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Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte

News Color revolutions Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception US and British media are servants of security apparatus Integrity Initiative Edward Lucas as agent provocateur
The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Patterns of Propaganda The Real War on Reality Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Demonization of Trump and "Trump is insane" meme Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Woodward insinuations Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Wolff revelations and slander Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources The importance of controlling the narrative What's the Matter with Kansas
Neo-fascism Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? False Flag Operations MSM censorship aka "controlling the narrative" Diplomacy by deception Groupthink Lewis Powell Memo
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Manifactured consent Nation under attack meme
Soft propaganda Classic Papers  Nineteen Eighty-Four Propaganda Quotes British hypocrisy Humor Etc

In 2014, German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, former director of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, author of the book “Gekaufte Journalisten”, (Journalists for Hire), denounced European media who write lies under pressure from the CIA. An English translation now is available but is very expensive.  Wikipedia has the following information about the book:

In 2014, Ulfkotte published the book Gekaufte Journalisten (German Bought Journalists), in which he stated that the CIA and other secret services pay money to journalists to report stories in a certain light. According to Ulfkotte, the CIA and German intelligence (BND) bribe journalists in Germany to write pro-NATO propaganda articles, and it is well understood that one may lose their media job if they fail to comply with the pro-Western agenda.[19] Der Spiegel noted that "Ulfkotte’s book was published by Kopp, a melting pot for conspiracy theorists. Kopp publishes works by ufologists, and by authors who claim the Americans destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center themselves in 2001... Ulfkotte’s critics see the book as a vendetta against the FAZ, which he left on bad terms."[20]

On May 15, 2017 Next Revelation Press, an imprint of US-Canadian-based publisher Tayen Lane, released the English version of Bought Journalists, under the title, Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News. James F. Tracy wrote on the globalresearch.ca conspiracy theory website that this English translation appears to have been suppressed throughout North America and Europe, that Tayen Lane has since removed any reference to the title from its website, and that, correspondingly, Amazon.com (per 31 July 2017) indicates the title is “currently unavailable,” with opportunities to purchase from independent sellers offering used copies for no less than $1309.09. The book’s subject matter and unexplained disappearance from the marketplace suggest that powerful entities are seeking to prevent its circulation, according to Tracy. Tracy also cites Ulfkotte saying the book "was almost completely ignored by mainstream German news media",[21] although Gekaufte Journalisten sold more than 120,000 copies, lingered on the Der Spiegel bestseller list for 18 weeks, and was reviewed (and ridiculed) in Der Spiegel[22] by Jan Fleischhauer who in June 2015 also wrote a portrait of Ulfkotte which was republished in January 2017.[23]

Here is an informative review by


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[Aug 03, 2020] When corporate power is your real government, corporate media is state media by Caitlin Johnstone

Aug 03, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz In the American corporatist system, where wealthy elites control the elected government through lobbyists, corporate media is state media, promoting narratives that help maintain the corporate-approved status quo.

The New York Times published an astonishingly horrible article the other day titled "Latin America Is Facing a 'Decline of Democracy' Under the Pandemic" accusing governments like Venezuela and Nicaragua of exploiting Covid-19 to quash opposition and oppress democracy.

The article sources its jarringly propagandistic claims in multiple US government-funded narrative management operations like the Wilson Center and the National Endowment for Democracy -sponsored Freedom House , the extensively plutocrat-funded Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the United States Naval Academy.

The crown jewel of this piece of State Department stenography reads as follows:

"Adding to these challenges, democracy in Latin America has also lost a champion in the United States, which had played an important role in promoting democracy after the end of the Cold War by financing good governance programs and calling out authoritarian abuses."

Whoa, nelly.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1288972702716395526&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F496962-caitlin-johnstone-corporate-media%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

The fact that America's most widely regarded newspaper feels perfectly comfortable making such a spectacularly in-your-face lie on behalf of the US government tells you everything you need to know about what the mass media in America really are and what they do.

The United States has never at any time been a champion of democracy in Latin America, before or since the Cold War. It has intervened hundreds of times in the continent's affairs throughout history, with everything from murderous corporate colonialism to deadly CIA regime-change operations to overt military invasions . It is currently trying to orchestrate a coup in Venezuela after failing to stage one during the Bush administration, it's pushing regime change in Nicaragua, and The New York Times itself admitted this year that it was wrong to promote the false US government narrative of electoral shenanigans in Bolivia's presidential race last year, a narrative which facilitated a bloody fascist coup .

This is propaganda. There is no other word for it. And yet the only time Western politicians and news reporters use that word is to talk about nations like Russia and China.

READ MORE Caitlin Johnstone: In post-Iraq invasion world, it's absolutely insane to blindly believe the US narrative on China

Why is propaganda used in an ostensibly free democracy with an ostensibly free media? Why are its news media outlets so consistently in alignment with every foreign policy objective of US government agencies, no matter how destructive and inexcusable? If the media and the government are two separate institutions, why do they so consistently function as though they are not separate?

Well, that's easy. It's because they aren't separate. The only thing keeping this from being seen is the fact that America's real government isn't located where people think it is.

In a corporatist system of government, where no hard lines are drawn between corporate/financial power and state power, corporate media is state media. Since bribery is legal in the US political system in the form of corporate lobbying and campaign donations, America's elected government is controlled by wealthy elites who have money to burn and who benefit from maintaining a specific status quo arrangement.

The fact that this same plutocratic class also owns America's media, which is now so consolidated that it's almost entirely run by just six corporations , means that the people who run the government also run the media. This allows America's true rulers to set up a system which promotes narratives that are favorable to their desired status quo.

Which means that the US has state propaganda. They just don't call it that themselves.

Strip away the phony two-handed sock puppet show of US electoral politics and look at how power actually moves in that country, and you just see one more tyrannical regime which propagandizes its citizens, brutally cracks down on protesters , deliberately keeps its populace impoverished so they don't get powerful enough to change things, and attacks any nation which dares to disobey its dictates.

Beneath the thin layer of narrative overlay about freedom and democracy, the US is just one more despotic, bloodthirsty empire. It's no better than any of the other despotic, bloodthirsty empires throughout history. It just has good PR.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1289095579335720960&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F496962-caitlin-johnstone-corporate-media%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

Plutocrats not only exert control over America's media and politics, they also form alliances with the secretive government agencies whose operators remain amid the comings and goings of the official elected government. We see examples of this in the way new-money tech plutocrats like Jeff Bezos , Peter Thiel and Pierre Omidyar have direct relationships with the CIA and its proxies.

We also see it in the sexual blackmail operation which was facilitated by the late Jeffrey Epstein in connection with billionaire Leslie Wexner and Israeli intelligence , along with potentially the FBI and/or other US intelligence agencies . Today the internet is abuzz as newly unsealed court documents relating to Epstein and his co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell reveal witness testimony regarding underage sex trafficking, with such high-profile names appearing in the documents as Alan Dershowitz , Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew .

The Overton window of acceptable political discourse has been shrunk into such a narrow spectrum of debate that talking about even well-known and extensively documented facts involving the real nature of America's government and media will get you laughingly dismissed as a conspiracy theorist, which is itself a symptom of tight narrative control by a ruling class which much prefers Americans thinking they live in a free democracy whose government they control with their votes.

//www.youtube.com/embed/Yw0qkvvSE7s

In the old days you used to be able to tell who your rulers were because they'd sit on thrones and wear golden crowns and make you bow before them. Human consciousness eventually evolved beyond the acceptability of such brazen indignities, so it became necessary for rulers to take on more of a background role while the citizenry clap and cheer for the illusory puppet show of electoral politics.

But the kings are still among us, just as cruel and tyrannical as ever. They've just figured out how to mask their tyranny behind the facade of freedom.

But 2020 has been a year of revelations , a trend which seems likely to continue accelerating . Truth cannot stay hidden forever.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

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

[Jul 30, 2020] un gusano sin verg enza

Jul 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

dimitrov , Jul 30 2020 22:04 utc | 26

Roberto is what folks in Latin America would deem is "un gusano sin vergüenza'. A willing neo-colonial lapdog for the ghoulish intelligence agencies. You can disregard this sad waste of matter. The governments of Brasil & Ecuador are willingly allowing their countries to succumb to COVID-19. Bio-genocide, in other words. It's a nightmare.

[Jul 24, 2020] Intelligence agencies, in Israel and elsewhere, are organized criminal syndicates

Jul 24, 2020 | twitter.com

. Jul 22 Funny that people hating on me for covering crimes of Israeli intelligence ignore the fact that Mossad heads openly admit it's a criminal organization. Intelligence agencies, in Israel and elsewhere, are organized criminal syndicates. Ex-spy chief said 'fun part' about Mossad is that it's a crime organization. Netanyahu is not amused *** haaretz.com

[Jul 20, 2020] The above link exhaustively details how the fraud was perpetrated and how the White Helmets were funded. The most disturbing facts were the murder of captive Syrian civilians including children for use as props for Western media.

Jul 20, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

A former British officer and gentleman, no less!

PATIENT OBSERVER July 19, 2020 at 11:29 am

http://syriapropagandamedia.org/james-le-mesurier-a-reconstruction-of-his-business-activities-and-covert-role

The above link exhaustively details how the fraud was perpetrated and how the White Helmets were funded. The most disturbing facts were the murder of captive Syrian civilians including children for use as props for Western media. There is little doubt in my mind that these murders were viewed as standard business practice with the only concern being related to complication from being caught. Of course, being "caught" was a minor inconvenience that the MSM could easily manage into oblivion.

Mr. Le Mesurier may have been killed as the White Helmets no longer had value and dead men rarely talk:

https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2019/12/10/british-spy-le-mesurier-was-likely-running-away-from-someone-before-his-death

His wife was not very helpful in the investigation having changed her story several times.

Winberg said she looked for her husband inside the house and saw his lifeless body when she looked out of the window. Police are investigating now how she was able to wake up about half an hour after she took a sleeping pill and why she stacked a large amount of money inside the house into bags immediately after Le Mesurier's body was found.
Among questions that are needed to be addressed in the case is why Le Mesurier, who intended to sleep, did not change his clothes, did not even loosen his belt or remove his watch. It is also not known why he did not choose a definitive suicidal action to kill himself, instead of jumping from a relatively low height and why he chose to walk along the roof, passing around the air conditioning devices on the roof, instead of jumping to the street directly from the section of the roof closer to his window.

Mr. Le Mesurier was previously active in Kosovo.

[Jul 20, 2020] The Real 'Russian Playbook' Is Written in English -- Strategic Culture

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia's economic engagement with the region expanded significantly. ..."
"... Are these developments coincidental, or has the Kremlin sought deliberately to erode the region's democratic institutions through its influence to 'break the internal coherence of the enemy system'? ..."
"... a false flag operation" involving "an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland". There is little in Sharp's book to suggest that non-violent resistance would have had much effect on a really brutal and determined government. He also has the naïve habit of using "democrat" and "dictator" as if these words were as precisely defined as coconuts and codfish. But any "dictatorship" – for example Stalin's is a very complex affair with many shades of opinion in it. So, in terms of what he was apparently trying to do, one can see it only succeeding against rather mild "dictators" presiding over extremely unpopular polities. With a great deal of outside effort and resources. ..."
"... His "playbook" is useful to outside powers that want to overthrow governments they don't like. Especially those run by "dictators" not brutal enough to shoot the protesters down. ..."
Jul 17, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

I hadn't given The Russian Playbook much attention until Susan Rice, Obama's quondam security advisor, opined a month ago on CNN that " I'm not reading the intelligence today, or these days -- but based on my experience, this is right out of the Russian playbook ". She was referring to the latest U.S. riots.

Once I'd seen this mention of The Russian Playbook (aka KGB, Kremlin or Putin's Playbook), I saw the expression all over the place. Here's an early – perhaps the earliest – use of the term. In October 2016, the Center for Strategic and International studies (" Ranked #1 ") informed us of the " Kremlin Playbook " with this ominous beginning

There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia's economic engagement with the region expanded significantly.

And asks

Are these developments coincidental, or has the Kremlin sought deliberately to erode the region's democratic institutions through its influence to 'break the internal coherence of the enemy system'?

Well, to these people, to ask the question is to answer it: can't possibly be disappointment at the gap between 2004's expectations and 2020's reality, can't be that they don't like the total Western values package that they have to accept, it must be those crafty Russians deceiving them. This was the earliest reference to The Playbook that I found, but it certainly wasn't the last.

Russia has a century-old playbook for 'disinformation' 'I believe in Russia they do have their own manual that essentially prescribes what to do,' said Clint Watts, a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a former FBI agent. (Nov 2018)

The Russian playbook for spreading fake news and conspiracy theories is the subject of a new three-part video series on The New York Times website titled 'Operation Infektion: Russian Disinformation: From The Cold War To Kanye.' (Nov 2018)

I found headlines such as these: Former CIA Director Outlines Russian Playbook for Influencing Unsuspecting Targets (May 2017) ; Fmr. CIA op.: Don Jr. meeting part of Russian playbook (Jul 2017) ; Americans Use Russian Playbook to Spread Disinformation (Oct 2018) ; Factory of Lies: The Russian Playbook (Nov 2018) ; Shredding the Putin Playbook: Six crucial steps we must take on cyber-security -- before it's too late. (Winter 2018) ; Trump's spin is 'all out of the KGB playbook': Counterintelligence expert Malcolm Nance (May 2019) .

Of course, all these people are convinced Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Somehow. To some effect. Never really specified but the latest outburst of insanity is this video from the Lincoln Project . As Anatoly Karlin observes: "I think it's really cool how we Russians took over America just by shitposting online. How does it feel to be subhuman?" He has a point: the Lincoln Project, and the others shrieking about Russian interference, take it for granted that American democracy is so flimsy and Americans so gullible that a few Facebook ads can bring the whole facade down. A curious mental state indeed.

So let us consider The Russian Playbook. It stands at the very heart of Russian power. It is old: at least a century old . Why, did not Tolstoy's 1908 Letter to a Hindu inspire Gandhi to bring down the British Indian Empire and win the Great Game for Moscow? The Tolstoy-Putin link is undeniable as we are told in A Post-Soviet 'War and Peace': What Tolstoy's Masterwork Explains About Putin's Foreign Policy : "In the early decades of the nineteenth century, Napoleon (like Putin after him) wanted to construct his own international order ". Russian novelists: adepts of The Playbook every one . So there is much to consider about this remarkable Book which has had such an enormous – hidden to most – role in world history. Its instructions on how to swing Western elections are especially important: the 2016 U.S. election ; Brexit ; " 100 years of Russian electoral interference "; Canada ; France ; the European Union ; Germany and many more. The awed reader must ask whether any Western election since Tolstoy's day can be trusted. Not to forget the Great Hawaiian Pizza Debate the Russians could start at any moment.

What can we know about The Playbook? For a start it must be written in Russian, a language that those crafty Russians insist on speaking among themselves. Secondly such an important document would be protected the way that highly classified material is protected. There would be a very restricted need to know; underlings participating in one of the many plays would not know how their part fitted into The Playbook; few would ever see The Playbook itself. The Playbook would be brought to the desk of the few authorised to see it by a courier, signed for, the courier would watch the reader and take away the copy afterwards. The very few copies in existence would be securely locked away; each numbered and differing subtly from the others so that, should a leak occur, the authorities would know which copy read by whom had been leaked. Printed on paper that could not be photographed or duplicated. As much protection as human cunning could devise; right up there with the nuclear codes .

So, The Russian Playbook would be extraordinarily difficult to get hold of. And yet every talking head on U.S. TV has a copy at his elbow! English copies, one assumes. Rachel Maddow has comprehended the complicated chapter on how to control the U.S. power system . Others have read the impenetrably complex section on how to control U.S. voting machines or change vote counts . Many are familiar with the lists of divisions in American society and directions for exploiting them . Adam Schiff has mastered the section on how to get Trump to give Alaska back . Susan Rice well knows the chapter "How to create riots in peaceful communities".

And so on. It's all quite ridiculous: we're supposed to believe that Moscow easily controls far-away countries but can't keep its neighbours under control.

There is no Russian Playbook, that's just projection. But there is a "playbook" and it's written in English, it's freely available and it's inexpensive enough that every pundit can have a personal copy: it's named " From Dictatorship To Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation " and it's written by Gene Sharp (1928-2018) . Whatever Sharp may have thought he was doing, whatever good cause he thought he was assisting, his book has been used as a guide to create regime changes around the world. Billed as "democracy" and "freedom", their results are not so benign. Witness Ukraine today. Or Libya. Or Kosovo whose long-time leader has just been indicted for numerous crimes . Curiously enough, these efforts always take place in countries that resist Washington's line but never in countries that don't. Here we do see training, financing, propaganda, discord being sown, divisions exploited to effect regime change – all the things in the imaginary "Russian Playbook". So, whatever he may have thought he was helping, Sharp's advice has been used to produce what only the propagandists could call " model interventions "; to the "liberated" themselves, the reality is poverty , destruction , war and refugees .

The Albert Einstein Institution , which Sharp created in 1983, strongly denies collusion with Washington-sponsored overthrows but people from it have organised seminars or workshops in many targets of U.S. overthrows . The most recent annual report of 2014 , while rather opaque, shows 45% of its income from "grants" (as opposed to "individuals") and has logos of Euromaidan, SOSVenezuela, Umbrellamovement , Lwili , Sunflowersquare and others. In short, the logos of regime change operations in Ukraine, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Burkina Faso and Taiwan. (And, ironically for today's USA, Black Lives Matter). So, clearly, there is some connection between the AEI and Washington-sponsored regime change operations.

So there is a "handbook" but it's not Russian.

Reading Sharp's book, however, makes one wonder if he was just fooling himself. Has there ever been a "dictatorship" overthrown by "non-violent" resistance along the lines of what he is suggesting? He mentions Norwegians who resisted Hitler; but Norway was liberated, along with the rest of Occupied Europe, by extremely violent warfare. While some Jews escaped, most didn't and it was the conquest of Berlin that saved the rest: the nazi state was killed . The USSR went away, together with its satellite governments in Europe but that was a top-down event. He likes Gandhi but Gandhi wouldn't have lasted a minute under Stalin. Otpor was greatly aided by NATO's war on Serbia. And, they're only "non-violent" because the Western media doesn't talk much about the violence ; "non-violent" is not the first word that comes to mind in this video of Kiev 2014 . "Colour revolutions" are manufactured from existing grievances, to be sure, but with a great deal of outside assistance, direction and funding; upon inspection, there's much design behind their "spontaneity". And, not infrequently, with mysterious sniping at a expedient moment – see Katchanovski's research on the "Heavenly Hundred" of the Maidan showing pretty convincingly that the shootings were " a false flag operation" involving "an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland". There is little in Sharp's book to suggest that non-violent resistance would have had much effect on a really brutal and determined government. He also has the naïve habit of using "democrat" and "dictator" as if these words were as precisely defined as coconuts and codfish. But any "dictatorship" – for example Stalin's is a very complex affair with many shades of opinion in it. So, in terms of what he was apparently trying to do, one can see it only succeeding against rather mild "dictators" presiding over extremely unpopular polities. With a great deal of outside effort and resources.

His "playbook" is useful to outside powers that want to overthrow governments they don't like. Especially those run by "dictators" not brutal enough to shoot the protesters down. It's not Russian diplomats that are caught choosing the leaders of ostensibly independent countries . It's not Russians who boast of spending money in poor countries to change their governments . It's not Russian diplomats who meet with foreign opposition leaders . Russia doesn't fabricate a leader of a foreign country . It's not Russia that invents a humanitarian crisis , bombs the country to bits , laughs at its leader's brutal death and walks away. It's not Russia that sanctions numerous countries . It's not Russia that gives fellowships to foreign oppositionists . Even the Washington Post (one of the principals in sustaining Putindunnit hysteria) covered " The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere "; but piously insisted "the days of its worst behavior are long behind it". Whatever the pundits may claim about Russia, the USA actually has an organisation devoted to interfering in other countries' business ; one of whose leading lights proudly boasted: " A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA. "

The famous "Russian Playbook" is nothing but projection onto Moscow of what Washington actually does: projection is so common a feature of American propaganda that one may certain that when Washington accuses somebody else of doing something, it's a guarantee that Washington is doing it.

[Jul 11, 2020] Mutiny on the Bounties by Ray McGovern

Jul 03, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House, as Obama's former ambassador to Russia piles on the nonsense about Trump being in Putin's pocket?


Special to Consortium News

C orporate media are binging on leaked Kool Aid not unlike the WMD concoction they offered 18 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-UK war of aggression on Iraq.

Now Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia under President Obama, has been enlisted by The Washington Post 's editorial page honcho, Fred Hiatt, to draw on his expertise (read, incurable Russophobia) to help stick President Donald Trump back into "Putin's pocket." (This has become increasingly urgent as the canard of "Russiagate" -- including the linchpin claim that Russia hacked the DNC -- lies gasping for air.)

In an oped on Thursday McFaul presented a long list of Vladimir Putin's alleged crimes, offering a more ostensibly sophisticated version of amateur Russian specialist, Rep. Jason Crow's (D-CO) claim that: "Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with McFaul meeting Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, on May 7, 2013. (State Department)

McFaul had -- well, let's call it an undistinguished career in Moscow. He arrived with a huge chip on his shoulder and proceeded to alienate just about all his hosts, save for the rabidly anti-Putin folks he openly and proudly cultivated. In a sense, McFaul became the epitome of what Henry Wooton described as the role of ambassador -- "an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country." What should not be so readily accepted is an ambassador who comes back home and just can't stop misleading.

Not to doubt McFaul's ulterior motives; one must assume him to be an "honest man" -- however misguided, in my opinion. He seems to be a disciple of the James Clapper-Curtis LeMay-Joe McCarthy School of Russian Analysis.

Clapper, a graduate summa cum laude , certainly had the Russians pegged! Clapper was allowed to stay as Barack Obama's director of national intelligence for three and a half years after perjuring himself in formal Senate testimony (on NSA's illegal eavesdropping). On May 28, 2017 Clapper told NBC's Chuck Todd about "the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/tcN_tWk089w?feature=oembed

As a finale, in full knowledge of Clapper's proclivities regarding Russia, Obama appointed him to prepare the evidence-impoverished, misnomered "Intelligence Community Assessment" claiming that Putin did all he could, including hacking the DNC, to help Trump get elected -- the most embarrassing such "intelligence assessment" I have seen in half a century .

Obama and the National Security State

I have asked myself if Obama also had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School, or whether he simply lacked the courage to challenge the pitiably self-serving "analysis" of the National Security State. Then I re-read "Obama Misses the Afghan Exit-Ramp" of June 24, 2010 and was reminded of how deferential Obama was to the generals and the intelligence gurus, and how unconscionable the generals were -- like their predecessors in Vietnam -- in lying about always seeing light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Thankfully, now ten years later, this is all documented in Craig Whitlock's, "The Afghanistan Papers: At War With the Truth." Corporate media, who played an essential role in that "war with the truth", have not given Whitlock's damning story the attention it should command (surprise, surprise!). In any case, it strains credulity to think that Obama was unaware he was being lied to on Afghanistan.

Some Questions

Clark Gable (l.) with Charles Laughton (r.) in Mutiny on the Bounty, 1935.

Does no one see the irony today in the Democrats' bashing Trump on Afghanistan, with the full support of the Establishment media? The inevitable defeat there is one of the few demonstrable disasters not attributable directly to Trump, but you would not know that from the media. Are the uncorroborated reports of Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops aimed at making it appear that Trump, unable to stand up to Putin, let the Russians drive the rest of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan?

Does the current flap bespeak some kind of "Mutiny on the Bounties," so to speak, by a leaker aping Eric Chiaramella? Recall that the Democrats lionized the CIA official seconded to Trump's national security council as a "whistleblower" and proceeded to impeach Trump after Chiaramella leaked information on Trump's telephone call with the president of Ukraine. Far from being held to account, Chiaramella is probably expecting an influential job if his patron, Joe Biden, is elected president. Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House?

And what does one make of the spectacle of Crow teaming up with Rep. Liz Cheney (R, WY) to restrict Trump's planned pull-out of troops from Afghanistan, which The Los Angeles Times reports has now been blocked until after the election?

Hiatt & McFaul: Caveat Editor

And who published McFaul's oped? Fred Hiatt, Washington Post editorial page editor for the past 20 years, who has a long record of listening to the whispers of anonymous intelligence sources and submerging/drowning the subjunctive mood with flat fact. This was the case with the (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the U.S.-UK attack. Readers of the Post were sure there were tons of WMD in Iraq. That Hiatt has invited McFaul on stage should come as no surprise.

To be fair, Hiatt belatedly acknowledged that the Post should have been more circumspect in its confident claims about the WMD. "If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction," Hiatt said in an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review . "If that's not true, it would have been better not to say it." [CJR, March/April 2004]

At this word of wisdom, Consortium News founder, the late Robert Parry, offered this comment: "Yes, that is a common principle of journalism, that if something isn't real, we're not supposed to confidently declare that it is." That Hiatt is still in that job speaks volumes.

'Uncorroborated, Contradicted, or Even Non-Existent'

It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the "intelligence" on WMD in Iraq was not "mistaken;" it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.

Announcing on June 5, 2008, the bipartisan conclusions from a five-year study by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller ( D-WV) said the attack on Iraq was launched "under false pretenses." He described the intelligence conjured up to "justify" war on Iraq as "uncorroborated, contradicted, or even non-existent."

Homework

Yogi Berra in 1956. (Wikipedia)

Here's an assignment due on Monday. Read McFaul's oped carefully. It appears under the title: "Trump would do anything for Putin. No wonder he's ignoring the Russian bounties: Russia's pattern of hostility matches Trump's pattern of accommodation."

And to give you a further taste, here is the first paragraph:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have paid Taliban rebels in Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers. Having resulted in at least one American death, and maybe more, these Russian bounties reportedly produced the desired outcome. While deeply disturbing, this effort by Putin is not surprising: It follows a clear pattern of ignoring international norms, rules and laws -- and daring the United States to do anything about it."

Full assignment for Monday: Read carefully through each paragraph of McFaul's text and select which of his claims you would put into one or more of the three categories adduced by Sen. Rockefeller 12 years ago about WMD on Iraq. With particular attention to the evidence behind McFaul's claims, determine which of the claims is (a) "uncorroborated"; which (b) "contradicted"; and which (c) "non-existent;" or (d) all of the above. For extra credit, find one that is supported by plausible evidence.

Yogi Berra might be surprised to hear us keep quoting him with "Deja vu, all over again." Sorry, Yogi, that's what it is; you coined it.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-year career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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Tags: Clark Gabel Curtis LeMay Donald Trump Eric Chiaramella Henry Wooton James Clapper Joe Biden Joe McCarthy Michael McFaul Ray McGovern Vladimir Putin Yogi Berra


Tarus77 , July 6, 2020 at 14:25

Gad, one wonders if it can ever get much lower in the press and the answer is yes, it can and will go lower, i.e. the mcfaul/hiatt tag team. They are still plumbing for the lows.

The question becomes just how stupid these two are or how stupid do they believe the readership is to read and believe this garbage.

Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:58

By now the Russia did it ! is in effect a joke in Russia. Economically, politically, geo strategically China and Asia and Africa have become more important and reliable partners of Russia than the USA. And Europe is also dropping fast on the trustworthy partners list…..

John , July 5, 2020 at 12:55

Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both long-time members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), flagship of the globalist “liberal world order”. The CFR and its many interlocking affiliates, along with their media assets and frontmen in government, have dominated US policy since WW2. Most of the Fed chairmen and secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense and CIA have been CFR members, including Jerome Powell and Mark Esper.

The major finance, energy, defense and media corporations are CFR sponsors, and several of their execs are members. David Rubenstein, billionaire founder of the notorious Carlyle Group, is the current CFR chairman. Laurence Fink, billionaire chairman of BlackRock, is a CFR director. See lists at the CFR website.

Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:38

Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both very active promoters of hate crimes. Neither has any decency hence decency is allergic to war profiteers and opportunistic liars.
The poor USA; to descend to such a deep moral hole that both Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are still alive and prospering. Shamelessness and presstituting are paid well in the US.

Juan M Escobedo , July 5, 2020 at 11:35

Dems and Reps are already mad.You cannot destroy what does not exist;like Democracy in these United States.Nor God or Putin could.This has always being a fallacy.This is not a democracy;same thing with”comunist China or the USSR.Those two were never socialist.There has never being a real Socialist or Communist country.

Guy , July 4, 2020 at 12:26

“It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the “intelligence” on WMD in Iraq was not “mistaken;” it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.”
That statement goes to the crux of the matter .Why should journalists care about what is true or a lie in their reports ,they know they will never be held to account .They should be held to account through the court system . A lie by any journalist should be actionable by any court of law . The fear of jail time would sort out the scam journalists we presently have to endure . As it is they have perverted the profession of journalism and it is the law of the jungle .No true democracy should put up with this. We are surrounded with lies that are generated by the very establishment that should protect it’s citizens from same .

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:36

They are spoon fed those lies by our “intelligence” agencies. As CNN’s Jeff Zucker said, “We’re not investigators, we’re journalists”.
Replace “journalists” with “toadies” or “shills” for our “intelligence” community and you’ve gotten to the truth of the matter.

Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:50

The ‘journalists’ observe how things have been going on for Cheney the Traitor and Bush the lesser — nothing happened to the mega criminals. The hate-bursting and war-profiteering Cheney’s daughter has even squeezed into US Congress.
In a healthy society where human dignity is cherished, the Cheney family will be ostracized and the family name became a synonym for the word ‘traitor.’ In the unhealthy scoiety of Clintons, Obamas, Epstein, Mueller, Adelsons, Clapper, and Krystols, human dignity is a sin.

Ricard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 11:42

Our institutions including journalism are not merely corrupt, they are degenerate. That is, the corruption is not occasional or the exception is is by design, desired and entirely normal.

Stan W. , July 4, 2020 at 12:10

I’m still confident that Durham’s investigation will expose and successfully prosecute the maggots that infest our government.

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:29

What is the basis for this confidence?

John Puma , July 4, 2020 at 12:03

Re: whether Obumma “had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School” of Russia Analytics.

It would be a worthy addition to his degree collection featuring that earned from the Neville Chamberlain Night School of Critical Political Negotiation.

Jeff Harrison , July 4, 2020 at 11:16

Hmmm. Lessee. The US attacks Afghanistan with about the same legitimacy that we had when we attacked Iraq and the Taliban are in charge. We oust the Taliban from power and put our own puppets in place. What idiot thinks that the Taliban are going to need a bounty to kill Americans?

Wendy LaRiviere , July 4, 2020 at 18:29

Jeff Harrison, I like your logic. Plus, I understand that far fewer Americans are being killed in Afghanistan than were under Obama’s administration.

AnneR , July 4, 2020 at 10:27

Frankly, I am sick to death of the unwarranted, indeed bestial Russophobia that is megaphoned minute by minute on NPR and the BBC World Service (only radio here since my husband died). If it isn’t this latest trumped up (ho ho) charge, there are repeated mentions, in passing, of course, of the Russiagate, hacking, Kremlin control of the Strumpet to back up the latest bunch of lies. Doesn’t matter at *all* that Russiagate was debunked, that even Mueller couldn’t actually demonstrably pull the DNC/ruling elites rabbit out of the hat, that the impeachment of the Strumpet went nowhere. And it clearly – by its total absence on the above radio broadcasts – doesn’t matter one iota that the Pentagonal hasn’t gone along, that gaping holes in the confabulation are (and were) obvious to those who cared to think with half a mind awake and reflecting on past US ruling elite lies, untruths, obfuscations. Nope. Just repeat, repeat, repeat. Orwell would clap his hands (not because he agreed with the atrocious politics but the lesson is learnt).

Added to the whipped up anti-Russia, decidedly anti-Putin crapola – is of course the Russian peoples’ vote, decision making on their own country’s changes to the Basic Law (a form of Constitution). When the radio broadcasts the usual sickening anti-Russian/Putin propaganda regarding this vote immediately prior they would state that the changes would install Putin for many more years: no mention that he would have to be elected, i.e. voted by the populace into the presidency. (This was repeated ad infinitum without any elaboration.) No other proposed changes were mentioned – certainly not that the Duma would gain greater control over the governance of the country and over the president’s cabinet. I.e. that the popularly elected (ain’t that what we call democracy??) representatives in the Duma (parliament) would essentially have more power than the president.

But most significantly, to my mind, no one has (well of course not – this is Russia) raised the issue of the fact that it was the Russian people, the vox populi/hoi polloi, who have had some say in how they are to be governed, how their government will work for them. HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works – let alone for us, the hoi polloi? When did we the citizenry last have a voting say on ANY sentence in the Constitution that governs us??? Ummm I do believe it was the creation of the wealthy British descended slave holding, real estate ethnic-cleansing lot who wrote and ratified the original document and the hardly dissimilar Congressional and state types who have over the years written and voted on various amendments. And it is the members of the upper classes in the Supreme Court who adjudicate on its application to various problems.

BUT We the hoi polloi have never, ever had a direct opportunity to individually vote for or against any single part of the Constitution which is supposed to be the “democratic” superstructure which governs us. Unlike the Russians a couple of days ago.

Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:48

“HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works…” See, that’s your mistake right there. WE don’t have a government. We need one, but we ain’t got one. THEY have a government which they let us go through the motions of electing. ‘Member back when Bernie was talking about a Political Revolution?

Here’s a little fact for you. The five most populous states have a total of 123,000,000 people. That’s 10 Senators. The five least populated states have a total of 3.5 million. That’s also 10 Senators. Democracy anyone?

vinnieoh , July 4, 2020 at 09:37

There have been three coup d’état within the US within the lifetimes of most that read these pages. The first was explained to us by Eisenhower only as he was exiting his time from the national stage; the MIC had co-opted our government. The second happened in 2000, with the putsch in Florida and then the adoption by the neocon cabal of Bush /Chaney of the PNAC blueprint “Strategies for Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (Defenses – hahahaha – shit!). The third happened late last year and early this year when the bottom-up grass-roots movement of progressivism was crushed by the DNC and the cold-warrior hack Biden was inserted as the champion of “the opposition party.”

And, make no mistake that Kamala Harris WILL be his running mate. It was always going to be Harris. It was to be Harris at the TOP of the ticket as the primaries began, but she wasn’t even placing in the top tier in any of the contests. However, the poohbahs and strategists of the DNC are nothing if not determined and consistent. If Biden should win, we should all start practicing now saying “President Harris” because that is what the future holds. For the DNC, she looks the part, she sounds the part, but more importantly she is the very definition of the status quo, corporate ass-kisser, MIC tool.

The professional political class have fully colluded to fatally cripple this democratic republic. “Democracy” is just a word they say like, “Where’s my kickback?” (excuse me – my “motivation”.) This bounty scam and the rehabilitation of GW Bush are nothing but a full blitzkrieg flanking of Trump on the right. And Trump of course is so far out of his depth that he actually believes that Israel is his friend. (A hint Donny: Israel is NO-ONE’S friend.)

What is most infuriating? hope-crushing? plain f$%&*#g scary? is that the majority of Americans from all quarters do not want any of what the professional political class keeps dumping on us. The very attempt at performing this upcoming election will finally and forever lay completely bare the collapse of a functioning government. It’s going to be very ugly, and it may very well be the end. Dog help us all.

Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:51

Don’t you think that the assassination of JFK counts as a coup d’etat?

Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:10

Apres moi, le Deluge.

John Drake , July 7, 2020 at 11:25

Oh gosh how can you forget the Kennedy Assassination. Most people don’t realize he was had ordered the removal of a thousand advisors from Vietnam starting the process of completely cutting bait there, as he had in Laos and Cambodia. All of which made the generals apoplectic. The great secret about Vietnam-which Ellsberg discovered much latter, and mentioned in his book Secrets, another good read- was that every president had been warned it was likely futile. Kennedy was the only one who took that intelligence seriously-like it was actually intelligent intelligence.

Enter stage right Allen Dulles(fired CIA chief), the anti Castro Cubans, the Mafia and most important the MIC; exit Jack Kennedy.

Douglas, JFK why he died and why it matters is the best work on the subject. And no Oswald did not do it; it was a sniper team from different angles, but read the book it gets complicated.

Roger , July 4, 2020 at 09:11

from Counterpunch.org : “Around 15,000 Soviet troops perished in the Afghan War between 1979 and 1989. The US funneled more than $20 billion to the Mujahideen and other anti-Soviet fighters over that same period. This works out to a “bounty” of $1.33 million for each Soviet soldier killed.”

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 08:35

I am wondering how Cheney and Crow can block Trump from withdrawing the troops from Afghanistan. Is Trump Commander in Chief, or not? How can two senators stop the Commander in Chief from commanding troop movements? I realize they control the budget, but aren’t they crossing into illegality by restricting Trump’s ability to “command”?

Toad Sprocket , July 4, 2020 at 16:49

Yeah, I imagine it’s illegal. Didn’t Lindsay Graham threaten the same thing when Trump was thinking of pulling troops/”advisers” from Syria? And other congress warmongers joined in though I don’t think any legislation was passed. They can’t be bothered to authorize the starts of wars but want to step in when someone tries to end them.

Oh, and Schumer on South Korea troops, I think that one did pass. Almost certainly illegal if it came down to it, but our government is of course lawless. And our courts full of judges who are bought off or moronic or both.

dean 1000 , July 4, 2020 at 06:52

The soft coup attempt continues Ray. More lies and bullshit. It may continue until election day. Will the media fess-up to its lies after the fact again?

Francis Lee , July 4, 2020 at 04:49

“Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.”

Yes, of course it is a well-known ‘fact’ that Putin has nothing better to do than destory American democracy, and I bet he has dreams about it too! But I am minded to think that if anybody has a penchant for destroying American democracy it is the powers that be in the US deep state, intelligence agencies, and zionist cliques controlling the President and Congress.

”Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”

The American establishment seems to be suffering from a bad case of ‘projection’ as psychiatrists call it. That is to say accusing others of what they are themselves actually doing.

The whole idiotic circus would be hilarious if it were not so serious.

Antonia Young , July 4, 2020 at 12:20

Putin’s (and by extension the Russian Federation’s) primary objective is international stability. “Destroying America, dividing Americans is the last thing he wants.) Putin learned many lessons during the break-up of the U.S.S.R. observing the carpet baggers/oligarchs/vultures who descended on the weak nation, absconding with it’s wealth and resources at mere fractions of their real value. The deep state’s worst fear is the co-operation btwn Putin and President Trump to make the world more peaceful, stable, co-operative and prosperous.

rosemerry , July 4, 2020 at 16:10

The whole conceited and arrogant “belief” that
1. the USA has any resemblance to a democracy and
2 Pres. Putin has nothing else to do but think how he could do a better job of showing the destructive and irresponsible behavior of the USA than its own leaders” and media can do with no help
has no basis in reality.

If anything, Putin is such a stickler for international law, negotiations, avoidance of conflict that he is regarded by many as too Christian for this modern, individualistic, LBGTQ,”nobody matters but me” worldview of the USA!

Steve Naidamast , July 5, 2020 at 19:54

“If the enemy is self destructing, let them continue to do so…”

Napoleon

Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:17

“zionist cliques”: Christian Zionist fighting Fundies, eager for the End of the World, the Second Coming of Jesus.

delia ruhe , July 4, 2020 at 01:09

Yup, we got a Bountygate. Since my early morning visit to the Foreign Policy site, the place has exploded with breathless articles on the dastardly Putin and the cowardly Trump, who has so far failed to hold Putin to account. Reminded me of a similar explosion there when Russiagate finally got the attention the Dems thought it deserved.

(Anyone think that the intel community pays a fee to each of the FP columnists whenever one of their a propaganda narratives needs a push to get it off the ground?)

JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 4, 2020 at 08:52

Udo Ulfkotte was a German journalist.

He wrote a sensational book about the practices he experienced of the CIA paying German journalists to publish certain stories.

The book was a big best seller in Germany.

Its English translation was suppressed for years, but I believe is now available.

Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:30

Reply to John Chuckman: I’d love to read this book but it wasn’t available a few years ago when I looked. I’ll look again!

Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:52

Gekaufte journalisten.
Ulfkotte admitted he signed off on numerous articles that were prepared for him during his career. The last year’s of his life he changed his mores and advocated “better die in truth than live with lies”.

Richard A. , July 4, 2020 at 00:59

I remember the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour from decades ago. Real experts on Russia like Dimitri Simes and Stephen Cohen were the ones to appear on that NewsHour. The NewsHour of today rarely has experts on Russia, just experts on Russia bashing–like Michael McFaul. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Antonia Young , July 3, 2020 at 23:35

Thank you, Ray for your clarion voice in the midst of WMD-seventeen-point-oh. Will the American people have the wisdom to notice how many times we’re being fooled? And finally wake up and stop supporting these questionable news outlets? With appreciation for your excellent analysis, as usual. ~Tonia Young (Formerly with the Topanga Peace Alliance)

Blessthebeasts , July 4, 2020 at 11:55

The majority of Americans have a lot more to worry about than the latest nonsense about Russia. I think most people just tune it out.
The ones being fooled are the fools who have been lapping this crap up from the get go. The supposed educated class who think themselves superior and well informed because they read and listen to the propaganda of PBS, NPR, NYT etc.
They don’t seem to realize the ship is sinking while they’re playing these ridiculous games.

Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:34

The supposedly educated class, yes! It can be stunning how people believe anything they hear on PBS or NPR, and then they make fun of people who believe anything they hear on Fox News. What’s the difference? Both are propaganda tools.

And, yes, watch us go down in flames while so-called progressives boo-hoo about Trump thinking he’s above the law (like every other president before him). Our local “peace and justice” group sent me an email asking me to sign a petition supporting Robert Mueller. I was gobsmacked, and then I realized our local “peace and justice” group had been taken over by Democratic Party “resisters.” Jeezums, why is every word hijacked?

[Jul 10, 2020] The man behind Iraq WDM hoax rips Fake Russia Bounty Story

Jul 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

When Colin Powell of all people has to appear on MSNBC to slam fake reporting you know mainstream media has lost the plot.

In a rare moment, the former Secretary of State under Bush slammed the wall-to-wall coverage of the Russian bounties in Afghanistan story as "almost hysterical" . It's all the more awkard for MSNBC, which had him on the network Thursday to talk about it, given he's one of those 'never Trump' Bush-era officials, who despite a legacy of having fed the world lie after lie to invade Iraq, has since been given "resistance hero" status among liberals.

Describing that military commanders on the ground didn't give credence to The New York Times claim that Russia's GRU was paying Taliban and other militants to kill American soldiers, Powell said the media "got kind of out of control" in the first days after the initial report weeks ago.

"I know that our military commanders on the ground did not think that it was as serious a problem as the newspapers were reporting and television was reporting," Powell told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. "It got kind of out of control before we really had an understanding of what had happened. I'm not sure we fully understand now."

"It's our commanders who are going to go deal with this kind of a threat, using intelligence given to them by the intelligence community," Powell continued. "But that has to be analyzed. It has to be attested. And then you have to go find out who the enemy is. And I think we were on top of that one, but it just got almost hysterical in the first few days."

He also deflated the ongoing manufactured atmosphere which seeks to maintain a perpetual Washington hawkish position vis-a-vis Moscow, based on perceived "Russian aggression".

"I don't think we're in a position to go to war with the Russians," Powell said. "I know Mr. Putin rather well. He's just figuring out a way to stay in power until 2036. The last thing he's looking for is a war, and the last thing he's looking for is a war with the United States of America."

[Jul 08, 2020] Was the story concocted as a way for the CIA to divert attention from the the heroin trade massive cash-flow

Jul 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yeah, Right , Jul 8 2020 7:12 utc | 54

@36 Jackrabbit Sure, Kayfabe explains why the NYTimes ran with this story NOW, as in, July 2020.

I'm pointing out how and why that story originated back in 2018 i.e. way back then.

The story was concocted then as a way for the CIA to divert everyone else's attention away from the massive cash-flow that resulted from the Taliban/CIA cooperative business venture otherwise known as "the heroin trade".

That was why the "Russian bounty" nonsense was created, to blind the US military to what was happening.
Nothing more.
No less.

It is NOW being bandied around in the New York Times and the Washington Post for a completely different reason i.e. to create a new scandal in an attempt - once more, yet again - to "get" Trump for reasons of... reasons. Whatever. He's not liked in most corridors of power in Washington.

I don't doubt that this story coming out NOW has horrified the CIA because - and let's be honest here - the "Russian Bounty!!!" story is so preposterous that it really can't stand up to much scrutiny at all, as we have all just seen.

As a fanciful story it worked with the US military in Afghanistan because it validated their worse fears and prejudices.
It doesn't work as a front-page story in the New York Times because (did I mention this already?) it is preposterous nonsense.

[Jul 08, 2020] It looks like the CIA - not the US military in Afghanistan - was responsible for concocting this original story about "Russian Bounties".

Jul 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yeah, Right , Jul 7 2020 22:54 utc | 32

"The memo said that the C.I.A. and the National Counterterrorism Center had assessed".....

I said a week ago that the CIA - not the US military in Afghanistan - was responsible for concocting this original story about "Russian Bounties".

They did so because the US military in Afghanistan had noticed all the cash sloshing around the Taliban and wanted the CIA to find out where it came from.

The CIA could hardly admit It Came From Us, Baby! but also couldn't just shrug the shoulders and mutter "I dunno, go find out for yer'self" in case the military did exactly that.

But this? Why, "Russian bounty" is sure to push all the right buttons with the military, and is guaranteed to concentrate the minds of both the soldiers and the generals. It's a perfect distraction.

But I think b might be onto something here. Even if the claim originated as a bit of deliberate misdirection for the benefit of a puzzled Army of Occupation, once the story gets into the ears of someone like Schiff then it's going to be like a red rag to a bull.


Kay Fabe , Jul 7 2020 22:56 utc | 33

Lol

Everytime Trump says he is going to pull out of somewhere something comes up that allows him to not do so.

The Dems just playing their role so he can explain to his base why he could not pull out of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

The US will never, ever leave Iraq (oil), Syria (Israel), or Afghanistan (poppy), just like we never left Germany, Japan or Korea (and many other places)

Trump never had any intention of pulling out. Which is one reason he stopped reporting on deployments to Afghanistan. Iraq and Syria in 2017

He has bipartisan support for staying in, the MIC wants to stay in, more important is Israel demands it.

Try and give up your false 2 party paradigm. Both parties are united on almost every major issue except the fluff social issues . Its just Kayfabe.

Simon , Jul 7 2020 23:39 utc | 34

You conclude: "But the short live (sic) of the false claims made certain that it failed to achieve this." This is not true. A bipartisan bill has now been introduced that, if enacted, will give Congress oversight of the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan. Trump wants the troops out, the sooner the better. Congress clearly wants to prevent that. So the false story in the NYT and the WaPo does appear to be achieving its purpose.

[Jul 08, 2020] Boomerang returns and hits NYT presstitutes hard (but money do not smell): CENTCOM Chief Is Latest To Deny NY Times Russian Bounties -- Bombshell

Highly recommended!
Did CIA launched this provocation on its own or this is another Ciaramella from NSC in play? This psy-op was a stunning success. But reaction of the part of the US audience was very damaging for the NYT credibility, if such was left.
Jul 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
y_arrow

libfrog88 , 1 hour ago

NYT is not journalism. It's good only to wipe your ***.

Salsa Verde , 1 hour ago

Doesn't matter what gets proven or disproven; rumors and baseless allegations ARE the new "facts" of the woke left.

naro , 2 hours ago

NYSlimes has lost all credibility. When I see "anonymouse" source I just see a lazy, lying, affirmative action hired reporter. ay_arrow

WTFUD , 2 hours ago

The only way you can stop this diarrhea is to publicly hang the perpetrators.

fackbankz , 2 hours ago

I can't believe they're still trying to sell that "Russian interference" nonsense.

No, actually, I can because they're still trying to sell this COVID-1984 nonsense.

scaleindependent , 2 hours ago

Now they tells us, right after the fake story was used to cancel the end of the Afghanistan war.

JedClampIt , 3 hours ago

I'm surprised Tyler hasn't yet ripped apart today's NYT editorial, which proves that when you're wrong, just keep repeating it louder.

Stable-Genius , 3 hours ago

I would trust a Russian far more than I would trust any democrat

zerohedgeguy , 3 hours ago

Here's another theory : the democrats placed these bounties

Thordoom , 3 hours ago

It doesn't matter it was a BS story.

Everybody who at least have some sense and knowledge of the world knew it made no sense whatsoever.

The damage has been done.

Most of the americans now hate russians even more than ever and even want them dead or sanctioned to hell.

This psy-op was a stunning success.

consider me gone , 3 hours ago

Like the Taliban needs money to inspire them to kill Americans. They do that as community service work on their days off. Now if you told me the Russians gave them some weapons to help, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. But the US would never do that to the Russians and certainly not in Afghanistan.

Son of Captain Nemo , 3 hours ago

Question:

Why isn't Russia raising the murder of the U.S. involvement in Andrei Karlov's assassination ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Andrei_Karlov )?... Vitaly Churkin ( https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-diplomats-deaths-theories-putin-kremlin-a7602201.html )?... Michel Lesin ( https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-28/fbi-releases-docs-claiming-rt-founder-beat-himself-death-his-hotel-room )?.... Or for that matter Iran in Qasem Soleimani's execution ( https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/killing-iran-qasem-soleimani-unlawful-expert-200707132312296.html ) by U.S./CIA/DOD?!!!...

[Jul 08, 2020] After the damage was done NYT cheerfully admit fakeness of bounty story as a trick to slow down or stop withdrawal of the USA troops from Afghanistan

Notable quotes:
"... as usual, by the time the truth had its boots on the lie had already spread halfway around the world ..."
Jul 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

pretzelattack , Jul 8 2020 0:09 utc | 38

The New York Times has just published an editorial about this propaganda fiasco (40 min ago):

Don't Let Russian Meddling Derail Afghanistan Withdrawal Plans

Looks like a sophisticated admission of defeat to me, while preparing the terrain for a comeback. Don't know for sure.

@ vk | Jul 8 2020 0:00 utc | 37

as usual, by the time the truth had its boots on the lie had already spread halfway around the world . the liars have an intrinsic edge here as long as they still have some credibility with the msm consuming public. as long as they own the msm.

[Jul 08, 2020] We re under attack so we must stay to get killed??

Notable quotes:
"... I basically doubt that Trump will matter more then Obama did. Didn't Trump claim more or less directly Obama created ISIS by withdrawing the troops from Iraq? ..."
"... Only when foreign-policy elites cease to cite isolationism to explain why the "sole superpower" has stumbled of late will they be able to confront the issues that matter. Ranking high among those issues is an egregious misuse of American military power and an equally egregious abuse of American soldiers. Confronting the vast disparity between U.S. military ambitions since 9/11 and the results actually achieved is a necessary first step toward devising a serious response to Donald Trump's reckless assault on even the possibility of principled statecraft. ..."
Jul 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

moon , Jul 7 2020 23:40 utc | 35

We're under attack so we must stay to get killed??

...
@Caliman | Jul 7 2020 17:25 utc | 1

I basically doubt that Trump will matter more then Obama did. Didn't Trump claim more or less directly Obama created ISIS by withdrawing the troops from Iraq?

The Old Normal. Why we can't beat our addiction to war, by Andrew J. Bacevich, Harper's March 2020 issue:

http://archive.vn/7NjMh#selection-839.0-839.559

Only when foreign-policy elites cease to cite isolationism to explain why the "sole superpower" has stumbled of late will they be able to confront the issues that matter. Ranking high among those issues is an egregious misuse of American military power and an equally egregious abuse of American soldiers. Confronting the vast disparity between U.S. military ambitions since 9/11 and the results actually achieved is a necessary first step toward devising a serious response to Donald Trump's reckless assault on even the possibility of principled statecraft.

[Jul 07, 2020] Mutiny on the Bounties by RAY McGOVERN

Highly recommended!
So they dusted of McFaul to provide the support for bounty provocation. I wonder whether McFaul one one of Epstein guests, or what ?
So who was the clone of Ciaramella this time? People want to know the hero
Notable quotes:
"... Not to doubt McFaul's ulterior motives; one must assume him to be an "honest man" -- however misguided, in my opinion. He seems to be a disciple of the James Clapper-Curtis LeMay-Joe McCarthy School of Russian Analysis. ..."
"... Clapper, a graduate summa cum laude , certainly had the Russians pegged! Clapper was allowed to stay as Barack Obama's director of national intelligence for three and a half years after perjuring himself in formal Senate testimony (on NSA's illegal eavesdropping). On May 28, 2017 Clapper told NBC's Chuck Todd about "the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique." ..."
"... As a finale, in full knowledge of Clapper's proclivities regarding Russia, Obama appointed him to prepare the evidence-impoverished, misnomered "Intelligence Community Assessment" claiming that Putin did all he could, including hacking the DNC, to help Trump get elected -- the most embarrassing such "intelligence assessment" I have seen in half a century . ..."
"... Does no one see the irony today in the Democrats' bashing Trump on Afghanistan, with the full support of the Establishment media? The inevitable defeat there is one of the few demonstrable disasters not attributable directly to Trump, but you would not know that from the media. Are the uncorroborated reports of Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops aimed at making it appear that Trump, unable to stand up to Putin, let the Russians drive the rest of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan? ..."
"... Does the current flap bespeak some kind of "Mutiny on the Bounties," so to speak, by a leaker aping Eric Chiaramella? Recall that the Democrats lionized the CIA official seconded to Trump's national security council as a "whistleblower" and proceeded to impeach Trump after Chiaramella leaked information on Trump's telephone call with the president of Ukraine. Far from being held to account, Chiaramella is probably expecting an influential job if his patron, Joe Biden, is elected president. Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House? ..."
"... It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the "intelligence" on WMD in Iraq was not "mistaken;" it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account. ..."
"... Here's an assignment due on Monday. Read McFaul's oped carefully. It appears under the title: "Trump would do anything for Putin. No wonder he's ignoring the Russian bounties: Russia's pattern of hostility matches Trump's pattern of accommodation." ..."
"... Full assignment for Monday: Read carefully through each paragraph of McFaul's text and select which of his claims you would put into one or more of the three categories adduced by Sen. Rockefeller 12 years ago about WMD on Iraq. With particular attention to the evidence behind McFaul's claims, determine which of the claims is (a) "uncorroborated"; which (b) "contradicted"; and which (c) "non-existent;" or (d) all of the above. For extra credit, find one that is supported by plausible evidence. ..."
"... Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both long-time members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), flagship of the globalist “liberal world order”. The CFR and its many interlocking affiliates, along with their media assets and frontmen in government, have dominated US policy since WW2. Most of the Fed chairmen and secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense and CIA have been CFR members, including Jerome Powell and Mark Esper. ..."
"... The major finance, energy, defense and media corporations are CFR sponsors, and several of their execs are members. David Rubenstein, billionaire founder of the notorious Carlyle Group, is the current CFR chairman. Laurence Fink, billionaire chairman of BlackRock, is a CFR director. See lists at the CFR website. ..."
"... “It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the “intelligence” on WMD in Iraq was not “mistaken;” it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.” ..."
"... They are spoon fed those lies by our “intelligence” agencies. As CNN’s Jeff Zucker said, “We’re not investigators, we’re journalists”. Replace “journalists” with “toadies” or “shills” for our “intelligence” community and you’ve gotten to the truth of the matter. ..."
"... In the unhealthy society of Clintons, Obamas, Epstein, Mueller, Adelsons, Clapper, and Krystols, human dignity is a sin. ..."
"... Our institutions including journalism are not merely corrupt, they are degenerate. That is, the corruption is not occasional or the exception is is by design, desired and entirely normal. ..."
"... from Counterpunch.org : “Around 15,000 Soviet troops perished in the Afghan War between 1979 and 1989. The US funneled more than $20 billion to the Mujahideen and other anti-Soviet fighters over that same period. This works out to a “bounty” of $1.33 million for each Soviet soldier killed.” ..."
"... Yes, of course it is a well-known ‘fact’ that Putin has nothing better to do than destory American democracy, and I bet he has dreams about it too! But I am minded to think that if anybody has a penchant for destroying American democracy it is the powers that be in the US deep state, intelligence agencies, and zionist cliques controlling the President and Congress. ..."
"... Udo Ulfkotte was a German journalist. He wrote a sensational book about the practices he experienced of the CIA paying German journalists to publish certain stories. The book was a big best seller in Germany. Its English translation was suppressed for years, but I believe is now available. ..."
"... Gekaufte journalisten. Ulfkotte admitted he signed off on numerous articles that were prepared for him during his career. The last year’s of his life he changed his mores and advocated “better die in truth than live with lies”. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

RAY McGOVERN: Mutiny on the Bounties

Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House, as Obama's former ambassador to Russia piles on the nonsense about Trump being in Putin's pocket?

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

C orporate media are binging on leaked Kool Aid not unlike the WMD concoction they offered 18 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-UK war of aggression on Iraq.

Now Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia under President Obama, has been enlisted by The Washington Post 's editorial page honcho, Fred Hiatt, to draw on his expertise (read, incurable Russophobia) to help stick President Donald Trump back into "Putin's pocket." (This has become increasingly urgent as the canard of "Russiagate" -- including the linchpin claim that Russia hacked the DNC -- lies gasping for air.)

In an oped on Thursday McFaul presented a long list of Vladimir Putin's alleged crimes, offering a more ostensibly sophisticated version of amateur Russian specialist, Rep. Jason Crow's (D-CO) claim that: "Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with McFaul meeting Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, on May 7, 2013. (State Department)

McFaul had -- well, let's call it an undistinguished career in Moscow. He arrived with a huge chip on his shoulder and proceeded to alienate just about all his hosts, save for the rabidly anti-Putin folks he openly and proudly cultivated. In a sense, McFaul became the epitome of what Henry Wooton described as the role of ambassador -- "an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country." What should not be so readily accepted is an ambassador who comes back home and just can't stop misleading.

Not to doubt McFaul's ulterior motives; one must assume him to be an "honest man" -- however misguided, in my opinion. He seems to be a disciple of the James Clapper-Curtis LeMay-Joe McCarthy School of Russian Analysis.

Clapper, a graduate summa cum laude , certainly had the Russians pegged! Clapper was allowed to stay as Barack Obama's director of national intelligence for three and a half years after perjuring himself in formal Senate testimony (on NSA's illegal eavesdropping). On May 28, 2017 Clapper told NBC's Chuck Todd about "the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/tcN_tWk089w?feature=oembed

As a finale, in full knowledge of Clapper's proclivities regarding Russia, Obama appointed him to prepare the evidence-impoverished, misnomered "Intelligence Community Assessment" claiming that Putin did all he could, including hacking the DNC, to help Trump get elected -- the most embarrassing such "intelligence assessment" I have seen in half a century .

Obama and the National Security State

I have asked myself if Obama also had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School, or whether he simply lacked the courage to challenge the pitiably self-serving "analysis" of the National Security State. Then I re-read "Obama Misses the Afghan Exit-Ramp" of June 24, 2010 and was reminded of how deferential Obama was to the generals and the intelligence gurus, and how unconscionable the generals were -- like their predecessors in Vietnam -- in lying about always seeing light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Thankfully, now ten years later, this is all documented in Craig Whitlock's, "The Afghanistan Papers: At War With the Truth." Corporate media, who played an essential role in that "war with the truth", have not given Whitlock's damning story the attention it should command (surprise, surprise!). In any case, it strains credulity to think that Obama was unaware he was being lied to on Afghanistan.

Some Questions

Clark Gable (l.) with Charles Laughton (r.) in Mutiny on the Bounty, 1935.

Does no one see the irony today in the Democrats' bashing Trump on Afghanistan, with the full support of the Establishment media? The inevitable defeat there is one of the few demonstrable disasters not attributable directly to Trump, but you would not know that from the media. Are the uncorroborated reports of Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops aimed at making it appear that Trump, unable to stand up to Putin, let the Russians drive the rest of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan?

Does the current flap bespeak some kind of "Mutiny on the Bounties," so to speak, by a leaker aping Eric Chiaramella? Recall that the Democrats lionized the CIA official seconded to Trump's national security council as a "whistleblower" and proceeded to impeach Trump after Chiaramella leaked information on Trump's telephone call with the president of Ukraine. Far from being held to account, Chiaramella is probably expecting an influential job if his patron, Joe Biden, is elected president. Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House?

And what does one make of the spectacle of Crow teaming up with Rep. Liz Cheney (R, WY) to restrict Trump's planned pull-out of troops from Afghanistan, which The Los Angeles Times reports has now been blocked until after the election?

Hiatt & McFaul: Caveat Editor

And who published McFaul's oped? Fred Hiatt, Washington Post editorial page editor for the past 20 years, who has a long record of listening to the whispers of anonymous intelligence sources and submerging/drowning the subjunctive mood with flat fact. This was the case with the (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the U.S.-UK attack. Readers of the Post were sure there were tons of WMD in Iraq. That Hiatt has invited McFaul on stage should come as no surprise.

To be fair, Hiatt belatedly acknowledged that the Post should have been more circumspect in its confident claims about the WMD. "If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction," Hiatt said in an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review . "If that's not true, it would have been better not to say it." [CJR, March/April 2004]

At this word of wisdom, Consortium News founder, the late Robert Parry, offered this comment: "Yes, that is a common principle of journalism, that if something isn't real, we're not supposed to confidently declare that it is." That Hiatt is still in that job speaks volumes.

'Uncorroborated, Contradicted, or Even Non-Existent'

It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the "intelligence" on WMD in Iraq was not "mistaken;" it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.

Announcing on June 5, 2008, the bipartisan conclusions from a five-year study by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller ( D-WV) said the attack on Iraq was launched "under false pretenses." He described the intelligence conjured up to "justify" war on Iraq as "uncorroborated, contradicted, or even non-existent."

Homework

Yogi Berra in 1956. (Wikipedia)

Here's an assignment due on Monday. Read McFaul's oped carefully. It appears under the title: "Trump would do anything for Putin. No wonder he's ignoring the Russian bounties: Russia's pattern of hostility matches Trump's pattern of accommodation."

And to give you a further taste, here is the first paragraph:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have paid Taliban rebels in Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers. Having resulted in at least one American death, and maybe more, these Russian bounties reportedly produced the desired outcome. While deeply disturbing, this effort by Putin is not surprising: It follows a clear pattern of ignoring international norms, rules and laws -- and daring the United States to do anything about it."

Full assignment for Monday: Read carefully through each paragraph of McFaul's text and select which of his claims you would put into one or more of the three categories adduced by Sen. Rockefeller 12 years ago about WMD on Iraq. With particular attention to the evidence behind McFaul's claims, determine which of the claims is (a) "uncorroborated"; which (b) "contradicted"; and which (c) "non-existent;" or (d) all of the above. For extra credit, find one that is supported by plausible evidence.

Yogi Berra might be surprised to hear us keep quoting him with "Deja vu, all over again." Sorry, Yogi, that's what it is; you coined it.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-year career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Tarus77 , July 6, 2020 at 14:25

Gad, one wonders if it can ever get much lower in the press and the answer is yes, it can and will go lower, i.e. the mcfaul/hiatt tag team. They are still plumbing for the lows.

The question becomes just how stupid these two are or how stupid do they believe the readership is to read and believe this garbage.

Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:58

By now the Russia did it ! is in effect a joke in Russia. Economically, politically, geo strategically China and Asia and Africa have become more important and reliable partners of Russia than the USA. And Europe is also dropping fast on the trustworthy partners list…..

John , July 5, 2020 at 12:55

Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both long-time members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), flagship of the globalist “liberal world order”. The CFR and its many interlocking affiliates, along with their media assets and frontmen in government, have dominated US policy since WW2. Most of the Fed chairmen and secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense and CIA have been CFR members, including Jerome Powell and Mark Esper.

The major finance, energy, defense and media corporations are CFR sponsors, and several of their execs are members. David Rubenstein, billionaire founder of the notorious Carlyle Group, is the current CFR chairman. Laurence Fink, billionaire chairman of BlackRock, is a CFR director. See lists at the CFR website.

Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:38

Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both very active promoters of hate crimes. Neither has any decency hence decency is allergic to war profiteers and opportunistic liars.

The poor USA; to descend to such a deep moral hole that both Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are still alive and prospering. Shamelessness and presstituting are paid well in the US.

Juan M Escobedo , July 5, 2020 at 11:35

Dems and Reps are already mad. You cannot destroy what does not exist; like Democracy in these United States. Nor God or Putin could. This has always being a fallacy. This is not a democracy; same thing with ”communist" China or the USSR .Those two were never socialist. There has never being a real Socialist or Communist country.

Guy , July 4, 2020 at 12:26

“It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the “intelligence” on WMD in Iraq was not “mistaken;” it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.”

That statement goes to the crux of the matter.Why should journalists care about what is true or a lie in their reports ,they know they will never be held to account .They should be held to account through the court system . A lie by any journalist should be actionable by any court of law . The fear of jail time would sort out the scam journalists we presently have to endure .

As it is they have perverted the profession of journalism and it is the law of the jungle .No true democracy should put up with this. We are surrounded with lies that are generated by the very establishment that should protect it’s citizens from same .

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:36

They are spoon fed those lies by our “intelligence” agencies. As CNN’s Jeff Zucker said, “We’re not investigators, we’re journalists”. Replace “journalists” with “toadies” or “shills” for our “intelligence” community and you’ve gotten to the truth of the matter.

Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:50

The ‘journalists’ observe how things have been going on for Cheney the Traitor and Bush the lesser — nothing happened to the mega criminals. The hate-bursting and war-profiteering Cheney’s daughter has even squeezed into US Congress.

In a healthy society where human dignity is cherished, the Cheney family will be ostracized and the family name became a synonym for the word ‘traitor.’ In the unhealthy society of Clintons, Obamas, Epstein, Mueller, Adelsons, Clapper, and Krystols, human dignity is a sin.

Ricard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 11:42

Our institutions including journalism are not merely corrupt, they are degenerate. That is, the corruption is not occasional or the exception is is by design, desired and entirely normal.

Stan W. , July 4, 2020 at 12:10

I’m still confident that Durham’s investigation will expose and successfully prosecute the maggots that infest our government.

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:29

What is the basis for this confidence?

John Puma , July 4, 2020 at 12:03

Re: whether Obumma “had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School” of Russia Analytics.

It would be a worthy addition to his degree collection featuring that earned from the Neville Chamberlain Night School of Critical Political Negotiation.

Jeff Harrison , July 4, 2020 at 11:16

Hmmm. Lessee. The US attacks Afghanistan with about the same legitimacy that we had when we attacked Iraq and the Taliban are in charge. We oust the Taliban from power and put our own puppets in place. What idiot thinks that the Taliban are going to need a bounty to kill Americans?

Wendy LaRiviere , July 4, 2020 at 18:29

Jeff Harrison, I like your logic. Plus, I understand that far fewer Americans are being killed in Afghanistan than were under Obama’s administration.

AnneR , July 4, 2020 at 10:27

Frankly, I am sick to death of the unwarranted, indeed bestial Russophobia that is megaphoned minute by minute on NPR and the BBC World Service (only radio here since my husband died). If it isn’t this latest trumped up (ho ho) charge, there are repeated mentions, in passing, of course, of the Russiagate, hacking, Kremlin control of the Strumpet to back up the latest bunch of lies.

Doesn’t matter at *all* that Russiagate was debunked, that even Mueller couldn’t actually demonstrably pull the DNC/ruling elites rabbit out of the hat, that the impeachment of the Strumpet went nowhere. And it clearly – by its total absence on the above radio broadcasts – doesn’t matter one iota that the Pentagonal hasn’t gone along, that gaping holes in the confabulation are (and were) obvious to those who cared to think with half a mind awake and reflecting on past US ruling elite lies, untruths, obfuscations. Nope. Just repeat, repeat, repeat. Orwell would clap his hands (not because he agreed with the atrocious politics but the lesson is learnt).

Added to the whipped up anti-Russia, decidedly anti-Putin crapola – is of course the Russian peoples’ vote, decision making on their own country’s changes to the Basic Law (a form of Constitution). When the radio broadcasts the usual sickening anti-Russian/Putin propaganda regarding this vote immediately prior they would state that the changes would install Putin for many more years: no mention that he would have to be elected, i.e. voted by the populace into the presidency. (This was repeated ad infinitum without any elaboration.) No other proposed changes were mentioned – certainly not that the Duma would gain greater control over the governance of the country and over the president’s cabinet. I.e. that the popularly elected (ain’t that what we call democracy??) representatives in the Duma (parliament) would essentially have more power than the president.

But most significantly, to my mind, no one has (well of course not – this is Russia) raised the issue of the fact that it was the Russian people, the vox populi/hoi polloi, who have had some say in how they are to be governed, how their government will work for them. HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works – let alone for us, the hoi polloi? When did we the citizenry last have a voting say on ANY sentence in the Constitution that governs us??? Ummm I do believe it was the creation of the wealthy British descended slave holding, real estate ethnic-cleansing lot who wrote and ratified the original document and the hardly dissimilar Congressional and state types who have over the years written and voted on various amendments. And it is the members of the upper classes in the Supreme Court who adjudicate on its application to various problems.

BUT We the hoi polloi have never, ever had a direct opportunity to individually vote for or against any single part of the Constitution which is supposed to be the “democratic” superstructure which governs us. Unlike the Russians a couple of days ago.

Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:48

“HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works…” See, that’s your mistake right there. WE don’t have a government. We need one, but we ain’t got one. THEY have a government which they let us go through the motions of electing. ‘Member back when Bernie was talking about a Political Revolution?

Here’s a little fact for you. The five most populous states have a total of 123,000,000 people. That’s 10 Senators. The five least populated states have a total of 3.5 million. That’s also 10 Senators. Democracy anyone?

vinnieoh , July 4, 2020 at 09:37

There have been three coup d’état within the US within the lifetimes of most that read these pages. The first was explained to us by Eisenhower only as he was exiting his time from the national stage; the MIC had co-opted our government. The second happened in 2000, with the putsch in Florida and then the adoption by the neocon cabal of Bush /Chaney of the PNAC blueprint “Strategies for Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (Defenses – hahahaha – shit!). The third happened late last year and early this year when the bottom-up grass-roots movement of progressivism was crushed by the DNC and the cold-warrior hack Biden was inserted as the champion of “the opposition party.”

And, make no mistake that Kamala Harris WILL be his running mate. It was always going to be Harris. It was to be Harris at the TOP of the ticket as the primaries began, but she wasn’t even placing in the top tier in any of the contests. However, the poohbahs and strategists of the DNC are nothing if not determined and consistent. If Biden should win, we should all start practicing now saying “President Harris” because that is what the future holds. For the DNC, she looks the part, she sounds the part, but more importantly she is the very definition of the status quo, corporate ass-kisser, MIC tool.

The professional political class have fully colluded to fatally cripple this democratic republic. “Democracy” is just a word they say like, “Where’s my kickback?” (excuse me – my “motivation”.) This bounty scam and the rehabilitation of GW Bush are nothing but a full blitzkrieg flanking of Trump on the right. And Trump of course is so far out of his depth that he actually believes that Israel is his friend. (A hint Donny: Israel is NO-ONE’S friend.)

What is most infuriating? hope-crushing? plain f$%&*#g scary? is that the majority of Americans from all quarters do not want any of what the professional political class keeps dumping on us. The very attempt at performing this upcoming election will finally and forever lay completely bare the collapse of a functioning government. It’s going to be very ugly, and it may very well be the end. Dog help us all.

Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:51

Don’t you think that the assassination of JFK counts as a coup d’etat?

Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:10

Apres moi, le Deluge.

John Drake , July 7, 2020 at 11:25

Oh gosh how can you forget the Kennedy Assassination. Most people don’t realize he was had ordered the removal of a thousand advisors from Vietnam starting the process of completely cutting bait there, as he had in Laos and Cambodia. All of which made the generals apoplectic. The great secret about Vietnam-which Ellsberg discovered much latter, and mentioned in his book Secrets, another good read- was that every president had been warned it was likely futile. Kennedy was the only one who took that intelligence seriously-like it was actually intelligent intelligence.

Enter stage right Allen Dulles (fired CIA chief), the anti Castro Cubans, the Mafia and most important the MIC; exit Jack Kennedy.

Douglas, JFK why he died and why it matters is the best work on the subject. And no Oswald did not do it; it was a sniper team from different angles, but read the book it gets complicated.

Roger , July 4, 2020 at 09:11

from Counterpunch.org : “Around 15,000 Soviet troops perished in the Afghan War between 1979 and 1989. The US funneled more than $20 billion to the Mujahideen and other anti-Soviet fighters over that same period. This works out to a “bounty” of $1.33 million for each Soviet soldier killed.”

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 08:35

I am wondering how Cheney and Crow can block Trump from withdrawing the troops from Afghanistan. Is Trump Commander in Chief, or not? How can two senators stop the Commander in Chief from commanding troop movements? I realize they control the budget, but aren’t they crossing into illegality by restricting Trump’s ability to “command”?

Toad Sprocket , July 4, 2020 at 16:49

Yeah, I imagine it’s illegal. Didn’t Lindsay Graham threaten the same thing when Trump was thinking of pulling troops/”advisers” from Syria? And other congress warmongers joined in though I don’t think any legislation was passed. They can’t be bothered to authorize the starts of wars but want to step in when someone tries to end them.

Oh, and Schumer on South Korea troops, I think that one did pass. Almost certainly illegal if it came down to it, but our government is of course lawless. And our courts full of judges who are bought off or moronic or both.

dean 1000 , July 4, 2020 at 06:52

The soft coup attempt continues Ray. More lies and bullshit. It may continue until election day. Will the media fess-up to its lies after the fact again?

Francis Lee , July 4, 2020 at 04:49

“Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.”

Yes, of course it is a well-known ‘fact’ that Putin has nothing better to do than destory American democracy, and I bet he has dreams about it too! But I am minded to think that if anybody has a penchant for destroying American democracy it is the powers that be in the US deep state, intelligence agencies, and zionist cliques controlling the President and Congress.

”Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”

The American establishment seems to be suffering from a bad case of ‘projection’ as psychiatrists call it. That is to say accusing others of what they are themselves actually doing.

The whole idiotic circus would be hilarious if it were not so serious.

Antonia Young , July 4, 2020 at 12:20

Putin’s (and by extension the Russian Federation’s) primary objective is international stability. “Destroying America, dividing Americans is the last thing he wants.) Putin learned many lessons during the break-up of the U.S.S.R. observing the carpet baggers/oligarchs/vultures who descended on the weak nation, absconding with it’s wealth and resources at mere fractions of their real value. The deep state’s worst fear is the co-operation btwn Putin and President Trump to make the world more peaceful, stable, co-operative and prosperous.

rosemerry , July 4, 2020 at 16:10

The whole conceited and arrogant “belief” that

  1. The USA has any resemblance to a democracy and
  2. Pres. Putin has nothing else to do but think how he could do a better job of showing the destructive and irresponsible behavior of the USA than its own leaders” and media can do with no help has no basis in reality.

If anything, Putin is such a stickler for international law, negotiations, avoidance of conflict that he is regarded by many as too Christian for this modern, individualistic, LBGTQ, ”nobody matters but me” worldview of the USA!

Steve Naidamast , July 5, 2020 at 19:54

“If the enemy is self destructing, let them continue to do so…”

Napoleon

Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:17

“zionist cliques”: Christian Zionist fighting Fundies, eager for the End of the World, the Second Coming of Jesus.

delia ruhe , July 4, 2020 at 01:09

Yup, we got a Bountygate. Since my early morning visit to the Foreign Policy site, the place has exploded with breathless articles on the dastardly Putin and the cowardly Trump, who has so far failed to hold Putin to account. Reminded me of a similar explosion there when Russiagate finally got the attention the Dems thought it deserved.

(Anyone think that the intel community pays a fee to each of the FP columnists whenever one of their a propaganda narratives needs a push to get it off the ground?)

JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 4, 2020 at 08:52

Udo Ulfkotte was a German journalist. He wrote a sensational book about the practices he experienced of the CIA paying German journalists to publish certain stories. The book was a big best seller in Germany. Its English translation was suppressed for years, but I believe is now available.

Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:30

Reply to John Chuckman: I’d love to read this book but it wasn’t available a few years ago when I looked. I’ll look again!

Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:52

Gekaufte journalisten. Ulfkotte admitted he signed off on numerous articles that were prepared for him during his career. The last year’s of his life he changed his mores and advocated “better die in truth than live with lies”.

Richard A. , July 4, 2020 at 00:59

I remember the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour from decades ago. Real experts on Russia like Dimitri Simes and Stephen Cohen were the ones to appear on that NewsHour. The NewsHour of today rarely has experts on Russia, just experts on Russia bashing–like Michael McFaul. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Antonia Young , July 3, 2020 at 23:35

Thank you, Ray for your clarion voice in the midst of WMD-seventeen-point-oh. Will the American people have the wisdom to notice how many times we’re being fooled? And finally wake up and stop supporting these questionable news outlets? With appreciation for your excellent analysis, as usual. ~Tonia Young (Formerly with the Topanga Peace Alliance)

Blessthebeasts , July 4, 2020 at 11:55

The majority of Americans have a lot more to worry about than the latest nonsense about Russia. I think most people just tune it out.

The ones being fooled are the fools who have been lapping this crap up from the get go. The supposed educated class who think themselves superior and well informed because they read and listen to the propaganda of PBS, NPR, NYT etc.

They don’t seem to realize the ship is sinking while they’re playing these ridiculous games.

Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:34

The supposedly educated class, yes! It can be stunning how people believe anything they hear on PBS or NPR, and then they make fun of people who believe anything they hear on Fox News. What’s the difference? Both are propaganda tools.

And, yes, watch us go down in flames while so-called progressives boo-hoo about Trump thinking he’s above the law (like every other president before him). Our local “peace and justice” group sent me an email asking me to sign a petition supporting Robert Mueller. I was gobsmacked, and then I realized our local “peace and justice” group had been taken over by Democratic Party “resisters.” Jeezums, why is every word hijacked?

[Jul 07, 2020] The Latest 'Russiagate' BOMBSHELL Took Just One Week To Be Exposed As Dud. Who Was Its Source-

Notable quotes:
"... "The purpose of this shabby round of 'Russiagate' nonsense was to hinder Trump's plans to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan before the election ..." ..."
"... is the part I don't understand from the MSM: so, even if it was true that the Russkies and the Iranians (our go-to baddies in the area) WERE paying bounties to kill American soldiers, how the Hell is that an argument for staying longer? We're under attack so we must stay to get killed?? ..."
"... Once again the Democrats of being stupid will probably lose the election. I always thought Russia could be great friend to the west and the USA , in the mean time China is more dangerous than Russia ..."
"... If you're a military-industrial contractor, or for that matter, one that is helping smuggle opium out of Afghanistan, you want the US to stay. Saying that Russians are paying the Taliban bounties might cause the US to reinforce its force level in Afghanistan. ..."
"... Don't neglect American mass psychology. Americans never retreat. Advance to the rear, perhaps, but America's mighty military machine will never run away. If the narrative that American troops are being hunted for bounties takes root in the American public's warped imaginations, then the New York Langley Times and the Washington Bezos Post can attack Trump as a coward who runs away while the fight is still on. That's not an image Trump can tolerate so he would be forced to keep troops there and even do some air strikes. ..."
"... No doubt China is laughing its ass off at this latest attempt at RussiaGate 2.0. Both the Dems and Trump continue to do Beijing's bidding, whether it's witting or not. ..."
"... Taliban isn't truly the enemy when you remove the veil, or certainly not anymore than al Qaeda is/was and Daesh. They're all American inventions and as such, America will tell them when and where to kill American soldiers, not uppity Russia. ..."
"... SEARCHING FOR LEAKERS THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION has opened an internal investigation to try to uncover who leaked intelligence about Russians paying the Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers. The administration maintains the story is overcooked and the leaks cherry-picked despite a steady stream of follow-ups from media outlets across the globe. ..."
"... "How the Hell is than an argument for staying longer?" -- It is the result of 'staying in Afghanistan' that matters to these folks, not the quality or the rationale of the argument. With the MSM echo chamber and Trump's ability to put his tweet in his mouth I don't think anyone can predict in advance what might stick. Throw enough shit at a wall, something will stick. They can't control trump, they can't really bruise him more than they have, so they just continually shotgun hopeful crisis at him. Pass the popcorn, I have a feeling this is about to get really good. ..."
"... The reasons for staying in Afghanistan are the true problem. Opioids (the CIA might go bankrupt), Pipelines (US control of oil), and Military Power Projection (borders with Iran, China, and the Russian dominated Stans). It is hard to say how much or if any of this benefits the American people, but it certainly benefits those clinging to corporate profits and retaining their piece fo the global economic pie. ..."
"... It seems likely that the 'Russian bounties' story was arranged with the full knowledge of the Trump Administration. USA doesn't really want to pull out. ..."
"... Unfortunately, the trumped up story is NOT a dud; it did its job. Congress has made it impossible to bring home troops from Afghanistan, ensuring that the murder machine/grift combo can continue, with more money to be made by those on the inside getting paid to support the efforts. ..."
"... The CIA won't go broke when the flow of afghani opium dries up. That stuff is just a trickle anyway, compared to the tidal waves of cocaine coming out of South America. And I don't even believe that they really need any dope money to keep themselves afloat. It's simply important that noone else gets to benefit from that mountain of easy cash. ..."
"... This says Russia paying bounties to the Taliban was exposed as a hoax. Yes, it was a partisan hoax. No, it is not really "exposed." It is believed as an article of faith now by a vast number of people. It is now in the "birther" phase: nonsense people believe because they want to believe it. ..."
"... There is a good chance that the origins of this story lie with MI6, The Guardian's current proprietor. Like the Steele dossier, Skripal, the links between Manafort and Wikileaks, the "hacking" of the DNC and much else in the attempt to revive the Cold War (when MI6 had lots of fun and money was no object- the halcyon days of LeCarre and Ian Fleming) this bears the fingerprints of British spooks. ..."
"... Luke Harding's friends and colleagues at the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statecraft would like a honorable mention too, for all the hard work they put in, even if it is well rewarded at the British tax payers's expense. ..."
Jul 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

July 07, 2020 The Latest 'Russiagate' BOMBSHELL Took Just One Week To Be Exposed As Dud. Who Was Its Source?

Within just one week the recent attempt to revive 'Russiagate' has failed. It was an embarrassing failure for the media who pushed it. Their 'journalists' fell for obvious nonsense. They let their sources abused them for political purposes.

On June 27 the New York Times and the Washington Post published stories which claimed that Trump was informed about alleged Russian bounty payments to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers and did nothing about it:

A Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan, including U.S. and British troops, in a striking escalation of the Kremlin's hostility toward the United States, American intelligence has found.

The Russian operation, first reported by the New York Times, has generated an intense debate within the Trump administration about how best to respond to a troubling new tactic by a nation that most U.S. officials regard as a potential foe but that President Trump has frequently embraced as a friend, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive intelligence matter.

The story ran on page A-1 of the paper version of the NYT .

We immediately called it out as the obvious nonsense that it was:

Now the intelligence services make another claim that fits right into the above ['Russiagate'] scheme.

Reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post were called up by unnamed 'officials' and told to write that Russia pays some Afghans to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. There is zero evidence that the claim is true. The Taliban spokesman denies it. The numbers of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan is minimal. The alleged sources of the claims are criminals the U.S. has taken as prisoners in Afghanistan.

All that nonsense is again used to press against Trump's wish for better relations with Russia. Imagine - Trump was told about these nonsensical claims and he did nothing about it!

Others likewise dumped on the shady reporting:

But that the story was obviously bullshit did not prevent Democrats in Congress, including 'Russiagate' swindler Adam Schiff, to bluster about it and to call for immediate briefings and new sanctions on Russia .

Just a day after it was published the main accusation, that Trump was briefed on the 'intelligence' died. The Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Advisor and the CIA publicly rejected the claim. Then the rest of the story started to crumble. On June 2, just one week after it was launched, the story was declared dead :

A memo produced in recent days by the office of the nation's top intelligence official acknowledged that the C.I.A. and top counterterrorism officials have assessed that Russia appears to have offered bounties to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan, but emphasized uncertainties and gaps in evidence , according to three officials.
...
The memo said that the C.I.A. and the National Counterterrorism Center had assessed with medium confidence -- meaning credibly sourced and plausible, but falling short of near certainty -- that a unit of the Russian military intelligence service, known as the G.R.U., offered the bounties, according to two of the officials briefed on its contents.

But other parts of the intelligence community -- including the National Security Agency, which favors electronic surveillance intelligence -- said they did not have information to support that conclusion at the same level, therefore expressing lower confidence in the conclusion, according to the two officials.

The NYT buried the above quoted dead corpse of the original story page A-19.

Last week we also learned that Adam Schiff, who had blamed Trump for not reacting to the fake 'intelligence' and who used the story to call for more Russia sanctions, had been briefed on the very same 'intelligence' months ago:

Top committee staff for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, were briefed in February on intelligence about Russia offering the Taliban bounties in Afghanistan, but he took no action in response to the briefing, multiple intelligence sources familiar with the briefing told The Federalist.
...
The revelation raises serious questions that Schiff is once again politicizing, and perhaps even deliberately misrepresenting, key data for partisan gain.

Asked by a reporter Tuesday if he had any knowledge of the Russia story prior to the New York Times report, Schiff said "I can't comment on specifics."

Schiff's recent complaints that Trump took no action against Russia in response to rumors of Russian bounties are curious given that Schiff himself took no action after his top staff were briefed by intelligence officials. As chairman of the intelligence committee, Schiff had the authority to immediately brief the full committee and convene hearings on the matter. Schiff, however, did nothing.

As Schiff and his committee staff knew about the claims they may well have been the ones who pushed it to the reporters.

Consider that both papers, the NYT and the WaPo , attribute their knowledge to 'officials'. There is a code for anonymous sources in U.S. political reporting that is usual adhered to. Sources are described as 'White House officials', 'administration officials', 'Pentagon officials' or 'intelligence officials' when they are working for the government. Congressional sources are usually described as 'officials' without any additional attribute.

The original sources also made the false claim that Trump had been briefed on the 'intelligence'. Source in the White House or the CIA would have likely known that this had not been the case. Sources from Congress had no way of knowing that.

That makes it quite likely that Schiff and/or members of his staff were the original sources of the fake story. Consider that it was Schiff who for two years had claimed again and again that there was 'direct evidence" that the Trump campaign had colluded with the Russian government. That has turned out to have been a lie. It is certainly not beyond Schiff to sell a dubious 'intelligence' report, based on circumstantial evidence, as alarming news that required immediate action.

The purpose of this shabby round of 'Russiagate' nonsense was to hinder Trump's plans to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan before the election, to sabotage the cooperation between Russia and the U.S. on the negotiations with the Taliban and to blame Trump of another 'collusion' with the ever hated Russia.

But the short live of the false claims made certain that it failed to achieve this.

Posted by b on July 7, 2020 at 17:08 UTC | Permalink


Caliman , Jul 7 2020 17:25 utc | 1

Great stuff as usual ... but this:

"The purpose of this shabby round of 'Russiagate' nonsense was to hinder Trump's plans to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan before the election ..."

is the part I don't understand from the MSM: so, even if it was true that the Russkies and the Iranians (our go-to baddies in the area) WERE paying bounties to kill American soldiers, how the Hell is that an argument for staying longer? We're under attack so we must stay to get killed??

It doesn't even make sense as an effort to tarnish the peace deal with the Taliban: how is making peace with them after 20 years of war a worse idea knowing they may be getting paid to kill our folks, as well as doing it for their own purposes? If anything, it makes it even more imperative to make peace!

Bobby , Jul 7 2020 17:29 utc | 3
Once again the Democrats of being stupid will probably lose the election. I always thought Russia could be great friend to the west and the USA , in the mean time China is more dangerous than Russia, with the stupid MIC and the haters of Russia are pushing Russia toward the east , it will be a war between the US , Europe against Russia , China and Iran . Guess who is going to win .
Richard Steven Hack , Jul 7 2020 17:35 utc | 4
@Caliman | Jul 7 2020 17:25 utc | 1

We're under attack so we must stay to get killed??

Yes. If you're a military-industrial contractor, or for that matter, one that is helping smuggle opium out of Afghanistan, you want the US to stay. Saying that Russians are paying the Taliban bounties might cause the US to reinforce its force level in Afghanistan.

I mean, yeah, it makes no sense - but then staying in Afghanistan for almost twenty years didn't make any sense anyway. So "any excuse will do" is the idea - and always has been. There was never a rational reason to invade Afghanistan in the first place. It was all about oil and heroin from the get-go.

William Gruff , Jul 7 2020 17:41 utc | 5
Caliman @1:

"...even if it was true that the Russkies and the Iranians (our go-to baddies in the area) WERE paying bounties to kill American soldiers, how the Hell is that an argument for staying longer? We're under attack so we must stay to get killed??"

Don't neglect American mass psychology. Americans never retreat. Advance to the rear, perhaps, but America's mighty military machine will never run away. If the narrative that American troops are being hunted for bounties takes root in the American public's warped imaginations, then the New York Langley Times and the Washington Bezos Post can attack Trump as a coward who runs away while the fight is still on. That's not an image Trump can tolerate so he would be forced to keep troops there and even do some air strikes.

In other words, the fake news about bounties was just one part of the operation to keep US troops in Afghanistan.

snow_watcher , Jul 7 2020 17:42 utc | 6
RHS #4

And there's a multi-trillion dollar pile of minerals including lithium waiting to be mined in Afghanistan, this story has been hawked for years now.

As for the blog subject, I have no words anymore.

450.org , Jul 7 2020 17:43 utc | 7
No doubt China is laughing its ass off at this latest attempt at RussiaGate 2.0. Both the Dems and Trump continue to do Beijing's bidding, whether it's witting or not.

1.5 billion people in the span of several decades have transformed into ravenous, rapacious, insatiable consumers on a finite planet's with already severely diminished resources and a climate out of equilibrium.

All of that plus COVFEFE-19, plus a potential Swine Flu pandemic on top of it and the Bubonic Plague, and the corporatist media is focusing on Russia paying the Taliban to kill American soldiers when allegedly that's what the Taliban is doing any way?

America taking umbrage with the Russian bounties, even if true, tells me that perhaps the Taliban isn't truly the enemy when you remove the veil, or certainly not anymore than al Qaeda is/was and Daesh. They're all American inventions and as such, America will tell them when and where to kill American soldiers, not uppity Russia.

Richard Steven Hack , Jul 7 2020 17:49 utc | 9
Politico reports Trump is opening an investigation into who sourced those articles.
-- SEARCHING FOR LEAKERS THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION has opened an internal investigation to try to uncover who leaked intelligence about Russians paying the Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers. The administration maintains the story is overcooked and the leaks cherry-picked despite a steady stream of follow-ups from media outlets across the globe.

THE ADMINISTRATION has interviewed people with access to the intelligence, and believes it has narrowed down the universe of suspects to fewer than 10 people.

THE ADMINISTRATION has said it would search for leakers in its ranks on many occasions. Notably, they vowed to find out who wrote an anonymous op-ed in the NYT almost two years ago. They said they'd find who leaked the president's calendars in February 2019. Most of these probes fizzled out or faded away.

BUT, THE ADMINISTRATION seems a bit more worked up about these leaks, due to the highly classified nature of the intelligence.

Netizen , Jul 7 2020 17:50 utc | 10
"How the Hell is than an argument for staying longer?" -- It is the result of 'staying in Afghanistan' that matters to these folks, not the quality or the rationale of the argument. With the MSM echo chamber and Trump's ability to put his tweet in his mouth I don't think anyone can predict in advance what might stick. Throw enough shit at a wall, something will stick. They can't control trump, they can't really bruise him more than they have, so they just continually shotgun hopeful crisis at him. Pass the popcorn, I have a feeling this is about to get really good.

The reasons for staying in Afghanistan are the true problem. Opioids (the CIA might go bankrupt), Pipelines (US control of oil), and Military Power Projection (borders with Iran, China, and the Russian dominated Stans). It is hard to say how much or if any of this benefits the American people, but it certainly benefits those clinging to corporate profits and retaining their piece fo the global economic pie.

450.org , Jul 7 2020 17:52 utc | 11
@5

America sure did retreat from Libya and the irony is, the instigator, Sarkozy, never got what he strategized to get from it, which was reelection. America and NATO left it to the other aspiring imperialist pretenders, Turkey and Russia, and look what a mess they're making of it. It's as messy as if America was conducting the occupation and civil war itself. Maybe the point of Libya is as a military playground for imperialist pretenders to strut their stuff. A catwalk of sorts.

Jackrabbit , Jul 7 2020 18:10 utc | 12
... the short live of the false claims made certain that it failed ...

I disagree. The committee voted to delay removing troops and the Russiagate nonsense was refreshed in the public's mind. I'd bet that Schiff's previous knowledge of Russia offering bounties doesn't get much USA media attention. The controversy didn't have to persist very long for it to be successful. It was largely already over when the news about Schiff came out.

To say it failed seems like projection and wishful thinking.

And consider this: Is it really possible that Trump didn't know - or couldn't have quickly found out - that Schiff had been briefed? It seems likely that the 'Russian bounties' story was arranged with the full knowledge of the Trump Administration. USA doesn't really want to pull out.

The real story here is the dog that didn't bark at the dog that didn't bark.

U.S. commander wary of full troop pullout from Afghanistan amid tumult

Speaking to the House Armed Services Committee, Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, said the military is following through on its part of a landmark peace agreement the Trump administration struck with the Taliban late last month to reduce the number of American troops in the country, but he also told lawmakers he has "no confidence" in the Taliban's willingness to pursue a peace process with the U.S.-backed Afghan government in Kabul.

"We're going to go to 8,600 by the summer. Conditions on the ground will dictate if we go below that,"

!!
Jackrabbit , Jul 7 2020 18:14 utc | 13
Richard Steven Hack @Jul7 17:49 #9

Pretended concerns about 'leakers' to cover for the busted we-gotta-stay-in-Afghanistan psyop.

!!

vk , Jul 7 2020 18:25 utc | 14
US is destroying itself and world through erratic moves: Global Times editorial
450.org , Jul 7 2020 18:26 utc | 15
Meanwhile. not a word from the corporatist media about Maxwell and Epstein being blackmailers for the intelligence services. Instead, they were just some rogue, random, wealthy, highly-connected sex freaks. Maxwell and Epstein is the REAL election interference story. RussiaGate is the distracting cover for it.
james , Jul 7 2020 18:33 utc | 17
thanks b... interesting theory schiff is behind the ongoing russiagate news, or the latest episode - bountygate... of course the dem party never miss a chance to shot themselves in the foot... or is it that the major players want another 4 years of trumps excellent leadership record? snark! tough call as to who is zooming who here, but if i want to be distracted, i will know to read what wg refers to as the langley times, or the bezos post... bad enough i read moa, lol...
worldblee , Jul 7 2020 18:35 utc | 18
Unfortunately, the trumped up story is NOT a dud; it did its job. Congress has made it impossible to bring home troops from Afghanistan, ensuring that the murder machine/grift combo can continue, with more money to be made by those on the inside getting paid to support the efforts.
Lurk , Jul 7 2020 18:40 utc | 20
The CIA won't go broke when the flow of afghani opium dries up. That stuff is just a trickle anyway, compared to the tidal waves of cocaine coming out of South America. And I don't even believe that they really need any dope money to keep themselves afloat. It's simply important that noone else gets to benefit from that mountain of easy cash.

However, if the USA leaves Afghanistan today, the first pipeline will be laid down tomorrow, connecting Iranian oilfields to Chinese industry.

HomeComposting , Jul 7 2020 19:03 utc | 21
China Inks Military Deal With Iran Under Secretive 25-Year Plan - Includes Russia from OilPrice

If it's accurate, it's more impetus to keep the troops in Afghanistan and to keep Russiagate rumbling on.

Mark Thomason , Jul 7 2020 20:16 utc | 23
This says Russia paying bounties to the Taliban was exposed as a hoax. Yes, it was a partisan hoax. No, it is not really "exposed." It is believed as an article of faith now by a vast number of people. It is now in the "birther" phase: nonsense people believe because they want to believe it.

I doubt truth will ever catch up with this lie, because those who purport to be fact checkers and truth tellers are the perpetrators and benefactors of this lie.

Jpc , Jul 7 2020 20:41 utc | 24
Any chance you could send a message to the "journalists" at the Guardian that the story is nonsense. They are going full "Russians bad, Trump stupid"
Don't worry about the facts.

bevin , Jul 7 2020 21:02 utc | 25

Jpc@24

There is a good chance that the origins of this story lie with MI6, The Guardian's current proprietor. Like the Steele dossier, Skripal, the links between Manafort and Wikileaks, the "hacking" of the DNC and much else in the attempt to revive the Cold War (when MI6 had lots of fun and money was no object- the halcyon days of LeCarre and Ian Fleming) this bears the fingerprints of British spooks.

The Guardian is on a voyage across the Atlantic, looking for economic security, and stories like these, fabricated by Luke Harding on orders from above, are meant to endear the failing rag to those for whom a trillion bucks a year for the Pentagon is easily delivered.

Peter Charles , Jul 7 2020 21:04 utc | 27
@ Mark Thomason #23

And what is even worse is if you told those believers that the US was doing that very thing when it was the Russian military there they would be joyously applauding.

Lurk , Jul 7 2020 21:23 utc | 28
@ bevin | Jul 7 2020 21:02 utc | 25

Luke Harding's friends and colleagues at the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statecraft would like a honorable mention too, for all the hard work they put in, even if it is well rewarded at the British tax payers's expense.

Other than that, given England's near century head start and resulting lead at imperial decline vis-á-vis their former colony, I doubt that these operations are entirely concocted by Her Majesty's diligent servants alone. I'd wager that the limeys are excellent cutouts for domestic operations that hold potential to become a little too close to full-bore treason for comfortable and plausible denial. Even when they are all in it together (apart from you and me of course). It's all a matter of perception.

Lurk , Jul 7 2020 21:31 utc | 29
@ Peter Charles | Jul 7 2020 21:04 utc | 27

"They would"?? They DID! Have you forgotten all about Rambo in Afghanistan ? Even Starship Troopers, a totally over the top satire of that genre got those murkins fist-pumpin 'n yeah-brawling at the theaters.

[Jul 07, 2020] The value of Trumpo in exposing the Deep State and controlled by intelligence services MSM

Jul 07, 2020 | www.unz.com

David Rodriguez , says: July 6, 2020 at 12:56 pm GMT

@Robert White how self-important, arrogant, and entitled these jerks are, they would understand the volcanic rage directed at Trump. But there is more. Many of these people really are utterly corrupt in the sense that they have made huge amounts of money through illegal deals, influence-peddling, etc. They felt secure in the knowledge that Hillary Clinton was surely not going to go after them, though she might have insisted on a piece of the pie,, like the greasy, small-town lawyer she is. Now things are not nearly so sure and they know it.
Trump is far from perfect, in any way you can imagine. Come November, after he has used Joe Biden as a dishrag, Mr. White and friends will suffer a real case of the sadz.

[Jul 07, 2020] Ray McGovern's latest piece in Consortium is a good summary of the Russia bounty story with some details about Michael McFaul, former Ambassador to Russia specialist in color revolutions, who tried to orginize 2011-2012 "White revolution" in Russia, failed and was recalled soon after

Jul 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

migueljose , Jul 6 2020 11:24 utc | 102

Ray McGovern's latest piece in Consortium is a good summary of the Russia bounty story with some details about Michael McFaul, former hack diplomat and Putin hater under Obama, now working for Fred Hiatt at the WAPO. As usual, McGovern names names and tells a story that makes sense while including his own perspective as a daily briefer to Reagan.
Bottom lines, Dems are getting weirder and scarier.
https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/03/ray-mcgovern-mutiny-on-the-bounties/

[Jul 07, 2020] The five Eyes need an enemy to keep budgets up, anyone will do, and Russia is Wall street's favorite bogey, keeping China out of the limelight.

Jul 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Antonym , Jul 6 2020 3:07 utc | 82

My impression at this point:

Russia since Putin does not offer much global profit; Xi Jinping on the other hand does, for (manufacturing) stock market darlings like Apple, Amazon or Walmart etc. The five Eyes need an enemy to keep budgets up, anyone will do, and Russia is Wall street's favorite bogey, keeping China out of the limelight.

Western left keeps on supporting Xi, bedazzled by his orchestrated propaganda of being a benign ruler. They barely care about Russia, the main activity is denigrating their own West: "we" are bad = some European colonialists and fascists of two or more generations ago .

[Jul 07, 2020] US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous

Jul 07, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

Max Blumenthal breaks down the "Russian bounty" story's flaws and how it aims to prolong the war in Afghanistan -- and uses Russiagate tactics to continue pushing the Democratic Party to the right

Multiple US media outlets, citing anonymous intelligence officials, are claiming that Russia offered bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, and that President Trump has taken no action.

Others are contesting that claim. "Officials said there was disagreement among intelligence officials about the strength of the evidence about the suspected Russian plot," the New York Times reports. "Notably, the National Security Agency, which specializes in hacking and electronic surveillance, has been more skeptical."

"The constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base is moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War," Blumenthal says.

Guest: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone and author of several books, including his latest "The Management of Savagery."

TRANSCRIPT

AARON MATÉ: Welcome to Pushback, I'm Aaron Maté. There is a new supposed Trump-Russia bombshell. The New York Times and other outlets reporting that Russia has been paying bounties to Afghan militants to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump and the White House were allegedly briefed on this information but have taken no action.

Now, the story has obvious holes, like many other Russiagate bombshells. It is sourced to anonymous intelligence officials. The New York Times says that the claim comes from Afghan detainees. And it also has some logical holes. The Taliban have been fighting the US and Afghanistan for nearly two decades and never needed Russian payments before to kill the Americans that they were fighting; [this] amongst other questions are raised about this story. But that has not stopped the usual chorus from whipping up a frenzy.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Vladimir Putin is offering bounties for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Not only offering, offering money [to] the people who kill Americans, but some of the bounties that Putin has offered have been collected, meaning the Russians at least believe that their offering cash to kill Americans has actually worked to get some Americans killed.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin. He had has [sic] this information according to The Times, and yet he offered to host Putin in the United States and sought to invite Russia to rejoin the G7. He's in his entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER: I was not briefed on the Russian military intelligence, but it shows that we need in this coming defense bill, which we're debating this week, tough sanctions against Russia, which thus far Mitch McConnell has resisted.

Joining me now is Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery . Max, welcome to Pushback. What is your reaction to this story?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, it just feels like so many other episodes that we've witnessed over the past three or four years, where American intelligence officials basically plant a story in one outlet, The New York Times , which functions as the media wing of the Central Intelligence Agency. Then no reporting takes place whatsoever, but six reporters, or three to six reporters are assigned to the piece to make it look like it was some last-minute scramble to confirm this bombshell story. And then the story is confirmed again by The Washington Post because their reporters, their three to six reporters in, you know, capitals around the world with different beats spoke to the same intelligence officials, or they were furnished different officials who fed them the same story. And, of course, the story advances a narrative that the United States is under siege by Russia and that we have to escalate against Russia just ahead of another peace summit or some kind of international dialogue.

This has sort of been the general framework for these Russiagate bombshells, and of course they can there's always an anti-Trump angle. And because, you know, liberal pundits and the, you know, Democratic Party operatives see this as a means to undermine Trump as the election heats up. They don't care if it's true or not. They don't care what the consequences are. They're just gonna completely roll with it. And it's really changed, I think, not just US foreign policy, but it's changed the Democratic Party in an almost irreversible way, to have these constant "quote-unquote" bombshells that are really generated by the Central Intelligence Agency and by other US intelligence operations in order to turn up the heat to crank up the Cold War, to use these different media organs which no longer believe in reporting, which see Operation Mockingbird as a kind of blueprint for how to do journalism, to turn them into keys on the CIA's Mighty Wurlitzer. That's what happened here.

AARON MATÉ: What do you make of the logic of this story? This idea that the Taliban would need Russian money to kill Americans when the Taliban's been fighting the US for nearly two decades now. And the sourcing for the story, the same old playbook: anonymous intelligence officials who are citing vague claims about apparently what was said by Afghan detainees.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: This story has, as I said, it relies on zero reporting. The only source is anonymous American intelligence officials. And I tweeted out a clip of a former CIA operations officer who managed the CIA's operation in Angola, when the US was actually fighting on the side of apartheid South Africa against a Marxist government that was backed up by Cuban troops. His name was John Stockwell. And Stockwell talked about how one-third of his covert operations staff were propagandists, and that they would feed imaginary stories about Cuban barbarism that were completely false to reporters who were either CIA assets directly or who were just unwitting dupes who would hang on a line waiting for American intelligence officials to feed them stories. And one out of every five stories was completely false, as Stockwell said. We could play some of that clip now; it's pretty remarkable to watch it in light of this latest fake bombshell.

JOHN STOCKWELL: Another thing is to disseminate propaganda to influence people's minds, and this is a major function of the CIA. And unfortunately, of course, it overlaps into the gathering of information. You, you have contact with a journalist, you will give him true stories, you'll get information from him, you'll also give him false stories.

OFF-CAMERA REPORTER: Can you do this with responsible reporters?

JOHN STOCKWELL: Yes, the Church Committee brought it out in 1975. And then Woodward and Bernstein put an article in Rolling Stone a couple of years later. Four hundred journalists cooperating with the CIA, including some of the biggest names in the business.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: So, basically, I mean, you get the flavor of what someone who was in the CIA at the height of the Cold War I mean, he did the same thing in Vietnam. And the playbook is absolutely the same today. These this story was dumped on Friday in The New York Times by "quote-unquote" American intelligence officials, as a breakthrough had been made in Afghan peace talks and a conference was finally set for Doha, Qatar, that would involve the Taliban, which had been seizing massive amounts of territory.

Now, it's my understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the Taliban had been fighting one of the most epic examples of an occupying army in modern history, just absolutely chewing away at one of the most powerful militaries in human history in their country for the last 19 years, without bounties from Vladimir Putin or private-hotdog-salesman-and-Saint-Petersburg-troll-farm-owner Yevgeny Prigozhin , who always comes up in these stories. It's always the hotdog guy who's doing everything bad from, like, you know, fake Facebook ads to poisoning Sergei Skripal or whatever.

But I just don't see where the Taliban needs encouragement from Putin to do that. It's their country. They want the US out and they have succeeded in seizing large amounts of territory. Donald Trump has come into office with a pledge to remove US troops from Afghanistan and ink this deal. And along comes this story as the peace process begins to advance.

And what is the end-result? We haven't gotten into the domestic politics yet, but the end-result is you have supposedly progressive senators like Chris Murphy of Connecticut attacking Trump for not fighting Russia in Afghanistan. I mean, they want a straight-up proxy war for not escalating. You have Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, someone who's aligned with the Democratic Party, who supported the war in Iraq and, you know, supports just endless war, demanding that the US turn up the heat not just in Afghanistan but in Syria. So, you know, the escalatory rhetoric is at a fever pitch right now, and it's obviously going to impact that peace conference.

Let's remember that three days before Trump's summit with Putin was when Mueller chose to release the indictment of the GRU agents for supposedly hacking the DNC servers. Let's remember that a day before the UN the United Nations Geneva peace talks opened on Syria in 2014 was when US intelligence chose to feed these shady Caesar photos, supposedly showing industrial slaughter of Syrian prisoners, to The New York Times in an investigation that had been funded by Qatar. Like, so many shady intelligence dumps have taken place ahead of peace summits to disrupt them, because the US doesn't feel like it has enough skin in the game or it just simply doesn't want peace in these areas.

So, that's what happened here. That's really, I think, the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer. That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped.

THE LINCOLN PROJECT AD: Now we know Vladimir Putin pays a bounty for the murder of American soldiers. Donald Trump knows, too, and does nothing. Putin pays the Taliban cash to slaughter our men and women in uniform and Trump is silent, weak, controlled. Instead of condemnation he insists Russia be treated as our equal.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, maybe they're just really good editors and brilliant politicians who work overtime. They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable.

And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. They're always out there doing the hard work. Who are they? Well, Steve Schmidt is a former campaign manager for John McCain 2008. And you look at the various personnel affiliated with it, they're all McCain former McCain aides or people who worked on the Jeb and George W. Bush campaigns, going back to Texas and Florida. This is sort of the corporate wing of the Republican Party, the white-glove-country-club-patrician Republicans who are very pro-war, who hate Donald Trump.

And by doing this, by them really taking the lead on this attack, as you pointed out, Aaron, number one, they are sucking the oxygen out of the more progressive anti-Trump initiatives that are taking place, including in the streets of American cities. They're taking the wind out of anti-Trump more progressive anti-Trump critiques. For example, I think it's actually more powerful to attack Trump over the fact that he used, basically, chemical weapons on American peaceful protesters to do a fascistic photo-op. I don't know why there wasn't some call for congressional investigations on that. And they are getting skin in the game on the Biden campaign. It really feels to me like this Lincoln campaign operation, this moderate Republican operation which is also sort of a venue for neocons, will have more influence after events like this than the Bernie Sanders campaign, which has an enormous amount of delegates.

So, that's what I think the domestic repercussion is. It's just this constant it's the constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base that's moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War that only serves, you know, people who are associated with the national security state who need to justify their paycheck and the budget of the institutions that employ them.

AARON MATÉ: Let's assume for a second that the allegation is true, although, you know, you've laid out some of the reasons why it's not. Can you talk about the history here, starting with Afghanistan, something you cover a lot in your book, The Management of Savagery, where the US aim was to kill Russians, going right on through to Syria, where just recently the US envoy for the coalition against ISIS, James Jeffery, who handles Syria, said that his job now is to basically put the Russians in a quagmire in Syria.

JAMES JEFFREY: This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, I mean, it feels like a giant act of psychological and political projection to accuse Russia of using an Islamist militia in Afghanistan as a proxy against the US to bleed the US into leaving, because that's been the US playbook in Central Asia and the Middle East since at least 1979. I just tweeted a photo of Dan Rather in Afghanistan, just crossing the Pakistani border and going to meet with some of the Mujahideen in 1980. Dan Rather was panned in The New York in The Washington Post by Tom Toles [Tom Shales], who was the media critic at the time, as "Gunga Dan," because he was so gung-ho for the Afghan mujahideen. In his reports he would complain about how weak their weaponry was, you know, how they needed more how they needed more funding. I mean, you could call it bounties, but it was really just CIA funding.

DAN RATHER: These are the best weapons you have, huh? They only have about twenty rounds for this?

TRANSLATOR: That's all. They have twenty rounds. Yes, and they know that these are all old weapons and they really aren't up to doing anything to the Russian weaponry that's around. But that's all they have, and this is why they want help. And he is saying that America seems to be asleep. It doesn't seem to realize that if Afghanistan goes and the Russians go over to the Gulf, that in a very short time it's going to be the turn of the United States as well.

DAN RATHER: But I'm sure he knows that in Vietnam we got our fingers burned. Indeed, we got our whole hands burned when we tried to help in this kind of situation.

TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: Your hands were burned in Vietnam, but if you don't agree to help us, if you don't ally yourself with us, then all of you, your whole body will be burnt eventually, because there is no one in the world who can really fight and resist as well as the as much and as well as the Afghans are.

DAN RATHER: But no American mother wants to send her son to Afghanistan.

TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: We don't need anybody's soldiers here to help us, but we are being constantly accused that the Americans are helping us with weapons. What we need, actually, are the American weapons. We don't need or want American soldiers. We can do the fighting ourselves.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: And a year or several months before, the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do. And then with the introduction of the Stinger missile, the Afghan mujahideen, hailed as freedom fighters in Washington, were able to destroy Russian supply lines, exact a heavy toll, and forced the Red Army to leave in retreat. They helped create what's considered the Soviet Union's Vietnam.

So that was really but the blueprint for what Russian for what Russia is being accused of now, and that same model was transferred over to Syria. It was also actually proposed for Iraq in the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998. Then Senate Foreign Relations chair Jesse Helms actually said that the Afghan mujahideen should be our model for supporting the Iraqi resistance. So, this kind of proxy war was always on the table. Then the US did it in Syria, when one out of every $13 in the CIA budget went to arm the so-called "moderate rebels" in Syria, who we later found out were 31 flavors of jihadi, who were aligned with al-Qaeda's local affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and helped give rise to ISIS. Michael Morell, I tweeted some video of him on Charlie Rose back in, I think, 2016. He's the former acting director for the CIA, longtime deputy director. He said, you know, the reason that we're in Syria, what we should be doing is causing Iran and Russia, the two allies of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, to pay a heavy price.

MICHAEL MORELL: We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price. The other thing

CHARLIE ROSE: We make them pay the price by killing killing Russians?

MICHAEL MORELL: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: And killing Iranians.

MICHAEL MORELL: Yes, covertly. You don't tell the world about it, right? You don't stand up at the Pentagon and say we did this, right? But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real.

AARON MATÉ: Let me read Dan Rather's tweet, because it's so it speaks to just how pervasive Russiagate culture is now. People have learned absolutely nothing from it.

Rather says, "Reporters are trained to look for patterns that are suspicious, and time and again one stands out with Donald Trump. Why is he so slavishly devoted to Putin? There is a spectrum of possible answers ranging from craven to treasonous. One day I hope and suspect we will find out."

It's like he forgot, perhaps, that Robert Mueller and his team spent three years investigating this very issue and came up with absolutely nothing. But the narrative has taken hold, and it's, as you talked about before, it's been the narrative we've been presented as the vehicle for understanding and opposing Donald Trump, so it cannot be questioned. And now it's like it's a matter of, what else is there to find out about Trump and Russia after Robert Mueller and the US intelligence agencies looked for everything they could and found nothing? They're still presented as if it's some kind of mystery that has to be unraveled.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: And it was after, like, a week of just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. Then Dick Cheney was welcomed into the resistance, you know, because he said, "Wear a mask." I mean, you know, his mask was strangely not spattered with the blood of Iraqi children. But, you know, it was just amazing like that. Of course, it was the Lincoln project who hijacked the minds of the resistance, but basically people who used to work on Cheney's campaign said, "Dick Cheney, welcome to the resistance." I mean, that was remarkable. And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, just a few years ago, maybe it was two years ago, before Bolton was brought into the Trump NSC, he was considered just an absolute marginal crank who was a contributor to Fox News. He'd been forgotten. He was widely hated by Democrats. Now here he is as a sage voice to tell us how dangerous this moment is. And, you know, he's not being even brought on just to promote his book; he's being brought on as just a sober-minded foreign policy expert on Meet the Press . That's where we're at right now.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and when his critique of Trump is basically that Trump was not hawkish enough. Bolton's most the biggest critique Bolton has of Trump is, as he writes about in his book, is when Trump declined to bomb Iran after Iran shot down a drone over its territory. And Bolton said that to him was the most irrational thing he's ever seen a president do.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, Bolton was mad that Trump confused body bags with missiles, because he said Trump thought that there would be 150 dead Iranians, and I said, "No, Donald, you're confused. It will be 150 missiles that we're firing into Iran." Like that's better! Like, "Oh, okay, that makes everything all right," that we fire a hundred missiles for one drone and maybe that wouldn't that kill possibly more than 150 people?

Well, in Bolton's world this was just another stupid move by Trump. If Bolton were, I mean, just, just watch all the interviews with Bolton. Watch him on The View where the only pushback he received was from Meghan McCain complaining that he ripped off a Hamilton song for his book The Room Where It Happened , and she asked, "Don't you have any apology to offer to Hamilton fans?" That was the pushback that Bolton received. Just watch all of these interviews with Bolton and try to find the pushback. It's not there. This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller.

AARON MATÉ: And inevitably the only long-term consequence that I can see here is ultimately helping Trump, because, if history is a pattern, these Russiagate supposed bombshells always either go nowhere or they get debunked. So, if this one gets forcefully debunked, because I think it's quite possible, because Trump has said that he was never briefed on this and they'll have to prove that he's lying, you know. It should be easy to do. Someone could come out and say that. If they can't prove that he's lying, then this one, I think, will blow up in their face. And all they will have done is, at a time when Trump is vulnerable over the pandemic with over a hundred thousand people dead on his watch, all these people did was ultimately try to bring the focus back to the same thing that failed for basically the entirety of Trump's presidency, which is Russiagate and Trump's supposed―and non-existent in reality―subservience to Vladimir Putin.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: But have you ever really confronted one of your liberal friends who maybe doesn't follow these stories as closely as you do? You know, well-intentioned liberal friend who just has this sense that Russia controls Trump, and asked them to really defend that and provide the receipts and really explain where the Trump administration has just handed the store to Russia? Because what we've seen is unprecedented since the height of the Cold War, an unprecedented deterioration of US-Russia relations with new sanctions on Russia every few months. You ask them to do that. They can't do it. It's just a sense they get, it's a feeling they get. And that's because these bombshells drop, they get reported on the front pages under banners of papers that declare that "democracy dies in darkness," whose brand is something that everybody trusts, The New York Times , The Washington Post , Woodward and Bernstein, and everybody repeats the story again and again and again. And then, if and when it gets debunked, discredited or just sort of disappears, a few days later everybody forgets about it. And those people who are not just, like, 24/7 media consumers but critical-minded media consumers, they're left with that sense that Russia actually controls us and that we must do something to escalate with Russia. So, that's the point of these: by the time the disinformation is discredited, the damage has already been done. And that same tactic was employed against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, to the point where so many people were left with the sense that he must be an antisemite, although not one allegation was ever proven.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and now to the point where, in the Labour Party―we should touch on this for a second―where you had a Labour Party member retweet an article recently that mentioned some criticism of Israel and for that she was expelled from her position in the shadow cabinet.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, well, you know, as a Jew I was really threatened by that retweet [laughter]. I don't know about you.

I mean, this is Rebecca Long Bailey. She's one of the few Corbynites left in a high position in Labour who hasn't been effectively burned at the stake for being a, you know, Jew hater who wants to throw us all in gas chambers because she retweets an interview with some celebrity I'd never heard of before, who didn't even say anything that extreme. But it really shows how the Thought Police have taken control of the Labour Party through Sir Keir Starmer, who is someone who has deep links to the national security state through the Crown Prosecution Service, which he used to head, where he was involved in the prosecution of Julian Assange. And he has worked with The Times of London, which is a, you know, favorite paper of the national security state and the MI5 in the UK, for planting stories against Jeremy Corbyn. He was intimately involved in that campaign, and now he's at the head of the Labour Party for a very good reason. I really would recommend everyone watching this, if you're interested more in who Keir Starmer really is, read "Five Questions for [New Labour Leader] Sir Keir Starmer" by Matt Kennard at The Grayzone. It really lays it out and shows you what's happening.

We're just in this kind of hyper-managed atmosphere, where everything feels so much more controlled than it's ever been. And even though every sane rational person that I know seems to understand what's happening, they feel like they're not allowed to say it, at least not in any official capacity.

AARON MATÉ: From the US to Britain, everything is being co-opted. In the US it's, you know, genuine resistance to Trump, in opposition to Trump, it gets co-opted by the right. Same thing in Britain. People get manipulated into believing that Jeremy Corbyn, this lifelong anti-racist is somehow an antisemite. It's all in the service of the same agenda, and I have to say we're one of the few outlets that are pushing back on it. Everyone else is getting swept up on it and it's a scary time.

We're gonna wrap. Max, your final comment.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, yeah, we're pushing back. And I saw today Mint Press [News], which is another outlet that has pushed back, their Twitter account was just briefly removed for no reason, without explanation. Ollie Vargas, who's an independent journalist who's doing some of the most important work in the English language from Bolivia, reporting on the post-coup landscape and the repressive environment that's been created by the junta installed with US help under Jeanine Áñez, his account has been taken away on Twitter. The social media platforms are basically under the control of the national security state. There's been a merger between the national security state and Silicon Valley, and the space for these kinds of discussions is rapidly shrinking. So, I think, you know, it's more important than ever to support alternative media and also to really have a clear understanding of what's taking place. I'm really worried there just won't be any space for us to have these conversations in the near future.

AARON MATÉ: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery , thanks a lot.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Thanks for having me.

Aaron Mate headshot Aaron Maté

Aaron Maté is a journalist and producer. He hosts Pushback with Aaron Maté on The Grayzone. He is also is contributor to The Nation magazine and former host/producer for The Real News and Democracy Now!. Aaron has also presented and produced for Vice, AJ+, and Al Jazeera.

[Jul 06, 2020] In 'Russian Bounty' Story, Evidence-Free Claims From Nameless Spies Became Fact Overnight

Jul 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russiagate:

Max Abrahms @MaxAbrahms - 16:07 UTC · Jul 3, 2020
RussiaGate stories follow a predictable pattern:
1. Explosive allegation
2. Media goes nuts
3. Evidence disproves or at best weakly supports allegation which is much less damning than sold
4. Media moves on to next explosive allegation without apology

Wrongly accusing Russia started way before 'Russiagate':

> For five years, the sporting world has been gripped by Russian manipulation of the anti-doping system. Now new evidence suggests the whistleblower who went into a witness protection program during the scandal may not have been entirely truthful. <

[Jul 06, 2020] US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous - The Grayzone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer. ..."
"... That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped. ..."
"... They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable. ..."
"... And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. ..."
"... the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do. ..."
"... What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real. ..."
"... just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. ..."
"... And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate. ..."
"... This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller. ..."
Jul 06, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous

Max Blumenthal breaks down the "Russian bounty" story's flaws and how it aims to prolong the war in Afghanistan -- and uses Russiagate tactics to continue pushing the Democratic Party to the right

Multiple US media outlets, citing anonymous intelligence officials, are claiming that Russia offered bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, and that President Trump has taken no action.

Others are contesting that claim. "Officials said there was disagreement among intelligence officials about the strength of the evidence about the suspected Russian plot," the New York Times reports. "Notably, the National Security Agency, which specializes in hacking and electronic surveillance, has been more skeptical."

"The constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base is moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War," Blumenthal says.

Guest: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone and author of several books, including his latest "The Management of Savagery."

TRANSCRIPT

AARON MATÉ: Welcome to Pushback, I'm Aaron Maté. There is a new supposed Trump-Russia bombshell. The New York Times and other outlets reporting that Russia has been paying bounties to Afghan militants to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump and the White House were allegedly briefed on this information but have taken no action.

Now, the story has obvious holes, like many other Russiagate bombshells. It is sourced to anonymous intelligence officials. The New York Times says that the claim comes from Afghan detainees. And it also has some logical holes. The Taliban have been fighting the US and Afghanistan for nearly two decades and never needed Russian payments before to kill the Americans that they were fighting; [this] amongst other questions are raised about this story. But that has not stopped the usual chorus from whipping up a frenzy.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Vladimir Putin is offering bounties for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Not only offering, offering money [to] the people who kill Americans, but some of the bounties that Putin has offered have been collected, meaning the Russians at least believe that their offering cash to kill Americans has actually worked to get some Americans killed.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin. He had has [sic] this information according to The Times, and yet he offered to host Putin in the United States and sought to invite Russia to rejoin the G7. He's in his entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER: I was not briefed on the Russian military intelligence, but it shows that we need in this coming defense bill, which we're debating this week, tough sanctions against Russia, which thus far Mitch McConnell has resisted.

Joining me now is Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery . Max, welcome to Pushback. What is your reaction to this story?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, it just feels like so many other episodes that we've witnessed over the past three or four years, where American intelligence officials basically plant a story in one outlet, The New York Times , which functions as the media wing of the Central Intelligence Agency. Then no reporting takes place whatsoever, but six reporters, or three to six reporters are assigned to the piece to make it look like it was some last-minute scramble to confirm this bombshell story. And then the story is confirmed again by The Washington Post because their reporters, their three to six reporters in, you know, capitals around the world with different beats spoke to the same intelligence officials, or they were furnished different officials who fed them the same story. And, of course, the story advances a narrative that the United States is under siege by Russia and that we have to escalate against Russia just ahead of another peace summit or some kind of international dialogue.

This has sort of been the general framework for these Russiagate bombshells, and of course they can there's always an anti-Trump angle. And because, you know, liberal pundits and the, you know, Democratic Party operatives see this as a means to undermine Trump as the election heats up. They don't care if it's true or not. They don't care what the consequences are. They're just gonna completely roll with it. And it's really changed, I think, not just US foreign policy, but it's changed the Democratic Party in an almost irreversible way, to have these constant "quote-unquote" bombshells that are really generated by the Central Intelligence Agency and by other US intelligence operations in order to turn up the heat to crank up the Cold War, to use these different media organs which no longer believe in reporting, which see Operation Mockingbird as a kind of blueprint for how to do journalism, to turn them into keys on the CIA's Mighty Wurlitzer. That's what happened here.

AARON MATÉ: What do you make of the logic of this story? This idea that the Taliban would need Russian money to kill Americans when the Taliban's been fighting the US for nearly two decades now. And the sourcing for the story, the same old playbook: anonymous intelligence officials who are citing vague claims about apparently what was said by Afghan detainees.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: This story has, as I said, it relies on zero reporting. The only source is anonymous American intelligence officials. And I tweeted out a clip of a former CIA operations officer who managed the CIA's operation in Angola, when the US was actually fighting on the side of apartheid South Africa against a Marxist government that was backed up by Cuban troops. His name was John Stockwell. And Stockwell talked about how one-third of his covert operations staff were propagandists, and that they would feed imaginary stories about Cuban barbarism that were completely false to reporters who were either CIA assets directly or who were just unwitting dupes who would hang on a line waiting for American intelligence officials to feed them stories. And one out of every five stories was completely false, as Stockwell said. We could play some of that clip now; it's pretty remarkable to watch it in light of this latest fake bombshell.

JOHN STOCKWELL: Another thing is to disseminate propaganda to influence people's minds, and this is a major function of the CIA. And unfortunately, of course, it overlaps into the gathering of information. You, you have contact with a journalist, you will give him true stories, you'll get information from him, you'll also give him false stories.

OFF-CAMERA REPORTER: Can you do this with responsible reporters?

JOHN STOCKWELL: Yes, the Church Committee brought it out in 1975. And then Woodward and Bernstein put an article in Rolling Stone a couple of years later. Four hundred journalists cooperating with the CIA, including some of the biggest names in the business.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: So, basically, I mean, you get the flavor of what someone who was in the CIA at the height of the Cold War I mean, he did the same thing in Vietnam. And the playbook is absolutely the same today. These this story was dumped on Friday in The New York Times by "quote-unquote" American intelligence officials, as a breakthrough had been made in Afghan peace talks and a conference was finally set for Doha, Qatar, that would involve the Taliban, which had been seizing massive amounts of territory.

Now, it's my understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the Taliban had been fighting one of the most epic examples of an occupying army in modern history, just absolutely chewing away at one of the most powerful militaries in human history in their country for the last 19 years, without bounties from Vladimir Putin or private-hotdog-salesman-and-Saint-Petersburg-troll-farm-owner Yevgeny Prigozhin , who always comes up in these stories. It's always the hotdog guy who's doing everything bad from, like, you know, fake Facebook ads to poisoning Sergei Skripal or whatever.

But I just don't see where the Taliban needs encouragement from Putin to do that. It's their country. They want the US out and they have succeeded in seizing large amounts of territory. Donald Trump has come into office with a pledge to remove US troops from Afghanistan and ink this deal. And along comes this story as the peace process begins to advance.

And what is the end-result? We haven't gotten into the domestic politics yet, but the end-result is you have supposedly progressive senators like Chris Murphy of Connecticut attacking Trump for not fighting Russia in Afghanistan. I mean, they want a straight-up proxy war for not escalating. You have Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, someone who's aligned with the Democratic Party, who supported the war in Iraq and, you know, supports just endless war, demanding that the US turn up the heat not just in Afghanistan but in Syria. So, you know, the escalatory rhetoric is at a fever pitch right now, and it's obviously going to impact that peace conference.

Let's remember that three days before Trump's summit with Putin was when Mueller chose to release the indictment of the GRU agents for supposedly hacking the DNC servers. Let's remember that a day before the UN the United Nations Geneva peace talks opened on Syria in 2014 was when US intelligence chose to feed these shady Caesar photos, supposedly showing industrial slaughter of Syrian prisoners, to The New York Times in an investigation that had been funded by Qatar. Like, so many shady intelligence dumps have taken place ahead of peace summits to disrupt them, because the US doesn't feel like it has enough skin in the game or it just simply doesn't want peace in these areas.

So, that's what happened here. That's really, I think, the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer.

That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped.

THE LINCOLN PROJECT AD: Now we know Vladimir Putin pays a bounty for the murder of American soldiers. Donald Trump knows, too, and does nothing. Putin pays the Taliban cash to slaughter our men and women in uniform and Trump is silent, weak, controlled. Instead of condemnation he insists Russia be treated as our equal.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, maybe they're just really good editors and brilliant politicians who work overtime. They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable.

And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. They're always out there doing the hard work. Who are they? Well, Steve Schmidt is a former campaign manager for John McCain 2008. And you look at the various personnel affiliated with it, they're all McCain former McCain aides or people who worked on the Jeb and George W. Bush campaigns, going back to Texas and Florida. This is sort of the corporate wing of the Republican Party, the white-glove-country-club-patrician Republicans who are very pro-war, who hate Donald Trump.

And by doing this, by them really taking the lead on this attack, as you pointed out, Aaron, number one, they are sucking the oxygen out of the more progressive anti-Trump initiatives that are taking place, including in the streets of American cities. They're taking the wind out of anti-Trump more progressive anti-Trump critiques. For example, I think it's actually more powerful to attack Trump over the fact that he used, basically, chemical weapons on American peaceful protesters to do a fascistic photo-op. I don't know why there wasn't some call for congressional investigations on that. And they are getting skin in the game on the Biden campaign. It really feels to me like this Lincoln campaign operation, this moderate Republican operation which is also sort of a venue for neocons, will have more influence after events like this than the Bernie Sanders campaign, which has an enormous amount of delegates.

So, that's what I think the domestic repercussion is. It's just this constant it's the constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base that's moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War that only serves, you know, people who are associated with the national security state who need to justify their paycheck and the budget of the institutions that employ them.

AARON MATÉ: Let's assume for a second that the allegation is true, although, you know, you've laid out some of the reasons why it's not. Can you talk about the history here, starting with Afghanistan, something you cover a lot in your book, The Management of Savagery, where the US aim was to kill Russians, going right on through to Syria, where just recently the US envoy for the coalition against ISIS, James Jeffery, who handles Syria, said that his job now is to basically put the Russians in a quagmire in Syria.

JAMES JEFFREY: This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, I mean, it feels like a giant act of psychological and political projection to accuse Russia of using an Islamist militia in Afghanistan as a proxy against the US to bleed the US into leaving, because that's been the US playbook in Central Asia and the Middle East since at least 1979. I just tweeted a photo of Dan Rather in Afghanistan, just crossing the Pakistani border and going to meet with some of the Mujahideen in 1980. Dan Rather was panned in The New York in The Washington Post by Tom Toles [Tom Shales], who was the media critic at the time, as "Gunga Dan," because he was so gung-ho for the Afghan mujahideen. In his reports he would complain about how weak their weaponry was, you know, how they needed more how they needed more funding. I mean, you could call it bounties, but it was really just CIA funding.

DAN RATHER: These are the best weapons you have, huh? They only have about twenty rounds for this?

TRANSLATOR: That's all. They have twenty rounds. Yes, and they know that these are all old weapons and they really aren't up to doing anything to the Russian weaponry that's around. But that's all they have, and this is why they want help. And he is saying that America seems to be asleep. It doesn't seem to realize that if Afghanistan goes and the Russians go over to the Gulf, that in a very short time it's going to be the turn of the United States as well.

DAN RATHER: But I'm sure he knows that in Vietnam we got our fingers burned. Indeed, we got our whole hands burned when we tried to help in this kind of situation.

TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: Your hands were burned in Vietnam, but if you don't agree to help us, if you don't ally yourself with us, then all of you, your whole body will be burnt eventually, because there is no one in the world who can really fight and resist as well as the as much and as well as the Afghans are.

DAN RATHER: But no American mother wants to send her son to Afghanistan.

TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: We don't need anybody's soldiers here to help us, but we are being constantly accused that the Americans are helping us with weapons. What we need, actually, are the American weapons. We don't need or want American soldiers. We can do the fighting ourselves.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: And a year or several months before, the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do.

And then with the introduction of the Stinger missile, the Afghan mujahideen, hailed as freedom fighters in Washington, were able to destroy Russian supply lines, exact a heavy toll, and forced the Red Army to leave in retreat. They helped create what's considered the Soviet Union's Vietnam.

So that was really but the blueprint for what Russian for what Russia is being accused of now, and that same model was transferred over to Syria. It was also actually proposed for Iraq in the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998. Then Senate Foreign Relations chair Jesse Helms actually said that the Afghan mujahideen should be our model for supporting the Iraqi resistance. So, this kind of proxy war was always on the table. Then the US did it in Syria, when one out of every $13 in the CIA budget went to arm the so-called "moderate rebels" in Syria, who we later found out were 31 flavors of jihadi, who were aligned with al-Qaeda's local affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and helped give rise to ISIS. Michael Morell, I tweeted some video of him on Charlie Rose back in, I think, 2016. He's the former acting director for the CIA, longtime deputy director. He said, you know, the reason that we're in Syria, what we should be doing is causing Iran and Russia, the two allies of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, to pay a heavy price.

MICHAEL MORELL: We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price. The other thing

CHARLIE ROSE: We make them pay the price by killing killing Russians?

MICHAEL MORELL: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: And killing Iranians.

MICHAEL MORELL: Yes, covertly. You don't tell the world about it, right? You don't stand up at the Pentagon and say we did this, right? But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real.

AARON MATÉ: Let me read Dan Rather's tweet, because it's so it speaks to just how pervasive Russiagate culture is now. People have learned absolutely nothing from it.

Rather says, "Reporters are trained to look for patterns that are suspicious, and time and again one stands out with Donald Trump. Why is he so slavishly devoted to Putin? There is a spectrum of possible answers ranging from craven to treasonous. One day I hope and suspect we will find out."

It's like he forgot, perhaps, that Robert Mueller and his team spent three years investigating this very issue and came up with absolutely nothing. But the narrative has taken hold, and it's, as you talked about before, it's been the narrative we've been presented as the vehicle for understanding and opposing Donald Trump, so it cannot be questioned. And now it's like it's a matter of, what else is there to find out about Trump and Russia after Robert Mueller and the US intelligence agencies looked for everything they could and found nothing? They're still presented as if it's some kind of mystery that has to be unraveled.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: And it was after, like, a week of just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. Then Dick Cheney was welcomed into the resistance, you know, because he said, "Wear a mask." I mean, you know, his mask was strangely not spattered with the blood of Iraqi children. But, you know, it was just amazing like that. Of course, it was the Lincoln project who hijacked the minds of the resistance, but basically people who used to work on Cheney's campaign said, "Dick Cheney, welcome to the resistance." I mean, that was remarkable. And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, just a few years ago, maybe it was two years ago, before Bolton was brought into the Trump NSC, he was considered just an absolute marginal crank who was a contributor to Fox News. He'd been forgotten. He was widely hated by Democrats. Now here he is as a sage voice to tell us how dangerous this moment is. And, you know, he's not being even brought on just to promote his book; he's being brought on as just a sober-minded foreign policy expert on Meet the Press . That's where we're at right now.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and when his critique of Trump is basically that Trump was not hawkish enough. Bolton's most the biggest critique Bolton has of Trump is, as he writes about in his book, is when Trump declined to bomb Iran after Iran shot down a drone over its territory. And Bolton said that to him was the most irrational thing he's ever seen a president do.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, Bolton was mad that Trump confused body bags with missiles, because he said Trump thought that there would be 150 dead Iranians, and I said, "No, Donald, you're confused. It will be 150 missiles that we're firing into Iran." Like that's better! Like, "Oh, okay, that makes everything all right," that we fire a hundred missiles for one drone and maybe that wouldn't that kill possibly more than 150 people?

Well, in Bolton's world this was just another stupid move by Trump. If Bolton were, I mean, just, just watch all the interviews with Bolton. Watch him on The View where the only pushback he received was from Meghan McCain complaining that he ripped off a Hamilton song for his book The Room Where It Happened , and she asked, "Don't you have any apology to offer to Hamilton fans?" That was the pushback that Bolton received. Just watch all of these interviews with Bolton and try to find the pushback. It's not there. This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller.

AARON MATÉ: And inevitably the only long-term consequence that I can see here is ultimately helping Trump, because, if history is a pattern, these Russiagate supposed bombshells always either go nowhere or they get debunked. So, if this one gets forcefully debunked, because I think it's quite possible, because Trump has said that he was never briefed on this and they'll have to prove that he's lying, you know. It should be easy to do. Someone could come out and say that. If they can't prove that he's lying, then this one, I think, will blow up in their face. And all they will have done is, at a time when Trump is vulnerable over the pandemic with over a hundred thousand people dead on his watch, all these people did was ultimately try to bring the focus back to the same thing that failed for basically the entirety of Trump's presidency, which is Russiagate and Trump's supposed―and non-existent in reality―subservience to Vladimir Putin.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: But have you ever really confronted one of your liberal friends who maybe doesn't follow these stories as closely as you do? You know, well-intentioned liberal friend who just has this sense that Russia controls Trump, and asked them to really defend that and provide the receipts and really explain where the Trump administration has just handed the store to Russia? Because what we've seen is unprecedented since the height of the Cold War, an unprecedented deterioration of US-Russia relations with new sanctions on Russia every few months. You ask them to do that. They can't do it. It's just a sense they get, it's a feeling they get. And that's because these bombshells drop, they get reported on the front pages under banners of papers that declare that "democracy dies in darkness," whose brand is something that everybody trusts, The New York Times , The Washington Post , Woodward and Bernstein, and everybody repeats the story again and again and again. And then, if and when it gets debunked, discredited or just sort of disappears, a few days later everybody forgets about it. And those people who are not just, like, 24/7 media consumers but critical-minded media consumers, they're left with that sense that Russia actually controls us and that we must do something to escalate with Russia. So, that's the point of these: by the time the disinformation is discredited, the damage has already been done. And that same tactic was employed against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, to the point where so many people were left with the sense that he must be an antisemite, although not one allegation was ever proven.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and now to the point where, in the Labour Party―we should touch on this for a second―where you had a Labour Party member retweet an article recently that mentioned some criticism of Israel and for that she was expelled from her position in the shadow cabinet.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, well, you know, as a Jew I was really threatened by that retweet [laughter]. I don't know about you.

I mean, this is Rebecca Long Bailey. She's one of the few Corbynites left in a high position in Labour who hasn't been effectively burned at the stake for being a, you know, Jew hater who wants to throw us all in gas chambers because she retweets an interview with some celebrity I'd never heard of before, who didn't even say anything that extreme. But it really shows how the Thought Police have taken control of the Labour Party through Sir Keir Starmer, who is someone who has deep links to the national security state through the Crown Prosecution Service, which he used to head, where he was involved in the prosecution of Julian Assange. And he has worked with The Times of London, which is a, you know, favorite paper of the national security state and the MI5 in the UK, for planting stories against Jeremy Corbyn. He was intimately involved in that campaign, and now he's at the head of the Labour Party for a very good reason. I really would recommend everyone watching this, if you're interested more in who Keir Starmer really is, read "Five Questions for [New Labour Leader] Sir Keir Starmer" by Matt Kennard at The Grayzone. It really lays it out and shows you what's happening.

We're just in this kind of hyper-managed atmosphere, where everything feels so much more controlled than it's ever been. And even though every sane rational person that I know seems to understand what's happening, they feel like they're not allowed to say it, at least not in any official capacity.

AARON MATÉ: From the US to Britain, everything is being co-opted. In the US it's, you know, genuine resistance to Trump, in opposition to Trump, it gets co-opted by the right. Same thing in Britain. People get manipulated into believing that Jeremy Corbyn, this lifelong anti-racist is somehow an antisemite. It's all in the service of the same agenda, and I have to say we're one of the few outlets that are pushing back on it. Everyone else is getting swept up on it and it's a scary time.

We're gonna wrap. Max, your final comment.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, yeah, we're pushing back. And I saw today Mint Press [News], which is another outlet that has pushed back, their Twitter account was just briefly removed for no reason, without explanation. Ollie Vargas, who's an independent journalist who's doing some of the most important work in the English language from Bolivia, reporting on the post-coup landscape and the repressive environment that's been created by the junta installed with US help under Jeanine Áñez, his account has been taken away on Twitter. The social media platforms are basically under the control of the national security state. There's been a merger between the national security state and Silicon Valley, and the space for these kinds of discussions is rapidly shrinking. So, I think, you know, it's more important than ever to support alternative media and also to really have a clear understanding of what's taking place. I'm really worried there just won't be any space for us to have these conversations in the near future.

AARON MATÉ: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery , thanks a lot.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Thanks for having me.

[Jul 06, 2020] Russia Answers Bounty Claims, Says US is 'Drug Trafficking' - TOLOnews

Jul 06, 2020 | tolonews.com

Russia Answers Bounty Claims, Says US is 'Drug Trafficking'

Russia has more recently been accused by the United States of quietly providing weapons to the Taliban.

RELATED NEWS Thumbnail

The Russian president's special envoy for Afghanistan affairs, Zamir Kabulov, on Saturday accused US intelligence in Afghanistan of "drug trafficking," reported Tass, a Russian news agency.

Following a New York Times story alleging that a Russian unit was offering bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill US-led coalition troops in Afghanistan, Kabulov responded to the allegations, saying that US intelligence officers, who "accuse us of different things," are involved in "drug trafficking."

"Those wonderful US intelligence officers, who accuse us of different things, are involved in drug trafficking. Their planes from Kandahar, from Bagram [airfield near Kabul] are flying wherever they want to - to Germany, to Romania - without any inspections," he said. "Every citizen of Kabul will tell you that, everyone is ready to talk about that," said Tass quoting Kabulov speaking to a state-run tv channel.

The New York Times report said that there were different theories on why Russia would support Taliban attacks, "including a desire to keep the United States bogged down in war."

The Taliban operation was "led by a unit known as the GRU," said the Times article, "which has been blamed in numerous international incidents including a 2018 chemical weapons attack in Britain that nearly killed Russian-born double agent Sergei Skripal."

The New York Times quoted a Kremlin spokesman saying that Russia was unaware of the accusations.

The Taliban also rejected the allegations.

Russia has more recently been accused by the United States of quietly providing weapons to the Taliban.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday last week, in remarks to the press on the reports of Russian bounties for Taliban fighters who kill Americans, said: "The fact that the Russians are engaged in Afghanistan in a way that's adverse to the United States is nothing new."

"Some members of Congress who are out there today suggesting that they are shocked and appalled by this, they saw the same intelligence that we saw. So it would be interesting to ask them what they did when they saw whatever intelligence it is that they are referring to," Pompeo said.

Following Pompeo's remarks about Russia, a source on Thursday confirmed to TOLOnews that the man who controls the transaction is named Rahmat Sia and he is the owner of a construction company.

Rahmatullah Azizi is his given name, but he is known as Rahmat Sia. He lives in Russia.

According to the source, Rahmatullah's brother, his driver, his cousin and a Forex dealer have been arrested by the Afghan security forces in PD4 of Kabul city.

[Jul 05, 2020] Ukrainegate honcho Schiff and Russian bounty story

Jul 05, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL July 3, 2020 at 12:42 am

TheFederalist: Schiff Learned Of Russian 'Bounty' Intelligence In February, Withheld Information From Congress, And Took No Action
https://thefederalist.com/2020/07/02/schiff-learned-of-russian-bounty-intelligence-in-february-withheld-information-from-congress-and-took-no-action/

Schiff demands the Trump administration brief all of Congress about the unverified allegations, yet he himself did not ask for a briefing following the February briefing of his own staff.

As chairman of the intelligence committee, Schiff had the authority to immediately brief the full committee and convene hearings on the matter. Schiff, however, did nothing. He did not brief his committee on the matter, nor did he brief the gang of 8, which consists of top congressional leadership in both chambers .
####

It yet again goes to show how the Dems dirty tricks can compete with that of the Repubs. Will the US media ignore this or just move on to another story?

[Jul 05, 2020] The CIA's shady "Russian bounties" leaks are having their intended impact: sabotaging efforts to end the war in Afghanistan.

Jul 05, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

JAMES LAKE July 2, 2020 at 7:59 am

Well well well – no surprise here

Ben Norton
@BenjaminNorton
The CIA's shady "Russian bounties" leaks are having their intended impact: sabotaging efforts to end the war in Afghanistan.

The bipartisan House Armed Services Committee just voted to block Trump from withdrawing from Afghanistan.

Bipartisan imperialism

//////Next there will be more sanctions on Russia for a fake story.

Trump is not supported by his own party – both sides are loyal only to eg military industrial complex

MARK CHAPMAN July 2, 2020 at 10:05 am

Doesn't matter in the least. Things have gone so far past the possibility of the USA and Russia ever having friendly relations again in our lifetimes that when the USA is chuckling to itself over how it is fucking things up for Russia, it is only fucking things up for itself. Russia is moving ahead on the assumption that the west is a write-off, or at least the North American part of it, and while it may continue to warily court Europe, the best chance the USA ever had of taking down Russia is already years in the past. It took a long time to learn the American pattern of smile-and-backstab, but Russia has learned it now and the decision has been made. If the USA wants to stay in Afghanistan until the judgment trump, brooding obsessively over its empire of mud huts and walnut trees, fine. It's not hurting Russia. I do think, though, that the next time the USA tries to stir up a pocket religious war by claiming the 'rise of ISIS' in some choice target country by injecting its pet militants, it is going to meet with resistance to the narrative, and would be about as able to form a coalition of the willing as it would a march of the dead.

[Jul 05, 2020] Some Conspiracy Theories Are for Real by Philip Giraldi

Jul 05, 2020 | www.unz.com

What is the best way to debunk a conspiracy theory? Call it a conspiracy theory, a label which in and of itself implies disbelief. The only problem with that is there have been many actual conspiracies both historically and currently and many of them are not in the least theoretical in nature. Conspiracies of several kinds brought about American participation in both world wars. And however one feels about President Donald Trump, it must be conceded that he has been the victim of a number of conspiracies, first to deny him the GOP nomination, then to insure that he be defeated in the presidential election, and subsequently to completely delegitimize his presidency.

Prior to Trump there have been numerous conspiracy "theories," many of which have been quite plausible. The "suicide" of Defense Secretary James Forrestal comes to mind, followed by the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which has been credibly credited to both Cuba and Israel. And then there is 9/11, perhaps the greatest conspiracy theory of all. Israel clearly knew it was coming, witness the Five Dancing Shlomos cavorting and filming themselves in New Jersey as the twin towers went down. Also the Saudis might have played a role in funding and even directing the alleged hijackers. And we have also had the conspiracy by the neocons to fabricate information about Iraq's WMDs and the ongoing conspiracy by the same players to depict Iran as a threat to the United States.

Given the multiple crises currently being experienced in the United States it is perhaps inevitable that speculation about conspiracies is at its highest level ever. To the average American it is incomprehensible how the country has become so screwed up because the political and economic elite is fundamentally incompetent, so the search for a scapegoat must go on.

There are a number of conspiracy theories about the coronavirus currently making the rounds. Those libertarians and contrarians who choose to believe that the virus is actually a flu being exploited to strip them of their liberties are convinced that many in the government and media have conspired to sell what is essentially a fraud. One such snake oil salesman persists in using an analogy, that since more Americans are killed in automobile accidents than by the coronavirus it would be more appropriate to ban cars than to require the wearing of face masks.

Another theory making the rounds accuses Microsoft multi-billionaire Bill Gates of trying to take over the world's healthcare system through the introduction of a vaccine to control the coronavirus, which he presumably created in the first place. The fallacy in many of the virus "conspiracies" that relate to a totalitarian regime or a crazy billionaire using a faux disease to generate fear so as to gain control of the citizenry is that it gives far too much credit to any government's or individual's ability to pull off a fraud of that magnitude. It would require people a whole lot smarter than the tag team of Trump-Pompeo or even Gates to convince the world and thousands of doctors and scientists that they should lock down entire countries over something completely phony.

Other coronavirus theories include that the virus was developed in the U.S., was exported to China by a traitorous American scientist, weaponized in Wuhan and then unleashed on the West as part of a communist plot to destroy capitalism and democracy. That would mean that we are already at war with China, or at least we should be. Then there is the largely accepted theory that the virus was created in Wuhan and escaped from the lab. Since that time Beijing has been engaging in a cover-up, which is the conspiracy. It is a theme favored by the White House, which has not yet decided what to do about it beyond assigning funny "Yellow Peril" names to the disease so everyone in MAGA hats will have something to chuckle about leading up to the November election.

But all kidding aside, there are some conspiracy theories that are more worth considering than others. One would be the role of George Soros and the so-called Open Society Foundations that he controls and funds in the unrest that is sweeping across the United States. The allegations against Soros are admittedly thin on evidence, but conspiracy mongers would point out that that is the mark of a really well-planned conspiracy, similar to what the 89 year-old Hungarian Jewish billionaire has been engaging in for a long time. The current round of claims about Open Society and Soros have generated as many as 500,000 tweets a day as well as nearly 70,000 Facebook posts per month, mostly from political conservatives.

The allegations tend to fall into two broad categories . First, that Soros hires protester/thugs and transports them to demonstrations where they are supplied with bricks and incendiaries to turn the gatherings into riots. Second, that Open Society is funding and otherwise enabling the destabilizing flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

Soros and his supporters, many of whom are Jewish because they think they see anti-Semitism in the attacks on the Hungarian, claim to support democratization and free trade worldwide. He is, in effect, one of the world's leading globalists. Soros claims to be a "force for good" as the cliché goes, but is it completely credible that his $32 billion foundation does not operate behind the scenes to influence developments in ways that are certainly not democratic?

Indeed, Soros accumulated his vast fortune through vulture capitalism. He made over $1 billion in 1992 by selling short $10 billion in British pounds sterling, leading to the media dubbing him "the man who broke the bank of England." He has been accused of similar currency manipulation in both Europe and Asia. In 1999, New York Times economist Paul Krugman wrote of him that "Nobody who has read a business magazine in the last few years can be unaware that these days there really are investors who not only move money in anticipation of a currency crisis, but actually do their best to trigger that crisis for fun and profit."

Far from a passive bystander giving helpful advice to democracy groups, Soros was heavily involved with the restructuring of former communist regimes in eastern Europe and had a hand in the so-called Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003 and the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine in 2014, both of which were supported by the U.S. government and were intended to threaten Russia's regional security.

Soros particularly hates President Vladimir Putin and Russia. He revealed that he is far from a benevolent figure fighting for justice in his March Financial Times op-ed (behind a pay wall) entitled "Europe Must Stand With Turkey Over Putin's War Crimes in Syria."

The op-ed is full of errors of fact and is basically a call for aggression against a Russia that he describes as engaged in bombing schools and hospitals. It starts with, "Since the beginning of its intervention in Syria in September 2015, Russia has not only sought to keep in place its most faithful Arab ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It has also wanted to regain the regional and global influence that it lost since the fall of the Soviet Union." First of all, Russia did not "intervene" in Syria. It was invited there by the country's legitimate government to provide assistance against various groups, some of which were linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State, that were seeking to overthrow President al-Assad.

And apart from Soros, few actual experts on Russia would claim that it is seeking to recreate the "influence" of the Soviet Union. Moscow does not have the resources to do so and has evinced no desire to pursue the sort of global agenda that was characteristic of the Soviet state.

There then follows a complete flight into hyperbole with: "Vladimir Putin has sought to use the turmoil in the Middle East to erase international norms and advances in international humanitarian law made since the second world war. In fact, creating the humanitarian disaster that has turned almost 6 million Syrians into refugees has not been a byproduct of the Russian president's strategy in Syria. It has been one of his central goals." Note that none of Soros's assertions are supported by fact.

The Soros op-ed also included a bit of reminiscence, describing how, "In 2014, I urged Europe to wake up to the threat that Russia was posing to its strategic interests." The op-ed reveals Soros as neither conciliatory nor "diplomatic," a clear sign that he picks his enemies based on ideological considerations that also drive his choices on how to frame his ventures. Given all of that, why is it unimaginable that George Soros is engaged in a conspiracy, that he is clandestinely behind at least some of the mayhem of Antifa and Black Lives Matter as well as the flood of illegal immigration that have together perhaps fatally destabilized the United States?

Philip Giraldi, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.


Carlton Meyer , says: Website July 2, 2020 at 1:37 pm GMT

For those unfamiliar with the Soros/Israeli/CIA coup in the Republic of Georgia, here is a short video:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qC-xLCgbThM?feature=oembed

JasonT , says: July 2, 2020 at 1:42 pm GMT

...These, and Soros, are the front men. The real brains are hidden from sight.

A123 , says: July 2, 2020 at 2:50 pm GMT

One would be the role of George Soros and the so-called Open Society Foundations that he controls and funds in the unrest that is sweeping across the United States.

Reg Cæsar , says: July 2, 2020 at 3:22 pm GMT

Instead of fairly distributing the wealth created by globalisation, Soros argued, capitalism's "winners" failed to "compensate the losers", which led to a drastic increase in domestic inequality – and anger.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jul/06/the-george-soros-philosophy-and-its-fatal-flaw

Sounds like many of the "populists" here.

Trinity , says: July 2, 2020 at 5:09 pm GMT

I know it is just a "conspiracy theory" that people like George Schwartz aka George (((Soros))) are funding these riots, but if this "conspiracy theory" were indeed true, why aren't Soros and his (((cohorts))) at least under investigation for treason and murder charges.

EliteCommInc. , says: July 2, 2020 at 6:35 pm GMT

"Sounds like many of the "populists" here."

I am not a populist. But the contention (s) you are referring to are no really the argument -- not by content.

The argument is that the suppose winners were and continue unfairly leverage the economic system with the help f government to avoid the consequences of their miscalculations, sometimes innocent, often careless and sometimes deliberate machinations.

That is quite a different argument than the winners should share more --

And as much as a capitalist as I am am -- I admit that there are goings on which violate the rules of capitalism as well as common decency.

UncommonGround , says: July 2, 2020 at 8:07 pm GMT

I didn't know that Soros could be so explicit about what he thinks about Putin and Syria and involve himself so concretely with such questions, about which he probably doesn't know very much (in the last times there have been very interesting articles about Syria, for instance, see links below).

Even though, I don't think that he has anything to do with BLM and the protests. Riots and revolts have happened other times without the coordination of people from outside. It happened in 1381 in England. A few years ago it happened in the UK and earlier it happened in the US, (I think when there was a blackout). Now it happened spontaneously in Stuttgart in Germany (apparently).

Why shouldn't people complain about the militarisation of the police which uses brutal methods to arrest people, a police which acts as if they had occupaied a country and had to contain a population of enemies?

The most recent conspiracy was the one to oust Corbyn (the text is relatively short):

The killing of Jeremy Corbyn
Peter Oborne and David Hearst

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/killing-jeremy-corbyn

The former Labour leader was the victim of a carefully planned and brutally executed political assassination

About Syria, an important text by an expert, long:

The Salafist Roots of the Syrian Uprising
by William Van Wagenen

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-salafist-roots-of-the-syrian-uprising/

Syria: Old Pretexts, New Sanctions, Still Counterproductive
by Bas Spliet

https://original.antiwar.com/Bas_Spliet/2020/06/18/syria-old-pretexts-new-sanctions-still-counterproductive/

Meena , says: July 3, 2020 at 11:25 pm GMT

" Wall Street Journal reported Friday that following the drone strike on Soleimani last week, Trump told unspecified associates "he was under pressure to deal with Gen. Soleimani from GOP senators he views as important supporters in his coming impeachment trial in the Senate."
http://www.commindreams.org

From any angle ,this will look like a conspiracy . But talking about it to portray the existential crisis of USA politics ,a science of checks and balances, media responsibility and the mechanism in place to make this sort of events to happen will be labeled as conspiracy theory .

What is this.?
1 Impeachable offense
2 who will raise the issue? Media, Congress, Government agencies and activist judges .
They don't why ?
3 Who will investigate ? Dept of Justice.
Why they don't ?

4 would it be a conspiracy theory had Trump not shared the quid pro quo? Absolutely .

5 who is keeping quiet on the initiation of war illegal war to gain personal favor by Trump and who is asking war on Iran ? Same gaggle of smiley faces – Bolton to Kristol to Cotton to Lindsey to Pelosi to Biden to Sherman Engle , Schumer , Cheney( the cow ) , sage Bush jr, Hillary and same gallery of rogues like NYT BBC CNN FOX MSNBC .

6 is there a possibility of a war initiated by Trump to make last ditch effort to win election? Yes.

Bolton recently and , Deniis Ross have suggested to Obama to get out of bad poll number before ,
Economist Rubiono has suggested before as was shared by zerohedge sometimes back.

7 Why does conspiracy theory keep on returning ? Because the first appearance is never pushed back exposed and vilified by any body .
8 How do one evaluate and understand the fate accompli ? They don't . They shrug and move on as they did after Suleimnai killing and wait for next disavowal of any "conspiracy theory before confidently shrugging off the fait accompli.

9 What do you call them? Zombie human slaving away their lives
to harakiri.

Geowhizz , says: July 4, 2020 at 4:12 am GMT

So Soros broke the pound back in the day. Why did MI6 not kill him?

Thomasina , says: July 4, 2020 at 9:33 am GMT

I've often wondered about Soros. Was he a wealthy man before he "broke the Bank of England"?

I've also wondered how it is possible that someone like Soros would have been allowed to break the Bank of England. Was it just a set-up to provide him with plausible funds in order to make him look legit?

He gets written up as some ideological billionaire who acts in accordance with his conscience, but to me he looks like he's working for the ruling elites and the CIA.

Truly benevolent people (which I'm sure Soros is not) don't go around causing the chaos he does.

Anon [413] Disclaimer , says: July 4, 2020 at 9:48 am GMT

There are many videos about Soros' purported influence on world events but very few books. An interesting one is "Soros rompiendo España" by an internationalist and academic of the Universidad Complutense of Madrid.

It badly needs an editor to make it less boring, but it traces and documents Soros financing and tactics in the case of Cataluña. Basically creating NGOs to mobilize civil society to a pitch, while providing content and tactics. Creating grass roots pressure to change policy and break up one of Europes oldest nation-states. Such a network has the advantage of flexibility, it can ebb and flow as required.

What is different from Europe's 19th Century instability? Well, that one's to ponder. But it seems to me it is:
1) independent of Perfidious Albion or any central government. Unless it's Bilderberg, of course.
2) requires no high level assassinations (king and prime minister of Italy, King and Queen of Serbia, multiple Habsburgs, etc). Orban and Salvini are alive and well. Trump will lose, but continue playing golf.
3) not about the self-determination of oppressed peoples, that is, not about nationhood.

There seem to be non-stop programming exercises to achieve and direct mass activism across the West: immigration into Europe and US, Cataluña protests, green St Greta protest, feminist protests, Covid confinement, BLM. These last four, in the past TWO years. The generational divide cemented during Covid is something to watch, I've seen videos in French and Spanish about the "life lessons" of the pandemic that seed this idea.

The next step in this Ordo ab Chaos stumps me.

UncommonGround , says: July 4, 2020 at 10:19 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz n't Stop Until They Get Their War With Iran

– Op-Ed: The neocons: They're back, and on Iran, they're uncompromising as ever

– The Neoconservative Obsession with Iran

– Is Tehran Back in the Crosshairs of the Neocon Crusade?

– Next Stop, Tehran: The Neoconservative Campaign for War in Iran

About the other theme you ask about, I don't believe that it's possible to investigate it properly, but anyway:

– 5 Israelis Detained for Puzzling Behavior' After WTC Tragedy (Yossi Melman, Haaretz)

– Five Israelis were seen filming as jet liners ploughed into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 .. (the Herald)

Really No Shit , says: July 4, 2020 at 11:08 am GMT

Some say that Soros is a Rothschild agent, just as Wilbur Ross is claimed to be by others, and the Bank of England is most likely the Nathan Rothschild agent, therefore, a question arises: how can an operative of an outfit be the buster of that very outfit? It's like saying a pizza parlor owned by the mafia was cleaned out of pies by one of its very own goons.

[Jul 05, 2020] Bounty rumor and CIA Project MK-ULTRA

Jul 05, 2020 | www.unz.com

onebornfree , says: Website July 2, 2020 at 10:17 pm GMT

@anonymous

...You might want to take at the article just posted at this very site:

"CIA Project MK-ULTRA": https://www.unz.com/lromanoff/cia-project-mk-ultra/

[Jul 05, 2020] Why Didn't Haspel Demand an Oval Office Meeting by Joe Lauria

Jul 05, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

July 3, 2020

The safety of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan does not appear to be the motive in intelligence agency leaks to the media about the alleged Russian "bounties," says Joe Lauria.


Special to Consortium News

T he Los Angeles Times reported Thursday night that a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, which Donald Trump had demanded, has been put off until after the U.S. presidential election in November.

Maintaining imperial interests in Afghanistan seems to be one of the main reasons for the so-far uncorroborated, possibly cooked-up "scandal" known now as Bountygate.

Other motives appear to be the same twofer that was at the core of Russiagate: first, unnamed intelligence officials meddling in domestic U.S. politics, this time to undermine Trump's re-election campaign; and, second, to even further demonize and pressure Russia.

The public has been subjected to daily morsels of supposedly factual stories meant to further deepen the plot. The first item dropped online on June 26 with The New York Times' initial reporting on the say-so of "American intelligence officials."

It seemed yet another attempt to launder disinformation through big media, giving it more credibility than if it had come directly from the security services. A discerning reader, however, would want more than the word of a bunch of spooks who make a living practicing deception.

The "evidence" for the story that Russia paid the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers came from interrogation of Afghan detainees. If the interrogations were "enhanced" the evidence is even more unreliable.

For the record, Consortium News supports no candidate and has been a strong critic of Trump. But we see intelligence agencies' insertion into domestic politics to be a greater threat than even eight years of Trump. As spooks like to say, "Administrations come and go. And we're still here."

Meddling Again in Politics

Trumped briefed in the Oval Office, Sept 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

A main purpose of this planted Times story was made clear in the following paragraph, and it's been the constant theme since, seized on by Trump critics from the Lincoln Project to Democratic candidate Joe Biden:

" The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House's National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options -- starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step , the officials said." [Emphasis added.]

The inference is that Trump knew about it for months and didn't do anything, obviously because he's a Kremlin agent.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1278430418161872909&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F07%2F03%2Fif-it-were-so-urgent-why-didnt-haspel-demand-an-oval-office-meeting%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

Trump said he was unaware of the "intelligence." John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, put out a statement on June 27 saying Trump had not been briefed on it.

But the Times that day quoted an "American intelligence official" (another one or the same?) saying:

" it was included in the President's Daily Brief, a written document which draws from spywork to make analytic predictions about longstanding adversaries, unfolding plots and emerging crises around the world. The briefing document is given to the president to read and they serve as the basis for oral briefings to him several times a week."

The Times did not say that Trump was orally told about it. I suspect the CIA gave it to him only in print, and knowing Trump doesn't entirely read his daily written briefings, did not orally tell him, making him out to be a liar by leaking this information.

But this raised the immediate question: If this were such an urgent matter that Trump had ignored for more than three months, why hadn't CIA Director Gina Haspel demanded, in all that time, an immediate Oval Office meeting with Trump to urge him to act? After all, isn't the CIA's job supposed to be to protect Americans?

" If this was even close to being confirmed, Haspel would have briefed directly given the sensitivity of the subject," Scott Ritter, a former U.S. counterterrorism officer, told me by email. Haspel, distancing herself from the controversy, put out a statement condemning the leaks to the Times , saying they "compromise and disrupt the critical interagency work to collect, assess, and ascribe culpability."

Clearly the purpose of this leaked story was not to protect the lives of American soldiers.

Denials All Around

Trump speaks to members of the National Security Council during a meeting at the Pentagon in 2017. (DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

The story is being ginned-up with small leaks everyday despite denials from the Taliban, Moscow and statements from the National Security Council, the National Security Agency, the Pentagon and the director of national intelligence that undermine its credibility. National Security Council officials said the information had not been sufficiently corroborated to be brought to Trump's attention.

"Because the allegations in recent press articles have not been verified or substantiated by the Intelligence Community, President Trump had not been briefed on the items," said Robert O'Brien, the national security advisor.

"We are still investigating the alleged interference referenced in media reporting and we will brief the President and Congressional leaders at the appropriate time," said John Ratcliffe, director of national intelligence.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement: "The Department of Defense continues to evaluate intelligence that Russian GRU operatives were engaged in malign activity against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports."

Ray McGovern, the former CIA analyst, said: "I helped prepare The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan, and personally conducted the one-on-one morning briefings in the Oval Office from 1981 to 1985. In those days we did our best to corroborate reporting -- especially on highly sensitive issues -- and did not try to cover our derrieres by alerting the president and his top aides to highly dubious reporting, however sexy."

The Wall Street Journal reported that the NSA "strongly dissented" from the assessment on the bounties, citing "people familiar with the matter."

Even the anti-Putin Moscow Times doesn't buy the story.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1279029008672403457&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F07%2F03%2Fif-it-were-so-urgent-why-didnt-haspel-demand-an-oval-office-meeting%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

The Drip, Drip, Drip of New Leaks

The initial story has been followed up by new leaks nearly every day. First we heard from the Times of an electronic transfer from a bank account controlled by the GRU, Russian military intelligence, to the Taliban. We are not told what this money was for. Was there a line item for "killing American soldiers?" The Times reports:

" Though the United States has accused Russia of providing general support to the Taliban before, analysts concluded from other intelligence that the transfers were most likely part of a bounty program that detainees described during interrogations." [Emphasis added.]

" Other intelligence" that is not cited "most likely" meant it was part of the bounty "program" is hardly convincing reporting.

Anyone who knows anything about intelligence operations knows that such payments would be made by cash on the ground in Afghanistan and not by leaving a discoverable paper trail. The cash would come from Russian officials in Afghanistan, not wired to a Taliban account. This is the same portrayal of a bumbling, unprofessional Russian intelligence service that supposedly left Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet secret police chief in the metadata of its alleged hacks of the DNC. At the same time we are meant to be deathly afraid of these amateurs.

The alleged money sent by bank transfer was supposedly handed out in cash on the battlefield by a "lowly drug dealer" who puzzled his neighbors because he was suddenly driving a fancy car. Rahmatullah Azizi, the Times says, got the cash in Russia:

" U.S. intelligence reports named Mr. Azizi as a key middleman between the G.R.U. and militants linked to the Taliban who carried out the attacks. He was among those who collected the cash in Russia, which intelligence files described as multiple payments of 'hundreds of thousands of dollars.'" [Emphasis added.]

This contradicts the Times ' earlier story that the money was transferred electronically. Now the cash was collected in Russia. Azizi associates were arrested and a half-million dollars was found in his house. The Times, however, does not say what they were charged with.

" Just how the money was dispersed to militants carrying out attacks for the Taliban, and at what level the coordination occurred, remains unclear," the Times reports. Indeed. In an earlier era of journalism that would incite an editor to bark, "Don't put it in the story until you find out."

Mission Accomplished

The three goals of the leaks are being accomplished:

Trump is being dogged by the story with no let up. Debunked Russiagate stories about him being a Kremlin tool have been revived. Russia is further demonized, not just as the destroyer of American democracy, but as the destroyer of American lives. The troops are staying put in Afghanistan over Trump's objections.

The LA Times story said the decision to keep a little more than 4,000 troops there was made "late last month," around the time The New York Times story broke.

" The plan, worked out at a meeting between Pentagon and White House officials late last month, would represent an about-face for President Trump. He has pushed for a complete withdrawal of the 8,600 troops now in Afghanistan by the election, seeing a pullout as a much-needed foreign policy achievement as his reelection prospects have deteriorated. Trump had only recently told advisors that a full and rapid pullout could blunt the controversy over intelligence reports that Russia has paid militants to kill American service members, one official said."

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .


vinnieoh , July 4, 2020 at 16:50

And, come Sunday morning all the beltway boobs (Shit The Press, Washington Bleat, Fuck the Nation) will breathlessly try to engage the sheep in their latest xxxx-gate spectacle. Anything but talk about themselves and how they're sucking the blood out of all of us.

Two things not mentioned yet: was there no-one aboard Trump's Ship of Fools that saw them sailing into mined waters? (essential clarification: it was a "cloaked" mine, latent, waiting.)

Second: for how many decades now 5, 6? the Congress slumbers while their dogs of war roam, but immediately snap to wakefulness if those dogs are summoned to their cages. The Congress now, dejectedly admitting (/s) that they have been beaten, can no longer authorize wars, only block their ending. I've often believed that the reason this is so, is because they have become sooo convinced that payback is gonna be a real bitch. Who wouldn't? And I fear for my grandson and his generations. Sorry kid, I just didn't count – I wuz invizibel!

Mark Thomason , July 4, 2020 at 16:42

Missile Gap. This is not the first time that hawkish hysteria was used for purely domestic politics.

The payback hoped for goes beyond the election, to promote hawkish policies that otherwise would have far fewer supporters.

dean 1000 , July 4, 2020 at 16:16

The soft coup efforts continue as the dirty turkeys( not a Rock group) strike again claiming that Taliban POWs said Russian military intelligence paid bounties to Taliban to shoot US soldiers.

The dirty turkeys have been lying about Trump for 4 years, turned the NSC into a nest of spies and we are supposed to believe this transparent, boneheaded hatchet job.

Thanks for the link to the LA Times. I didn't know Trump wanted be bring all the Troops home from Afghanistan this year. Too bad the Generals insist that 4,000 troops stay.

Douglas Baker , July 4, 2020 at 15:55

So the Loony Tunes franchise has gone viral distributed by monopoly media as Orwellian "1984" newspeak repeated as though instruction for a flock, of what has been called "A Nation of Sheep", with an "Animal Farm" hand repeating instruction in every way imaginable for the elite guides of American destiny to carry on, with Bugs Bunny demanding, "What's Up Doc?"

Roe Castelli Orr , July 4, 2020 at 13:58

Those with free thinking minds can discern the MSM/MIC propaganda narrative and still despise Trump at the same time.
Trump is America Unmasked.
A Diseased, renditioned Portrait of a 21st Century Dorian Gray hanging in the halls of the Capitol.
The Empire's bidding if for Gold, Oil, Drugs, Puppet Vassals for exploitation of mineral rights drowning in oceans of blood from colonialism.
All for the Whores of K Street.
Unfortunately Biden will be the same.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
Rome isn't Burning it's vaporizing.

Roe Castelli Orr , July 4, 2020 at 13:27

Totally independent functioning brains can discern the propaganda perpetrated by the MSM/MIC about this recent Russia-gate nonsense and still realize Trump is still an imbecile, Narcissistic, self aggrandizing human waste.
Trump is the caricature of Dorian Gray hanging in the halls of the capital.
Trump is the true face of a dying, diseased Empire of Gold, Oil, Drugs, Puppet Vassals,and Mineral theft beholden to It's K Street whores.

Rob , July 4, 2020 at 13:03

I learned from reading Caitlin Johnstone that the debating technique known as the "Gish Gallop" consists of inundating one's opponent with numerous ancillary "arguments" that the opponent is forced to refute individually. The individual arguments may all be fallacious, but put together, they create the impression that the main or underlying argument must be true. This is exactly what the corporate media did with Russiagate and are doing once again with Bountygate. It's the steady drip drip of stories, all uncorroborated and sometimes conflicting with one another, which, taken together, seem to support the Bountygate narrative without actually doing so.

hXXps://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop
hxxps://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Gish%20Gallop

Roe Castelli Orr , July 4, 2020 at 13:41

Bravo

Aaron , July 4, 2020 at 12:58

"My feeling, and I mean this wholeheartedly, is that I really don't care. What bothers me is we didn't win the game." Brett Favre's reaction to the Saint's bountygate in the playoff game.
Our poor troops have been stuck in that hellhole for 20 fu***ng years, and like a sports warrior like Favre, all that they ever wanted I'm sure for all of their sacrifice, was for it to not be in vain, and somehow feel that they won the war. Let's try to look at this from the perspective of a serviceman fighting in the Afghan war. That Taliban fighters have been trying to kill them everyday since 2001 is supposed to be news to them? They live that reality every single day. The politicians of both parties have made no attempt to protect them for years and years and years. To pretend that they care about those they deem expendable now in July of 2020, after all these years is about the saddest thing one could imagine for them on this 4th of July. I hope that they all can come home now, all of the troops, not just some of them, all of them. Because the reality of our wars and troops in the Middle East come from a prioritization of both political parties to serve 1) Israel first 2) Israel second 3) Israel third

teresa smith , July 4, 2020 at 11:09

Ak I missing something? Doesn't the US have a history of paying anyone they feel will advance their agenda, in any direction, to any nefarious group or individual? Crying foul by the US is still more hypocritical blather, designed to distract. CN never disappoints! Thank you all!!!

Linda Furr , July 4, 2020 at 13:20

Absolutely!! And dopey stuff like Russia paying Taliban bounties on American lives in Afghanistan is exactly why most people are totally turned off by Washington DC and the corporate MSM that promotes the DC system (ie a bought-and-paid-for Congress, a CIA that creates misery all over the world, a Pentagon that eagerly displays its gonads every time it can). Russia isn't causing our institutions to be questioned; our institutions are.

AnneR , July 4, 2020 at 10:55

Thank you Joe for this piece collating all of the claptrap we are being fed daily (including by NPR – well, bien sur). And as with the whole farrago, charade of lies, innuendos that was/is Russiagate, my view is closely allied to yours as stated here: "This is the same portrayal of a bumbling, unprofessional Russian intelligence service that supposedly left Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet secret police chief in the metadata of its alleged hacks of the DNC. At the same time we are meant to be deathly afraid of these amateurs."

Quite. Absolutely. IF the GRU and its kindred agencies in Russia are this bloody incompetent, this incapable of not leaving a trail that Hansel and Gretel could easily follow, then why would we be so worried, so frightened of them? Totally, completely idiotic – but apparently the US MICIMATT and corporate-capitalist-imperialist ruling elites (including the Congress and most of the WH) really do believe that we, the hoi polloi, are so f***ing stupid as to believe that the Russians are totally incompetent (and thus "we" can "see" them) but simultaneously we should, must be knocking our knees with complete and utter fear of them and their dastardly plots against us

What it all makes apparent is that our ruling elites at all levels, in and out of government and its services truly believe we are as thick as two short planks. All of us.

Roe Castelli Orr , July 4, 2020 at 14:14

Unfortunately about 10 to 15% are as awoke as you and I.
The government actuarial studies realize that if this figure was over 40% the Earth's Axis would reverse throwing these devils into the abyss.

Guy , July 4, 2020 at 10:49

This story is proof that the US media is now CIA written large.

Bob In Portland , July 4, 2020 at 10:47

It sounds like the lowly drug dealer may have been making inroads into the business. This has been a standard tacts for our drug wars. That is, the US intelligence agencies use the drug wars to eliminate competition to its own very lucrative drug trade wars. Like the Japanese did to China, supplying a conquered population with drugs as a means of control.

In this case the lowly drug dealer was used as another propaganda tool aimed at Trump.

AnneR , July 4, 2020 at 14:19

A widening of the view, Bob in Portland – Before the Japanese came the Brits with Opium, grown (in their knowledge) in Bengal (if I recall right), in the early 1800s (at least, though possibly earlier, cos we poor working class Brits used to feed our very noisy, obstreperous hungry babies Laudanum to keep 'em quiet. Laudanum is a derivative of Opium and opium poppies do not thrive in GB (yer more regular poppies do).

So – we were (?) the first to introduce large quantities of Opium into China which (inevitably, it would seem) led to war and the Brits gaining Hong Kong (what? did the Brits say: we'll stop trafficking opium into your country if you hand over Hong Kong? Wouldn't surprise me in the least).

Now the major supplier/grower/producer is Afghanistan – and it is difficult to believe that the CIA has no hand in it. A deep hand. How easy then to create a fantabulous story about the "Russians," "bounties to kill US military," and drug dealers as the "go-betweens" with the $$$ . Deflection while pointing at those "others."

One could point out, rightly in my opinion, that were no US military in Afghanistan, none would be killed no matter who, what, why, how .. Lie our way in; Lie our way to stay.

Rob Roy , July 4, 2020 at 10:27

Loathsome though Trump may be, he once said the most intelligent thing I've heard a president say about Russia in my lifetime, "Why can't we just be friends." The duopoly lost its collective minds. The horror!

jdd , July 4, 2020 at 06:57

Mr. Lauria hits the nail on the head. To his report, I would add in the vile role of the impeachment Dems: Nancy ("all roads lead to Putin) Pelosi, Chuck ("Trump is too soft on Putin) Schumer; and their Bushy allies, who continue to keep this latest hoax alive.

Piotr Berman , July 4, 2020 at 06:43

Hm, an electronic money transfer between "bank owned by Russian military intelligence" to "an account linked to Taliban" changed, in front of our eyes, into (a duffel bag of?) notes carried with much toil from Russia to Afghanistan. I have seen something like that years ago.

At the end of a magic show, the performer threw up a handkerchief that changed into an umbrella that changed into a bunch of carnations while few white doves appeared too. That led Senator Schumer to conclude that we need new, tough sanctions on Russia.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 4, 2020 at 05:14

"The cash would come from Russian officials in Afghanistan, not wired to a Taliban account. This is the same portrayal of a bumbling, unprofessional Russian intelligence service that supposedly left Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet secret police chief in the metadata of its alleged hacks of the DNC."

Superb summary.

I think the principle at work is an old one from advertising and propaganda.

Throw enough crap at the wall, and some it will stick.

My, what glorious work done at the highest levels of American government.

I really do think when top politicians and officials show this level of corruption and contempt for truth, it can't too long before things really start falling apart.

Already deadly serious economic problems. Already a world competitiveness problem. Already terrible extremes of inequality. Already serious unhappiness on the streets with brutal cops and sugar-frosted history.Now the loss of any moral authority. and on all sides of the government, not just Trump.

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold"

Torontonian , July 4, 2020 at 12:10

Exactly!

And look around –things are already falling apart – here in Canada -locally , nationally and of course on the world stage. Wait until the real economic mess hits and governments cant pay the hush money to people any more, ie to prop up the last semblances of a "good (sic: structure".

Here in Toronto, no Canada Day celebrations ? but instead an " emergency" dictate for construction projects to continue from 6am to 10 pm at night 7 days a week– so we all celebrated to noise we didn't want and public work we don't care about– really new sidewalks again? more Bell Canada fibre network (paid by taxpayers)

Totally topsy turvy world -priorty for business with total disdain for the public. Collapse is here–not centre structure yet .

Michael H Strong , July 4, 2020 at 05:07

I also can't imagine the G.R.U. dropping all that money on some middleman (Azizi) and expecting him to carry out a distribution. More likely he would just abscond with it (remember Iraq and all those pallets of cash money [billions] just evaporating, heck-of-a job, Paul Bremer). And really, a guy who shows up with bling, so to speak. Nothing like attracting attention.

Seer , July 4, 2020 at 04:58

Look up John Stockwell. It's an essential component of the CIA to spread disinformation, and doing so via the media (figure that many ex-spooks are on CNN's payroll). Trump is totally correct when he calls out "fake news/media" (he's just inconsistent in applying it).

People struggle to understand the difference between siding with a Trump position vs siding up with Trump himself. TDS has helped cloud this.

Seer , July 4, 2020 at 04:51

Fair.org completely shreds the media's handling of this:
hXXps://fair.org/home/in-russian-bounty-story-evidence-free-claims-from-nameless-spies-became-fact-overnight/

Annie , July 4, 2020 at 03:51

I simply ignore such obvious propaganda, as I did Russia-gate. Through his entire presidency trumped up allegations have become the norm. The press is in complicity with it all, and after a while I feel more alienated from those who hate him, degrade him, make up lies about him and those that go so far as to undermine the constitution in order to get rid of him.

ML , July 4, 2020 at 16:14

It's one thing to ignore and abhor the propaganda; so many of us regular CN readers do, but it's quite another to feel any sympathy or simpatico, with a person as vile and as unfit as Donald John. No dichotomous thinking is required, yet that's the egregious error too many Americans make.

Drew Hunkins , July 4, 2020 at 02:21

I don't know about you, but I'm getting real sick and tired of the term "intelligence."

AnneR , July 4, 2020 at 10:59

Yes, DH. But I think their grotesque presumption is that WE the vox populi have no intelligence, (and they would seem to believe that of the Russians and the Chinese and the Iranians gor blimey); therefore they can feed us, repeatedly, any old tripe they cook up (and serve with chips and vinegar – Brit chips).

Piotr Berman , July 4, 2020 at 00:04

"we see intelligence agencies' insertion into domestic politics to be a greater threat than even eight years of Trump"

To have stylistic harmony with anti-Russian claims, I would say that the leakers from law enforcement and intelligence have equal loathing to all politicians, and they want them to be weak, fearful and know better than to say no to whatever they may request.

A "leak" with a series of "corrections" gives a transient trouble to Trump and sticky trouble to those who made a big noise on false premises that "anyone with half a brain would recognize, sadly my opponent lacks even that much." By the way, assassins in Afghanistan seem to command fees that soccer stars could envy. "At least one American soldier" and "multiple payments of hundreds thousand dollars". Collected by a drug dealer. Alleged. GRU contacts were neither seen nor described (or perhaps some infamous person was described allowing to link with "Boris and Natasha" unit of GRU to whom Western analysis ascribes a long list of failed schemes like secession of Catalonia, coup in Montenegro, extermination of ducks, children, pizza lovers and beer drinkers in Wiltshire.)

The more details we know, the less probable the story is. More precisely, the easier it is to point alternative and more plausible scenarios. Like, a drug dealer being paid for drugs -- that flowed in large quantities out of Afghanistan. It happens all the time that a drug dealer gets money for drugs. Since dealing in drugs carries death penalty in many countries there (I am not sure about Afghanistan), any story told to interrogators is better than the true story.

Still, it is quite puzzling how a leak about money transported by couriers got garbled into an electronic transfer, "contact" into a "bank", dealer in Afghanistan into "an account linked to Taliban". Was the lucidity of the receivers of the leak clouded by something like ethanol?

dfnslblty , July 3, 2020 at 17:42

Leaks:
Death by a thousand cuts – potus ain't in charge, even intel. ain't in charge.
Must be the fascist/armament component of bigGov.

[Jul 03, 2020] The New York Times beats the drums for war by Patrick Martin

Rumors became a material force when neoliberal Dems want to use them against Trump
Presstitutes who published it have track record of pushing Iraq WDM lies before.
Looks like heroin trade money are pushed by NYT presstitutes as Russian money. Nice...
Notable quotes:
"... The sole foundation of the reports in the Times , since reinforced by similar articles in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, and accounts on cable and network television, are the unsupported, uncorroborated statements of unnamed intelligence officials. These officials give no proof of their claims about the operation of the supposed network of GRU agents -- how the money came from Russia to Afghanistan, how the money was distributed to Taliban fighters, what actions the Taliban fighters carried out, what impact these actions had on any American military personnel. ..."
"... Yet six days into this press campaign, there has been no acknowledgement in the "mainstream" corporate media that there is anything dubious or unsubstantiated about this narrative. Instead, the main focus has been to demand that the Trump administration explain when the president learned of the alleged Russian attack and what he proposes to do about it. ..."
"... The Times reporters spearheading this campaign are not journalists in any real sense of the term. They are conduits, passing on material supplied to them by high-level operatives in the CIA and other intelligence agencies, repackaging it for public consumption and using their status as "reporters" to provide more credibility than would be given to a press release from Langley, Virginia. In other words, the CIA has provided the plot line, and the newspaper creates the narrative framework to sell it to the American people. ..."
"... The newspaper played a leading role in helping the Bush administration fabricate its case for war against Iraq in 2002-2003. It was not just the notorious Judith Miller, with her tall tales of aluminum tubes being used to build centrifuges as a step to an Iraqi atomic bomb. ..."
"... The New York Times acts as a political mouthpiece of the Democratic Party, which is determined to block any mass radicalization of workers and youth. In the event that Biden is elected in November and takes office in January 2021, an incoming Democratic administration will carry out policies no less reactionary than those of Trump ..."
"... The campaign against Trump's alleged "dereliction of duty" -- a phrase used by Biden three times during his Tuesday press conference -- is nothing more than a continuation of the campaign by the Democrats to attack Trump from the right, as too "soft" on Russia and too unwilling to intervene in the Middle East. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | wsws.org
The New York Times beats the drums for war

Not since William Randolph Hearst cabled his correspondent in Havana in 1898 with the message, "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war," has a newspaper been so thoroughly identified with an effort to provoke an American war as the Not since William Randolph Hearst cabled his correspondent in Havana in 1898 with the message, "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war," has a newspaper been so thoroughly identified with an effort to provoke an American war as the New York Times this week.

The difference -- and there is a colossal one -- is that Hearst was fanning the flames for the Spanish-American War, a comparatively minor conflict, the first venture by American imperialism to seize territory overseas, in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. The Times today is seeking to whip up a war fever directed against Russia, one that threatens to ignite a third world war fought with nuclear weapons.

There is not the slightest factual basis for the series of article and commentaries published by the Times , beginning last Saturday, claiming that the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU, paid bounties to Taliban guerrillas to induce them to attack and kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. Not a single soldier out of the 31 Americans who have died in Afghanistan in 2019-2020 has been identified as a victim of the alleged scheme. No witnesses have been brought forward, no evidence produced.

The sole foundation of the reports in the Times , since reinforced by similar articles in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, and accounts on cable and network television, are the unsupported, uncorroborated statements of unnamed intelligence officials. These officials give no proof of their claims about the operation of the supposed network of GRU agents -- how the money came from Russia to Afghanistan, how the money was distributed to Taliban fighters, what actions the Taliban fighters carried out, what impact these actions had on any American military personnel.

Yet six days into this press campaign, there has been no acknowledgement in the "mainstream" corporate media that there is anything dubious or unsubstantiated about this narrative. Instead, the main focus has been to demand that the Trump administration explain when the president learned of the alleged Russian attack and what he proposes to do about it.

The Times reporters spearheading this campaign are not journalists in any real sense of the term. They are conduits, passing on material supplied to them by high-level operatives in the CIA and other intelligence agencies, repackaging it for public consumption and using their status as "reporters" to provide more credibility than would be given to a press release from Langley, Virginia. In other words, the CIA has provided the plot line, and the newspaper creates the narrative framework to sell it to the American people.

The Times and individual reporters like David Sanger and Eric Schmitt have a track record. The newspaper played a leading role in helping the Bush administration fabricate its case for war against Iraq in 2002-2003. It was not just the notorious Judith Miller, with her tall tales of aluminum tubes being used to build centrifuges as a step to an Iraqi atomic bomb.

There was an entire chorus of falsification, in which Schmitt (January 21, 2001, "Iraq Rebuilt Bombed Arms Plants, Officials Say") and Sanger (November 13, 2002, "U.S. Scoffs at Iraq Claim of No Weapons of Mass Destruction," and December 6, 2002, "US Tells Iraq It Must Reveal Weapons Sites") among many articles, played major roles.

In this week's "Russian bounties" campaign, Schmitt and Sanger are at it again. A front-page article published Thursday under their joint byline carries the headline, "Trump's New Russia Problem: Unread Intelligence and Missing Strategy." This article is aimed at advancing the claim that Trump was negligent in responding to allegations against Russia, either being too lazy to read the President's Daily Brief -- a summary of world events and spy reports produced by the CIA -- or choosing to ignore the report because of his supposed subservience to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The political line of the article is set early on, when the authors claim that "it doesn't require a high-level clearance for the government's most classified information to see that the list of Russian aggressions in recent weeks rivals some of the worst days of the Cold War." The list is ridiculously thin, including "cyberattacks on Americans working from home" (no evidence presented) and "continued concern about new playbooks for Russian actors seeking to influence the November election" (this is a description of the state of mind at the CIA, not of any actual steps taken by Russia). The purpose is to place the current allegations about Russian bounties in the context of the long-running effort to portray Russian President Vladimir Putin as the evil genius and puppet master of world politics.

Schmitt, in an article co-authored with Michael Crowley, refers to "intelligence reports that Russia paid bounties to Taliban-affiliated fighters to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan," as though this was an established fact. The article cites various unnamed "former officials" of the Trump and Obama administrations claiming that such an allegation would certainly have been brought to Trump's attention, and that his failure to take action in response must be seen as negligence.

The article suggests that there is "supporting evidence" for the CIA claims of a Russian bounty plot, citing, among other things, "detainee interrogations, the recovery of about $500,000 from a Taliban-related target and intercepts of electronic communications showing financial transfers between the Russian military intelligence unit and Afghan intermediaries." In point of fact, every item on this list represents an assertion by unnamed intelligence sources, not evidence: no actual detainees, cash hoards or electronic intercepts have been produced.

Another article by Schmitt, along with three Afghan-based reporters, focuses on the alleged role of an Afghan businessman, Rahmatullah Azizi, a former drug smuggler and US government contractor, in whose home investigators found a cash hoard of half a million in US dollars. Again, "US intelligence reports" are cited, claiming Azizi was "a key middleman between the G.R.U. and militants linked to the Taliban." Again, there is no actual evidence cited, and Azizi himself cannot be found. As for the alleged cash hoard, this suggests more the proceeds of narcotics trafficking than anything else, an enterprise in which Azizi was supposedly engaged.

The article asserts that the Russian government organized the bounty scheme as "payback" for decades of humiliation in Afghanistan at the expense of the United States, although how killing a handful of US soldiers would accomplish such a goal is a mystery. Moreover, the Times also admits, citing a congressman who participated in a White House briefing on the allegations, that the intelligence briefing did not "detail any connection to specific U.S. or coalition deaths in Afghanistan" and that "gaps remained in the intelligence community's understanding of the overall program, including its precise motive "

In other words, the Russian "bounties" program has no identifiable victims and no credible motive. This makes the unanimity of the media chorus that much more damning a self-indictment. Why is there not a single article or commentary in the corporate media challenging the claims being peddled by the CIA? It is not that these claims are particularly convincing in and of themselves. Far from it. It is the source of the claims that is decisive: if the US intelligence apparatus says it is so, the American media obediently salutes.

The real question to be answered about the latest anti-Russian provocation is this: what political considerations are the driving force of this episode of media fabrication?

It is no coincidence that the Afghanistan "bounties" story has surfaced just at the point where the Trump administration is visibly reeling in the face of the twin crises of the coronavirus pandemic and the popular upsurge against police violence. The American ruling class has been deeply shaken by the outraged protests by large interracial crowds, particularly of young people, that have swept virtually every American city and town. And the financial aristocracy is well aware of the deep-seated popular opposition to its drive to force workers back to work under conditions where every large factory, warehouse and office is a potential epicenter for the ongoing resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The response to this crisis by the political and media representatives of the ruling elite is twofold: seeking to split the working class along racial lines and seeking to divert domestic social tensions into a campaign against foreign antagonists, particularly China and Russia.

The New York Times acts as a political mouthpiece of the Democratic Party, which is determined to block any mass radicalization of workers and youth. In the event that Biden is elected in November and takes office in January 2021, an incoming Democratic administration will carry out policies no less reactionary than those of Trump.

The campaign against Trump's alleged "dereliction of duty" -- a phrase used by Biden three times during his Tuesday press conference -- is nothing more than a continuation of the campaign by the Democrats to attack Trump from the right, as too "soft" on Russia and too unwilling to intervene in the Middle East. This began with the anti-Russia campaign that triggered the two-year-long Mueller investigation, continued with the Ukraine phone call that led to impeachment and now emerges in the form of increasingly vehement demands that the US government "retaliate" for an entirely fabricated Russian effort to kill American soldiers.

Patrick Martin

The author also recommends:

[Jul 03, 2020] Bounties for Taliban -- The New Big Russia Lie by Larry C Johnson

Larry argument: Russian military intelligence is one of the top intelligence services in the world. They can't be that sloppy.
Notable quotes:
"... If it is true that Russia's military intelligence unit is putting out hits on U.S. military personnel, then they are terrible at their job. The violence they are allegedly inflicting on our soldiers is so inconsequential that the U.S. media rarely does any detailed reporting when a soldier falls in action in sand pits of Taliban-land. And then there are the actual peace talks with the Taliban that, despite dire warnings that this was a fools errand, appears to have paid off. U.S. forces are not being besieged nor savaged at their outposts in Afghanistan. ..."
"... You are a 19 year old black man and want to see your 20th birthday, join the military and ask to be deployed to Afghanistan. You will be safer. ..."
"... The movement of money through Russian banks to Afghan accounts tied to the Taliban should not shock anyone. It is called proceeds from heroin. After more than 20 years of spilling the blood of U.S. warriors in Afghanistan, we have made no dent in the production, distribution and sale of heroin, which is funding warlords and corrupt politicians alike in Afghanistan. This is not Russian bounty money. This is U.S. funded mayhem. Every America who buys heroin or some version of the drug on the streets is helping put money in the pockets of fanatics like the Taliban. ..."
"... The so-called intelligence officers, the faux journalists and the craven politicians are putting our nation at risk by spreading a lie and smearing Donald Trump. This cannot stand. ..."
"... Is it possible that the "Russian bounty" story was ginned up to prevent the withdrawal from Afghanistan and Germany? ..."
"... Looks like Liz Cheney and the Democrats are working together to put a kibbosh on withdrawal. ..."
"... When peace occurs, promotions stop. Without a battlefield officers must find other ways to move up the ladder. I think the colonel covers this quite accurately in his Artists and Bureaucrats paper. ..."
"... Given that electronic transfers of USD are traceable, how likely is it that GRU would do this vs physically carrying a payment into Afghanistan? To carry $1M you just need a single stack of $100 bills 43 inches long. By land you have Iran and Uzbekistan a former Soviet Republic. If they used a passenger jet they could fly in from almost anywhere. ..."
"... For some historical perspective from someone who really knew a lot about pre-2003 Afghanistan, see Michael Scheuer's third "Pillar of Truth" about Afghanistan: "Afghans Cannot Be Bought" from his 2004 "Imperial Hubris": ..."
"... It's another leak to sabotage Trump, except now the saboteurs are getting less creative and more lazy. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Anyone who embraces the stupid and absurd claim that Russia's military intelligence outfit, the GRU, is paying (has been paying) the Taliban to kill U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan, is either guilty of ignorance or congenitally retarded. It is that simple. There is not gray area here. The claim is a lie.

Let us start with this fact--the Taliban do not need a financial incentive to kill U.S. military personnel. They have willingly taken up that cause for more than 20 years.

Then there is this fact--the number of U.S. military personnel who died in the last six months in Afghanistan are dwarfed by the number of young black men killed in Chicago over the Memorial Day Holiday. If the Russians goal is to kill Americans they would be better off spending their money on the drug gangs that infest the American cities governed by Democrats. They would get more bang for their bucks. Only eight U.S. military personnel have died in Afghanistan in 2020 and only four of those were killed in "hostile" engagements. The other four succumbed to accidents. Twenty six U.S. military personnel died in Afghanistan in 2019. Twenty of those were from hostile actions. ( Icasualties.org provides the details).

If it is true that Russia's military intelligence unit is putting out hits on U.S. military personnel, then they are terrible at their job. The violence they are allegedly inflicting on our soldiers is so inconsequential that the U.S. media rarely does any detailed reporting when a soldier falls in action in sand pits of Taliban-land. And then there are the actual peace talks with the Taliban that, despite dire warnings that this was a fools errand, appears to have paid off. U.S. forces are not being besieged nor savaged at their outposts in Afghanistan.

The Democrats supposed concern for the lives of U.S. military personnel fighting in foreign shit-holes stands in stark contrast to their silence about the mass slaughter of young black men in the major U.S. cities that have been ruled by Democrat politicians for more than a generation. Compare the murder body count in these cities (comprised largely of young, black males) with the U.S. soldiers allegedly killed in Afghanistan because of a Russian bounty--2124 U.S. citizens murdered in the United States in 2019 vice 20 U.S. soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan:

You are a 19 year old black man and want to see your 20th birthday, join the military and ask to be deployed to Afghanistan. You will be safer.

The movement of money through Russian banks to Afghan accounts tied to the Taliban should not shock anyone. It is called proceeds from heroin. After more than 20 years of spilling the blood of U.S. warriors in Afghanistan, we have made no dent in the production, distribution and sale of heroin, which is funding warlords and corrupt politicians alike in Afghanistan. This is not Russian bounty money. This is U.S. funded mayhem. Every America who buys heroin or some version of the drug on the streets is helping put money in the pockets of fanatics like the Taliban.

Fortunately, the money is so good that the Taliban are pulling their punches in going after U.S. troops. The Taliban make more from selling dope to the world than the Russian could ever offer. As long as the U.S. leaves the poppy fields alone, there is little incentive to attack us.

The behavior of the Democrats and some Republicans in accepting the damnable lie that the U.S. has solid, reliable intelligence about a Russian scheme to fund the Taliban to kill Americans is dangerous. The incessant cry about the non-existent Russian wolf is fraught with peril. At a minimum, it puts the Russians in the position of believing that these so-called political leaders are serious about picking a fight with Moscow and killing Russians. Russia is not going to sit back and be a punching bag for fools obsessed with ridding Washington, DC of Donald Trump.

The so-called intelligence officers, the faux journalists and the craven politicians are putting our nation at risk by spreading a lie and smearing Donald Trump. This cannot stand.


TV , 02 July 2020 at 01:47 PM

"The so-called intelligence officers, the faux journalists and the craven politicians are putting our nation at risk by spreading a lie and smearing Donald Trump."

Who they hate more - Trump or America?

blue peacock , 02 July 2020 at 02:51 PM

Larry,

Is it possible that the "Russian bounty" story was ginned up to prevent the withdrawal from Afghanistan and Germany?

https://theintercept.com/2020/07/02/house-democrats-working-with-liz-cheney-restrict-trumps-planned-withdrawal-of-troops-from-afghanistan-and-germany/

Looks like Liz Cheney and the Democrats are working together to put a kibbosh on withdrawal.

When it comes to intelligence-law enforcement-military affairs we should always look to domestic politics as it may provide better answers.

CK , 02 July 2020 at 02:55 PM

When peace occurs, promotions stop. Without a battlefield officers must find other ways to move up the ladder. I think the colonel covers this quite accurately in his Artists and Bureaucrats paper.

Christian J. Chuba , 02 July 2020 at 04:39 PM

A question to my betters (no sarcasm intended). The NYT is trying to shore up its story by stating

"Russia's complicity in the bounty plot came into sharper focus on Tuesday as the The New York Times reported that American officials intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia's military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account."

Given that electronic transfers of USD are traceable, how likely is it that GRU would do this vs physically carrying a payment into Afghanistan? To carry $1M you just need a single stack of $100 bills 43 inches long. By land you have Iran and Uzbekistan a former Soviet Republic. If they used a passenger jet they could fly in from almost anywhere.

To do a wire transfer GRU would have to be (falsely) confident that their source account was very well disguised, something like a successful bakery in Pakistan. I can't believe they would use an account from a bank in Russia, that would be too obvious.

I don't believe the story, just asking about the plausibility of using a wire transfer.

Keith Harbaugh , 02 July 2020 at 04:56 PM

Couldn't agree with you more.

For some historical perspective from someone who really knew a lot about pre-2003 Afghanistan, see Michael Scheuer's third "Pillar of Truth" about Afghanistan: "Afghans Cannot Be Bought" from his 2004 "Imperial Hubris":

https://kwharbaugh.blogspot.com/2005/03/afghanistan-michael-scheuers-view.html#p-3

jose , 02 July 2020 at 07:22 PM

Larry, how corrupt are our intelligence agencies when Schiff is briefed on this matter and not the President?

To me its looks like an attempted second impeachment scam coordinated with House Dems.

https://www.redstate.com/bonchie/2020/07/02/report-trump-wasnt-briefed-on-unverified-russian-bounty-intel-but-adam-schiff-was-and-hid-it/

Yeah, Right , 02 July 2020 at 07:56 PM

I note that nobody in the comments section of the NYT article ever asks the obvious question, the one that Larry Johnson zeroed in on very quickly.

This one: if Afghanistan is now awash with cash as a result of "Russian bounties" on dead GIs then where and when were those GIs killed?

After all, of necessity one is the other side of the coin to the other.

The more money there is in Afghanistan then, logically, the more successful the Taliban must have been in collecting those bounties. Even though they haven't been very successful at all.

This story is such a crock.

Larry Johnson , 02 July 2020 at 08:19 PM

Jose,

Your instincts are sound. This is the best they can come up with to try to create a new crisis for Trump.

FakeBot , 02 July 2020 at 09:07 PM

It's another leak to sabotage Trump, except now the saboteurs are getting less creative and more lazy.

[Jul 03, 2020] House Using Shaky Russian Bounty Story To Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan by BARBARA BOLAND

That actually vividly shows that so called Democrats are completly in the pocket of MIC
Notable quotes:
"... The Crow amendment would block funding if the U.S. draws down below 8,000 troops and again below 4,000 troops "unless the administration certifies that doing so would not compromise the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, not increase risk for U.S. personnel there, be done in consultation with allies, and is in the best interest of the United States," reports The Hill. "It would also require an analysis on the effects of a drawdown on the threat from the Taliban, the status of human and civil rights, an inclusive Afghan peace process, the capacity of Afghan forces and the effect of malign actors on Afghan sovereignty." ..."
"... Rep. Jason Crow's (D-Colo.) NDAA amendment will require several certifications, including an assessment of whether any "state actors have provided any incentives to the Taliban, their affiliates, or other foreign terrorist organizations for attacks against United States, coalition, or Afghan security forces or civilians in Afghanistan in the last two years, including the details of any attacks believed to have been connected with such incentives." ..."
"... Crow's amendment adds several layers of policy goals to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, which has already stretched on for 19 years and cost over a trillion dollars. As made clear in th e Afghanistan Papers, most of these policy goals were never the original intention of the mission in Afghanistan , and were haphazardly added after the defeat of al Qaeda. With no clear vision for what achieving these fuzzy goals would look like, the mission stretches on indefinitely, an unarticulated victory unachievable. ..."
"... "the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan"...The US just wants to permanently occupy Afghanistan. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

How convenient. Liz Cheney joins Democrats leading the charge. Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

The House Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday night to put roadblocks on President Donald Trump's vow to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, apparently in response to bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday that alleges Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops.

Despite at least three serious flaws with that reporting , the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment was approved 45-11.

The Crow amendment would block funding if the U.S. draws down below 8,000 troops and again below 4,000 troops "unless the administration certifies that doing so would not compromise the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, not increase risk for U.S. personnel there, be done in consultation with allies, and is in the best interest of the United States," reports The Hill. "It would also require an analysis on the effects of a drawdown on the threat from the Taliban, the status of human and civil rights, an inclusive Afghan peace process, the capacity of Afghan forces and the effect of malign actors on Afghan sovereignty."

Rep. Jason Crow's (D-Colo.) NDAA amendment will require several certifications, including an assessment of whether any "state actors have provided any incentives to the Taliban, their affiliates, or other foreign terrorist organizations for attacks against United States, coalition, or Afghan security forces or civilians in Afghanistan in the last two years, including the details of any attacks believed to have been connected with such incentives."

The amendment "lays out, in a very responsible level of specificity, what is going to be required if we are going to in fact make decisions about troop levels based on conditions on the ground and based on what's required for our own security, not based on political timelines," said Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.-R.), the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

"And that is crucially important, and I think it is our number one priority," added Cheney, who is now the number three Republican in the House.

The U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan is down to 8,600 troops. Trump is said to be eager to deliver on his campaign promise and further draw down the U.S. presence after the 19-year war in Afghanistan.

"A great nation does not force the next generation to fight their wars, and that's what we've done in Afghanistan," said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.) "I think the best day to have not had the war in Afghanistan was when we started it, and the next best day is tomorrow. I don't think there's ever a bad day to end the war in Afghanistan. Our generation is weary of this and tired of this."

Crow's amendment adds several layers of policy goals to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, which has already stretched on for 19 years and cost over a trillion dollars. As made clear in th e Afghanistan Papers, most of these policy goals were never the original intention of the mission in Afghanistan , and were haphazardly added after the defeat of al Qaeda. With no clear vision for what achieving these fuzzy goals would look like, the mission stretches on indefinitely, an unarticulated victory unachievable.


kouroi 14 hours ago

"the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan"...The US just wants to permanently occupy Afghanistan. End of story. For now, for instance, the Uyghurs are a nice foil to undermine China. But in a possible future, in which lets' say China gets destabilized and CCP falls and revert to war lordism, I can see the US invading Xinjiang to rein in the Islamic terrorism and then to try to create a separate state. But Xinjiang is not Kosovo, Han and their allies represent a plurality of the population, just under 50%...

chris chuba 14 hours ago

Amazing how anonymous sources prevail over people willing to speak in public when they say what you want to believe and that is the power of the deep state.


kouroi
12 hours ago

Apologies for abusing the blog board. But I cannot think that there is a bigger game at play, in which staying in Afghanistan is just a small piece of the Go game being played.

In respect with Russia, after the fall of the soviet communism, there wasn't a fundamental ideological reason left to confront Russia. But now, because Russia managed to evade submission into the rapacious hands of the US Oligarchy, everything is being used as a reason to tie Russia down, like Gulliver was tied down by Lilliputians.

The problem the US has now, is that it cannot create a common front against Russia and in fact, it has started punishing its so called "allies" (no more than subjects in reality). And because of this, Germany has said a clear and crisp "Nein" against the US interference with NS2, and against the US request at UN to maintain the arms embargo against Iran.

It is funny and interesting to see how the Israel plan of annexing of part of West Bank will unfold. To be consistent, the EU will either have to stop sanctioning Russia for Crimea, or start sanctioning Israel... The EU cannot have it both ways (the US can though).

WilliamRD 8 hours ago

Liz Cheney clashes with Trump

https://thehill.com/homenew...


Personan0ngrata
3 hours ago • edited

House Using Shaky Russian Bounty Story To Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

Jason Crow, Liz Cheney and any other member of congress that support continuing the US governments wholly avoidable and tragic folly in Afghanistan - which has cost the lives of 2,353 US service men/women killed in action and 20,149 wounded in action (also innumerable Afghan deaths/wounded) - need to be tested for the presence of psychotropic drugs in their systems.

https://www.defense.gov/cas...

"And that is crucially important, and I think it is our number one priority," added Cheney, who is now the number three Republican in the House.

Liz Cheney's statement is the height of delusion.

Our nation is bankrupt, unemployment is rampant, 1st/2nd qtr 2020 GDP is down 17% due to a specious medical quarantine with no medical basis in fact enacted via bureaucratic fiat and masses of unhinged protestors/rioters running amok in the streets seeking to erase this nations history (warts and all) by tearing down monuments/statues and redefining/eliminating words/phrases from our national lexicon.

https://www2.deloitte.com/u...

https://www.lewrockwell.com...

How does a person so detached from reality aspire to become the number three Republican in the House ?

Liz and her war criminal five deferment draft dodging chickenhawk father (ie Richard Bruce Cheney) are abject national disgraces.

Italicized/bold text was excerpted from The Washington Post a report titled THE UNSETTLING CALM OF DICK CHENEY

"I had other priorities in the '60s than military service," Cheney told a reporter two years ago.

https://www.washingtonpost....

If continued US warmongering in Afghanistan is such a great idea Jason Crow should put his soldier suit back on and take Liz Cheney, her draft dodging daddy and any member of congress supporting this insanity over to visit so they can put their worthless words into action instead of sacrificing the life of one more US service member to further their megalomaniacal aspirations.

There is not one US national security interest at stake in Afghanistan.

There are however plumb sinecures and defense contracts to be had.

boxofvapor 2 hours ago • edited

Trump could do a "Surge" again and they wouldn't say a word about it, except maybe complain it wasn't big enough, even if it cost another couple thousand lives and a trillion dollars. That would be just fine and dandy. It's like that old game "Red light, Green Light go". He's always got a green light to go to war and always a red light to end one.

[Jul 03, 2020] How the Media Used the Bounty Scandal to Stop the 'Threat' of Peace in Afghanistan by Lee Camp

Notable quotes:
"... Some of that context is that Mike Pompeo said , "I was the CIA director – We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses." So we know for certain that U.S. intelligence agencies lie to you and me. We saw it with WMD, and we might be seeing it again now. ..."
"... We could talk about the fact that the U.S. has been funding the Taliban for years! Yes, we fund them, sometimes arm them, and then fight them. This is barely a secret . So for all intents and purposes, the U.S. does the same thing our corporate media is now accusing Russia of doing (with no proof). ..."
"... Now, I'm not implying Trump is some kind of hippy peacenik. (He would look atrocious with no bra and flowers in his hair.) No, the military under Trump has dropped more bombs than under Obama , and that's impressive since Obama dropped more bombs than ever before. ..."
"... However, in certain areas of the world, Trump has threatened to create peace. Sure, he's doing it for his own ego and because he thinks his base wants it, but whatever the reason, he has put forward plans or policies that go against the military industrial complex and the establishment war-hawks (which is 95 percent of the establishment). ..."
"... And each time this has happened, he is quickly thwarted, usually with hilarious propaganda. (Well, hilarious to you and me. Apparently believable to people at The New York Times and former CIA intern Anderson Cooper.) ..."
Jul 02, 2020 | www.mintpressnews.com

This is not a column defending Donald Trump. Across my career, I have said more positive words about the scolex family of intestinal tapeworms than I have said about Donald Trump. (Scolex have been shown to read more.)

No, this is a column about context. When The New York Times reports anonymous sources from the intelligence community say Russia paid Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers, context is very important.

Some of that context is that Mike Pompeo said , "I was the CIA director – We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses." So we know for certain that U.S. intelligence agencies lie to you and me. We saw it with WMD, and we might be seeing it again now.

But that's not the context I'm referring to.

We could talk about the context of the fact that the Taliban does not need to be paid to kill American soldiers because their entire goal for the past twenty years has been to kill American soldiers. Paying them a bounty would be like offering the guy sleeping with your wife twenty bucks to sleep with your wife.

But that's not the context I'm referring to.

We could talk about the fact that the U.S. has been funding the Taliban for years! Yes, we fund them, sometimes arm them, and then fight them. This is barely a secret . So for all intents and purposes, the U.S. does the same thing our corporate media is now accusing Russia of doing (with no proof).

But that's not the context I'm referring to.

No, the context I'm referring to is how our military industrial complex (with the help of our ruling elite and our corporate media) have stopped Trump from pushing us toward the brink of peace. Yes, the brink of peace.

Now, I'm not implying Trump is some kind of hippy peacenik. (He would look atrocious with no bra and flowers in his hair.) No, the military under Trump has dropped more bombs than under Obama , and that's impressive since Obama dropped more bombs than ever before.

However, in certain areas of the world, Trump has threatened to create peace. Sure, he's doing it for his own ego and because he thinks his base wants it, but whatever the reason, he has put forward plans or policies that go against the military industrial complex and the establishment war-hawks (which is 95 percent of the establishment).

And each time this has happened, he is quickly thwarted, usually with hilarious propaganda. (Well, hilarious to you and me. Apparently believable to people at The New York Times and former CIA intern Anderson Cooper.)

I know four things for sure in life. Paper beats rock. Rock beats scissors. Scissors beat paper. And propaganda beats peace. All one has to do is look at a calendar.

Trump has essentially threatened to create peace or pull U.S. troops out of a war zone in three countries – North Korea, Afghanistan, and Syria. Let's start with Syria.

April 4, 2018 : President Trump orders the Pentagon to plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

This cannot be allowed because it goes against the U.S. imperial plan. So what happens within days of Trump's order?

April 7, 2018 : Reports surface of a major chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria.

What are the odds that within days of Trump telling the Pentagon to withdraw, Bashar al-Assad decides to use the one weapon that will guarantee American forces continue attacking him? Assad may not be a chess player, but I also don't think he ate that many paint chips as a kid. And sure enough, over the past two years we've now heard from four whistleblowers at the Organization for The Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) saying the so-called chemical attack didn't happen. (Notice that the number "four" is even bigger than the numbers "one," "two," and "three.")

But establishment propaganda beats peace any day and twice on Sunday. The false story succeeded in keeping America entrenched in Syria.

The DPRK

Let's move on to North Korea. As you surely know, Donald Trump "threatened" to create peace with the hermetic country. Simply saying he would attempt such a thing sent weapons contractor stocks tumbling -- one of the many reasons peace had to be stopped.

Feb 27, 2019 : Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un meet in Vietnam.

The summit fails, and reports begin emerging that Mike Pompeo and John Bolton succeeded in napalming any progress.

March 15, 2019 : Pompeo and Bolton deny derailing North Korea nuclear talks.

From The Nation , "There were reports from South Korea that the presence at the talks of John Bolton, Trump's aggressively hawkish national-security adviser, helped torpedo the talks."

But just destroying the peace talks wasn't enough. The American people needed some good, solid propaganda to reassert the idea that Kim Jung Un was a dastardly bloodthirsty dictator.

March 30, 2019: The New York Times reports North Korea executed and purged their top nuclear negotiators.

Yes, apparently Kim Jung Un must've fed his top diplomats to his top alligators. Then, two months later we learn

June 4, 2019: The fate of the North Korean negotiator "executed" after the failed summit "grows murkier" with new reports that he's still alive.

One would have to say that his being alive does indeed make the report that he's dead "murkier." Within the next day or two it becomes quite clear the diplomat is very much in the land of the living. But the propaganda put forward by The New York Times and many other outlets has already done its job.

Far more people saw the reports that the man had been murdered than saw the later retraction. And to this day, the Times has not removed the initial article saying he was executed. Exactly how wrong does propaganda have to be, to warrant an online deletion? Dead versus alive is a pretty binary designation.

And now we get to the outrage du jour, and it's a bombshell!

Bounties!

May 26, 2020: Pentagon commanders begin drawing up options for an early Afghanistan troop withdrawal, following Trump's request.

June 16, 2020 : "President Donald Trump confirmed in public for the first time his administration's plans to cut the U.S. military troop presence in Germany from its current level of roughly 35,000 to a reduced force of 25,000." – ForeignPolicy.com

June 26, 2020: The New York Times reports Russia paid the Taliban to attack U.S. troops. (According to anonymous sources from an intelligence community that proudly admits they lie to us all the time, sometimes just to amuse themselves.)

So when this story first came out, I thought, "You know, Trump has been stopped from withdrawing troops in the past by ridiculous propaganda that seems to land like a giant turd right after he announces his intentions. Maybe I'll check what happened in the days preceding this jaw-dropping story."

So just days after Trump goes against the military industrial complex and against the ruling establishment by announcing he'll be withdrawing about a third of our troops from Germany, and just weeks after announcing an early withdrawal from Afghanistan, a seemingly mind-blowing story drops about Russia paying the Taliban to kill American troops.

This serves to remind everyone what a threat Russia is (so we better put more troops in Germany!) and serves to keep us in Afghanistan (because screw those Russian-funded Taliban!).

Look, I'm not saying Trump is a hero or a great guy or even a man who wants peace. I'm not even saying he's a man. He very well may be a giant blood-sucking leech in a human skin suit. (A poorly tailored human skin suit.)

All I'm saying is the timing doesn't add up. Either these landmark stories that destroy every chance of peace are false (in fact we've already proven two out of three of them are false), or peace has exceedingly, ridiculously, laughably bad timing.

Feature photo | Abdullah Abdullah, right, President Ashraf Ghani's fellow leader under a recently signed power-sharing agreement, holds a meeting with U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad aimed at resuscitating a U.S.-Taliban peace deal signed in February, at the presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 20, 2020. Credit | Sapidar Palace via AP

Lee Camp is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor and activist. Camp is the host of the weekly comedy news TV show "Redacted Tonight With Lee Camp" on RT America. He is a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post and has been a touring stand-up comic for 20 years.

This article was published with special permission from the author. It originally appeared at Consortium News .

Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

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

[Jul 02, 2020] Was Nikolai Yezhov (head of the NKVD from 1936 to 1938) an inspiration for Pelosi: she now claims tha the USA should sanction Russia for alleged bounty scheme

It is not just senility. Looks like Ukrainegate is not enough for her and she wants to throw kitchen sink at Trump. Charging for "alleged" action is directly from Stalin's NKVD practice
Jul 02, 2020 | www.msn.com

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called for US sanctions against Russia's intelligence service over bounties that it reportedly offered Taliban militants to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan.

[Jul 02, 2020] Afghan Bounty Scandal Hits at Suspiciously Important Time for US Military by Alan Macleod

Jul 01, 2020 | www.mintpressnews.com

B ased on anonymous intelligence sources, The New York Times , Washington Post , and Wall Street Journal released bombshell reports alleging that Russia is paying the Taliban bounties for every U.S. soldier they can kill. The story caused an uproar in the United States, dominating the news cycle and leading presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to accuse Trump of "dereliction of duty" and "continuing his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin." "This is beyond the pale," the former vice-president concluded .

However, there are a number of reasons to be suspicious of the new reports. Firstly, they appear all to be based entirely on the same intelligence officials who insisted on anonymity. The official could not provide any concrete evidence, nor establish that any Americans had actually died as a result, offering only vague assertions and admitting that the information came from "interrogated" (i.e. tortured) Afghan militants. All three reports stressed the uncertainty of the claims, with the only sources who went on record -- the White House, the Kremlin, and the Taliban -- all vociferously denying it all.

The national security state also has a history of using anonymous officials to plant stories that lead to war. In 2003, the country was awash with stories that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, in 2011 anonymous officials warned of an impending genocide in Libya, while in 2018 officials accused Bashar al-Assad of attacking Douma with chemical weapons, setting the stage for a bombing campaign. All turned out to be untrue.

"After all we've been through, we're supposed to give anonymous 'intelligence officials' in The New York Times the benefit of the doubt on something like this? I don't think so," Scott Horton, Editorial Director of Antiwar.com and author of " Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan ," told MintPress News . "All three stories were written in language conceding they did not know if the story was true," he said, "They are reporting the 'fact' that there was a rumor."

Horton continued: "There were claims in 2017 that Russia was arming and paying the Taliban, but then the generals admitted to Congress they had no evidence of either. In a humiliating debacle, also in 2017, CNN claimed a big scoop about Putin's support for the Taliban when furnished with some photos of Taliban fighters with old Russian weapons. The military veteran journalists at Task and Purpose quickly debunked every claim in their piece."

Others were equally skeptical of the new scandal. "The bottom line for me is that after countless (Russiagate related) anonymous intelligence leaks, many of which were later proven false or never substantiated with real evidence, I can't take this story seriously. The intelligence 'community' itself can't agree on the credibility of this information, which is similar to the situation with a foundational Russiagate document, the January, 2017 intelligence 'assessment,'" said Joanne Leon , host of the Around the Empire Podcast , a show which covers U.S. military actions abroad.

https://cdn.iframe.ly/nWLB48L?iframe=card-small&v=1&app=1 Suspicious timing

The timing of the leak also raised eyebrows. Peace negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban are ongoing, with President Trump committing to pulling all American troops out of the country. A number of key anti-weapons of mass destruction treaties between the U.S. and Russia are currently expiring , and a scandal such as this one would scupper any chance at peace, escalating a potential arms race that would endanger the world but enrich weapons manufacturers. Special Presidential Envoy in the Department of the Treasury, Marshall Billingslea, recently announced that the United States is willing to spend Russia and China "into oblivion" in a new arms race, mimicking the strategy it used in the 1980s against the Soviet Union. As a result, even during the pandemic, business is booming for American weapons contractors.

"The national security state has done everything they can to keep the U.S. involved in that war," remarked Horton, "If Trump had listened to his former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, we'd be on year three of an escalation with plans to begin talks with the Taliban next year. Instead Trump talked to them for the last year-and-a-half and has already signed a deal to have us out by the end of next May."

"The same factions and profiteers who always oppose withdrawal of troops are enthusiastic about the 'Bountygate' story at a time when President Trump is trying to advance negotiations with the Taliban and when he desperately needs to deliver on 2016 campaign promises and improve his sinking electoral prospects," said Leon.

https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1277281602922598401

If Russia is paying the Taliban to kill Americans they are not doing a very good job of it. From a high of 496 in 2010, U.S. losses in Afghanistan have slowed to a trickle, with only 22 total fatalities in 2019, casting further doubt on the scale of their supposed plan.

Ironically, the United States is accusing the Kremlin of precisely its own policy towards Russia in Syria. In 2016, former Acting Director of the C.I.A. Michael Morell appeared on the Charlie Rose show and said his job was to "make the Russians pay a price" for its involvement in the Middle East. When asked if he meant killing Russians by that, he replied, "Yes. Covertly. You don't tell the world about it. You don't stand up at the Pentagon and say, 'We did this.' But you make sure they know it in Moscow."

Like RussiaGate , the new scandal has had the effect of pushing liberal opinion on foreign policy to become far more hawkish, with Biden now campaigning on being "tougher" on China and Russia than Trump would be. Considering that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists recently set their famous Doomsday Clock -- an estimation of how close they believe the world is to nuclear armageddon -- to just 100 seconds to midnight, the latest it has ever been, the Democrats could be playing with fire. The organization specifically singled out U.S.-Russia conflict as threatening the continued existence of the planet. While time will tell if Russia did indeed offer bounties to kill American troops, the efficacy of the media leak is not in question.

Feature photo | U.S. forces and Afghan commandos are seen in the town of Asad Khil near the site of a U.S. bombing east of Kabul, Afghanistan. Rahmat Gul | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent . He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting , The Guardian , Salon , The Grayzone , Jacobin Magazine , Common Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary .

[Jul 01, 2020] NSA Dissents From Other Agencies Over Russian Bounty Intel by Dave DeCamp

Jul 01, 2020 | news.antiwar.com

Pentagon says 'no corroborating evidence' to support NYT's report

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the National Security Agency "strongly dissented from other intelligence agencies' assessment that Russia paid bounties for the killing of US soldiers in Afghanistan."

The Journal cites "people familiar with the matter" and does not give much detail, but the story is noteworthy, as the NSA has dissented from other agencies in the past over allegations against Russia. A January 2017 intelligence assessment that concluded Russia interfered in the 2016 election on President Trump's behalf was given "high confidence" by the CIA and FBI while the NSA gave "moderate confidence."

Another account of the NSA not giving much weight to this intelligence was given to CBS News reporter Catherine Herridge on Monday. An unnamed intelligence official told Herridge that the NSA deemed a report on the Russian bounties "uncorroborated." The official said the report "does not match well-established and verifiable Taliban and Haqqani practices" and lacks "sufficient reporting to corroborate any links."

The CIA is used as an example in the Journal's report of an agency the NSA allegedly disagreed with over the intelligence. So far, the CIA has declined to comment on the issue besides a vague statement from CIA Director Gina Haspel. "When developing intelligence assessments, initial tactical reports often require additional collection and validation Leaks compromise and disrupt the critical interagency work to collect, assess, and ascribe culpability," Haspel said.

The Journal's disclosure reinforces the Trump administration's claim that the intelligence was not strong enough, and there was no consensus among intelligence officials on the information. The Pentagon said on Monday it has not seen "corroborating evidence" to support The New York Times report that alleged Russian GRU agents offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill US troops.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper reiterated the Pentagon's claims in a statement on Tuesday. "Although the Department of Defense has no corroborating evidence at this time to validate recent allegations regarding malign activity by Russian personnel against US forces in Afghanistan, I want to assure all of our service members that the Department takes very seriously any and all potential threats against US military personnel," Esper said.

Even though the intelligence remains unconfirmed, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are brainstorming ways to punish Moscow over the allegations . Suggestions include imposing new sanctions on Russia and even designating Moscow as a state sponsor of terrorism. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) said he wants to see a plan that will put "Taliban and GRU agents in body bags."

[Jul 01, 2020] Is emergence of Russian bounty provocation connected with the desire to emasculate the release of ISC report

Or this latest story of GRU bribery of Afghan militants being essentially if nothing more than an election year campaign tactic.
Jul 01, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Fourth and Long, 29 June 2020 at 12:33 PM

Deap

The political establishment in the US dare not explicitly mention drug use as a pathology of black communities specifically - as a group it is taboo to criticize them -- they are persecuted victims, full stop. Saying otherwise is to kiss their votes away not to mention bring down their wrath.

David Habakkuk

Some of the intricacies you mention go a bit over my head, but the delay in release of your ISC report corresponds with the notion of this latest story of GRU bribery of Afghan militants being essentially if nothing other than an election year campaign tactic. Seems if released it will come on the heels of this provocative fantasy of the NYT and WAPO. Fancy that.

[Jul 01, 2020] 29 June 2020 at 08:47 AM

Jul 01, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
div The link between the Russian bounty BS, and the BS about Salisbury – in the cover-up over which Sedwill has played a crucial role – very strongly suggests that we are dealing with yet another of the collusive 'information operations' practised by incompetent and corrupt elements in the 'deep state' in the U.S., U.K. and Western Europe.

CNN is a parody of a bad news outlet

CNN outdid itself by interviewing Clapper this morning. Host re-capped story and said 'if true' about a dozen times.

Trump followed his 'I was not briefed tweet' with a stronger, 'the intel guys told him this was not credible'. Trump can be a buffoon but in his version of events ...
1. Intel comm is flooded with stuff to verify, 'Russian hit contracts', 'Putin kidnapped Lindbergh baby', 'Loch Ness monster a GRU agent', .... that doesn't immediately get to his desk.
2. Anon source leaks one of these early claims for their own purpose (seeing Clapper reminds us that this does happen),
3. It takes him a day to sort it out.
True or not, this looks plausible but sets off alarm bells to the CNN Clown Car.

Clapper says brilliant things like Trump could be finessing the truth by getting a written but not a verbal brief. Host shakes head at wise observation and follows up with more 'if true' questions for the proven liar ...

CNN defends the most reactionary elements of our security state and snarls at anyone who challenges them. With watchdogs like these what can go wrong?


David Habakkuk , 29 June 2020 at 09:02 AM

All,

I think what is going on in Britain may hold the key to understanding why this contemptible nonsense is being published in the U.S. at this time.

The 'Sky' link did not work for me, but I think this is the same report:

(See https://news.sky.com/story/russia-paid-taliban-fighters-to-attack-british-troops-in-afghanistan-12016425 )

It needs, I think, to be read in conjunction with a report in the 'Guardian' on 27 June, which it amplifies.

(See https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/27/russia-offered-bounty-to-kill-uk-soldiers .)

The earlier report opened:

'The Russian intelligence unit behind the attempted murder in Salisbury of the former double agent Sergei Skripal secretly offered to pay Taliban-linked fighters to kill British and American soldiers in Afghanistan, according to US reports.

'The revelation piles pressure on the UK to take robust action against the Kremlin amid continuing anger over the government's delay in publishing a key report on Russian attempts to destabilise the UK.'

The 'Sky' piece actually makes clear that these are claims originating in the United States, one of whose key purposes is to put pressure on the British government:

'It is understood the intelligence was only shared with British officials recently but Boris Johnson has now been briefed. Downing Street will be under pressure to respond to the news and take action against Moscow.'

Another relevant development, although how this fits into the picture is at the moment very far from clear to me, is that the announcement yesterday that the former MI6 person Sir Mark Sedwill, who has been 'National Security Adviser' since 2017 and Cabinet Secretary since 2018, is to stand down in September.

The 'intelligence unit' supposedly to have been responsible alike for attempting to assassinate Sergei and Yulia Skripal and placing a 'bounty' on the head of American, and British, servicemen belongs to the GRU – their supposed target's former employer – which comes under General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

If you believe that unit of this organisation sent two hitmen, equipped with a hypertoxic nerve agent, to kill one of his organisation's former employees, and bungled it so badly that he, together with his daughter, survived, I have a very attractive bridge on the Thames, not far from where I live, which I am very happy to sell you.

If you believe that any employees of this organisation would be involved in 'freelance' assassinations, either of its former employees or of British and American servicemen, without Gerasimov's authorisation, I will include the MI6 HQ at Millbank, to make a 'package deal.'

Interested, TTG?

Rather clearly, the link between the new BS, and the patent BS about Salisbury – in the cover-up over which Sedwill has played a crucial role – very strongly suggests that we are dealing with yet another of the collusive 'information operations' practised by incompetent and corrupt elements in the 'deep state' in the U.S., U.K. and Western Europe.

This clearly linked to a 'bulldogs under the carpet' struggle which goes to the top of the Conservative Party, and also beyond it. The 'Sky' version starts with Tobias Ellwood, the Tory MP who chairs the Commons Defence Select Committee, using the new claims to agitate for publication of what the 'Guardian' termed 'a key report on Russian attempts to destabilise the UK.'

This report, by the Intelligence and Security Committee, is clearly being deployed to put pressure on Johnson, as repeated references to it in both the 'Guardian' and 'Sky' versions indicate.

So, having started with it, the latter concludes:

'News of this Russian plan, and the direct targeting of British troops, will again raise the question of when the long overdue report into Russian interference by parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) will be published.

'The report, which examined claims of Russian interference in Britain, was sent to Downing Street on 17 October last year for sign-off.

'That process usually takes no more than 10 days, but the report is still yet to be published and the ISC hasn't been reconvened after December's general election.'

As the 'Guardian' report indicates, however, a crucial element in all this is clearly Christopher Steele:

'In his confidential submission to the committee, the former spy Christopher Steele has reportedly suggested that the Kremlin has a "likely hold" over Trump, a claim that has been fiercely disputed but which would sour the government's relations with the White House once published. "These worrying reports should be the catalyst for the prime minister to finally release the ISC report No. 10 have been stalling for more than six months," said shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy. "Under this government, Britain is retreating from the world stage and the fear among our allies is that Boris Johnson is afraid to stand up to Vladimir Putin's Russia."

'Lib Dem spokesman Alistair Carmichael echoed the call for the ISC report to be published:

'"These reports throw up serious questions about Trump's soft-touch when it comes to Russia. The Foreign Secretary must also make clear whether the UK had any knowledge of these reports and what conversations he has had with his US counterpart about sanctions towards Russia given these shocking revelations."'

The crux of the matter, however, may well have to do with the cases brought against Steele and his company Orbis by the 'Alfa Group' oligarchs – Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman, and German Khan – and the Cyprus-based internet entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev.

The very broad construction of 'fair report privilege' which means that in your country, so long the rubbish you print has been given some kind of endorsement by corrupt government officials, there is no redress for those lied about, is not available in the U.K.

On the other hand, maintaining a kind of 'omerta' is much easier over here than on your side.

On 29 April, a 'chink' opened in this, when Chuck Ross, of the 'Daily Caller', posted on 'Scribd' the transcript of the cross-examination of Steele by Hugh Tomlinson, QC, on behalf of the Alfa oligarchs, on 17-18 March.

(See https://www.scribd.com/document/458992503/Steele-deposition .)

Unfortunately, Ross seems to have fallen, hook, line and sinker, for a classic 'limited hangout' ploy. He was happy to use Tomlinson's exploitation of the IG Report to discredit Steele, which was in parts extremely telling, without noticing that that some of Steele's responses were not simply to be dismissed.

If you read the transcript carefully, it seems clear that the successive changes in Steele's account, in the four witness statements he submitted between 17 February and 16 March, were designed both to suggest that Horowitz and the FBI were colluding to make him the 'patsy', to reveal some of what they were trying to conceal, and to threaten to let out more.

As it happens, we are still waiting for the judgement by Mr Justice Warby in that case. However, it was reported on 25 June that the Gubarev case is to open on 20 July, and this will be public.

(See https://www.law360.com/cybersecurity-privacy/articles/1286611/exec-s-libel-trial-over-trump-dossier-author-set-for-july .)

At the moment, for what it is worth, my SWAG is that we are seeing a collusive 'stitch-up', one of whose functions is to find ways of avoiding finding in favour of Steele – very difficult, given the preposterous nature of the dossier – while letting him off sufficiently lightly to ensure that he colludes in keeping crucial skeletons within cupboards. It may also be important that the verdicts do not appear to vindicate Trump too comprehensively.

The 'NYT' report is, I think, likely to be involved with this process.

Also involved here is the hope clearly visible among so many that Biden will be elected, and any danger either of the 'skeletons' accumulated during three decades of fatuous and corrupt policymaking, or of more sensible policies, will be over.

My suspicion is that if Trump's people had more 'killer instinct', they would be looking to get hold of all the material which has been produced in the London cases asap, and see what use can be made of it to 'unmask' a subversive conspiracy which there is every reason to believe goes right to the top of the Democratic establishment.

At the moment, however, both they, and their co-conspirators and 'useful idiots' of whom we appear to have some here on SST, appear to be really quite likely to get away it: partly because of their own utter lack of any sense of integrity or honour, but also because of the lack of 'killer instinct' on the part of their opponents.

Deap , 29 June 2020 at 11:29 AM

RE: the spectre of drug trading in US foreign engagements. The inability to even mention the role of drugs in failed US black communities, as well in all the recent high profile "police shooting" deaths of blacks is curious.

Why the silent treatment on this critically pivotal issue? How much "black rage" comes from the ravages of drugs in these very same communities -- but no one dares talk about it .Let alone do anything about it.

Stopping covid pales to the challenge of stopping the real killer; abusive drugs destroying US lives and communities -black and white. Brown, yellow, olive.

Eliot , 29 June 2020 at 12:14 PM

Larry,

Absolutely agreed, top to bottom. The only scenario where this makes sense, is if the Russians were engaging in some sort of emotional revenge scheme - which is ludicrous.

To buy this story ignoring Russian character, it's not how they think, and it's not how they see us. And you have to overlook the sober competence that marks their foreign policy.

Look at how they made up with Turkey, after Erdogan ordered the shoot down of the SU. Russia did make the Turks pay, but they weren't fools, they didn't sacrifice the relationship. They understood there were things to be be gained by leveraging Turkey away from NATO. And in what world do the Afghans need an incentive to attack US forces. Warfare is the national sport.

- Eliot

Jack , 29 June 2020 at 12:19 PM
U.S. diplomat Chas Freeman: "China is fully integrated into the global economy Trying to contain China, we're more likely to end up containing ourselves. We need to realize that the monopolies on wealth and power that we once had are no longer there."

https://twitter.com/jchengwsj/status/1277482493004754945?s=21

This comment is not about Russia but about the mindset in our political, economic and foreign policy establishment that has enabled the strengthening of our adversaries.

One thing we can be certain - the neocon and neoliberal policy mavens have weakened the US and it's national interest over the past 50 years. The question is how have enemies of US national interest captured all levers of power and sustained it for decades? The exploration of this question would be about real reflection and introspection about our body politic.

David Habakkuk , 29 June 2020 at 12:55 PM

etrog,

Actually, the alliance of a certain traditional 'Anglo' kind of 'Russophobe', like Tobias Ellwood, whom I mentioned in my previous comment, and the 'insulted and injured' from the former Russian and Soviet empires, does now involve a very substantial number of influential Jews, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Given the obvious continuities between what is happening now and the way that Neville Chamberlain and Colonel Beck between them successfully pushed pushed Hitler and Stalin together – see on this in particular the work of the Israeli historian Gabriel Gorodetsky – there are ironies.

It is, of course, given the long history of Russian anti-Semitism, understandable in its way.

However, as our host, channelling Captain Jack Aubrey, notes on another thread, politics is very often a matter of choosing 'the lesser of two weevils.'

It is also commonly a matter of avoiding situations where one's choice has unexpected, and unwanted, effects on the preferences of others: as when Stalin in August 1939 decided that making terms with Hitler was the 'lesser weevil.'

(For a recent concise restatement and defence by Gorodetsky of his view of the period, see an 'H-Diplo' discussion of Stephen Kotkin's 'Stalin. Waiting for Hitler, 1929-41' at

https://issforum.org/roundtables/h-diplo-roundtable-xx-30-on-stalin-waiting-for-hitler-1929-1941
)

As to the views of figures like Victoria Nuland, David Kramer, and Jonathan Winer on the 'choice of weevils' at the moment, there are aspects which, I must admit, I find puzzling.

An entry, headlined 'Putin and Religion', from a site called 'ReligionFacts', provides some accurate information about the Putin 'sistema':

'Buddhism, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are defined by law as Russia's traditional religions and a part of Russia's historical heritage. These religions have enjoyed limited state support in the Putin era.'

(See http://www.religionfacts.com/putin .)

Also in that entry, you will find a quotation from Putin, in 2014 – that is, in the wake of the crisis created by events on the 'Maidan' the previous year – writing of how: 'It was in Crimea, in the ancient city of Chersonesus or Korsun, as ancient Russian chroniclers called it, that Grand Prince Vladimir was baptised before bringing Christianity to Rus.'

That was in 988, at any absolutely central point in the formation of Russian 'national identity.'

At no point in the subsequent thousand years had any ruler of 'Rus' described Judaism as one of Russia's 'traditional religions' and 'a part of Russia's historical heritage.'

As I actually think a good few Jews who came to Israel from the Soviet Union realise, it would have been inconceivable when they were young.

However, the likes of Nuland, Kramer and Winer have preferred to intrigue with 'Banderistas' – the heirs of the architects of the Lvov pogrom, if you've heard of that – in an attempt to wrest the whole of Ukraine, including Crimea, and Sevastopol, away from Russia.

And they have preferred to attempt to topple Putin in cahoots with Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky, who, as well as being Jewish and part-Jewish, were among the more disreputable representatives of the 'semibankirshchina' which looted Russia under Yeltsin, and who in general Russian 'deplorables', who were thrown into poverty at the time, do not much like.

(Indeed, I rather suspect a good few of their fellow-countrymen came to think figures like Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky would have looked to advantage dangling from lamp-posts.)

Ironically perhaps, some of the best Western commentators on this history – among other things, on neo-Nazis in Ukraine – are Jewish: obvious names include Stephen F. Cohen, Vladimir Golstein, Eric Kraus, and Yasha Levine.

But I do sometimes wonder whether there is a kind of 'Cassandra's curse' – that, in a way that was certainly not true in the past, Jewish refugees from the former Russian Empire in the U.S. U.K., and Western Europe, and their descendants, cease to be heard when they are challenging silly conventional wisdoms, but have a 'fast track' to the top, if they habitually talk rubbish.

One of the most incisive, and amusing, 'Cassandras', ironically, is Eric Kraus, who was for many years a fund manager based in Moscow, but now seems to be sailing the seas, (a combination of 'Wandering Jew' and 'Flying Dutchman', perhaps?) as the result of what appears to have been a spectacularly acrimonious divorce from his Russian wife.

His principal unheeded prophecy is that the kind of policies which Western élites have followed since 1989 would inevitably have the effect of making Putin and other Russians see China as, by far, 'the lesser weevil': which, given the dramatic increase in that country's economic strength, was hardly going to be in the best interests of either Europeans or Americans.

One of Eric's 'party pieces' is an email exchange he once had with Michael McFaul. As he recalled in a market commentary in 2012, after the beginning of that figure's – disastrous – stint as Ambassador in Moscow:

'Very amusingly, T&B still has an e-mail sent ten years ago by Mr. McFaul, then a Stanford professor, that "Russia was so afraid of China that they would be compelled to seek a military alliance with America under whatever terms the US chose to impose". Failure has obviously gone to his head, and he has moved on to great things – as a singularly incompetent and provocative ambassador, he is now contributing to the growing rift between Moscow and Washington. Beijing should be grateful .'

As a few quick Google searches will inform you, in addition to being in charge of the GRU, General Gerasimov is an absolutely pivotal figure in the steadily increasing military co-operation – not alliance, as yet at least – between Russia and China.

The reports we have been discussing restate two old charges, which are related to another piece of BS – the notion of a 'Gerasimov Doctrine.'

So, in addition to supposedly have intervened in favour of Trump by hacking the emails of the DNC, it is suggested that his people have pioneered chemical terrorism with their supposed attack on the Skripals. In addition to this, it is now suggested that he places a 'bounty' on the head of American, and British, servicemen.

Frankly, if when he sits down with General Li Zuocheng, the chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China, Gerasimov feels a sense of relief, and perhaps indeed being among friends, it would hardly be surprising.

And if Western military planners begin to think that, actually, there may be problems if the kind of discussions now under way greatly increase the ability of both Russian and more particularly Chinese naval forces to inflict devastating damage on American, or British, forces, they may, in the dim and distant future, begin to realise that disseminating this kind of BS has costs.

An irony of course is that the problem for Chamberlain really was that the choice of 'weevils' was unappetising, to put it rather mildly. There were many, and hardly surprising or discreditable, reasons why willingness to allow the Red Army to implement its war plans by advancing into Europe became a 'sticking point.'

What they were too obtuse to realise was that the effect of this was to offer Stalin a 'weevil' which he concluded, quite rightly, involved an unacceptably large risk that the Soviet Union would have to face the full might of the most powerful military machine in human history, effectively, on its own.

And this was happening at what – thanks of course in substantial measure to his own actions – was a point of 'maximum vulnerability.'

Moreover, hardly surprisingly, Chamberlain and his colleagues greatly exacerbated Soviet fears that this was what 'Perfidious Albion' had been trying to achieve all along. As is evident if you read Putin's recent article, republished in 'The National Interest', these perceptions are still very much alive today.

(See https://nationalinterest.org/feature/vladimir-putin-real-lessons-75th-anniversary-world-war-ii-162982 .)

As an old-style 'Perfidious Albionian', while I think that Chamberlain and his associates very emphatically failed to choose the 'lesser weevil', I actually do not find it so difficult to have some sympathy for the reasons they made the choices they did.

And I also think that the use of denunciations of 'appeasement', by people who show no sign whatsoever of attempting to grasp what the arguments of the 'Thirties were about, have become both stupid and unhelpful: a sure way of avoiding thought.

The greatest irony, however, is that we see American, and British, foreign policy being run by people who habitually denounce 'appeasement', but whose mentality and assumptions actually directly parallel those of Chamberlain and his associates.

It is, moreover, in substantial measure as a result of this that such figures have become involved in a conspiracy to subvert the Constitution of the American Republic – with 'Anglos' like Ellwood, Steele, Dearlove, and indeed Fiona Hill collaborating with the figures like Nuland, Kramer and Winer.

And, quite clearly, they do not have the excuses Chamberlain had.

The notion that Putin is some kind of reincarnation of Stalin is the product of lies, originally told by Berezovsky and his like, and accepted without question by their 'useful idiots' in London and Washington.

Who are also, of course, 'useful idiots' of Beijing.

[Jul 01, 2020] 29 June 2020 at 05:26 PM

Jul 01, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
div NYT time provocation and Russian foreign policy: why bother to do petty dirty tricks in Afghanistan, if an internal fight between two factions of the neoliberal elite in the USA does much more damage absolutely free

@The Twisted Genius | 29 June 2020 at 03:55 PM

Many here seem to think Russia is a nation totally separate from the now-defunct Soviet Union, that Russia is incapable or unwilling to engage in the seamier aspects of realpolitik like all other nations. Funny, Putin does not ascribe to this view. A short time ago, someone posted a link to a lecture by the KGB defector, Yuri Bezmenov
Bezmenov was trying to please the new owners. Russia does not have resources to engage like USA in Full Spectrum Dominance games. Like Obama correctly said, Russia now is a regional power.

Also, why bother to do petty dirty tricks in Afghanistan, if an internal fight between two factions of the neoliberal elite, is a really bitter and dirty fight. You cannot do better than neoliberal Dems in weakening and dividing the country. Why spend money, if you can just wait.

The enormity of problems within Russia itself also excludes any possibilities of trying to emulate the imperial behavior of the USA and CIA dirty tricks. Russia does not have the printing press for the world reserve currency, which the USA still has.

And Putin is the first who understands this precarious situation, mentioning this limitation several times in his speeches. As well as the danger of being pushed into senseless arms race with the USA again by the alliance of the USA neocons and Russian MIC, which probably would lead to similar to the USSR results -- the further dissolution of Russia into smaller statelets. Which is a dream of both the USA and the EU, for which they do not spare money.

Russia is a very fragile country -- yet another neoliberal country with a huge level of inequality and a set of very severe problems related to the economy and "identity politics" (or more correctly "identity wedge"), which both EU and the USA is actively trying to play. Sometimes very successfully.

Ukraine coup d'etat was almost a knockdown for Putin, at least a powerful kick in the chin; it happened so quick and was essentially prepared by Yanukovich himself with his pro-EU and pro-nationalist stance. Being a sleazy crook, he dug the grave for his government mostly by himself.

Now the same game can be repeated in Belorussia as Lukachenko by-and-large outlived his usefulness, and like most autocratic figures created vacuum around himself -- he has neither viable successor, not the orderly, well defined process of succession; but economic problems mounts and mounts. This gives EU+USA a chance to repeat Ukrainian scenario, as like in Ukraine, years of independence greatly strengthened far-right nationalist forces (which BTW were present during WWII ; probably in less severe form than in Ukraine and Baltic countries but still were as difficult to suppress after the war). Who, like all xUUSR nationalists are adamantly, pathologically anti-Russian. That's where Russia need to spend any spare money, not Afghanistan.

Currently, the personality of Putin is kind of most effective guarantee of political stability in Russia, but like any cult of personality, this cannot last forever, and it might deprive Russia of finding qualified successor.

But even Putin was already burned twice with his overtures to Colonel Qaddafi(who after Medvedev's blunder in the UN was completely unable to defend himself against unleashed by the West color revolution), and Yanukovich, who in addition to stupidly pandering to nationalists and trying to be the best friend of Biden proved to be a despicable coward, making a color revolution a nobrainer.

After those lessons, Putin probably will not swallow a bait in a form of invitation to be a "decider" in Afghanistan.

So your insinuations that Russian would do such stupid, dirty and risky tricks are not only naive, they are completely detached from the reality.

The proper way to look at it is as a kind of PR or even false flag operation which was suggested by David Habakkuk:

...we are dealing with yet another of the collusive 'information operations' practised by incompetent and corrupt elements in the 'deep state' in the U.S., U.K. and Western Europe.

JP Billen , 29 June 2020 at 05:47 PM

likbez: Well I suggested it may have been a false flag, but I'm more inclined to think it may have been Pakistan's ISI.

And what is your evidence for claiming that the EU and USA want to break up Russia into 'smaller statelets'? That smells a bit fishy. It would make the world a more dangerous place. I don't see or hear of sane people here or in Europe wishing for that. Maybe a few whackos? Let's hope they never get their hands on the levers of power.

Dennis Daulton , 29 June 2020 at 06:35 PM

We hear more about unconfirmed reports from the mainstream media than we do about the facts of the attempted coup against President Trump. A coup which run by the Obama White House with full participation of the mainstream media. In fact since Trump took office this coup has been continued with full force by these same anonymous unconfirmed leaks which get reported as fact but weeks later are confirmed lies. I personally can't believe anything from the mainstream media and the resist faction, in fact they all need to go to jail for what they have done. I bring this up in the context of this thread because everything that's reported or leaked must be first thought of as apart of this coup, this has been the pattern for the last 3 and half years. If it doesn't fit this pattern of the on going coup then we can start to consider if it's true or not.

Yeah, Right , 29 June 2020 at 07:06 PM

TTG has actually provided the nugget of information that can be used to dismiss this allegation without, apparently, realising it.

It is here, when he quoted from the NYT article:
"The crucial information that led the spies and commandos to focus on the bounties included the recovery of a large amount of American cash from a raid on a Taliban outpost that prompted suspicions."

So that vast swathe of cash represents the bounties that have been paid for the killing of American and British soldiers by the Taliban.

Okay.

Think about it.
Think about it.
Think about it.

If the payment has already been made then the deed has already been done because, obviously, that's how a "bounty" works.

So all we need ask is a simple question: has there been a dramatic uptick in fatalities amongst American and British troops?

Yes? Or no?

Because *both* of these statements can not be true:
1) Fatality rates amongst the troops have not increased.
2) The massive amounts of cash now being found in Afghanistan are the result of a bounty paid by the Russians for dead GIs.

You can have one, or you can have the other.
But you can't have both.

Barbara Ann , 29 June 2020 at 07:09 PM

likbez

I hardly think paying a performance bonus for successful attacks on Coalition targets in Afghanistan is going to break the GRU's budget. There are better arguments against this story's veracity.

Regarding a possible Minsk Euromaidan and repeat of the Orange Revolution in Belarus, I would like to hear the opinion of Andrei Martyanov on this. I strongly suspect he would laugh his socks off at the prospect of any such action being permitted by Moscow.

Furthermore, any such attempt would likely be massively counterproductive, as it would give Russia the perfect excuse for an Anschluss operation which would make Crimea's annexation look like chicken feed. In the wake of 2014 the details for such a contingency must surely have been worked out in great detail. Hey presto - an unannounced Zapad 2020 exercise and you'd have the sum of all NATO fears; Russian forces deployed right up to the Suwałki gap.

TTG, you are obviously unable to share with us any info you may have on the USG's assessment of the hypothetical possibility described above, but do you have a view on the chances of a successful color revolution being achievable in Belarus?

turcopolier , 29 June 2020 at 07:31 PM

all

None of us has any "insider poop."

Yeah, Right , 29 June 2020 at 08:16 PM

The more I have read on this topic the more convinced I am that this "scoop" has a simple genesis.

It is this: someone in the US military has noticed that Afghanistan has suddenly become awash with cash, and they want to know where it came from.

(And before anyone comments, I have no doubt Afghanistan has always been awash with US dollars. I am talking about a sudden, recent deluge of cash).

The CIA has made up this story about "Russian bounties" in order to explain that deluge of money.

I know it is made-up because *if* it were true *then* there must be a dramatic uptick in combat fatalities ("bounty", remember).

No such uptick has occurred.

So the CIA has had to make up this story to explain the cash now sloshing around Afghanistan.

They have done so either because:
1) They Don't Actually Know Where It Came From or,
2) They Don't Want Anyone To Know It's Their Money.

One or the other.

But not this nonsense about "Russian bounties", because in the absence of dead GIs that can not possibly be the explanation for that mountain of cash.

The Twisted Genius , 29 June 2020 at 08:22 PM

Larry,

Isn't that what I said about Webb and his allegations?

"But if Gary Webb is that guy claiming the CIA is responsible for flooding Los Angeles with crack cocaine, I agree with you. That's total bullshit."

Hersh laid out Noriega's narco-trafficking and money laundering in 1986. North's White House emails subsequent to Hersh's work showed his and Poindexter's use of Noriega to support the Contras in spite of Noirga's illicit activities. This was an "active policy of laissez faire towards allies engaged in drug trafficking" as I also said earlier. Your insistence of characterizing the relationship as being either "the USG as a major player in drug trafficking" or a state of perfect grace is simplistically binary and flat wrong. We were an enabler and made the choice of "the lesser of two weevils" as Colonel Lang used the phrase.

The Twisted Genius , 29 June 2020 at 08:36 PM

Yeah, Right,

You're getting wrapped around the axle over the term "bounty." The Russians are merely providing financial support to an indigenous force with the expectation that they will continue lethal attacks against US and coalition forces. This is not an unusual foreign policy, covert intelligence or military tactic. There were 22 US troops killed in 2019, the highest number since 2014. Nine have died this year. Most of those have been from Taliban attacks.

The use of the term "bounty" by the NYT was likely used to inflame and increase the outrage.

turcopolier , 29 June 2020 at 08:40 PM

TTG

I know Hersh as well. A lot of his stuff is very self obsessed in its focus and sourcing.

Yeah, Right , 29 June 2020 at 09:10 PM

TTG "The Russians are merely providing financial support to an indigenous force with the expectation that they will continue lethal attacks against US and coalition forces."

I'm sorry, that argument leaves me cold. Very, very cold.

If the Russian policy is to see lethal attacks against US forces then they would be supplying *arms* to the Taliban, not *money*.

After all, if you give the Taliban a wad of cash then they can do whatever they want with it. But if you give them a gun, well, let's be honest: a gun is rather limited in its application.

On the other hand if the Taliban is being given "financial support" then it is merely your supposition that this is intended to buy a lot of dead bodies.

Why, exactly, is that the only (or even likely) reason for the Russians to supply financial support to the Taliban?

There are many reasons the Russians may want to do that, first and foremost to buy influence amongst a group that in all probably will become the next government of Afghanistan.

Both you and the NYT appear intent upon reaching a very shaky conclusion constructed atop a mountain of unwarranted assumptions. And all of it - all of it - pivoting upon an single very subjective word: "expectation"


Christian J. Chuba , 29 June 2020 at 09:34 PM

Here is an amazing quote from CNN's source https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/29/politics/russia-bounties-presidential-daily-briefing/index.html

"The source tells CNN that intelligence of this nature with risk to US troops should be assumed to be true until you know otherwise."

He/she is saying that truth is based on the severity of the accusation. This sounds more like something a politician would say rather than a professional Intel officer.

[Jul 01, 2020] Not just NYT and WaPo - Associated Press is also happy to sacrifice its credibility to promote the Russia/Taliban story

Jul 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Brendan , Jun 29 2020 20:38 utc | 164

Not just NYT and WaPo - Associated Press is also happy to sacrifice its credibility to promote the Russia/Taliban story:

"In early 2020, members of the elite Naval Special Warfare Development Group, known to the public as SEAL Team Six, raided a Taliban outpost and recovered roughly $500,000. The recovered funds further solidified the suspicions of the American intelligence community that the Russians had offered money to Taliban militants and linked associations."

So ... eh ... the Taliban doesn't use money, except when it gets bounties in dollars from Russia to kill Americans??? AP doesn't explain how that recovered cash "solidified the suspicions".
https://apnews.com/02975c59e71e65327e2f582cd1a91f43

[Jul 01, 2020] Why US Empire Works So Hard to Control the International Narrative About Russia by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... Bolton is of course not right in his pathetic spin job on the use of lies to promote military agendas, which just looks like a feeble attempt to justify the psychopathic measures he himself took to deceive the world into consenting to the unforgivably evil invasion of Iraq. What he is right about is that conflicts between nations take place in an "anarchic environment internationally where different rules apply." ..."
"... We haven't been shown any hard evidence for Russians paying bounties in Afghanistan, and we almost certainly never will be. This doesn't matter as far as the imperial propagandists are concerned; they know they don't need actual facts to get this story believed, they just need narrative control. All the propagandists need to do is say over and over again that Russia paid bounties to kill the troops in Afghanistan in an increasingly assertive and authoritative tone, and after a while people will start assuming it's true, just because the propagandists have been doing this. ..."
"... This is all because "international law" only exists in practical terms to the extent that governments around the world agree to pretend it exists. As long as the U.S.-centralized empire is able to control the prevailing narrative about what Russia is doing, that empire will be able to continue to use the pretext of "international law" as a bludgeon against its enemies. That's all we're really seeing here. ..."
Jul 01, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

The imperial propagandists don't need actual facts to get this story believed, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

On a December 2010 episode of Fox News' Freedom Watch , John Bolton and the show's host Andrew Napolitano were debating about recent WikiLeaks publications , and naturally the subject of government secrecy came up.

I am going to type a sequence of words that I have never typed before, and don't expect to ever type again: John Bolton is right.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MbVtROU9J_E

Bolton is of course not right in his pathetic spin job on the use of lies to promote military agendas, which just looks like a feeble attempt to justify the psychopathic measures he himself took to deceive the world into consenting to the unforgivably evil invasion of Iraq. What he is right about is that conflicts between nations take place in an "anarchic environment internationally where different rules apply."

Individual nations have governments with laws that are enforced by those governments. Since we do not have a single unified government for our planet (at least not yet), the interactions between those governments is largely anarchic, and not in a good way.

"International law," in reality, only meaningfully exists to the extent that the international community is collectively willing to enforce it. In practice what this means is that only nations that have no influence over the dominant narratives in the international community are subject to "international law."

This is why you will see leaders in African nations sentenced to prison by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes, but the USA can get away with actually sanctioning ICC personnel if they so much as talk about investigating American war crimes and suffer no consequences for it whatsoever. It is also why Noam Chomsky famously said that if the Nuremberg laws had continued to be applied with fairness and consistency, then every post-war U.S. president would have been hanged.

And this is also why so much effort gets poured into controlling the dominant international narrative about nations like Russia which have resisted being absorbed into the U.S. power alliance. If you have the influence and leverage to control what narratives the international community accepts as true about the behavior of a given targeted nation, then you can do things like manufacture international collaboration with aggressive economic sanctions of the sort Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is currently calling for in response to the completely unsubstantiated narrative that Russia paid Taliban fighters bounties to kill occupying forces in Afghanistan.

In its ongoing slow-motion third world war against nations which refuse to be absorbed into the blob of the U.S. power alliance, this tight empire-like cluster of allies stands everything to gain by doing whatever it takes to undermine and sabotage Russia in an attempt to shove it off the world stage and eliminate the role it plays in opposing that war. Advancing as many narratives as possible about Russia doing nefarious things on the world stage manufactures consent for international collaboration toward that end in the form of economic warfare, proxy conflicts, NATO expansionism and other measures, as well as facilitating a new arms race by killing the last of the U.S.-Russia nuclear treaties and ensuring a continued imperial military presence in Afghanistan.

We haven't been shown any hard evidence for Russians paying bounties in Afghanistan, and we almost certainly never will be. This doesn't matter as far as the imperial propagandists are concerned; they know they don't need actual facts to get this story believed, they just need narrative control. All the propagandists need to do is say over and over again that Russia paid bounties to kill the troops in Afghanistan in an increasingly assertive and authoritative tone, and after a while people will start assuming it's true, just because the propagandists have been doing this.

They'll add new pieces of data to the narrative, none of which will constitute hard proof of their claims, but after enough "bombshell" stories reported in an assertive and ominous tone of voice, people will start assuming it's a proven fact that Russia paid those bounties. Narrative managers will be able to simply wave their hands at a disparate, unverified cloud of information and proclaim that it is a mountain of evidence and that anyone doubting all this proof must be a kook. (This by the way is a textbook Gish gallop fallacy , where a bunch of individually weak arguments are presented to give the illusion of a single strong case.)

This is all because "international law" only exists in practical terms to the extent that governments around the world agree to pretend it exists. As long as the U.S.-centralized empire is able to control the prevailing narrative about what Russia is doing, that empire will be able to continue to use the pretext of "international law" as a bludgeon against its enemies. That's all we're really seeing here.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Her work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook , following her antics on Twitter , checking out her podcast on either Youtube , soundcloud , Apple podcasts or Spotify , following her on Steemit , throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of her sweet merchandise , buying her books " Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone " and " Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ."

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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[Jul 01, 2020] Caitlin Johnstone says influential news outlets are parroting something nameless spooks want the public to believe, which is the same as just publishing a CIA press release free of charge

Jul 01, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

A ll Western mass media outlets are now shrieking about the story The New York Times first reported , citing zero evidence and naming zero sources, claiming intelligence says Russia paid out bounties to Taliban-linked fighters in Afghanistan for attacking the occupying forces of the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan. As of this writing, and probably forevermore, there have still been zero intelligence sources named and zero evidence provided for this claim.

As we discussed yesterday , the only correct response to unsubstantiated claims by anonymous spooks in a post-Iraq invasion world is to assume that they are lying until you've been provided with a mountain of hard, independently verifiable evidence to the contrary. The fact that The New York Times instead chose to uncritically parrot these evidence-free claims made by operatives within intelligence agencies with a known track record of lying about exactly these things is nothing short of journalistic malpractice. The fact that western media outlets are now unanimously regurgitating these still 100–percent baseless assertions is nothing short of state propaganda.

The consensus-manufacturing, Overton window-shrinking Western propaganda apparatus has been in full swing with mass media outlets claiming on literally no basis whatsoever that they have confirmed one another's "great reporting" on this completely unsubstantiated story.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1276735865008656386&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F06%2F29%2Fthis-russia-afghanistan-story-is-western-disinformation%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

All three of these men are lying.

John Hudson's claim that the Washington Post article he co-authored "confirmed The New York Times' scoop" twice uses the words "if confirmed" with regard to his central claim, saying " Russian involvement in operations targeting Americans, if confirmed, " and " The attempt to stoke violence against Americans, if confirmed ." This is of course an acknowledgement that these things have not, in fact, been confirmed.

The Wall Street Journal article co-authored by Gordon Lubold cites only anonymous "people," who we have no reason to believe are different people from the NYT's sources, repeating the same unsubstantiated assertions about an intelligence report. The article cites no evidence that Lubold's "stunning development" actually occurred beyond " people familiar with the report said " and " a person familiar with it said ."

The fact that both Hudson and Lubold were lying about having confirmed The New York Times' reporting means that Savage was also lying when he said they did. When they say the report has been "confirmed," what they really mean is that it has been agreed upon. All the three of them actually did was use their profoundly influential outlets to uncritically parrot something nameless spooks want the public to believe, which is the same as just publishing a CIA press release free of charge. It is unprincipled stenography for opaque and unaccountable intelligence agencies, and it is disgusting.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1276964925005541378&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F06%2F29%2Fthis-russia-afghanistan-story-is-western-disinformation%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

None of this should be happening. The New York Times has admitted itself that it was wrong for uncritically parroting the unsubstantiated spook claims which led to the Iraq invasion, as has The Washington Post . There is no reason to believe Taliban fighters would require any bounty to attack an illegitimate occupying force. The Russian government has denied these allegations . The Taliban has denied these allegations . The Trump administration has denied that the president or the vice president had any knowledge of the spook report in question, denouncing the central allegation that liberals who are promoting this story have been fixated on.

Yet this story is being magically transmuted into an established fact, despite its being based on literally zero factual evidence.

Outlets like CNN are running the story with the headline " Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill US troops ," deceitfully presenting this as a verified fact. Such dishonest headlines are joined by U.K. outlets like The Guardian, which informs headline-skimmers that " Russia offered bounty to kill UK soldiers ," and the Murdoch-owned Sky News which went with " Russia paid Taliban fighters to attack British troops in Afghanistan " after "confirming" the story with anonymous British spooks.

Western propagandists are turning this completely empty story into the mainstream consensus, not with facts, not with evidence, and certainly not with journalism, but with sheer brute force of narrative control. And now you've got former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrats' presumptive presidential nominee, once again attacking Trump for being insufficiently warlike, this time because "he failed to sanction or impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this egregious violation of international law."

You've also got President George W. Bush's former lackey Richard Haas promoting "a proportionate response" to these baseless allegations.

"Russia is carrying out covert wars vs US troops in Afghanistan and our democracy here at home," Haas tweeted with a link to The New York Times story. "A proportionate response would increase the costs to Russia of its military presence in Ukraine and Syria and, using sanctions and cyber, to challenge Putin at home."

Haas is the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, a wildly influential think tank with its fingers in most major U.S. news outlets.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1276869577075458049&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F06%2F29%2Fthis-russia-afghanistan-story-is-western-disinformation%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

And indeed, the unified campaign to shove this story down people's throats in stark defiance of everything one learns in journalism school does appear to be geared toward advancing pre-existing foreign policy agendas which have nothing to do with any concern for the safety of U.S. troops. Analysts have pointed out that this new development arises just in time to sabotage the last of the nuclear treaties between the US and Russia , the scaling down of US military presence in Afghanistan , and, as Haas already openly admitted, any possibility of peace in Syria .

"This story is published just in time to sabotage US-Russia arms control talks," Antiwar 's Dave DeCamp noted on Twitter . "As the US is preparing for a new arms race -- and possibly even live nuclear tests -- The New York Times provides a great excuse to let the New START lapse, making the world a much more dangerous place. Russiagate has provided the cover for Trump to pull out of arms control agreements. First the INF, then the Open Skies, and now possibly the New START. Any talks or negotiations with Russia are discouraged in this atmosphere, and this Times story will make things even worse."

"US 'intelligence' agencies (ie, organized crime networks run by the state) want to sabotage the (admittedly very inadequate) peace talks in Afghanistan," tweeted journalist Ben Norton. "So they get best of both worlds: blame the Russian bogeyman, fueling the new cold war, while prolonging the military occupation. It's not a coincidence these dubious Western intelligence agency claims about Russia came just days after a breakthrough in peace talks . Afghanistan's geostrategic location (and trillions worth of minerals) is too important to them."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-3&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1277026716528062465&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F06%2F29%2Fthis-russia-afghanistan-story-is-western-disinformation%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

All parties involved in spreading this malignant psyop are absolutely vile, but a special disdain should be reserved for the media class who have been entrusted by the public with the essential task of creating an informed populace and holding power to account. How much of an unprincipled whore do you have to be to call yourself a journalist and uncritically parrot the completely unsubstantiated assertions of spooks while protecting their anonymity? How much work did these empire fluffers put into killing off every last shred of their dignity? It boggles the mind.

It really is funny how the most influential news outlets in the western world will uncritically parrot whatever they're told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, and then turn around and tell you without a hint of self-awareness that Russia and China are bad because they have state media.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularl y at Medium . Her work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook , following her antics on Twitter , checking out her podcast on either Youtube , soundcloud , Apple podcasts or Spotify , following her on Steemit , throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of her sweet merchandise , buying her books " Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone " and " Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ."

This article was re-published with permission.


Paul Vonharnish , June 30, 2020 at 09:54

"Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction." "Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction." "Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction."

How many Iraqi civilians have been starved and slaughtered since 2001?

Duckandcover , June 30, 2020 at 09:19

Another false rumor Adam Schiff can run with. He's good at that. It will keep him occupied for the next four years.

Francis Lee , June 30, 2020 at 05:18

I'm just wondering. Is the US deep state and its media accomplices preparing its population for a kinetic war against Russia, or is the whole thing just a bluff to get Russia to surrender without a fight. The Russians, however, will not back down in face of this increasing intimidation. So what next for the Americans? The problem with the big bluff play is that the Americans may well have talked their way into war and won't have an exit strategy. Congratulations must go in particular to the MSM for pushing the world toward the edge of extinction and possibly over.

Atul Thakker , June 30, 2020 at 00:39

Even if it was all true, were we this outraged after watching Charlie Wilson's War?

David S Hall , June 29, 2020 at 21:29

Obviously a CIA campaign to get a more willing stooge into the Whitelivesmatter House. My American memory is famously short, can't quite recall who it was created and funded the Taliban and supplied them with advanced weapons and training to attack the Soviet Army of Occupation. I imagine the current Taliban would much prefer Verbas to Rubles.

Jean , June 29, 2020 at 19:58

I am totally a Bernie Girl but am being inundated with pitiful pleas to vote for the Bumpkin, the senile old Neoliberal Bumpkin, because ..Trump. I was almost persuaded until reading this. The Cheeto is a horror and a whore and has a lot of blood on his hands. But Byebyedon is worse. He'll lay this country at the feet of the war profiteers and say thank you for letting me be your whore. I'm not voting for him. Nor for any other neoliberal warmongering Hillary loving ass wipe the DNC can vomit up. I'm writing in Buddha. Seems to me a good dead guy could do a better job than all these ass wipes put together. You go Caitlyn!!!

vinnieoh , June 29, 2020 at 18:51

In passing Caitlin mentions narrative control, the subject she so expertly dissects. It's important at the premier of this farcically phony addition to the narrative, to remember that:

It doesn't have to be true;
It doesn't even need a very long half-life;
It doesn't even need to be investigated before it is dropped in the "hold" basket.

All that is need is to be entered into the "official narrative"; because it was reported, became a media topic, it thus has become "real" and can be later concatenated in a litany of other "offenses" committed by our shibboleths against us.

It's easy, they do it almost in their sleep now, and the serious faces of our vigilant media never blink an eye, and no perspiration is seen on their upper lips. One big obedient, happy family. It doesn't matter how many out in teevee land or social media land believe it, only that none of the voices of the official narrative break ranks.

Sam F , June 29, 2020 at 18:43

Those who agreed upon and spread this "malignant psyop" of "evidence-free claims" have engaged in journalistic malpractice and state propaganda, and have long betrayed the public trust to provide truth and hold power to account.

Mass media and all branches of federal and state government must be regulated for balance of viewpoints with checks and balances in all areas, and monitored for corrupt influence. Without such controls we cannot restore democracy.

Realist , June 29, 2020 at 16:56

Basically, the CIA is meddling in the presidential election yet again. They want the public not only to believe that this absurd fantasy is true but that Trump and his awful minions looked the other way and gave the evil emperor Putin carte blanche to kill Americans. What baseless charge could possibly be more inflammatory? Betraying your own armed forces would be the apex of high treason. This is yet another doubling down on the failed "Russiagate" conspiracy theory. Not only totally preposterous and completely unsupported but quite unnecessary if the objective is to extract Trump from the White House. Trump has already cooked his own goose in the political arena with his handling of the Covid crisis, the BLM "demonstrations" and the Congressional giveaway of newly-created Fed funny money to the most financially privileged individuals on the planet. The intel agencies obviously have no clue that they conspicuously give away their game by being so over-the-top bombastic in their unending attempts to frame Putin, Russia, and, most importantly, Trump. And the MSM seem just as clueless about the role they play as witless tools of these behind-the-scenes string pullers.

Skip Scott , June 30, 2020 at 08:41

I am not yet sure that Trump has "cooked his own goose". Biden is such a horrible candidate it seems that the DNC wants to lose, and Trump's base never sees anything done by him as "wrong," or his fault. Whenever I start thinking that the public couldn't get any dumber or more manipulated, events prove me wrong. One thing is certain, more "theater of the absurd" lies ahead. Buckle up!
BTW, good to hear from your Realist.

AnneR , June 30, 2020 at 11:15

Ah, but, Realist, can't have too many depleted uranium cased weapons to hand, just in case, just in case the Strumpet should win against all the odds, at least as advertised by the pollsters (as was the case in 2016).

And what better for these "liars, cheats, robbers" (as Pompeo averted – with mucho pride – were the trademarks of the CIA et al) than to once again, despite all common sense, nominate the Russians as our "real" enemies. The f***ing Blue faces cannot let their Cold Warrior Russophobic deep seated perceptions of the world go.

And – as one expects – there is no mention in the MSM (as represented in this household by the faithful Blue Face upholder, NPR) of the CIA (with Brzezinski's full support) in Afghanistan deliberately helping to create, support, train the mujahadeen (including what would become the Taliban) to fight, kill and keep the USSR in Afghanistan until it had its "Vietnam" and shrank economically, thus influentially. No thought that, well, even if (big if) this NYT tale proves even remotely based in some fact: we are reaping what we sowed; serves us right. Please – we'd never look at anything done to *us* in that way. We seem incapable.

Drew Hunkins , June 29, 2020 at 16:19

Anyone who believes the Russian bounty Taliban story is beyond hope and one must not waste two seconds of their energies trying to reach them. There's now a segment of our (U.S) population that is TOTALLY immune to any rational and reasonable explanations and facts pertaining to Russia, a Russia that's a peace and justice champion around the globe promoting cooperative relations throughout the world community.

AnneR , June 30, 2020 at 11:17

So very true, Drew. So very true – assuming that they consider it at all, that is.

John Drake , June 29, 2020 at 16:13

Looks like a get Trump disinformation operation. First concoct this pile of nastiness, and don't tell Potus . Then release it through subservient mass media(best yet with high stature). Potus says, "huh", didn't know and looks foolish, as well as being positioned into the Russian stooge trope- mission accomplished.

Next act assorted Congress critters get to pontificate, posture and look patriotic.

Americans are so gullible. Like the Taliban needs a bounty to kill Americans; that's their job, their goal is to get rid of US presence no need for extra incentive. And of course , Russia could care less and would not be so stupid. If you look at a lot of this stuff the deep state comes up with there is no motive, it doesn't pass the smell test.

PJ , June 29, 2020 at 19:20

the phrase is: "couldn't care less"

Reginald Johnson , June 29, 2020 at 16:12

I couldn't agree more. This story stunk the minute I heard about it. It's another Deep State effort to undermine any moves to pull back from war.

Kurt McNally , June 29, 2020 at 15:40

Thank you for a little sanity in an insane world. So many intelligent questions a good journalist might be asking in our current situation.

[Jul 01, 2020] Russiagate's Last Gasp by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate's origins. ..."
"... But Moscow recognized from the start that Washington was embarked on a fool's errand in Vietnam. There would be no percentage in getting directly involved. And so, the Soviets sat back and watched smugly as the Vietnamese Communists drove U.S. forces out on their "own resources." As was the case with the Viet Cong, the Taliban needs no bounty inducements from abroad. ..."
"... Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false." ..."
"... If Durham finds it fraudulent (not a difficult task), the heads of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials may roll. That would also mean a still deeper dent in the credibility of Establishment media that are only too eager to drink the Kool Aid and to leave plenty to drink for the rest of us. ..."
"... I am not a regular Maddow-watcher, but to me she seemed unhinged -- actually, well over the top. ..."
Jun 29, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate's origins.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

O n Friday The New York Times featured a report based on anonymous intelligence officials that the Russians were paying bounties to have U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan with President Donald Trump refusing to do anything about it. The flurry of Establishment media reporting that ensued provides further proof, if such were needed, that the erstwhile "paper of record" has earned a new moniker -- Gray Lady of easy virtue.

Over the weekend, the Times ' dubious allegations grabbed headlines across all media that are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans -- which seems to have been the main objective. To keep the pot boiling this morning, The New York Times' David Leonhardt's daily web piece , "The Morning" calls prominent attention to a banal article by a Heather Cox Richardson, described as a historian at Boston College, adding specific charges to the general indictment of Trump by showing "how the Trump administration has continued to treat Russia favorably." The following is from Richardson's newsletter on Friday:

Historian Richardson added:

"All of these friendly overtures to Russia were alarming enough when all we knew was that Russia attacked the 2016 U.S. election and is doing so again in 2020. But it is far worse that those overtures took place when the administration knew that Russia had actively targeted American soldiers. this bad news apparently prompted worried intelligence officials to give up their hope that the administration would respond to the crisis, and instead to leak the story to two major newspapers."

Hear the siren? Children, get under your desks!

The Tall Tale About Russia Paying for Dead U.S. Troops

Times print edition readers had to wait until this morning to learn of Trump's statement last night that he was not briefed on the cockamamie tale about bounties for killing, since it was, well, cockamamie.

Late last night the president tweeted: "Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or the VP. "

For those of us distrustful of the Times -- with good reason -- on such neuralgic issues, the bounty story had already fallen of its own weight. As Scott Ritter pointed out yesterday:

"Perhaps the biggest clue concerning the fragility of the New York Times ' report is contained in the one sentence it provides about sourcing -- "The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals." That sentence contains almost everything one needs to know about the intelligence in question, including the fact that the source of the information is most likely the Afghan government as reported through CIA channels. "

And who can forget how "successful" interrogators can be in getting desired answers.

Russia & Taliban React

The Kremlin called the Times reporting "nonsense an unsophisticated plant," and from Russia's perspective the allegations make little sense; Moscow will see them for what they are -- attempts to show that Trump is too "accommodating" to Russia.

A Taliban spokesman called the story "baseless," adding with apparent pride that "we" have done "target killings" for years "on our own resources."

Russia is no friend of the Taliban. At the same time, it has been clear for several years that the U.S. would have to pull its troops out of Afghanistan. Think back five decades and recall how circumspect the Soviets were in Vietnam. Giving rhetorical support to a fraternal Communist nation was de rigueur and some surface-to-air missiles gave some substance to that support.

But Moscow recognized from the start that Washington was embarked on a fool's errand in Vietnam. There would be no percentage in getting directly involved. And so, the Soviets sat back and watched smugly as the Vietnamese Communists drove U.S. forces out on their "own resources." As was the case with the Viet Cong, the Taliban needs no bounty inducements from abroad.

Besides, the Russians knew painfully well -- from their own bitter experience in Afghanistan, what the outcome of the most recent fool's errand would be for the U.S. What point would they see in doing what The New York Times and other Establishment media are breathlessly accusing them of?

CIA Disinformation; Casey at Bat

Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false."

Casey made that remark at the first cabinet meeting in the White House under President Ronald Reagan in early 1981, according to Barbara Honegger, who was assistant to the chief domestic policy adviser. Honegger was there, took notes, and told then Senior White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, who in turn made it public.

If Casey's spirit is somehow observing the success of the disinformation program called Russiagate, one can imagine how proud he must be. But sustained propaganda success can be a serious challenge. The Russiagate canard has lasted three and a half years. This last gasp effort, spearheaded by the Times , to breathe more life into it is likely to last little more than a weekend -- the redoubled efforts of Casey-dictum followers notwithstanding.

Russiagate itself has been unraveling, although one would hardly know it from the Establishment media. No collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Even the sacrosanct tenet that the Russians hacked the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks has been disproven , with the head of the DNC-hired cyber security firm CrowdStrike admitting that there is no evidence that the DNC emails were hacked -- by Russia or anyone else .

U.S. Attorney John Durham. (Wikipedia)

How long will it take the Times to catch up with the CrowdStrike story, available since May 7?

The media is left with one sacred cow: the misnomered "Intelligence Community" Assessment of Jan. 6, 2017, claiming that President Putin himself ordered the hacking of the DNC. That "assessment" done by "hand-picked analysts" from only CIA, FBI and NSA (not all 17 intelligence agencies of the "intelligence community") reportedly is being given close scrutiny by U. S. Attorney John Durham, appointed by the attorney general to investigate Russiagate's origins.

If Durham finds it fraudulent (not a difficult task), the heads of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials may roll. That would also mean a still deeper dent in the credibility of Establishment media that are only too eager to drink the Kool Aid and to leave plenty to drink for the rest of us.

Do not expect the media to cease and desist, simply because Trump had a good squelch for them last night -- namely, the "intelligence" on the "bounties" was not deemed good enough to present to the president.

(As a preparer and briefer of The President's Daily Brief to Presidents Reagan and HW Bush, I can attest to the fact that -- based on what has been revealed so far -- the Russian bounty story falls far short of the PDB threshold.)

Rejecting Intelligence Assessments

Nevertheless, the corporate media is likely to play up the Trump administration's rejection of what the media is calling the "intelligence assessment" about Russia offering -- as Rachel Maddow indecorously put it on Friday -- "bounty for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan."

I am not a regular Maddow-watcher, but to me she seemed unhinged -- actually, well over the top.

The media asks, "Why does Trump continue to disrespect the assessments of the intelligence community?" There he goes again -- not believing our "intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin."

In other words, we can expect no let up from the media and the national security miscreant leakers who have served as their life's blood. As for the anchors and pundits, their level of sophistication was reflected yesterday in the sage surmise of Face the Nation's Chuck Todd, who Aaron Mate reminds us, is a "grown adult and professional media person." Todd asked guest John Bolton: "Do you think that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election, and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?"

"This is as bad as it gets," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday, adding the aphorism she memorized several months ago: "All roads lead to Putin." The unconscionably deceitful performance of Establishment media is as bad as it gets, though that, of course, was not what Pelosi meant. She apparently lifted a line right out of the Times about how Trump is too "accommodating" toward Russia.

One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia as a reflection of the need to pre-empt the findings likely to issue from Durham and Attorney General William Barr in the coming months -- on the theory that the best defense is a pre-emptive offense. Meanwhile, we can expect the corporate media to continue to disgrace itself.

Vile

Caitlin Johnstone, typically, pulls no punches regarding the Russian bounty travesty:

"All parties involved in spreading this malignant psyop are absolutely vile, but a special disdain should be reserved for the media class who have been entrusted by the public with the essential task of creating an informed populace and holding power to account. How much of an unprincipled whore do you have to be to call yourself a journalist and uncritically parrot the completely unsubstantiated assertions of spooks while protecting their anonymity? How much work did these empire fluffers put into killing off every last shred of their dignity? It boggles the mind.

It really is funny how the most influential news outlets in the Western world will uncritically parrot whatever they're told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, and then turn around and tell you without a hint of self-awareness that Russia and China are bad because they have state media.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh."

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-years as a CIA analyst he led the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and prepared The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Aaron , June 30, 2020 at 12:33

If anything, all roads lead to Israel. You have to consider the sources, the writers, journalists, editors, owners, and rich people from which these stories come. This latest ridiculous story will certainly help Trump, so the sources of these Russia stories are actually fans of Trump, they love his tax cuts, he helps their revenue streams, and he's the greatest friend and Zionist to Israel so far and also Wall Street. I think most Americans can understand that Putin doesn't possess all of the supernatural all-encompassing powers and mind-controlling omnipotence that Pelosi and her ilk attribute to him. That's why at his rallies, when Trump points to where the journalists are and sneers at them calling them bloodsuckers and parasites and all that, the people love it, because of stuff like this. It's like saying "look at those assholes, those liberal journalists over at CNN say that you voted for me because of Vladimir Putin?!" It just pisses off people to keep hearing that mantra over and over. So it's a gift to Trump, it helps him so much. And seeing that super expensive helicopter flying around the barren rocky slopes of the middle east, seems like it's out of some Rambo movie. And like Rambo, the tens of thousands of American servicemen that were sacrificed over there, and still commit suicides at a horrific rate, have always been treated by the architects of these wars that only helped the state of Israel, as the expendables. Whether it's a black life, a soldier fighting in Iraq, a foreclosed on homeowner by Mnuchin's work, or a brainwashed New York Times subscriber, we don't seem to matter, we seem to feel the truth that to these people were are indeed expendable. The question to answer I think is, not who is a Russian asset, but who is an Israeli asset?

Andrew Thomas , June 30, 2020 at 12:04

Great reporting as usual, Ray. But special kudos for the NYT moniker 'Gray lady of easy virtue.' I almost laughed out loud. A rare occurrence these days.

Michael P Goldenberg , June 30, 2020 at 10:45

Thanks for another cogent assessment of our mainstream media's utter depravity and reckless irresponsibility. They truly have become nothing more than presstitutes and enemies of the people.

Bob Van Noy , June 30, 2020 at 10:42

"It's all over but the shouting" goes the idiom and I think that is true of Russiagate, especially, thank all goodness, here at Robert Parry's Journalistic site!

I have a theory that propaganda has a lifetime but when it reaches a truly absurd level, it's all over. Clearly, we've reached that level Thanks to all at CN

evelync , June 30, 2020 at 10:33

You call Rachel Madcow "unhinged", Ray ..well, yes, I'm shocked at myself that there was a time that I tuned in to her show .
Sorry Ms Madcow you've turned yourself into a character from Dr Strangelove

The key threats – climate change, pandemics, nuclear war – and why we continue to fail to address these real things while filling the airwaves instead with the tiresome russia,russia,russia mantra – per Accam's razer suggests that it serves very short term interests of money and power whoever whatever the MICIMATT answers to.
"Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false." "

Who exactly was the "we" Casey was answering to each day?
I know it wasn't me or the planet or humanity or anyone I know.

Bill Rice , June 30, 2020 at 10:20

If only articles like this were read by the masses. Maybe people would get a clue. Blind patriotism is not patriotic at all. Skepticism is healthy.

torture this , June 30, 2020 at 09:54

It's a shame that VIPS reporting is top secret. It's the only information coming from people familiar with the ins and outs of spy agencies that can be trusted.

GeorgeG , June 30, 2020 at 09:45

Ray,
You missed the juicy stuff. See: tass.com/russia/1172369 Russia Foreign Ministry: NYT article on Russia in Afghanistan fake from US intelligence. Here is the kicker:

The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed to US intelligence agencies' involvement in Afghan drug trafficking.
"Should we speak about facts – moreover, well-known [facts], it has not long been a secret in Afghanistan that members of the US intelligence community are involved in drug trafficking, cash payments to militants for letting transport convoys pass through, kickbacks from contracts implementing various projects paid by American taxpayers. The list of their actions can be continued if you want," the ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry suggested that those actions might stem from the fact that the US intelligence agencies "do not like that our and their diplomats have teamed up to facilitate the start of peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban (outlawed in Russia – TASS)."

"We can understand their feelings as they do not want to be deprived of the above mentioned sources of the off-the-books income," the ministry stressed.

Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:08

Affirmative Ray, two of my old comrades who were SF both did security on CIA drug flights back in the day, and later on both while under VA care decided to die off God I miss them, great guys and honest souls.

DH Fabian , June 30, 2020 at 09:41

One point remains a mystery. Why would anyone think that when the US invades a country, someone would need to pay the people of that country a bounty to fight back?

Mark Clarke , June 30, 2020 at 09:27

If Biden wins the presidency and the Democrats take back the Senate, Russiagate will strengthen and live on for many years.

Al , June 30, 2020 at 12:11

All to deflect from Clinton's private server while SOS, 30,000 deleted emails, and the sale of US interests via the Clinton Foundation.

Zedster , June 30, 2020 at 12:56

That, or we learn Chinese.

Skip Scott , June 30, 2020 at 09:08

Another interesting aside is that Tulsi Gabbard's "Stop funding Terrorists" bill went nowhere in Congress. So it's Ok for us and our Arab allies to fund them, but not the Russians? Maybe we should go back to calling them the Mujahideen?

Thomas Scherrer , June 30, 2020 at 12:10

Preach, my child.

And aloha to the last decent woman in those halls.

HARRY M HAYS , June 30, 2020 at 09:01

Do you not think that the timing of all this (months after the report was allegedly presented to Trump) is an attempt to stop Trump from signing an agreement with the Taliban that will allow him to withdraw American troops from that country?

Skip Scott , June 30, 2020 at 08:58

Great article Ray, but I have to question whether Durham will fulfill his role and get to the bottom of the origins of RussiaGate. If he actually does name names and prosecute, how will the MSM cover it? What will Ms. Madcow have to say? Ever since the fizzling failure of the Epstein investigation, I have had my doubts about Barr and his minion Durham. I hope I'm wrong. Time will tell.

Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:24

I think on here I can talk about this issue you brought up Scott, on other places when I tried to have a rational discussion on the matter, I got shouted down, well they tried anyway.
I highly suggest to any readers of this here on Consortium to get Gore Vidal's old book, Imperial America, and also watch his old documentary, THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA.
Here is the point of it,
"Officially we have two parties which are in fact wings of a common party of property with two right wings. Corporate wealth finances each. Since the property party controls every aspect of media they have had decades to create a false reality for a citizenry largely uneducated by public schools that teach conformity with an occasional advanced degree in consumerism."
-GORE VIDAL, The United States of Amnesia
Also,
"There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt -- until recently and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."
? Gore Vidal
Others have pointed out the same like this,
"Nobody should have any illusions. The United States has essentially a one-party system and the ruling party is the business party."
? Noam Chomsky
"In the United States [ ] the two main business-dominated parties, with the support of the corporate community, have refused to reform laws that make it virtually impossible to create new political parties (that might appeal to non-business interests) and let them be effective. Although there is marked and frequently observed dissatisfaction with the Republicans and Democrats, electoral politics is one area where notions of competitions and free choice have little meaning. In some respects the caliber of debate and choice in neoliberal elections tends to be closer to that of the one-party communist state than that of a genuine democracy."
? Robert W. McChesney, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order
"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies."
? Carroll Quigley [1910 – 1977 was an American historian and theorist of the evolution of civilizations. He is remembered for his teaching work as a professor at Georgetown University, for his academic publications.]
Teddy Roosevelt, whose statue is under attack in NYC, had this to say,
"The bosses of the Democratic party and the bosses of the Republican party alike have a closer grip than ever before on the party machines in the States and in the Nation. This crooked control of both the old parties by the beneficiaries of political and business privilege renders it hopeless to expect any far-reaching and fundamental service from either."
-THEODORE ROOSEVELT, The Outlook, July 27, 1912
I suggest also that you look up on line this article, Heads They Win, Tails We Lose: Our Fake Two-Party System
by Prof. Stephen H. Unger at Columbia, here is his concluding thought,
"The drift toward loss of liberty, unending wars, environmental degradation, growing economic inequality can't be stopped easily, but it will never be halted as long as we allow corporate interests to rule our country by means of a pseudo-democracy based on the two-party swindle."
With this all in mind, and if your my age, you might recall about how over the past more then 50 years, no matter which party gets in power, nothing of any significance changes, the wars continue, the transfer of wealth to the few, and the erosion of basic civil liberties continues pretty well unabated.
Trump is surrounded by neo-cons and I expect nothing will happen to change anything. I would get into how most called liberals are hardly that, but in reality neo-cons, but I've said enough for now, when you consider the statements I shared, then the Matrix begins to come unraveled.

Grady , June 30, 2020 at 08:01

Not to mention the potential peace initiative with Afghanistan and Taliban that is looming. Peace is not profitable, so who has the dual interests in maintaining protracted war in a strategic location while ensuring the poppy crop stays the most productive in the world? It seems said poppy production under the pre war Taliban government was minimal as they eliminated most of it. Attacking the Taliban and thwarting its rule allowed for greater production, to the extent it is the global leader in helping to fulfill the opiate demand. Gary Webb established long ago that the intelligence community, specifically the CIA, has somewhat of a tradition in such covert operations and logic would dictate they're vested interest lies in maintaining a high yield crop while feeding the profit center that is the MIC war machine. While certainly a bit digressive, the dots are there to connect.

Paul , June 30, 2020 at 07:54

My friend, I love your columns. Thank you, you have been one of the few sane voices on Russiagate from the beginning.

Sadly most Americans and most people in the world will not receive these simple truths you are telling. (not their fault)

We will continue our fight against the system.

Peace, Paul from South Africa

Voice from Europe , June 30, 2020 at 07:38

Don't think this will be the last Russiagate gasp whoever becomes the next president.
The 'liberal democrats' believe their own delusions and as long as they control the MSM, they won't stop. Lol.

Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:29

You should read my reply to Scott, most of these Democrats are not liberals, but neo-cons who just liberal virtue signal while in reality supporting the neo-con agenda. I hate it how the so called alternative or independent media abuse terms and words, which obscures realities. Anyway, take a look at my reply and the quotes I shared.
"Definition of liberal, one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways, progressive, broad-minded, . willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one's own; open to new ideas, denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise."
? Derived from Webster's and the Oxford Dictionaries

"Liberal' comes from the Latin liberalis, which means pertaining to a free man. In politics, to be liberal is to want to extend democracy through change and reform. One can see why that word had to be erased from our political lexicon."
? Gore Vidal, "The Great Unmentionable: Monotheism and its Discontents," The Lowell Lecture, Harvard University, April 20, 1992.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:23

Er, hypocrisy much?

"'Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,' says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton"
hXXps://www.rt.com/usa/355291-morrell-kill-russians-clinton/

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:13

Once again I would like to compliment Mr McGovern on his magnificently Biblical appearance. That full set would do credit to any Old Testament prophet.

I see him as the USA's own Jeremiah.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:12

Seeing that picture of Johnson's sad, wicked bloodhound features really, really makes me wish I had had a chance to be outside his tent pissing in. I'd have been careful to drink as many gallons of beer as possible beforehand.

Although it would have been better, from a humanitarian pont of view, just to set fire to the tent.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:10

"Historian Richardson "

Clearly a serious exaggeration.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:09

Ah, the Chinook! The 60-year-old helicopter that epitomises everything Afghan patriots love about the USA. It's big, fat, slow, clumsy, unmanoeuvrable, and may carry enough US troops to make shooting it down a damaging political blow against Washington.

Vivek , June 30, 2020 at 05:43

Ray,
What do you make of Barbara Honeggar's second career as a alternative story peddler?
see hXXps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB21BVFOIjw

CNfan , June 30, 2020 at 03:43

A brilliant piece, with a deft touch depicting the timeless human follies running our foreign policy circus. Real-world experience, perspective, and courage like Ray's were the dream of the drafters of our 1st Amendment. And ending with Caitlin's hammer was effective. As to who benefits? I suspect the neocons – our resident war-addicts and Israeli assets. Paraphrasing Nancy, "All roads lead to Netanyahu."

Ehzal , June 30, 2020 at 03:12

So,Russia what will do in next Upcoming Years during these covid-19.

Realist , June 30, 2020 at 02:54

Ray, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has embraced these allegations against Russia as the gospel truth and has threatened to seek revenge against Putin once he occupies the White House.

He said Americans who serve in the military put their life on the line. "But they should never, never, never ever face a threat like this with their commander in chief turning a blind eye to a foreign power putting a bounty on their heads."

"I'm quite frankly outraged by the report," Biden said. He promised that if he is elected, "Putin will be confronted and we'll impose serious costs on Russia."

This is the kind of warmongering talk that derailed the expected landslide victory for the Queen of Warmongers in 2016. This time round though, Trump has seemingly already swung and badly missed three times in his responses to the Covid outbreak, the public antics attributed to BLM, and the Fed's creation of six trillion dollars in funny money as a gift to the most privileged tycoons on the planet. In baseball, which will not have a season in spite of the farcical theatrics between ownership and players, that's called a "whiff" and gets you sent back to the bench.

According to all the pollsters, Donnie's base of white working class "deplorables" are already abandoning his campaign–bigly, prompting the none-too-keen Biden to assume that over-the-top Russia bashing is back in season, especially since trash-talking Nobel Laureate Obama is now delivering most of the mute sock puppet Biden's lines. It was almost comical to watch Joe do nothing but grin in the framed picture to the left of his old boss during their most recent joint interview with the press. This dangerous re-set of the Cold War is NOT what the people want, nor is it good for them or any living things.

DH Fabian , June 30, 2020 at 10:18

Biden already lost 2020 -- in spite of the widely-disliked Trump. This is why Democrats began working to breath life back into Russia-gate by late last year, setting the stage to blame Russia for their 2020 defeat. We spent the past 25 years detailing the demise of the Democratic Party (replaced by the "New Democrat Party"), and it turned out that the party loyalists didn't hear a word of it.

John A , June 30, 2020 at 02:15

As a viewer from afar, in Europe, I find it mindboggling how the American public seem to believe all this nonsense about Russia. Have the people there really been that dumbed down by chewing gum for the eyes television and disgusting chemical and growth h0rmone laced food? Sad, sad, sad.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:17

John, I think there is something to what you say about dumbing down. I recall Albert Jay Nock lamenting, in about 1910, how dreadfully US education had already been dumbed down – and things have been going steadily downhill ever since.

But I don't think we can quite release the citizenry from responsibility on account of their ignorance. (Isn't it a legal maxim that ignorance is not an excuse?)

There is surely deep down in most people a sly lust for dominance, a desire to control and forbid and compel; and also a quiet satisfaction at hearing of inferior foreigners being harmed or killed by one's own "world class" armed forces.

TS , June 30, 2020 at 11:14

> As a viewer from afar, in Europe, I find it mindboggling how the American public seem to believe all this nonsense about Russia.

May I remind you that most of the mass media in Europe parrot all this nonsense, and a large segment of the public swallows it?

Charles Familant , June 30, 2020 at 00:50

Mr. McGovern has not made his case. To his question as to why Taliban militants need any additional incentive to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan, it is not far-fetched to believe these militants would welcome additional funds to continue their belligerency. Waging war is not cheap and is especially onerous for relatively small organizations as compared to major powers. What reason would Putin have to pay such bounty? The increase in U.S. troop casualties would provide Trump an additional rationale to bring the troops home, as he had promised during his campaign speeches in 2015 and 2016. This action would be a boon to his re-election prospects. Putin is well aware that if Biden wins in November, there is little likelihood of the hostility in Afghanistan or anywhere else being brought to an end. But, more to the point, the likelihood of U.S. sanctions against Russia being curtailed under a Biden presidency is remote. To what he deemed rhetorical, Mr. McGovern asks how successful were U.S. interrogators of such captured Taliban in the past, I remind him that there were opposing views regarding which techniques were most effective. Might not these interrogators have, in the present case, employed more effective means? Finally, it should not even be a question as to why any news agency does not reveal its sources. But in this case, the New York Times specifically mentions that the National Security Council discussed the intelligence finding in late March. Further, if it is true that Trump, Pence et al ignored the said briefs of which the administration was well aware, this should be no surprise to any of us. Case in point: how long did it take Trump to respond to the present pandemic? One telling observation: Mr. McGovern says that Heather Cox Richardson is "described as a historian at Boston College.' She is not just "described as a historian" Mr. McGovern, she IS a historian at Boston College; in fact, she is a professor at that college and has authored six scholarly works that have been published as books, the most recent of which in March of this year by the Oxford University Press. Mr. McGovern states that the points Richardson made her most most recent newsletter as "banal." I see nothing banal in that newsletter, but rather a list of relevant factual occurrences. Finally (this time it really is final), Mr. McGovern employs the use of sarcasm to discount what Richardson and others have contended regarding this most recent expose. And seems to give more credibility to the comments made by Trump and his cohorts, as though this administration is remarkable for its integrity.

Sam F , June 30, 2020 at 11:05

Plausible interest does not make unsupported accusations a reality. What bounties did the US offer?
Have you forgotten that the US set up Al Qaeda in Afghanistan with weapons to attack the USSR there?

Zhu , June 30, 2020 at 00:34

Come December this year, which losing party will blame which scapegoat? Russia? China? The Man in the Moon? It must be a hard decision!

Zhu , June 30, 2020 at 00:31

Unfortunately, bad ideas and conspiracy fictions rarely disappear completely. But that Afghans need to be paid to kill invaders is the dumbest conspiracy fiction yet.

Thomas Fortin , June 29, 2020 at 21:31

Excellent report Ray, as usual.
Interesting note here, I watched The Hill's Rising program, and listened to young conservative Saagar say, although he does not believe that Russia-gate is credible, he made the statement that Russia is supplying the Taliban weapons and wants us to get out of Afghanistan, and that is considered a fact by all journalists!
Saagar is a bit conflicted, he does not, but does believe the gods of intelligence, like so many did with the Gulf of Tonkin so long ago, I remember that all too well.
As I look out upon the ignorant masses and useful idiots who strain at those Confederate and other monuments, while continuing to elect the same old people back into office who continue the status quo, its a bit discouraging. We were told so long ago about our current situation, that,
"It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin." [James Monroe, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817]
As a historian of some sort and educational film maker, I do my best to educate people, though its a bit overwhelming at times how ignorant and fascist brain-washed most are. Monroe, like the other founders knew the secret of maintaining a free and prosperous republic, from the same piece, "Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us by all wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties."
George Carlin got it right about why education "sucks", it was by design, so our work is cut out for us.
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
~Thomas Jefferson

GMCasey , June 29, 2020 at 21:25

Why would Putin even bother? America and its endless wars is doing itself in. Afghanistan is said to be," the graveyard of empires." It was for Alexander the Great -- –it was for Russia and I suppose that it will be for America too -- -

DW Bartoo , June 29, 2020 at 20:50

Ray, I certainly hope that Durham and Barr will not wait too long a time to make public the truth about Russiagate.

Indeed, certain heads should, figuratively, roll, and as well, the whole story about who was behind the setting up of Flynn needs to, somehow, make it through the media flack.

Judge Sullivan's antics having been rather thoroughly shot down, though the media is desperately trying to either spin or ignore the reality that it was not merely Flynn that Sullivan was hoping to harm, but also the power of the executive branch relative to the judicial branch.

The role of Obama and of Biden who, apparently, suggested the use of the Logan Act as the means to go after Flynn, who we now know was intentionally entrapped by the intrepid FBI, need to be made clear as well.

Just as with the initial claims that torture was the work of "a few bad apples", when anyone with any insight into such "policy" actions had to have known that it WAS official policy (crafted by Addington, Bybee, and Yoo, as it turned out, directed to do so by the Bush White House), so too, must it be realized that it was not some rogue agents and loose cannons, but actual instructions "from above", explicit or implicit, that "encouraged" the behavior of those who spoke of "Insurance" policies designed to hamper, hinder, and harm the incoming administration.

Clearly, I am no fan of Trump, and while I honestly regard the Rule of Law as essentially a fairytale for the gullible (as the behavior of the "justice" system from the " qualified immunity" of the police, to the "absolute immunity" of prosecutors, judges, and the political class must make clear,to even the most giddy of childish believers in U$ purity, innocence, and exceptionalism, that the "law" serves to protect wealth and power and NOT the public), I should really like to consider that even in a pretend democracy, some things are simply not to be tolerated.

Things, like torture, like fully politicized law enforcement or "intelligence" agencies, like secret court proceedings, where judges may be lied to with total impunity and actual evidence is not required. As well as things like a media thoroughly willing to requrgitate blatant propaganda as "fact" (while having, again, no apparent need of genuine evidenc), or other things like total surveillance, and the destruction of habeas corpus.

One should like to imagine that such things might concern the majority.

Yet, a society that buys into forever wars, lesser-evil voting, and created Hitler like boogeymen, that countenances being lied into wars and consistently lied to about virtually everything, is hardly likely to discern the truth of things until the "Dream" collapses into personal pain, despair, and Depression.

Unless there is an awakening quite beyond that already tearing down statues, but yet still , apparently, unwilling to grasp the totality of the corruption throughout the entire edifice of "authority", of the total failure of a system that has no real legitimacy, except that given it by voters choosing between two sides of the same tyranny, it may be readily imagined, should Biden be "victorious", that Russiagate, Chinagate, Irangate, Venezuelagate, and countless other "Gates" will become Official History.

In which case, this is not a last gasp, of Russiagate, but a new and full head of steam for more of the same.

How easy it has been for the lies to prevail, to become "truth" and to simply disappear the voices of those who ask for evidence, who dare question, who doubt.

How easy to co-opt and destroy efforts to educate or bring about critically necessary change.

There are but a few months for real evidence to be revealed.

If Durham and Barr decide not to "criminalize policy differences", as Obama, the "constitutional scholar", did regarding torture, then what might we imagine will be the future of those who have an understanding of even those lies long being used, and with recent additions, for example, to torture Julian Assange?

All of the deceit has common purpose, it is to maintain absolute control.

If Russiagate is not completely exposed, for all that it is and was intended to be, then quaint little discussions about elite misbehavior will be banished from general awareness, and those who persist in questioning will be rather severely dealt with.

Antonia , June 30, 2020 at 11:43

ABSOLUTELY. Well said. NOW where to make the changes absolutely necessary?

Zalamander , June 29, 2020 at 18:47

Thanks Ray. There are multiple reasons for the continued existance of Russiagate as the Democratic party has no real answers for the economic depression affecting millions of Americans. Neoliberal Joe Biden is also an exceptionally weak presidential candidate, who does not even support universal healthcare for all Americans like every other advanced industrialized country has. That said, the Dems are indeed desperate to deflect attention away from the Durham investigation, as it is bound to expose the total fraud of Crossfire Hurricane.

Sam F , June 29, 2020 at 18:16

Thanks, Ray, a very good summary, with reminders often needed by many in dealing with complex issues.

[Jul 01, 2020] Buried In All The Sensational Russian Bounty Headlines is the attempt to revive Russiagate

Mark Ames twit: "Dubious spy-sourced #BountyGate story getting WAY more traction than WaPo's bombshell Afghanistan Papers last December, exposing DC conspiracy of lies to keep their disastrous war going. That deeply-reported story vanished w/out consequences."
Compare with: U.S. officials misled the public about the war in Afghanistan, confidential documents reveal - Washington Post
Notable quotes:
"... And Trump said further in a Saturday night tweet : "Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or VP." ..."
"... it was likely deemed "chatter" or unsubstantiated rumor picked up either by US or British intelligence -- and subsequently leaked to the press to revive the pretty much dead Russiagate narrative of some level of "Trump-Putin collusion". ..."
"... And of course newly minted "resistance hero" John Bolton, busy with a media blitz promoting his book, made statements to NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday stating his belief that the president was likely briefed on the matter . The former national security adviser called the Trump denial "remarkable" -- enough to grab headlines . ..."
"... Meanwhile, speaking of America's longest war, does anyone at all of Capitol Hill remember this actual confirmed and exhaustively documented story? ..."
Jul 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

A group of Congressional Democrats will be briefed at the White House Tuesday in response to ongoing accusations that Trump was made aware of but ignored what The New York Times described last Friday as a Russian military intelligence operation that sought to kill American troops in Afghanistan by issuing bounties to Taliban fighters.

This following a Monday briefing of at least seven Republican lawmakers, also as both Republican and Democratic leaders demand answers and full briefings from the CIA and Pentagon. Crucially it remains, however, that the White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have firmly rejected that the president was ever briefed.

On Saturday Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a statement that he had "confirmed that neither the President nor the Vice President were ever briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Times in its reporting."

And Trump said further in a Saturday night tweet : "Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or VP."

A carefully worded and to be expected somewhat vague Monday evening statement from CIA Director Gina Haspel appeared to vindicate the White House's assertion of lack of credible intelligence behind it. Essentially the CIA director seemed to reference the danger of "cherry-picking" from lower level unvetted raw information.

"When developing intelligence assessments, initial tactical reports often require additional collection and validation," Haspel said .

"Leaks compromise and disrupt the critical interagency work to collect, assess, and ascribe culpability," she added, strongly suggesting that indeed there was not enough to go on concerning the Russian bounty allegations for it to rise to the level of the commander-in-chief.

A number of pundits took this as a clear denial that there was anything significant or worthy of briefing the president on regarding alleged "Russian bounties" -- meaning it was likely deemed "chatter" or unsubstantiated rumor picked up either by US or British intelligence -- and subsequently leaked to the press to revive the pretty much dead Russiagate narrative of some level of "Trump-Putin collusion".

Still, Congress wants answers in what's already indeed looking like a revived Russiagate scenario conveniently timed for the outrage machine to kick into full gear just ahead of the November election.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said: "If the reports are true, that the administration knew about this Russian operation and did nothing, they have broken the trust of those who serve and the commitment to their families to ensure their loved one's safety," according to The Hill. "It is imperative that the House Armed Services Committee receive detailed answers from the Department of Defense."

And of course newly minted "resistance hero" John Bolton, busy with a media blitz promoting his book, made statements to NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday stating his belief that the president was likely briefed on the matter . The former national security adviser called the Trump denial "remarkable" -- enough to grab headlines .

But considering his careful, ambiguous remarks, it's clear that belief is the operative word here :

"He can disown everything if no-one ever told him about it," Bolton said... "It looks like just another day in the office at the Trump White House."

Bolton said he didn't know the quality of the intelligence on the Russian bounty plan, or the extent of it. And not all information that flows through the many U.S. intelligence agencies is passed on to the commander in chief, Bolton noted.

"There needs to be a filter of intelligence for any president, especially for this president," he said.

"Active Russian aggression like that against American servicemen is a very, very serious matter," Bolton added.

So at this point we are still merely at the level of "impossible to verify or confirm anything", despite the major outlets behind the original story, namely the NY Times and Washington Post, claiming to have "confirmed" each other's reporting.

* * *

Meanwhile, speaking of America's longest war, does anyone at all of Capitol Hill remember this actual confirmed and exhaustively documented story?


[Jul 01, 2020] Three Glaring Problems with the Russian Taliban Bounty Story by Barbara Boland

Highly recommended!
This is an attempt to move Trump in the direction of more harsher politics toward Russia. So not Bolton's but Obama ears are protruding above this dirty provocation.
Notable quotes:
"... According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper's reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow's provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action. ..."
"... Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton's credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee. ..."
"... "Who can forget how 'successful' interrogators can be in getting desired answers?" writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false. ..."
"... This story is "WMD [all over] again," said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe. ..."
"... The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is "tough," which may have motivated the leakers. It's certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves. ..."
"... Not only did CIA et al.'s leak get even with Trump for years of insults and ignoring their reports (Trump is politically wounded by this story), but it also achieved their primary objective of keeping Putin out of the G7 and muzzling Trump's threats to withdraw from NATO because Russia is our friend (well his, anyway). ..."
"... Point 4: the whole point of the Talibans is to fight to the death whichever country tries to control and invade Afghanistan. They didn't need the Russians to tell them to fight the US Army, did they? ..."
"... Point 5: Russia tried to organise a mediation process between the Afghan government and the Talibans already in 2018 - so why would they be at the same time trying to fuel the conflict? A stable Afghanistan is more convenient to them, given the geographical position of the country. ..."
"... As much as I love to see everyone pile on trump, this is another example of a really awful policy having bad outcomes. If Bush, Obama, trump, or anyone at the pentagon gave a crap about the troops, they wouldn't have kept them in Afghanistan and lied about the fact they were losing the whole time. ..."
"... the idea is stupid. Russia doesn't need to do anything to motivate Afghans to want to boot the invaders out of their country, and would want to attract negative attention in doing so. ..."
"... Contrast with the CIA motivations for this absurd narrative. Chuck Schumer famously commented that the intelligence agencies had ways of getting back at you, and it looks like you took the bait, hook, line and sinker. ..."
"... And a fourth CIA goal: it undermines Trump's relationship with the military. ..."
"... Having failed in its Russia "collusion" and "Russia stole the election" campaigns to oust Trump, this is just the latest effort by the Deep State and mass media to use unhinged Russophobia to try to boost Biden and damage Trump. ..."
"... The contemporary left hate Russia , because Russia is carving out it own sphere of influence and keeping the Americans out, because it saved Assad from the western backed sunni head choppers (that the left cheered on, as they killed native Orthodox, and Catholic Christians). The Contempary left hate Russia because it cracks down on LGBT propaganda, banned porn hub, and return property to the Church , which the leftist Bolsheviks stole, the Contempaty left hate Russia because it cracked down on it western backed oligarchs who plundered Russia in the 90's. ..."
Jul 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday alleges that Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops. Obscured by an extremely bungled White House press response, there are at least three serious flaws with the reporting.

The article alleges that GRU, a top-secret unit of Russian military intelligence, offered the bounty in payment for every U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan, and that at least one member of the U.S. military was alleged to have been killed in exchange for the bounties. According to the paper, U.S. intelligence concluded months ago that the Russian unit involved in the bounties was also linked to poisonings, assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe. The Times reports that United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan came to this conclusion about Russian bounties some time in 2019.

According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper's reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow's provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action.

Immediately after the news broke Friday, the Trump administration denied the report -- or rather, they denied that the President was briefed, depending on which of the frenetic, contradictory White House responses you read.

Traditionally, the President of the United States receives unconfirmed, and sometimes even raw intelligence, in the President's Daily Brief, or PDB. Trump notoriously does not read his PDB, according to reports.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a statement Saturday night that neither Trump nor Vice President Pence "were ever briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Times in its reporting yesterday."

On Sunday night, Trump tweeted that not only was he not told about the alleged intelligence, but that it was not credible."Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP" Pence, Trump wrote Sunday night on Twitter.

Ousted National Security Advisor John Bolton said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Trump was probably claiming ignorance in order to justify his administration's lack of response.

"He can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it," said Bolton.

Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton's credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee.

The explanations for what exactly happened, and who was briefed, continued to shift Monday.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany followed Trump's blanket denial with a statement that the intelligence concerning Russian bounty information was "unconfirmed." She didn't say the intelligence wasn't credible, like Trump had said the day before, only that there was "no consensus" and that the "veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated," which happens to almost completely match the Sunday night statement from the White House's National Security Council.

Instead of saying that the sources for the Russian bounty story were not credible and the story was false, or likely false, McEnany then said that Trump had "not been briefed on the matter."

"He was not personally briefed on the matter," she said. "That is all I can share with you today."

It's difficult to see how the White House thought McEnany's statement would help, and a bungled press response like this is communications malpractice, according to sources who spoke to The American Conservative.

Let's take a deeper dive into some of the problems with the reporting here:

1. Anonymous U.S. and Taliban sources?

The Times article repeatedly cites unnamed "American intelligence officials." The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal articles "confirming" the original Times story merely restate the allegations of the anonymous officials, along with caveats like "if true" or "if confirmed."

Furthermore, the unnamed intelligence sources who spoke with the Times say that their assessment is based "on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals."

That's a red flag, said John Kiriakou, a former analyst and case officer for the CIA who led the team that captured senior al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002. "When you capture a prisoner, and you're interrogating him, the prisoner is going to tell you what he thinks you want to hear," he said in an interview with The American Conservative . "There's no evidence here, there's no proof."

"Who can forget how 'successful' interrogators can be in getting desired answers?" writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false.

Kiriakou believes that the sources behind the report hold important clues on how the government viewed its credibility.

"We don't know who the source is for this. We don't know if they've been vetted, polygraphed; were they a walk-in; were they a captured prisoner?"

If the sources were suspect, as they appear to be here, then Trump would not have been briefed on this at all.

With this story, it's important to start at the "intelligence collection," said Kiriakou. "This information appeared in the [CIA World Intelligence Review] Wire, which goes to hundreds of people inside the government, mostly at the State Department and the Pentagon. The most sensitive information isn't put in the Wire; it goes only in the PDB."

"If this was from a single source intelligence, it wouldn't have been briefed to Trump. It's not vetted, and it's not important enough. If you caught a Russian who said this, for example, that would make it important enough. But some Taliban detainees saying it to an interrogator, that does not rise to the threshold."

2. What purpose would bounties serve?

Everyone and their mother knows Trump wants to pull the troops out of Afghanistan, said Kiriakou.

"He ran on it and he has said it hundreds of times," he said. "So why would the Russians bother putting a bounty on U.S. troops if we're about to leave Afghanistan shortly anyway?"

That's leaving aside Russia's own experience with the futility of Afghanistan campaigns, learned during its grueling 9-year war there in the 1980s.

If this bounty campaign is real, it would not appear to be very effective, as only eight U.S. military members were killed in Afghanistan in 2020. The New York Times could not verify that even one U.S. military member was killed due to an alleged Russian bounty.

The Taliban denies it accepted bounties from Russian intelligence.

"These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless -- our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources," Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told The New York Times . "That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don't attack them."

The Russian Embassy in the United States called the reporting "fake news."

While the Russians are ruthless, "it's hard to fathom what their motivations could be" here, said Paul Pillar, an academic and 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, in an interview with The American Conservative. "What would they be retaliating for? Some use of force in Syria recently? I don't know. I can't string together a particular sequence that makes sense at this time. I'm not saying that to cast doubt on reports the Russians were doing this sort of thing."

3. Why is this story being leaked now?

According to U.S. officials quoted by the AP, top officials in the White House "were aware of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans" in early 2019. So why is this story just coming out now?

This story is "WMD [all over] again," said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe.

The NYT story serves to bolster the narrative that Trump sides with Russia, and against our intelligence community estimates and our own soldiers lives.

The stories "are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans -- which seems to have been the main objective," writes McGovern. "There [Trump] goes again -- not believing our 'intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin.'"

"I don't believe this story and I think it was leaked to embarrass the President," said Kiriakou. "Trump is on the ropes in the polls; Biden is ahead in all the battleground states."

If these anonymous sources had spoken up during the impeachment hearings, their statements could have changed history.

But the timing here, "kicking a man when he is down, is extremely like the Washington establishment. A leaked story like this now, embarrasses and weakens Trump," he said. "It was obvious that Trump would blow the media response, which he did."

The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is "tough," which may have motivated the leakers. It's certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves.

Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill , UK Spectator , and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .


Tomonthebeach 9 hours ago • edited

Caitlin Johnstone was the first journalist to question this NYT expose' several days ago in her blog. After looking into it, I had to agree with her that the story was junk reporting by a news source eager to stick it to Trump for his daily insults. NYT must love the irony of a "fake news" story catching fire and burning Trump politically. After all, paying people to kill their own enemies? That is a "tip," not a bounty. It is more of an intel footnote than the game-changer in international relations as asserted by Speaker Pelosi on TV as she grabbed her pearls beneath her stylish COVID mask.

I was surprised that Ms. Boland could not think of any motivation for leaking the story right now given recent grousing on the Hill about Trump's inviting Putin to G7 over the objections of Merkel and several other NATO heads of state. I even posted a congratulatory message in Defense One yesterday to the US Intel community for mission accomplished.

Not only did CIA et al.'s leak get even with Trump for years of insults and ignoring their reports (Trump is politically wounded by this story), but it also achieved their primary objective of keeping Putin out of the G7 and muzzling Trump's threats to withdraw from NATO because Russia is our friend (well his, anyway).

Connecticut Farmer Tomonthebeach 3 hours ago

That "bounty" story never passed the smell test, even to my admittedly untrained nose. My real problem is that it's a story in the first place, given that Trump campaigned on a platform that included bringing the boys home from sand hills like Afghanistan; yet here we are, four years later, and we're still there.

Lavinia 6 hours ago

Point 4: the whole point of the Talibans is to fight to the death whichever country tries to control and invade Afghanistan. They didn't need the Russians to tell them to fight the US Army, did they?

Point 5: Russia tried to organise a mediation process between the Afghan government and the Talibans already in 2018 - so why would they be at the same time trying to fuel the conflict? A stable Afghanistan is more convenient to them, given the geographical position of the country.

This whole story is completely ridiculous. Totally bogus.

Wally 5 hours ago

As much as I love to see everyone pile on trump, this is another example of a really awful policy having bad outcomes. If Bush, Obama, trump, or anyone at the pentagon gave a crap about the troops, they wouldn't have kept them in Afghanistan and lied about the fact they were losing the whole time.

Of course people are trying to kill US military in Afghanistan. If I lived in Afghanistan, I'd probably hate them too. And let's not forget that just a few weeks ago the 82nd airborne was ready to kill American civilians in DC. The military is our enemy too!

If you are in the US military today, please quit.

https://www.washingtonpost....

Don't ever forget how they lied to us.

Feral Finster 4 hours ago

Moreover, the idea is stupid. Russia doesn't need to do anything to motivate Afghans to want to boot the invaders out of their country, and would want to attract negative attention in doing so.

The purported bounty program doesn't help Russia, but the anonymous narrative does conveniently serve several CIA purposes:
1. It makes it harder to leave Afghanistan.
2. It keeps the cold war with Russia going along.
3. It damages Trump (whose relationship with the CIA is testy at best).

Then there's the question of how this supposed intelligence was gathered. The CIA tortures people, and there's no reason to believe that this was any different.

Feral Finster Sidney Caesar 2 hours ago

1. Russia wants a stable Afghanistan. Not a base for jihadis.

2. The idea that Russia has to encourage Afghans to kill Invaders is a hoot. They don't ever do that on their own.

3. Not only do Afghans traditionally need no motivation to kill infidel foreign Invaders, but Russia would have to be incredibly stupid to bring more American enmity on itself.

Contrast with the CIA motivations for this absurd narrative. Chuck Schumer famously commented that the intelligence agencies had ways of getting back at you, and it looks like you took the bait, hook, line and sinker.

Either that, or you're just cynical. You'll espouse anything, however absurd and full of lies, as long as it damages Trump.

I detest Trump, but I am not a list.

Wally Feral Finster 3 hours ago

I don't have a clue if this bounty story is correct, but I can imagine plenty of reasons why the Russians would do it. It's easy enough to believe it or believe it was cooked up by CIA as you suggest.

Feral Finster Feral Finster 2 hours ago

And a fourth CIA goal: it undermines Trump's relationship with the military.

FND 4 hours ago

There will be one of these BS blockbusters every few weeks until the election. There are legions of buried-in democrat political appointees that will continue to feed the DNC press. It will be non-stop. The DNC press is shredding the 1st amendment.

former-vet FND 2 hours ago

Not shredding the First Amendment, just shining light on the pitfalls of a right to freedom of speech. There are others ramifications to free speech we consider social goods.

Kent FND 2 hours ago

These aren't buried-in democrats. These people could care less which political party the President is a member of. They only care that the President does what they say. Political parties are just to bamboozle the rubes. They are the real power.

Connecticut Farmer 4 hours ago

"U.S. Intelligence"-lol--a contradiction in terms. Just repeat three times: "George 'Slam Dunk' Tenet."

Sidney Caesar Connecticut Farmer 3 hours ago

Tenet knew his role- he said what his superiors wanted to hear: https://www.motherjones.com... The Iraq debacle was a top-down con job.

Stephen R Gould 3 hours ago • edited

The best defence that the WSJ and Fox News could muster was that the story wasn't confirmed as the NSA didn't have the same confidence in the assessment as the CIA. "Is there anything else to which you would wish to draw my attention?" "To the curious incident of the denial from the White House", "There was no denial from the White House". "That was the curious incident".

I note that Fox News had buried the story "below the scroll" on their home page - if they had though the story was fake, the headlines would be screaming at MSM.

maxsnafu 3 hours ago

I was suspicious when I saw it originated in Walter Duranty's newspaper.

The Derp State 3 hours ago

"What if Obama...." #4,267

former-vet 2 hours ago • edited

Pravda was a far more honest and objective news source than The New York Times is. I say that as someone who read both for long periods of time. The Times is on par with the National Enquirer for credibility, with the latter at least being less propagandistic and agenda-driven.

SatirevFlesti 2 hours ago

Having failed in its Russia "collusion" and "Russia stole the election" campaigns to oust Trump, this is just the latest effort by the Deep State and mass media to use unhinged Russophobia to try to boost Biden and damage Trump.

The extent to which the contemporary Left is driven by a level of Russophobia unseen even by the most stalwart anti-Communists on the Right during the Cold War is truly something to behold. I think at bottom it comes down to not liking Putin or Russia because they refuse to get on board with the Left's social agenda.

James SatirevFlesti 2 hours ago • edited

The contemporary left hate Russia , because Russia is carving out it own sphere of influence and keeping the Americans out, because it saved Assad from the western backed sunni head choppers (that the left cheered on, as they killed native Orthodox, and Catholic Christians). The Contempary left hate Russia because it cracks down on LGBT propaganda, banned porn hub, and return property to the Church , which the leftist Bolsheviks stole, the Contempaty left hate Russia because it cracked down on it western backed oligarchs who plundered Russia in the 90's.

The Contempary left wants Russia to be Woke, Broke, Godless, and Gay.

The democrats are now the cheerleaders of the warfare -welfare state,, the marriage between the neolibs-neocons under the Democrat party to ensure that President Trump is defeated by the invade the world, invite the world crowd.

WilliamRD TheSnark 44 minutes ago

"The Trumpies are right in that this was obviously a leak by the intel community designed to hurt Trump. But what do you expect...he has spent 4 years insulting and belittling them. They are going to get their pound of flesh."

Intel community was behind an attempted coup of Trump. He has good reason not to trust them and insulting is only natural. Hopefully John Durham will indict several of them

Kent an hour ago

I honestly don't find "unnamed officials", the CIA, the NSA, the NYT, John Bolton, or President Trump to be credible sources.

Sidney Caesar Kent an hour ago • edited

I've found myself to be the only honest and trustworthy person- everyone should just listen to me.

WilliamRD 42 minutes ago • edited

Montage: Mainstream Media Hype About Russia Collusion https://twitter.com/ggreenw...

WilliamRD 36 minutes ago

Russiagate's Last Gasp https://consortiumnews.com/...

phreethink 20 minutes ago • edited

Interesting take. I certainly take anything anyone publishes based on anonymous sources with a big grain of salt, especially when it comes from the NYT...

[Jul 01, 2020] In any NYT CIA-inspired provocation you can safely replace the word Russia with the USA and get closer to the truth

Jul 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ian2 , Jun 28 2020 17:13 utc | 28

Regarding the latest NYT drivel, always replace the target's name (in this case Russia) with the US. I'm sure everyone here knows that Washington DC blames others for the sins they've committed themselves.

vk | Jun 28 2020 15:46 utc | 17:

Playing the contrarian here. No politician, especially Putin, would admit it as it would make themselves look incompetent. Russia got enough crap flung their way.


David G , Jun 28 2020 17:22 utc | 31

Regarding Vladimir Putin, Bounty Hunter:

Having read the NY Times article, I'm struck by how thin it is in objective terms, journalistically speaking. Even if one accepted the legitimacy of running self-serving, secret-state sourced pieces like this, there should at least be a story. In this article, if one were to cut away the parts where the writers admit (commendably) the things they don't know, and all the background of Perfidious Muscovy's alleged war on the good (which, even if one buys into it, isn't news broken by this article), there would be barely anything left: just a naked assertion without details or narrative. And yet the mainstream media echo chamber kicks into gear completely untroubled.

I guess I'm advocating for the propagandists to at least show some pride in their work.

As for the substance of the article, meager as it is: aside from the fact that there's no reason to believe it on the basis of this (ahem) reporting, I haven't seen anybody point out that it's difficult to see what policy Russia would be advancing by doing it.

If Moscow wanted to aid the Taliban in ongoing military operations, this would be an extremely inefficient use of Russian resources.

On the other hand, one could see such payments as encouraging fighters to break discipline and attack U.S. forces despite the extant U.S.-Taliban ceasefire, thus attacking both sides and thereby prolonging the war. I wouldn't put such unsavory tactics beyond Russia (or any other state), but I find it hard to believe they'd risk poisoning relations with the future rulers of Afganistan just to give the U.S. a tiny additional impetus to do what it already specializes in without their encouragement: waging endless, no-win wars.

Still, I could be made to believe that last possibility if there were any actual reporting to support it, or even more skillful propaganda to fool me.

Peter AU1 , Jun 28 2020 17:27 utc | 32

From the TASS piece quoted by b on Afghanistan "The Russian Foreign Ministry suggested that those actions might stem from the fact that the US intelligence agencies "do not like that our and their diplomats have teamed up to facilitate the start of peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban"

The US is divided between nationalists and an anglo globalist deep state. I have started reading the Mathew Ehret articles at Strategic Culture https://www.strategic-culture.org/contributors/matthew-ehret/ Putin has said the domestic problems in the US are signs or symptoms of a much deeper problem. The last four or so articles by Ehret are about the anglo deep state that is driving the globalist agenda.

Piotr Berman , Jun 28 2020 20:36 utc | 64

one could see such payments as encouraging fighters to break discipline and attack U.S. forces despite the extant U.S.-Taliban ceasefire,...
David G | Jun 28 2020 17:22 utc

David made clear that this is a hypothetical that he discusses only as a point to argue something else.

Still, the article was sufficiently well written that it made clear that no American soldiers were killed after the ceasefire with Taliban in February. There article is actually clear that the evidence is thinner than the air at the highest peaks in Afghanistan (which are pretty high), so anyone with some mental faculties (meaning, pitifully small minority of the readers, although THAT estimate is based on the comments and recommends that were probably manipulated) can figure it out.

On the other hand, for people who treat our media with some trust, Russians are incredible bunglers. The unit that supervised the bounties (or most probably among the Russian intelligence units) is also attributed with failed assassination of Skripals, three (!!??) failed poisoning attempts on a Bulgarian weapon manufacturers and a failed coup in Montenegro, and now, additionally it is credited with a scheme to kill American soldiers that did not result in any killing, but in a wad of American currency found in a Taliban outpost. I guess that the full name of the unit is Boris & Natasha Ltd.

Russian (alleged) scheme to split Catalonia from Spain and another, to have Bernie Sanders win primaries, failed too. One could write an article summarizing that record to conclude that because of indefatigable efforts of our intelligence agencies and their apt allies (yes, Australia, you can bask in glory as well), we can sleep in peace.

David G , Jun 28 2020 23:25 utc | 70

Piotr Berman | Jun 28 2020 20:36 utc | 63:

Yeah, for the mental exercise if nothing else, I try to imagine a scenario in which the Russians might have done this. As you say, if the "bounties" have been on offer during the ceasefire, they have had no effect. The Times article is vague enough that it leaves open it might be referring to a pre-ceasefire time frame, but then we're back to it being a stupid way to try to support the Taliban militarily.

Back in the real world, Scott Ritter, noting the real Russia wants the U.S. out of Afghanistan, suggests the report originated from the Afghan security agency (NDS), was picked up by the CIA, and turned into a junk intelligence product good enough for the NY Times, the motive being an attempt to sabotage the (putative) U.S. withdrawal and generally mess with Trump. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/493174-nyt-report-russia-afghanistan/

Christian J. Chuba , Jun 28 2020 23:35 utc | 71

Russia pays Taliban to kill U.S. troops

The 'deep state' spits this stuff out anonymously because they know that our sheep in the NYT, WaPo, and WSJ will publish it without criticism and the sheep reporting it on news shows will accept it without fact.

Critical thinking: comparing motives
The deep state hates Trump's plan to withdraw troops from Germany, Afghanistan, re-admit Russia to the G7 (making it the G8), and wants to stir up conflict with Russia.
Russia: Motives
- Piss off their EU customers so that they will pay a premium to buy US / Qatar LNG instead of Russian NG?
- Derail Trump's plan to withdraw from Afghanistan, Germany, get back into the G7/8, and my favorite from CNN's 'Russia Expert' Putin is a tactician not a strategist (ie. Putin is really dumb).
- Russia wants to provoke a U.S. retaliation for us to kill their troops.

Since there is no rational motive for Russia to do this but their are motives for the 'unnamed sources' to like or exaggerate their claims our MSM should question this tall tale.

I love the outrage by commentators, 'If Trump was not informed then someone should be fired'. Note, our idiotic MSM accepts the premise as a fact.

Christian J. Chuba , Jun 28 2020 23:54 utc | 72

... Russia pays Taliban motives cont.

To be fair there is one plausible motive given by Gordon Duff by Veterans Today https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/06/28/the-nasty-truth-behind-the-russian-ordered-hit-on-american-troops-and-the-trump-coverup/ for Russia to do this. He claims it was payback for the 150 Russians we killed in Syria as well as to deter the Mad Donald from doing this again. If this account is true then it would have been logical for Russia to call off the hit once the Mad Donald got the message and stopped attacking Russians in Syria.

BTW I don't know what to make of Veterans Today, it's on the very end of the spectrum of what I am willing to read before I consider a website too far out there but it does have a good article every once in a while, and yeah, it's kind of a guilty pleasure even when it doesn't.

I still think the balance of evidence favors this being U.S. deep state misinformation.

arby , Jun 29 2020 0:32 utc | 75

On Afghanistan Caitlin Chimes in.

karlof1 , Jun 29 2020 1:20 utc | 78

FLASH NEWS BULLETIN!!!

Americans pay their government to lie to them through major news media! Although it's been ongoing for decades, some are just now getting the message! But then, that's only some. And polling data shows demonstratively that a majority of the American public still find the national government and major media credible--but just barely. Many are incensed at this recent data and continue to rebel; but against what specifically, they have no unified answer.

If honest reporting from major media actually became the norm, would we believe it?

Christian J. Chuba , Jun 29 2020 2:09 utc | 82

karlof1 @76, I take your post about about 'duh everyone knows American News Media lies (synopsis)' as sarcasm directed at me. I wish it was true that a slim majority of Americans still believe the MSM but the vast majority is greatly influenced by them.

Examples, if you poll Americans at which countries are a big threat to the U.S., Iran, Russia, N.Korea and China fluctuate wildly based on who our corrupt foreign policy establishment is attacking at the moment. So while the U.S. public distrusts the MSM in the abstract, they still absorb their poisonous fruit.
Let me mourn I am not pretending to have a brand new revelation but as an Engineer I see this as a system that is incapable of correcting itself so it bothers me. If something is bad but I see a possibility that it can get better it does not bother me as much but this feedback is perfectly broken.

1. Deep state lies to MSM. 2. MSM accepts lies uncritically, 3. public never punishes liars in group 1 or 2 because hey, they are attacking Iranians, Russians, Chinese ... who cares about them.

The only way this changes is for us to lose a war ... fan-damn-tastic.

snow_watcher , Jun 29 2020 2:15 utc | 83

The UK falls in line like a good patsy...

Russia paid Taliban-linked fighters to attack British troops - as senior Tory MP seeks answers

https://news.sky.com/story/russia-paid-taliban-fighters-to-attack-british-troops-in-afghanistan-12016425

This COVID issue is slowly dawning on people and the impacts and costs will be significant...

Risk of never fully recovering after coronavirus 'very real,' scientists say

https://globalnews.ca/news/7111094/coronavirus-scientists-health-problems/

America, the pariah state is getting walled off from the rest of the world.

With reference to my comment at #18, younger people are quickly getting infected, I should add that the large gatherings in the form of protests across the nation are also a key vector.

[Jul 01, 2020] Looks like the same people who used to push records up the pop charts are now manipulating the Amazon best sellers charts, though I wouldn't put this past Amazon themselves.

Jul 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

AlfieDolittle , 1 minute ago

Amazon's No 1 Bestseller?

Looks like the same people who used to push records up the pop charts are now manipulating the Amazon best sellers charts, though I wouldn't put this past Amazon themselves.

No one buys this garbage other than uni libraries.

scott157 , 2 minutes ago

Matt Taibbi hits ANOTHER grand slam!!!!! regarding robin diangelo, she should cease scissoring and try a penis........it would spread sunshine all over her place.......................

Michael Norton , 4 minutes ago

Someone should write a book called White Strength.

novictim , 4 minutes ago

And let us never forget the crackpot theory that only Blacks cannot be racist 'cuz P + P + R -> (Prejudice + Power) = Racism.

This social theory defines blacks as being definitionally incapable of possessing power over whites. Ya, that's not racist at all!

johnnyg , 5 minutes ago

Teaming up with Ruth Frankenberg to help attack "fellow whites"? Oy vey!

I wonder if it's "fragility" to need every university, multinational corp, media monopoly, and celebrity constantly patting you on the *** and silencing any criticism of your constant terrible behavior?

Shirley Yugest , 5 minutes ago

She should end her whiteness immediately.

[Jun 30, 2020] Is this Eastern European diaspora provocation?

The "foreign intelligence official" who supposedly leaked this deso to NYT may have come from a country that wishes to increase US-Russian hostility, in particular, I would be unsurprised if the country in question was one characterized by some pretty intense fluctuations regarding its territorial size courtesy of comparable fluctuations in Russian controlled territory over the centuries.
Jun 30, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
A.I.S. | 30 June 2020 at 09:00 AM

Why would Russia offered money to Afghan militants to kill US troops?

I find the arguments to be highly unpersuasive.

  1. First, Russia is, generally speaking, not in the habit of paying people, in particular people they arent very fond of, for things they were going to do anyway. If you think the Talebs require Russian financial incentives to kill Americans where they reasonably can I have a bridge over the Pacific to sell you.

  2. Secondly, while there is plently of things the Russian would want to extract payback for, using the Talebs of all people adds to much risk for too little gain. Even using the same "scheme" of offering boutnies, well. Offering bounties to Syrian/Iraqi/Lebanese organisations for pretty much the same thing would be less risky (these organisations are farther from the Russian homeland and have less of a hostile history with Russia, in addition, Iran rather then Russia would likely get blamed for it) and about as rewarding.

  3. Third: I fully expect that Trump was not briefed on this "information". It is actually quite simple, a lot of "intelligence" goes into the US. Then you have people called analysts, who, among other frequently more interesting things, make judgement calls in what to pass on or not and if yes with what caveats. This process is repeated several times, until at some point something ends up with the US National Security council and/or the president himself.

If the analysts make the, in my opinion wholly justified decisions, that the information is somewhere between speculation and outright lies, they will not pass it further up the foodchain.

What I do not know is what types of record keeping are used in the US for the analysts, who probably have to document their decision on whether to pass certain information or not in writing probably including their reasoning, it is quite possible that one of the reasons for not sending it up the food chains was that the "foreign intelligence official" may have come from a country that wishes to increase US-Russian hostility, in particular, I would be unsurprised if the country in question was one characterized by some pretty intense fluctuations regarding its territorial size courtesy of comparable fluctuations in Russian controlled territory over the centuries.

[Jun 30, 2020] Notable also that this ludicrous story, whose promotion by the MI6 Guardian confirms the obvious suspicions about it, also includes the wild claim that the Russian unit responsible for the bounties was also behind the "Novichok" "attack" on the Skripals.

The NYT propaganda, true to form and loyal to Dem Russophobes just one more attempt to manufacture consent. MI6 Guardian is just a stooge.
Jun 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
bevin , Jun 29 2020 22:11 utc | 178

Brendan@164

Notable also that this ludicrous story, whose promotion by the MI6 Guardian confirms the obvious suspicions about it, also includes the wild claim that the Russian unit responsible for the bounties was also behind the "Novichok" "attack" on the Skripals.
It is another loyalty oath operation designed to force intelligent people into professing to believe incredible nonsense.
The bottom line of the bounty claim is that very few Americans have in fact been killed. If there were an actual bounty the country is full of GIs ripe for plucking. And the money compares well with poppy growing.

[Jun 29, 2020] After Iraq WMD and Russia Collusion, we should ask for real evidence instead of the top intelligence sources

Petty scoundrels from NYT are not that inventive. They just want to whitewash Russiagate fiasco. This whole "story" stinks to high heaven. Judy Miller redux - regime-change info ops, coordinated across multiple media organizations.
Notable quotes:
"... After Iraq WMD and Russia Collusion, we should ask for real evidence instead of the "top intelligence sources". And we should not buy we can't provide any evidence because of sources & methods. ..."
"... On a practical note, how was a Taliban soldier militant meant to verify his claim to a bounty? I assume that scalping was not a feasible option, but if you are going to offer a bounty then you are going to want proof that the person claiming that bounty did, indeed, do the job. ..."
Jun 29, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill US troops" - TTG - Sic Semper Tyrannis

blue peacock | 27 June 2020 at 10:19 PM

After Iraq WMD and Russia Collusion, we should ask for real evidence instead of the "top intelligence sources". And we should not buy we can't provide any evidence because of sources & methods.

Be skeptical of anything published by Pravda on the Hudson and Pravda on the Potomac when it comes to intelligence matters. Especially months before a general election.

Fred | 27 June 2020 at 10:32 PM

On to Moscow! Where's Bomb'n Bolton when we need him? "a European intelligence official told CNN."..... "The official did not specify as to the date of the casualties, their number or nationality, or whether these were fatalities or injuries."

So, unknown official, unknown date, unknown if there were any actual casualties.

"The US concluded that the GRU was behind the interference in the 2016 US election and cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee and top Democratic officials."

Quick, someone tell the House Impeachment Inquiry Committee! Oh, wait, that was Ukraine. What did Mueller collude, I mean conclude, about that Russian interference?

Let me quote the former acting DNI: "You clearly don't understand how raw intel gets verified. Leaks of partial information to reporters from anonymous sources is dangerous because people like you manipulate it for political gain."

https://twitter.com/RichardGrenell/status/1277024942232530945

I believe he was tweeting that to the press, but then they are doing this for political reasons. Lockdowns and socialist revolutionary riots must not be working in the left's favor. I wonder why?

Yeah, Right | 28 June 2020 at 12:50 AM

On a practical note, how was a Taliban soldier militant meant to verify his claim to a bounty? I assume that scalping was not a feasible option, but if you are going to offer a bounty then you are going to want proof that the person claiming that bounty did, indeed, do the job.

So if a coalition soldier died on *this* day how was a Talibani supposed to confirm to the GRU that "Yep, I did that. Where's my money?"

TTG, I think you are being led away from the truth by your significant bias against Russia. Those with a blinkered vision see only what they want to see. No mystery there.

Now you want to portray NYT as the paragon of truth telling!! Haven't we seen enough examples of the lying by Jewish owned neocon media, especially the Times? Now that the Russia-gate fire is nearly put out, these guys are pumping this story.
You really need to understand the depth of hatred the Jews have for Russia and Russians that makes them like this. That's the only country /civilisation that got away from their grasp just when they thought have got it. Not once, but twice in the last century.

But then isn't your ancestry from Lithuania. Your hatred is strong. I get that - I see that all time with people from the ex-Soviet republics formerly ruled by Russia. Hope others see that too.

Barbara Ann , 28 June 2020 at 09:42 AM

Regardless of its veracity, this story will definitely hit Trump where it hurts - chapeau to the individual(s) who conceived this work of fiction, if indeed it is so.

Again, whether or not performance bonuses* were actually offered by the GRU, has anyone considered that this may still be a Russian Intelligence op?

Perhaps we should first ask whether the Kremlin wants to deal with a US under another 4 years of Trump. From their FP POV, the huge uncertainty and instability they see in the US now will surely be ramped up to a whole new level, in the event that he is re-elected. And of course all hope that Trump may be able to improve the relationship with Russia was dashed long ago, by Russiagate and the ongoing Russophobia among the Borg. Jeffrey's mission in Syria is a case in point. At least the US Deep State is the devil they know.

If the answer to the above question is "no" it must surely be a trivial matter for the GRU to feed such a damaging story to Trump's enemies in the USIC.

* "bounties" is an emotive word, useful to Trump's enemies, evoking individual pay for an individual death - real personal stuff. As others have pointed out the practicality of such a scheme seems improbable. Surely it is more likely that any such incentive pay would be for the group, upon coalition casualties confirmed in the aftermath of an attack. The distinction may not seem important, but the Resistance media can be relied upon to use language designed to inflict the most harm.

Flavius , 28 June 2020 at 09:48 AM

'Intel' without evidence is "bunk". Have we learned nothing from Chrissy Steele and the Russiagate fiasco - I know a guy who knows a guy who said... the Russians are bad and Donald Trump is an a......e. Bob Mueller and 18 pissed off democrats have concluded that the Russians are systemically bad and Donald Trump is an a......e. 4 months before a Presidential election intel sources have revealed to the NYT that the Russians are very very bad and Donald Trump is an a......e. Ah yes, the New York Ridiculously Self Degraded Times has broken another important story. I wonder why? Enough already...and yes, we have made a systemic laughing stock of ourselves.

Oh, and remind me again of why we've been staying around Kabul - something about improving the lot of women, or gays, or someone?

Diana Croissant , 28 June 2020 at 09:51 AM

I'm personally not ready to "duck and cover" after reading this.

I have accepted the fact that Russia is no longer the Soviet Union. I am watching television news at night but no longer see the clock ticking as I turn it off and go to sleep. So far, no one I know has taken to building a fallout shelter in his back yard.

I want an answer to this question: Whatever happened to the pillow and blanket I had to bring to school and store in the school's basement in case we all had to retreat there and be locked down in it during the bombing? Who do I go to to get reparations for the cost of those items? (I was never given the opportunity to retrieve them when I graduated.) Did Khrushchev have to take his shoe to a cobbler after using it to pound on the table while threatening to bury us?

Babak makkinejad , 28 June 2020 at 10:19 AM

TTG

The rebuttal from Russia.

Which raises the ante by making very very serious accusations of drug trade by US Intelligence.

https://tass.com/russia/1172369/amp?__twitter_impression=true

Charlie Wilson , 28 June 2020 at 11:06 AM

I think the killing of soldiers should be strictly forbidden. Only civilians should be targeted. It is easier and no one gives a shit.

The Twisted Genius , 28 June 2020 at 11:17 AM

Babak,

There's a rich history of stories about USI involvement in the drug trade. CIA was involved in the heroin trade during the Viet Nam War. The Iran-Contra mess involved selling Columbian cocaine to help finance Nicaraguan anti-Communist rebels. US involvement in the Afghanistan drug trade has been talked about for years. As I said, there are no glitter fartin' unicorns here.

Babak makkinejad , 28 June 2020 at 11:42 AM

TTG

The Iranian statistics do not lie. Transhipment of drugs across Iran from Afghanistan has been increasing since the American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

The US Office of Foreign Asset Control, the US DIA, the CIA etc. are powerless to do anything about that but are, evidently, all powerfull against USD transactions of the Iranian government.

[Jun 28, 2020] Unsophisticated disinformation Moscow rebuffs NYT story alleging Russia offered Taliban money to kill US troops in Afghanist

Notable quotes:
"... "covertly offered rewards" ..."
"... On Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the NYT story as "fake information." ..."
"... This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of the propagandists from US intelligence, who, instead of inventing something more plausible, resort to conjuring up such nonsense. ..."
"... "Then again, what else can one expect from intelligence services that have bungled the 20-year war in Afghanistan," the ministry said. ..."
"... Moscow has suggested that this misinformation was "planted" because the US may be against Russia "assisting" in peace talks between the Taliban and the internationally-recognised government in Kabul. ..."
Jun 27, 2020 | www.rt.com

The Russian Foreign Ministry has rejected a US media report claiming Moscow offered to pay jihadi militants to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan. It said such 'fake news' merely betrays the low skill levels of US spy agencies. Citing US intelligence officials – unnamed, of course – the New York Times reported that, last year, Moscow had "covertly offered rewards" to Taliban-linked militants to attack American troops and their NATO allies in Afghanistan.

On Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the NYT story as "fake information."

This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of the propagandists from US intelligence, who, instead of inventing something more plausible, resort to conjuring up such nonsense.

"Then again, what else can one expect from intelligence services that have bungled the 20-year war in Afghanistan," the ministry said.

Moscow has suggested that this misinformation was "planted" because the US may be against Russia "assisting" in peace talks between the Taliban and the internationally-recognised government in Kabul.

US-led NATO troops have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001. The campaign, launched in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has cost Washington billions of dollars and resulted in the loss of thousands of American soldiers' lives. Despite maintaining a military presence for almost two decades, the US has failed to defeat the Taliban, which is still in control of vast swaths of the country.

Moreover, the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has compiled several reports detailing how tens of millions of US taxpayers' funds have been spent on dubious regeneration projects.

[Jun 28, 2020] It is the US intelligence s job to lie to you. NYT s Afghan bounty story is CIA press release by Caitlin Johnstone

This whole "story" stinks to high heaven. Judy Miller redux - regime-change info ops, coordinated across multiple media organizations.
Notable quotes:
"... To be clear, this is journalistic malpractice. Mainstream media outlets which publish anonymous intelligence claims with no proof are just publishing CIA press releases disguised as news. They're just telling you to believe what sociopathic intelligence agencies want you to believe under the false guise of impartial and responsible reporting. This practice has become ubiquitous throughout mainstream news publications, but that doesn't make it any less immoral. ..."
"... "Same old story: alleged intelligence ops IMPOSSIBLE to verify, leaked to the press which reports them quoting ANONYMOUS officials," tweeted journalist Stefania Maurizi. ..."
"... "So we are to simply believe the same intelligence orgs that paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo, lied about torture in Afghanistan, and lied about premises for war from WMD in Iraq to the Gulf of Tonkin 'attack'? All this and no proof?" ..."
"... "It's totally outrageous for Russia to support the Taliban against Americans in Afghanistan. Of course, it's totally fine for the US to support jihadi rebels against Russians in Syria, jihadi rebels who openly said the Taliban is their hero," ..."
"... On the flip side, all the McResistance pundits have been speaking of this baseless allegation as a horrific event that is known to have happened, with Rachel Maddow going so far as to describe it as Putin offering bounties for the "scalps" of American soldiers in Afghanistan. This is an interesting choice of words, considering that offering bounties for scalps is, in fact, one of the many horrific things the US government did in furthering its colonialist ambitions , which, unlike the New York Times allegation, is known to have actually happened. ..."
Jun 28, 2020 | www.rt.com
By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

Whenever one sees a news headline ending in "US Intelligence Says", one should always mentally replace everything that comes before it with "Blah blah blah we're probably lying."

"Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill Troops, US Intelligence Says", blares the latest viral headline from the New York Times . NYT's unnamed sources allege that the GRU "secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan -- including targeting American troops", and that the Trump administration has known this for months.

To be clear, this is journalistic malpractice. Mainstream media outlets which publish anonymous intelligence claims with no proof are just publishing CIA press releases disguised as news. They're just telling you to believe what sociopathic intelligence agencies want you to believe under the false guise of impartial and responsible reporting. This practice has become ubiquitous throughout mainstream news publications, but that doesn't make it any less immoral.

Also on rt.com There they go again: NYT serves up spy fantasy about Russian 'bounties' on US troops in Afghanistan

In a post-Iraq-invasion world, the only correct response to unproven anonymous claims about a rival government by intelligence agencies from the US or its allies is to assume that they are lying until you are provided with a mountain of independently verifiable evidence to the contrary. The US has far too extensive a record of lying about these things for any other response to ever be justified as rational, and its intelligence agencies consistently play a foundational role in those lies.

Voices outside the mainstream-narrative control matrix have been calling these accusations what they are: baseless, lacking in credibility, and not reflective of anything other than fair play, even if true.

"Same old story: alleged intelligence ops IMPOSSIBLE to verify, leaked to the press which reports them quoting ANONYMOUS officials," tweeted journalist Stefania Maurizi.

America to end 'era of endless wars' & stop being policeman, Trump gives same old election promises he broke

"So we are to simply believe the same intelligence orgs that paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo, lied about torture in Afghanistan, and lied about premises for war from WMD in Iraq to the Gulf of Tonkin 'attack'? All this and no proof?" tweeted author and analyst Jeffrey Kaye.

"It's totally outrageous for Russia to support the Taliban against Americans in Afghanistan. Of course, it's totally fine for the US to support jihadi rebels against Russians in Syria, jihadi rebels who openly said the Taliban is their hero," tweeted author and analyst Max Abrams.

On the flip side, all the McResistance pundits have been speaking of this baseless allegation as a horrific event that is known to have happened, with Rachel Maddow going so far as to describe it as Putin offering bounties for the "scalps" of American soldiers in Afghanistan. This is an interesting choice of words, considering that offering bounties for scalps is, in fact, one of the many horrific things the US government did in furthering its colonialist ambitions , which, unlike the New York Times allegation, is known to have actually happened.

It is true, as many have been pointing out, that it would be fair play for Russia to fund violent opposition the the US in Afghanistan, seeing as that's exactly what the US and its allies have been doing to Russia and its allies in Syria, and did to the Soviets in Afghanistan via Operation Cyclone . It is also true that the US military has no business in Afghanistan anyway, and any violence inflicted on US troops abroad is the fault of the military expansionists who put them there. The US military has no place outside its own easily defended borders, and the assumption that it is normal for a government to circle the planet with military bases is a faulty premise.

'Unsophisticated' disinformation: Moscow rebuffs NYT story alleging Russia offered Taliban money to kill US troops in Afghanistan

But before even getting into such arguments, the other side of the debate must meet its burden of proof that this has even happened. That burden is far from met. It is literally the US intelligence community's job to lie to you. The New York Times has an extensive history of pushing for new wars at every opportunity, including the unforgivable Iraq invasion , which killed a million people, based on lies. A mountain of proof is required before such claims should be seriously considered, and we are very, very far from that.

I will repeat myself: it is the US intelligence community's job to lie to you. I will repeat myself again: it is the US intelligence community's job to lie to you. Don't treat these CIA press releases with anything but contempt.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

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

[Jun 26, 2020] What Americans Fear Most In The JFK Assassination, Part 1

Notable quotes:
"... I concluded that the circumstantial evidence pointing toward a regime-change operation has reached critical mass. Based on that evidence, for me the Kennedy assassination is not a conspiracy theory but rather the fact of a national-security state regime-change operation, no different in principle than other regime-change operations, including through assassination, carried out by the U.S. national-security establishment, especially through the CIA. ..."
"... I start out with a basic thesis: Lee Harvey Oswald was an intelligence agent for the U.S. deep state. Now, that thesis undoubtedly shocks people who have always believed in the lone-nut theory of the assassination. They just cannot imagine that Oswald could have really been working for the U.S. government at the time of the assassination. ..."
"... Indeed, if you want a modern-day version of how the U.S. national-security state treats suspected traitors and betrayers of its secrets, reflect on Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning. That's how we expect national-security state officials to behave toward those they consider traitors and betrayers of U.S. secrets. ..."
"... Not so with Oswald. With him, we have what amounts to two separate parallel universes. One universe involves all the Cold War hoopla against communists. Another one is the one in which Oswald is sauntering across the world stage as one of America's biggest self-proclaimed communists -- a U.S. Marine communist -- who isn't touched by some congressional investigative committee, some federal grand jury, or some FBI agent. How is that possible? ..."
"... Later, when Oswald ended up in Dallas, his friends were right-wingers, not left-wingers. He even got job at a photographic facility that developed top-secret photographs for the U.S. government. How is that possible? Later, when he ended up in New Orleans, he got hired by a private company that was owned by a fierce anti-communist right-winger. Why would he hire a supposed communist who supposedly had betrayed America by supposedly joining up with America's avowed communist enemy, the Soviet Union, and to whom he had supposedly given U.S. national-security state secrets, just like Julian and Ethel Rosenberg had? ..."
Jun 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

One of the fascinating phenomena in the JFK assassination is the fear of some Americans to consider the possibility that the assassination was actually a regime-change operation carried out by the U.S. national-security establishment rather than simply a murder carried out by a supposed lone-nut assassin.

The mountain of evidence that has surfaced, especially since the 1990s, when the JFK Records Act mandated the release of top-secret assassination-related records within the national-security establishment, has been in the nature of circumstantial evidence, as compared to direct evidence. Thus, I can understand that someone who places little faith in the power of circumstantial evidence might study and review that evidence and decide to embrace the "lone-nut theory" of the case.

But many of the people who have embraced the lone-nut theory have never spent any time studying the evidence in the case and yet have embraced the lone-nut theory. Why? My hunch is that the reason is that they have a deep fear of being labeled a "conspiracy theorist," which is the term the CIA many years ago advised its assets in the mainstream press to employ to discredit those who were questioning the official narrative in the case.

Like many others, I have studied the evidence in the case. After doing that, I concluded that the circumstantial evidence pointing toward a regime-change operation has reached critical mass. Based on that evidence, for me the Kennedy assassination is not a conspiracy theory but rather the fact of a national-security state regime-change operation, no different in principle than other regime-change operations, including through assassination, carried out by the U.S. national-security establishment, especially through the CIA.

Interestingly, there are those who have shown no reluctance to study the facts and circumstances surrounding foreign regime-change operations carried out by the CIA and the Pentagon. But when it comes to the Kennedy assassination, they run for the hills, exclaiming that they don't want to be pulled down the "rabbit hole," meaning that they don't want to take any chances of being labeled a "conspiracy theorist."

For those who have never delved into the Kennedy assassination but have interest in the matter, let me set forth just a few of the reasons that the circumstantial evidence points to a U.S. national-security state regime-change operation. Then, at the end of this article, I'll point out some books and videos for those who wish to explore the matter more deeply.

I start out with a basic thesis: Lee Harvey Oswald was an intelligence agent for the U.S. deep state. Now, that thesis undoubtedly shocks people who have always believed in the lone-nut theory of the assassination. They just cannot imagine that Oswald could have really been working for the U.S. government at the time of the assassination.

Yet, when one examines the evidence in the case objectively, the lone-theory doesn't make any sense. The only thesis that is consistent with the evidence and, well, common sense, is that Oswald was an intelligence agent.

Ask yourself: How many communist Marines have you ever encountered or even heard of? My hunch is none. Not one single communist Marine. Why would a communist join the Marines? Communists hate the U.S. Marine Corps. In fact, the U.S. Marine Corps hates communists. It kills communists. It tortures them. It invades communist countries. It bombs them. It destroys them.

What are the chances that the Marine Corps would permit an openly avowed communist to serve in its ranks? None! There is no such chance. And yet, here was Oswald, whose Marine friends were calling "Oswaldovitch," being assigned to the Atsugi naval base in Japan, where the U.S. Air Force was basing its top-secret U-2 spy plane, one that it was using to secretly fly over the Soviet Union. Why would the Navy and the Air Force permit a self-avowed communist even near the U-2? Does that make any sense?

While Oswald was serving in the Marine Corps, he became fluent in the Russian language. How is that possible? How many people have you known who have become fluent in a foreign langue all on their own, especially when they have a full-time job? Even if they are able to study a foreign language from books, they have to practice conversing with people in that language to become proficient in speaking it. How did Oswald do that? There is but one reasonable possibility: Language lessons provided by U.S. military-suppled tutors.

After leaving the Marine Corps, Oswald traveled to the Soviet Union, walked into the U.S. embassy, renounced his citizenship, and stated that he intended to give any secrets he learned while serving in the military to the Soviet Union. Later, when he stated his desire to return to the United States, with a wife with family connections to Soviet intelligence, Oswald was given the red-carpet treatment on his return. No grand jury summons. No grand-jury indictment. No FBI interrogation. No congressional summons to testify.

Remember: This was at the height of the Cold War, when the U.S. national-security establishment was telling Americans that there was a worldwide communist conspiracy based in Moscow that was hell-bent on taking over the United States and the rest of the world. The U.S. had gone to war in Korea because of the supposed communist threat. They would do the same in Vietnam. They would target Cuba and Fidel Castro with invasion and assassination. They would pull off regime-change operations on both sides of the Kennedy assassination: Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Cuba (1960s), Congo (1963), and Chile (1973).

During the 1950s, they were targeting any American who had had any connections to communism. They were subpoenaing people to testify before Congress as to whether they had ever been members of the Communist Party. They were destroying people's reputations and costing them their jobs. Remember the case of Dalton Trumbo and other Hollywood writers who were criminally prosecuted and incarcerated. Recall the Hollywood blacklist. Recall the Rosenbergs, who they executed for giving national-security state secrets to the Soviets. Think about Jane Fonda.

Indeed, if you want a modern-day version of how the U.S. national-security state treats suspected traitors and betrayers of its secrets, reflect on Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning. That's how we expect national-security state officials to behave toward those they consider traitors and betrayers of U.S. secrets.

Not so with Oswald. With him, we have what amounts to two separate parallel universes. One universe involves all the Cold War hoopla against communists. Another one is the one in which Oswald is sauntering across the world stage as one of America's biggest self-proclaimed communists -- a U.S. Marine communist -- who isn't touched by some congressional investigative committee, some federal grand jury, or some FBI agent. How is that possible?

Later, when Oswald ended up in Dallas, his friends were right-wingers, not left-wingers. He even got job at a photographic facility that developed top-secret photographs for the U.S. government. How is that possible? Later, when he ended up in New Orleans, he got hired by a private company that was owned by a fierce anti-communist right-winger. Why would he hire a supposed communist who supposedly had betrayed America by supposedly joining up with America's avowed communist enemy, the Soviet Union, and to whom he had supposedly given U.S. national-security state secrets, just like Julian and Ethel Rosenberg had?

[Jun 23, 2020] Preferred pejorative for "intelligence againcy intrusion into MSM space"

Because they seem to creep around Washington, from one administration to the next, forever whispering in the ears of the power players, and more recently, weaving their evil spells directly to millions, as respected members of the MSM
Notable quotes:
"... I advocate for 'scum' as a serviceable moniker of all-around utility for those who do the dirt because it's business and pleasure, all in one. ..."
"... Now that I think of it, " the filth" is British slang for the police. That could work. Cockney rhyming slang is "Sweeney" ("flying squad" = "Sweeny Todd"). That has the right connotations, but it's a little twee. ..."
"... "The Slime" also seems to fit quite nicely. ..."
Jun 23, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Daniel Raphael , June 22, 2020 at 5:34 pm

Um irony work not well on screen, methinks and not for the first (or last) time

But as to "intelligence community" pejorative, I think good old-fashioned 'scum' works quite well. Mind you, this is for those who have "proven" themselves by persisting and upping the ante of loathesomeness; I certainly do not mean to include people-in-process who sometimes exit Big Brother's nether fissure to emerge as woken humans.

I'm thinking specifically and especially of John Kiriakou, for whom I had the honor of extending jail support during the time he was incarcerated for "outing" a CIA torturer (who, needless to say, received not even a tap on the wrist).

Keep it simple, pithy, homely, and familiar: I advocate for 'scum' as a serviceable moniker of all-around utility for those who do the dirt because it's business and pleasure, all in one.

Lambert Strether Post author , June 23, 2020 at 3:52 am

> I think good old-fashioned 'scum' works quite well.

Now that I think of it, " the filth" is British slang for the police. That could work. Cockney rhyming slang is "Sweeney" ("flying squad" = "Sweeny Todd"). That has the right connotations, but it's a little twee.

Ignacio , June 23, 2020 at 4:49 am

With my handicapped level of English I got the irony pretty well. It was polite and clever irony.

ewmayer , June 23, 2020 at 3:52 pm

Re. preferred pejorative, I lean toward "IC creep" myself. Because they seem to creep around Washington, from one administration to the next, forever whispering in the ears of the power players, and more recently, weaving their evil spells directly to millions, as respected members of the MSM.

"The Slime" also seems to fit quite nicely.

[Jun 16, 2020] Meet Wikipedia's Ayn Rand-loving founder and Wikimedia Foundation's regime-change operative CEO by Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal

Highly recommended!
And those corporations and CIA financed entity asks readers for donations?
Notable quotes:
"... Amamou briefly served as secretary of state for sport and youth in Tunisia's transitional government, before later resigning. He noted that Maher traveled to the country several times since the Arab Spring protests broke out in 2011, and he found it strange that her affiliations kept changing. ..."
"... Katherine Maher is probably a CIA agent. She's been in Tunisia multiple times since 2011 under multiple affiliations ..."
"... Maher spoke about the libertarian philosophy behind Wikipedia, echoing the Ayn Randian ideology of founder Jimmy Wales. ..."
"... The Grayzone has clearly demonstrated how Wikipedia editors overwhelmingly side with Western governments in these editorial conflicts, echoing the perspectives of interventionists and censoring critical voices. ..."
"... The moderator of the discussion, Mattias Fyrenius, the CEO of the Nobel Prize's media arm, asked Maher: "There is some kind of information war going on – and maybe you can say that there is a war going on between the lies, and the propaganda, and the facts, and maybe truth – do you agree?" ..."
"... "Yes," Maher responded in agreement. She added her own question: "What are the institutions, what is the obligation of institutions to actually think about what the future looks like, if we actually want to pass through this period with our integrity intact?" ..."
"... Like Maher's former employer the National Democratic Institute, the OPT advances US imperial interests in the guise of promoting "internet freedom" and new technologies. It also provides large grants to opposition groups in foreign nations targeted by Washington for regime change. ..."
"... While she serves today as the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, Katherine Maher remains a fellow at the Truman National Security Project, a Washington, DC think tank that grooms former military and intelligence professionals for careers in Democratic Party politics. ..."
"... As The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal reported, the most prominent fellow of the Truman Project is Pete Buttigieg, the US Naval intelligence veteran who emerged as a presidential frontrunner in the Democratic primary earlier this year. ..."
"... The extensive participation by the head of the Wikimedia Foundation in US government regime-change networks raises serious questions about the organization's commitment to neutrality. ..."
"... Perhaps the unchecked problem of political bias and coordinated smear campaigns by a small coterie of Wikipedia editors is not a bug, but a deliberately conceived feature of the website. ..."
Jun 16, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

Wikipedia has become a bulletin board for corporate and imperial interests under the watch of its Randian founder, Jimmy Wales, and the veteran US regime-change operative who heads the Wikimedia Foundation, Katherine Maher.

Born from seemingly humble beginnings, the Wikimedia Foundation is today swimming in cash and invested in many of the powerful interests that benefit from its lax editorial policy.

The foundation's largest donors include corporate tech giants Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Craigslist. With more than $145 million in assets in 2018, nearly $105 million in annual revenue, and a massive headquarters in San Francisco, Wikimedia has carved out a space for itself next to these Big Tech oligarchs in the Silicon Valley bubble.

It is also impossible to separate Wikipedia as a project from the ideology of its creator. When he co-founded the platform in 2001, Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales was a conservative libertarian and devoted disciple of right-wing fanatic Ayn Rand .

A former futures and options trader, Wales openly preached the gospel of " Objectivism ," Rand's ultra-capitalist ideology that sees government and society itself as the root of all evil, heralding individual capitalists as gods.

Wales described his philosophy behind Wikipedia in specifically Randian terms. In a video clip from a 2008 interview, published by the Atlas Society, an organization dedicated to evangelizing on behalf of Objectivism, Wales explained that he was influenced by Howard Roark, the protagonist of Rand's novel The Fountainhead.

Wikipedia's structure was expressly meant to reflect the ideology of its libertarian tech entrepreneur founder, and Wales openly said as much.

At the same time, however, Wikipedia editors have upheld the diehard Objectivist Jimmy Wales, as the New York Times put it in 2008, as a "benevolent dictator, constitutional monarch, digital evangelist and spiritual leader."

Wales has always balanced his libertarian inclinations with old-fashioned American patriotism. He was summoned before the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Operations in 2007 to further explain how Wikipedia and its related technologies could be of service to Uncle Sam.

Wales began his remarks stating, "I am grateful to be here today to testify about the potential for the Wikipedia model of collaboration and information sharing which may be helpful to government operations and homeland security."

"At a time when the United States has been increasingly criticized around the world, I believe that Wikipedia is an incredible carrier of traditional American values of generosity, hard work, and freedom of speech," Wales continued, implicitly referencing the George Bush administration's military occupation of Iraq.

The Wikipedia founder added, "The US government has always been premised on responsiveness to citizens, and I think we all believe good government comes from broad, open public dialogue. I therefore also recommend that US agencies consider the use of wikis for public facing projects to gather information from citizens and to seek new ways of effectively collaborating with the public to generate solutions to the problem that citizens face."

Wikipedia Jimmy Wales Senate Homeland Security committee Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales testifying before the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Operations in 2007 In 2012, Wales married Kate Garvey, the former diary secretary of ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Their wedding, according to the conservative UK Telegraph, was "witnessed by guests from the world of politics and celebrity."

Wales' status-quo-friendly politics have only grown more pronounced over the years. In 2018, for instance, he publicly cheered on Israel's bombing of the besieged Gaza strip and portrayed Britain's leftist former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite.

The Wikimedia Foundation's Katherine Maher: US regime-change operative with deep corporate links Jimmy Wales and the Wikimedia Foundation claim to have little power over the encyclopedia itself, but it is widely known that this is just PR. Wikimedia blew the lid off this myth in 2015 when it removed a community-elected member of its board of trustees, without explanation.

At the time of this scandal, the Wikimedia Foundation's board of trustees included a former corporate executive at Google, Arnnon Geshuri, who was heavily scrutinized for shady hiring practices. Geshuri, who also worked at billionaire Elon Musk's company Tesla, was eventually pressured to step down from the board.

But just a year later, Wikimedia appointed another corporate executive to its board of trustees, Gizmodo Media Group CEO Raju Narisetti.

The figure that deserves the most scrutiny at the Wikimedia Foundation, however, is its executive director Katherine Maher, who is closely linked to the US regime-change network.

Katherine Maher NDI Atlantic Council Wikimedia Foundation CEO Katherine Maher (right) at a "Disinformation Forum" sponsored by the US government regime-change entity NDI and the NATO- and Gulf monarchy-backed Atlantic Council Maher boasts an eyebrow-raising résumé that would impress the most ardent of cold warriors in Washington.

With a degree in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from New York University, Maher studied Arabic in Egypt and Syria, just a few years before the so-called Arab Spring uprising and subsequent Western proxy war to overthrow the Syrian government.

Maher then interned at the bank Goldman Sachs, as well as the Council on Foreign Relations and Eurasia Group, both elite foreign-policy institutions that are deeply embedded in the Western regime-change machine.

At the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Maher says on her public LinkedIn profile that she worked in the "US/Middle East Program," oversaw the "CFR Corporate Program," and "Identified appropriate potential clients, conducted outreach."

At the Eurasia Group, Maher focused on Syria and Lebanon. According to her bio, she "Developed stability forecasting and scenario modeling, and market and political stability reports."

Katherine Maher LinkedIn Council on Foreign Relations Eurasia Group

Maher moved on to a job at London's HSBC bank – which would go on to pay a whopping $1.9 billion fine after it was caught red-handed laundering money for drug traffickers and Saudi financiers of international jihadism. Her work at HSBC brought her to the UK, Germany, and Canada.

Next, Maher co-founded a little-known election monitoring project focused on Lebanon's 2008 elections called Sharek961. To create this platform, Maher and her associates partnered with an influential technology non-profit organization, Meedan, which has received millions of dollars of funding from Western foundations, large corporations like IBM, and the permanent monarchy of Qatar.

Meedan also finances the regime-change lobbying website, Bellingcat, which is considering a reliable source on Wikipedia, while journalism outlets like The Grayzone are formally blacklisted.

Sharek961 was funded by the Technology for Transparency Network, a platform for regime-change operations bankrolled by billionaire Pierre Omidyar's Omidyar Network and billionaire George Soros' Open Society Foundations.

Maher subsequently moved over to a position as an "innovation and communication officer" at the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF. There, she oversaw projects funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), an arm of the US State Department which finances regime-change operations and covert activities around the globe under the auspices of humanitarian goodwill.

Soon enough, Maher cut out the middleman and went to work as a program officer in information and communications technology at the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which was created and financed directly by the US government. The NDI is a central gear in the regime-change machine; it bankrolls coup and destabilization efforts across the planet in the guise of "democracy promotion."

At the NDI, Maher served as a program officer for "internet freedom projects," advancing Washington's imperial soft power behind the front of boosting global internet access – pursuing a strategy not unlike the one used to destabilize Cuba.

The Wikimedia Foundation CEO says on her LinkedIn profile that her work at the NDI included "democracy and human rights support" as well as designing technology programs for "citizen engagement, open government, independent media, and civil society for transitional, conflict, and authoritarian countries, including internet freedom programming."

After a year at the NDI, she moved over to the World Bank, another notorious vehicle for Washington's power projection.

Katherine Maher LinkedIn World Bank NDI

At the World Bank, Maher oversaw the creation of the Open Development Technology Alliance (ODTA), an initiative that uses new technologies to impose more aggressive neoliberal economic policies on developing countries.

Maher's LinkedIn page notes that her work entailed designing and implementing "open government and open data in developing and transitioning nations," especially in the Middle East and North Africa.

At the time of her employment at the World Bank, the Arab Spring protests were erupting.

In October 2012, in the early stages of the proxy war in Syria, Maher tweeted that she was planning a trip to Gaziantep, a Turkish city near the Syrian border that became the main hub for the Western-backed opposition. Gaziantep was at the time crawling with Syrian insurgents and foreign intelligence operatives plotting to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Katherine Maher ✔ @krmaher

Planning to go to Gaziantep in a few days. A timely NYT report from the Turkish-Syrian border: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/13/world/middleeast/on-edge-in-turkey-as-syria-war-inches-closer.html?pagewanted=2&smid=tw-share

1 12:25 PM - Oct 13, 2012 Twitter Ads info and privacy

See Katherine Maher's other Tweets Just two months later, in December, she tweeted that was was on a flight to Libya. Just over a year before, a NATO regime-change war had destroyed the Libyan government, and foreign-backed insurgents had killed leader Muammar Qadhafi, unleashing a wave of violence – and open-air slave markets.

Today, Libya has no unified central government and is still plagued by a grueling civil war. What Maher was doing in the war-torn country in 2012 is not clear.

Katherine Maher ✔ @krmaher

I'm on the plane to Libya. Holy wow, batman.

View image on Twitter 2 3:21 AM - Dec 9, 2012 Twitter Ads info and privacy

Maher's repeated trips to the Middle East and North Africa right around the time of these uprisings and Western intervention campaigns raised eyebrows among local activists.

In 2016, when Maher was named executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, a prominent Tunisian activist named Slim Amamou spoke out, alleging that "Katherine Maher is probably a CIA agent."

Amamou briefly served as secretary of state for sport and youth in Tunisia's transitional government, before later resigning. He noted that Maher traveled to the country several times since the Arab Spring protests broke out in 2011, and he found it strange that her affiliations kept changing.

... ... ...

Slim Amamou ✔ @slim404 · Mar 13, 2016

Katherine Maher is probably a CIA agent. She's been in Tunisia multiple times since 2011 under multiple affiliations https://twitter.com/Wikimedia/status/708438130626408449

Wikimedia ✔ @Wikimedia

Chief communications officer Katherine Maher (@krmaher) named interim executive director of Wikimedia Foundation. http://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/03/11/katherine-maher-interim-executive-director/

Slim Amamou ✔ @slim404

Wikmedia foundation is changing.. and not in a good way. It's sad, because rare are organisations that have this reach in developing world

2 11:18 AM - Mar 13, 2016 Twitter Ads info and privacy See Slim Amamou's other Tweets

In April 2017, in her new capacity as head of the Wikimedia Foundation, Katherine Maher participated in an event for the US State Department. The talk was a "Washington Foreign Press Center Briefing," entitled "Wikipedia in a Post-fact World." It was published at the official State Department website.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2341&v=BJybD75QxAM&feature=emb_logo

Maher spoke about the libertarian philosophy behind Wikipedia, echoing the Ayn Randian ideology of founder Jimmy Wales.

When journalists asked how Wikipedia deals "with highly charged topics," where "some entities – sometimes countries, sometimes various other entities – are often engaged in conflict with each other," Maher repeatedly provided a non-answer, recycling vague platitudes about the Wikipedia community working together.

The Grayzone has clearly demonstrated how Wikipedia editors overwhelmingly side with Western governments in these editorial conflicts, echoing the perspectives of interventionists and censoring critical voices.

A few months later, in January 2018, Maher appeared on a panel with Michael Hayden, the former director of both the CIA and NSA, and a notorious hater of journalists, as well with a top Indian government official, K. VijayRaghavan.

The talk, entitled "Lies Propaganda and Truth," was held by the organization behind the Nobel Prize.

The moderator of the discussion, Mattias Fyrenius, the CEO of the Nobel Prize's media arm, asked Maher: "There is some kind of information war going on – and maybe you can say that there is a war going on between the lies, and the propaganda, and the facts, and maybe truth – do you agree?"

"Yes," Maher responded in agreement. She added her own question: "What are the institutions, what is the obligation of institutions to actually think about what the future looks like, if we actually want to pass through this period with our integrity intact?"

... ... ...

Wikimedia Foundation CEO Katherine Maher in a panel discussion with CIA director Michael Hayden Hayden, the former US spy agency chief, then blamed "the Russians" for waging that information war. He referred to Moscow as "the adversary," and claimed the "Russian information bubble, information dominance machine, created so much confusion." Maher laughed in approval, disputing nothing that Hayden said. In the same discussion, Maher also threw WikiLeaks (which is blacklisted on Wikipedia) under the bus, affirming, "Not WikiLeaks, I want to be clear, we're not the same organization." The former CIA director next to her chuckled.

Wikipedia Katherine Maher Open Technology Fund US government Wikimedia Foundation executive director Katherine Maher is a member of the advisory board of the US government's technology regime-change arm the Open Technology Fund (OPT)

Today, Maher is a member of the advisory board of the US government's technology regime-change arm the Open Technology Fund (OPT) – a fact she proudly boasts on her LinkedIn profile. The OPT was created in 2012 as a project of Radio Free Asia, an information warfare vehicle that the New York Times once described as a "worldwide propaganda network built by the CIA." Since disaffiliating from this CIA cutout in 2019, the OPT is now bankrolled by the US Agency for Global Media, the government's propaganda arm, formerly known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

Like Maher's former employer the National Democratic Institute, the OPT advances US imperial interests in the guise of promoting "internet freedom" and new technologies. It also provides large grants to opposition groups in foreign nations targeted by Washington for regime change.

Katherine Maher Truman National Security Project

While she serves today as the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, Katherine Maher remains a fellow at the Truman National Security Project, a Washington, DC think tank that grooms former military and intelligence professionals for careers in Democratic Party politics.

The Truman Project website identifies Maher's expertise as "international development."

As The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal reported, the most prominent fellow of the Truman Project is Pete Buttigieg, the US Naval intelligence veteran who emerged as a presidential frontrunner in the Democratic primary earlier this year.

The extensive participation by the head of the Wikimedia Foundation in US government regime-change networks raises serious questions about the organization's commitment to neutrality.

Perhaps the unchecked problem of political bias and coordinated smear campaigns by a small coterie of Wikipedia editors is not a bug, but a deliberately conceived feature of the website.

Ben Norton Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the assistant editor of The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with editor Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.

bennorton.com

[Jun 15, 2020] Full Special Investigation - Donald Trump vs The Deep State

Highly recommended!
This is an amazing video. highly recommended
Notable quotes:
"... Firstly your definition of 'deep state' is too limited, it includes the bureaucracy, much of the judiciary, banks and other financial institutions, and the major political parties. It is not restricted only to the intelligence agencies. It is not a US-specific issue, but a global one. For the deep state exists everywhere, and is often more powerful in commonwealth countries, such as here in apathetic Australia. ..."
"... When the CIA kills Kennedy you know you've got problems... And whilst agents in the CIA probably did not pull the trigger - their "assets" did... If you don't believe me spare me your tiresome ignorant replies and go and do some research... ..."
"... " We were warned about the Military Industrial Complex, Sadly the Government Media Complex, has done way more damage, and will be much harder to overcome" ~ Dr. Mike Savage 2008 ..."
Jun 15, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Sky News Australia In this Special Investigation Sky News speaks to former spies, politicians and investigative journalists to uncover whether US President Donald Trump is really at war with "unelected Deep State operatives who defy the voters".


Cee Zee , 7 months ago

Was it not for Trump, we would never have had a clue just how evil and corrupt the fbi, cia, leftist media and big tech giants are!

Tron Javolta , 6 months ago

George Soros, The clintons, The royal family, The Rothschild's, the Federal reserve as a whole, The modern Democrat, cia, fbi, nsa, Facebook, Google, not to mention all the faceless unelected bureaucrats who create and push policies that impact our every day lives. This, my lads, is the deep state. They run our world and get away with whatever they want until someone in their circle loses their use (Epstein)

k-carl Manley , 1 month ago

JFK was right: dismantle the CIA and throw the remaining dust to the wind - same for the traitorous leaders in the FBI!

Nick Krikorian , 7 months ago

The deep state killed JFK

Joe Mamma , 1 week ago

The deep state is real and they are powerful and have an evil agenda!

Joe Graves , 1 month ago

Anyone that says a "deep state" doesn't exist in America, is part of the American deep state.

ceokc13 , 3 days ago (edited)

The Cabal owns the US intelligence agencies, the media, and Hollywood. That's how all these big name corrupted figure heads aren't in prison for their crimes. The Clinton email scandal is a prime example. This is much bigger than the USA... it's effects are world wide.

Francis Gee , 1 week ago (edited)

The Four Stages of Ideological Subversion: 1 - Demoralization 2 - Destabilization 3 - Crisis 4 - Normalization Are you not entertained? The above is "their" roadmap. Learn what it means and spread this far & wide, as that will be the means by which to end this.

TheConnected Chris , 1 day ago

President JFK on April 17, 1961: "Today no war has been declared--and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired. If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of 'clear and present danger,' then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent. It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions--by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match." thoughts: by saying, 'conducts the Cold War' did he directly call out the CIA???

Fact Chitanda , 2 weeks ago

The secret services are only one arm of the deep state. Its bigger than them!

David Stanley , 3 days ago

Most troubling now it is known about the deep state: is Trump a double agent just another puppet just giving the appearance of working against the deep state?

Miroslav Skoric , 2 months ago

"I' never saw corruption" said the blind monkey "I never heard any corruption " said the deaf monkey The mute monkey,of course said nothing.

Franco Lust , 2 months ago

Thank you Australians for having rhe courage to speak out for us Patriots!!! We know the Deep State Cabal retaliated with the fires. We love you guys from 💖💗

Always Keen , 7 months ago

Drain that swamp!

joe wood , 2 days ago

Found and cause all wars. Mislead both sides .

Peter Kondogonis , 1 month ago (edited)

Well done Skynews. THE DEEP STATE IS REAL. I woke up 10+ years ago. Turn off the TV for 1-2 years to study and awaken. Make a start on learning with David ickes Videos and books. WWG1 WGA

silva lloyd , 1 month ago

"How does democracy survive" We don't live in a democracy. The English isles and commonwealth are a constitutional monarchy, America is a republic.

Rhsheeda Russell , 5 days ago

And President Trump was right. Senator Graham is a sneaky, lying, sloth who enjoys his status and takes taxpayers money to do nothing.

Jerry Kays , 1 day ago

Before I go and pass this on to as many as I can get to follow it I just wanted to commend those that produced this and I hope that it gets fuller dissemination because it is such a rare truth in such a time of utter deceit by most all of the MSM (Main Stream Media) that this country I reside in uses to supposedly inform the American people ...what a crock! Thank You, Australia for making this available (but beware, the Five Eyes are always very active in related matters to this) ... This has been welcome confirmation of what many of us have known and attempted to tell others for about 5 years now. Sadly, I doubt that has or will help very much, The System is so corrupted from top to bottom ... IMnsHO and E.

Jonathan King , 7 months ago (edited)

Firstly your definition of 'deep state' is too limited, it includes the bureaucracy, much of the judiciary, banks and other financial institutions, and the major political parties. It is not restricted only to the intelligence agencies. It is not a US-specific issue, but a global one. For the deep state exists everywhere, and is often more powerful in commonwealth countries, such as here in apathetic Australia.

GB3770 , 1 month ago (edited)

When the CIA kills Kennedy you know you've got problems... And whilst agents in the CIA probably did not pull the trigger - their "assets" did... If you don't believe me spare me your tiresome ignorant replies and go and do some research...

BassBreath100 , 2 months ago

" We were warned about the Military Industrial Complex, Sadly the Government Media Complex, has done way more damage, and will be much harder to overcome" ~ Dr. Mike Savage 2008

Scocasso Vegetus , 1 month ago (edited)

14:20 I met a guy from Canada in the early 2000s, a telephone technician, told me about when he worked at the time for the government telephone company in the early 80s. He was given a really strange job one day, to go do some work in the USA. Some kind of repair work that required someone with experience and know-how, but apparently someone from out-of-country, he guesses, because there certainly must have been many people in the USA who could have done it, he figured. He flew down to oregon, then was driven for hours out into the middle of nowhere in navada, he said. They came to a small building that was surrounded by fencing etc. Nothing interesting. Nothing else around, he said, as far as he could see. They went in, and pretty much all that was there was an elevator. They went in, and he said, he didn't know how many floors down it went, or how fast it was moving, but seemed to take quite sometime, he figured about 8 stories down, was his guess, but he didn't know. He was astounded to see that there was telephone recording stuff in there about the size of two football-fields. He said they were recording everything. He said, even at that time, it was all digital, but they didn't have the capacity to record everything, so it was set up to monitor phone calls, and if any key words were spoken, it would start recording, and of course it would record all phone calls at certain numbers. "So, who knows what they've got in there today, he said" back in the early 2000s. So, imagine what they've got there today, in the 2020s. I didn't know whether or not to believe this story, until I saw a doc about all of the telephone recording tapes they have in storage, rotting away, which were used to record everyone's phone calls onto magnetic tape. Literally tonnes and tonnes of tapes, just sitting there in storage now, from the 1970s, the pre-digital days. They've always been doing it. They're just much better at it today than ever. Now they can tell who you are by your voice, your cadence, your intonation, etc. and record not just a call here and there, but everything.

cuppateadee , 3 days ago

Assange got banged up because he exposed war crimes by this lot on film Chelsea Manning also. They are heroes.

Shaun Ellis , 7 months ago

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled is convincing the world he didnt exist" Credit the --- Usual Suspects ---- That's the playbook of the "Deep State"

Cheryl Lawlor , 2 weeks ago

Even Obama said, "the CIA gets what the CIA wants." Even he wouldn't upset them.

NeXus Prime , 1 week ago

The last guy (denying the deep state's existence) was lying. When someone shakes their head when talking in the affirmative you can be 100% sure it is a lie (micro expressions 101).

zetayoru , 1 month ago

JFK said he wanted to expose a deeper and more sinister group. And when he was moving closer to it, he got killed.

adolthitler , 1 week ago

Yuri Bezmenov will tell you the deepstate has too much power. Yuri was right about much.

Ed P , 3 weeks ago

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

Shirley van der Heijden , 1 month ago

Evil never is satisfied!

The Vault , 5 days ago

https://www.facebook.com/kyle.darbyshire/posts/1085832538454860

Bitcoin Blockchain , 1 day ago


Bitcoin Blockchain
1 day ago
1950–1953:	Korean War United States (as part of the United Nations) and South Korea vs. North Korea and Communist China
1960–1975:	Vietnam War	United States and South Vietnam vs. North Vietnam
1961: Bay of Pigs Invasion	United States vs. Cuba
1983: Grenada United States intervention
1989: U.S.Invasion of Panama	United States vs. Panama
1990–1991: Persian Gulf War United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq
1995–1996: Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina	United States as part of NATO acted as peacekeepers in former Yugoslavia
2001–present: Invasion of Afghanistan	United States and Coalition Forces vs. the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to fight terrorism
2003–2011: Invasion of Iraq The United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq
2004–present: War in Northwest Pakistan United States vs. Pakistan, mainly drone attacks
2007–present: Somalia and Northeastern Kenya	United States and Coalition forces vs. al-Shabaab militants
2009–2016: Operation Ocean Shield (Indian Ocean) NATO allies vs. Somali pirates
2011: Intervention in Libya	U.S. and NATO allies vs. Libya
2011–2017: Lord's Resistance Army U.S. and allies against the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda
2014–2017: U.S.-led Intervention in Iraq U.S. and coalition forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
2014–present: U.S.-led intervention in Syria U.S. and coalition forces against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Syria
2015–present: Yemeni Civil War Saudi-led coalition and the U.S., France, and Kingdom against the Houthi rebels, Supreme Political Council in Yemen, and allies
2015–present: U.S. intervention in Libya
Ken Martin , 5 months ago

Deep State is the "Wealthy Oligarchy", an "International Mafia" who controls the Central Bank (a privacy owned banking system which controls the worlds currencies). The Wealthy Oligarchy "aka Deep State" controls most all Democratic countries, and controls the International Media. In the United States, both the Republican and Democrat parties are controlled by the Wealthy Oligarchy aka Deep State.

pharcyde110573 , 6 months ago (edited)

A beautifully crafted and delivered discourse, impressive! As a Londoner I have become increasingly interested in Sky News Australia, you are a breath of fresh air and common sense in this world of ever growing liberal media hysteria!

Gord Pittman , 22 hours ago

I have to laugh at the people, including our supposedly unbiased and intelligent media, who said the Russia thing was the truth when it was nothing but a conspiracy theory. Everything else was a conspiacy theory according to the dems ans the mainstream media..

joe wood , 1 week ago

CIA did 9-11 with bush cabal pulling strings

Joseph Hinton , 1 month ago

Wall Street and the banksters control the CIA. One can imagine the ramifications of control of the world via the moneyed interests backed by James Bond and the Green Berets, the latter, under control of the CIA.

Karen Reaves , 2 weeks ago (edited)

Every nation has the same deep state. CIA Mossad MI6 and CCP protect the deep state like one big Mafia. Thank you Sky News. outofshadows.org

killtheglobalists , 2 days ago (edited)

Deep State Powers have been messing with your USA long before your War of Independence . Your Founding Fathers knew , why do you think they wrote your Constitution that way. Now everyone is always crying about something but fail to realize you gave your freedoms away over time . The Deep State never left it just disguised itself and continued to regain control under a new face or ideaology. Follow the money . "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."― Edmund Burke

Kauz , 1 week ago

Timothy Leary gives the CIA TOTAL CREDIT for sponsoring and initiating, the entire consciousness movement and counter-culture events of the 1960's.

Sierra1 Tngo , 2 weeks ago

After the John F. Kennedy assassination the took full power,those who are in power now are the descendants of the criminals who did it,some of their sons just have a different last name but they are the same family,like George Bush and John Kerry are cousins but different last name and the list goes and goes.

iwonka k , 3 hours ago

Council on Foreign Relation is more Deep State than CIA and FBI . The two worked for CFR. CFR tel president whom to appoint to what positions. Nixon got a list of 22 deep state candidates for top US position and all were hired. Obama appointed 11 from the list. Kissinger is behind the scenes strings puller also.

R Tarz , 2 months ago

Thanks Sky and Peter for bringing this to the mainstream attention, it really is time! Wished you had aired John Kiriakou,s other claims off child sex trafficking to the elites which has been corroborated by so many other sources now and is the grossest deformity of this deep state which you can see footage of trump talking about. I am amazed and greatful to see Trump has done more about this than all other presidents in the last 20 years. Lets end this group. All we need to do is shine the light on them

Adronicus -IF- , 2 months ago

The CIA are only an intelligence and operations functioning part of the deep state its much more complex and larger than just the CIA. The British empire controls the deep state they always have it is just a modern version of the old East India Company controlled by the same families with the same ideology. https://theduran.com/the-origins-of-the-deep-state-in-north-america/

John Doe , 1 month ago

It's funny how for decades "the people" were crying on their knees about how bad every president was n how corrupt n controlled they were. Now you've got a president with no special interest groups publicly calling out the deep state n ur still bitching. U know you've got someone representing the people when the cia n fbi r out to get him. In 50 years trump will be looked back at with the likes of Washington, Lincoln n jfk. Once the msm smear campaign is out of everyone's brain.

Nicholas Napier , 2 months ago (edited)

When they start spying on people within the United States and when they used in National Defense authorization act that gave them a lot of power since after 911 to give them more power now they have Homeland Security which is the next biggest threat to the United States it can be abused and some of these people have a higher security clearance than the president.... they're not under control the NSA is one of them you don't mention in here either one is about the more that you don't even know about that they don't have names are acronyms that we knew about that's why the American people have been blindsided by this overtime they've been giving all this money to do things... allocation of money they gathered to do this and now Congress itself doesn't know temperature of Schumer when you caught him saying to see I can get back at you three ways to Sunday I mean he's got some words in this saying to the president of usa donald trump... basically threatening the President right there.. you can see it's alive and well when Congress is immune from prosecution from anything or anyone....

itsmemuffins , 7 months ago

"I think in light of all of the things going on, and you know what I mean by that: the fake news, the Comeys of the world, all of the bad things that went on, it's called the swamp you know what I did," he asked. "A big favor. I caught the swamp. I caught them all. Let's see what happens. Nobody else could have done that but me. I caught all of this corruption that was going on and nobody else could have done it."

msciciel14therope , 1 month ago

there is no big secret that CIA is deeply involved in drug smuggling operations...i remember interview with ex marine colonel who said that he was indirectly involved in such operations in panama...

Vaclav Haval , 6 days ago

The Deep State (CIA, NSA, FBI, and Israeli Mossad) did 9/11.

Wilf Jones , 1 week ago

Super Geek Zuckerberg was made a CIA useful Idiot ... I mean agent , lol .

Chubs Fatboy , 2 weeks ago

Attempting to infiltrate News rooms😆😅😂 all those faces you see in the MSM are all working for Cia. In 1967 one of the 3 letter agencys bragged about having a reporter working in 1 of the 3 letter news channel!

Rue Porter , 1 day ago

Wow this was really good. It's funny you showed a clip from abc of kouriakow and it reminded me how much the news in america has been propagandized and just fake. I'm 38 and it's sad that these days the news is unpatriotic. Well most . Ty sky news Australia

peemaster Bjarne , 1 week ago

Why no mention of what facilitates the surveilance? Telecom infrastructure is a nations nerve system and the powergrid its bloodsystem. Who controls them? That is where you find the head of the deep state!

richard bello , 2 weeks ago

What people aren't aware of is that Facebook YouTube Twitter Instagram Google maps and Google search are all NSA CIA and DIA creations and CEO's are only highly paid operatives who are not the creators but the face of a product and what better way to collect all of your information is by you giving it to them

AussieMaleTuber , 7 months ago (edited)

More please? A subject for another installment regarding the Deep State could be Banking, Federal Reserves and Fiat currencies. Later, another video could be Russia's success at expelling the Deep State in 2000 after it took them over (for a 2nd time) in 1991. Be cognizant, the Deep State initially had for a short time from 1917 via 'it's' 'Bolshivics,' orchestrated the creation of the Soviet Union through the Bolshivic take over of Russia from it's independence minded and Soveriegn Czarist led Eastern Orthodox State. Now, President Trump is preventing a similar Deep State take-over by Intelligence agencies, Corporations and elected political thugs as bad as Leon Trotsky and V I Lennin were to the Russian Czar. The Soviets soon after their (1917) take-over went Rogue on the Deep State and therefore the Soviet Union was independent until The Deep State orchestrated it's downfall and anexation of it's substantial wealth and some territory (1991). More, more, more please Sky News, this video was great!

Trevor Pike , 2 months ago

Amazing, Sky News is the ONLY TV News Service in Australia Trying to deliver true news. Australia's ABC news are CIA Deep State Shills and propagandists - Sarah Ferguson Especially - see her totally CIA scripted Four Corners Report on the Russia Hoax. John Gantz IS a Deep State Operative Liar.

Michael Small , 1 month ago

Isnt it time to see TERM LIMITS in Co gress and to realign our school education to teach the real history of these unites states? End the control of Congress and watch the agencies fall in step with OUR Conatitution. No one should ever be allowed in Congress or any other elected position of trust if they are not a devout Constitutionalist. Anyone who takes the oath to see w the people and fails to so so should be charged with TREASON and removed immediately. Is there a DEEP STATE? Damn right there is and has been for many decades. Where is our sovereignty? Where is the wealth of a capitalist nation? Why so much poverty and welfare and why do communists and socialist get away with damaging our country, state or communities. Yes, there has been a deep state filled with criminals who all need to be charged, tried and executed for TREASON.

Barry Atkins , 7 months ago (edited)

The CIA and Australias Federal police have One main Job/activity to feed their Populations with Propaganda & Lies to give them their Thoughts & Opinions on Everything using their psyOps through MSM News & Programming...you prolly beLIEve this informative News Story as well. : (

price , 7 months ago

Sky news is owned by rupert Murdoch...the same guy that owns fox news. Nuff said😘

Marie Hurst , 6 days ago

These people denying a deep state with such straight faces are psychopaths. Unwittingly, or maybe not, Schumer made liars of them with his comment to Maddow

Debbie Kirby , 7 months ago

President Trump is correct. He knows exactly what's going on. The 3 letter agencies are up to no good and work against the fabric of our nation's founding fathers. It's despicable behavior. Just one example is John Brennan (CIA Director) and Barack Hussein Obama's Terror Tuesdays. Read all about it on the internet now before it's permanently removed. Thank you for creating this video.

James dow , 1 week ago

When was the last time we ever witnessed an American President openly abused continually attacked over manufactured news treated with absolutely no respect for him or the office his family unfairly attacked and misrepresented etc, etc, that's right never, which proves he threatens the existence of the deep state as discussed. He should declare Martial Law Hang the consequences and remove every single deep state player everywhere. Foreign influence? read Israel.

mary rosario , 5 days ago

People are so fixated on trumps outspoken Sometimes outrageous demeanor which in my opinion it's just being really honest and yes he can Be rude at times but when you look at the facts He's the only one that has gone against the deep state! those are the real devils dressed up in sheep's clothing! Wake up!

evan c , 2 weeks ago

You are missing the point. It goes further then intelligence agency working against the people. It's the ultra rich literally trillionaires like the rothchilds that control the cia etc. That is who trump is fighting. The globalists line gates soros etc.

[Jun 06, 2020] A Conspiracy Theorist Confesses

Jun 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

WHAT IS A CONSPIRACY THEORY?

Some definitions are required here. From the Cambridge online English dictionary we have:

Misinformation: [noun] wrong information, or the fact that people are misinformed.

Disinformation: [noun] false information spread in order to deceive people.

Fake News: [noun] false stories that appear to be news, spread on the internet or using other media, usually created to influence political views or as a joke.

Conspiracy: [noun'] the activity of secretly planning with other people to do something bad or illegal.

Theory: [noun] a formal statement of the rules on which a subject of study is based or of ideas that are suggested to explain a fact or event.

Conspiracy Theory: [noun] a belief that an event or situation is the result of a secret plan made by powerful people

It is notable that Cambridge University Press have introduced the concept of "secret" into their definition. By describing something as secret you are suggesting that it is impossible to know what it is. This added notion of secrecy is not commonly found in other dictionaries.

Nor is it present in the legal definition of conspiracy. Blacks Law Dictionary defines conspiracy as:

Conspiracy: In criminal law. A combination or confederacy between two or more persons formed for the purpose of committing, by their joint efforts, some unlawful or criminal act.

Obviously conspirators would like to keep their plans hidden. But that doesn't mean they always remain so. If all conspiracies were "secrets" nobody would ever discover any of them.

Known conspiracies, such as Operation Gladio , Iran Contra, the Lavon Affair, the 2001 anthrax letter hoax and so on, would not have been exposed had people not highlighted the evidence which proved their existence.

The notion of the "secret conspiracy" is not one most people called conspiracy theorist s would recognise. Often the whole point of our argument is that the conspiracies can be quite plainly evidenced. Most of that evidence is in the public domain and freely available.

More often conspiracy theorists are concerned with the denial or obfuscation of the evidence. It is not that the evidence doesn't exist, rather that it either isn't reported at all or is hidden by labelling those who do report it conspiracy theorists .

We can define "conspiracy theory" simply to mean: the reporting of evidence indicating a plan between two or more people to commit an illegal or nefarious act.

We can add that a conspiracy theory is an opinion or an argument. The merit of which is solely defined by the strength or weakness of the evidence.

However, if you read Wikipedia a v ery different definition is suggested. Suddenly conspiracy theory means an attempt to ignore other more plausible explanations. It is a theory based upon prejudice or insufficient evidence, it resists falsification and suffers from circular reasoning. It has left the realms of logical deduction and become a matter of faith.

This rationale is some distance away from the dictionary and legal definitions. It relies heavily upon opinion and is highly subjective. It is a pejorative definition which claims to be based in science, though the scientific evidence is feeble to non existent .

This depiction of the delusional conspiracy theorist, as described by Wikipedia, is the popularly accepted meaning. Perhaps we can agree, the narrative we are given about alleged conspiracy theorists broadly runs like this:

Conspiracy theorists forward arguments that are unfounded. These are based upon limited knowledge and lack substantiating evidence. Most conspiracy theorists are simply wrong and unwittingly spread misinformation. However, prominent conspiracy theorists spread disinformation and have used their large followings on the Internet to create a dangerous phenomenon called 'fake news.'

Many of those with the largest followings are agents for foreign powers. They use a global network of trolls and bots to advance their dangerous political agenda. This is designed to undermine our democratic way of life and valued political institutions. Therefore all conspiracy theory is anti-democratic and must be stopped.

It is difficult to understand how democracies, which supposedly value freedom of thought, speech and expression, can be threatened by diversity of opinion. Yet it appears many people are willing to ignore this contradiction and support government attempts to censor information and silence the voices of those it labels conspiracy theorist . Which is genuinely anti-democratic.

Consequently it has become relatively straightforward for politicians and the media to refute evidence and undermine arguments. As long as they can get the label of conspiracy theory or theorist to stick, most people will discount their arguments without ever looking at the evidence.

The label of conspiracy theorist is an umbrella term for a huge array of ideas and beliefs. Some are more plausible than others. However, by calling everyone who challenges accepted norms a "conspiracy theorist" it is possible to avoid addressing the evidence some offer by exploiting guilt by association.

For example, many people labelled as conspiracy theorists, myself included, believe even the most senior elected politicians are relatively low down the pecking order when it comes to decision making. We suggest powerful global corporations, globalist think tanks and international financial institutions often have far more control over policy development than politicians. We can cite academic research to back up this identification of "Biased Pluralism."

We do not believe the Earth is flat or the Queen is a lizard. However, because we believe the former, politicians, mainstream academia and the media insist that we must also believe the latter.

Psychology is often cited as evidence to prove conspiracy theorists are deranged, or at least emotionally disturbed in some way. Having looked at some of this claimed science I found it to be rather silly and anti-scientific . But that is just my opinion.

However, unlike many of the psychologists who earn a living by writing junk science, I do not think they should be censored nor stopped from expressing their unscientific opinions. However, governments across the world are seemingly desperate to exploit the psychologist's 'work' to justify the silencing of the conspiracy theorists.

This desire to silence people who ask the wrong questions, by labelling all as conspiracy theorists, has been a common theme from our elected political leaders during the first two decades of the 21st century. But where did this idea come from?

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/8xGbF3AoZbM/

THE HISTORY OF THE CONSPIRACY THEORIST LABEL

Conspiracy theory is nothing new. Nearly every single significant world event had at least one contemporary conspiracy theory attached to it. These alternative interpretations of events, which lie outside the accepted or official narratives, are found throughout history.

In 117 CE, the Roman Emperor Trajan died only two days after adopting his successor Hadrian. All his symptoms indicated a stroke brought on by cardio vascular disease.

Yet by the 4th century, in the questionable historical text Historia Augusta , a number of conspiracy theories surrounding Trajan's death had emerged. These included claims that Trajan had been poisoned by Hadrian, the praetorian prefect Attianus and Trajan's wife, Plotina.

While we would call this a conspiracy theory today, the term was not commonly used until the late 1960's. The earliest written reference to something approaching the modern concept of conspiracy theory appeared in the 1870's in the Journal of Mental Science vol 16 .

"The theory of Dr Sankey as to the manner in which these injuries to the chest occurred in asylums deserved our careful attention. It was at least more plausible that the conspiracy theory of Mr Charles Beade"

This is the first time we see an association made between "conspiracy theory" and implausibility. Throughout most of the 19th and 20th century, if used at all, it usually denoted little more than a rationale to expose a criminal plot or malevolent act by a group.

After the Second World War colloquial use of "conspiracy theory" was rare. However, academics were beginning to lay the foundations for the interpretation which has produced the label we are familiar with today.

The burgeoning idea was that the large numbers of people who questioned official accounts of events, or orthodox historical interpretations, were all delusional to some degree. Questioning authority, and certainly alleging that authority was responsible for criminal acts, was deemed to be an aberration of the mind.

Karl Popper

In 1945 The philosopher Karl Popper alluded to this in his political work The Open Society and Its Enemies . Popper was essentially criticising historicism . He stated that historical events were vulnerable to misinterpretation by those who were predisposed to see a conspiracy behind them.

He argued this was because historians suffered from cognitive dissonance (the uncomfortable psychological sensation of holding two opposing views simultaneously.) They could not accept that tumultuous events could just happen through the combination of error and unrelated circumstances.

In Popper's view, these historians were too quick to reject the possibility of random, chaotic events influencing history, preferring unsubstantiated conspiratorial explanations. Usually because they made better stories, thereby garnering more attention for their work.

Popper identified what he called the conspiracy theory of society . This reflected Popper's belief that social sciences should concern themselves with the study of the unintended consequences of intentional human behaviour. Speaking of the conspiracy theory perspective, he wrote:

It is the view that an explanation of a social phenomenon consists in the discovery of the men or groups who are interested in the occurrence of this phenomenon (sometimes it is a hidden interest which has first to be revealed), and who have planned and conspired to bring it about."

Popper also believed that increasing secularism had led people to ascribe power to secretive groups rather than the gods:

The gods are abandoned. But their place is filled by powerful men or groups – sinister pressure groups whose wickedness is responsible for all the evils we suffer from – such as the Learned Elders of Zion, or the monopolists, or the capitalists, or the imperialists."

Popper's theory illustrates the fundamental difference between those labelled conspiracy theorists and those who, on the whole, defend the official narrative and the establishment. For conspiracy theorists the evidence shows that powerful forces have frequently conspired to shape events, control the flow of information and manipulate society. The deliberate engineering of society, suggested by the conspiracy theorists, is rejected by their opponents and critics.

For them the conspiratorial view has some minor, limited merit, but the suggested scale and prevalence of these plots is grossly exaggerated. They see nearly all world events as the result of the unintentional collision between disparate forces and the random influence of fate.

In general, they consider the powerful incapable of malice. Where disastrous national and global events have clearly been caused by the decisions of governments, influential groups and immensely wealthy individuals, these are invariably seen as mistakes.

Any suggestion that the power hierarchy's destructive decisions may have achieved their intended objectives receives blanket rejection. Even asking the question is considered "unthinkable."

For many people called conspiracy theorists this is a hopelessly naive world view. History is full of examples of the powerful using their influence to further their own interests at others expense. Often costing people their lives.

For their opponents, like Popper, to reject this possibility outright, demonstrates their cognitive dissonance. They seem unable even to contemplate the possibility that the political and economic power structures they believe in could ever deliberately harm anyone. They have faith in authority and it is not shared by people they label conspiracy theorists.

Following the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 alternative explanations proliferated, not least of all due to the apparent implausibility of the official account. Many U.S. citizens were concerned that elements within their own government had effectively staged a coup. Others, such as the prominent American historian Richard Hoftsadter, were more concerned that people doubted their government.

Richard Hofstadter

Building on the work of Popper, partly as a critique of McCarthyism but also in response to the Republican nomination loss of Nelson A. Rockefeller, American historian Richard Hofstadter suggested that people's inability to believe what they are told by government was not based upon their grasp of the evidence. Rather it was rooted in psychological need.

He claimed much of this stemmed from their lack of education (knowledge), political disenfranchisement and an unjustified sense of self importance. He also suggested these dangerous opinions threatened to pollute the body politic.

Like Popper, Hofstadter did not identify conspiracy theorists directly. But he did formulate the narrative underpinning the modern, widely accepted, definition. He wrote:

I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant

[ ]

Of course, there are highbrow, lowbrow, and middlebrow paranoids, as there are likely to be in any political tendency. But respectable paranoid literature not only starts from certain moral commitments that can indeed be justified but also carefully and all but obsessively accumulates "evidence." .he can accumulate evidence in order to protect his cherished convictions.

Going to great lengths to focus on the "paranoid's" tendency to highlight the evidence, as if that were a failing, like most critics of so-called conspiracy theorists, Hofstadter chose neither to address nor even mention what that evidence was. He merely asserted that it was unbelievable. The reader just had to take his word for it.

The Warren Commission Report into the JFK assassination drew considerable criticism. The finding that Oswald acted alone contradicted numerous eye witness accounts, film, autopsy and ballistic evidence.

Four of the seven commissioners harshly criticised the report issued in their name. Widely seen as quite ridiculous, in the absence of any sensible official account of the assassination, numerous explanatory theories inevitably sprang up.

In response to the mounting criticism, in 1967 the CIA sent an internal dispatch to all field offices called Document 1035-960: Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report .

Revealed by a New York Times Freedom of Information Request in 1976, the dispatch is the first written record we have of the combination of Popper's "conspiracy theory of society" with Hofstadter's "paranoid style" militant. It defined the modern concept of the conspiracy theorist.

The document states:

Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists."

It can be considered as the origin of the weaponised term "conspiracy theory." It recommends a set of techniques to be used to discredit all critics of the Warren Commission Report. Once you are familiar with them, it is obvious that these strategies are commonly deployed today to dismiss all who question official statements as "conspiracy theorists." We can paraphrase these as follows:

  1. Deny any new evidence offered and cite only official reports stating 'no new evidence has emerged.'
  2. Dismiss contradictory eyewitness statements and focus upon the existing, primary, official evidence such as ballistics, autopsy, and photographic evidence.
  3. Do not initiate any discussion of the evidence and suggest that large scale conspiracies are impossible to cover up in an open and free democracy.
  4. Accuse the conspiracy theorists of having an intellectual superiority complex.
  5. Suggest that theorists refuse to acknowledge their own errors.
  6. Refute any suggestion of witness assassinations by pointing out they were all deaths by natural causes.
  7. Question the quality of conspiracy research and point out that official sources are better.

The report recommended making good use of "friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)" and to "employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics."

The CIA advocated using mainstream media feature articles to discredit people labelled conspiracy theorists.

While the use of these methods has been refined over the years, the essential process of labelling someone a conspiracy theorist, while studiously avoiding any discussion of the evidence they highlight, is extremely common in the mainstream media today. We only need look at the reports about academics who questioned the government's narrative about COVID19 to see the techniques in operation.

The drive to convince the public to use only "official sources" for information has seen the rise of the fact checker .

These organisations, invariably with the support of government and corporate funding, are offered as the reliable sources which provide real facts. The facts they provide are frequently wrong and the fact checking industry has settled legal claims from those who challenged their disinformation.

People have been directed by the mainstream media to abandon all critical thinking. They just need to go to their government-approved fact-checker in order be told the truth.

Providing the public believe the people labelled conspiracy theorists are crazy, ill informed or agents for a foreign powers, the mainstream media, politicians and other commentators can undermine any and all evidence they present. In keeping with the CIA's initial recommendations, it is extremely unlikely that the evidence will ever be openly discussed but, if it is, it can be written off as "conspiracy theory."

However, it isn't just the mainstream media who use the conspiracy theorist label to avoid discussing evidence. Politicians, speaking on the worlds biggest political stage, have seized the opportunity to deploy the CIA's strategy.

THREE SPEECHES ONE AGENDA

Even for Prime Ministers and Presidents, addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations is a big deal. These tend to be big thematic speeches as the leader impresses their vision upon the gathered dignitaries and global media.

Yet, despite the fact that conspiracy theorists are supposed to be idiots who don't know the time of day, global "leaders" have repeatedly used this auspicious occasion to single them out as one of the greatest threats to global security.

In November 2001 George W. Bush addressed the United Nations General Assembly with the following words:

We must speak the truth about terror. Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the guilty. To inflame ethnic hatred is to advance the cause of terror."

Even if you accept the official account of 9/11, and there are numerous reasons why you wouldn't, how does questioning it suggest that you support terrorism or mark you out as a racist?

The suggestion appears absurd but it does illustrate that the U.S. president wanted both to silence all criticism of the government account and link those questioning it to extremism and even terrorism.

This theme was reiterated by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron in his 2014 address. He said:

To defeat ISIL – and organisations like it we must defeat this ideology in all its forms ..it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by preachers who claim not to encourage violence, but whose world view can be used as a justification for it. We know this world view. The peddling of lies: that 9/11 was a Jewish plot or that the 7/7 London attacks were staged [ ] We must be clear: to defeat the ideology of extremism we need to deal with all forms of extremism – not just violent extremism. We must work together to take down illegal online material [ ] we must stop the so called non-violent extremists from inciting hatred and intolerance.

This season we will mostly be wearing anti-fear glasses

Like Bush before him, Cameron was at pains to identify what he called non violent extremists (commonly called conspiracy theorists). According to him, all who question government accounts of major geopolitical events are, once again, tantamount to terrorists .

Calling for online censorship to stop any questions ever being asked, it is this authoritarian need to avoid addressing evidence that led his successor, Prime Minister Theresa May, to propose wide-sweeping censorship of the Internet .

At the time of writing, the UK is among the many nations still in so called "lockdown" following the outbreak of COVID19 . When UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the U.N General Assembly in September 2019 he delivered a speech which seemed weirdly out of context . With Brexit and possible conflict with Iran high on the agenda his address, which barely touched on those issues, was received with considerable bewilderment.

Six months later his predictive powers appear to be remarkable. It transpires that Johnson's comments were extremely relevant . Just six months too early.

There are today people today who are actually still anti-science [ ] A whole movement called the anti-Vaxxers, who refuse to acknowledge the evidence that vaccinations have eradicated smallpox [ ] And who by their prejudices are actually endangering the very children they want to protect [ ] I am profoundly optimistic about the ability of new technology to serve as a liberator and remake the world wondrously and benignly [ ] Together, we can vanquish killer diseases."

Despite the wealth of scientific evidence which justifies scepticism about some vaccines , anti-vaxxer (a variant of conspiracy theorist ), is another label used to convince people not to consider evidence. The assertion is that those who question vaccines all fundamentally reject the concept of artificially inducing an immune response against a disease.

This isn't true but how would you know? The anti-vaxxer label alone is sufficient to convince most to turn away.

Johnson's speech rambled across so many seemingly irrelevant subjects there is little reason to suspect any COVID 19 foreknowledge. But given the global pandemic that would occur just a few months later, it was certainly prescient. Johnson was sufficiently concerned about the supposedly baseless questions of so called conspiracy theorists (or anti-vaxxers) to allege they killed children. A ludicrous suggestion the mainstream media strongly promoted .

It doesn't matter that academic research has proven that the official account of 9/11 cannot possibly be true; it makes no difference that Mossad agents admitted that they had gone to New York on the morning of 9/11 to "document the event;" studies showing that approximately 90% of the total 20th Century disease reduction in the U.S. occurred prior to the widespread use of vaccines are irrelevant.

None of these facts need to be known by anyone and governments are going to censor all who try to tell others about them. All questions that reference them are crazy conspiracy theories. They are both stupid questions and a huge threat to both national security and the safety of the little children.

One of the recurring themes the people labelled conspiracy theorists discuss is that policy is made behind the closed doors of corporate boardrooms and policy think tanks. It doesn't matter who you elect or what party you choose to rule over you, they are only capable of tinkering at the edges of the policy platform.

The policy agenda is set at a globalist level. So the fact that, over two decades, one U.S president and two British Prime Minsters were delivering essentially the same message doesn't surprise the conspiracy theorists.

As we move toward a world where certain ideas are forbidden and only officially approved questions can be asked, where governments and corporations have a monopoly on the truth and everything else is a conspiracy theory, only one thing really matters. The evidence.

Hofstadter's believed that his paranoid style militants constant citation of evidence was merely an attempt to "protect his cherished convictions." This could be true, but the only way to find out is to look at that evidence. The label of the conspiracy theorist has been deliberately created in order to convince you not to look at it.

Regardless of whether or not you think someone's opinion is a conspiracy theory, you owe it to yourself and your children to consider the evidence they cite. Perhaps you will reject it. There's nothing wrong with that.

But to reject it, without knowing what it is, really is crazy. Your only other option is to unquestioningly accept whatever you are told by the government, globalist think tanks, multinational corporations and their mainstream media partners.

If you choose to believe that everyone who claims to have identified the malfeasance of officials, the crimes of government or the corruption of powerful global institutions, are all conspiracy theorists, then you have accepted that the establishment is beyond reproach.

If you also agree the same established hierarchy can not only determine what you can or cannot know, but can also set all the policies and legislation which dictates your behaviour and defines the limits of your freedom, you have elected to be a slave and don't value democracy in the slightest.

[May 28, 2020] Conspiracy Theories How to Pick Out the Plausible Ones

May 28, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez, May 28, 2020 5:30 pm

There is a strong tendency of neoliberal MSM to call questioning any false flag operation conducted by intelligence agencies "a conspiracy theory."

This is in its essence an attempt to call a plausible hypothesis, supported by some facts to a be a wild rumor -- an improvised news.

The originator of the term is CIA, which invented it to discredit those who questioned Warren commission report. This group of people were the original "conspiracy theorists".

In highly polarized society the events that one group of people calls a false flag operation (for example, Guccifer 2.0) the other calls "conspiracy theory", no matter what facts are preserved.

<blockquote>
the kind of plot laid out in David Talbot's The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government is at least plausible. It's reasonable to think a secret team of intelligence officials might have carried it out
</blockquote>

Again, JFK assassination is an original and classic example of use of the term of "conspiracy theory" to discredit opponents of the "deep state" and whitewash CIA activities.

This was by design the main use of the term -- the discreditation of those who holds a particular point of view harmful for the "deep state" interests.

Noni Mausa , May 28, 2020 4:44 pm

We can see another level of "conspiracy," also.

There's true conspiracy. So, Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot.

There's Coordination, where agents work towards a shared goal without necessarily communicating.

And then I would include a third category- a Happy Accident Not Impeded (HANI)

How much property shifted to buyers flush with offshore cash, when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans? When climate researchers had been voicing warnings for years, even decades?

The feds and the state (probably) didn't calculate that if they took no action in seagrass, mangroves, and strategic barriers, a hurricane would shake loose many property owners and leave them desperate to sell, or even unable to afford their property taxes and thus forfeiting ownership. But gee, how convenient when a hurricane just happened to sweep in and do just what had been predicted.

Each choice at local, state, and federal levels could be quite innocently justified. And yet strangely they all leant toward one outcome.

Noni

Kwark , May 28, 2020 5:30 pm

Noni, seems like that's a feature of capitalism these days – disaster capitalism. There's no shortage of idle rich with extra capital sitting in their hands waiting for this sort of "opportunity".

[May 19, 2020] Beyond BuzzFeed: The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story by Glenn Greenwald

Images removed
Those are far from failures, those were successful disinformation/propaganda operations conducted with a certain goal -- remove Trump -- which demonstrate the level of intelligence agencies control of the MSM. In other words those are parts of a bigger intelligence operation -- the color revolution against Trump led most probably by Obama and Brennan.
Now we know that Obama played an important role in Russiagate media hysteria and, most porbably, in planning and executing the operation to entrap Flynn.
Notable quotes:
"... They are listed in reverse order, as measured by the magnitude of the embarrassment, the hysteria they generated on social media and cable news, the level of journalistic recklessness that produced them, and the amount of damage and danger they caused ..."
"... Note that all of these "errors" go only in one direction: namely, exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow and the Trump circle's connection to it. It's inevitable that media outlets will make mistakes on complex stories. If that's being done in good faith, one would expect the errors would be roughly 50/50 in terms of the agenda served by the false stories. That is most definitely not the case here. Just as was true in 2002 and 2003, when the media clearly wanted to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and thus all of its "errors" went in that direction, virtually all of its major "errors" in this story are devoted to the same agenda and script: ..."
"... Crowdstrike, the firm hired by the DNC, claimed they had evidence that Russia hacked Ukrainian artillery apps; they then retracted it . ..."
"... The U.S. media and Democrats spent six months claiming that all "17 intelligence agencies" agreed Russia was behind the hacks; the NYT finally retracted that in June, 2017: "The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies -- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community." ..."
"... Widespread government and media claims that accused Russian agent Maria Butina offered "sex for favors" were totally false (and scurrilous). ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | theintercept.com
BuzzFeed was once notorious for traffic-generating "listicles," but has since become an impressive outlet for deep investigative journalism under editor-in-chief Ben Smith. That outlet was prominently in the news this week thanks to its "bombshell" story about President Trump and Michael Cohen: a story that, like so many others of its kind, blew up in its face , this time when the typically mute Robert Mueller's office took the extremely rare step to label its key claims "inaccurate."

But in homage to BuzzFeed's past viral glory, following are the top ten worst media failures in two-plus-years of Trump/Russia reporting. They are listed in reverse order, as measured by the magnitude of the embarrassment, the hysteria they generated on social media and cable news, the level of journalistic recklessness that produced them, and the amount of damage and danger they caused. This list was extremely difficult to compile in part because news outlets (particularly CNN and MSNBC) often delete from the internet the video segments of their most embarrassing moments. Even more challenging was the fact that the number of worthy nominees is so large that highly meritorious entrees had to be excluded, but are acknowledged at the end with (dis)honorable mention status.

Note that all of these "errors" go only in one direction: namely, exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow and the Trump circle's connection to it. It's inevitable that media outlets will make mistakes on complex stories. If that's being done in good faith, one would expect the errors would be roughly 50/50 in terms of the agenda served by the false stories. That is most definitely not the case here. Just as was true in 2002 and 2003, when the media clearly wanted to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and thus all of its "errors" went in that direction, virtually all of its major "errors" in this story are devoted to the same agenda and script:

10. RT Hacked Into and Took Over C-SPAN (Fortune)

On June 12, 2017, Fortune claimed that RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN and that C-SPAN "confirmed" it had been hacked. The whole story was false:

C-SPAN Confirms It Was Briefly Hacked by Russian News Site https://t.co/NUFD662FMz pic.twitter.com/POstGFzvNE

-- Fortune Tech (@FortuneTech) January 12, 2017

Kremlin-funded Russian news network RT interrupted C-SPAN's online feed for about ten minutes Thursday afternoon https://t.co/Z25LqoCW2H

-- New York Magazine (@NYMag) January 12, 2017

Holy shit. Russia state propaganda (RT) "hacked" into C-SPAN feed and took over for a good 40 seconds today? In middle of live broadcast. https://t.co/pwWYFoDGDU

-- Isaac Saul (@Ike_Saul) January 12, 2017

RT America ominously takes over C-SPAN feed for ten minutes @tommyxtopher reviews today's events for #shareblue https://t.co/uiiU5awSMs

-- Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) January 12, 2017

After investigation, C-SPAN has concluded that the RT interruption was not the result of a hack, but rather routing error.

-- ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) January 18, 2017
9. Russian Hackers Invaded the U.S. Electricity Grid to Deny Vermonters Heat During the Winter (WashPost)

On December 30, 2016, the Washington Post reported that "Russian hackers penetrated the U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont," causing predictable outrage and panic, along with threats from U.S. political leaders. But then they kept diluting the story with editor's notes – to admit that the malware was found on a laptop not connected to the U.S. electric grid at all – until finally acknowledging, days later, that the whole story was false, since the malware had nothing to do with Russia or with the U.S. electric grid:

Breaking: Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont https://t.co/LED11lL7ej

-- The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 31, 2016

NEW: "One of the world's leading thugs, [Putin] has been attempting to hack our electric grid," says VT Gov. Shumlin https://t.co/YgdtT4JrlX pic.twitter.com/AU0ZQjT3aO

-- ABC News (@ABC) December 31, 2016

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9ktNVW_TblI?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=1

Washington Post retracts story about Russian hack at Vermont utility https://t.co/JX9l0926Uj via @nypost

-- Kerry Picket (@KerryPicket) January 1, 2017
8. A New, Deranged, Anonymous Group Declares Mainstream Political Sites on the Left and Right to be Russian Propaganda Outlets and WashPost Touts its Report to Claim Massive Kremlin Infiltration of the Internet (WashPost)

On November 24, 2016, the Washington Post published one of the most inflammatory, sensationalistic stories to date about Russian infiltration into U.S. politics using social media, accusing "more than 200 websites" of being "routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans." It added: "stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign [on Facebook] were viewed more than 213 million times."

Unfortunately for the paper, those statistics were provided by a new, anonymous group that reached these conclusions by classifying long-time, well-known sites – from the Drudge Report to Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. – as "Russian propaganda outlets," producing one of the longest Editor's Note in memory appended to the top of the article (but not until two weeks later , long after the story was mindlessly spread all throughout the media ecosystem):

Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, say independent researchers https://t.co/3ETVXWw16Q

-- Marty Baron (@PostBaron) November 25, 2016

Just want to note I hadn't heard of Propornot before the WP piece and never gave permission to them to call Bellingcat "allies" https://t.co/jQKnWzjrBR

-- Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) November 25, 2016

Marty, I would like to more about PropOrNot, "experts" cited in the article. Their website provides little in the way of ID. https://t.co/ZiK8pKzUwx

-- Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) November 25, 2016
7. Trump Aide Anthony Scaramucci is Involved in a Russian Hedge Fund Under Senate Investigation (CNN)

On June 22, 2017, CNN reported that Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci was involved with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, under Senate investigation. He was not. CNN retracted the story and forced the three reporters who published it to leave the network. 6. Russia Attacked U.S. "Diplomats" (i.e. Spies) at the Cuban Embassy Using a Super-Sophisticated Sonic Microwave Weapon (NBC/MSNBC/CIA)

On September 11, 2017, NBC News and MSNBC spread all over its airwaves a claim from its notorious CIA puppet Ken Dilanian that Russia was behind a series of dastardly attacks on U.S. personnel at the Embassy in Cuba using a sonic or microwave weapon so sophisticated and cunning that Pentagon and CIA scientists had no idea what to make of it.

But then teams of neurologists began calling into doubt that these personnel had suffered any brain injuries at all – that instead they appear to have experienced collective psychosomatic symptoms – and then biologists published findings that the "strange sounds" the U.S. "diplomats" reported hearing were identical to those emitted by a common Caribbean male cricket during mating season.

An @NBCNews exclusive: After more than a year of mystery, Russia is the main suspect in the sonic attacks that sickened 26 U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials in Cuba. @MitchellReports has the latest. pic.twitter.com/NEI9PJ9CpD

-- TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 11, 2018

Wow >> U.S. has signals intelligence linking the sonic attacks on Americans in Cuba and China to *Russia* https://t.co/FbNla0vu9W

-- Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) September 11, 2018

Following NBC report about sonic attacks, @SenCoryGardner renews calls for declaring Russia a state sponsor of terror https://t.co/wrnubfecom

-- Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) September 11, 2018

5. Trump Created a Secret Internet Server to Covertly Communicate with a Russian Bank (Slate)

Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU

-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 2016

It's time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia. https://t.co/D8oSmyVAR4 pic.twitter.com/07dRyEmPjX

-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 31, 2016
4. Paul Manafort Visited Julian Assange Three Times in the Ecuadorian Embassy and Nobody Noticed (Guardian/Luke Harding)

On November 27, 2018, the Guardian published a major "bombshell" that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had somehow managed to sneak inside one of the world's most surveilled buildings, the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and visit Julian Assange on three different occasions. Cable and online commentators exploded.

Seven weeks later, no other media outlet has confirmed this ; no video or photographic evidence has emerged; the Guardian refuses to answer any questions; its leading editors have virtually gone into hiding; other media outlets have expressed serious doubts about its veracity; and an Ecuadorian official who worked at the embassy has called the story a complete fake:

Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump's campaign, the Guardian has been told. https://t.co/Fc2BVmXipk

-- Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 27, 2018

The sourcing on this is a bit thin, or at least obscured. But it's the ultimate Whoa If True. It's...ballgame if true.

-- Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 27, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/embed/4A2cuuRK2NU?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=7

The Guardian reports that Paul Manafort visited Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the same month that Manafort joined Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016, a meeting that could carry vast implications for the Russia investigation https://t.co/pYawnv4MHH

-- Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 27, 2018
3. CNN Explicitly Lied About Lanny Davis Being Its Source – For a Story Whose Substance Was Also False: Cohen Would Testify that Trump Knew in Advance About the Trump Tower Meeting (CNN)

On July 27, 2018, CNN published a blockbuster story : that Michael Cohen was prepared to tell Robert Mueller that President Trump knew in advanced about the Trump Tower meeting. There were, however, two problems with this story: first, CNN got caught blatantly lying when its reporters claimed that "contacted by CNN, one of Cohen's attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment" (in fact, Davis was one of CNN's key sources, if not its only source, for this story), and second, numerous other outlets retracted the story after the source, Davis, admitted it was a lie. CNN, however, to this date has refused to do either: 2. Robert Mueller Possesses Internal Emails and Witness Interviews Proving Trump Directed Cohen to Lie to Congress (BuzzFeed)

BREAKING: President Trump personally directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow in order to obscure his involvement. https://t.co/BEoMKiDypn

-- BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 18, 2019

BOOM! https://t.co/QDkUMaEa7M pic.twitter.com/9kcZZ8m1gt

-- Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) January 18, 2019

The allegation that the President of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date. We will do what's necessary to find out if it's true. https://t.co/GljBAFqOjh

-- Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 18, 2019

If the @BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached.

-- Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) January 18, 2019

Listen, if Mueller does have multiple sources confirming Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, then we need to know this ASAP. Mueller shouldn't end his inquiry, but it's about time for him to show Congress his cards before it's too late for us to act. https://t.co/ekG5VSBS8G

-- Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 18, 2019

UPDATE: A spokesperson for the special counsel is disputing BuzzFeed News' report. https://t.co/BEoMKiDypn pic.twitter.com/GWWfGtyhaE

-- BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 19, 2019

To those trying to parse the Mueller statement: it's a straight-up denial. Maybe Buzzfeed can prove they are right, maybe Mueller can prove them wrong. But it's an emphatic denial https://t.co/EI1J7XLCJe

-- Devlin Barrett (@DevlinBarrett) January 19, 2019

. @Isikoff : "There were red flags about the BuzzFeed story from the get-go." Notes it was inconsistent with Cohen's guilty plea when he said he made false statements about Trump Tower to Congress to be "consistent" with Trump, not at his direction. pic.twitter.com/tgDg6SNPpG

-- David Rutz (@DavidRutz) January 19, 2019

We at The Post also had riffs on the story our reporters hadn't confirmed. One noted Fox downplayed it; another said it "if true, looks to be the most damning to date for Trump." The industry needs to think deeply on how to cover others' reporting we can't confirm independently. https://t.co/afzG5B8LAP

-- Matt Zapotosky (@mattzap) January 19, 2019

Washington Post says Mueller's denial of BuzzFeed News article is aimed at the full story: "Mueller's denial, according to people familiar with the matter, aims to make clear that none of those statements in the story are accurate."
https://t.co/ene0yqe1mK

-- andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 19, 2019

If you're one of the people tempted to believe the self-evidently laughable claim that there's something "vague" or unclear about Mueller's statement, or that it just seeks to quibble with a few semantic trivialities, read this @WashPost story about this https://t.co/0io99LyATS pic.twitter.com/ca1TwPR3Og

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 19, 2019

You can spend hours parsing the Carr statement, but given how unusual it is for any DOJ office to issue this sort of on the record denial, let alone this office, suspect it means the story's core contention that they have evidence Trump told Cohen to lie is fundamentally wrong.

-- Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 19, 2019

New York Times throws a bit of cold water on BuzzFeed's explosive -- and now seriously challenged -- report that Trump instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress: https://t.co/9N7MiHs7et pic.twitter.com/7FJFT9D8fW

-- ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) January 19, 2019

I can't speak to Buzzfeed's sourcing, but, for what it's worth, I declined to run with parts of the narrative they conveyed based on a source central to the story repeatedly disputing the idea that Trump directly issued orders of that kind.

-- Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 19, 2019

FWIW in all our reporting I haven't found any in the Trump Org that have met with or been interviewed by Mueller. https://t.co/U4eV1MZc8p

-- John Santucci (@Santucci) January 18, 2019
1. Donald Trump Jr. Was Offered Advanced Access to the WikiLeaks Email Archive (CNN/MSNBC)

The morning of December 9, 2017, launched one of the most humiliating spectacles in the history of the U.S. media. With a tone so grave and bombastic that it is impossible to overstate, CNN went on the air and announced a major exclusive: Donald Trump, Jr. was offered by email advanced access to the trove of DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks – meaning before those emails were made public. Within an hour, MSNBC's Ken Dilanian, using a tone somehow even more unhinged, purported to have "independently confirmed" this mammoth, blockbuster scoop, which, they said, would have been the smoking gun showing collusion between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over the hacked emails (while the YouTube clips have been removed, you can still watch one of the amazing MSNBC videos here ).

There was, alas, just one small problem with this massive, blockbuster story: it was totally and completely false. The email which Trump, Jr. received that directed him to the WikiLeaks archive was sent after WikiLeaks published it online for the whole world to see, not before. Rather than some super secretive operative giving Trump, Jr. advanced access, as both CNN and MSNBC told the public for hours they had confirmed, it was instead just some totally pedestrian message from a random member of the public suggesting Trump, Jr. review documents the whole world was already talking about. All of the anonymous sources CNN and MSNBC cited somehow all got the date of the email wrong.

To date, when asked how they both could have gotten such a massive story so completely wrong in the same way, both CNN and MSNBC have adopted the posture of the CIA by maintaining complete silence and refusing to explain how it could possibly be that all of their "multiple, independent sources" got the date wrong on the email in the same way, to be as incriminating – and false – as possible. Nor, needless to say, will they identify their sources who, in concert, fed them such inflammatory and utterly false information.

Sadly, CNN and MSNBC have deleted most traces of the most humiliating videos from the internet, including demanding that YouTube remove copies. But enough survives to document just what a monumental, horrifying, and utterly inexcusable debacle this was. Particularly amazing is the clip of the CNN reporter (see below) having to admit the error for the first time, as he awkwardly struggles to pretend that it's not the massive, horrific debacle that it so obviously is:

Knowingly soliciting or receiving anything of value from a foreign national for campaign purposes violates the Federal Election Campaign Act. If it's worth over $2,000 then penalties include fines & IMPRISONMENT. @DonaldJTrumpJr may be in bigly trouble. #FridayFeeling https://t.co/dRz6Ph17Er

-- Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 8, 2017

boom https://t.co/9RPPltRq8k pic.twitter.com/eyYHkOMEPi

-- Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) December 8, 2017

CNN is leading the way in bashing BuzzFeed but it's worth remembering CNN had a humiliation at least as big & bad: when they yelled that Trump Jr. had advanced access to the WL archive (!): all based on a wrong date. They removed all the segments from YouTube, but this remains: pic.twitter.com/0jiA50aIku

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 19, 2019

Dishonorable Mention:

[May 14, 2020] NYT Falsely Blames Russia For Cyberattack Committed By British Hacker

Chancellor Angela Merkel that stupid? "Chancellor Angela Merkel used strong words on Wednesday condemning an "outrageous" cyberattack by Russia's foreign intelligence service on the German Parliament, her personal email account included. Russia, she said, was pursuing "a strategy of hybrid warfare."
Notable quotes:
"... That alleged attack happened in 2015. The attribution to Russia is as shoddy as all attributions of cyberattacks are. ..."
"... Intelligence officials had long suspected Russian operatives were behind the attack, but they took five years to collect the evidence, which was presented in a report given to Ms. Merkel's office just last week. ..."
"... This is really funny because we recently learned that the company which investigated the alleged DNC intrusion, CrowdStrike, had found no evidence , as in zero, that a Russian hacker group had targeted the DNC or that DNC emails were exfiltrated over the Internet: ..."
"... CrowdStrike, the private cyber-security firm that first accused Russia of hacking Democratic Party emails and served as a critical source for U.S. intelligence officials in the years-long Trump-Russia probe, acknowledged to Congress more than two years ago that it had no concrete evidence that Russian hackers stole emails from the Democratic National Committee's server. ..."
"... The DNC emails were most likely stolen by its local network administrator, Seth Rich , who provided them to Wikileaks before he was killed in a suspicious 'robbery' during which nothing was taken. ..."
"... The whole attribution of case of the stolen DNC emails to Russia is based on exactly nothing but intelligence rumors and CrowdStrike claims for which it had no evidence. As there is no evidence at all that the DNC was attacked by a Russian cybergroup what does that mean for the attribution of the attack on the German Bundestag to the very same group? ..."
May 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

The New York Times continues its anti-Russia campaign with a report about an old cyberattack on German parliament which also targeted the parliament office of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel Is 'Outraged' by Russian Hack but Struggling to Respond
Patience with President Vladimir Putin is running thin in Berlin. But Germany needs Russia's help on several geopolitical fronts from Syria to Ukraine.

NYT Berlin correspondent Katrin Bennhold writes:

Chancellor Angela Merkel used strong words on Wednesday condemning an "outrageous" cyberattack by Russia's foreign intelligence service on the German Parliament, her personal email account included. Russia, she said, was pursuing "a strategy of hybrid warfare."

But asked how Berlin intended to deal with recent revelations implicating the Russians, Ms. Merkel was less forthcoming.

"We always reserve the right to take measures," she said in Parliament, then immediately added, "Nevertheless, I will continue to strive for a good relationship with Russia, because I believe that there is every reason to always continue these diplomatic efforts."

That alleged attack happened in 2015. The attribution to Russia is as shoddy as all attributions of cyberattacks are.

Intelligence officials had long suspected Russian operatives were behind the attack, but they took five years to collect the evidence, which was presented in a report given to Ms. Merkel's office just last week.

Officials say the report traced the attack to the same Russian hacker group that targeted the Democratic Party during the U.S. presidential election campaign in 2016.

This is really funny because we recently learned that the company which investigated the alleged DNC intrusion, CrowdStrike, had found no evidence , as in zero, that a Russian hacker group had targeted the DNC or that DNC emails were exfiltrated over the Internet:

CrowdStrike, the private cyber-security firm that first accused Russia of hacking Democratic Party emails and served as a critical source for U.S. intelligence officials in the years-long Trump-Russia probe, acknowledged to Congress more than two years ago that it had no concrete evidence that Russian hackers stole emails from the Democratic National Committee's server.
...
[CrowdStrike President Shawn] Henry personally led the remediation and forensics analysis of the DNC server after being warned of a breach in late April 2016; his work was paid for by the DNC, which refused to turn over its server to the FBI. Asked for the date when alleged Russian hackers stole data from the DNC server, Henry testified that CrowdStrike did not in fact know if such a theft occurred at all : "We did not have concrete evidence that the data was exfiltrated [moved electronically] from the DNC, but we have indicators that it was exfiltrated," Henry said.

The DNC emails were most likely stolen by its local network administrator, Seth Rich , who provided them to Wikileaks before he was killed in a suspicious 'robbery' during which nothing was taken.

The whole attribution of case of the stolen DNC emails to Russia is based on exactly nothing but intelligence rumors and CrowdStrike claims for which it had no evidence. As there is no evidence at all that the DNC was attacked by a Russian cybergroup what does that mean for the attribution of the attack on the German Bundestag to the very same group?

While the NYT also mentions that NSA actually snooped on Merkel's private phonecalls it tries to keep the spotlight on Russia:

As such, Germany's democracy has been a target of very different kinds of Russian intelligence operations, officials say. In December 2016, 900,000 Germans lost access to internet and telephone services following a cyberattack traced to Russia.

bigger

Ahem. No!

That mass attack on internet home routers, which by the way happened in November 2016 not in December, was done with the Mirai worm :

More than 900,000 customers of German ISP Deutsche Telekom (DT) were knocked offline this week after their Internet routers got infected by a new variant of a computer worm known as Mirai. The malware wriggled inside the routers via a newly discovered vulnerability in a feature that allows ISPs to remotely upgrade the firmware on the devices. But the new Mirai malware turns that feature off once it infests a device, complicating DT's cleanup and restoration efforts.
...
This new variant of Mirai builds on malware source code released at the end of September . That leak came a little more a week after a botnet based on Mirai was used in a record-sized attack that caused KrebsOnSecurity to go offline for several days . Since then, dozens of new Mirai botnets have emerged , all competing for a finite pool of vulnerable IoT systems that can be infected.

The attack has not been attributed to Russia but to a British man who offered attacks as a service. He was arrested in February 2017:

A 29-year-old man has been arrested at Luton airport by the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) in connection with a massive internet attack that disrupted telephone, television and internet services in Germany last November. As regular readers of We Live Security will recall, over 900,000 Deutsche Telekom broadband customers were knocked offline last November as an alleged attempt was made to hijack their routers into a destructive botnet.
...
The NCA arrested the British man under a European Arrest Warrant issued by Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) who have described the attack as a threat to Germany's national communication infrastructure.

According to German prosecutors, the British man allegedly offered to sell access to the botnet on the computer underground. Agencies are planning to extradite the man to Germany, where – if convicted – he could face up to ten years imprisonment.

The British man, one Daniel Kaye, plead guilty in court and was sentenced to 18 month imprisonment :

During the trial, Daniel admitted that he never intended for the routers to cease functioning. He only wanted to silently control them so he can use them as part of a DDoS botnet to increase his botnet firepower. As discussed earlier he also confessed being paid by competitors to takedown Lonestar.

In Aug 2017 Daniel was extradited back to the UK to face extortion charges after attempting to blackmail Lloyds and Barclays banks. According to press reports, he asked the Lloyds to pay about £75,000 in bitcoins for the attack to be called off.

The Mirai attack is widely known to have been attributed to Kaye. The case has been discussed at length . IT security journalist Brian Krebs, who's site was also attacked by a Mirai bot net, has written several stories about it. It was never 'traced to Russia' or attributed it to anyone else but Daniel Kaye.

Besides that Kennhold writes of "Russia's foreign intelligence service, known as the G.R.U.". The real Russian foreign intelligence services is the SVR. The military intelligence agency of Russia was once called GRU but has been renamed to GU.

The New York Times just made up the claim about Russia hacking in Germany from absolutely nothing. The whole piece was published without even the most basic research and fact checking.

It seems that for the Times anything can be blamed on Russia completely independent of what the actually facts say.

Posted by b on May 14, 2020 at 14:38 UTC | Permalink


J Swift , May 14 2020 15:05 utc | 1

Good article!

Along the same lines, it always bothered me that among all the (mostly contrived) arguments about who might have been responsible for the alleged "hacking" of DNC as well as Clinton's emails, we never heard mentioned one single time the one third party that we absolutely KNOW had intercepted and collected all of those emails--the NSA! Never a peep about how US intelligence services could be tempted to mischief when in possession of everyone's sensitive, personal information.

Petri Krohn , May 14 2020 15:26 utc | 2
The "Fancy Bear" group (also knowns as advanced persistent threat 28) that is claimed to be behind the hacks is likely little more than the collection of hacking tools shared on the open and hidden parts of RuNet or Russian-speaking Internet. Many of these Russian-speaking hackers are actually Ukrainians .

Some of the Russian hackers also worked for the FSB, like the members of Shaltai Boltai group that were later arrested for treason. George Eliason claims Shaltai Boltai actually worked for Ukrainians. For a short version of the story read this:

Cyberanalyst George Eliason Claims that the "Fancy Bear" Who Hacked the DNC Server is Ukrainian Intelligence – In League with the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike

Cyberanalyst George Eliason has written some intriguing blogs recently claiming that the "Fancy Bear" which hacked the DNC server in mid-2016 was in fact a branch of Ukrainian intelligence linked to the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike. I invite you to have a go at one of his recent essays...

Patrick Armstrong , May 14 2020 15:27 utc | 3 Wow! You've done it again. I was just writing my Sitrep and thinking what an amazing coincidence it is that, just as the Russian pipelaying ship arrived to finish Nord Stream, Merkel is told that them nasty Russkies are doing nasty things. I come here and you've already solved it. Yet another scoop. Congratulations.
Brendan , May 14 2020 15:41 utc | 4
The NYT has removed that sentence about the attack on internet/phone access:

"Correction: May 14, 2020

An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed responsibility for a 2016 cyberattack in which 900,000 Germans lost access to internet and telephone services. The attack was carried out by a British citizen, not Russia. The article also misstated when the attack took place. It was in November, not December. The sentence has been removed from the article. "

That was there for at least 13 hours from yesterday evening onwards. The page was archived this morning though before that edit:
https://web.archive.org/web/20200513221700/https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/13/world/europe/merkel-russia-cyberattack.html

Norwegian , May 14 2020 15:45 utc | 5
From this we can learn that anything can be blamed by MSM, completely independent of what the facts are. It is not limited to allegations related to Russia or China, but any and all claims by MSM that have no direct reference to provable fact.
james , May 14 2020 15:45 utc | 6
great coverage b... thank you... facts don't matter.. what matters is taking down any positive image of russia, or better - putting up a constantly negative one... of this the intel and usa msm are consistent... the sad reality is a lot of people will believe this bullshit too...

i was just reading paul robinsons blog last night - #DEMOCRACY RIP AND THE NARCISSISM OF RUSSIAGATE .. even paul is starting to getting pissed off on the insanity of the media towards russia which is rare from what i have read from him!

@ 3 patrick armstrong.. keep up the good work!! thanks for your work..

Brendan , May 14 2020 15:48 utc | 7
OK I don't know how to fix the formatting in my last link but you can look up https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/13/world/europe/merkel-russia-cyberattack.html on https://web.archive.org for 10:46 May 14 2020
m droy , May 14 2020 15:51 utc | 8
There is already a correction made to the DT attack - someone reads MofA! Shame they don't get more of their new interpretation form here.

Whole piece reads here like it started as a Merkel gets close to Russia piece, shown around to colleagues and politicians for feedback, and a ton of fake "why Merkel actually hates the Russians" nonsense was added in.

After all pretty much everyone has tapped Merkel's phone by now.

tucenz , May 14 2020 16:22 utc | 9
Fairy tales told by Danny Kaye....

[May 14, 2020] It's interesting that people need conspiracies in order to feel that *someone* is in control, rather than everything just being chaos.

May 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , May 12 2020 23:19 utc | 190

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | May 12 2020 21:51 utc | 179 People feel safer if they believe Covid was made in a lab--
That it is a natural occurring virus is a bit unsettling, and underscores the futility of living in an emergent and evolving world.

Good point. It's interesting that people need conspiracies in order to feel that *someone* is in control, rather than everything just being chaos.

On the other hand, people rarely believe that the people above them in the social hierarchy engage in conspiracies. I read something years ago. Some author attended a conference of business leaders in some industry. He asked them if they thought the executives in their industry engaged in collusion or conspiracy. They all said, "sure". He then asked them if they thought the senior people in politics in the country engaged in conspiracy. None of them believed that. He speculated that it would be unsettling to people to believe that the people who *rule them* are corrupt and conspiratorial even though they know that *they* are corrupt and conspiratorial.

For the people who view themselves as "rabble rousers", however, it suits them to believe that they can *influence* history, so having everything being a conspiracy just means that they might somehow become such a "conspiracy" and defeat the conspiracy they don't like.

However, as I commented above, unless you're willing (and able, meaning you have the skills and resources) to *kill* the conspirators, one is unlikely to be able to "change history." How likely is it that any of these people will ever have the influence of a Martin Luther, or a Ghandi - or Hitler? They're not likely to be that lucky.

It's like what a pick-up artist I watched on Youtube pointed out about hot women who have a choice between working for a living at a normal job or trying to be a model or actress. Given the actual - few - numbers of available "success slots" in either profession, the odds of being successful are pretty low. One has millions of competitors in those fields trying to be on the top.

The same limitation applies to "influencers". This is why we see everyone flocking to Youtube to flog whatever they're interested in. And the ones who manage to get a couple million "followers" end up being feted as if they were "genuine" successes. Some of those people, of course, do put out useful information. A lot of them, however, are on par with a character like Paris Hilton - superficial, irrelevant. It's like celebrity worship and the worship of the British Royal family in general.

And that's all based on the subconscious notion that the more you're "visible" to the rest of the world, somehow the more "life" you get awarded from "the gods." Or at least the more you can get in terms of finances and survival chances. Everything boils down to the fear of death - and lack of social influence threatens ostracism, which in ancient times was the equivalent of death, being cast out of the tribe.

That's probably even why most of us post on blogs. LOL It's certainly why the trolls post here.

It's better to focus on one's individual survival options in a rational way, rather than trying to "roll the dice" and hope to somehow get ahead of the rest of the pack. It's better to be Harry Harrison's "Stainless Steel Rat" (a well-known series of sci-fi novels about a criminal who manages to get along in a future "crime-proof" society.) Who knows? Enough "rats in the wainscotting" might cause the system to fall.

There are times when the whole history of the world seems to me just one long shipwreck; all that matters is to save oneself. - Henrik Ibsen

[May 10, 2020] Fear to tell truth, smoke mirrors, writing not for readers but for other journalists - How UK press got to be the LEAST trust by Neil Clark

MSM now run under control of intelligence agencies and use State Department of Foreign Office talking points, much like in the USSR, where this role was played by communist Party
Notable quotes:
"... Part of the problem is that newspapers have morphed into viewspapers. The distinction between reporting and comment has been blurred. Back in the 70s, leading publications only had one comment piece and an editorial. Their pages were packed with news items, with stories reported factually and without a 'bent'. ..."
"... Today, comment has taken over, but while there's no shortage of 'opinion', most of it is saying very much the same thing. I think we first saw this phenomenon in the lead up to the Iraq War. I was one of the very few mainstream commentators who ridiculed the claim that Iraq had WMDs. It was obvious to me that if the leaders of the UK and US genuinely believed Saddam possessed these terrible weapons, they wouldn't be planning to do the one thing which would provoke the Iraqi leader into using them, i.e. invade his country. Yet the Great WMDs Hoax, which a child of five could see through, was promoted by nearly all 'serious' journalists. The most vociferous media cheerleaders for the invasion faced no professional blowback, on the contrary, their careers have flourished. ..."
May 06, 2020 | www.rt.com

Trust in the written press in Britain is the lowest in 33 European countries. That's hardly surprising seeing how so many journalists have become mere stenographers for, or lackeys of, the Establishment power elites. Just when you think the reputation of the UK media couldn't sink any lower, it just did. An annual survey undertaken by EurobarometerEU, across 33 countries, puts the UK at the bottom, with a net trust of -60. Yes that's right, minus 60 . It's a fall of 24 points since last year. Just 15 percent of Brits trust their print media. But it's not the only survey showing a similar trend.

The attached graphic about trust in the written press, published last week, has not been widely reported in Britain. This is a huge annual survey by @EurobarometerEU across 33 countries. It's the ninth year out of the past ten that the UK has been last. We have a problem. pic.twitter.com/8eYoQR7XZw

-- Brian Cathcart (@BrianCathcart) May 5, 2020

Newspapers came in rock bottom (with a rating of -50) in a YouGov poll on Sky where the question was asked, "How much do you trust the following on Coronavirus?" And in case you think it's only the Sun we're talking about here, another poll showed that distrust of so-called 'upmarket' papers was running at 52 percent.

How did we get here? I've got a collection of old newspapers and magazines dating back several decades. Part of the problem is that newspapers have morphed into viewspapers. The distinction between reporting and comment has been blurred. Back in the 70s, leading publications only had one comment piece and an editorial. Their pages were packed with news items, with stories reported factually and without a 'bent'.

Read more The BBC used to be gold standard, now it's losing public trust with political meddling

Today, comment has taken over, but while there's no shortage of 'opinion', most of it is saying very much the same thing. I think we first saw this phenomenon in the lead up to the Iraq War. I was one of the very few mainstream commentators who ridiculed the claim that Iraq had WMDs. It was obvious to me that if the leaders of the UK and US genuinely believed Saddam possessed these terrible weapons, they wouldn't be planning to do the one thing which would provoke the Iraqi leader into using them, i.e. invade his country. Yet the Great WMDs Hoax, which a child of five could see through, was promoted by nearly all 'serious' journalists. The most vociferous media cheerleaders for the invasion faced no professional blowback, on the contrary, their careers have flourished.

As bad as the Iraq War propaganda was, things have got even worse since then. Obnoxious gatekeepers have ensured that the parameters of what can and can't be said in print have narrowed still further.

In the mid-Noughties, I was writing regularly in the UK mainstream print media. So too was John Pilger. Our articles were popular with readers, but not with the gatekeepers. When I wrote a balanced, alternative view on Belarus for the New Statesman in 2011, I came under fierce gatekeeper attack.

I forgot that on Belarus and many other issues, only one point of view was allowed. Silly me.

Only one thing can save UK print press

Today, the lack of diversity of opinion is one of the reasons why newspaper sales have crashed – (sales have slumped by two-thirds in the past 20 years), and conversely why 'alternative' sites, and media outlets where a wide range of opinions ARE heard have done so well. Who wants to pay money for a paper when the political views published in it range from pro-war centrist-left, to pro-war centrist-right?

If there was a single newspaper or magazine column which examined forensically whether Labour really did have an anti-Semitism 'crisis' under Jeremy Corbyn, I must have missed it.

And apart from Mary Dejevsky in the i paper, where was the journalism examining the many inconsistencies in the official narrative of the Skripal case? Why has 'Private Eye', which bills itself as 'anti-Establishment', not covered the ongoing Philip Cross Wikipedia editing scandal ?

Also on rt.com 'One way to pay for headlines': Backlash after UK govt gifts newspapers £35m Covid-19 advertising bump

I'm sure the old 'Eye' of Richard Ingrams and Bron Waugh would have if Wikipedia had been around then.

And what about the Covid-19 coverage? Has any journalist asked the very simple question: if the virus is as bad as the government says it is, and a domestic lockdown is necessary to stop its spread, why have flights continued to come into the country (including from virus hotspots) unchecked?

Don't get me wrong, there are still some good columnists out there, but sadly you can count them on one hand.

The only thing that can save UK print media from total collapse is if there is a large-scale clear-out of the faux-left/neocon-dominated commentariat and their replacement by writers who actually address the issues that readers are interested in. Newspapers used to be published for their readers, now it seems most are published for people who write for other newspapers – and to enable 'Inside the Tenters' to congratulate each other for their 'brilliant' articles on Twitter.

The smug, mutual back-slapping nonsense, seen at its worst at journalist 'award' ceremonies, has gone on for too long. We need more old-style chain-smoking journos, not frightened of telling truth to power – and less smoke and mirrors.

Trust in British print media can be restored, but only if we go back to the future.

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

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66 is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66 6 May, 2020 17:39 Get short URL

[May 01, 2020] The word conspiracy was invented to label anyone who questions or challenges falsehood based on facts

May 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Judgement Day Warning , says: Show Comment April 30, 2020 at 10:42 am GMT

The word conspiracy was invented to label anyone who questions or challenges falsehood based on facts. These people operate by way of deception. We are all born with inner concious but some of us end up selling our souls to gain worldly benefits. The Creator of Heavens and Earth warns us not to sell our souls at the expense of hereafter. Unfortunately, many do not believe in the Creator of heavens and Earth, Judgement day or Hell and Heaven so they continue living their lives of deceit and lies despite the facts all around them.

[Apr 30, 2020] 77th Brigade Is British Military Waging An Information War On Its Own Population

Apr 30, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

77th Brigade: Is British Military Waging An Information War On Its Own Population? by Tyler Durden Thu, 04/30/2020 - 02:00 Authored by Mike Robinson via 21stCenturyWire.com,

Last Wednesday, during the daily UK Government Coronavirus livestream , the head of the British Army, General Sir Nick Carter, bragged:

We've been involved with the Cabinet Office Rapid Response Unit, with our 77th Brigade helping to quash rumours from misinformation, but also to counter disinformation. Between three and four thousand of our people have been involved, with around twenty thousand available the whole time at high readiness.

To understand the implications of this statement, we have to go back to 2018, when Carter gave a speech to the Royal United Services Institute.

"In our 77th Brigade," he said, "... we have got some remarkable talent when it comes to social media, production design, and indeed Arabic poetry. Those sorts of skills we can't afford to retain in the Regular component but they are the means of us delivering capability in a much more imaginative way than we might have been able to do in the past."

77th Brigade

Previously known as the 'Security Assistance Group', 77th Brigade was stood up in 2015 as part of ' Army 2020 '. The Security Assistance Group had been established following the amalgamation of the Media Operations Group, 15 Psychological Operations Group, Security Capacity Building Team, and the Military Stabilisation and Support Group.

77th Brigade is described on their website as being about 'information and outreach'. But what does that mean? General Carter again:

We also, though, need to continue to improve our ability to fight on this new battlefield, and I think it's important that we build on the excellent foundation we've created for Information Warfare through our 77th Brigade, which is now giving us the capability to compete in the war of narratives at the tactical level. [Emphasis mine]

It is in this context, then, that Carter's words from last week's livestream should be viewed. Carter has acknowledged that the British military is waging war on a section of its own population.

'Rapid Response Unit'

Carter mentioned working with the Cabinet Office's ' Rapid Response Unit '. Established in April 2018 and also known as the 'fake news unit', the Rapid Response Unit was given an initial six months' funding. It brought together a "team of analysts, data scientists and media and digital experts," armed with cutting-edge software, to "work round the clock to monitor online breaking news stories and social media discussion."

According to the RRU's head, Alex Aiken:

The unit's round the clock monitoring service has identified several stories of concern during the pilot, ranging from the chemical weapons attack in Syria to domestic stories relating to the NHS and crime.

For example, following the Syria airstrikes, the unit identified that a number of false narratives from alternative news sources were gaining traction online. These "alt-news" sources are biased and rely on sensationalism rather than facts to pique readers' interest.

Due to the way that search engine algorithms work, when people searched for information on the strikes, these unreliable sources were appearing above official UK government information. In fact, no government information was appearing on the first 15 pages of Google results. We know that search is an excellent indicator of intention. It can reflect bias in information received from elsewhere.

The unit therefore ensured those using search terms that indicated bias – such as 'false flag' – were presented with factual information on the UK's response. The RRU improved the ranking from below 200 to number 1 within a matter of hours.

The Rapid Response Unit was given permanent funding in February 2019 .

Three months following the establishment of the Rapid Response Unit, Theresa May attended the G7 summit in Quebec, Canada.

There she announced the establishment of "a new Rapid Response Mechanism ", following Britain's proposal for "a new, more formalised approach to tackling foreign interference across the G7" at the G7 Foreign Minister's meeting the previous month.

The agreement sends "a strong message that interference by Russia and other foreign states would not be tolerated," she said.

"The Rapid Response Mechanism," she continued, "will support preventative and protective cooperation between G7 countries, as well as post-incident responses", including:

The UK government's Rapid Response, then, is to create international agreement on a common narrative (via the 'mechanism'), and then wage an information war on its own people to make sure that narrative is protected in the media (via the 'unit').

Fusion

During Carter's 2018 RUSI speech, he explained the role of the mainstream press in "setting up a well-informed public debate". He spoke about "political warfare" being war by other means, and he said that winning that war would require a "fusion" approach.

Here, he is referring to the Fusion Doctrine, which was launched during the Theresa May regime, as part of the 2015 National Security Capability Review .

"Many capabilities," it said, "that can contribute to national security lie outside traditional national security departments and so we need stronger partnerships across government and with the private and third sectors."

It should come as no surprise, then, that the Cabinet Office's Rapid Response Unit is not only working with the military's 77th Brigade, but is " leading on the 'rebuttal of false narratives' as part of the unit [that also] involves the Home Office, DCMS, Number 10 and other agencies."

The Corona-Narrative

General Carter said his 77th Brigade is "helping to quash rumours from misinformation, but also to counter disinformation."

What misinformation and disinformation is 77th Brigade helping to quash? How much of the ' disinformation ' originates from 77th Brigade in the first place?

Part of 77th Brigade's role is:

'Monitoring and evaluating the information environment within boundaries or operational area'

They not only 'counter' disinformation, but also watch social media, analysing how disinformation, including their own, spreads; mapping the internet and the networks of people sharing content between each other.

And for that, they have thousands deployed, and tens of thousands in reserve, not only in 77th Brigade directly, but right across government and the third sector.

[Apr 26, 2020] The CIA invented term "conspiracy theory" had been absorbed into the hearts and minds of everybody in the US and beyond, so that most people felt -- and feel -- that they must distrust their own quite rational suspicions of elite attempts to rob them of their rights and freedoms, as if the very notion of such covert class warfare

Apr 26, 2020 | off-guardian.org

"The mainstream media was falling into a pattern of groupthink on issue after issue, often ignoring important factual information because it didn't fit with what all the Important People knew to be true," wrote Parry in 2015 .

"Looking back over the past two decades," he continued, "I wish I could say that the media trend that we detected in the mid-1990s had been reversed. But, if anything, it's grown worse. The major Western news outlets now conflate the discrete difficulties from made-up 'fake news' and baseless 'conspiracy theories' with responsible dissenting analyses. All get thrown into the same pot and
subjected to disdain and ridicule."

Such was the tactic used to make Parry himself look like a kook, when he shed light on Iran/contra and the "October surprise," just as it was used in the mid-Nineties to demolish Gary Webb, the investigative journalist who broke the story of the CIA's drug smuggling out of Nicaragua.

By then the tactic had been used successfully for roughly thirty years, after the CIA, in its Memo #1035-960, first weaponized the phrase "conspiracy theory" to discredit critics of the Warren Report.

By the time Parry founded Consortium News -- as George Seldes (in 1940) and I.F. Stone (in 1953) had founded their respective antidotes to the propaganda gushing from the US press -- "conspiracy theory" had been absorbed into the hearts and minds of everybody in the US and beyond, so that most people felt -- and feel -- that they must distrust their own quite rational suspicions of elite attempts to rob them of their rights and freedoms, as if the very notion of such covert class warfare, waged by Them against the rest of us, is absolutely crazy on its face.

That is a very dangerous idea, as it has largely incapacitated We the People, by giving them a sentimental misimpression of executive authority, so that they often can't believe our government would do the things it's actually, demonstrably, been doing to the rest of us, and peoples all over the world, for decades.

From the assassinations of our most beloved leaders, to the initiation, and protraction, of gratuitous wars and rightist coups abroad, to the orchestration of horrific terrorist attacks on our own soil, to the stealing of elections everywhere (including here), to the harassment and imprisonment of whistle-blowers and other activists, to the shattering experiments in mind control inflicted on prisoners, mental patients, students and other helpless people, to the routine approval of drugs and vaccines that do lasting harm, and even kill; and so on.

Those independent outlets bold enough to tell the awful truths that all the other media ridicule as lunacy are few and far between; and Robert Parry's was among the best of them.

[Apr 26, 2020] The way I see it, conspiracy theory is "anything that contradicts the MSM propaganda - unless that conspiracy theory has been propagated by the MSM itself"

Apr 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

moe , Apr 24 2020 18:48 utc | 26

Posted by: Skeletor | Apr 24 2020 17:53 utc | 9

The way I see it, conspiracy theory is "anything that contradicts the MSM propaganda - unless that conspiracy theory has been propagated by the MSM itself". Moon of Alabama, and by implication it's posters, have been cynically smeared by bought-and-paid-for shills like propornot.com. Ironic you talk about qAnon, which is just another MSM conspiracy theory, false flag or unicorn - take your pick.

[Apr 23, 2020] The clandestine cooperation between Western intelligence services and the media has been known for decades and is well documented

Apr 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

concerned , Apr 23 2020 16:24 utc | 9

The clandestine cooperation between Western intelligence services and the media has been known for decades and is well documented. The following case shows just how closely and comprehensively even leading European journalists have been cooperating with secret services such as the CIA. [...]

https://swprs.org/the-editor-in-chief-and-the-cia/

Regrettably Swiss Propaganda Watch website does not have any articles on peneration of the alternative news space.

[Apr 16, 2020] Why would the CIA want blackmail material on top scientists and "experts"? Well, I guess that even though scientists will naturally feel obligation to their benefactors' empire, their tendency to prioritize truth might at times be inconvenient

Highly recommended!
It is essential for men of science to take an interest in the administration of their own affairs or else the professional civil servant will step in -- and then the Lord help you. Rutherford
Notable quotes:
"... The Mockingbird mass media tools have something far more important: Duty to an empire that is staggering from crises. The pandemic isn't even the greatest of the crises that is bedeviling the empire. Even the financial meltdown is just one of the biggies. A particularly insidious crisis growing in the West is the Mockingbird mass media losing control of the narratives needed to maintain empire. This leaves the media tools desperate, almost frantic, in their narrative spinning. ..."
Apr 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , Apr 15 2020 11:38 utc | 168

The year that Rutherford died (1938 [sic]) there disappeared forever the happy days of free scientific work which gave us such delight in our youth. Science has lost her freedom. Science has become a productive force. She has become rich but she has become enslaved and part of her is veiled in secrecy. I do not know whether Rutherford would continue to joke and laugh as he used to.

"These media and these experts, both enamored of objectivity and impartiality, have they a conscience ? Do they have ethics ?" --Chinese Ambassador quoted and translated by Peter AU1 @152

The Mockingbird mass media tools have something far more important: Duty to an empire that is staggering from crises. The pandemic isn't even the greatest of the crises that is bedeviling the empire. Even the financial meltdown is just one of the biggies. A particularly insidious crisis growing in the West is the Mockingbird mass media losing control of the narratives needed to maintain empire. This leaves the media tools desperate, almost frantic, in their narrative spinning.

By the way, everyone knows that Stephen Hawking was a guest at Epstein's Island, right? In fact, a large number of notable scientists had been guests there. Now why would the CIA want blackmail material on top scientists and "experts" ? Well, I guess that even though scientists will naturally feel obligation to their benefactors' empire, their tendency to prioritize truth might at times be inconvenient.

[Apr 15, 2020] The Berniecrat Revolution Will Not Be Televised or Re-evolution For Dummies by Pam Ho

Of course we should be search for intelligence assets under each bed. But Bernie in retrospect does look like a second rate preacher who was controlled or whom campaign was infiltrated by intelligence agencies having completely different agenda and pushing him to self-destruct. His approval of Russiagate tells you everything you need to knoww about him: a sheep dog on a mission.
Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi exposed Kamala as not only lacking scruples, but also as weak and easily flustered. The [Intelligence] Man right then and there understood that with Tulsi, the revolution might NOT be televised . ..."
"... Bernie and his campaign then inexplicably began to help The [Intelligence] Man by embracing the negative branding being pushed onto Bernie and his campaign. What about Cuba, huh Bernie? The [Intelligence] Man 's puppets asked. Nice guys! Said Bernie and his people. Well, what about Socialism, huh Bernie? Socialism is Awesome! Bernie and his people said. And with that, The [Intelligence] Man knew he had won. ..."
"... Was Bernie following the advice of people secretly working for The [Intelligence] Man ? It sure looked like that ..."
"... Bernie's campaign should have stuck to his working-class New Deal branding. Instead, many of his leading surrogates had their own social conditioning agendas. An example of that elitist liberal mindset is with Hillary Clinton's basket of deplorables comment. ..."
"... That mentality from a political surrogate is poison to a campaign. Voters dislike politicians who scold them. Which is why so many of those types of Bernie surrogates are also known for being liberal interventionists. They scolded people who were against invading and bombing countries "for their own good." They called people traitors for not supporting their demands for regime-change wars in the Middle East and elsewhere. ..."
Apr 13, 2020 | medium.com

Before the loss of momentum on Super Tuesday the mounting enthusiasm among Berniecrats was palpable. Was Gil Scott-Heron wrong, was the revolution going to be televised?

Tulsicrats already knew the revolution would not be televised. Tulsi Gabbard took down The [Intelligence] Man 's #1 choice to lead Amerika, and that was televised live to the world. Kamala Harris had the full backing of the Clinton/neocon foreign policy establishment . Tulsi exposed Kamala as not only lacking scruples, but also as weak and easily flustered. The [Intelligence] Man right then and there understood that with Tulsi, the revolution might NOT be televised .

After seeing the revolution begin to be televised, The [Intelligence] Man went after Tulsi will all the ferocity that The [Intelligence] Man 's media/political machine could muster by inundating America 24/7 with:

Tulsi Gabbard works for Putin, she's a nazi, a fascist, a monster and (gasp) a Republican!

The [Intelligence] Man even got some "Berniecrats" to smear Tulsi . To make sure the revolution will not be televised The [Intelligence] Man then deplatformed Tulsi from televised town halls, televised debates, and televised news.

The [Intelligence] Man then saw Bernie Sanders gaining momentum over the crowded field of candidates. The [Intelligence] Man knew from seeing Tulsi in the debates that the revolution could be televised , but, The [Intelligence] Man also knew he couldn't deplatform a front runner like Bernie. The [Intelligence] Man 's choice moving forward was simple and obvious to calculate. Americans needed to learn that Bernie's economic plan to help the working class -- was in reality a communist plot.

The [Intelligence] Man 's media/political machine went into overdrive to tell Americans that Bernie Sanders is an incarnation of Karl Marx, of Mao and Stalin, of Venezuelan poverty, of Cuban totalitarianism, of all things Un-American. Just because Tulsi had shown that the revolution could be televised .

Bernie and his campaign then inexplicably began to help The [Intelligence] Man by embracing the negative branding being pushed onto Bernie and his campaign. What about Cuba, huh Bernie? The [Intelligence] Man 's puppets asked. Nice guys! Said Bernie and his people. Well, what about Socialism, huh Bernie? Socialism is Awesome! Bernie and his people said. And with that, The [Intelligence] Man knew he had won.

The revolution will not be televised . The Bernie Sanders campaign didn't know how to relate to the average middle class American. Why did they embrace The [Intelligence] Man 's negative branding? Did they believe they could easily change the average American's attitude towards communism and socialism because like The Blues Brothers, they're on a mission from God?

Was Bernie following the advice of people secretly working for The [Intelligence] Man ? It sure looked like that. Couldn't he see that by embracing being branded as The Socialist Savior™ it would ensure their campaign was doomed? Wasn't it obvious that The [Intelligence] Man 's media/political machine would work 24/7 to convince Americans that Bernie Sanders is a communist if he accepted the socialist branding? The [Intelligence] Man 's plan was simple and obvious -- repeat to people over and over every single day that socialism=communism. That socialism=taking your money away. That socialism=making America a failed state. That socialism=totalitarianism. The tactic to brand Bernie as a communist, as an enemy of the freedom loving American people, was obvious to everyone in politics. Except to the people running Bernie's campaign. It seems they had no qualms with socialist branding.

The Sanders campaign embraced the socialism™ brand instead of fighting it. They embraced woke branding as well. Didn't they know that the African American community are to a great extent devout Christians? Their vote was needed to have any chance of winning the primary. Using a lot of political energy on promoting Identity politics may be popular with college kids and liberal elites, but that worldview typically runs counter to the Bible based morality believed in by so many in the African American community. Devout people don't like to be told there is something wrong with them if they believe in scriptural authority. And woke politics is nothing if not a subjective exercise in didactic moralizing. So the revolution will not be televised.

Bernie's campaign should have stuck to his working-class New Deal branding. Instead, many of his leading surrogates had their own social conditioning agendas. An example of that elitist liberal mindset is with Hillary Clinton's basket of deplorables comment. Did anyone ask why she felt confidant enough in that liberal upper-class environment to say that? She was playing to a crowd she was intimate with. She knew they had the same type of liberal elitist views as her own. Which are a woke version of the attitude of Professor Henry Higgins towards the Eliza Doolittles of the working class -- as in this video:

That mentality from a political surrogate is poison to a campaign. Voters dislike politicians who scold them. Which is why so many of those types of Bernie surrogates are also known for being liberal interventionists. They scolded people who were against invading and bombing countries "for their own good." They called people traitors for not supporting their demands for regime-change wars in the Middle East and elsewhere. So the revolution will not be televised.

That let-them-eat-cake liberal upper-class attitude gets people killed. And not only in interventionist regime-change wars. You see almost all liberal elites in America supporting harsh economic sanctions against countries who voted for the wrong type of leader. Those leaders who nationalize natural resources instead of letting American and European corporations control them, tend to find themselves all of a sudden being labeled dictators and drug kingpins. They find themselves all of a sudden fighting for their lives against an opposition armed to the teeth. They see the liberal elite in America going all in for sanctions against their countries which leaves their economies in tatters. For example, Trump's sanctions and coups against numerous leftist governments in Latin America are supported by the liberal elites . So the revolution will not be televised.

Bernie's surrogates who push their own pet social agendas in order to "educate" Americans lead people to feel like they are trying to convert them to a religious cause. What they want is to be offered political help from a politician. Instead they often feel like they are being asked to support a cause. That mentality doomed Liz Warren and it doomed Bernie Sanders as well. Those surrogates may well know how to appeal to their like-minded trust fund nepotistic media gentry pals and liberal elites from Brooklyn, D.C., and L.A. -- but they know how to appeal to average Americans about as much as they do to Martians. Is that why Bernie lost even with so much good will going into the primary? I don't know what went on inside their decision making process, all I can offer is what I saw as an average person outside the campaign who wanted Bernie to succeed.

It is funny not-funny how Tulsi Gabbard always came to the aid of Bernie when The [Intelligence] Man was smearing him. Whether it was over sexism claims or Russiagating him or anything else -- Tulsi always had his back. But Bernie was reluctant to have anything to do with Tulsi when she was being openly deplatformed. Was it his decision or the people running his campaign who helped to deplatform and shut down the only other true progressive and only ally in the primary? Who can say if it was their pet causes which guided them? Or maybe it was their not wanting to jeopardize jobs after the Sanders campaign in the liberal elite neocon dominated media/political job market? Or maybe it was something more basic. Like love for liberal elite money. Or love for TurkishSaudiQatariPakistani money? With all those influences on the people running his campaign and on his media surrogates, who can say if Bernie was sabotaged by them (like they did to Tulsi) or not. The revolution will not be televised.

Written by Pam Ho Follow https://www.facebook.com/pamhoo

[Apr 14, 2020] The media has been largely taken over by a criminal gang (Operation Mockingbird), and the same gang has taken over the Democrat party

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media. The pretence of democracy is crashing and the oligarchy exposed. ..."
Apr 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

PJB , Apr 14 2020 12:02 utc | 91

@Wlliam Gruff

Whether social democrat or socialist - I agree Sanders did progress the cause for needed societal, financial and political change.

But why did he fold so weakly and meekly in both 2016 and again now?

Especially in the face of obvious vote rigging by the Hillary campaign (as proven in a Florida civil court ruling - albeit with the judge's decision accepting the DNC Defense argument that the DNC has the right to appoint their candidate and override the primaries - sudden untimely death of two of the lawyers for the Bernie Sanders supporters who brought the case as well).

This time the totally unexpected victory on "Super Thursday" as Sleepy Joe called it in 9 state primaries stinks to high heaven. Maybe he did win given the media support and enough ignoramuses voted for a man who is blatantly suffering dementia as well as having been a corrupt nepotist of the highest order and an alleged rapist and video documented serial creepy fondler of women and young children.

Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media. The pretence of democracy is crashing and the oligarchy exposed.

Trump will win - because many will hope he is a renegade oligarch who has some moral compass even if a broken one.

William Gruff , Apr 14 2020 12:32 utc | 93

PJB @89

A social democrat will refuse to demand that General Motors make concessions to the workers unless General Motors is making solid profits. Extend the concept to the entire economy. Capitalism is in crisis. For a social democrat that means heavy demands are off the table until the crisis is resolved and capitalism returns to profitability. How could Sanders deliver on his promises even if he won? Better to just throw in the towel, at least from a social democrat perspective.

"Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media."

Indeed, but there is more to it. The mass media isn't so much colluding with the Dems as the media has been largely taken over by a criminal gang ( Operation Mockingbird ), and the same gang has taken over the Democrat party. Instructions to both the mass media and the Dems are coming from the same folks, so it looks like collusion, but actual direct connections between the two will not be so conspicuous.

[Feb 28, 2020] Media s Deafening Silence On Latest WikiLeaks Drops Is Its Own Scandal by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Yet the mass media, freakishly, has had absolutely nothing to say about this extremely newsworthy story. ..."
"... The mass media's stone-dead silence on the OPCW scandal is becoming its own scandal, of equal or perhaps even greater significance than the OPCW scandal itself. It opens up a whole litany of questions which have tremendous importance for every citizen of the western world; questions like, how are people supposed to participate in democracy if all the outlets they normally turn to to make informed voting decisions adamantly refuse to tell them about the existence of massive news stories like the OPCW scandal? How are people meant to address such conspiracies of silence when there is no mechanism in place to hold the entire mass media to account for its complicity in it? And by what mechanism are all these outlets unifying in that conspiracy of silence? ..."
"... This is the FOURTH leak showing how the OPCW fabricated a report on a supposed Syrian 'chemical' attack," tweeted journalist Ben Norton. "And mainstream Western corporate media outlets are still silent, showing how authoritarian these 'democracies' are and how tightly they control info." "Media silence on this story is its own scandal," "Media silence on this story is its own scandal," "Media silence on this story is its own scandal," tweeted journalist Aaron Maté. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | caitlinjohnstone.com

This is getting really, really, really weird. WikiLeaks has WikiLeaks has published yet another set of leaked internal documents from within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) adding even more material to the mountain of evidence that we've been lied to about an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria last year which resulted in airstrikes upon that nation from the US, UK and France.

... ... ...

[Feb 25, 2020] Russiagate II: Return of the Low Intelligence Zombies

Notable quotes:
"... CNN concluded that "America's Russia nightmare is back." Maddow was ecstatic, bleating "Here we go again," recycling her failed conspiracy theories whole. Everybody quoted Adam Schiff firing off that Trump was "again jeopardizing our efforts to stop foreign meddling." Tying it all to the failed impeachment efforts, another writer said , "'Let the Voters Decide' doesn't work if Trump fires his national security staff so Russia can help him again." The NYT fretted , "Trump is intensifying his efforts to undermine the nation's intelligence agencies." John Brennan (after leaking for a while, most boils dry up and go away) said , "we are now in a full-blown national security crisis." The undead Hillary Clinton tweeted , "Putin's Puppet is at it again." ..."
"... But it's still a miss on Bernie. He did well in Nevada despite the leaks, though Russiagate II has a long way to go. Bernie himself assured us of that. Instead of pooh-poohing the idea that the Russians might be working for him, he instead gave it cred, saying , "Some of the ugly stuff on the internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters." ..."
"... The world's greatest intelligence team can't seem to come up with anything more specific than "interfering" and "meddling," as if pesky Aunt Vladimir is gossiping at the general store again. CBS reports that House members pressed the ODNI for evidence, such as phone intercepts, to back up claims that Russia is trying to help Trump, but briefers had none to offer. Even Jake Tapper , a Deep State loyalty card holder, raised some doubts. WaPo , which hosted one of the leaks, had to admit "It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken." ..."
"... Yes, yes, they have to protect sources and methods, but of course the quickest way to stop Russian influence is to expose it. Instead the ODNI dropped the turd in the punchbowl and walked away. Why not tell the public what media is being bought, which outlets are working, willingly or not, with Putin? Did the Reds implant a radio chip in Biden's skull? Will we be left hanging with the info-free claim "something something social media" again? ..."
"... Because the intel community learned its lesson in Russiagate I. Details can be investigated. That's where the old story fell apart. The dossier wasn't true. Michael Cohen never met the Russians in Prague. The a-ha discovery was that voters don't read much anyway, so just make claims. You'll never really prosecute or impeach anyone, so why bother with evidence (see everything Ukraine)? Just throw out accusations and let the media fill it all in for you. ..."
"... The intel community crossed a line in 2016, albeit clumsily (what was all that with Comey and Hillary?), to play an overt role in the electoral process. When that didn't work out and Trump was elected, they pivoted and drove us to the brink of all hell breaking loose with Russiagate I. The media welcomed and supported them. The Dems welcomed and supported them. Far too many Americans welcomed and supported them in some elaborate version of the ends justifying the means. ..."
"... The good news from 2016 was that the Deep State turned out to be less competent than we originally feared. ..."
Feb 25, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Russians are back, alongside the American intelligence agencies playing deep inside our elections. Who should we fear more? Hint: not the Russians.

On February 13, the election security czar in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) briefed the House Intelligence Committee that the Russians were meddling again and that they favored Donald Trump. A few weeks earlier, the ODNI briefed Bernie Sanders that the Russians were also meddling in the Democratic primaries, this time in his favor. Both briefings remained secret until this past week, when the former was leaked to the New York Times in time to smear Trump for replacing his DNI, and the latter leaked to the Washington Post ahead of the Nevada caucuses to try and damage Sanders.

Russiagate is back, baby. Everyone welcome Russiagate II.

You didn't think after 2016 the bad boys of the intel "community" (which makes it sound like they all live together down in Florida somewhere) weren't going to play their games again, and that they wouldn't learn from their mistakes? Those errors were in retrospect amateurish. A salacious dossier built around a pee tape? Nefarious academics befriending minor Trump campaign staffers who would tell all to an Aussie ambassador trolling London's pubs looking for young, fit Americans? Falsified FISA applications when it was all too obvious even Trumpkin greenhorns weren't dumb enough to sleep with FBI honeypots? You'd think after influencing 85 elections across the globe since World War II, they'd be better at it. But you also knew that after failing to whomp a bumpkin like Trump once, they would keep trying.

Like any good intel op, you start with a tickle, make it seem like the targets are figuring it out for themselves. Get it out there that Trump offered Wikileaks' Julian Assange a pardon if he would state publicly that Russia wasn't involved in the 2016 DNC leaks. The story was all garbage, not the least of which because Assange has been clear for years that it wasn't the Russians. And there was no offer of a pardon from the White House. And conveniently Assange is locked in a foreign prison and can't comment.

Whatever. Just make sure you time the Assange story to hit the day after Trump pardoned numerous high-profile, white-collar criminals, so even the casual reader had Trump = bad, with a side of Russian conspiracy, on their minds. You could almost imagine an announcer's voice: "Previously, on Russiagate I "

Then, only a day after the Assange story (why be subtle?), the sequel hit the theaters with timed leaks to the NYT and WaPo . The mainstream media went Code Red (the CIA has a long history of working with the media to influence elections).

CNN concluded that "America's Russia nightmare is back." Maddow was ecstatic, bleating "Here we go again," recycling her failed conspiracy theories whole. Everybody quoted Adam Schiff firing off that Trump was "again jeopardizing our efforts to stop foreign meddling." Tying it all to the failed impeachment efforts, another writer said , "'Let the Voters Decide' doesn't work if Trump fires his national security staff so Russia can help him again." The NYT fretted , "Trump is intensifying his efforts to undermine the nation's intelligence agencies." John Brennan (after leaking for a while, most boils dry up and go away)