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Neoliberal Propaganda:
Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few

Journalism Vacation from Truth is a direct threat to democracy. Without journalistic integrity, there is no democracy as the average voter cannot make an informed choice. Inverted totalitarism won some time ago.

The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! ~ Donald Trump

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Media-Military-Industrial Complex > Propaganda

News Neoliberal newspeak Recommended Links US and British media are servants of security apparatus Tucker Carlson rejection of neoliberalism Neoliberal war on reality Demonization of Putin
NeoMcCartyism Integrity Initiative Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte Luke Harding: a pathetic author of book that rehash Steele Dossier Edward Lucas as agent provocateur William Browder, economic rape of Russia and Magnitsky Act Litvinenko poisoning
Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo Patterns of Propaganda Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment NYT degeneration into a deep state stooge Pussy Riot Provocation -- the hand of MI6?
Neoliberal war on reality Classic Hypocrisy of British Ruling Elite Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Steele dossier The importance of controlling the narrative MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Anti Trump Hysteria
Corruption of the language Doublespeak Whataboutism as a thought crime Media-Military-Industrial Complex Freedom of speech played by Western MSM as three card monte The Deep State Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition
Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals Purple revolution against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom' Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Bullshit as MSM communication method Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Cold War II "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Michael Wolff's "Fire and fury" revelations and slander of Trump administration Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Neo-fascism New American Militarism
Deception as an art form Diplomacy by deception Media as a weapon of mass deception Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair The attempt to secure global hegemony Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Nation under attack meme
Lewis Powell Memo Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism What's the Matter with Kansas Groupthink Soft propaganda Boeing 737 MAX fiasco
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass The Good Soldier Svejk Nineteen Eighty-Four Brave New World Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given, rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content. If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

We are the world, we are exceptional, we cannot fail. The elite will lie, and the people will pretend to believe them. Heck about 20 percent of the American public will believe almost anything if it is wrapped with the right prejudice and appeal to passion.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015

"The media's interest in the well-being of a foreign population is directly proportional to the West's interest in toppling its government, while editorial standards are inversely proportional to its enemy status." ~John McEvoy

The UK's propaganda machine rivals and even surpasses Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.  

~ Comment by Gravatomic , Apr 17, 2019 link

I think journalists today — elite journalists at least — absorb the biases of the ruling neoliberal oligarchy far more readily than they used to do. The media establishment is populated by yes-men. I do not understand how any skeptical person can, in good conscience, trust a western MSM description of foreign events. You need a second source to compare coverage. The mainstream media gives us no real news. Just the regurgitation of  talking points they were given. Seeing how they treat the concept of truth these days, one might think that 1984 dystopia was an understatement. 

Truth killing is a meta-issue ( nationalinterest.org (

The problem is fundamental, and relates to a broad spectrum of policy issues both foreign and domestic, because truth — factual reality — is a necessary foundation to consider and evaluate and debate policy on any subject. 

Crushing the truth means not just our having to endure any one misdirected policy; it means losing the ability even to address policy intelligently. 

To the extent that falsehood is successfully instilled in the minds of enough people, the political system loses what would otherwise be its ability to provide a check on policy that is bad policy because it is inconsistent with factual reality.

I think it is good that people question their lying politicians and these lying, corrupt partisans pretending to be MSM pundits. If that means that MSM try to slander the people as “conspiracy theorists” you should take it with a grain of salt. As Gore Vidal quipped they are actually  "conspiracy analysts" not "conspiracy theorists".  BTW the term was invented by CIA to crush alternative versions of JFK assassination.  This label is a form of censorship, plain and simple.

I would rather be a conspiracy theorist than take anything CNN or FOX says as gospel. Or, God forbid, believe what US politicians say to justify their action or inaction. Skepticism is good. These people don’t automatically deserve our trust. As Reagan said (translating Russian proverb) "Trust but verify".  

The angle under which this page views events and MSM can be called anti-neoliberal angle (please note that the term populism is the attempt to discredit any anti-neoliberal movement). Until recently such sites were a lone  voice. In 2019 this changed. See Tucker Carlson rejection of neoliberalism

If you take in television news as truthful information, that's all a critically thinking person needs to know about you. In reality 99% of political coverage is neoliberal propaganda, sometimes refined, sometimes crude.

Propaganda can be defined as a war on reality using fake news, disinformation, projection, witch-hunts (see neo_Mccarthhyism) and other methods. An attempt to create an artificial reality.

Propaganda can be defined as a war on reality using fake news, disinformation, projection, witch-hunts (see neo_Mccarthhyism)  and other methods. It is an attempt to create an artificial reality.  The key here is controlling the narrative.  For example, "fake news" hysteria is a perfect method of suppressing of dissent and questions about MSM ties to three-letter agencies ( see US and British media are servants of security apparatus )

Journalists manipulate us in the interest of the Powerful. Do you also have the feeling, that you are often manipulated by the media and  lied to? Then you're like the majority of Germans. Previously it was considered as a "conspiracy theory". Now it revealed by an Insider, who tells us what is really happening under the hood.

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ...he reveals why opinion leaders produce tendentious reports and serve as the extended Arm of the NATO press office. ...the author also was admitted into the networks of American elite organizations, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn about industry lobby organisations. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which exert bias into media, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. Also revealed are the intelligence backgrounds of those lobby groups, the methods and forms of propaganda and financing used, for example, by the US Embassy. Which funds  projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany 

...You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthüllungen Bücher - Kopp Verlag

Simplifying, the US MSM foreign events media coverage (and large part of domestic coverage related to the opposition to neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization, see Anti Trump Hysteria during elections and immediately after them ) has very little to do with the reality and is mostly a barometer of the paranoia of the US neoliberal elite.  It is 100% propaganda, or as CBS like to call it "fake news".

How does Fake History and Fake News in the US MSM gradually superseded their reality-based version (which never was perfect, and often quite distorted)  is a very interesting question but it is too big for this page. I would only say that this process is closely connected with the process of the neoliberalization of the US society which started in full force in late 70th (see also late Sheldon Wolin  notion of  Inverted Totalitarism) . We can take election of Reagan as a starting point although the process started immediately after WWII. From this point "fake news" were enforced on the US society as the only acceptable narrative? Which, is essence, is a neoliberal war on reality.

The process started with the creation of CIA. The key question that arise in this regard is whether  representative democracy is compatible with the existence large all-powerful and largely uncontrollable and positioned "above the law" intelligence  agencies. 

The key question that arise in this regard is whether  representative democracy is compatible with the existence large all-powerful and largely uncontrollable and positioned "above the law" intelligence  agencies.

At some point any society with powerful intelligence  agencies naturally arrive to the point when "the tail wags the dog."  In other words they became political power and in institutional hierarchy are positioned above White House.  In the USA this probably happened  around 1963, with the JFK assassination.  In a way the USSR via Truman enforced its model of governance on the USA ;-). Creation of intelligence agencies by Truman was actually the act of the creation of national security state. Which could be  viewed as an official end of the US democracy with quick (less then two decades) rise to power of the Deep State (with the first major victory demonstrated to the US people in 1963).  

With it the huge apparatus of state propaganda (and by extension means of suppressing of dissent) intelligence  agencies, which gradually acquired political power including considerable (but not yet absolute, that will come much later, after 9/11) level of control of MSM  (see Church Committee - Wikipedia ).   Which is documented in the book by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News

After 1963, the level outrage in the society was such that there were some meek attempts to check this power, especially the power of intelligence agencies over the MSM (Church Committee - Wikipedia  was probably the most well known) but they lead to nowhere.  CIa and other inteeligence againces remain positioned above the White House.  

Color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate) launched by CIA and FBI after election has shown who is the real master of the USA. It was accompanied by unprecedented neo-McCarthism campaign in which neoliberal MSM lost any remnants of decency and objectivity. 

The recent incident with CIA director Gina Haspel lying to President  Trump to inflict severe sanctions on Russia is just a confirmation of the level of this influence. She will never be fired for her  "transgressions"

Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Apr 16, 2019 4:41:41 PM | link

"If Trump were not in on the schemes he would just fire his underlings!"

This sentiment indicates a failure to understand the power dynamics at play here. Haspel is not the "underling" . Trump is the underling. Sure, being that he is also an oligarch makes Trump's role in the show complicated, but Presidents are installed in order to serve the oligarchy, and the CIA are top level strategists/enforcers for the oligarchy.

In the real organization chart for the empire the CIA is above the President. This has been the case in the US since Kennedy.

Trump cannot fire Haspel or Pompeo. They can fire him, though, and with a sniper's bullet if they want.

Unfortunately for the oligarchy, that would cause additional complications at a time when they have lots of tricky and inexplicably unstable (for them) operations ongoing, which is why they are just steering Trump around instead of replacing him. And Trump is willfully cooperating, even if they are not filling him in on the plans.

Trump will not fire Haspel. He can't. He's just an actor playing a role in a show, and Haspel is one of the producers/writers of that show. If she doesn't put firing in the script then Trump cannot say those lines. I doubt he really wants to anyway.

Principles of War propaganda

 Principles are are well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

The blog empirestrikesblack cites Belgian investigative journalist Michel Collon who has outlined five principles driving war propaganda:

  1. Obscure one’s economic interests;
  2. Appear humanitarian in work and motivations;
  3. Obscure history;
  4. Demonize the enemy; and
  5. Monopolize the flow of information.

NeoMcCarthyism

NeoMcCarthyism campaign which was launched around mid 2016 by Democratic Party operatives as tactical tool to distract attention from DNC corruption and illegal removal of Bernie Sanders from the Democratic ticket after lection of Trump turned into important component of color revolution against Trump. And was fueled not only by MSM but also powerful factions of neoliberals and neocons in US intelligence agencies concerted about their future and the level of financing of "national security parasites".  They also have skeletons in the closet to hide (especially FBI and CIA) and did not prepare well to the Trump victory as this was a huge surprise for everybody including Trump himself.  See Steele dossier and Strzok-gate

Please note that the original McCarthyism campaign lasted more then a decade. And McCarthyism was not exactly or only about Communist infiltration into the US government. It has elements of a more general framework of suppressing any "dissidents" who question "official narrative" and simultaneously served as the framework of brainwashing of population creating a stereotype of enemy, in best Bolsheviks, or, if you wish Nazi Germany, style. In other words, like in famous Orwell novel 1984, under McCarthyism questioning of official narrative has  become a "though  crime" (much like it was in the USSR, especially under Stalinism period).   And repressions were real, although far less extensive and brutal, than in the USSR in 30th.  Thousands of people lost jobs and were blacklisted. Many ostracized, especially from artistic circles, committed suicides.

While Senator McCartney has a certain gist for blackmailing people and, being an alcoholic, he probably would be a suitable candidate for high position in NKVD, he was not a pioneer. He was just a talented follower. This type of modern witch hunt was first implemented on large scale by Bolsheviks in Russia after 1917.  Actually Bolsheviks originated many modern methods of brainwashing of the population.  Which later were enhanced and further developed in Nazi Germany and than imported to the USA after WWII.

That all brings us to the concept of "deep state" and its control of MSM.  The problem with the "deep state" approach to governance is that it replicates Bolshevism on a new, more polished,  level, with high officials of intelligence agencies, Wall Street and  military industrial complex as a new Politburo.  Which is not elected but still controls that nations. So much for remnants of democracy in the USA.  That does not mean that some deviations from the "Party line" are impossible: the election of Trump is one  such event. But loop at the power of the reaction of the "deep state" on this event. Not that Trump (who can be viewed as some kind of Republican "Change we can believe in" Obama" ) was intended to follow his election promises in any case.  The level of vetting of candidates is two party system probably is higher then many of us suspect.

As currently there is no alternative to neoliberalism, the current situation will continue to exist. Notwithstanding  the fact that neoliberal ideology was discredited after 2008 financial crisis, much like Bolshevism in 60th. Bolshevism as a theocratic ideology was essentially dead after WWII (although it managed to kick the can down the road for another 45 years). After 60the Soviet people despite constant brainwashing started to have wide-ranging doubts about the communist state and communist ideology. Listening to state-sponsored propaganda radio-stations from the West such as BBC and Voice of America became national pasture of Soviet citizens, especially educated one. Despite all the jamming.  Similar situation happened with the USA after 2008, when citizen suddenly start showing some level of interest RT broadcasts and views on internal situation in the USA ;-). And, of cause, all this needs to be  stopped. In the name of the "health of the state", democracy be dumned (religious term which literally means "condemned to eternal punishment")

In this particular sense, imitating the enemy by the USA elite after WWII, which was done to fight communist  threat (which was overblown) was a very dangerous course with far reaching consequences.  The new level of this process of "imitating  the enemy" now started with the USA -- the rise of alternative press (kind of Samizdat replica from Soviet past) and clumsy attempt of the deep state to suppress it claiming that they are propagator of "fake news" with the subtext that they are Russian agents  (the campaign which spectacularly backfired: which the help of President Trump tweets this term now became the standard nickname of the "official" US MSM).  That brings us directly to revising Stalin's "Show trials" and corresponding witch-hunt in the USSR.  Appointing  Muller to investigate Trump for "Russian connection" (so called "Russiagate") replays favorite theme of accusing enemies of Stalin of being British agents.  On a new level incorporating set of political technologies of overthrowing the legitimate government commonly known  as "color revolution" technologies. But in both cases it is all about eliminating political rivals.

In broader context the current practice of manipulating population is similar to "high demand cults" style practice  -- Bolshevism actually can be best viewed as a religious cult merged with the political movement, much like political Islam today ( Belief-coercion in high demand cults ):

They use all of the techniques as "low demand" faith groups use: requiring members to accept a system of beliefs, conforming to certain behavioral norms; expecting them to involve themselves in the life of the congregation, etc. However, mind-control groups add many additional methods, and take them all to a much higher level. Some are:

Members are not physically restrained from leaving the group. They are not held prisoner. They can walk away at any time. But there are strong pressures to remain. If they left, all social and emotional support would disappear; they will often be shunned. Some groups teach that God will abandon or punish them if they leave. They may be told that they will die in the imminent war of Armageddon if they leave the protection of the group.

The main methods here always was the generation and totalitarian control of "suitable" narrative (that's why Sheldon Wolin called neoliberal society "inverted totalitarism"):

"The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an "official narrative" that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between "the truth" as defined by the ruling classes and any other "truth" that contradicts their narrative. "

Gerald Celente coined the  term "presstitutes", which is obviously politically incorrect, but still is a very precise term: presstitutes sell themselves to neoliberal establishment for access and governments to prosper financially and to keep their jobs. In the USSR journalist were called "soldiers of the Party" so in the less humiliating way we can call them "soldiers of neoliberal establishment" ;-). 

Read more

Due to the size an introductory article was converted to a separate page Neoliberal Propaganda


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"It tends to be all accurate, but not in an over-all context."

Donald Rumsfeld

"Citizens must be alert to propaganda and
glittering generalities is a type of propaganda
which often uses words such as freedom and patriotism."

"Civics in Practice". Page 274

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[Nov 14, 2019] Andrew Weissmann.... The dirtiest of Mueller's people

Notable quotes:
"... They say he intimidated witnesses by threatening indictments, created crimes that did not exist and, in one case, withheld evidence that could have aided the accused. At one hearing, an incredulous district court judge looked down at an Enron defendant and told him he was pleading guilty to a wire fraud crime that did not exist. ..."
Oct 30, 2017 | www.washingtontimes.com

Posted by Jjdoc

quote:

Today, Mr. Weissmann stands as special counsel Robert Mueller's top gun in a squadron of nearly 20 prosecutors and scores of FBI agents delving into Trump-Russia. Mr. Weissmann is leading the probe into the biggest target to date, Paul Manafort, President Trump's onetime campaign manager.

How Mr. Weissmann operated over a decade ago offers possible glimpses at how he carries out orders today from his longtime mentor, Mr. Mueller.


He's a dirty "cop"

quote:

The backstory: Defense attorneys say Mr. Weissmann bent or broke the rules. As proof, they point to appeals court decisions, exhibits and witness statements.

They say he intimidated witnesses by threatening indictments, created crimes that did not exist and, in one case, withheld evidence that could have aided the accused. At one hearing, an incredulous district court judge looked down at an Enron defendant and told him he was pleading guilty to a wire fraud crime that did not exist.


This is the man going after Trump.

quote:

Mr. Weissmann's cases against Andersen and Merrill Lynch lay in shambles just a few years later.

The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 vote in 2005, overturned the Andersen conviction. A year later, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erased all the fraud convictions against four Merrill Lynch managers. The jury had acquitted another defendant.

"People went off to prison for a completely phantom of a case," said Mr. Kirkendall.

[Nov 14, 2019] Corruption in China by Godfree Roberts

China Communist Party to the extent it is a theocratic state generates its special flavor of corruption typical for theocratic states where high priests of the cult enjoy virtual impunity. It is the same type of corruption that doomed the USSR. So it is institutional
Notable quotes:
"... In China, there is an additional emphasis of the moral aspect and it is less constrained by laws. An immoral action, even if it is legal, may still be considered a corruption by the Chinese society. For example, if a relative of Xi would to give a speech, and then received an exorbitant fee, it probably would be considered a corruption in China. However, in US, this is perfectly legal (and a reason many ex-politicians and ex-government employees become very rich) and it won't be considered a corruption. ..."
"... In case you hadn't noticed from prior postings, "Godfree Roberts" is a fake name for a CCP propaganda writer who scours the Internet for things to promote official views for, such as this absurd piece. ..."
"... The CCP knows corruption/graft, etc. is poison to their authoritarian one party state dictatorship. It is endemic in all such states. So periodically there are huge purges, trials, executions, etc. and a new set of stooges are risen up. Some get the message, most just bow humbly and wait for the storm to pass. It is as old as China. Of course government corruption is hardly unique to China. But in places where party leaders can be voted out (not merely a few shot for effect) it can be cleaned out periodically. Chinese are wisely quiet and cynical about this. ..."
"... What mechanisms are in place to keep this from going too far? That is, accusing someone for personal reasons, for example, to further one's own career. ..."
"... I have viewed Xi Jinping with more suspicion because his family has a lot of wealth and he sent his daughter to Harvard. He also did not agitate for rehabilitating the cultural revolution when it would have been more politically risky for him to have done so, like Bo Xilai did. ..."
"... I wonder if the Government would have something to say if he spoke out against the party and against Xi? Considering that people have received jail sentences (of years) for calling Xi a steamed bun, and that Winnie the Pooh is banned because poor Xi can't handle light hearted criticism I think we all know the answers here ..."
"... This is the ultimate corruption that a society faces – the inability to communicate freely and to criticise those accountable. Every Chinese citizen is under the CCP Yoke regardless of how this CCP shill wants to spin it. ..."
"... Corruption exists everywhere. It's just that it depends on what level it occurs. Heck, in the West, it's legal! Lobbying, they call it You can't bribe a cop to forgive a ticket, but goddamn you can bribe a politician to drive the country into the ground. ..."
"... If you want accurate information about China, stilted prose is inevitable. Real writers, professionals, are paid to lie about China. Anyone who tries to tell the truth is shunned, not only by our mainstream media, but by the PRC, which prefers to let its accomplishments speak for themselves. ..."
"... Udo Ulfkotte[3], Editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, says that no significant European journalist, including himself, was free of CIA influence. Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew[4] outlined the consequences: ..."
"... The first is to do what Confucian states are always supposed to do: recruit your brightest sparks, promote the most honest, competent of them until the topmost are the very best you've got. As its track record demonstrates, the current dynasty has earned everyone's trust by doing that consistently. ..."
"... At this stage, any one who still believes in the western propaganda about China is simply too brain-washed and not too smart for any cure. Excuse me, I should say "too dumb for any cure". ..."
"... For example, Nathan Rich's recent video shows how media biased reporting of Hong Kong compare with Ukraine riots. The contrast can't be anymore stark: ..."
"... People view the world through narratives, and the value of a narrative lies only in how closely it follows and "explains" the widest possible array of empirical facts. ..."
"... Corrupt Chinese have practically taken over the US West Coast and Northeast. There isn't anywhere you could go in LA, Bay Area or Seattle without encountering mandarin speaking people. 99.9% Chinese nationals in the US are corrupt. With a nominal per capita GDP of $8,600, the only people who could afford to emigrate or send their children abroad for education are the rich, and China is so corrupt, no one can get rich without being corrupt, either by taking bribes or giving them. These are the corrupt factory owners who leave behind polluted rivers and air for their countrymen to die from while they escape to greener pastures with their family, and the government officials they bribed to pollute at will. ..."
"... This country is destroyed by (((lawyers))). As Niall Ferguson said, we no longer have the rule of law, we have the rule of (((lawyers))). ..."
Sep 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

The men of Qi presented the government of Lu with a troupe of singing girls. Ji Huanzi accepted them and for three days failed to appear at court. Confucius left the state . Analects

Everywhere, since ancient times, peole have feared government corruption for, unlike war or fraud, corrupt policies cripple nations for centuries. No society has suffered more grievously from–nor waged more protracted war against–official corruption than the Chinese. Today however, though the story not over, it is nearing a goal that could make them the envy of the world and, like most Chinese stories, theirs is a long one.

Corruption–nepotistic, pecuniary, blatant, discreet, major and minor–has been subverting governments since governments were invented. Roman politicians were scandalously corrupt, Christianity failed to improve them, and their legacy of official impunity, bribery, influence peddling, patronage, nepotism and cronyism, electoral fraud, embezzlement, kickbacks, unholy alliances, and involvement with organized crime afflicts us today and we have become numb to it.

China, by contrast, has often enjoyed honest governments and upright officials have been dear to Chinese hearts for millennia. On May 5, 278 BC, after the King of Chu ignored his warnings about official corruption, State Minister Qu Yuan [1] Qu Yuan, 340-278 BC, was a Chu kingdom official and government minister who wrote some of the greatest poetry in Chinese history. drowned himself in the Miluo River in protest. On that day ever since, Dragon Boats renew their search for his body. Great Confucians like the The Hongwu Emperor [2] From Huáng-Míng Zǔxùn (Instructions of the Ancestor of the August Ming), admonitions left to his descendants by the Hongwu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644). fought corruption tirelessly:

Had I thoroughly eradicated corrupt officials in addition to those already imprisoned I would have been dealing with two thousand men from just two prefectures, men with no useful occupation who used my prestige to oppress people. No-one outside government knew how wicked they were, so everyone said my punishments were harsh, for they saw only the severity of the law and didn't know that these villains had used the government's good name to engage in evil practices. In the morning I punished a few and, by evening, others had committed the same crimes. I punished those in the evening and next morning there were more violations! Although the corpses of the first had not been removed others were already lined up to follow in their path, day and night! The harsher the punishment, the more violations. I didn't know what to do, but I couldn't rest. If I was lenient the law became ineffectual, order deteriorated, people thought me weak and engaged in still more evil practices. If I punished them, others regarded me as a tyrant. How could anyone lead a peaceful life in such circumstances? Really, my situation was dreadful.

Confucians fought corruption more effectively than the Romans, partly because of public participation. The people retained the right to withdraw the Mandate of Heaven–and, according to the constitution, still do–and many governments met grisly ends when they failed to honor the Four Principles–propriety, justice, honesty, and honor–or their officials lacked the Eight Virtues–loyalty, filial piety, benevolence, love, integrity, righteousness, harmony and peace.

From the earliest days, officials transferred to provinces were forbidden to bring their parents lest their needs conflict with the Emperor's. They were rotated every three years and, after each rotation, their successors were encouraged to report discrepancies for fear that they be blamed for them. Palace officials were regularly moved between departments and the seriously corrupt were strangled and their families sold into slavery.

Every Chinese, from humble farmers to eminent politicians, knows this history and understands that promoting honest men to leadership is the way to prevent corruption. Many still living saw how a century of chaos devastated public morality, as Mao observed during a 1950 anti-corruption drive, "Today, you can buy a branch secretary for a few packs of cigarettes, not to mention marrying a daughter to him." Mao's slogan, "The masses have sharp eyes," encouraged people to report wrongdoing and corruption fell dramatically. His insistence on merely shaming corrupt officials worked because, says Sydney Rittenberg [3] An old friend of the party assesses China's new leaders. Rob Schmitz. Marketplace. November 19, 2012 . "Nobody locked their doors. The banks–there was a local bank branch on many, many corners–the door was wide open, the currency was stacked up on the table in plain sight of the door, there were no guards and they never had a bank robbery, ever."

As its accomplishments demonstrate, postwar China was free of corruption at the policy-making level but, especially during the forty year Reform and Opening, lower level corruption flourished. Anticipating this in 1980, planners redesigned officials' incentives so that bribers would effectively be rewarding them for expediting the plan, says Yukon Huang [4] Yukon Huang was the World Bank's Director for China. The Diplomat , "The system countered the growth‐inhibiting aspects of corruption by setting investment and production targets that gave local officials incentives to promote expansion. It fostered a unity of purpose so that, even when corruption flourished, the collaborators still made growth the guiding principle of their actions. This was reinforced by competition between localities to meet targets and support productivity‐enhancing economic reforms. The competitive element helped curb waste and ensured a modicum of efficiency despite the high degree of state intervention in commercial activities." Sometimes though, as throughout Chinese history, things got out of hand.

Acting on a tipoff about smuggling, Beijing secretly sent detectives to Xiamen Port in 1999 but the smugglers, tipped off, set fire to the investigators' hotel and killed them as they slept. On national television the next day, Premier Zhu Rongji declared war and ordered a hundred coffins, "Ninety-nine for the crooks and one for me." Detectives from across the country converged on the city and what they found staggered them: four million tons of imported diesel fuel had bypassed customs in just two years. They tracked hundreds of suspects, locked escapees in a local hotel with armed guards on each floor, and spent three years unravelling a case so complex that the customs files alone would be higher than a ten-story building. The gang had bribed the vice-minister of Public Security, Li Jizhou, through his wife and daughter, and Li and thirteen others were sentenced to death, his wife to thirty months in prison and three hundred officials were tried for aiding or abetting the criminals. The ringleader, farmer-turned-smuggler Lai Changxing, fled to Canada, was extradited, and jailed for life in 2009.

After ten years of economic free rein the economy was booming but critics complained of endemic corruption, forgetting that the cycle of alternating liberal and conservative policies is as old and predictable as the moon. Rapid growth had solved many problems but a new cycle was presaged by a nepotism scandal, a form of corruption to which family centric China is uniquely vulnerable. Emperor Wu of Han curbed nepotism by examination in the second century BC and sixteen centuries later, of two-hundred seventy-nine senior officials whose family histories we know [5] China's Meritocratic Examinations and the Ideal of Virtuous Talents. Xiao, H., & Li, C. (2013). In D. Bell & C. Li (Eds.), The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative Perspective: Cambridge University Press. , fewer than half had forebears in government (by 2018, it was one-sixth).

In 1985 Bo Xilai, son of a Revolutionary Immortal and Xi Jinping's schoolmate, had ignored his father's pleas to stay out of politics, "You know nothing of the sufferings of ordinary people and just want to capitalize on my name." Xilai cultivated a charismatic image, was named one of Time's Most Influential People, rose rapidly to provincial governor and publicly campaigned for a cabinet position. But, as conservative scholar Cheng Li said at the time, "Nobody really trusts him. A lot of people are scared of him, including several princelings who are supposed to be his power base." Michael Wines wrote that, though he possessed prodigious charisma and deep intelligence, "He possessed a studied indifference to the wrecked lives that littered his path to power Mr. Bo's ruthlessness stood out." With the help of Justice Minister Zhou Yongkang, Bo had even wiretapped President Hu.

Despite considerable internal resistance, Vice Premier Wu Yi, the nation's highest woman official, demanded an open investigation and a 2012 trial revealed that Bo owned expensive properties around the world and that his wife had murdered a British agent. They were jailed for life and joined a long line of disgraced elites like the grandson of China's Head of State and founder of the Red Army, Zhu De, who was executed for rape, and Yan Jianhong, wife of Guizhou's powerful Party Secretary, who was executed for corruption.

With prosperity assured, and elite corruption confronted, Congress anointed Xi Jinping, the most honest, competent official of his generation, to succeed President Hu. In its first year, Xi's anti-corruption campaign saw ten thousand officials passed over for promotion for concealing information and one-hundred thirty-thousand demoted or disciplined for making false declarations. By 2016, prosecutors had charged sixty-three senior officials and ministers with corruption, released confessions from fifty-seven thousand Party members who made restitution and accepted demotions and seen Yunnan's corrupt Party Secretary, Bai Enpei, sentenced to death. By 2018, anti-corruption squads had investigated 1.3 million bureaucrats, filed a million court cases, issued one hundred thousand indictments, captured thousands of overseas fugitives and jailed or executed one-hundred twenty high-ranking officials–including five national leaders, twelve generals, a dozen CEOs and Sun Zhengcai, former Chongqing Party chief, who was sentenced to life in prison for taking huge bribes. After a 2019 industrial explosion in Tianjin killed one-hundred sixty-five people, the magistrate found that petty bribery had led to weak code enforcement, sentenced the responsible official to death, and jailed forty-nine of his colleagues.

Graft investigators unannounced inspections now resemble elite athletes' doping tests. An Anhui inspection team telephoned an official four times between 7:31-7:35 one evening about his poverty alleviation efforts. He was showering and, when he failed to answer, they reported him for obstruction and moved to dismiss him. Happily, through social media, the public came to his defense and he was exonerated.

Knowing that that ten percent of their statements will be audited, even deputy county officials now report their marital status, overseas travel, criminal record, wages, other earnings, family properties, stocks, funds, insurance and investments. If they refuse to answer questions, or collude with, or protect accomplices, they are detained immediately.

Bureaucrats–especially those with leadership ambitions–endure increasing scrutiny as they advance, says Zhao Bing Bing [6] Daniel Bell and Zhao Bing Bing, The China Model. , "The selection criteria are: a person must have 'both ability and moral integrity and the latter should be prioritized [7] The same wording as the Chief Censor used in the Tang Dynasty. .'" Midlevel officials must report their own assets and those of their parents, wives, children, children's spouses and cousins, children from previous marriages, children born out of wedlock and foster children. They must report their income, savings, real estate, stock portfolios, insurance policies, unit trusts, bonds, assets in overseas accounts and, "Income shall include salary and various bonuses, allowances, subsidies, and payment you receive from lectures, writing, consultation, reviewing, painting and calligraphy." Says a scion of a prominent family:

I am a Party Member in China and all my family are Party members. What I think of Xi is that the life is really changing after he came to power. A relative of mine works for the government as a vital governor in my city Chengdu (which is a big city like BeiJing or ShangHai), then all my family people are like in the hierarchy of privilege. We pay nothing when go out for dinner, the Party pays. We pay nothing for filling in oil, the Party pays. It seems like we don't need to pay for anything with our salaries, cause either the Party pays, or someone will pay for us (who wants to flatter us). I smoke the best, I drink the best, sometimes I even drive without license when drunk, because I fear no one.

In past times, yes we did have privilege everywhere, I felt so arrogant to be superior to others that's also true. But the problem is, there is a tradeoff. We drank quite a lot of alcohol to show respect to others, we had to accept bribes even we know it's risky, cause we have to consider about our clan (like the interest of my boss). We had to do some many things we don't want to do, that's the rule of living in Party, care about the interest of Clan more than your own. That's how we united. We have to fear a lot of threats from ordinary people, colleagues, and bosses. We cannot keep our own passports, Party keeps it in case of we flee.

But life changed after Xi came to power, he did real things on anti-corruption. No one dare to present gifts to governors and the abuse of public funds is strictly monitored. The Party took back the public cars from my family and even we have to pay for the parking fee now! But..my family and I are actually happy with this, we are thankful to President Xi. Cause he seems like dragging China to a healthier future. My relatives don't need to go out for dinner with other governors as social intercourse daily, they don't need to drink so much on the table. And they start to learn to pay for the bill by turns, cause the Party will no longer do this for them. They start to learn how to take bus or metro. That's good, actually. People start to think about what kind of lifestyle is called 'healthy,' they are more like human now, no longer some conceited stupid with expanding power. That's how our life changed after Xi came.

Senior ministers' lives have become excruciatingly transparent. Their private activities are scrutinized and their children must adopt assumed names to avoid influence-seekers. Their meetings must have third-party observers as one-on-one appointments are taken as evidence of impropriety. A record of excessive, or poor quality, government debts is treated as prima facie evidence of corruption and automatically investigated. Senior officials are audited annually after retirement, remain responsible for the consequences of all their decisions until the day they die and, even then, clawback provisions apply.

Xi invited amateur corruption fighters to join the campaign and Beijing publishes a monthly scoresheet. Citizens text tips and complaints to the Rules and Discipline Committee (founded in the Tang Dynasty) at #12388 and often post accusations and photographs of evidence on social media and request additional witnesses. Social media have made the masses' eyes sharper. Netizens scrutinizing a news photograph noticed the work safety boss of Shaanxi province grinning broadly as he assessed the twisted wreckage of a bus and a methanol tanker following an accident that left 36 people dead. They spotted his expensive timepiece and their tipoff and subsequent investigation sent Yang Dacai, Brother Watch, to jail for fourteen years for taking a million dollars in bribes.

Today visitors burn incense at the shrines of great corruption fighters, the battle with official corruption still accounts for half of all Chinese dramas, and millions watch TV dramas about 'Justice Bao' Zheng, the incorruptible Prefect of the Capital in 1000 AD. A popular TV series, 'In the Name of People,' depicts current-day intra-Party power struggles in the fictional city of Jingzhou. There a prosecutor and a handful of honest local officials help laid-off workers protest a corrupt land deal, foil corrupt bureaucrats sabotaging an arrest warrant, and stop fake police bulldozing honest citizens' homes. The show's writers say they have no shortage of material.

The anti-corruption campaign has been immensely popular and, by any measure, successful. In 2018, eighty-three percent of Chinese said the government runs the country for everyone's benefit and ninety-three percent said they trust it–figures rivaling Switzerland's and Finland's. But it was just a prelude to what will probably be Xi's most memorable contribution to Chinese history, the creation of the National Supervision Commission [8] The National Supervision Commission was formed at the first session of the 13th National People's Congress in 2018 and absorbed the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China. .

Until 2018, anti-corruption work was shared by the National Bureau of Corruption Prevention, which recommended anti-corruption policies and handled international anti-corruption coordination. The Supreme People's Procuratorate investigated various kinds of malfeasance. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection enforced party loyalty, anti-graft, ethical and Party lifestyle requirements among civil servants and leading officials who are Party members, but turned criminal evidence over to the state for prosecution. The Ministry of Supervision, MOS, supervised civil servants who were non-Party members, investigated graft, misappropriation of public funds and other duty-related violations.

The Commission subsumes their functions into an independent, fourth arm of government that ranks with the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice. As the most powerful such agency on earth, it employs legislation, digital technology (including face recognition and AI), the sharp eyes of the people, and great investigative powers. With the goal of making corruption impossible, it centralizes all anti-corruption processes and exercises authority over all civil servants within and outside the Party, the government, the People's Congresses, the local supervisory commissions, the people's courts and procuracy, the People's Congresses, the eight democratic parties, federations of industry and commerce, and everyone who works in, or consults for, organizations managing public affairs. With extensive powers to interrogate, search, wiretap, detain suspects and freeze their assets, its writ extends to managers of state owned enterprises, state educational, scientific, research, cultural, health care, sports, and similar agencies, think tanks, village and urban residents committees, and 'all other personnel who perform public duties' and oversees provincial, city, and county level anti-corruption agencies.

Congress appoints the Commission's senior staff and Yang Xiaodu, its first director was, like Xi, a sent-down youth who performed manual labour in Anhui province during the Cultural Revolution. Staff need not be Party members but they can never work in another arm of government for the rest of their lives. The Commission is a political, not administrative body, and is exempt from the extensive procedural and substantive constraints on administrative organs like the police. Though the law requires staff to pay compensation 'in accordance with law' for infringing people's lawful rights and interests, it does not provide a right of further recourse through the courts, but does permit targets to appeal to higher-level organs for re-examination of the Commission's decisions and to challenge unlawful conduct like prolonged detention.

If the Commission comes even close to its goal of making corruption impossible, grateful citizens will credit Confucius and the First Emperor for limiting political power to a single lifetime and confining it to those who demonstrate both honesty and intelligence. They will credit the present dynasty for testing officials in the wilderness and imposing extraordinary transparency, themselves for their unwillingness to tolerate corruption, and Xi Jinping for creating the most powerful corruption-fighting agency in history. Looking back only ten years, it is difficult to believe that corruption in China is on track to rival Singapore's by 2021.

* Corruption in Eighteenth-Century China. Nancy E. Park. The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 56, no. 4, 1997.

Notes

[1] Qu Yuan, 340-278 BC, was a Chu kingdom official and government minister who wrote some of the greatest poetry in Chinese history.

[2] From Huáng-Míng Zǔxùn (Instructions of the Ancestor of the August Ming), admonitions left to his descendants by the Hongwu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644).

[3] An old friend of the party assesses China's new leaders. Rob Schmitz. Marketplace. November 19, 2012

[4] Yukon Huang was the World Bank's Director for China. The Diplomat

[5] China's Meritocratic Examinations and the Ideal of Virtuous Talents. Xiao, H., & Li, C. (2013). In D. Bell & C. Li (Eds.), The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative Perspective: Cambridge University Press.

[6] Daniel Bell and Zhao Bing Bing, The China Model.

[7] The same wording as the Chief Censor used in the Tang Dynasty.

[8] The National Supervision Commission was formed at the first session of the 13th National People's Congress in 2018 and absorbed the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China.


FatPanda , says: September 26, 2019 at 7:28 pm GMT

Great article.

Is that "law breaking" chart from Jeff Browns "China Rising" book? The name has changed?

d dan , says: September 26, 2019 at 8:04 pm GMT
One salient difference between the Chinese and the Western concept of corruption is the role of laws. For people in the west, the definition of corruption is strongly tied to, and in fact mostly defined through laws. To put it very crudely: anything legal is not corruption, and vice versa (i.e. all corruption is illegal).

In China, there is an additional emphasis of the moral aspect and it is less constrained by laws. An immoral action, even if it is legal, may still be considered a corruption by the Chinese society. For example, if a relative of Xi would to give a speech, and then received an exorbitant fee, it probably would be considered a corruption in China. However, in US, this is perfectly legal (and a reason many ex-politicians and ex-government employees become very rich) and it won't be considered a corruption.

There is really no right or wrong in either approaches. Both contains their pros and cons. The Western way has the advantage of transparency that make it easier to follow. But it favors the rich and powerful people who can find loopholes and workarounds to the laws. It also has the disadvantage of difficulty in keeping abreast with advances and changes of society and technologies . The Chinese way has the advantage of flexibility to meeting the moral standard and demands from the people, but may become confusing and uncertain for many people like businessmen or foreigners.

Muggles , says: September 26, 2019 at 9:40 pm GMT
In case you hadn't noticed from prior postings, "Godfree Roberts" is a fake name for a CCP propaganda writer who scours the Internet for things to promote official views for, such as this absurd piece.

The stilted prose and logic is evident. His stuff is full of charts and graphs which magically appear on his computer, unlike yours or mine. Much of that might be "true" in the sense of basic historical writings, but selectively edited. Current Chinese leader Xi here is extolled as chasing "corruption" away. Ha!

The CCP knows corruption/graft, etc. is poison to their authoritarian one party state dictatorship. It is endemic in all such states. So periodically there are huge purges, trials, executions, etc. and a new set of stooges are risen up. Some get the message, most just bow humbly and wait for the storm to pass. It is as old as China. Of course government corruption is hardly unique to China. But in places where party leaders can be voted out (not merely a few shot for effect) it can be cleaned out periodically. Chinese are wisely quiet and cynical about this.

Meanwhile Mr. "Roberts" probably earns a very nice salary doing this work. Maybe even teaches English and propaganda messaging part time. Billions are spent censoring the Internet there and creating rosy statistics. Some gullible foreigners buy into that. Fair enough. Every State has its hired liars and propaganda artists. But China has really set the mark for its effort.

Just avoid going there and saying anything negative. Their prisons are not like ours.

SteveK9 , says: September 26, 2019 at 9:41 pm GMT
What mechanisms are in place to keep this from going too far? That is, accusing someone for personal reasons, for example, to further one's own career.
Anonymous [419] Disclaimer , says: September 26, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT
I thought Bo Xilai was a maoist and so was Zhou Yongkang, both also had countryside experiences similar to Xi Jinping, and Bo Xilai as mayor of Chongqing was very much aligned with Maoists and worked on rehabilitating the memory of the cultural revolution.

I have viewed Xi Jinping with more suspicion because his family has a lot of wealth and he sent his daughter to Harvard. He also did not agitate for rehabilitating the cultural revolution when it would have been more politically risky for him to have done so, like Bo Xilai did.

Xi Jinping isn't anywhere near the leftist Bo Xilai was.

Godfree did you communicate with Chinese who lived in Chongqing under Bo Xilai's mayorship, what did they say then? I recall the corrupt wealthy hating him and the poor loving him. let's not forget Bo Xilai also had anti-corruption anti-gang campaigns.

Tusk , says: September 26, 2019 at 11:18 pm GMT

I am a Party Member in China and all my family are Party members. What I think of Xi is that the life is really changing after he came to power

I wonder if the Government would have something to say if he spoke out against the party and against Xi? Considering that people have received jail sentences (of years) for calling Xi a steamed bun, and that Winnie the Pooh is banned because poor Xi can't handle light hearted criticism I think we all know the answers here.

This is the ultimate corruption that a society faces – the inability to communicate freely and to criticise those accountable. Every Chinese citizen is under the CCP Yoke regardless of how this CCP shill wants to spin it.

Svevlad , says: September 26, 2019 at 11:37 pm GMT
Corruption exists everywhere. It's just that it depends on what level it occurs. Heck, in the West, it's legal! Lobbying, they call it You can't bribe a cop to forgive a ticket, but goddamn you can bribe a politician to drive the country into the ground.
peterAUS , says: September 27, 2019 at 2:05 am GMT
@Muggles Pretty much.
FatPanda , says: September 27, 2019 at 7:06 am GMT
@Muggles I am a US expat, and happen to live in the China Mainland, and my impression is that most Chinese believe Xi Jinping is doing a great job. What do you care really? Do you have any dogs in this race?

Talk about propaganda. Tell me then whom are the following:

Falun Gong
Shen Yun
Epoch Times
New Tang Dynasty
China Uncensored

There is no doubt in my mind China is a threat to the hegemony of the West. I definitely prefer Western civilization. But if forced to choose between Chung Kuo and Babel 2.0, I'll take the former every time.

Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 9:47 am GMT
@FatPanda I think we both got it from the same source.
Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 10:11 am GMT
@Muggles It's not often someone gets so many things wrong in such a tight space. Congratulations.

I've published at least six books, none about China, my bio is all over the place, and I run a business in under my own name.

If you want accurate information about China, stilted prose is inevitable. Real writers, professionals, are paid to lie about China. Anyone who tries to tell the truth is shunned, not only by our mainstream media, but by the PRC, which prefers to let its accomplishments speak for themselves.

I estimate that, since 1950, we taxpayers have spent $100 billion creating and disseminating lies about China–$1.5 billion annually. Money well spent, if you're in the top 1%, because it convinces the masses that, in Margaret Thatcher's words, there is no alternative to our failing system.

CIA Director William Casey[1] confirmed this when he told President Reagan in 1981, "We'll know our disinformation campaign has worked when everything the American public believes is false." Carl Bernstein[2], of Watergate fame, revealed that four hundred journalists had 'secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.' All major US media outlets cooperated, he said, including ABC, NBC, AP, UPI, Reuters, Newsweek, Hearst, the Miami Herald, and the New York Herald‑Tribune.

Udo Ulfkotte[3], Editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, says that no significant European journalist, including himself, was free of CIA influence. Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew[4] outlined the consequences:

The Philippines press enjoys all the freedoms of the US system but fails the people: a wildly partisan press helped Philippines politicians flood the marketplace of ideas with junk and confuse and befuddle the people so that they could not see what their vital interests were in a developing country. And, because vital issues like economic growth and equitable distribution were seldom discussed, they were never tackled and the democratic system malfunctioned. Look at Taiwan and South Korea: their free press runs rampant and corruption runs riot. The critic itself is corrupt yet the theory is, if you have a free press, corruption disappears. Now I'm telling you, that's not true. Freedom of the press, freedom of news critics, must be subordinated to the overriding needs of the integrity of Singapore and to the primacy of purpose of an elected government.

Says Ann Lee[5], "

A reporter and friend of Michael Massing[6] who worked at the Beijing office of The Wall Street Journal told him that the editors in Washington regularly changed material information and opinions in his articles. Given the twelve-hour time difference, by the time his stories went to press in the West, the editors had replaced all the Chinese interviews with statements from American talking heads who work at think tanks promoting anti-China perspectives."

The weird result of this enormous, expensive effort is that, while we were busy lying to ourselves about China, the Chinese were busy eating our lunch, and now it's too late. By 2021 every Chinese will have a home, a job, plenty of food, education, safe streets, health- and old age care. 300,000,000 urban Chinese will have more net worth and disposable income than the average American, their mothers and infants will be less likely to die in childbirth, their children will graduate from high school three years ahead of American kids and live longer, healthier lives and there will be more drug addicts, suicides and executions, more homeless, poor, hungry and imprisoned people in America than in China.

What's more, they'll be ahead of us in science and technology–they're already ahead in math, chemistry, engineering and computer science–because they have 10x more geniuses and spend 3x more on R&D than we do.

They pulled it off because rubes like you believed the bs you read in our media and insulted anyone who tried to tell you the truth. Congratulations.

____________________________________________________________
[1] A direct quote, provided and authenticated by Barbara Honegger, White House Policy Analyst and Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy in the first Reagan Administration, 1981–83, who was present at the briefing and confirmed it with other witnesses.
[2] "The CIA and the Media: How America's Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up." Carl Bernstein. Rolling Stone, 1977.
[3] Gekaufte Journalisten (Bought Journalists), Udo Ulfkotte. Kopp Verlag. 2014. The English language edition, Journalists For Hire: How The CIA Buys The News, has been suppressed.
[4] A Third World Perspective on the Press. RH Lee Kwan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore. C-SPAN, APRIL 14, 1988
[5] What the U.S. Can Learn from China: An Open-Minded Guide to Treating Our Greatest Competitor as Our Greatest Teacher, by Ann Lee, 2012
[6] Editor of The Columbia Journalism Review.

Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
@SteveK9 There are several mechanisms.

The first is to do what Confucian states are always supposed to do: recruit your brightest sparks, promote the most honest, competent of them until the topmost are the very best you've got. As its track record demonstrates, the current dynasty has earned everyone's trust by doing that consistently.

The next step is making the process transparent: publish the rules, put an accountable person in charge of the process–someone with a great deal to lose if they're perceived as being unfair or dishonest (interestingly, Rome's Chief Censor was also such a person) and China's current censor is one of the most admired people in the country.

Then, have a transparent appeals process so that everyone can watch issues being thrashed out.

It's a human and therefore, imperfect, process but people don't expect perfection of their leaders, just best efforts–and that's what the PRC delivers.

Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 11:13 am GMT
@Anonymous Bo was very popular in Chongqing and people still point to the trees he planted and to the rapid progress they made under his administration.

But that is a sine qua non in Chinese government. Even someone as high born as Bo can only hope for advancement if they show dramatic, tangible progress in their area of responsibility.

I suspect from his profile that Bo was a high functioning sociopath whose birth allowed him to bypass many of the filters in the system.

He is often spoken of as a 'rival' of Xi Jinping, but that is simply a Western projection. China's elite knew about Bo's liabilities for decades and one of the reasons Xi got the nod was that he ranked as high as Bo socially. Do you remember how Xi 'disappeared' for ten days following his promotion to the Peacock Throne? He was meeting with his and Bo's peers–their age cohort–to get their blessing on the cleanup he had planned.

Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 11:18 am GMT
@Tusk Nobody has suffered from calling Xi a steamed bun.

However, Chinese don't call their leaders names because their relationship to officials is entirely different from our (Roman) relationship. Martin Jacques explains it well:

The Chinese state enjoys much greater legitimacy than any Western state. The Chinese treat the state with a reverence and respect that is more or less unknown in the West; and the reason clearly has nothing to do with democracy. In other words, a state's legitimacy cannot be reduced to the existence or otherwise of democracy: on the contrary, democracy is not necessarily the most important factor in a state's legitimacy and may, as in the case of China, be relatively unimportant. The underlying reason for the legitimacy of the Chinese state is that, as discussed earlier, it is seen by the people as the embodiment and guardian of Chinese civilization, enjoying, as a consequence, something akin to a spiritual significance. It follows that what would undermine the legitimacy of a government, the present one included, is a threat to the country's unity. The attitude of the Chinese towards the state, thus, is very different to that of Westerners. For the latter, the state is an outsider, a stranger, even an interloper, whose presence should, as far as possible, be limited and confined. This is most obviously the case in the United States, with those who identify with the Tea Party, for example, regarding the state as an alien body, but even in Europe it is viewed with varying degrees of suspicion. In China, in contrast, the state and society are seen as on the same side and part of the same endeavour: the state enjoys the status of an intimate and is treated like a member of the family, not just any member but the head of the family – the patriarch himself. We can only understand the immense authority of the Chinese state in these terms, an authority which has been reinforced by the fact that, unlike in the West, it has had no serious rivals for over a millennium.

Tusk , says: September 27, 2019 at 12:48 pm GMT
@Godfree Roberts https://international.thenewslens.com/article/65955
Huh
klcTan , says: September 27, 2019 at 1:22 pm GMT
@Muggles

Jeff J Brown has spoken to Godfree and the video is on youtube. I have seen the video myself.

Godfree stays in ChiangMai, Thailand.

d dan , says: September 27, 2019 at 4:12 pm GMT
@Godfree Roberts

"The weird result of this enormous, expensive effort is that, while we were busy lying to ourselves about China "

At this stage, any one who still believes in the western propaganda about China is simply too brain-washed and not too smart for any cure. Excuse me, I should say "too dumb for any cure".

For example, Nathan Rich's recent video shows how media biased reporting of Hong Kong compare with Ukraine riots. The contrast can't be anymore stark:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-2Rr8hZK2aQ?feature=oembed

Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 10:57 pm GMT
@Tusk "Radio Free Asia reports .". RFA is a US Government propaganda outlet. 100% WMD, 24×7.
Ber , says: September 28, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT
@Godfree Roberts Here is a good analysis of how the main stream media (MSM) gang up to give propaganda, and how I wish they have objective comments about China or any country they do not like.

All these so-called anti communist slant against countries, I suspect, have its origins in the Vatican. People seem to forget that they should bear false witness

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yUGPIeE9kMc?feature=oembed

Erebus , says: September 28, 2019 at 4:05 am GMT
@peterAUS

Are you sharing the 10′ of 1″ pipe through which you view the world with Muggles? Are you aware that Muggles did nothing but add a few more feet to it?

People view the world through narratives, and the value of a narrative lies only in how closely it follows and "explains" the widest possible array of empirical facts. Muggles' ignores the vast majority – perhaps even all – of the facts.

Ergo, it renders neither yourself nor your readers any value to champion it. Why make the effort to propagate such an obvious failure? Have you never wondered why you lack the dignity and common sense to desist from promoting something whereof you would more usefully remain silent? Are you even aware of the shortfall?

Tusk , says: September 28, 2019 at 4:20 am GMT
@Godfree Roberts And anything the Chinese government puts out is 100% propaganda as well.
Anon [279] Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 4:48 am GMT
Corrupt Chinese have practically taken over the US West Coast and Northeast. There isn't anywhere you could go in LA, Bay Area or Seattle without encountering mandarin speaking people. 99.9% Chinese nationals in the US are corrupt. With a nominal per capita GDP of $8,600, the only people who could afford to emigrate or send their children abroad for education are the rich, and China is so corrupt, no one can get rich without being corrupt, either by taking bribes or giving them. These are the corrupt factory owners who leave behind polluted rivers and air for their countrymen to die from while they escape to greener pastures with their family, and the government officials they bribed to pollute at will.

The New York Times exposed some of them a few years back, it's only gotten worse since:
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/16/world/asia/china-hunts-fugitives-accused-of-corruption-many-in-us.html
They are taking full advantage of the lack of extradition treaty btwn US and China.

They are bribing the US congress to end the per country cap on EB5 visas, where 80% of applicants are corrupt Chinese. The House passed the HR 1044 bill a few months ago scrapping the H1b cap for India and EB5 cap for China. Now Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is trying to get the same bill passed in the Senate. Chuck Grassley and Diane Feinstein tried to kill off the EB5 a few times, but Trump and SIL wouldn't let them. The Kushner family relies on EB5 money for their real estate development.

EB5 is the #1 get out of jail on the cheap card for corrupt Chinese. Many are now buying homes in the US and letting their high school and college age children live in those houses, sometimes 16 year olds who could barely speak English living in million dollar homes by themselves, attending our local high schools for free.

I know of a woman from China in my area who works for JP Morgan, who handles all rich clients from China. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the FBI shows up at her house one day and walks her out in handcuffs, for helping rich Chinese launder their money in the US. The US needs to deport every single last one of these disgusting corrupt pigs to let them go back to China and face trial.

Ruckus , says: September 28, 2019 at 4:54 am GMT
Curious to see the author responding 6 times now (in only 20 posts) to commentors. Aren't the new site rules against this? It's a little off-putting to see an article author respond at all, not to mention that it buttresses Muggles's assertions.

inb4 Godfree's reply, lolz

Anon [279] Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 4:55 am GMT
China is now detaining family members of corrupt officials who return to China with US passports to lure the corrupt husband/father back to China:
https://www.facebook.com/ZeroHedge/posts/china-kidnaps-fugitives-american-wife-holds-hostage-in-secret-black-jail-httpsww/1929804460430049/

Good for them. They need to work out a treaty with all countries to return their fugitives.

renfro , says: September 28, 2019 at 4:57 am GMT
I have no reason to doubt Roberts.
Years ago I read a news report on the execution of a Chinese manufacturing official who was bribed into buying some cheaper ingredient, I think it was, that turned out to sicken or poison people.
Maybe Roberts remembers that.

Some executions or long prison terms for the corrupt in the US would be a good thing.

Anon [257] Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 5:04 am GMT
@klcTan Isn't Chaing Mai the headquarters of the Asian opinion heroin trade?
aandrews , says: September 28, 2019 at 5:19 am GMT
Wow, the scale of the corruption kinda explains all the bizarrely rich ChiComs that took a powder to Vancouver, BC.
Anon [279] Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 5:21 am GMT
@d dan You are right the US is also very corrupt. The book Tailspin – The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty Year Fall by Steven Brill is a great read. America is destroyed by its effed up laws, mostly crafted by Jewish lawyers, who basically built corruption into laws sanctioned by the Supreme Court through cases like Citizens United and Super PAC.

This country is destroyed by (((lawyers))). As Niall Ferguson said, we no longer have the rule of law, we have the rule of (((lawyers))).

Germany and the Scandinavian countries would consider our campaign financing and lobbying industry as corruption on a mass scale. Hitler lost the battle of WWII but won the war for Germany by ridding them of the Jews, until Merkel the idiot came along but that's another story.

peterAUS , says: September 28, 2019 at 5:40 am GMT
@peterAUS Author's "remuneration" coming from the same/similar fund?!
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/23/opinions/gladys-liu-china-australia-opinion-intl-hnk/index.html

United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party, that is.

As

.The United Front, which is supported by considerable resources and a vast bureaucratic operation, was called one of his "magical weapons" by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September 2014. One of the objectives is to co-opt ethnic Chinese individuals and organizations in foreign countries

and

.Xi has delivered multiple speeches and made it formal policy to demand loyalty and commitment from diasporas who the Party refers to as the "sons and daughters" of China. The United Front is the apparatus of choice.

and

.In Australia, the majority of Chinese-language press are owned by entities with at least partial links to Beijing.

Now, that line of thought could go even further in this pub . but, let's skip that, for the moment.

Anyway, a good gig for sure.

anonymous [159] Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT
I had a roommate in college who was from China. He pretty much said that if you know people in the government or have money you could get away with a lot. One of his parents was a customs official, and so he would talk about different things he planned on smuggling to China when he returned with no worries. This was in the late 90's, though.
Realist , says: September 28, 2019 at 10:42 am GMT
@d dan

At this stage, any one who still believes in the western propaganda about China is simply too brain-washed and not too smart for any cure. Excuse me, I should say "too dumb for any cure".

Exactly right.

And speaking of media bias, Gordon Chang is one of the worst US anti-China propagandist there is he is never right.

Realist , says: September 28, 2019 at 10:50 am GMT
No country can hold a candle to the US for corruption lying, greed, hypocrisy or hegemony.
onebornfree , says: Website September 28, 2019 at 11:06 am GMT
The naivete displayed in this article concerning the unavoidable, true, core, fundamental nature of all governments everywhere,[past present, or future], is, sadly, very, very common in both East, West and all points between.

Reality fact: All governments are 100% corrupt, all the time.

Its impossible for them to be anything else, given the sources of their entirely unearned income.[see first quote below].

To make an exception in the case of modern China succeeds only in highlighting the extreme naivete and gullibility of the articles author. Either that [naivete/gullibility], or the author is just another communist party hack who has no idea [or doesn't care] about the extreme danger to all humanity that the communist "ideology" represents, and in particular, has zero idea about how centralized, top down economic systems all inevitably must "work", and what inevitably must/will happen to majority of the population in a country that enforces the idiotic, anti- free market, top-down economic policies of any of the various brands of collectivism, be those policies be labelled "communism", "fascism" ,"nationalism", "democratic socialism", or whatever. Hint: it's called "extreme poverty and enslavement".

Even the historical record of the 20th century vis a vis all forms of collectivism, [including that of Chinas' "great leap forward", is consistently ignored/ covered up.[ "That was then, this is now"!]

In "defense" of this author, I'll just remind myself that the very same false assumptions concerning the true nature of all governments are at the core of almost every Unz.com article I've read here in the last 6 months since I started reading this site. Indeed, the exact same false assumptions concerning the true nature of all governments are consistently evident in the articles by the sites owner, Ron Unz. Recently, I even experienced the pleasure of being banned by one author here [A. Karlin], for pointing out that his own revered "nationalism" was just another brand of socialism.

And so it goes .. :

"Because they are all ultimately funded via both direct and indirect theft [taxes], and counterfeiting [via central bank monopolies], all governments are essentially, at their very cores, 100% corrupt criminal scams which cannot be "reformed","improved", nor "limited" in scope, simply because of their innate criminal nature." onebornfree

"Taking the State wherever found, striking into its history at any point, one sees no way to differentiate the activities of its founders, administrators and beneficiaries from those of a professional-criminal class." Albert J. Nock

"Why should any self-respecting citizen endorse an institution grounded on thievery? For that is what one does when one votes. If it be argued that we must let bygones be bygones, see what can be done toward cleaning up the institution of the State so that it might be useful in the maintenance of orderly existence, the answer is that it cannot be done; you cannot clean up a brothel and yet leave the business intact. We have been voting for one "good government" after another, and what have we got?"
Frank Chodorov, Out of Step (1962)

"Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure." Robert LeFevre

Regards, onebornfree

nsa , says: September 28, 2019 at 11:17 am GMT
@d dan " ..media biased Hong Kong reporting ."
How would American cops react to punks tossing Molotov Cocktails at them? Arson is a felony but there would be no need for a trial just a coroner.
Kal , says: September 28, 2019 at 11:25 am GMT
@Godfree Robertson, What do you think the Chinese diaspora especially in Canada, U.S., and Australia do? The ones that hold foreign passports I mean. And my experience with Chinese people is they largely dislike the government, but have an extreme aggressive nationalism for their country which only manifests when a 外国人 says something. Because as far as I can tell Chinese rush to get out of China and you yourself don't seem to live there either. I personally don't doubt your claims that China will be better off than America, but why is there still a lot of emigration? Another question are you aware of any attempts or plans to fix the massive pollution problem? look forward from hearing back from you.
melpol , says: September 28, 2019 at 12:15 pm GMT
My former employer had no use for corruption, even a paperclip was accounted for due to the office spy. We had only 20 employees and nobody dared badmouth the boss. My job was terminated when the office spy reported me taking home paper cups from the water fountain. My boss received his jobs from the local government by bribing a few politicians. But he demanded honesty from his staff.
Anonymous [683] Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 12:38 pm GMT
@onebornfree Reality fact: All you (((LoLbertarians))) are 100% pedo, all the time.

"In short, we must face the fact that the purely free society will have a flourishing free market in children ." -Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) was the dean of the Austrian School of economics, a founder of lolbertarianism

Godfree Roberts , says: September 28, 2019 at 12:40 pm GMT
@Tusk If propaganda is information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view , then the PRC doesn't put much out. 80% of Chinese trust it, compared to the 30% of us who trust our media.

And remember, the Chinese are smarter, better educated and more widely traveled than us.

MikeatMikedotMike , says: September 28, 2019 at 12:44 pm GMT
@FatPanda "What do you care really? Do you have any dogs in this race?"

He is offering thoughts on an article posted on an American website. Perhaps as an expat living in China you've become too accustomed to only viewing "approved" opinions.

MikeatMikedotMike , says: September 28, 2019 at 12:49 pm GMT
I do find watching a presumably white guy, who's shtick is a weekly shilling for a foreign country, whining about treason particularly amusing.
Anon [421] Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 12:52 pm GMT
Another drawn out piece from the guy who could not get rich in the capitalist usa and lives the good life in bang-cock thailand on social. But, whatever, china is for the Chinese and not for the anglo saxons; he is not allowed in but worships from afar.

My 77 years as a participant observer tell me that corruption and criminality are endemic to any large human society so, therefore, utopianism is a pipe dream.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-china-miracle-is-over_3097301.html

[Nov 14, 2019] The Inconsequential Nikki Haley

Notable quotes:
"... And, of course, it wouldn't be good, old-fashioned Washington gunslinging if she didn't pin the blame on somebody else. In this case, it was former secretary of state Rex Tillerson and former White House chief of staff John Kelly -- portrayed by Haley as duplicitous snakes who sought to undermine the president behind his back. ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Her messaging confirms what many have long suspected: Nikki Haley is a human weathervane, trying to ingratiate herself to the boss (she knows Trump will remain a popular figure within Republican politics for years to come) while at the same time distancing herself from his most controversial actions.

And, of course, it wouldn't be good, old-fashioned Washington gunslinging if she didn't pin the blame on somebody else. In this case, it was former secretary of state Rex Tillerson and former White House chief of staff John Kelly -- portrayed by Haley as duplicitous snakes who sought to undermine the president behind his back.


Doug Wallis9 hours ago

She is a neocon and people arent going to vote for more war. She has no real accomplishments. I think she would make an interesting candidate. A republican woman is generally not as loopy left wing as the democratic women running just because their women. Personally Nikki does not represent my values and I wouldnt vote for her.
Fayez Abedaziz2 hours ago
Well, what does that tell ya about the continuing corruption and ruining of America's elections systems in this evolving, shallower society and the major 'news' media being 'neo-con' run or influenced as such?
It's ridiculous and I'm being kind, that people with no qualifications are seriously being given money and given media exposure such as- Buttgieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and some others with low IQ's and only want the ego tripping and be one of the 'elites' all their non-productive lives.
So, Nikki Haley is seriously one of those to lead America?
You now what, people who vote for these clowns, clowns that never worked in their lives, are just plain shallow too. But...the big donors give these characters money so that they will continue the terrible neo-con foreign policy.
Now, may I ask, as a fella that was born in another nation:
how come I use my real name but Nikki Haley and others do not?
I laugh, as did others, over the years when I say-you would think, that a guy with my name, being a Palestinian/Arab/Moslem heritage, would be the last one to do that!
Well, how 'bout that question in our great big country America? Dig?
PeaceObserver2 hours ago • edited
Opportunism of this one is so sky high that it resembles a cartoonish psychopath. Even her name is not real. A pathological liar who took up barking as a profession because that is what sells these days. Tragedy of America is that snakes move high and up.

[Nov 14, 2019] From Russiagate to Ukrainegate An Impeachment Inquiry by Renée Parsons

Notable quotes:
"... Love the Clapper claim (the same Clapper who lied to Congress) says he was just doing his duty in Russiagate. As GBS said, " when a scoundrel is doing something of which he is ashamed, he always says he is doing his duty". ..."
"... There is also a long and inglorious history of interference in domestic politics from the Zinoviev Letter onwards. Plots to stage a military coup against the Wilson government of the 60s and 70s, with Mountbatten as its figurehead. The more recent Skripal Hoax. The contrived Syrian Gas Attack Hoaxes and the White Helmets. They would not hesitate to do the same to Corbyn if they deemed it necessary. ..."
"... The CIA and FBI conspired with the UK and Ukrainian governments to prevent the election of Trump, and then to sabotage and smear his administration once he had been elected. The UK played a major part in this through MI6 and Steele. This is highly dangerous for this country, irrespective of your view of Trump. ..."
"... The Democrats, the Deep State, the MSM, and the Deranged Left were willing to support these conspiracies and hoaxes, and even suspend disbelief, for the greater good. The ends justify the means. All that matters is getting rid of Trump. Anything goes. The corrosive erosion of trust, credibility and integrity in all the institutions of the state is probably irreparable. The legislature and the political process in general. The judiciary. The spooks and police. About 9% of Americans now believe the MSM. ..."
"... No need to even discuss, until Western societies ALL get a grip on the depths of depravity that lie within the actions and "The History of the National Security State" you have to admit, that Julian Assange could not have picked a better book to firmly grip and signal with, than GORE Vidal's, when being manhandled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, by Spooks who would sell their own mother, let alone nation, in their utter technological ignorance and adherence to anachronistic doctrines & mentality ! ..."
"... The most important thing for us and deliciously so now the election is happening is the BLOWBACK. Our DS lying murdering arses are going to get new ones drilled by Trump and BoBos bromance exploding in full technicolor. ..."
"... By sharing we disrupt the msm messages. Bernard at MoonofAlabama is also worth a daily visitation – priceless analysis on multiple subjects. ..."
"... I'd have thought that events like the spy in the holdall, the spies caught by farmers in Libya, the Skripal's, and the whole over-the-top reaction to the domestic terrorism threat and consequent successful pleas for extra funding, the obvious danger of creating terrorists by security services, the policy of giving asylum to foreign terrorists of countries we don't like and the whole concept of the 5 eyes and GCHQ needs more than ministerial oversight, a committee of yes men/women and an intelligence services commissioner. ..."
Oct 30, 2019 | off-guardian.org

As the Quantum field oversees the disintegration of institutions no longer in service to the public, the Democratic party continues to lose their marbles, perpetuating their own simulated bubble as if they alone are the nation's most trusted purveyors of truth.

Since the Mueller Report failed to deliver on the dubious Russiagate accusations, the party of Thomas Jefferson continues to remain in search of another ethical pretense to justify continued partisan turmoil. In an effort to discredit and/or distract attention from the Barr-Durham and IG investigations, the Dems have come up with an implausible piece of political theatre known as Ukrainegate which has morphed into an impeachment inquiry.

The Inspector General's Report, which may soon be ready for release, will address the presentation of fabricated FBI evidence to the FISA Court for permission to initiate a surveillance campaign on Trump Administration personnel. In addition, the Department of Justice has confirmed that Special Investigator John Durham's probe into the origin of the FBI's counter intelligence investigation during the 2016 election has moved from an administrative review into the criminal prosecution realm. Durham will now be able to actively pursue candidates for possible prosecution.

The defensive assault from the Democrat hierarchy and its corporate media cohorts can be expected to reach a fevered pitch of manic proportions as both investigations threatened not only their political future in 2020 but perhaps their very existence.

NBC s uggests that the Barr investigation is a ' mysterious ' review " amid concerns about whether the probe has any legal or factual basis " while the NY Times continues to cast doubt that the investigation has a legitimate basis implying that AG Barr is attempting to " deliver a political victory for President Trump." The Times misleads its readers with:

Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia investigation, portraying it as a hoax and illegal even months after the special counsel closed it."

when in fact, it was the Russiagate collusion allegations that Trump referred to as a hoax, rather than the Mueller investigation per se.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va), minority leader of the Senate Intel Committee suggested that Attorney General William Barr " owes the Committee an explanation " since the committee is completing a " three-year bipartisan investigation " that has " found nothing to justify " Barr's expanded effort.

The Senator's gauntlet will be ever so fascinating as the public reads exactly how the Intel Committee spent three years and came up with " nothing " as compared to what Durham and the IG reports have to say.

On the House side, prime-time whiners Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) commented that news of the Durham investigation moving towards criminal liability " raised profound concerns that Barr has lost his independence and become a vehicle for political revenge " and that " the Rule of Law will suffer irreparable damage ."

Since Barr has issued no determination of blame other than to assure a full, fair and rigorous investigation, it is curious that the Dems are in premature meltdown as if they expect indictments even though the investigations are not yet complete.

There is, however, one small inconvenient glitch that challenges the Democratic version of reality that does not fit their partisan spin. The news that former FBI General Counsel James Baker is actively cooperating with the BD investigation ought to send ripples through the ranks. Baker has already stated that it was a 'small group' within the agency who led the counterintelligence inquiry into the Trump campaign; notably former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Baker's cooperation was not totally unexpected since he also cooperated with the Inspector General's FISA abuse investigation which is awaiting public release.

As FBI General Counsel, Baker had a role in reviewing the FISA applications before they were submitted to the FISA court and currently remains under criminal investigation for making unauthorized leaks to the media.

As the agency's chief legal officer, Baker had to be a first-hand participant and privy to every strategy discussion and decision (real or contemplated). It was his job to identify potential legal implications that might negatively affect the agency or boomerang back on the FBI. In other words, Baker is in a unique position to know who knew what and when did they know it.

His 'cooperation' can be generally attributed to being more concerned with saving his own butt rather than the Constitution.

In any case, the information he is able to provide will be key for getting to the true origins of Russiagate and the FISA scandal. Baker's collaboration may augur others facing possible prosecution to step up since 'cooperation' usually comes with the gift of a lesser charge.

With a special focus on senior Obama era intel officials Durham has reportedly already interviewed up to two dozen former and current FBI employees as well as officials in the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

From the number of interviews conducted to date it can be surmised that Durham has been accumulating all the necessary facts and evidence as he works his way up the chain of command, prior to concentrating on top officials who may be central to the investigation.

It has also been reported that Durham expects to interview current and former intelligence officials including CIA analysts, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper regarding Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

In a recent CNN interview , when asked if he was concerned about any wrongdoing on the part of intel officials, Clapper nervously responded:

I don't know. I don't think there was any wrongdoing. It is disconcerting to know that we are being investigated for having done our duty and done what we were told to do by the President."

One wonders if Clapper might be a candidate for 'cooperating' along with Baker.

As CIA Director, Brennan made no secret of his efforts to nail the Trump Administration. In the summer of 2016, he formed an inter-agency taskforce to investigate what was being reported as Russian collusion within the Trump campaign. He boasted to Rachel Maddow that he brought NSA and FBI officials together with the CIA to ' connect the dots ."

With the addition of James Clapper's DNI, three reports were released: October, 2016, December, 2016 and January, 2017 all disseminating the Russian-Trump collusion theory which the Mueller Report later found to be unproven.

Since 1947 when the CIA was first authorized by President Harry Truman who belatedly regretted his approval, the agency has been operating as if they report to no one and that they never owe the public or Congress any explanation of their behaviour or activity or how they spend the money.

Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU's Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31


Martin Usher
I don't think the Democratic leadership wanted a formal impeachment, they would prefer that Trump just faded away quietly before the 2020 election and were in the process of collecting information to reinforce this. They got cornered into formalizing the investigation by Trump's defense team baiting them as part of their overall strategy. It really doesn't change anything.

Whichever way you slice and/or dice it Trump is fundamentally incompetent, he's unable to fulfill the duties of the office of the President. He also refuses to distinguish between private interests and public service. His cabinet, a rag tag body of industry insiders and special interests, are busy trying to ride roughshod over opposition, established policy and even public opinion to grab as much as possible before the whole house of cards collapses. Its a mess, and its a mess that's quite obviously damaging US interests. Many constituency groups will have gone along with the program because they thought they could control things or benefit from them but as its become increasingly obvious Trump's unable to deliver they've been systematically alienated.

The DNC is playing this with a relatively weak field of potential candidates for 2020. Much as I personally like a Sanders or Warren they're just not going to fly in a Presidential contest -- as we found from the Obama presidency the ship of state just doesn't turn on a dime, you're not going to undo decades or generations of entrenched neoconservatism and a politically divided country overnight by some kind of Second Coming pronouncements. My concern is that if we don't get our collective acts together we're going to end up with a President Romney after 2020 -- a much more reasonable choice considering the last four years but also one that's guaranteed to change nothing. We need the journey but its only going to start with a few steps.

( and as for Trump/collusion we've spent the last three years confusing money with nation states. Trump's a businessman in a business that's notorious for laundering money from dubious sources (this doesn't mean he's involved, of course)(legal disclaimer!). I daresay that if Russia really wanted to sink Trump they could easily do so but why would they bother when he's doing such a great job unaided?)

Joerg
Please make sure You see the Interview-Video "MICHAEL FLYNN CASE UNRAVELS. US-UK DEEP STATE ENTRAPMENT PLAN" on https://youtube.com/channel/UCdeMVChrumySxV9N1w0Au-w – it's a must-see!
Jonathan Jarvis
Something much deeper going on?

http://thesaker.is/the-terrorists-among-us11-azov-battalion-and-american-congressional-support/

Latest in series of articles by the author re USA – Ukraine connections

"American Ukrainian nationalists don't like democracy. They don't understand the concept of it and don't care to learn. But they do understand nationalist fascism where only the top of society matters. They are behind the actors of the Intelligence coup going on in the US today .This is the mentality and politics the Diaspora is pushing into American politics today. Hillary Clinton and the DNC is surrounded with this infection which even includes political advisors.

Rest assured they all the related Diasporas are in a fight for their political lives. If Donald Trump wins, their ability to infect American politics might be broken. Many of the leadership will be investigated for attempting to overthrow the government of the United States."

Simon Hodges
"My thoughts on all this are that many of us have become distracted and failed to examine the timeline of events since 9/11. We look at news and conflict in isolation and move on to the next without seeing what is now a clear pattern."

In terms of the Middle East you need to go back further than the fortuitous event of 9/11 – at least to 1997 and the founding of the Project for the New American Century which was essentially the first explicit formalisation of the agenda for an imperialist Neoliberal and Neoconservative globalist new world order deployed through the media constructed conflicts of 'good' and 'evil' around the world and with it the call for the 'democratisation' of the Middle East under the alibi of humanitarian interventionism against broadly socialist governments, which since the fall of communism were constructed by Neoliberal fundamentalists as being patently heretical and ideologically illegitimate forms of government. If it is economically illogical to elect a socialist failed form of government then one can only assume that the election must have been rigged.

I started looking at this all a few years ago when I asked myself the question 14 years after the invasion of Iraq: where was the liberal outrage at what had subsequently taken place in the ME? The answer was that from the Invasion of Iraq onward in addition to fully embracing the economics of Neoliberalism as the end of economic history, the progressive 'left' quietly assimilated and reduplicated the fundamentalist illiberal political philosophy of the Neocons. The progressive 'left' both in the UK and US have subsequently become the far Neocon 'right' in all but name and their party hosts of Labour in the UK and the Democrats in the US remain blissfully unaware of all of this. How else can we explain why they would welcome 'Woke' Bill Kristol into their ranks? Once one accepts this hypothesis, then an awful lot falls into place in order to explain the 'Progressive' open support for regime change and the almost total lack of any properly liberal objections to what has taken place ever since.

One key point here is that the Neocons have nothing to do with conservatism or the right. What is striking and most informative about the history of Neo-conservatism is that it does not have its roots in conservatism at all, but grew out of disillusioned US left wing intellectuals who were Marxist, anti-Stalinist Trotskyites. This is important because at the heart of Neo-conservatism is something that appeals strongly to the die hard revolutionaries of the left who hold a strong proclivity for violence, conflict and struggle. If one looks at the type of people in the Labour party who gravitated to the 'progressive' Neoliberal imperialist camp they all exhibit similar personality traits of sociopathic control freaks with sanctimonious Messiah complexes such as Blair. These extremist, illiberal fundamentalists love violence and revolution and the bloodier the better. In Libya or Syria is did not matter that Gadaffi or Assad headed socialist governments, the Neo-colonised progressives would back any form of apparent conflict and bloody revolution in any notional struggle between any identifiable form of 'authority' or 'oppression' with any identifiable form of 'resistance' even if those leading the 'resistance' were head chopping, misogynist, jihadist terrorists. It makes no difference to the fundamentalist revolutionary mindset.

The original left wing who gradually morphed in the Neoconservatives took 30-40 years to make the transition for the 1960s to 1990s. The Labour party Blairites made the same journey from 1990 to 2003. Christopher Hitchens made the same journey in his own personal microcosm.

Gezzah Potts
When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end? Does anyone else think that Adam Schiff has a screw or three loose, and should be residing in an institution? And imagine if somehow Mike Pence became Prez. Now that would be something to scare the bejesus out of you.
Tim Jenkins
Adam Schiff should be shot for Treason, of the highest order, along with many others, including HRC, Brennan & Clapper ; and it should be a public execution, like in Saudi Arabia. This is war on the minds of the masses, that Schiff for brains cares nothing for.

As for Chuck Schumer, he can have a life sentence, as long as he manages to shut his utterly unfunny dumb vulgar cousin Amy up & keep her out of the public eye, forever

Gezzah, life may seem bad right now: but imagine if, you were Amy Schumer's Husband and father of her child. Talk about obnoxious and utterly nauseating 🙂 , with you Gezzah, all the way.

"When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end?"

vexarb
Pepe sends more news from the real world:

https://thesaker.is/the-age-of-anger-exploding-in-serial-geysers/

"The presidential election in Argentina was a game-changer and a graphic lesson. It pitted the people versus neoliberalism. The people won – with new President Alberto Fernandez and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) as his VP.

Neoliberalism was represented by a PR marketing product, Mauricio Macri [a Micron look-alike]: former millionaire playboy, president of football legends Boca Juniors, obsessed with spending cuts, who was unanimously sold by Western MSM as a New Age paradigm.

Well, the paradigm will soon be ejected, leaving behind the usual New Age wasteland: $250 billion in foreign debt, less than $50 billion in reserves; inflation at 55 percent; 35.4 percent of Argentine homes can't make it); and (incredible as it may seem in an agriculturally self-sufficient nation) a food emergency."

vexarb
And from Yemen:

https://southfront.org/10000-sudanese-troops-to-potentially-withdraw-from-yemen-leaving-saudi-arabia-to-dry/

vexarb
Meanwhile, in the real world, the Denmark's Ukronazi-friendly regime has been brought to heel by Germany's common sense:

Some big natural gas news very significant for Russia, Germany and the Ukraine. The Danish pipeline sector has been stalled for a while now by anti-Russia, pro-Ukrainian forces within the Scandiwegian NATZO-friendly regimes. But it appears that Nordstream 2 _will_ get completed and that Ukraine's gas transit chokehold on the EU will come to an end when Russia's Nordstream 2 comes online for Europe.

-- -- -- -

Permit for the Nord Stream 2 project is reluctantly granted by the Danish Energy Agency. Nord Stream 2 AG has been granted a permit to construct natural gas pipelines on the Danish continental shelf.

The permit is granted pursuant to the Continental Shelf Act and in accordance with Denmark's obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Denmark has been put under obligation to allow the construction of transit pipelines with respect to resources and the environment.

https://en-press.ens.dk/pressreleases/permit-for-the-nord-stream-2-project-is-granted-by-the-danish-energy-agency-2937696

Antonym
Gas is the second most firm green energy source after nuclear. Denmark manages only due to their undersea cables to Norway's hydro mountains.

In another field has far more common sense than neighbors Germany or Sweden: immigration / integration.

RobG
In my humble opinion, the Trump stuff is all total nonsense.

Donald Trump was a property speculator in New York (amongst other places) and was heavily involved with the Mafia. Likewise, Trump was heavily involved with Jeffery Epstein.

There's so much dirt on Trump that they could get him with the snap of fingers; but of course that's not what they really want. Trump is pure theatre; a ploy to divert the masses. 'RussiaGate', 'UkraineGate' are all utter rollocks.

Trump and Obama, and all the rest going back to the assassination of Kennedy, are just puppets.

American/ deep state policy doesn't change a jot with any of them.

Wilmers31
America is always presentation over substance, wrapper over content, and shoot the messenger if you don't like the message. In the meantime the adults in this world outside the US have to hold it all together. Why was for instance Hillary Clinton not in the dock for saying 'Assad must go'?? It was meddling in the highest order.
phree

I guess this just goes to show you that a person can be a member of the ACLU, even a leader apparently, and still be highly biased in favor of Trump.

Just because a witness is "cooperating" with an investigation does not entail that the witnesses testimony or evidence will favor any particular side.

And implying that Clapper's comments somehow shows guilt when he clearly says he knows of no wrongdoing is pretty over the top.

I've read a lot of what's out there about the start of the initial Russia investigation, and it does seem that some of the FBI personnel leading it (McCabe particularly) were anti-Trump.

Isn't the bigger question whether the investigation was justified based on the reports from the Australians that Trump was getting political dirt on Hillary from Russia? Is the FBI just supposed to ignore those reports? Really?

George Cornell
Love the Clapper claim (the same Clapper who lied to Congress) says he was just doing his duty in Russiagate. As GBS said, " when a scoundrel is doing something of which he is ashamed, he always says he is doing his duty".
mark
The Spook Organisations and the Dirty Cops are a greater threat to our way of life than any foreign army or terrorist group (most of which they created in the first place and which they directly control.) They are a law unto themselves and completely free of any genuine oversight or control.

This applies equally to the US and UK. "We lie, we cheat, we steal", as Pompeo helpfully explains. They also murder people, at home and abroad. JFK, David Kelly, Diana, Epstein. They plant bombs and blow people up. Many of the "terrorist atrocities" from Northern Ireland to the present day, were false flag spook operations. The same applies with Gladio on the continent and the plethora of recent false flags.

There is also a long and inglorious history of interference in domestic politics from the Zinoviev Letter onwards. Plots to stage a military coup against the Wilson government of the 60s and 70s, with Mountbatten as its figurehead. The more recent Skripal Hoax. The contrived Syrian Gas Attack Hoaxes and the White Helmets. They would not hesitate to do the same to Corbyn if they deemed it necessary.

The CIA and FBI conspired with the UK and Ukrainian governments to prevent the election of Trump, and then to sabotage and smear his administration once he had been elected. The UK played a major part in this through MI6 and Steele. This is highly dangerous for this country, irrespective of your view of Trump.

Trump has repaid the favour by meddling in Brexit and interfering in UK politics. It is not in his nature to turn the other cheek. We have spook organisations claiming for themselves a right of veto over election results and foreign policy. These people are poor servants and terrible masters. We see Schumer warning against crossing the spook organisations, begging the obvious question – who runs this country, you or the spooks?

The Democrats, the Deep State, the MSM, and the Deranged Left were willing to support these conspiracies and hoaxes, and even suspend disbelief, for the greater good. The ends justify the means. All that matters is getting rid of Trump. Anything goes. The corrosive erosion of trust, credibility and integrity in all the institutions of the state is probably irreparable. The legislature and the political process in general. The judiciary. The spooks and police. About 9% of Americans now believe the MSM.

The irony in all this is that it very much serves Trump's interests. He is extremely vulnerable, having failed to keep any of his promises. Building The Wall, Draining The Swamp, Bringing The Troops Home. Sorting out health care. Building "incredible, fantastic" infrastructure.

All the Democrats had to do was highlight these failures, find a suitable candidate, and put forward some sensible policies, and they were home and dry. Instead, they provided an endless series of diversions and distractions from Trump's failures by charging down every rabbit hole they could find, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, Impeachment. It couldn't work out better for Trump if he was paying them.

Expect to see the Orange Man in the White House for another 4 years. And another even more virulent outbreak of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Tim Jenkins
Enigmatic and brilliant synopsis, m8, lol: & surely BigB could only agree. And you never even mentioned HQ.Intel. inside.Israel, today & their illegal trespass of WhatsApp, via corporate 'subsidiaries' with 'plausible' denial of liability of spying on everything-everything & any body, that could possibly threaten corporate fascist computerised dictatorship: distributing backdoors, like Promis & Prism, liberally & worldwide, the Maxwells legacy . . . (yet)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/29/whatsapp-sues-israeli-firm-accusing-it-of-hacking-activists-phones

No need to even discuss, until Western societies ALL get a grip on the depths of depravity that lie within the actions and "The History of the National Security State" you have to admit, that Julian Assange could not have picked a better book to firmly grip and signal with, than GORE Vidal's, when being manhandled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, by Spooks who would sell their own mother, let alone nation, in their utter technological ignorance and adherence to anachronistic doctrines & mentality !

Glad you mentioned 'good ole' cousin ChuckS.' >>> Lol, just for a laugh and a sense of perspective: yes, he is related to Amy Queen of Vulgarity & hideous societal distraction. What a family of wimps & morons: the 'Schumers' being perfect fodder for ridicule & intelligent humour, naturally . . . on a positive note, mark, think yourself lucky that you are not married to or the father of Amy Schumer's child 🙂

Dungroanin
Catching up Off-G. Excellent.

Larry C Johnson is at the vanguard on the debacle and is miles ahead on it. Check his output at sst. Here is a short speech outlining the conspiracy.
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/10/my-speech-on-the-deep-state-plot-by-larry-c-johnson.html

Two more pieces there – it is moving fast now.

The most important thing for us and deliciously so now the election is happening is the BLOWBACK. Our DS lying murdering arses are going to get new ones drilled by Trump and BoBos bromance exploding in full technicolor.

Think May's dementia tax and Strong and Stable were bad?

Lol. This is going to be a FUN month of early xmases.

Chris Rogers
Dungroanin,

SST is essential reading for anyone concerned with US overseas policy and the corruption of the USA itself in the service of the security state, so, many thanks for posting this link.

Dungroanin
By sharing we disrupt the msm messages. Bernard at MoonofAlabama is also worth a daily visitation – priceless analysis on multiple subjects.
lundiel

Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.

Pretty much a carbon copy of our own oversight. We hear even less about our security services than Americans do of theirs. I'd have thought that events like the spy in the holdall, the spies caught by farmers in Libya, the Skripal's, and the whole over-the-top reaction to the domestic terrorism threat and consequent successful pleas for extra funding, the obvious danger of creating terrorists by security services, the policy of giving asylum to foreign terrorists of countries we don't like and the whole concept of the 5 eyes and GCHQ needs more than ministerial oversight, a committee of yes men/women and an intelligence services commissioner.

[Nov 14, 2019] Fake news content seems very close to what a lynch party seeking to get up the never to hang an innocent slave for a criminal act "done by one of their kind" would do.

Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

I am sorry but I c/n remember if was the guy at the far end of the bar down near to the bathroom in the boots, bathing suit, and top hat, or the guy at the seat nearest to the front door, in the grey flannel suit with polished boots, but it was one of them who gave the bar, a few evenings back, much of what it needs to be coherent. It was hierarchy of elements that propagandist use to install and support false narratives in their written and spoken words. It was system of analysis, given to us here at the bar, to establish the gosh awful truth hidden within an intentionally wrong narrative.

That evening I had too much bar juice, so this all I can recall, 8 elements could be applied to the propaganda to diagnose and debunk and discover the false in wrongful, misleading propaganda.. see the following.

1. EN always the propagandist must establish the general narrative God turned the blue sky, red.
2. WR the propagandist must make great wrongs into powerful strong rights.. The devil made him do it.
3. PE profession propagandists cherry pick the facts; include in the narrative only those facts that support the proposition.
The devil was seen talking to God on more than one occasion.
4. IS ignore damning or off point stuff that challenge or defeat the narrative or transform it into a positive
The fact that God had killed the devil two years before is ignored.
5. BV blame the victim.. don't give the victim a chance to speak.. The victim (God) did it..
6. MU make stuff up to support the narrative. A person on Jupitor saw God practising every evening He watched as God turned blue seas red and red seas blue
7. AC Attack all challengers allow no one to intercede in the attack. The Pope said God could not show him that he could turn Blue seas to red, or vice a versa
8. RL Repeat, and repeat and repeat the lie.. until it becomes embedded in the mind of the innocent. We are all tired of hearing this story..

After sobering up and thinking about this list, I realized its content seems very close to what a lynch party seeking to get up the never to hang an innocent slave for a criminal act "done by one of their kind" would do. The party would pretty much go through the 8 things, attempting to convince itself that the slave was guilty, until finally one of the members of the lynching party would swat the horse and the party would watch the victim swing..

We must develop a technology suitable to encoding these things, and to find other such things to add to this debunk the propaganda list of 8 items; so that no one can pass off on us wrongful narrative?

Its ok to be innocently wrong, in fact, we all learn when we discover a wrong, but intentional wrong should be against the rules of the bar.

We should adopt these 8 things and use them in our analysis..

[Nov 14, 2019] Never ask for permission, always ask for forgiveness. The Silicon Valley-Wall Street motto

"You've got no place else to go" is a unifying ethos of Silicon Valley and the liberal class.
Nov 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Louis Fyne , November 12, 2019 at 8:43 am

Never ask for permission, always ask for forgiveness. The Silicon Valley-Wall Street motto.

eg, Uber-Lyft and jitney laws, AirBnB/local zoning.

[Nov 14, 2019] Fake news and its brainwashined supporters: Even if one tells them that one is not a Trump supporter, but rather a supporter of democracy who reviles the sadistic and criminal intel agencies and corporate Dems, they still heap scorn, mockery and ridicule.

Notable quotes:
"... The CIA is now openly operating on American soil in clear breach of its charter and U.S. law. There is absolutely no way this can be questioned. We must now contemplate the frightening similarities Russiagate and Ukrainegate share with the agency's classic coup operations abroad: Commandeering the media, stirring discontent with the leadership, pumping up the opposition, waving false flags, incessant disinformation campaigns: Maybe it was fated that what America has been doing abroad the whole of the postwar era would eventually come home. ..."
"... As we watch the latest US lead coup in Bolivia, my thoughts exactly. Using impeachment as a means of running a soft CIA coup is what we're witnessing. With the MSM in toe it's hard to know just how good or bad Trump is. What is the primary reason for going after him? Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with immigration or illegally lobbing bombs into Syria, or selling arms to the Saudis to bomb innocent Yemenis. These are all the right reasons, but hardly something the "deep state" cares about stopping. ..."
"... I think back to the Nixon and Clinton impeachments. None of them seemed to use pressing matters of international illegality (Cambodia/Laos and millions of SE Asians brutally killed, or in the case of Clinton the brutal killing of an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children). Instead the charges were about a 3rd rate burglary and lying about sex with an intern. ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Drew Hunkins , November 13, 2019 at 13:41

To state something I've bemoaned b/f here on CN, in most liberal circles one is mocked and ridiculed for pointing out that a deep state is indeed orchestrating a coup to unseat Trump. Even if one tells them that one is not a Trump supporter, but rather a supporter of democracy who reviles the sadistic and criminal intel agencies and corporate Dems, they still heap scorn, mockery and ridicule.

There is a segment of the U.S. population that's completely beyond reach when it comes to this all important issue.

Rob , November 13, 2019 at 13:06

I have felt from the beginning that Ukrainegate was a thin reed upon which to base impeachment, especially when Trump has committed a large number of other genuinely impeachable offenses. The menu of his impeachment-worthy acts is almost as large as a menu in a Chinese restaurant. Yet none of them appear to matter to the Democratic leadership, or as Nancy Pelosi once put it: Trump's not worth impeaching.

Now it appears that the Deep State has forced the Dems hand, and rabid dog Adam Schiff is foaming at the mouth in anticipation of tearing off a large piece of Donald Trump's hide. But as Patrick Lawrence has clearly explained, Trump will not be removed from office, and Joe Biden's reputation and presidential aspirations are in jeopardy. At least that last part is something to celebrate.

Guy , November 13, 2019 at 12:56

Thank you for exposing what has happened and is happening to the US system of governance or lack thereof .It is becoming glaringly obvious that the system is broken and many wonder if indeed it can be fixed without actually starting over from a clean sweep .It is like a cancer that has metastasized beyond hope of a cure .It has been very hard to watch as the destroyers of nations continue to create chaos in the state that was once an example to the world or so we were told.

Antonio Costa , November 13, 2019 at 12:31

"More urgently, what do the past three years of incessant efforts to unseat a president tell us about the power of unelected constituencies? The CIA is now openly operating on American soil in clear breach of its charter and U.S. law. There is absolutely no way this can be questioned. We must now contemplate the frightening similarities Russiagate and Ukrainegate share with the agency's classic coup operations abroad: Commandeering the media, stirring discontent with the leadership, pumping up the opposition, waving false flags, incessant disinformation campaigns: Maybe it was fated that what America has been doing abroad the whole of the postwar era would eventually come home.

What, at last, must we conclude about the ability of any president (of any stripe) to effect authentic change when our administrative state -- "deep," if you like -- opposes it?"

As we watch the latest US lead coup in Bolivia, my thoughts exactly. Using impeachment as a means of running a soft CIA coup is what we're witnessing. With the MSM in toe it's hard to know just how good or bad Trump is. What is the primary reason for going after him? Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with immigration or illegally lobbing bombs into Syria, or selling arms to the Saudis to bomb innocent Yemenis. These are all the right reasons, but hardly something the "deep state" cares about stopping.

So far it hasn't worked with Trump, but they may be hoping to bloody him enough to have the electorate do their dirty work, or will it backfire?

I think back to the Nixon and Clinton impeachments. None of them seemed to use pressing matters of international illegality (Cambodia/Laos and millions of SE Asians brutally killed, or in the case of Clinton the brutal killing of an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children). Instead the charges were about a 3rd rate burglary and lying about sex with an intern.

Amazing how screwed up our priorities .but than again they're NOT OUR priorities are they.

[Nov 14, 2019] Alert! Court Actually Claws Back Post-9-11 Search Creep by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

Notable quotes:
"... "The border has become a rights-free zone for Americans who have to travel," Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said in a statement given to Boland at the time. "The founders never could have imagined that the government would be able to sift through your entire digital life, from pictures to emails and even where you've been, just because you decide to take a vacation or travel for work." ..."
Nov 13, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Alert! Court Actually Claws Back Post-9/11 Search Creep

New ruling puts the brakes on practice of seizing travelers' laptops and cell phones. (Shutterstock/By Carolina K. Smith MD)

At last a victory for citizens. For nearly 20 years, the federal government has used and abused the memory of the 9/11 attacks to expand its law enforcement authorities at the nation's airports, even if that has meant broaching one of our most sacrosanct constitutional freedoms: the right against illegal search and seizure, otherwise known as the 4th Amendment.

On Tuesday, a federal court in Boston ruled that the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can no longer detain Americans coming back over the border to search their laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices, without cause. One would think this is a no-brainer, but the number of these incidents has actually escalated to over 33,000 last year -- nearly four times as many as the previous three years, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan , filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry.

International travelers returning to the United States have reported numerous cases of abusive searches in recent months. While searching through the phone of Zainab Merchant, a plaintiff in the Alasaad case, a border agent knowingly rifled through privileged attorney-client communications. An immigration officer at Boston Logan Airport reportedly searched an incoming Harvard freshman's cell phone and laptop, reprimanded the student for friends' social media postings expressing views critical of the U.S. government, and denied the student entry into the country following the search.

According to EFF, border officers "must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of illegal contraband before they can search a traveler's device."

TAC's Barbara Boland reported on this over the summer . The number of electronic devices accessed in 2018 was six times the number in 2012, suggesting that this is not only a post-9/11 issue, but that somewhere along the line the Trump Administration signaled to these agencies, which are all under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security, that it was gloves-off at the border -- even for American citizens. Lest you think this is just an extension of the president's tough illegal immigration policies, be warned, many of the folks targeted were typical international visitors and U.S. citizens -- think students, journalists, academics, doctors -- and not travelers to this country for the first time. And they were treated like they were coming into the Third World. From Boland:

One person detailed to Amnesty International how she was selected for secondary screening at the border, locked in a cramped, narrow concrete cell, and subjected to an invasive body search. Her requests for a lawyer and medical treatment were denied. The supervisor told her she would be held indefinitely.

When she told him that she is an American citizen, he replied: "The Fourth Amendment doesn't apply here. We can hold you for as long as we want to."

She was released after four hours.

Journalist Seth Harp wrote a similarly disturbing story about what happened when he was singled out for a "secondary screening" at the Austin Airport in Texas. CBP agents pried him for information about what he was writing, his sources, his reporting as a war correspondent, and his discussions with his editors.

"The border has become a rights-free zone for Americans who have to travel," Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said in a statement given to Boland at the time. "The founders never could have imagined that the government would be able to sift through your entire digital life, from pictures to emails and even where you've been, just because you decide to take a vacation or travel for work."

Let's hope that Tuesday's order fixes that -- though it might take a Supreme Court ruling to put an end to it for good.

[Nov 14, 2019] You know what will be the next big headline with Google and health services? It will be the discovery that Google has secretly purchased access to people's DNA from Ancestry or 23andMe and now they will link your DNA with all those health records. Can't tell me that they are not negotiating for it.

Nov 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , November 12, 2019 at 9:18 am

I've seen this movie before. After a lot of legal wrangling, Google will admit they they might have bent the rules a bit and will have to pay a few billion in fines which they will proceed to claim back on their next tax form. They will ensure, however, that they do not admit doing something illegal in court and so no executives will go to the slammer to stop this happening again. Google will also promise to delete that data.

Meanwhile, a copy of all these files will have gone to a set of their servers in a country that the US legal system cannot access where it will be analyzed further. Perhaps Google techs will be able to access it in California on a secured line. Non Disclosure Agreements will ensure that nobody talks about this work.

You know what will be the next big headline with Google and health services? It will be the discovery that Google has secretly purchased access to people's DNA from Ancestry or 23andMe and now they will link your DNA with all those health records. Can't tell me that they are not negotiating for it.

petal , November 12, 2019 at 9:42 am

Google is a minority investor in 23andMe. I don't have time to go digging about data sharing/purchasing, though. Maybe someone else can?

The Rev Kev , November 12, 2019 at 9:52 am

Thanks for that petal. Looks like it is going to be 23andMe and not Ancestry. Want a fun fact that I have just discovered? And I quote-

Sergey Brin, president of technology and a co-founder of Google is the husband of 23andMe Co-founder Anne Wojcicki. He previously invested around $10 million of his own money in 23andMe's convertible debt financing, which was converted into Series B preferred stock as part of 23andMe's Series B round.

How about that! Article at-

https://www.genomeweb.com/dxpgx/google-invests-another-26m-23andme

petal , November 12, 2019 at 10:13 am

Oh yes, was aware of that for quite a while now. The companies have been attached at the hip from the beginning. Pillow talk? They are no longer together(Brin and Wojcicki). She was linked with ARod for awhile haha. Interesting group of characters involved.

Krystyn Walentka , November 13, 2019 at 12:24 pm

My one regret was using 23andme, but I have to say it helped me so much it tempers the fact that I know parts of my "unidentifiable" genome is flying around out there somewhere. I think using gmail is more of a risk in reality. There is a lot more regulation risk pertaining to DNA data already on the books. Not saying it would stop them.

I was already degoogled before this Ascension news, but I just told my friends that I will not email them if they have a gmail address. A total boycott of google from me.

Otis B Driftwood , November 12, 2019 at 9:40 am

I work in healthcare IT, and I can certainly attest to the fact that insurance companies are keenly interested in acquiring clinical data. The term of art for this is "chart chasing", and right now it is pretty much a manual process wherein the patient data is gathered by insurance company workers or their subcontractors reaching out to medical facilities for the patient data residing in file cabinets or computers.

It should come as no surprise that healthcare IT companies see a business opportunity in making this work more efficiently for payers – to suck in data at a rate that is orders of magnitude faster than currently possible. And you can be certain they are working on this right now.

What Google may or may be up to with patient data is another issue entirely.

Under HIPAA, a covered entity may acquire access to patient data under a so-called "purpose of use" that include Treatment, Payment or Operations.

The purpose of the HIPAA Privacy Rule was to introduce restrictions on the allowable uses and disclosures of protected health information, stipulating when, with whom, and under what circumstances, health information could be shared. Another important purpose of the HIPAA Privacy Rule was to give patients access to their health data on request. The purpose of the HIPAA Security Rule is mainly to ensure electronic health data is appropriately secured, access to electronic health data is controlled, and an auditable trail of PHI activity is maintained.

Full article here: https://www.hipaajournal.com/purpose-of-hipaa/

If Google is developing software to analyze data on behalf of Ascension, that's one thing. They should not have access to the data itself. It's an important distinction. And I don't trust Google to do the right thing.

As a patient, I would advise anyone who is worried about their data being shared with third parties to contact their doctor and ask them about their policy with respect to release of their data. You may find that the facility is releasing your information as they have an "opt-out" policy. If so, demand that your data not be shared without your explicit consent.

Google tried their hand at healthcare about 10 years ago with their failed Google Health project. They staffed the team with people who had no background in healthcare, but were otherwise the best and the brightest.

See https://www.mobihealthnews.com/11480/10-reasons-why-google-health-failed/

Incidentally, Microsoft's Healthvault project only faired somewhat better. MS shutdown the project this month.

Finally, as someone who has worked in healthcare interoperability I disagree strongly that digitizing health data has been a one-sided disaster. On the contrary, giving clinicians access to health information about patients across different settings of care has in fact improved the quality of care and saved lives. I'm proud of my work in helping make this happen.

I should also note that making de-identified healtchare data available for population-based analytics is also a good thing. It's not always about squeezing more $$$ out of patients.

Carolinian , November 12, 2019 at 9:48 am

Thanks for the post. The Affordable Care Act was an IT mess too. Perhaps Obama should have paid more attention during those meetings with what he called his "propeller heads" instead of playing with his Blackberry. But Al "streamlining government" Gore comes in for some blame too. These days we seem to barely regulate anything (except consumers trying to bring in drugs from overseas).

Some of us used to defend Google around here but that's long gone. Bezos has talked about trying to get involved in health care as well. Perhaps Google felt they had to beat him to the punch.

David Carl Grimes , November 12, 2019 at 10:13 am

Google also bought Fitbit giving them access to our exercise records

[Nov 14, 2019] Google Collecting Medical Data on Millions Without Informing Patients or Doctors

Nov 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on November 12, 2019 by Yves Smith The Wall Street Journal has broken an important story on Google's foray into the medical arena . Without notifying patients or doctors, much the less obtaining their consent, the search giant has obtained the medical records of "tens of millions of people" in 21 states, all patients of Ascension, a St. Louis-based chain of 2600 hospitals.

Moreover, you can see that the effort is aggressive, with the aim of generating patient medical histories, linking individuals to family members, and making staffing and treatment suggestions .as well as identifying opportunities for upcoding and other ways to milk patients.

... ... ...

However, Journal readers (at least as far as I read, and I got pretty far into the hundreds of comments) were without exception very upset about the prospect of Google having access to their medical data. Given that Big Tech is in the crosshairs of more than a few Congresscritters, one can hope that Google and Ascension officials will soon have to 'splain themselves.

A few examples:

stuart jenner

NO. I use Google AdWords They provide the data that they need in order to sell us .

No, I don't trust Google with my information. They will set their systems to disadvantage patients, they will jerk partners around & and they will take away info people rely on in order to raise their prices -- examples galore.

David Kessinger

Who will Google sell this information to? If they can't sell it in some form they wouldn't bother with it. Google at it's core has no ethics beyond how to get money – to heck with who gets hurts.

STEVEN FRANKEL

This is not comforting. Rest assured this most personal information will be accessed by people you do not want anywhere near your personal information at some time. What would it take for Google or any other company or government employee to allow unauthorized people to your information? Probably not very much. And even a subpoena, how tough is that to obtain with the flimsiest of pretexts, especially with government employees not accountable for perjury, even to a FISA court? I would not give my doctor any information if it goes into a computer; I would rather pay cash and have no records other than the ones I would keep on flash drive.

It's not hard to understand some of the motives for an initiative like this. As we've repeatedly posted, relying on the considerable work of the Health Care Renewal blog, electronic health records are a train wreck. They are designed around billing, not around doctor needs. Health Care Renewal has stressed that they if anything have made matters worse for doctors by diverting attention from patients and making it harder to find relevant information to the degree that they undermine care . They have been cited as a contributor to doctor burnout and even the reason some doctors stop practicing . An authoritative body, the ECRI Institute, even listed health care information technology as its number one patient risk in large health care organizations .

They are also often designed by relatively small players, so not only are they kludgy, but they are seldom compatible across health care organizations.

So you can see why there would be demand for a health care information system that is actually about health care. But given that Ascension has explicit upcoding and upselling motives, will that really result, or will this just be a less terrible, more portable version of the current EHRs?

Oh, and if you believe Google, this won't just be about EHRs and helping organizations like
Ascension pull in more revenues (which translates into making health care an even bigger percentage of GDP), but bring techno hocus pocus to medicine. We quoted this section earlier:

Google in this case is using the data in part to design new software, underpinned by advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning, that zeroes in on individual patients to suggest changes to their care.

Notice that this is vaporware: Google hopes to do all of this but it remains to be seen what it can do. And it's not clear that even with data on so many patients that it could develop decent AI for medical purposes. Bias in studies is already a big problem with medical research. One problem is that some populations are very much under-represented. Women are under-treated for heart disease in part because doctors see men as being at more risk, which is reinforced by studied being done mainly on men. Similarly, women have more trouble with hip replacements than men do because the studies were done on men but women are not small men. They load their hips differently.

[Nov 13, 2019] Vindman in his opening remarks made it clear that the consensus policy of experts (like John Bolton) had been following an agenda from the Obama administration (or before, but implemented under Obama, Biden and Nuland) and it is verboten to change anything, despite these people at best only having advisory roles. The Ukrainian Americans involved in the coup are deeply committed since 2014, and they expect to reap the benefits and are probably much more corrupt than Ukrainians governing their country before 2014.

Notable quotes:
"... So the Ukrainians traded their corrupt Ukrainian elected President, mostly accumulating stuff in Ukraine, for corrupt neocon/ neolib Democrat bureaucrats and Ukrainian/ Americans, who now cannot be denied their pound of flesh (which will quickly exit Ukraine, taking much of that country's value with it). ..."
"... Even the anti-corruption agencies are corrupt! So American policy now is set by such bureaucrats, who not only play military adventurism games (to justify all that money in loans, grants, and weapons), but even pass the corruption level of the Native Ukrainians in skimming that incoming money and getting rich, and of course steal whatever isn't nailed down (American policy as previewed in "Confessions of an Economic Hitman"). ..."
Nov 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

michael , November 13, 2019 at 10:50

"to a one they are turf-conscious careerists who think they set U.S. foreign policy and resent the president for intruding upon them. It is increasingly evident that Trump's true offense is proposing to renovate a foreign policy framework that has been more or less untouched for 75 years (and is in dire need of renovation)."

This may be even worse than Lawrence depicts. It is clear that Vindman in his opening remarks made it clear that the consensus policy of experts (like John Bolton) had been following an agenda from the Obama administration (or before, but implemented under Obama, Biden and Nuland) and it is verboten to change anything, despite constitutionally these people at best only having advisory roles to the President (and constitutionally the President can ask for their opinions in writing; CYA even back then!) The Ukrainian Americans involved in the coup (national security from Vindman's perspective) are deeply committed since 2014, and they expect to reap the benefits with no interference from Trump. And the Democrats/ Ukraine-Americans "running the show" are probably much more corrupt than Ukrainians governing their country before 2014.

I have started Oliver Bullough's "Money Land" and was aghast at the luxury items Yanukovich had stolen through corruption and accumulated at his many properties. Surely with so much money going to corrupt Yanukovich and his henchmen, the coup would have been a blessing for the Ukrainian people! Right? I was shocked to find that after the overthrow of Yanukovich in 2014, the median per capita household income in Ukraine, which had risen steadily from $2032 in 2010 to $2601 in 2013, had dropped over 50% to $1110 to $1135 in 2015 and 2016, and has only risen to $1694 in 2018 (ceicdata.com).

So the Ukrainians traded their corrupt Ukrainian elected President, mostly accumulating stuff in Ukraine, for corrupt neocon/ neolib Democrat bureaucrats and Ukrainian/ Americans, who now cannot be denied their pound of flesh (which will quickly exit Ukraine, taking much of that country's value with it).

Even the anti-corruption agencies are corrupt! So American policy now is set by such bureaucrats, who not only play military adventurism games (to justify all that money in loans, grants, and weapons), but even pass the corruption level of the Native Ukrainians in skimming that incoming money and getting rich, and of course steal whatever isn't nailed down (American policy as previewed in "Confessions of an Economic Hitman").

[Nov 13, 2019] Zbigniew Brzezinski Death of an anti-Russian terrorist

Notable quotes:
"... The Polish born Brzezinski put the historic blood-feud of his mother country ahead of the interests of the United States. He openly opposed Nixon and Ford's policy of detente and orchestrated the use American power to arm and fund all those who sought to undermine the Soviet Union. ..."
"... This became most apparent when he decided to use US might to fund, arm and train the Arab Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Among the fighters Brzezinski's policy helped to arm was Osama bin-Laden, the founder of the Salafist terrorist group al-Qaeda. The group was later blamed for orchestrating and executing the September 11 terrorist atrocities in the United States. ..."
"... Brzezinski was happy to ally with blood soaked jihadists in order to topple the secular, modern government of Afghanistan, for the simple reason that the government was a Soviet ally. ..."
"... Brzezinski's jihadists took over the country in the 1990s and famously executed and then mutilated the corpse of Afghanistan's pro-Soviet President Dr. Mohammad Najibullah in 1996. Many blame the Brzezinski authored policies in Afghanistan for unleashing the plague of jihadist terrorism throughout the wider world. ..."
"... Brzezinski's time in the White House was limited to the single term of Jimmy Carter, but many of his policies lived long after his formal period in power. ..."
May 27, 2017 | theduran.com

by Adam May 27, 2017 11.9k Views

Richard Nixon had more foreign policy achievements that just about any modern American President. These achievements however, have generally been overshadowed by Nixon's scandal plagued White House.

Among his most important achievements was engaging in detente with the Soviet Union. Nixon's de-escalation of tensions with Moscow penultimately led to the signing of the Helsinki Accords in 1975, wherein America and its allies and also non-aligned states of Europe agreed to respect the borders and sovereignty of existing states, including that of the Soviet Union and her allies. The Helsinki Accords affirmed a renunciation of violence as a means of settling disputes and forced signatories to respect the right of self-determination among peoples.

This was a rare moment when the US admitted that the Cold War could not be won and that engagement and peaceful dialogue was preferable to threats against the Soviet superpower.

READ MORE: The importance of the Helsinki Accords: The last time the West respected Russia

In 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected the President of the United States after Nixon's former Vice-President Gerald Ford, failed to win an America hungry for change on the domestic front.

While Jimmy Carter is often remembered as a man of peace, his Presidency was anything but peaceful. The reason for this was the power behind the throne, Carter's National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

The Polish born Brzezinski put the historic blood-feud of his mother country ahead of the interests of the United States. He openly opposed Nixon and Ford's policy of detente and orchestrated the use American power to arm and fund all those who sought to undermine the Soviet Union.

This became most apparent when he decided to use US might to fund, arm and train the Arab Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Among the fighters Brzezinski's policy helped to arm was Osama bin-Laden, the founder of the Salafist terrorist group al-Qaeda. The group was later blamed for orchestrating and executing the September 11 terrorist atrocities in the United States.

Brzezinski was happy to ally with blood soaked jihadists in order to topple the secular, modern government of Afghanistan, for the simple reason that the government was a Soviet ally.

Brzezinski's jihadists took over the country in the 1990s and famously executed and then mutilated the corpse of Afghanistan's pro-Soviet President Dr. Mohammad Najibullah in 1996. Many blame the Brzezinski authored policies in Afghanistan for unleashing the plague of jihadist terrorism throughout the wider world.

Brzezinski's time in the White House was limited to the single term of Jimmy Carter, but many of his policies lived long after his formal period in power.

Throughout the rest of his life, Brzezinski continued to vocally advocate for policies designed to cripple Russia, including the expansion of NATO into eastern Europe.

He was a strong supporter of the 2014 coup against the legitimate Ukrainian government and more recently said that the Russian Federation would break up. Furthermore, he said that the US must help those wanting to break it up, irrespective of who they are. He continued to advocate sanctions against Russia until his dying day, in spite of the fact that the sanctions ended up hurting his native Poland more than the Russian Federation he sought to destroy.

Brzezinski was a deeply violent and hateful man. He was also dishonest, he told the last Shah of Iran that the US would give him America's full backing, knowing well that the White House was divided on the issue.

He was a man who brought ancient hatreds, hatreds which long pre-dated the existence of the United States, into the heart of American policy making.

At the age of 89, Brzezinski is dead. Even if he lived another hundred years, he would never see his dream, the death of Russia. Russia remains alive and well and in this sense, perhaps he died knowing that his entire reason for being was a failure.

[Nov 13, 2019] Our famously free and objective press: the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get.

Nov 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Biden Helped Reform Ukraine. Trump Pushed to Make Ukraine Corrupt Again." [Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine ].

[Nov 13, 2019] Let's invade Mexico!, by Fred Reed

Nov 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

If AMLO were to invite the Americans into Mexico, he would be lynched. Few Americans are aware of how much the United States is hated in Latin America, and for that matter in most of the world. They don't know of the long series of military interventions, brutal dictators imposed and supported, and economic rapine. Somoza, Pinochet, the Mexican-American War, detachment of Panama from Colombia, bombardment of Veracruz, Patton's incursion–the list could go on for pages. The Mexican public would look upon American troops not as saviors but as invaders. Which they would be.

The incursion would not defeat the cartels, for several reasons that trump would do well to ponder. To begin with, America starts its wars by overestimating its own powers, underestimating the enemy, and misunderstanding the kind of war on which it is embarking. The is exactly what Trump seems to be doing.

He probably thinks of Mexicans as just gardeners and rapists and we have all these beautiful advanced weapons and beautiful drones and things with blinking lights. A pack of rapists armed with garden trowels couldn't possibly be difficult to defeat by the US. I mean, get serious: Dope dealers against the Marines? A cakewalk.

You know, like Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. That sort of cakewalk. Let's think what an expedition against the narcos would entail, what it would face.

To begin with, Mexico is a huge country of 127 million souls with the narcos spread unevenly across it. You can't police a nation that size with a small force, or even with a large force. A (preposterous) million soldiers would be well under one percent of the population. Success would be impossible even if that population helped you. Which it wouldn't.

[Nov 13, 2019] Where is Trump's James Baker, or better yet, his Sergey Lavrov. to moderate and control his goofier instincts

Nov 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

schrub , says: Next New Comment November 12, 2019 at 5:38 pm GMT

Trump's biggest weakness is that he appears incapable of friendships with other adult males because he trusts no one. This is probably partially the result of his dealing in the absolutely cut throat New York real estate industry along with his own relentless and long time need for publicity no matter how outrageous this publicity is? (Remember Trump's forays into professional wrestling?)

Trump decided to hang out with the dogs and, no surprise, ended up getting fleas.

His continual purging of his cabinet members and his bad mouthing of them afterwards has probably made his White House staff paranoid about challenging anything that comes out of his mouth no matter how outrageous it is.

Along with all this self promotion has come an increasing inability to accept any sort of criticism whatsoever. To claim he is slightly "prickly" is a gross understatement.

Where is Trump's James Baker, or better yet, his Sergey Lavrov. to moderate and control his goofier instincts

.

Patrikios Stetsonis , says: Next New Comment November 12, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen If Trump is smart enough and wants History to write his name with Golden Letters, he has to order a new and true investigation on 9/11 in his second term.

[Nov 13, 2019] Americans Must Learn to Reject Unjust and Unnecessary Wars by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. has frequently engaged in hostilities against other states in this period because our government could and not because it had to. There are very few instances in which the U.S. used force as a last resort. In several cases, U.S. intervention has been flagrantly illegal under international and/or U.S. law. The U.S. resorts to force too quickly and too easily and with far too little consideration for the consequences it will have for the people serving the military and the people living in the affected countries. Unlike people from a century ago, many of us have lost our disgust with war, whose human costs are obscured from view or simply ignored. Despite our extraordinary security, many Americans readily accept their leaders' threat inflation. Preventing more unnecessary wars and bringing the current ones to an end will require a constant effort to counter the alarmist and fear-mongering claims about foreign threats. ..."
Nov 11, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Danny Sjursen calls for remembering the original meaning of Armistice Day:

My fellow veterans don't necessarily need more thanks. We need, instead, your attention, your support, your careful deployment of our energies and sacrifices only in defense of the most vital national interests and the homeland itself. Most of all we need the reinvigorated dream of Armistice Day -- -a holiday imbued with hopes and dreams for a better world. At the very least, for a nation that chooses not to wage forever war.

The standard for sending Americans to war should be a very high one, and even a cursory glance at the many military interventions of the last three decades shows that almost none of them has even come close to meeting it. From the invasion to Panama to the unending war in Afghanistan, the U.S. has been hyperactive in using force in other parts of the world for the last 30 years and very little of it has had anything to do with vital interests or the defense of the United States. Instead of "careful deployment," we have tended to see reckless and irresponsible deployments of U.S. troops who are tasked with carrying out vague, impossible, and sometimes illegal missions. Virtually every intervention in that time has been a war of choice, and most of the time it has been the wrong choice.

The U.S. has frequently engaged in hostilities against other states in this period because our government could and not because it had to. There are very few instances in which the U.S. used force as a last resort. In several cases, U.S. intervention has been flagrantly illegal under international and/or U.S. law. The U.S. resorts to force too quickly and too easily and with far too little consideration for the consequences it will have for the people serving the military and the people living in the affected countries. Unlike people from a century ago, many of us have lost our disgust with war, whose human costs are obscured from view or simply ignored. Despite our extraordinary security, many Americans readily accept their leaders' threat inflation. Preventing more unnecessary wars and bringing the current ones to an end will require a constant effort to counter the alarmist and fear-mongering claims about foreign threats.

Steven Katz makes a similar case for how Americans can best honor veterans:

This year, as one of thousands of veterans who suffered moral injury in the Iraq War, I ask that in addition to the annual "thank you for your service" that you also "thank" veterans by helping us avoid waging unjust wars.

To that end, Americans have to learn an abhorrence for starting wars.

Preventive war is inherently unjust, and it needs to be rejected on principle. We need to understand that the Iraq war wasn't simply a "mistake," but a terrible crime that should never be repeated. Preventive war is not just another "option" that our government can choose, but rather something illegitimate and wrong by its very nature. When politicians and pundits entertain the idea of launching aggressive attacks on Iran or North Korea or any other country, they need to be shamed and ridiculed as the warmongers they are. The U.S. should never engage in aggressive warfare again.

Until Americans and our leaders learn that lesson from the Iraq debacle, we will not have learned the most important lesson. about the author Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC , where he also keeps a solo blog .

He has been published in the New York Times Book Review , Dallas Morning News , World Politics Review , Politico Magazine , Orthodox Life , Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week . He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter .

[Nov 13, 2019] Does Schiff s Impeachment Lynch Mob Signal The End Of America s Two-Party Political System

Nov 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Does Schiff's Impeachment Lynch Mob Signal The End Of America's Two-Party Political System? by Tyler Durden Tue, 11/12/2019 - 21:45 0 SHARES

Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

If anything good can come from the Democrat's incessant efforts to impeach Donald Trump it will be the outgrowth, from the nurturing 'mother of necessity,' of a more inclusive political system that acknowledges more than just a compromised duopoly as the voice of the American people.

With complete disregard for the consequences of their actions, the Democrat House Intelligence Committee under Adam Schiff has abandoned all pretense of democratic procedure in their effort to remove the 45th President of the United States from office.

Indeed, the Democrats have provided the Republicans with a Machiavellian crash course on the subtle art of decadent behavior for getting what you want , which of course is ultimate political power, and to hell in a proverbial hand basket with the consequences. The Republicans have been snoozing through a game of 2D checkers, holding out hope that Sheriff Billy Barr and his deputy John Durham will round up the real criminals, while the Democrats have been playing mortal combat.

The dark prince in this Gothic tale of diabolical, dare I say biblical, proportions is none other than Adam 'Shifty' Schiff, who, like Dracula in his castle dungeon, has contorted every House rule to fit the square peg of a Trump telephone call into the bolt hole of a full-blown impeachment proceeding. Niccolò Machiavelli would have been proud of his modern-day protégé.

As if to mock the very notion of Democratic due process, whatever that means, Schiff and his torch-carrying lynch mob took their deliberations down into the dank basement, yes, the basement, of the US Capital where they have been holding secretive depositions in an effort to get some new twist on the now famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky back in June. But why all the cloak and dagger theatrics when the transcript has long been available for public consumption?

At one point, the frazzled Republicans bared a little backbone against this bunker mentality when they crashed the basement meetings for some really outstanding optics. Schiff, betraying a lack of foresight, could not defenestrate the well-dressed hooligans since the meetings, as mentioned, are being held inside of a windowless dungeon. The Republican troublemakers were ushered back up the stairs instead.

Considering what Prince Schiff has managed to pull off over the course of this not-made for television impeachment process is astounding, and could not have happened without the drooling complicity of the lapdog media corporations. Schiff got the ball bouncing when he performed a Saturday Night Live skit of the Trump-Zelensky phone call on the hallowed floor of Congress. The imaginary voices in Schiff's head made the president sound like a mafia boss speaking to one of his lackeys.

Not only did Schiff survive that stunt, it was revealed that he blatantly lied, not once but several times, about his affiliation with the White House insider, reportedly a CIA officer, who, without ever hearing the Trump-Zelensky phone call firsthand, blew the whistle anyways. The Democrats claim Trump was looking for some 'quid pro quo' with Kiev, which would dig up the dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter in exchange for the release of $400 million in military aid. The transcript, however, points to no such coercion, while Zelensky himself denies that he was pressured by Trump.

Meanwhile, Schiff has taken great efforts to keep the identity of the whistleblower a 'secret' out of "safety concerns." The Republicans in the House said they will subpoena the whistleblower for the public impeachment that starts next week, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told reporters. Yet Schiff has awarded himself the power to reject any witnesses the Republicans may wish to grill.

"We'll see if he gives us any of our witnesses," Jordan said.

A person need not feel any particular fondness for Donald Trump to find these circumstances surrounding the impeachment show trial as disgraceful, dishonorable and beneath the dignity of the American people. And whether they want it or not, the fallout from Schiff's shenanigans will have repercussions long into the future of the US political system, which is groaning under the weight of corruption and deceit.

It is doubtful the Republicans will soon forgive and forget what the Democrats have put them through ever since Trump entered office in 2016. From Russiagate to Ukrainegate, the Trump White House has been held hostage by a non-stop, media-endorsed hate campaign to oust a democratically elected POTUS. Although it would be difficult for the Republicans, who lack the support of the media, an overwhelmingly left-leaning propaganda machine, to exact an equal amount of revenge on the Democrats when the latter have one of their own in the White House, they will certainly try. This will lead the Republic into an inescapable vortex of infighting where the sole function of the political system will be based on that of vengeance and 'pay backs' and more waste of time and money as the parties investigate the crimes of the other side.

The public, which is slowly awakening to the problem, will ultimately demand new leadership to break the current two-party internecine struggle. Thus, talk of a civil war in the United States, while possible, is being overplayed. The truth will be much simpler and far less violent.

Out of the dust and ashes of the defunct duopoly that is now at war with itself, the American people will soon demand fresh political blood in Washington and this will bring to the forefront capable political forces that are committed to the primary purpose of politics: representing the needs of the people, once again. Tags Politics

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4879&num_ads=18&cf=1258.5.zerohedge%20190919 Show 149 Comments


NOMO , 1 hour ago link

The Newly Awakened

As it turns out the once apathetic and flustered American woke up pissed off, in large numbers I might add. They sensed that someone was starting to mess with their happy blind relationship to the materialistic free market American dream. In other words, they are broke for the most part or are working like a beast to stay even. I get it.

"Apathy does not make us stupid. On the contrary, a great deal of energy is used to offset the world and hibernate in an apathetic state of existence. Apathy requires an acute awareness of the obvious. It is what drives some to having a broken "give a damn". Many can only cope with the influence of the pressure of reality by excusing themselves from it and gathering in flocks for comfort. They yearn for a sheep dog."

And now they are awake, angry and wanting revenge against whomever shattered their illusion of American integrity. In most respects some have herded together and really are angry political mobs.

justyouwait , 1 hour ago link

So why hasn't Graham started a senate investigation into this whole Ukrainian affair? Why hasn't he called all of Adam Schiff's witnesses into one of his own investigations of this thing and gotten the truth out of them under penalty of perjury should they not come clean?

Republicans are as usual cowering in the corner hoping this will all pass by without harming their re-election chances. There are precious few that really care and the bug eyed liar has them shut down totally. If they were playing chess, the Dems would have the Republicans in a constant state of Check (thanks to the unwavering support of their media lap dogs). The Republicans would be sitting at the table hoping time would run out while wetting their pants in fear that they would be discovered to be the weak kneed mamas boys in suits who just had their lunch money stolen AGAIN by the big bad Dem boys & girls.

DisorderlyConduct , 1 hour ago link

End of the two party system? No.

The Democratic Socialists will absorb the butthurt left, and Pelosi, Waters, Schiff and the rest will die naturally soon enough. This is a result of Democrats' identity politics, and radicalizing of the left.

The Republicans will likely move farther right. Both parties will continue to spend too much - just on different causes. But when the DS get rolling, probably with someone like AOC at the helm, it will be Kristallnacht all over again.

Except this time it will be Christians and conservatives.

NOMO , 58 minutes ago link

I would say that a 3rd and 4th party are not only inevitable but the next organic evolution of party. This will help explain why --> The Altered States of America.

66Mustanggirl , 2 hours ago link

If there is one thing that truly illustrates the psychotic break with reality the Democrats, DC Deep State Establishment, and their *useless* idiots in the MSM have suffered, it has to be the bizarre situation with the identity of the *whistleblower* that EVERYONE on the planet knows but that somehow THEY think they have kept *secret*.

Cue the Twilight Zone music, America, because THAT takes a special kind of crazy! Lol! 25th Amendment for every Democrat in the House??

On top of THAT craziness, Sen. Lindsay Graham has made it clear to Dems that if ERIC C*a*Amella (You literally cannot post comments with his name! Hysterical! lol) does not publicly testify, their show trial is DOA in the Senate. So I hope they have fun with their impeachment coup to nowhere as ERIC C*A*a*ell* sits like some bloated political elephant in the room for the next two weeks!

On the upside, it will be loads of fun watching a bunch of crazy people have their mental breakdown on national T.V. so, by all means, Dems, PLEASE carry on!

Lol.

TeraByte , 4 hours ago link

The political system is dead. You cannot run this freak show before people in the age of Internet. Most of deplorables are more online savvy than their ruling political class.

gespiri , 4 hours ago link

Schiff has connections to sex trafficking and pedophilia. He has a lot to do with well know activities in the Standard Hotel (west Pedowood) involving minors and powerful people in that filthy city which include politicians and business people. You easily start with Ed Buck which the media has buried quickly.

All Risk No Reward , 7 hours ago link

There is only one party - the Money Power Party.

What you see is a false political dichotomy.

I believe this false dichotomy is too effectual at duping the masses for the Money Power Monopolists to let it go easily.

All Risk No Reward , 6 hours ago link

This is an excellent example of Orwellian cognitive dissonance.

Everyone knows that almost all, if not all, politicians are bought off to the highest bidder.

Everyone knows that the people who control the money system have the most money.

But very few will logically assemble those two data points and conclude what exists in reality - that the Money Power Monopolists CONTROL BOTH PARTIES!

St. TwinkleToes , 7 hours ago link

Schitt and his cult of DemonRats represents the darkest elements of society. So without writing a long list you already know, here's what you should prepare yourself for.

Buy guns, ammo, cameras and survival supplies to last a few months.

Civil War 2.0 is coming.

We didn't start this war, but we sure as hell will finish it.

The time has come to take this country back from an elite permanent political class who doesn't give a damn about you, your family, your future.

Lock and load, the San Fransicko **** has already hit the fan.

Colin Kelley , 8 hours ago link

The public is in a mood to vote out RINO Republicans and most Democrats, and vote in MAGA Republicans. The Democrats will all but disappear from sight for awhile. After they reorganize and dump their radicals and after their corrupt ones go to jail, and after the MSM completely falls apart -- they will then come back, but probably not till 2024 or 2026

He–Mene Mox Mox , 9 hours ago link

The two party political system was never much of a democratic system at all. It's been with us since 1854, and has polarized the country more than once, the first time being the Civil War. In 2003, the MIT professor Noam Chomsky said, "In the US, there is basically one party - the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies".

The two party system should be ended, and the Voter Access laws be repealed, and Gerrymandering districts be prohibited. Even your own vote means nothing, since it is only designed to ratify a selection someone else made for you. The only selection you can make is choosing personalities, but never on issues or money. You are never allowed to be a participant in the American political system, but rather, just a "consumer". Why? Because the American society is ruled by an Oligarchy! Why would they want to allow you to share power with them? None of this is what is practiced in a true democracy. The entire system needs to undergo some major changes.

[Nov 13, 2019] Understanding What Sidney Powell is Doing to Kill the Case Against Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Peter Strzok was interviewed on 19 July 2017 by the FBI and, according to his affidavit, pretended that he was asked on the 24th of January 2017 to interview General Flynn. He implied this was a last minute request. But as noted in the preceding paragraph, which is based on an interview of Strzok's mistress, Lisa Page, a meeting took place the day before to orchestrate the ambush of General Flynn. ..."
"... What is truly remarkable is that Peter Strzok stated the following, which exonerates Flynn of the charges in the indictment cited above: Strzok and Pientka both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying. Flynn struck Strzok as "bright, but not profoundly sophisticated." ..."
"... In fact, as noted by Sidney Powell, "the FBI and DOJ wrote an internal memo dated January 30, 2017, exonerating Mr. Flynn of acting as an "agent of Russia;" and, they all knew there was no Logan Act violation." ..."
"... The real problem for the Government's fraudulent case against Flynn are the 302s. There should only be one 302. Not at least four versions. The FBI protocol is to enter the 302 into the FBI Sentinel system within five days of the interview. In other words, the original 302 should have been put on the record on the 29th of January. But that original 302 is MISSING. The prosecutors claim they cannot find it. ..."
"... But the prosecutors finally did provide the defense, after repeated requests, multiple copies of 302s. They dated as follows--10 February 2017, 11 February 2017. 14 February 2017 and 15 February 2017. WTF??? This alone is prima facie evidence that something crooked was afoot. ..."
"... The final 302--dated 15 February 2017--painted General Flynn in the worst possible light. The "facts" of this 302 are not supported by the notes taken by Agents Strzok and Pientka. The conclusion is simple--the FBI fabricated a case against General Flynn. We now wait to see if Judge Sullivan will acknowledge this crooked conduct and exonerate the good General. Justice demands it. ..."
"... Poor George Popadopoulos, also "bright, but not profoundly sophisticated.", also had lawyers who rolled over to the FBI. If you read George's book, "Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump", the methods used on Flynn sound familiar. ..."
"... If the evidence provided by the defence in the Flynn case is even only a partial example of the capabilities and proclivities of the FBI, then how many other poor schmucks have been convicted and jailed unjustly at the hands of this organisation? ..."
"... The answer, given the size of the organisation must be : "thousands". The remedy is obvious and compelling if you want to remain something like a first world democracy. ..."
"... So instead of Flynn burning the agency down, they did just the opposite and got to him first. Just like Sen Schumer warned Trump: don't take on the IC, because they have six ways against Sunday to take you down. ..."
"... Maybe Flynn' s alleged post-inauguration audit plans is what triggered Brennan to get Obama to secretly keep his eyes on Flynn - maybe that was the second tier secret access they wanted, not necessarily Trump himself? ..."
"... Survival in DC is existential - my own in-house observation during the Watergate years. ..."
"... However, IMO the far more telling issue of the depths of IC's Coup effort. Are the exploits of Halper, Mifsud, MI6-CIA link. Which began back in 2015. This gives the impression, Flynn was being targeted for career destruction. Solely as retaliation for his departure from the Obama Administration, coupled with Flynn's open opposition to policies of Obama-Brennan (Iran-Syria-Libya). This took place way before he agreed to the NSA post with President Trump. ..."
"... Why did FLynn not have the Secret Service Detail arrest Sztrok and company on the spot for violating US security CFRs by knowing such conversations took place and knowing the contents thereof with out appropriate security clearances?? ..."
"... Many things about Spygate have puzzled me. The response by Trump after becoming POTUS to all the machinations by Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Rosenstein, et al has been baffling. It is like he does not understand the powers of his office. And after he learned about the covert action action against his campaign and him, to then staff his administration with folks who were in cahoots with the putschists is frankly bizarre. ..."
"... ........ "CrowdStrike, the cyber-security company that is involved in all this over and over again, is a an American company founded by a Ukrainian, Dmitri Alperovitch, who is extremely anti-Russia and who delights in implicating Russia in the DNC hacking event that probably did not happen......" ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Sidney Powell, General Michael Flynn's magnificent lawyer, is in the process of destroying the bogus case that Robert Mueller and his gang of legal thugs tried to sneak past appropriate judicial review. To help you understand what she is doing we must first go back and review the indictment of Flynn and then look at what Ms. Powell, aka Honey Badger, has forced the prosecutors to admit.

Here are the nuts and bolts of the indictment

On or about January 24, 2017, defendant MICHAEL T. FLYNN did willfully and knowingly make materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations . . . to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that:

(i) On or about December 29, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Government of Russia's Ambassador to the United States ("Russian Ambassador") to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day; and FLYNN did not recall the Russian Ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.

(ii) On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution; and that the Russian Ambassador subsequently never described_to FLYNN Russia's response to his request.

Let me make a couple of observations before we dig into the notes and the 302 that FBI Agents Strzok and Pientka wrote up during and following their interview of Michael Flynn on January 24, 2017. First, Michael Flynn did nothing wrong or inappropriate in speaking to Russia's Ambassador Kislyak. He was doing his job as an incoming National Security Advisor to President Trump. Second, not "recalling" what Ambassador Kislyak said (or did not say) on 22 December is not lying. Third, even if Flynn did ask the Russian Ambassador on the 29th of December to "refrain from escalating the situation" in response to the U.S. sanctions imposed by Barack Hussein Obama, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is wise counsel intended to defuse a situation.

Now, here is where the FBI, especially Agents Strzok and Pientka, are in so much trouble. The day prior to the "interview" of General Flynn the FBI plotters met to discuss strategy. According to Sidney Powell:

January 23, the day before the interview, the upper echelon of the FBI met to orchestrate it all. Deputy Director McCabe, General Counsel James Baker, , Lisa Page, Strzok, David Bowdich, Trish Anderson, and Jen Boone strategized to talk with Mr. Flynn in such a way as to keep from alerting him from understanding that he was being interviewed in a criminal investigation of which he was the target. (Ex.12). Knowing they had no basis for an investigation,6 they deliberately decided not to notify DOJ for fear DOJ officials would follow protocol and notify White House Counsel.

Peter Strzok was interviewed on 19 July 2017 by the FBI and, according to his affidavit, pretended that he was asked on the 24th of January 2017 to interview General Flynn. He implied this was a last minute request. But as noted in the preceding paragraph, which is based on an interview of Strzok's mistress, Lisa Page, a meeting took place the day before to orchestrate the ambush of General Flynn.

What is truly remarkable is that Peter Strzok stated the following, which exonerates Flynn of the charges in the indictment cited above: Strzok and Pientka both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying. Flynn struck Strzok as "bright, but not profoundly sophisticated."

The fact that the FBI Agents Strzok and Pientka did not to show General Flynn the transcript of his calls to refresh his recollection, nor did they confront him directly if he did not remember, exposes this plot as a contrived scenario to entrap Michael Flynn rather than a legitimate, legally founded investigation.

In fact, as noted by Sidney Powell, "the FBI and DOJ wrote an internal memo dated January 30, 2017, exonerating Mr. Flynn of acting as an "agent of Russia;" and, they all knew there was no Logan Act violation."

But the malfeasance and misconduct of the FBI continued with the manipulation of the 302. " A FD-302 form is used by FBI agents to "report or summarize the interviews that they conduct"[3][4] and contains information from the notes taken during the interview by the non-primary agent."

The notes taken by Agents Strzok and Pientka during their interview of Michael Flynn are damning for the FBI. These notes are Exhibits 9 and 10 in the sur sureply filed by Sidney Powell on 1 November 2019. (I wrote recently on the fact that the FBI/DOJ mislabeled the notes from this interview--see here). Neither Strzok nor Pientka recorded any observation that Flynn lied about his contacts with Kislyak. Neither wrote down anything supporting the indictment by the Mueller crowd that "Flynn lied." To the contrary, Strzok swore under oath that he did not believe Flynn was lying.

The real problem for the Government's fraudulent case against Flynn are the 302s. There should only be one 302. Not at least four versions. The FBI protocol is to enter the 302 into the FBI Sentinel system within five days of the interview. In other words, the original 302 should have been put on the record on the 29th of January. But that original 302 is MISSING. The prosecutors claim they cannot find it.

But the prosecutors finally did provide the defense, after repeated requests, multiple copies of 302s. They dated as follows--10 February 2017, 11 February 2017. 14 February 2017 and 15 February 2017. WTF??? This alone is prima facie evidence that something crooked was afoot.

The final 302--dated 15 February 2017--painted General Flynn in the worst possible light. The "facts" of this 302 are not supported by the notes taken by Agents Strzok and Pientka. The conclusion is simple--the FBI fabricated a case against General Flynn. We now wait to see if Judge Sullivan will acknowledge this crooked conduct and exonerate the good General. Justice demands it.

These are not my facts. They are the facts based on documents submitted on the record to Judge Sullivan. I find it shocking that no journalist has had the energy or interest to cover this. Just one more reminder of the putrid state of journalism and investigative reporting. The charges levied against General Flynn by the Mueller prosecutors are without foundation. That is the stark conclusion facing any honest reader of the documents/exhibits uncovered by the Honey Badger. This kind of conduct by the FBI is just one more proof to support Colonel Lang's wise observation that this institution, along with the CIA, should be burned to the ground and new institutions erected in their stead that are committed to upholding the Constitution and preserving the rights of the individual.


Flavius , 09 November 2019 at 09:26 AM

General Flynn was the National Security Advisor to the President. Among his duties he would be expected to talk with foreign officials, including Russians, perhaps especially Russians. My question is what was the predicating evidence that gave rise to opening a criminal case with Flynn as the subject at all. What was the substantive violation; and why was there a need to convene a meeting of high level Bureau official to discuss an ambush interview. What was there to talk about in this meeting? My suspicion is that they expected, or hoped, at the outset to leverage Flynn against Trump which makes the scheme worse, much worse
akaPatience -> Flavius ... , 09 November 2019 at 02:33 PM
Re: predicate - IIRC, this is where the work of the FBI/CIA "ratfucker" Stefan Halper was instrumental, having propagated the bogus claim that scholar Svetlana Lokhova was a Russian agent with whom Gen. Flynn was having a sexual relationship.
Factotum said in reply to akaPatience ... , 09 November 2019 at 06:27 PM
Dennis Prager has a taped interview with Svetlana Lokhova linked on Red State.
Flavius said in reply to akaPatience ... , 10 November 2019 at 11:29 AM
There was a simpler time when even the least accomplished FBI Agent would have known enough to ask Mr Halper for the circumstantial details as to how he acquired the news that Flynn had any relationship at all with Lokhova, let alone a sexual relationship, who told him, how did he know, why was he telling him, when, etc. The same questions should have been resolved with respect to Lokhova before entertaining a conclusion that she was a Russian Agent of some sort. Finally, even if the allegation against Flynn had been true, which had not been established, and the allegation against Lokhova had been true, which as far as I know had not been established, the Agents should have laid those cards before Flynn from the outset as the reason he was being interviewed. If during the course of the interview he became suspect of having done something illegal, he should have been told what it was and given all his rights, including the right to an attorney. If the Agents suspected he was lying in matters of such significant import that he would be charged for lying, they should have been given a specific warning that lying was a prosecutable offense. That would have been playing it down the middle. Since none of this appears to have been done, the question is why not. The leading suspicion is that the carefully considered intent was to take down Flynn by any means necessary to advance another purpose.
Hindsight Observer -> Flavius ... , 10 November 2019 at 11:18 PM
There are two separate issues: The Russian-Flynn Spying connection was established in London back in 2015. IMO using Halper as an echo-chamber for Brennan's collusion fabrications. LTG Flynn at that time was being set-up, for a retaliatory career strike(TS Clearance issues, I submit).

The Flynn Perjury case was made in Jan 17 in DC, by the Secret Society, Comey, McCabe, Yates, Strozk and the unwitting, SA Joe Pientka (hopefully). This trap was drafted by Comey, specifically to take advantage of the newly elected President's inexperienced Cabinet, the WH in-chaos. Chaos reportedly generated by a well timed Leak to the media. Which suggested that LTG Flynn had Lied to VP Pence.

This FBI leak, now had the WH in a tail spin. Given the collusion beliefs at that time, had VP Pence admitted that acting NSA Flynn, did in fact speak with the Russian Kislyak re: Sanctions. The media would've screamed, the call demonstrated Russian Collusion.

Since VP Pence stated, he did not know that NSA Flynn had discussed the Sanctions with Kislyak. The media created the image that Flynn had lied to the VP...

This was the "Pretext" which Defense Council Powell referred to. This is the opportune moment, at which Comey sprang and later bragged about. Stating publicly that he took advantage of a inexperienced Trump oval office in turmoil. Claiming he decided "Screw IT" I'll send two agents in to question Flynn.
Without going through FBI-WH protocols. Because Comey knew that protocols would alert the entire WH Staff. Making the FBI's hopes for a Perjury Trap against NSA Flynn, impossible.

Accordingly, AAG Yates and McCabe then both set the stage, with calls to WH Counsel McGahn. Where they threatened charges against Flynn under the nonexistent "1799" Logan Act. As well as suggesting that Flynn was now vulnerable to Extortion by Russian agents. Since the Russians knew he had lied to the VP.

As Powell points out, by 24JAN17, the date of the Flynn interview. The entire world, knew Flynn had Lied. Making the extortion threat rather bogus. In fact reports stated, at that time even WHC McGahn had asked either Yates or McCabe (don't recall which). Why would the FBI give a damn, what the NSA had told the VP? However the Bureau persisted and they won out. McGahn is reported to have told Flynn, that he should sit down with these two FBI agents...

Once Flynn sat down and gave a statement. FWIW, I think Andy McCabe was going to find a Flynn misstatement or create one. Sufficient to justify the 1001 charge. It appears as though McCabe took the later option and simply Created one.

Flavius said in reply to Hindsight Observer... , 11 November 2019 at 11:04 AM
Excellent summation.

My question is does some combination of incompetence and bubblethink naivete explain how at the outset they could have gone all in on the Brennan/Halper information or did they just cynically exploit the opportunity that had been manufactured in order to take it to the next level -Trump. Taking it to the next level appears to be what drove the Papadopolis case where similar procedural abuses occurred.

Don Schmeling , 09 November 2019 at 10:08 AM
Poor George Popadopoulos, also "bright, but not profoundly sophisticated.", also had lawyers who rolled over to the FBI. If you read George's book, "Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump", the methods used on Flynn sound familiar.

Since George only served two weeks, I wonder if it would be worth while for him to tackle the FBI again?

PS When the FBI says you are not "sophisticated", does that mean that they view you as easy to trick?

Thank you Mr. Johnson for your work.

Factotum , 09 November 2019 at 12:58 PM
Papadopolis signed "confession" equally odd: string of disconnected facts topped off with what appears almost to be an added "conclusion" allegedly based on these irrelevant string of factual statements that damn him into eternity as well.

Was the conclusionary" confession" added later, or was it shoved in front of him to sign as a unwitting last minute alteration to a previously agreed set of facts is pror statements he had already agreed were true? Just me, but when I read this "confession some time ago, it simply did not pass the smell test.

The signed "confession: basically appeared to be accusing Papadopolus and by extension the Trump campaign of violating the Logan Act - violating Obama's exclusive right to conduct foreign policy.

(A SCHIFF PARAPHRAse)
Yes I was in Russia
Yes, I ate pork chops for dinner
Yes. I endeavored to meet with Russian individuals
Etc - benign
Etc - benign
Confession - al of the above are true
Kicker: Final Statement I INTENTIONALLY MET WITH TOP LEVEL RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT AGENTS TO DISCUSS US FOREIGN POLICY

jjc , 09 November 2019 at 02:05 PM
Papadopoulos' "lies" rest on subjective interpretation. For instance, one of the "lies" consist of a referral to Mifsud as "a nobody". A second "lie" is based on when he officially joined the Trump campaign: George P says it was when he first went to Washington and attended a campaign meeting, while the indictment says no it was when he participated in the phone call which invited him on board (a difference of a couple of weeks). It is very very thin gruel.
walrus , 09 November 2019 at 05:14 PM
I wonder if SST is missing the bigger picture. If the evidence provided by the defence in the Flynn case is even only a partial example of the capabilities and proclivities of the FBI, then how many other poor schmucks have been convicted and jailed unjustly at the hands of this organisation?

The answer, given the size of the organisation must be : "thousands". The remedy is obvious and compelling if you want to remain something like a first world democracy.

Hindsight Observer -> walrus ... , 09 November 2019 at 07:28 PM
How many others have there been? The genesis of the USA v Flynn, was a CIA-FBI hybrid. An international Co-Intel operation, aimed at targeting Donald Trump. As such "the Case" was initiated from the top down, under the secrecy of a T/S Counter-Intelligence operation.

These are not the normal beginnings of a Criminal matter. Which originates with a filed criminal Complaint, from the ground-up.

In short all of the checks and balances our federal statutes mandate. Steps where AUSA's, Bureau ASAC's and District Judges must review and approve. Even before convening a GJ. Were intentionally overridden or perjured by a select society of the highest officials inside DoJ. As such there were no higher authorities nor any of the Higher Loyalty for Jim Comey to seek his resolution from.

That is not the normal investigative process. This was a deliberate criminal act to target an innocent man (actually several innocent men). As such IMO, the associated political pressure, all of which was self-inflicted. Was the force which brought about the criminality on the part of Comey, McCabe, et al.

So, FWIW, you don't see those levels of personal involvement in criminal investigations. The classic, where the murder victim's brother is the town Sheriff. Hence you don't see cases of innocent people being dragged off to the Dungeons. Certainly not intentionally and not in the thousands, anyway.

Factotum said in reply to Hindsight Observer... , 09 November 2019 at 08:28 PM
On another blog, a commenter claimed Flynn was going to program audit the entire IC - money spent and results obtained.

So instead of Flynn burning the agency down, they did just the opposite and got to him first. Just like Sen Schumer warned Trump: don't take on the IC, because they have six ways against Sunday to take you down.

Maybe Flynn' s alleged post-inauguration audit plans is what triggered Brennan to get Obama to secretly keep his eyes on Flynn - maybe that was the second tier secret access they wanted, not necessarily Trump himself?

Survival in DC is existential - my own in-house observation during the Watergate years.

Hindsight Observer -> Factotum... , 10 November 2019 at 12:51 AM
The reports I've read tell of a long and sorted history between LTG Flynn, John Brennan, DNI Clapper and Obama. Some of the stories did remind me of the SST suggestion to, "Burn it all down". The General also supported this idea that DoD, should be the lead agency in the IC and CA. Since must of their modern day activity, does tend to be kinetic...

So LTG Flynn has made enemies in the Obama administration, CIA and DNI.

However, IMO the far more telling issue of the depths of IC's Coup effort. Are the exploits of Halper, Mifsud, MI6-CIA link. Which began back in 2015. This gives the impression, Flynn was being targeted for career destruction. Solely as retaliation for his departure from the Obama Administration, coupled with Flynn's open opposition to policies of Obama-Brennan (Iran-Syria-Libya). This took place way before he agreed to the NSA post with President Trump.

Then there's also LTG Flynn's direct rebuttal of DDFBI Andy McCabe. Seems McCabe was involved in a Bureau OPR dust-up over sexual harassment allegations. The female SA worked CT and was an acquaintance of Gen Flynn's. Flynn then made a public statement of support for the Agent. Which was reported to have angered Andy. Sydney Powell, suggests that McCabe was overhead to have said words to the effect or, First we F--- Flynn, then we F--- Trump. During one of his 7th floor, Secret Society meetings.

Again all of this happened, before General Flynn was Candidate Trump's NSA Designee. So the Six ways to Sunday, warning does resonate re: LTG Flynn as well.

Fred -> walrus ... , 09 November 2019 at 07:32 PM
Walrus,

Lots of them (not all or most politicians), which has been a generations long complaint of African Americans.

turcopolier , 09 November 2019 at 05:27 PM
walrus

I have said repeatedly that I saw both the FBI and DoJ prosecutors railroad defendants. That is why I stopped consulting for the courts.

Dr. George W Oprisko , 09 November 2019 at 05:51 PM
In my experience in the US armed forces.... having a top secret crypto clearance...

And later.... as a federal investigator...

I distinctly remember that conversations between the White house, particularly the president and his national security chief are "top secret -- eyes only for the president"

So.....

Why did FLynn not have the Secret Service Detail arrest Sztrok and company on the spot for violating US security CFRs by knowing such conversations took place and knowing the contents thereof with out appropriate security clearances??

And......

Why does'nt Trump have the AG charge them?

INDY

blue peacock said in reply to Dr. George W Oprisko ... , 09 November 2019 at 08:19 PM
"Why did FLynn not have the Secret Service Detail arrest Sztrok and company on the spot for violating US security CFRs.."

Many things about Spygate have puzzled me. The response by Trump after becoming POTUS to all the machinations by Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Rosenstein, et al has been baffling. It is like he does not understand the powers of his office. And after he learned about the covert action action against his campaign and him, to then staff his administration with folks who were in cahoots with the putschists is frankly bizarre.

Does anyone have any explanation for the actions or inactions of Trump & Flynn?

joekowalski98 -> blue peacock... , 10 November 2019 at 11:31 AM
"Does anyone have any explanation for the actions or inactions of Trump & Flynn?"

I have no comment relative to Flynn, but, in regards to Trump, IMO, Trump is stupid.

First, a little background. I did vote for Trump. I did have an hatred for national politics ever since the Cheney "presidency". In that period, I was a dissident with a very minor voice. But, I did study, as best as I could, the Bush (Cheney) and the Obama presidency. It was reasonably clear that president's. didn't count. IMO the real power lay with: a handful of Senate leaders, the CIA, the bureaucracy, and the powerful families that controlled the major multi-national corporations, such as, Exxon Mobile. The preceding constituted a powerful oligarchy that controlled the U.S. A dictatorship of sorts.

Trump had two major objectives for his presidency: MAGA and "drain the swamp". I concurred with both objectives. After six months of the Trump presidency, and after observing his choice of appointments and his actions, I concluded that he was a high school baseball player trying to compete with the major leagues. He didn't know what he was doing (and, still doesn't).

At that time, I concluded that if Trump really wanted to install MAGA and "drain the swamp" he should have concluded way before putting his hat in the ring, that the only way to accomplish his objective was to foster a coup after becoming president. Prior to his presidency, he would had to select a team which would be his appointees and develop a plan. After becoming president, he would have to ignore Congress and put his people in place including in the DOD. The team would stay in control regardless of Congress' views.

Of course, this is a dictatorship, but is this any less obnoxious to our current oligarchs dictatorship.

Does anyone have a better solution?

Larry Johnson -> joekowalski98 ... , 10 November 2019 at 12:40 PM
You're not wrong in criticizing Trump's personnel choices and inaction. When he entered office he was warned about the SES/SIS holdovers and the need to get his own people in place. He ignored that advice and is suffering the consequences. Trump played a character on TV of being a shrewd, tough judge of talent and ability. In reality, he is a bit of a goofball.

That said, his basic policy positions are solid with respect to putting America first, enforcing immigration laws, and disengaging from the foreign adventurism that has defined US foreign policy for the last 75 years.

My hope is that he now finally recognizes the threat.

SAC Brat said in reply to Larry Johnson ... , 10 November 2019 at 07:34 PM
I prefer thinking of Donald Trump as a World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer as it fits the context of what we are seeing more precise. Staged drama, personality pitted against personality, all a great spectacle.

If it makes the denizens of DC fall on their fainting couches with the image all the better.

Isn't Donald Trump suffering the same problem Jimmy Carter had that as a DC outsider he isn't able hire talent and the establishment has made it clear that a position in the Trump administration is a career killer?

Factotum said in reply to joekowalski98 ... , 10 November 2019 at 01:16 PM
Democrat's politics of personal destruction made it virtually impossible for Trump to hire or appoint the requisite people for the task you described. RINO's wouldn't touch him and Democrats were hell bent for revenge at any costs.

Amazing he did as well as he has done so far - considering his election was so toxic to any possible insiders who could have offered the necessary experience to warn him where the third rails were located.

Give him another four years and full control of GOP House and Senate back - this country needs his energy and resoluteness to finally get the real work done. Patriots at every level need to apply for appointed positions.

BTW: I was a rabid no-Trumper up to election night. Then Trump became my President. I have not looked back.

blue peacock said in reply to Factotum... , 10 November 2019 at 03:45 PM
Draining the Swamp can't be accomplished by hiring within the beltway or hiring any long-term Democrat or Republican operative including members of Congress.

Trump should have recognized when he learned that his transition team was being spied on that he had to hire people who believed in his agenda and had no ties to the Swamp.

By hiring folks like Haley, Pompeo, Bolton, Coats, Rosenstein, Wray, etc and not cleaning house by firing entire swathes of the bureaucracy and then not using the powers of his office to declassify but instead passing the buck on to Rosenstein, Sessions and Barr and only tweeting witch hunt he has enabled the Swamp to run circles around him.

IMO, he is where he is because of his inability to put together a coherent team that believes in his agenda and is willing to fight the Swamp with everything thy've got.

cali said in reply to joekowalski98 ... , 11 November 2019 at 07:42 AM
@joekovalski98: Pres. Trump came into office being very familiar with the intelligence operation against him.
Enter Admiral (ret) Mike Rogers who travelled secretly without approval by Clapper to brief the president of the spy operation.

Trump immediately move his administration to NJ.

Rogers and Flynn go back many years as Rogers was a protégé of Flynn. They both extensively informed president Trump.

"Drain the swamp" is en-route carried out partially by our military and Flynn's former DIA.

The stage was set and president Trump kept the left distracted via twitter while the operation is underway between our military, white hats and their allies abroad.

Mifsud was arrested by the Italian intelligence agents 3 days ago and brought back to Rome.

Trump is a long way from stupid - he has so far managed via twitter and his orthodox ways for the deep state to unmask themselves. Hiring enemies at times is a way to confuse those that try to destroy you.

"The Art of War" by Sun Tzu is Trump's methods.

Hindsight Observer -> cali... , 11 November 2019 at 10:30 AM
Mifsud's arrest could be key to unraveling or should I say, the Unmasking of. Rather large amounts of fraudulent intelligence that was laundered through the FISA Warrant Application process.

The AG reportedly now has Mifsud's Cellphones (2), which coupled with Mifsud's interview statements, if not his direct cooperation. Should reveal the CIA and/or SA Strozk, were responsible for providing Mifsud with the false Intelligence. Which he then fed into their Warrant Apps, through the person of George Papadopoulos.

Which in turn, could establish that Mifsud was never the alleged Russian Agent linked to Putin. But rather a western intelligence asset, linked to Brennan. Thus destroying the obvious Defensive strategy of Brennan, Comey and McCabe. Specifically the vaunted, "Hey who knew the intelligence was bad? I was just doing my JOB!

Certainly hope the reports are accurate...

Hindsight Observer -> Dr. George W Oprisko ... , 09 November 2019 at 08:54 PM
I believe it was because the FBI was intentionally lying about their authority to monitor the Flynn-Kysliak conversation. Claiming they were not monitoring the WH, rather they were monitoring the Russian Ambassador and LTG Flynn was merely, Caught-up in that conversation. Which at the time, was a good-enough-story. But recent disclosures seem to prove the 2 Agents along with Comey, McCabe as well as AAG Sally Yates. All knew at the time of their "Pretext" was establishing a Perjury Trap for the new NSA.
Factotum , 09 November 2019 at 06:25 PM
What set Brennan's hair on fire that instigated Brennan's secret memo to Obama who in turn created and authorized this multi-nation, IC secret surveillance and entrapment operation?

When will we learn why Samantha Powers demanded hundreds of FISA unmasking requests during the final hours of the Obama administration, after the election but before before the inauguration of Donald J Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Why have Joseph Mifsud and Crowdstrike, yet again, disappeared from media interest.

fanto said in reply to Factotum... , 09 November 2019 at 10:05 PM
Why oh why, certain persons disappear from media interest? Why for example, did Ghislaine Maxwell disappear from media? Is she not involved in lawsuits? Do courts not know where she is now? The all-knowing Wikipedia English - does not know (as of today, I checked). The answer to all these troubling questions is in the comments to the Colonels piece on John Hannah. Am I becoming paranoid perhaps.?
Factotum said in reply to fanto... , 10 November 2019 at 12:42 AM
If the media continues endlessly about the Ukraine phone call, the quid pro quo yet fails to mention Crowdstrike "favor" in the same article, something is fishy. The phone call story did not drop out of sight; just a very salient detail. In fact the substance of the phone call is the story- and what Democrats are calling grounds for impeachment. Yet NO mention of the Crowdstrike favor. I find this odd. Don't you?
jd hawkins said in reply to fanto... , 10 November 2019 at 02:31 AM
Not paranoia if it's true!
Hindsight Observer , 09 November 2019 at 08:44 PM
Under the caption, "Nobody does it better" this explanation from Defense Counsel Powell's 04NOV19 Filing, pg 3 para 2

"The government has known since prior to January 24, 2017, that it intended to target Mr. Flynn for federal prosecution. That is why the entire investigation" of him was created at least as early as summer 2016 and pursued despite the absence of a legitimate basis. That is why Peter Strzok texted Lisa Page on January 10, 2017: "Sitting with Bill watching CNN. A TON more out. .

We're discussing whether, now that this is out, we can use it as a pretext to go interview some people." 3 The word "pretext" is key. Thinking he was communicating secretly only with his paramour before their illicit relationship and extreme bias were revealed to the world, Strzok let the cat out of the bag as to what the FBI was up to. Try as he might, Mr. Van Grack cannot stuff that cat back into that bag.4

Former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as much as admitted the FBI's intent to set up Mr. Flynn on a criminal false statement charge from the get-go. On Dec. 19, 2017, McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee in sworn testimony: "[T]he conundrum that we faced on their return from the interview is that although [the agents] didn't detect deception in the statements that he made in the interview . . . the statements were inconsistent with our understanding of the conversation that he had actually had with the ambassador."

McCabe proceeded to admit to the Committee that "the two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn't think he was lying, [which] was not [a] great beginning of a false statement case." Ex. 1.
_____________
What's the saying? "Not much ambiguity there?"

Factotum , 10 November 2019 at 01:46 AM
Finally, on Nov 9, 2029 American Thinker in an article about Nancy Pelosi attempts at damage control, someone in the media actually mentions Crowdstrike and the alleged " DNChacking"

........ "CrowdStrike, the cyber-security company that is involved in all this over and over again, is a an American company founded by a Ukrainian, Dmitri Alperovitch, who is extremely anti-Russia and who delights in implicating Russia in the DNC hacking event that probably did not happen......"

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/11/is_pelosi_finally_sick_of_the_terrible_damage_schiff_is_doing_to_her_party.html#ixzz64r2Sctrw
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

[Nov 13, 2019] Trump will leave, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain

This is why the Deep State is called the Deep state. It is permanent
Nov 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Biff , says: November 7, 2019 at 6:58 am GMT

Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

Something the stupid voters never seem to realize – the permanent government doesn't give a rats ass about democracy, freedom, human rights, security, your dog, your property, and most of all – your integrity.
"Fuck you stupid voters – now go elect another moron – we've got governments to overthrow"

anonymous [128] Disclaimer , says: November 7, 2019 at 8:44 am GMT
" The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes."

As are the Republican establishment and even such faux dissidents as Andrew Napolitano and Patrick Buchanan in columns easily found here on The Unz Review.

Exceptionalia needs enemies to keep the sheep herded when the Red v Blue politics and increasingly absurd culture skirmishes aren't sufficiently distracting.

mark green , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:07 am GMT
Excellent summation of the current predicament involving Trump and his ruthless foes. The greatest and most ridiculous 'conspiracy theory' of all is Russiagate itself–yet this politicized hoax is not being allowed to die a natural death; thus the Demorat impeachment inquiry.

So now we have entered Stage Two of this toxic and unnecessary melodrama. We can thank the partisan, biased and subversive 'mainstream' media for this downward step.

Ironically, the media's rank dishonesty is turning Trump into a heroic figure. This is poetic justice.

Haven't our media overlords heard?–the Soviet Union is dead.

In its place is Christian Russia. So why the enmity?

Might these lingering tensions have more than a little to do with Putin's stubborn alliance with Syria and Iran? It sure looks that way.

It must be noted that Israel remains deeply disturbed over the Russia-Iran-Syria federation. But that's Israel's problem. America is not burdened by those historic antagonisms, regional rivalries, or security concerns. Americans should therefore be relieved. Only we're not allowed to be.

The Zionist state has deviously entwined its security interests with America's. Israel and Zio-America have been artificially conjoined at the political hip. Didn't you hear?

This political union is good for the Jews. The Americans?–less so. Far less.

Unless we can extricate ourselves, this unnatural 'partnership' may end in a cataclysm

Realist , says: November 7, 2019 at 1:55 pm GMT
@Biff

Something the stupid voters never seem to realize – the permanent government doesn't give a rats ass about democracy, freedom, human rights, security, your dog, your property, and most of all – your integrity.

The Deep State doesn't care about the unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' as long as their important issues are maintained. As a matter of fact it strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.

Trump and the Deep State do not care what the American people want. They know that most American people are inane fools and will believe anything. Most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than be informed about important issues.

peter mcloughlin , says: November 7, 2019 at 1:58 pm GMT
I think if President Trump was faced with a Cuban Missile Crisis situation the outcome could be very different to the first time. On that occasion the two superpowers, despite coming close to open war, were able to contain and de-escalate. The conditions are very different today. As Professor Cohen says," The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war." In this context it is essential the president is "fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation."
One problem is that the original Cold War was the peace, a post-world war environment: today we are in pre-world war environment. There is a dangerous misconception that a Cold War sequel will have the same peaceful ending. The world has experienced periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
Tsar Bomba 38-56-47 N, 77-9-32 W , says: November 7, 2019 at 2:10 pm GMT
"The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham."

Ya know, the investigation would be a lot harder to delegitimize if it the guys doing it didn't whitewash Iran/Contra, like Barr, or systematic and widespread CIA torture, like Durham. You put lifelong CIA whores hot on the trail of illegal CIA domestic operations against political enemies? Come on. Nobody with a 3-digit IQ can keep a straight face.

You want this shit to stop? Then do to Langley what the Germans did to their Stasi. CIA investigation of CIA crimes do not pass the laff test anymore.

Wilberweld , says: November 7, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMT
Trump's problem was described in simple terms by John Connelly when talking with Henry Kissinger. "Henry", he said, "In Washington you are judged by the men you've destroyed". Trump has not destroyed anyone, not Comey, not Brennan, not Clapper. So he is viewed as weak, an easy target. So they just keep piling on. Attacking Trump is viewed as a "penalty-free activity
Norm Corin , says: November 7, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT
@renfro Rand Paul, and possibly Bernie Sanders, are not honorable -- sufficiently honorable -- to propose if not accomplish this?
A123 , says: November 7, 2019 at 3:53 pm GMT

Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so

This makes little sense. Russia and the U.S. are not enemies, and are potentially allies. Why would a U.S.-Russia treaty be desirable? The U.S. wants to help Russia defend its South western border against dangerous nations, such as Turkey & Iran.

A U.S.-China treaty would be helpful, but China is unlikely to accept anything that might interfere with their colonial ambitions.
____

Also, the author is likely overestimating Russia's technical prowess. Does anyone remember the recent incident the Russians had with their nuclear powered "Skyfall" cruise missile? (1)

The mysterious explosion on August 8 at the Russian navy's range in Nyonoksa killed seven and spurred fears that Russia was testing its nuclear-powered Burevestnik missile, also known by the NATO codename 'Skyfall.' But U.S. intelligence indicates the fatal explosion occurred as Russia attempted to salvage a downed Skyfall missile from the ocean floor,

Russia has reportedly conducted five unsuccessful tests of Skyfall since November 2017, all resulting in loss of control and crashes. The longest test lasted for two minutes with the missile flying 22 miles, and the shortest lasted four seconds and five miles.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7409607/Russias-Skyfall-nuclear-cruise-missile-explosion-happened-salvage-mission-intel.html

follyofwar , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:40 pm GMT
@Giuseppe I'm a huge fan of Stephen Cohen's, but, with bi-partisanship dead, his calling for a new Church commission is pie-in-the-sky. Nothing good can happen until this impeachment farce is over.

In fact, I'd say that Barr and Durham better hurry up and indict someone. There is less than a year left before the next election, which only leaves a few weeks this year, and the first few months in 2020. Once there's like 3-4 months to go before the election it will be too late. And, BTW, where is the long-awaited IG Horowitz's report? Tick Tock guys.

Hail , says: Website November 7, 2019 at 11:21 pm GMT
@Peter Akuleyev

The fastest growing religion in Russia is Islam.

We've been hearing that for a long time, but one thing to remember is: Islam is a foreign(ers')-identity in Russia. It won't be taking over the political center in Russia anytime soon, nor getting any European-Russian converts.

Stochastic Determinist , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:22 am GMT
@Dan Hayes Russia hadn't seized anything. The Black Sea Fleet had always been stationed there. After the Ukrainian government proposed outlawing the Russian language and ethnic Ukrainians attacked the Crimean parliament, Crimeans, the vast majority of whom are ethnic Russians, moved to hold a referendum.
James N. Kennett , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:42 am GMT
@Giuseppe

As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

The CIA activities restricted by the Church Committee never stopped. They continued "off the books", financed by drug trafficking, illegal arms sales, and (especially) by kickbacks from legitimate but overpriced arms contracts with Saudi Arabia. The close relationship with the Saudi royal family raises awkward questions about who this part of the CIA is really working for.

A new Church Committee would only be able to investigate the parts of the CIA that it can see. It is probably impossible for the US government to control the "off-books" parts of the CIA.

refl , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:59 am GMT

Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

Maybe, the fallacy is to think that Democrats were ever opposed to communism. As one can learn around here, WWII was the joint venture to destroy european national cultures and force them under globalist domination. The Roosevelt administration did about everything to strengthen communism. The current Russian leadership is as sanely nationalist as it gets. Possibly, that is the problem?

What struck me first, before I woke up, was that the ultimate accusation against Russia – before the Ukraine affair started – was that they were said to be homophopbic. While this can be a fault in the eyes of a dedicated liberal, to anyone who has lived through the Cold War, that accusation was outlandishly irrelevant.
The problem that liberal globalists have with Russia is exactly their sanity. Saying this, I do not want to insinuate that Republicans are sane, just for the record. They are the other side of the coin in the big charade.

GMC , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:09 am GMT
The Bolsheviks in Russia told everyone that they were a Political Party – just like the Communists Party etc. The Democrats and Republicans say the same thing , but they are more Bolshevik than any American wants to admit. The Wars, the Police state, the original European, African, Native American societies being destroyed is not the best example – if you are pushing for a NWO. It has failed but they are taking down as many as they can – along with their evil Order. This should one of the highest priority, of most writers today. Thanks Unz Rev.
Ilya G Poimandres , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:09 am GMT
@Dan Hayes From which entity? The country – existing as a unity upon the foundation of a constitution, known as Ukraine – stopped being that entity when a bunch of people toppled a constitutionally mandated government with an unconstitutional coup.

You demand peoples and regions of the former Ukraine remain united? Under what unifying law? The constitution? But the Maidan people tore it apart to get into power. Why would those that take the other side of the debate agree to be governed by law they know their opposition has already, and will again, trod on?

Practically speaking, Ukraine after Maidan is not the same entity as Ukraine before, as there is no social contract left that everyone is willing to be bound by.

Crimea being autonomous, had more freedom than the rest to jump ship, and so they did. But any region can now go, because anyone saying 'but the Constitution bans secession', forget that the people who speak this within Ukraine are those exact same people who tore the Constitution apart.

But don't think it'a just political entities such as Crimea that migrated to Russia of their own wills (as the UN Charter demands), millions of labourers have left for Russia from the remaining entity too, and there was no Putin there at each of their houses, giving personal pep talks over tea about how Russia is better, and how they should migrate accross the border. People chose with their own feet.

Here's a question – if tomorrow a bunch of gunmen threw out congress, the judiciary, and the executive from Washington DC, and replaced them with their own – would you consider that the individual states were then still bound to the federal government through the Constitution? Would you demand honour from one side, knowing fullwell that the other side is dishonourable?

S , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:59 am GMT

Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor.

What's seemingly bizarre is that these modern day Dems with their 'Russiagate' obsession are the very same people who not so many years back would eat up a 1966 movie like 'The Russians Are Coming, the Russians are Coming', with it's message that the Soviet Union along with its Communism was perfectly innocuous (just a laugh really), and the Cold War itself was all a big joke, and pay to see it multiple times.

It's not so bizarre, though, as there is an underlining continuity in all this, then and now.

They hate the organic Russian people and their culture, then and now. That hasn't changed.

A USSR of the past with the Russian people safely subjugated/crushed under Soviet Communism, they like and are okay with.

A Russian Federation where the Russian people appear to have moved away from Communism they don't like. That's dangerous.

Russians shouldn't necessarily feel too bad though about this as they are not the only people so hated. These sorts hate most peoples which attempt to express their physical and cultural identity, often even their own at times.

There's a hatred for most all of humanity there which stems from an underlying self hatred with these types.

[Nov 13, 2019] I don't believe I've seen any attempts to emulate 9/11 though. Certainly some other aircraft terrorism, like in Ukraine.

Nov 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bemildred , Nov 11 2019 15:45 utc | 122

Walter @117:

Well, I noticed the point you raised. I was a software engineer, not a real engineer, so I have steadfastly stayed out of arguments about 9/11 and what really happened.

I have always found the whole 9/11 thing implausible, and still do, but I've been used to that sort of thing since the 60s. Three new impossible things every day. I considered the uses of passenger jets as weapons on more than one occasion while riding around in one, seeing the buildings go by as you glide to the runway, so I wasn't surprised.

And then I realized, like the next day, that our leaders, whomever they might be, intended to make it a military affair, and since then I've been waiting for our collapse.

I don't believe I've seen any attempts to emulate 9/11 though. Certainly some other aircraft terrorism, like in Ukraine.

It was kind of obvious that the Bushites were all ready at the gate when 9/11 happened, Patriot Act Mighty Wurlitzer and all, so I don't doubt their complicity, but other than that I don't want to fight.

[Nov 13, 2019] Finally an Unvarnished History of the Iraq Invasion

Nov 13, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

We Americans are less obvious, if also less subtle: we quickly transform our common story into uncommon glory -- of a Continental Army standing unbowed before well-drilled Redcoats, of a war against slavery that, within a generation, became a War for Southern Independence, or in extolling the sacrifice of 58,000 Americans in a divisive intervention that became, less than a half a decade later, a "noble cause." Not surprisingly, the truth is far more interesting than any myth. The Continental Army at Valley Forge was not only ill-clothed, underpaid, and desertion-riddled, its finest day had come not against British regulars but mercenary Hessians; the War for Southern Independence was waged to eliminate a racial blight that, when the war began, had already seen its best (or, rather, worst), days, while the "noble cause" of Vietnam featured a military that , by 1971, was "in a state approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers, drug-ridden, and dispirited where not near-mutinous."

The substitution of myth for fact, however, has its uses -- as one of our greatest soldiers, General George Patton, certainly knew. While Patton was an indifferent student (he flunked mathematics at West Point), he was an avid reader with a prodigious memory and a finely tuned sense of history. Which makes his speech to the Third Army on June 5 of 1944 (as celebrated in Hollywood's epic 1970 paean), all the more remarkable, as it extols a history we wish we had -- but don't: "Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit," Patton announced. "Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle."

But Patton was just getting started. "Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser," he went on to say. "Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the idea of losing is hateful to America."

Of course, very little of this was actually true -- even in 1944, two decades before Vietnam. All Americans love the sting and clash of battle? Not really. In January of 1781, in the midst of the American Revolution, 1500 soldiers of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey lines of the Continental Army mutinied, murdered their officers, and threatened to march on Philadelphia.

When the mutiny spread, Washington had the mutineers rounded up, arrested, and their ringleaders shot by a firing squad made up of their fellow soldiers . On July 10 of 1863, one week after the Battle of Gettysburg, the New York draft riots protesting conscription set fire to 50 buildings, lynched 11 black bystanders, and left 120 civilians dead. The insurrection (as it was called by city officials), was finally quelled by the New York State Militia. And in late 1944, while commanding in Europe, Dwight Eisenhower was so angered by the reports of teeming throngs of American deserters raping and looting their way through France that he considered "lining them up and mowing them down."

Americans have never lost a war? It doesn't take a trained historian to point out that the American military botched the War of 1812 (the White House was burned and Washington occupied), performed poorly (and genocidally) in the Indian Wars of the late 19th century (in which one of its most famous units, the 7th Cavalry, was erased from existence), and mishandled the brutal 1899 Philippine Insurrection -- during which Mark Twain described American soldiers as "uniformed assassins." Patton was no dummy and might have recited all of this himself. But his speech made for good copy (and, as it turned out, great cinema) and undoubtedly boosted morale, particularly for those who, within a short time, would be facing off against the best light infantry in the history of the world.

But while historical myths have their place in creating a national story, France, China, and Russia have, in turn (and over time), chosen truth over triumph -- exhuming the greatness of Napoleon, Mao, and Lenin, while burying forever the policies they followed . This is true also for the United States. For while we Americans readily adopt the regalia of our past, we expect that our institutions will not follow suit; that in the midst of failure, our policymakers will discard myths and choose reality.

This is what happened, famously, on March 25, 1968 when President Lyndon Johnson met with a group he called "the wise men" -- a wizened crew of 14 Washington policymakers to help him decide what to do about the worsening situation in Vietnam. Included in the group was former secretary of state Dean Acheson, former White House counsel Clark Clifford, former ambassador to South Vietnam Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., and former JCS chairman General Omar Bradley.

These officials had traditionally supported Johnson's Vietnam policies but now, in the wake of the disastrous Tet Offensive, they had second thoughts. Stunned by the ferocity of the Vietnamese attack, only two of the 14 (Maxwell Taylor and Abe Fortas) recommended that Johnson "stay the course." The shift was symbolized by Omar Bradley, a military icon. Victory? "Maybe we ought to lower our sights," he told Johnson.

Of course, while the March 1968 meeting of the wise men was crucial to America's adventure in Vietnam (and Lyndon Johnson's political future), it did little to dampen the controversy surrounding the war -- which has been refought, since, in the pages of the war's histories. Indeed, it seems axiomatic that what cannot be won on a battlefield is often alchemized in later accounts.

These bloodless campaigns, fought with pen rather than sword, turn defeats into victories, burnish reputations, assess blame, but also blight understanding and blemish history. This is particularly true when it comes to America's most controversial conflicts. In 1869, Confederate Major General Dabney Herndon Maury founded the Southern Historical Society. Its papers, later collected in 52 volumes, rewrote much of Civil War history, a tendentious rendering whose goal was to argue the justness of the Lost Cause. Many of the society's papers remain troubling, rehabilitating the image of the most famous and otherwise failed rebel leaders, while laying the blame for the Confederate loss at the feet of southerners who, in later years, conceded the Union victory. The papers also remain controversial because their most important claims (that Lee lost at Gettysburg because his orders were disobeyed, that soldier-for-soldier, the southern armies were simply better fighters than their northern counterparts) resulted from barely veiled pro-southern and racially tinged political agendas. You'd have thought the South had won the war.

The same holds true for Vietnam. In that war's aftermath, while much of America was trying to forget the conflict, a small group of respected historians continued to pick at its scab, leaving a blood trail of if-onlys in their wake. The most prominent of these historians was Lewis "Bob" Sorley, a respected former officer and celebrated biographer (of Creighton Abrams and William Westmoreland, among others), whose book on Vietnam, A Better War , has been the subject of controversy since its publication in 1999.

In A Better War , Sorley argued that the U.S. might have won in Vietnam, if only that nation's top commander in the conflict had discarded his costly and morale-sapping search-and-destroy strategy in favor of maintaining the security of South Vietnam's population, substituted clear-and-hold tactics for massive sweep operations, improved the training and equipping of South Vietnam's military, decreased the destruction of U.S. firepower -- and supported the South Vietnamese, instead of abandoning them.

The conclusions ignited a bonfire of criticism, particularly from some of the Army's more respected thinkers. Writing in the pages of The National Interest in 2012, retired Colonel Gian Gentile took on Sorley in a pointed critique that proposed that America should have never been in Vietnam in the first place.

"In war, political and societal will are calculations of strategy, and strategists in Vietnam should have discerned early on that the war was simply unwinnable based on what the American people were willing to pay," Gentile wrote . "Once the war started and it became clear that to prevail meant staying for an unacceptable amount of time, American strategy should have moved to withdraw much earlier than it did. Ending wars fought under botched strategy and policy can be every bit as damaging as the wars themselves."

Put simply, Sorley argues that the Vietnam War could have been won, if only the U.S. had the will to prevail, while Gentile responds that because the American people did not have the will to prevail, the war should have never been fought.

The spat over the Civil War and Vietnam doesn't necessarily mean that history repeats itself, but it does get rewritten -- and rethought. The same is now true for the war in Iraq. The Army War College's weighty two-volume study of the 2003 Iraq conflict ( The U.S. Army in the Iraq War ), has sparked a divisive mini-controversy among the uniformed services, whose senior officers regularly debate its major conclusions (as I noted in The American Conservative , online, back in February ): that U.S. commanders didn't understand the country they invaded, made assumptions about an enemy that proved to be wrong, didn't have enough soldiers to win the fight, who bungled the military's detention policies, and who failed in their mission to train and equip the Iraqi armed forces.

But any praise for these conclusions has been muted by the study's other (Sorley-like) judgment: that, as in Vietnam -- where the villains were the antiwar movement and the Congress, the villains in Iraq are George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the former blamed for too quickly getting us in, the latter for too quickly getting us out.

Into this affray has now jumped a much shorter (at 292 pages), offering, written by a team of nine experts and researchers at the Rand Corporation. The U.S. Army and the Battle for Baghdad , gives us what the Army War College didn't -- an unvarnished and precise accounting of what went wrong and why, and without the tendentious political overtones of the tome-like AWC study. This shouldn't come as a surprise. Among the study's authors are two of the Army's leading thinkers: retired Colonels David E. Johnson and Gian Gentile, the latter the outspoken Sorley critic known in the military for his often-scathing ability to say what he means.

Johnson, on the other hand, is known for his counter-intuitive and often uncomfortable question of given premises, which has made him a valued interlocutor in the upper echelons of the Army. The likely result of the study (much talked about in the military prior to its release earlier this year), is that it has had a far greater impact than its 1200-plus page predecessor. The U.S. Army and the Battle for Baghdad is not a page-turner, unless of course you're an Army officer, but it lays out in precise detail the eight lessons the military can, and should learn, from Operation Iraqi Freedom. But most readers will find the study's understated third chapter, on the U.S. occupation of Iraq, among the most compelling written on the war.

At the center of this presentation is the unshifting, unalterable truth of the war -- -that the dysfunction obvious at the upper levels of the U.S. military following the fall of Baghdad mirrored a deeper civilian-military chasm in Washington. The result of the dysfunction was that the initial Battle for Baghdad was simply a prelude to a continuing battle for Baghdad, that the war, once ended, simply continued.

The study's authors issue this crisp judgment, which is starkly at odds with the AWC study:

"While much of the blame for the shortcomings of postwar planning rightly falls on senior rungs of the Bush administration, the truth of the matter is that there is more than enough blame to go around, up and down the chains of command in military and civilian planning." Military officers speak candidly of the problem: "I don't think that any of us either could have or did anticipate the total collapse of this regime," Lt. General William Wallace told the authors, "and the psychological impact it had on the entire nation."

In military history, this is "the Henry Wentz problem." Henry Wentz was born in York County in Pennsylvania in 1827, but moved with his family to nearby Gettysburg when he was nine. He spent his most formative years on his family farm, which was just south of the town and off the Emmitsburg Road.

As a young adult Henry went to Martinsburg (then in Virginia), married a local girl and became a carriage maker. When the Civil War came he joined the Confederate Army, serving as an ordnance sergeant in Taylor's Virginia Battery. On July 2, 1863, Wentz found himself manning his rebel guns in his family's front yard, at Gettysburg, as a part of Longstreet's bloody assault on the Union Army's III Corps. Lee had attacked with Longstreet that day to unhinge the Union line, planning to take the high ground around the Wentz farm at a peach orchard, which Lee thought was a dominating position.The orchard, owned by the Sherfy family (and hence referred to as the Sherfy Peach Orchard in battle histories) seemed to rise out of the ground and command the fields beyond. The problem was that Sherfy's orchard didn't dominate anything. It was not on a rise, it did not control the land beyond. The orchard's height, if you stand on it, is an optical illusion. A short discussion with Henry Wentz might have shown this, if only Lee had known that Wentz was there.

He didn't.

For military officers commanding thousands or hundreds of thousands of young men and women, for military experts whose job it is to study these operations -- -and not just for hobbyists or aficionados -- the Henry Wentz problem is a tolling bell, a heart stopping wake-you-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night realization that not knowing , particularly when lives are at stake, is an unforgivable blunder. Reading about Gettysburg many years later, generations of Civil War historians, reclining by their firesides, want to scream at Lee: "What do you mean you didn't know ?" And that is the value of The U.S. Army and the Battle of Baghdad -- -and the effect of William Wallace's seemingly mundane, if stunning, observation. The U.S. military did not anticipate that the drive for Baghdad would be difficult, did not anticipate that the Iraq Army would transform itself into an insurgency, did not anticipate "the total collapse of the regime" -- and so did not anticipate the tragedy that followed. To which we too want to scream: what do you mean you didn't anticipate? It was your job to anticipate."

Mark Perry is a contributing editor at The American Conservative and the author of The Pentagon's Wars. He tweets @markperrydc .


Taras77 3 days ago

Good article!

It is long past time that the senior military leadership with Iraq invasion (not to ignore the Afghan debacle) and since be held accountable for multitude of blunders and poor performance overall.

The fawning adulation from the press serves no good purpose and simply perpetuates the waste and fraud that gives us more blunders and weapons systems and "strategies" that do not and could not work to specs and plans.

But as the article states, there is plenty of blame to go around, I am referring to the "political Leadership" of bush, obama, and now trump, and of course, congress. Leadership may be too kind a term for what passes for leadership.

leisureguy Taras77 2 days ago
we all had to "support the troops" - if you held people accountable, you were an unpatriotic soldier non-supporter
E.J. Smith leisureguy a day ago
And still have to. Just ask Danny Sjursen.
EliteCommInc. Taras77 2 days ago
Excuse me.

no issues holding the military mistakes to account. But these choices were politically made and the political leadership should not be permitted to scapegoat the military for the leaderships choices to engage in regime change which included purging military dissenters.

IanDakar EliteCommInc. a day ago
Full agreement here. In fact, it's rather silly to strike at the military leaders, people trained in war, for supporting war. It's like complaining about a scientist who decides to solve every crisis with attaching it to the Internet.

The generals look at ways to fight a war. It's the political leaders that determine if war is the right idea. That's why it's the elected leaders, not the military, that hold the keys. All of the manipulations of the DoD end once we have a Congress and White House that wants it to end.

Honestly I respect the idea of going after the past leaderships that sent us here, but really I'd be content with just finding a leadership that stops the train now and leave the old guard to their retirements. That's going to be difficult as it is without us turning on a revenge campaign that might turn ugly.

kirthigdon 2 days ago
It's a relatively minor point in the article, but I would agree with those who claim that man-for-man the Confederates were better soldiers than the Yankees. They held out for 4 years against the US, whose forces were numerically superior and far better equipped and supplied, while managing to inflict more military casualties on their foes than they suffered. In the same way, I'd also agree with the many historians and WWII veterans who claim that the Germans were man-for-man better soldiers than any of their enemies. Both the American Civil War and WWII were essentially wars of attrition. Losing such a war is no military disgrace but it also doesn't mean that the losing side had a noble cause. In most wars, there are no good guys.

Kirt Higdon

leisureguy kirthigdon 2 days ago
in what way were the confederate soldiers better "man for man"?

US soldiers got slaughtered wholesale throughout the war - yet they had the spirit to keep coming. They got slaughtered wholesale because they used tactics developed for the previous generation of small arms. The tactic of marching at the enemy packed together.

As James McPherson describes in "Battle Cry of Freedom" they got slaughtered because they 1) had to fight on offense and 2) they were using tactics designed for the previous generation of small arms. They used tactics designed for weak-firing in accurate muskets rather than the current generation of rifles - accurate and deadly from long ranges.

They used the tactic of massing men together and marching at the enemy. This worked for muskets. For rifles loaded with minie balls, it made them sitting ducks when they marched towards dug in Confederates.

This article's author, Mr. Perry, mentions the slaughter of the Confederate soldiers at the peach orchard. A slaughter that resulted from the Confederates having to walk across a long rise of land before they could engage with the enemy. The slaughter that was said to have begun the defeat the Confederates. An awful slaughter.

The US soldiers didn't have just one peach orchard, they had many. They had "cold harbor", they had "the bloody angle", they had "Marye's heights". Dug in confederates armed with rifles mangled US soldiers horribly. Mangled them as they marched, out in the open, well within rifle range, towards dug in and hidden Confederates.

Yet the Union soldiers had the spirit to keep on coming. It's like "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid". As Perry points out, post Civil War Southern supporting writers romanticized the poor, starving, southern infantryman. He was handsome, stoic, and a fighter. But it was the northern guys who kept on coming. Kept on coming despite seeing so many of their friends torn to pieces.
Northern soldiers who had the stuff to get the job done.

kirthigdon leisureguy 2 days ago
So the more numerous side that has the spirit to keep coming despite enormous casualties and because of bad tactics are by definition better soldiers than the less numerous side which using good tactics has the spirit to keep fighting until they finally run out of effective fighters? By this standard the more numerous are always better soldiers as long as they win in the end, which they usually will in a war of attrition. By this standard, the Russians were far better soldiers than the Germans in WWII. Hint - the term man-for-man indicates I am measuring quality rather than just quantity and quality in soldiers includes tactical proficiency, not just bravery.

Kirt Higdon

EliteCommInc. kirthigdon 2 days ago
It was poor leadership decisions that prolonged the war, not bad soldiering.
E.J. Smith EliteCommInc. a day ago
Gen. McLellan at Antietam immediately comes to mind.
Kent 2 days ago
War is an obsolete idea. 1000 years ago, the only way to increase your wealth was to take over someone else's land and enthrall the local population to farm it for you. 200 years ago it was necessary to capture a population in order to force them to only purchase your manufactured goods, so your capitalists didn't have to compete with those of other countries.

In a information/service economy, war and control over other populations serve no purpose. The DOD, like all grand bureaucracies, survives only through the corruption of Congress.

It is time to disband the military. Get rid of the Navy, but leave the Coast Guard. Then turn the Coast Guard over to the States. Disband the Army and Marine Corps. Let the State's maintain their National Guards if they want. Disband the Air Force. The federal government should just maintain a nuclear deterrent force and set up a coastal missile defense that can destroy any Navy attempting to sail to attack us.

Have the federal government manufacture everything it needs itself instead of handing over tax payer dollars which are then used to corrupt Congress. It's time.

Kawi 2 days ago
The US Army and the Battle for Baghdad can be downloaded for free from the RAND website.

Thank you to the author of this well-written essay for brining this study to our attention.

leisureguy 2 days ago
Wow!

I look forward to further articles on the military's culture of not knowing. I've spent my whole adult life around Army personnel. (mostly retired). Going off to do things half-cocked is a point of pride with them. It's a macho trait that they love about themselves. Being willing to take action even though they haven't spent much time assessing the forces in their way.- being willing to wade into unknown danger.

Pondering things seriously is weakness - in their view.

further, at least one of these unlikely seeming new proponents of traditional masculinity - Jordan Peters - celebrates this macho trait. The macho trait of taking action without considering all knowable facts.

Alan Vanneman 2 days ago
"the War for Southern Independence was waged to eliminate a racial blight that, when the war began, had already seen its best (or, rather, worst)"

The comforting notion that slavery was destined to "fade away" was frequently indulged in during the 250 plus years that it lasted in the U.S., but it never did. As for the Wentz anecdote, if Lee had talked with Wentz, the outcome of the war would not have changed. There is an interesting "sabermetric" study of generals you can find online that gives a particularly interesting picture of Lee. He was one of the most aggressive generals in history, fighting more battles than anyone except Napoleon. But he was also--wait for it--BELOW AVERAGE. (Please don't spill your mint julip.) Grant, on the other hand, was one of the 10 best ever.

D. B. Cooper Alan Vanneman 2 days ago
207 comments, 364 votes = troll
kirthigdon Alan Vanneman 2 days ago
Slavery was on the way out and in another generation was gone throughout the western world, including the African colonies, and surviving only in Arabia. Only in the US and Haiti was slavery ended by wars and horrific bloodshed. In all other countries, including the vast slave empire of Brazil, slavery was abolished with minimal to no casualties. A bit of patience on the part of the abolitionists and unionists would have led to a somewhat later but peaceful end of slavery in the southern US. The union of all the states may not have been preserved, but in my estimation that would have been a good thing, if achieved peacefully.

Kirt Higdon

Sid Finster Alan Vanneman a day ago
Can you provide a link? This sounds interesting.

And that is an honest question, BTW.

EliteCommInc. 2 days ago
I think we should start out right in keeping with your agenda.

"of a war against slavery that . . ."

It was not a war against slavery, and to think so is part of a very deep misread of events. It freed slaves, it was the cause for the war ---

But the North had one primary goal: keep the union together, freeing slaves was a by product, not an end.

Chuckles a day ago
The military planners knew what was needed to pacify Iraq in the invasion and occupation. 750,000 troops and 25B+ dollars. Darth Cheney knew the US public wouldn't accept that, so they went in on the cheap, ignored the vast stores of conventional weapons, and Viceroy Bremmer back-stabbed the Iraqi army, thus creating the insurgency. Why? Because Planned Chaos is the most profitable, and taking Iraq oil off the market greatly enriched our "Saudi friends" and lots of other producers in the region. Inflation-adjusted oil prices more than doubled from 2003 to 2007.
E. T. Bass a day ago
As of early 2009, the surge had worked, were holding territory on turf Islamic savages considered their own and were killing hoards of jihadi scum who were flocking there, pretty much at will, who were being induced to do so at the behest of Bin Laden. Iraq was part of a long term strategic regional strategy (kill them on their own turf) which was working quite well as far as it got. 4000 dead US soldiers is a travesty under any circumstances, but considering what we had accomplished it pales in comparison with Vietnam. Keep in mind we stayed in Germany and Japan for decades after WWII to ensure our efforts were not wasted.

Iraq was not a debacle until 0bama refused to negotiate an updated SOFA, effectively surrendered (against military and other expert advice) and rendered every single US military death to have been in vain.

roberto a day ago
Great article, Mark Perry
dougdiggler a day ago
This website looks like a dying newspaper from the flyover states. Autoplay ads are like kryptonite to people who are web-literate

[Nov 13, 2019] In Washington you are judged by the men you've destroyed. By this criteria Trump is a weakling

Nov 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Wilberweld says: November 7, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMT 100 Words Trump's problem was described in simple terms by John Connelly when talking with Henry Kissinger. "Henry", he said, "In Washington you are judged by the men you've destroyed". Trump has not destroyed anyone, not Comey, not Brennan, not Klapper. So he is viewed as weak, an easy target. So they just keep piling on. Attacking Trump is viewed as a "penalty-free activity

[Nov 13, 2019] CIA emerged as a Political Party

Notable quotes:
"... this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods. ..."
"... Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth. ..."
"... To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment. ..."
"... Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats . ..."
"... "The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth." ..."
"... Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats! ..."
"... Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a "war on terrorism" meant to settle matters once and for all. ..."
"... To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero. ..."
"... The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee. ..."
Nov 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bemildred , Nov 10 2019 15:41 utc | 1

I am amazed how the Impeachment Circus and the mainstream media continue to ignore the facts of this story:

Joe Biden has been a favorite target for Trump-allied lawmakers. Many have adopted Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that Biden pushed for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, because he was investigating Burisma.

Other people get it:

The CIA is emerging as a domestic political party.
...
Brennan put a friendly finger on my chest. "The CIA is not involved in domestic politics," he said. "Period. That's on the record."

This he asserted confidently, at an event where he had just spoken about about influence campaigns on swing voters and implied that Hillary Clinton might be right in calling U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard a Russian asset. Even seasoned analysts, it seems, have their blind spots.

Motivation to impeach Trump is about control of Democratic Party - Rick Salutin, The Star

What shifted [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] now? I'd say the answer is: this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods.
I agree with Mr. Salutin, the impeachment is not about impeachment, although if impeachment results, I'm sure they will take it. And I agree it's about protecting the current Democratic Part "elites", both from scandal (Joe Biden, Clinton) and from the challenge on the left. A risky and desperate move .

I tend to think it was Trump going after the Ukraine cesspit that precipitated the impeachment, but other motives seem relevant. I have thought since Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control.


Walter , Nov 10 2019 15:54 utc | 2

@ "ince Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control."

How about that...geewhiz, one does speculate as to what crimes they fear might become known and public?

Everybody Knows...Brother Leonard Cohen... this they fear.

It's a mighty force. To the mat.

Jose Garcia , Nov 10 2019 16:59 utc | 4
Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth.

To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment.

pnyx , Nov 10 2019 17:58 utc | 10
Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)
Seamus Padraig , Nov 10 2019 18:23 utc | 12
Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats .
karlof1 , Nov 10 2019 18:24 utc | 13
Craig Murray has an exclusive interview with Randy Credico he prefaces with these remarks:

"The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth."

That would include MoA barflies since we crave Truth. Murray has a bit more to say prior to the excerpt I provide, which I suggest be read, too.

juliania , Nov 10 2019 19:13 utc | 18
What a feast of links! I've only just started, with b's Daniel Lazare piece at Stretegic Culture.org - well done!

" ...This is what impeachment is about, not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine – plus Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other countries that the Obama administration succeeded in destroying – and why Trump should pay the supreme penalty for suggesting that Democrats are in any way to blame..."

Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats!

chop stick , Nov 10 2019 19:17 utc | 19
Impeachment is about controlling where the attention is focused. When things get to close to home Pelosi says look over here at the orange head, look over there at the border but whatever you do, do not look over https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1KfU5ifhqE ">here.
b , Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114
@pnyx - Thanks for linking the NZZ piece

"Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)"

Funny it is mostly a recap of my findings of Biden in Ukraine. The piece links to William Bowles ( https://williambowles.info/2019/10/08/when-ukraines-prosecutor-came-after-his-sons-sponsor-joe-biden-sprang-into-action/) and attributes that the findings to him.

But it is not Bowles but a copy my piece here ( https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/10/biden-timeline.html).

So the Neue Züricher Zeitung, the most prestige Swiss outlet, is practically quoting MoA.

I am honored.

Bemildred , Nov 11 2019 14:35 utc | 115
Andrew J. Bacevich weighs in on US foreign policy:
Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a "war on terrorism" meant to settle matters once and for all.

To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero.

There is no going back to an imagined Golden Age of American statecraft in the Middle East. The imperative is to go forward, which requires acknowledging how wrongheaded U.S. policy in region has been ever since FDR had his famous tete-a-tete with King Ibn Saud and Harry Truman rushed to recognize the newborn State of Israel.t

So succinct.

The Blob: Still Chasing After Pax Americana

vk , Nov 11 2019 14:41 utc | 116
@ Posted by: b | Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114

The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee.

[Nov 13, 2019] The CONCORD MANAGEMENT CONSULTING LLC (Internet Research Agency) trial is getting weird.

Nov 13, 2019 | www.courtlistener.com
The CONCORD MANAGEMENT & CONSULTING LLC (Internet Research Agency) trial is getting weird.

This (one page) Order, dated October 25, was filed on November 8:

https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.193580/gov.uscourts.dcd.193580.239.0_1.pdf

The main page for the trial is here:
https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6386795/united-states-v-internet-research-agency-llc/?filed_after=&filed_before=&entry_gte=&entry_lte=&order

[Nov 12, 2019] John Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's surprising victory forced a pivot, with Clapper, Brennan and Comey adjusting the narrative to make it appear that Trump the traitor may have captured the White House due to help from the Kremlin, making him a latter-day Manchurian Candidate. The lesser allegations of Russian meddling were quickly elevated to devastating assertions that the Republican had only won with Putin's assistance. ..."
"... The national security team acted to protect their candidate Hillary Clinton, who represented America's Deep State. In spite of considerable naysaying, the Deep State is real, not just a wild conspiracy theory. Many Americans nevertheless do not believe that the Deep State exists, that it is a politically driven media creation much like Russiagate itself was, but if one changes the wording a bit and describes the Deep State as the Establishment, with its political power focused in Washington and its financial center in New York City, the argument that there exists a cohesive group of power brokers who really run the country becomes much more plausible. ..."
"... It is now known that President Barack Obama's CIA Director John Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. Rather than working against genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of President Vladimir Putin, a claim that still surfaces regularly to this day. Working with James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Brennan fabricated the narrative that "Russia had interfered in the 2016 election." Brennan and Clapper promoted that tale even though they knew very well that Russia and the United States have carried out a broad array of covert actions against each other, including information operations, for the past seventy years, but they pretended that what happened in 2016 was qualitatively and substantively different even though the "evidence" produced to support that claim was and still is weak to nonexistent. ..."
"... With the help of the Establishment media, Clapper and Brennan were able to pretend that the ICA had been approved by "all 17 intelligence agencies" (as first claimed by Hillary Clinton). After several months, however Clapper revealed that the preparers of the ICA were "handpicked analysts" from only the FBI, CIA, and NSA. He explained rather unconvincingly during an interview on May 28, 2017, that "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," adding later that "It's in their DNA." ..."
"... And this was not a CIA-only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force with the approval of then Director James Comey. Former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele's FBI handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been one of those detailed to the Trump Task Force. Steele, of course, prepared the notorious dossier that was surfaced shortly before Donald Trump took office. It included considerable material intended to tie Trump to Russia, information that was in many cases fabricated or unsourced. ..."
"... The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities that would implicate Trump and his associates in illegal activity. And there is evidence that John Brennan himself would contact his counterparts in allied intelligence services to obtain their discreet cooperation, something they would be inclined to do in collegial fashion, ignoring whatever reservations they might have about spying on a possible American presidential candidate. ..."
"... e Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, sometimes using press or social media placements to disseminate fabrications about Trump and his associates. Information operations is a benign-sounding euphemism for propaganda fed through the Agency's friends in the media, and computer network operations can be used to create false linkages and misdirect inquiries. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 may have been a creation of this Task Force. ..."
"... In light of what has been learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them secretly after he was seconded to the National Security Council. All the CIA and FBI officers involved in the Task Force had sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, but nevertheless were involved in a conspiracy to first denigrate and then possibly bring down a legally elected president. That effort continues with repeated assertions regarding Moscow's malevolent intentions for the 2020 national elections. Some might reasonably regard the whole Brennan affair, to include its spear carriers among the current and retired national security state leadership, as a case of institutionalized treason, and it inevitably leads to the question "What did Obama know?" ..."
"... Obama orchestrated the destruction of a political rival and he will get away scott free .because he's an oppressed and downtrodden dindu. ..."
"... But in fact Obama too is CIA nomenklatura, with the same depth of dynastic ties as GW Bush, albeit not at the same lofty level. ..."
"... This past election was CIA office politics, nothing more. Russigate is simply CIA eminence Hillary, the Queen of Mena, ratfucking a bumptious queue-jumper. She outranks Trump, who was merely a junior money-launderer for the CIA agents who looted the Soviet Union. It was her turn to take the figurehead head-of-state sinecure. She and Bill earned it with their lucrative Clinton Foundation covert-ops slush fund. ..."
"... And has been since the early 1950s when the Allen Dulles-Frank Wisner-James Jesus Angleton crew got rolling. They managed to thoroughly penetrate federal and state bureaucracies, the court systems, major corporations, the financial sector, and the mockingbird media. ..."
"... Clapper revealed that the preparers of the ICA were "handpicked analysts" from only the FBI, CIA, and NSA. He explained rather unconvincingly during an interview on May 28, 2017, that "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," adding later that "It's in their DNA." ..."
Nov 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

There is considerable evidence that the American system of government may have been victimized by an illegal covert operation organized and executed by the U.S. intelligence and national security community. Former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former FBI Director Jim Comey appear to have played critical leadership roles in carrying out this conspiracy and they may not have operated on their own. Almost certainly what they may have done would have been explicitly authorized by the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, and his national security team.

It must have seemed a simple operation for the experienced CIA covert action operatives. To prevent the unreliable and unpredictable political upstart Donald Trump from being nominated as the GOP presidential candidate or even elected it would be necessary to create suspicion that he was the tool of a resurgent Russia, acting under direct orders from Vladimir Putin to empower Trump and damage the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Even though none of the alleged Kremlin plotters would have expected Trump to actually beat Hillary, it was plausible to maintain that they would have hoped that a weakened Clinton would be less able to implement the anti-Russian agenda that she had been promoting. Many observers in both Russia and the U.S. believed that if she had been elected armed conflict with Moscow would have been inevitable, particularly if she moved to follow her husband's example and push to have both Georgia and Ukraine join NATO, which Russia would have regarded as an existential threat.

Trump's surprising victory forced a pivot, with Clapper, Brennan and Comey adjusting the narrative to make it appear that Trump the traitor may have captured the White House due to help from the Kremlin, making him a latter-day Manchurian Candidate. The lesser allegations of Russian meddling were quickly elevated to devastating assertions that the Republican had only won with Putin's assistance.

No substantive evidence for the claim of serious Russian meddling has ever been produced in spite of years of investigation, but the real objective was to plant the story that would plausibly convince a majority of Americans that the election of Donald Trump was somehow illegitimate.

The national security team acted to protect their candidate Hillary Clinton, who represented America's Deep State. In spite of considerable naysaying, the Deep State is real, not just a wild conspiracy theory. Many Americans nevertheless do not believe that the Deep State exists, that it is a politically driven media creation much like Russiagate itself was, but if one changes the wording a bit and describes the Deep State as the Establishment, with its political power focused in Washington and its financial center in New York City, the argument that there exists a cohesive group of power brokers who really run the country becomes much more plausible.

The danger posed by the Deep State, or, if you choose, the Establishment, is that it wields immense power but is unelected and unaccountable. It also operates through relationships that are not transparent and as the media is part of it, there is little chance that its activity will be exposed.

Nevertheless, some might even argue that having a Deep State is a healthy part of American democracy, that it serves as a check or corrective element on a political system that has largely been corrupted and which no longer serves national interests. But that assessment surely might have been made before it became clear that many of the leaders of the nation's intelligence and security agencies are no longer the people's honorable servants they pretend to be. They have been heavily politicized since at least the time of Ronald Reagan and have frequently succumbed to the lure of wealth and power while identifying with and promoting the interests of the Deep State.

Indeed, a number of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Directors have implicitly or even directly admitted to the existence of a Deep State that has as one of its roles keeping presidents like Donald Trump in check. Most recently, John McLaughlin, responding to a question about Donald Trump's concern over Deep State involvement in the ongoing impeachment process, said unambiguously "Well, you know, thank God for the 'deep state' With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else. This is the institution within the U.S. government is institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth. It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth -- it's engraved in marble in the lobby."

Well, John's dedication to truth is exemplary but how does he explain his own role in support of the lies being promoted by his boss George "slam dunk" Tenet that led to the war against Iraq, the greatest foreign policy disaster ever experienced by the United States? Or Tenet's sitting in the U.N. directly behind Secretary of State Colin Powell in the debate over Iraq, providing cover and credibility for what everyone inside the system knew to be a bundle of lies? Or his close friend and colleague Michael Morell's description of Trump as a Russian agent , a claim that was supported by zero evidence and which was given credibility only by Morell's boast that "I ran the CIA."

Beyond that, more details have been revealed demonstrating exactly how Deep State associates have attempted, with considerable success, to subvert the actual functioning of American democracy. Words are one thing, but acting to interfere in an electoral process or to undermine a serving president is a rather more serious matter.

It is now known that President Barack Obama's CIA Director John Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. Rather than working against genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of President Vladimir Putin, a claim that still surfaces regularly to this day. Working with James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Brennan fabricated the narrative that "Russia had interfered in the 2016 election." Brennan and Clapper promoted that tale even though they knew very well that Russia and the United States have carried out a broad array of covert actions against each other, including information operations, for the past seventy years, but they pretended that what happened in 2016 was qualitatively and substantively different even though the "evidence" produced to support that claim was and still is weak to nonexistent.

The Russian "election interference" narrative went on steroids on January 6, 2017, shortly before Trump was inaugurated, when an "Intelligence Community Assessment" (ICA) orchestrated by Clapper and Brennan was published. The banner headline atop The New York Times, itself an integral part of the Deep State, on the following day set the tone for what was to follow: "Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says."

With the help of the Establishment media, Clapper and Brennan were able to pretend that the ICA had been approved by "all 17 intelligence agencies" (as first claimed by Hillary Clinton). After several months, however Clapper revealed that the preparers of the ICA were "handpicked analysts" from only the FBI, CIA, and NSA. He explained rather unconvincingly during an interview on May 28, 2017, that "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," adding later that "It's in their DNA."

Task Force Trump was kept secret within the Agency itself because the CIA is not supposed to spy on Americans. Its staff was pulled together by invitation-only. Specific case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and administrative personnel were recruited, presumably based on their political reliability. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did because it came with promises of promotion and other rewards.

And this was not a CIA-only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force with the approval of then Director James Comey. Former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele's FBI handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been one of those detailed to the Trump Task Force. Steele, of course, prepared the notorious dossier that was surfaced shortly before Donald Trump took office. It included considerable material intended to tie Trump to Russia, information that was in many cases fabricated or unsourced.

So, what kind of things would this Task Force do? The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities that would implicate Trump and his associates in illegal activity. And there is evidence that John Brennan himself would contact his counterparts in allied intelligence services to obtain their discreet cooperation, something they would be inclined to do in collegial fashion, ignoring whatever reservations they might have about spying on a possible American presidential candidate.

Trump Task Force members could have also tasked the National Security Agency (NSA) to do targeted collection. They also would have the ability to engage in complicated covert actions that would further set up and entrap Trump and his staff in questionable activity, such as the targeting of associate George Papadopoulos. If he is ever properly interviewed, Maltese citizen Joseph Mifsud may be able to shed light on the CIA officers who met with him, briefed him on operational objectives regarding Papadopoulos and helped arrange monitored meetings. It is highly likely that Azra Turk, the woman who met with George Papadopoulos, was part of the CIA Trump Task Force.

The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, sometimes using press or social media placements to disseminate fabrications about Trump and his associates. Information operations is a benign-sounding euphemism for propaganda fed through the Agency's friends in the media, and computer network operations can be used to create false linkages and misdirect inquiries. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 may have been a creation of this Task Force.

In light of what has been learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them secretly after he was seconded to the National Security Council. All the CIA and FBI officers involved in the Task Force had sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, but nevertheless were involved in a conspiracy to first denigrate and then possibly bring down a legally elected president. That effort continues with repeated assertions regarding Moscow's malevolent intentions for the 2020 national elections. Some might reasonably regard the whole Brennan affair, to include its spear carriers among the current and retired national security state leadership, as a case of institutionalized treason, and it inevitably leads to the question "What did Obama know?"

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org .


Justvisitingsays: November 12, 2019 at 5:09 am GMT 100 Words The magic words are "FISA warrants".

The entire FISA court process has been exposed as an insane sham.

"The Secret Team" just took the absurdity of the process and raised it to the next level–injecting it into a political campaign.

It would be wonderful if they could fill a jail with every empty suit who touched those warrants–but I would be stunned if even one of them gets paraded around in the orange jump-suit they so richly deserve. Read More Replies: @Moi Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments


AWM , says: November 12, 2019 at 5:44 am GMT
It already is "Obamagate."

... ... ...

Alfred , says: November 12, 2019 at 7:09 am GMT
Looking on at this affair from outside the USA, it is clear that the power and influence of the USA is waning a lot faster than most people expected.

The replacement of the US military by mercenaries who are called other names was a first step. The sanctioning and punishing of allies for stepping out of line is the second step. BTW, it is notable how Japan and Australia are very keen to stay in line but the Europeans less so.

I suspect the third step will be to encourage a collapse of the Euro – so as to make wealthy Europeans shift their money to the USA in a panic.

It seems to me that the US public will be the last to learn of what is really happening. Even on this website there are sometimes letters or articles that mention 9/11 as a "terrorist" or "Saudi" act. How can one take anything such a person writes seriously?

The control of media and the internet seems to be the last part of the collapse. They will hang on to that to the very last moment.

Gall , says: November 12, 2019 at 9:37 am GMT
In the old days they used to give traitors the option of being hung or shot. Now they work for the CIA and become TV celebrities.
gotmituns , says: November 12, 2019 at 11:01 am GMT
I campaigned for Trump but was tricked. The die is caste now. There must be civil war and secession.
Realist , says: November 12, 2019 at 11:37 am GMT

John Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force
Could it become Obamagate?

Perhaps, but what is the point? All this bullshit is engineered to make dumbass Americans think justice is being served. Nothing will come of it no one will go to prison.

Realist , says: November 12, 2019 at 11:45 am GMT
@NPleeze

As if Trump weren't part and parcel of the Deep State.

His actions in Syria, Bolivia, Hong Kong, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, etc. all prove incontrovertibly that he is (and has always been) a member in fine standing of the Deep State. If he is a Manchurian Candidate, he is the true puppet of the Deep State, not the people or of Russia.

Exactly. I voted for Trump, but, as long ago as mid April 2017, I determined that he was a Deep Stater his actions are just too obvious to ignore.

Robert Dolan , says: November 12, 2019 at 11:47 am GMT
The Magic Negro cannot be touched and that is why nothing will be done about the biggest crime in the history of our nation Obama orchestrated the destruction of a political rival and he will get away scott free .because he's an oppressed and downtrodden dindu.
Realist , says: November 12, 2019 at 11:57 am GMT

There is considerable evidence that the American system of government may have been victimized by an illegal covert operation organized and executed by the U.S.

Which one are you referring to, Iran 1953, Kennedy assassination 1963, Gulf of Tonkin 1964 or the other dozens of examples?

Sbaker , says: November 12, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
@Realist

Exactly. I voted for Trump, but, as long ago as mid April 2017, I determined that he was a Deep Stater his actions are just too obvious to ignore.

This certainly explains the incessant attacks on Trump by the deep state.

onebornfree , says: Website November 12, 2019 at 12:38 pm GMT
"And this was not a CIA-only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force "

This just in: both the CIA and FBI are unconstitutional, agencies.Get rid of them -and all of the other unconstitutional alphabet-soup agencies[FDA,EPA,SEC etc.etc.etc.]. No downsizing-trash them all- NOW!

This also just in: "Because they are all ultimately funded via both direct and indirect theft [taxes], and counterfeiting [via central bank monopolies], all governments are essentially, at their very cores, 100% corrupt criminal scams which cannot be "reformed","improved", simply because of their innate, unchangeble criminal nature." onebornfree

"Taking the State wherever found, striking into its history at any point, one sees no way to differentiate the activities of its founders, administrators and beneficiaries from those of a professional-criminal class." Albert J. Nock

Regards, onebornfree

i

Biff , says: November 12, 2019 at 12:42 pm GMT
@Robert Dolan

The Magic Negro cannot be touched

That's pretty much it in a nutshell – put him on a shelf with the Clintons, and the Bush's.

Hapalong Cassidy , says: November 12, 2019 at 12:53 pm GMT
John Brennan just looks sinister. It would not surprise me if he were in the top 1% of most evil persons alive.
RVBlake , says: November 12, 2019 at 12:53 pm GMT
17 intelligence agencies. Really?
Anonymous [381] Disclaimer , says: November 12, 2019 at 12:57 pm GMT
@Alfred Your point about 9/11 can't be made forcefully enough. We're going straight to hell unless Israel and its American confederates are brought to justice, these wars ended, and order restored. Clapper, Comey, Brennan, Mueller, Chertoff and the whole traitorous bunch are probably guilty as principals but almost certainly they're at least complicit as accessories before and after the fact. So naturally all we hear about is Russiagate.

The evidence overwhelmingly implicates Israel and not Saudi Arabia as you point out. That Building 7 was brought down by explosives has been proved beyond doubt by Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth, and as Dr. Alan Sobrosky put it, if Building 7 was brought down by explosives, so too were the Twin Towers. The official NIST reports and all related government narratives are preposterous. They're fairytales for fools inasmuch as the official mechanisms rely on a suspension of the laws of physics more fanciful than Jack and the Beanstalk. The story of the nineteen Arabs who couldn't handle Cessna 150s magically flying jetliners into precise targets is more absurd than fairytale tropes about flying carpets.

Yet for Conservatism Inc and Fox News, which both claim to oppose the Deep State and its narratives, there's no standard of evidence so low or preposterous that these cucks won't cling to it to cover up what they must now know is Israel's guilt. We can assume it's precisely because they're aware of Israel's guilt that they rule out the overwhelmingly conclusive circumstantial evidence pointing to Israel on the grounds such evidence is "anti-Semitic" and consequently false on apriori grounds. Moreover, any expert investigator qualified in the relevant field who uncovers and presents evidence implicating Israel is cast as the actual terrorist. It should go without saying they've reversed a millennium in the development of Western thought regarding the connection between evidence and conclusion, and they've done so for the basest of reasons. At least Conservatism Inc is being daily exposed for the controlled opposition and worthless club of preppy snots it's always been.

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: November 12, 2019 at 1:15 pm GMT
Brilliant Article.
The question is when deep state will finally admit that Globalism after all that sacrifice and evildoing are just sour grapes. As fox said in Ezops tale.
Phil the Fluter , says: November 12, 2019 at 1:16 pm GMT
Trump isn't so much a Manchurian candidate as a Khazarian candidate, dancing to the merry tune of his Zionist handlers.
Gracchus Babeuf , says: November 12, 2019 at 1:20 pm GMT
@NPleeze Agree. Only proviso, let's stop calling it the "Deep State". I prefer Kiriakou's term, the Federal Bureaucracy.
Gracchus Babeuf , says: November 12, 2019 at 1:22 pm GMT
@Realist Indeed tRump is just the NY street corner mobster being told what to do by the"godfather".
Greg Bacon , says: Website November 12, 2019 at 1:25 pm GMT

"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," adding later that "It's in their DNA."

Right, along with drinking vodka and eating borscht.

The one nation that did interfere in the 2016 election, and has inserted themselves into other elections to get their candidate elected, Israel remains untouched by this (((Deep State))).
There's plenty of evidence for the Zionists and Israeli-Firsters corrupting the election process for their fav nation, Israel, but the Operation Mockingbird asshats in the MSM won't go near that, not if they want to keep their cushy job, 5th Avenue penthouse and that chauffeured limo.

Anytime AIPAC comes to town, Congress gets into a fight with each other, trying to be the one that shows the most slavish loyalty to the nation that has attacked the USA numerous times, spies constantly on us, stealing our military, business and industrial secrets, had a hand in both murdering JFK, RFK and masterminded the 9/11 FF, and has an overwheling presence on the FED, yet most Americans don't know that, because the MSM keeps reporting lies, distortions and half-truths, and always presenting a boogeyman to hate, sometimes Russia, most times Muslims.

But fear not, that will soon come to an end, for when those TBTF Wall Street banks–in collusion with the FED–again crash the stock market and drag the economy down with their greed, that coming crash will make the one of 1929 seem like a picnic.
When that happens, what's left won't be of any interest to Israel to steal or manipulate.

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: November 12, 2019 at 1:31 pm GMT
The Deep State murdered Kennedy.
He planned on destroying the Fed and the CIA.
The Deep State required a president that COLLABORATED, like LBJ.
Then they figured, "why not put our guy in?'
Thus Bush 1.
Then Clinton (Bush 1 was his 'mentor') a pervert stooge.
Then Bush 2, a gaymail stooge.
Then Obomber, the gay Kenyan C_A stooge.
Then America says 'Enough', rejects the Witch and elects Trump.
Now the Deep State wants to kill America.
I think it's time for America to kill its' Deep State.
It is, after all, self-defense. Besides, hasn't this gone on long enough?
The alternative is to end up as the modern parallel of Rome.
Really No Shit , says: November 12, 2019 at 1:47 pm GMT
Clapper, Brennan and Comey " may not have operated on their own." Duh! You just remember, a donkey won't carry a heavy burden unless it's fed regularly. Find out who owns the beast and you will have the culprit!
Z-man , says: November 12, 2019 at 2:09 pm GMT
Phil, you should offer your services to the Trump defense/attack team*. Just stay away from Giuliani (grin). Good article and salvo against Brennan and the rest who deserve all the pain thay can get.

*Hey money is good especially around Christmas time. (Grin)

Realist , says: November 12, 2019 at 2:14 pm GMT
@Sbaker

This certainly explains the incessant attacks on Trump by the deep state.

You have no concept of a charade being perpetrated on the American people. You don't find it a little strange that Trump keeps hiring the Deep State denizens he purports to be fighting? You are incapable of detecting the friend/foe, psychological tactic used to deceive?

Patrikios Stetsonis , says: November 12, 2019 at 2:16 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova ..Aesop's tail
Sbaker , says: November 12, 2019 at 2:20 pm GMT
@Anonymous That's it. Your hearsay trumps thousands of eyewitnesses and conversations of the victims on flight 93 and in the pentagon.. You must be a first responder too. Talk about easily influenced–you are why the old media gets away with their corruption. Some anonymous source writes, says it on TV, and the lemmings follow.
Really No Shit , says: November 12, 2019 at 2:23 pm GMT
@Biff As we write, Obama probably is banging away some groupie in a DC mansion basement while the gorrila is frying chicken upstairs for Oprah.

And Bubba, most likely, is watching porn in the garage in Westchester and the wicked witch is massaging mrs. Wiener.

But it's Dubya worth looking into because he is out in the cowshed, buck naked save the cowboy boots and the ten-gallon hat, whipping himself silly for the "mission accomplished!"

Dave Sullivan , says: November 12, 2019 at 2:45 pm GMT
Or, Obama and the police agencies investigated a known organized crime stooge when it became apparent the GOP could offer no other candidate. Ironically, this was the original intent of the creation of the FBI. Don't play into the "victim trump" brand, he needs no help with it.
The other other other shoe drops , says: November 12, 2019 at 3:01 pm GMT
Thanks much for the most comprehensive précis yet of this bungled CIA putsch. The articles in sequence teasingly open Gina's kimono, giving us horripilating glimpses of her bushy penetralia. The question of Obama's involvement is the next step. CIA bots have been pushing a partisan perspective for some time. Those darn Democrats!

But in fact Obama too is CIA nomenklatura, with the same depth of dynastic ties as GW Bush, albeit not at the same lofty level. Just look at the oppo research, the best of which comes from sanitized glimpses of the errands candidates run for CIA. Obama's other passport is not Kenyan but Indonesian. It facilitated the youngster's schooling during Mom's year of living dangerously in Indonesia. Obama's dad and stepdad were CIA skins on the wall. Grandma was not in fact a drunk – she laundered the money for forcible overthrow and genocide in Indonesia at her bank job in Hawaii. Grandpa was a "furniture salesman," like Bibi, travelling around Asia under the hoariest old chestnut of NOC cover.

Young Barack was groomed as carefully as Bush minor. His only real job was BIC, a sheepish front perennially stuffed to bursting with NOCs. While he was still wet behind the ears he sported at falconry with a future head of state of Pakistan, for chrissakes, at a time when nobody could get in there. And he got out without getting his head sawed off. How? The youthful promise of this sullen stoner was somewhat obscure at that time. His GF was the Aussie daughter of Mike Barry's opposite number. And the Mockingbird unison of ecstatic acclaim when he rose to public prominence out of nowhere is the proof. His empty suit belings to CIA.

This past election was CIA office politics, nothing more. Russigate is simply CIA eminence Hillary, the Queen of Mena, ratfucking a bumptious queue-jumper. She outranks Trump, who was merely a junior money-launderer for the CIA agents who looted the Soviet Union. It was her turn to take the figurehead head-of-state sinecure. She and Bill earned it with their lucrative Clinton Foundation covert-ops slush fund.

Don't overthink it. Your government is CIA.

Buck Ransom , says: November 12, 2019 at 3:13 pm GMT
@Rabbi Zaius They sense the rumblings of White solidarity among "the forgotten men and women" of Trump's base and they do not cotton to this one little bit. Solidarity is forbidden to Whites. It is only for the coalition of the fringes, all of those groups whose alienation can be stoked to weaponize them against the descendants of those who founded and built the United States.
Justvisiting , says: November 12, 2019 at 3:21 pm GMT
@Dave Sullivan The FISA warrants had nothing to do with organized crime.

On second thought, that is not correct.

They _were_ organized crime.

(It is not necessary to defend Trump to understand this. FISA warrants based on known fake "evidence" are a stunning abuse of power–even within the slime-pit of DC.)

BL , says: November 12, 2019 at 3:27 pm GMT
Anyone at all familiar with Brennan knows that he was and remains the driver of the conspiracy to destroy first candidate, then President -Elect, and then POTUS Trump.

The same cannot be said of Comey and Clapper (especially).

It literally makes me sick to my stomach whenever I think about what it says about this great republic that seditious filth like him rose to such a powerful position. It's rather obvious he was willing to do anything including, I would submit, gift Russia and God Knows Who Else anything they wanted in return for helping him destroy our constitutional republic.

As I'm sure most here know, long before his 2016 election malefactions he had brazenly engaged in spying on Congress and, most despicably, had debased President Obama and the Office of the President through NYT revelations that every week Obama picked from his list of drone assassination targets.

. . . and it inevitably leads to the question "What did Obama know?"

Yes, though more important than that was what Obama was told (by Brennan) and what real options did he have as president given that Brennan had him by the short hairs.

I've long considered anyone's efforts to prematurely direct liability to President Obama as a bald attempt to protect Brennan. That worked for the purposes of a general, earlier on, cover up. It won't at this stage because it isn't even a close call when it comes to Democrats, elected and rank and file, choosing between the first black president and Brennan, the American Beria.

SunBakedSuburb , says: November 12, 2019 at 4:45 pm GMT
@The other other other shoe drops "Your government is CIA."

And has been since the early 1950s when the Allen Dulles-Frank Wisner-James Jesus Angleton crew got rolling. They managed to thoroughly penetrate federal and state bureaucracies, the court systems, major corporations, the financial sector, and the mockingbird media.

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: November 12, 2019 at 4:51 pm GMT
So Phil, was there any cooperation/communication between the Trump Task Force and the DNC dirt-diggers in Ukraine (Ali Chalupa et al), or were they completely independent actions?

... ... ...

Digital Samizdat , says: November 12, 2019 at 4:59 pm GMT

it was plausible to maintain that [the Russians] would have hoped that a weakened Clinton would be less able to implement the anti-Russian agenda that she had been promoting.

Not sure I follow this line of reasoning. If the Russians had tried unsuccessfully to throw the election to Trump and Hellary won anyway, how exactly would that leave her "weakened"? And wouldn't she have that much more reason to go after Russia?

My theory is that Hellary and her deep-swamp creatures only messed with Trump because they were certain he was going lose. And if they could then plausibly claim after the election that the Russians had interfered (albeit unsuccessfull) in the election, Hell-bitch could've used that as a pretext for well, I don't know. War? More sanctions? Inducting Ukraine into NATO? Invading Syria?

Clapper revealed that the preparers of the ICA were "handpicked analysts" from only the FBI, CIA, and NSA. He explained rather unconvincingly during an interview on May 28, 2017, that "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," adding later that "It's in their DNA."

I had no idea Clapper was into HBD. Damn, he's biased!

PetrOldSack , says: November 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT
@NPleeze There is a theater play going on, unending series, each episode catching some other superficial drift. A-l-l actors in the public view, their dialogues and declamations are scripted. Trump´s also. He is not the major character, just a single, temporary one. All media opinion pieces, what is news, are prompt readings. Rectal extraction is close.

Why is this possible? The public is beyond understanding. The ones who do, at least part of what is going on, being closer to some sectors of society where a whiff of the smell of power is perceived at clouded times, are interested. The middle classes are scraping and grabbing and bickering for the scraps of the table of the powerful. It takes them most of their career to even get to under the table. They are happy dogs, and scraps comparing to scraps makes them a diverse world of nothings.

It is hard work to come up with alternative policies, not rail into historical models proven wrong as to long term interests and goals of society. A path not to venture into, against instinct.

That makes for a fine world, while it lasts, and is upended by another cycle. The empty drum feeling in the head of most is stuffed with images and sound-bites that makes for a life behind a velvet curtain(Apple´s i-phone).

There is very little cognitive difference between the individuals at the top and the glorious bottom undesirables, they both like the sniff of the glue.

Carroll Price , says: November 12, 2019 at 5:12 pm GMT
Donald Trump's election (which was not supposed to be allowed to happen) forced into public view, the existence of a Deep State that's been in existence for more than 75 years. Although not widely recognized as such, JFK'S election accomplished the same thing, but to an even greater extent. Leaving me puzzled as to why Trump has been allowed to remain in office as long as he has without the Deep State subjecting him to a similar fate.

With one logical explanation being that, at this point in time, it would become obvious, even to the brain dead, who's actually in control of the US government.

[Nov 12, 2019] Understanding What Sidney Powell is Doing to Kill the Case Against Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Nov 12, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Understanding What Sidney Powell is Doing to Kill the Case Against Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson Larry Johnson-5x7

Sidney Powell, General Michael Flynn's magnificent lawyer, is in the process of destroying the bogus case that Robert Mueller and his gang of legal thugs tried to sneak past appropriate judicial review. To help you understand what she is doing we must first go back and review the indictment of Flynn and then look at what Ms. Powell, aka Honey Badger, has forced the prosecutors to admit.

Here are the nuts and bolts of the indictment

On or about January 24, 2017, defendant MICHAEL T. FLYNN did willfully and knowingly make materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations . . . to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that:

(i) On or about December 29, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Government of Russia's Ambassador to the United States ("Russian Ambassador") to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day; and FLYNN did not recall the Russian Ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.

(ii) On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution; and that the Russian Ambassador subsequently never described_to FLYNN Russia's response to his request.

Let me make a couple of observations before we dig into the notes and the 302 that FBI Agents Strzok and Pientka wrote up during and following their interview of Michael Flynn on January 24, 2017. First, Michael Flynn did nothing wrong or inappropriate in speaking to Russia's Ambassador Kislyak. He was doing his job as an incoming National Security Advisor to President Trump. Second, not "recalling" what Ambassador Kislyak said (or did not say) on 22 December is not lying. Third, even if Flynn did ask the Russian Ambassador on the 29th of December to "refrain from escalating the situation" in response to the U.S. sanctions imposed by Barack Hussein Obama, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is wise counsel intended to defuse a situation.

Now, here is where the FBI, especially Agents Strzok and Pientka, are in so much trouble. The day prior to the "interview" of General Flynn the FBI plotters met to discuss strategy. According to Sidney Powell:

January 23, the day before the interview, the upper echelon of the FBI met to orchestrate it all. Deputy Director McCabe, General Counsel James Baker, , Lisa Page, Strzok, David Bowdich, Trish Anderson, and Jen Boone strategized to talk with Mr. Flynn in such a way as to keep from alerting him from understanding that he was being interviewed in a criminal investigation of which he was the target. (Ex.12). Knowing they had no basis for an investigation,6 they deliberately decided not to notify DOJ for fear DOJ officials would follow protocol and notify White House Counsel.

Peter Strzok was interviewed on 19 July 2017 by the FBI and, according to his affidavit, pretended that he was asked on the 24th of January 2017 to interview General Flynn. He implied this was a last minute request. But as noted in the preceding paragraph, which is based on an interview of Strzok's mistress, Lisa Page, a meeting took place the day before to orchestrate the ambush of General Flynn.

What is truly remarkable is that Peter Strzok stated the following, which exonerates Flynn of the charges in the indictment cited above:

Strzok and Pientka both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying. Flynn struck Strzok as "bright, but not profoundly sophisticated."

The fact that the FBI Agents Strzok and Pientka did not to show General Flynn the transcript of his calls to refresh his recollection, nor did they confront him directly if he did not remember, exposes this plot as a contrived scenario to entrap Michael Flynn rather than a legitimate, legally founded investigation.

In fact, as noted by Sidney Powell, "the FBI and DOJ wrote an internal memo dated January 30, 2017, exonerating Mr. Flynn of acting as an "agent of Russia;" and, they all knew there was no Logan Act violation."

But the malfeasance and misconduct of the FBI continued with the manipulation of the 302. " A FD-302 form is used by FBI agents to "report or summarize the interviews that they conduct"[3][4] and contains information from the notes taken during the interview by the non-primary agent."

The notes taken by Agents Strzok and Pientka during their interview of Michael Flynn are damning for the FBI. These notes are Exhibits 9 and 10 in the sur sureply filed by Sidney Powell on 1 November 2019. (I wrote recently on the fact that the FBI/DOJ mislabeled the notes from this interview--see here). Neither Strzok nor Pientka recorded any observation that Flynn lied about his contacts with Kislyak. Neither wrote down anything supporting the indictment by the Mueller crowd that "Flynn lied." To the contrary, Strzok swore under oath that he did not believe Flynn was lying.

The real problem for the Government's fraudulent case against Flynn are the 302s. There should only be one 302. Not at least four versions. The FBI protocol is to enter the 302 into the FBI Sentinel system within five days of the interview. In other words, the original 302 should have been put on the record on the 29th of January. But that original 302 is MISSING. The prosecutors claim they cannot find it.

But the prosecutors finally did provide the defense, after repeated requests, multiple copies of 302s. They dated as follows--10 February 2017, 11 February 2017. 14 February 2017 and 15 February 2017. WTF??? This alone is prima facie evidence that something crooked was afoot.

The final 302--dated 15 February 2017--painted General Flynn in the worst possible light. The "facts" of this 302 are not supported by the notes taken by Agents Strzok and Pientka. The conclusion is simple--the FBI fabricated a case against General Flynn. We now wait to see if Judge Sullivan will acknowledge this crooked conduct and exonerate the good General. Justice demands it.

These are not my facts. They are the facts based on documents submitted on the record to Judge Sullivan. I find it shocking that no journalist has had the energy or interest to cover this. Just one more reminder of the putrid state of journalism and investigative reporting. The charges levied against General Flynn by the Mueller prosecutors are without foundation. That is the stark conclusion facing any honest reader of the documents/exhibits uncovered by the Honey Badger. This kind of conduct by the FBI is just one more proof to support Colonel Lang's wise observation that this institution, along with the CIA, should be burned to the ground and new institutions erected in their stead that are committed to upholding the Constitution and preserving the rights of the individual.

Posted at 08:41 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink

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Flavius ,