon PR flacks alleging that it had fired SCUDs into Kuwait.

This charade wouldn't have worked without a gullible or a complicit press corps. Victoria Clarke, who developed the Pentagon plan for embedded reports, put it succinctly a few weeks before the war began: "Media coverage of any future operation will to a large extent shape public perception."

During the Vietnam War, TV images of maimed GIs and napalmed villages suburbanized opposition to the war and helped hasten the U.S. withdrawal. The Bush gang meant to turn the Vietnam phenomenon on its head by using TV as a force to propel the U.S.A. into a war that no one really wanted.

What the Pentagon sought was a new kind of living room war, where instead of photos of mangled soldiers and dead Iraqi kids, they could control the images Americans viewed and to a large extent the content of the stories. By embedding reporters inside selected divisions, Clarke believed the Pentagon could count on the reporters to build relationships with the troops and to feel dependent on them for their own safety. It worked, naturally. One reporter for a national network trembled on camera that the U.S. Army functioned as "our protectors." The late David Bloom of NBC confessed on the air that he was willing to do "anything and everything they can ask of us."

When the Pentagon needed a heroic story, the press obliged. Jessica Lynch became the war's first instant celebrity. Here was a neo-gothic tale of a steely young woman wounded in a fierce battle, captured and tortured by ruthless enemies, and dramatically saved from certain death by a team of selfless rescuers, knights in camo and night-vision goggles. Of course, nearly every detail of her heroic adventure proved to be as fictive and maudlin as any made-for-TV-movie. But the ordeal of Private Lynch, which dominated the news for more than a week, served its purpose: to distract attention from a stalled campaign that was beginning to look at lot riskier than the American public had been hoodwinked into believing.

The Lynch story was fed to the eager press by a Pentagon operation called Combat Camera, the Army network of photographers, videographers and editors that sends 800 photos and 25 video clips a day to the media. The editors at Combat Camera carefully culled the footage to present the Pentagon's montage of the war, eliding such unsettling images as collateral damage, cluster bombs, dead children and U.S. soldiers, napalm strikes and disgruntled troops.

"A lot of our imagery will have a big impact on world opinion," predicted Lt. Jane Larogue, director of Combat Camera in Iraq. She was right. But as the hot war turned into an even hotter occupation, the Pentagon, despite airy rhetoric from occupation supremo Paul Bremer about installing democratic institutions such as a free press, moved to tighten its monopoly on the flow images out of Iraq. First, it tried to shut down Al Jazeera, the Arab news channel. Then the Pentagon intimated that it would like to see all foreign TV news crews banished from Baghdad.

Few newspapers fanned the hysteria about the threat posed by Saddam's weapons of mass destruction as sedulously as did the Washington Post. In the months leading up to the war, the Post's pro-war op-eds outnumbered the anti-war columns by a 3-to-1 margin.

Back in 1988, the Post felt much differently about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. When reports trickled out about the gassing of Iranian troops, the Washington Post's editorial page shrugged off the massacres, calling the mass poisonings "a quirk of war."

The Bush team displayed a similar amnesia. When Iraq used chemical weapons in grisly attacks on Iran, the U.S. government not only didn't object, it encouraged Saddam. Anything to punish Iran was the message coming from the White House. Donald Rumsfeld himself was sent as President Ronald Reagan's personal envoy to Baghdad. Rumsfeld conveyed the bold message than an Iraq defeat would be viewed as a "strategic setback for the United States." This sleazy alliance was sealed with a handshake caught on videotape. When CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre replayed the footage for Rumsfeld in the spring of 2003, the secretary of defense snapped, "Where'd you get that? Iraqi television?"

The current crop of Iraq hawks also saw Saddam much differently then. Take the writer Laura Mylroie, sometime colleague of the New York Times' Judy Miller, who persists in peddling the ludicrous conspiracy that Iraq was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

How times have changed! In 1987, Mylroie felt downright cuddly toward Saddam. She wrote an article for the New Republic titled "Back Iraq: Time for a U.S. Tilt in the Mideast," arguing that the U.S. should publicly embrace Saddam's secular regime as a bulwark against the Islamic fundamentalists in Iran. The co-author of this mesmerizing weave of wonkery was none other than Daniel Pipes, perhaps the nation's most bellicose Islamophobe. "The American weapons that Iraq could make good use of include remotely scatterable and anti-personnel mines and counterartillery radar," wrote Mylroie and Pipes. "The United States might also consider upgrading intelligence it is supplying Baghdad."

In the rollout for the war, Mylroie seemed to be everywhere hawking the invasion of Iraq. She would often appear on two or three different networks in the same day. How did the reporter manage this feat? She had help in the form of Eleana Benador, the media placement guru who runs Benador Associates. Born in Peru, Benador parlayed her skills as a linguist into a lucrative career as media relations whiz for the Washington foreign policy elite. She also oversees the Middle East Forum, a fanatically pro-Zionist white paper mill. Her clients include some of the nation's most fervid hawks, including Michael Ledeen, Charles Krauthammer, Al Haig, Max Boot, Daniel Pipes, Richard Perle, and Judy Miller. During the Iraq war, Benador's assignment was to embed this squadron of pro-war zealots into the national media, on talk shows, and op-ed pages.

Benador not only got them the gigs, she also crafted the theme and made sure they all stayed on message. "There are some things, you just have to state them in a different way, in a slightly different way," said Benador. "If not, people get scared." Scared of intentions of their own government.

It could have been different. All of the holes in the Bush administration's gossamer case for war were right there for the mainstream press to expose. Instead, the U.S. press, just like the oil companies, sought to commercialize the Iraq war and profit from the invasions. They didn't want to deal with uncomfortable facts or present voices of dissent.

Nothing sums up this unctuous approach more brazenly than MSNBC's firing of liberal talk show host Phil Donahue on the eve of the war. The network replaced the Donahue Show with a running segment called Countdown: Iraq, featuring the usual nightly coterie of retired generals, security flacks, and other cheerleaders for invasion. The network's executives blamed the cancellation on sagging ratings. In fact, during its run Donahue's show attracted more viewers than any other program on the network. The real reason for the pre-emptive strike on Donahue was spelled out in an internal memo from anxious executives at NBC. Donahue, the memo said, offered "a difficult face for NBC in a time of war. He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives."

The memo warned that Donahue's show risked tarring MSNBC as an unpatriotic network, "a home for liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity." So, with scarcely a second thought, the honchos at MSNBC gave Donahue the boot and hoisted the battle flag.

It's war that sells.

There's a helluva caveat, of course. Once you buy it, the merchants of war accept no returns.

This essay is adapted from Grand Theft Pentagon.

[Mar 20, 2018] When public officials and former public officials -- like Shumer, Brennan and Power -- make such public statements it must necessarily have a chilling effect on public criticism of the security services

Notable quotes:
"... in reality -- the security services have the skills-sets and the abilities, to do damage anyone they want to do damage to -- and to probably get away with it. ..."
"... Fast forward to January, 2017 and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer telling MSNBC's Rachael Maddow that President-elect Donald Trump is "being really dumb" by criticizing the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia's cyber activities: Shumer: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you, So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this." No, Shumer wasn't joking. He was serious. ..."
"... Fast forward again to yesterday, March 17, 2018: Former CIA Director John Brennan wasn't joking when he reacted to the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe -- and President Donald Trump's tweeted celebration of it -- by tweeting this attack against Trump ..."
"... When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America. America will triumph over you. ..."
"... Obama UN Representative Samantha Power followed up on the Brennan tweet with this: "Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan." ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Kurt Gayle , March 19, 2018 at 9:34 am

Does Peter Van Buren's criticism of the CIA's Haspel put him at risk?

In the 2003 film "Love Actually" the British Prime Minister (played by Hugh Grant) jokes with a Downing Street employee Natalie (Martine McCutcheon):

"PM: You live with your husband? Boyfriend, three illegitimate but charming children? --
"NATALIE: No, I've just split up with my boyfriend, so I'm back with my mum and dad for a while.
"PM: Oh. I'm sorry.
"NATALIE: No, it's fine. I'm well shot of him. He said I was getting fat.
"PM: I beg your pardon?
"NATALIE: He said no one's going to fancy a girl with thighs the size of big tree trunks. Not a nice guy, actually, in the end.
"PM: Right You know, being Prime Minister, I could just have him murdered.
"NATALIE: Thank you, sir. I'll think about it.
"PM: Do -- the SAS are absolutely charming -- ruthless, trained killers are just a phone call away."

It's just a film. It's just a joke. But the joke works because the public knows that -- in reality -- the security services have the skills-sets and the abilities, to do damage anyone they want to do damage to -- and to probably get away with it.

Fast forward to January, 2017 and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer telling MSNBC's Rachael Maddow that President-elect Donald Trump is "being really dumb" by criticizing the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia's cyber activities: Shumer: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you, So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this." No, Shumer wasn't joking. He was serious.

Fast forward again to yesterday, March 17, 2018: Former CIA Director John Brennan wasn't joking when he reacted to the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe -- and President Donald Trump's tweeted celebration of it -- by tweeting this attack against Trump :

" When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America. America will triumph over you. "

Obama UN Representative Samantha Power followed up on the Brennan tweet with this: "Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan."

When public officials and former public officials -- like Shumer, Brennan and Power -- make such public statements it must necessarily have a chilling effect on public criticism of the security services.

After all, none of the three are joking. They're serious. And the American people know that they're serious.

Does Peter Van Buren's criticism of CIA operative Haspel put him at risk?

[Mar 18, 2018] Never underestimate the CIA by Nancy O'Brien Simpson

Notable quotes:
"... So, why now? Why this attempted assassination now? This is the question, dear reader. Why attempt to assassinate Mr. Skripal now? He was convicted of high treason 14 years ago. He has been in England for eight years. Russia knew at this point he was no threat to them with no new secrets to betray. What would be gained at this point by assassinating the man? ..."
"... None. However, if the CIA took him out, or paid unscrupulous foreign mercenaries to take him out, much could be gained. The narrative of big bad Putin, in his big bad Russia, would be reinforced. Now, not only is he meddling in elections, getting the dastardly Trump elected, he is using nerve gas to take out enemies on foreign soil. My god, what will be next? ..."
"... "If we don't take immediate concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used," said Haley. "They could be used here in New York or in cities of any country that sits on this council." CNN Politics ..."
Mar 18, 2018 | www.veteranstoday.com

Many in the USA have come to realize this stealth organization does not work on the behalf of the USA but rather to its own ends. And, in this realization, comes a jaded view of both the CIA and the government it represents.

This realization may have begun with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The Warren Commission, a congressional investigation was convened. The commission concluded there was a single lone shooter, a fringe outcast, Lee Harvey Oswald who acted alone in the assassination of the president. Many felt, in light of the facts, that the Warren Commission was a cover up of what really went down on November 22, 1963, in Houston, Texas.

In 1976, the Congress reopened the Kennedy investigation. They created The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) to investigate the assassination of John F. Kennedy (and Martin Luther King Jr.).

The HSCA completed its investigation in 1978 and determined the Warren Commission was faulty and there was more than one shooter and there was indeed a conspiracy to kill the president. So much for the official narrative of the Warren Commission.

Why the Warren Commission cover up back then that even the Congress in 1976 (HSCA) reported was bogus? One theory April 25, 1966, The New York Times wrote, "And, President Kennedy, as the enormity of the Bay of Pigs disaster came home to him, said to one of the highest officials of his Administration, that he wanted to splinter the C.I.A. in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds."

Kennedy was no fan of the Director of the C.I.A. Allen Dulles or his agency, and in the autumn of 1961 he purged the C.I.A. of Dulles and his entourage. This included Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell Jr. and and Deputy Director Charles Cabell. You do not mess with Allen Dulles and the C.I A. Let's leave it at that. Kennedy was dead within two years.

Then there is 9/11. This one also has a USA government narrative that defies logic. This time it is so blatant and egregious that an organization called "Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth" was founded by Richard Gage, an architect with vast experience in steel structured buildings and fire. The organization demands on official investigation by Congress into exactly how the buildings came down.

By December 2014, over 2,300 architectural and engineering professionals had signed a petition for this investigation. If one looks at controlled demolitions and how the buildings actually came down it is obvious the collapse was not due to an airplane flying into the buildings, but rather a controlled demolition. 2,300 architects and engineers with verified credentials all testify that the narrative of the government is patently false and scientifically implausible if not impossible.

At about nine a.m. the Twin Towers are crashed into and collapse. At about five twenty p.m. that same day, Building Seven collapses. No planes fly into Building 7, it just collapses. Again, the videos show a controlled demolition.

There are various theories as to why 7 WTC was taken down. Theories range from 7 WTC being the operation center for the demolition of the Twin Towers to more nefarious motives. "

According to a statement reported by the BBC , Loose Change film producer Dylan Avery thinks the destruction of the building was suspicious because it housed some unusual tenants, including a clandestine CIA office on the 25th floor, an outpost of the U.S. Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and New York City's emergency command center." Wikipedia

What is important to remember is that NO STEEL FRAME HIGH RISE HAS EVER TOTALLY COLLAPSED DUE TO FIRE.

These are but two examples of hundreds where we have been mislead by the official narrative of the government and its MSM news. Remember the Trump Dossier that was leaked and printed as fact? Or, the death of Seth Rich, a "botched" robbery? Or, the list of 200 news outlets in the USA that were Russian Propaganda fronts? All reported as fact by the New York Times and Washington Post. All fake news by the MSM fed to an unsuspecting American people.

So now we have Prime Minister, Teresa May, accusing Putin and Russia of the May 4 nerve agent attack of Sergei V. Skripal (66) and his daughter, Yulia (33), in Salibury, England. Both are in critical condition after being found unconscious on a bench outside The Maltings Shopping Center in Salibury.

As we all know Russia is the new Antichrist. The harbinger of all evil. The enemy we all must view with the utmost fear and loathing. Daily, the MSM in USA recoils as they report story after story of Russia meddling in our elections, shaking the very foundations of our democracy.

Let's get this straight. Mr. Skripal was convicted of high treason in Russia in 2004. He was not tortured, killed or murdered, rather he was allowed to settle in Britain after a spy swap in 2010. Sounds pretty friendly to me, considering that Putin is portrayed as a sadistic monster out to settle scores with those who cross him, by the Western media.

Teresa May called the act "reckless" and "indiscriminate", and basically said Putin put innocent English bystanders at risk. She upped the ante by dismissing 23 Russian diplomats, the largest such expulsion in thirty years.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused May of grandstanding in her response to the incident. Russian news agency Interfax reported that The Kremlin denies involvement in the nerve agent poisoning, insisting one motive was to complicate Russia's hosting of the World Cup this summer. Ah, dear Kremin, the motive was much deeper than the World Cup games, which were only a bonus to the attack.

So, why now? Why this attempted assassination now? This is the question, dear reader. Why attempt to assassinate Mr. Skripal now? He was convicted of high treason 14 years ago. He has been in England for eight years. Russia knew at this point he was no threat to them with no new secrets to betray. What would be gained at this point by assassinating the man?

None. However, if the CIA took him out, or paid unscrupulous foreign mercenaries to take him out, much could be gained. The narrative of big bad Putin, in his big bad Russia, would be reinforced. Now, not only is he meddling in elections, getting the dastardly Trump elected, he is using nerve gas to take out enemies on foreign soil. My god, what will be next?

Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the UN tells us, "The United States of America believes that Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent," Haley said in her remarks at a UN Security Council emergency session, blasting the Russian government for flouting international law.

"If we don't take immediate concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used," said Haley. "They could be used here in New York or in cities of any country that sits on this council." CNN Politics

The USA needs an enemy to foment fear to justify it's astronomical defense budget. It just loves a good cold war. However, now that Russia is no longer a pinko commie nation to be demonized, and is indeed a capitalist democracy, we have to resurrect a new straw man to hate.

It is remarkable the degree to which the liberal left has bought into this industrial-military-complex narrative. The USA always has to be bombing someone, droning someone or napalming someone to keep the monies flowing into the defense budget. Take a look at our spending compared to Russia or other nations.

Alas, it is certainly not out of the question that the CIA was behind the attack. After this amount of time Mr. Putin had nothing to gain in assassinating Mr. Skripal and his daughter. In fact, he had a lot to lose. The CIA? They had a lot to gain, and nothing to lose. Never underestimate the CIA and its brilliance in setting the narrative for its agenda. And, never underestimate Mr. Putin in his resolve not to become their lapdog.

Ms. Simpson was a radio personality in New York. She was a staff writer for The Liberty Report. A PBS documentary was done on her activism for human rights. She is a psychotherapist and political commentator.

[Mar 16, 2018] How the Iraq War Destabilized the Entire Middle East

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

How the Iraq War Destabilized the Entire Middle East by Mel Goodman

Photo by The U.S. Army | CC BY 2.0

As we approach the fifteenth anniversary of the unwarranted invasion of Iraq, which we are still paying for in so many ways, it is important to remember the misuse of intelligence that provided a false justification for war. It is particularly important to do so at this time because President Donald Trump has talked about a military option against North Korea or Iran (or Venezuela for that matter). Since there is no cause to justify such wars, it is quite likely that politicized intelligence would once again be used to provide a justification for audiences at home and abroad.

In 2002 and 2003, the White House, the Department of Defense, and the Central Intelligence Agency collaborated in an effort to describe the false likelihood of a nuclear weapons program that had to be stopped. In the words of Bush administration officials, the United States was not going to allow the "smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." On September 8, 2002, Vice President Cheney and national security adviser Condi Rice used that phrase on CNN and NBC's "Meet the Press," respectively, to argue that Saddam Hussein was "using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon."

In October 2002, the CIA orchestrated a national intelligence estimate to argue falsely that Iraq was acquiring uranium from Niger for use in a nuclear weapon. Senior officials throughout the intelligence community knew that the so-called Niger report was a fabrication produced by members of the Italian military intelligence service, and several intelligence officials informed Congressional and White House officials that they doubted the reports of Iraqi purchases of uranium from Niger. Nevertheless, the national intelligence estimate spun a fictitious tale of a clear and present danger based on false reports of alleged stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons; nuclear weapons; unmanned aerial vehicles; and ties between Iraq and al Qaeda that were nonexistent.

In December 2002, President George W. Bush found the CIA's case for war inadequate and asked for "something that Joe Public would understand or gain a lot of confidence from." Bush turned to CIA director George Tenet and remarked, "I've been given all this intelligence about Iraq having WMD and this is the best we've got?" Instead of being truthful, Tenet replied, "Don't worry, it's a slam dunk!" Several days later, Alan Foley, the chief of the Weapons Intelligence, Proliferation and Arms Control Staff, told his analysts to prepare a briefing for the president. "If the president wants intelligence to support a decision to go to war," Foley said, "then it is up to the agency to provide it." In early January, CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin gave the phony "slam dunk" briefing at the White House.

The Pentagon's Office of Special Plans distributed the unsubstantiated and flawed intelligence that not even the CIA would vouch for. The Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith supplied bogus intelligence to the White House on Iraqi WMD and links to terrorist organizations to make the case for war, and then "leaked" this intelligence to key journalists such as Judith Miller at The New York Times . Miller had a front page article in the Times on September 8, 2002, citing administration officials claiming that Saddam was seeking "specially designed" aluminum tubes to enrich uranium, the so-called "smoking gun." Several days later, President Bush inserted the Times' claim in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

The aluminum tube issue was central to Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech to the UN in February 2003, which was based on the phony CIA estimate from October 2002. As Powell's chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson wrote in The New York Times in February 2018, the secretary's "gravitas was a significant part of the Bush administration's two-year-long effort to get Americans on the war wagon. It was CIA Deputy Director McLaughlin who lied to Secretary of State Powell about the reliability of the intelligence in Powell's speech. McLaughlin was the central advocate for the phony intelligence on mobile biological laboratories that ended up in that speech.

President Bush would have gone to war with or without intelligence, and once again we are confronted by a president who might consider going to war with or without intelligence. Fifteen years ago, we had a CIA director from Capitol Hill who was loyal to the president and unwilling to tell truth to power. Once again, we have a CIA director, Gina Haspel, who is a White House loyalist and cannot be counted on to tell truth to power. She was one of the Agency's leading cheerleaders for torture and abuse, and sent the message that order the destruction of the torture tapes. And former CIA director Mike Pompeo, a neoconservative hardliner, is now secretary of state, who earned his new position by being a total loyalist who would never tell truth to power. Is there a voice for moderation left in the White House?

Bush's war destabilized the entire Middle East. Any Trump war could lead to the use of nuclear weapons that would destabilize the entire world.

[Mar 16, 2018] Will the State Department Become a Subsidiary of the CIA

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... is an ex-geek turned writer and editor. He hails from Boston and writes about whatever distortions of reality strike his fancy. Currently, he's pedaling a novel chronicling the lives and times of members of a cell of terrorists in Europe, completing a collection of essays on high technology delusions, and can be found barking at progressivepilgrim.review. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

March 15, 2018 Will the State Department Become a Subsidiary of the CIA? by Geoff Dutton

Photo by Mark Taylor | CC BY 2.0

I wonder how Rex Tillerson feels about being the first high-level federal official to be fired publically and online, in one brutal tweet. I'm sure he expected the hammer to come down on him, but not like that. And I wonder if he will come forward to describe what led up to it. Unlikely, as he's an extremely wealthy and still influential corporate player who would have little to gain from telling all. Still, some intrepid journalist should take Rex to lunch and encourage him to cry in his beer.

The events unfurled in typical chaotic Trumpian fashion. According to The Atlantic,

The White House said Tuesday that Tillerson was informed last Friday that he would be replaced as secretary of state. But the statement released Tuesday by Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, suggested Tillerson did not see it coming until he saw the president's tweet Tuesday morning that he would be replaced by Mike Pompeo, the CIA director. Goldstein himself has been fired since making the statement.

Chief of Staff John Kelly claimed to have informed Tillerson three days previously that a tweet would be forthcoming, and let it hang. That's how long it took for the triumvirate behind the throne (Kelly, DoD Secretary James Mattis, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster) to line up a B team. These military officers have become Trump's minders, nudging him toward decisions that implement deep state war plans. John Grant writes in CounterPunch :

The ex-Nixon dirty trickster Roger Stone, who Kelly blocked from Trump access, is cited in Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House as telling people, "Mattis, McMaster and Kelly had agreed that no military action would ever be taken unless the three were in accord -- and that at least one of them would always remain in Washington if the others were away."

And so, here we have a junta minding the store whose collective wisdom had determined that State under Tilllerson wasn't accommodating US bellicosity as enthusiastically as it should. Their solution? Elevate CIA Chief Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson. Pompeo, whom NPR glowingly described as having "an extraordinary résumé. He graduated at the top of his class at West Point. He served as a tank officer in Europe. He went to Harvard Law School." He's also a bombastic Tea-Party Republican and a national security hawk who takes a hard line no matter what crisis is at hand. I'm sure that résumé will be useful in convincing North Korea to disarm and Putin to back off from Syria. At least, that seems to be the troika's current calculus. Trump seems amenable to their choice: "With Mike, we've had a very good chemistry from the beginning," he told reporters. And Pompeo says he's equally chill with the Tweeter-in-Chief: "We have a half-hour, 40 minutes every day. He asks lots of hard questions as any good intelligence consumer would. He's very engaged."

Before that hammer hit Tillerson, they had already cleared the way to replace Pompeo with seasoned spook Gina Haspel, who proved her loyalty to the Company by destroying evidence of systematic torture. "She ran the 'black site' prison in Thailand where al-Qaida suspect Abu Zabaydah was waterboarded 83 times," NPR reported last winter. "Those sessions were videotaped but the tapes were destroyed in 2005, two years after a member of Congress called on the CIA to preserve such tapes." Who ordered or at least expedited their destruction? Gina Haspel herself. Running a torture center was a "dirty job," John Bennett, the chief of the CIA's clandestine service at the time later told NPR, but Gina bravely stepped up to do it. " it was not only legal but necessary for the safety of the country. And they did it – Gina did it – because they felt it was their duty."

Obama apparently felt that way, since he declined to prosecute any CIA officials for engaging in torture. Had he had the guts to go after them, Gina might be wearing a jumpsuit now instead of a business suit. As Dexter Filkins wrote in the New Yorker last year after Trump named Haspel Deputy Director,

When Obama took office, in 2009, he declared that he would not prosecute anyone involved in the C.I.A.'s interrogation programs, not even senior officers, among whom Haspel was one. At the time, Obama said he wanted to look forward and not back. But the past, as Obama well knows, never goes away. With the prospect of American torture looming again, I wonder if Obama regrets his decision. After all, people like Haspel, quite plausibly, could have gone to prison.

When Edward Snowden heard of her advancement, he tweeted ( March 13, 2018 )

Interesting: The new CIA Director Haspel, who "tortured some folks," probably can't travel to the EU to meet other spy chiefs without facing arrest due to an @ECCHRBerlin complaint to Germany's federal prosecutor. Details: https://t.co/7q4euQKtm7

Such team spirit clearly deserves a promotion. A round of applause, then, for Gina Haspel, someone who has known no calling besides black ops, winner of the George H. W. Bush Award for excellence in counterterrorism, and the first of her sex to crash through CIA's bulletproof glass ceiling to the Director's office. Her résumé implies she must have been born at Langley HQ. There's no paper trail for her prior to 1985, when she joined the agency.

The one bright spot is that both Pompeo and Haspel will have to testify before Congress votes of on their appointments. John McCain and Ron Wyden are already on record as being opposed to Haspel's appointment. Intense public pressure may help to drag skeltons of torture victims out of the agency's closet, but don't expect it to matter. The deep state is used to getting what it wants and doesn't let things like due process get in the way.

Now that the Department of State is to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the CIA, America can rest easy. No more mister nice guy. Diplomacy is for wimps. Let's show all those upstart nations and that upstart commander-in-chief who's boss. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Geoff Dutton

Geoff Dutton is an ex-geek turned writer and editor. He hails from Boston and writes about whatever distortions of reality strike his fancy. Currently, he's pedaling a novel chronicling the lives and times of members of a cell of terrorists in Europe, completing a collection of essays on high technology delusions, and can be found barking at progressivepilgrim.review.

[Mar 13, 2018] The CIA takeover of the Democratic Party by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
"... If on November 6 the Democratic Party makes the net gain of 24 seats needed to win control of the House of Representatives, former CIA agents, military commanders, and State Department officials will provide the margin of victory and hold the balance of power in Congress. ..."
"... Since its establishment in 1947 -- under the administration of Democratic President Harry Truman -- the CIA has been legally barred from carrying out within the United States the activities which were its mission overseas: spying, infiltration, political provocation, assassination. These prohibitions were given official lip service but ignored in practice. ..."
"... The Church Committee in particular featured the exposure of CIA assassination plots against foreign leaders like Fidel Castro, Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, General Rene Schneider in Chile, and many others. More horrors were uncovered: MK-Ultra, in which the CIA secretly subjected unwitting victims to experimentation with drugs like LSD; ..."
"... Operation Mockingbird, in which the CIA recruited journalists to plant stories and smear opponents; Operation Chaos, an effort to spy on the antiwar movement and sow disruption; Operation Shamrock, under which the telecommunications companies shared traffic with the NSA for more than a quarter century. ..."
"... The Church and Pike committee exposures, despite their limitations, had a devastating political effect. The CIA and its allied intelligence organizations in the Pentagon and NSA became political lepers, reviled as the enemies of democratic rights. The CIA in particular was widely viewed as "Murder Incorporated." ..."
"... The last 15 years have seen a massive expansion of the CIA and other intelligence agencies, backed by an avalanche of media propaganda, with endless television programs and movies glorifying American spies and assassins ..."
"... Zero Dark Thirty ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The media campaign alleging Russian intervention in the 2016 US elections has been based entirely on handouts from the CIA, NSA and FBI, transmitted by reporters who are either unwitting stooges or conscious agents of the military-intelligence apparatus. This has been accompanied by the recruitment of a cadre of top CIA and military officials to serve as highly paid "experts" and "analysts" for the television networks . ..."
"... This process was well under way in the administration of Barack Obama, which endorsed and expanded the various operations of the intelligence agencies abroad and within the United States. Obama's endorsed successor, Hillary Clinton, ran openly as the chosen candidate of the Pentagon and CIA, touting her toughness as a future commander-in-chief and pledging to escalate the confrontation with Russia, both in Syria and Ukraine. ..."
"... The CIA has spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign against Trump in large part because of resentment over the disruption of its operations in Syria, and it has successfully used the campaign to force a shift in the policy of the Trump administration on that score. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The 2018 election campaign marks a new stage: for the first time, military-intelligence operatives are moving in large numbers to take over a political party and seize a major role in Congress. The dozens of CIA and military veterans running in the Democratic Party primaries are "former" agents of the military-intelligence apparatus. This "retired" status is, however, purely nominal. Joining the CIA or the Army Rangers or the Navy SEALs is like joining the Mafia: no one ever actually leaves; they just move on to new assignments. ..."
"... The author also recommends: ..."
Mar 13, 2018 | www.wsws.org

In a three-part series published last week, the World Socialist Web Site documented an unprecedented influx of intelligence and military operatives into the Democratic Party. More than 50 such military-intelligence candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination in the 102 districts identified by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as its targets for 2018. These include both vacant seats and those with Republican incumbents considered vulnerable in the event of a significant swing to the Democrats.

If on November 6 the Democratic Party makes the net gain of 24 seats needed to win control of the House of Representatives, former CIA agents, military commanders, and State Department officials will provide the margin of victory and hold the balance of power in Congress. The presence of so many representatives of the military-intelligence apparatus in the legislature is a situation without precedent in the history of the United States.

Since its establishment in 1947 -- under the administration of Democratic President Harry Truman -- the CIA has been legally barred from carrying out within the United States the activities which were its mission overseas: spying, infiltration, political provocation, assassination. These prohibitions were given official lip service but ignored in practice.

In the wake of the Watergate crisis and the forced resignation of President Richard Nixon, reporter Seymour Hersh published the first devastating exposure of the CIA domestic spying, in an investigative report for the New York Times on December 22, 1974. This report triggered the establishment of the Rockefeller Commission, a White House effort at damage control, and Senate and House select committees, named after their chairmen, Senator Frank Church and Representative Otis Pike, which conducted hearings and made serious attempts to investigate and expose the crimes of the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

The Church Committee in particular featured the exposure of CIA assassination plots against foreign leaders like Fidel Castro, Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, General Rene Schneider in Chile, and many others. More horrors were uncovered: MK-Ultra, in which the CIA secretly subjected unwitting victims to experimentation with drugs like LSD;

Operation Mockingbird, in which the CIA recruited journalists to plant stories and smear opponents; Operation Chaos, an effort to spy on the antiwar movement and sow disruption; Operation Shamrock, under which the telecommunications companies shared traffic with the NSA for more than a quarter century.

The Church and Pike committee exposures, despite their limitations, had a devastating political effect. The CIA and its allied intelligence organizations in the Pentagon and NSA became political lepers, reviled as the enemies of democratic rights. The CIA in particular was widely viewed as "Murder Incorporated."

In that period, it would have been unthinkable either for dozens of "former" military-intelligence operatives to participate openly in electoral politics, or for them to be welcomed and even recruited by the two corporate-controlled parties. The Democrats and Republicans sought to distance themselves, at least for public relations purposes, from the spy apparatus, while the CIA publicly declared that it would no longer recruit or pay American journalists to publish material originating in Langley, Virginia. Even in the 1980s, the Iran-Contra scandal involved the exposure of the illegal operations of the Reagan administration's CIA director, William Casey.

How times have changed. One of the main functions of the "war on terror," launched in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, has been to rehabilitate the US spy apparatus and give it a public relations makeover as the supposed protector of the American people against terrorism.

This meant disregarding the well-known connections between Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders and the CIA, which recruited them for the anti-Soviet guerrilla war in Afghanistan, waged from 1979 to 1989, as well as the still unexplained role of the US intelligence agencies in facilitating the 9/11 attacks themselves.

The last 15 years have seen a massive expansion of the CIA and other intelligence agencies, backed by an avalanche of media propaganda, with endless television programs and movies glorifying American spies and assassins ( 24 , Homeland , Zero Dark Thirty , etc.)

The American media has been directly recruited to this effort. Judith Miller of the New York Times , with her reports on "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, is only the most notorious of the stable of "plugged-in" intelligence-connected journalists at the Times , the Washington Post , and the major television networks. More recently, the Times has installed as its editorial page editor James Bennet, brother of a Democratic senator and son of the former administrator of the Agency for International Development, which has been accused of working as a front for the operations of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The media campaign alleging Russian intervention in the 2016 US elections has been based entirely on handouts from the CIA, NSA and FBI, transmitted by reporters who are either unwitting stooges or conscious agents of the military-intelligence apparatus. This has been accompanied by the recruitment of a cadre of top CIA and military officials to serve as highly paid "experts" and "analysts" for the television networks .

In centering its opposition to Trump on the bogus allegations of Russian interference, while essentially ignoring Trump's attacks on immigrants and democratic rights, his alignment with ultra-right and white supremacist groups, his attacks on social programs like Medicaid and food stamps, and his militarism and threats of nuclear war, the Democratic Party has embraced the agenda of the military-intelligence apparatus and sought to become its main political voice.

This process was well under way in the administration of Barack Obama, which endorsed and expanded the various operations of the intelligence agencies abroad and within the United States. Obama's endorsed successor, Hillary Clinton, ran openly as the chosen candidate of the Pentagon and CIA, touting her toughness as a future commander-in-chief and pledging to escalate the confrontation with Russia, both in Syria and Ukraine.

The CIA has spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign against Trump in large part because of resentment over the disruption of its operations in Syria, and it has successfully used the campaign to force a shift in the policy of the Trump administration on that score. A chorus of media backers -- Nicholas Kristof and Roger Cohen of the New York Times , the entire editorial board of the Washington Post , most of the television networks -- are part of the campaign to pollute public opinion and whip up support on alleged "human rights" grounds for an expansion of the US war in Syria.

The 2018 election campaign marks a new stage: for the first time, military-intelligence operatives are moving in large numbers to take over a political party and seize a major role in Congress. The dozens of CIA and military veterans running in the Democratic Party primaries are "former" agents of the military-intelligence apparatus. This "retired" status is, however, purely nominal. Joining the CIA or the Army Rangers or the Navy SEALs is like joining the Mafia: no one ever actually leaves; they just move on to new assignments.

The CIA operation in 2018 is unlike its overseas activities in one major respect: it is not covert. On the contrary, the military-intelligence operatives running in the Democratic primaries boast of their careers as spies and special ops warriors. Those with combat experience invariably feature photographs of themselves in desert fatigues or other uniforms on their websites. And they are welcomed and given preferred positions, with Democratic Party officials frequently clearing the field for their candidacies.

The working class is confronted with an extraordinary political situation. On the one hand, the Republican Trump administration has more military generals in top posts than any other previous government. On the other hand, the Democratic Party has opened its doors to a "friendly takeover" by the intelligence agencies.

The incredible power of the military-intelligence agencies over the entire government is an expression of the breakdown of American democracy. The central cause of this breakdown is the extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny elite, whose interests the state apparatus and its "bodies of armed men" serve. Confronted by an angry and hostile working class, the ruling class is resorting to ever more overt forms of authoritarian rule.

Millions of working people want to fight the Trump administration and its ultra-right policies. But it is impossible to carry out this fight through the "axis of evil" that connects the Democratic Party, the bulk of the corporate media, and the CIA. The influx of military-intelligence candidates puts paid to the longstanding myth, peddled by the trade unions and pseudo-left groups, that the Democrats represent a "lesser evil." On the contrary, working people must confront the fact that within the framework of the corporate-controlled two-party system, they face two equally reactionary evils.

Patrick Martin

The author also recommends:

Palace coup or class struggle: The political crisis in Washington and the strategy of the working class

[Mar 13, 2018] The CIA Democrats: Part one by Patrick Martin

Brennanization of the Democratic Party
Notable quotes:
"... If the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives on November 6, as widely predicted, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress. They will hold the balance of power in the lower chamber of Congress. ..."
"... Both push and pull are at work here. Democratic Party leaders are actively recruiting candidates with a military or intelligence background for competitive seats where there is the best chance of ousting an incumbent Republican or filling a vacancy, frequently clearing the field for a favored "star" recruit. ..."
"... The Democratic leaders are promoting CIA agents and Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. At the same time, such people are choosing the Democratic Party as their preferred political vehicle. ..."
Mar 07, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Introduction

An extraordinary number of former intelligence and military operatives from the CIA, Pentagon, National Security Council and State Department are seeking nomination as Democratic candidates for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. The potential influx of military-intelligence personnel into the legislature has no precedent in US political history.

If the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives on November 6, as widely predicted, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress. They will hold the balance of power in the lower chamber of Congress.

Both push and pull are at work here. Democratic Party leaders are actively recruiting candidates with a military or intelligence background for competitive seats where there is the best chance of ousting an incumbent Republican or filling a vacancy, frequently clearing the field for a favored "star" recruit.

A case in point is Elissa Slotkin, a former CIA operative with three tours in Iraq, who worked as Iraq director for the National Security Council in the Obama White House and as a top aide to John Negroponte, the first director of national intelligence. After her deep involvement in US war crimes in Iraq, Slotkin moved to the Pentagon, where, as a principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, her areas of responsibility included drone warfare, "homeland defense" and cyber warfare.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has designated Slotkin as one of its top candidates, part of the so-called "Red to Blue" program targeting the most vulnerable Republican-held seats -- in this case, the Eighth Congressional District of Michigan, which includes Lansing and Brighton. The House seat for the district is now held by two-term Republican Representative Mike Bishop.

The Democratic leaders are promoting CIA agents and Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. At the same time, such people are choosing the Democratic Party as their preferred political vehicle. There are far more former spies and soldiers seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party than of the Republican Party. There are so many that there is a subset of Democratic primary campaigns that, with a nod to Mad magazine, one might call "spy vs. spy."

[Mar 12, 2018] Man Cited As Trump's Russian Link Actually Works For The FBI Zero Hedge

Mar 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Felix Sater, the man at the center of a controversial email "tying" President Trump to Russia while trying to work a business deal, has come forward in a comprehensive BuzzFeed News Exposé, which if Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Anthony Cormier and co-author Jason Leopold hadn't verified - nobody would believe.

Sater went from a "Wall Street wunderkind" working at Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, to getting barred from the securities industry over a barroom brawl which led to a year in prison, to facilitating a $40 million pump-and-dump stock scheme for the New York mafia, to working telecom deals in Russia - where the FBI and CIA tapped him as an undercover intelligence asset who was told by his handler " I want you to understand: If you're caught, the USA is going to disavow you and, at best, you get a bullet in the head ."

... ... ...

Meanwhile, Sater is still working for the FBI , according to two current FBI agents. Moreover, he has relationships with at least six members of Robert Mueller's team, "some going back more than 10 years."

To this day, Sater continues to cooperate with the FBI and Justice Department, he said in his statement to the House Intelligence Committee. He wouldn't disclose additional details, except to say that he works on "international matters." Two US officials confirmed Sater continues to be a reliable asset.

As for his regular life, when he relocated back to the US in 2010, he recalled, "Donald said, 'Where have you been?'" Sater said Trump asked him to join the Trump Organization. "That's when I became senior advisor to him," he said. The Trump Organization and the White House declined to comment. - BuzzFeed

In effect, Sater - at least according to BuzzFeed , is more or less a rockstar opportunist spy with a shady past, who redeemed himself as an asset for the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI. During the course of his work for the agencies, all unpaid, BuzzFeed confirmed the following exploits:

[Mar 12, 2018] Obama's has continued his neoliberal ways after leaving office. Obama was NOT forced into neoliberal positions by terrible Repugs like his Obamabot apologists claimed repeatedly

Highly recommended!
It looks more and more that Obama was closely connected to CIA...
Mar 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Mar 12, 2018 11:34:17 AM | 23

In his March 9th show (thanks ben@2!), Jimmy Dore talks about how Obama's has continued his neoliberal ways after leaving office. Obama was NOT forced into neoliberal positions by terrible Repugs like his Obamabot apologists claimed repeatedly.

[Mar 11, 2018] The Russians are Coming: Any resemblance in this story to real people and events is merely coincidental

Notable quotes:
"... In February 2018, former CIA director John Brennan, the man who fed the Russian "hacking" story to the House Intelligence Committee, became a senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC and MSNBC in what has become standard revolving door practice between government and the corporate world. ..."
"... And he certainly knows something about hacking, as he was forced to admit, after first lying about it, that his CIA hacked the computers of Senate staffers who were investigating the agency's role in torturing prisoners. A man the MSM apparently regard as having impeccable credentials for truth telling. ..."
"... There's no downside to making even the most absurd claims about Russia and Trump, no penalty for fabrications, misrepresentations, or getting facts wrong. If they were honest, their ledes might read: "This fictional news report is loosely based on a true story." Or: "Any resemblance in this story to real people and events is merely coincidental." ..."
Mar 11, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

In February 2018, former CIA director John Brennan, the man who fed the Russian "hacking" story to the House Intelligence Committee, became a senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC and MSNBC in what has become standard revolving door practice between government and the corporate world. Brennan was a well-known advocate for the CIA's rendition and torture program, spying on its critics, and its use of drone bombings and assassinations in the Middle East. And he certainly knows something about hacking, as he was forced to admit, after first lying about it, that his CIA hacked the computers of Senate staffers who were investigating the agency's role in torturing prisoners. A man the MSM apparently regard as having impeccable credentials for truth telling.

If the Russia "hacking" story has no legs, the more interesting piece of news is the organized efforts of the Democrats and some Republicans to bring down Trump and turn over the White House to theocrat Mike Pence. Mainstream pundits and reporters are churning out unsubstantiated speculations about Russia and Trump by the hour. A number of Democrats, military brass, and mercenary journalist (and former country club caddy) Thomas Friedman have characterized alleged Russian intervention as a new "Pearl Harbor" or "9/11," thereby building a case for war and for treason against the president. There's no downside to making even the most absurd claims about Russia and Trump, no penalty for fabrications, misrepresentations, or getting facts wrong. If they were honest, their ledes might read: "This fictional news report is loosely based on a true story." Or: "Any resemblance in this story to real people and events is merely coincidental."

[Mar 08, 2018] Given the CrowdStrike itself is a massively compromised organization due to its founder and CEO, those "certified true images" are themselves tainted evidence

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... To be precise, CrowdStrike did provide the FBI with allegedly "certified true images" of the DNC servers allegedly involved in the alleged "hack." They also allegedly provided these images to FireEye and Mandiant, IIRC ..."
"... Of course, given the CrowdStrike itself is a massively compromised organization due to its founder and CEO, those "certified true images" are themselves tainted evidence. ..."
"... In addition, regardless of whether the images were true or not, the evidence allegedly contained therein is painfully inadequate to confirm that APT28 or APT29 were involved, nor that the Russian government was involved, or even that there was a real hack involved, and even less evidence that any emails that might have been exfiltrated were given to Wikileaks as opposed to another leak such as that alleged by Sy Hersh to have been done by Seth Rich. ..."
Mar 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Richardstevenhack , 07 March 2018 at 06:23 PM

Re this: " In the case of Russian meddling there is no forensic evidence available to the IC because the Democratic National Committee did not permit the FBI to investigate and examine the computers and the network that was allegedly attacked."

To be precise, CrowdStrike did provide the FBI with allegedly "certified true images" of the DNC servers allegedly involved in the alleged "hack." They also allegedly provided these images to FireEye and Mandiant, IIRC .

All three allegedly examined those images and concurred with CrowdStrike's analysis.

Of course, given the CrowdStrike itself is a massively compromised organization due to its founder and CEO, those "certified true images" are themselves tainted evidence.

In addition, regardless of whether the images were true or not, the evidence allegedly contained therein is painfully inadequate to confirm that APT28 or APT29 were involved, nor that the Russian government was involved, or even that there was a real hack involved, and even less evidence that any emails that might have been exfiltrated were given to Wikileaks as opposed to another leak such as that alleged by Sy Hersh to have been done by Seth Rich.

The "assessment" that Putin ordered any of this is pure mind-reading and can be utterly dismissed absent any of the other evidence Publius points out as necessary.

The same applies to any "estimate" that the Russian government preferred Trump or wished to denigrate Clinton. Based on what I read in pro-Russian news outlets, Russian officials took great pains to not pick sides and Putin's comments were similarly very restrained. The main quote from Putin about Trump that emerged was mistranslated as approval whereas it was more an observation of Trump's personality. At no time did Putin ever say he favored Trump over Clinton, even though that was a likely probability given Clinton's "Hitler" comparison.

As an aside, I also recommend Scott Ritter's trashing of the ICA. Ritter is familiar with intelligence estimates and their reliability based on his previous service as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq and in Russia implementing arms control treaties.

Exposing The Man Behind The Curtain
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/exposing-the-man-behind-the-curtain_us_5877887be4b05b7a465df6a4

Throwing a Curveball at 'Intelligence Community Consensus' on Russia
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/did-17-intelligence-agencies-really-come-to-consensus-on-russia/

His analysis of the NSA document leaked by NSA contractor Reality Winner which supposedly supported the Russia theory is also relevant.

Leaked NSA Report Is Short on Facts, Proves Little in 'Russiagate' Case
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/leaked-nsa-report-is-short-on-facts-proves-little-in-russiagate-case/

[Mar 08, 2018] A key piece of evidence pointing to 'Guccifer 2.0' being a fake personality created by the conspirators in their attempt to disguise the fact that the materials from the DNC published by 'WikiLeaks' were obtained by a leak rather than a hack had to do with the involvement of the former GCHQ person Matt Tait.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What has however become clear in recent days is that the 'Gerasimov Doctrine' was not invented by its supposed author, but by a British academic, Mark Galeotti, who has now confessed – although in a way clearly designed to maintain as much of the 'narrative' as possible. ..."
"... Three days ago, an article by Galleoti appeared in 'Foreign Policy' entitled 'I'm Sorry for Creating the "Gerasimov Doctrine": I was the first to write about Russia's infamous high-tech military strategy. One small problem: it doesn't exist.' ..."
"... The translation of the original article by Gerasimov with annotations by Galeotti which provoked the whole hysteria turns out to be a classic example of what I am inclined to term 'bad Straussianism.' ..."
"... What Strauss would have called the 'exoteric' meaning of the article quite clearly has to do with defensive strategies aimed at combatting the kind of Western 'régime change' projects about which people like those who write for 'Lawfare' are so enthusiastic. But Galeotti tells us that this is, at least partially, a cover for an 'esoteric' meaning, which has to do with offensive actions in Ukraine and similar places. ..."
Mar 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk , 08 March 2018 at 10:28 AM

PT and all,

More material on the British end of the conspiracy.

Commenting on an earlier piece by PT, I suggested that a key piece of evidence pointing to 'Guccifer 2.0' being a fake personality created by the conspirators in their attempt to disguise the fact that the materials from the DNC published by 'WikiLeaks' were obtained by a leak rather than a hack had to do with the involvement of the former GCHQ person Matt Tait.

(See http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/02/pieces-of-the-coup-puzzle-fall-into-place-by-publius-tacitus.html .)

To recapitulate: Back in June 2016, hard on the heels of the claim by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'CrowdStrike' to have identified clinching evidence making the GRU prime suspects, Tait announced that, although initially unconvinced, he had found a 'smoking gun' in the 'metadata' of the documents released by 'Guccifer 2.0.'

A key part of this was the use by someone modifying a document of 'Felix Edmundovich' – the name and patronymic of Dzerzhinsky, the Lithuanian-Polish noble who created the Soviet secret police.

As I noted, Tait was generally identified as a former GCHQ employee who now ran a consultancy called 'Capital Alpha Security.' However, checking Companies House records revealed that he had filed 'dormant accounts' for the company. So it looks as though the company was simply a 'front', designed to fool 'useful idiots' into believing he was an objective analyst.

As I also noted in those comments, Tait writes the 'Lawfare' blog, one of whose founders, Benjamin Wittes, looks as though he may himself have been involved in the conspiracy up to the hilt. Furthermore, a secure income now appears to have been provided to replace that from the non-existent consultancy, in the shape of a position at the 'Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law', run by Robert Chesney, a co-founder with Wittes of 'Lawfare.'

A crucial part of the story, however, is that the notion of GRU responsibility for the supposed 'hacks' appears to be part of a wider 'narrative' about the supposed 'Gerasimov Doctrine.' From the 'View from Langley' provided to Bret Stephens by CIA Director Mike Pompeo at the 'Aspen Security Forum' last July:

'I hearken back to something called the Gerasimov doctrine from the early 70s, he's now the head of the – I'm a Cold War guy, forgive me if I mention Soviet Union. He's now the head of the Russian army and his idea was that you can win wars without firing a single shot or with firing very few shots in ways that are decidedly not militaristic, and that's what's happened. What changes is the costs; to effectuate change through cyber and through RT and Sputnik, their news outlets, and through other soft means; has just really been lowered, right. It used to be it was expensive to run an ad on a television station now you simply go online and propagate your message. And so they have they have found an effective tool, an easy way to go reach into our systems, and into our culture to achieve the outcomes they are looking for.'

(See https://aspensecurityforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/The-View-from-Langley.pdf .)

What has however become clear in recent days is that the 'Gerasimov Doctrine' was not invented by its supposed author, but by a British academic, Mark Galeotti, who has now confessed – although in a way clearly designed to maintain as much of the 'narrative' as possible.

Three days ago, an article by Galleoti appeared in 'Foreign Policy' entitled 'I'm Sorry for Creating the "Gerasimov Doctrine": I was the first to write about Russia's infamous high-tech military strategy. One small problem: it doesn't exist.'

(See http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/05/im-sorry-for-creating-the-gerasimov-doctrine/ .)

A key paragraph:

'Gerasimov was actually talking about how the Kremlin understands what happened in the "Arab Spring" uprisings, the "color revolutions" against pro-Moscow regimes in Russia's neighborhood, and in due course Ukraine's "Maidan" revolt. The Russians honestly – however wrongly – believe that these were not genuine protests against brutal and corrupt governments, but regime changes orchestrated in Washington, or rather, Langley. This wasn't a "doctrine" as the Russians understand it, for future adventures abroad: Gerasimov was trying to work out how to fight, not promote, such uprisings at home.'

The translation of the original article by Gerasimov with annotations by Galeotti which provoked the whole hysteria turns out to be a classic example of what I am inclined to term 'bad Straussianism.'

(See https://inmoscowsshadows.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/the-gerasimov-doctrine-and-russian-non-linear-war/ .)

What Strauss would have called the 'exoteric' meaning of the article quite clearly has to do with defensive strategies aimed at combatting the kind of Western 'régime change' projects about which people like those who write for 'Lawfare' are so enthusiastic. But Galeotti tells us that this is, at least partially, a cover for an 'esoteric' meaning, which has to do with offensive actions in Ukraine and similar places.

Having now read the text of the article, I can see a peculiar irony in it. In a section entitled 'You Can't Generate Ideas On Command', Gerasimov suggests that 'The state of Russian military science today cannot be compared with the flowering of military-theoretical thought in our country on the eve of World War II.'

According to the 'exoteric' meaning of the article, it is not possible to blame anyone in particular for this situation. But Gerasimov goes on on to remark that, while at the time of that flowering there were 'no people with higher degrees' or 'academic schools or departments', there were 'extraordinary personalities with brilliant ideas', who he terms 'fanatics in the best sense of the word.'

Again, Galeotti discounts the suggestion that nobody is to blame, assuming an 'esoteric meaning', and remarking: 'Ouch. Who is he slapping here?'

Actually, Gerasimov refers by name to two, utterly different figures, who certainly were 'extraordinarily personalities with brilliant ideas.'

If Pompeo had even the highly amateurish grasp of the history of debates among Soviet military theorists that I have managed to acquire he would be aware that one of the things which was actually happening in the 'Seventies was the rediscovery of the ideas of Alexander Svechin.

Confirming my sense that this has continued on, Gerasimov ends by using Svechin to point up an intractable problem: it can be extraordinarily difficult to anticipate the conditions of a war, and crucial not to impose a standardised template likely to be inappropriate, but one has to make some kinds of prediction in order to plan.

Immediately after the passage which Galeotti interprets as a dig at some colleague, Gerasimov elaborates his reference to 'extraordinary people with brilliant ideas' by referring to an anticipation of a future war, which proved prescient, from a very different figure to Svechin:

'People like, for instance, Georgy Isserson, who, despite the views he formed in the prewar years, published the book "New Forms Of Combat." In it, this Soviet military theoretician predicted: "War in general is not declared. It simply begins with already developed military forces. Mobilization and concentration is not part of the period after the onset of the state of war as was the case in 1914 but rather, unnoticed, proceeds long before that." The fate of this "prophet of the Fatherland" unfolded tragically. Our country paid in great quantities of blood for not listening to the conclusions of this professor of the General Staff Academy.'

Unlike Svechin, whom I have read, I was unfamiliar with Isserson. A quick Google search, however, unearthed a mass of material in American sources – including, by good fortune, an online text of a 2010 study by Dr Richard Harrison entitled 'Architect of Soviet Victory in World War II: The Life and Theories of G.S. Isserson', and a presentation summarising the volume.

Ironically, Svechin and Isserson were on opposite sides of fundamental divides. So the former, an ethnic Russian from Odessa, was one of the 'genstabisty', the former Tsarist General Staff officers who sided with the Bolsheviks and played a critical role in teaching the Red Army how to fight. Meanwhile Isserson was a very different product of the 'borderlands' – the son of a Jewish doctor, brought up in Kaunas, with a German Jewish mother from what was then Königsberg, giving him an easy facility with German-language sources.

The originator of the crucial concept of 'operational' art – the notion that in modern industrial war, the ability to handle a level intermediate between strategy and tactics was critical to success – was actually Svechin.

Developing the ambivalence of Clausewitz, however, he stressed that both the offensive and the defensive had their places, and that the key to success was to know which was appropriate when and also to be able rapidly to change from one to the other. His genuflections to Marxist-Leninist dogma, moreover, were not such as to take in any of Dzerzhinsky's people.

By contrast, Isserson was unambiguously committed to the offensive strand in the Clausewitzian tradition, and a Bolshevik 'true believer' (although he married the daughter of a dispossessed ethnically Russian merchant, who had their daughter baptised without his knowledge.)

As Harrison brings out, Isserson's working through of the problems of offensive 'operational art' would be critical to the eventual success of the Red Army against Hitler. However, the specific text to which he refers was, ironically, a warning of precisely one of the problems implicit in the single-minded reliance on the offensive: the possibility that one could be left with no good options confronting an antagonist similarly oriented – as turned out to be the case.

As Gerasimov intimates, while unlike Svechin, executed in 1938, Isserson survived the Stalin years, he was another of the victims of Dzerzhinsky's heirs. Arrested shortly before his warnings were vindicated by the German attack on 22 June 1941, he would spend the war in the Gulag and only return to normal life after Stalin's death.

So I think that the actual text of Gerasimov's article reinforces a point I have made previously. The 'evidence' identified by Tait is indeed a 'smoking gun.' But it emphatically does not point towards the GRU.

Meanwhile, another moral of the tale is that Americans really should stop being taken in by charlatan Brits like Galeotti, Tait, and Steele.

[Mar 08, 2018] Mueller determines the US foreign policy toward Russia; The Intel Community Lies About Russian Meddling by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
The sad but reasonable conclusion from all those Russiagate events is that an influential part of the US elite wants to balance on the edge of war with Russia to ensure profits and flow of taxpayer money. that part of the elite include top honchos on the US intelligence community and Pentagon (surprise, surprise)
The other logical conclusion is that intelligence agencies now determine the US foreign policy and control all major political players (there were widespread suspicions that Clinton, Bush II and Obama were actually closely connected to CIA). Which neatly fits into hypotheses about the "deep state".
This "can of worms" that the US political scene now represents is very dangerous for the future on mankind indeed.
Notable quotes:
"... Most objective observers would concede that the DNI has been a miserable failure and nothing more than a bureaucratic boondoggle. ..."
"... "The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow -- the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities." ..."
"... More telling was the absence of any written document issued from the Office of the DNI that detailed the supposed intel backing up this judgment. Notice the weasel language in this release ..."
"... If there was actual evidence/intelligence, such as an intercepted conversation between Vladimir Putin and a subordinate ordering them to hack the DNC or even a human source report claiming such an activity, then it would have and should have been referenced in the Clapper/Johnson document. It was not because such intel did not exist. ..."
"... "We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election," Clinton said. "I find that deeply disturbing." ..."
"... The basic job of an analyst is to collect as much relevant information as possible on the subject or topic that is their responsibility. There are analysts at the CIA, the NSA, the DIA and State INR that have the job of knowing about Russian cyber activity and capabilities. That is certain. But we are not talking about hundreds of people. ..."
"... Let us move from the hypothetical to the actual. In January of 2017, DNI Jim Clapper release a report entitled, " Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections " (please see here ). In subsequent testimony before the Congress, Clapper claimed that he handpicked two dozen analysts to draft the document . That is not likely. There may have been as many as two dozen analysts who read the final document and commented on it, but there would never be that many involved in in drafting such a document. In any event, only analysts from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI were involved ..."
"... This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies. ..."
"... That is how the process is supposed to work. But the document produced in January 2017 was not a genuine work reflecting the views of the "Intelligence Community." It only represented the supposed thinking (and I use that term generously) of CIA, NSA and FBI analysts. In other words, only three of 16 agencies cleared on the document that presented four conclusions ..."
"... Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow's longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations. ..."
"... We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. ..."
"... We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. ..."
"... We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes. ..."
"... It is genuinely shocking that DNI Jim Clapper, with the acquiescence of the CIA, the FBI and NSA, would produce a document devoid of any solid intelligence. There is a way to publicly release sensitive intelligence without comprising a the original source. But such sourcing is absent in this document. ..."
"... The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them that Russia was guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged. ..."
"... "The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them that Russia was guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged.'" Yes it was and so remains the lie unchallenged. ..."
"... Conjectural garbage appears first to have been washed through the FBI, headquarters no less, then probably it picked up a Triple A rating at the CIA, and then when the garbage got to Clapper, it was bombs away - we experts all agree. There were leaks, but they weren't sufficient to satisfy Steele so he just delivered the garbage whole to the Media in order to make it a sure thing. The garbage was placed securely out there in the public domain with a Triple A rating because the FBI wouldn't concern itself with garbage, would it? ..."
"... Contrast this trajectory with what the Russian policy establishment did when it concluded that the US had done something in the Ukraine that Russia found significantly actionable: it released the taped evidence of Nuland and our Ambassador finishing off the coup. ..."
"... To be precise, CrowdStrike did provide the FBI with allegedly "certified true images" of the DNC servers allegedly involved in the alleged "hack." They also allegedly provided these images to FireEye and Mandiant, IIRC ..."
"... Of course, given the CrowdStrike itself is a massively compromised organization due to its founder and CEO, those "certified true images" are themselves tainted evidence. ..."
"... In addition, regardless of whether the images were true or not, the evidence allegedly contained therein is painfully inadequate to confirm that APT28 or APT29 were involved, nor that the Russian government was involved, or even that there was a real hack involved, and even less evidence that any emails that might have been exfiltrated were given to Wikileaks as opposed to another leak such as that alleged by Sy Hersh to have been done by Seth Rich. ..."
"... My interpretation is: In 1990 +- Bush 41 sold us the 1st Iraq war using fudged intelligence, then Bush 43 sold us the second Iraq war using fabricated intelligence. And now the Obama Administration tried to sell us fake intelligence in regard to Russia in order to get Clinton elected ..."
"... Mueller has had 18 months and has proceeded to reveal exactly nothing related to either Trump "collusion" with Russia nor Russia as a state actually doing anything remotely described as "meddling." ..."
"... His expected indictment of some Russians for the DNC hack is going to be more of the same in all likelihood. I predict there will be next to zero evidence produced either that the Russians named are in fact members of APT28 or APT29 or that they had any direct connection with either the alleged DNC hack or Wikileaks or the Russian government. ..."
"... It's a witch hunt, nothing more. People holding their breath for the "slam dunk" are going to pass out soon if they haven't already. ..."
"... Mueller is investigating some aspects. But there is another aspect - the conspiracy inside law enforcement and the IC. That is also being investigated. There are Congressional committees in particular Nunes, Goodlatte and Grassley. Then there is the DOJ IG. And today AG Sessions confirms there is a DOJ prosecutor outside Washington investigating. ..."
"... But such evidence (corroborating the Steele dossier) was not forthcoming. If it had existed than Jim Comey could have claimed in his June 2017 testimony before Congress that the parts of the "Dossier" had been verified. He did not do so. Testifying under oath Comey described the "Dossier" as "salacious and unverified." ..."
"... Was it Hitler or Stalin who said "show me the man and I will find his crime?" As I have said before, Trumps greatest vulnerability lies in his previous business life as an entrepreneurial hustler. ..."
"... Re 'baby adoption' meeting between Trump, Jr. and Veselnitskaya, I recall a comment here linking to an article speculating the email initiating the meeting originated in Europe, was set up by the playboy son of a European diplomat, and contained words to trip data-gathering monitors which would have enabled a FISA request to have Trump, Jr. come under surveillance. ..."
"... "We don't have the evidence yet because Mueller hasn't found it yet!" is a classic argument from ignorance, in that is assumes without evidence (there's that pesky word again!) that there is something to be found. ..."
"... Manafort has been indicted for money laundering, wire fraud, etc for activities well before the election campaign. Sure, it is good that these corrupt individuals should be investigated and prosecuted. However, this corruption is widespread in DC. How come none of these cheering Mueller on to destroy Trump care about all the foreign money flowing to K Street? Why aren't they calling for investigations of the Clinton Foundation or the Podesta brothers where probable cause exist of foreign money and influence? What about Ben Cardin and all those recipients of foreign zionist money and influence? It would be nice if there were wide ranging investigations on all those engaged in foreign influence peddling. But it seems many just want a witch hunt to hobble Trump. It's going to be very difficult to get the Senate to convict him for obstruction of justice or tax evasion or some charge like that. ..."
Mar 07, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The Intel Community Lie About Russian Meddling by Publius Tacitus

Americans tend to be a trusting lot. When they hear a high level government official, like former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, state that Russia's Vladimir ordered and monitored a Russian cyber attack on the 2016 Presidential election, those trusting souls believe him. For experienced intelligence professionals, who know how the process of gathering and analyzing intelligence works, they detect a troubling omission in Clapper's presentation and, upon examining the so-called "Intelligence Community Assessment," discover that document is a deceptive fraud. It lacks actual evidence that Putin and the Russians did what they are accused of doing. More troubling -- and this is inside baseball -- is the fact that two critical members of the Intelligence Community -- the DIA and State INR -- were not asked to coordinate/clear on the assessment.

You should not feel stupid if you do not understand or appreciate the last point. That is something only people who actually have produced a Community Assessment would understand. I need to take you behind the scenes and ensure you understand what is intelligence and how analysts assess and process that intelligence. Once you understand that then you will be able to see the flaws and inadequacies in the report released by Jim Clapper in January 2017.

The first thing you need to understand is the meaning of the term, the "Intelligence Community" aka IC. Comedians are not far off the mark in touting this phrase as the original oxymoron. On paper the IC currently is comprised of 17 agencies/departments:
  1. Air Force Intelligence,
  2. Army Intelligence,
  3. Central Intelligence Agency aka CIA,
  4. Coast Guard Intelligence,
  5. Defense Intelligence Agency aka DIA,
  6. Energy Department aka DOE,
  7. Homeland Security Department,
  8. State Department aka INR,
  9. Treasury Department,
  10. Drug Enforcement Administration aka DEA,
  11. Federal Bureau of Investigation aka FBI,
  12. Marine Corps Intelligence,
  13. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency aka NGIA or NGA,
  14. National Reconnaissance Office aka NRO,
  15. National Security Agency aka NSA,
  16. Navy Intelligence
  17. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

But not all of these are "national security" agencies -- i.e., those that collect raw intelligence, which subsequently is packaged and distributed to other agencies on a need to know basis. Only six of these agencies take an active role in collecting raw foreign intelligence. The remainder are consumers of that intelligence product. In other words, the information does not originate with them. They are like a subscriber to the New York Times. They get the paper everyday and, based upon what they read, decide what is going on in their particular world. The gatherers of intelligence are:

Nine of the other agencies/departments are consumers. They do not collect and package original info. They are the passive recipients. The analysts in those agencies will base their conclusions on information generated by other agencies, principally the CIA and the NSA.

The astute among you, I am sure, will insist my list is deficient and will ask, "What about the FBI and DEA?" It is true that those two organizations produce a type of human intelligence -- i.e., they recruit informants and those informants provide those agencies with information that the average person understandably would categorize as "intelligence." But there is an important difference between human intelligence collected by the CIA and the human source intelligence gathered by the FBI or the DEA. The latter two are law enforcement agencies. No one from the CIA or the NSA has the power to arrest someone. The FBI and the DEA do.

Their authority as law enforcement agents, however, comes with limitations, especially in collecting so-called intelligence. The FBI and the DEA face egal constraints on what information they can collect and store. The FBI cannot decide on its own that skinheads represent a threat and then start gathering information identifying skinhead leaders. There has to be an allegation of criminal activity. When such "human" information is being gathered under the umbrella of law enforcement authorities, it is being handled as potential evidence that may be used to prosecute someone. This means that such information cannot be shared with anyone else, especially intelligence agencies like the CIA and the NSA.

The "17th" member of the IC is the Director of National Intelligence aka DNI. This agency was created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks for the ostensible purpose of coordinating the activities and products of the IC. In theory it is the organization that is supposed to coordinate what the IC collects and the products the IC produces. Most objective observers would concede that the DNI has been a miserable failure and nothing more than a bureaucratic boondoggle.

An important, but little understood point, is that these agencies each have a different focus. They are not looking at the same things. In fact, most are highly specialized and narrowly focused. Take the Coast Guard, for instance. Their intelligence operations primarily hone in on maritime threats and activities in U.S. territorial waters, such as narcotic interdictions. They are not responsible for monitoring what the Russians are doing in the Black Sea and they have no significant expertise in the cyber activities of the Russian Army military intelligence organization aka the GRU.

In looking back at the events of 2016 surrounding the U.S. Presidential campaign, most people will recall that Hillary Clinton, along with several high level Obama national security officials, pushed the lie that the U.S. Intelligence agreed that Russia had unleashed a cyber war on the United States. The initial lie came from DNI Jim Clapper and Homeland Security Chief, Jeb Johnson, who released the following memo to the press on 7 October 2016 :

"The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow -- the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."

This was a deliberate deceptive message. It implied that the all 16 intelligence agencies agreed with the premise and "evidence of Russian meddling. Yet not a single bit of proof was offered. More telling was the absence of any written document issued from the Office of the DNI that detailed the supposed intel backing up this judgment. Notice the weasel language in this release:

If there was actual evidence/intelligence, such as an intercepted conversation between Vladimir Putin and a subordinate ordering them to hack the DNC or even a human source report claiming such an activity, then it would have and should have been referenced in the Clapper/Johnson document. It was not because such intel did not exist.

Hillary Clinton helped perpetuate this myth during the late October debate with Donald Trump, when she declared as fact that:

"We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election," Clinton said. "I find that deeply disturbing."

What is shocking is that there was so little pushback to this nonsense. Hardly anyone asked why would the DEA, Coast Guard, the Marines or DOE have any technical expertise to make a judgment about Russian hacking of U.S. election systems. And no one of any importance asked the obvious -- where was the written memo or National Intelligence Estimate laying out what the IC supposedly knew and believed? There was nothing.

It is natural for the average American citizen to believe that something given the imprimatur of the Intelligence Community must reflect solid intelligence and real expertise. Expertise is supposed to be the cornerstone of intelligence analysis and the coordination that occurs within the IC. That means that only those analysts (and the agencies they represent) will be asked to contribute or comment on a particular intelligence issue. When it comes to the question of whether Russia had launched a full out cyber attack on the Democrats and the U.S. electoral system, only analysts from agencies with access to the intelligence and the expertise to analyze that intelligence would be asked to write or contribute to an intelligence memorandum.

Who would that be? The answer is simple -- the CIA, the DIA, the NSA, State INR and the FBI. (One could make the case that there are some analysts within Homeland Security that might have expertise, but they would not necessarily have access to the classified information produced by the CIA or the NSA.) The task of figuring out what the Russians were doing and planned to do fell to five agencies and only three of the five (the CIA, the DIA and NSA) would have had the ability to collect intelligence that could inform the work of analysts.

Before I can explain to you how an analyst work this issue it is essential for you to understand the type of intelligence that would be required to "prove" Russian meddling. There are four possible sources -- 1) a human source who had direct access to the Russians who directed the operation or carried it out; 2) a signal intercept of a conversation or cyber activity that was traced to Russian operatives; 3) a document that discloses the plan or activity observed; or 4) forensic evidence from the computer network that allegedly was attacked.

Getting human source intel is primarily the job of CIA. It also is possible that the DIA or the FBI had human sources that could have contributed relevant intelligence.

Signal intercepts are collected and analyzed by the NSA.

Documentary evidence, which normally is obtained from a human source but can also be picked up by NSA intercepts or even an old-fashioned theft.

Finally there is the forensic evidence . In the case of Russian meddling there is no forensic evidence available to the IC because the Democratic National Committee did not permit the FBI to investigate and examine the computers and the network that was allegedly attacked.

What Do Analysts Do?

Whenever there is a "judgment" or "consensus" claimed on behalf to the IC, it means that one or more analysts have written a document that details the evidence and presents conclusions based on that evidence. On a daily basis the average analyst confronts a flood of classified information (normally referred to as "cables" or "messages"). When I was on the job in the 1980s I had to wade through more than 1200 messages -- i.e., human source reports from the CIA, State Department messages with embassies around the world, NSA intercepts, DIA reports from their officers based overseas (most in US embassies) and open source press reports. Today, thanks to the internet, the average analyst must scan through upwards of 3000 messages. It is humanly impossible.

The basic job of an analyst is to collect as much relevant information as possible on the subject or topic that is their responsibility. There are analysts at the CIA, the NSA, the DIA and State INR that have the job of knowing about Russian cyber activity and capabilities. That is certain. But we are not talking about hundreds of people.

Let us move from the hypothetical to the actual. In January of 2017, DNI Jim Clapper release a report entitled, " Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections " (please see here ). In subsequent testimony before the Congress, Clapper claimed that he handpicked two dozen analysts to draft the document . That is not likely. There may have been as many as two dozen analysts who read the final document and commented on it, but there would never be that many involved in in drafting such a document. In any event, only analysts from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI were involved :

This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies.

Limiting the drafting and clearance on this document to only the CIA, the NSA and the FBI is highly unusual because one of the key analytical conclusions in the document identifies the Russian military intelligence organization, the GRU, as one of the perpetrators of the cyber attack. DIA's analysts are experts on the GRU and there also are analysts in State Department's Bureau of INR who should have been consulted. Instead, they were excluded.

Here is how the process should have worked in producing this document:

  1. One or more analysts are asked to do a preliminary draft. It is customary in such a document for the analyst to cite specific intelligence, using phrases such as: "According to a reliable source of proven access," when citing a CIA document or "According to an intercept of a conversation between knowledgeable sources with access," when referencing something collected by the NSA. The analyst does more than repeat what is claimed in the intel reports, he or she also has the job of explaining what these facts mean or do not mean.
  2. There always is an analyst leading the effort who has the job of integrating the contributions of the other analysts into a coherent document. Once the document is completed in draft it is handed over to Branch Chief and then Division Chief for editing. We do not know who had the lead, but it was either the FBI, the CIA or the NSA.
  3. At the same time the document is being edited at originating agency, it is supposed to be sent to the other clearing agencies, i.e. those agencies that either provided the intelligence cited in the draft (i.e., CIA, NSA, DIA, or State) or that have expertise on the subject. As noted previously, it is highly unusual to exclude the DIA and INR.
  4. Once all the relevant agencies clear on the content of the document, it is sent into the bowels of the DNI where it is put into final form.

That is how the process is supposed to work. But the document produced in January 2017 was not a genuine work reflecting the views of the "Intelligence Community." It only represented the supposed thinking (and I use that term generously) of CIA, NSA and FBI analysts. In other words, only three of 16 agencies cleared on the document that presented four conclusions:

Sounds pretty ominous, but the language used tells a different story. The conclusions are based on assumptions and judgments. There was nor is any actual evidence from intelligence sources showing that Vladimir Putin ordered up anything or that his government preferred Trump over Clinton.

How do I know this? If such evidence existed -- either documentary or human source or signal intercept -- it would have been cited in this document. Not only that. Such evidence would have corroborated the claims presented in the Steele dossier. But such evidence was not forthcoming. If it had existed than Jim Comey could have claimed in his June 2017 testimony before Congress that the parts of the "Dossier" had been verified. He did not do so. Testifying under oath Comey described the "Dossier" as "salacious and unverified."

It is genuinely shocking that DNI Jim Clapper, with the acquiescence of the CIA, the FBI and NSA, would produce a document devoid of any solid intelligence. There is a way to publicly release sensitive intelligence without comprising a the original source. But such sourcing is absent in this document.

That simple fact should tell you all you need to know. The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them that Russia was guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged.


LeaNder , 07 March 2018 at 05:59 PM

Good summary argument, PT. Thanks. Helpful reminder.

But, makes me feel uncomfortable. Cynical scenario. I'd prefer them to be both drivers and driven, somehow stumbling into the chronology of events. They didn't hack the DNC, after all. Crowdstrike? Steele? ...

********
But yes, all the 17 agencies Clinton alluded to in her 3rd encounter with Trump was a startling experience:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/oct/19/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-blames-russia-putin-wikileaks-rele/

turcopolier , 07 March 2018 at 06:10 PM
LeaNder

One other point on which Tacitus and I differ is the quality of the analysts in the "minors." The "bigs" often recruit analysts from the "minors" so they can't be all that bad. And the analysts in all these agencies receive much the same data feed electronically every day. There are exceptions to this but it is generally true. I, too, read hundreds of documents every day to keep up with the knowledge base of the analysts whom I interrogated continuously. "How do you know that?" would have been typical. pl

Flavius , 07 March 2018 at 06:19 PM
Well done.

"The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them that Russia was guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged.'" Yes it was and so remains the lie unchallenged.

Conjectural garbage appears first to have been washed through the FBI, headquarters no less, then probably it picked up a Triple A rating at the CIA, and then when the garbage got to Clapper, it was bombs away - we experts all agree. There were leaks, but they weren't sufficient to satisfy Steele so he just delivered the garbage whole to the Media in order to make it a sure thing. The garbage was placed securely out there in the public domain with a Triple A rating because the FBI wouldn't concern itself with garbage, would it?

Contrast this trajectory with what the Russian policy establishment did when it concluded that the US had done something in the Ukraine that Russia found significantly actionable: it released the taped evidence of Nuland and our Ambassador finishing off the coup.

The whole sequence reminds me in some ways of the sub prime mortgage bond fiasco: garbage risk progressively bundled, repackaged, rebranded and resold by big name institutions that should have known better.

I have only two questions: was it misfeasance, malfeasance, or some ugly combination of the two? And are they going to get away with it?

Richardstevenhack , 07 March 2018 at 06:23 PM
Re this: " In the case of Russian meddling there is no forensic evidence available to the IC because the Democratic National Committee did not permit the FBI to investigate and examine the computers and the network that was allegedly attacked."

To be precise, CrowdStrike did provide the FBI with allegedly "certified true images" of the DNC servers allegedly involved in the alleged "hack." They also allegedly provided these images to FireEye and Mandiant, IIRC.

All three allegedly examined those images and concurred with CrowdStrike's analysis.

Of course, given the CrowdStrike itself is a massively compromised organization due to its founder and CEO, those "certified true images" are themselves tainted evidence.

In addition, regardless of whether the images were true or not, the evidence allegedly contained therein is painfully inadequate to confirm that APT28 or APT29 were involved, nor that the Russian government was involved, or even that there was a real hack involved, and even less evidence that any emails that might have been exfiltrated were given to Wikileaks as opposed to another leak such as that alleged by Sy Hersh to have been done by Seth Rich.

The "assessment" that Putin ordered any of this is pure mind-reading and can be utterly dismissed absent any of the other evidence Publius points out as necessary.

The same applies to any "estimate" that the Russian government preferred Trump or wished to denigrate Clinton. Based on what I read in pro-Russian news outlets, Russian officials took great pains to not pick sides and Putin's comments were similarly very restrained. The main quote from Putin about Trump that emerged was mistranslated as approval whereas it was more an observation of Trump's personality. At no time did Putin ever say he favored Trump over Clinton, even though that was a likely probability given Clinton's "Hitler" comparison.

As an aside, I also recommend Scott Ritter's trashing of the ICA. Ritter is familiar with intelligence estimates and their reliability based on his previous service as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq and in Russia implementing arms control treaties.

Exposing The Man Behind The Curtain
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/exposing-the-man-behind-the-curtain_us_5877887be4b05b7a465df6a4

Throwing a Curveball at 'Intelligence Community Consensus' on Russia
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/did-17-intelligence-agencies-really-come-to-consensus-on-russia/

His analysis of the NSA document leaked by NSA contractor Reality Winner which supposedly supported the Russia theory is also relevant.

Leaked NSA Report Is Short on Facts, Proves Little in 'Russiagate' Case
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/leaked-nsa-report-is-short-on-facts-proves-little-in-russiagate-case/

ann , 07 March 2018 at 11:22 PM
This is a wonderful explanation of the intelligence community. And I thank you for the explanation. My interpretation is: In 1990 +- Bush 41 sold us the 1st Iraq war using fudged intelligence, then Bush 43 sold us the second Iraq war using fabricated intelligence. And now the Obama Administration tried to sell us fake intelligence in regard to Russia in order to get Clinton elected. However inadequate my summary is it looks like the Democrats are less skilled in propaganda than the Repubs. And what else is the difference?
Richardstevenhack , 08 March 2018 at 03:02 AM
Mueller has had 18 months and has proceeded to reveal exactly nothing related to either Trump "collusion" with Russia nor Russia as a state actually doing anything remotely described as "meddling."

His expected indictment of some Russians for the DNC hack is going to be more of the same in all likelihood. I predict there will be next to zero evidence produced either that the Russians named are in fact members of APT28 or APT29 or that they had any direct connection with either the alleged DNC hack or Wikileaks or the Russian government.

It's a witch hunt, nothing more. People holding their breath for the "slam dunk" are going to pass out soon if they haven't already.

blue peacock , 08 March 2018 at 04:12 AM
GZC #12

Mueller is investigating some aspects. But there is another aspect - the conspiracy inside law enforcement and the IC. That is also being investigated. There are Congressional committees in particular Nunes, Goodlatte and Grassley. Then there is the DOJ IG. And today AG Sessions confirms there is a DOJ prosecutor outside Washington investigating.

IMO, the conspiracy is significantly larger in scale and scope than anything the Russians did.

Yes, indeed we'll have to wait and see what facts Mueller reveals. But also what facts these other investigations reveal.

English Outsider , 08 March 2018 at 05:57 AM
Thank you for setting out the geography and workings of this complex world.

Might I ask how liaison with other Intelligence Communities fits in? Is intelligence information from non-US sources such as UK intelligence sources subject to the same process of verification and evaluation?

I ask because of the passage in your article -

"But such evidence (corroborating the Steele dossier) was not forthcoming. If it had existed than Jim Comey could have claimed in his June 2017 testimony before Congress that the parts of the "Dossier" had been verified. He did not do so. Testifying under oath Comey described the "Dossier" as "salacious and unverified." "

Does this leave room for the assertion that although the "Dossier" was unverified in the US it was accepted as good information because it had been verified by UK Intelligence or by persons warranted by the UK? In other words, was UK Intelligence, or an ex-UK intelligence officer, used to get material through the US evaluation process, material that would not have got through that US evaluation process had it originated within the US itself?

turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 07:53 AM
EO,

" ... was UK Intelligence, or an ex-UK intelligence officer, used to get material through the US evaluation process, material that would not have got through that US evaluation process had it originated within the US itself?" I would say yes and especially yes if the contact for this piece of data was conducted at the highest level within the context of the already tight liaison between the US IC and Mi-6/GCHQ. PT may think differently. pl

turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 07:54 AM
GZC

A lot of smoke? Only if you wish to place a negative value on everything the Trump people did or were. pl

jsn -> The Twisted Genius ... , 08 March 2018 at 08:20 AM
The CIA appears to be trying to right the wrongs done them with the creation of the DNI:
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/08/dems-m08.html
turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 08:54 AM
jsn

The wrongs done them? I hope that was irony. pl

turcopolier -> Green Zone Café ... , 08 March 2018 at 09:01 AM
GZC

Was it Hitler or Stalin who said "show me the man and I will find his crime?" As I have said before, Trumps greatest vulnerability lies in his previous business life as an entrepreneurial hustler. If he is anything like the many like him whom I observed in my ten business years, then he has cut corners legally somewhere in international business. they pretty much all do that. Kooshy, a successful businessman confirmed that here a while back. These other guys were all business hustlers including Flynn and their activities have made them vulnerable to Mueller. IMO you have to ask yourself how much you want to be governed by political hacks and how much by hustlers. pl

turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 09:24 AM
jsn

hy this socialist pub would fing it surprising that former public servants seek elected office is a mystery to me. BTW, in re all the discussion here of the IC, there are many levels in these essentially hierarchical structures and one's knowledge of them is conditioned by the perspective from which you viewed them. pl

DH , 08 March 2018 at 09:50 AM
Re 'baby adoption' meeting between Trump, Jr. and Veselnitskaya, I recall a comment here linking to an article speculating the email initiating the meeting originated in Europe, was set up by the playboy son of a European diplomat, and contained words to trip data-gathering monitors which would have enabled a FISA request to have Trump, Jr. come under surveillance.

Also, the Seymour Hersh tape certainly seems authentic as far as Seth Rich being implicated in the DNC dump.

Publius Tacitus -> Green Zone Café ... , 08 March 2018 at 09:53 AM
GZC,

Are you really this obtuse?

You insist (I guess you rely on MSNBC as your fact source) that Manafort, Page, etc. all "have connections to Russia or Assange." You are using smear and guilt by association. Flynn's so-called connection to Russia was that he accepted an invite to deliver a speech at an RT sponsored event and was paid. So what? Nothing wrong with that. Just ask Bill Clinton. Or perhaps you are referring to the fact that Flynn also spoke to the Russian Ambassador to the US after the election in his capacity as designated National Security Advisor. Zero justification for investigation.

Stone? He left the campaign before there had even been a primary and only had text exchanges with Assange.

Your blind hatred of Trump makes you incapable of thinking logically.

jsn , 08 March 2018 at 10:15 AM
Sir,

The most sarcastic irony was intended. This is what the real left looks like, its very different from Clintonite Liberals, not that I agree with their ideological program, though I believe parts have their place.

Liberals have, I believe, jumped the shark: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/03/07/progressive-journalists-jump-the-shark-on-russiagate/

If the get their way with the new McCarthyism, the implications for dissent, left or right, seem to me to be about the same:
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/12/federalist-68-the-electoral-college-and-faithless-electors.html#intelligence

jsn , 08 March 2018 at 10:25 AM
Sir,

And to your second comment, yes I agree about the complexity of institutions and how situationally constrained individual experiences are, if that was the point.

I'll also concede my brief comments generalize very broadly, but it's hard to frame things more specific comments without direct knowledge, such as the invaluable correspondents here. I try to avoid confirmation bias by reading broadly and try to provide outside perspectives. My apologies if they're too far outside.

I suppose it would be interesting to see a side by side comparison of how many former IC self affiliated with which party in choosing to run. I'm just guessing but I'll bet there's more CIA in the D column and more DIA among the Rs.

LeaNder said in reply to Flavius... , 08 March 2018 at 10:40 AM
love this coinage Flavius: Yes it was and so remains the lie unchallenged

a lie "circumstantial"? http://recycledknowledge.blogspot.de/2005/05/seven-degrees-of-lie.html

Sid Finster , 08 March 2018 at 11:06 AM
"We don't have the evidence yet because Mueller hasn't found it yet!" is a classic argument from ignorance, in that is assumes without evidence (there's that pesky word again!) that there is something to be found.

That said, I have no doubt that Mueller will find *something*, simply because an aggressive and determined prosecutor can always find *something*, especially if the target is engaged in higher level business or politics. A form unfiled, an irregularity in an official document, and overly optimistic tax position.

If nothing else works, there's always the good old standby of asking question after question until the target makes a statement that can be construed as perjury or lying to investigators.

Sarah B said in reply to turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 11:27 AM
My perspective, after reading that linked article by the WSWS, is that both, the IC and the DoD, are trying to take over the whole US political spectrum, in fact, militarizing de facto the US political life....

Now, tell me that this is not an intend by the MIC ( where all the former IC or DoD people finally end when they leave official positions )to take over the government ( if more was needed after what has happened with Trump´s ) to guarantee their profit rate in a moment where everything is crimbling....

Btw, have you read the recently released paper, "WorldWide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community" by Daniel R. Coats ( DNI )? You smell fear from the four corners....do not you?

Barbara Ann -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 11:35 AM
Those immortal words are attributed to Lavrentiy Beria, Colonel and you are not the first to draw the comparison re Mueller's investigation. For those who do not know Beria was head of the NKVD under Stalin.
Barbara Ann -> Sid Finster... , 08 March 2018 at 11:36 AM
Only if you were discussing BDS.
Sarah B , 08 March 2018 at 11:38 AM
Here is the paper in question I am mentioning above: https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Testimonies/2018-ATA---Unclassified-SSCI.pdf Some neutral analyst is saying that from 28 pages, 24 are dedicated to Russia and China, then Iran and NK, in this order...and that it is an official recognition of the new multipolar order....
Peter VE said in reply to johnf... , 08 March 2018 at 11:55 AM
The BBC reported this morning that a police officer who was amongst the earliest responders to the "nerve gas" poisoning of Col. Skripal is also being treated for symptoms. How was it that many "White Helmets" who were filmed where the sarin gas was dropped on Khan Sheikhoun last April suffered no symptoms?
Jack -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 11:59 AM
Sir

That's a good way to present it political hacks vs hustlers. The fact is Flynn has pled guilty to perjury. Nothing else like collusion with the Russians. And his sentencing is on hold now as the judge has ordered Mueller to hand over any exculpatory evidence. Clearly something is going on his case for the judge to do that.

Manafort has been indicted for money laundering, wire fraud, etc for activities well before the election campaign. Sure, it is good that these corrupt individuals should be investigated and prosecuted. However, this corruption is widespread in DC. How come none of these cheering Mueller on to destroy Trump care about all the foreign money flowing to K Street? Why aren't they calling for investigations of the Clinton Foundation or the Podesta brothers where probable cause exist of foreign money and influence? What about Ben Cardin and all those recipients of foreign zionist money and influence? It would be nice if there were wide ranging investigations on all those engaged in foreign influence peddling. But it seems many just want a witch hunt to hobble Trump. It's going to be very difficult to get the Senate to convict him for obstruction of justice or tax evasion or some charge like that.

The Twisted Genius , 08 March 2018 at 12:59 PM
The select group of several dozen analysts from CIA, NSA and FBI who produced the January 2017 ICA are very likely the same group of analysts assembled by Brenner in August 2016 to form a task force examining "L'Affaire Russe" at the same time Brennan brought that closely held report to Obama of Putin's specific instructions on an operation to damage Clinton and help Trump. I've seen these interagency task forces set up several times to address particular info ops or cyberattack issues. Access to the work of these task forces was usually heavily restricted. I don't know if this kind of thing has become more prevalent throughout the IC.

I am also puzzled by the absence of DIA in the mix. When I was still working, there were a few DIA analysts who were acknowledged throughout the IC as subject matter experts and analytical leaders in this field. On the operational side, there was never great enthusiasm for things cyber or info ops. There were only a few lonely voices in the darkness. Meanwhile, CIA, FBI and NSA embraced the field wholeheartedly. Perhaps those DIA analytical experts retired or moved on to CYBERCOM, NSA or CIA's Information Operations Center.

LeaNder said in reply to Richardstevenhack ... , 08 March 2018 at 01:01 PM
I predict there will be next to zero evidence produced either that the Russians named are in fact members of APT28 or APT29 ...

Richard, over here the type of software is categorized under Advanced Persistent Threat, and beyond that specifically labeled the "Sofacy Group". ... I seem to prefer the more neutral description 'Advanced Persistent Threat' by Kaspersky. Yes, they seem to be suspicious lately in the US. But I am a rather constant consumer, never mind the occasional troubles over the years.

APT: Helps to not get confused by all the respective naming patterns in the economic field over national borders. APT 1 to 29 ...? Strictly, What's the precise history of the 'Bear' label and or the specific, I assume, group of APT? ...

Kasperky pdf-file - whodunnit?
https://tinyurl.com/APT-Avanced-Persitent-Treat

Ever used a datebase checking a file online? Would have made you aware of the multitude of naming patterns.

******
More ad-hoc concerning one item in your argument above. To what extend does a standard back-up system leave relevant forensic traces? Beyond the respective image in the present? Do you know?

Admittedly, I have no knowledge about matters beyond purely private struggles. But yes, they seemed enough to get a vague glimpse of categories in the field of attribution. Regarding suspected state actors vs the larger cybercrime scene that is.

LeaNder said in reply to Fred... , 08 March 2018 at 02:29 PM
Even mentioning those is just further evidence that something really did happen.

I appreciate you are riding our partially shared hobby horse, Fred. ;)

But admittedly this reminds me of something that felt like a debate-shift, I may be no doubt misguided here. Nitwit! In other words I may well have some type of ideological-knot in the relevant section dealing with memory in my brain as long-term undisciplined observer of SST.

But back on topic: the argument seemed to be that "important facts" were omitted. In other words vs earlier times were are now centrally dealing with omission as evidence. No?

Dave -> Publius Tacitus ... , 08 March 2018 at 03:18 PM
Ask National Security Advisor General McMaster.
Even Trump now says Putin meddled.
What more evidence do you need
Dave -> Publius Tacitus ... , 08 March 2018 at 03:20 PM
General McMaster has seen the evidence and says the fact of Russian meddling can no longer be credibly denied.
That doesn't stop the right-wing extremists from spinning fairy tales.
turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 03:34 PM
Dave

It is politically necessary for Trump to say that. Tell me, what is meant by "Russian meddling"in this statement by McMaster? pl

Dave -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 03:50 PM
Russian meddling is hacking our election systems.

The right wing (re: Hannity and Limbaugh) have been trying mightily to discredit this investigation by smearing Mueller's reputation, even though he is a conservative republican.

They are doing this so that if Mueller's report is damning, they can call it a "witch hunt."

I would think that if Trump is innocent, he would cooperate with this investigation fully.

You are insinuating that McMaster is a liar even though he has access to information that you don't.

Publius Tacitus -> Dave... , 08 March 2018 at 04:02 PM
Just because trump is stupid is not an excuse for you. You accept a lie without one shred of actual evidence. You are a lemming
Fred -> LeaNder... , 08 March 2018 at 04:04 PM
LeaNder,

"omission as evidence. " Incorrect. Among the omissions was the fact that the dossier was paid for by a political campaign and that the wife of a senior DOJ lawyer's wife was working for Fusion GPS. Then there's the rest of the political motivations left out.

Fred -> Dave... , 08 March 2018 at 04:07 PM
Dave,

Putin hired Facebook. That company seems to do well helping out foreign governments.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/22/technology/facebook-censorship-tool-china.html

Linda , 08 March 2018 at 04:16 PM
If you have seen the classified information that would be necessary to back up your conclusions, it should not be discussed in this forum. As you are well aware sources and methods cannot be made public so I fail to see how you believe this should have been publically done. Having said that, I pretty much agree with your conclusion except for the indication that the analysts lied.
turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 04:26 PM
Dave

What does "hacking our elections" mean? Does it means breaking into voting systems and changing the outcome by altering votes? Or does it mean information operations to change US voters' minds about for whom they would vote? If the latter you must know that we (the US) have done this many times in foreign elections, including Russian elections, Israeli elections, Italian elections, German elections, etc., or perhaps you think that a different criterion should be applied to people who are not American. As for McMasters, I am unimpressed with him. He displays all the symptoms of Russophobia. He has special information? Information can be interpreted many ways depending on one's purpose. pl

turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 04:36 PM
Linda

PT does not have access to the classified information underlying but your argument that "As you are well aware sources and methods cannot be made public so I fail to see how you believe this should have been publicly done." doesn't hold water for me since I have seen sources and methods disclosed by the government of the US many times when it felt that necessary. One example that I have mentioned before was that of the trial of Jeffrey Sterling (merlin) for which I was an expert witness and adviser to the federal court for four years. In that one the CIA and DoJ forced the court to allow them to de-classify the CIA DO's operational files on the case and read them into the record in open court. I had read all these files when they were classified at the SCI level. IMO the perpetrators in the Steel Memo case are and were merely hiding behind claims of sources and methods protection in order to protect themselve. pl

JamesT -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 04:37 PM
I continue to learn things around here that I could never learn anywhere else. It is a privilege to read the Colonel, TTG, and Publius Tacitus.
turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 04:47 PM
Dave

If you use denigrating language like "wild eyed" to attack your interlocutors you will not be welcome here. pl

LeaNder said in reply to Flavius... , 08 March 2018 at 04:49 PM
Mueller cleared his ridiculous indictment relating to the Russian troll farm, a requirement that at one time would have been SOP for any FBI Office or USAtty Office bringing an indictment of this kind.

Not aware of this. Can you help me out?

No doubt vaguely familiar with public lore, in limited ways. As always.

Sid Finster said in reply to Dave... , 08 March 2018 at 05:09 PM
So now we are supposed to believe unquestioningly the word of torturers, perjurers and entrapment artists, all talking about alleged evidence that we are not allowed to see?

Did you learn nothing from the "Iraqi WMD" fiasco or the "ZOMG! Assad gassed his own peoples ZOMG!" debacle?

Funny how in each of these instances, the intelligence community's lies just happened to coincide with the agenda of empire.

LeaNder said in reply to Fred ... , 08 March 2018 at 05:10 PM
Ok, true. I forgot 'Steele'* was used as 'evidence'.

Strictly, Pat may have helped me out considering my 'felt' "debate-shift". Indirectly. I do recall, I hesitated to try to clarify matters for myself.

* ...

m -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 06:29 PM
Depends on what crime the "hack" committed. Fudging on taxes or cutting corners? Big whoop. Laundering $500 mil for a buddy of Vlad's? Now you got my attention and should have the voters' attention.

This is a political process in the end game. Clinton lied about sex in the oval Office and was tried for it. Why don't we exercise patience in the process and see if this President should be tried?

m -> Publius Tacitus ... , 08 March 2018 at 06:33 PM
I ain't a lawyer but don't prosecutors hold their cards (evidence) close to their chests until the court has a criminal charge and sets a date for discovery?
Publius Tacitus -> Linda ... , 08 March 2018 at 06:45 PM
Linda,