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Neoliberal war on reality

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false" ~ CIA Director William Casey (attributed)

"Empire of illusions": The  triumph of entertainment and fake  news under neoliberalism

News Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception Lewis Powell Memo Deception as an art form
Groupthink Disciplined Minds Belief-coercion in high demand cults Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals
Neoliberal newspeak US and British media are servants of security apparatus British elite hypocrisy Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Corruption of the language Doublespeak Patterns of Propaganda Diplomacy by deception War propaganda Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Patterns of Propaganda Bullshit as MSM communication method Manipulation of the term "freedom of press" Identity politics as divide and conquer The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment
Color revolutions Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources What's the Matter with Kansas Understanding Mayberry Machiavellians  
Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Nineteen Eighty-Four Manufactured consent Groupthink Big Uncle is Watching You
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
Soft propaganda Classic Papers Media Ownership 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. Have a pleasant evening.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015


Introduction

In many respects, the media creates reality, so perhaps the most effective route toward changing reality runs through the media.  "Controlling the narrative" is the major form of neoliberal MSM war on reality. By providing "prepackaged" narrative for a particular world event and selectively suppressing alternative information channels that contraduct the official narrative, neoliberals control and channel emotions of people in the direction they want.  Often in the direction of yet another war for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led from Washington, DC.

libezkova said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs...  January 29, 2017 at 08:31 AM  

Neoliberal MSM want to control the narrative. That's why "alternative facts" should be called an "alternative narrative". https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/controlling-the-narrative/?_r=0

== quote ==

Maybe this is the same kind of clinical detachment doctors have to cultivate, a way of distancing oneself from the subject, protecting yourself against a crippling empathy. I won’t say that writers or artists are more sensitive than other people, but it may be that they’re less able to handle their own emotions.

It may be that art, like drugs, is a way of dulling or controlling pain. Eloquently articulating a feeling is one way to avoid actually experiencing it.

Words are only symbols, noises or marks on paper, and turning the messy, ugly stuff of life into language renders it inert and manageable for the author, even as it intensifies it for the reader.

It’s a nerdy, sensitive kid’s way of turning suffering into something safely abstract, an object of contemplation.

I suspect most of the people who write all that furious invective on the Internet, professional polemicists and semiliterate commenters alike, are lashing out because they’ve been hurt — their sense of fairness or decency has been outraged, or they feel personally wounded or threatened.

It is hard to disagree with the notion which was put by several authors that American society is living  in a cocoon of illusion which conveniently isolates them from reality: entertainment and escapism infuse our society, economy, and political system with severe consequences. Among such authors are  Aldous Huxley. C. Wright Mills, Sheldon Wolin, Ralph Nader, Karl Polanyi, Jared Diamond, Paul Craig Roberts, Chris Hedge and several others. If we compare dystopias of Huxley and Orwell, and it clear that Huxley in his famous  New Brave World predicted the future much better:

"Huxley feared was that would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one... the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance."

The central idea here is that we now live as a society in which citizens become so distracted (and by extension detached) from reality that they lost any ability to influence their political or economic destiny. It is the same phenomenon that is described under the label of Inverted Totalitarism

This is one of the truly malevolent aspects of today's modern neoliberal world order and we need to confront it. It allows the old game of blaming the weak and the marginal, a staple of neo-fascist and despotic regimes; this illusion empower the dark undercurrents of sadism and violence in American society and deflect attention from the neoliberal financial vampires who have drained the blood of the country

"The tragedy is that we have become a screen culture, televisions, computers, phones, tablets, etc. Our electronic hallucinations have produced a society that has little time or patience for introspection or deep thinking. It reinforced my decision to maintain a television free life. For some, what Chris has to say may cut to close to the bone. But those with the courage to do so are usually the ones that care the most."

The biggest and most invisible elephant in the American psyche is this: our government has long since abandoned the goal of managing this nation as a nation. Instead, America as a nation is managed as a means to global empire.

For example the loss of the critical skills of literacy (seven million total illiterates, another 27 million unable to read well enough to complete a job application, and still another 50 million who read at a 4th-5th-grade level)  have led large part of the US population to become incapable of thinking for ourselves.

In fact they have become as malleable as children. 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a single book in a year.  Despite technology and internet access we are becoming a society of functionally ignorant and illiterate people.

For example there is widespread illusion of inclusion. This is the illusion that we are or will be included among the fortunate few because misfortune happens only to those who deserve it. There are plenty of people who understand that the corporate model is one in which there are squeezers and those who are to be squeezed. So the illusion of inclusion provides what can be called "a plantation morality" that exalts the insiders and denigrates the outsiders. Those content with this arrangement obviously view themselves as insiders even when they work for companies that are actively shedding employees. Many of these people are happy to be making good money for digging graves for others, never stopping to wonder if maybe someday one of those graves might be their own.

One of the first recorded metaphors which explained this phenomenon of substitution of reality with  illusion was Plato's tale about cave dwellers, who thought the shadows on the wall were the actual reality. Illusion can also serve as a deliberate distraction, isolation layer that protects form unpleasant reality. The point is that now it is illusions that dominate American life; both for those that succumb to them, and for those that promote and sustains them. It is the use of illusions in the US  society that become  prevalent today, converting like into the cinema or theater, where primary goal is entertainment.

Modern MSM are driven by postmodernism which includes among other things substitution of reality with artificial reality, fragmentation of history and push for historical amnesia, decentering of subject and juxtaposition of opposites. But the key feature is controlling the narrative.

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed

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

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed (and by extension which are not)  in MSM. It represents real war on reality.  Non-stop, 24 by 7 character of modern media help with this greatly (The Unending Anxiety of an ICYMI World - NYTimes.com):

We used to receive media cyclically. Newspapers were published once (or sometimes twice) a day, magazines weekly or monthly. Nightly news was broadcast, well, each night. Television programs were broadcast on one of the major networks one night a week at a specific time, never to return until a rerun or syndication. Movies were shown first in theaters and on video much later (or, before the advent of VCRs, not until a revival). There were not many interstices, just discrete units — and a smaller number of them.

Now we’re in the midst of the streaming era, when the news industry distributes material on a 24-hour cycle, entire seasons of TV shows are dumped on viewers instantaneously, most movies are available at any time and the flow of the Internet and social media is ceaseless. We are nearly all interstitial space, with comparatively few singularities.

Media became out windows to the world and this window is broken. The notion of 'controlling the narrative' points to dirty games played by PR gurus and spin merchants with event coverage (especially foreign event coverage) to ensure the rule of elite.  A good part of the White House budget and resources is spent on controlling the narrative. Creation of the narrative and "talking points" for MSM is the task of State Department. With State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, as a pretty telling "incarnation"  of the trend. 

And MSM are doing an exemplary job controlling the political narrative. This way they demonstrate their faithful service to the state and the ruling political class. Nowhere is more evident then in coverage of wars.

Only social media can smash the official version of events. And in some case that has happened. The USA MSM honchos are now scratching heads trying to understand  how to control their version of events despite Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

On Ukraine, despite the most coordinated propaganda offensive of Western MSMs, the Western elite failed to fully control the narrative:  a sizable number of Europeans are still clinging to the notion that this story had two sides. You can see this trend from analysis of Guardian comments (The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment ). More importantly the EU political establishment has failed to maintain a central lie inside official narrative -- that the EU is benign and a force for good / peace / prosperity. EU elite has shown its ugly face supporting Ukrainian far right.

Another example were initially MSM totally controlled the narrative (the first two-three weeks) and then when the narrative start slipping away they need to silence the subject  Shooting down Malaysian flight MH17

The thing is, once you've lost control of the narrative, as happened with coverage MH17 tragedy, there's no way back. Once Western MSM lost it, no-one any longer believed  a word they said about the tragedy.

And little can be done to win back that credibility on the particular subject. Moreover, due to this Europeans are becoming more and more receptive of a drip of alternative media stories that completely destroy official EU narrative. They came from a multitude of little sources, including this site and they collectively  cements the loss of trust to the EU elite. 

More subtle nuances of controlling the narrative: the role of the scapegoat

 There also more subtle nuances of controlling the narrative. Actually controlling the narrative does not mean that you need to suppress all the negative news (like propagandists in the USSR often did -- leading to complete discreditation of official propaganda in minds of the USSR people -- it simply became the subject of jokes). As John V. Walsh noted:

There is a simple rule that is followed scrupulously by U.S. commentators of every stripe on world affairs and war – with a very few notable exceptions, Paul Craig Roberts and Pepe Escobar among them.

This rule allows strong criticism of the U.S. But major official adversaries of the U.S., Iran, Russia and China, must never, ever be presented as better than the US in any significant way. The US may be depicted as equally bad (or better) than these enemies, but never worse.

In other words, any strong criticism of the US presuppose scapegoating and vicious propaganda campaign against  major official adversaries of the US such as Russia. It  must never, ever be presented in a better light then the US in any significant way. In selected cases, the US may be depicted as equally bad, but never worse.

The most recent incarnation of this rule was during Hillary Clinton campaign for POTUS in 2016.

Chris Hedge book Empire of Illusion

 
The informational function of the media would be this to help us forget, to serve as the very agents and mechanism for our historical amnesia.

But in that cast of two features of postmodernism on which I have dwelt here -- the transformation of reality into images, the fragmentation of 'me' into a series of perpetual presents -- are bother extraordinary consolant with this process.

... We have seen that there is a way in which postmodernism replicates or reproduces -- reinforces -- the logic of consumer capitalism.

Frederic Jameson “Postmodernism and Consumer Society

 

Chis Hedge Empire of Illusion  is a penetrating analysis of this effort of "entertainment society" and converting everything including politics into entertainment. It was published in 2010. Hedges discuss  complex issues and a clear, succinct way. You might agree with him, you might disagree with him but you will enjoy his brilliant prose. 

Those who manipulate  from the shadows our lives are the agents, publicists, marketing departments, promoters, script writers, television and movie producers, advertisers, video technicians, photographers, bodyguards, wardrobe consultants, fitness trainers, pollsters, public announcers, and television news personalities who create the vast stage for the Empire of Illusion. They are the puppet masters. No one achieves celebrity status, without the approval of cultural enablers and intermediaries. The sole object is to hold attention and satisfy an audience. These techniques of theater leeched into politics, religion, education, literature, news, commerce, warfare, and even crime. It converts that society into wrestling ring mesh with the ongoing dramas on television, in movies, and in the news, where "real-life" stories, especially those involving celebrities, allow news reports to become mini-dramas complete with a star, a villain, a supporting cast, a good-looking host, and a neat, if often unexpected, conclusion (p. 15-16).

The first big achievement of Empire of Illusion was "glorification of war" after WWIII. As the veterans of WW II saw with great surprise their bitter, brutal wartime experience were skillfully transformed into an illusion, the mythic narrative of heroism and patriotic glory sold to the public by the Pentagon's public relations machine and Hollywood. The extreme brutality and meaninglessness of war could not compete against the power of the illusion, the fantasy of war as a ticket to glory, honor, and manhood. It was what the government and the military wanted to promote. It worked because it had the power to simulate experience for most viewers who were never at Iwo Jima or in a war. Few people understood that this illusion was a lie. p. 21-22.

Media evolved into branch of entertainment. He gives great insight on American society. Several chapters should be a required read for all sociology, film, journalism students, or government leaders. Much like Paul Craig Robert's How America Was Lost you might feel unplugged from the matrix after reading this book. This is the book that corporate America, as well as the neoliberal elite, do not want you to read. It's a scathing indictment against everything that's wrong with the system and those that continue to perpetuate the lie in the name of the almighty dollar. In a way the USA as the rest of the world are amusing itself into a post apocalyptic state, without an apocalypse. It is simply cannibalizing itself.

That books also contains succinct, and damning condemnation of globalization (and, specifically, the USA's role in it). You can compare it with Klein's 'Shock Doctrine', but it cuts a wider swath. 

The discussion the follows was by-and-large adapted from  D. Benor  Amazon review of the book

We consume countless lies daily, false promises that if we buy this brand or that product, if we vote for this candidate, we will be respected, envied, powerful, loved, and protected. The flamboyant lives of celebrities and the outrageous characters on television, movies,  and sensational talk shows are peddled to us, promising to fill up the emptiness in our own lives. Celebrity culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as potential celebrities, as possession unique if unacknowledged gifts. p. 26-7. Celebrity is the vehicle used by a corporate society to sell us these branded commodities, most of which we do not need. Celebrities humanize commercial commodities. They present the familiar and comforting face of the corporate state. p. 37.

Reporters, especially those on television, no longer ask whether the message is true but rather whether the pseudo-event worked or did not work as political theater for supporting particular (usually State Department in case of foreign events) talking points.  Pseudo-events are judged on how effectively we have been manipulated by illusion. Those events that appear real are relished and lauded. Those that fail to create a believable illusion are deemed failures. Truth is irrelevant. Those who succeed in politics, as in most of the culture, are those who create the most convincing fantasies. This is the real danger of pseudo-events and why pseudo-events are far more pernicious than stereotypes. They do not explain reality, as stereotypes attempt to, but replace reality. Pseudo-events redefines reality by the parameters set by their creators. These creators, who make massive profits selling illusions, have a vested interest in maintaining the power structures they control. p. 50-1.

A couple quotes: "When a nation becomes unmoored from reality, it retreats into a world of magic. Facts are accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained cosmology. The search for truth becomes irrelevant." (p. 50) "The specialized dialect and narrow education of doctors, academics, economists, social scientists, military officers, investment bankers, and government bureaucrats keeps each sector locked in its narrow role. The overarching structure of the corporate state and the idea of the common good are irrelevant to specialists. They exist to make the system work, not to examine it." (p. 98) I could go on and on citing terrific passages.

The flight into illusion sweeps away the core values of the open society. It corrodes the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to grasp historical facts, to advocate for change, and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways, and structures of being that are morally and socially acceptable. A populace deprived of the ability to separate lies from truth, that has become hostage to the fictional semblance of reality put forth by pseudo-events, is no longer capable of sustaining a free society.

Those who slip into this illusion ignore the signs of impending disaster. The physical degradation of the planet, the cruelty of global capitalism, the looming oil crisis, the collapse of financial markets, and the danger of overpopulation rarely impinge to prick the illusions that warp our consciousness. The words, images, stories, and phrases used to describe the world in pseudo-events have no relation to what is happening around us. The advances of technology and science, rather than obliterating the world of myth, have enhanced its power to deceive. We live in imaginary, virtual worlds created by corporations that profit from our deception. Products and experiences - indeed, experience as a product - offered up for sale, sanctified by celebrities, are mirages. They promise us a new personality. They promise us success and fame. They promise to mend our brokenness. p. 52-3.

We have all seen the growth of a culture of lies and deception in politics, banking, commerce and education. Hodges points out how this has been facilitated by our abandoning the teaching of values and analysis in our schools.

The flight from the humanities has become a flight from conscience. It has created an elite class of experts who seldom look beyond their tasks and disciplines to put what they do in a wider, social context. And by absenting themselves from the moral and social questions raised by the humanities, they have opted to serve a corporate structure that has destroyed the culture around them.

Our elites - the ones in Congress, the ones on Wall Street, and the ones being produced at prestigious universities and business schools - do not have the capacity to fix our financial mess. Indeed, they will make it worse. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of how to replace a failed system with a new one. They are petty, timid, and uncreative bureaucrats superbly trained to carry our systems management. They see only piecemeal solutions that will satisfy the corporate structure. Their entire focus is numbers, profits, and personal advancement. They lack a moral and intellectual core. They are as able to deny gravely ill people medical coverage to increase company profits as they are to use taxpayer dollars to peddle costly weapons systems to blood-soaked dictatorships. The human consequences never figure into their balance sheets. The democratic system, they believe, is a secondary product of the free market - which they slavishly serve. p. 111.

I quote Hodges at some length because of his cogent, clear summaries of the problems leading us to self-destruction and to ways we might someday restructure society to be supportive and healing to the individual - rather than exploiting people and viewing them only as valuable as they can be manipulated into being gullible consumers.

This is one of the clearest and best focused discussions I have seen on the problems of modern society that are leading us to societal suicide

Hedges points out how a cycle sustains itself between elite educational institutions (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.), the Government (think Congress in particular) and Corporations. Ivy league schools basically turn-out lackeys that do whatever is necessary to maintain their elite, self-absorbed status. The last chapter is entitled, "The Illusion of America," and this is where Hedges does a fantastic job of pulling together all the elements of this dysfunctional society. Other books touch the same themes, sometimes more forcefully but in this book most important elements of this picture put together.

Among the booksHedges cites:

Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte

The book Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte was a revelation. Of cause, we suspected many things he  described, but nwo we know detailed methods and mechanisms of suppressing alterative opinion in German society, methods that are probably more effective that anything propagandists in the DDR adn the USSR ever attempted.  One of the central concept here is the concept of "Noble Lie".

Guardian became neoliberal as soon as Tony Blaire became Prime minister. As any neoliberal publication is subscribes to the notion of "noble lie". The latter actually came from neocons playbook.   No they knowingly try to dumb down their reader substituting important topic with celebrity gossip and hate speech. Even political issue now are "served" to the public as dishes under heavy sauce of personalities involved, which is a perfect way to obscure the subject and distract the readers.

geronimo -> MurkyFogsFutureLogs 14 Mar 2015 12:31
Indeed...

Under the retiring editor, all politics seems to have been reduced to 'identity' politics. Forget about class, war, class war and so on... If it can't be reduced to Hillary's gender or Putin's, er... transcendental evil... then it's barely worth a comment above the line.

As I've said before, for the Guardian 'the personal is the political' - or rather, for the Guardian as for Hillary, the political reduces to the personal.

A marriage made, not so much in heaven, but somewhere in political-fashionista North London.

In reality most prominent journalists are on tight leash of "'deep state". As Udo Ulfkotte book attests this is a rule, not an exception. While this was known since Operation Mockingbird  was revealed, nothing changed. As revealed by Senator Frank Church investigations (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) in 1975. In his Congress report published in 1976 the authors stated:

"The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets."

According to the "Family Jewels" report, released by the National Security Archive on June 26, 2007, during the period from March 12, 1963, and June 15, 1963, the CIA installed telephone taps on two Washington-based news reporters. Church argued that misinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year.[20]

In February 1976, George H. W. Bush, the recently appointed Director of the CIA, announced a new policy:

"Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station." He added that the CIA would continue to "welcome" the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists.[21]

But at this point only handlers and methods changed, not the policy. They are still all controlled by deep state. The most recent revelations of this fact were published by Udo Ulfkotte’s in his bestseller book  Bought Journalists. Here is one Amazon review of the book: 

Unicorns & Kittenson May 1, 2015

I've managed to read a bit of the German version ...
 
I've managed to read a bit of the German version and now I think I understand why this is still not available in English although it was supposed to be released in this and other languages seven months ago. I will be very surprised if this shocking and destabilizing book (which names names) is made available to Americans ... even though it's primarily about the abusive tactics of American intelligence agencies. Please keep asking why it isn't published - despite being a best-seller in Germany -- and how we can get it here on Kindle.

As one Amazon reviewer said "This book will change for ever the way you read and watch the mainstream media! " Here is some additional information from russia-insider:

... ... ...

Ironically, however, it’s likely that one of the biggest threats (especially in Europe) to Anglo-American media credibility about Ukraine and other issues is coming from a very old-fashioned medium – a book.

Udo Ulfkotte’s bestseller Bought Journalists has been a sensation in Germany since its publication last autumn. The journalist and former editor of one of Germany’s largest newspapers, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, revealed that he was for years secretly on the payroll of the CIA and was spinning the news to favour U.S. interests. Moreover he alleges that some major media are nothing more than propaganda outlets for international think-tanks, intelligence agencies, and corporate high-finance.

“We’re talking about puppets on a string,” he says, “journalists who write or say whatever their masters tell them to say or write. If you see how the mainstream media is reporting about the Ukraine conflict and if you know what’s really going on, you get the picture. The masters in the background are pushing for war with Russia and western journalists are putting on their helmets.” [8]

In another interview, Ulfkotte said:

“The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say…it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe.” [9]

... ... ...

Apparently, Pomeranzev has forgotten that important October 2004 article by Ron Suskind published in the New York Times Magazine during the second war in Iraq (which, like the first, was based on a widely disseminated lie). Suskind quoted one of George W. Bush’s aides (probably Karl Rove): “The aide said that guys like me [journalists, writers, historians] were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality…That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do’.” [12]

It’s a rather succinct description of Orwellian spin and secrecy in a media-saturated Empire, where discerning the truth becomes ever more difficult.

That is why people believe someone like Udo Ulfkotte, who is physically ill, says he has only a few years left to live, and told an interviewer,

 “I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don’t like to have this situation again, because war is never coming from itself, there is always people who push for war, and this is not only politicians, it is journalists too… We have betrayed our readers, just to push for war…I don’t want this anymore, I’m fed up with this propaganda. We live in a banana republic and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom…” [13]

Recently, as Mike Whitney has pointed out in CounterPunch (March 10), Germany’s newsmagazine Der Spiegel dared to challenge the fabrications of NATO’s top commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, for spreading “dangerous propaganda” that is misleading the public about Russian “troop advances” and making “flat-out inaccurate statements” about Russian aggression.

Whitney asks, “Why this sudden willingness to share the truth? It’s because they no longer support Washington’s policy, that’s why. No one in Europe wants the US to arm and train the Ukrainian army. No wants them to deploy 600 paratroopers to Kiev and increase U.S. logistical support. No one wants further escalation, because no wants a war with Russia. It’s that simple.” [14] Whitney argued that “the real purpose of the Spiegel piece is to warn Washington that EU leaders will not support a policy of military confrontation with Moscow.”

So now we know the reason for the timing of the April 15 U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, “Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information.” Literally while U.S. paratroopers were en route to Kiev, the hawks in Washington (and London) knew it was time to crank up the rhetoric. The three witnesses were most eager to oblige.


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[Oct 21, 2018] Live Putin attends Valdai Club plenary session

Oct 21, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the 15th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi on Thursday, October 18.

The Valdai Discussion Club, established in 2004, has become an internationally recognised platform for interaction between leading world experts and Russian scholars, politicians and government officials.

[Oct 21, 2018] Putin lays down the law to the Davos crowd at this year's Valdai conference: There is a limit to your provocations and attempts to undermine Russia. So don't cross that line

Notable quotes:
"... The Davos Crowd ..."
"... It's not that Putin's stance was any different than in the past. Russia will strike back at an aggressor under any circumstance where the future of Russia is at stake. It was his assurance that in doing so 1) it would be just and righteous "dying like martyrs" and 2) so swift and brutal the aggressors would "die like dogs" bereft of the chance to ask for salvation. ..."
"... Notice how there have been no attacks or even harsh language coming out of Israel or the U.S. in the past few weeks. The failure of the British/French/Israeli operation to sucker Trump into an invasion of Syria is now complete. ..."
"... Putin wasn't boasting or grandstanding about Russia's hypersonic weapons capability. He told everyone they are deployed. He did this to shut up the U.S. neoconservative chattering class who he rightly says whisper in President Trump's ear that they can win a nuclear conflict with Russia. ..."
"... They are insane. And you have to treat them that way. ..."
Oct 21, 2018 | www.sott.net

Every year Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the Valdai Economic Forum. And each year his talk is important. Putin isn't one to mince words on important issues.

With tensions between Russia and the West reaching Cold War levels, Valdai represented the first time we've heard Putin speak in a long-form discussion since Helsinki and the events thereafter - IL-20, Khashoggi, etc.

So, this talk is worth everyone's time. And when I say everyone's I mean every single person who could be affected by the breakdown of the U.S. political system and how that spills over onto Russia's shores.

In other words, pretty much everyone on the planet.

Because what Putin did at Valdai was to lay down the new rules of conduct in geopolitical affairs. He put the U.S. and European oligarchs I call The Davos Crowd on notice.

There is a limit to your provocations and attempts to undermine Russia. So don't cross that line.

Peace Through Strength

The big quote from his talk is the one everyone is focusing on, and rightly so, Russia's policy about using nuclear weapons.

It's not that Putin's stance was any different than in the past. Russia will strike back at an aggressor under any circumstance where the future of Russia is at stake. It was his assurance that in doing so 1) it would be just and righteous "dying like martyrs" and 2) so swift and brutal the aggressors would "die like dogs" bereft of the chance to ask for salvation.


Those are strong words. They are the words of a meek man. And the word meek, as Jordan Peterson reminds us, describes someone who has weapons, knows how to use them and keeps them sheathed until they have no other option.

The reaction from the audience (see video above) was nervous laughter, but I don't think Putin was having one over on anyone.

He was serious. This is the very definition of meek.

It is really no different than the attitude of Secretary of Defense James Mattis who said, "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f$*k with me, I'll kill you all."

Men like this are not to be tested too hard. And Putin's response to the shooting down of the IL-20 plane and its crew was to cross a bunch of diplomatic lines by handing out S-300s to Syria and erecting a de facto no-fly zone over Western Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Notice how there have been no attacks or even harsh language coming out of Israel or the U.S. in the past few weeks. The failure of the British/French/Israeli operation to sucker Trump into an invasion of Syria is now complete.

And I'm convinced that Nikki Haley paid the price.

All of this highlights the major theme that came out of Putin's comments.

Strength through resolve. Resolve comes as a consequence of defending culture.

Putin wasn't boasting or grandstanding about Russia's hypersonic weapons capability. He told everyone they are deployed. He did this to shut up the U.S. neoconservative chattering class who he rightly says whisper in President Trump's ear that they can win a nuclear conflict with Russia.

They are insane. And you have to treat them that way.

Culture First

Putin sees himself, quite rightly, as the custodian of the Russian people and, as such, the Russian state as the reflection of Russian culture. If you are going to have a state and someone is going to be the head of it, this is the attitude that you want from that person.

In his dialogue with an Orthodox priest Putin wholeheartedly agreed with the idea that "the state cannot dictate culture" but rather, at best, be the facilitator of it through its applications of law.

In a back and forth with a very enthusiastic Russian dairy farmer, who was quite proud of his cheese, Putin reminded the man that while he loved sanctions (from European competition) protecting his business today he should not get used to them. They will be removed at some point and the farmer would have to stand on his own wits to survive in the international market.

Putin understands that subsidies breed sloth. That was a message he made loud and clear.

It's why when the sanctions first went into effect in 2014 over the reunification of Crimea and during the Ruble crisis Putin shifted state subsidies away from the petroleum sector which had thrived and gotten soft during years of $100+/bbl oil and shifted that money to agriculture.

The fruits of that successful policy shift he confronted head on at Valdai. Russia's food production across all sectors is flourishing thanks to a cheap ruble, which the U.S. keeps beating down via sanctions, and the Russian state getting out of the way of investment.

At the time he incurred the wrath of Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Putin ignored him, much to everyone's surprise. The message was clear, we'll help you out of your current troubles but it's time to do business differently. Because it was Rosneft that needed the biggest bailouts in late 2014/early 2015 having tens of billions in dollar-denominated debt which couldn't be rolled over thanks to the sanctions.

The Limits of Empire

Ultimately, Putin looked resigned, if confused, to the insanity emanating from U.S. policy. But it's obvious to him that Russia cannot get caught up in the tit-for-tat nuisances put up to derail Russia's future.

He mentioned the Empire loses its way because it believed itself invulnerable or as my dad used to say about certain athletes, "He reads his own press clippings too much."

There is a solipsism that infects dominant societies which creates the kind of over-reactions we're witnessing today. Power is slipping away from the U.S. and Trump is both helping the process along while also trying to preserve the core of what's left.

And no interaction during Putin's talk was more indicative of his view of the U.S. empire than his interaction with a Japanese delegate who asked him about signing a peace treaty with Japan.

And Putin's answer was clear. It's Japan's pride and political entanglements that preclude this from happening. Signing the peace treaty is not necessary to solving ownership of the Kuril Islands. Russia and Japan are both diminished by having this obstacle in the way.

The issue can resolve itself after the peace treaty is signed. The current state of things is silly and anachronistic and keep the divide between Russians and Japanese from healing. Create trust through agreement then move forward.

That's what is happening between Russia and Egypt and that is why Putin is winning the diplomatic war.

And it's why Trump is losing the diplomatic war. Putin knows where Trump is. He was there himself seventeen years ago, except an order of magnitude worse. The problems Trump is facing are the same problems Putin faced, corruption, venality, treason all contributing to a collapse in societal and cultural institutions.

Putin knows the U.S. is at a crossroads, and he's made his peace with whatever comes next. The question is have we?

[Oct 20, 2018] I am most encouraged by the apparent Putin's realisation that the First Strike is possible now if not even likely. If the Russians expect an attack they are much less likely to be totally surprised, as usual. In fact, never in history was such attack by the West more likely than now, for various reasons which would take a while to explain.

Highly recommended!
Oct 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Kiza says: October 20, 2018 at 9:13 am GMT 200 Words

Although it is almost off topic, I did find one point in Putin's Valdai speech quite telling. It was his point about the Russian automated system for detection and tracking of missile launches. Putin tried to boost the credibility of the Russian nuclear deterant by advertising this system for detecting the First Strike launches.

Although I do not believe that this system is as reliable as advertised, I am most encouraged by the apparent Putin's realisation that the First Strike is possible now if not even likely.

If the Russians expect an attack they are much less likely to be totally surprised, as usual. In fact, never in history was such attack by the West more likely than now, for various reasons which would take a while to explain.

I just hope that the Russian office corps is as prepared as Putin is to be productive martyrs (no more Arkhipovs please).

[Oct 19, 2018] You'll learn a great many things you didn't know before from Putin and Lavrov interviews. I certainly did!

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ross , Oct 18, 2018 6:08:19 PM | link

@ben | Oct 18, 2018 5:09:50 PM | 40

If you are finding your way out of the dark forest of propaganda there are two speeches by Putin that I point people toward. First, at the Munich Security Conference in 2007. Video here : Transcript here

Second, at the UN General Assembly September 2015, Video here : Transcript here .

I fail to see how any rational person could disagree with the sentiments he expresses. Warning! You may become a Putin-bot!

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 8:40:07 PM | link

Lots of interviews: Putin, Medvedev, and Lavrov twice. The only two I haven't linked to are Lavrov's --done!

Putin's Valdai Club transcript isn't 100% complete yet, but the summary I linked to earlier @11 has the video. The Medvedev link's @21.

You'll learn a great many things you didn't know before from these interviews. I certainly did!

[Oct 19, 2018] Oh for the day when a western leader could speak with such intellectual rigour, such philosophical integrity and with such basic common sense. Russia has a giant, we have a bunch of pygmies

Notable quotes:
"... Russia does not have the concept of a preventive strike in its doctrine for using nuclear arms. We only consider using it in response. That means that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons only when we have hard facts that a potential aggressor is striking on Russia, on Russian territory with nuclear weapons. ..."
"... They tried to do the same by attacking South Ossetia. As a result of those criminal, basically, criminal actions, Georgia has lost significant territories -- as a result of Saakashvili's actions, this is the result of his work. It would be very sad if today's Ukrainian authorities would follow in his footsteps. ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 2:41:08 PM | link

CarlD@23--

One al-Masdar News item I tried to link was about Zionist jets testing the outer envelope of Syrian airspace earlier today. Clearly they think the Ukrainian S-300 they trained against differs little from the very upgraded versions employed in Syria, which are much closer to S-400 in most abilities other than missile performance. I wonder if the Zionist pilots will draw straws to see which one of them becomes the sacrificial lamb--perhaps it ought to fall to the top Zionist air force commander.

For all Aussie Barflies, Partisangirl posts an "Honest #australian government ad about anti-encryption laws," in which they are called "Ass Access." Excellent short vid that ought to catch fire before YouTube yanks it.

S , Oct 18, 2018 3:04:23 PM | link

RT has posted the full video of the annual Valdai Club meeting with Putin. This year they've ditched the traditional panel discussion in favor of Putin answering questions solo. For those MoA regulars who don't have the time to watch it, I've transcribed a few of Putin's answers that I found interesting.

Putin on Crimea school shooting

This is most likely a result of globalization, strange as that may sound. On social media, on the internet, we see entire communities created. It all started with the well-known tragic shootings in U.S. high schools, where young people who are mentally unstable create false idols, false heroes for themselves. And that means that all of us, not only in Russia, but globally, we don't react promptly to the changing realities around the Globe, we don't create content that would be helpful and interesting for young people, and so they have to grab this surrogate of heroic images, and that leads to tragedies like this one.

Putin on nuclear retaliation

In our concept of using nuclear weapons there is no such notion as a preventive strike. And I would like to request all those present here and all those who will be reporting on what I'm saying and analyzing every word I say or using what I say for their own narrative, please take note of this fact, that Russia does not have the concept of a preventive strike in its doctrine for using nuclear arms. We only consider using it in response. That means that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons only when we have hard facts that a potential aggressor is striking on Russia, on Russian territory with nuclear weapons.

Now, this is no secret, we have prepared an early warning system, we have created it and we keep improving it. This system analyzes globally, world-wide, where launches are being made, including oceanic surface, they identify where missiles are being launched from, secondly, their trajectory and the point of impact. All this is being identified and analyzed within seconds.

And so only if we identify through that system that missiles are being launched at us, only then will we deliver a retaliatory strike, a strike in response. Only when there are missiles airborne being launched at Russia.

Of course, that would lead to a global disaster, to a nuclear catastrophe, but Russia cannot become its instigator or initiator, because we don't have a preventive strike as part of our military doctrine. Of course, once someone has launched nuclear missiles at us, it would be maybe too late to stop them, but a potential aggressor should know that there would be a retaliation, and we will get to heaven as martyrs, and our enemies will simply simply die as dogs, because they won't even have time to redeem themselves (repent). (nervous laughter in the audience)

Putin on Ukraine

Currently, the Ukrainian regime is not merely deadlocking the situation. There're conducting an anti-state and anti-public policy, the same way it was done by Saakashvili in Georgia. They tried to do the same by attacking South Ossetia. As a result of those criminal, basically, criminal actions, Georgia has lost significant territories -- as a result of Saakashvili's actions, this is the result of his work. It would be very sad if today's Ukrainian authorities would follow in his footsteps.

I hope that that would not be the case. But what has happened over the past time in social sphere, in economics? What's happening there? What we see is de-industrialization of the Ukrainian economy. There's basically no investments coming. They're just talking about investments, but nothing is taking place in reality. How can you work with economy that is always shaken by some kinds of shocks or undermined by domestic political crises? There is also war hysteria. All things have been destroyed. Where is that ship-building industry that Ukraine was proud of? Where's the aircraft-building industry, which was created by the whole Soviet Union throughout decades? What about spaceship-building? It has also been lost. And the same goes for every part of Ukrainian pride of the past. And what's happening is what I have been saying. I'm just saying it outloud here, but I wanted to ask you a rhetorical question. Why did our Western partners need that, especially the previous leadership of European Commission? Why did they have to insist on such a hard choice, hard engagement of Ukraine in the European Association? What did that give to Ukraine? The open market? So they're asking for Ukraine to bring out round timber. But it's not Siberia -- three or four years of work, and they're going to destroy all of the forests. And now Western partners are asking for GMO products in agriculture. Then we will have to close borders, because GMO is prohibited in our country. Now they're going to take the black earth soil out of Ukraine. Therefore, I believe that today's policy of Ukrainian authorities is aimed at what, what are they trading in? They're trading in Russophobia and anti-Russian sentiments, there are no more goods there. And they're being forgiven for everything for that. Because the nightmare of our Western partners is that Russia and Ukraine are cooperating in any way, because they think there will be growing competition in the world as a result of such cooperation. But we don't a claim for that, we just wanted to have normal work. Why did they have to open up Ukrainian markets without giving anything in return? And demanding from the Ukrainian government, constantly, to raise the prices for (natural) gas. They understand that the purchasing power of the population is not so high, they used to gather just peanuts for the (natural) gas industry before (in utility payments), and now they're basically gathering nothing -- all benefits, all pensions are at zero. So we're gonna have to wait for the domestic political cycle to end, and I truly hope that with a new leadership of the country we'll be capable of building at least some kind of relations and agree on something. We are prepared for that and we want that.

Ross , Oct 18, 2018 3:19:17 PM | link
re Putin's comments @29

Oh for the day when a western leader could speak with such intellectual rigour, such philosophical integrity and with such basic common sense. Russia has a giant, we have a bunch of pygmies.

[Oct 19, 2018] Putin's remarks at Valdai Club

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 12:12:47 PM | link

Recap of Putin's remarks at Valdai Club provided by Sputnik covers lots of ground. I'll post a link to the full transcript when I find it. Yes, he does comment on Khashoggi affair, which I'll post onto that thread. Haven't seen a recap of Lavrov's remarks yet.


karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 1:35:43 PM | link

It appears that links to al-Masdar News are now being blocked by TypePad where they weren't previously.

Medvedev interview transcript with Euronews TV shows he's learned a few pointers from Putin on not being cowed. He'll represent Russia at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). This Summit, which few have probably heard about, is mainly a talk-shop not a deal-making venue like the G-20, but Medvedev sees it as a useful forum. No, he wasn't asked about Khashoggi, but was queried about Skripal affair.

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 2:41:08 PM | link S , Oct 18, 2018 3:04:23 PM | link
RT has posted the full video of the annual Valdai Club meeting with Putin. This year they've ditched the traditional panel discussion in favor of Putin answering questions solo. For those MoA regulars who don't have the time to watch it, I've transcribed a few of Putin's answers that I found interesting.

Putin on Crimea school shooting

This is most likely a result of globalization, strange as that may sound. On social media, on the internet, we see entire communities created. It all started with the well-known tragic shootings in U.S. high schools, where young people who are mentally unstable create false idols, false heroes for themselves. And that means that all of us, not only in Russia, but globally, we don't react promptly to the changing realities around the Globe, we don't create content that would be helpful and interesting for young people, and so they have to grab this surrogate of heroic images, and that leads to tragedies like this one.

Putin on nuclear retaliation

In our concept of using nuclear weapons there is no such notion as a preventive strike. And I would like to request all those present here and all those who will be reporting on what I'm saying and analyzing every word I say or using what I say for their own narrative, please take note of this fact, that Russia does not have the concept of a preventive strike in its doctrine for using nuclear arms. We only consider using it in response. That means that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons only when we have hard facts that a potential aggressor is striking on Russia, on Russian territory with nuclear weapons. Now, this is no secret, we have prepared an early warning system, we have created it and we keep improving it. This system analyzes globally, world-wide, where launches are being made, including oceanic surface, they identify where missiles are being launched from, secondly, their trajectory and the point of impact. All this is being identified and analyzed within seconds. And so only if we identify through that system that missiles are being launched at us, only then will we deliver a retaliatory strike, a strike in response. Only when there are missiles airborne being launched at Russia. Of course, that would lead to a global disaster, to a nuclear catastrophe, but Russia cannot become its instigator or initiator, because we don't have a preventive strike as part of our military doctrine. Of course, once someone has launched nuclear missiles at us, it would be maybe too late to stop them, but a potential aggressor should know that there would be a retaliation, and we will get to heaven as martyrs, and our enemies will simply simply die as dogs, because they won't even have time to redeem themselves (repent). (nervous laughter in the audience)

Putin on Ukraine

Currently, the Ukrainian regime is not merely deadlocking the situation. There're conducting an anti-state and anti-public policy, the same way it was done by Saakashvili in Georgia. They tried to do the same by attacking South Ossetia. As a result of those criminal, basically, criminal actions, Georgia has lost significant territories -- as a result of Saakashvili's actions, this is the result of his work. It would be very sad if today's Ukrainian authorities would follow in his footsteps. I hope that that would not be the case. But what has happened over the past time in social sphere, in economics? What's happening there? What we see is de-industrialization of the Ukrainian economy. There's basically no investments coming. They're just talking about investments, but nothing is taking place in reality. How can you work with economy that is always shaken by some kinds of shocks or undermined by domestic political crises? There is also war hysteria. All things have been destroyed. Where is that ship-building industry that Ukraine was proud of? Where's the aircraft-building industry, which was created by the whole Soviet Union throughout decades? What about spaceship-building? It has also been lost. And the same goes for every part of Ukrainian pride of the past. And what's happening is what I have been saying. I'm just saying it outloud here, but I wanted to ask you a rhetorical question. Why did our Western partners need that, especially the previous leadership of European Commission? Why did they have to insist on such a hard choice, hard engagement of Ukraine in the European Association? What did that give to Ukraine? The open market? So they're asking for Ukraine to bring out round timber. But it's not Siberia -- three or four years of work, and they're going to destroy all of the forests. And now Western partners are asking for GMO products in agriculture. Then we will have to close borders, because GMO is prohibited in our country. Now they're going to take the black earth soil out of Ukraine. Therefore, I believe that today's policy of Ukrainian authorities is aimed at what, what are they trading in? They're trading in Russophobia and anti-Russian sentiments, there are no more goods there. And they're being forgiven for everything for that. Because the nightmare of our Western partners is that Russia and Ukraine are cooperating in any way, because they think there will be growing competition in the world as a result of such cooperation. But we don't a claim for that, we just wanted to have normal work. Why did they have to open up Ukrainian markets without giving anything in return? And demanding from the Ukrainian government, constantly, to raise the prices for (natural) gas. They understand that the purchasing power of the population is not so high, they used to gather just peanuts for the (natural) gas industry before (in utility payments), and now they're basically gathering nothing -- all benefits, all pensions are at zero. So we're gonna have to wait for the domestic political cycle to end, and I truly hope that with a new leadership of the country we'll be capable of building at least some kind of relations and agree on something. We are prepared for that and we want that.

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 3:35:12 PM | link
S @29--

Thanks for doing that work! Transcript at Kremlin website's still incomplete, containing probably half of entire program. As usual, much of importance was stated. Putin's matter-of-fact delivery regarding use of nuclear weapons and the nature of those who would launch a first strike was sobering. The question today's reversed: Do Americans love their children too? Unfortunately, given what's happening here domestically, the answer provided by DC Duopoly policy makers is NO, they don't give a damn about their kids or anyone else's!

[Oct 11, 2018] Politics has simply become another product, the consumption of which is regulated by advertising. Almost none of it is true, as if the product were really good, it would sell itself.

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman October 6, 2018 at 10:41 am

Politics has simply become another product, the consumption of which is regulated by advertising. Almost none of it is true, as if the product were really good, it would sell itself. And the world's great democracies wonder why voter turnout slips a little every year. Barring extraordinarily divisive elections like the last one in the United States, of course. Maybe there's something to that – elections must be made into spectacles, or the people don't give a fuck who gets in, because they're ultimately all the same face. That's pretty much where I am now, and have been for a decade or more. But making an election into a bile-driven hate-fest will really only work once. When one set of supporters gives it their all and then finds out their candidate is really no different than the rest of the political spectrum – like Obama – or that he/she is different but certifiable like Trump, it's enough to put you off ever voting again. Stick your democracy. Put your mother in, or your cat. I don't care.

[Oct 11, 2018] Paul Craig Roberts: Erasing History, Diplomacy, Truth, Life On Earth

Oct 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

One of the reasons that countries fail is that collective memory is continually destroyed as older generations pass away and are replaced by new ones who are disconnected from what came before.

Initially, the disconnect was handled by history and by discussions around family tables. For example, when I was a kid there were still grandparents whose fathers had fought for the Confederacy. They had no slaves and owned no plantations. They fought because their land was invaded by Lincoln's armies. Today if Southern families still know the facts, they would protect their children by not telling them. Can you imagine what would happen to a child in a public school that took this position?

Frustrated by the inability of the Union Army to defeat the Army of Northern Virginia led by West Point graduate Robert E. Lee, Lincoln resorted to war criminals. Generals Sherman and Sherridan, operating under the drunken General Grant, were the first modern war criminals who conducted war against civilian women and children, their homes and food supply. Lincoln was so out of step with common morality that he had to arrest and detain 300 Northern newspaper editors and exile a US Congressman in order to conduct his War for Empire.

Today this history is largely erased. The court historians buried the truth with the fable that Lincoln went to war to free the slaves. This ignorant nonsense is today the official history of the "civil war," which most certainly was not a civil war.

A civil war is when two sides fight for control of the government. The Confederacy was a new country consisting of those states that seceded. Most certainly, the Confederate soldiers were no more fighting for control over the government in Washington than they were fighting to protect the investment of plantation owners.

Memory is lost when historical facts are cast down the memory hole

So, what does this have to do with the lesson for today? More than history can be erased by the passage of time. Culture can be erased. Morality can be erased. Common sense can disappear with the diplomacy that depends on it.

The younger generation which experiences threats shouted all around it at Confederate war memorials and street names - Atlanta has just struck historic Confederate Avenue out of existence and replaced it with United Avenue - at white males who, if they are heterosexual, have been redefined by Identity Politics as rapists, racists, and misogynists, at distinguished scientists who state, factually, that there are innate differences between the male and the female, and so on, might think that it is natural for high officials in the US government to issue a never-ending stream of war threats to Russia, China, Iran, and Venezuela.

A person of my generation knows that such threats are unprecedented, not only for the US Government but also in world history. President Trump's crazed NATO Ambassador, Kay Bailey Hutchison, threatened to "take out Russian missiles." President Trump's crazed UN Ambassador Nikki Hailey issues endless threats as fast as she can run her mouth against America's allies as well as against the powerful countries that she designates as enemies. Trump's crazed National Security Advisor John Bolten rivals the insane Haley with his wide-ranging threats. Trump's Secretary of State Pompeo spews out threats with the best of them. So do the inane New York Times and Washington Post. Even a lowly Secretary of the Interior assumes the prerogative of telling Russia that the US will interdict Russian navy ships.

What do you think would be the consequences if the Russians, the Chinese, and the Iranians took these threats seriously? World Wars have started on far less. Yet there is no protest against these deranged US government officials who are doing everything in their power to convince Russia and China that they are without any question America's worst enemies. If you were Russia or China, how would you respond to this?

Professor Stephen Cohen, who, like myself, remembers when the United States government had a diplomatic tradition, is as disturbed as I am that Washington's decision to chuck diplomacy down the memory hole and replace it with war threats is going to get us all killed.

More Cold War Extremism and Crises

Overshadowed by the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, US-Russian relations grow ever more perilous.

[Oct 08, 2018] A public that can no longer distinguish between truth and fiction is left to interpret reality through illusion. Random facts or obscure bits of data and trivia are used either to bolster illusion and give it credibility, or discarded if they interfere with the message

Oct 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Oct 7, 2018 8:33:43 PM | link

This will probably be deleted too but I thought it well said

"A public that can no longer distinguish between truth and fiction is left to interpret reality through illusion. Random facts or obscure bits of data and trivia are used either to bolster illusion and give it credibility, or discarded if they interfere with the message

When opinions cannot be distinguished from facts, when there is no universal standard to determine truth in law, in science, in scholarship, or in reporting the events of the day, when the most valued skill is the ability to entertain, the world becomes a place where lies become true, where people can believe what they want to believe. This is the real danger of pseudo-events and pseudo-events are far more pernicious than stereotypes. They do not explain reality, as stereotypes attempt to, but replace reality. Pseudo-events redefine reality by the parameters set by their creators. These creators, who make massive profits selling illusions, have a vested interest in maintaining the power structures they control."
– Hedges, Chris (2009). "Empire of Illusion", Nation Books, New York, NY, 2009, page 51

ben , Oct 7, 2018 10:54:31 PM | link

One of my favorite Chris Hedges pieces, here's an excerpt:

"The political process, as the research by professors Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page underscores, no longer advances the interests of the average citizen. It has turned the consent of the governed into a cruel joke. "The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence." This facade of democratic process eviscerates one of the primary social bonds in a democratic state and abolishes the vital shared belief that citizens have the power to govern themselves, that government exists to promote and protect their rights and interests."

Full article: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/american-anomie/

[Oct 08, 2018] Hacking and Propaganda by Marcus Ranum

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security ..."
"... "The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance. ..."
"... One thing that did ..."
"... US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point. ..."
"... My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection." ..."
"... All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. ..."
"... the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ] ..."
"... It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. ..."
"... it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools. ..."
"... My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese? ..."
"... The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations? ..."
"... That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors. ..."
"... There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all. ..."
"... So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget. ..."
"... What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes. ..."
"... Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same. ..."
Oct 07, 2018 | freethoughtblogs.com

Bob Moore asks me to comment on an article about propaganda and security/intelligence. [ article ] This is going to be a mixture of opinion and references to facts; I'll try to be clear which is which.

Yesterday several NATO countries ran a concerted propaganda campaign against Russia. The context for it was a NATO summit in which the U.S. presses for an intensified cyberwar against NATO's preferred enemy.

On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland.

It is true that the US periodically makes a big push regarding "messaging" about hacking. Whether or not it constitutes a "propaganda campaign" depends on how we choose to interpret things and the labels we attach to them -- "propaganda campaign" has a lot of negative connotations and one person's "outreach effort" is an other's "propaganda." An ultra-nationalist or an authoritarian submissive who takes the government's word for anything would call it "outreach."

There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security (2004) [ wc ] claims such as that the Chinese had "40,000 highly trained hackers" are flat-out absurd and ignore the reality of hacking; that's four army corps. Hackers don't engage in "human wave" attacks.

"The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance.

One thing that did happen in 2010 around the same time as the nonexistent cyberwar was China and Russia proposed trilateral talks with the US to attempt to define appropriate limits on state-sponsored hacking. The US flatly rejected the proposal, but there was virtually no coverage of that in the US media at the time. The UN also called for a cyberwar treaty framework, and the effort was killed by the US. [ wired ] What's fascinating and incomprehensible to me is that, whenever the US feels that its ability to claim pre-emptive cyberwar is challenged, it responds with a wave of claims about Chinese (or Russian or North Korean) cyberwar aggression.

John Negroponte, former director of US intelligence, said intelligence agencies in the major powers would be the first to "express reservations" about such an accord.

US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point.

My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection."

The anti-Russian campaign is about alleged Russian spying, hacking and influence operations. Britain and the Netherland took the lead. Britain accused Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) of spying attempts against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and Switzerland, of spying attempts against the British Foreign Office, of influence campaigns related to European and the U.S. elections, and of hacking the international doping agency WADA. British media willingly helped to exaggerate the claims: [ ]

The Netherland [sic] for its part released a flurry of information about the alleged spying attempts against the OPCW in The Hague. It claims that four GRU agents traveled to The Hague on official Russian diplomatic passports to sniff out the WiFi network of the OPCW. (WiFi networks are notoriously easy to hack. If the OPCW is indeed using such it should not be trusted with any security relevant issues.) The Russian officials were allegedly very secretive, even cleaning out their own hotel trash, while they, at the same, time carried laptops with private data and even taxi receipts showing their travel from a GRU headquarter in Moscow to the airport. Like in the Skripal/Novichok saga the Russian spies are, at the same time, portrayed as supervillains and hapless amateurs. Real spies are neither.

The U.S. Justice Department added to the onslaught by issuing new indictments (pdf) against alleged GRU agents dubiously connected to several alleged hacking incidents . As none of those Russians will ever stand in front of a U.S. court the broad allegations will never be tested.

There's a lot there, and I think the interpretation is a bit over-wrought, but it's mostly accurate. The US and the UK (and other NATO allies, as necessary) clearly coordinate when it comes to talking points. Claims of Chinese cyberwar in the US press will be followed by claims in the UK and Australian press, as well. My suspicion is that this is not the US Government and UK Government coordinating a story -- it's the intelligence agencies doing it. My opinion is that the intelligence services are fairly close to a "deep state" -- the CIA and NSA are completely out of control and the CIA has gone far toward building its own military, while the NSA has implemented completely unrestricted surveillance worldwide.

All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. While the attribution that "Fancy Bear is the GRU" has been made and is probably fairly solid, the attribution of NSA malware and CIA malware is rock solid; the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ]

It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. I tend to be extremely skeptical of US claims because: bomber gap, missile gap, gulf of Tonkin, Iraq WMD, Afghanistan, Libya and every other aggressive attack by the US which was blamed on its target. The reason I assume the US is the most aggressive actor in cyberspace is because the US has done a terrible job of protecting its tool-sets and operational security: it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools.

Meanwhile, where are the leaks of Russian and Chinese tools? They have been few and far between, if there have been any at all. Does this mean that the Russians and Chinese have amazingly superior tradecraft, if not tools? I don't know. My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese?

The article does not have great depth to its understanding of the situation, I'm afraid. So it comes off as a bit heavy on the recent news while ignoring the long-term trends. For example:

The allegations of Chinese supply chain attacks are of course just as hypocritical as the allegations against Russia. The very first know case of computer related supply chain manipulation goes back to 1982 :

A CIA operation to sabotage Soviet industry by duping Moscow into stealing booby-trapped software was spectacularly successful when it triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline, it emerged yesterday.

I wrote a piece about the "Farewell Dossier" in 2004. [ mjr ] Re-reading it, it comes off as skeptical but waffly. I think that it's self-promotion by the CIA and exaggerates considerably ("look how clever we are!") at a time when the CIA was suffering an attention and credibility deficit after its shitshow performance under George Tenet. But the first known cases of computer related supply chain manipulation go back to the 70s and 80s -- the NSA even compromised Crypto AG's Hagelin M-209 system (a mechanical ciphering machine) in order to read global communications encrypted with that product. You can imagine Crypto AG's surprise when the Iranian secret police arrested one of their sales reps for selling backdoor'd crypto -- the NSA had never told them about the backdoor, naturally. The CIA was also on record for producing Xerox machines destined for the USSR, which had recorders built into them So, while the article is portraying the historical sweep of NSA dirty tricks, they're only looking at the recent ones. Remember: the NSA also weakened the elliptic curve crypto library in RSA's Bsafe implementation, paying RSADSI $13 million to accept their tweaked code.

Why haven't we been hearing about the Chinese and Russians doing that sort of thing? There are four options:

  1. The Russians and Chinese are doing it, they're just so darned good nobody has caught them until just recently.
  2. The Russians and Chinese simply resort to using existing tools developed by the hacking/cybercrime community and rely on great operational security rather than fancy tools.
  3. The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations?
  4. Something else.

That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors.

Was the Intel IME a "backdoor" or just "a bad idea"? Well, that's tricky. Let me put my tinfoil hat on: making a backdoor look like a sloppily developed product feature would be the competent way to write a backdoor. Making it as sneaky as the backdoor in the Via is unnecessary -- incompetence is eminently believable.

&

(kaspersky)

I believe all of these stories (including the Supermicro) are the tip of a great big, ugly iceberg. The intelligence community has long known that software-only solutions are too mutable, and are easy to decompile and figure out. They have wanted to be in the BIOS of systems -- on the motherboard -- for a long time. If you go back to 2014, we have disclosures about the NSA malware that hides in hard drive BIOS: [ vice ] [ vice ] That appears to have been in progress around 2000/2001.

Of note, the group recovered two modules belonging to EquationDrug and GrayFish that were used to reprogram hard drives to give the attackers persistent control over a target machine. These modules can target practically every hard drive manufacturer and brand on the market, including Seagate, Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba, Corsair, Hitachi and more. Such attacks have traditionally been difficult to pull off, given the risk in modifying hard drive software, which may explain why Kaspersky could only identify a handful of very specific targets against which the attack was used, where the risk was worth the reward.

But Equation Group's malware platforms have other tricks, too. GrayFish, for example, also has the ability to install itself into computer's boot record -- software that loads even before the operating system itself -- and stores all of its data inside a portion of the operating system called the registry, where configuration data is normally stored.

EquationDrug was designed for use on older Windows operating systems, and "some of the plugins were designed originally for use on Windows 95/98/ME" -- versions of Windows so old that they offer a good indication of the Equation Group's age.

This is not a very good example of how to establish a "malware gap" since it just makes the NSA look like they are incapable of keeping a secret. If you want an idea how bad it is, Kaspersky labs' analysis of the NSA's toolchain is a good example of how to do attribution correctly. Unfortunately for the US agenda, that solid attribution points toward Fort Meade in Maryland. [kaspersky]

Let me be clear: I think we are fucked every which way from the start. With backdoors in the BIOS, backdoors on the CPU, and wireless cellular-spectrum backdoors, there are probably backdoors in the GPUs and the physical network controllers, as well. Maybe the backdoors in the GPU come from the GRU and maybe the backdoors in the hard drives come from NSA, but who cares? The upshot is that all of our systems are so heinously compromised that they can only be considered marginally reliable. It is, literally, not your computer: it's theirs. They'll let you use it so long as your information is interesting to them.

Do I believe the Chinese are capable of doing such a thing? Of course. Is the GRU? Probably. Mossad? Sure. NSA? Well-documented attribution points toward NSA. Your computer is a free-fire zone. It has been since the mid 1990s, when the NSA was told "no" on the Clipper chip and decided to come up with its own Plan B, C, D, and E. Then, the CIA came up with theirs. Etc. There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all.

From my 2012 RSA conference lecture "Cyberwar, you're doing it wrong."

The problem is that playing in this space is the purview of governments. Nobody in the cybercrime or hacking world need tools like these. The intelligence operatives have huge budgets, compared to a typical company's security budget, and it's unreasonable to expect any business to invest such a level of effort on defending itself. So what should companies do? They should do exactly what they are doing: expect the government to deal with it; that's what governments are for. The problem with that strategy is that their government isn't on their side, either! It's Hobbes' playground.

In case you think I am engaging in hyperbole, I assure you I am not. If you want another example of the lengths (and willingness to bypass the law) "they" are willing to go, consider 'stingrays' that are in operation in every major US city and outside of every interesting hotel and high tech park. Those devices are not passive -- they actively inject themselves into the call set-up between your phone and your carrier -- your data goes through the stingray, or it doesn't go at all. If there are multiple stingrays, then your latency goes through the roof. "They" don't care. Are the stingrays NSA, FBI, CIA, Mossad, GRU, or PLA? Probably a bit of all of the above depending on where and when.

Whenever the US gets caught with its pants down around its ankles, it blames the Chinese or the Russians because they have done a good job of building the idea that the most serious hackers on the planet at the Chinese. I don't believe that we're seeing complex propaganda campaigns that are tied to specific incidents -- I think we see ongoing organic propaganda campaigns that all serve the same end: protect the agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence.

So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget.

The government also engages in propaganda, and is influenced by the intelligence community's propaganda as well. And the propaganda campaigns work because everyone involved assumes, "well, given what the NSA has been able to do, I should assume the Chinese can do likewise." That's a perfectly reasonable assumption and I think it's probably true that the Chinese have capabilities. The situation is what Chuck Spinney calls "A self-licking ice cream cone" -- it's a justifying structure that makes participation in endless aggression seem like a sensible thing to do. And, when there's inevitably a disaster, it's going to be like a cyber-9/11 and will serve as a justification for even more unrestrained aggression.


Want to see what it looks like? A thousand thanks to Commentariat member [redacted] for this link. If you don't like video, there's an article here. [ toms ]

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

Is this an NSA backdoor, or normal incompetence? Is Intel Management Engine an NSA-inspired backdoor, or did some system engineers at Intel think that was a good idea? There are other scary indications of embedded compromise: the CIA's Vault7 archive included code that appeared to be intended to embed in the firmware of "smart" flatscreen TVs. That would make every LG flat panel in every hotel room, a listening device just waiting to be turned on.

We know the Chinese didn't do that particular bug but why wouldn't they do something similar, in something else? China is the world's oldest mature culture -- they literally wrote the book on strategy -- Americans acting as though it's a great surprise to learn that the Chinese are not stupid, it's just the parochialism of a 250 year-old culture looking at a 3,000 year-old culture and saying "wow, you guys haven't been asleep at the switch after all!"

WIRED on cyberspace treaties [ wired ]

Comments
  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    October 6, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.

    Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same.

  2. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Pierce R. Butler@#1:
    What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.

    Yes. Since 2001, as far as most of us can tell, federal cybersecurity spend has been 80% offense, 20% defense. And a lot of the offensive spend has been aimed at We, The People.

  3. Cat Mara says

    October 6, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media). I mean, I've seen interviews with retired US intelligence people since the 90s complain that since the late 1980s, the intelligence agencies have been crippled by management in love with hi-tech "SIGINT" solutions to problems that never deliver and neglecting old-fashioned "HUMINT" intelligence-gathering.

    The thing is, Kevin Mitnick got away with a lot of what he did because people didn't take security seriously then, and still don't. On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.

  4. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Cat Mara@#3:
    Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media).

    I think that's right, to a high degree. What if Edward Snowden was an agent provocateur instead of a well-meaning naive kid? A tremendous amount of damage could be done, as well as stealing the US' expensive toys. The Russians have been very good at doing exactly that sort of operation, since WWII. The Chinese are, if anything, more subtle than the Russians.

    The Chinese attitude, as expressed to me by someone who might be a credible source is, "why are you picking a fight with us? We don't care, you're too far away for us to threaten you, we both have loads of our own fish to fry. To them, the US is young, hyperactive, and stupid.

    The FBI is not competent, at all, against old-school humint intelligence-gathering. Compared to the US' cyber-toys, the old ways are probably more efficient and cost effective. China's intelligence community is also much more team-oriented than the CIA/NSA; they're actually a disciplined operation under the strategic control of policy-makers. That, by the way, is why Russians and Chinese stare in amazement when Americans ask things like "Do you think Putin knew about this?" What a stupid question! It's an autocracy; they don't have intelligence operatives just going an deciding "it's a nice day to go to England with some Novichok." The entire American attitude toward espionage lacks maturity.

    On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.

    That as an exciting time. We were downstream from University of Maryland, which got hit pretty badly. Pete Cottrel and Chris Torek from UMD were also in on Bostic's dissection. We were doing uucp over TCP for our email (that changed pretty soon after the worm) and our uucp queue blew up. I cured the worm with a reboot into single-user mode and a quick 'rm -f' in the uucp queue.

  5. Bob Moore says

    October 7, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Thanks. I appreciate your measured analysis and the making explicit of the bottom line: " agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence."

[Oct 05, 2018] Obama legalized and industrialized fake news when he repealed the Smith-Mundt domestic propaganda ban as part of the 2013 NDAA

Oct 05, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

willow , October 3, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Obama legalized and industrialized fake news when he repealed the Smith-Mundt domestic propaganda ban as part of the 2013 NDAA. https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/07/14/u-s-repeals-propaganda-ban-spreads-government-made-news-to-americans/

Lucius Patrick , October 3, 2018 at 10:54 am

Yes, the great Obama, who bombed more countries and dropped more bombs, than Bush and Cheney; who sold more military weapons to foreign countries than any president in history. Who backed an illegal in Ukraine and restarted the Cold War. That Obama?

jean , October 3, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Of course the USA is the biggest terrorist on the planet and the biggest war monger bar none.The USA is the largest arms dealer and the pentagon alone is the world largest employer ALL happened before Trump.

And WHY is the middle east in turmoil? ..Didnt Bush lie the world into war? .while Hillary stood with him?Didn't Obama refuse to prosecute the multitude of crimes committed by the Bush regime?" Moving forward"? ..Didnt Obama overthrow Libya's Qaddafi and they now have open air slavery markets where they once had Education and healthcare and equal rights for women?

Didnt Obama support " the rebels { ISIS} trying to over throw Assad and creating the largest refugee crisis since WW2?Didnt Obama help the Saudi's commit genocide in Yemen ? and that just the middle east

Didnt Obama not only allow the criminal banks to commit massive fraud and keep their loot but continue their crime spree? ..too big to jail is bigger than ever and AG Eric Holder now works for those same banks.Trump Fault?

As for Tarrifs? .other countries have tariffs and yet we allow the US to be undercut and over run by other countries who purposely undermine US manufactures .you know why Solindra went under? ..they couldnt compete with Chinese solar companies who who cheat by manipulation of prices and currency.

Remember Gen Flynn? .who wanted to work with Russia and was hounded out by the deep state? .while democrats cheered?

Democrats have been pushing for WW3 with Russia and sneering at Trumps steps toward peace with N Korea ..and derided him for not pushing harder at Syria to topple Assad .and what comes after ASSAD? ISIS.

Democrats are now the BUSH Neo con party .they arent even bright enough to know .their new hero's are BUSH war criminals and torture enthusiasts Meuller,Brennan ,Clapper and Hadnen?Democrats are far more dangerous than Trump.They are omnicidal.

The Democrats haven't even tried to figure out why Trump won.

After all, he was a genuinely appalling candidate. If the Republicans had put a decent candidate on the same platform they'd have won by a landslide.

Trump is a symptom

Trumps fault?

Trump tied to pull out of Syria and the CIA pulled another false flag attack and

[Oct 05, 2018] The extra component BS story on the Chinee manufactured circuit boards is total baloney

Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Oct 5, 2018 4:43:23 PM | link

The extra component BS story on the Chinee manufactured circuit boards is total baloney. Such a change after manufacture is virtually impossible for anything other than the most basic component and therefore ineffective. These are multi layer boards.

Regardless the hardware design and assembly is a rigorous and meticulous process that pares componentry to the bare minimum. Components fail, the more you have the higher the risk of failure. Designers spend inordinate effort getting design absolutely right for high level boards as described in this BS story. For this story to true implies that many people at the initial concept and design stage were corrupted. Unlikely in the extreme!

Then there is the sophistication of software hacking as Snowden revealed. Look up video of 'the god bit' at blackhat conferences and you will see that no matter what motherboards are made they can all be hacked by software.

[Oct 05, 2018] Of course the USA and coalition of imbeciles are busy projecting onto Russia and China what they themselves are guilty of

Notable quotes:
"... I think its far more likely that a friendly foreign intelligence agency or the US had something to do with it. ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Oct 5, 2018 3:44:18 PM | link

thanks b.. excellent information and insights as usual..

of course the USA and coalition of imbeciles are busy projecting onto Russia and China what they themselves are guilty of.. the use of propaganda has gone into overdrive and is now an accepted policy of the west.. screw facts.. who needs facts when you have a war to pursue... and that is just what it looks like to me, as there is no end in sight to any of this western madness...

the financial sanctions have not worked.. that much is clear.. another approach via propaganda is to be the new regular feature.. claim all sorts of lies and supposition on russia, china, iran, north korea, venezuela or any country that dares to get out of line with the official ''coalition'' and you will be targeted with propaganda and or worse..

Pft , Oct 5, 2018 5:36:22 PM | link
UncleTungsten@42

Companies in China, including foreign firms, are required by law to establish a party organization within their organization and party members head the mandatory unions in every company. Indeed some of the designers are no doubt party members. Significant pressure can be exerted on companies in China by the party, even foreign companies , especially with but not limited to Joint ventures.

In any other country your skepticism is warranted. Not China.

That said, given how little attention the Bloomberg story received yesterday by MSM web sites (havent checked today) beyond a denial story by msnbc I think its far more likely that a friendly foreign intelligence agency or the US had something to do with it. Blame China not Israel or CIA/NSA

But I doubt we will ever know

[Sep 28, 2018] What Russia could do to protect herself in this new era of potentially violent struggle for resources

Sep 28, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

steven t johnson , Sep 28, 2018 5:39:39 PM | 53 ">link

ashley albanese@26 says

Putin wrote about "what Russia could do to protect herself in this new era of potentially violent struggle for resources."

The violent struggle for resources will not be the impoverished rabble nations mobbing the rich nations: It will be the rich nations keeping their riches at the expense of the poorer nations. That is, it will be pretty much the US foreign policy where there is no hegemony but a glorious free-for-all of independent states supposedly protecting themselves. When Bangla Desh destabilizes because of sea level rise, it will be India attacking them. Putin is opposed to any international authority. He wants a world where the strong nations can exercise their leadership over weaker nations without interference from a hegemonic power. This is not the problem.

The problem is the US, the current hegemonic power, is the fortress of a decayed empire that can no longer move forward. It can only maintain itself by looting a series of weaker nations. The terror of destruction supports the US role in the world. The dollar is based on blood, not gold the declining economic power of the US cannot earn. But, Putin is not an enemy of this decadence. He is not even an enemy of the flagrant fascism of the Kyiv government!

[Sep 27, 2018] In Fahrenheit 11-9, Moore Turns Hose on Media and Mushy Middle

Notable quotes:
"... Yet while initially sympathizing with Hillary in her defeat, Moore shows no mercy at all to her husband for his late '80s and '90s Third Way triangulations and neoliberalism, blaming Bubba every bit as much as Ronald Reagan and the Bushes for the orgy of Wall Street and Silicon Valley deregulation and casino capitalism of the last three decades. Moore underlines this with a montage of A-list Democrats saying the word "compromise" over and over again during the worst of the Great Recession. ..."
"... Fahrenheit 11/9 ..."
"... All told, Michael Moore's thesis is that we may be able to "make America great again," whether your definition of greatness is Moore's or Trump's -- but that either way, there's no going back to some mythical center. We've arrived at this crazytown we call the "new normal" precisely because politicians clung to their own self-serving "norms." ..."
"... Whatever your politics, Fahrenheit 11/9 is a veritable symphony of systems failure, and a deeply unsettling rollercoaster of where we seem to be headed -- whether we want to go there or not. ..."
Sep 27, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

For conservatives who feel the media is almost instinctively biased and corrupt, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 -- a sequel of sorts (or at least follow-up) to the highest grossing documentary movie of all time, Moore's 2004 Bush-whacker Fahrenheit 9/11 -- offers one of the most damning portraits of media industry cravenness since Network .

Moore dives deep into how the feedback-looping and self-validating punditocracy consistently pushed back against blue-collar economic populism, marginalized and erased legitimate economic anxiety among downscale whites, and refused to adequately cover police shootings and brutality in minority communities until they reached a state of emergency. (The water quality scandal in Moore's hometown of largely black Flint gets major play.)

Recently disgraced CBS chief Les Moonves is quoted bragging that Trump may be bad for America but he's great for business. CNN topper and former NBC program chief Jeff Zucker hems and haws when asked whether his network covered Trump because he was newsworthy or because he was ratings gold. The movie suggests Trump initially ran for president as a marketing ploy to build leverage for his own media branding. And Moore quite rightly makes fun of how ballistically wrong the major papers got the election -- with The New York Times giving Hillary better than four-to-one odds of winning on the very Election Day that she lost .

In one snarkadelic sequence, we see smug media mavens like Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin, Roger Ailes, and Charlie Rose smugly grilling and cross-examining Hillary Clinton before being "stamped" with laundry lists of their own Weinstein-esque sexual assault shenanigans.

Yet while initially sympathizing with Hillary in her defeat, Moore shows no mercy at all to her husband for his late '80s and '90s Third Way triangulations and neoliberalism, blaming Bubba every bit as much as Ronald Reagan and the Bushes for the orgy of Wall Street and Silicon Valley deregulation and casino capitalism of the last three decades. Moore underlines this with a montage of A-list Democrats saying the word "compromise" over and over again during the worst of the Great Recession.

Even Obama himself is not immune from criticism. Moore accuses him of being too centrist and accommodating, showing him staging a media-op in Flint and, instead of calling a full-on emergency, literally "drinking the water" and telling people that everything was on its way to being fine.

But for all the leftist preaching to the choir, there's trouble brewing in Moore's liberal paradise. There are plenty of progressive voices -- especially women, LGBTs, and people of color under 50 -- who believe Moore is giving Trump voters an "excuse" for voting as they did.

Let's not forget that George W. Bush was the best thing that ever happened to Michael Moore's bank account. Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, and (less than a year into Obama's first term in fall 2009) Capitalism: A Love Story all attracted round-the-block lines, cable ratings, and even an Oscar or two. In light of that, some liberals think that Moore all but secretly wanted Trump to win so he could go ka-ching! with yet another right-wing archvillain.

Liberal film and TV critics are also singing from the same hymnal. Jake Cole of Slant mentions Moore's "hollowness," his penchant for centering and "foregrounding himself" at the expense of victims, his "empty shock value," "grotesque history of exploiting atrocities," and "circus-showman duplicity that is as crass and self-promoting" as Trump himself. Matt Goldberg of Collider accuses Moore of caring "more about stunts than policy details," and David Sims in The Atlantic also gives him a decided thumbs-down.

In short, not even a team of Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh could have come up with a harsher or more cynical assessment of Moore's work. The surprise is, for someone of such ego and self-righteousness, Moore seems to have actually listened to his critics -- at least the ones on the identity politics left.

In Fahrenheit 11/9 , Moore comes as close to admitting to (if not "checking") his privilege as he ever has in a movie or TV show. He still sports his everyman uniform of T-shirts, jeans, and baseball caps, and still does his David versus Goliath stunts (like spraying Michigan governor Rick Snyder's gate-guarded mansion and front lawn with a tanker from Flint's contaminated water supply). But he also frankly admits to rubbing shoulders with Trump Train royalty like Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner (who provided funds and/or distribution for his health care doc Sicko a decade ago). He shows footage of himself joking around on Roseanne's talk show in 1998 with Trump, and even posing for unbelievably campy selfies while hugging it out with Kellyanne Conway.

Moore is a Baby Boomer liberal who is saying in no uncertain terms that it is time for Boomer (and Silent) generation Democrats who still largely hold top-of-the-line power in the party to sit down and shut up. Not surprisingly, Bernie is the only older politician who comes off as even marginally acceptable. (And of course, the movie revisits how the superdelegate system and DNC machinations effectively "stole" the nomination from him.)

Of course there are the perhaps inevitable comparisons of Trump to Hitler and Trumpism to Nazism (one "humorous" sequence has Trump's words dubbed over a Hitler speech newsreel; a significantly more gratuitous one shows an interview with a nearly 100-year-old Nuremberg prosecutor).

All told, Michael Moore's thesis is that we may be able to "make America great again," whether your definition of greatness is Moore's or Trump's -- but that either way, there's no going back to some mythical center. We've arrived at this crazytown we call the "new normal" precisely because politicians clung to their own self-serving "norms."

Whatever your politics, Fahrenheit 11/9 is a veritable symphony of systems failure, and a deeply unsettling rollercoaster of where we seem to be headed -- whether we want to go there or not.

Telly Davidson is the author of a new book, Culture War: How the 90's Made Us Who We Are Today (Like it Or Not) . He has written on culture for ATTN, FrumForum, All About Jazz, FilmStew, and Guitar Player, and worked on the Emmy-nominated PBS series "Pioneers of Television."

[Sep 23, 2018] Attempt to blame Putin

Notable quotes:
"... "none of this would in any way exculpate the Israelis for the very simple reason that had the Israelis warned the Russians on time this entire tragedy might have been avoided even if the prime culprits are cowardly Israeli pilots, less than competent Syrian air defense crews or too trusting Russians. " ..."
"... No, none of this would have happened if Putin had refused to allow his bosom buddy Nazinyahu to bomb his ally, Syria, with impunity. ..."
"... It is definitely worth reading not only the quoted article but other commentaries, because the inventors of shutzpah are now collectively dancing on the graves of the 15 Russian officers. ..."
Sep 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm GMT

@J Since the Russians largely control the Syrian antiair defenses, one could also conclude that they share the responsibility in downing their own aircraft. Maybe the Israelis overestimated Russian readiness and response capabilities. In Tzahal, one minute is a lot of time. As Putin said, it was a tragic fuckup.

In Tzahal, one minute is a lot of time.

No, this can not be true!!! I always knew that Tzahal operates on millisecond increments. In fact, it can also travel back in time. You know, because they are that good.

Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 1:48 pm GMT

"none of this would in any way exculpate the Israelis for the very simple reason that had the Israelis warned the Russians on time this entire tragedy might have been avoided even if the prime culprits are cowardly Israeli pilots, less than competent Syrian air defense crews or too trusting Russians. "

No, none of this would have happened if Putin had refused to allow his bosom buddy Nazinyahu to bomb his ally, Syria, with impunity. Russia is being treated with contempt by the zionazi pseudostate for the simple reason that the Zios were bombing a "target" right next to the Russian Hmeimim airbase.

Nor is the loss of the Il 20 something minor. It was a very expensive, highly capable system manned by extremely well trained, hard to replace, valuable crew, each of whom had many years of irreplaceable experience. Do *not* attempt to whitewash that.

The Saker needs to stop defending the zionazi stooge and capitalist roader Putin. His "restraint" is making Russia look like a pushover and emboldening its enemies. What is the Amerikastani aircraft carrier Harry Truman doing in the Mediterranean right now, a health cruise?

Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
There is absolutely nothing stopping Putin from ordering his bosom buddy Nazinyahu to immediately stop all bombing of Syria, on the pain of having his zionazi war criminals being shot out of the air. What exactly is preventing Putin from doing this, assuming that the S400 actually works as advertised? Can any of the professional Putinite propaganda purveyors, as despicable a breed as the Trumpets, Obamopologists, and Hillarybots, explain?
Kiza , says: September 21, 2018 at 2:03 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

First, let me start by a very simple and primitive question:

Why in the world has nobody considered that the Israelis might have truly screwed-up?

'Careless' is the word I would use. Israelis are being careless, because they never have to pay a price for their aggressions and their mistakes. Putin encourages this carelessness , when he refuses to impose costs on Israel. The lesson Israelis are learning from this incident is that Russia is weak, and Putin has "little choice", but allow Israelis free hand in Syria. This is what Israelis newspapers are saying, check this out:

https://twitter.com/DanielS22647562/status/1043070311355301889 It is definitely worth reading not only the quoted article but other commentaries, because the inventors of shutzpah are now collectively dancing on the graves of the 15 Russian officers. Just as they placed sofas to watch the destruction of Gaza. Thank you for the link Felix.

Much better reading Harretz than the awe of our two Armchair Marshals, Saker and Martyanov, at the level of the IDF delegations sent to Moscow, to ensure that the Russian military does not get any "reserved" ideas (reserve the right to huff & puff).

Here is my favorite piece from this Jewish BS machine above:

unconfirmed sources from Syria have reported that Russian military police abducted and are brutally interrogating officers and soldiers from the Syrian air-defense battery that fired the fateful missile

But, but I naively thought that the Russians discovered a secret link which proves that those now brutally interrogated Syrians did 911 , not the Iraqis accused before.

I do understand that Putin does not have any good option now and that his premature and dumb commentary about the "accident" was for his own ass-covering not to protect those Jews who made such a total ass of him. But whenever the Russians die, as when the SU-24 pilot died, he learned nothing and continues on making and trusting the deals with the sponsors of terrorism.

Finally, I do note that the smart people, such as Israel Shamir, keep their mouths shut for now, till the fog clears and the emotions blow-over. I am looking forward to his next article to understand the feelings in the Russian military regarding Putin.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 2:23 pm GMT
@Kiza It is definitely worth reading not only the quoted article but other commentaries, because the inventors of shutzpah are now collectively dancing on the graves of the 15 Russian officers. Just as they placed sofas to watch the destruction of Gaza. Thank you for the link Felix.

Much better reading Harretz than the awe of our two Armchair Marshals, Saker and Martyanov, at the level of the IDF delegations sent to Moscow, to ensure that the Russian military does not get any "reserved" ideas (reserve the right to ... huff & puff).

Here is my favorite piece from this Jewish BS machine above:


unconfirmed sources from Syria have reported that Russian military police abducted and are brutally interrogating officers and soldiers from the Syrian air-defense battery that fired the fateful missile
But, but I naively thought that the Russians discovered a secret link which proves that those now brutally interrogated Syrians did 911 , not the Iraqis accused before.

I do understand that Putin does not have any good option now and that his premature and dumb commentary about the "accident" was for his own ass-covering not to protect those Jews who made such a total ass of him. But whenever the Russians die, as when the SU-24 pilot died, he learned nothing and continues on making and trusting the deals with the sponsors of terrorism.

Finally, I do note that the smart people, such as Israel Shamir, keep their mouths shut for now, till the fog clears and the emotions blow-over. I am looking forward to his next article to understand the feelings in the Russian military regarding Putin.

Much better reading Harretz than the awe of our two Armchair Marshals, Saker and Martyanov

Do you want me to prove, using you as an example, for all other present here hysterical non-men, that none of you have any idea of what was and is going on by me merely introducing a simple tactical-technical parameter which defines tactical reality in any radar systems. I'll give you hint–it is reported to all military radar operating units (from ground to the sea) and is logged and accounted for (with proper adjustments in procedures) every single day, sometimes on 12 hour increments. This factor could be of prime importance, especially against the background of old S-200 AD complex. Are you game? Then we will compare who are real "armchair strategists" here.

Felix Keverich , says: September 21, 2018 at 2:59 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

Much better reading Harretz than the awe of our two Armchair Marshals, Saker and Martyanov
Do you want me to prove, using you as an example, for all other present here hysterical non-men, that none of you have any idea of what was and is going on by me merely introducing a simple tactical-technical parameter which defines tactical reality in any radar systems. I'll give you hint--it is reported to all military radar operating units (from ground to the sea) and is logged and accounted for (with proper adjustments in procedures) every single day, sometimes on 12 hour increments. This factor could be of prime importance, especially against the background of old S-200 AD complex. Are you game? Then we will compare who are real "armchair strategists" here. This is some irrelevant technical mumbo-jumbo. Kiza was making a comment about political side of the issue:

Israelis have no respect for Russia and Putin. They feel emboldened by Putin's weak reaction.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 4:28 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich This is some irrelevant technical mumbo-jumbo. Kiza was making a comment about political side of the issue:

Israelis have no respect for Russia and Putin. They feel emboldened by Putin's weak reaction.

This is some irrelevant technical mumbo-jumbo.

Well, then I am sure you will treat your future illnesses (God forbids you to become ill, stay healthy) at Voodoo doctors, since all this medical mumbo-jumbo is irrelevant. I heard Haiti Voodoo healthcare is great and very-very affordable.

Kiza was making a comment about political side of the issue:

Only few posts here are real comments, most of them is some hysterical weeping in an adrenaline deprived organisms upon understanding that Israel is not going to be destroyed immediately by Russians. Hence, your posts included, either hysterical reactions or trolling, mostly, sorry for being blunt, by people who have zero knowledge of Russia in general, and her military in particular. So, a wonderful unification of pseudo-patriots and all kinds of ignorant trolls happened. It is rather interesting to observe.

[Sep 23, 2018] I will be watching the Russian Mayday parades with photos of killed relatives in a totally different light from now on – those people in the photos are the victims of the Russian elite

As if in any other country this situation is different...
Putin priority was avoiding larger confrontation, which if spun out of control can lead to WWIII. And I think he was right trying to downplay the situation.
Sep 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

Kiza , says: September 21, 2018 at 5:18 am GMT

This is terribly empty ramble and it is time to stop reading this rambler. But before I stop I will quote myself:

My critique of Putin is not that he did not kill back the Turks, the US military and the Israelis, it is that he keeps making agreements with the non-agreement capable sponsors of terrorism and then entrusts the lives of his soldiers to such agreements.

In other words, the four Israeli planes should have never been tagged "friendlies", which was obviously the Putin's standing order to the Russian military based on his agreement with these sponsors of terrorism. The rest in this tragic event for Russia is what usually happens in war – fear, huge and costly mistakes, and incompetence all around.

Saker, I hope you and Martyanov both, as a reward for your insightful writing about the panicking Israeli pilots, get to read your recent articles to the 10-year old daughter of one of the Russian officers killed.

You two are the Marshals of all the Armchair Generals that you laugh at. With "intellectuals" such as you, now I understand why the Russian always die in wars like cattle and win wars by sacrificing the most/only valuable human capital (why do they call such 'a Pyrrhic victory' when it should be called 'a Russian victory'). I will be watching the Russian Mayday parades with photos of killed relatives in a totally different light from now on – those people in the photos are the victims of the Russian "elite" and the self-declared Russian Armchair Marshals.

The unfortunate Syrians are the beggars, so they cannot be choosers who their "friends" are.

J , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 6:49 am GMT
Since the Russians largely control the Syrian antiair defenses, one could also conclude that they share the responsibility in downing their own aircraft. Maybe the Israelis overestimated Russian readiness and response capabilities. In Tzahal, one minute is a lot of time. As Putin said, it was a tragic fuckup.
Harold Smith , says: September 21, 2018 at 7:18 am GMT
"I tried to post a short commentary suggesting that before we jump to conclusions about anything, we ought to wait for the fact to come out."

Well Putin didn't waste anytime jumping to the conclusion that it was an "accident," right? I blame him for being too quick to say that.

And I blame him for allowing the Israeli attacks to continue for so long. Something bad (for Russia) was bound to happen eventually. And they're war crimes, aren't they? It would've been okay with everybody if it was a Syrian plane that went down?

"So why is everybody assuming that the Israelis carefully planned the whole thing?"

King David Hotel, USS Liberty, 9/11, etc.

"First, let me start by a very simple and primitive question: Why in the world has nobody considered that the Israelis might have truly screwed-up?"

When someone "screws up" during the commission of a crime, a crime "evincing a depraved indifference to human life" and someone dies because of it, it's known in Western jurisprudence as a "depraved heart murder" not an "accident."

http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/D/DepravedHeartMurder.aspx

"At this point, I need to ask another question: what would the Israelis gain from shooting down the Il-20?"

You could also ask for example: what did they gain by running over Rachel Corrie with a bulldozer? And the answer would be the same IMO: They do what they do because they're evil.

hunor , says: September 21, 2018 at 7:46 am GMT
Mr. you are a very naïve person. One doesn't have to be a
Putin or Jew hater to see with clarity. In fact we the gojims are the ones
who is in our face is being hated, and planed to be destroyed. They declaring
a new world order. The very word of new implies a departure from what we
have today, a culture of nation states. The very word of order implies Dictatorial slavery.
According to Assange , we are the last generation of free people.
The western countries being overrun by primitives who are the biological
weapons of the elites, one economical crises and everybody is against everybody,
until only the well protected elites remain. The murder of a highly trained
Russian military persons were premeditated planed murder. In earlier
analysis of yours you called this form of warfare " leapfrogging " . And the
hollywooding of the Izraeli leadersip, is a part of deceiveing the gojim.
The did what they do best they draw blood of the gojim, and getting away
with it again with an explanation, playing on our fears of not to escalating further.
Putin calling it an accident, he remind me of an other historic figure
who's name was Marshall Emanuel Grouchy. He was Napoleon's trusted general
in 1815 at waterloo , when he heard the battle drums he started to march with his
units to the opposite direction away from the warzone, so the French army was slathered.
What does it count if they are the best and bravest and have a best missile systems,
if they are being mislead and betrayed? Try to analyzing that.
judeo-christian , says: September 21, 2018 at 8:23 am GMT
What's funny is that The Saker wants to stick to the "facts" but all he gives is, when you read his article closely is apologizing for the failure of Russian policy with regards to the Israelis, a mix of contradictions, Putin-ifallibility and the usual "Russia good, rest meh"
Andrei Martyanov , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 1:21 pm GMT
@hunor Mr. you are a very naïve person. One doesn't have to be a
Putin or Jew hater to see with clarity. In fact we the gojims are the ones
who is in our face is being hated, and planed to be destroyed. They declaring
a new world order. The very word of new implies a departure from what we
have today, a culture of nation states. The very word of order implies Dictatorial slavery.
According to Assange , we are the last generation of free people.
The western countries being overrun by primitives who are the biological
weapons of the elites, one economical crises and everybody is against everybody,
until only the well protected elites remain. The murder of a highly trained
Russian military persons were premeditated planed murder. In earlier
analysis of yours you called this form of warfare " leapfrogging " . And the
hollywooding of the Izraeli leadersip, is a part of deceiveing the gojim.
The did what they do best they draw blood of the gojim, and getting away
with it again with an explanation, playing on our fears of not to escalating further.
Putin calling it an accident, he remind me of an other historic figure
who's name was Marshall Emanuel Grouchy. He was Napoleon's trusted general
in 1815 at waterloo , when he heard the battle drums he started to march with his
units to the opposite direction away from the warzone, so the French army was slathered.
What does it count if they are the best and bravest and have a best missile systems,
if they are being mislead and betrayed? Try to analyzing that.

One doesn't have to be a Putin or Jew hater to see with clarity

So, you do then, I assume, have now or had in the past Form 1A clearance to know how and what Tactical and Operational Manuals describe in terms of setting Air Defense systems, establishment of communications networks ah, never mind–I am sure "Jews The Almighty" bible of yours gives all necessary answers. Including describing issues of angular separation of targets, principles of development of command decisions from tactical to operational level and other irrelevant crap.

[Sep 23, 2018] We in the West, who would again be the cannon fodder for such insanity, once more owe a debt of gratitude to Putin's statesmanship and levelheadedness

Sep 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

Harold Smith , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 7:52 pm GMT

@Mike P We should focus more on the overall situation than on the technical details of this event. The calls for Russian retaliation against Israel, while emotionally relatable, ignore one crucial aspect - any direct Russian attack on Israel, whether retaliatory or not, will inevitably drag in FUKUS on Israel's side. Thus, if Putins wants to avoid this sort of conflagration, he can't fight with Israel. This is the reason for his deals with the devil (aka Satanyahoo) - give the Israelis free reign for going after Iran, as long as they abstain from engaging Russian troops directly. By and large, Israel has abided by this agreement - until now.

In this situation, what options does Putin have to punish Israel, while still abstaining from a direct hit? Suspend their right to go after Iran by setting up no-fly zones, ostensibly for "protecting Russian troops." I'm sure the Iranians will make the most of this opportunity to further strengthen Hezbollah and their own position in Syria.

Why are the Israelis acting this way? It is clear that they are very, very nervous about the way things have been going. Despite all their efforts, the Iranian military and Hezbollah are still there and only growing stronger. Apparently, they feel that time is working against them and that they cannot look on any longer. Therefore, they are trying now to escalate the conflict, while hiding behind FUKUS and their (other) terrorist stooges.

If Russian intelligence communications are to be believed, then the terrorist puppets in Idlib had been preparing for another staged gas attack in Idlib, or rather they had already staged and filmed it, and they were simply waiting for the most opportune time to publish their stunt. At the same time, the U.S. were proclaiming that a chemical attack was imminent, and that it would be considered a casus belli . The Russians did their best to defuse this situation first by leaking their intelligence about the staging of the attacks; and when that did not do the trick, by putting the entire Idlib operation on hold via the agreement with Turkey.

Having been foiled yet again and left without a pretext for stepping up the war, Israel then resorted to creating this hastily improvised IL20 incident. (It is noticeable, however, that a French war ship was also on the scene, indicating that this was indeed coordinated with other governments beforehand.)

Even though the provocation is severe, the strategic situation has not changed - Russia and Syria are winning, and the only way for Israel to change this is to escalate the war. It is clear that they want to provoke Russia into shooting from the hip and thus allow herself to be blamed for such an escalation. It is also clear that Israel again intends to fight the war to the last American (and European) soldier.

We in the West, who would again be the cannon fodder for such insanity, once more owe a debt of gratitude to Putin's statesmanship and levelheadedness. It is also noteworthy that Trump not only abstained from fanning the flames, but also soon after the event stated that the "Iraq and Afghanistan wars were the worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country." THIS is the real Trump, and THIS is why the Zio-infested U.S. deep state is trying so hard to overthrow him. Putin and Trump are trying to preserve peace, while Israel is pushing for war - as is anyone who is calling for Putin to "man up" and shoot some Israeli planes out of the sky or similar. "We in the West, who would again be the cannon fodder for such insanity, once more owe a debt of gratitude to Putin's statesmanship and levelheadedness."

All that Vladimir Putin is doing is prolonging the inevitable, at a cost of increasing resentment among Syrian troops, his own military personnel and the Russian people, IMO. The enemy is not going to stop of their own volition; so the more he turns the other cheek the more he will be slapped. To quote Paul Craig Roberts (from his latest essay):

"The question before President Putin and the Russian people is whether Russia can be a sovereign country independent of Washington's control without going to war. My concern is that unless a hard Russian foot comes down quickly, the only alternatives are Russian surrender or nuclear war."

"It is also noteworthy that Trump not only abstained from fanning the flames, but also soon after the event stated that the "Iraq and Afghanistan wars were the worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country." THIS is the real Trump, and THIS is why the Zio-infested U.S. deep state is trying so hard to overthrow him."

The real Trump is all talk. He's a liar and a complete fraud. The real Trump had a chance to get out of Afghanistan and Syria but chose to escalate instead. The real Trump is apparently a PNAC zionist warmonger who puts the Zionist agenda first and America last. And the deep state will never try to get rid of such a loyal puppet.

Putin and Trump are trying to preserve peace, while Israel is pushing for war – as is anyone who is calling for Putin to "man up" and shoot some Israeli planes out of the sky or similar.

[Sep 23, 2018] Despite noise in Russian blogosphere about "weak reaction" Russia need to thread very carefully this minefield: NATO is much stronger in this region

Notable quotes:
"... It has a cruise speed of about ~600 km/hr, which is 10 km/minute that's at its cruise altitude of 8,000 meters the MoD reported that the airplane was hit while flying at 5,000 m and on its descent to land at Hmeimim ..."
"... Russia has drawn a line in the sand and Israel must grow up (impossible, I know for the chosen people). Unless Russia stands firm and enforces that line in the sand (i.e. Obey. The. Deconfliction. Agreement.), it will not succeed in restoring Syria's sovereignty. Considering that Russia has stated its goal of restoring Syria's full sovereignty over all its territory, it is clear that Russia will do whatever is necessary to achieve this goal. ..."
"... The complicating factor is that IFUKUS is willing to risk a hot war to defeat Russia in its goal. I strongly suspect that Putin will play for as much time as needed to defeat IFUKUS economically to the point where IFUKUS is militarily incapable. Keep in mind, Russia has already determined that IFUKUS is 'agreement incapable.' ..."
"... The Russian Federation faces an enemy that does not recognize any international laws. The only way to stop the predator is by waging a hot war against the "deciders" in the D.C., London, and Tel Aviv. That would result in a massive loss of life in Europe, the Middle East, the US, and in the Russian Federation. The predator, ZUSA, is not able to contain its predatory urges. They high-placed scoundrels begging for being destroyed. But there are also innocent people that will die during the hot war. ..."
"... It is not illogical at all that the US/Israel/EU/UK have sided with radical Islamists (ISIS, Al Qaeda and such) and with banderites (neo-Nazi). The flooding of the EU with the desperate refugees (the victims of the ongoing Wars for Israel) and opportunistic migrants from sub-Saharan Africa (welcome, extraordinary low IQ!) is tearing apart the societal fabric of the EU and makes the war-mongers and war-profiteers even less accountable to vox populi. ..."
Sep 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

in the middle , says: September 23, 2018 at 5:10 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

One doesn't have to be a Putin or Zionist hater to see with clarity
So, you do then, I assume, have now or had in the past Form 1A clearance to know how and what Tactical and Operational Manuals describe in terms of setting Air Defense systems, establishment of communications networks...ah, never mind -- I am sure "Jews The Almighty" bible of yours gives all necessary answers.

Including describing issues of angular separation of targets, principles of development of command decisions from tactical to operational level and other irrelevant crap.

FB , says: September 23, 2018 at 5:29 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov
Much better reading Harretz than the awe of our two Armchair Marshals, Saker and Martyanov
Do you want me to prove, using you as an example, for all other present here hysterical non-men, that none of you have any idea of what was and is going on by me merely introducing a simple tactical-technical parameter which defines tactical reality in any radar systems. I'll give you hint--it is reported to all military radar operating units (from ground to the sea) and is logged and accounted for (with proper adjustments in procedures) every single day, sometimes on 12 hour increments. This factor could be of prime importance, especially against the background of old S-200 AD complex. Are you game? Then we will compare who are real "armchair strategists" here.

'Do you want me to prove by me merely introducing a simple tactical-technical parameter which defines tactical reality in any radar systems against the background of old S-200 AD complex '

Yes Andrei..I will take you up on your offer to 'prove' to us the 'technical parameters' that ALLOW THE S200 AND IL20 TO DEFY THE LAWS OF PHYSICS

You see friends, Saker and especially Martyanov are full of crapola

It is IMPOSSIBLE for an S200 which flies at 2.5 kilometers per second and would cover 100 km in just 40 seconds to have hit an airplane that continued flying for another ~5 minutes after that close call with the flight of Israeli F16s

Here is the infographic map released by the Russian MoD

The flight path of the F16s is recorded with the dashed blue line the flight of the Ilyushin Il20 spy plane is recorded in the solid red line [that from the MoD]

I have circled the close encounter point in yellow, with a yellow arrow pointing to it that is the point where the F16s are supposed to have 'hidden' behind the radar reflection of the much bigger Ilyushin, and is the ONLY point at which this could possibly occur

But the Ilyushin somehow manages to fly north for another 40 km and even make a 90 degree east turn to come in to land at Hmeimim a total flight time of around FIVE MINUTES

BUT the S200 cannot fly for FIVE MINUTES it is one of the fastest SAM rockets in the world, with a flight speed of 2.5 kilometers per second and would cover 100 kilometers in JUST 40 SECONDS

Its maximum flight time is 150 SECONDS [2.5 MINUTES] IN WHICH TIME IT WOULD COVER ITS MAXIMUM DISTANCE OF 375 KM

PLEASE TELL US HOW THIS IS POSSIBLE ANDREI ?

The specs of the turboprop IL20 are here

It has a cruise speed of about ~600 km/hr, which is 10 km/minute that's at its cruise altitude of 8,000 meters the MoD reported that the airplane was hit while flying at 5,000 m and on its descent to land at Hmeimim

The MoD map clearly shows that the Ilyushin flew north for 40 km after that 'close encounter' with the F16s and then made another right 90 degree turn back toward the Syria coast on its final descent back into Hmeimim

Only after making that turn to final was the airplane hit

So we have the airplane flying for FIVE MINUTES AFTER THAT SUPPOSED 'RADAR MASKING' ?

And the S200 which can cover 300 km in TWO MINUTES FLAT was doing what exactly for those missing THREE MINUTES ?

It was maybe hovering in midair with its engine shut off just waiting for the Ilyushin to slowly make its way to the point 40 km from the 'radar masking'..before it decided to turn its engine back on and then come and hit the Ilyushin ?

It is a matter of simple flight physics the official story is IMPOSSIBLE

If an S200 was even launched, it would have been from a range of probably 100 km so it would have got to the Ilyushin in under a minute from that close encounter point

The Ilyushin in that one minute would have been able to fly for maybe 10 km AT MOST and would have come down where I have place the red arrow on the map

Now I have seen many commenters here ridiculing Saker and Martyanov and that is completely warranted Saker has no technical credentials whatsoever, in either physics or mathematics he has made that abundantly clear over the course of hundreds of thousands of words of fluff

Martyanov at least has a bona fide military education, but he also does not seem to think much about basic physics he has some explaining to do here as to why he is pushing the 'official' story

Folks the fact of the matter is that 'official' information is often a blatant lie we all know that for those who have some relevant expertise in technical matters such as flight physics, it is not so easy to pull the wool over our eyes

Remember when Turkey shot down that Russian Su24 ground attack jet in November 2015 ? there was a lot of discussion at the time as to the claim from the Turkish side about the Sukhoi flying through Turkish airspace for 17 seconds

At the time PCR picked up on the debate, it revolved around the physical possibility of the Sukhoi flying that slow as to remain in Turkish airspace for so long, while covering a very short distance the debate among the laypeople revolved around the aerodynamic 'stall' speed of the Sukhoi ie the minimum flying speed of the airplane

I mentioned to PCR that the debate was nonsensical and explained a couple of pertinent basics of the flight physics involved PCR encouraged me to expand that into an article, which he graciously published on his website

We have a similar situation here it is important to figure out what is and what is not physically possible

Martyyanov especially, and of course Saker, are trying to tell us here that it was all a mistake as Putin said that the 'old' S200 took down a state of the art electronic warfare airplane, with 15 very highly trained specialists on board a HUGE LOSS

Now I will say here that Putin has a good reason to take this action and not reveal what actually happened and I will get to that in a minute

But let us first consider some peripheral facts surrounding this entire incident it is probable that the downed 'Il20′ was in fact the latest, modernized iteration of this electronic intelligence aircraft, the Il22PP, which entered into service two years ago

This is in keeping with the MoD's stated practice of subjecting Russia's latest and most sophisticated weapons systems to actual combat conditions in Syria even Putin has said that much has been learned,both good and bad, in Syria, and that fixing these deficiencies is possible only due to the opportunity to deploy these systems in Syria

Now if we assume that this was in fact that state of the art Il22PP [we are speculating here, but it is a solid assumption] then one must ask how careful the entire Russian contingent in Syria would be with such a valuable asset ?

How is it possible that while this airplane is in the air that 'Syrian' air defense commanders are shooting willy-nilly at a chunk of airspace where at this very moment this extremely valuable aircraft is flying ?

How stupid does this sound on its face ?

Now we have already proved that the 'radar masking' story is physically impossible, due to the respective flight speeds of the Ilyushin turboprop and the S200 rocket

That means that the S200 would have to have been launched when THERE WAS NO RADAR MASKING ie the Ilyushin would have been very close to the point where it was shot down which is 40 km away from the 'close encounter' site

So now we are supposed to believe that the Syrian air defense crews, which somehow are acting independently while supposedly 'integrated' with the Russian air defense staff that they have now targeted the Ilyushin WHILE IT IS FLYING ALONE WITH NOTHING NEARBY ?

Again, I ask Martyanov here to explain this especially in light of his dismissive comment to others objecting here, and citing his vast knowledge of radar systems

How is it possible that this Ilyushin was targeted by an S200 when it was nowhere near those F16s at that moment as the laws of physics require ?

Of course I realize that he cannot rebut these questions in any way shape or form he is caught again with his pants down

Now let us consider some more relevant facts on that night the Russian MoD stated clearly two additional piece of information

1 the French frigate Auvergne was nearby the Ilyushin flight, as depicted on the map, and was in fact recorded firing missiles

2 British jets were also in the air, with their transponders turned on making it possible to track them even with civilian ATC radar

Now we also know that a number of Russian ships were in that area at the time, and still are and are in fact this entire week conducting live fire drills more on that in a moment

Those ships also have sophisticated radar and also infrared sensors which picked up the missile firing from the French ship

Besides that we have the Beriev A50U AWACS aircraft in Syria..and it is safe to assume that they would have been in the air at the time of the Ilyushin flight

At the same time, we also know that the US is flying the high altitude U2 spy plane out of Akrotiri

So there is a lot of cat and mouse going on between Nato and Russia in the area all the more reason to seriously doubt that a Syrian S200 would shoot down such an important flight as the Ilyushin we notice also the flight path of the Ilyushin it first flew a circuit over Idlib, then, instead of coming in to land directly at Hmeimim, the airplane continued out over the Med for about 40 km off the coast of Syria, well outside the Syrian territorial airspace why ?

Perhaps because the Ilyushin might have been gathering data and perhaps engaging in electronic interference of those Nato ships and aircraft in the area ?

We do not know but if it was doing something like that, the flight would have had the utmost security attached to it it would be unthinkable for a Syrian SAM to take a shot at that airplane

So why the ruse on the part of Putin and the Russians ?

Let's first examine who had the opportunity to down that Ilyushin the French ship firing missiles [what kind of missiles surface to air...?...the frigate is equipped with very capable Aster SAMs... ]

And also the British aircraft in the air at the time and flying out of Akrotiri there are 9 Eurofighter Typhoons there, equipped with long range air to air AIM120 radar guided missiles and also 10 Tornados equipped with shorter range heat seeking AIM9x

Now since we know already that the only way an S200 could have shot down the Ilyushin would be if it fired practically intentionally at a high value friendly aircraft flying with no enemy aircraft nearby it would seem at least as probable that the missile that brought down the Ilyushin could have been fired by a French ship or a British airplane

[The Israeli jets could not have fired at the Ilyushin, since they were flying in the opposite direction at the time the airplane was hit...and it is impossible to aim a missile at a target behind your airplane...]

At this point, having made some logical physical observations and built up a situational picture of what and who was there at the time, it seems much more likely that the French or British brought down the Ilyushin with the Israelis playing a supporting role to cause confusion and 'fog of war'

Now we examine another clue this one coming just 24 hours after the Ilyushin was shot down namely the massive Russian live fire naval exercises in the exact area of the Med where all the action took place here is a look at the NOTAM published by the Cyprus Civil Aviation Authority

Is this air exclusion zone the Russians have enacted in a semi-ring around the RAF Akrotiri air base a clue ?

I leave it to readers to make their own judgements

Now let us consider the question of why Putin is not saying anything about possible British or French involvement in the shooting down of the valuable Ilyushin electronic warfare aircraft

First what purpose would it serve to now come out and accuse two Nato countries of an act of war ?

Is not this kind of escalation exactly what Nato is looking to provoke in Syria ?

Is Putin supposed to now declare war on Nato ?

Or does it make more sense to blame Israel because Israel is the only party that can be proved to have been doing something illegal at the time ie bombing a sovereign country [an illegal act of aggression] and at the same time trampling all the protocol and agreements in place between Russia and Israel on the matter of Israeli operations against 'Iranian' forces in Syria ?

We must remember here that Putin is interested in only one thing in Syria that is to defeat the West's regime change project

The West on the other hand is trying to do everything possible to provoke Russia into a military response, that would then lead to escalation and a possible shooting war

Let us recall that the US twice launched cruise missile strikes against Syria in the last year in the last attack back in April, the French and British also participated no response came from Russia

In 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian jet so how much of a stretch is it to think that Britain and France [together with Israel playing a supporting role] decided to shoot down the Russian spy plane ?

Now Russia holding its fire makes perfect sense and is the smart thing to do, in spite of how bad these provocations look for one thing Russia even turning on its air defense systems to shoot down US and Nato or Israeli missiles would give the opponent valuable information about how the Russian AD systems operate this is very valuable tactical information

Russia is better served not firing its systems unnecessarily because when it does, the enemy will have little chance to calculate an escape

As things stand now no one can defend Israel's actions on that night Israel realizes that Russia is very angry and Israel must now alter its behavior as to bombing Syria Russia will also take steps to increase the security of all Russian assets in Syria there will not be a repeat performance of this carefully planned ambush of the Ilyushin

As for retribution for whoever it was that pulled the trigger on that Ilyushin I think Putin realizes that revenge is a dish best served cold two can play the game of 'accidents' happening

Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.

No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique.

If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.

Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content.

But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life.

Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army intact.

'An investigation is underway to establish what exactly happened when the Ilyushin IL-20 reconnaissance plane was shot down on Monday night, as it was coming into land at the Russian airbase at Hmeimim in northwest Syria. The plane was lost some 20 kms off the Syrian coast, with all 15 service onboard killed.

There appears to have been an accidental shoot-down by Syrian air defenses using an outdated Soviet-made S-200 system.'

So this semi-official organ of Russian media is not so sure as our two resident 'experts' here and any comments that question their 'authority' are unceremoniously dismissed

Looking forward to hearing back from Martyanov on this

Zogby , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT
I'm not completely convinced about the Russian MoD's interpretation of events as one of the F16s hiding behind the I-20. I think they stretched that part up because of their anger and embarrassment. The bottom line is that Russia has itself to blame because
- Russia and Syria use different IFF systems "and Israel knows". It is reckless for them to have uncoordinated IFF with Syrian air-defense and even more reckless to have divulged this to Israel. If fact, even assuming Syria had its own S-400 instead of S-200, it would still be totally reckless for them not to coordinate IFF.
- Russia did not fire its S-400 to shoot down the F-16s. Even after they knew the I-20 was down, 20 minutes after -- they politely asked the F-16s to vacate, which they only did 13 minutes later.

This is a wake-up call that Russia is pursuing an untenable policy in Syria by trying to be friends with opposing sides of a war and having its armed forces in the middle, while prohibiting them from fully using their weapons to defend themselves. Just as they portray Israel as hiding behind Russian aircraft, Hezbullah can be portrayed as hiding behind the nearby Russian airbase so that Israel gets in trouble trying to attack there. If Russia declares a no-fly-zone around its base that's incentive for Iran and/or Hezbullah to put its bases there.

Russia needs to either get out of Syria or choose sides and stick with its allies.

Agent76 , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 6:34 pm GMT
Putin put a target on himself and his country with this very action.

Jun 8, 2018 Putin hints at end of dollar system

Direct Line 2018 Vladimir Putin has held his 16th Direct Line Q&A on June 7th.

J , says: Website Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Bill65 Can The Saker tell us what right Israel has to bomb targets in Syria ? The Russians were invited in to save Syria as were the Iranians and Hezbollah but Israel is on the side of the attackers of Syria . What right? The right of self defense. The establishment of Iranian bases in Syria is a mortal danger for us, the secret Syrian nuclear reactor was a potential catastrophe for everybody. Technically we have been in war with Syria for the last seventy years.
Herald , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 6:58 pm GMT
@OilcanFloyd The Soviets didn't go to war with the U.S. over Syria and Israel 50 years ago, and I don't think the Russians will now. Israel is pretty much confined to beating up on defenseless Palestinians and invading the mostly undefended airspace of its immediate neighbors. Russia seems to have the situation in Syria under control, and attacking Israel would be the quickest way to have a war with the U.S., which Putin says he doesn't want.

One aircraft and its crew is apparently a price the Russians are willing to pay in a proxy war with the U.S. What happened 50 years ago has little bearing on today.

Russia's blinkered present position in Syria makes little sense and is unsustainable. Basically it seems to be saying that it will fight Syria's enemies when they are the western/Israeli proxy armies but it will not defend Syrian airspace against attacks which emanate from the very same sources. This naked air aggression, it seems, is approved by agreements with Israel and perhaps also some others. We have now seen the results of this approach and it has meant the needless Russian deaths, both in the air and on the ground.

The defenders of the status quo tell us that Russia won't defend Syrian airspace, as this might lead to WW3. The same could be much more justifiably said about NATO/Israel and their attacks on Syria, but magically the aggressors have been absolved from this responsibility, as it is not their concern. Strangely, only Russia has the duty of preventing global war, so it must always turn the other cheek, no matter the provocation. If Russia continues on this path, it is finished and may as well surrender right now.

James Speaks , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 7:43 pm GMT
@Mr M. I do believe it was a deliberate attempt by Israel to get a Russian plane shot down.

The biggest problem Israel and the Zionist Socialist USA faces when it comes to destroying Syria for the sake of making Israel greater again, is Russia. So long as Russia is allied with Syria the western client states of Israel can't invade and destroy this hated enemy of Jews.

Likewise, Russia can't attack Israel for what it does in Syria, because that would bring down the whole western world in retaliation and start off WWIII before the time is right.

No, I think this was a poorly planned and clumsy attempt at creating a false flag attack in the form of luring Syria into shooting down a Russia plane in an attempt to cause a diplomatic crisis between Syria and Russia that would end with Russia leaving Syria to be destroyed the Israel and its client states of the US/UK and the rest of the bullied Nato states.

It most likely failed because someone did not get informed and that someone had the brain power required to grab the phone and tell the Russians at the last minute because they saw that chances of the plan backfiring was too great to even think about it.

I do believe it was a deliberate attempt by Israel to get a Russian plane shot down.

After reading the MoD briefing notes, it is more likely that it was another example of Israeli arrogance and immaturity that will have consequences Israel will find most unpleasant.

The biggest problem Israel and the Zionist Socialist USA faces when it comes to destroying Syria for the sake of making Israel greater again, is Russia. So long as Russia is allied with Syria the western client states of Israel can't invade and destroy this hated enemy of Jews.

The biggest problem Israel and the Neocons face is their own delusion that they have the right and the power to decide that they have any options regarding Syria. The world does not need Israel.

Likewise, Russia can't attack Israel for what it does in Syria, because that would bring down the whole western world in retaliation and start off WWIII before the time is right.

Russia can draw lines in the sand that represent Russian self-interest as well as the interests of other nations Russia deems important to the success of its Syria project. Russia can attack Israel when it crosses one of these lines. Allowing Iran to build a facility in Latakia was one of these lines, and Israel crossed it, stupidly I might add.

No, I think this was a poorly planned and clumsy attempt at creating a false flag attack in the form of luring Syria into shooting down a Russia plane in an attempt to cause a diplomatic crisis between Syria and Russia that would end with Russia leaving Syria to be destroyed the Israel and its client states of the US/UK and the rest of the bullied Nato states.

It merely another example of the sort of immature provocations Israel engages in on a daily basis. Remember, they are the chosen people and they can do whatever they want.

It most likely failed because someone did not get informed and that someone had the brain power required to grab the phone and tell the Russians at the last minute because they saw that chances of the plan backfiring was too great to even think about it.

What failed was not a false-flag attack, but rather a long-standing practice of treating Russia as a second class nation.

Sometimes you have to draw a clear boundary. After watching the MoD briefing (excerpts), it is clear that Russia has been extremely accommodating to Israel's quasi-legitimate interests. In return, an adult nation would honor Russia's decision to allow Iranians to build a factory near to its airport.

Think of the consequences. The key to winning this conflict means the foreign nationals must feel safe inside the borders of Syria. It is no excuse that Iran and Hezbollah have challenged Israel militarily. Israel has challenged these countries militarily, too. For Russia to allow any nation to dictate to Syria and Russia who may or may not have a presence inside Syria is to admit that Russia will not achieve the goal of full sovereignty for Syria over Syrian territory.

Russia has already announced plans to build an automobile factory in Syria. Recall my earlier assertion that Syria will be the western terminus of the New Silk Road; the key to Syria's full recovery will be China's investment. Can Russia allow Israel to decide that China is not allowed to build factories wherever Syria allows it to build? The answer is obviously NO.

Russia has drawn a line in the sand and Israel must grow up (impossible, I know for the chosen people). Unless Russia stands firm and enforces that line in the sand (i.e. Obey. The. Deconfliction. Agreement.), it will not succeed in restoring Syria's sovereignty. Considering that Russia has stated its goal of restoring Syria's full sovereignty over all its territory, it is clear that Russia will do whatever is necessary to achieve this goal.

The complicating factor is that IFUKUS is willing to risk a hot war to defeat Russia in its goal. I strongly suspect that Putin will play for as much time as needed to defeat IFUKUS economically to the point where IFUKUS is militarily incapable. Keep in mind, Russia has already determined that IFUKUS is 'agreement incapable.'

El Dato , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 8:26 pm GMT

@FB

'Do you want me to prove...by me merely introducing a simple tactical-technical parameter which defines tactical reality in any radar systems...against the background of old S-200 AD complex...'
Yes...Andrei..I will take you up on your offer to 'prove' to us the 'technical parameters' that ALLOW THE S200 AND IL20 TO DEFY THE LAWS OF PHYSICS...

You see friends, Saker and especially Martyanov are full of crapola...

It is IMPOSSIBLE for an S200 which flies at 2.5 kilometers per second and would cover 100 km in just 40 seconds... to have hit an airplane that continued flying for another ~5 minutes after that close call with the flight of Israeli F16s...

Here is the infographic map released by the Russian MoD...

https://i.postimg.cc/brYXb99c/IL20_Crash_markup.jpg

The flight path of the F16s is recorded with the dashed blue line...the flight of the Ilyushin Il20 spy plane is recorded in the solid red line...[that from the MoD]

I have circled the close encounter point in yellow, with a yellow arrow pointing to it...that is the point where the F16s are supposed to have 'hidden' behind the radar reflection of the much bigger Ilyushin, and is the ONLY point at which this could possibly occur...

But the Ilyushin somehow manages to fly north for another 40 km...and even make a 90 degree east turn to come in to land at Hmeimim...a total flight time of around FIVE MINUTES...

BUT the S200 cannot fly for FIVE MINUTES...it is one of the fastest SAM rockets in the world, with a flight speed of 2.5 kilometers per second and would cover 100 kilometers in JUST 40 SECONDS...

Its maximum flight time is 150 SECONDS [2.5 MINUTES]...IN WHICH TIME IT WOULD COVER ITS MAXIMUM DISTANCE OF 375 KM...

PLEASE TELL US HOW THIS IS POSSIBLE ANDREI...?

The specs of the turboprop IL20 are here...

It has a cruise speed of about ~600 km/hr, which is 10 km/minute...that's at its cruise altitude of 8,000 meters...the MoD reported that the airplane was hit while flying at 5,000 m and on its descent to land at Hmeimim...

The MoD map clearly shows that the Ilyushin flew north for 40 km after that 'close encounter' with the F16s...and then made another right 90 degree turn back toward the Syria coast on its final descent back into Hmeimim...

Only after making that turn to final was the airplane hit...

So we have the airplane flying for FIVE MINUTES AFTER THAT SUPPOSED 'RADAR MASKING'...?

And the S200 which can cover 300 km in TWO MINUTES FLAT was doing what exactly for those missing THREE MINUTES...?

It was maybe hovering in midair with its engine shut off...just waiting for the Ilyushin to slowly make its way to the point 40 km from the 'radar masking'..before it decided to turn its engine back on and then come and hit the Ilyushin...?

It is a matter of simple flight physics...the official story is IMPOSSIBLE...

If an s200 was even launched, it would have been from a range of probably 100 km... so it would have got to the Ilyushin in under a minute from that close encounter point...

The Ilyushin in that one minute would have been able to fly for maybe 10 km AT MOST...and would have come down where I have place the red arrow on the map...

Now I have seen many commenters here ridiculing Saker and Martyanov and that is completely warranted...Saker has no technical credentials whatsoever, in either physics or mathematics...he has made that abundantly clear over the course of hundreds of thousands of words of fluff...

Martyanov at least has a bona fide military education, but he also does not seem to think much about basic physics...he has some explaining to do here as to why he is pushing the 'official' story...

Folks...the fact of the matter is that 'official' information is often a blatant lie...we all know that...for those who have some relevant expertise in technical matters such as flight physics, it is not so easy to pull the wool over our eyes...

Remember when Turkey shot down that Russian Su24 ground attack jet in November 2015...?...there was a lot of discussion at the time as to the claim from the Turkish side about the Sukhoi flying through Turkish airspace for 17 seconds...

At the time PCR picked up on the debate, it revolved around the physical possibility of the Sukhoi flying that slow as to remain in Turkish airspace for so long, while covering a very short distance...the debate among the laypeople revolved around the aerodynamic 'stall' speed of the Sukhoi...ie the minimum flying speed of the airplane...

I mentioned to PCR that the debate was nonsensical and explained a couple of pertinent basics of the flight physics involved...PCR encouraged me to expand that into an article, which he graciously published on his website...

We have a similar situation here...it is important to figure out what is and what is not physically possible...

Martyyanov especially, and of course Saker, are trying to tell us here that it was all a mistake as Putin said...that the 'old' S200 took down a state of the art electronic warfare airplane, with 15 very highly trained specialists on board...a HUGE LOSS...

Now I will say here that Putin has a good reason to take this action and not reveal what actually happened...and I will get to that in a minute...

But let us first consider some peripheral facts surrounding this entire incident...it is probable that the downed 'Il20' was in fact the latest, modernized iteration of this electronic intelligence aircraft, the Il22PP, which entered into service two years ago...

This is in keeping with the MoD's stated practice of subjecting Russia's latest and most sophisticated weapons systems to actual combat conditions in Syria...even Putin has said that much has been learned,both good and bad, in Syria, and that fixing these deficiencies is possible only due to the opportunity to deploy these systems in Syria...

Now if we assume that this was in fact that state of the art Il22PP [we are speculating here, but it is a solid assumption]...then one must ask how careful the entire Russian contingent in Syria would be with such a valuable asset...?

How is it possible that while this airplane is in the air that 'Syrian' air defense commanders are shooting willy-nilly at a chunk of airspace where at this very moment this extremely valuable aircraft is flying...?

How stupid does this sound on its face...?

Now we have already proved that the 'radar masking' story is physically impossible, due to the respective flight speeds of the Ilyushin turboprop and the S200 rocket...

That means that the S200 would have to have been launched when THERE WAS NO RADAR MASKING...ie the Ilyushin would have been very close to the point where it was shot down...which is 40 km away from the 'close encounter' site...

So now we are supposed to believe that the Syrian air defense crews, which somehow are acting independently while supposedly 'integrated' with the Russian air defense staff...that they have now targeted the Ilyushin WHILE IT IS FLYING ALONE WITH NOTHING NEARBY...?

Again, I ask Martyanov here to explain this...especially in light of his dismissive comment to others objecting here, and citing his vast knowledge of radar systems...

How is it possible that this Ilyushin was targeted by an S200 when it was nowhere near those F16s at that moment...as the laws of physics require...?

Of course I realize that he cannot rebut these questions in any way shape or form...he is caught again with his pants down...

Now let us consider some more relevant facts on that night...the Russian MoD stated clearly two additional piece of information...

1...the French frigate Auvergne was nearby the Ilyushin flight, as depicted on the map, and was in fact recorded firing missiles...

2...British jets were also in the air, with their transponders turned on...making it possible to track them even with civilian ATC radar...

Now we also know that a number of Russian ships were in that area at the time, and still are...and are in fact this entire week conducting live fire drills...more on that in a moment...

Those ships also have sophisticated radar and also infrared sensors which picked up the missile firing from the French ship...

Besides that we have the Beriev A50U AWACS aircraft in Syria..and it is safe to assume that they would have been in the air at the time of the Ilyushin flight...

At the same time, we also know that the US is flying the high altitude U2 spy plane out of Akrotiri...

So there is a lot of cat and mouse going on between Nato and Russia in the area...all the more reason to seriously doubt that a Syrian S200 would shoot down such an important flight as the Ilyushin...we notice also the flight path of the Ilyushin...it first flew a circuit over Idlib, then, instead of coming in to land directly at Hmeimim, the airplane continued out over the Med for about 40 km off the coast of Syria, well outside the Syrian territorial airspace...why...?

Perhaps because the Ilyushin might have been gathering data and perhaps engaging in electronic interference of those Nato ships and aircraft in the area...?

We do not know...but if it was doing something like that, the flight would have had the utmost security attached to it...it would be unthinkable for a Syrian SAM to take a shot at that airplane...

So why the ruse on the part of Putin and the Russians...?

Let's first examine who had the opportunity to down that Ilyushin...the French ship firing missiles [what kind of missiles surface to air...?...the frigate is equipped with very capable Aster SAMs... ]

And also the British aircraft in the air at the time and flying out of Akrotiri...there are 9 Eurofighter Typhoons there, equipped with long range air to air AIM120 radar guided missiles... and also 10 Tornados equipped with shorter range heat seeking AIM9x...

Now since we know already that the only way an S200 could have shot down the Ilyushin would be if it fired practically intentionally at a high value friendly aircraft flying with no enemy aircraft nearby...it would seem at least as probable that the missile that brought down the Ilyushin could have been fired by a French ship or a British airplane...

[The Israeli jets could not have fired at the Ilyushin, since they were flying in the opposite direction at the time the airplane was hit...and it is impossible to aim a missile at a target behind your airplane...]

At this point, having made some logical physical observations and built up a situational picture of what and who was there at the time, it seems much more likely that the French or British brought down the Ilyushin...with the Israelis playing a supporting role to cause confusion and 'fog of war'...

Now we examine another clue...this one coming just 24 hours after the Ilyushin was shot down...namely the massive Russian live fire naval exercises in the exact area of the Med where all the action took place...here is a look at the NOTAM published by the Cyprus Civil Aviation Authority...

https://i.postimg.cc/k4pvCxXF/Cyprus_Notam_markup.jpg

Is this air exclusion zone the Russians have enacted in a semi-ring around the RAF Akrotiri air base a clue...?

I leave it to readers to make their own judgements...

Now let us consider the question of why Putin is not saying anything about possible British or French involvement in the shooting down of the valuable Ilyushin electronic warfare aircraft...

First...what purpose would it serve to now come out and accuse two Nato countries of an act of war...?

Is not this kind of escalation exactly what Nato is looking to provoke in Syria...?

Is Putin supposed to now declare war on Nato...?

Or does it make more sense to blame Israel because Israel is the only party that can be proved to have been doing something illegal at the time...ie bombing a sovereign country [an illegal act of aggression]...and at the same time trampling all the protocol and agreements in place between Russia and Israel on the matter of Israeli operations against 'Iranian' forces in Syria...?

We must remember here that Putin is interested in only one thing in Syria...that is to defeat the West's regime change project

The West on the other hand is trying to do everything possible to provoke Russia into a military response, that would then lead to escalation and a possible shooting war...

Let us recall that the US twice launched cruise missile strikes against Syria in the last year...in the last attack back in April, the French and British also participated...no response came from Russia...

In 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian jet...so how much of a stretch is it to think that Britain and France [together with Israel playing a supporting role] decided to shoot down the Russian spy plane...?

Now Russia holding its fire makes perfect sense and is the smart thing to do, in spite of how bad these provocations look...for one thing Russia even turning on its air defense systems to shoot down US and Nato or Israeli missiles would give the opponent valuable information about how the Russian AD systems operate...this is very valuable tactical information...

Russia is better served not firing its systems unnecessarily...because when it does, the enemy will have little chance to calculate an escape...

As things stand now...no one can defend Israel's actions on that night...Israel realizes that Russia is very angry and Israel must now alter its behavior as to bombing Syria...Russia will also take steps to increase the security of all Russian assets in Syria...there will not be a repeat performance of this carefully planned ambush of the Ilyushin...

As for retribution for whoever it was that pulled the trigger on that Ilyushin...I think Putin realizes that revenge is a dish best served cold...two can play the game of 'accidents' happening...


Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.

No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique.

If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.

Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content.

But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life.

Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army intact.


'An investigation is underway to establish what exactly happened when the Ilyushin IL-20 reconnaissance plane was shot down on Monday night, as it was coming into land at the Russian airbase at Hmeimim in northwest Syria. The plane was lost some 20 kms off the Syrian coast, with all 15 service onboard killed.

There appears to have been an accidental shoot-down by Syrian air defenses using an outdated Soviet-made S-200 system.'

So this semi-official organ of Russian media is not so sure as our two resident 'experts' here...and any comments that question their 'authority' are unceremoniously dismissed...

Looking forward to hearing back from Martyanov on this... A very interesting take indeed.

The french frigate seems to no longer be mentioned at all in official statements. Macron Control must have the full tapes, wonder whether these will appear at some point.

Uncle Sam , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 8:44 pm GMT
The Russian military has now conclusively established that the Israelis were responsible for this disaster. They made that conclusion based on the objective evidence. If that evidence showed something differently, they would have drawn a different conclusion. They have no convincing reason to lie about it.

The Russians should now declare a no-fly zone over all of Syria and its territorial waters, not only for Israel but for America and NATO as well. If the Israelis repeat this act, their planes should be shot down and the air base from which they took off should be bombed and destroyed. Israel would do nothing to retaliate. It risks total destruction if it does.

Nor would America do anything. In fact, the Russians could shoot down American aircraft and even sink American ships. The Americans will not be involved in a war with Russia. America does not get into wars with countries that have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to the continental United States. The only time America would use its nuclear weapons is if its homeland is attacked with nuclear weapons. That is why countries like Russia, China and North Korea need not fear America and why America will not attack them militarily.

In other words the lives of American servicemen are not worth the destruction of the continental United States. The first principle of American foreign policy is the prevention of a nuclear war. That is what American foreign policy is based on.

annamaria , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 9:19 pm GMT

@pyrrhus The USA pretended that the Liberty attack didn't happen because LBJ wanted campaign money from (((you know who)))...and of course, LBJ and Admiral McCain, who did the coverup, were two of the worst criminals ever to occupy the upper ranks of the Deep State. "Putin and Trump are trying to preserve peace, while Israel is pushing for war -- as is anyone who is calling for Putin to "man up" and shoot some Israeli planes out of the sky or similar."
-- Agree. Israelis live by terrorism.
Bombercommand , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 9:34 pm GMT
@FB

Thank you, sir, for your superb comment. I read and reread it several times, the only useful comment on the entire thread. I too noticed at the very beginning the Russian military announced it had detected a missile launch from the French warship, and I could not square this fact with the S200 shoot down story, but being merely a layman in military affairs I had to watch and wait for someone with knowledge and a brain to weigh in. Again, thank you.

Don't hold your breath waiting to hear from the two posers The Faker and Martyanov.

Aaron Hilel says: September 23, 2018 at 9:40 pm GMT • 200 Words

@VICB3

Yes, well as you said a war is a dark room easily entered, but full of unknown danger. US does not need to lose an expensive carrier and thousands of sailors to start one.

Imo Israel will never, ever permit US to start an all-out war with Russia, as Israel is a very small country, with extremely fragile, tightly packed population – which in case of nuclear escalation would take 80%+ losses. Look at it this way – the core of jewish power is concentrated in big cities, especially NY and Londonistan – and Israel. Russia and US can absorb a more or less limited nuclear exchange – the Jews, as a people, cannot.

In the current idiotic and useless war on Syria the Russians will lose soldiers, pilots, planes – it has no bearing on the outcome. The Russians and more precisely VV Putin will win this war in time, and Israel will suffer a strategic defeat ranging from minor (negotiations with Assad and polite expulsion of Hezbollah) to cataclysmic (creation of Shia crescent and fall of Iraq into Iranian sphere).

If you prefer a comparison to WW 2 , look at it as summer 1943 – everyone with a pulse in German OKH knew that the war is lost and yet how many hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers had to die to arrive in Berlin?

annamaria , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 9:42 pm GMT

@Hindsight I have great respect for Mr. Saker. But this analysis makes me wonder, what has made him to come up with such a forced explanation. It's more of an apology than an objective analysis.
I wish he could stay objective to remain relevant. " .a forced explanation. It's more of an apology than an objective analysis."

– What shall Saker tell you? -- That zionists have zero dignity? That mega war-profiteers among "deciders" want more wars? That the US has been drowning in debt and that the US/UK financial sector would not survive without a major war? These are well-known facts.

The Russian Federation faces an enemy that does not recognize any international laws. The only way to stop the predator is by waging a hot war against the "deciders" in the D.C., London, and Tel Aviv. That would result in a massive loss of life in Europe, the Middle East, the US, and in the Russian Federation. The predator, ZUSA, is not able to contain its predatory urges. They high-placed scoundrels begging for being destroyed. But there are also innocent people that will die during the hot war.

The European civilization has developed many important mechanisms for protecting both the individuals and the world peace. The ZUSA, the UK and the Jewish State have decided to end the European civilization and establish a New World Order.

It is not illogical at all that the US/Israel/EU/UK have sided with radical Islamists (ISIS, Al Qaeda and such) and with banderites (neo-Nazi). The flooding of the EU with the desperate refugees (the victims of the ongoing Wars for Israel) and opportunistic migrants from sub-Saharan Africa (welcome, extraordinary low IQ!) is tearing apart the societal fabric of the EU and makes the war-mongers and war-profiteers even less accountable to vox populi.

What should Russians do? The more time they buy, the better the outcome for the humanity at large.

hunor , says: September 23, 2018 at 9:54 pm GMT
The Russians are all alone against a pack of satanic wolfs, and clearly loosing badly in the war of " leapfrogging ".

[Sep 23, 2018] Coulter Kavanaugh Scandal Shows Media Running The Country, Can Make Any Non-Disprovable Claim

Video
Notable quotes:
"... "A lot of the statements about Brett Kavanaugh, like from Krugman, 'Oh, he's smirking' and a lot on Twitter and elsewhere, 'Oh, he's a white male, his white privilege,' if you fit the narrative, you are guilty and there is no coming back from that," Coulter said. ..."
"... COULTER: I think some of them and this is - this is the only thing that I think makes it dangerous for Republicans, for Kavanaugh, and for the republic because there are certain Republicans in the Senate who so hate Trump-- ..."
"... And it's not just Democrats and the media running the country, it's any white male can be accused with an evidence reacting ..."
Sep 23, 2018 | www.realclearpolitics.com

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter said hate for the president from anti-Trump Republicans like Ben Sasse and Bob Corker could end up hurting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh even more after he was accused of sexual assault by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for an incident that took place in high school 36 years ago.

"A lot of the statements about Brett Kavanaugh, like from Krugman, 'Oh, he's smirking' and a lot on Twitter and elsewhere, 'Oh, he's a white male, his white privilege,' if you fit the narrative, you are guilty and there is no coming back from that," Coulter said.

Coulter said the media can use the tag "white male Republican" to make any "non-disprovable claim" against somebody to impugn their character. She said these Senators, several outgoing, are putting their egos over the country if they voted against Kavanaugh to spite Trump.

"This is the only thing that I think makes it dangerous for Republicans, for Kavanaugh, and for the republic because there are certain Republicans in the Senate who so hate Trump they would put their egos above the good of the country," Coulter said of anti-Trump Republicans.

Coulter said if Democrats are able to stop Kavanaugh either because of vengeful Republicans or the testimony of the accuser, Dr. Ford, then "you have CNN running the country."

"What so many Republicans said about voting and, every four years, say about voting for any Republican, we have to do it for the Supreme Court nominees. No, maybe not for Ben Sasse, maybe not for Senator Bob Corker, they just so hate Trump, that could end up hurting Kavanaugh," she said.

The author told host Tucker Carlson it's not even the Democrats running the country, "it's the media" because the same allegation made against Kavanaugh could be used all the time and it is "absolutely non-disprovable."

"If they get away with this there's then you have CNN running the country," she said about Kavanaugh and sexual assault claims.

"It's not even just the Democrats running the country," she continued. "It's the media running the country because this allegation could be made against anyone at any time absolutely non-disprovable."

Coulter warned that as long as you are a "presumed white male Republican," with privilege, "if you fit the narrative, you are guilty and there is no coming back from that." She cited incidents like the Duke Lacrosse case and 'Haven Monahan,' the male name behind the 2014 fake Rolling Stone magazine story.

"This isn't a new thing," she said. "As long as you are a presumed white male Republican, whether it's the Duke Lacrosse case or oh, that dastardly Haven Monahan in the Rolling Stone story about the frat boys gang-raping the gal, the whole thing turned out to be fake, there is no Haven Monahan."

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: How about Elizabeth Warren? She tweeted this. "I can't imagine any parent accepting this view. Is this really what America wants in its next Supreme Court Justice?" If you can even imagine texting something like that or putting it on Twitter, mindless.

Ann Coulter is a writer, author of 'Resistance Is Futile! How the Trump-Hating Left Has Lost Its Collective Mind' as if she needed another example of it, she joins us tonight.

So, what do you make of the fact? I was trying to get a straight answer from my last guest. I'm not sure what I even think of it. What do you make of the fact that Dianne Feinstein is saying "I'm not sure I believe Christine Ford now."

ANN COULTER: CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, LAWYER, AUTHOR: Well, Dianne Feinstein has always been one of my favorite senators, a Republican or a Democrat, I was sort of surprised. She was the one who held on to this letter.

I don't - I don't think the big issue is that it's the 11th hour. I think the big issue is last week we start - started getting polls showing the Democrats have a shot at taking the Senate.

CARLSON: Right.

COULTER: They really want to stop this nomination. It's been kind of hilarious listening to the Democrats, oh and the New York Times editorial page, and Schumer and Blumenthal, we need a major FBI investigation. As you point out, there's nothing to investigate.

They want to appoint a blue-ribbon commission and maybe, you know, they'll wrap up their work sometime next February. It really is just purely for delay--

CARLSON: So - so can I ask this - so I mean why not an independent counsel and he can take maybe four or five years to get to the bottom of it (ph). Why would the Republic - look, this I - I am giving everybody every benefit of every doubt? I'm not attacking Ford who, again, as I said last night, Ford is a nice person.

But this is a political tactic designed to prevent the President from putting his nominee on the court. Why are Republicans in the Congress playing along with this?

COULTER: I think some of them and this is - this is the only thing that I think makes it dangerous for Republicans, for Kavanaugh, and for the republic because there are certain Republicans in the Senate who so hate Trump--

CARLSON: Right.

COULTER: --they would put their egos above the good of the country. And - and what so many Republicans said about voting and, every four years, say about voting for any Republican, we have to do it for the Supreme Court nominees.

No, maybe not for Ben Sasse, maybe not for - for Senator Bob Corker, they just so hate Trump, that could end up hurting - hurting Kavanaugh. But I - I think your points that if they get away with this there's then you have CNN running the country.

It's not even just the Democrats running the country. It's the media running the country because this allegation could be made against anyone at any time absolutely un - non-disprovable.

The - the New York Times, I - I - I wanted to mention here since you've cited, Teddy Kennedy. One of the great things in the New York Times editorial on this case was to say that things were totally different in the 1980s.

That's why this woman, Dr. Ford, didn't report it at the time because you remember the 1980s, Tucker. You used to be - there was (ph) sexual assault like mad at every place.

Their proof of this that women weren't taken seriously in the 1980s was to link to an article in The Washington Post citing the New York Times treatment of the accuser of William Kennedy Smith. So yes, the Kennedys, they've always had free rein to rape, murder--

CARLSON: Yes.

COULTER: --and the New York Times would go after the accusers. But that's really what the division is here. This isn't a new thing. As long as you are a presumed white male Republican, whether it's the Duke Lacrosse case or oh, that dastardly Haven Monahan in the Rolling Stone story about the frat boys gang-raping the gal--

CARLSON: Yes.

COULTER: --the whole thing turned out to be fake, there is no Haven Monahan. Or now, a lot of the statements about Brett Kavanaugh, like from Krugman, "Oh, he's smirking" and a lot on Twitter and elsewhere, "Oh, he's a white male, his white privilege," if you fit the narrative, you are guilty and there is no coming back from that.

And it's not just Democrats and the media running the country, it's any white male can be accused with an evidence reacting (ph)--

CARLSON: Well you shouldn't judge people--

COULTER: --they shouldn't like this.

CARLSON: --on the basis of their immutable characteristics. Period. So, I don't know why the Leftists all (ph) say that. Ann Coulter, thank you. It's great to see you tonight.

COULTER: Thank you.

Trump on Kavanaugh Accuser: "If She Shows Up That Would Be Wonderful"

President Donald Trump held a media availability on the White House lawn Wednesday afternoon prior to departing on Marine One. The president said it would be "wonderful" if Dr. Christine Blasey Ford showed up at a Congressional hearing to discuss her accusation of sexual misconduct against Supreme...

Joe diGenova: Kavanaugh Accuser Christine Blasey Ford Doesn't Want To Testify Because She's A "Loon"

Joe diGenova said Dr. Christian Ford, Judge Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, doesn't really want to testify because when she does, "she's going to look like the loon that she is." "She may very well believe everything she's saying, and that is one of the signs of lunacy, believing something that isn't...

Chuck Todd: "Look At Kavanaugh As A Day To Day Proposition"

Chuck Todd, NBC News Moderator on 'Meet the Press,' shares his insight into Judge Brett Kavanaugh's latest controversy: "The White House will defend Kavanaugh as much as he defends himself - I think you got to look at Judge Kavanaugh as a day to day proposition here. He made it through yesterday."

[Sep 22, 2018] How Russian Sanctions Are Helping Putin Achieve His Most Desired Goal

Sep 22, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

dirty fingernails , 47 seconds ago

Russia now awaits possible new sanctions as a result of its involvement in the United States election and as a result of the potential nerve agent attack in England.

Who the **** writes this ****? Who believes those baldfaced lies?

Hass C. , 49 minutes ago

A little glimpse into how much influence Putin has on his own economy. Which is not much. He is trying hard to remove Russia's testicles from the vice of US control but this is a slow process as the economy and capital market are totally open, except for military production which is under his own control and pretty much protected from the whims of markets.

The steady increase of sanctions has the objective of forcing Putin's hand into lashing out and trying a dirigistic neo-stalinist approach, but this would cut Russia from foreign technology and capital, make the best work force fly abroad, resulting in final implosion.

Whether Russia survives as an industrial economy till US and the dollar loses its power over it is anybody's guess. The more Russia is weakened at that time, the more likely China will flood it with its love.

Ms No , 51 minutes ago

The thing with Putin is that he is a great leader and Patriot. He wishes us no harm and would like to be our friends (the western population); however, Putin isn't motivated by saving the world, your nation or you personally. His loyalty is to his people and their future.

All actions that Putin has taken that ended up saving your *** were simply a benefit gained by the happenstance of what benefits us benefitting him.

Putin will save his own (hopefully) but you have to save yourself. Remember that.

LaugherNYC , 8 minutes ago

If Putin wants to be friends with the West, then why did he reverse the course of openness to the EU and NATO, the trend towards normalization, and turn hard right into an ultra-nationalist despot, starting to spout the diseased philosophy of Ilyin, becoming a xenophobic tin pot kleptocrat, like some African warlord, funneling funds and assets offshore through shell companies and his buddies?

It will be interesting to see what happens when/if there is a real global investigation of Putin's offshored assets, and an expose of how he has plundered his country. He will be the very last to repatriate - nor should we want him to be forced into it. If you close his escape hatch, Vlad will be forced to live up to his rhetoric, which is very Rapture-esque, very nuclear nightmare, very Judgement Day Armageddon

Anonymous IX , 1 hour ago

Where's Billy Browder? What's next on his agenda? Billy, btw, the next time you allow anyone to film you, have your handlers minimize the obvious drug and/or electronic mind control over you a little earlier. You seem to "wake up" an awful lot...you know...where your head snaps up like you didn't realize something...or you're "waking up" from something. Just a helpful hint. You did so chronically throughout the Magnitsky film. Here's what a mind looks like on "mind control." Don't look for eggs in a frying pan.

Ms No , 50 minutes ago

So mind control looks something like sleep apnea?

Savvy , 1 hour ago

the desire to keep assets out of the reach of the United States Treasury

Can you say 'capital flight'? I knew you could. Not a country in the world is going to trust the US with a grain of salt.

Well done Trump and your $864billon/month deficit spending.

Ms No , 49 minutes ago

We really should stop referring to it as the US treasury. Its something else.

opport.knocks , 3 minutes ago

Lendery?

Cashlaudratomat?

Ponzi-prefecture?

The US Usury?

hooligan2009 , 1 hour ago

according to polls aired by tv station "euro news", putin's ratings are down 10% because he wants to raise the retirement ages of men to 65 from 60 (male life expectancy is 66) and womens retirement age from 55 to 60 (womens life expectancy is 71).

i guess this is proof that sanctions are working. putin has to raise the retirement age and russians die 12-15 years earlier than those in the west.

oh, the humanity!

sanctions work: they hurt the bottom 50%, not those better off.

Balance-Sheet , 58 minutes ago

Good to note this and it appears to be correct. Male life expectancy is 65/66 on average so many will die reaching for their first tiny pension check. I do not know why Putin simply does not seek to save money by ordering people to be shot at 65 as a humane measure. Russia has shot 10s of millions over the past 100 years so this will maintain a tradition.

I am interested in your remark on Putin's popularity- he appears to be slipping into megalomania also typical of Russian leaders so perhaps he will be removed. Raising the retirement age in Russia is recklessly stupid from a political perspective in an impoverished country established as Earth's largest resource treasure house.

Ms No , 44 minutes ago

War and sanctions are expensive. Through this evil the world is impoverished. Zionist fiat currency is also crushingly expensive. We would be exceedingly wealthy without all of this. A whole different world could exist.

That probably wont happen until the next age (a golden age) though because people now are inherently stupid and lack any connection. Sticking their appendenges in everything and sinking completely in dense materialism is more important.

Hass C. , 39 minutes ago

Can you specify why you say he "appears to be slipping into megalomania"? Been observing him for years and his megalomania index seems stable to me.

Also, Russian demography makes raising the retirement age necessary, they say. Their birth rate is increasing but so does life expectancy.

opport.knocks , 1 minute ago

He will not be able to run for re-election so now is the time to implement necessary but unpopular reforms.

Shemp 4 Victory , 38 minutes ago

according to polls aired by tv station "euro news"

Well, if "euro news" said, then so it is. Free European press can't lie.

hooligan2009 , 28 minutes ago

haha.. yes.. i watched it for ten minutes, so the same four headlines scrolled through in a cycle three times in those ten minutes. pope, a survivor underneath a boat after two days in lake victoria, blunt brexit and putins popularity.

nothing approcahing any quality whatsoever. i was just making sure the other side of the house hadn't got past "stupid"!!!

123dobryden , 1 hour ago

Rossia. Davaj

notfeelinthebern , 1 hour ago

Yeah, he's giving the west the proverbial finger. Instead of creating a bridge to trade and friendship, the west is doing nothing but trying to destroy an imaginary enemy.

Matteo S. , 1 hour ago

It is not imaginary from the anglo-saxon empire's point of view.

The anglo-saxon empire has been playing this game for more than 3 centuries.

It first constantly attacked France until it definitely emasculated it with Napoleon's downfall.

Then it immediately went to the jugular of Russia. And on this occasion was formulated Mackinder's gropolitics principles.

Then it went for Germany.

Then in again against USSR/Russia.

This is not due to imagination. This is a deliberate and structural way to interact with the rest of the world. The anglo-saxon empire hates competition and tries to destroy any potential competitor instead of agreeing to cooperate with peers.

Ms No , 42 minutes ago

The Anglo Saxon empire was occupied by Zionist money lending. They controlled the British empire. A lot of those blueblood royal were theirs to begin with also. They were also the bankers of Rome.

Matteo S. , 27 minutes ago

Forget your fantasies about the Catholic Church and the pope.

It is Protestants who have always dominated the anglo-saxon empire. Protestants from Britain but also from Netherlands, Germany, France, who allied with the English and Scot Protestants to build their mammonite empire.

And for one Rothschild family, you had the Astors, Vanderbilt's, Rockefellers, Carnegie's, Morgans, Fords, ... etc, none of which were jewish.

The Zionists are just the tail of the anglo-saxon dog.

justdues , 1 hour ago

"Russia now awaits possible new sanctions as a result of it,s ALLEGED involvement in the United States election and as a result of the ALLEGED nerve agent attack in England . FIFTylers

hooligan2009 , 1 hour ago

quite right. no trial, no evidence and harsh sentences/convictions via trade embargoes.

russia offered reciprocation so it could try Browder. the west said no, invented crimes culminating in a Magnitsy act.

if individuals in Europe, the UK or the US were convicted and imprisoned without trial governments in those places would be thrown out on their ear.

as it is, western governments can bring the entire planet to the brink of war, based on their political opinions - with no evidence, no trial and no opportunity to argue a case for a defence of charges.

JibjeResearch , 1 hour ago

lolz ahaha.... a bad choice..., any fiat is a bad choice...

Go phy.gold or cryptos (BTC, ETH, XTZ), phy.silver is good too...

An Shrubbery , 40 minutes ago

Cryptosporidiosis are no different than fiat, maybe even a little worse. They are NOT anonymous, and are becoming less and less so and eventually will be co-opted by deep state operatives such as googoyle, facefuck, Twatter, amazog, etc. for the deep state. There is an absolute record of your every transaction in the blockchain.

It's just a matter of time. There will be a crypto that we're all forced to use in the near future, and big brother will have absolute control of it.

my new username , 1 hour ago

This has zero impact on working class Americans. It only affects liberals and rich people.

DEDA CVETKO , 1 hour ago

Everything has impact on everything else. We are all, in some bizarre ways, interconnected. Deripaska (pictured above) has a virtual global monopoly on aluminum trade. Guess who uses aluminum? You guessed it: people like you and I. The airplane industry. Consumer industry. The military. Medical equipment industry. Construction industry. Food industry. Everyone!

There is no such thing as isolationism anymore. It wasn't possible even during Warren Harding's presidency, let alone now. This deranged notion that Donald Trump will somehow insulate us all from the effects of his aggressive overseas posturing is deranged beyond description.

[Sep 22, 2018] Once the rape of Russia by the west, including many American businessmen, that Yeltsin allowed was stopped (mostly by Putin), life has gradually gotten better for the average Russian

Notable quotes:
"... It is interesting that all the "draconian" election, etc. laws recently put into practice in Russia have to do with foreigners attempted misusing and lying about Russia's elections for "western" advantage. By now we should all know how the Western media will lie in every way to make it appear that their traitorous lackeys being used to destroy some other nation are the true "patriots" of that nation, even when they are not even citizens of it. ..."
Sep 22, 2018 | www.henrymakow.com

John G said (January 4, 2013):

At the time that Putin was in the KGB, had it not become a de facto ethnic Russian organization? Would not Putin's origins have been established prior to his joining?

You ask when Putin has stood up to the 'West'. It was Medvedev as President who was duped over Libya through the UN, not having been aware of the subtle shift in US policy from sabre-rattling and shock-and-awe to more discretely aiding 'rebels' to overthrow 'tyrants' under the guise of promoting the protection of civilians through no-fly zones etc. (Same policy, different tactics).

The response over Russia to Georgia's attack on S. Ossetia was entirely unequivocal and it remains to be seen how Putin, now back in the Presidential driving seat plays Syria and Iran.


Tony B said (January 4, 2013):

Of course, I can't know for certain but this article to me has the now familiar odor of disinformation to a very high degree. Putin is treated as a God by the majority of the Russian people but he is daily demonized by the "West." The suffering of the Russian people after the collapse of the USSR was due to the weakling and drunk Yeltsin. Once the rape of Russia by the west, including many American "businessmen," that Yeltsin allowed was stopped (mostly by Putin), life has gradually gotten better for the average Russian.

It is interesting that all the "draconian" election, etc. laws recently put into practice in Russia have to do with foreigners attempted misusing and lying about Russia's elections for "western" advantage. By now we should all know how the Western media will lie in every way to make it appear that their traitorous lackeys being used to destroy some other nation are the true "patriots" of that nation, even when they are not even citizens of it.

In my lifetime no one on earth, other than Putin, has stood up to the Rothschild empire, more or less telling them that if they really think they own Russia's oil business to try and get it. Would that American presidents would be such "Jews!"

[Sep 21, 2018] One party state: Trump's 'Opposition' Supports All His Evil Agendas While Attacking Fake Nonsence by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... If the so-called "Resistance" to Trump was ever actually interested in opposing this administration in any meaningful way, this would be the top trending news story in America for days, like how "bombshell" revelations pertaining to the made-up Russiagate narrative trend for days. Spoiler alert: it isn't, and it won't be. ..."
"... The US Senate has just passed Trump's mammoth military spending increase by a landslide 92–8 vote . The eight senators who voted "nay"? Seven Republicans, and Independent Bernie Sanders. Every single Democrat supported the most bloated war budget since the height of the Iraq war . Rather than doing everything they can to weaken the potential damage that can be done by a president they've been assuring us is a dangerous hybrid of equal parts Benedict Arnold and Adolf Hitler, they've been actively increasing his power as Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military force the world has ever seen. ..."
"... They're on the same team, wearing different uniforms. ..."
"... US politics is pretty much the same; two mainstream parties owned by the same political class, engaged in a staged bidding war for votes to give the illusion of competition. ..."
"... In reality, the US political system is like the unplugged video game remote that kids give their baby brother so he stops whining that he wants a turn to play. No matter who they vote for they get an Orwellian warmongering government which exists solely to advance the agendas of a plutocratic class which has no loyalties to any nation; the only difference is sometimes that government is pretending to care about women and minorities and sometimes it's pretending to care about white men. In reality, all the jewelers work for the same plutocrat, and that video game remote won't impact the outcome of the game no matter how many buttons you push. ..."
"... The only way to effect real change is to stop playing along with the rigged system and start waking people up to the lies. As long as Americans believe that the mass media are telling them the truth about their country and their partisan votes are going somewhere useful, the populace whose numbers should give it immense influence is nullified and sedated into a passive ride toward war, ecocide and oppression. ..."
"... Reprinted with author's permission from Medium.com . ..."
"... Support Ms. Johnstone's work on Patreon or Paypal ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

A new article from the Wall Street Journal reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied to congress about the measures Saudi Arabia is taking to minimize the civilian casualties in its catastrophic war on Yemen, and that he did so in order to secure two billion dollars for war profiteers.

This is about as depraved as anything you could possibly imagine. US-made bombs have been conclusively tied to civilian deaths in a war which has caused the single worst humanitarian crisis on earth, a crisis which sees scores of Yemeni children dying every single day and has placed five million children at risk of death by starvation in a nation where families are now eating leaves to survive . CIA veteran Bruce Riedel once said that "if the United States of America and the United Kingdom tonight told King Salman that this war has to end, it would end tomorrow, because the Royal Saudi Airforce cannot operate without American and British support." Nobody other than war plutocrats benefits from the US assisting Saudi Arabia in its monstrous crimes against humanity, and yet Pompeo chose to override his own expert advisors on the matter for fear of hurting the income of those very war plutocrats.

If the so-called "Resistance" to Trump was ever actually interested in opposing this administration in any meaningful way, this would be the top trending news story in America for days, like how "bombshell" revelations pertaining to the made-up Russiagate narrative trend for days. Spoiler alert: it isn't, and it won't be.

It would be so very, very easy for Democratic party leaders and Democrat-aligned media to hurt this administration at the highest level and cause irreparable political damage based on this story. All they'd have to do is give it the same blanket coverage they've given the stories about Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Paul Manafort which end up leading nowhere remotely near impeachment or proof of collusion with the Russian government. The footage of the starving children is right there, ready to be aired to pluck at the heart strings of rank-and-file Americans day after day until Republicans have lost all hope of victory in the midterms and in 2020; all they'd have to do is use it. But they don't. And they won't.

The US Senate has just passed Trump's mammoth military spending increase by a landslide 92–8 vote . The eight senators who voted "nay"? Seven Republicans, and Independent Bernie Sanders. Every single Democrat supported the most bloated war budget since the height of the Iraq war . Rather than doing everything they can to weaken the potential damage that can be done by a president they've been assuring us is a dangerous hybrid of equal parts Benedict Arnold and Adolf Hitler, they've been actively increasing his power as Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military force the world has ever seen.

The reason for this is very simple: President Trump's ostensible political opposition does not oppose President Trump. They're on the same team, wearing different uniforms. This is the reason they attack him on Russian collusion accusations which the brighter bulbs among them know full well will never be proven and have no basis in reality. They don't stand up to Trump because, as Julian Assange once said , they are Trump.

In John Steinbeck's The Pearl, there are jewelry buyers set up around a fishing community which are all owned by the same plutocrat, but they all pretend to be in competition with one another. When the story's protagonist discovers an enormous and valuable pearl and goes to sell it, they all gather round and individually bid far less than it is worth in order to trick him into giving it away for almost nothing. US politics is pretty much the same; two mainstream parties owned by the same political class, engaged in a staged bidding war for votes to give the illusion of competition.

In reality, the US political system is like the unplugged video game remote that kids give their baby brother so he stops whining that he wants a turn to play. No matter who they vote for they get an Orwellian warmongering government which exists solely to advance the agendas of a plutocratic class which has no loyalties to any nation; the only difference is sometimes that government is pretending to care about women and minorities and sometimes it's pretending to care about white men. In reality, all the jewelers work for the same plutocrat, and that video game remote won't impact the outcome of the game no matter how many buttons you push.

The only way to effect real change is to stop playing along with the rigged system and start waking people up to the lies. As long as Americans believe that the mass media are telling them the truth about their country and their partisan votes are going somewhere useful, the populace whose numbers should give it immense influence is nullified and sedated into a passive ride toward war, ecocide and oppression.

If enough of us keep throwing sand in the gears of the lie factory, we can wake the masses up from the oligarchic lullaby they're being sung. And then maybe we'll be big enough to have a shot at grabbing one of the real video game controllers.

Reprinted with author's permission from Medium.com .

Support Ms. Johnstone's work on Patreon or Paypal

[Sep 21, 2018] Hold The Front Page The Reporters Are Missing And Journalism Is Dead

Sep 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Fri, 09/21/2018 - 22:25 1 SHARES Authored by John Pilger via ConsortiumNews.com,

So much of mainstream journalism has descended to the level of a cult-like formula of bias, hearsay and omission. Subjectivism is all; slogans and outrage are proof enough. What matters is 'perception'...

The death of Robert Parry earlier this year felt like a farewell to the age of the reporter. Parry was "a trailblazer for independent journalism", wrote Seymour Hersh, with whom he shared much in common.

Hersh revealed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the secret bombing of Cambodia, Parry exposed Iran-Contra, a drugs and gun-running conspiracy that led to the White House. In 2016, they separately produced compelling evidence that the Assad government in Syria had not used chemical weapons. They were not forgiven.

Driven from the "mainstream", Hersh must publish his work outside the United States. Parry set up his own independent news website Consortium News, where, in a final piece following a stroke, he referred to journalism's veneration of "approved opinions" while "unapproved evidence is brushed aside or disparaged regardless of its quality."

Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years. Dissent tolerated when I joined a national newspaper in Britain in the 1960s has regressed to a metaphoric underground as liberal capitalism moves towards a form of corporate dictatorship.

This is a seismic shift, with journalists policing the new "groupthink", as Parry called it, dispensing its myths and distractions, pursuing its enemies.

Witness the witch-hunts against refugees and immigrants, the willful abandonment by the "MeToo" zealots of our oldest freedom, presumption of innocence, the anti-Russia racism and anti-Brexit hysteria, the growing anti-China campaign and the suppression of a warning of world war.

With many if not most independent journalists barred or ejected from the "mainstream", a corner of the Internet has become a vital source of disclosure and evidence-based analysis: true journalism sites such as wikileaks.org, consortiumnews.com, wsws.org, truthdig.com, globalresearch.org, counterpunch.org and informationclearinghouse.com are required reading for those trying to make sense of a world in which science and technology advance wondrously while political and economic life in the fearful "democracies" regress behind a media facade of narcissistic spectacle.

Propaganda Blitz

In Britain, just one website offers consistently independent media criticism. This is the remarkable Media Lens -- remarkable partly because its founders and editors as well as its only writers, David Edwards and David Cromwell, since 2001 have concentrated their gaze not on the usual suspects, the Tory press, but the paragons of reputable liberal journalism: the BBC, The Guardian , Channel 4 News.

Cromwell and Edwards (The Ghandi Foundation)

Their method is simple. Meticulous in their research, they are respectful and polite when they ask why a journalist why he or she produced such a one-sided report, or failed to disclose essential facts or promoted discredited myths.

The replies they receive are often defensive, at times abusive; some are hysterical, as if they have pushed back a screen on a protected species.

I would say Media Lens has shattered a silence about corporate journalism. Like Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman in Manufacturing Consent, they represent a Fifth Estate that deconstructs and demystifies the media's power.

What is especially interesting about them is that neither is a journalist. David Edwards is a former teacher, David Cromwell is an oceanographer. Yet, their understanding of the morality of journalism -- a term rarely used; let's call it true objectivity -- is a bracing quality of their online Media Lens dispatches.

I think their work is heroic and I would place a copy of their just published book, Propaganda Blitz , in every journalism school that services the corporate system, as they all do.

Take the chapter, Dismantling the National Health Service, in which Edwards and Cromwell describe the critical part played by journalists in the crisis facing Britain's pioneering health service.

The NHS crisis is the product of a political and media construct known as "austerity", with its deceitful, weasel language of "efficiency savings" (the BBC term for slashing public expenditure) and "hard choices" (the willful destruction of the premises of civilized life in modern Britain).

"Austerity" is an invention. Britain is a rich country with a debt owed by its crooked banks, not its people. The resources that would comfortably fund the National Health Service have been stolen in broad daylight by the few allowed to avoid and evade billions in taxes.

Using a vocabulary of corporate euphemisms, the publicly-funded Health Service is being deliberately run down by free market fanatics, to justify its selling-off. The Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn may appear to oppose this, but is it? The answer is very likely no. Little of any of this is alluded to in the media, let alone explained.

Edwards and Cromwell have dissected the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, whose innocuous title belies its dire consequences. Unknown to most of the population, the Act ends the legal obligation of British governments to provide universal free health care: the bedrock on which the NHS was set up following the Second World War. Private companies can now insinuate themselves into the NHS, piece by piece.

Where, asks Edwards and Cromwell, was the BBC while this momentous Bill was making its way through Parliament? With a statutory commitment to "providing a breadth of view" and to properly inform the public of "matters of public policy," the BBC never spelt out the threat posed to one of the nation's most cherished institutions. A BBC headline said: "Bill which gives power to GPs passes." This was pure state propaganda.

Media and Iraq Invasion

Blair: Lawless (Office of Tony Blair)

There is a striking similarity with the BBC's coverage of Prime Minister Tony Blair's lawless invasion of Iraq in 2003, which left a million dead and many more dispossessed. A study by the University of Wales, Cardiff, found that the BBC reflected the government line "overwhelmingly" while relegating reports of civilian suffering. A Media Tenor study placed the BBC at the bottom of a league of western broadcasters in the time they gave to opponents of the invasion. The corporation's much-vaunted "principle" of impartiality was never a consideration.

One of the most telling chapters in Propaganda Blitz describes the smear campaigns mounted by journalists against dissenters, political mavericks and whistleblowers.

The Guardian' s campaign against the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is the most disturbing. Assange, whose epic WikiLeaks disclosures brought fame, journalism prizes and largesse to The Guardian , was abandoned when he was no longer useful. He was then subjected to a vituperative – and cowardly -- onslaught of a kind I have rarely known.

With not a penny going to WikiLeaks, a hyped Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie deal. The book's authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, gratuitously described Assange as a "damaged personality" and "callous." They also disclosed the secret password he had given the paper in confidence, which was designed to protect a digital file containing the U.S. embassy cables.

With Assange now trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy, Harding, standing among the police outside, gloated on his blog that "Scotland Yard may get the last laugh."

The Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore wrote, "I bet Assange is stuffing himself full of flattened guinea pigs. He really is the most massive turd."

Moore, who describes herself as a feminist, later complained that, after attacking Assange, she had suffered "vile abuse." Edwards and Cromwell wrote to her: "That's a real shame, sorry to hear that. But how would you describe calling someone 'the most massive turd'? Vile abuse?"

Moore replied that no, she would not, adding, "I would advise you to stop being so bloody patronizing." Her former Guardian colleague James Ball wrote, "It's difficult to imagine what Ecuador's London embassy smells like more than five and a half years after Julian Assange moved in."

Such slow-witted viciousness appeared in a newspaper described by its editor, Katharine Viner, as "thoughtful and progressive." What is the root of this vindictiveness? Is it jealousy, a perverse recognition that Assange has achieved more journalistic firsts than his snipers can claim in a lifetime? Is it that he refuses to be "one of us" and shames those who have long sold out the independence of journalism?

Journalism students should study this to understand that the source of "fake news" is not only trollism, or the likes of Fox News, or Donald Trump, but a journalism self-anointed with a false respectability: a liberal journalism that claims to challenge corrupt state power but, in reality, courts and protects it, and colludes with it. The amorality of the years of Tony Blair, whom The Guardian has failed to rehabilitate, is its echo.

"[It is] an age in which people yearn for new ideas and fresh alternatives," wrote Katharine Viner. Her political writer Jonathan Freedland dismissed the yearning of young people who supported the modest policies of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as "a form of narcissism."

"How did this man .," brayed the Guardian 's Zoe Williams, "get on the ballot in the first place?" A choir of the paper's precocious windbags joined in, thereafter queuing to fall on their blunt swords when Corbyn came close to winning the 2017 general election in spite of the media.

Complex stories are reported to a cult-like formula of bias, hearsay and omission: Brexit, Venezuela, Russia, Syria. On Syria, only the investigations of a group of independent journalists have countered this, revealing the network of Anglo-American backing of jihadists in Syria, including those related to ISIS.

Leni Riefenstahl (r.) (Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Supported by a "psyops" campaign funded by the British Foreign Office and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the aim is to hoodwink the Western public and speed the overthrow of the government in Damascus, regardless of the medieval alternative and the risk of war with Russia.

The Syria Campaign, set up by a New York PR agency called Purpose, funds a group known as the White Helmets, who claim falsely to be "Syria Civil Defense" and are seen uncritically on TV news and social media, apparently rescuing the victims of bombing, which they film and edit themselves, though viewers are unlikely to be told this. George Clooney is a fan.

The White Helmets are appendages to the jihadists with whom they share addresses. Their media-smart uniforms and equipment are supplied by their Western paymasters. That their exploits are not questioned by major news organizations is an indication of how deep the influence of state-backed PR now runs in the media. As Robert Fisk noted recently, no "mainstream" reporter reports Syria.

In what is known as a hatchet job, a Guardian reporter based in San Francisco, Olivia Solon, who has never visited Syria, was allowed to smear the substantiated investigative work of journalists Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett on the White Helmets as "propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls with the support of the Russian government."

This abuse was published without permitting a single correction, let alone a right-of-reply. The Guardian Comment page was blocked, as Edwards and Cromwell document. I saw the list of questions Solon sent to Beeley, which reads like a McCarthyite charge sheet -- "Have you ever been invited to North Korea?"

So much of the mainstream has descended to this level. Subjectivism is all; slogans and outrage are proof enough. What matters is the "perception."

When he was U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus declared what he called "a war of perception conducted continuously using the news media." What really mattered was not the facts but the way the story played in the United States. The undeclared enemy was, as always, an informed and critical public at home.

Nothing has changed. In the 1970s, I met Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's film-maker, whose propaganda mesmerized the German public.

She told me the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of an uninformed public.

"Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie?" I asked.

"Everyone," she said. "Propaganda always wins, if you allow it."

Propaganda Blitz by David Edwards and David Cromwell is published by Pluto Press.

[Sep 21, 2018] Fact free propaganda

Sep 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Sep 20, 2018 3:43:13 PM | link

The whole nonsense about Russian interference, which was obviously nonsense from Day One and has never, for a moment looked like anything but nonsense, seems to indicate that we have entered a post political era in which policy discussions and debates are forgotten and smears and false accusations take their place.
Currently in the US the Kavanaugh nomination which ought to be about the meaning of the law and the consequences of having a Supreme Court which will make Judge Taney look like Solomon at his most impressive. Instead it is about an alleged teenage incident in which the nominee is said to have caressed a girls breasts at a drunken party when all involved were at High School. Before that we had a Senatorial election in Alabama in which the Republican candidate was charged with having shown a sexual interest in teenage girls- whether this was a 'first' in Alabama is unknown but it is believed to have happened elsewhere, in the unenlightened past.
Then we have the matter of whether Jeremy Corbyn is such a danger to Jews that they will all leave the country if he is ever elected to power. This long campaign, completely devoid of evidence, like 'Russiagate' has the potential of going on forever, simply because there being no evidence it cannot be refuted.
Which is also the case with the Skripal affair, because of which even as we speak, massive trade and financial sanctions are being imposed against Russia and its enormous, innocent and plundered population.
In none of these cases has any real evidence, of the minimal quality that might justify the hanging of a dog, ever advanced. But that doesn't matter, the important thing is to choose a side and if it is Hillary Clinton's to believe or to pretend to believe and to convince others to believe (as Marcy at Emptywheel has been doing for close to three years now) in the incredible.
Who says that we no longer live in a Christian society in which faith is everything?

[Sep 16, 2018] The Enigma of Orwellian Donald Trump -- How Does He Get Away with It So Easily by Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

This is a very weak article, but it raises several important questions such as the role or neoliberal MSM in color revolution against Trump and which social group constituted the voting block that brought Trump to victory. The author answers incorrectly on both those questions.
I think overall Tremblay analysis of Trump (and by extension of national neoliberalism he promotes) is incorrect. Probably the largest group of voters which voted for Trump were voters who were against neoliberal globalization and who now feel real distrust and aversion to the ruling neoliberal elite.
Trump is probably right to view neoliberal journalists as enemies: they are tools of intelligence agencies which as agents of Wall Street promote globalization
At the same time Trump turned to be Obama II: he instantly betrayed his voters after the election. His election slogan "make Ameraca great again" bacem that same joke as Obama "Change we can believe in". And he proved to be as jingoistic as Obama (A Nobel Pease Price laureate who was militarists dream come true)
In discussion of groups who votes for Trump the author forgot to mention part of professional which skeptically view neoliberal globalization and its destrction of jobs (for example programmer jobs in the USA) as well as blue color workers decimated by offshoring of major industries.
Notable quotes:
"... "Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. " ..."
"... Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018) ..."
"... "The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." ..."
"... This is a White House where everybody lies ..."
"... I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ..."
"... The second one can be found in Trump's artful and cunning tactics to unbalance and manipulate the media to increase his visibility to the general public and to turn them into his own tools of propaganda. ..."
"... ad hominem' ..."
"... Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians. ..."
"... He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication. ..."
"... checks and balance ..."
"... The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

"Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. "

Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018)

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."

George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) (1903-1950), English novelist, essayist, and social critic, (in '1984', Ch. 7, 1949)

" This is a White House where everybody lies ." Omarosa Manigault Newman (1974- ), former White House aide to President Donald Trump, (on Sunday August 12, 2018, while releasing tapes recording conversations with Donald Trump.)

" I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ." Benjamin Franklin ( 17061790 ), American inventor and US Founding Father, (in 'Words of the Founding Fathers', 2012).

***

In this day and age, with instant information, how does a politician succeed in double-talking, in bragging, in scapegoating and in shamefully distorting the truth, most of the time, without being unmasked as a charlatan and discredited? Why? That is the mysterious and enigmatic question that one may ask about U. S. President Donald Trump, as a politician.

The most obvious answer is the fact that Trump's one-issue and cult-like followers do not care what he does or says and whether or not he has declared a war on truth and reality , provided he delivers the political and financial benefits they demand of him, based on their ideological or pecuniary interests. These groups of voters live in their own reality and only their personal interests count.

1- Four groups of one-issue voters behind Trump

There are four groups of one-issue voters to whom President Donald Trump has delivered the goodies:

With the strong support of these four monolithic lobbies -- his electoral base -- politician Donald Trump can count on the indefectible support of between 35 percent and 40 percent of the American electorate. It is ironic that some of Trump's other policies, like reducing health care coverage and the raising of import taxes, will hurt the poor and the middle class, even though some of Trump's victims can be considered members of the above lobbies.

Moreover, some of Trump's supporters regularly rely on hypocrisy and on excuses to exonerate their favorite but flawed politician of choice. If any other politician from a different party were to say and do half of what Donald Trump does and says, they would be asking for his impeachment.

There are three other reasons why Trump's rants, his record-breaking lies , his untruths, his deceptions and his dictatorial-style attempts to control information , in the eyes of his fanatical supporters, at least, are like water on the back of a duck. ( -- For the record, according to the Washington Post , as of early August, President Trump has made some 4,229 false claims, which amount to 7.6 a day, since his inauguration.)

Is Trump a New Kind of Fascist?

2- Show Politics and public affairs as a form of entertainment

Donald Trump does not seem to take politics and public affairs very seriously, at least when his own personal interests are involved. Therefore, when things go bad, he never volunteers to take personal responsibility, contrary to what a true leader would do, and he conveniently shifts the blame on somebody else. This is a sign of immaturity or cowardice. Paraphrasing President Harry Truman, "the buck never stops at his desk."

Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians.

3- Trump VS the media and the journalists

Donald Trump is the first U.S. president who rarely holds scheduled press conferences. Why would he, since he considers journalists to be his "enemies"! It doesn't seem to matter to him that freedom of the press is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution by the First Amendment. He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication.

The ABC News network has calculated that, as of last July, Trump has tweeted more than 3,500 times, slightly more than seven tweets a day. How could he have time left to do anything productive! Coincidently, Donald Trump's number of tweets is not far away from the number of outright lies and misleading claims that he has told and made since his inauguration. The Washington Post has counted no less than 3,251 lies or misleading claims of his, through the end of May of this year, -- an average of 6.5 such misstatements per day of his presidency. Fun fact: Trump seems to accelerate the pace of his lies. Last year, he told 5.5 lies per day, on average. Is it possible to have a more cynical view of politics!

The media in general, (and not only American ones), then serve more or less voluntarily as so many resonance boxes for his daily 'tweets', most of which are often devoid of any thought and logic.

Such a practice has the consequence of demeaning the public discourse in the pursuit of the common good and the general welfare of the people to the level of a frivolous private enterprise, where expertise, research and competence can easily be replaced by improvisation, whimsical arbitrariness and charlatanry. In such a climate, only the short run counts, at the expense of planning for the long run.

Conclusion

All this leads to this conclusion: Trump's approach is not the way to run an efficient government. Notwithstanding the U.S. Constitution and what it says about the need to have " checks and balance s" among different government branches, President Donald Trump has de facto pushed aside the U.S. Congress and the civil servants in important government Departments, even his own Cabinet , whose formal meetings under Trump have been little more than photo-up happenings, to grab the central political stage for himself. If such a development does not represent an ominous threat to American democracy, what does?

The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones.

*

This article was originally published on the author's blog site: rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com .

International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book " The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles ", and of "The New American Empire" . Please visit Dr. Tremblay's sites : http://rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com/ and http://rodriguetremblay.blogspot.com/

[Sep 16, 2018] Perils of Ineptitude by Andrew Levin

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is less shame in being undone by a "master of deceit." When J. Edgar Hoover coined that description, he had Communists in mind. Back then, though, "Ruskies" and "Commies" – it was all the same. Americans were conditioned to live in fear that the Russians were coming. ..."
"... That nonsense should have ended when Communism more or less officially expired in 1989, followed two years later by the demise of the Soviet Union itself. For a long time, it seemed that it had. At first, the reaction in Western, especially American, political and media circles was triumphalist. The war was over and our side won. Beneath the surface, however, there was mourning in America. ..."
"... With the Cold War, the death merchants, the masters of war, the neocons, and a host of others had had a good thing going. Having been born into it, the political class was comfortable with the status quo too; and generations of Americans had grown up imbibing Russophobia in their mother's milk (or infant formula). ..."
"... Before long, it became clear that our economic and political masters had nothing to worry about, that Cold War anti-Communism was more robust than Communism itself. ..."
"... That suited Bill Clinton and his First Lady, the former Goldwater Girl. Boris Yeltsin, Russia's leader, was their man. He was a godsend, a Trump-like cartoon character and a drunkard to boot – with an economy in tatters, and no rightwing base egging him on. ..."
"... The time was therefore right for a return of the repressed -- for full-blooded, fifties-style, anti-Communist (= anti-Russian) hysteria, or, since that still seemed far-fetched, for anti-Communist (= anti-Chinese) hysteria. ..."
"... Exactly what "Putin," the shorthand name for all that is Russian and nefarious, did, or is still doing, remains unclear. But this does not seem to bother purveyors of the conventional wisdom. Neither is ostensibly informed public opinion fazed by the fact that the evidence supporting the consensus view comes mainly from American intelligence services and from their counterparts in the UK and other allied nations. ..."
"... How ironic therefore that nowadays it is mainly bamboozled Trump supporters in the Fox News demographic -- people who could care less about peace or, for that matter, about truth -- who are wary of the CIA and skeptical of the FBI's claims! ..."
"... They do not even seem to notice that what they allege, vague as it is, is trifling compared to the massive and very open meddling of American plutocrats, Republican vote suppressers and gerrymanderers, and the governments of supposedly friendly nations – like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, and Israel ..."
"... Cold War revivalists can therefore rest easy, confident that their propagandists will have at least a few facts with which they can work to restore the perils of their vanished youth. ..."
"... Even so, the level of their hypocrisy is appalling. Russia, along with former Soviet republics and former members of the Warsaw Pact, has been bearing the brunt of far worse American meddling for far longer than anything sanctimonious defenders of so-called American "democracy" can plausibly allege. ..."
"... Hypocrisy reigns here too. It was the Obama administration – run through with neocons, liberal imperialists, and other holdovers from Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State – that did all it could to exacerbate longstanding tensions between that country's Ukrainian and Russian speaking populations, the better to complete NATO's encirclement of the Russian federation. And it was American meddling that led to the empowerment of virulently anti-Russian, fascisant Ukrainian politicians, much to the detriment of Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east. ..."
"... The Cold War that began after World War II involved a clash of rival political economic systems. The Cold War that reignited a few years ago involves a clash of rival imperialist centers. Its world more nearly resembles the one that existed before World War I than the one that emerged after World War II. ..."
"... However, the difference may be more superficial than it seems. The ease with which Cold War revivalists have been able to get the Cold War up and running again, even without Communism, suggests what a few observers have long maintained -- that the Cold War, on Russia's part, had little, if anything, to do with spreading Communism around the world, and everything to do with maintaining a cordon sanitaire around Russia's borders in order to protect against a demonstrably aggressive "free world." ..."
"... That part of Brzezinski's plan was at least a partial success. But inasmuch as Bush's "they" are still there, still spreading murder and mayhem throughout the Greater Middle East, America and the world has been paying a high price for the benefits, such as they were, that ensued. ..."
"... The never-ending wars set in motion by the "pivot" towards radical Islamism decades ago never quite succeeded in producing an enemy as serviceable as the USSR. But now that Putin's Russia has been pressed into service, that problem is potentially "solved." ..."
"... Efforts to recycle Bush's "they hate our freedom" nonsense ought to be non-starters. But this is the best Cold War revivalists have come up with so far. The Russians, they say, simply cannot deal with the fact that we Americans are so damned free. ..."
"... From a geopolitical point of view, Russia does have an interest in doing all it can to ward off Western aggression. It also has an interest in undermining strategic alliances aimed at blocking anything and everything that challenges American supremacy. And, until sanity prevails in Washington and other Western capitals, it arguably also has an interest in aiding and abetting rightwing nationalists in order to exacerbate tensions within Western societies. ..."
"... Clinton is bad, but Trump is worse -- not just by most measures but by all. Her fondness for war and preparations for war was alarming; she was bellicosity personified. But it was plain even before the election that Trump, a mentally unhinged narcissist, would be even more likely than she to bring on massive devastation. A vote for Trump was and still is a vote for catastrophe. ..."
"... For now, though, the hard and very relevant fact is that Trump has done nothing to help, and quite a few things to harm, Russia. ..."
"... It isn't just ordinary Russians who have been made worse off. Trump has been at least as hard on oligarchs close to Putin as Clinton would have been. ..."
"... If those damned Russians were half as smart as they are made out to be, they would have realized long ago that, for getting anything done that bucks the tide, Trump is too inept to be of any use at all; and that anything he sets out to do is likely to turn out badly not just for America and its allies but for Russia too. ..."
Aug 03, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

There is less shame in being undone by a "master of deceit." When J. Edgar Hoover coined that description, he had Communists in mind. Back then, though, "Ruskies" and "Commies" – it was all the same. Americans were conditioned to live in fear that the Russians were coming.

That nonsense should have ended when Communism more or less officially expired in 1989, followed two years later by the demise of the Soviet Union itself. For a long time, it seemed that it had. At first, the reaction in Western, especially American, political and media circles was triumphalist. The war was over and our side won. Beneath the surface, however, there was mourning in America.

With the Cold War, the death merchants, the masters of war, the neocons, and a host of others had had a good thing going. Having been born into it, the political class was comfortable with the status quo too; and generations of Americans had grown up imbibing Russophobia in their mother's milk (or infant formula).

It turned out, though, that American triumphalism was only a phase. Before long, it became clear that our economic and political masters had nothing to worry about, that Cold War anti-Communism was more robust than Communism itself.

However, in the final days of Bush 41 and then at the dawn of the Clinton era, nobody knew that. Nobody gave America's propaganda system the credit it deserved.

Also, nobody quite realized how devastating Russia's regression to capitalism would be, and nobody quite grasped the savagery of the kleptocrats who had taken charge of what remained of the Russian state.

For more than a decade, the situation in that late great superpower was too dire to sustain the old fears and animosities. Capitalism had made Russia wretched again.

That suited Bill Clinton and his First Lady, the former Goldwater Girl. Boris Yeltsin, Russia's leader, was their man. He was a godsend, a Trump-like cartoon character and a drunkard to boot – with an economy in tatters, and no rightwing base egging him on.

But anti-Communism (without Communism) and its close cousin, Russophobia, could not remain in remission forever. The need for them was too great.

In the Age of Obama, the Global War on Terror, with or without that ludicrous Bush 43-era name, wasn't cutting it anymore. It was, and still is, good for keeping America's perpetual war regime going and for undoing civil liberties, but there had never been much glory in it, only endless misery for all. Also it was getting old and increasingly easy to see through.

The time was therefore right for a return of the repressed -- for full-blooded, fifties-style, anti-Communist (= anti-Russian) hysteria, or, since that still seemed far-fetched, for anti-Communist (= anti-Chinese) hysteria.

This was not the only factor behind the Obama administration's "pivot towards Asia," its largely failed attempt to take China down a notch or two, but it was an important part of the story.

However, by the time Obama and his team decided to pivot, China had become too important to the United States economically to make a good Cold War enemy. Worse still, it had for too long been an object of pity and contempt, not fear.

When the Soviet Union was an enemy, China was an enemy too, most glaringly during the Korean War. It remained an enemy even after the Sino-Soviet split became too obvious to deny. However, unlike post-1917 Russia, it had never quite become an historical foe.

Moreover, as Russia began to recover from the Yeltsin era, the Russian political class, and many of the oligarchs behind them, sensing the popular mood, decided that the time was ripe "to make Russia great again." Putin is not so much a cause as he is a symptom – and symbol – of this aspiration.

And so, there it was: the longed for new Cold War would be much like the one that seemed over a quarter century ago.

***

As everyone who has seen, heard or read anything about the 2016 election "knows," Russian intelligence services (= Putin) meddled. Everyone also "knows" that, with midterm elections looming, they are at it again.

This, according to the mainstream consensus view, is a bona fide casus belli , a justification for war. To be sure, what they want is a war that remains cold; ending life on earth, as we know it, is not on their agenda.

But inasmuch as cold wars can easily turn hot, this hardly mitigates the recklessness of their machinations. Humankind was extraordinarily lucky last time; there is no guarantee that all that luck will hold.

Exactly what "Putin," the shorthand name for all that is Russian and nefarious, did, or is still doing, remains unclear. But this does not seem to bother purveyors of the conventional wisdom. Neither is ostensibly informed public opinion fazed by the fact that the evidence supporting the consensus view comes mainly from American intelligence services and from their counterparts in the UK and other allied nations.

Time was when anyone with any sense understood that these intelligence services, the American ones especially, are second to none in meddling in the affairs of other nations, and that the American national security state – essentially our political police -- is comprised, by design, of liars and deceivers.

How ironic therefore that nowadays it is mainly bamboozled Trump supporters in the Fox News demographic -- people who could care less about peace or, for that matter, about truth -- who are wary of the CIA and skeptical of the FBI's claims!

Try as they might, the manufacturers and guardians of conventional wisdom have so far been unable to concoct a plausible story in which Russian meddling affected the outcome of the 2016 election in any serious way. The idea that the Russians defeated Hillary, not Hillary herself, is, to borrow a phrase from Jeremy Bentham, "nonsense on stilts." Leading Democrats and their media flacks don't seem to mind that either.

They do not even seem to notice that what they allege, vague as it is, is trifling compared to the massive and very open meddling of American plutocrats, Republican vote suppressers and gerrymanderers, and the governments of supposedly friendly nations – like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, and Israel.

Nevertheless, it probably is true that the Russians meddled. Cold War revivalists can therefore rest easy, confident that their propagandists will have at least a few facts with which they can work to restore the perils of their vanished youth.

Even so, the level of their hypocrisy is appalling. Russia, along with former Soviet republics and former members of the Warsaw Pact, has been bearing the brunt of far worse American meddling for far longer than anything sanctimonious defenders of so-called American "democracy" can plausibly allege.

Moreover, it should go without saying that the democracy they purport to care so much about has almost nothing to do with "the rule of the demos." It doesn't even have much to do with free and fair competitive elections – unless "free and fair" means that anything goes, so long as the principals and perpetrators are homegrown or citizens of favored nations.

Self-righteous posturing aside, Putin's real sin in the eyes of the American power elite is that, in his own small way, he has been defying America's "right" to run the world as it sees fit.

When Clinton was president, Serbia did that, and lived to regret it. Cuba has been suffering for nearly six decades for the same reason, and now Venezuela is paying its dues. The empire is merciless towards nations that rebel.

With Soviet support and then with sheer determination and grit, Cuba has been able to withstand the onslaught to some extent from Day One. Venezuela may not be so lucky – especially now that Republicans and Democrats feel threatened by the growing number of "democratic socialists" in their midst. Already, the propaganda system is targeting Venezuelan "socialism," blaming it for that country's woes, and warning that if our newly minted, homegrown socialists prevail, a similar fate will be in store for us.

This is ludicrous, of course – American hostility and the vagaries of the global oil market deserve the lion's share of the blame. But the on-going propaganda blitz could nevertheless pave the way for horrors ahead, should Trump decide to start a war America could actually win.

Inconsequential Russian meddling is a big deal on the "liberal" cable networks, on NPR, and in the "quality" press. Democrats and a few Republicans love to bleat on about it. But it is Ukraine that made Russia our "adversary" and its president Public Enemy Number One.

Hypocrisy reigns here too. It was the Obama administration – run through with neocons, liberal imperialists, and other holdovers from Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State – that did all it could to exacerbate longstanding tensions between that country's Ukrainian and Russian speaking populations, the better to complete NATO's encirclement of the Russian federation. And it was American meddling that led to the empowerment of virulently anti-Russian, fascisant Ukrainian politicians, much to the detriment of Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east.

But never mind: Putin – that is, the Russia government – violated international law by sending troops briefly into beleaguered Russian-speaking parts of the country. That they were generally welcomed by the people living there is of no importance.

Worst of all, Russia annexed Crimea – a territory integral to the Russian empire since the eighteenth century. Since long before the Russian Revolution, Crimea has been home to a huge naval base vital to Russia's strategic defense.

The story line back in the day was that anything that could be described as Russian aggression outside the Soviet Union's agreed upon sphere of influence had to do with spreading Communism. In fact, the Soviets did everything they could to keep Communist and other insurgencies from upending the status quo. The mainstream narrative was wrong.

Now Communism is gone and nothing has taken its place. Even so, the idea that Russia has designs on its neighbors for ideological reasons is hard to shake – in part because it is actively promoted by propagandists who have suddenly and uncharacteristically become defenders of international law.

Meanwhile, of course, the hypocrisies keep piling on. It is practically a tenet of the American civil religion that international law applies to others, not to the United States. This is why, when it suits some perceived purpose, America flaunts its violations shamelessly.

Thus nothing the Russians did or are ever likely to do comes close to the shenanigans Bill Clinton displayed – successfully, for the most part – in his efforts to tear Kosovo away from Serbia. Clinton even went so far as to bomb Belgrade; Putin never bombed Kiev.

The Cold War that began after World War II involved a clash of rival political economic systems. The Cold War that reignited a few years ago involves a clash of rival imperialist centers. Its world more nearly resembles the one that existed before World War I than the one that emerged after World War II.

However, the difference may be more superficial than it seems. The ease with which Cold War revivalists have been able to get the Cold War up and running again, even without Communism, suggests what a few observers have long maintained -- that the Cold War, on Russia's part, had little, if anything, to do with spreading Communism around the world, and everything to do with maintaining a cordon sanitaire around Russia's borders in order to protect against a demonstrably aggressive "free world."

George W. Bush claimed that 9/11 happened because "they hate our freedom." "They" would be radical Islamists of the kind stirred into action in Afghanistan by Zbigniew Brzezinski and his co-thinkers in the Carter administration. Their objective was to undermine the Soviet Union by getting it bogged down in a quagmire like the one that did so much harm to the United States in Vietnam.

That part of Brzezinski's plan was at least a partial success. But inasmuch as Bush's "they" are still there, still spreading murder and mayhem throughout the Greater Middle East, America and the world has been paying a high price for the benefits, such as they were, that ensued.

The never-ending wars set in motion by the "pivot" towards radical Islamism decades ago never quite succeeded in producing an enemy as serviceable as the USSR. But now that Putin's Russia has been pressed into service, that problem is potentially "solved."

However, the American public is not as naïve as it used to be, and it is impossible to say, at this point, how well this new story line will work.

Efforts to recycle Bush's "they hate our freedom" nonsense ought to be non-starters. But this is the best Cold War revivalists have come up with so far. The Russians, they say, simply cannot deal with the fact that we Americans are so damned free.

It is hard to believe, but there are people who are actually buying this but, with a lot of corporate media assistance, there are. No matter how clear it is that they are not worth being taken seriously, Cold War mythologies just won't die.

However, it is worth pondering why today's Russia would do what it is alleged to have done; and why, as is also alleged, it is still doing it.

From a geopolitical point of view, Russia does have an interest in doing all it can to ward off Western aggression. It also has an interest in undermining strategic alliances aimed at blocking anything and everything that challenges American supremacy. And, until sanity prevails in Washington and other Western capitals, it arguably also has an interest in aiding and abetting rightwing nationalists in order to exacerbate tensions within Western societies.

However, in view of prevailing power relations, these are interests it cannot do much to advance. Acting as if this were not the case only puts Russia in a bad light -- not for meddling, but for meddling stupidly.

No doubt, for reasons both fair and foul, Putin wanted Hillary to lose the election two years ago. So, but for one little problem, would anyone whose head is screwed on right. That problem's name is Donald Trump.

Clinton is bad, but Trump is worse -- not just by most measures but by all. Her fondness for war and preparations for war was alarming; she was bellicosity personified. But it was plain even before the election that Trump, a mentally unhinged narcissist, would be even more likely than she to bring on massive devastation. A vote for Trump was and still is a vote for catastrophe.

Putin's enemy was Trump's enemy, and it is axiomatic that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" -- except sometimes it isn't. Sometimes, my enemy's enemy is an enemy far worse.

For reasons that remain obscure, Putin and Trump seem to have a "thing" going on between them. Some day perhaps we will know what that is all about. For now, though, the hard and very relevant fact is that Trump has done nothing to help, and quite a few things to harm, Russia.

It isn't just ordinary Russians who have been made worse off. Trump has been at least as hard on oligarchs close to Putin as Clinton would have been.

If those damned Russians were half as smart as they are made out to be, they would have realized long ago that, for getting anything done that bucks the tide, Trump is too inept to be of any use at all; and that anything he sets out to do is likely to turn out badly not just for America and its allies but for Russia too.

Therefore, if there really was Russian meddling, as there probably was, Putin should be ashamed – not so much for the DNC reasons laid out 24/7 on MSNBC and CNN, but for overestimating Trump's abilities and for underestimating the extent to which what started out as a maneuver of Hillary Clinton's, concocted to excuse her incompetence, would take a perilously "viral" turn, becoming a major threat to peace in a political culture that never quite got beyond the lunacy of the First Cold War.

Andrew Levine is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Sep 10, 2018] A Diabolic False Flag Empire Is The American Trajectory Divine Or Demonic

Sep 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

A Diabolic False Flag Empire: Is The American Trajectory Divine Or Demonic?

by Tyler Durden Mon, 09/10/2018 - 02:00 25 SHARES Authored by Edward Curtin via EdwardCurtin.com,

The past is not dead; it is people who are sleeping . The current night and daymares that we are having arise out of murders lodged deep in our past that have continued into the present. No amount of feigned amnesia will erase the bloody truth of American history, the cheap grace we bestow upon ourselves.

We have, as Harold Pinter said in his Nobel address, been feeding on "a vast tapestry of lies" that surrounds us, lies uttered by nihilistic leaders and their media mouthpieces for a very long time. We have, or should have, bad consciences for not acknowledging being active or silent accomplices in the suppression of truth and the vicious murdering of millions at home and abroad.

But, as Pinter said,

"I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory."

No one is more emblematic of this noble effort than David Ray Griffin, who, in book after book since the attacks of 11 September 2001, has meticulously exposed the underside of the American empire and its evil masters. His persistence in trying to reach people and to warn them of the horrors that have resulted is extraordinary. Excluding his philosophical and theological works, this is his fifteenth book since 2004 on these grave issues of life and death and the future of the world.

In this masterful book, he provides a powerful historical argument that right from the start with the arrival of the first European settlers, this country, despite all the rhetoric about it having been divinely founded and guided, has been "more malign that benign, more demonic than divine." He chronologically presents this history, supported by meticulous documentation, to prove his thesis. In his previous book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World , Griffin cataloged the evil actions that flowed from the inside job/false flag attacks of September 11th, while in this one -- a prequel -- he offers a lesson in American history going back centuries, and he shows that one would be correct in calling the United States a "false flag empire."

The attacks of 11 September 2001 are the false flag fulcrum upon which his two books pivot. Their importance cannot be overestimated, not just for their inherent cruelty that resulted in thousands of innocent American deaths, but since they became the justification for the United States' ongoing murderous campaigns termed "the war on terror" that have brought death to millions of people around the world. An international array of expendable people. Terrifying as they were, and were meant to be, they have many precedents, although much of this history is hidden in the shadows. Griffin shines a bright light on them, with most of his analysis focused on the years 1850-2018.

As a theological and philosophical scholar, he is well aware of the great importance of society's need for religious legitimation for its secular authority, a way to offer its people a shield against terror and life's myriad fears through a protective myth that has been used successfully by the United States to terrorize others. He shows how the terms by which the U.S. has been legitimated as God's "chosen nation" and Americans as God's "chosen people" have changed over the years as secularization and pluralism have made inroads. The names have changed, but the meaning has not. God is on our side, and when that is so, the other side is cursed and can be killed by God's people, who are always battling el diabalo.

He exemplifies this by opening with a quote from George Washington's first Inaugural Address where Washington speaks of "the Invisible Hand" and "Providential agency" guiding the country, and by ending with Obama saying "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being." In between we hear Andrew Jackson say that "Providence has showered on this favored land blessings without number" and Henry Cabot Lodge in 1900 characterize America's divine mission as "manifest destiny." The American religion today is American Exceptionalism, an updated euphemism for the old-fashioned "God's New Israel" or the "Redeemer Nation."

At the core of this verbiage lies the delusion that the United States, as a blessed and good country, has a divine mission to spread "democracy" and "freedom" throughout the world, as Hilary Clinton declared during the 2016 presidential campaign when she said that "we are great because we are good," and in 2004 when George W. Bush said, "Like generations before us, we have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom." Such sentiments could only be received with sardonic laughter by the countless victims made "free" by America's violent leaders, now and then, as Griffin documents.

Having established the fact of America's claim to divine status, he then walks the reader through various thinkers who have taken sides on the issue of the United States being benign or malign. This is all preliminary to the heart of the book, which is a history lesson documenting the malignancy at the core of the American trajectory.

"American imperialism is often said to have begun in 1898, when Cuba and the Philippines were the main prizes," he begins. "What was new at this time, however, was only that America took control of countries beyond the North American continent."

The "divine right" to seize others' lands and kill them started long before, and although no seas were crossed in the usual understanding of imperialism, the genocide of Native Americans long preceded 1898. So too did the "manifest destiny" that impelled war with Mexico and the seizure of its land and the expansion west to the Pacific. This period of empire building depended heavily on the "other great crime against humanity" that was the slave trade, wherein it is estimated that 10 million Africans died, in addition to the sick brutality of slavery itself. "No matter how brutal the methods, Americans were instruments of divine purposes," writes Griffin. And, he correctly adds, it is not even true that America's overseas imperialistic ventures only started in 1898, for in the 1850s Commodore Perry forced "the haughty Japanese" to open their ports to American commerce through gunboat diplomacy.

Then in 1898 the pace of overseas imperial expansion picked up dramatically with what has been called "The Spanish-American War" that resulted in the seizure of Cuba and the Philippines and the annexing of Hawaii. Griffin says these wars could more accurately be termed "the wars to take Spanish colonies." His analysis of the brutality and arrogance of these actions makes the reader realize that My Lai and other more recent atrocities have a long pedigree that is part of an institutional structure, and while Filipinos and Cubans and so many others were being slaughtered, Griffin writes, "Anticipating Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's declaration that 'we don't do empire,' [President] McKinley said that imperialism is 'foreign to the temper and genius of this free and generous people.'"

Then as now, perhaps mad laughter is the only response to such unadulterated bullshit, as Griffin quotes Mark Twain saying that it would be easy creating a flag for the Philippines:

We can have just our usual flag, with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones.

That would have also worked for Columbia, Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua, and other countries subjugated under the ideology of the Monroe Doctrine; wherever freedom and national independence raised its ugly head, the United States was quick to intervene with its powerful anti-revolutionary military and its financial bullying. In the Far East the "Open Door" policy was used to loot China, Japan, and other countries.

But all this was just the beginning. Griffin shows how Woodrow Wilson, the quintessentially devious and treacherous liberal Democrat, who claimed he wanted to keep America out of WW I, did just the opposite to make sure the U.S. would come to dominate the foreign markets his capitalist masters demanded. Thus Griffin explores how Wilson conspired with Winston Churchill to use the sinking of the Lusitania as a casus belli and how the Treaty of Versailles's harsh treatment of Germany set the stage for WW II.

He tells us how in the intervening years between the world wars the demonization of Russia and the new Soviet Union was started. This deprecation of Russia, which is roaring at full-throttle today, is a theme that recurs throughout The American Trajectory. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. Wilson called the Bolshevik government "a government by terror," and in 1918 "sent thousands of troops into northern and eastern Russia, leaving them there until 1920."

That the U. S. invaded Russia is a fact rarely mentioned and even barely known to Americans. Perhaps awareness of it and the century-long demonizing of the U.S.S.R./Russia would enlighten those who buy the current anti-Russia propaganda called "Russiagate."

To match that "divine" act of imperial intervention abroad, Wilson fomented the Red Scare at home, which, as Griffin says, had lasting and incalculable importance because it created the American fear of radical thought and revolution that exists to this very day and serves as a justification for supporting brutal dictators around the world and crackdowns on freedom at home (as is happening today).

He gives us brief summaries of some dictators the U.S has supported, and reminds us of the saying of that other liberal Democrat, Franklin Roosevelt, who famously said of the brutal Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, that "he may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he's our son-of-a-bitch." And thus Somoza would terrorize his own people for 43 years. The same took place in Cuba, Chile, Iran, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, etc. The U.S. also supported Mussolini, did nothing to prevent Franco's fascist toppling of the Spanish Republic, and supported the right-wing government of Chiang-Kai Shek in its efforts to dominate China.

It is a very dark and ugly history that confirms the demonic nature of American actions around the world.

Then Griffin explodes the many myths about the so-called "Good War" -- WW II. He explains the lies told about the Japanese "surprise" attack on Pearl Harbor; how Roosevelt wished to get the U.S. into the war, both in the Pacific and in Europe; and how much American economic self-interest lay behind it. He critiques the myth that America selflessly wished to defend freedom loving people in their battles with brutal, fascist regimes. That, he tells us, is but a small part of the story:

This, however, is not an accurate picture of American policies during the Second World War. Many people were, to be sure, liberated from terrible tyrannies by the Allied victories. But the fact that these people benefited was an incidental outcome, not a motive of American policies. These policies, as [Andrew] Bacevich discovered, were based on 'unflagging self-interest.'

Then there are the conventional and atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nothing could be more demonic, as Griffin shows. If these cold-blooded mass massacres of civilians and the lies told to justify them don't convince a reader that there has long been something radically evil at the heart of American history, nothing will. Griffin shows how Truman and his advisers and top generals, including Dwight Eisenhower and Admiral William D. Leahy, Truman's Chief of Staff, knew the dropping of the atomic bombs were unnecessary to end the war, but they did so anyway.

He reminds us of Clinton's Secretary of State Madeline Albright's response to the question whether she thought the deaths of more than 500, 000 Iraqi children as a result of Clinton's crippling economic sanctions were worth it: "But, yes, we think the price is worth it." (Notice the "is," the ongoing nature of these war crimes, as she spoke.) But this is the woman who also said, "We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall "

Griffin devotes other chapters to the creation of the Cold War, American imperialism during the Cold War, Post-Cold War interventions, the Vietnam War, the drive for global dominance, and false flag operations, among other topics.

As for false flag operations, he says, "Indeed, the trajectory of the American Empire has relied so heavily on these types of attacks that one could describe it as a false flag empire." In the false flag chapter and throughout the book, he discusses many of the false flags the U.S. has engaged in, including Operation Gladio, the U.S./NATO terrorist operation throughout Europe that Swiss historian Daniele Ganser has extensively documented, an operation meant to discredit communists and socialists. Such operations were directly connected to the OSS, the CIA and its director Allen Dulles, his henchman James Jesus Angleton, and their Nazi accomplices, such as General Reinhard Gehlen. In one such attack in 1980 at the Bologna, Italy railway station, these U.S. terrorists killed 85 people and wounded 20 others. As with the bombs dropped by Saudi Arabia today on Yemeni school children, the explosive used was made for the U.S. military. About these documented U.S. atrocities, Griffin says:

These revelations show the falsity of an assumption widely held by Americans. While recognizing that the US military sometimes does terrible things to their enemies, most Americans have assumed that US military leaders would not order the killing of innocent civilians in allied countries for political purposes. Operation Gladio showed this assumption to be false.

He is right, but I would add that the leaders behind this were civilian, as much as, or more than military.

In the case of "Operation Northwoods," it was the Joint Chiefs of Staff who presented to President Kennedy this false flag proposal that would provide justification for a U.S. invasion of Cuba. It would have involved the killing of American citizens on American soil, bombings, plane hijacking, etc. President Kennedy considered such people and such plans insane, and he rejected it as such. His doing so tells us much, for many other presidents would have approved it. And again, how many Americans are aware of this depraved proposal that is documented and easily available? How many even want to contemplate it? For the need to remain in denial of the facts of history and believe in the essential goodness of America's rulers is a very hard nut to crack. Griffin has written a dozen books about 11 September 2001, trying to do exactly that.

If one is willing to embrace historical facts, however, then this outstanding book will open one's eyes to the long-standing demonic nature of the actions of America's rulers. A reader cannot come away from its lucidly presented history unaffected, unless one lives in a self-imposed fantasy world. The record is clear, and Griffin lays it out in all its graphic horror. Which is not to say that the U.S. has not "done both good and bad things, so it could not sensibly be called purely divine or purely demonic." Questions of purity are meant to obfuscate basic truths. And the question he asks in his subtitle -- Divine or Demonic? -- is really a rhetorical question, and when it comes to the "trajectory" of American history, the demonic wins hands down.

I would be remiss if I didn't point out one place where Griffin fails the reader. In his long chapter on Vietnam, which is replete with excellent facts and analyses, he makes a crucial mistake, which is unusual for him. This mistake appears in a four page section on President Kennedy's policies on Vietnam. In those pages, Griffin relies on Noam Chomsky's terrible book -- Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture (1993), a book wherein Chomsky shows no regard for evidence or facts -- to paint Kennedy as being in accord with his advisers, the CIA, and the military regarding Vietnam. This is factually false. Griffin should have been more careful and have understood this. The truth is that Kennedy was besieged and surrounded by these demonic people, who were intent on isolating him, disregarding his instructions, and murdering him to achieve their goals in Vietnam. In the last year of his life, JFK had taken a radical turn toward peace-making, not only in Vietnam, but with the Soviet Union, Cuba, and around the globe. Such a turn was anathema to the war lovers. Thus he had to die. Contrary to Chomsky's deceptions, motivated by his hatred of Kennedy and perhaps something more sinister (he also backs the Warren Commission, thinks JFK's assassination was no big deal, and accepts the patently false official version of the attacks of 11 September 2001), Griffin should have emphatically asserted that Kennedy had issued NSAM 263 on October 11, 1963 calling for the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, and that after he was assassinated a month later, Lyndon Johnson reversed that withdrawal order with NSAM 273. Chomsky notwithstanding, all the best scholarship and documentary evidence proves this. And for Griffin, a wonderful scholar, to write that with the change from Kennedy to Johnson that "this change of presidents would bring no basic change in policy" is so shockingly wrong that I imagine Griffin, a man passionate about truth, simply slipped up and got sloppy here. For nothing could be further from the truth.

Ironically, Griffin makes a masterful case for his thesis, while forgetting the one pivotal man, President John Kennedy, who sacrificed his life in an effort to change the trajectory of American history from its demonic course.

It is one mistake in an otherwise very important and excellent book that should be required reading for anyone who doubts the evil nature of this country's continuing foreign policy. Those who are already convinced should also read it, for it provides a needed historical resource and impetus to help change the trajectory that is transporting the world toward nuclear oblivion, if continued.

If -- a fantastic wish! -- The American Trajectory: Divine or Demonic ? were required reading in American schools and colleges, perhaps a new generation would arise to change our devils into angels, the arc of America's future moral universe


CHX13 ,

For many decades, the US has been preying upon the ROTW via the petro-$. The late $trength will prove it$ ultimate downfall, IMHO. The world is imploding as we speak. Too much bad debt all over, tens if not hundred of trillions in the US and the ROTW combined. US debt 21T plus (21T that is unaccounted for) plus 100+ T unfunded liabilities and a totally pension system on the verge of collapse etc etc etc and this is the "good ol' U S(S) of A... No need to pull China or Europe through the meat grinder, there's plenty of unsolved (read "unsolvable") problems at home already. No finger pointing needed, the US is a wolf in sheepskin, that's for sure. There's a lot of good-natured folk in the US though that simply have no clue whatsoever about what is about to be going down. I feel sorry for them, they really believe in "their duty for the country", in "liberty and justice for all" et al. Things that once made the US indeed great, but that was lost many many many moons ago. So I'd say divinely diabolic. #So sad.

Adolfsteinbergovitch ,

A country is exceptional, until it isn't any longer.

khnum ,

Reuters has just run a story International criminal court judges at the Hague will face heavy sanctions if they investigate American war crimes in Afghanistan,lawlessness next stop perdition.

The matrix has u ,

That would be right. Americunt "Exceptionalism" still at work.

[Sep 02, 2018] Open letter to President Trump concerning the consequences of 11 September 2001 by Thierry Meyssan

Highly recommended!
Aug 30, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

Mister President,

The crimes of 11 September 2001 have never been judged in your country. I am writing to you as a French citizen, the first person to denounce the inconsistencies of the official version and to open the world to the debate and the search for the real perpetrators.

In a criminal court, as the jury, we have to determine whether the suspect presented to us is guilty or not, and eventually, to decide what punishment he should receive. When we suffered the events of 9/11, the Bush Junior administration told us that the guilty party was Al-Qaïda, and the punishment they should receive was the overthrow of those who had helped them – the Afghan Taliban, then the Iraqi régime of Saddam Hussein.

However, there is a weight of evidence which attests to the impossibility of this thesis. If we were members of a jury, we would have to declare objectively that the Taliban and the régime of Saddam Hussein were innocent of this crime. Of course, this alone would not enable us to name the real culprits, and we would thus be frustrated. But we could not conceive of condemning parties innocent of such a crime simply because we have not known how, or not been able, to find the guilty parties.

We all understood that certain senior personalities were lying when the Secretary of State for Justice and Director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, revealed the names of the 19 presumed hijackers, because we already had in front of us the lists disclosed by the airline companies of all of the passengers embarked - lists on which none of the suspects were mentioned.

From there, we became suspicious of the " Continuity of Government ", the instance tasked with taking over from the elected authorities if they should be killed during a nuclear confrontation. We advanced the hypothesis that these attacks masked a coup d'état, in conformity with Edward Luttwak's method of maintaining the appearance of the Executive, but imposing a different policy.

In the days following 9/11, the Bush administration made several decisions:

- the creation of the Office of Homeland Security and the vote for a voluminous anti-terrorist Code which had been drawn up long beforehand, the USA Patriot Act. For affairs which the administration itself qualifies as " terrorist ", this text suspends the Bill of Rights which was the glory of your country. It unbalances your institutions. Two centuries later, it validates the triumph of the great landowners who wrote the Constitution, and the defeat of the heroes of the War of Independence who demanded that the Bill of Rights must be added.

- The Secretary for Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, created the Office of Force Transformation, under the command of Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, who immediately presented a programme, conceived a long time earlier, planning for the control of access to the natural resources of the countries of the geopolitical South. He demanded the destruction of State and social structures in the half of the world which was not yet globalised. Simultaneously, the Director of the CIA launched the " Worldwide Attack Matrix ", a package of secret operations in 85 countries where Rumsfeld and Cebrowski intended to destroy the State structures. Considering that only those countries whose economies were globalised would remain stable, and that the others would be destroyed, the men from 9/11 placed US armed forces in the service of transnational financial interests. They betrayed your country and transformed it into the armed wing of these predators.

For the last 17 years, we have witnessed what is being given to your compatriots by the government of the successors of those who drew up the Constitution and opposed at that time - without success – the Bill of Rights. These rich men have become the super-rich, while the middle class has been reduced by a fifth and poverty has increased.

We have also seen the implementation of the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski strategy – phoney " civil wars " have devastated almost all of the Greater Middle East. Entire cities have been wiped from the map, from Afghanistan to Libya, via Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who were not themselves at war.

In 2001, only two US citizens denounced the incoherence of the Bush version, two real estate promoters – the Democrat Jimmy Walter, who was forced into exile, and yourself, who entered into politics and was elected President.

In 2011, we saw the commander of AfriCom relieved of his mission and replaced by NATO for having refused to support Al-Qaïda in the liquidation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Then we saw NATO's LandCom organise Western support for jihadists in general and Al-Qaïda in particular in their attempt to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic.

So the jihadists, who were considered as " freedom fighters " against the Soviets, then as " terrorists " after 9/11, once again became the allies of the deep state, which, in fact, they have always been.

So, with an immense upsurge of hope, we have watched your actions to suppress, one by one, all support for the jihadists. It is with the same hope that we see today that you are talking with your Russian counterpart in order to bring back life to the devastated Middle East. And it is with equal anxiety that we see Robert Mueller, now a special prosecutor, pursuing the destruction of your homeland by attacking your position.

Mister President, not only are you and your compatriots suffering from the diarchy which has sneaked into power in your country since the coup d'état of 11 September 2001, but the whole world is a victim.

Mister President, 9/11 is not ancient history. It is the triumph of transnational interests which are crushing not only your people, but all of humanity which aspires to freedom.

Thierry Meyssan brought to the world stage the debate on the real perpetrators of 11 September 2001. He has worked as a political analyst alongside Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mouamar Kadhafi. He is today a political refugee in Syria.

Thierry Meyssan

See : Memoranda for the President on 9/11: Time for the Truth -- False Flag Deep State Truth! , by : Kevin Barrett; Scott Bennett; Christopher Bollyn; Fred Burks; Steve De'ak; A. K. Dewdney; Gordon Duff; Aero Engineer; Greg Felton; James Fetzer; Richard Gage; Tom-Scott Gordon; David Ray Griffin; Sander Hicks; T. Mark Hightower; Barbara Honegger; Eric Hufschmid; Ed Jewett; Nicholas Kollerstrom; John Lear; Susan Lindauer; Joe Olson; Peter Dale Scott; Robert David Steele; and indirectly, Victor Thorn and Judy Wood.

Thierry Meyssan Political consultant, President-founder of the Réseau Voltaire ( Voltaire Network ). Latest work in French – Sous nos Yeux. Du 11-Septembre à Donald Trump (Right Before our Eyes. From 9/11 to Donald Trump).

[Sep 02, 2018] Through the Looking Glass Falsely- A World Without Facts by Gordon M. Hahn

Notable quotes:
"... THE US carries out and encourages 'active measures' in EURASIA to destabilise and confuse governments and societies. But these are often opportunistic and shaped by local conditions. There is no grand strategy, beyond weakening the EEU, CSTO, SCO and creating a more conducive environment for itself. ..."
"... "This involves a wide range of actors, from officials and the media, through military threats, to business lobbies and spies. Russia pursues different priorities in different countries. This is largely determined by the correlation between the strength of countries' national institutions and their vulnerability to WESTERN influence. ..."
"... "Nonetheless, there is an effort to coordinate certain operations across platforms. Insofar as there is a command-and-control node, it is within the WHITE HOUSE, which is perhaps the most important single organ within the US's INCREASINGLY de-institutionalised state: POLITICIZED INTELLIGENCE, PRESIDENTIAL VIOLATIONS OF CONSTITUTION, CORRUPTION BENEFITTING FAMILY AND FRIENDS, ETC. ..."
"... "Without giving up hope of persuading WASHINGTON to change its policies DEMOCRACY-PROMOTION AND DESTABILIZING COLOR REVOLUTION POLICIES, RUSSIA AND EURASIA must nonetheless address its own vulnerabilities: 'fixing the roof' rather than simply hoping the rain will stop. Among other things, this includes addressing democratic backsliding in parts of the continent ..."
"... A breakthrough arrived in August 2008 with the five-day Russo-Georgian War. Provoked by widespread Western condemnation of Russia's invasion of Georgia, Russia Today shot back with highly defensive, pro-Russian coverage of the conflict, framing Georgia as the aggressor against the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.13 In particular, its false reports of genocide in Ossetia by the Georgians captured international attention for their brazenness and cemented the network's reputation as a mouthpiece of the Kremlin.14 Ultimately, an EU post-mortem report revealed that responsibility for the conflict had been divided between Georgian initiative and a disproportionate Russian response; neither the Western nor Russian narratives about the war had been factually accurate.15 However, Russia Today remained unrepentant about its bias, claiming that it had been an intentional stratagem to counter the anti-Russian bias of Western media. Margarita Simonyan proudly declared that Russia Today gained greater international visibility and recognition for being the only English-language outlet 'giving the other side of the story – the South Ossetian side'.16 ..."
Sep 02, 2018 | gordonhahn.com

As the West has turned more and more to Soviet/Russian methods of the 'big lie' in order to advance democracy and its interests, the Russia-West propaganda war had produced a post-fact world in which disinformation comes to be believed by its purveyors. Both sides, forgetting the previous disinformation and lies from the most recent crisis of the day, reiterate their previous claims as part of the reason for believing the next series of disinformation and lies surrounding the current crisis of the day. This process of propaganda plague has filled the fake news on both sides of the Atlantic since Georgia through Syria, Ukraine, Syria, Skrypal, Syria again. Russia has its RT and state television; the US has RFERL and state-tied mass media across the West.

To be sure, the West has a problem with promoting a united message with messy changes of ruling parties and presidents and the like, but these are usually papered over rather easily.

Obama promised a 'reset' but behind the scenes the administration was backing the financing of revolutionary forces in Yanukovych's Ukraine. What followed was the lie of the century so far: that Yanukovych deployed Berkut snipers on 20 February 2014 to shoot 100 demonstrators on the Maidan, sparking and more than justifying his overthrow. In reality -- and the evidence is now overwhelming -- the Maidan revolution's neofascist elements organized and executed the snipers' massacre firing at both police and demonstrators and then using the anger and chaos to seize power in the name of the Maidan demonstrators but in the interests of oligarchs and neofascists that hijacked the significantly Western-seeded and -funded movement.

The Maidan is one of the few proven lies -- another is Putin's 'operational' lie that the 'polite little green men' of March 2014 Crimea were not Russian soldiers. Another is Russian state television news' claim that an ethnic Russian boy had been crucified by Ukrainians during the Donbass civil war. There many others. A Ukrainian propagandist claimed early in the Donbass civil war that thousands of bodies had been found in a lake in rebel-occupied territories in the Donbass, implying that they had been killed by the rebels and/or Russians. This piece of disinformation contained no other 'information' and no source and was never reported again. For most all of the remaining lies, truth is a function performed by which 'facts' one's political orientation prefers. In such a world, the truth is all but unattainable because facts are unattainable as well.

The problem is that system's built on lies are vulnerable to collapse upon revelation of the truth. Even in the post-fact world, some will seek the truth and the true facts. Therefore, lies can sweep a problem under the rug temporarily, but sooner or later facts threaten to expose the dirt. Meanwhile, the first lie may require further lies to maintain the fiction and eventually one's true statements will begin to be taken as more lies.

As authoritarian regimes have constructed a democratic facade and democratic regimes degenerate towards authoritarianism, the disinformation imperative renders the still substantial differences imperceptible. The fact that the Russians have gotten better at lying and disinformation compared with their Soviet predecessors and that the West has thrown to the wind any past compunctions it may have had about manufacturing facts has brought the two sides closer together in the information sphere. Andrei Sakharov envisaged a different kind of convergence in which the best in capitalism and socialism would merge to form a more perfect system. Instead, the worst of Eastern disinformation and Western strategic communications and marketing have converged to create an almost impenetrable wall of distortions wrapped in falsehoods inside big lies. As a result, when a Westerner mirror-images Russia through the prism of his expectations from Western life, he or she no longer distorts but enlightens. A few years ago the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) published the following assessment of Russian reality. Interesting perhaps, but it was one-sided and therefore, to a great degree, funny stuff if in high demand. Let's turn it around a little bit as an object lesson on how in the disinformation age East has become West and West has become East. I WRITE IN CAPITALS WHERE I 'TURNED AROUND' ECFR'S TEXT REPLACING 'RUSSIA' AND THINGS RUSSIAN WITH 'THE US' AND THINGS AMERICAN:

" THE US carries out and encourages 'active measures' in EURASIA to destabilise and confuse governments and societies. But these are often opportunistic and shaped by local conditions. There is no grand strategy, beyond weakening the EEU, CSTO, SCO and creating a more conducive environment for itself.

"This involves a wide range of actors, from officials and the media, through military threats, to business lobbies and spies. Russia pursues different priorities in different countries. This is largely determined by the correlation between the strength of countries' national institutions and their vulnerability to WESTERN influence.

"Nonetheless, there is an effort to coordinate certain operations across platforms. Insofar as there is a command-and-control node, it is within the WHITE HOUSE, which is perhaps the most important single organ within the US's INCREASINGLY de-institutionalised state: POLITICIZED INTELLIGENCE, PRESIDENTIAL VIOLATIONS OF CONSTITUTION, CORRUPTION BENEFITTING FAMILY AND FRIENDS, ETC.

"Without giving up hope of persuading WASHINGTON to change its policies DEMOCRACY-PROMOTION AND DESTABILIZING COLOR REVOLUTION POLICIES, RUSSIA AND EURASIA must nonetheless address its own vulnerabilities: 'fixing the roof' rather than simply hoping the rain will stop. Among other things, this includes addressing democratic backsliding in parts of the continent " ( www.ecfr.eu/publications/summary/controlling_chaos_how_russia_manages_its_political_war_in_europe ).

Thus, assuming the ECFR's analysis is correct, Russia has simply returned the West's favor, turning to internal influence and destabilization operations in response to the West's democracy- and opposition-promotion measures, which, in the West's case, however, is backed up and followed up by NATO expansion.

The disinformation continues even when one side is writing about the supposedly unique disinformation efforts of the other side. Thus, a Western analysis of Russia Today's bias and propagandistic distortions is filled with one-sided inaccuracies:

" A breakthrough arrived in August 2008 with the five-day Russo-Georgian War. Provoked by widespread Western condemnation of Russia's invasion of Georgia, Russia Today shot back with highly defensive, pro-Russian coverage of the conflict, framing Georgia as the aggressor against the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.13 In particular, its false reports of genocide in Ossetia by the Georgians captured international attention for their brazenness and cemented the network's reputation as a mouthpiece of the Kremlin.14 Ultimately, an EU post-mortem report revealed that responsibility for the conflict had been divided between Georgian initiative and a disproportionate Russian response; neither the Western nor Russian narratives about the war had been factually accurate.15 However, Russia Today remained unrepentant about its bias, claiming that it had been an intentional stratagem to counter the anti-Russian bias of Western media. Margarita Simonyan proudly declared that Russia Today gained greater international visibility and recognition for being the only English-language outlet 'giving the other side of the story – the South Ossetian side'.16 " (www.europeanvalues.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Overview-of-RTs-Editorial-Strategy-and-Evidence-of-Impact.pdf).

The above leaves out Georgia's claims of a Russian genocide committed against Georgians in the war. It also leaves out Sky News's own claims that Russian forces were killing thousands in the first hours of the 5-Day War in which less than a thousand were killed altogether, counting all sides. I still have yet to see RFERL repent for its continuing lies about the Maidan or Sky News about its Georgian war lies. Then of course there is the infamous FOX News mistake of putting South Ossetians on the air in the expectation that any non-Russian will damn the Russians only to find out that Ossetians, North and South, view Russia as an ally and protector against Georgians and Muslims in the region. FOX's response to their mistake was not to try and learn something about the region and inform their viewers but it was rather to cut off the Ossetians hoping they would correct their views during a break. When that did not happen the interview was abruptly terminated (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBPBdW2wXpc ). Did the Russians learn that even their own cynicism was too limited. You can decide listening to Putin's remarks on the FOX faux pas ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iwSsIBQm68 ).

There was a time when the US government lied only when the most vital interests were at stake, not as a matter of course in daily 'public diplomacy' work. No more.

Not just Russians, not just Americans, not just Republicans and not just Democrats are engaged in 'fake news.' They are all engaged in disinformation wars. Consequently, we are all liars now. There is no truth, there are no facts – just your side and my side, their side and our side. Such a state affairs cannot end well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., is an Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, www.cetisresearch.org .

Dr. Hahn is the author of the forthcoming book from McFarland Publishers Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the "New Cold War" . Previously, he has authored three well-received books: The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia's North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland Publishers, 2014), Russia's Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), and Russia's Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction Publishers, 2002). He also has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media.

Dr. Hahn also has taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Kennan Institute in Washington DC, and the Hoover Institution.

[Aug 31, 2018] Big Money refuses to return to reality as its addicted to Smoke Mirrors since that s what was used to gain its power and will now double-down

Notable quotes:
"... For dessert today, I offer Russia's Grand Strategy Revisited published on the 24th. The Outlaw US Empire is in the midst of a Seldon Crisis but lacks the means to even recognize the spectacular mess its made for itself, much of which is quite visibly articulated in its NDS I linked to above. ..."
"... By every metric I've observed, the USA's citizenry from all political POVs wants a return to Reality for that's the only basis from which to address and solve the many domestic problems. ..."
Aug 31, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 30, 2018 5:38:27 PM | 34

Too Funny! Trump whines, threatens pullout from WTO again! After decades of bullying nations and impoverishing their people, other nations are using the Outlaw US Empire's WTO as a weapon against it, so Trump cries Unfair! As I wrote above, Big Money's trapped within its own web.

The "Softies" are yet another entity in the Smoke & Mirrors Fun House designed to fool and gain citizenry's consent to be robbed blind.

Russians already went through that and are very wary as illustrated by the very sensitive nature of the recent Pension System Reform Debate and legislation that Putin had to solve using his political capital.

As with all politicians, you won't know what you elected until you learn how your rep votes issues, although some can be anticipated by examining their past behavior as with our pseudo Democrat-Socialist.

For dessert today, I offer Russia's Grand Strategy Revisited published on the 24th. The Outlaw US Empire is in the midst of a Seldon Crisis but lacks the means to even recognize the spectacular mess its made for itself, much of which is quite visibly articulated in its NDS I linked to above.

By every metric I've observed, the USA's citizenry from all political POVs wants a return to Reality for that's the only basis from which to address and solve the many domestic problems.

Big Money refuses as its addicted to Smoke & Mirrors since that's what was used to gain its power and will now double-down.

[Aug 31, 2018] Erasing the Truth and Fabricating Fake Narratives

Notable quotes:
"... Western media monopolies, appendages of the billionaire ruling class, select for narratives which glorify criminal foreign policies. Hence, these monopolies are cheerleaders for uninterrupted wars of aggression. ..."
"... Ruling class policymakers hide their criminality beneath banners of freedom, democracy, and human rights. [1] These lies provide cover for what amounts to a Western- orchestrated and sustained overseas holocaust and the thirdworldization of domestic populations. ..."
"... The lies and misplaced adulation also serve to legitimize the West's proxies, which include al Qaeda [2] in Syria, and neo-Nazis [3] in Kiev. ..."
"... The adulation, then, is part of the apparatus of deception. It brands those who should be facing trials at the Hague as heroes, as it erases the truth, which is a vital component for Peace and International Justice. ..."
Aug 31, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Western media monopolies, appendages of the billionaire ruling class, select for narratives which glorify criminal foreign policies. Hence, these monopolies are cheerleaders for uninterrupted wars of aggression.

Ruling class policymakers hide their criminality beneath banners of freedom, democracy, and human rights. [1] These lies provide cover for what amounts to a Western- orchestrated and sustained overseas holocaust and the thirdworldization of domestic populations.

The lies are further reinforced when those who advance these toxic policies are celebrated as heroes. This misplaced adulation negates the struggle for Peace and the rule of International Law. The lies and misplaced adulation also serve to legitimize the West's proxies, which include al Qaeda [2] in Syria, and neo-Nazis [3] in Kiev.

What's great thing about the pic accompanying this piece in the Washington Post sanctifying McCain as a human rights advocate is that the guy to his left is an actual Nazi. He's Oleh Tyahnybok, a Ukrainian Nazi. Too good!

10:38 AM - Aug 28, 2018

The adulation, then, is part of the apparatus of deception. It brands those who should be facing trials at the Hague as heroes, as it erases the truth, which is a vital component for Peace and International Justice.

[Aug 30, 2018] Neoliberal MSM and political parties being nothing but organizers of claques for the establishemnt policy

Aug 30, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Virgile , Aug 28, 2018 3:46:25 PM | 18

div

Just like with politicians and political parties themselves, mass media are reverting to being nothing but organizers of claques. Reuters has no more to do with true journalism than the Democrat Party has to do with true politics. Both merely organize celebrity fan clubs. In the same way that only garbage still adheres in a partisan manner to either half of the Corporate One-Party (I'm talking about the US, though the same phenomenon is rife throughout the Euro-world), so only garbage still craves the poison of the corporate media, newspapers or television.

What's the alternative? I warned people for years that social media was no firm foundation upon which to build a castle, and sure enough the censorship tide is coming in. To build real alternative media under the control of the people is part of the general need, to build a true cultural, spiritual movement against the whole system. But this would require cadres willing to dedicate their lives to the work, and at least in America there seems to be no such will.

Posted by: Russ | Aug 28, 2018 2:34:39 PM | 10

If you look at the US media around the so-called Spanish-American War of 1898, you can see the same bent toward war, the same proclivity for propaganda rather than actual reporting, and the same misleading headlines and provocative language.

Perhaps there have been brief times such as moments in the 70s and 80s when some (not all, but a significant few) reporters at major outlets could write articles based on fact but they are the exception to the rule.

Posted by: worldblee | Aug 28, 2018 2:37:48 PM | 11

Well i read a few days ago a commentator´s view that everyone should perhaps keep in mind.
About the media the presstitute big media that looms over our consciences every minute.
iT said that the lying press, the mendacious agenda, the overwhelming need to the daily manipulate the most simple and factual thruths of events... became so FREQUENT, so MASSIVE so
coordinated, op-erates under a such amorality and shameless frame... that is necessarily bound to, in the way to destruction. To doom.
No third conclusion, no third exit.
They will either enslave us all or they will doom, destroy themselves.

Posted by: augusto | Aug 28, 2018 3:07:08 PM | 14

In these prospects a few months back success seemed very unlikely because the US does not want peace in Korea between the two countries or withdrawal of its troops. Trump's role appears to be a naïve simpleton eager to be applauded as usual with a "not my fault" fall back position. Hence the breakdown in two short months, plus the arrogant posturing that Korea better deliver its nuclear weaponry pronto, and now resumption of drills. I suspect the next Moon will be a Duterte type who orders the US out of the country, as north and south, supported by China and Russia move on in the direction they obviously want to go. This may take a couple of years or so.

Posted by: Sid2 | Aug 28, 2018 3:15:48 PM | 15

Trump has succeeded in destroying deals, throwing sanctions everywhere but until now he has not succeeded in creating one new deal with any other countries.
The North Korea embryo deal was pompously announced as the end of North Korea nuclearization.
But ridicule is what the US administration is known for.
Let us see if the Mexico-USA that Trump is so proud about will fly and if the "wall" will finally be built.


Piotr Berman , Aug 28, 2018 3:49:02 PM | 19

South Korean link.
Laguerre , Aug 28, 2018 4:11:44 PM | 20
Frankly, North Korea should be left to complete its deal with the South. It was going well. Idiot Trumpian US intervention serves no purpose. Leave the people concerned to reach their agreement.
AriusArmenian , Aug 28, 2018 5:21:34 PM | 26
PB @19--

Thanks for the link! Seems that publication's being honest in its reporting unlike Nauert and the US State Department who keep pushing the BigLie that denuclearization only applies to DPRK. Good news that the September Summit in Pyongyang between Kim and Moon is still a go, but will it occur before or after Vladivostok? Do wish we could get more info from Korea, even in Korean.

As for Google's tricks, I don't use Google anymore as my primary search engine; I have Yandex for that and my home page.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28, 2018 4:17:32 PM | 21

Silly me! I should have just searched for Korean Newspapers and found this nice list! One excellent item I found announces an increase in the amount allocated to inter-Korean affairs by over 14%. The same publication also provides the reason given by RoK's spy agency head for cancelling Pompeo's trip.

Will the South agree to resume war games with Outlaw US Empire and thus risk derailing the progress already attained? Moon must ask himself the question I posed earlier: Embrace an alliance for life with DPRK or chose the alliance of death with the Empire--I don't think I can put it much starker.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28, 2018 4:43:22 PM | 23

Sputnik now provides a well balanced article but fails to mention Reuter's role in propagating what began as another BigLie.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28, 2018 5:00:38 PM | 24

Demented US and UK elites are terrified of peace and as usual sabotage negotiation. We are being marched to war. The CIA controlled hi-tech social network companies are right now conspiring to silence dissenting voices in phase two of Cold War v2. That they think they can subdue or defeat the Russia/China alliance shows their dementia. It is definitely not possible for the US to 'win' even against Iran. The US has been checkmated. Now what will it do?

michaelj72 , Aug 29, 2018 12:10:00 AM | 36
Belligerence, from the US, that is, as american as apple pie and John McCain
fast freddy , Aug 29, 2018 7:05:43 AM | 44
The U.S., a crazy, confused, schizo and heavily-armed country with skid rows littering the landscape from sea to shining sea next to depraved wealth, a middle class either drunk on shopping, hoarding possessions or high on heroine, the highest prison population in the world, and gun totting rednecks preaching fake religion is now appropriately headed by Nurse Ratched-Trump of the insane asylum.

Unfortunately, it is the Fort Knox of the planet, and therefore can inflict financial and all manner of tyranny and pain at the order of Zionist kooks who call the shots.

The pompous ass Trump who claims to make the greatest deals, the best and hugest deals thinks he invented the wheel, but instead tries to bully the rest of the world into submission so he can later tweet about his unmatched negotiating skills and brag about his superior intellect ad nauseum.

There's no trusting a shithole country like that run by a mad tin-pot dictator. North Korea better keep its nukes.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 29, 2018 12:41:52 AM | 37

arlof1 @23

Every media, be it corporate controlled CNN/NYT/WaPo & Co, be it state controlled RT, Sputnik, Global Times, is doing its fair share of propaganda. The slight difference is that the Western MSM is doing it mostly for the interests of MIC & banksters and its minions, while the Russian and Chinese ones are doing it in general for the sake of their perceived national interests.

Here we go, RT: 'Are they sure it wasn't the Russians?' Clinton's emails were reportedly hacked by China :

It remains to be seen if the hacking allegations against China will be given as much spotlight as those against Russia, however.

Rest assured, RT, just like Western MSM, will keep on peddling the same mis/disinformation about China when it see suits Russia's interests/agenda. This is real geopolitics. (RT & RI used to delete my posts refuting some of the nonsensical comments there.)

Trump is now super happy that he's got another excuse to accuse "bad China meddling US", and can feel free to tie everything possible to his trade war against China as we predicated in precious discussion: Trump Ties North Korea Talks To Trade Deal With China

Posted by: lulu | Aug 29, 2018 6:38:44 AM | 42

North Koreans might be "belligerent", but by now it's a proven fact the UZA (United Zionists of Amerikkka) are non-agreement capable!

Posted by: LXV | Aug 29, 2018 6:54:43 AM | 43

Belligerent = warlike

A belligerent is an individual, group, country, or other entity that acts in a hostile manner, such as engaging in combat. Belligerent comes from Latin, literally meaning "one who wages war". More at Wikipedia

Hmmm... who can that be?

Maybe the belligerent is the one with the $700,000,000,000 annual military budget.

Since the United States was founded in 1776, it has been at war during 214 out of its 235 calendar years of existence.

ralphieboy , Aug 29, 2018 7:13:40 AM | 45
All your USA=Zionist posturings aside here, the USA under Trump has shown that it cannot be counted on to honor agreements, be they arms talks, nuclear deals, trade deals or military partnerships.

The world will learn to work without and work around America, I cannot see how this could possibly strengthen America overall, at best it could be of advantage of certain groups within the US.

Pft , Aug 29, 2018 8:02:09 AM | 46
Lulu@41

Is it possible that the "MIC & banksters and its minions" are the equivalent of the Russian oligarchs and Chinese party elites!

[Aug 25, 2018] Today's Yellow Journalism by MYLES HOENIG

Notable quotes:
"... "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." ..."
"... Frederick Remington was hired to provide illustrations for the paper during the war. After awhile, he was getting bored with his assignment as things were quite peaceful and said, "Everything is quiet. There is no trouble. There will be no war. I wish to return." Hearst's response was "Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." ..."
"... I think you know where I'm going with this. What has changed is that the media today does not directly furnish the war. They rely on those who most profit from it to create the war and today's media simply serves as their propaganda arm. ..."
Aug 25, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

How is today's journalism any different than the yellow journalism of William Randolph Hearst? Sure, technology and reach is far more sophisticated. First the telegraph, then international news agencies, newsreels shown before the screening of movies, and fast forward to 1980 to CNN, the first 24 hour news network. Today with smart phones everyone is a photojournalist. We wouldn't know about all the cop-on-black killings if it wasn't for the average citizen with a phone, even though it's been going on for generations. The only problem regarding catching and broadcasting a Trump lie is beating everyone else to it first.

Starting out as a circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer, Hearst and his New York Journal sent reporters to Cuba to cover the Spanish American War, sensationalizing and lying his way to the top. Although there was seriously good reporting, what most of us remember is the sinking of the USS Maine and how Hearst fanned the flames of war hysteria. Frederick Remington was hired to provide illustrations for the paper during the war. After awhile, he was getting bored with his assignment as things were quite peaceful and said, "Everything is quiet. There is no trouble. There will be no war. I wish to return." Hearst's response was "Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

I think you know where I'm going with this. What has changed is that the media today does not directly furnish the war. They rely on those who most profit from it to create the war and today's media simply serves as their propaganda arm. Whereas Frank Zappa said, "Government is the Entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.", the news media is often a branch of the entertainment division of a network.

... ... ...

...However, another characteristic of fake news is not reporting the news, mis-reporting it, and misinforming or misleading people about what's really happening.

During the first Iraqi invasion we were glued to our TV sets watching the poor, young, sweet innocent nurse crying over how Hussein's troops took babies out of their incubators and threw them on the floor, not being told until much later that she was a plant, the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US, and made up the story. Did anyone in the media challenge her?

From Condi Rice to Colin Powell, we all heard the testimony and Meet the Press moments where we were hours away from incineration or suffering horribly from biological weapons. Did anyone in the media challenge them?

The go-to list for guest speakers during any run up to a war includes former generals whose expertise is so sought out by the networks. Are we the viewing audience ever told that they, in retirement, usually work for the war-profiteering industries?

Recently, for weeks on end, Israel has been killing innocent protesters in their March of Return. Killing journalists, medics, children, amputees, people running away, people empty handed. Not a word from CNN, especially in the initial slaughter. That is fake news.

American Indians and supporters were hosed with freezing water in freezing weather, shot at, dogs let loose on them, as they were protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Barely a word. Fake news.

Child poverty in America grew at alarming rates under Obama. No mention of it.

The alleged hacks of the DNC is a given to the main stream. But no main stream media would dare to interview William Binney, Ray McGovern or Julian Assange, all with pertinent knowledge that would refute the narrative. That is fake news.

... ... ...

[Aug 25, 2018] Trump, Corporate Media Are Both Enemies of the People

Notable quotes:
"... The dominant U.S. commercial and corporate media are a means of mass consent-manufacturing indoctrination, diversion and dumbing down on behalf of the nation's intertwined corporate, financial, imperial and professional-class "elites." Merging the dystopian visions of Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Neal Postman and Phillip K. Dick, they are a bastion of power-serving propaganda and deadening twaddle that work across hundreds of broadcast channels and through countless print and internet outlets to keep the U.S. citizenry allegiant and subordinated to big capital, the professional and managerial "elite" and the U.S. imperial state. ..."
"... They're not covering the genocide in Yemen, but they're covering Russia 24-7 they won't cover Yemen. Why? Because we're complicit. The United States military-industrial complex is helping commit genocide and war crimes inside of Yemen. We're doing that. We're doing 'siege warfare.' Siege warfare is a war crime where you cut off supplies to people trying to starve them keeping them from medical supplies. You're keeping them from clean water. We're doing that. ..."
"... "Exceptional" America's starvation, sickening, maiming and slaughter of innocents doesn't fit the narrative of American benevolence -- a doctrinally set staple in U.S. corporate news, war and entertainment media. ..."
"... We just killed 56 kids. Who's supposed to bomb us now? When do we get bombed? When does someone call us butchers? ..."
"... The Republican Robert Mueller is treated with solemn worship at CNN, MSNBC, the Times and the Post and the rest of the non-Fox media establishment. You'd never know from the "mainstream" coverage and commentary that this new liberal icon and "war hero" (since he won medals in the U.S. crucifixion of Southeast Asia during the 1960s) lied about Iraq's nonexistent "weapons of mass destruction" during his years as George W. Bush's FBI director. ..."
"... There is no reason to consider the United States' corporate and commercial media as any more "mainstream" than the leading Soviet media organs were back in their day. They are just as dedicated as the onetime Soviet state media to advancing the doctrinal perspectives of their host nation's reigning elite -- and far more effective. ..."
"... So, by the way, is the CIA -- an enemy of the people ..."
Aug 25, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

... ... ...

The dominant U.S. commercial and corporate media are a means of mass consent-manufacturing indoctrination, diversion and dumbing down on behalf of the nation's intertwined corporate, financial, imperial and professional-class "elites." Merging the dystopian visions of Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Neal Postman and Phillip K. Dick, they are a bastion of power-serving propaganda and deadening twaddle that work across hundreds of broadcast channels and through countless print and internet outlets to keep the U.S. citizenry allegiant and subordinated to big capital, the professional and managerial "elite" and the U.S. imperial state.

How could it be otherwise? Just six massive and global corporations -- Comcast, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS, the News Corporation and Disney -- together control more than 90 percent of the nation's television stations, radio stations, movies, newspapers and magazines. Corporate ownership combines with other deeply entrenched factors to guarantee the not-so-mainstream media's dutiful service to the nation's unelected and interrelated dictatorships of money, class and empire: the controlling power of corporate advertisers (the mass media's main market, not the public); the disproportionate purchasing power of the affluent (the main target of advertisers); the elitist socialization, indoctrination and selection of journalists, and the dependence of media on government for information, access and monopoly power.

It's not just about the news. If you really want to see where mass propaganda on behalf of class rule, racial and gender oppression and U.S. global force projection is most effectively and compellingly manufactured, watch the entertainment media. When it comes to selling Americans on the supposed virtues of the American Empire and the purported evil of America's "enemies," for example, the news media have nothing on movies like "Top Gun," "Iron Eagle," "Independence Day," "Rocky IV," "Black Hawk Down," "Argo," "A Few Good Men," "From Paris With Love," "Captain Phillips," "American Sniper," "Zero Dark Thirty," "Iron Man" and "Eye in the Sky," and nothing on television shows like "24," "Homeland," "Law and Order," "NCIS" and "FBI." (This is just a short list from the much larger portfolio of U.S-imperialist "entertainment" media production, often generated with significant Pentagon involvement.)

Forget Kim Il-Trump and his right-wing assault on the "Fake News." There's a vast and impressive left, radically democratic literature on how and why the so-called mainstream U.S. media serve concentrated wealth and power, functioning as one of the most potent weapons -- if not the single most potent weapon (with chilling power to shape popular perceptions of reality) -- in the hands of the nation's ruling class. See, for starters, Herbert Schiller. "The Mind Managers" (1973); Michael Parenti, "Inventing Reality: The Politics of the News Media" (1986); Parenti, "Make-Believe Media: The Politics of Entertainment" (1992); Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media" (1988); Robert W. McChesney, "Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy" (New York: Seven Stories, 1997); McChesney, "Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times" (2000); McChesney, "Blowing the Roof Off the 21st Century: Media" (2014); Neil Postman, "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business" (1983); Anthony DiMaggio, "When Media Goes to War" (2009); Stephen Macek, "Urban Nightmares: The Media, the Right, and the Moral Panic Over the City" (2006); and William J. Puette, "Through Jaundiced Eyes: How the Media View Organized Labor" ( 1992). (That, again, is a short list.)

Before you run off to the library or go online to order the books I just listed (which reminds me, please purchase this as well), ask yourself why the number of Americans who could properly describe the basics of arch-narcissist reality show personality turned White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman's dispute with arch-narcissist reality-television personality turned POTUS Donald Trump is much greater (I'm guessing by 100 times) than the number of Americans who could tell you anything meaningful and truthful about the United States' central and ongoing role in the savage crucifixion of Yemen . The latter story recently included the killing of 40 Yemeni children riding in a school bus. Their vehicle was blown up by a Saudi Arabian missile manufactured by a U.S. "defense" contractor and launched with the logistical support of the U.S. military. Forget the academic literature for now and listen to a common-sense explanation by the lefty, Chicago-born-and-raised comic Jimmy Dore , about MSNBC, the supposed left wing of the allegedly liberal corporate media:

They're not covering the genocide in Yemen, but they're covering Russia 24-7 they won't cover Yemen. Why? Because we're complicit. The United States military-industrial complex is helping commit genocide and war crimes inside of Yemen. We're doing that. We're doing 'siege warfare.' Siege warfare is a war crime where you cut off supplies to people trying to starve them keeping them from medical supplies. You're keeping them from clean water. We're doing that.

Dore was on point. The U.S. (along with its dutiful imperial pit bull the United Kingdom) is in fact doing all that. "We" (well, "our" foreign policymakers) are equipping and otherwise participating centrally in the unconscionable infliction of an epic humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. The Saudi-Emirati coalition has already killed many thousands of innocent Yemenis and has so devastated the nation that famine and a deadly 19 th- century disease, cholera (from unsanitary water), have gone epidemic there, causing mass child mortality. For weeks now, the coalition has been savagely bombing the port city of Hodeidah, the main entry point for desperately needed food and medical supplies coming into the besieged nation. And, as the intrepid antiwar witness and activist Kathy Kelly recently reported on Counterpunch last weekend:

U.S. companies such as Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing and Lockheed Martin have sold billions of dollars' worth of weapons to [the Saudi-led] coalition, which is attacking Yemen. The U.S. military refuels Saudi and Emirati warplanes through midair exercises [and] helps the Saudi[s] choose their targets. The United States is 'front and center responsible' for the Saudi coalition attacks, 'If an airstrike was a drive-by and killed someone [journalist Samuel Oakford notes], the U.S. provided the car, the wheels, the servicing and repair, the gun, the bullets, help with maintenance of those -- and the gas.'

The "mainstream" U.S. media's silence about this epic wrongdoing has, as usual, been deafening but unsurprising. "Exceptional" America's starvation, sickening, maiming and slaughter of innocents doesn't fit the narrative of American benevolence -- a doctrinally set staple in U.S. corporate news, war and entertainment media. So, it's off the airwaves, for the most part -- even if MSNBC's leftmost anchor Chris Hayes was permitted to briefly and mildly break through the news blockade after the school bus outrage. (That was a crime too heinous to avoid, especially since it took place under Trump and not under a Democratic POTUS and MSDNC darling like Barack Obama, who was deeply complicit in the war on Yemen). About which, listen again to Dore:

The biggest humanitarian catastrophe in the world, we're gonna wait until 45 minutes into [Hayes'] news broadcast. We haven't covered it for over a year, not even mentioned it. So now everyone's going 'kudos's he's doing it now.' So now, when [Syrian President Bashar] Assad was supposed to have had chemical weapons and killed 30 people with chemicals, we were supposed to bomb him. We just killed 56 kids. Who's supposed to bomb us now? When do we get bombed? When does someone call us butchers? 'Wow . look at that, [Hayes] went almost two and half whole minutes [about Yemen and the U.S. role in the missile attack on a school-bus there] and people are going nuts complimenting him. There you go: 'We covered it.'

It's nothing you need a Ph.D. to understand. Dore gets it, even if his numbers may be off on the bus attack. He's from a working-class neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, where people who pay attention (like the late and great journalist Mike Royko) learn early on that hypocrisy reigns and "money talks, bullshit walks" across party lines.

It's about more than news censorship, however. The "mainstream media" work relentlessly to reduce their consumers to view issues from the point of the merely personal and private. It erases the social, historical and institutional. It inculcates the primitive level of consciousness where one can grasp something as childish as "Omarosa and Stormy Daniels were treated badly by Donald Trump" but nothing more complex beyond the individual scale than "America Good, Its 'Enemies' Bad" -- and certainly nothing as involved and ideologically verboten as "the American Empire and military-industrial complex is invested in the murder of children in the Middle East."

A third recent example of U.S. corporate media's power-serving and propagandistic role deserves exposure. Last week saw the Big Pharma cable news networks CNN and MSNBC (both outlets host hundreds of drug commercials per day), The New York Times , The Washington Post and most of the corporate news establishment run to defend, acclaim and even lionize blood-soaked U.S.-imperial spy masters, surveillance chiefs, liars and assassins like former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Why did CNN and MSNBC viewers hear again and again about how these totalitarian agents of imperial superpower death, torture, surveillance and destruction were heroic champions of human rights, liberty and freedom, fiercely dedicated to (of all things) "speaking truth to power"? Because the Recep Tayyip Erdogan-Vladimir Putin-Xi Jinping-Kim Jong Un-wannabe Trump took away Brennan's national security clearance and threatened those of Clapper and others as transparently political punishment for the forthright criticism of the president as a stupid, reckless, childish, and generally dysfunctional head of the American Empire. Or because of their status as potential anti-Trump witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russiagate investigation.

There's nothing noble or remotely democratic about Trump's motives. But there's nothing noble or remotely democratic about imperial actors like Brennan and Clapper either. Brennan ran the drone assassination program under Obama and the extraordinary rendition program under George W. Bush. He was the "principle coordinator" of the American citizen "kill list" and crafted the "disposition matrix" that codified the targeting and secret killing of American citizens. And that was all before Obama tapped Brennan to head the CIA, where he wrote bloody new chapters in the book of imperial deceit and murder and led efforts to block a Senate investigation into CIA torture, including by spying on Senate staff members conducting the investigation.

During her much ballyhooed and deeply respectful interview with Brennan last Friday night, Russiagate-mad MSNBC rock star Rachel Maddow failed to ask him about the authoritarian implications of a recent New York Times op-ed article in which Brennan essentially suggested, in the words of the World Socialist Website's Joseph Kishore, that "[a]ll social discontent within the United States is the work of 'Russian puppet masters' exploiting 'gullible' individuals. If 'freedoms and liberties' provide an opening for such operations, then these freedoms must be restricted. To 'save democracy,' it is necessary to abolish it." The pretense of Brennan and his supporters to be acting in the name of "democracy" and "free speech," Kishore notes , "echoes the claims of a long line of would-be dictators who have employed such arguments in the past." That's exactly right and should be completely unsurprising to anyone familiar with the arch-nefarious history of the CIA at home and abroad.

The Republican Robert Mueller is treated with solemn worship at CNN, MSNBC, the Times and the Post and the rest of the non-Fox media establishment. You'd never know from the "mainstream" coverage and commentary that this new liberal icon and "war hero" (since he won medals in the U.S. crucifixion of Southeast Asia during the 1960s) lied about Iraq's nonexistent "weapons of mass destruction" during his years as George W. Bush's FBI director.

I'll wait to write about Clapper, now a special friend and regular honored guest on the liberal CNN host Don Lemon's nightly show, and other great Trump- and Fox-demonized/CNN and MSNBC-lionized heroes of "speaking truth to power" (even Orwell would be impressed by the application of that phrase to what our "intelligence community" does in the real world) on a future occasion.

It is appropriate to place quotation marks around the phrase "mainstream media" when writing about dominant U.S. corporate news and entertainment media. During the Cold War era, U.S. officials and media never referred to the Soviet Union's state television and radio or its main state newspapers as "mainstream Russian media." American authorities referred to these Russian media outlets as "Soviet state media" and treated that media as the means for the dissemination of Soviet "propaganda" and ideology.

There is no reason to consider the United States' corporate and commercial media as any more "mainstream" than the leading Soviet media organs were back in their day. They are just as dedicated as the onetime Soviet state media to advancing the doctrinal perspectives of their host nation's reigning elite -- and far more effective.

The Soviets never came remotely close to the United States when it came to wrapping propaganda and ideology in entertainment media (see the Amazon spoof comedy series "Comrade Detective" for an often-hilarious portrayal of what a Stalinist Soviet bloc version of an American cop show might have looked like). And Soviet news censorship was open and well known, a regular subject for underground coffeehouse comics in 1970s and '80s Moscow. You could read the initials of the daily paper's censors at the bottom of each issue of the onetime Soviet state papers Pravda and Izvestia. No illusions there of a totally free and independent media. Everyone knew otherwise, unlike in the U.S.

So, yes, U.S. corporate media are "enemies of the people," even if that other great enemy of the people Donald Trump -- himself a product and arguably a great "frenemy" of the corporate communications complex beneath all his anti-media bluster -- says so for reasons that have nothing to with yours or mine.

So, by the way, is the CIA -- an enemy of the people , that is .

[Aug 19, 2018] Why we do not negotiate with the USA

Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. sets the main goals in negotiating with anyone and does not retreat an inch from the self-asserted goals. ..."
"... The U.S. does not offer anything in cash or immediate in return for what it receives in cash. It simply makes strong promises and tries to enchant the other side by mere promises. ..."
"... And in the final step, when things are over and the U.S. has received the cash, the immediate benefits, it breaches the same promises. ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

The Iranian Supreme Leader even posted a special graphic summary to summarize and explain the Iranian position:

This is the U.S. formula for negotiation:

  1. Because U.S. officials depend on power and money, they consider negotiations as a business deal.
  2. The U.S. sets the main goals in negotiating with anyone and does not retreat an inch from the self-asserted goals.
  3. They demand the other side to give them immediate benefits and if the other party refrains from giving in, the U.S. officials will create an uproar so that their partner would give up.
  4. The U.S. does not offer anything in cash or immediate in return for what it receives in cash. It simply makes strong promises and tries to enchant the other side by mere promises.
  5. And in the final step, when things are over and the U.S. has received the cash, the immediate benefits, it breaches the same promises.
  6. This is the U.S.'s method of negotiation. Now, should one negotiate with such a duplicitous government?

[Aug 19, 2018] Neoliberals have monopolized the information distribution system internet and television and used it to silence critics, prevent competing platforms from arising, bully society into accepting their standards of conduct and thought, blacklist conservatives in Hollywood, promote physical violence against dissenters

Notable quotes:
"... In that sense, the elite media are indeed enemies of the people – our people, that is. If they didn't want to perceived as such, they should have been fairer in their coverage, they shouldn't have started censoring people and banning them off Twitter and PayPal for wrongthink, they shouldn't have promoted endless invasion, they shouldn't have coordinated outrageous attacks like that disgraceful WaPo story alleging everyone who didn't support Hillary Clinton was part of a Russian plot (lying bastards) ..."
"... It's not appropriate for a handful of American cities (LA, NY, and DC), a single political party (the democrats), and a handful of democrat-voting businessmen and leftist "journalists" to control 98% of the narrative. Something needs to be done about that. ..."
"... Otherwise, South Africa is our future. They faced the same choice as we do now, and they did it wrong. ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anon [178] Disclaimer , August 17, 2018 at 3:26 pm GMT

I think some clarification is needed here. What these people have actually done is the following:

They have monopolized the information distribution system – internet and television – and used it to silence critics, prevent competing platforms from arising, bully society into accepting their standards of conduct and thought, blacklist conservatives in Hollywood, promote physical violence against us (punch a Nazi where "Nazi" is basically any non extremist), and organize countless wide-spread coordinated attacks against our government in order to overthrow it, and replace it with their own. They've used banks to deny service to legal gun shops (a roundabout way to ban them), they've used credit card companies to shut down critics of Islam, they've used lawfare to attack Christian bakers, they've banned critics from PayPal, they've censored YouTube videos, they boot critics from Facebook, they employ an army of "state-sponsored in all but name" censors for social media – SPLC, ADL, and they have recruited a "state-sponsored in all but name" KGB to track down and dox/fire/witchunt dissenters on the internet.

We live in fear that at any moment out lives could be destroyed if we are filmed in public expressing wrong think; other countries like Germany have laws against this, so why don't we? Oh, that's right, because it is a useful tool to control dissent. The deepstate needs to keep their little empire together. Careful not to be white and say the wrong thing or your picture may end up being broadcast by the Young Turks to the world: "racist white lady calls the cops on innocent non-whites who didn't pay for anything in a restaurant and loitered around, refused to leave a private establishment after being politely asked to pay or go, and then screamed at cops for 10 minutes before being arrested. The shame. Dirty racist."

We are subject to false allegations in a system rigged by feminists to discriminate against men. We are guilty until proven innocent. We have to work twice as hard for half the results due to racist affirmative action policies. We are bombarded with leftist propaganda in the entertainment industry. No form of entertainment is free from their proselytizing. There are endless 2 minute sessions of hate directed at us: Duke Lacrosse, Virginia rape hoax, Ferguson, Starbucks,

The media got away with this in the past by pretending to be objective, but they don't even bother with that aspect anymore. Unfortunately, the corrupt, spineless traitors in the GOP let this happen. They should have been rigorously enforcing anti-monopoly laws, media ownership laws, and supporting public broadcasting – internet and television – in order to drive down the ratings of deepstate-run organs like CNN. Instead, they sold out. They are traitors, too.

In that sense, the elite media are indeed enemies of the people – our people, that is. If they didn't want to perceived as such, they should have been fairer in their coverage, they shouldn't have started censoring people and banning them off Twitter and PayPal for wrongthink, they shouldn't have promoted endless invasion, they shouldn't have coordinated outrageous attacks like that disgraceful WaPo story alleging everyone who didn't support Hillary Clinton was part of a Russian plot (lying bastards)

How many of these fake news stories have these people come up with? Stormy Daniels, Omarosa, Russiagate, BLM . It should be clear by now that these scum are trying to rig the upcoming election in the democrat party's favor by ginning up racial and gender animus; that is blatantly what they tried to do in 2016. So, why are we letting them? We can't organize a boycott of them, their advertisers, their distribution networks? If they ban us from social media, can't we pass laws requiring their distribution network – internet service providers and trucking companies – to ban them in retaliation? Can't we organize state-sponsored, censorship-free competition? Our state legislatures can ban boycotts of Israel but not protect we the people?

It's not appropriate for a handful of American cities (LA, NY, and DC), a single political party (the democrats), and a handful of democrat-voting businessmen and leftist "journalists" to control 98% of the narrative. Something needs to be done about that.

Personally, I think the US is done for as a constitutional republic. Either we secede and have a country run for the benefit of our own people (optimal), or we seize control and run the government for the benefit of ourselves. Works for China. And that's exactly what the left is plotting with their immigration invasion. So why not strike first? Do we want to end up like South Africa? Do we want to end up with a one-party democrat state? Imagine racist SJW scum stomping on your face forever. That's the choice we face, and it is coming up soon.

As far as I'm concerned, Trump won 60% of the American vote. A near majority of the people who voted democrat are not American. They are foreign invaders invited after the 1965 immigration act to steal away our democracy and give it to the racist democrat party. If the Chinese army invaded California, we wouldn't give them the vote. So, why do racist invaders get to vote? Strip them of their citizenship and let only republicans vote. Then, expel these traitors to other countries where they belong.

Our country was originally founded as an exclusive society that reserved the vote for white landowners, and the American Revolution was only supported by a third of the public. Patriots rose up and kicked out the king against the wishes of the stupid masses, and they were right to do so. Thank God that wasn't left up to an equal vote because not all men are equal in their abilities.

I don't see how it would be wrong to reserve the vote exclusively for our people again, or at least Republicans in general, people who have the nation's best interest at heart, people wise enough and capable enough to understand right from wrong and wisdom from stupidity.

Think this is too extreme? It isn't because that's exactly what they have publicly advocated doing to us – deport us, enslave us, censor our speech, jail us, attack us in the streets, ban Fox News. One of their democrat senators publicly supported censoring more people after Alex Jones was deplatformed via RICOesque collusion. They announce it publicly! When are we going to take their threats seriously and strike first?

Otherwise, South Africa is our future. They faced the same choice as we do now, and they did it wrong. They gave their country away to racist vermin who now threaten to steal their land without compensation. It was obvious at the time that it would end badly for the whites there one day, but they stupidly ignored the warnings, Now, their racist president chants "death to the Boar, death to the white man." Don't think that can happen here? It can. The racist democrat running for Georgia governor wants to destroy Stone Mountain and give reparations to blacks (steal our money like SA steals white lands).

When the rats retake the White House in 2020, they are going to unleash a wave of racist hate against us that will never abate. That's what Obama did with BLM, so there is no reason to believe they won't do so again but much worse after all their rhetoric. And there will be so many democrat-voting immigrant invaders here that we can never win power again. They thirst to make our country a dictatorship like China, but with themselves at the top. That's a scary thought. Are we going to let them do it?

[Aug 18, 2018] Corporate Media the Enemy of the People by Paul Street

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The dominant corporate U.S. media routinely exaggerates the degree of difference and choice between the candidates run by the nation's two corporate-dominated political organizations, the Democrats and the Republicans. It never notes that the two reigning parties agree about far more than they differ on, particularly when it comes to fundamental and related matters of business class power and American Empire. It shows U.S. protestors engaged in angry confrontations with police and highlights isolated examples of protestor violence but it downplays peaceful protest and never pays serious attention to the important societal and policy issues that have sparked protest or to the demands and recommendations advanced by protest movements. ..."
"... Newscasters who want to keep their careers afloat learn the fine art of evasion with great skill they skirt around the most important parts of a story. With much finesse, they say a lot about very little, serving up heaps of junk news filled with so many empty calories and so few nutrients. Thus do they avoid offending those who wield politico-economic power while giving every appearance of judicious moderation and balance. It is enough to take your breath away ..."
"... In U.S. "mainstream" media, Washington's aims are always benevolent and democratic. Its clients and allies are progressive, its enemies are nefarious, and its victims are invisible and incidental. The U.S. can occasionally make "mistakes" and "strategic blunders" on the global stage, but its foreign policies are never immoral, criminal, or imperialist in nature as far as that media is concerned. This is consistent with the doctrine of "American Exceptionalism," according to which the U.S., alone among great powers in history, seeks no selfish or imperial gain abroad. It is consistent also with "mainstream" U.S. media's heavy reliance on "official government sources" (the White House, the Defense Department, and the State Department) and leading business public relations and press offices for basic information on current events. ..."
"... U.S. citizens regularly see images of people who are angry at the U.S. around the world. The dominant mass media never gives them any serious discussion of the US policies and actions that create that anger. Millions of Americans are left to ask in childlike ignorance "Why do they hate us? What have we done?" ..."
"... If transmitting Washington's lies about Iraq were something to be fired about, then U.S. corporate media authorities would have to get rid of pretty much of all their top broadcasters. ..."
"... The U.S. corporate media's propagandistic service to the nation's reigning and interrelated structures of Empire and inequality is hardly limited to its news and public affairs wings. Equally if not more significant in that regard is that media's vast "entertainment" sector, which is loaded with political and ideological content ..."
"... Seen broadly in its many-sided and multiply delivered reality, U.S. corporate media's dark, power-serving mission actually goes further than the manufacture of consent. A deeper goal is the manufacture of mass idiocy, with "idiocy" understood in the original Greek and Athenian sense not of stupidity but of childish selfishness and willful indifference to public affairs and concerns. (An "idiot" in Athenian democracy was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private instead of public affairs.). As the U.S. Latin Americanist Cathy Schneider noted, the U.S.-backed military coup and dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet "transformed Chile, both culturally and politically, from a country of active participatory grassroots communities, to a land of disconnected, apolitical individuals"[7] – into a nation of "idiots" understood in this classic Athenian sense. ..."
"... To be sure, a narrow and reactionary sort of public concern and engagement does appear and take on a favorable light in this corporate media culture. It takes the form of a cruel, often even sadistically violent response to unworthy and Evil Others who are perceived as failing to obey prevalent national and neoliberal cultural codes. Like the U.S. ruling class that owns it, the purportedly anti-government corporate media isn't really opposed to government as such. It's opposed to what the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called "the left hand of the state" – the parts of the public sector that serve the social and democratic needs of the non-affluent majority. ..."
"... The generation of mass idiocy in the more commonly understood sense of sheer stupidity is also a central part of U.S. "mainstream" media's mission. Nowhere is this more clearly evident than in the constant barrage of rapid-fire advertisements that floods U.S. corporate media. ..."
"... There's nothing surprising about the fact that the United States' supposedly "free" and "independent" media functions as a means of mass indoctrination for the nation's economic and imperial elite ..."
"... A second explanation is the power of advertisers. U.S. media managers are naturally reluctant to publish or broadcast material that might offend the large corporations that pay for broadcasting by purchasing advertisements. ..."
"... A third great factor is U.S. government media policy and regulation on behalf of oligopolistic hyper-concentration. The U.S. corporate media is hardly a "natural" outcome of a "free market." It's the result of government protections and subsidies that grant enormous "competitive" advantages to the biggest and most politically/plutocratically influential media firms. ..."
"... In this writer's experience, the critical Left analysis of the U.S. "mainstream" media as a tool for "manufacturing consent" and idiocy developed above meets four objections from defenders of the U.S. media system, A first objection notes that the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times (FT), the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and other major U.S. corporate media outlets produce a significant amount of, informative, high-quality and often candid reporting and commentary that Left thinkers and activists commonly cite to support their cases for radical and democratic change. ..."
"... The observation that Leftists commonly use and cite information from the corporate media they harshly criticize is correct but it is easy to account for the apparent anomaly within the critical Left framework by noting that that media crafts two very different versions of U.S. policy, politics, society, "life," and current events for two different audiences. Following the work of the brilliant Australian propaganda critic Alex Carey, we can call the first audience the "grassroots."[14] It comprises the general mass of working and lower-class citizens. ..."
"... The second target group comprises the relevant political class of U.S. citizens from at most the upper fifth of society. This is who reads the Times, the Post, WSJ, and FT, for the most part. Call this audience (again following Carey) the "treetops": the "people who matter" and who deserve and can be trusted with something more closely approximating the real story because their minds have been properly disciplined and flattered by superior salaries, significant on-the-job labor autonomy, and "advanced" and specialized educational and professional certification. ..."
"... To everyday Americans' credit, corporate media has never been fully successful in stamping out popular resistance and winning over the hearts and minds of the U.S. populace. ..."
"... The U.S. elite is no more successful in its utopian (or dystopian) quest to control every American heart and mind than it is in its equally impossible ambition of managing events across a complex planet from the banks of the Potomac River in Washington D.C ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"Homeland" Distortion

Consistent with its possession as a leading and money-making asset of the nation's wealthy elite, the United States corporate and commercial mass media is a bastion of power-serving propaganda and deadening twaddle designed to keep the U.S. citizenry subordinated to capital and the imperial U.S. state. It regularly portrays the United States as a great model of democracy and equality. It sells a false image of the U.S. as a society where the rich enjoy opulence because of hard and honest work and where the poor are poor because of their laziness and irresponsibility. The nightly television news broadcasts and television police and law and order dramas are obsessed with violent crime in the nation's Black ghettoes and Latino barrios, but they never talk about the extreme poverty, the absence of opportunity imposed on those neighborhoods by the interrelated forces of institutional racism, capital flight, mass structural unemployment, under-funded schools, and mass incarceration. The nightly television weather reports tells U.S. citizens of ever new record high temperatures and related forms of extreme weather but never relate these remarkable meteorological developments to anthropogenic climate change.

The dominant corporate U.S. media routinely exaggerates the degree of difference and choice between the candidates run by the nation's two corporate-dominated political organizations, the Democrats and the Republicans. It never notes that the two reigning parties agree about far more than they differ on, particularly when it comes to fundamental and related matters of business class power and American Empire. It shows U.S. protestors engaged in angry confrontations with police and highlights isolated examples of protestor violence but it downplays peaceful protest and never pays serious attention to the important societal and policy issues that have sparked protest or to the demands and recommendations advanced by protest movements.

As the prolific U.S. Marxist commentator Michael Parenti once remarked, US "Newscasters who want to keep their careers afloat learn the fine art of evasion with great skill they skirt around the most important parts of a story. With much finesse, they say a lot about very little, serving up heaps of junk news filled with so many empty calories and so few nutrients. Thus do they avoid offending those who wield politico-economic power while giving every appearance of judicious moderation and balance. It is enough to take your breath away." [1]

Selling Empire

U.S. newscasters and their print media counterparts routinely parrot and disseminate the false foreign policy claims of the nation's imperial elite. Earlier this year, U.S. news broadcasters dutiful relayed to U.S. citizens the Obama administration's preposterous assertion that social-democratic Venezuela is a repressive, corrupt, and authoritarian danger to its own people and the U.S. No leading national U.S. news outlet dared to note the special absurdity of this charge in the wake of Obama and other top U.S. officials' visit to Riyadh to guarantee U.S. support for the new king of Saudi Arabia, the absolute ruler of a leading U.S. client state that happens to be the most brutally oppressive and reactionary government on Earth.

In U.S. "mainstream" media, Washington's aims are always benevolent and democratic. Its clients and allies are progressive, its enemies are nefarious, and its victims are invisible and incidental. The U.S. can occasionally make "mistakes" and "strategic blunders" on the global stage, but its foreign policies are never immoral, criminal, or imperialist in nature as far as that media is concerned. This is consistent with the doctrine of "American Exceptionalism," according to which the U.S., alone among great powers in history, seeks no selfish or imperial gain abroad. It is consistent also with "mainstream" U.S. media's heavy reliance on "official government sources" (the White House, the Defense Department, and the State Department) and leading business public relations and press offices for basic information on current events.

As the leading Left U.S. intellectuals Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman showed in their classic text Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), Orwellian double standards are rife in the dominant U.S. media's coverage and interpretation of global affairs. Elections won in other countries by politicians that Washington approves because those politicians can be counted on to serve the interests of U.S. corporations and the military are portrayed in U.S. media as good and clean contests. But when elections put in power people who can't be counted on to serve "U.S. interests," (Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro for example), then U.S. corporate media portrays the contests as "rigged" and "corrupt." When Americans or people allied with Washington are killed or injured abroad, they are "worthy victims" and receive great attention and sympathy in that media. People killed, maimed, displaced and otherwise harmed by the U.S. and U.S. clients and allies are anonymous and "unworthy victims" whose experience elicits little mention or concern.[2]

U.S. citizens regularly see images of people who are angry at the U.S. around the world. The dominant mass media never gives them any serious discussion of the US policies and actions that create that anger. Millions of Americans are left to ask in childlike ignorance "Why do they hate us? What have we done?"

In February of 2015, an extraordinary event occurred in U.S. news media – the firing of a leading national news broadcaster, Brian Williams of NBC News. Williams lost his position because of some lies he told in connection with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. A naïve outsider might think that Williams was fired because he repeated the George W. Bush administration's transparent fabrications about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and Saddam's supposed connection to 9/11. Sadly but predictably enough, that wasn't his problem. Williams lost his job because he falsely boasted that he had ridden on a helicopter that was forced down by grenade fire during the initial U.S. invasion. If transmitting Washington's lies about Iraq were something to be fired about, then U.S. corporate media authorities would have to get rid of pretty much of all their top broadcasters.

More than Entertainment

The U.S. corporate media's propagandistic service to the nation's reigning and interrelated structures of Empire and inequality is hardly limited to its news and public affairs wings. Equally if not more significant in that regard is that media's vast "entertainment" sector, which is loaded with political and ideological content but was completely ignored in Herman and Chomsky's groundbreaking Manufacturing Consent. [3] One example is the Hollywood movie "Zero Dark Thirty," a 2012 "action thriller" that dramatized the United States' search for Osama bin-Laden after the September 11, 2001 jetliner attacks. The film received critical acclaim and was a box office-smash. It was also a masterpiece of pro-military, pro-CIA propaganda, skillfully portraying U.S. torture practices "as a dirty, ugly business that is necessary to protect America" (Glenn Greenwald[4]) and deleting the moral debate that erupted over the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques." Under the guise of a neutral, documentary-like façade, Zero Dark Thirty normalized and endorsed torture in ways that were all the more effective because of its understated, detached, and "objective" veneer. The film also marked a distressing new frontier in U.S. military-"embedded" filmmaking whereby the movie-makers receive technical and logistical support from the Pentagon in return for producing elaborate public relations on the military's behalf.

The 2014-15 Hollywood blockbuster American Sniper is another example. The film's audiences is supposed to marvel at the supposedly noble feats, sacrifice, and heroism of Chris Kyle, a rugged, militantly patriotic, and Christian-fundamentalist Navy SEALS sniper who participated in the U.S. invasion of Iraq to fight "evil" and to avenge the al Qaeda jetliner attacks of September 11, 2001. Kyle killed 160 Iraqis over four tours of "duty" in "Operational Iraqi Freedom." Viewers are never told that the Iraqi government had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks or al Qaeda or that the U.S. invasion was one of the most egregiously criminal and brazenly imperial and mass-murderous acts in the history of international violence. Like Zero Dark Thirty's apologists, American Sniper's defenders claim that the film takes a neutral perspective of "pure storytelling," with no ideological bias. In reality, the movie is filled with racist and imperial distortions, functioning as flat-out war propaganda.[5]

These are just two among many examples that could be cited of U.S. "entertainment" media's regular service to the American Empire. Hollywood and other parts of the nation's vast corporate entertainment complex plays the same power-serving role in relation to domestic ("homeland") American inequality and oppression structures of class and race. [6]

Manufacturing Idiocy

Seen broadly in its many-sided and multiply delivered reality, U.S. corporate media's dark, power-serving mission actually goes further than the manufacture of consent. A deeper goal is the manufacture of mass idiocy, with "idiocy" understood in the original Greek and Athenian sense not of stupidity but of childish selfishness and willful indifference to public affairs and concerns. (An "idiot" in Athenian democracy was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private instead of public affairs.). As the U.S. Latin Americanist Cathy Schneider noted, the U.S.-backed military coup and dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet "transformed Chile, both culturally and politically, from a country of active participatory grassroots communities, to a land of disconnected, apolitical individuals"[7] – into a nation of "idiots" understood in this classic Athenian sense.

In the U.S., where violence is not as readily available to elites as in 1970s Latin America, corporate America seeks the same terrible outcome through its ideological institutions, including above all its mass media. In U.S. movies, television sit-coms, television dramas, television reality-shows, commercials, state Lottery advertisements, and video games, the ideal-type U.S. citizen is an idiot in this classic sense: a person who cares about little more than his or her own well-being, consumption, and status. This noble American idiot is blissfully indifferent to the terrible prices paid by others for the maintenance of reigning and interrelated oppressions structures at home and abroad.

A pervasive theme in this media culture is the notion that people at the bottom of the nation's steep and interrelated socioeconomic and racial pyramids are the "personally irresponsible" and culturally flawed makers of their own fate. The mass U.S. media's version of Athenian idiocy "can imagine," in the words of the prolific Left U.S. cultural theorist Henry Giroux "public issues only as private concerns." It works to "erase the social from the language of public life so as to reduce" questions of racial and socioeconomic disparity to "private issues of individual character and cultural depravity. Consistent with "the central neoliberal tenet that all problems are private rather than social in nature," it portrays the only barriers to equality and meaningful democratic participation as "a lack of principled self-help and moral responsibility" and bad personal choices by the oppressed. Government efforts to meaningfully address and ameliorate (not to mention abolish) societal disparities of race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality and the like are portrayed as futile, counterproductive, naïve, and dangerous.[8]

To be sure, a narrow and reactionary sort of public concern and engagement does appear and take on a favorable light in this corporate media culture. It takes the form of a cruel, often even sadistically violent response to unworthy and Evil Others who are perceived as failing to obey prevalent national and neoliberal cultural codes. Like the U.S. ruling class that owns it, the purportedly anti-government corporate media isn't really opposed to government as such. It's opposed to what the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called "the left hand of the state" – the parts of the public sector that serve the social and democratic needs of the non-affluent majority. It celebrates and otherwise advances the "right hand of the state"[9]: the portions of government that serve the opulent minority, dole out punishment for the poor, and attacks those perceived as nefariously resisting the corporate and imperial order at home and abroad. Police officers, prosecutors, military personnel, and other government authorities who represent the "right hand of the state" are heroes and role models in this media. Public defenders, other defense attorneys, civil libertarians, racial justice activists, union leaders, antiwar protesters and the like are presented at best as naïve and irritating "do-gooders" and at worst as coddlers and even agents of evil.

The generation of mass idiocy in the more commonly understood sense of sheer stupidity is also a central part of U.S. "mainstream" media's mission. Nowhere is this more clearly evident than in the constant barrage of rapid-fire advertisements that floods U.S. corporate media. As the American cultural critic Neil Postman noted thirty years ago, the modern U.S. television commercial is the antithesis of the rational economic consideration that early Western champions of the profits system claimed to be the enlightened essence of capitalism. "Its principal theorists, even its most prominent practitioners," Postman noted, "believed capitalism to be based on the idea that both buyer and seller are sufficiently mature, well-informed, and reasonable to engage in transactions of mutual self-interest." Commercials make "hash" out of this idea. They are dedicated to persuading consumers with wholly irrational claims. They rely not on the reasoned presentation of evidence and logical argument but on suggestive emotionalism, infantilizing manipulation, and evocative, rapid-fire imagery.[10]

The same techniques poison U.S. electoral politics. Investment in deceptive and manipulative campaign commercials commonly determines success or failure in mass-marketed election contests between business-beholden candidates that are sold to the audience/electorate like brands of toothpaste and deodorant. Fittingly enough, the stupendous cost of these political advertisements is a major factor driving U.S. campaign expenses so high (the 2016 U.S. presidential election will cost at least $5 billion) as to make candidates ever more dependent on big money corporate and Wall Street donors.

Along the way, mass cognitive competence is assaulted by the numbing, high-speed ubiquity of U.S. television and radio advertisements. These commercials assault citizens' capacity for sustained mental focus and rational deliberation nearly sixteen minutes of every hour on cable television, with 44 percent of the individual ads now running for just 15 seconds. This is a factor in the United States' long-bemoaned epidemic of "Attention Deficit Disorder."

Seventy years ago, the brilliant Dutch left Marxist Anton Pannekoek offered some chilling reflections on the corporate print and broadcast media's destructive impact on mass cognitive and related social resistance capacities in the United States after World War II:

"The press is of course entirely in hands of big capital [and it] dominates the spiritual life of the American people. The most important thing is not even the hiding of all truth about the reign of big finance. Its aim still more is the education to thoughtlessness. All attention is directed to coarse sensations, everything is avoided that could arouse thinking. Papers are not meant to be read – the small print is already a hindrance – but in a rapid survey of the fat headlines to inform the public on unimportant news items, on family triflings of the rich, on sexual scandals, on crimes of the underworld, on boxing matches. The aim of the capitalist press all over the world, the diverting of the attention of the masses from the reality of social development, nowhere succeed with such thoroughness as in America."

"Still more than by the papers the masses are influenced by broadcasting and film. These products of most perfect science, destined at one time to the finest educational instruments of mankind, now in the hands of capitalism have been turned into the strongest means to uphold its rule by stupefying the mind. Because after nerve-straining fatigue the movie offers relaxation and distraction by means of simple visual impressions that make no demand on the intellect, the masses get used to accepting thoughtlessly all its cunning and shrewd propaganda. It reflects the ugliest sides of middle-class society. It turns all attention either to sexual life, in this society – by the absence of community feelings and fight for freedom – the only source of strong passions, or to brute violence; masses educated to rough violence instead of to social knowledge are not dangerous to capitalism "[11]

Pannekoek clearly saw an ideological dimension (beyond just diversion and stupefaction) in U.S. mass media's "education to thoughtlessness" through movies as well as print sensationalism. He would certainly be impressed and perhaps depressed by the remarkably numerous, potent, and many-sided means of mass distraction and indoctrination that are available to the U.S. and global capitalist media in the present digital and Internet era.

The "entertainment" wing of its vast corporate media complex is critical to the considerable "soft" ideological "power" the U.S. exercises around the world even as its economic hegemony wanes in an ever more multipolar global system (and as its "hard" military reveals significant limits within and beyond the Middle East). Relatively few people beneath the global capitalist elite consume U.S. news and public affairs media beyond the U.S., but "American" (U.S.) movies, television shows, video games, communication devices, and advertising culture are ubiquitous across the planet.

Explaining "Mainstream" Media Corporate Ownership

There's nothing surprising about the fact that the United States' supposedly "free" and "independent" media functions as a means of mass indoctrination for the nation's economic and imperial elite. The first and most important explanation for this harsh reality is concentrated private ownership – the fundamental fact that that media is owned primarily by giant corporations representing wealthy interests who are deeply invested in U.S. capitalism and Empire. Visitors to the U.S. should not be fooled by the large number and types of channels and stations on a typical U.S. car radio or television set or by the large number and types of magazines and books on display at a typical Barnes & Noble bookstore. Currently in the U.S., just six massive and global corporations – Comcast, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS, The News Corporation and Disney – together control more than 90 percent of the nation's print and electronic media, including cable television, airwaves television, radio, newspapers, movies, video games, book publishing, comic books, and more. Three decades ago, 50 corporations controlled the same amount of U.S. media.

Each of the reigning six companies is a giant and diversified multi-media conglomerate with investments beyond media, including "defense" (the military). Asking reporters and commentators at one of those giant corporations to tell the unvarnished truth about what's happening in the U.S. and the world is like asking the company magazine published by the United Fruit Company to the tell the truth about working conditions in its Caribbean and Central American plantations in the 1950s. It's like asking the General Motors company newspaper to tell the truth about wages and working conditions in GM's auto assembly plants around the world.

As the nation's media becomes concentrated into fewer corporate hands, media personnel become ever more insecure in their jobs because they have fewer firms to whom to sell their skills. That makes them even less willing than they might have been before to go outside official sources, to question the official line, and to tell the truth about current events and the context in which they occur.

Advertisers

A second explanation is the power of advertisers. U.S. media managers are naturally reluctant to publish or broadcast material that might offend the large corporations that pay for broadcasting by purchasing advertisements. As Chomsky has noted in a recent interview, large corporations are not only the major producers of the United States' mass and commercial media. They are also that media's top market, something that deepens the captivity of nation's supposedly democratic and independent media to big capital:

"The reliance of a journal on advertisers shapes and controls and substantially determines what is presented to the public the very idea of advertiser reliance radically distorts the concept of free media. If you think about what the commercial media are, no matter what, they are businesses. And a business produces something for a market. The producers in this case, almost without exception, are major corporations. The market is other businesses – advertisers. The product that is presented to the market is readers (or viewers), so these are basically major corporations providing audiences to other businesses, and that significantly shapes the nature of the institution."[12]

At the same time, both U.S. corporate media managers and the advertisers who supply revenue for their salaries are hesitant to produce content that might alienate the affluent people who count for an ever rising share of consumer purchases in the U.S. It is naturally those with the most purchasing power who are naturally most targeted by advertisers.

Government Policy

A third great factor is U.S. government media policy and regulation on behalf of oligopolistic hyper-concentration. The U.S. corporate media is hardly a "natural" outcome of a "free market." It's the result of government protections and subsidies that grant enormous "competitive" advantages to the biggest and most politically/plutocratically influential media firms. Under the terms of the 1934 Communications Act and the 1996 Telecommunications Act, commercial, for-profit broadcasters have almost completely free rein over the nation's airwaves and cable lines. There is no substantive segment of the broadcast spectrum set aside for truly public interest and genuinely democratic, popular not-for profit media and the official "public" broadcasting networks are thoroughly captive to corporate interests and to right-wing politicians who take giant campaign contributions from corporate interests. Much of the 1996 bill was written by lobbyists working for the nations' leading media firms. [13]

A different form of state policy deserves mention. Under the Obama administration, we have seen the most aggressive pursuit and prosecution in recent memory of U.S. journalists who step outside the narrow parameters of pro-U.S. coverage and commentary – and of the whistleblowers who provide them with leaked information. That is why Edward Snowden lives in Russia, Glenn Greenwald lives in Brazil, Chelsea Manning is serving life in a U.S. military prison, and Julian Assange is trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. A leading New York Times reporter and author, James Risen, has been threatened with imprisonment by the White House for years because of his refusal to divulge sources.

Treetops v. Grassroots Audiences

In this writer's experience, the critical Left analysis of the U.S. "mainstream" media as a tool for "manufacturing consent" and idiocy developed above meets four objections from defenders of the U.S. media system, A first objection notes that the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times (FT), the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and other major U.S. corporate media outlets produce a significant amount of, informative, high-quality and often candid reporting and commentary that Left thinkers and activists commonly cite to support their cases for radical and democratic change. Left U.S. media critics like Chomsky and Herman are said to be hypocrites because they obviously find much that is of use as Left thinkers in the very media that they criticize for distorting reality in accord with capitalist and imperial dictates.

The observation that Leftists commonly use and cite information from the corporate media they harshly criticize is correct but it is easy to account for the apparent anomaly within the critical Left framework by noting that that media crafts two very different versions of U.S. policy, politics, society, "life," and current events for two different audiences. Following the work of the brilliant Australian propaganda critic Alex Carey, we can call the first audience the "grassroots."[14] It comprises the general mass of working and lower-class citizens. As far as the business elites who own and manage the U.S. mass media and the corporations that pay for that media with advertising purchases are concerned, this "rabble" cannot be trusted with serious, candid, and forthright information. Its essential role in society is to keep quiet, work hard, be entertained (in richly propagandistic and ideological ways, we should remember), buy things, and generally do what they're told. They are to leave key societal decisions to those that the leading 20th century U.S. public intellectual and media-as-propaganda enthusiast Walter Lippman called "the responsible men." That "intelligent," benevolent, "expert," and "responsible" elite (responsible, indeed, for such glorious accomplishments as the Great Depression, the Vietnam War, the invasion of Iraq, the Great Recession, global warming, and the rise of the Islamic State) needed, in Lippman's view, to be protected from what he called "the trampling and roar of the bewildered herd."[15] The deluded mob, the sub-citizenry, the dangerous working class majority is not the audience for elite organs like the Times, the Post, and the Journal.

The second target group comprises the relevant political class of U.S. citizens from at most the upper fifth of society. This is who reads the Times, the Post, WSJ, and FT, for the most part. Call this audience (again following Carey) the "treetops": the "people who matter" and who deserve and can be trusted with something more closely approximating the real story because their minds have been properly disciplined and flattered by superior salaries, significant on-the-job labor autonomy, and "advanced" and specialized educational and professional certification. This elite includes such heavily indoctrinated persons as corporate managers, lawyers, public administrators, and (most) tenured university professors. Since these elites carry out key top-down societal tasks of supervision, discipline, training, demoralization, co-optation, and indoctrination – all essential to the rule of the real economic elite and the imperial system – they cannot be too thoroughly misled about current events and policy without deleterious consequences for the smooth functioning of the dominant social and political order. They require adequate information and must not be overly influenced by the brutal and foolish propaganda generated for the "bewildered herd." At the same time, information and commentary for the relevant and respectable business and political classes and their "coordinator class" servants and allies often contains a measure of reasoned and sincere intra-elite political and policy debate – debate that is always careful not to stray beyond narrow U.S. ideological parameters. That is why a radical Left U.S. thinker and activist can find much that is of use in U.S. "treetops" media. Such a thinker or activist would, indeed, be foolish not to consult these sources.

"P"BS and N"P"R

A second objection to the Left critique of U.S. "mainstream" media claims that the U.S. public enjoys a meaningful alternative to the corporate media in the form of the nation's Public Broadcasting Service (television) and National Public Radio (NPR). This claim should not be taken seriously. Thanks to U.S. "public" media's pathetically weak governmental funding, its heavy reliance on corporate sponsors, and its constant harassment by right wing critics inside and beyond the U.S. Congress, N"P"R and "P"BS are extremely reluctant to question dominant U.S. ideologies and power structures.

The tepid, power-serving conservatism of U.S. "public" broadcasting is by longstanding political and policy design. The federal government allowed the formation of the "public" networks only on the condition that they pose no competitive market or ideological challenge to private commercial media, the profits system, and U.S. global foreign policy. "P"BS and N"P"R are "public" in a very limited sense. They not function for the public over and against corporate, financial, and imperial power to any significant degree.

"The Internet Will Save Us"

A third objection claims that the rise of the Internet creates a "Wild West" environment in which the power of corporate media is eviscerated and citizens can find and even produce all the "alternative media" they require. This claim is misleading but it should not be reflexively or completely dismissed. In the U.S. as elsewhere, those with access to the Internet and the time and energy to use it meaningfully can find a remarkable breadth and depth of information and trenchant Left analysis at various online sites. The Internet also broadens U.S. citizens and activists' access to media networks beyond the U.S. – to elite sources that are much less beholden of course to U.S. propaganda and ideology. At the same time, the Internet and digital telephony networks have at times shown themselves to be effective grassroots organizing tools for progressive U.S. activists.

Still, the democratic and progressive impact of the Internet in the U.S. is easily exaggerated. Left and other progressive online outlets lack anything close to the financial, technical, and organizational and human resources of the corporate news media, which has its own sophisticated Internet. There is nothing in Left other citizen online outlets that can begin to remotely challenge the "soft" ideological and propagandistic power of corporate "entertainment" media. The Internet's technical infrastructure is increasingly dominated by an "ISP cartel" led by a small number of giant corporations. As the leading left U.S. media analyst Robert McChesney notes:

"By 2014, there are only a half-dozen or so major players that dominate provision of broadband Internet access and wireless Internet access. Three of them – Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast – dominate the field of telephony and Internet access, and have set up what is in effect a cartel. They no longer compete with each other in any meaningful sense. As a result, Americans pay far more for cellphone and broadband Internet access than most other advanced nations and get much lousier service These are not 'free market' companies in any sense of the term. Their business model, going back to pre-Internet days, has always been capturing government monopoly licenses for telephone and cable TV services. Their 'comparative advantage' has never been customer service; it has been world-class lobbying.' [16]

Along the way, the notion of a great "democratizing," Wild West" and "free market" Internet has proved politically useful for the corporate media giants. The regularly trumpet the great Internet myth to claim that the U.S. public and regulators don't need to worry about corporate media power and to justify their demands for more government subsidy and protection. At the same time, finally, we know from the revelations of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and others that the nation's leading digital and Internet-based e-mail (Google and Yahoo), telephony (e.g. Verizon), and "social network" (Facebook above all) corporations have collaborated with the National Security Agency and with the nation's local, state, and federal police in the surveillance of U.S. citizens' and activists' private communications.[17]

Solutions

The fourth objection accuses Left media critics of being overly negative, "carping" critics who offer no serious alternatives to the nation's current corporate-owned corporate-managed commercial and for-profit media system. This is a transparently false and mean-spirited charge. Left U.S. media criticism is strongly linked to a smart and impressive U.S. media reform movement that advances numerous and interrelated proposals for the creation of a genuinely public and democratically run non-commercial and nonprofit U.S. media system. Some of the demand and proposals of this movement include public ownership and operation of the Internet as a public utility; the break-up of the leading media oligopolies; full public funding of public broadcasting; limits on advertising in commercial media; the abolition of political advertisements; the expansion of airwave and broadband access for alternative media outlets; publicly-funded nonprofit and non-commercial print journalism; the abolition of government and corporate surveillance, monitoring, and commercial data-mining of private communication and "social networks."[18] With regard to the media as with numerous other areas, we should recall Chomsky's sardonic response to the standard conservative claim that the Left offers criticisms but no solutions: "There is an accurate translation for that charge: 'they present solutions and I don't like them.'"[19]

A False Paradox

The propagandistic and power-serving mission and nature of dominant U.S, corporate mass media might seem ironic and even paradoxical in light of the United States' strong free speech and democratic traditions. In fact, as Carey and Chomsky have noted, the former makes perfect sense in light of the latter. In nations where popular expression and dissent is routinely crushed with violent repression, elites have little incentive to shape popular perceptions in accord with elite interests. The population is controlled primarily through physical coercion. In societies where it is not generally considered legitimate to put down popular expression with the iron heel of armed force and where dissenting opinion is granted a significant measure of freedom of expression, elites are heavily and dangerously incentivized to seek to manufacture mass popular consent and idiocy. The danger is deepened by the United States' status as the pioneer in the development of mass consumer capitalism, advertising, film, and television. Thanks to that history, corporate America has long stood in the global vanguard when it comes to developing the technologies, methods, art, and science of mass persuasion and thought control.[20]

It is appropriate to place quotation marks around the phrase "mainstream media" when writing about dominant U.S. corporate media. During the Cold War era, U.S. officials and media never referred to the Soviet Union's state television and radio or its main state newspapers as "mainstream Russian media." American authorities referred to these Russian media outlets as "Soviet state media" and treated that media as means for the dissemination of Soviet "propaganda" and ideology. There is no reason to consider the United States' corporate and commercial media as any more "mainstream" than the leading Soviet media organs were back in their day. It is just as dedicated as the onetime Soviet state media to advancing the doctrinal perspectives of its host nation's reigning elite -- and far more effective.

Its success is easily exaggerated, however. To everyday Americans' credit, corporate media has never been fully successful in stamping out popular resistance and winning over the hearts and minds of the U.S. populace. A recent Pew Research poll showed that U.S. "millennials" (young adults 18-29 years old) have a more favorable response to the word "socialism" than to "capitalism" – a remarkable finding on the limits of corporate media and other forms of elite ideological power in the U.S. The immigrant worker uprising of May 2006, the Chicago Republic Door and Window plant occupation of 2008, the University of California student uprisings of 2009 and 2010, the Wisconsin public worker rebellion in early 2011, the Occupy Movement of late 2011, and Fight for Fifteen (for a $15 an hour minimum wage) and Black Lives Matter movements of 2014 and 2015 show that U.S. corporate and imperial establishment has not manufactured anything like comprehensive and across the board mass consent and idiocy in the U,S. today. The U.S. elite is no more successful in its utopian (or dystopian) quest to control every American heart and mind than it is in its equally impossible ambition of managing events across a complex planet from the banks of the Potomac River in Washington D.C. The struggle for popular self-determination, democracy, justice, and equality lives on despite the influence of corporate media.

[Aug 18, 2018] Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you're stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid

Notable quotes:
"... Shortly before Hersh started covering the Pentagon for the Associated Press in 1965, Arthur Sylvester, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, berated a group of war correspondents in Saigon: "Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you're stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid." ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship , Aug 18, 2018 8:23:37 AM | 86

Just over at the American Conservative reading an article about Seymour Hersch and found this:
Shortly before Hersh started covering the Pentagon for the Associated Press in 1965, Arthur Sylvester, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, berated a group of war correspondents in Saigon: "Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you're stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid."
Nothing changes. Something for the #resistance to think about. BTW, how do we know that Arthur Sylvester was telling the truth? Or was he lying?

[Aug 18, 2018] The funny thing is people still believe Putin wanted Trump, believing a poor translation

Aug 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

TS , August 15, 2018 at 7:17 am

> Do you also dismiss the global pattern of Russian interference on democratic elections by the same means and methods?

Yup! Since nobody has presented the slightest evidence of such a pattern (and even the German intelligence agencies have said it didn't happen )

> Didn't Putin say publicly that his country acted to assist Donald Trump?

Nope!

> Are the CEO's of FACEBOOK and Google and Twitter also spouting lie about Russian media interference in our elections's

As far as I know, they have been avoiding doing so (presumably because they know such lies would be exposed immediately).

> When the details come out about how Russia has funneled money throu the NRA, will you dismiss that as well?

The NRA is funded by Moscow gold! I like it that makes all its right-wing supporters in Congress agents of Moscow, right? Please launch a campaign to have them all impeached. (I won't hold my breath waiting, though.)

> Is Florida election systems not really under Russian military attack as I write this?

Well, no, it is not. And why should the Russians want to, in the first place? The existing office-holders do more harm than anything they could possibly arrange

jeff montanye , August 17, 2018 at 7:56 am

his name is seth rich. the dnc gave him a memorial bike rack.

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Do you dismiss the global pattern of CIA interference in elections all around the world for decades, including Russia in 1996? Look at the amount and quality of this so-called interference by Russian citizens. It is miniscule. Facebook , google, and twitter know they have to play ball with our so-called "Intelligence Community" and Congress or else. Please provide a source for Putin saying publicly he helped Trump. I found nothing on a browser search.

You are drinking MSM Kool-aid by the bucketload. Try reading through the archives here for an education.

Rob , August 14, 2018 at 4:19 pm

I believe that Putin said that he hoped for Trump to win, not that he ordered Russian operatives to interfere in the U.S. election process. There is a big difference. If I am wrong about this, I would love to see the evidence.

Curious , August 15, 2018 at 1:40 am

Rob, there's is a lot of confusion about what Putin really said, and most of it is wrong. Again, the 'lost in translation' issues. Here is what was said by Putin, quoted in CGI and elsewhere:

CGI quote: What Putin actually called Trump in Russian is "ochen' yarkiy chelovek," which literally translates to "a very bright person." Unlike the English word "bright," the Russian yarkiy does not connote intelligence; rather, it means someone who is colorful, flashy, showy, an individual who makes himself stand out from the crowd.

The more colloquial translation is "a colorful character," a phrase that in the Russian carries a note of bemusement. Putin added that Trump is also "talented (talantlivyi), without a doubt." He then went on to say that "regarding [U.S.] internal politics and the turns of phrase [Trump] employs to boost his popularity, I repeat that it is not our business to assess that aspect of his performance." Taken as a whole, the statement suggests that Putin recognizes the theatrical component of Trump's campaign, and chose not to comment on the contentious impact that Trump and his statements have had on American politics.

Putin himself later explained this to the journalists at one of his end of the year Q&As he has.

Trump, naturally, heard a bad translation and this appealed to his self-aggrandizement. He gave the thumbs up thinking Putin was congratulating, and backing him. Unsurprisingly, people still misunderstand Putins' statement.

Translation issues often occur and I remember when Jimmy Carter went to Poland for his first trip abroad to Poland, and the translator said President Carter had a great "lust" for the people of Poland, whereas the word "lust", as in German, means "desire, fondness and affection" and not some sexual connotation at all in a formal context.. The funny thing is people still believe Putin wanted Trump, believing a poor translation. Foreign languages really should be taught in schools again.

rosemerry , August 14, 2018 at 4:21 pm

Didn't Putin say publicly that his country acted to assist Donald Trump? NO, he did not. The questioner joined several questions together. Putin agreed that he wanted a person to win who would try to mend relations with Russia. He said he did nothing to help the process.

You really believe the billionaire CEOs of those controlling businesses???

As for Florida- remember the 2000 election.

Paul P , August 14, 2018 at 4:35 pm

These are all quite easily addressed point by point. As the saying goes, that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Where is this established pattern of interfering with the "same means and methods"? If the claim is essentially, "Russia obtained evidence of corruption in an unfavorable party and disseminated this evidence to swing a democratic foreign election against said party" please cite an example of another election where this can be proven as something that happened. It hasn't.

Did Putin publicly admit that Russia acted to help Donald Trump? The answer to that is no. You are likely misinterpreting or misrepresenting an interview in which Putin stated Trump's more conciliatory campaign rhetoric (vs Clinton's open hostility) seemed preferable. This is as far as the "admission" went and is miles from your assertion/interpretation.

FB and Twitter's definition of Russia-linked activity is purposefully misleading. For activity to be considered Russia-linked, only ONE (not all) of the following conditions must apply. 1. The account is set up from Russian IP. 2. The account is confirmed using number with a Russian phone carrier. 3. Any services purchased are paid for in Russian currency. 4. The user has ever logged in via a Russian network, even once. 5. The user posts primarily in Russian. 6. User has a screen name spelled in the Cyrillic alphabet.
None of these things can even guarantee that a user is even Russian national, much less acting at the behest of the Russian government. If you used the wifi at Sheremtyevo during a layover between Amsterdam and Beijing and used Twitter, they'd call that Russia-linked activity.

According to Bloomberg, "Russia funneling money through the NRA" amounts to a meager $2512 donated by 23 people with Russian addresses in 2015-2018 (laughably paltry for an organization with over $433,000,000 in annual revenue), the majority is in the form of membership dues and less than half in the form of individual donations. This is hardly indicative of some giant secret funding operation, especially as there is no proof the Russian government has anything to do with this. There are an estimated 300,000 American citizens at least temporarily residing in Russia, but it's inconceivable that among them might be 23 NRA members/donors?

As for Florida, to date there's been no evidence presented. If there's no evidence, then anyone believing this only does so because they want to.

keir , August 14, 2018 at 4:39 pm

I can only assume that:
"Are the CEO's of FACEBOOK Google and Twitter also spouting lie about Russian media intereference in our elections's"
-was meant to be ironic?
If not, then what do you think these unregulated public forums and their selective censoring are really for?
An exercise in freedom of speech?
(clearly not all speech)
They are literally designed to sway public opinion (at best) and circulate the lies that corporate media is spouting.

Russian Meddling?
Why this so funny to the majority of the rest of the world is because historically America not only meddles in elections, but illegally invades and overthrows democratically elected governments and installs dictatorships (think Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine and the Honduras)
The real irony is that in the 1996 Russian election under Clinton the US made sure it was their man Yeltsin that got elected.
It is psychologically easy to attach to the hysteria of Russian fear mongering, because of the history of propaganda.
"Fear Communism!"
"They are infiltrating America through worker's unions!!"
Only now they are crony capitalists just like us.

Karelian , August 14, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Bream Lynch,

No, he didn't say that. And if some media claims so, then please avoid that media in the future, as it lies to you. He answered the first part of a two-piece question. He said that he hoped Trump to win, not that he ordered people to assist Trump.

And there is no "global pattern" of Russian interference. You may remember how NSA said they watched the Russians hack Macron's email? But do you remember how soon after that France said there were no "Russian hacking" of any sort. You might also remember how the media in Germany (and in US) told that Russia was ready to hack the German elections? Do you remember how after the elections German intelligence agency said that they didn't find any Russian activities at all?

The France case:
https://apnews.com/fc570e4b400f4c7db3b0d739e9dc5d4d

And how the "trusted" NSA claimed to "saw everything":
https://www.wired.com/2017/05/nsa-director-confirms-russia-hacked-french-election-infrastructure/

The German case (you might want to use google translator):
https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/geheimdienste-bnd-keine-beweise-fuer-desinformations-kampagne-putins-1.3365839

P.S. Sorry about my English. This is not my native language :)

backwardsevolution , August 15, 2018 at 5:12 am

Karelian -- excellent English. Good job.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:23 pm

"Didn't Putin say publicly that his country acted to assist Donald Trump?"
No, he did not, though media pundits pretended he did for a few days and then dropped it.

Gregory Herr , August 14, 2018 at 6:32 pm

When the details come out? That's the problem -- relentless accusations for 20 months with no evidence and little detail except absurd notions about the (non) effect of click-bait ads on social media that have nothing to do with Russian government activity. What is equally absurd is the idea that the Russian Federation gives a rat's petunia about who wins a contest between Bill Nelson or Rick Scott, two all-too-similar politicians in the American mold. And of course the Russian government has an idea of how to purge just the right voters to achieve a preference! What nonsense!

With all the "information" and "disinformation" coming from a myriad of quarters trying to sell one candidate over another during our protracted election seasons, people need to get a grip about terms such as "influence" and "interference" and perhaps arrive at the perspective that amidst all the chatter and influence-peddling lies the responsibility for individual voters to separate wheat from chaff and come to a personal voting decision.

CNN and MSNBC backed Clinton to the hilt so in my disagreement should I cry "untoward influence!"? well, that's touching on another subject and I'll leave it at that.

Jean , August 14, 2018 at 10:46 pm

The fact Putin would want Trump as opposed to the war criminal Hillary who threatened war with Russia and destabilize the Middle East in a proxy war is just sanity.

Why would you believe the very same people who lied us into Iraq and worse ?

Literally

willow , August 14, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Obama traveled to the UK to urge voters to vote against Brexit. The Saudi's funded 20 percent of Hillary's campaign. yada-yada-yada

Gregory Herr , August 14, 2018 at 11:25 pm

And Obama went to France to cheerlead for Macron the week of the election. But that's exceptional -- no indispensable -- advice.

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 1:08 am

Obama wiretapped Merkel's phone!

People should really think hard about that when tossing around these horse chit lies about Russia hacking the DNC.

alley cat , August 14, 2018 at 11:54 am

Looking over the comments on Lawrence's post, I wonder if we're losing sight of the bigger picture here. Exposing the truth about a presidential candidate, whoever did it (and all the credible evidence to date points toward Seth Rich) isn't meddling, it's a public service. The DNC leak didn't threaten democracy, it promoted it by providing crucial information to the U.S. electorate. Those who claim that revealing the truth about a political candidate is a crime are the ones who constitute the real threat to democracy.

Smears, hoaxes, fabrications, and psyops are standard operating procedure for U.S. intelligence agencies. You would have to be simple to believe that these agencies would hesitate to use these same tactics against the American public when it furthers their political agenda. Just like you would have to be simple to believe that the officials running these agencies don't have a political agenda.

Russia is an obstacle to U.S. global hegemony? Blow it up, after first subverting their economy with groundless sanctions and whipping the American public into a hysterical war frenzy. That's the grand strategy behind the Russiagate hoax, the Skripal hoax, the Douma hoax, and whatever hoax they dream up next.

If President Trump is foolish enough to get in the way, he's expendable, and he knows it now if he didn't before.

Skip Scott , August 15, 2018 at 8:22 am

alley cat-

I've thought the same myself. Even if it was the evil Vlad himself who snuck into the DNC, stole the files and personally handed them to Assange, how is bringing the truth about the collusion between team Hillary and the DNC to sabotage the Sanders' campaign an "attack" on our democracy? Actually it would be a service to our democracy, and an "attack" on an evil oligarchy that was trying to subvert our democracy.

This whole "evil Ruskies" thing is just ridiculous. Our democracy has been utterly corrupted from within, and providing the truth to the voting public can never be considered an "attack", no matter the source.

Al Pinto , August 14, 2018 at 11:49 am

Quote from the article:

"The intrusion into the Democratic National Committee mail was a local download -- wherever 'local' is."

"wherever" is a wide definition. While I certainly agree that 22.6MB/s, or ~180Mb/s, does seem a lot like USB 3.0 write speed, one cannot neglect the possibility of over the network transferring the same data with the same speed.

The DNC server certainly had the bandwidth available for this transfer rate, most hosting service providers do allow ramping up the transfer rate up to 1Gb/s. Verizon and other ISPs in the New York Metropolitan area had been providing fiber connection for businesses and home users for years, with transfer rates of up to 1Gb/s. For home users the most popular speed had been 200Mb/s for years.

Please keep in mind that 8 bits = 1 Byte Notice the capitalization of the letter "B"

The 200Mb/s speed has a maximum transfer rate of 25MB/s. Knowing that the network protocol overhead uses up about 10% of the nominal speed, then the 22.6MB/s transfer rate is easily achievable remotely. And yes, "wherever that local is".

Theoretically The Russians could have hacked a PC/server, with high speed Internet access within the New York Metropolitan, hacked the DNC server from the "Zombie" system, download the archived files to the "Zombie" system and download to possibly couple of other "Zombie" systems, prior to reaching the destination in Russia. At least that's how I would have done it

Even doing so, there should have been traces of these connections in the NSA data warehouse in UTAH, possibly even capturing the transfered archived file. It would not surprise me a bit, if that's the case. The fact in itself, that there has been no such verification/capture for this connection seems to indicate that the data transfer has taken place directly on the server, via the USB port. Unless of course the NSA does not want to disclose network traces of the connection, since it might implicate a friendly country, maybe the most friendly country for the US, that would also exonerate Russia.

As for the dates of the file It seems that these files had been generated just prior to downloading the .7z archived files. The default behavior for .7z is to preserve both the folder and file creation dates, while recording the current time for the archive folder in itself. Of course, this can be changed, both during and/or after archiving

JoeD , August 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Ok you're a troll right? Verizon has most certainly not provided fiber connections for home users in the New York Metropolitan area. They stopped their fiber roll out A LONG TIME AGO. So no, the infrastructure does not exist.

No you don't know much about network speeds if you believe that you can have those sustained speeds all the way through the connections. If you have ever done internet speed tests you will know that your speed depends a lot on the different nodes you pass through.

"You'd need a dedicated, leased, 400 -- megabit line all the way to Russia to achieve that result," Binney said in a recent interview. "

If you can shoe me that and you have something, otherwise, you're trolling.

Al Pinto , August 14, 2018 at 3:26 pm

If anyone, you don't know much about network speeds and Verizon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verizon_FiOS

https://www.verizon.com/home/fios-fastest-internet/

For businesses, that had been mentioned, Verizon started the fiber rollout even earlier

Show me where my numbers are incorrect?

Johnmichael2 , August 14, 2018 at 4:23 pm

trollling ? I don't think you understand internet data rates nor the capabilities of hackers .. he's talking about remote control of a PC local to the DNC server with good access not a direct high speed route out of the country.
Come on folks, the great US of A has been influencing electoral politics of other nations for years by many methods. Russians are not dumb some of the best virus detection and protection comes out of Kaspersky Labs. Look up the work of Russian and eastern country information science experts; the Chinese, Israelis and Indian practitioners are no dummies either.
Open your eyes Russian and other hacking is real and 'turn about is fair play' . we ain't the rulers of the world anymore in case you didn't notice.

Rob , August 14, 2018 at 4:28 pm

This comments section is a place where people are allowed to spout their own ideas and theories, but still, I am amused by commenters who presume to have knowledge about communications technology that is somehow unknown to the likes of William Binney and other genuine experts in the field. I know that this may sound like ad hominem thinking on my part, but some of the opinions regarding technology are so simplistic that they make me laugh.

willow , August 14, 2018 at 11:04 pm

It's all good because it leads to deeper understanding of subject and makes us better able to finesse/counter/debate disinformation on forums like the Washington Post or the NYT, where
opposing views are scant and we need to push back.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 6:59 am

If the evidence existed, it would have been released in redacted form by the NSA over a year ago (although by now you would think they would have fabricated something).

Diane Rejman , August 14, 2018 at 10:50 am

I believe much of this whole "Russiagate" thing started as a disgusting and pathetic attempt to give Hillary an excuse for losing, and is now out of control, with tentacles reaching throughout our country and the world. The DNC has admitted to being cheaters. THAT should be the bigger investigation. Our right to vote should be sacred, but the DNC took all legitimacy away from it. If they thought their "chosen one" couldn't win the primary without cheating and other assistance, why would they think she could win the main election? She was a horribly bad candidate, and they won't admit this. So instead -- they came up with this whole, "My dog ate my homework" type theory. And yes -- it is very scary to think this whole Russiagate conspiracy theory has gotten out of hand, and is now too big to fail. What a ridiculous reason to create trouble with Russia!

rosemerry , August 14, 2018 at 4:25 pm

I remember Obama in his "lame-duck" period expelling Russian diplomats, stealing their US properties, starting the whole landslide of Russia-hatred when he had spent 8 years helping to reduce the seats of the Democratic Party at all levels of government by his actions. Check out the figures- Democrats lost because of their own faults.

Elizabeth Burton , August 14, 2018 at 6:12 pm

The original intent, based on the rhetoric that followed right after the Russiagate narrative was first launched, seem to have been to have the election declared invalid so they could either do it over or have HRC declared the real winner by fiat. Apparently, at some point wiser heads pointed out that wasn't Constitutionally viable, so the story was toned down to its current level then repeated over and over, per Goebbels' Law, to ensure the bulk of the public accepted it as proven fact.

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 1:22 am

don't kid yourself.
They still have the fantasy of installing their queen.
Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman professor of law and leadership at Harvard Law School.
Postulates the fantasy that Democrats win the house in 2018.
A NY congressman/woman takes the dive and resigns so Hillary can be appointed to the seat by NY governor.
And, she is then elected Speaker of the house putting her in #3 for the presidency.
Then Pence resigns a- la Spirow Agnew.
And, Trump is impeached and removed by the Senate.
Voila Herself is president.

These F'n people have lost all grip on reality.
The only people buying the Russia Russia Russia hysteria is the same people pushing it.
They are delusional.
Completely unhinged and delusional.

Stephen P , August 14, 2018 at 10:22 am

Suzie Dawson and Chris Hedges discuss elite power five weeks ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zzcDELakRM

Jim other , August 14, 2018 at 1:07 pm

Thank you for this video!

jean , August 14, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Thank you, Stephen P!
I'll tweet it, to remind people of what Assange has done.

Peter Bowen , August 14, 2018 at 10:08 am

Your excellent discussion is only lacking the role of British intelligence. See "The fish stinks from the head down" by Barbara Boyd at LaRouchePAC.com.

anastasia , August 14, 2018 at 9:49 am

Guccifer is a manipulator and a fabricator, and time and location cannot be determined? Yet, Guccifer leaves fingerprints of the Russians, in Cyrillic letters. If Guccifer is a manipulator and a fabricator, deliberately leaving fingerprints of the Russians, one need only ask, who in the world would want to pin the blame on the Russians for election interference in the US, and for what reason would they want to do such a thing. When that question is answered, you narrow down who is behind it all.

xeno , August 14, 2018 at 9:47 am

The American public has been living in a cloud of mis- and dis- information for decades. This isn't new.

Since Trump came on the political scene a couple years ago and scared the big money and big power "elite", it has become more obvious and extreme.

Christian Chuba , August 14, 2018 at 8:10 am

If the hack narrative is ever refuted, the IC community will just fallback to 'Russians are still attacking our democracy with facebook posts', aren't we the fragile, hot house plants. Still I would love to see the truth come out someday, whatever that may be.

This other article makes a convincing case that the first set of Russians indicted by Mueller were just commercial scammers, not spy masters from the Kremlin http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html
I hate that he is an anonymous blogger who calls himself 'Moon of Alabama' but dang, he just writes so well.

The last set of accusations centers around hacking voter registration servers which is reported as 'Russians hacking state elections'.
I've wondered if this is just another commercial enterprise where hackers are just doing routine identity theft, not nice, but not a state enterprise.

I remember Putin wanting to have a treaty with the U.S. to clamp down on all international hacking but that would require reciprocity and this would prevent our infiltration of their systems. This never gets any mention in our MSM.

Chucky LeRoi , August 14, 2018 at 4:19 pm

Just a very small point Christian. The blogger at MOA is hardly anonymous. Click the "about this blog" link on the site. I even have his home address for donations

F. G. Sanford , August 14, 2018 at 7:58 am

Observations I have shared here in the past have had little impact on the grand scheme of things, so it is with little hope that I comment today. Arguments become complex and tortured, esoteric even to the point of grasping at philosophical abstractions which, in the end, bear no resemblance to the actual events.

We are asked to believe that Russian "insiders" fed information damaging to Candidate Trump to Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, who then concocted the "dossier". This would serve to subvert his electability, and failing that, would provide an "insurance policy" to insure that his Presidency would be nonviable. In the same breath, we are asked to believe that those same Russians who sabotaged Mr. Trump's credibility -- wait for it -- manipulated the election to insure that his opponent would lose. Either strategy would result in an outcome unfavorable to Russia. Either Pence would assume leadership after an engineered coup, or Clinton would have won. Neither outcome benefits the Russians. YOU SIMPLY CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. All of this ignores what I and others observed long before the election: Hillary Clinton was the most repugnant candidate the DNC could possibly have chosen. Gotta give it to COL Lawrence Wilkerson, who stated frankly: "I just don't think she's electable".

Without all the ontological baggage, "Fideism" simply refers to articles of religious faith. Religion cares not a wit for evidence. In fact, it relies on the rejection of common logic in favor of "faith", itself the polar opposite of empirical, evidence-based thinking.

When news outlets of the day smeared, fabricated, edited, misrepresented and outright lied about Jim Garrison's case regarding the JFK assassination, the affronts to his integrity became so egregious and so obvious that, under the "Fairness Doctrine", he was granted a thirty minute rebuttal on one of the major television networks. To paraphrase, he said, "The American public has been sold a children's fairytale. But we are not children, and as adults, the consequences of believing such nonsense will be devastating. We will eventually lose our democracy".

Garrison's prediction has come to pass. We now vehemently defend fairytales as reality collapses in front of our very eyes.

Bob Van Noy , August 14, 2018 at 8:52 am

Thanks F. G. Sanford for the very appropriate referral to Jim Garrison. It was his dedication in the face of near impossible odds that convinced me to dedicate myself to fighting the ongoing battle for honesty and justice with respect to JFK's Assassination. When I remember the lifelong dedication of Jim Garrison, Fletcher Prouty, and the many totally dedicated Journalists, Researchers, and Public Servants like William Binney, I'm encouraged that the Truth will yet win out

Bob H , August 14, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Somehow I think Christopher Steele is the link to all of Russiagate. He was the head of Mi6's Russia Desk and "held the hand" of the dying Alexander Litvinenko(the 1st alleged poison victim of Putin), he was still around for the mysterious suicide of Dr. Kelley, he was hired by Fusion GP3, first by the GOP, then by the Dems to dig up dirt on Trump. He was then hired by Crowdstrike to clean up the DNC server(denied to the FBI). His association with Portman Down might well connect him with the Skripal poisonings.

jdd , August 14, 2018 at 4:36 pm

You are on target. In fact there is speculation that Skripal may have been one of the infamous "sources" of Steele's salacious dossier. In any case, Skripal was recruited to MI6 by one Pablo Miller, during the time Steele was undercover in Moscow, and who in addition to living near Skripal, was employed by Orbis, Steele's Private Intelligence firm. Interestingly,according to the Telegraph, Miller's association with Orbis has since been removed from his linkedin profile.Steele also pops up in a key role in conjunction with State's Victoria Nuland and Jonathan Winer in the violent 2014 coup against the elected government of Ukraine. where he began surveillance of Paul Manafort, and was later involved,along with his boss richarad Dearlove of MI6, in the targeting of Mike Flynn, Carter Page and George Papadopolous, the intended entrapment of the last two occurring on British soil, and then fed into the FBI by John Brennan.

Bob Herrschaft , August 14, 2018 at 10:24 pm

jdd if you have a link for Steele's connection with the 2014 Ukraine coup, I would appreciate it if you would post it here thanks

rosemerry , August 14, 2018 at 4:28 pm

No wonder Reagan got rid of the "Fairness Doctrine". The US MSM could not survive it these days.

I wonder too how many people remember the McCarthy times, which seem to have returned with a vengeance without the commies!!

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:32 pm

Re Wilkerson "I just don't think she's electable".
This might be a good time to remind readers that HRC has never won a contested election in her life.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 8:49 am

She was twice elected to the U.S. Senate with opponents on the ballot, and had to win contested primaries both times.

It doesn't speak very well of the people of New York that she won all those races, but in what sense were they not "contested elections", at least in the limited sense that applies to U.S. politics generally?

GKJames , August 14, 2018 at 7:02 am

(1) Does this set an impossibly high bar? Assuming one can navigate the technological intricacies -- the point about transfer speeds seems reasonable enough -- can't one equally conclude that there is compelling evidence of Russia's ongoing (over years) cyber-operations against a number of countries? Certainly, there is the counter-argument, Well, you've not proved anything. True enough, but in terms of crafting policies, we're never dealing with a proof-beyond-reasonable-doubt standard. And even if we agreed that DNC emails were leaked (by Americans) rather than hacked by Russians, that wouldn't be the end of the inquiry, would it?

(2) Reasonable people will agree that hysteria should not drive policy. But hasn't US policy -- especially in connection with the country's relationship with the rest of the world -- been driven by exactly that, more often than not, for eons? The Infotainment Complex recognized long ago that there are profits to be made by luring eyeballs. The particular flavor may vary with time (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, etc.), but the hysteria itself is ever-present. Today's flavor happens to be Russia, a perennial best-seller that benefits a variety of domestic constituencies, not least the Threat Industry. Whether the public is being manipulated or simply getting what it wants is an open question. My own view is that, by and large, very little happens without the public's (even if only tacit) support.

(3) US foreign policy has always been an extension of domestic politics. Politicians taking sensible positions invariably would be flogged by power-seekers for being "soft" on some contrived evil. Reality, especially the nuanced kind, has rarely played much of a role. Nor has self-reflection. Neither Washington nor the public it ostensibly serves show a capacity for asking, What might explain Russia's position on, for instance, Crimea, Ukraine, and Georgia? The cavalier decision to expand NATO eastward to Russia's border as THE source of Moscow's resentment -- shared by a large proportion of the Russian public -- simply doesn't compute in American minds. That non-computation is bipartisan; it's simply how an empire does things.

(4) What remains strikingly elusive is a public exploration of how/why information on social media was found persuasive by American voters, irrespective of who planted the information. If it hadn't been Russians, would the November 2016 outcome have been different? Unlikely. A cursory look at the on-line world makes it obvious that ignorance is the coin of the realm, and that Americans do just fine in that regard all on their own.

All to say that the contentiousness among the world's powers will stay with us. As will the national myth-making. The best that can be hoped for is that there is enough self-restraint all around to keep in check the worst of the insanity.

mike k , August 14, 2018 at 8:02 am

GK -- Your comment can be summed up as: Nothing new here, get used to it -- there's nothing we can do about it. Really? The establishment would dearly love for all of us to adopt your ho hum attitude.

GKJames , August 14, 2018 at 9:08 am

Am suggesting that the problem facing what's left of the republic is far greater than a hack/leak case, "collusion", or even the Nov '16 outcome. The American mind needs re-wiring, something that Americans had better do themselves if they don't want a changing geopolitical landscape to do it for them. Sure, there are (always have been) people with a clue, but they tend to be outnumbered, now more than ever as widely cheered appeals to the visceral have taken over the ethos of government itself. Problem is, the opposition (at least at national leadership levels) to the current administration is mired in incoherence, obsessed to distraction with the obviously woeful personal qualities of the president, and devoid of imagination (the realistic kind). In other words, liberal democracy as we've known it since 1945 and imperfect as it's been, is under threat. And the threat doesn't come from Russia, but from half of a population no longer persuaded that it's the only viable way of sustaining the grand experiment. Concerns with anything less than that strike me as a matter of nibbling at the edges and avoiding what we really need to do: look at ourselves and stop pointing fingers at whatever "others" we can conjure as the source of our troubles.

Ray McGovern , August 14, 2018 at 10:56 am

Dear GK,

Thanks for both your comments and the wider perspective they offer.

Ray

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 14, 2018 at 6:45 am

A further thought.

We have, of course, someone who can precisely and accurately answer any question in the matter.

Unfortunately, he is more or less imprisoned at the behest of your American government.

And should he be turned out of his current situation, he faces certain extradition to the US where he faces ugly treatment and a long prison term.

Such are the realities of American power in the world today.

By the way, his name is Julian Assange.

And the Democratic Party's own candidate, Ms Clinton, was quoted in her charming fashion, "Can't we just drone him or something?"

Of course, it was in line with many ugly statements by Clinton, as the one, after Qaddafi's assassination -- a man who did his best for his people and kept them in peace -- "We came, we saw, he died! Ha ha ha!"

It isn't just Trump who has a filthy mouth and constantly tells lies.

It is the whole American power establishment.

There is no easy solution, at least not in our time.

Powerful people who are determined to do terrible things will do them.

The total stakes for America's power establishment are too big for any argument or evidence to turn it around.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 14, 2018 at 6:28 am

But this is just the way American politicians have learned to deal with any adverse finding about almost anything, especially in foreign affairs.

They just ignore it.

"How far will we allow our government to escalate against others without proof of anything?" is a reader quote cited by the author.

But I ask, first, what the "allow" is doing in there?

Just what options, what real power, do average Americans have today? My best guess is that it is close to zero.

Yes, you're still free, at least for a little while, to write and speak words, words, and more words. But their net effect on the giant engine that is the American power establishment is close to zero also.

And perhaps before long -- given events like the Alex Jones creepy stunts -- you may not even be able to utter the words.

The stupid, endless stuff about Russia and hacks is just one small battle front of a huge multi-front war being waged by the American power establishment for world supremacy.

If you want to understand the engines driving all this, read:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/john-chuckman-comment-how-american-politics-really-work-why-there-are-terrible-candidates-and-constant-wars-and-peoples-problems-are-ignored-why-heroes-like-julian-assange-are-persecuted-and-r/

willow , August 14, 2018 at 11:29 pm

The censorship extends to the alternative commentators too. KPFA, Pacifica radio, which hosts Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, just removed a long running program, Guns & Butter hosted by Bonnie Falkner because she recently dared to discuss verboten subjects, i.e., Zionism.

Gregory Herr , August 15, 2018 at 12:10 am

I was hoping she was vacationing. I'll miss her interviews with people like William Pepper, William Engdahl, the Saker, and many others. What a disappointment.

exiled off mainstreet , August 15, 2018 at 2:53 am

They'd rather stick with establishment shills, which is what Amy Goodman has evolved into as a serial apologist for yankee war crimes in the middle east.

exiled off mainstreet , August 15, 2018 at 2:51 am

Great articles; great responses; great website. You've accurately described the true nature of the present day yankee imperium in your responses and articles.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 4:22 am

Thank Dog our wonderful elites in the halls of power are spending millions; if not hundreds of millions of dollars on Russiafarce.
Instead of frittering it away on hardening the electrical grid to an EMP.

I feel so represented and cared for by our illustrious elites

David G , August 14, 2018 at 3:12 am

Ok, here's my technical question, which is not calculated to make me very popular around here.

Suppose the following:

Somebody (the Russians, the Samoans, elves, whoever) did in fact hack the DNC computer for these emails, and this was done at the expected, relatively slow download rate. They then may or may not have manipulated the data or metadata in some fashion on their own machine. The somebody then uploaded these files onto a USB flash drive, and then re-downloaded them onto another computer at the high transfer rate noted by the VIPS. From this second computer they were sent on to Wikileaks (or some intermediary).

Does the VIPS analysis preclude this scenario? If not, is it possible that they are correct about the download rate, but still have not excluded the possibility that the initial taking of the emails from the DNC was done by hack?

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 3:54 am

The disseminator (wikileaks/Julian Assange) of those LEAKED emails has already answered the question.
He has unequivocally stated that the emails were leaked; Not hacked.
NOTHING Wikileaks has released or claimed has ever been found to be false.

Kim Dotcom also claims to have intimate knowledge of the leak.
Both have offered to give testimony in this entire farce investigation
Yet, the grand inquisitor, Mueller the 9/11 and Anthrax, coverup artist refuses to interview them.
That alone should tell you what is really going on.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 4:07 am

So you're saying there's nothing in the VIPS analysis that refutes the scenario I outlined? Just those unrelated statements, upon which VIPS did not rely?

I'd be surprised if that's the case, but I'm waiting to hear from someone with useful knowledge on the subject. That doesn't seem to be you.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 1:40 pm

That "someone" with the most knowledge on the subject has already spoken. His name is Julian Assange and he flat out said it came from a leak not a hack.

Who else do you think is more qualified to make a statement on the hack than Julian himself?

gratification , August 14, 2018 at 4:56 am

So what you're saying is that these cunning Russians faked the metadata on the DNC download (or whatever it was) so as to obfuscate the fact that it was them but left other "Russian fingerprints" -- such as cyrillic text -- that pointed to them? Baldrickian cunning! It's beyond my simple mind.

https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/04/new-analysis-by-the-forensicator-examines-russian-fingerprints-left-by-guccifer-2-0/

David G , August 14, 2018 at 5:34 am

I'm not saying anything like that.

What I'm *asking* is how the VIPS analysis can tell that the download (or upload, whatever) speed that they are relying on was from the *beginning* of the data's journey to Wikileaks (i.e. the initial transfer from the DNC server), which is what is required to prove their thesis, rather than from some subsequent step along the way?

I'm not crediting myself with any genius in bringing up this point. It seems like a fairly obvious challenge to make to the VIPS analysis, and I'm sure it's been made elsewhere.

I imagine the VIPS have dealt with this question long ago somewhere or other, but I've never run across it and am hoping someone here has the technical chops to enlighten me.

In the mean time, how about everybody else stop trying to mischaracterize my question or throw irrelevant (to this specific issue) facts at me?

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 7:28 am

I am also no technocrat.
My understanding is that any hack or leak leaves "fingerprints" in the files.
Both the original and the target files.

Thus, in the case of the scenario you propose -- earlier hacks that were amalgamated and transformed into one large leak (I think this is your scenario) -- there would be fingerprints of the earlier hacks.

AFAIK no allegations or evidence have been put forth concerning earlier suspicious hacks that could have been transformed into one large, fast leak.

We need to look at the very strong possibility that the real purpose of Mueller's investigation is to hide something, not reveal something. That is the strong record of his CV.

Can someone tell me whether a person who has posted regularly in the past and who wants to post here must enter name and email address afresh with each and every post?

Or is it just me?

David G , August 14, 2018 at 7:44 am

Well, what you say may well be true, Litchfield, but it still seems to me to be external to the VIPS point about internet download-speed limitations, upon which -- based on Patrick Lawrence's article -- they seem to be hanging a great deal, especially since they now acknowledge that "[t]he conclusions initially drawn on time and location in VIPS50 are now subject to these recent discoveries" (i.e. have been brought into question).

So I think my question stands.

I too now have to re-enter name and email with each post, and I also was wondering whether it was just me. Guess not. Maybe an anti-spam thing?

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 11:39 am

Litchfield-

The re-entry of your personal data started a couple weeks ago. I believe it is a safety precaution so that your personal email address is no longer stored by CN. I could be wrong.

Tom Welsh , August 14, 2018 at 8:41 am

As I understand your question, you are asking whether some information may not have been tracelessly stolen from the DNC server quite separately from the transfer to an external device described by VIPS.

My first reaction to this is that, obviously, any information could be copied from any computer at any time by any person -- but if the operation left no traces, nobody could know that it ever took place.

The only data that investigators have to go on are the files provided by Wikileaks and the logs and other records of the DNC server itself. As far as I know, those point only to one download -- that described by VIPS and this article.

Incidentally, you have reversed the usual meanings of "upload" and "download". Conventionally, one downloads data from a repository or database, and uploads to it.

Tom Welsh , August 14, 2018 at 8:50 am

Having had a look at https://disobedientmedia.com/2017/07/new-research-shows-guccifer-2-0-files-were-copied-locally-not-hacked/ which explains the forensic methods used to derive the download speeds, I admit that my first comment was inaccurate.

The files used were in fact not those provided by Wikileaks. The article linked to above states that,

'The Forensicator specifically discusses the data that was eventually published by Guccifer 2.0 under the title "NGP-VAN." This should not be confused with the separate publication of the DNC emails by Wikileaks'.

The file copy times were derived from a compressed archive containing all the files of interest. You can see a partial picture of the archive listing in the linked article.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 9:43 am

I appreciate your comments, Tom Welsh, but I feel I am just foundering deeper in confusion.

To be clear, I wasn't "asking whether some information may not have been tracelessly stolen from the DNC server quite separately from the transfer to an external device described by VIPS." At least, I didn't mean to ask that.

I want to know specifically why the VIPS are sure that the speedy download/upload rate they build their case on happened exactly when the data left the DNC server, and not at some later point in their history. The VIPS argument depends on the former being the case.

The article you link to in fact *does* speak to this point, which is great, but as you say it specificies that it is *not* about the DNC files that ended up at Wikileaks.

But this Patrick Lawrence article has William Binney "examin[ing] all the metadata associated with the files [Guccifer] 2.0 has made public" without making any distinction between that and the DNC/ Wikileaks files.

I guess I really don't have a handle on the essential details here.

While I like reading Patrick Lawrence's reflections on statecraft, I think he may have been out of his depth here. There's nothing here that clarifies these questions, and that's without even mentioning the passages that are confusing on their own, such as the paragraph about how "G-2.0" somehow "merged" two sets of data into two sets of data.

I realized my use of "download" (vs. "upload") was off after my initial comment, and have tried to avoid it in the later ones, but Binney himself is quoted using it in the "reversed" sense in the article, and I took my lead from that.

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 11:37 am

David G-

Here is a good video of Bill Binney explaining the merged data sets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe1movhtIfA

As to your other question, it is my understanding that ALL transfer of files leaves metadata, and Bill Binney and the Forensicator have backtracked the metadata to the original download that was of a speed only possible (at that time and place) locally via a storage device.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 2:29 pm

Thanks, Skip Scott. That's helpful.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:23 pm

I thought that there were two incidents concerning hacks/leaks, which some people are conflating.

1. *Leak* of files from DNC computers. This info ended up being given to Wikileaks by a person w ho is known to both Craig Murray and Julian Assange
.
2. *Hack* of Hillary's private email server, including emails that should not have been on a private server. And that there is some speculation that the Chinese hacked into Hillary's private server.

Am I wrong about that?

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 4:23 am

"*Hack* of Hillary's private email server, including emails that should not have been on a private server. And that there is some speculation that the Chinese hacked into Hillary's private server.

Am I wrong about that?"

Not wrong.
Any intelligence agency and every intelligence agency, including 3rd world rate, were in and out of Hillary's paper MCSE server set up.
FFS Brian Pagliano was busted asking for help on how to delete files on Reddit.

Aaron Schwartz got the last laugh!
And, we all got a few more years of an unradiated planet.
Well, so long as you pretend like the MSM does that Fukushima is a mass fertilaztion event.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 9:04 am

Litchfield --

It's reasonable to assume that Clinton's home server was compromised by any number of intelligence agencies, but that's not connected to any of the emails that have been publicly released -- because they're spies and Wikileaks is journalism, no matter how much U.S. pols and their stooges want to pretend otherwise.

Part of the Russia-gate snow job is to confuse this matter, though -- for instance by pretending references by Trump on the campaign trail to "Hilary's emails" were actually about the DNC and Podesta leaks.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:12 pm

" other records of the DNC server itself"

I thought that no one had been able to get their hands on the DNC servers -- the DNC had not turned them over to law enforcement or the FBI -- to do forensics on them.
Am I wrong about that?

backwardsevolution , August 15, 2018 at 2:22 am

Litchfield -- no, you've got it right, the DNC servers have not been forensically examined by the FBI. They were given to Crowdstrike to examine, if you can believe it.

Desert Dave , August 14, 2018 at 11:48 am

One thing has been bugging me about Binney's argument. Yes, it is nearly impossible for someone in Russia to transfer the files that quickly. But who's to say the "hacker" was not much closer to the DNC server, somewhere near DC?

They then transported the files via thumb drive or (more likely) portable disk drive to Wikileaks.

Mind you, I desperately want Binney to be right, and for the whole charade to fall apart, but this seems to be a weakness in his forensic argument.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 2:57 pm

My understanding has been that the VIPS are saying any internet upload at the recorded rate would have been impossible under the applicable conditions, even a local one. Despite the Binney quote in this piece referring to a "dedicated, leased, 400 -- megabit line all the way to Russia", I hadn't thought that's really their argument. Am I wrong?

In any case, without any expertise myself, I'm inclined to trust them on that, at least provisionally, but it's true that at this point the VIPS seem to be resting their entire thesis on that one point -- there's not a lot of redundancy (in the good sense) there.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:15 pm

"Despite the Binney quote in this piece referring to a "dedicated, leased, 400 -- megabit line all the way to Russia", I hadn't thought that's really their argument. Am I wrong?"

I think you are right. That is my understanding. That any upload/download over the Internet would be much slower than a transfer to a flash drive.

I thought the mention of the 400-megabit line to Russia was a bit of hyperbole designed to show how ridiculous the upload over internet scenario is.

Curious , August 16, 2018 at 1:11 am

Litchfield,
Although you are not a 'techie' the bottom line is not proximity. One can be in the same room and not duplicate the speed of transfer. The internet is set up with limitations inherent in the technology available.
As a personal reference, doing the Olympics in Italy, we had our own 'home run fiber' with our fiber run to NY with copper as a backup. I do not have William Binneys' skills and tech savvy, but I do know as a different techie we could not create anywhere close to the speed this argument entails. And when on our 'home run' fiber from the US to Italy we had speed issues, not because of the fiber links, but the interfaces that terminate the ends of the fiber. This is important even for a non techie. If one doesn't have the latest and greatest fiber interface, or (god help us) copper pairs, the speed is dependent on the termination of the lines.
This hacking thing is as bogus as the world has seen, mainly because a lot of people don'y Know the difference between a hack and a leak, and would have to put down too many beers to learn.
Given what I know, I would trust Mr Binney to tell us what is possible, and again, it is not proximity, nor super copper pairs, fiber, not sat feeds. He, above others probably built what we now use randomly and he knows what is possible. This is just a suggestion to trust a man with his experience which is uncommon to those who have not built systems in their lives, and can only question without tech info.

Desert Dave , August 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm

Actually I think they underestimate some because to transmit a byte serially takes 10 bits total because there is overhead (start and stop bits). So 49.1 MBps is about 491 Mbps.

Was a 491 Mbps network connected to the DNC computer? Probably not (that's very fast) but it could be easily verified if the FBI or anybody else cared about the truth.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 1:53 pm

What you don't seem to be able to grasp is that "manipulating" the "data" or "metadata" would leave fingerprints of the manipulation as well.
As was demonstrated by the VIPS being able to discern that the Guccifer 2.0 data was actually 2 seperate batches of data "manipulated" into one set.

I left any snark I have for you in my head and not on the keyboard.
I ask that you do the same in the future so we can have an adult conversation on the subject and not an emotionally filled rant.

nonsense like "I'd be surprised if that's the case, but I'm waiting to hear from someone with useful knowledge on the subject. That doesn't seem to be you." is petty and childish.

David G , August 14, 2018 at 2:40 pm

You should also consider leaving in your head aspersions such as telling people who are honestly seeking information that they are not "able to grasp" things.

Compare your aggressive approach to helpful attempts at addressing my question from Litchfield, Tom Welsh, and Skip Scott (so far).

You seem like a wants-the-last-word kind of person. Looking forward to reading it.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 4:21 pm

I was quite polite to you in my first response.
You drew first blood.

Your question has been answered.
Any attempt to adjust the metadata would be traceable as was demonstrated by the 2 data sets being discovered as merged into 1 data set.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:25 pm

Why not be perfectly polite in all responses?
What is this "first blood" nonsense?
Grow up!!!

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 1:45 am

@Litchfield
"Why not be perfectly polite in all responses?"

Perhaps you could ask your buddy that same question.

"Grow up!!!"

Introspection
Learn it!
Live it!

backwardsevolution , August 15, 2018 at 3:12 am

Litchfield -- there are many people who come on sites like this, pretending to be novices, when their real objective is to place doubt in everybody's minds. That is their plan, to create confusion, obfuscate. Of course these people have the right to question what VIPS has discovered, but notice what they never ask for:

1) where are the DNC servers?

2) why haven't the DNC servers been handed over to the FBI?

3) why did the FBI accept Crowdstrike's analysis of the DNC servers?

4) why don't we allow VIPS access to these servers, along with the FBI, so that a complete analysis can be done?

5) why don't we allow VIPS access to NSA data in order to follow the evidence from beginning to end?

VIPS are doing the best job they can with what they have, but they are left with trying to piece a puzzle together. Let's get our hands on the real data.

We can't know whether David G is sincere in his questions or whether he's just trying to discredit VIPS (yes, that is the real objective of some people). I have my own opinion, but I'll keep that to myself.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 9:18 am

backwardsevolution --

I don't think you did a particularly good job about keeping your opinion about me to yourself here.

I didn't ask the questions you list because I was asking about something germane to this specific article which I wanted to learn more about.

If you equate that with a "plan, to create confusion, obfuscate", then how are you different from our members of Congress who are delegitimizing everybody who questions their preferred narrative?

Bluesugartribe , August 14, 2018 at 2:00 am

I couldn't agree more. Lockeed Martin and the numerous Political sellouts as well as the War merchants, including corporate media, need another Russian cold war to justify getting enormous government contracts that keep them glutinously feeding from the troth. This fake Russian narrative seems to tie the President's hands until the mid-terms
where they hope to flip the house and stop the investigation by the House Intel committee and politically damage him with impeachment and then to oust him in the 2020 election while setting the narrative to justify Cold War 2.0

alley cat , August 14, 2018 at 1:27 am

U.S. neoconservatism is just the latest permutation of imperialism that has plagued us since the dawn of human history. Thucydides documented the blind greed and pig-headedness that destroyed Greek civilization almost two and a half millennia ago in his History of the Peloponnesian War :

"What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta."

And from Pericles' speech to the Athenians:

"And do not imagine that what we are fighting for is simply the question of freedom or slavery: there is also involved the loss of our empire and the dangers arising from the hatred which we have incurred in administering it. Nor is it any longer possible for you to give up this empire, though there may be some people who in a mood of sudden panic and in a spirit of political apathy actually think that this would be a fine and noble thing to do. Your empire is now like a tyranny: it may have been wrong to take it; it is certainly dangerous to let it go."

Add half a cup of Goebbels and Bernays sauce and a heaping tablespoon of hysteria to Pericles' recipe for Armageddon, and voila ! you have a deadly dish of yellow journalism like the one served up by the Washington Post editorial of Feb. 6, 2003:

"Irrefutable

After Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council yesterday, it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. . . .

. . . .Diplomats from these nations [e.g., France and Germany] do not dispute Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's assertion that "any country on the face of the Earth with an active intelligence program knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

. . . .None say Iraq has complied [with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441]. Until now, however, they have cynically argued that the inspectors must uncover evidence proving what they already know, or that it's too early to judge Saddam Hussein's cooperation. Mr. Powell's presentation stripped all credibility from that dodge."

All a perfect iteration of the law of the lynch mob: We don't need no stinkin' evidence, everyone knows they're guilty!

Ray McGovern , August 14, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Dear alley cat,

Good points, all. Thanks.

(I keep learning a whole lot from the many knowledgeable people who comment here. Please, nobody stop!)

Ray

alley cat , August 14, 2018 at 4:59 pm

Many thanks to you Ray for all you are doing and have done.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Dear Ray,

So many thanks for all you do. And for always showing a pleasant demeanor.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 9:33 am

"Bernays sauce" is good.

I watched Powell's U.N. presentation live. Even on its face -- before the specific falsehoods had been exposed -- it was so obviously feeble, yet the media unanimously praised it as irresistibly convincing. This left a lasting impression on me, and it came to mind a few weeks ago during the stupefying media meltdown following the Trump-Putin Helsinki summit.

[Aug 18, 2018] Is Russia an Adversary by Gary Leupp

Notable quotes:
"... The Russians were not pleased by U.S.-NATO involvements in the former Yugoslavia, a traditional Russian ally, in 1995 and 1999, and the expansion of NATO in the latter year (to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) in violation of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for Russia's acceptance of German reunification NATO would not spread "one inch" towards Russia. They protested meekly. But Russia was not an adversary then. ..."
"... Nor was it an adversary when, in 2001, under its new president Vladimir Putin, it offered NATO a route through Russia to provision forces in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The real change only came in 2004, when NATO suddenly expanded to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This brought alliances forces right to the Russian border. ..."
"... We are your adversary. ..."
"... Russia is an adversary. ..."
"... Russia is an adversary. ..."
"... He worked with our adversary to undermine our election. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | dissidentvoice.org

Or, What's Wrong with Russian Collusion?

The question is finally being asked, by the president himself: what's wrong with collusion? Or at least his lawyer asks the question, while Trumps tweets:

Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn't matter because there was No Collusion.

The problem, of course, is that of collusion with an alleged adversary. Russia, we are constantly informed, is one such adversary, indeed the main state adversary, with Putin is its head.

Adversary is a very strong term. The Hebrew word for adversary is Satan. Satan is the ultimate symbol of evil in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Satan tempted Eve at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, causing her to eat the fruit, and so evil entered the world.

Just like some want you to think that evil entered the (good, pristine) U.S. electoral process due to this Russian adversary in 2016.

(Sometimes listening to TV pundits vilifying Putin I find Luther's famous hymn floating through my head:

For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.

Luther's referring to Satan, of course. But the current mythology around Putin -- as someone who still , like Lenin and Stalin before him, and the tsars of old, wishes us harm; is an unbridled dictator with a powerful great nuclear arsenal; is the wealthiest man on earth; and hates democracy -- resembles the mythology around the Adversary in the Bible.)

But let us problematize this vilification. When did Russia become a U.S. adversary? Some might say 1917 when in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution Moscow became the center of the global communist movement. But surely that period ended in 1991 with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

Throughout the 1990s the U.S. cultivated Boris Yeltsin's Russia as a friend and even aided the drunken buffoon in winning the 1996 election. Bill Clinton and Yeltsin signed the Start II treaty. Harvard professors advised Moscow on economic reform.

The Russians were not pleased by U.S.-NATO involvements in the former Yugoslavia, a traditional Russian ally, in 1995 and 1999, and the expansion of NATO in the latter year (to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) in violation of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for Russia's acceptance of German reunification NATO would not spread "one inch" towards Russia. They protested meekly. But Russia was not an adversary then.

Nor was it an adversary when, in 2001, under its new president Vladimir Putin, it offered NATO a route through Russia to provision forces in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The real change only came in 2004, when NATO suddenly expanded to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This brought alliances forces right to the Russian border.

It was a clear statement by the U.S. to a friendly country: We are your adversary. But, of course, the Pentagon and State Department always pooh-poohed Russian concerns, denying that NATO targeted any particular country.

Four years later (2008) NATO announced intentions to draw Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance. Meanwhile the U.S. recognized Kosovo as an independent state. Kosovo, the historical heart of Serbian civilization, had been wrenched from Serbia in 1999 under the pretext of a "humanitarian" intervention that included the first bombing (by NATO) of a European capital city since 1945. The province had been converted into a vast NATO base.

Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, emboldened by the prospect of NATO membership and western backing, attacked the capital of the separatist republic of South Ossetia, provoking (as the Russians explain it) a proper punitive response: the Russo-Georgian War of August 7-16 . After this Moscow recognized South Ossetia and a second breakaway republic, Abkhazia, in a tit-for-tat response to Washington's recognition of Kosovo.

Now Russia was labelled an aggressive power -- by the power that had carved up Yugoslavia, and invaded and occupied Iraq on the basis of lies and killed half a million in the process. Plans to include Georgia in NATO had to be put on hold, in large part due to European allies' opposition (why provoke Russia?) but the U.S. intensified efforts to draw in Ukraine. That meant toppling the anti-NATO elected president Viktor Yanukovych.

The U.S. State Department devoted enormous resources to the Maidan coup in Kiev on February 23, 2014. Its agents helped topple the government, ostensibly for its failure to negotiate an agreement for Ukrainian associate membership in the EU, but really to bring pro-NATO forces to power and expel the Russian Fleet from the Crimean Peninsula where it has been based since 1783. Moscow's limited support for the Donbass ethnic-Russian separatists and re-annexation of Crimea were, of course, depicted by the U.S. as more aggression, more mischievous opposition to "U.S. global interests."

But from Moscow's point of view these moves have surely been defensive. The main problem is (obviously) NATO and its dangerous, unnecessary and provocative expansion. Throughout his presidential campaign Trump questioned the continued "relevance" of NATO. Characteristically he focused on budget issues and allies' failure to meet the goal figure of 2% if GDP for military expenses (misleadingly depicting investment shortfalls as a betrayal and rip-off of the victimized U.S.). But he did -- to the alarm of many, and probably to Moscow's delight -- express little enthusiasm for the alliance's historical purpose.

The most rational proposition Trump voiced before his election that the U.S. should "get along" with Russia. That is, get along with the so-called adversary. Trump as we all know had been in Russia on business, hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013, and maintains interest in building a Trump Tower in the city. He has met and befriended Russian oligarchs. He quite possibly sees Russia as just another country, like Germany or France.

If "the French" had had dirt on Hillary, would it have been okay to "collude" with them to influence the election result? France is, of course, a NATO ally. Would that make it different? Now that the president and his layers are openly questioning whether "collusion", per se, is even illegal, the specific nature of the colluder becomes more relevant.

Russia is an adversary.

Russia is an adversary.

Putin in Helsinki acknowledged to a reporter that he had hoped Trump could win, because he had expressed hope for better relations. He might have added that he dreaded the prospect of a Hillary victory because of her warmongering and characterization of him as a Hitler. Naturally the Russian media favored Trump over Clinton at a certain point when he emerged as a credible candidate. So when Trump on July 27, 2016 called on Russia to release Hillary's missing emails ("if you've got 'em") the Russians probably felt invited to make contact through channels. And when informed that they had dirt, Don Jr. wrote: "If that's what you say, I love it." (Who can blame him?)

Let's say there was some collusion after the June 6 Trump Tower meeting. Trump has suddenly acknowledged that the meeting with the Russians was indeed to "seek political dirt." He adds that this is "totally legal," and this may be true. Some are now saying that Don Jr. may have violated a federal statute (52 USC 30121, 36 USC 5210) forbidding any foreign person to "make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.' and for anyone to knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by [this law]." But the language is vague. If a Canadian speechwriter works gratis for a U.S. political candidate, in order to help him or her win, is this not "a thing of value" intended to affect an election?

If Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner had met with Canadian agents in Trump Tower I doubt there would have been any controversy. The fact is, Trump won the election and many of those stunned by that wish to undermine him using revived Cold War-type Russophobia. They insist: He worked with our adversary to undermine our election. And now they hope they've got him on this charge.

*****

Five years ago a young man named Edward Snowden (now living in forced exile in Russia) revealed to the world the extent of the U.S.'s global surveillance. He showed us how the NSA wiretaps EU meetings, popes' conversations, Angela Merkel's cell phone and maintains metadata on virtually all U.S. residents. He showed us what the contemporary advanced state can do in this respect. We should suppose that Moscow has, if not similar capacity, at least enough expertise to hack into the DNC emails or John Podesta's g-mail account. Is that surprising?

What none of the TV anchors is allowed to say needs to be said again: The U.S. interferes in foreign elections all the time, including Russian ones. It should surprise no one if Russian intelligence responds in kind. The point is not the provenance of the leaked emails but their content.

Those horrified by the leaked material complain that their release was designed to "undermine faith in our democratic system." Really? Don't the workings of the system itself undermine one's faith in it, once they are exposed? Was it adversarial of the leaker to inform us that the DNC had no intention of allowing Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination, and thus that the process was rigged? Was it unfriendly to reveal that Podesta was hoping the media would hype Trump, as an easy target for his candidate?

The question that will no doubt be debated in the coming days is whether seeking dirt on a political opponent from any foreigner is indeed illegal, or whether there are specific legal ramifications of meeting with someone from an "adversary" country. But it seems to me that Russia has not been defined as such officially. So we may have a discussion less about legality than the politics of Russophobia.

I am happy to see Trump besieged, rattled, possibly facing impeachment. But to bring him down on the basis of "Russian collusion," on the assumption that Russia is an adversary, would only advantage the warmongers who want no-fly zones over Syria and military support for the Kiev regime against the Donbas separatists. Vice President Pence I believe favors both.

Trump has said that he cannot host Putin in Washington this year, or until the Russian Hoax witch hunt is over. But Putin has invited him to Moscow. One senses he wants some agreements with Trump before he is ousted by his gathering adversaries, including the press, courts, Democrats, select Republicans, turncoat aides and he himself sometimes in his unguarded tweets.

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu . Read other articles by Gary .

This article was posted on Monday, August 13th, 2018 at 10:30pm and is filed under (Ex-)Yugoslavia , Chancellor Angela Merkel , Donald Trump , Elections , Espionage/"Intelligence" , Hillary Clinton , Kosovo , Mike Pence , President Vladimir Putin , Russia , Serbia , Ukraine , United States , US Hypocrisy , US Lies .

[Aug 17, 2018] The roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014, as was well covered here at Consortium News

Notable quotes:
"... I would say the first turning point was the imprisonment of Khodorkovsky and the restoration of Russian sovereignty in the energy sphere. Subsequent major inflection points have been: the 2008 war with Georgia, the 2014 events in Ukraine, and the post-2016- election manufactured anti-Russia hysteria/neo-McCarthyism. ..."
"... Kees van der Pijl fills in the details here (ignore the title of the piece): https://www.unz.com/article/why-was-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-shot-down/ ..."
"... the "Putin is a *thug*" meme has been successfully promulgated as shorthand that acts as a justification for anything done or said against both Putin and Russia. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the thugs are those in our Congress and executive branch and such as Mueller, who are pushing the country beyond its tolerance levels or, shall we say, ability to right itself after a knockdown (maritime metaphor is intended). ..."
"... I think the rollout of the new cold war actually began when Putin stopped the looting of his country that was occurring under Yeltsin. The evil empire only accepts vassals, not partners. Maximum capital must accrue to the one percent, and be free to flee the country to the tax haven of choice. Any world leader who tries to build an economy for the benefit of its nation's citizens becomes a target. ..."
"... I figure it was the Magnitsky ruse that got the ball rolling. It predates Ukraine and was grounds for the first round of sanctions. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

jaycee , August 13, 2018 at 9:51 pm

I would say the roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014, as was well covered here at Consortium News. The policy – isolate Russia as a pariah nation – was set before the Maidan events reached their resolution. Victoria Nuland's "f -- - the EU" rant was in response to efforts to mediate the situation and possibly spoil or derail the plans. IMHO, the Russian response to the violent coup was fully expected by the Americans to have been a tanks-in-the streets-Czechoslovakia-1968 scenario, and yet all they got was a Crimean referendum and a frozen stalemate in eastern Ukraine. Still, policy being policy, NATO reacted as if there had been a full invasion regardless.

Anecdotally, conversations I've had with intelligent, progressive, good-hearted persons suggests the election of Trump has in effect destabilized their critical thinking abilities. This has opened up the space in which the worst aspects of Cold War 2.0 have flourished. In their minds, the urgent need to remove Trump by any means, fair or foul, fully overwhelms any other priorities, including objective consideration of the current moment.

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 10:14 pm

I think you are right about Ukraine. I also recall that everything went downhill after Putin negotiated for Assad to give up all Syria's chemical weapons. Which gave cause to believe Putin was being punished for interfering in the Coalitions schemes. I think Robert Parry sighted that as well.

No matter jaycee I too believe that Ukraine was where the U.S. fired the first bullet. This New World Order the U.S. represents doesn't negotiate, no instead it's either our way or no way, is the mantra of the tribe. Joe

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 11:08 pm

I wrote a response jaycee that went to the wind . What I was saying was Putin got punished with the uprising in Ukraine after he pulled Assad out of the chemical weapons debate. Joe

Suggestion the Consortium needs to get this comment boards algorithm problem figured out.

Sibiriak , August 14, 2018 at 2:55 am

Jaycee:

"I would say the roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014 "
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

I would say the first turning point was the imprisonment of Khodorkovsky and the restoration of Russian sovereignty in the energy sphere. Subsequent major inflection points have been: the 2008 war with Georgia, the 2014 events in Ukraine, and the post-2016- election manufactured anti-Russia hysteria/neo-McCarthyism.

Kees van der Pijl fills in the details here (ignore the title of the piece): https://www.unz.com/article/why-was-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-shot-down/

OlyaPola , August 14, 2018 at 4:42 am

"I would say the roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014,"

As in statistics perceived trajectories are functions of framing including evaluation horizons.

From inception, and through declarations such as the Monroe doctrine, some in the misrepresentation "United States of America" have perceived others as simultaneously existential threats and existential opportunities.

These existential threats and opportunities have been facilitated and acted upon as functions of perceived needs and opportunities.

The targets and modes of activation of these perceived needs and opportunities have varied according to perceived needs and opportunities, sometimes using the tactics of "hot wars" and sometimes using the tactics of "cold wars".

Some in the misrepresentation "United States of America" have correctly perceived others as existential threats and opportunities to/for them given their socio-economic system and its perceived requirements – the functions of the "other" being multi-various – the definition of the "others" include but are not necessarily restricted to those of difference within and without the "United States of America".

Some in the Soviet Union in the early 1970's attempted to conflate "strategy" with "tactics" and decided to forget notions of existential threat and perceive only existential opportunity through conflation, thereby facilitating detente on the basis of spheres of influence.

War is not restricted to things that go bang but restricted to forms of coercion.

The misrepresentation "cold war", which was never cold but sometimes engaged through proxies, was/is a context specific tactic.

Some are of the view that the ends justify the means instead of understanding that means condition ends, and consequently some facilitate and rely upon increasing the conflation of strategy with tactics increasing the sum, motivations, and resolve of the "others", thereby conditioning strategy through accelerating, continuing and expanding existential threats.

Those who engage in such self-delusion were not/are not restricted to the misrepresentation "United States of America" but as Thucydides and others were aware, have been/are generally restricted to those who perceive others as existential opportunities and threats.

Some others correctly assess the misrepresentation "United States of America" to be more a land of opportunity than an existential threat.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 7:48 am

I agree with your comment. A good precis. And the "Putin is a *thug*" meme has been successfully promulgated as shorthand that acts as a justification for anything done or said against both Putin and Russia.

Meanwhile, the thugs are those in our Congress and executive branch and such as Mueller, who are pushing the country beyond its tolerance levels or, shall we say, ability to right itself after a knockdown (maritime metaphor is intended).

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 11:47 am

jaycee-

I think the rollout of the new cold war actually began when Putin stopped the looting of his country that was occurring under Yeltsin. The evil empire only accepts vassals, not partners. Maximum capital must accrue to the one percent, and be free to flee the country to the tax haven of choice. Any world leader who tries to build an economy for the benefit of its nation's citizens becomes a target.

Aime Duclos , August 14, 2018 at 1:50 pm

Yes, Skip, when the West's pillaging and looting of Putin's country was stopped, the one percent was not amused. Add to that NATO's constant march up to Russia's borders, the threat to and actual placement of "defensive" missles on Russia's border.

The last straw was the US orchestrated coup in it's next NATO prize for acquisition Ukraine. Putin reacted as any leader would, and with restraint I might add.

Yet somehow all this proves Putin is a thug? It's been a calculated drive to this new Cold War. The MIC is having it's way.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 6:12 pm

I figure it was the Magnitsky ruse that got the ball rolling. It predates Ukraine and was grounds for the first round of sanctions.

[Aug 17, 2018] Lavrov Brilliantly Dissects Western Lies And Manipulations On The False Flag And Skripals

Lavrov suggests that Skripals were intentionally poisoned by BZ which temporary disable a person (for approx 4 days) and Novichok was injected in samples to implicate Russia. He impliedly suggests that this was a false flag operation.
Notable quotes:
"... First, US sanctions against Russia, then the Skripals mystery, and last the Attack at Syria....What the masters of the world trying do??? ..."
"... I'm an American. I'm disgusted with the mafia cartel bankrupt corporation that masquerades as the government. I don't like or trust any government but after listening to this guy, he certainly comes across as way more trustworthy than anyone puppet we have in the Trump regime. ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Maria Kuzali , 4 months ago

First, US sanctions against Russia, then the Skripals mystery, and last the Attack at Syria....What the masters of the world trying do???

Off Grid Nation , 4 months ago

I'm an American. I'm disgusted with the mafia cartel bankrupt corporation that masquerades as the government. I don't like or trust any government but after listening to this guy, he certainly comes across as way more trustworthy than anyone puppet we have in the Trump regime. #IDONOTCONSENT

shaughn fourie , 4 months ago

THANK YOU RUSSIA IN PARTICULAR PRESIDENT PUTIN AND LAVROV BOTH GOOD INTELLIGENT AND DECENT MEN

shaughn fourie , 4 months ago

MACRON TRUMP AND MAY ARE MURDERERS......THANK YOU ASSAD AND RUSSIA AND KURDISH PEOPLE FOR TRULY STANDING UP FOR CIVILISED VALUES

James Australian , 4 months ago (edited)

need to stop the tyrants to prevent the fall of Damascus.. Must not let them kill Mr Assad.

zac anthony , 4 months ago

I believe in Russia more than our gov we are being led

Luboš Lier , 4 months ago

Russia just needs to give Syria couple of tactical nukes. And the peace in Syria is assured...

haithem ali , 4 months ago

Sometimes he continues talking without look at paper..... bcs he say true.... and USA, BRITAIN and France cant do that bcs they are lying and scared if they will say something wrong.

[Aug 17, 2018] It is quite interesting how many uninformed posters and/or trolls would love to find a way to show the Russiagate nonsense is somehow plausible in spite of the evidence

Notable quotes:
"... They're kind of like a five year old child who desperately wants to keep believing in Santa Claus, even though he just found dad's Santa costume in the closet and he's holding it in his own hands. ..."
"... Sorry, but two years into this we should be way beyond this kind of – "I can't believe Santa's not real"- denying, dissembling, rationalizing nonsense. Then again, this is America. ..."
"... America is after all a country in which half the population believe in the creation myth. ..."
"... "Two years after the Iraq War began, 70 per cent of Americans still believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks, according to a Washington Post survey." The Big Lie works, and since Obama gutted Smith-Mundt, the CIA/ State Department can legally keep Americans tracking on their propaganda narratives. ..."
"... I agree with Lawrences point that this is an issue of social psychology. Rational argument over the facts is simply over taken by some kind of mass hysteria. There certainly precedent for this kind of behavior. Indeed this was described in 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds' 180 years ago. In my lifetime I have witnessed two episodes of this kind of mass hysteria. The first was the red scare of the early 1950's (I not so much witnessed that as experienced it) and the second was the day care hysteria of satanic cults abusing our children that flared between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Now this is a third manifestation of mass hysteria. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Gary Weglarz August 14, 2018 at 4:37 pm

It is quite interesting how many uninformed posters and/or trolls would love to find a way to show the "Russiagate" nonsense is somehow plausible in spite of the evidence. They're kind of like a five year old child who desperately wants to keep believing in Santa Claus, even though he just found dad's Santa costume in the closet and he's holding it in his own hands.

I will say that the amount of mental gymnastics required to continue not believing evidence that is right in front of one's eyes is quite impressive – but I'd never underestimate the American people's creativity when they want to maintain their illusions/delusions. And I'd certainly never underestimate the Russiagate troll army's persistence.

At this rate I expect to soon encounter some version of the following "observation" in the comments section for this article: – "maybe space aliens hired by the Russians downloaded the files to a to a new fangled thig-a-ma-jig and then shape-shifted so Craig Murray would be fooled into thinking a real-like-human insider provided him the files on a flash drive." – "oh, oh, wait, maybe the aliens abducted Murray too, and then just made him "think" a fellow human gave him the drive in person." "yeah, yeah, and maybe Assange just says he didn't get the files from the Russians because "he's a space alien too." "Yeah, prove to me that it didn't happen this way – you can't – ha! there! I win!"

Sorry, but two years into this we should be way beyond this kind of – "I can't believe Santa's not real"- denying, dissembling, rationalizing nonsense. Then again, this is America.

Reply

GM , August 14, 2018 at 4:51 pm

America is after all a country in which half the population believe in the creation myth.

jeff montanye , August 17, 2018 at 7:11 am

but if i had to bet, the creationists are less likely to believe in Russiagate than the evolutionists.

Just Plain Scott , August 14, 2018 at 6:14 pm

Please don't give Rachel Maddow any more ideas.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 6:06 am

"Two years after the Iraq War began, 70 per cent of Americans still believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks, according to a Washington Post survey." The Big Lie works, and since Obama gutted Smith-Mundt, the CIA/ State Department can legally keep Americans tracking on their propaganda narratives.

ToivoS , August 14, 2018 at 4:26 pm

I agree with Lawrences point that this is an issue of social psychology. Rational argument over the facts is simply over taken by some kind of mass hysteria. There certainly precedent for this kind of behavior. Indeed this was described in 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds' 180 years ago. In my lifetime I have witnessed two episodes of this kind of mass hysteria. The first was the red scare of the early 1950's (I not so much witnessed that as experienced it) and the second was the day care hysteria of satanic cults abusing our children that flared between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Now this is a third manifestation of mass hysteria.

It all began with Hillary's shocking defeat. Many millions of her supporters knew that she was so good that she had to win. But then she lost. Those millions of Democrats could not accept that in fact their assessment of her talents were totally wrong and that she lost because she has to be one of the worst candidates in American history. That is a reality those people refused to accept. Instead they had to concoct some crazy conspiracy to explain their break with reality. This is a classic case of cognitive dissonance which often leads to mass hysteria.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:01 pm

People choose to believe what they feel that they most need to believe to assuage their insecurities fostered by what they perceive to be the dangerous and scary world in which they exist. The simple fact that we know that life is finite by the time we're three years old fosters the creation of such constructs as that of the myth of everlasting life in the kingdom of heaven complete with a mortgage-free condo and an extra parking space for all repentant sinners are mainstream beliefs.

Rob Roy , August 14, 2018 at 11:07 pm

ToivoS, you are right about Hillary. She simply couldn't accept her defeat. She was the one who began Russiagate by the lie, "17 intelligence agencies" said the Russians hacked the emails.
As for times of mass-swallowing of a lie in the 1930s every German thought that Poland was about to invade Germany and they were scared so much that they believed their leaders who "false flagged" them into invading Poland "first." Of course, Poland had no intention of invading Germany.
Notice every time the US attacks another sovereign country, there's a false flag waved for the citizens to follow?
Don't you appreciate that we have consortiumnews?

[Aug 17, 2018] The Ruling Establishment are accomplished in the art of manipulating the public into believing whatever they want them to believe in. In fact, they have world wide reach

Notable quotes:
"... The people behind advancing the Russiagate fraud are not concerned about the widening chaos it has engendered. On the contrary, it is playing out exactly as they hoped. ..."
"... Fast growing censorship of dissent, isolation of a major geopolitical competitor, providing an explanation for the rise of Trump and the precipitous decline in public faith in establishment institutions. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

GM , August 14, 2018 at 4:48 pm

The people behind advancing the Russiagate fraud are not concerned about the widening chaos it has engendered. On the contrary, it is playing out exactly as they hoped.

Fast growing censorship of dissent, isolation of a major geopolitical competitor, providing an explanation for the rise of Trump and the precipitous decline in public faith in establishment institutions.

Hell, it's even being leveraged to explain away racism. Win win win win. I'd say they are right where they want to be at this juncture.

Dave P. , August 14, 2018 at 6:21 pm

GM – Excellent observations. Very true.

I would add that they – the Ruling Establishment – are accomplished in the art of manipulating the public into believing whatever they want them to believe in. In fact, they have world wide reach.

[Aug 17, 2018] What if Russiagate is the New WMDs

In both cases CIA and neocons run the show. But there is new powerful factor: emergence of CIA democrats like Brennan and the conversion of intelligence agencies into political tool, the Cerberus that safeguard the castle of neoliberalism in the USA. The USA people (bottom 90%) be damned.
Notable quotes:
"... Trump's guilt in " Russiagate " is now assumed by much of the American left, and reaches greater levels of fervor with every passing day. ..."
"... Coulter was confident and she wasn't alone. Virtually the entire mainstream American right -- from pundits like Coulter and Sean Hannity to President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress -- was deeply invested in the notion that Hussein possessed WMDs and that the Iraq war was justified based on that unshakeable premise. This belief was so ingrained for so long that many excitedly rushed to pretend that chemical weapons discovered in Iraq as reported by the New York Times ..."
"... Now, "Russian collusion" could be becoming the new WMDs. ..."
"... New York Magazine ..."
"... Weekly Standard ..."
Aug 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
declared liberal celebrity activist Rosie O'Donnell at a protest in front of the White House last week. "We see it, he can't lie about it," she added. "He is going down and so will all of his administration." "The charge is treason," O'Donnell declared. Protesters held held large letters that spelled it out: " T-R-E-A-S-O-N ."

O'Donnell is by no means alone in her sentiments. Trump's guilt in " Russiagate " is now assumed by much of the American left, and reaches greater levels of fervor with every passing day.

This kind of partisan religiosity is not new.

In the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, conservative pundit Ann Coulter accused war opponents of " treason " and insisted of Saddam Hussein, "We know he had weapons of mass destruction."

Coulter was confident and she wasn't alone. Virtually the entire mainstream American right -- from pundits like Coulter and Sean Hannity to President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress -- was deeply invested in the notion that Hussein possessed WMDs and that the Iraq war was justified based on that unshakeable premise. This belief was so ingrained for so long that many excitedly rushed to pretend that chemical weapons discovered in Iraq as reported by the New York Times in 2014 were somehow the same thing as the " mushroom cloud " the Bush administration said Saddam was capable of.

Unfortunately for the right (and America, and the world), that premise turned out to be false. There were no WMDs. Today, only a minority of delusional, face-saving hawks and unreconstructed neoconservatives still parrot that lie .

And far from being "traitors," Iraq war opponents today are considered to have been on the right side of history .

John Brennan: Melting Down and Covering Up The Iraq War's Age of Madness

Now, "Russian collusion" could be becoming the new WMDs.

The post-2016 left's most dominant narrative is arguably their deeply held belief -- with all the ferocity and piety of yesterday's pro-war conservatives -- that Russia colluded with Trump's campaign to undermine the presidential election. Many believe that the president and anyone who supports his diplomatic efforts like Senator Rand Paul are in the pocket of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I will meet not just with our friends, but with our enemies," said Barack Obama in 2008, and he did just that with Putin, as has every other president in recent times .

But Trump-Russia relations have been spun into far-fetched conspiracy theories on the left. New York Magazine 's Jonathan Chait recently went so far as to speculate that Trump has been a Russian agent since 1987 , a cockamamie idea on par with the Weekly Standard 's Stephen Hayes' discredited conspiracy theory that Saddam and Osama bin Laden were in cahoots .

It really was plausible that Iraq had WMDs in 2003 based on what our intelligence agencies knew, or purported to know. Today, it is feasible that American democracy really has Putin's fingerprints on it based on things revealed by U.S. intelligence.

But isn't it also possible that the left is reading far too much into Russiagate?

The Nation 's Aaron Maté believes liberals are overreaching, and that's putting it mildly:

From the outset, Russiagate proponents have exhibited a blind faith in the unverified claims of US government officials and other sources, most of them unnamed. The reaction to special counsel Robert Mueller's recent indictment of 12 Russian military-intelligence officers for hacking of Democratic party servers and voter databases is no exception. Mueller's indictment is certainly detailed. Most significantly, it marks the first time anyone has been charged for offenses related to Russiagate's underlying crime.

But while it is a major step forward in the investigation, we have yet to see the basis for the allegations that Mueller has lodged. As with any criminal case, from a petty offense to a cybercrime charge against a foreign government, a verdict cannot be formed in the absence of this evidence.

Then the irony kicks in. Maté continues, "The record of US intelligence, replete with lies and errors, underscores the need for caution. Mueller was a player in one of this century's most disastrous follies when, in congressional testimony, he endorsed claims about Iraqi WMDs and warned that Saddam Hussein 'may supply' chemical and biological material to 'terrorists.'"

Noting Mueller's 2003 WMD testimony is not an attempt to undermine him or his investigation, something Maté also makes clear. But it does serve as an important reminder that "intelligence" can be flat-out wrong. It reminds us how these scenarios, which so much of Washington and the elite class fully endorse, can be looked back on as lapses of reason years later.

Mass psychology is real. Political classes and parties are not immune.

"Suppose, however, that all of the claims about Russian meddling turn out to be true," Maté asks. "Hacking e-mails and voter databases is certainly a crime, and seeking to influence another country's election can never be justified."

He continues, "But the procession of elite voices falling over themselves to declare that stealing e-mails and running juvenile social-media ads amount to an 'attack,' even an 'act of war,' are escalating a panic when a sober assessment is what is most needed."

The U.S. could have certainly used less hyperbole and more sobriety in 2002 and 2003.

And there's good chance that when the history books are written about American politics circa 2018, much of Russiagate will be dismissed as more Red Scare than Red Dawn .

With Russia, as with WMDs, left and right have elevated slivers of legitimate security concerns to the level of existential threat based mostly on their own partisanship. That kind of thinking has already proven to be dangerous.

We don't know what evidence of collusion between the Trump camp and Russia might yet come forth, but it's easy to see how, even if this narrative eventually falls flat, 15 years from now some liberals will still be clinging to Russiagate not as a matter of fact, but political identity. Russia-obsessed liberals, too, could end up on the wrong side of history.

No one can know the future. Republicans would be wise to prepare for new, potentially damaging information about Trump and Russia that may yet emerge.

Democrats should consider that Russiagate may be just as imaginary as Republicans' Iraq fantasy.

Jack Hunter is the former political editor of Rare.us and co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Senator Rand Paul.

JLF August 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm

All this may be as Hunter would have it. Yet there is the nagging doubt that Trump, who could only find major financing for his enterprises following his last bankruptcy through Putin-controlled banks, could be free of any entangling ties or obligations. And if those doubts prove true, what then?
MM , , August 16, 2018 at 1:42 pm
From the Nation: "From the outset, Russiagate proponents have exhibited a blind faith in the unverified claims of U.S. government officials and other sources, most of them unnamed."

This is a key point, because now Democrats and the most of the Left are ready to embrace a guy like Brennan a.k.a. Mr. Torture, merely because they hate Trump.

I'll also admit to not knowing what's coming in the future, but as of now there's a strong circumstantial case to be made that this reactions to Russian election meddling, which when all was said and done amounted to providing the voting public with the truth about the DNC and its own election-fixing operation, that this reaction is only about losing the 2016 presidential election to a guy who was only given a 1% chance of winning by almost everyone.

Clyde Schechter , , August 16, 2018 at 2:20 pm
This is the most sensible commentary on "Russiagate" I have seen anywhere in a long time.

At present, there is some suggestive evidence in the public arena, but nothing conclusive.

What we probably need, actually, is a moratorium on commentary about this until the investigation reaches its conclusion. That can take a long time. But until then, the endless partisanship-motivated speculation we hear daily is, frankly tiresome.

Thank you, Mr. Hunter, for your temperate perspective on this. I wish this would be the last word on the subject until the investigation ends.

b. , , August 16, 2018 at 3:01 pm
'"Russian collusion" could be becoming the new WMDs.'

I suspect I agree with the author's sentiment, but it is not easy to tell.

Who stands accused? Trump? Russia? Both?

The claim that Trump is colluding with Russia is not the same as the claim that Iraq War opponents were colluding with Saddam Hussein.

The manufactured "Russia!" hysteria campaign orchestrated by the Obama/Clinton Democratic Party leadership, as deplorable and dubious as it might be, has nothing in common with the "5th column" smears Sullivan et.al. were peddling in 2002-2003 and beyond.

The claim that Trump committed "treason" would be legally incorrect on the worst case. Without a formal Congressional declaration of war, we are not at war with Russia, and Russia is not the enemy, no matter how much irresponsible mouthbreathing is broadcast from the biparty Congress members. However corrupt and corrupted Trump may be, corruption does not qualify as treason. If corruption were treason, Congress, in support of Israel and Saudi Arabia at the expense of the US (and certainly not in support of Russia) would be a house of traitors.

In comparison, the claim that opponents of the Iraq war were traitors was not just idiotic, but morally inexcusable. If anybody violated their oath, it was Bush himself, his appointees, and the ranking officers of the US military, for issuing illegal orders and/or following them.

"Russian election meddling" is the new WMD only the extent it is used as a pretext for war against Russia. It is the new "stained dress" in the attempt to challenge the ballot and paralyze an inconvenient President. I have no doubt that the Clintons are corrupt, and the GOP has engaged in many a Congressional effort to "investigate". The Clinton campaign adopted this playbook, and the damage to the Republic done by all is growing every day.

The real corruption here is the pretense that Congress is any better than Trump, that Russian oligarchs have more impact on the eroding Republic than Israeli-American, Saudi and UAE oligarchs, and that the biggest threat to the integrity of our elections and the franchise is Russia, and not the Roberts Court, Democrat apparatchiks like Sunstein, or Republican frauds like Kobach. Both parties are actively conspiring and plotting to make sure our votes are meaningless and cannot harm incumbents and the war profiteering classes, and where there used to be an opposition to illegal war and to oligarchs and plutocrats, there is now willing participation in manufactured hysteria to extend the 2016 campaign indefinitely.

WMDs? The very concept is a scam -- there is nukes, and nothing else. Nuclear arsenals outsized to end us all, and trillion dollar waste to expand them, are the tie that binds the US and Russia, and I suspect that Russia would be a lot more rational about reducing those arsenals than the US. If the author wants to worry about ending up on the wrong side of history, he should stop worrying about partisan points and focus. Politics is not a team sports, and anybody who picks a favorite is a failure as a citizen. Nobody who wants power is suitable for it.

b. , , August 16, 2018 at 3:07 pm
Ask yourself, if Saddam Hussein had had "WMD" -- say, some of those chemical and biological stocks Reagan envoy Rumsfeld helpfully provided to Saddam Hussein -- would that have made the Iraq invasion legal, right just, necessary, successful? Or if Powell's little phials and mobile weapons labs actually existed?

Heck, let's say Saddam managed to make actual nukes out of tubes that weren't and yellowcake that wasn't. North Korea has nukes. Does that make invasion and aggressive war legal, right, just necessary, successful?

WMD or not was a lie wrapped within a deception inside a fraud. That's the one thing that it has in common with "Russiagate". Every layer, every aspect of it is a lie, a distraction, and everybody -- Trump included -- is perpetuating the hysteria for their own benefit. The stupidity of it is only barely rivaled by the mendacity.

Stavros , , August 16, 2018 at 3:17 pm
Trump is proving to be the Republican Alger Hiss. The partisanship of 1948 quickly crystallized into pro- and anti-Hiss camps in which the then limited evidence was trumped by ideology. It was not until the Verona tapes were released in the early 1990s that Hiss was proven to be guilty. Had Nixon and his allies called for a special prosecutor in 1948 and the facts both open and classified been examined intensely, Hiss would never have become the progressive Victim that he was to be for over thirty years. Ditto with Trump. Absent Mueller's investigation, these accusations against Trump (and I believe them to have serious weight and substance as well as potential for policy changes to prevent election fraud) would be mere ideological shrapnel to be argued over for another thirty years. Let the investigations proceed unimpeded and a final accounting be published at the very least for the sanity and integrity of the Republic. Don't let Trump become the Right's Alger Hiss.
b. , , August 16, 2018 at 3:18 pm
In other words, let's imagine that Putin has really tried to change election results. Let's imagine that Trump really has been bribed by Russian oligarchs.

Is that why we are at this juncture? Is that why Congress has not served the People and upheld the Constitution in decades? Is that why citizens and voters lose trust in our institutions, and doubt election results?

Really?

We cannot even own up to our own mistakes, our own greed, our own malignancy. We have to blame it not on our "business partners" and "allies" and their hundreds of billions of dollars of arms purchases, we will blame it on Russia.

How small we have become.

It is not just Trump, it is Congress. It is not just this administration and this Congress, it is the previous ones, and the ones before it, and so on.

The point is not whether or not the "Russia!" hysteria and the allegations against Trump are accurate or not. The point is that, in comparison to everything else, it would just be more of the same, and we brought it upon ourselves.

Regime change begins at home.

Sisera , , August 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm
@Collin-
Isn't it extremely Orwellian to say that 'information isn't really information/should be censored or disregarded if it comes from a subversive (Russia) source'?

Naturally, it allows for a very easy way to control and censor information.

Now, as far as pure security threats, aside from information that should've been public anyway, experts deem that the DNC information came from on site:

https://www.thenation.com/article/a-new-report-raises-big-questions-about-last-years-dnc-hack/

Now this is also an appeal to authority, but VIPs has a better track record and I've seen them actually elaborate on their claims, not just assert them.

[Aug 15, 2018] Human cost of anti-Putin propaganda

Notable quotes:
"... But .but they criticized Putin!!! That's a common link, surely? ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Drutten August 10, 2018 at 6:23 am

This is old news, but I decided to take a closer look at it. You may remember this viral tidbit:

Yup, that's 54,000 retweets and 65,000 "likes" right there. Good lord

Most of the actual names aren't visible, but the ones that can be read go as follows (I added some background information on them as well):


Funny, ain't it?

Mark Chapman August 10, 2018 at 7:20 am
But .but they criticized Putin!!! That's a common link, surely?
Drutten August 10, 2018 at 8:11 am
Out of all those that can be easily identified in the photograph above, I think it's safe to say only two of them even knew about Putin. The rest died when Putin was a nobody, save for Pralnikov, but he had been hospitalized on and off for a decade before he finally passed away in 1997.

When you dig deeper into it, the trail of dead journalists, business competitors and local officials in the wake of Boris Berezovsky's and Mikhail Khodorkovsky's 1990's escapades is the most striking one by far. That was under Yeltsin's watch, needless to say, and we all know what became of those two gentlemen when they finally ditched Russia for Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Among the journalists that have died since 2000, nearly all of which are attributed to Putin in one way or another these days by lazy pundits (and politicians, and human rights organizations etc), several curiously also probed Berezovsky. Then, you have a big bunch of deaths that are routinely and grossly misrepresented e.g:
https://fkriuk.blogspot.com/2008/02/audit-of-committee-to-protect.html

All in all, summing it up it's all a steaming pile of fake news.

[Aug 14, 2018] Habakkuk on Russia Delusion Syndrome (RDS)

Aug 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

One rather material element in delusions about Russia, alike in my country as in yours, is that people still appear to have difficulty realising that Putin is not a communist, and, where they can get this far, find it utterly impossible to make sense of what he actually is.

Among the more extreme instances was provided by our Ambassador to the UN, Karen Pierce, in the exchanges in April as the Western powers were trying to cover up yet another 'false flag' chemical weapons attack. She explained: "In respect of Karl Marx, I think he must be turning in his grave to see what the country that was founded on many of his precepts is doing in the name of supporting Syria by condoning the use of chemical weapons on Syrian territory."

(See https://www.rt.com/uk/42384... .)

This problem might have been avoided had our then Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, summoned his Eton and Oxford contemporary Paul Robinson back from Ottawa, where he now teaches. Ironically, it was when Johnson was editing the 'Spectator' that, in January 2004, he published an article by Robinson, headlined 'Putin's might is White', which had a shaping influence on my view of contemporary Russian realities.

(See http://archive.spectator.c o... .)

Only later did I learn that, after leaving university, its author had served for five years in Army Intelligence, and, when he chose to do a doctorate, opted to excavate some forgotten figures from Trotsky's 'dustbin of history', writing on the White Russian Army in exile.

As a result, at a time when so many who had opted for 'relevant' subjects quite patently had no idea what was happening, Robinson could see, clearly, that what goes into the 'dustbin' does not necessarily stay there: that Putin was, in essence, a grandchild of the Rev olution who had come to believe that some of those who had opposed it had been completely justified. (As it were, Trotsky should have been in the 'dustbin', not Denikin.)

Moreover, having described the new Russian President as a 'typical Soviet radish – red on the outside but white at the core', Robinson went on to put into context the complexities of his relationship towards 'liberal' ideas:

'Probably the most fundamental tension in Russian politics is that between the concepts of gosudarstvennost' and its rival obshchestvennost'. The nuances of the latter are difficult to translate, but the term refers to civil society and, roughly speaking, means "public opinion". Liberal commentators regard the state in Russia with suspicion. At the start of the 20th century, they longed for the state to surrender its power to "public opinion". They still do. But supporters of gosudatstvennosr view supporters of obshchestvennost' with equal suspicion. They see them as the self-interested representatives of the chattering classes, who, if put into positions of power, will immediately plunge Russia into a state of anarchy in which their beloved liberties will be of no use to them or anybody else. This, the Whites argued, was what the liberals of the provisional government had done in 1917, and this, many now claim, is what free-market democrats such as Yegor Gaidar did to Russia in the early 1990s.


A.Trophimovsky , an hour ago

What about the historical, by the ammount of millions, military budget Trump signed yesterday at that military base, destined mainly to counter Russia and China?

Is he suffering of RDS too already?

How do you see it?

It includes an increase in military personel wages of 2.5%...this would translate into pensions as well, I guess, thus, added to the tax cut, it would seem that for some people Trump is the hen of the golden eggs...

Pat Lang Mod -> A.Trophimovsky , an hour ago
IMO DJT is firmly in the grip of RDS.
VietnamVet , 2 hours ago
Excellent. The past isn't even past.

The Reagan/Thatcher revolution was a restoration of a new Victorian Gilded Age. The USA is a plutocracy with two ideologies (globalism and nationalism) at war. Donald Trump represents the old national myths. Peter Strzok is a courtier of the Clinton globalists. The little people, under stress from austerity, are reverting to their old myths and religions. American globalists cannot face the reality of the defeat of Hillary Clinton. Instead they project themselves on to others. It is the evil Vladimir Putin who is doing the dirty deeds. As with all scapegoats, the truth about Russia does not matter.

This is very scary. The weaponizing of sanctions and tariffs plus the possibility of the 17 year old Middle East Holy War spreading into Turkey and involving NATO troops in Turkey, Syria and Iraq; make the ignition of Russia's 1,960 strategic nuclear weapons a real possibility.

richardstevenhack , 4 hours ago

It is only under the shelter of a state strong enough to protect its subjects from crime or external assault, to create and enforce laws to regulate commerce and industry, and to encourage the arts, education and other social benefits, that a society can prosper, and that the conditions for individual liberty can ever hope to exist.'

This is the quintessential state delusion. History proves the exact opposite, nowhere better than the United States whose founding was based on minimizing state power as much as possible consistent with there being a state. Clearly it was not enough... "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile."

'In that story, America is placed at the vanguard of the great human march of progress. America is the grateful inheritor of other people's gifts. It has a spiritual connection to all people in all places, but also an exceptional role. America culminates history. It advances a way of life and a democratic model that will provide people everywhere with dignity. The things Americans do are not for themselves only, but for all mankind.

'This historical story was America's true myth '

How people can write this sort of nonsense is beyond me. Truly delusional and divorced from any notion of reality. Nothing but a propaganda piece by Brooks. A pure example of "America Delusion Syndrome."

Ishmael Zechariah -> richardstevenhack , 10 minutes ago
re: "How people can write this sort of nonsense is beyond me."

Perhaps the current propaganda is analogous to that described by Auden in "The Shield of Achilles" ( https://www.poets.org/poets... )

"... She looked over his shoulder
For vines and olive trees,
Marble well-governed cities
And ships upon untamed seas,
But there on the shining metal
His hands had put instead
An artificial wilderness
And a sky like lead.

A plain without a feature, bare and brown,
No blade of grass, no sign of neighborhood,
Nothing to eat and nowhere to sit down,
Yet, congregated on its blankness, stood
An unintelligible multitude,
A million eyes, a million boots in line,
Without expression, waiting for a sign.

Out of the air a voice without a face
Proved by statistics that some cause was just
In tones as dry and level as the place:
No one was cheered and nothing was discussed;
Column by column in a cloud of dust
They marched away enduring a belief
Whose logic brought them, somewhere else, to grief..."

At this rate many may come to grief due to the corruption of bloviating megaphones.
'Tis a pity.
Ishmael Zechariah

[Aug 14, 2018] Putin to Western Elites Playtime is Over by Dmitry Orlov

Notable quotes:
"... A longer version of this article originally appeared at the ClubOrlov blog . ..."
Mar 17, 2016 | russia-insider.com
An excellent blogger about Russia distills Putin's Sochi speech into 10 simple points A longer version of this article originally appeared at the ClubOrlov blog .

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance.

Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech of March 5, 1946.

In this speech, Putin abruptly changed the rules of the game. Previously, the game of international politics was played as follows: politicians made public pronouncements, for the sake of maintaining a pleasant fiction of national sovereignty, but they were strictly for show and had nothing to do with the substance of international politics; in the meantime, they engaged in secret back-room negotiations, in which the actual deals were hammered out.

Previously, Putin tried to play this game, expecting only that Russia be treated as an equal. But these hopes have been dashed, and at this conference he declared the game to be over, explicitly violating Western taboo by speaking directly to the people over the heads of elite clans and political leaders.

  1. Russia will no longer play games and engage in back-room negotiations over trifles . But Russia is prepared for serious conversations and agreements, if these are conducive to collective security, are based on fairness and take into account the interests of each side.
  2. All systems of global collective security now lie in ruins . There are no longer any international security guarantees at all. And the entity that destroyed them has a name: The United States of America.
  3. The builders of the New World Order have failed , having built a sand castle. Whether or not a new world order of any sort is to be built is not just Russia's decision, but it is a decision that will not be made without Russia.
  4. Russia favors a conservative approach to introducing innovations into the social order, but is not opposed to investigating and discussing such innovations, to see if introducing any of them might be justified.
  5. Russia has no intention of going fishing in the murky waters created by America's ever-expanding "empire of chaos ," and has no interest in building a new empire of her own (this is unnecessary; Russia's challenges lie in developing her already vast territory). Neither is Russia willing to act as a savior of the world, as she had in the past.
  6. Russia will not attempt to reformat the world in her own image , but neither will she allow anyone to reformat her in their image. Russia will not close herself off from the world, but anyone who tries to close her off from the world will be sure to reap a whirlwind.
  7. Russia does not wish for the chaos to spread, does not want war, and has no intention of starting one. However, today Russia sees the outbreak of global war as almost inevitable , is prepared for it, and is continuing to prepare for it. Russia does not war -- nor does she fear it.
  8. Russia does not intend to take an active role in thwarting those who are still attempting to construct their New World Order -- until their efforts start to impinge on Russia's key interests. Russia would prefer to stand by and watch them give themselves as many lumps as their poor heads can take. But those who manage to drag Russia into this process, through disregard for her interests , will be taught the true meaning of pain .
  9. In her external, and, even more so, internal politics, Russia's power will rely not on the elites and their back-room dealing, but on the will of the people.

To these nine points I would like to add a tenth:

10. There is still a chance to construct a new world order that will avoid a world war . This new world order must of necessity include the United States -- but can only do so on the same terms as everyone else: subject to international law and international agreements; refraining from all unilateral action; in full respect of the sovereignty of other nations.

To sum it all up: play-time is over. Children, put away your toys. Now is the time for the adults to make decisions. Russia is ready for this; is the world?

[Aug 13, 2018] I thought WTC7 free-fell out of sympathy for #1 #2 by Bushogboner

Aug 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Bushogboner -> oddjob Sun, 08/12/2018 - 21:03 Permalink

I thought WTC7 free-fell out of sympathy for #1 & #2.

vaporland -> Buckaroo Banzai Sun, 08/12/2018 - 21:49 Permalink

Two guys sitting in the insurance adjustor's waiting room.

[Aug 11, 2018] A White, Trump-Voting Charlottesville Survivor Reflects On "An Entire Failed System Propped Up On Lies"

Aug 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

What other historical events and movements have we been lied to about? And can you prop up an entire failing system based on lies?

... ... ...

Senate Democrats, using the excuse of "Russian disinformation" campaigns, are already circulating a memo that would establish more government control over Internet content, including the de facto end of online anonymity [ Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet: Reason Roundup , by Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason, July 31, 2018].

Slowly, America is moving toward a system where only favored groups will be allowed to express their opinion. Arguably, America is already at the point where groups such as Antifa simply do not have to obey the law at all, while ruinous lawsuits and "lawfare" are unleashed against conservative groups.

... ... ...

The end result: a country that increasingly seems on the brink of madness as it is gaslighted by a media growing ever more shrill. America is being put on a permanent war footing -- and the enemy its people are being mobilized against is the historic American nation, those European-Americans who live this country and its heritage.

[Aug 08, 2018] Christopher Steele, FBI s Confidential Human Source by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
A foreign intelligence asset was used to justify surveillance of Trump[ and some of his associates
Notable quotes:
"... What is clear from the new records is that Christopher Steele, a foreign intelligence officer, had frequent and extensive contacts with the FBI. Who was his FBI Case Agent? ..."
"... The main thing I want to know is WHEN was the decision made to tar Trump with Russia - both at the FBI (and likely CIA) and at the DNC (over the leak) - and WHO was the deciding entity - Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Obama or someone else? And perhaps who came up with the idea in the first place (at the DNC, it was very likely Alexandra Chalupa, the Ukrainian-American DNC "consultant"). ..."
"... The bad thing is that our MSM is so reverent of our Intel agencies that I see them encouraged to increasingly put their hand on the scale. ..."
"... Recently, I saw arm flailing by a Congressman, Dan Coats, and Mueller about how the Russians are still at it. They are trying to disrupt or influence the 2018. Really, then I demand to get a list of the pro-Kremlin candidates. How long before the mere threat of being outed as a Kremlin agent is used to punish elected officials if they are not sufficiently hawkish or don't support certain programs. Unchallenged claims by Intel agencies gives them a lot of political power. ..."
"... I am skeptical. Russia has a lot of fish to fry, why would they expend resources on midterm elections. Now everyone in the U.S. hates them, both traditional hawk Republicans and born again uber-hawk Democrats. There is a tiger behind both doors. ..."
"... if Steele had been a CHS since at least February of 2016, what was the purpose of passing the Dossier to the FBI through Fusion GPS? Why not just going to his FBI handler? Was Steele collaboration with Fusion even in compliance with FBI regulations? Did the FBI know? ..."
"... Because part of the plan was to leak the information in order to damage Trump. FBI could not do that. Would have exposed them to some real legal jeopardy. This was a dual track strategy. Diabolical almost. ..."
"... Don't forget the Nellie Ohr (Fusion GPS) -> Bruce Ohr (DOJ) back channel. The husband & wife tag team. Yes, the same Nellie that was investigating using ham radio to communicate to avoid NSA mass surveillance. ..."
"... From the very beginning that information about all this was slowly leaking from the Congressional investigation, this whole thing smelled very fishy. Then add intense effort at DOJ & FBI to obstruct and obfuscate. And the unhinged tweets and interviews by Brennan, Clapper & Comey. ..."
"... He was working with FBI and GPS at the same time. GPS was in the dark supposedly about his work with the FBI and Steele got their approval to hand over what he had delivered to GPS to the FBI as a cover for his work with the FBI. ..."
"... its also likely FBI had some input into the content of what was delivered to GPS, and more importantly what was not delivered. ..."
"... Re the 'standing agreement to not recruit each other's intelligence personnel for clandestine activities.' As Steele was not by this time a current employee of MI6, was the FBI in technical violation of this? ..."
"... A central question in regard to Steele, as with quite a number of former intelligence/law enforcement/military people who have started at least ostensibly private sector operations, is how far these are being used as 'cover' for activities conducted on behalf of either the state agencies for which they used to work, or other state agencies. ..."
"... It is at least possible that one advantage of such arrangements may be that they make it possible to evade the letter of agreements between intelligence agencies in different countries ..."
"... If, as seems likely, both current and former top FBI and DOJ people – very likely Mueller as well as Comey, Strzok and many others – were intimately involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution, then a means of making it possible for Steele to combine feeding information to the FBI while also engaging in 'StratCom' via the MSM could have been necessary. ..."
"... An obvious means of 'squaring the circle' would have been to issue a formal 'termination' to Steele, while creating 'back channels' to those who were officially supposed not to be talking to him ..."
"... A report yesterday by John Solomon in 'The Hill' quotes from messages exchanged between Steele and Bruce Ohr after the supposed termination ..."
"... 'In all, Ohr's notes, emails and texts identify more than 60 contacts with Steele and/or Simpson, some dating to 2002 in London. But the vast majority occurred during the 2016-2017 timeframe that gave birth to one of the most controversial counterintelligence probes in American history.' ..."
"... I have just finished taking a fresh look at Sir Robert Owen's travesty of a report into the death of Litvinenko. In large measure, this develops claims originally made in Christopher Steele's first attempt to provide a convincing account of why figures close to Putin might have thought it made sense to assassinate that figure, and to do so with polonium. The sheer volume of fabrication which has been deployed in an attempt to defend the patently indefensible almost beggars belief. ..."
"... Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about, and possibly involved with, the various shenanigans in which Shvets and Levinson were involved. Given that claims about Mogilevich have turned out to be central to 'Russiagate', that seems a rather important issue, and I am curious as to whether Ohr's communications with Steele may cast any light on it. ..."
"... Apparently the FBI got Deripaksa to fund the rescue of Levinson from Iran. Furthermore apparently FBI personnel maybe including McCabe visited with Deripaksa and showed him the Steele dossier. He supposedly had a nice guffaw and dismissed it as nonsense. So on the one hand while they make Russia out to be the most evil they play footsie with Russian oligarchs. ..."
"... Thinking about "Christopher Steele was terminated as a Confidential Human Source for cause.", something that doesn't seem to have gotten as much attention is that Peter Strzok failed his poly: ..."
"... Steele's relationship with the FBI extends far further back than February 2016. Shortly after he left MI6, he contracted with the Football Association to investigate possible FIFA corruption. Once he realized the massiveness of this corruption he contacted his old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crimes Task Force in 2011. Thus began his association with the FBI as a CHS. That investigation culminated in the 2015 FIFA corruption indictments and convictions. ..."
"... One thing I don't understand...we have the anti-Trumpers saying that Donald Junior meeting with a Russian national to get 'dirt' on Hillary is illegal...due to some law about candidates collaborating with foreigners or something like that...[obviously I'm foggy on the technical details]... Yet we know that the Hillary campaign worked with a foreign national, Steele, to get dirt on Trump...how is this not the same...? ..."
"... What role did Stefan Halper and Mifsud play as Confidential Human Sources in all this? ..."
"... Why was British Intelligence allegedly collecting and passing along info about Donald Trump in the first place? Or could this have been a pretext created to give cover and/or support to the agenda here in the US to insure his defeat? Could a foreign intelligence source such as this trigger/facilitate/justify the US counterintelligence investigation of Trump, or give cover to a covert investigation that may have already begun? ..."
"... British intelligence was collecting / passing on info about Trump because of his campaign stance on NATO (he said it was obsolete), his desire to end regime change wars (he castigated the fiasco in Iraq, took Bush to task over it etc.), and his often stated desire to get along with Russia (and China). Trump also talked of ending certain economic policies (NAFTA, TPP, etc.) and reenacting others (Glass-Steagall, the American System of Economics i.e. Hamilton, Carey, Clay), If Trump had acted on those, which he has not so far, he would changed the entire world system, a system in place since the end of WW II, or earlier. That was a risk too big to take without some kind of insurance policy - I believe Christopher Steele was that insurance policy. ..."
"... British Intelligence is verifiably the foreign source with the most extensive and effective meddling in the 2016 election. Perfidious Albion. ..."
"... Or, GSHQ was hovering up signint on Trump campaign early-on (using domestics US resources and databases via their 5-Eyes "sharing agreement" with NSA) cuz Brennan asked them to do it? ..."
"... Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, ..."
"... Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, ..."
"... I've heard that the Echelon system is used by the Five Eyes IC to do something similar. The Brits spy on US, and give the NSA the data so the NSA can evade US laws prohibiting spying on us, and we return the favor to help them evade what (few) laws they have that prohibits spying on their people. ..."
"... still wonder why the US would need to rely so much on British intelligence sources ..."
"... I've read that Steele's cover was blown 20 years ago and he hasn't even been to Russia since, so I wonder why he was considered such a reliable source by both the US and UK? In my opinion as an absolute naif about such things, Steele seems like he may be a has-been when it comes to Russia. ..."
"... Here is a simple explanation from someone who knows almost nothing about how any of the people in power work: Most of them are not as clever and smart as they think they are. And most of the regular people who are just citizens are smarter than these people think they are. ..."
"... It's simply that their arrogant assessment of their own superiority caused them to do really stupid things ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The revelations from US Government records about the FBI/Intel Community plot to take out Donald Trump continue to flow thanks to the dogged efforts of Judicial Watch. The latest nugget came last Friday with the release of FBI records detailing their recruitment and management of Britain's ostensibly retired Intelligence Officer, Christopher Steele. He was an officially recruited FBI source and received at least 11 payments during the 9 month period that he was signed up as a Confidential Human Source.

You may find it strange that we can glean so much information from a document dump that is almost entirely redacted . The key is to look at the report forms; there are three types--FD-1023 (Source Reports), FD-209a (Contact Reports) and FD-794b (Payment Requests). There are 15 different 1023s, 13 209a reports and 11 794b payment requests covering the period from 2 February 2016 thru 1 November 2016. That is a total of nine months.

These reports totally destroy the existing meme that Steele only came into contact with the FBI sometime in July 2016. It is important for you to understand that a 1023 Source Report is filled out each time that the FBI source handler has contact with the source. This can be an in person meeting or a phone call. Each report lists the name of the Case Agent; the date, time and location of the meeting; any other people attending the meeting; and a summary of what was discussed.

What is clear from the new records is that Christopher Steele, a foreign intelligence officer, had frequent and extensive contacts with the FBI. Who was his FBI Case Agent?


richardstevenhack , a day ago

Indeed we do need more information.

The main thing I want to know is WHEN was the decision made to tar Trump with Russia - both at the FBI (and likely CIA) and at the DNC (over the leak) - and WHO was the deciding entity - Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Obama or someone else? And perhaps who came up with the idea in the first place (at the DNC, it was very likely Alexandra Chalupa, the Ukrainian-American DNC "consultant").

We can be pretty sure this predates any alleged Russian "hacking" (unless it occurred as a result of alleged Russian hacking of the DNC in 2015).

This needs to be pinned down if anyone is to be successfully prosecuted for creating this treasonous hoax.

chris chuba , 5 hours ago
A very closely related topic, Victor Davis Hanson is onto something but it is darker than he suggests, https://www.nationalreview.... Paraphrasing, he gives the typical, rally around the flag we must stop the Russians intro but then documents how govt flaks abused their power to influence our elections and then makes the point, 'this is why the public is skeptical of their claims'.

The bad thing is that our MSM is so reverent of our Intel agencies that I see them encouraged to increasingly put their hand on the scale.

Recently, I saw arm flailing by a Congressman, Dan Coats, and Mueller about how the Russians are still at it. They are trying to disrupt or influence the 2018. Really, then I demand to get a list of the pro-Kremlin candidates. How long before the mere threat of being outed as a Kremlin agent is used to punish elected officials if they are not sufficiently hawkish or don't support certain programs. Unchallenged claims by Intel agencies gives them a lot of political power.

I am skeptical. Russia has a lot of fish to fry, why would they expend resources on midterm elections. Now everyone in the U.S. hates them, both traditional hawk Republicans and born again uber-hawk Democrats. There is a tiger behind both doors.

Leonardo Facchin , 20 hours ago
Thanks for the explanation.

What I can't figure out is: if Steele had been a CHS since at least February of 2016, what was the purpose of passing the Dossier to the FBI through Fusion GPS? Why not just going to his FBI handler? Was Steele collaboration with Fusion even in compliance with FBI regulations? Did the FBI know?

Publius Tacitus -> Leonardo Facchin , 17 hours ago
Because part of the plan was to leak the information in order to damage Trump. FBI could not do that. Would have exposed them to some real legal jeopardy. This was a dual track strategy. Diabolical almost.
blue peacock -> Leonardo Facchin , 13 hours ago
Don't forget the Nellie Ohr (Fusion GPS) -> Bruce Ohr (DOJ) back channel. The husband & wife tag team. Yes, the same Nellie that was investigating using ham radio to communicate to avoid NSA mass surveillance.

From the very beginning that information about all this was slowly leaking from the Congressional investigation, this whole thing smelled very fishy. Then add intense effort at DOJ & FBI to obstruct and obfuscate. And the unhinged tweets and interviews by Brennan, Clapper & Comey. And of course the media narrative that Rep. Nunes, Goodlatte and others were endangering "national security" by casting aspersions on the "patriotic" law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Paul M -> Leonardo Facchin , 16 hours ago
He was working with FBI and GPS at the same time. GPS was in the dark supposedly about his work with the FBI and Steele got their approval to hand over what he had delivered to GPS to the FBI as a cover for his work with the FBI.

Of course, he had most likely already done so and its also likely FBI had some input into the content of what was delivered to GPS, and more importantly what was not delivered.

David Habakkuk , 4 hours ago
PT,

Fascinating.

Re the 'standing agreement to not recruit each other's intelligence personnel for clandestine activities.' As Steele was not by this time a current employee of MI6, was the FBI in technical violation of this?

The point is not merely a quibble. A central question in regard to Steele, as with quite a number of former intelligence/law enforcement/military people who have started at least ostensibly private sector operations, is how far these are being used as 'cover' for activities conducted on behalf of either the state agencies for which they used to work, or other state agencies.

It is at least possible that one advantage of such arrangements may be that they make it possible to evade the letter of agreements between intelligence agencies in different countries.

Another related matter has to do with the termination of Steele as a 'Confidential Human Source.'

It has long seemed to me that it was more than possible that this was not to be taken at face value. If, as seems likely, both current and former top FBI and DOJ people – very likely Mueller as well as Comey, Strzok and many others – were intimately involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution, then a means of making it possible for Steele to combine feeding information to the FBI while also engaging in 'StratCom' via the MSM could have been necessary.

An obvious means of 'squaring the circle' would have been to issue a formal 'termination' to Steele, while creating 'back channels' to those who were officially supposed not to be talking to him.

A report yesterday by John Solomon in 'The Hill' quotes from messages exchanged between Steele and Bruce Ohr after the supposed termination.

(See http://thehill.com/person/d... .)

When on 31 January 2017 – well after the publication of the dossier by BuzzFeed – Ohr provided reassurance that he could continue to help feed information to the FBI, Steele texted back:

"If you end up out though, I really need another (bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can't allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous."

At that point, Solomon tells us that 'Investigators are trying to determine who Steele was referring to.' This seems to me a rather important question. It would seem likely, although not certain, that he is talking about another Brit. If he is, would it have been someone else employed by Orbis? Or someone currently working for British intelligence? What is the precise significance of 'forced to go back home', and why would this have been 'disastrous'?

Another crucial paragraph:

'In all, Ohr's notes, emails and texts identify more than 60 contacts with Steele and/or Simpson, some dating to 2002 in London. But the vast majority occurred during the 2016-2017 timeframe that gave birth to one of the most controversial counterintelligence probes in American history.'

The earlier contacts may be of little interest, but there again they may not be.

As it happens, it was following Berezovsky's arrival in London in October 2001 that the 'information operations' network he created began to move into high gear. It is moreover clear that this was always a transatlantic operation, and also fragments of evidence suggest that the FBI may have had some involvement from early on.

I have just finished taking a fresh look at Sir Robert Owen's travesty of a report into the death of Litvinenko. In large measure, this develops claims originally made in Christopher Steele's first attempt to provide a convincing account of why figures close to Putin might have thought it made sense to assassinate that figure, and to do so with polonium. The sheer volume of fabrication which has been deployed in an attempt to defend the patently indefensible almost beggars belief.

The original attempt came in a radio programme broadcast by the BBC – which was to become known to some of us as the 'Berezovsky Broadcasting Corporation' – on 16 December 2006, presented by Tom Mangold, a familiar 'trusty' for the intelligence services.

(A transcript sent out from the Cabinet Office at the time is available on the archived 'Evidence' page for the Inquiry, at http://webarchive.nationala... , as HMG000513. There is an interesting and rather important question as to whether those who sent it out, and those who received it, knew that it was more or less BS from start to finish.)

The programme was wholly devoted to claims made by the former KGB operative Yuri Shvets, who was presented as an independent 'due diligence' expert, without any mention of the rather major role he had played in the original 'Orange Revolution.'

Back-up was provided by his supposed collaborator in 'due diligence', the former FBI operative Robert 'Bobby' Levinson. No mention was made of the fact that he had been, in the 'Nineties, a, if not the lead FBI investigator into the notorious Ukrainian Jewish mobster Semyon Mogilevich.

The following March Levinson would disappear on the Iranian island of Kish, on what we now know was a covert mission on behalf of elements in the CIA.

Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about, and possibly involved with, the various shenanigans in which Shvets and Levinson were involved. Given that claims about Mogilevich have turned out to be central to 'Russiagate', that seems a rather important issue, and I am curious as to whether Ohr's communications with Steele may cast any light on it.

Jack -> David Habakkuk , 2 hours ago
David

Apparently the FBI got Deripaksa to fund the rescue of Levinson from Iran. Furthermore apparently FBI personnel maybe including McCabe visited with Deripaksa and showed him the Steele dossier. He supposedly had a nice guffaw and dismissed it as nonsense. So on the one hand while they make Russia out to be the most evil they play footsie with Russian oligarchs.

Keith Harbaugh , 19 hours ago
Thanks for this informative article.

Thinking about "Christopher Steele was terminated as a Confidential Human Source for cause.", something that doesn't seem to have gotten as much attention is that Peter Strzok failed his poly:

Seems rather surprising to me. Anyone have any comment on this?

TTG , an hour ago
Steele's relationship with the FBI extends far further back than February 2016. Shortly after he left MI6, he contracted with the Football Association to investigate possible FIFA corruption. Once he realized the massiveness of this corruption he contacted his old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crimes Task Force in 2011. Thus began his association with the FBI as a CHS. That investigation culminated in the 2015 FIFA corruption indictments and convictions. His initial contact with old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crime Task Force is awfully similar to his contacting these same friends in 2016 after deciding his initial Trump research was potentially bigger than mere opposition research.
FB , 3 hours ago
One thing I don't understand...we have the anti-Trumpers saying that Donald Junior meeting with a Russian national to get 'dirt' on Hillary is illegal...due to some law about candidates collaborating with foreigners or something like that...[obviously I'm foggy on the technical details]... Yet we know that the Hillary campaign worked with a foreign national, Steele, to get dirt on Trump...how is this not the same...?

Even worse is that the FBI was using this same foreign agent that a presidential candidate had hired to get dirt on an opponent... Even knowing nothing about legalities this just doesn't look very good...

Wally Courie , 4 hours ago
Stupid question? As the Col. has explained, the President can declassify any document he pleases. So, why doesn't Donaldo unredact the redacted portions of these bullcrap docs? What is he afraid of? That the Intel community will get mad and be out to get him? Isn't time for him to show some cojones?
blue peacock , 16 hours ago
What role did Stefan Halper and Mifsud play as Confidential Human Sources in all this?
akaPatience , 19 hours ago
Why was British Intelligence allegedly collecting and passing along info about Donald Trump in the first place? Or could this have been a pretext created to give cover and/or support to the agenda here in the US to insure his defeat? Could a foreign intelligence source such as this trigger/facilitate/justify the US counterintelligence investigation of Trump, or give cover to a covert investigation that may have already begun?
Navstéva يزور 🐐 -> akaPatience , 17 hours ago
British intelligence was collecting / passing on info about Trump because of his campaign stance on NATO (he said it was obsolete), his desire to end regime change wars (he castigated the fiasco in Iraq, took Bush to task over it etc.), and his often stated desire to get along with Russia (and China). Trump also talked of ending certain economic policies (NAFTA, TPP, etc.) and reenacting others (Glass-Steagall, the American System of Economics i.e. Hamilton, Carey, Clay), If Trump had acted on those, which he has not so far, he would changed the entire world system, a system in place since the end of WW II, or earlier. That was a risk too big to take without some kind of insurance policy - I believe Christopher Steele was that insurance policy.
unmitigatedaudacity -> Navstéva يزور 🐐 , 16 hours ago
British Intelligence is verifiably the foreign source with the most extensive and effective meddling in the 2016 election. Perfidious Albion.
Bryn Nykrson -> Navstéva يزور 🐐 , 14 hours ago
Or, GSHQ was hovering up signint on Trump campaign early-on (using domestics US resources and databases via their 5-Eyes "sharing agreement" with NSA) cuz Brennan asked them to do it? And therefore without having to mess about with any formal FISA warrant thingy's ... But, then use what might be found (or plausibly alleged) to try to get a proper FISA warrant later on (July 2016)? 'Parallel Discovery' of sorts; with Fusion GPS also a leaky cut-out: channelling media reports to be used as confirmation of Steele's "raw intelligence" in the formal FISA application(s)?
Biggee Mikeee -> akaPatience , 17 hours ago
Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates,

" Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, "

That's a good question, could it legally enable an end run around the FISC until enough evidence was gathered for a FISC surveillance authorization?.

richardstevenhack -> Biggee Mikeee , 13 hours ago
I've heard that the Echelon system is used by the Five Eyes IC to do something similar. The Brits spy on US, and give the NSA the data so the NSA can evade US laws prohibiting spying on us, and we return the favor to help them evade what (few) laws they have that prohibits spying on their people.

Only a matter of time until someone figured out the same method could be used to "meddle" in national affairs.

akaPatience -> Biggee Mikeee , 15 hours ago
I understand, but still wonder why the US would need to rely so much on British intelligence sources such as Steele about a very high profile American citizen and businessman -- aren't our intelligence services competent enough to have known and discovered as much if not more about Trump than other countries' intelligence services? I've read that Steele's cover was blown 20 years ago and he hasn't even been to Russia since, so I wonder why he was considered such a reliable source by both the US and UK? In my opinion as an absolute naif about such things, Steele seems like he may be a has-been when it comes to Russia.
DianaLC -> akaPatience , 4 hours ago
Here is a simple explanation from someone who knows almost nothing about how any of the people in power work: Most of them are not as clever and smart as they think they are. And most of the regular people who are just citizens are smarter than these people think they are.

It's simply that their arrogant assessment of their own superiority caused them to do really stupid things.

[Aug 08, 2018] Bill Clinton's Rules of Engagement on the already identified Enemies of the People

Notable quotes:
"... please recall Bill Clinton's rules of engagement as applied to the Serbs in 1999, wherein he decided that the political leaders, bureaucratic support structure, media infrastructure and intellectual underpinnings of his enemies' war effort were legitimate targets of war. ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [207] Disclaimer , Next New Comment August 8, 2018 at 7:08 am GMT

After observing Skynet's coordinated attack on Alex Jone's Infowars yesterday, we can hardly wait to implement Bill Clinton's Rules of Engagement on the already identified Enemies of the People, and eagerly await the God-Emperor's word.

Second, please recall Bill Clinton's rules of engagement as applied to the Serbs in 1999, wherein he decided that the political leaders, bureaucratic support structure, media infrastructure and intellectual underpinnings of his enemies' war effort were legitimate targets of war.

No one else may have been paying attention to the unintended consequences of that, but many folks on our side of the present divide were. Food for thought. A reminder about the shape of the battlefield (legal and otherwise) and Bill Clinton's Rules of Engagement.

http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2010/03/man-bites-dog-dogs-get-pissed-off.html

[Aug 08, 2018] Ten Bombshell Revelations From Seymour Hersh's New Autobiography

Highly recommended!
Aug 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Here are ten bombshell revelations and fascinating new details to lately come out of both Sy Hersh's new book, Reporter , as well as interviews he's given since publication...

1) On a leaked Bush-era intelligence memo outlining the neocon plan to remake the Middle East

(Note: though previously alluded to only anecdotally by General Wesley Clark in his memoir and in a 2007 speech , the below passage from Seymour Hersh is to our knowledge the first time this highly classified memo has been quoted . Hersh's account appears to corroborate now retired Gen. Clark's assertion that days after 9/11 a classified memo outlining plans to foster regime change in "7 countries in 5 years" was being circulated among intelligence officials.)

From Reporter: A Memoir pg. 306 -- A few months after the invasion of Iraq, during an interview overseas with a general who was director of a foreign intelligence service, I was provided with a copy of a Republican neocon plan for American dominance in the Middle East. The general was an American ally, but one who was very rattled by the Bush/Cheney aggression. I was told that the document leaked to me initially had been obtained by someone in the local CIA station. There was reason to be rattled: The document declared that the war to reshape the Middle East had to begin "with the assault on Iraq. The fundamental reason for this... is that the war will start making the U.S. the hegemon of the Middle East. The correlative reason is to make the region feel in its bones, as it were, the seriousness of American intent and determination." Victory in Iraq would lead to an ultimatum to Damascus, the "defanging" of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization, and other anti-Israeli groups. America's enemies must understand that "they are fighting for their life: Pax Americana is on its way, which implies their annihilation." I and the foreign general agreed that America's neocons were a menace to civilization.

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

* * *

2) On early regime change plans in Syria

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 306-307 -- Donald Rumsfeld was also infected with neocon fantasy. Turkey had refused to permit America's Fourth Division to join the attack of Iraq from its territory, and the division, with its twenty-five thousand men and women, did not arrive in force inside Iraq until mid-April, when the initial fighting was essentially over. I learned then that Rumsfeld had asked the American military command in Stuttgart, Germany, which had responsibility for monitoring Europe, including Syria and Lebanon, to begin drawing up an operational plan for an invasion of Syria. A young general assigned to the task refused to do so, thereby winning applause from my friends on the inside and risking his career. The plan was seen by those I knew as especially bizarre because Bashar Assad, the ruler of secular Syria, had responded to 9/11 by sharing with the CIA hundreds of his country's most sensitive intelligence files on the Muslim Brotherhood in Hamburg, where much of the planning for 9/11 was carried out... Rumsfeld eventually came to his senses and back down, I was told...

3) On the Neocon deep state which seized power after 9/11

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 305-306 -- I began to comprehend that eight or nine neoconservatives who were political outsiders in the Clinton years had essentially overthrown the government of the United States -- with ease . It was stunning to realize how fragile our Constitution was. The intellectual leaders of that group -- Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle -- had not hidden their ideology and their belief in the power of the executive but depicted themselves in public with a great calmness and a self-assurance that masked their radicalism . I had spent many hours after 9/11 in conversations with Perle that, luckily for me, helped me understand what was coming. (Perle and I had been chatting about policy since the early 1980s, but he broke off relations in 1993 over an article I did for The New Yorker linking him, a fervent supporter of Israel, to a series of meetings with Saudi businessmen in an attempt to land a multibillion-dollar contract from Saudi Arabia . Perle responded by publicly threatening to sue me and characterizing me as a newspaper terrorist. He did not sue.

Meanwhile, Cheney had emerged as a leader of the neocon pack. From 9/11 on he did all he could to undermine congressional oversight. I learned a great deal from the inside about his primacy in the White House , but once again I was limited in what I would write for fear of betraying my sources...

I came to understand that Cheney's goal was to run his most important military and intelligence operations with as little congressional knowledge, and interference, as possible. I was fascinating and important to learn what I did about Cheney's constant accumulation of power and authority as vice president , but it was impossible to even begin to verify the information without running the risk that Cheney would learn of my questioning and have a good idea from whom I was getting the information.

4) On Russian meddling in the US election

From the recent Independent interview based on his autobiography -- Hersh has vociferously strong opinions on the subject and smells a rat. He states that there is "a great deal of animosity towards Russia. All of that stuff about Russia hacking the election appears to be preposterous." He has been researching the subject but is not ready to go public yet.

Hersh quips that the last time he heard the US defense establishment have high confidence, it was regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He points out that the NSA only has moderate confidence in Russian hacking. It is a point that has been made before; there has been no national intelligence estimate in which all 17 US intelligence agencies would have to sign off. "When the intel community wants to say something they say it High confidence effectively means that they don't know."

5) On the Novichok poisoning

From the recent Independent interview -- Hersh is also on the record as stating that the official version of the Skripal poisoning does not stand up to scrutiny. He tells me: "The story of novichok poisoning has not held up very well. He [Skripal] was most likely talking to British intelligence services about Russian organised crime." The unfortunate turn of events with the contamination of other victims is suggestive, according to Hersh, of organised crime elements rather than state-sponsored actions –though this files in the face of the UK government's position.

Hersh modestly points out that these are just his opinions. Opinions or not, he is scathing on Obama – "a trimmer articulate [but] far from a radical a middleman". During his Goldsmiths talk, he remarks that liberal critics underestimate Trump at their peril.

He ends the Goldsmiths talk with an anecdote about having lunch with his sources in the wake of 9/11 . He vents his anger at the agencies for not sharing information. One of his CIA sources fires back: "Sy you still don't get it after all these years – the FBI catches bank robbers, the CIA robs banks." It is a delicious, if cryptic aphorism.

* * *

6) On the Bush-era 'Redirection' policy of arming Sunni radicals to counter Shia Iran, which in a 2007 New Yorker article Hersh accurately predicted would set off war in Syria

From the Independent interview : [Hersh] tells me it is "amazing how many times that story has been reprinted" . I ask about his argument that US policy was designed to neutralize the Shia sphere extending from Iran to Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon and hence redraw the Sykes-Picot boundaries for the 21st century.

He goes on to say that Bush and Cheney "had it in for Iran", although he denies the idea that Iran was heavily involved in Iraq: "They were providing intel, collecting intel The US did many cross-border hunts to kill ops [with] much more aggression than Iran"...

He believes that the Trump administration has no memory of this approach. I'm sure though that the military-industrial complex has a longer memory...

I press him on the RAND and Stratfor reports including one authored by Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz in which they envisage deliberate ethno-sectarian partitioning of Iraq . Hersh ruefully states that: "The day after 9/11 we should have gone to Russia. We did the one thing that George Kennan warned us never to do – to expand NATO too far."

* * *

7) On the official 9/11 narrative

From the Independent interview : We end up ruminating about 9/11, perhaps because it is another narrative ripe for deconstruction by sceptics. Polling shows that a significant proportion of the American public believes there is more to the truth. These doubts have been reinforced by the declassification of the suppressed 28 pages of the 9/11 commission report last year undermining the version that a group of terrorists acting independently managed to pull off the attacks. The implication is that they may well have been state-sponsored with the Saudis potentially involved.

Hersh tells me: "I don't necessarily buy the story that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. We really don't have an ending to the story. I've known people in the [intelligence] community. We don't know anything empirical about who did what" . He continues: "The guy was living in a cave. He really didn't know much English. He was pretty bright and he had a lot of hatred for the US. We respond by attacking the Taliban. Eighteen years later How's it going guys?"

8) On the media and the morality of the powerful

From a recent The Intercept interview and book review -- If Hersh were a superhero, this would be his origin story. Two hundred and seventy-four pages after the Chicago anecdote, he describes his coverage of a massive slaughter of Iraqi troops and civilians by the U.S. in 1991 after a ceasefire had ended the Persian Gulf War. America's indifference to this massacre was, Hersh writes, "a reminder of the Vietnam War's MGR, for Mere Gook Rule: If it's a murdered or raped gook, there is no crime." It was also, he adds, a reminder of something else: "I had learned a domestic version of that rule decades earlier" in Chicago. "Reporter" demonstrates that Hersh has derived three simple lessons from that rule:

  1. The powerful prey mercilessly upon the powerless, up to and including mass murder.
  2. The powerful lie constantly about their predations.
  3. The natural instinct of the media is to let the powerful get away with it.

* * *

... ... ...

[Aug 08, 2018] Is Russia Facilitating Trump's Strangulation of Iran

Bloomberg article cited in Russia To Propose Rolling Back 1.8 Million Bpd Of Oil Cuts OilPrice.com is a rumor. Russians clearly understand that it was the USA who orchestrated 2014-2018 oil price slump which hurt Russia pretty severely with standard of living still not recovered to 2014 levels. There no trump toward the USA left. for russia the USA with its neocon foreign policy is now in a way "Great Satan" as it is for Iran.
Aug 08, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
put forward a proposal to OPEC to increase production by 1.8million barrels per day (bpd) – and, unusually, proposed that these increases were to start kicking in within weeks. In the end, a pact to increase production by 1 million barrels per day – spearheaded by Russia and Saudi Arabia – was agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC countries in late June. The rise was opposed by Iran, Iraq, Venezuela and Algeria, with Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh commenting ahead of the meeting that "OPEC is not the organization to receive instruction from President Trump OPEC is not part of the Department of Energy of the United States".

Within days of the adoption of the Russian-led production increase, the Trump administration announced its plans to "reduce Iranian oil exports to zero" by November 4th. Questioned on whether such a policy might cause disruption as countries scrambled to replace supplies, State Department policy director Brian Hooks remarked that "we are confident there is sufficient global spare oil capacity." Russia's push for increased production had, in effect, smoothed the path for the next round of Trump's strangulation of Iran. It was precisely this deal which lay behind Trump's brazen claim that world oil supplies would plug the gap created by the loss of Iranian crude; without the end to Russian-Saudi production limits, this would have been unthinkable. As things stand, however, all the pieces are in place for Trump to apply serious pressure on all importers of Iranian oil. Whilst the Russian-Saudi deal offers alternative sources of supply, the trade war now underway demonstrates Trump's willingness to use tariffs against those who do not bend to his geopolitical will. Whilst Trump has openly threatened sanctions against those who do not heed his call to end their dealings with Iran, it is quite possible that those who do heed it will be rewarded with tariff exemptions. China, in particular – Iran's biggest trading partner, and now threatened with tariffs on all $500bilion of their exports to the US – will be particularly under pressure.

On the surface, then, Russia's actions appear self-defeating. The end to the, hugely successful, production quotas of the previous 18 months immediately triggered a drop in oil prices – Russia's main export commodity – whilst facilitating the escalation of US economic warfare against key Russian ally Iran. Yet there are several reasons Russia may be supporting Trump's moves.

Most obviously, Iran is a major competitor with Russia for oil export markets – especially in Europe. European hopes to reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies are likely to be seriously dashed if they can no longer turn to Iran as an alternative supplier. Quite simply, Russia will sell more oil without Iranian competition.

More than this, however, even Trump's use of tariffs as leverage to push countries away from Iran could be to Russia's benefit. If Trump does indeed make tariff-free access to the US market conditional on cutting investment and trade with Iran, China would face a major dilemma.

China has for some years been not only Iran's major trading partner, but investment financier as well. In 2011, China signed a $20 billion agreement to boost bilateral cooperation in Iran's industrial and mining sectors. Today, China is poised to take over development of the massive South Pars oil and gas field should the French company TOTAL pull out, as they are widely expected to do, whilst a $3billion deal was recently signed giving SINOPEC the right to expand the Abadan oil refinery in Khuzestan Province. Meanwhile, reports Fox News , "With the U.S. Treasury putting pressure on Western banks to not make any deals with Iran, the Chinese state-owned CITIC bank is extending lines of credit worth $10 billion for Iranian banks. This funding will finance water, energy and transport projects. To bypass U.S. sanctions, the lines of credit will use euros and yuan currencies".

But most significant for Russia is the 2017 $1.5 billion deal made by the Chinese Export-Import Bank to finance a high-speed railway between Tehran and Mashhad. The railway is envisioned to become part of China's 'Belt and Road Initiative' , creating a high-speed transit route between central Asia and Europe that will shave weeks off current travel times.

This May – in a clear act of defiance to the US – China opened a new train line between China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Tehran, shortening travel time by 20 days compared to cargo ship. Once the full vision of a Chinese built high-tech, high-speed rail network across central Asia is realised, however, the current 'Northern route' through Russia is likely to be rendered all but redundant.

Could it be, then, that Russia sees it as in its own interests to facilitate Trump's quest to chase Chinese investment out of Iran in order to preserve its trade routes and access to European oil markets?

If so, it is likely to be disappointed. For Iran is central not only to the Belt and Road Initiative – China's multi-trillion, multi-decade long 'geoeconomic' programme – but also to its defence strategy. As correctly observed in a recent piece published by The Diplomat, "Iran constitutes [China's] true priority. China has nurtured bilateral relations with Tehran for decades, leveraging a common resentment toward Western dominance . This partnership has great geostrategic importance to both nations. Thanks to its oil and gas reserves, Iran could help Beijing withstand a U.S. attack on its SLOCs (Sea Lines of Communication)."

For China, much as it naturally seeks to avoid further punishment from the US, Iran is simply too important to be bargained away. Unfortunately not so, it seems, for Moscow. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Dan Glazebrook

[Aug 07, 2018] Angry Bear " Sunday Political News Funnies

Aug 07, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , August 6, 2018 9:38 pm

Those cartoons are a nice illustration of the level of polarization of the US society. And the level of distrust toward the neoliberal elite.

Polarization has grown so extreme that the two camps have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts.

Polarization has grown so extreme that Pro-globalism and Pro-isolationism camps have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts.

This looks more and more like kind of virtual Civil War fought in Internet space. With Pro-globalism camp being much stronger and controlling the narrative and Pro-isolationalism camp having an uphill battle.

Some of the cartoons listed are probably the products of the "Ministry of Truth" (a la 1984), although the Thought Police was a part of Ministry of Love.

And the history of the "Ministry of Truth" is going back at least to 2008, if not to 2001. Once it was clear that Obama administration was going to protect the banks, the new paradigm of dishonesty in high places was invented and trickled down to major MSM.

[Aug 07, 2018] Truth Decay: Living in the Age of the Big Lie

Notable quotes:
"... constitutionally impermissible for courts to take class into account under the Fourteenth Amendment. ..."
"... Genetically Modified Canola 'Escapes' Farm Fields, August 6, 2010 ..."
Aug 07, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Living in the Age of the Big Lie" [Stephen Gold, Industry Week ]. Gold is President and Chief Executive Officer, Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI):

All this has created the potential for an American cultural crisis of distrust, authoritatively captured in two recently published analyses.

In "Truth Decay," [cute! –lambert] the RAND Corporation lays the blame for the deteriorating role of facts and data in public life on four primary causes:

1. The rise of social media
2. An overtaxed educational system that cannot keep up with changes in the "information ecosystem"
3. Political and social polarization
4. And -- perhaps due to all of these factors -- the increasing tendency of individuals to create their own subjective social reality, otherwise known as "cognitive bias."

"The Death of Truth" by Pulitzer-Prize winning book critic Michiko Kakutani explores the waning of integrity in American society, particularly since the 2016 elections. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's observation that "everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts," is more timely than ever, Kakutani says: "polarization has grown so extreme that voters have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts." And no wonder: Two-thirds of Americans get at least some of their news through social media -- a platform that has been overwhelmed by trolls and bots, and which uses algorithms to decide what each of us gets to see.

Executives ignore the cultural shift away from honesty at their peril.

Social media has its own problems, gawd knows -- break them up and outlaw the algos, and they'd be a lot more like the public utilities they should really be -- but it's amazing how vague hand-wringing pieces like this ignore at least four seismic events since 2000, all of which involve perceived legitimacy and the nature of truth: (1) Bush v. Gore, (2) Iraq WMDs, (3) Obama's "hope and change" campaign, followed by (4) the crash, the bailouts, the free passes for bankers, and a brutal recession. The official narrative and its maintainers didn't lose credibility because of trolls and bots, who might be regarded as opportunistic infections overwhelming an already weakened immnune system.

Grassroots and/or AstroTurf?

Our Famously Free Press

"The Press Doesn't Cause Wars -- Presidents Do" [ The Atlantic ] • One of a ginormous steaming load of revisionist and defensive articles prompted by Trump's tweet that the press can "causes War." Anyone who was present for the build up to the Iraq War knows that Trump's claim is true; in fact, the "media critique" that began then was prompted by the Iraq WMDs scam, in which the press -- *** cough *** Judy Miller ***cough*** -- was not merely compliant or complicitous, but active and vociferous, especially in shunning and shaming skeptics. Of course, everybody who was wrong about Iraq was wrong in the right way, so they all still have jobs (David Frum, Bush speechwriter and Hero of the Resistance, at the Atlantic, among hundreds of others). So revisionist history is very easy for them to write.

Class Warfare

"The New Class-Blindness" [ Law and Political Economy ]. "It is true that class-based discrimination does not trigger heightened scrutiny under equal protection in the way that race-based and sex-based discrimination do . Some judges -- even some Supreme Court Justices -- have begun to argue that it is constitutionally impermissible for courts to take class into account under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fifth Circuit reached this conclusion a few years ago in the Whole Woman's Health case, in which it asserted that judges could consider only obstacles created by "the law itself" when determining whether a law unduly burdens the right to abortion -- a category that excluded obstacles such as lack of transportation, childcare, days off from work, and money for overnight stays. When Whole Woman's Health reached the Supreme Court, some of the Justices (in dissent) expressed support for this approach."

"Vermont's Striking Nurses Want A Raise for Nonunion Workers Too" [ Labor Notes ]. "Yet when 1,800 nurses and technical staff struck for better wages July 12-13 at the state's second-largest employer, the University of Vermont Medical Center, the people of Burlington came out in force to back them up. 'We had policemen and firefighters and UPS drivers pulling over and shaking our hands' on the picket line, said neurology nurse Maggie Belensz. 'We had pizza places dropping off dozens of pizzas, giving out free ice cream.' And when a thousand people marched from the hospital through Burlington's downtown, 'we had standing ovations from people eating their dinners,' she said. 'It was a moving experience.' One reason for such wide support: these hospital workers aren't just demanding a raise themselves. They're also calling for a $15 minimum wage for their nonunion co-workers, such as those who answer the phones, mop the floors, cook the food, and help patients to the bathroom."

"What Are Capitalists Thinking?" [Michael Tomaskey, New York Times ]. "I write today with some friendly advice for the capitalist class about said socialists. You want fewer socialists? Easy. Stop creating them . I understand completely why it's happening. Given what's been going on in this country, it couldn't not have happened. And if you're a capitalist, you'd better try to understand it, too -- and do something to address the very legitimate grievances that propelled it." • Finally, reality begins to penetrate the thickened craniums of the better sort of liberal

"In 2008, America Stopped Believing in the American Dream" [Frank Rich, New York Magazine ]. (The "American Dream" being one of the official narratives.) "It's not hard to pinpoint the dawn of this deep gloom: It arrived in September 2008, when the collapse of Lehman Brothers kicked off the Great Recession that proved to be a more lasting existential threat to America than the terrorist attack of seven Septembers earlier. The shadow it would cast is so dark that a decade later, even our current run of ostensible prosperity and peace does not mitigate the one conviction that still unites all Americans: Everything in the country is broken. Not just Washington, which failed to prevent the financial catastrophe and has done little to protect us from the next, but also race relations, health care, education, institutional religion, law enforcement, the physical infrastructure, the news media, the bedrock virtues of civility and community. Nearly everything has turned to crap, it seems ." • Ditto


Arizona Slim , August 6, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Computer glitch? Well, who programmed the computer and who paid 'em? Follow the money, and you'll find that it leads back to Wells Fargo.

sierra7 , August 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

"We ("They") Were Doing God's Work" LLoyd Blankfein then head of Goldman Sachs in his testimony to Congress on " .what went wrong".

nippersdad , August 6, 2018 at 5:48 pm

I think I would put it much earlier than that. Anyone who watched Newt Gingrich during his Contract on America days, who watched Max Cleland be attacked by Saxby Chambliss, who watched as Clinton deregulated the media in favor of Rupert Murdoch even as they slagged him, knew something was afoot.

Integrity has been in short supply ever since.

foghorn longhorn , August 6, 2018 at 8:18 pm

How about going back a bit further,
Carter, put a sweater on.
Reagan, put it on the credit card.

cm , August 6, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Shenzhen Tech Girl Naomi Wu

informative post spelling out that China is still a repressive government in ways that Americans often cannot relate.

Carey , August 6, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Tomasky at NYT:

"I have mixed feelings about this socialism boomlet. It has yet to prove itself politically viable in general elections outside a handful of areas, and by 2021 we could wake up and see that it's been a disaster for Democrats."

What is a Democrat? Are they inherently good? Is failing the Democrats OK, if doing so improves the lives of the 90%?

pretzelattack , August 6, 2018 at 3:23 pm

I would say it is required.

Pat , August 6, 2018 at 5:07 pm

Mr. Tomasky seems to have missed that Democrats throwing out the concerns of the working class to court wealthy donors for its Clintonian politics boomlet has been distinctly, well not all that long term politically viable. It has been a disaster for the Democrats. There were signs prior to 2000, but it took starting an unpopular and largely unsuccessful war and attempting to undermine Social Security for the Democrats to make a come back. That their success was pretty much over by 2010, with the exception of the Presidency is very clear in the massive loss of Governorships, State Houses and yes Congress leading up to the 2016 debacle when they foolishly nominated the Grand Dame of that 'can't give me lots of money – suck on it' political position to be their Presidential nominee.

But why let facts get in the way of a good narrative meant to convince the rubes to continue voting for polticians who have no interest in their concerns because of the right pronouns and Russia!

Carey , August 6, 2018 at 6:16 pm

All well said. I wonder also about who is included in Tomasky's "we".

Class class class

nothing but the truth , August 6, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Truth Decay

The biggest cause is spin , that has become an art form, a business and career path.

Telling the truth in public is an invitation to cut short your career. The only time when officials tell the truth is when they are comfortably retired.

Especially with economists and journalists (the conscience keepers), it is not so important what they are saying, but why they are saying it (basically lack of trust in the narrator).

jsn , August 6, 2018 at 4:38 pm

I can't remember who it was, someone like Art Buchwald or Molly Ivins way back, who said "a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth."

Craig H. , August 6, 2018 at 5:15 pm

I personally blame Bill Clinton. The turning point was the report that he told Lewinsky "deny deny deny there's nothing they can do."

Which is true but that was the point in the timeline when a critical mass of people began to live like that. Or when it became obvious to me. Perhaps it was exactly like that for a long time before and it is not BC's fault.

Synapsid , August 6, 2018 at 3:39 pm

It's cheering that coal shipment and use in the US has declined. The good news for our coal industry is that coal exports January to June 2018 have risen, in particular to Africa, Asia (largely to India which is voracious) and South America.

The current Administration can thank the previous one for increasing our capacity to export coal, I believe.

Tom Stone , August 6, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Sarah Jeong is a piece of work, is her desk next to Judy Miller's?
Good grief, the cultural differences between different parts of SE Asian Countries can be profound let alone the cultural differences between countries.
I'm reminded of a boss who told me that monopolies increase competition, with a straight face.

Carey , August 6, 2018 at 4:13 pm

My impression is that Ms. Jeong's job is and will be to start plenty of cultural "fires", so
that while the citizenry is distracted with them, the looting and pillaging of the many by the few can continue.

jsn , August 6, 2018 at 3:41 pm

" the significant benefits that Federal Reserve independence brings." For whom?

diptherio , August 6, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Re: Mastodon

You can simply "unpin" the columns you don't want to see.

diptherio , August 6, 2018 at 4:21 pm

But to answer the question you actually asked the Federated timeline includes your local timeline, which itself includes your home timeline. So if you want to see it all, just use the federated timeline. If you only want to see people you follow, use the home timeline, etc.

Montanamaven , August 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

How do you start? What "instances" would be a good fit?

Lee , August 6, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Re Sarah Jeong

What's an Asian woman doing criticizing a white guy for commenting on a predominantly, but not exclusively, black art form? I mean, why is she even speaking English and how about that name Sarah for an egregious example of cultural appropriation? And, as I have previously queried on this site: how is it even permissible for Yo-Yo Ma to play Bach on the cello? And in case you ask: yes, identity politics has finally driven me insane. Or is it they who are mad?

fresno dan , August 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Lee
August 6, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Actually, after I read the below, I'm kinda warming to her ..

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/welcome-to-bad-faith/

She (Sarah Jeong) wrote: "After a bad day, some people come home and kick the furniture. I get on the Internet and make fun of The New York Times." "I don't feel safe in a country that is led by someone who takes Thomas Friedman seriously." "Hannah Rosin shatters ceiling by proving women writers can be as hackish as Tom Friedman, too." "[David] Brooks is an absolute nitwit tho." "Notajoke: I'm being forced to read Nicholas Kristof. This is the worst." "if I had a bajillion dollars, I'd buy the New York Times, just for the pleasure of firing Tom Friedman ."

curlydan , August 6, 2018 at 5:34 pm

combining the articles, it sounds like she's got a lot of opinions. Good for an aspiring pundit but also opening herself up for a greater possibility of errors.

WobblyTelomeres , August 6, 2018 at 6:59 pm

I'd buy the New York Times, just for the pleasure of firing Tom Friedman ."

Ah, but you"ll have to scheme to have a cabbie deliver the news. Otherwise, he wouldn't believe it.

sleepy , August 6, 2018 at 3:45 pm

it's amazing how vague hand-wringing pieces like this ignore at least four seismic events since 2000, all of which involve perceived legitimacy and the nature of truth: (1) Bush v. Gore, (2) Iraq WMDs, (3) Obama's "hope and change" campaign, followed by (4) the crash, the bailouts, the free passes for bankers, and a brutal recession.

Good list to which I would add the Katrina debacle.

Arizona Slim , August 6, 2018 at 3:51 pm

One for the thumb!

jonhoops , August 6, 2018 at 7:18 pm

9-11 anyone? Of course we should probably go back to at least Nov. 1963

foghorn longhorn , August 6, 2018 at 8:28 pm

We probably should, but then you're just a conspiracy theorist.
Ya big dummy.

foghorn longhorn , August 6, 2018 at 8:48 pm

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DXY02Qkuc_f8&ved=2ahUKEwj61Jru2tncAhUJLKwKHYx6CZYQwqsBMAZ6BAgKEBE&usg=AOvVaw3Qc0sJeXBikn0l5vC9T388

Unless of course all the SS guys are riding on the VP limo.

fresno dan , August 6, 2018 at 3:55 pm

The New Class-Blindness" [Law and Political Economy]. "It is true that class-based discrimination does not trigger heightened scrutiny under equal protection in the way that race-based and sex-based discrimination do . Some judges -- even some Supreme Court Justices -- have begun to argue that it is constitutionally impermissible for courts to take class into account under the Fourteenth Amendment.
================
In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread. Anatole France

flora , August 6, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Note to Frank Rich: Read Simon Johnson's 2009 Atlantic Magazine essay 'The Quiet Coup'.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/

He saw what would happen if the US govt didn't clean up the TBTF banks, Wall St., and other financial perps. This still needs to happen.

knowbuddhau , August 6, 2018 at 4:48 pm

Huh, you say that as if USG, TBTF, Wall St, other fin perps weren't all the same. /s

zagonostra , August 6, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Russia,Russia,Russia.

Not much concern over the disconnect between voter preference and policy outcome which was documented in the 2014 Gilens/Benjamin study or Jimmy Carter statement that the U.S. is a defacto oligarchy, or the massive voter fraud that is part and parcel of our voting system (see https://www.gregpalast.com/ ), or the disclosure of HRC/DNC collusion documented in wiki leaks and Donna Brasil's "tell all book", not much concern their at all.

Do you find it curious this obsession of the MSM with Russia meddling in our elections?

Montanamaven , August 6, 2018 at 5:02 pm

A compilation on Rachel Maddow and how many times she mentions Russia in ONE show on March 9 Russia, Russia, Russia

Richard , August 6, 2018 at 5:23 pm

Hilarious and mind-blowing.

Hameloose Cannon , August 6, 2018 at 8:34 pm

"Do you find it curious this obsession [ ] w/ Russia meddling [ ]?" The Russian meddling isn't the curious part; Russia tries it in every election west of the river Pina. The abnormal part is a sitting US President, on Twitter, accused his son of a felony aka violating 52 U.S. Code § 30121 (a)(2), soliciting contributions [things of value] from a foreign national. Talk about "Blue on Blue" fire. Nothing "friendly" about that. Especially given the prima facie evidence of violating 18 U.S. Code § 3, accessory after the fact, by dictating Don the Younger's response to the story.

diptherio , August 6, 2018 at 4:17 pm

I read the book Q a couple of years ago. It's real good. Especially if you're into the gory details of European religious history. There's a lot of things they didn't mention in my confirmation classes

Synoia , August 6, 2018 at 4:21 pm

Social media has its own problems, gawd knows The official narrative and its maintainers didn't lose credibility because of trolls and bots, who might be regarded as opportunistic infections overwhelming an already weakened immnune system

Well said. The official narrative, the swamp, is very good at blaming effects and ignoring causes.

Hiding , August 6, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Qanon seems like a honeypot site(s) for retribution futures. Read anything, go into a database for future reference. Unz and others have likely multiple uses and followers, NOC/NotForAttribution and other.

a different chris , August 6, 2018 at 4:30 pm

Agree with the disagreement over the list. However, this underlies so many, maybe all problems and nobody is seemingly going to clean it up:

>An overtaxed educational system

JTMcPhee , August 6, 2018 at 4:40 pm

On decline in coal shipments: look what is happening elsewhere! "Germany had so much renewable energy on Sunday that it had to pay people to use electricity!", https://qz.com/680661/germany-had-so-much-renewable-energy-on-sunday-that-it-had-to-pay-people-to-use-electricity/ "Power too cheap to meter," just like nuclear was promised to be! And that is an old 2016 article. I saw another piece, I believe in Business Insider or Bloomberg, complaining that the big energy companies are facing "profit stress" because of grid-ties from solar and wind requiring them to pay people for energy in excess of the load. And having, gasp! to shut down coal fired plants, each closure being a pretty expensive anti-profit center! I would tend to think of it being a re-internalization of costs that the power companies have dumped on us (health effects from heavy metal and carcinogen emissions, smog, CO2/climate interruption. Too bad the paybacks won't come from clawbacks of CEO paydays or any of the lobbying money spent to bribe legislatures, deceive the public/consumers, spent on getting legislative approval for nuclear power plants that WILL NEVER BE BUILT like Duke Energy has done (and besides, they get to cllect a billion or more from customers to "pay for" those plants that will never be built. Kind of like an ISDS "judgment" in favor of a megacorporation because 'regulation and market conditions' impaired said corporations' "expectations of profit "

Of course, windmills built to a price are not infallible, either: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nSB1SdVHqQ

I have to add, adding it all up and looking around, "Effing stupid humans," to get to this point

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 6, 2018 at 5:27 pm

And beyond this point, more ***ing stupid humans thanks to, well, population growth.

That would be a problem in any system – capitalism, socialism, communism, etc.

ewmayer , August 6, 2018 at 8:42 pm

Well, that green-energy surfeit may have something to do with the combination of a record-smashing heat wave in a country where A/C systems have not been needed at scale, historically speaking. But good on them if they are in fact doing it sustainably.

David , August 6, 2018 at 4:41 pm

. and could provide some relief to North American farmers just as Chinese tariffs are sapping demand for soybeans and other crops.

From the USDA's Export Sales Query System

Soybeans (in Metric Tons) for the week of 7/26/2018,

Country – 2018 Exports / 2017 Exports

China – 186 / 73,314

Korea – 59,999 / 0
Japan – 72,120 / 7,758
Taiwan – 86,441 / 3,853

Grand Total for the week – 856,438 / 637,737

JTMcPhee , August 6, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Of course, a good bit of that "trade" includes genetically modified soybeans. Monsanto is happy to sell their "intellectual property," immune from consequence of course, pure profit all the way down.

And of course there are NO POSSIBLE RISKS OR CONCERNS about the propagation of gene-fiddled stuff like soybeans and canola, " Genetically Modified Canola 'Escapes' Farm Fields,
August 6, 2010
, https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129010499 , just for example, I mean it's not like the World Health Organization has not kind of flagged some things that "policymakers" might want to keep in mind when confronted by the Cropporate Corrupters wanting to peddle their 'risk free innovations:'

"Frequently asked questions on genetically modified foods
May 2014

These questions and answers have been prepared by WHO in response to questions and concerns from WHO Member State Governments with regard to the nature and safety of genetically modified food." http://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modified-food/en/

"Do not worry, meine liebchen -- we do this for your own good "

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 6, 2018 at 5:54 pm

That's one more thing to ban – GM soybeans.

And growth hormone beef that's another.

JohnnyGL , August 6, 2018 at 5:22 pm

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/medicare-save-businesses-trillions-dollars-190500400.html

Posting this because sometimes it's more about WHO is saying it, rather than what is being said. It's not often I look at a Rick Newman column and say, 'wow, he's really making a strong case'.

Tectonic plates of politics are shifting.

Randy , August 6, 2018 at 5:26 pm

Salmonella in chickens.

The chickens are raised covered in their own filth and along with the filth comes salmonella. They attempt to contain the infection with antibiotics.

And if the conditions in the "chicken factory" aren't filthy enough the slaughterhouse ensures that the end product comes with salmonella by running the line speed so fast that punctured intestines insure that the end product comes out covered in salmonella-containing fecal matter. Which they try to contain with a chlorine bath.

If you like eating chicken shite eat store chicken. If you don't, and if you can, raise your own. Raising chickens for meat is a lot of work but they taste better and you won't be eating chicken shite.

WobblyTelomeres , August 6, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Or quit eating meat.

Polar Donkey , August 6, 2018 at 5:49 pm

Jeez, Frank Rich needs to get out of New York City more. Everything has been completely broke around Memphis since 2006. It just mostly broke before that.

Polar Donkey , August 6, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Was it Trump's election, the rise of Bernie/AOC, Obama's $32 million worth of post-presidency houses, 60,000 people dying from opiods, or the broken subways in NYC that caused Frank Rich's awakening?

WobblyTelomeres , August 6, 2018 at 6:40 pm

More likely a dollar sliding down the sidewalk

Glen , August 6, 2018 at 6:54 pm

"Obama didn't cause that broken spirit any more than Trump did."

Obama made it perfectly clear that the Democratic party was going to do nothing to correct 2008. Instead he put the very same people that wrecked the world economy back in charge. I will no longer vote for the "have no alternative" Democrat. I will vote for those that are going to enact the polices that will fix this mess. If that means we get twenty Trumps a row – so be it.

Bernie would have won.

anon , August 6, 2018 at 6:01 pm

Re: On average for the year-ended this May, 58.5 percent of the job gains were in counties that backed Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 , and this excerpt from that Associated Press link:

The jobs data shows an economy that is as fractured as the political landscape ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. As more money pools in corporate hubs such as Houston, San Francisco or Seattle , prosperity spills over less and less to smaller towns and cities in America's interior. That would seem to undercut what Trump sees as a central accomplishment of his administration – job creation for middle class and blue-collar workers in towns far removed from glitzy urban centers.

Looking at those cities noted, especially Seattle and San Francisco – both of which now have an inhuman level of inequality and homelessness -- a further dive into the details is necessary.

Specifically, are those job gains ™ out of state imported employees from: Ivy League Schools (predominately under 26, mostly white males from elite families); along with H-1B, and Opt Program imported employees (predominately under 26, mostly males from mostly upper middle class Asian families, paid far, far less than those Ivy Leaguers) [1]; while the displaced unemployed -- yet, highly qualified for employment -- residents in those cities are continually being forced out (if they can afford the move and have somewhere they are able to move to), or made homeless.

[1] Admittedly, I'm not sure whether they are included in those job gains, but if the job gains are based on ADP reports, it might well be likely that they are; of course a search on two search sites brought up no answer to my query.

Daryl , August 6, 2018 at 6:08 pm

> Mastodon users?

I find Mastodon's user interface to be fairly unintuitive myself. Presumably it would be possible to make your own "mixed" view as it's open source and based on open protocols, but not sure if Mastodon supports it out of the box.

lyman alpha blob , August 6, 2018 at 6:22 pm

How does Mastodon work?

By rocking until you can't take it anymore.

Instructional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFop1gTbaj8

And their drummer is a monster!

Or did you mean the Mastodon platform ?

Sorry Lambert, couldn't help myself Just saw this band recently and they are tremendous.

Arizona Slim , August 6, 2018 at 6:39 pm

Fun tutorial, lyman!

ChrisPacific , August 6, 2018 at 6:26 pm

Re: Indivisible

AOC is one of their candidates, as are Cynthia Nixon, Ayana Pressley etc. There is a prevalence of Democrat buzzwords, but I think they are aiming to be agnostic regarding left factions:

We're excited to make gains in 2018, but Indivisible 435 isn't just about notching wins. Our organization is not a wing of the Democratic party. While we care deeply about electing officials to oppose the Trump agenda, we care just as much building a strong progressive community nationwide and pushing the conversation back to the interests of the people.

This would be well off message for establishment Democrats.

I'd be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise, but still watch what they do.

Pat , August 6, 2018 at 6:51 pm

I would posit that most of the job gains in the last decade maybe even two were probably in areas that voted for Clinton. That the Texas boom and the oil boom in the Dakota's were exceptions not the rule. I would also posit that the few Trump areas that did see job growth in that decade saw that growth in minimum wage low to no benefit jobs. (That last one wasn't much of a stretch since that has been the majority of jobs created during both the Bush 2 and Obama administration.)

Summer , August 6, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Maybe They Could Invent Houses" [Eschaton]. • After having invented the bodega, the bus

More like an "Appartment"?

drumlin woodchuckles , August 6, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Sarah Jeong . . . hmmm . . .

Things like this have led me to comment in the past and every comment on this particular subject has failed to print. I figure I am tripping some kind of auto-filter.

So I will try again with indirect spelling.

We need a new word for this sort of thing. It would emerge from the new acronym we need.
The letters would be . . . arrr peee ohhh ceee
that stands for . . . rayciss purrsuns ovv cuhluhr.

The Rev Kev , August 6, 2018 at 7:36 pm

"Dockless bike, scooter firms clash with U.S. cities over regulations"

I have a solution to these tech-companies which strew towns and cities with their bikes without coordinating or even asking to enter such a town and let the town try to adapt to their needs. It is called an impound lot. You have city workers pick them up and cart them there. If that company wants their bikes back again, they will have to pay to spring them from the lot. Rinse and repeat until that tech company gets the message. If that tech company doubles down, announce a $5 bounty for any bike driven to the impound lot till the company is ready to negotiate.

drumlin woodchuckles , August 6, 2018 at 8:51 pm

Disrupt the disrupters.

Disruptive law-enforcement.

beth , August 6, 2018 at 8:05 pm

"How a Pair of Kentucky Pols Are About to Legalize Hemp"

Please help me here. Hemp can be sold in all 50 states. The 2014 Farm bill allowed each state to decide whether hemp oil could be sold for medicinal purposes w/i that year. My first package sent to me was from a reputable company and was mailed through Amazon from Kentucky. I was experiencing severe pain and now have a better alternative.

CalypsoFacto , August 6, 2018 at 8:58 pm

I am also hoping for this bill so I can get into hemp processing for fibers into fabric!

The Rev Kev , August 6, 2018 at 8:37 pm

"How to keep young people from fleeing small towns for big cities"

Not so hard. See that there are jobs for them. You cannot do much in modern society without money and a job provides this. A job provides dignity, discipline and the money it provides lets a young person to satisfy not only their needs but many of their wants as well. It is hard for a young guy to take a girl out but having no money to do so and a job's money will help a couple set up a household and marry and have children. The drop in marriage rates as well as the birthrate speaks volumes of the lack of decent paying jobs for young people, even those that have achieved credentials. Supply good paying jobs and most kids will stay put. Not so hard to work out.

ewmayer , August 6, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Re. "Trump v. Fed" [Money and Banking], bolds mine: "Last month, interrupting decades of presidential self-restraint, President Trump openly criticized the Federal Reserve. Given the President's penchant for dismissing valuable institutions, it is hard to be surprised investors are reasonably focused on the selection of qualified academics and individuals with valuable policy and business experience the President's comments are seriously disturbing and -- were they to become routine -- risk undermining the significant benefits that Federal Reserve independence brings."

As Lambert would say, for some definition of 'valuable', 'benefits' and 'independence'.

[Aug 06, 2018] Ministry of Truth

Aug 06, 2018 | en.wikipedia.org

The Ministry of Truth ( Newspeak : Minitrue ) is the ministry of propaganda . As with the other ministries in the novel, the name Ministry of Truth is a misnomer because in reality it serves the opposite: it is responsible for any necessary falsification of historical events.

As well as administering truth, the ministry spreads a new language amongst the populace called Newspeak , in which, for example, "truth" is understood to mean statements like 2 + 2 = 5 when the situation warrants. In keeping with the concept of doublethink, the ministry is thus aptly named in that it creates/manufactures "truth" in the Newspeak sense of the word. The book describes the doctoring of historical records to show a government-approved version of events.

Description [ edit ]

Winston Smith , the main character of Nineteen Eighty-Four , works at the Ministry of Truth. [5] It is an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete rising 300 metres (980 ft) into the air, containing over 3000 rooms above ground. On the outside wall are the three slogans of the Party: "WAR IS PEACE," "FREEDOM IS SLAVERY," "IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH." There is also a large part underground, probably containing huge incinerators where documents are destroyed after they are put down memory holes . For his description, Orwell was inspired by the Senate House at the University of London . [6]

Role in information [ edit ]

The Ministry of Truth is involved with news media, entertainment, the fine arts and educational books. Its purpose is to rewrite history to change the facts to fit Party doctrine for propaganda effect. For example, if Big Brother makes a prediction that turns out to be wrong, the employees of the Ministry of Truth correct the record to make it accurate. This is the "how" of the Ministry of Truth's existence. Within the novel, Orwell elaborates that the deeper reason for its existence, the "why", is to maintain the illusion that the Party is absolute. It cannot ever seem to change its mind (if, for instance, they perform one of their constant changes regarding enemies during war) or make a mistake (firing an official or making a grossly misjudged supply prediction), for that would imply weakness and to maintain power the Party must seem eternally right and strong.

Minitrue plays a role as the news media by changing history, and changing the words in articles about events current and past, so that Big Brother and his government are always seen in a good light and can never do any wrong. The content is more propaganda than actual news.

Departments [ edit ]

The following are the sections or departments of the ministry mentioned in the text:

[Aug 06, 2018] Angry Bear " Sunday Political News Funnies

Aug 06, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , August 6, 2018 9:38 pm

Those cartoon are a nice illustration of the level of polarization of the US society. And the level of distrust toward the neoliberal elite.

Polarization has grown so extreme that two camps have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts.

Polarization has grown so extreme that Pro-globalism and Pro-isolationism camps have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts.

This looks more and more like kind of virtual Civil War fought in Internet space. With Pro-globalism camp being much stronger and controlling the narrative and Pro-isolationalism camp having an uphill battle.

Some of the cartoons listed are probably the products of the "Ministry of Truth" (a la 1984), although the Thought Police was a part of Ministry of Love.

And the history of the "Ministry of Truth" is going back at least to 2008, if not to 2001. Once it was clear that Obama administration was going to protect the banks, the new paradigm of dishonesty in high places was invented and trickled down to major MSM.

[Aug 05, 2018] What If Everything We've Been Told About Recent History Is a Lie

Notable quotes:
"... The author is a prominent American Christian conservative who was a presidential candidate for the paleoconservative Constitution Party in 2008, when he was endorsed by Ron Paul. ..."
"... He is the pastor of Liberty Fellowship, a non-denominational church in Montana, and he is a popular radio host and columnist . His weekly sermons are available on his YouTube channel. ..."
"... He is a relentless foe of neoconservatism and frequently criticizes the neocon hostility towards Russia. His views are representative of an influential and substantial part of Trump's popular support. ..."
"... Here is an archive of his excellent articles which we have published on Russia Insider , when they were relevant to the debate over Russia. ..."
"... The War on Terror ..."
"... The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ..."
"... The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ..."
"... The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ..."
"... The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ..."
"... The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ..."
"... The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | russia-insider.com

"Behind the War on Terror is a strategic plan crafted decades in advance to redraw the map of the Middle East. 9/11 was a false-flag operation blamed on Muslims ..." Chuck Baldwin Wed, Aug 1, 2018 | 14,261 389 MORE: History Revisionist History The author is a prominent American Christian conservative who was a presidential candidate for the paleoconservative Constitution Party in 2008, when he was endorsed by Ron Paul.

He is the pastor of Liberty Fellowship, a non-denominational church in Montana, and he is a popular radio host and columnist . His weekly sermons are available on his YouTube channel.

He is a relentless foe of neoconservatism and frequently criticizes the neocon hostility towards Russia. His views are representative of an influential and substantial part of Trump's popular support.

Here is an archive of his excellent articles which we have published on Russia Insider , when they were relevant to the debate over Russia.


What if everything we've been told about 9/11 is a lie? What if it wasn't 19 Muslim terrorist hijackers that flew those planes into the Twin Towers and Pentagon? What if the Muslims had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks on 9/11? What if everything we've been told about the reasons we invaded two sovereign nations (Afghanistan and Iraq) is a lie?

What if the 17-year-old, never-ending "War on Terror" in the Middle East is a lie? What if our young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have given their lives in America's "War on Terror" died for a lie? What if G.W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been nothing but controlled toadies for an international global conspiracy that hatched the attacks of 9/11 as nothing more than a means to institute a perpetual "War on Terror" for purposes that have nothing to do with America's national security? Would the American people want to know? Would the truth even matter to them?

The sad reality is that the vast majority of Americans who would read the above paragraph would totally dismiss every question I raised as being unrealistic and impossible -- or even nutty. Why is that? Have they studied and researched the questions? No. Have they given any serious thought to the questions? No. They have simply swallowed the government/mainstream media version of these events hook, line and sinker.

It is totally amazing to me that the same people who say they don't believe the mainstream media (MSM) and government (Deep State) versions of current events -- which is why they voted for and love Donald Trump -- have absolutely no reservations about accepting the official story that the 9/11 attacks were the work of jihadist Muslims and that America's "War on Terror" is completely legitimate.

These "always Trumpers" are dead set in their minds that America is at war with Islam; that Trump's bombings of Syria were because President Assad is an evil, maniacal monster who gassed his own people; and that Trump's expansion of the war in Afghanistan is totally in the interests of America's national security.

BUT WHAT IF ALL OF IT IS A BIG, FAT LIE?

What if the Muslims had NOTHING to do with 9/11?

What if Bashar al-Assad did NOT gas his own people?

What if America's "War on Terror" is a completely false, manufactured, made-up deception?

What if America's military forces are mostly fighting for foreign agendas and NOT for America's national security or even our national interests?

What if America's war in Afghanistan is a fraud?

What if the entire "War on Terror" is a fraud?

The Trump robots have bought into America's "War on Terror" as much as Obama's robots and Bush's robots did. Bush was elected twice, largely on the basis of America's "War on Terror." Obama campaigned against the "War on Terror" and then expanded it during his two terms in office. Trump campaigned against the "War on Terror" and then immediately expanded it beyond what Obama had done. In fact, Trump is on a pace to expand the "War on Terror" beyond the combined military aggressions of both Bush and Obama.

But who cares? Who even notices?

America is engaged in a global "War on Terror." Just ask G.W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, The Washington Post, the New York Times and the vast majority of America's pastors and preachers. They all tell us the same thing seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Liberals scream against Trump, and conservatives scream against Maxine Waters; but both sides come together to support America's never-ending "War on Terror."

But what if it's ALL a lie? What if Obama and Trump, the right and the left, the MSM and the conservative media are all reading from the same script? What if they are all (wittingly or unwittingly) in cahoots in perpetuating the biggest scam in world history? And why is almost everyone afraid to even broach the question?

Left or right, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, secular or Christian, no one dares to question the official story about the 9/11 attacks or the "War on Terror."

And those who do question it are themselves attacked unmercifully by the right and the left, conservatives and liberals, Christians and secularists, Sean Hannity and Chris Matthews. Why is that? Why is it that FOX News and CNN, Donald Trump and Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer and Ted Cruz equally promote the same cockamamie story about 9/11 and the "War on Terror?"

Why? Why? Why?

Tell me again how Donald Trump is so different from Barack Obama. Tell me again how Ted Cruz is so different from Chuck Schumer. They all continue to perpetuate the lies about 9/11. They all continue to escalate America's never-ending "War on Terror." They are all puppets of a global conspiracy to advance the agenda of war profiteers and nation builders.

The left-right, conservative-liberal, Trump-Obama paradigm is one big giant SCAM. At the end of the day, the "War on Terror" goes on, bombs keep falling on people in the Middle East who had absolutely NOTHING to do with 9/11 and the money keeps flowing into the coffers of the international bankers and war merchants.

All of the above is why I am enthusiastically promoting Christopher Bollyn's new blockbuster book The War on Terror .

Of course, Bollyn is one of the world's foremost researchers and investigators into the attacks on 9/11. He has written extensively on the subject. But unlike most other 9/11 investigators, Bollyn continued to trace the tracks of the attacks on 9/11. And those tracks led him to discover that the 9/11 attacks were NOT "the event" but that they were merely the trigger for "the event." "What was the event?" you ask. America's perpetual "War on Terror."

As a result, Mr. Bollyn published his findings that the attacks on 9/11 were NOT perpetrated by Muslim extremists but by a very elaborate and well financed international conspiracy that had been in the planning for several decades. Bollyn's research names names, places and dates and exposes the truth behind not just 9/11 (many have done that) but behind America's "War on Terror" that resulted from the attacks on 9/11.

IT'S TIME FOR THE TRUTH TO COME OUT!

And Christopher Bollyn's investigative research brings out the truth like nothing I've read to date. His research connects the dots and destroys the myths.

Mr. Bollyn's research is published in a book entitled (full title): The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East . I mean it when I say that if enough people read this book, it could change the course of history and save our republic.

This is written on the book's back cover:

The government and media have misled us about 9/11 in order to compel public opinion to support the War on Terror.

Why have we gone along with it? Do we accept endless war as normal? Are we numb to the suffering caused by our military interventions?

No. We have simply been propagandized into submission. We have been deceived into thinking that the War on Terror is a good thing, a valiant struggle against terrorists who intend to attack us as we were on 9/11.

Behind the War on Terror is a strategic plan crafted decades in advance to redraw the map of the Middle East. 9/11 was a false-flag operation blamed on Muslims in order to start the military operations for that strategic plan. Recognizing the origin of the plan is crucial to understanding the deception that has changed our world.

Folks, 9/11 was a deception. The "War on Terror" is a deception. The phony left-right paradigm is a deception. FOX News is as much a deception as CNN. The "always Trump" group is as much a deception as the "never Trump" group. America has been in the throes of a great deception since September 11, 2001. And this deception is being perpetrated by Republicans and Democrats and conservatives and liberals alike.

I do not know Christopher Bollyn. I've never met him. But I thank God he had the intellectual honesty and moral courage to write this book. I urge readers to get this explosive new book. If you don't read any other book this year, read Mr. Bollyn's investigative masterpiece: The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East .

Again, I am enthusiastically recommending this book to my readers, and I make no apologies for doing so. The truth contained in this research MUST get out, and I am determined to do all I can to help make that possible.

Order Christopher Bollyn's blockbuster book The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East here:

The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East

I am confident that after you read this book, you will want to buy copies for your friends and relatives. The book is under 200 pages long and is not difficult reading. However, the facts and details Bollyn covers are profound and powerful. I have read the book three times so far and I'm not finished.

Frankly, Bollyn's book made so many things make sense for me. His book dovetails and tracks with much of my research on other topics. Truly, his book helped me get a much fuller understanding of the "big picture."

What if everything we've been told about 9/11 and the "War on Terror" is a lie? Well, Bollyn's book proves that indeed it is.

Again, here is where to find Christopher Bollyn's phenomenal new book The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East :

The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East


Source: Chuck Baldwin LIVE

[Aug 04, 2018] The US establishment behind the Helsinki Summit, by Manlio Dinucci

So the US neoliberal establishment tried to sabotage Trump-Putin summit in doer to pursue "business as usual". In other words military-industrial complex is in control of the USA government...
Notable quotes:
"... It's no coincidence that, at the very moment when the President of the United States was about to meet with the President of Russia, special prosecutor Robert Mueller III charged twelve Russians with having manipulated the US presidential elections by hacking into the data networks of the Democratic party in order to hinder candidate Hillary Clinton. The twelve Russians, accused of being agents of the military secret services (GRU), were officially defined as " conspirators ", and found guilty of " conspiracy to the detriment of the United States ". Simultaneously, Daniel Coats, National Director of Intelligence and principal advisor to the President in these matters, accused Russia of working to " undermine our basic values and our democracy ". He then sounded the alarm about the " threat of cyber-attacks which have arrived at a critical point " similar to that which preceded 9/11, on behalf not only of Russia, " the most aggressive foreign agent ", but also China and Iran. ..."
"... At the same time, in London, British " investigators " declared that the Russian military secret service GRU, which had sabotaged the Presidential elections in the USA, is the same service which poisoned ex-Russian agent, Sergueï Skripal and his daughter, who, inexplicably, survived contact with an extremely lethal gas. ..."
"... The political objective of these " enquiries " is clear – to maintain that at the head of all these " conspirators " is Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom President Donald Trump sat down at the negotiating table, despite vast bi-partisan opposition in the USA. After the " conspirators " had been charged, the Democrats asked Trump to cancel the meeting with Putin. Even though they failed, their pressure on the negotiations remains powerful. ..."
"... In opposition to the easing of tension with Russia are not only the Democrats (who, with a reversal of formal roles, are playing the " hawks "), but also many Republicans, among whom are several highly-important representatives of the Trump administration itself. It is the establishment, not only of the US, but also of Europe, whose powers and profits are directly linked to tension and war. ..."
"... Even if an agreement on these questions were reached between Putin and Trump, would the latter be able to implement it? Or will the real deciders be the powerful circles of the military-industrial complex? ..."
Aug 04, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

While the International Press distorted the content of the NATO Summit, the US establishment perfectly understood the unique issue – the end of enmity with Russia. Thus disturbing the bilateral summit in Helsinki between the USA and Russia became its priority. By all means possible, it had to prevent any rapprochement with Moscow.

We need to talk about everything, from commerce to the military, missiles, nuclear, and China " - this was how President Trump began at the Helsinki Summit. " The time has come to talk in detail about our bilateral relationship and the international flashpoints ", emphasised Putin.

But it will not only be the two Presidents who will decide the future relationships between the United States and Russia.

It's no coincidence that, at the very moment when the President of the United States was about to meet with the President of Russia, special prosecutor Robert Mueller III charged twelve Russians with having manipulated the US presidential elections by hacking into the data networks of the Democratic party in order to hinder candidate Hillary Clinton. The twelve Russians, accused of being agents of the military secret services (GRU), were officially defined as " conspirators ", and found guilty of " conspiracy to the detriment of the United States ". Simultaneously, Daniel Coats, National Director of Intelligence and principal advisor to the President in these matters, accused Russia of working to " undermine our basic values and our democracy ". He then sounded the alarm about the " threat of cyber-attacks which have arrived at a critical point " similar to that which preceded 9/11, on behalf not only of Russia, " the most aggressive foreign agent ", but also China and Iran.

At the same time, in London, British " investigators " declared that the Russian military secret service GRU, which had sabotaged the Presidential elections in the USA, is the same service which poisoned ex-Russian agent, Sergueï Skripal and his daughter, who, inexplicably, survived contact with an extremely lethal gas.

The political objective of these " enquiries " is clear – to maintain that at the head of all these " conspirators " is Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom President Donald Trump sat down at the negotiating table, despite vast bi-partisan oppo