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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

US and British media are servants of security apparatus,
which in turn serves banks, oil and military industrial complex

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false”  ~ CIA Director William Casey
 

News Color revolutions Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte Demonization of Putin Neoliberal newspeak
NeoMcCartyism UK Government, MI6 and "Integrity Initiative" MSM as fake news industry NYT degeneration into a deep state stooge Wapo, the voice  of CIA The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Edward Lucas as agent provocateur
MSM censorship aka "controlling the narrative" Patterns of Propaganda The Real War on Reality British elite hypocrisy Demonization of Trump and "Trump is insane" meme Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Woodward insinuations Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Wolff revelations Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources The importance of controlling the narrative What's the Matter with Kansas
Neo-fascism Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? False Flag Operations Lewis Powell Memo Diplomacy by deception 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 Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Manifactured consent Nation under attack meme
Soft propaganda Classic Papers  Nineteen Eighty-Four 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

Journalists manipulate us in the interest of the Powerful

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

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

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

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

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthüllungen Bücher - Kopp Verlag

In 2014, German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, former director of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published groundbreaking book “Gekaufte Journalisten”, (Journalists for Hire), in which he documented relentless pressure of the CIA to lie about event, especially event  of geopolitical importance.  Unfortunately he died soon after publishing the book so it  did not get any follow-up from Udo.  Here is one  quote from the book Udo wrotes (Google translation):

Novadays, our" alpha journalists " suffer from complete memory atrophy. For some reason, they cannot or at least do not want to recall today the lofty expressions in which they sang to us the war in Iraq or the military mission in Afghanistan. As they noticed the financial crisis and the collapse of the Euro only when every citizen has long suffered from their consequences. And when a passenger plane crashed over Ukraine in 2014, they were eager to immediately send our soldiers on a military mission against Russia, although it was not yet clear who was responsible for the crash. To prevent bloodshed by demanding more bloodshed is the principle of murderers. In Iraq alone, this is evidenced by the more than 100,000 civilians killed, who lost their lives there because our media – with very few exceptions – were in a state of hallucination caused by a drug overdose, describing with such unbridled glee the need for war in Iraq and thus bringing it closer to its beginning.

So who or what controls our insane mainstream media? Do our leading journalists actually take drugs? Or does this systematic madness have completely different reasons? Maybe there are propaganda specialists behind it? In the old days, such an assumption would probably have been dismissed as another "conspiracy theory." But today we know that journalists of respected media are the main goal of manipulators who seek to impose their interpretation of events taking place in the world through the messages of our media. So work, first of all, the us government and the Israelis. There are even handbooks that describe how to influence the quality MSM.

One thing is clear: those who work in respected media should be extremely cautious about groups lobbying for someone's interests, including American and Israeli. As we will soon see, some journalists do the exact opposite. Obviously, they feel great in the web-especially in the web of American and Israeli groups of influence. Yes, and they boast that they gave to confuse yourself in this web, proudly mentioning his "membership" in a very suspicious way.

But other  authors wrote several interesting follow-up articles. Some of then touched  this topic even before the book was published. One  example is the article US and British media are servants of security apparatus in which Greenwald explains why US and British media are so one sided (RT, Dec 27, 2013):

Dec 27, 2013 | RT News

...When Greenwald and his colleagues began working with Snowden, he said they realized that they’d have to act in a way that wasn’t on par with how the mainstream media has acted up until now.

We resolved that we were going to have to be very disruptive of the status quo — not only the surveillance and political status quo, but also the journalistic status quo,” Greenwald said. “And I think one of the ways that you can see what it is that we were targeting is in the behavior of the media over the past six months since these revelations have emerged almost entirely without them and despite them.”

[W]e knew in particular that one of our most formidable adversaries was not simply going to be the intelligence agencies on which we were reporting and who we were trying to expose, but also their most loyal, devoted servants, which calls itself the United States and British media.”

It really is the case that the United States and British governments are not only willing but able to engage in any conduct no matter how grotesque,” Greenwald said.

Nevertheless, he added, journalists tasked with reporting on those issues have all too often been compliant with the blatant lies made by officials from those governments.

Halfway through his remarks, Greenwald recalled a recent quip he made while being interviewed by BBC about the necessity of a functioning media in an environment where government officials can spew untruths to reporters without being questioned.

[A]t one point I made what I thought was the very unremarkable and uncontroversial observation that the reason why we have a free press is because national security officials routinely lie to the population in order to shield their power and get their agenda advanced,” recalled Greenwald, who said it is both the “the goal and duty of a journalist is to be adversarial to those people in power.”

According to Greenwald, the BBC reporter met his remark with skepticism.

I just cannot believe that you would suggest that senior officials, generals in the US and the British government, are actually making false claims to the public,” he remembered being told on-air.

It really is the central view of certainly American and British media stars, that when — especially people with medals on their chest who are called generals, but also high officials in the government — make claims that those claims are presumptively treated as true without evidence. And that it’s almost immoral to call them into question or to question their voracity,” he said.

Obviously we went through the Iraq War, in which those very two same governments specifically and deliberately lied repeatedly to the government, to their people, over the course of two years to justify an aggressive war that destroyed a country of 26 million people. But we’ve seen it continuously over the last six months as well.”

From there, he went on to cite the example of US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who earlier this year made remarks to Congress that were quickly proved false by documents leaked to Greenwald by Mr. Snowden. The very first National Security Agency document he was shown, Greenwald said,

revealed that the Obama administration had succeeded in convincing court, a secret court, to compel phone companies to turn over to the NSA every single phone record of every single telephone call.”

Clapper “went to the Senate and lied to their faces...which is at least as serious of a crime as anything Edward Snowden is accused of," Greenwald added.

But DNI Clapper aside, Greenwald said that the established media continues to reject the notion that government officials spew lies. Snowden’s NSA documents have exposed those fibs on more than one occasion, he noted, yet reporters around the world continue to take the word of officials as fact rather than dig from the truth.

Their role is not to be adversarial. Their role is to be loyal spokespeople to those powerful factions that they pretend to exercise oversight,” Greenwald said.

But as the US, UK and other governments continue to feed the media lies, Greenwald said their operations are far from being single-pronged. The US

knows that its only hope for continuing to maintain its regiment of secrecy behind which it engages with radical and corrupt acts is to intimidate and deter and threaten people who are would-be whistleblowers and transparency activists from coming forward and doing what it is that they do by showing them that they’ll be subjected to even the most extreme punishments and there’s nothing that they can do about it,” he said. “And it’s an effective tactic.”

Ironically, he added, those nations are “fueling the fire of this activism with their own abusive behavior.”

... ... ...

The NSA’s goal, Greenwald said, is to “ensure that all forms of human communication . . .are collected, monitored, stored and analyzed by that agency and by their allies.”

Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte
A frightening book, but at the right time!

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

Here are Google translations of reviews from German Amazon site:

Christian Döring HALL OF FAME REZENSENT TOP 50 REZENSENT VINE-product tester 18. September 2014

Ulfkotte has in the last few years, several very readable books on social issues. Long ago, I agree with all agree with this now this I agree with him completely!

At the latest since the beginning of the Ukraine-conflict, I am frequently asked, who owns the journalists on the many channels, the me all the absolute truth declare? Sure, each individual with its very subjective truth, and the he also conceded, because, this is human. But journalists against money only say or write, what the donors have to hear or want to read, this is demokratiegefährdend!

Scary is when you read that the author not only describes individual cases, but how a whole System was set up. It's called the horse and rider.

After reading it, I am a little helpless around. What can I such a concentrated Power, purchased journalists, in turn, Lobbyistenfilz hang oppose? Ulfkotte advises you to quota and the requirement to spoil. Is this feasible?

In all cases, you should take the information from this book into his brain inside. At the next newscast must be clear: The recently aufgetischte is just one of the many truths! If you really want to be well informed will have today on the way to messages of different channels to compare, so it will have different truths. In my opinion, it is not only a news source to be trusted.

Udo Ulfkotte has my good faith of the sellers to the Guild of journalists thoroughly destroyed!

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that, he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has worked. Before the author of the secret networks of Power revealed, he exercises consistently self-criticism. It is documented here for the first Time, as he is for his coverage in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung lubricated and the corruption was promoted. And he reveals why opinion leaders tendentious reports and as the extended Arm of the NATO press office wars medial prepared. As a matter of course was also the author of into the networks of American elite level organizations included, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn, in what industry lobby organisations which journalists are represented. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which our media propaganda one-sided influence, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. To be revealed in addition, the intelligence backgrounds of the lobby groups, the Propagandatechniken and the forms, with which, for example, at the US Embassy funding for projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany is able to retrieve.

If the CIA pretends to, what is written

Can you imagine that Geheimdienstmitarbeiter in editorial writing, which would then be in the editorial section under the name of well-known journalists to be published? Do you know which journalists which media for their coverage were smeared? And you have a rough idea of how renowned journalism prizes" to be awarded? Because it goes in the Background as the former honors the "heroes of work" in the former East Germany as propaganda work excellent. From the journalists to the propagandists, it is not far. If you read this book, you are our Newspapers with very different eyes to see the TV more often, simply relax and also know what the Radio is still able to believe: almost nothing. Because Ulfkotte also writes a lot of attention to which transmitter which political party and which journalists like to be influenced. 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.

Stevie  TOP 500 REVIEWER on may 18. September 2014

As the networks (and the American influence in this), our messages to manipulate, and how journalists "sold"!

Perhaps surprised the a* or other why of the "quality media" in certain topics of the same opinion (at best in light shades)?! "The Euro is good for Germany, Eurorettungspakete are necessary to stabilize the Eurozone, We need a free trade agreement, and Germany will benefit the most (Why write the press hardly content about TTIP and not even as good as over TISA!???), USA is good, Russia is bad, sanctions against Russia are necessary ... etc ... also the reporting on the BNP-espionage affair was more than one-sided. Why is mostly written, that politicians are listening – what is with the Monitoring of the whole population???, ...

Here In the present volume: 1 (of a total of 3 planned volumes) is about, what is the secret networks of our flood control. The topic – such as the "quality media" to influence public opinion or to have a massive influence - is for gutinformierte citizens is certainly not new and was also publicly a couple of times already taken up for example by the ZDF-Satiresendung "The institution" (in shipment from the 29. Apri 2014) or in the ARTE documentary "Used and controlled" (2006), or in the doctoral thesis of Uwe Krueger "Meinungsmacht. The influence of elites on key media and Alpha-journalists - a critical analysis of networks" or in Andreas Elter – The Kriegsverkäufer: history of US Propaganda 1917-2005, etc read more... "

champmerle on 6. October 2014

more transparency in the media is required

When you Open the newspaper, the reader will hardly be inspired, in the press building a significant degree of corruption present. After the sheet comes with one but unobtrusive presentation, therefore, and is apparently as a reputable, long-established newspaper. But when you read the new book by Ulfkotte turns very quickly, the perceived seriousness as a pure Illusion, as the Fata Morgana.

From autobiographical reasons sets Ulfkotte his Kritikschwerpunkt of what is going on in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, but also in other Newspapers such as the Süddeutsche, the time or the world will remain not ungeschont.

What is it about?

The charge ranges from Compose or approve of Gefälligkeitsberichten bestochener correspondents, concrete influence of the secret service BND, linkages of Zeitungsgrößen with elite circles such as the Atlantic bridge or the Bilderbergern and on the other hand, the prevention of the documentation which is tangible scandals reveal. Also from Overreaching by Advertisers is the speech.

Throughout acts the written composition as a clear provocation, and virtually every accusation put forward in the Annex shows. It is remarkable, that in many cases specific name to be called.

It now remains to be seen whether the German "key media" an open discussion of the criticisms Ulfkottes. An analysis was spared, it would be in my eyes an indication of the Declaration of bankruptcy of the above-mentioned Pressehäuser.
Personally, I wish I was basically the survival of the newspaper publishers, these are a part of our culture, it is also a very important factor the maintenance of employment.

This assumes, however, that immediately a total reorientation in the nature of the information gathering and processing are entering. Interessensunabhängigkeit the content and balance of the published articles are essential, honesty, openness and credibility are the standards.

Edgar Hülswitt - All my reviews reputation

This review is from: Bought journalists (Hardcover)

If only the lie can save us, so it is, we are lost." (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Genevan philosopher, educator, writer, and musician 1712 – 1778)

Why is it that now only every 3. German confidence in the so-called "quality media", yet only 15% of us politicians trust, 63% of their Faith in an objective and truthful Ukraine-reporting of German-speaking media have lost and with decreasing tendency, only 37% of the job description of journalists as a trustworthy recognise?

Perhaps the fact that one part of many media − in the sense of Wirtschaftslobbyisten, politicians and other (inter)national sponsors with increasingly zealous umgesetztem Gefälligkeitsjournalismus grossly exaggerated.

UDO ULFKOTTE: Purchased journalists

Perhaps there are many German slowly just suffering, from such quality media ‒ for which you also have to pay expensive must be wrong and/or subjectively informed, lied to and to be influenced? Adults, responsible citizens have a right to factual, unbiased information, and can well and happy on manipulative aufgehübschte interpretations lubricated journalists do without. With disgust and Frighten you can to the disenchantment of our extensively decorated elites to take note of and when you read the reading will be experience blue miracle, if the author step-by-step, page-by-page, line-by-line suggestive power plays and machinations revealed to us before the eyes causes, how shameless us politicians, intelligence agencies, lobbyists and moneyed with the help of Germany's mass media (to Ruin) steer.

The interest in the subject seems obvious unbroken, because since weeks already ranked the non-fiction book by Udo Ulfkotte: Purchased journalists remain on the front seats of the Spiegel bestseller list. Insider Udo Ulfkotte, obviously, has the nerve of the time taken. Never before were so many German citizens, politics and medienverdrossener. If the established media ‒ like the other day, including "THE WORLD" ‒ good advice, also Oil on the fire, pour in the "political" journalists with a platform for lurid provocations offer? Here, z. B. under the title "The German pot is boiling over with pent up anger", across the Board on Fears and Concerns of German citizens, ‒ the top-down as "Putinversteher, Vulgärpazifisten and defender of the Western world" denigrated , made fun of, and to rejoice in the round ridiculed: "The Lunatics in this country are always angry" and the audience smugly recommended that this Crazy easy "wegzulachen". Bad only that many citizens obviously now the last Laugh.

UDO ULFKOTTE: Purchased journalists

While Udo Ulfkotte committed, during his professional journalistic career in serious cover-up of the so-called free press and freedom of expression − from elitist lobbying clients was corrupted to his, wrapping both his partially still in German Medienwesen active former superiors and colleagues, as well as other well-known journalists and publicists, not only in noble Silence. No, you deny even any Motivation with regard to their activities with ignorance. And it gives the media at least at this point Believe, are also our well-established representatives of the people/students continue to conscientiously and diligently and endeavour to unwanted public criticism and Meinungsfindungen to prevent. Use but even their speeches to the turn of the year, especially to moral appeals, all all dissatisfied with care in the future-looking citizens from participating in demonstrations to warn, instead of yourself (self -) critical in itself to go and settle the allegations (even their own party members) after a possible complicity in the displeasure of many people. It does just education on the move - and backgrounds ‒ instead of ignorant paternalism and bürgerferner concealment always conspicuous to days chief problems ‒ Not. Click HERE to read what the author, both to the controversial socio-political issue as such, as well as to the handling of the recent events, has to say.

The interesting, 336 pages strong, demaskierende publication by Udo Ulfkotte: Purchased journalists (ISBN 978-3-86445-143-0) ‒ the chronic non-voters and/or voter apathy-suffering citizens in droves to the ballot should drive, as a hardcover at the Kopp Verlag for the price of € 22,95 appeared. You may also click at the end of the book announced a further two controversial publications on the media industry to be curious about.
lesemehrwert.de

M. Herrmann, 30. April 2015

Every reader must be his own to figure it out, It is here of many cases reported in which journalistic Output is not by the will to Wahrheitswiedergabe is characterized.

Instead, one finds Gefälligkeitstexte for Powerful from economy and politics. And not only in the newspaper with the bold letters, but also in those times that serious.

The Motivation is clear: career, personal benefits, conceit Elitetum.

What Mr. Ulfkotte reported, seems to me to be credible, especially when you Nachrichtenkonsum yourself open to questions.

One gets from the book is no quantitative statements about the shape: In the period from ... to ... were in the newspaper ... so many percent of the article glossed over. Or: We find an increase / decrease in tendenziöser reporting during ... .... This is also difficult to do, especially by an individual.

Therefore, it remains so up to you to assess whether he/she is equal to the entire German press for corrupt or holds only a share, whatever the size of the may be. A is in any case clear-at the latest after the reading of the "Purchased journalists"- caution and the question of "Who benefits?" is always appropriate.


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[Jun 19, 2019] Investigation Nation Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics by Jim Kavanagh

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... You might think the Democratic Party would be horrified at this result, which one conservative analyst calls: "one of the greatest self-defeating acts in history." You might think Democrats would now move quickly and decisively toward a strategy of offering a substantive political alternative, and abandon this awful own-goal Mueller/Russiagate tack that has already helped Trump immensely (and which they are not going to turn their way). That is obviously what would happen if the Democrats' main goal was to defeat Trump. But it isn't. ..."
"... As discussed above, the Democratic establishment's' main goal throughout this was not to "get" Trump, but to channel its own voters' disgust with him into support for some halcyon, liberal, status quo ante-Trump, and away from left demands for a radical change to the social, economic, and political conditions that produced him and his clueless establishment opponent in 2016. The Democrats' goal was, and is, not to defeat Trump, but to stave off the left. ..."
"... The Democrats' main goal in all this is not to impeach, or stop the re-election of, Donald Trump; it's to prevent the nomination and election of Bernie Sanders, or anyone like him. ..."
"... You mean the five million people who voted for Obama in 2012, in the 90% of counties that voted for Obama either in 2008 or 2012, but would not vote for Hillary in 2019, aren’t streaming back into—are indeed still streaming out of—the Democratic Party, despite all the Mueller investigation has done for them? Imagine that. ..."
"... What has Russiagate/The Mueller Investigation wrought? It’s either a shrewd political gambit sure to take down Trump, or it’s ridiculous political theater leading Democrats, and the country, over another cliff. Double-down or leave that table? ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
So the Mueller investigation is over. The official "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election" has been written, and is in the hands of Attorney General William Barr, who has issued a summary of its findings. On the core mandate of the investigation, given to Special Counsel Mueller by Rod Rosenstein as Acting Attorney General in May of 2017 -- to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump" -- the takeaway conclusion stated in the Mueller report, as quoted in the Barr summary, is that "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.1"

In the footnote indicated at the end of that sentence, Barr further clarifies the comprehensive meaning of that conclusion, again quoting the Report's own words: "In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the Special Counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign 'coordinated' with Russian election interference activities. The Special Counsel defined 'coordination' as an 'agreement -- tacit or express -- between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference'."

Barr restates the point of the cited conclusion from the Mueller Report a number of times: "The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA [Internet Research Agency, the indicted Russian clickbait operation] in its efforts."

Thus, the Mueller investigation found no "conspiracy," no "coordination," -- i.e., no "collusion" -- "tacit or express" between the Trump campaign or any U.S. person and the Russian government. The Mueller investigation did not make, seal, or recommend any indictment for any U.S. person for any such crime.

This is as clear and forceful a repudiation as one can get of the "collusion" narrative that has been insistently shoved down our throats by the Democratic Party, its McResistance, its allied media, and its allied intelligence and national security agencies and officials. Whatever one wants to say about any other aspect of this investigation -- campaign finance violations, obstruction of justice, etc. -- they were not the main saga for the past two+ years as spun by the Russiagaters. The core narrative was that Donald Trump was some kind of Russian agent or asset, arguably guilty of treason and taking orders from his handler/blackmailer Vladimir Putin, who conspired with him to steal the 2016 election, and, furthermore, that Saint Mueller and his investigation team of patriotic FBI/CIA agents were going to find the goods that would have the Donald taken out of the White House in handcuffs for that.

Keith Olbermann's spectacular rant in January 2017 defined the core narrative and exemplified the Trump Derangement Syndrome that powered it: an emotional, visceral hatred of Donald Trump wrapped in the fantasy -- insisted upon as "elemental, existential fact" -- that he was "put in power by Vladimir Putin." A projection and deflection, I would say, of liberals' self-hatred for creating the conditions -- eight years of war and wealth transfer capped off by a despised and entitled candidate -- that allowed a vapid clown like Trump to be elected. It couldn't be our fault! It must have been Putin who arranged it!

Here's a highlight of Keith's delusional discourse. But, please watch the whole six-minute video below. They may have been a bit calmer, but this is the fundamental lunacy that was exuding from the rhetorical pores of Rachel, Chris, and Co. day after day for two+ years:

The military apparatus of this country is about to be handed over to scum, who are beholden to scum, Russian scum! As things are today January 20th will not be an inauguration but rather the end of the United States as an independent country. Donald John Trump is not a president; he is a puppet, put in power by Vladimir Putin. Those who ignore these elemental, existential facts -- Democrats or Republicans -- are traitors to this country. [Emphases in original. Really, watch it.]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IAFxPXGDH4E

This -- Trump's secret, treasonous collusion with Putin, and not hush money or campaign finance violations or "obstruction of justice" or his obvious overall sleaziness -- was Russiagate.

Russiagate is Dead! Long Live Russiagate!

And it still is. Here's the demonstration in New York last Thursday, convened by the MoveOn/Maddow #Resistance, singing from "the hymnal" about how Trump is a "Russian whore" who is "busy blowing Vladimir":

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9YZ9kiJ88LM

This is delusional lunacy.

Here are the three lines of excuse and denial currently being fired off by diehard Russiagaters in their fighting retreat, and my responses to them.

1. The Mueller Report is irrelevant, anyhow. 'Cause either A) Per Congressional blowhard Adam Schiff: There already "is direct evidence" proving Trump-Russia collusion, dating from before the Mueller Investigation, so who cares what that doesn't find; or B) (My personal favorite) Per former prosecutor and CNN legal expert Renato Mariotti: Of course there is no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, and it's "your fault" for letting Trump fool you into thinking Mueller's job was to find it. (The Mueller "collusion" investigation was a red herring orchestrated/promoted by Trump! I cannot make this up.)

Mueller's report will almost certainly disappoint you, and it's not his fault. It's your fault for buying into Trump's false narrative that it is Mueller's' job to prove "collusion," a nearly impossible bar for any prosecutor to clear.

My piece in @TIME : https://t.co/VQ2WhhC996

-- Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) March 1, 2019

This is, of course, the weakest volley. It's absurd, patent bad faith, for Russiagaters to pretend that they knew, thought, or suggested the Mueller investigation was irrelevant. It is they who have been insisting that the integrity and super-sleuthiness of the "revered" Robert Mueller himself was the thing that would nail Donald Trump for Russian collusion. To now deny that any of that was important only acknowledges how thoroughly they have been fooling the American people and/or themselves for two years. Either Adam Schiff had the goods on Trump's traitorous Russian collusion two years ago, in which case he's got a lot of explaining to do about why he's been stringing us along with Mueller, or Schiff is just bluffing. Place your bets.

Russiagaters in 2017: YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT MUELLER KNOWS
Russiagaters in 2018: YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT MUELLER KNOWS
Russiagaters in 2019: Shut up Mueller, what would you know.

-- Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) March 22, 2019

2. The Mueller Report didn't exonerate Trump entirely. It was agnostic about whether Trump was guilty of "obstruction of justice," and there are probably many nasty things in the report that may not be provably criminal, but nonetheless demonstrate what a slimeball Trump is.

No, Russiagaters will not get away with denying that the core purpose of the Mueller investigation was to prove Trump's traitorous relation to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, which helped him win the 2016 election. They will not get away with denying that, if the Mueller investigation failed to prove that, it failed in its main purpose, as they constantly defined and reinforced it, with table-pounding, hyperventilating, and -- a few days ago! -- disco-dancing to "the hymnal."

They will not get away with trying to appropriate, as if it were their point all along, what the left critics of Russiagate have been saying for two+ years -- that Donald Trump is a slimeball grifter whose culpability for politically substantive and probably legally actionable crimes and misdemeanors should not be hard to establish, without reverting to the absurd accusation that he's a Russian agent.

These are the left critics of Russiagate and Trump, whom Russiagaters deliberately excluded from all their media platforms, in order to make it seem that only right-wing Trump supporters could be skeptical of Russiagate -- the left critics Russiagaters then excoriated as "Trump enablers" and "Putin apologists" for speaking on the only media platforms that would host them. Among them, Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Maté (who just deservedly won the I.F. Stone prize for his Russiagate coverage) were the most prominent, but many others, including me, made this point week after week (Brian Becker, Dave Lindorff, Dan Kovalik, Daniel Lazare, Ted Rall, to name a few). As I put it in an essay last year: "There are a thousand reasons to criticize Donald Trump That Donald Trump is a Russian agent is not one of them. There are a number of very good justifications for seeking his impeachment That he is a Kremlin agent is not one of them."

So, it's a particularly slimy for Russiagaters to slip into the position that we Russiagate skeptics have been enunciating, and they have been excluding, for two years, without acknowledging that we were right and they were wrong and accounting for their effort to edit us out.

3. But we haven't seen the whole Mueller Report! Barr may be fooling us! Mueller's own team says so! You are now doing what you accused us of doing for two years -- abandoning proper skepticism about Republicans like Barr and even Mueller (Yup. He's a suspicious Republican now!), and assuming a final result we have not yet seen.

This is the one the Russiagaters like the most. Gotcha with your own logic!

Well, let's first of all thank those who are saying this for, again, recognizing that we Russiagate critics had the right attitude toward such an investigation: cautious skepticism as opposed to false certainty. And let's linger for a moment or more on how belated that recognition is and what its delay cost.

But let's also recognize that what's being expressed here is the last-minute hope on the part of the Russiagaters that the Mueller report actually does contain dispositive evidence of Trump's treasonous Russian collusion. Because, again, that is the core accusation that hopeful Russiagaters are still singing about, and nobody ever argued that evidence of other hijinks was unlikely.

Well, that hope can only be realized if one or both of the following are true: 1) Barr's quotes from the report exonerating Trump of collusion are complete fabrications, or 2) Mueller both wrote those words even though they contradict the substance of his own report and declined to indict a single U.S. person for such "collusion" even though he could have.

Sure, in the abstract, one or both of those conditions could be true. But there is no evidence, none, that either is. The New York Times (NYT) report that set everyone aflutter about the "concern" from "some members of Mr. Mueller's team" is anonymous, unspecified, and second-hand. Read it carefully: The NYT did not report what any member of Mueller's team said, but what "government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations" said. Those "officials and others interviewed [not members of the Mueller team itself] declined to flesh out" to the NYT what "some of the special counsel's investigators" were unhappy about. To that empty hearsay, the NYT appends the phrase "although the report is believed to examine Mr. Trump's efforts to thwart the investigation" -- suggesting, but not stating, that obstruction of justice issues are the reasons for the investigators' "vexation." The NYT cannot state, because it does not know, anything. It is reporting empty hearsay that is evidence of nothing, but is meant to keep hope alive.

"[T]he report is believed to examine" is a particularly strange locution. Is the NYT suggesting that the Mueller report might not have examined obstruction of justice possibilities? Or is it just getting tangled up in its attempt to suggest this or that? Hey, it could just as well be true that Barr's characterization of what the Mueller Report says about "obstruction of justice" is a misleading fabrication. Maybe Mueller actually exonerated Trump of that. If you mistrust Barr's version of what the Mueller Report says about collusion, why not equally mistrust what it says about obstruction of justice?

There is no evidence that Barr's summary is radically misleading about the core collusion conclusion of the Mueller Report. The walls are closing in, alright, on that story. The I'm just being as cautious now as you were before! line is the opposite of the reasonable skepticism is claims to be; it's Russiagaters clinging to a wish and a belief that something they want to be true is, despite the determinate lack of any evidence.

It's not just the words; it's the melody, and the desperation in the voices. The core Trump-blowing-Vladimir collusion song that #Resisters are still singing is a fantastical fiction and the people still singing it are the pathetic choir on the Russiagate Titanic. And while they're singing as they sink, Trump is escaping in the lifeboat they have provided him. The single most definite and undeniable effect of the Mueller investigation on American politics has been to hand Donald Trump a potent political weapon for his 2020 re-election campaign. A real bombshell.

It would be funny, if it weren't so funny:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qjUvfZj-Fm0

But it's worse than that. The falsity of the Trump-as-a-Russian-agent narrative does not depend on any confidence in Mueller and his report or Barr and his summary. The truth is there was no Russiagate investigation, in the sense of a serious attempt to find out whether Donald Trump was taking orders from, or "coordinating" with, Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

No person in their right mind could believe that. Robert Mueller doesn't believe it. Nancy Pelosi doesn't believe it. Adam Schiff doesn't believe it. John Brennan, James Clapper, and the heads of intelligence agencies do not believe it. Not for a second. No knowledgeable international affairs journalist or academic who thinks about it for two minutes believes it. Sure, some politicians and media pundits did work themselves up into a state where they internalized and projected a belief in the narrative, but few of them really believed it. They were serving the Kool-Aid. Only the most gullible sectors of their target audience drank it.

With some exceptions, to be sure (Donald Trump among them), the people in the highest echelons of the state-media-academic apparatus are just not that stupid. And, most obvious and important, Vladimir Putin is not that stupid, and they know he is not. Vladimir Putin would never rely on Donald Trump to be his operative in a complex operation that required shrewdly playing and evading the US intelligence and media apparatuses. Nobody is that stupid. Thinking about it that way for a second dissipates the entire ridiculous idea. (Not to mention that Trump ended up enacting a number of policies -- many more than Obama! -- contrary to Russian interests.)

The obvious, which many people in the independent media and none in the mainstream media (because it is so obvious, and would have blown their game) have pointed out, is that any real investigation of Russiagate would have sought to talk with the principals who had direct knowledge of who is responsible for leaking the infamous DNC documents: Julian Assange and former British ambassador Craig Murray ("I know who leaked them. I've met the person who leaked them."). They were essentially two undisputed eyewitnesses to the crime Mueller was supposed to be investigating, and he made no effort to talk to either of them. Ipso facto, it was not really an investigation, not a project whole purpose was to find the truth about whatever the thing called "Russiagate" is supposed to be.

The Eternal Witch-hunt

It was a theater of discipline. Its purpose, which it achieved, was to discipline Trump, the Democratic electorate, and the media. Its method was fishing around in the muck of Washington consultants, lobbyists, and influence peddlers to generate indictments and plea bargains for crimes irrelevant to the core mandate. Not hard, in a carceral state where prosecutors can pin three felonies a day on anyone.

The US establishment, especially its national security arm, was genuinely shocked that their anointed candidate, Hillary, who was, as Glen Ford puts it "'all in' with the global military offensive" that Obama had run through Libya, Syria, and the coup in Ukraine, was defeated by a nitwit candidate who was making impermissibly non-aggressive noises about things like Russia and NATO, and who actually wanted to lose. For their part, the Democrats were horrified, and did not want to face the necessary reckoning about the complete failure of their candidate, and the best-of-all-possible-liberaloid-worlds strategy she personified.

So, "within 24 hours of her concession speech" Hillary's campaign team (Robby Mook and John Podesta) created a "script they would pitch to the press and the public" to explain why she lost. "Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument." A few months later, a coalition of congressional Democrats,, establishment Republicans, and intelligence/natsec professionals pressured Trump (who, we can now see clearly, is putty in the hands of the latter) to initiate a Special Counsel investigation. Its ostensible goal was to investigate Russian collusion, but its real goals were:

1) To discipline Trump, preventing any backpedaling on NATO/imperialist war-mongering against Russia or any other target. Frankly, I think this was unnecessary. Trump never had any depth of principle in his remarks about de-escalating with Russia and Syria. He was always a staunch American exceptionalist and Zionist. Nobody has forced him (that's a right-wing fantasy) to attack Syria, appoint John Bolton, recognize Israeli authority over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, or threaten Iran and Venezuela. But the natsec deep state actors did (and do) not trust Trump's impulsiveness. They probably also thought it would be useful to "send a message" to Russia, which, in their arrogance, they think they can, but they cannot, "discipline," as I've discussed in a previous essay.

2) To discipline the media, making "Russian collusion," as Off-Guardian journalist Kit Knightly says, "a concept that keeps everyone in check." Thus, a Russophobia-related McCarthyite hysteria was engendered that defined any strong anti-interventionist or anti-establishment sentiment as Russian-sown "divisiveness" and "Putin apologetics." This discipline was eagerly accepted by the mainstream media, which joined in the related drive to demand new forms of censorship for independent and internet media. The epitome of this is the mainstream media's execrable, tacit and sometimes explicit acceptance of the US government's campaign to prosecute Julian Assange.

3) To discipline and corral the Democratic constituency. Establishment Dems riled up outraged progressives with deceptive implied promises to take Trump down based on the collusion fiction, which excused Hillary and diverted their attention from the real egregious failures and crimes that led their party to political ruin, and culminated in the election of Trump in the first place. This discipline also instituted a #Resistance to Trump that involved the party doing nothing substantively progressive in policy -- indeed, it allowed embracing Trump's most egregious militarism and promoting an alliance with, a positive reverence for, the most deceptive and reactionary institutions of the state.

Finally, incorporating point 2, perhaps the main point of this discipline -- indeed of the whole Mueller enterprise -- was to stigmatize the leftists and socialists in and around the party, who were questioning the collusion fiction and calling critical attention to the party's failures, as crypto-fascist "Trump enablers" or "Putin's useful idiots." It's all about fencing out the left and corralling the base.

Note the point regarding the deceptive implications about taking down Trump. Though they gave the opposite impression to rile up their constituents, Democratic Congressional leaders, for the reasons given above and others I laid out in a previous essay, did not think for a second they were going to impeach Trump. They were never really after impeaching Trump; they were and are after stringing along their dissatisfied progressive-minded voters. They, not Trump, were and are the target of the foolery.

We should recognize that Russiagate/The Mueller Investigation achieved all of these goals, and was therefore a great success. That's the case whatever part of the Mueller Report is summarized and released, and whoever interprets it. The whole report with all of the underlying evidence cannot legally be released to the public, and the Democrats know that. So, even if the House gets it, the public will only ever see portions doled out by various interested parties.

Thus, it will continue to be a great success. There will be endless leaks, and interpretations of leaks, and arguments about the interpretations of leaks based on speculation about what's still hidden. The Mueller Investigation has morphed into the Mueller Report, a hermeneutical exercise that will go on forever.
The Mueller Investigation never happened and will never end.

It wasn't an investigation. It was/is an act of political theater, staged in an ongoing dramatic festival where, increasingly, litigation substitutes for politics. Neither party has anything of real, lasting, positive political substance to offer, and each finds itself in power only because it conned the electorate into thinking it offered something new. That results in every politician being vulnerable, but to a politically vacuous opposition that can only mount its attacks on largely politically irrelevant, often impossible to adjudicate, legalistic or moralistic grounds. Prosecutorial inquiry becomes a substitute for substantive political challenge.

It's the template that was established by the Republicans against Bill Clinton, has been adapted by the Democrats for Trump and Russiagate, and will be ceaselessly repeated. What's coming next, already hinted at in William Barr's congressional testimony, will be an investigation of FISAGate -- an inquiry into whether the FISA warrants for spying on the Trump campaign and administration were obtained legally ("adequately predicated"). And/or UkraineGate, about the evidence "Ukrainian law enforcement officials believe they have of wrongdoing by American Democrats and their allies in Kiev, ranging from 2016 election interference to obstructing criminal probes," involving Tony Podesta (who worked right alongside Paul Manafort in Ukraine), Hillary Clinton's campaign, Joe Biden and his son, et. al. And/or CampaignGate, the lawsuit claiming that Hillary's national campaign illegally took $84 million of "straw man" contributions made to state Democratic campaigns. And/or CraigGate, involving powerful Democratic fixer and Obama White House Counsel, Gregory Craig, who has already been referred to federal prosecutors by Mueller, and whose law firm has already paid a $4.6 million-dollar fine for making false statement and failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act -- for work he did in Ukraine with -- who else? -- Paul Manafort.

There are Gates galore. If you haven't heard about any of these simmering scandals in the way you've heard incessantly about, you know, Paul Manafort, perhaps that's because they didn't fit into the "get Trump" theme of the Mueller Investigation/Russiagate political theater. Rest assured the Republicans have, and will likely make sure that you do. If you think the Republicans do not have at least as much of a chance to make a serious case with some of these as Mueller did with Trump, you are wrong. If you think the Republicans will pursue any of these investigations because they have the same principled concern as the Democrats about foreign collusion in US elections, or the legality of campaign contributions or surveillance warrants, you are right. They have none. Like the Democrats, they have zero concern for the ostensible issues of principle, and infinite enthusiasm for mounting "gotcha" political theater.

Neither party really wants, or knows how, to engage in a sustained, principled debate on substantive political issues -- things like universal-coverage, single-payer health insurance, a job guarantee, a radical reduction of the military budget, an end to imperialist intervention, increasing taxes on the wealthy and lowering them for working people, a break from the "overwhelming" and destructive influence of Zionism, to name a few of the policies the Democratic congressional leadership could have insisted on "investigating" over the last two years..

Instead, both parties' political campaigns rely on otherizing appeals based on superficial identity politics (white-affirmative on the one hand, POC-affirmative on the other) and, mainly, on bashing the other party for all the problems it ignored or exacerbated, and all the terrible policies it enacted, when it was in power -- and for the version of superficial, otherizing identity politics it supposedly based those policies on (the real determinants of class power remaining invisible). What both parties know how and will continue to do is mount hypocritical legalistic and moralistic "investigations" of illegal campaign contributions, support from foreign governments, teenage make-out sessions, personal-space violations, et. al., that they are just "shocked, shocked" about.

It's Investigation Nation. Fake politics in the simulacrum of a democratic polity. Indeed, someone, of some political perspicuity, might just notice, if only for a flash, that the people who do pretty well politically are often the ones who frankly don't give a crap about all that. Maybe because they're talking to people who don't give a crap about all that. But we wouldn't want to confuse ourselves thinking on that for too long.

Which brings us to the last point about Russiagate/The Mueller Investigation mentioned above. It may not (or may!) have been an intended goal, but it has been its most definite political effect: The Mueller Investigation has been a great political gift to Donald Trump. #Resisters and Russiagaters can wriggle around that all they want. They can insist that, once we get the whole Report, we'll turn the corner, the bombshell will explode, the walls will close in -- for real, this time. Sure.

But even they can't deny that's the case right now. Trump is saying the Mueller investigation was a political counterattack against the result of the election, masquerading as a disinterested judicial investigation; that it was based on a flimsy fiction and designed to dig around in every corner of his closets to find nasty and incriminating things that were entirely irrelevant to the ostensible mandate of the investigation and to any substantive, upfront political critique -- a "witchhunt," a "fishing expedition." And he is right. And too many people in the country know he's right. At this point, even most Russiagaters themselves know it -- though they don't care, and will never admit it.

So now Trump, who could have been attacked for two years politically on substance for betraying most of the promises that got him elected -- more aggressive war, more tax cuts for the wealthy, threatening Medicare and Social Security -- has instead been handed, by the Democrats, the strongest arrow he now has in his political quiver. As Matt Taibbi says: "Trump couldn't have asked for a juicier campaign issue, and an easier way to argue that 'elites' don't respect the democratic choices of flyover voters. It's hard to imagine what could look worse."

You might think the Democratic Party would be horrified at this result, which one conservative analyst calls: "one of the greatest self-defeating acts in history." You might think Democrats would now move quickly and decisively toward a strategy of offering a substantive political alternative, and abandon this awful own-goal Mueller/Russiagate tack that has already helped Trump immensely (and which they are not going to turn their way). That is obviously what would happen if the Democrats' main goal was to defeat Trump. But it isn't.

As discussed above, the Democratic establishment's' main goal throughout this was not to "get" Trump, but to channel its own voters' disgust with him into support for some halcyon, liberal, status quo ante-Trump, and away from left demands for a radical change to the social, economic, and political conditions that produced him and his clueless establishment opponent in 2016. The Democrats' goal was, and is, not to defeat Trump, but to stave off the left.

What they are doing with the Mueller Investigation/Russiagate is what they did in the primaries in 2016: Then, they deliberately promoted Trump as an opponent, while working assiduously to cheat their own leftist candidate; now, they gin up a fictional spy story whose inevitable collapse helps Trump, but on which they will double down, in order to continue branding "divisive" leftists who challenge any return to their version of status-quo normalcy as the Kremlin's "useful idiots."

The Democrats' main goal in all this is not to impeach, or stop the re-election of, Donald Trump; it's to prevent the nomination and election of Bernie Sanders, or anyone like him.

Russiagate Forever

Here's Tim Ryan's presidential campaign kickoff speech in Youngstown, Ohio, a poster city of late American capitalist deindustrialization, explaining to the voters what is causing the destruction of their lives and towns. After complaining that "We have politicians and leaders today that want to divide us. They want to put us in one box or the other. You know, you can't be for business and for labor," he elaborates:

Yup, it’s those Russians, you see, sowing division through certain “politicians and leaders,” who are preventing us from fixing our healthcare, education, economic and government systems. This—doubling down on Russiagate—is the centrist Democrats’ idea of a winning political appeal. I consider it utterly delusional.

I heard last week from a friend in Western Pennsylvania, not too far from Youngstown. She’s a good person who is trying to organize Democrats in the area to beat Trump in 2020, and, pleading for advice, she expressed her exasperation: “They’re leaving the party!”

You mean the five million people who voted for Obama in 2012, in the 90% of counties that voted for Obama either in 2008 or 2012, but would not vote for Hillary in 2019, aren’t streaming back into—are indeed still streaming out of—the Democratic Party, despite all the Mueller investigation has done for them? Imagine that.

What has Russiagate/The Mueller Investigation wrought? It’s either a shrewd political gambit sure to take down Trump, or it’s ridiculous political theater leading Democrats, and the country, over another cliff. Double-down or leave that table?

Place your bets.

[Jun 19, 2019] The Warm War Russiamania at the Boiling Point by Jim Kavanagh

Notable quotes:
"... Theresa May's immediate conclusion that the Russian government bears certain and sole responsibility for the nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals is logically, scientifically, and forensically impossible. ..."
"... Teresa May is lying, everyone who seconds her assertion of false certainty is lying, they all know they are lying, and the Russians know that they know they are lying. ..."
"... "War" is what they seem to want it to be. For the past 18 to 24 months, we've also been inundated with Morgan Freeman and Rob Reiner's ominous "We have been attacked. We are at war," video, as well as the bipartisan ( Hillary Clinton , John McCain ) insistence that alleged Russian election meddling should be considered an "act of war" equivalent to Pearl Harbor . Indeed, Trump's new National Security advisor, the warmongering lunatic John Bolton, calls it , explicitly "a casus belli , a true act of war." ..."
"... Even the military is getting in on the act. The nerve-agent accusation has been followed up by General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, accusing Russia of arming the Taliban! It's noteworthy that this senior American military general casually refers to Russia as "the enemy": "We've had stories written by the Taliban that have appeared in the media about financial support provided by the enemy." ..."
"... The economic war against Russian is being waged through a series of sanctions that seem impossible to reverse, because their expressed goal is to extract confession, repentance, and restitution for crimes ascribed to Russia that Russia has not committed, or has not been proven to have committed, or are entirely fictional and have not been committed by anyone at all. We will only stop taking your bank accounts and consulates and let you play games with us if you confess and repent every crime we accuse you of. No questions permitted. ..."
Apr 02, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
Is it war yet?

Yes, in too many respects.

It's a relentless economic, diplomatic, and ideological war, spiced with (so far) just a dash of military war, and the strong scent of more to come.

I mean war with Russia, of course, although Russia is the point target for a constellation of emerging adversaries the US is desperate to entame before any one or combination of them becomes too strong to defeat. These include countries like Iran and China, which are developing forces capable of resisting American military aggression against their own territory and on a regional level, and have shown quite too much uppitiness about staying in their previously-assigned geopolitical cages.

But Russia is the only country that has put its military forces in the way of a U.S. program of regime change -- indirectly in Ukraine, where Russia would not get out of the way, and directly in Syria, where Russia actively got in the way. So Russia is the focus of attack, the prime target for an exemplary comeuppance.

Is it, then, a new Cold War, even more dangerous than the old one, as Stephen F. Cohen says ?

That terminology was apt even a few months ago, but the speed, ferocity, and coordination of the West/NATO's reaction to the alleged nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals, as well as the formation of a War Cabinet in Washington, indicates to me that we've moved to another level of aggression.

It's beyond Cold. Call it the Warm War. And the temperature's rising.

The Nerve of Them

There are two underlying presumptions that, combined, make present situation more dangerous than a Cold War.

One is the presumption of guilt -- or, more precisely, the presumption that the presumption of Russian guilt can always be made, and made to stick in the Western mind.

The confected furor over the alleged nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals demonstrates this dramatically.

Theresa May's immediate conclusion that the Russian government bears certain and sole responsibility for the nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals is logically, scientifically, and forensically impossible.

False certainty is the ultimate fake news. It is just not true that, as she says: "There is no alternative conclusion other than the Russian state is culpable." This falsity of this statement has been demonstrated by a slew of sources -- including the developers of the alleged "Novichok" agent themselves, a thorough analysis by a former UN inspector in Iraq who worked on the destruction of chemical weapons, establishment Western scientific outlets like New Scientist (" Other countries could have made 'Russian' nerve agent "), and the British government's own mealy-mouthed, effective-but-unacknowledged disavowal of that conclusion. In its own words, The British government found: "a nerve agent or related compound," " of a type developed by Russia." So, it's absolutely, positively, certainly, without a doubt, Russian-government-produced "Novichok" .or something else.

Teresa May is lying, everyone who seconds her assertion of false certainty is lying, they all know they are lying, and the Russians know that they know they are lying. It's a

https://www.youtube.com/embed/lErlHLCNM_s?autoplay=0list=WL

It boggles the -- or at least, my -- mind how, in the face of all this, anyone could take seriously her ultimatum, ignoring the procedures of the Chemical Weapons Convention , gave Russia 24 hours to "explain" -- i.e., confess and beg forgiveness for -- this alleged crime.

Indeed, it's noteworthy that France initially, and rather sharply, refused to assume Russian guilt, with a government spokesman saying, "We don't do fantasy politics. Once the elements are proven, then the time will come for decisions to be made." But the whip was cracked -- and surely not by the weak hand of Whitehall -- demanding EU/NATO unity in the condemnation of Russia. So, in an extraordinary show of discipline that could only be ordered and orchestrated by the imperial center, France joined the United States and 20 other countries in the largest mass expulsion of Russian diplomats ever.

Western governments and their compliant media have mandated that Russian government guilt for the " first offensive use of a nerve agent " in Europe since World War II is to be taken as flat fact. Anyone -- like Jeremy Corbyn or Craig Murray -- who dares to interrupt the "Sentence first! Verdict afterwards!" chorus to ask for, uh, evidence, is treated to a storm of obloquy .

At this point, Western accusers don't seem to care how blatantly unfounded, if not ludicrous, an accusation is. The presumption of Russian guilt, along with the shaming of anyone who questions it, has become an unquestionable standard of Western/American political and media discourse.

Old Cold War McCarthyism has become new Warm War fantasy politics.

Helled in Contempt

This declaration of diplomatic war over the Skripal incident is the culmination of an ongoing drumbeat of ideological warfare, demonizing Russia and Putin personally in the most predictable and inflammatory terms.

For the past couple of years, we've been told by Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Marco Rubio, and Boris Johnson that Putin is the new Hitler. That's a particularly galling analogy for the Russians. Soviet Russia, after all, was Hitler's main enemy, that defeated the Nazi army at the cost of 20+ million of its people -- while the British Royal Family was not un-smitten with the charms of Hitlerian fascism , and British footballers had a poignant moment in 1938 Berlin saluting the Fuhre.:

"War" is what they seem to want it to be. For the past 18 to 24 months, we've also been inundated with Morgan Freeman and Rob Reiner's ominous "We have been attacked. We are at war," video, as well as the bipartisan ( Hillary Clinton , John McCain ) insistence that alleged Russian election meddling should be considered an "act of war" equivalent to Pearl Harbor . Indeed, Trump's new National Security advisor, the warmongering lunatic John Bolton, calls it , explicitly "a casus belli , a true act of war."

Even the military is getting in on the act. The nerve-agent accusation has been followed up by General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, accusing Russia of arming the Taliban! It's noteworthy that this senior American military general casually refers to Russia as "the enemy": "We've had stories written by the Taliban that have appeared in the media about financial support provided by the enemy."

Which is strange, because, since the Taliban emerged from the American-jihadi war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, and the Taliban and Russia have "enduring enmity" towards each other, as Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network puts it . Furthermore, the sixteen-year-long American war against the Taliban has depended on Russia allowing the U.S. to move supplies through its territory, and being "the principal source of fuel for the alliance's needs in Afghanistan."

So the general has to admit that this alleged Russian "destabilising activity" is a new thing: "This activity really picked up in the last 18 to 24 months When you look at the timing it roughly correlates to when things started to heat up in Syria. So it's interesting to note the timing of the whole thing."

Yes, it is.

The economic war against Russian is being waged through a series of sanctions that seem impossible to reverse, because their expressed goal is to extract confession, repentance, and restitution for crimes ascribed to Russia that Russia has not committed, or has not been proven to have committed, or are entirely fictional and have not been committed by anyone at all. We will only stop taking your bank accounts and consulates and let you play games with us if you confess and repent every crime we accuse you of. No questions permitted.

This is not a serious framework for respectful international relations between two sovereign nations. It's downright childish. It paints everyone, including the party trying to impose it, into an impossible corner. Is Russia ever going to abandon Crimea, confess that it shot down the Malaysian jet, tricked us into electing Donald Trump, murdered the Skripals, is secretly arming the Taliban, et. al .? Is the U.S. ever going to say: "Never mind"? What's the next step? It's the predicament of the bully.

This is not, either, an approach that really seeks to address any of the "crimes" charged. As Victoria Nuland (a Clintonite John Bolton) put it on NPR, it's about, "sending a message" to Russia. Well, as Russia's ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov said , with this latest mass expulsion of diplomats, the United States is, "Destroying what little remained of US-Russian ties." He got the message.

All of this looks like a coordinated campaign that began in response to Russia's interruption of American regime-change projects in Ukraine and especially Syria, that was harmonized -- over the last 18 to 24 months -- with various elite and popular motifs of discontent over the 2016 election, and that has reached a crescendo in the last few weeks with ubiquitous and unconstrained " enemization " [1] of Russia. It's hard to describe it as anything other than war propaganda -- manufacturing the citizenry's consent for a military confrontation.

Destroying the possibility of normal, non-conflictual, state-to-state relations and constituting Russia as "the enemy" is exactly what this campaign is about. That is its "message" and its effect -- for the American people as much as for the Russia government. The heightened danger, I think, is that Russia, which has for a long time been reluctant to accept that America wasn't interested in "partnership", has now heard and understood this message, while the American people have only heard but do not understand it.

It's hard to see where this can go that doesn't involve military conflict. This is especially the case with the appointments of Mike Pompeo, Gina Haspel, and John Bolton -- a veritable murderers' row that many see as the core of a Trump War Cabinet. Bolton, who does not need Senate confirmation, is a particularly dangerous fanatic, who tried to get the Israelis to attack Iran before even they wanted to, and has promised regime change in Iran by 2019. As mentioned, he considers that Russia has already given him a " casus belli. " Even the staid New York Times warns that, with these appointments, "the odds of taking military action will rise dramatically."

The second presumption in the American mindset today makes military confrontation more likely than it was during the Cold War: Not only is there a presumption of guilt, there is a presumption of weakness . The presumption of guilt is something the American imperial managers are confident they can induce and maintain in the Western world; the presumption of weakness is one they -- or, I fear, too many of them -- have all-too blithely internalized.

This is an aspect of the American self-image among policymakers whose careers matured in a post-Soviet world. During the Cold War, Americans held themselves in check by the assumption, that, militarily, the Soviet Union was a peer adversary, a country that could and would defend certain territories and interests against direct American military aggression -- "spheres of interest" that should not be attacked. The fundamental antagonism was managed with grudging mutual respect.

There was, after all, a shared recent history of alliance against fascism. And there was an awareness that the Soviet Union, in however distorted a way, both represented the possibility of a post-capitalist future and supported post-colonial national liberation movements, which gave it considerable stature in the world.

American leadership might have hated the Soviet Union, but it was not contemptuous of it. No American leader would have called the Soviet Union, as John McCain called Russia, just "a gas station masquerading as a country." And no senior American or British leader would have told the Soviet Union what British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson told Russia last week: to "go away and shut up."

This is a discourse that assumes its own righteousness, authority, and superior power, even as it betrays its own weakness. It's the discourse of a frustrated child. Or bully. Russia isn't shutting up and going away, and the British are not -- and know they're not -- going to make it. But they may think the Big Daddy backing them up can and will. And daddy may think so himself.

Like all bullies, the people enmeshed in this arrogant discourse don't seem to understand that it is not frightening Russia. It's only insulting the country, and leading it to conclude that there is indeed nothing remaining of productive, non-conflictual, US-Russian "partnership" ties. The post-Skripal worldwide diplomatic expulsions, which seem deliberately and desperately excessive, may have finally convinced Russia that there is no longer any use trying. Those who should be frightened of this are the American people.

The enemy of my enemy is me.

The United States is only succeeding in turning itself into an enemy for Russians. Americans would do well to understand how thoroughly their hypocritical and contemptuous stance has alienated the Russian people and strengthened Vladimir Putin's leadership -- as many of Putin's critics warned them it would. The fantasy of stoking a "liberal" movement in Russia that will install some nouveau-Yeltsin-ish figure is dissipated in the cold light of a 77% election day. Putin is widely and firmly supported in Russia because he represents the resistance to any such scheme.

Americans who want to understand that dynamic, and what America itself has wrought in Russia, should heed the passion, anger, and disappointment in this statement about Putin's election from a self-described "liberal" (using the word, I think, in the intellectual tradition, not the American political, sense), Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT TV (errors in translation by another person):

Essentially, the West should be horrified not because 76% of Russians voted for Putin, but because this elections have demonstrated that 95% of Russia's population supports conservative-patriotic, communist and nationalist ideas. That means that liberal ideas are barely surviving among measly 5% of population.

And that's your fault, my Western friends. It was you who pushed us into "Russians never surrender" mode

[W]ith all your injustice and cruelty, inquisitorial hypocrisy and lies you forced us to stop respecting you. You and your so called "values."

We don't want to live like you live, anymore. For fifty years, secretly and openly, we wanted to live like you, but not any longer.

We have no more respect for you, and for those amongst us that you support, and for all those people who support you.

For that you only have yourself to blame.

In meantime, you've pushed us to rally around your enemy. Immediately, after you declared him an enemy, we united around him .

It was you who imposed an opposition between patriotism and liberalism. Although, they shouldn't be mutually exclusive notions. This false dilemma, created by you, made us to chose patriotism.

Even though, many of us are really liberals, myself included.

Get cleaned up, now. You don't have much time left.

In fact, the whole "uprising"/color revolution strategy throughout the world is over. It's been fatally discredited by its own purported successes. Everybody in the Middle East has seen how that worked out for Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and the Russians have seen how it worked out for Ukraine and for Russia itself . In neither Russia nor Iran (nor anywhere else of importance) are the Americans, with their sanctions and their NGOs and their cookies ,going to stoke a popular uprising that turns a country into a fractured client of the Washington Consensus. More fantasy politics.

The old new world Washington wants won't be born without a military midwife. The U.S. wants a compliant Russia ( and "international community") back, and it thinks it can force it into being.

Fear Knot

Consider this quote from The Saker , a defense analyst who was born in Switzerland to a Russian military family, "studied Russian and Soviet military affairs all [his] life," and lived for 20 years in the United States. He's been one of the sharpest analysts of Russia and Syria over the last few years. This was his take a year ago, after Trump's cruise missile attack on Syria's Al Shayrat airfield -- another instant punishment for an absolutely, positively, proven-in-a day, chemical crime:

For one thing, there is no US policy on anything.

The Russians expressed their total disgust and outrage at this attack and openly began saying that the Americans were "недоговороспособны". What that word means is literally "not-agreement-capable" or unable to make and then abide by an agreement. While polite, this expression is also extremely strong as it implies not so much a deliberate deception as the lack of the very ability to make a deal and abide by it. But to say that a nuclear world superpower is "not-agreement-capable" is a terrible and extreme diagnostic.

This means that the Russians have basically given up on the notion of having an adult, sober and mentally sane partner to have a dialog with.

In all my years of training and work as a military analyst I have always had to assume that everybody involved was what we called a "rational actor". The Soviets sure where. As were the Americans.

Not only do I find the Trump administration "not agreement-capable", I find it completely detached from reality. Delusional in other words.

Alas, just like Obama before him, Trump seems to think that he can win a game of nuclear chicken against Russia. But he can't. Let me be clear here: if pushed into a corner the Russian will fight, even if that means nuclear war.

There is a reason for this American delusion. The present generation of American leadership was spoiled and addled by the blissful post-Soviet decades of American impunity.

The problem is not exactly that the U.S. wants full-on war with Russia, it's that America does not fear it. [2]

Why should it? It hasn't had to for twenty years during which the US assumed it could bully Russia to stay out of its imperial way anywhere it wanted to intervene.

After the Soviet Union broke up (and only because the Soviet Union disappeared) the United States was free to use its military power with impunity. For some time, the U.S. had its drunken stooge, Yeltsin, running Russia and keeping it out of America's military way. There was nary a peep when Bill Clinton effectively conferred on NATO (meaning the U.S. itself) the authority to decide what military interventions were necessary and legitimate. For about twenty years -- from the Yugoslavia through the Libya intervention -- no nation had the military power or politico-diplomatic will to resist this.

But that situation has changed. Even the Pentagon recognizes that the American Empire is in a "post-primacy" phase -- certainly "fraying," and maybe even "collapsing." The world has seen America's social and economic strength dissipate, and its pretense of legitimacy disappear entirely. The world has seen American military overreach everywhere while winning nothing of stable value anywhere. Sixteen years, and the mighty U.S. Army cannot defeat the Taliban. Now, that's Russia's fault!

Meanwhile, a number of countries in key areas have gained the military confidence and political will to refuse the presumptions of American arrogance -- China in the Pacific, Iran in the Middle East, and Russia in Europe and, surprisingly, the Middle East as well. In a familiar pattern, America's resultant anxiety about waning power increases its compensatory aggression. And, as mentioned, since it was Russia that most effectively demonstrated that new military confidence, it's Russia that has to be dealt with first.

The incessant wave of sanctions and expulsions is the bully in the schoolyard clenching his fist to scare the new kid away. OK, everyone's got the message now. Unclench or punch?

Let's be clear about who is the world's bully. As is evident to any half-conscious person, Russia is not going to attack the United States or Europe. Russia doesn't have scores of military bases, combat ships and aircraft up on America's borders. It doesn't have almost a thousand military bases around the world. Russia does not have the military forces to rampage around the world as America does, and it doesn't want or need to. That's not because of Russia's or Vladimir Putin's pacifism, but because Russia, as presently situated in the political economy of the world, has nothing to gain from it.

Nor does Russia need some huge troll-farm offensive to "destabilize" and sow division in Western Europe and the United States. Inequality, austerity, waves of immigrants from regime-change wars, and trigger-happy cops are doing a fine job of that. Russia isn't responsible for American problems with Black Lives Matter or with the Taliban.

All of this is fantasy politics.

It's the United States, with its fraying empire, that has a problem requiring military aggression. What other tools does the U.S. have left to put the upstarts, Russia first, back in their places?

It must be hard for folks who have had their way with country after country for twenty years not to think they can push Russia out of the way with some really, really scary threats, or maybe one or two "bloody nose" punches. Some finite number of discrete little escalations. There's already been some shoving -- that cruise missile attack, Turkey's downing of a Russian jet, American attacks on Russian personnel (ostensibly private mercenaries) in Syria -- and, look, Ma, no big war. But sometimes you learn the hard way the truth of the reverse Mike Tyson rule: "Everyone has a game plan until they smack the other guy in the face."

Consider one concrete risk of escalation that every informed observer is, and every American should be, aware of.

The place where the United States and Russia are literally, geographically, closest to confrontation is Syria. As mentioned, the U.S. and its NATO ally, Turkey, have already attacked and killed Russians in Syria, and the U.S. and its NATO allies have a far larger military force than Russia in Syria and the surrounding area. On the other hand, Russia has made very effective use of its forces, including what Reuters calls "advanced cruise missiles" launched from planes, ships , and submarines that hit ISIS targets with high precision from 1000 kilometers.

Russia is also operating in accordance with international law, while the U.S. is not. Russia is fighting with Syria for the defeat of jihadi forces and the unification of the Syrian state. The United States is fighting with its jihadi clients for the overthrow of the Syrian government and the division of the country. Russia intervened in Syria after Obama announced that the U.S. would attack Syrian army troops, effectively declaring war. If neither side accepts defeat and goes home, it is quite possible there will be some direct confrontation over this. In fact, it's hard to imagine that there won't.

A couple of weeks ago Syria and Russia said the U.S. was planning a major offensive against the Syrian government, including bombing the government quarter in Damascus. Valery Gerasimov, head of Russia's General Staff, warned: "In the event of a threat to the lives of our servicemen, Russia's armed forces will take retaliatory measures against the missiles and launchers used." In this context, "launchers" means American ships in the Mediterranean.

Also a couple of weeks ago, Russia announced a number of new, highly-advanced weapons systems. There's discussion about whether some of the yet-to-be-deployed weapons announced may or may not be a bluff, but one that has already been deployed, called Dagger ( Kinzhal, not the missiles mentioned above), is an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile that files at 5-7,000 miles per hour, with a range of 1200 miles. Analyst Andrei Martyanov claims that: "no modern or perspective air-defense system deployed today by any NATO fleet can intercept even a single missile with such characteristics. A salvo of 5-6 such missiles guarantees the destruction of any Carrier Battle Group or any other surface group, for that matter." Air-launched. From anywhere.

The U.S. attack has not (yet) happened, for whatever reason (Sputnik reporter Suliman Mulhem, citing "a military monitor," claims that's because of the Russian warnings). Great. But given the current state of America's anxiously aggressive "post-primacy" policy -- including the Russiamania, the Zionist-driven need to destroy Syria and Iran, and the War Cabinet -- how unlikely is that the U.S. will, in the near future, make some such attack on some such target that Russia considers crucial to defend?

And Syria is just one theater where, unless one side accepts defeat and goes home, military conflict with Russia is highly likely. Is Russia going to abandon the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass if they're attacked by fascist Kiev forces backed by the U.S.? Is it going to sit back and watch passively if American and Israeli forces attack Iran? Which one is going to give up and accept a loss: John Bolton or Vladimir Putin?

Which brings us to the pointed question: What will the U.S. do if Russia sinks an American ship? How many steps before that goes full-scale, even nuclear? Or maybe American planners (and you, dear reader) are absolutely, positively sure that will never happen, because the U.S. has cool weapons, too, and a lot more of them, and the Russians will probably lose all their ships in the Mediterranean immediately, if not something worse, and they'll put up with anything rather than go one more step. The Russians, like everybody, must know the Americans always win.

Happy with that, are we? Snug in our homeland rug? 'Cause Russians won't fight, but the Taliban will.

This is exactly what is meant by Americans not fearing war with Russia (or war in general for that matter). Nothing but contempt.

The Skripal opera, directed by the United States, with the whole of Europe and the entire Western media apparatus singing in harmony, makes it clear that the American producers have no speaking role for Russia in their staging of the world. And that contempt makes war much more likely. Here's The Saker again, on how dangerous the isolation the U.S. and its European clients are so carelessly imposing on Russia and themselves is for everybody:

Right now they are expelling Russian diplomats en mass e and they are feeling very strong and manly.

The truth is that this is only the tip of a much bigger iceberg. In reality, crucial expert-level consultations, which are so vitally important between nuclear superpowers, have all but stopped a long time ago. We are down to top level telephone calls. That kind of stuff happens when two sides are about to go to war. For many months now Russia and NATO have made preparations for war in Europe. Very rapidly the real action will be left to the USA and Russia. Thus any conflict will go nuclear very fast. And, for the first time in history, the USA will be hit very, very hard, not only in Europe, the Middle-East or Asia, but also on the continental US.

Mass diplomatic expulsions, economic warfare, lockstep propaganda, no interest whatsoever in respectfully addressing or hearing from the other side. What we've been seeing over the past few months is the "kind of stuff that happens when two sides are about to go to war."

The less Americans fear war, the less they respect the possibility of it, the more likely they are to get it.

Ready or Not

The Saker makes a diptych of a point that gets to the heart of the matter. We'd do well to read and think on it carefully:

1/ The Russians are afraid of war. The Americans are not.

2/ The Russians are ready for war. The Americans are not.

Russia is afraid of war. More than twenty million Soviet citizens were killed in WWII, about half of them civilians. That was more than twenty times the number of Americans and British casualties combined. The entire country was devastated. Millions died in the 872-day siege of Leningrad alone, including Vladimir Putin's brother. The city's population was decimated by disease and starvation, with some reduced to cannibalism. Wikileaks calls it "one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history [and] possibly the costliest in casualties." Another million-plus died in the nine-month siege of Stalingrad.

Every Russian knows this history. Millions of Russian families have suffered from it. Of course, there was mythification of the struggle and its heroes, but the Russians, viscerally, know war and know it can happen to them . They do not want to go through it again. They will do almost anything to avoid it. Russians are not flippant about war. They fear it. They respect it.

The Americans are not (afraid of war). Americans have never experienced anything remotely as devastating as this. About 620,000 Americans died in the Civil War, 150 years ago. (And we're still entangled in that!) The American mainland has not been attacked by a significant military force since the War of 1812. Since then, the worst attacks on American territory are two one-off incidents (Pearl Harbor and 9/11), separated by seventy years, totaling about six-thousand casualties. These are the iconic moments of America Under Siege.

For the American populace, wars are "over there," fought by a small group of Americans who go away and either come back or don't. The death, destruction, and aroma of warfare -- which the United States visits on people around the world incessantly -- is unseen and unexperienced at home. Americans do not, cannot, believe, in any but the most abstract intellectual sense, that war can happen here , to them. For the general populace, talk of war is just more political background noise, Morgan Freeman competing for attention with Stormy Daniels and the Kardashians.

Americans are supremely insouciant about war: They threaten countries with it incessantly, the government routinely sells it with lies, and the political parties promote it opportunistically to defeat their opponents -- and nobody cares. For Americans, war is part of a game. They do not fear it. They do not respect it.

The Russians are ready for war. The Nazi onslaught was defeated -- in Soviet Russia, by Soviet Citizens and the Red Army -- because the mass of people stood and fought together for a victory they understood was important. They could not have withstood horrific sieges and defeated the Nazis any other way. Russians understand, in other words, that war is a crisis of death and destruction visited on the whole of society, which can only be won by a massive and difficult effort grounded in social solidarity. If the Russians feel they have to fight, if they feel besieged, they know they will have to stand together, take the hits that come, and fight to the finish. They will not again permit war to be brought to their cities while their attacker stays snug. There will be a world of hurt. They will develop and use any weapon they can. And their toughest weapon is not a hypersonic missile; it's that solidarity, implied by that 77%. (Did you read that Simonyan statement?) They may not be seeking it, but, insofar as anybody can be, they are ready to fight.

Americans are not (ready for war): Americans experience the horror of wars as a series of discrete tragedies visited upon families of fallen soldiers, reported in human-interest vignettes at the end of the nightly news. Individual tragedies, not a social disaster.

It's hard to imagine the social devastation of war in any case, but American culture wants no part of thinking about that concretely. The social imagination of war is deflected into fantastic scenarios of a super-hero universe or a zombie apocalypse. The alien death-ray may blow up the Empire State Building, but the hero and his family (now including his or her gender-ambivalent teenager, and, of course, the dog) will survive and triumph. Cartoon villains, cartoon heroes, and a cartoon society.

One reason for this, we have to recognize, is the victory of the Thatcherite/libertarian-capitalist "no such thing as society" ideology. Congratulations, Ayn Rand, there is no such thing as American society now. It's every incipient entrepreneur for him or herself. This does not a comradely, fighting band of brothers and sisters make.

Furthermore, though America is constantly at war, nobody understands the purpose of it. That's because the real purpose can never be explained, and must be hidden behind some facile abstraction -- "democracy," "our freedoms," etc. This kind of discourse can get some of the people motivated for some of the time, but it loses its charm the minute someone gets smacked in the face.

Once they take a moment, everybody can see that there is nobody with an army threatening to attack and destroy the United States, and if they take a few moments, everybody can see how phony the "democracy and freedom" stuff is and remember how often they've been lied to before. There's just too much information out there. (Which is why the Imperial High Command wants to control the internet.) Why the hell am I fighting? What in hell are we fighting for? These are questions everybody will ask after, and too many people are now asking before, they get smacked in the face.

This lack of social understanding and lack of political support translates into the impossibility of fighting a major, sustained war that requires taking heavy casualties -- even "over there," but certainly in the snug. American culture might be all gung-ho about Seal Team Six kicking ass, but the minute American homes start blowing up and American bodies start falling, Hoo-hah becomes Uh-oh , and it's going to be Outta here .

Americans are ready for Hoo-hah and the Shark Tank and the Zombie Apocalypse. They are not ready for war.

You Get What You Play For

"Russiagate," which started quite banally in the presidential campaign as a Democratic arrow to take down Trump, is now Russiamania -- a battery of weapons wielded by various sectors of the state, aimed at an array of targets deemed even potentially resistant to imperial militarism. Trump himself -- still, and for as long as he's deemed unreliable -- is targeted by a legal prosecution of infinite reach (whose likeliest threat is to take him down for something that has nothing to do with Russia). Russia itself is now targeted in full force by economic, diplomatic, ideological -- and, tentatively, military -- weapons of the state. Perhaps most importantly, American and European people, especially dissidents, are targeted by a unified media barrage that attacks any expression of radical critique, anything that "sows division" -- from Black Lives Matter, to the Sanders campaign, to "But other countries could have made it" -- as Russian treachery.

The stunning success of that last offensive is crucial to making a war more likely, and must be fought. To increase the risk of war with a nuclear power in order to score points against Donald Trump or Jill Stein -- well, only those who neither respect, fear, nor are ready for war would do such a stupid and dangerous thing.

It's impossible to predict with certainty whether, when, or with whom a major hot war will be started. The same chaotic disarray and impulsiveness of the Trump administration that increases the danger of war might also work to prevent it. John Bolton may be fired before he trims his moustache. But it's a pressure-cooker, and the temperature has spiked drastically.

In a previous essay , I said that Venezuela was a likely first target for military attack, precisely because it would make for an easy victory that didn't risk military confrontation with Russia. That's still a good possibility. As we saw with Iraq Wars 1 (which helped to end the "Vietnam Syndrome") and 2 (which somewhat resurrected it), the imperial high command needs to inure the American public with a virtually American-casualty-free victory and in order to lure them into taking on a war that's going to hurt.

But the new War Cabinet may be pumped for the main event -- an attack on Iran. Trump, Pompeo, and Bolton are all rabid proponents of regime-change in Iran. We can be certain that the Iran nuclear deal will be scrapped, and everyone will work hard to implement the secret agreement the Trump administration already has with Israel to "to deal with Iran's nuclear drive, its missile programs and its other threatening activities" -- or, as Trump himself expresses it: "cripple the [Iranian] regime and bring it to collapse." (That agreement, by the way, was negotiated and signed by the previous, supposedly not-so-belligerent National Security Advisor, H. R. McMaster.)

Still, as I also said in the previous essay, an attack on Iran means the Americans must either make sure Russia doesn't get in the way or make clear that they don't care if it does. So, threatening moves -- not excluding probing military moves -- against Russia will increase, whether Russia is the preferred direct target or not.

The siege is on.

Americans who want to continue playing with this fire would do well to pay some respectful attention to the target whose face they want to smack. Russia did not boast or brag or threaten or Hoo-Hah about sending military forces to Syria. When it was deemed necessary -- when the United States declared its intention to attack the Syrian Army -- it just did it. And American10-dimensional-chess players have been squirming around trying to deal with the implications of that ever since. They're working hard on finding the right mix of threats, bluffs, sanctions, expulsions, "Shut up and go away!" insults, military forces on the border, and "bloody nose" attacks to force a capitulation. They should be listening to their target, who has not tired of asking for a "partnership," who has clearly stated what his country would do in reaction to previous moves (e.g., the abrogation of the ABM Treaty and stationing of ABM bases in Eastern Europe), whose country and family have suffered from wartime devastation Americans cannot imagine, who therefore respects, fears, and is ready for war in ways Americans are not, and who is not playing their game:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9QxWYIAtCMU

Notes.

[1] Ironically, given current drivers of Russiamania, this is a reference to remarks by Janet Napolitano. " The Enemization of Everything or an American Story of Empathy & Healing? "

[2] Though it's ridiculous that it needs to be said: I'm not talking here about the phony fear engendered by the media presentation of the "strongman," "brutal dictator" Vladimir Putin. This is part and parcel of comic-book politics -- conjuring a super-villain, who, we all know, is destined to be defeated. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jim Kavanagh

Jim Kavanagh edits The Polemicist .

[Jun 19, 2019] Bias bias the inclination to accuse people of bias by James Thompson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Early in any psychology course, students are taught to be very cautious about accepting people's reports. A simple trick is to stage some sort of interruption to the lecture by confederates, and later ask the students to write down what they witnessed. Typically, they will misremember the events, sequences and even the number of people who staged the tableaux. Don't trust witnesses, is the message. ..."
"... The three assumptions -- lack of rationality, stubbornness, and costs -- imply that there is slim chance that people can ever learn or be educated out of their biases; ..."
"... So, are we as hopeless as some psychologists claim we are? In fact, probably not. Not all the initial claims have been substantiated. For example, it seems we are not as loss averse as previously claimed. Does our susceptibility to printed visual illusions show that we lack judgement in real life? ..."
"... Well the sad fact is that there's nobody in the position to protect "governments" from their own biases, and "scientists" from theirs ..."
"... Long ago a lawyer acquaintance, referring to a specific judge, told me that the judge seemed to "make shit up as he was going along". I have long held psychiatry fits that statement very well. ..."
"... Here we have a real scientist fighting the nonsense spreading from (neoclassical) economics into other realms of science/academia. ..."
"... Behavioral economics is a sideline by-product of neoclassical micro-economic theory. It tries to cope with experimental data that is inconsistent with that theory. ..."
"... Everything in neoclassical economics is a travesty. "Rational choice theory" and its application in "micro economics" is false from the ground up. It basically assumes that people are gobbling up resources without plan, meaning or relevant circumstances. Neoclassical micro economic theory is so false and illogical that I would not know where to start in a comment, so I should like to refer to a whole book about it: Keen, Steve: "Debunking economics". ..."
"... As the theory is totally wrong it is really not surprising that countless experiments show that people do not behave the way neoclassical theory predicts. How do economists react to this? Of course they assume that people are "irrational" because they do not behave according to their studied theory. (Why would you ever change your basic theory because of some tedious facts?) ..."
"... The title of the 1st ed. of Keen's book was "Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor of the Social Sciences" which was simply a perfect title. ..."
Jun 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

Early in any psychology course, students are taught to be very cautious about accepting people's reports. A simple trick is to stage some sort of interruption to the lecture by confederates, and later ask the students to write down what they witnessed. Typically, they will misremember the events, sequences and even the number of people who staged the tableaux. Don't trust witnesses, is the message.

Another approach is to show visual illusions, such as getting estimates of line lengths in the Muller-Lyer illusion, or studying simple line lengths under social pressure, as in the Asch experiment, or trying to solve the Peter Wason logic problems, or the puzzles set by Kahneman and Tversky. All these appear to show severe limitations of human judgment. Psychology is full of cautionary tales about the foibles of common folk.

As a consequence of this softening up, psychology students come to regard themselves and most people as fallible, malleable, unreliable, biased and generally irrational. No wonder psychologists feel superior to the average citizen, since they understand human limitations and, with their superior training, hope to rise above such lowly superstitions.

However, society still functions, people overcome errors and many things work well most of the time. Have psychologists, for one reason or another, misunderstood people, and been too quick to assume that they are incapable of rational thought?

Gerd Gigerenzer thinks so.

https://www.nowpublishers.com/article/OpenAccessDownload/RBE-0092

He is particularly interested in the economic consequences of apparent irrationality, and whether our presumed biases really result in us making bad economic decisions. If so, some argue we need a benign force, say a government, to protect us from our lack of capacity. Perhaps we need a tattoo on our forehead: Diminished Responsibility.

The argument leading from cognitive biases to governmental paternalism -- in short, the irrationality argument -- consists of three assumptions and one conclusion:

1. Lack of rationality. Experiments have shown that people's intuitions are systematically biased.

2. Stubbornness. Like visual illusions, biases are persistent and hardly corrigible by education.

3. Substantial costs. Biases may incur substantial welfare-relevant costs such as lower wealth, health, or happiness.

4. Biases justify governmental paternalism. To protect people from theirbiases, governments should "nudge" the public toward better behavior.

The three assumptions -- lack of rationality, stubbornness, and costs -- imply that there is slim chance that people can ever learn or be educated out of their biases; instead governments need to step in with a policy called libertarian paternalism (Thaler and Sunstein, 2003).

So, are we as hopeless as some psychologists claim we are? In fact, probably not. Not all the initial claims have been substantiated. For example, it seems we are not as loss averse as previously claimed. Does our susceptibility to printed visual illusions show that we lack judgement in real life?

In Shepard's (1990) words, "to fool a visual system that has a full binocular and freely mobile view of a well-illuminated scene is next to impossible" (p. 122). Thus, in psychology, the visual system is seen more as a genius than a fool in making intelligent inferences, and inferences, after all, are necessary for making sense of the images on the retina.

Most crucially, can people make probability judgements? Let us see. Try solving this one:

A disease has a base rate of .1, and a test is performed that has a hit rate of .9 (the conditional probability of a positive test given disease) and a false positive rate of .1 (the conditional probability of a positive test given no disease). What is the probability that a random person with a positive test result actually has the disease?

Most people fail this test, including 79% of gynaecologists giving breast screening tests. Some researchers have drawn the conclusion that people are fundamentally unable to deal with conditional probabilities. On the contrary, there is a way of laying out the problem such that most people have no difficulty with it. Watch what it looks like when presented as natural frequencies:

Among every 100 people, 10 are expected to have a disease. Among those 10, nine are expected to correctly test positive. Among the 90 people without the disease, nine are expected to falsely test positive. What proportion of those who test positive actually have the disease?

In this format the positive test result gives us 9 people with the disease and 9 people without the disease, so the chance that a positive test result shows a real disease is 50/50. Only 13% of gynaecologists fail this presentation.

Summing up the virtues of natural frequencies, Gigerenzer says:

When college students were given a 2-hour course in natural frequencies, the number of correct Bayesian inferences increased from 10% to 90%; most important, this 90% rate was maintained 3 months after training (Sedlmeier and Gigerenzer, 2001). Meta-analyses have also documented the "de-biasing" effect, and natural frequencies are now a technical term in evidence-based medicine (Akiet al., 2011; McDowell and Jacobs, 2017). These results are consistent with a long literature on techniques for successfully teaching statistical reasoning (e.g., Fonget al., 1986). In sum, humans can learn Bayesian inference quickly if the information is presented in natural frequencies.

If the problem is set out in a simple format, almost all of us can all do conditional probabilities.

I taught my medical students about the base rate screening problem in the late 1970s, based on: Robyn Dawes (1962) "A note on base rates and psychometric efficiency". Decades later, alarmed by the positive scan detection of an unexplained mass, I confided my fears to a psychiatrist friend. He did a quick differential diagnosis on bowel cancer, showing I had no relevant symptoms, and reminded me I had lectured him as a student on base rates decades before, so I ought to relax. Indeed, it was false positive.

Here are the relevant figures, set out in terms of natural frequencies

Every test has a false positive rate (every step is being taken to reduce these), and when screening is used for entire populations many patients have to undergo further investigations, sometimes including surgery.

Setting out frequencies in a logical sequence can often prevent misunderstandings. Say a man on trial for having murdered his spouse has previously physically abused her. Should his previous history of abuse not be raised in Court because only 1 woman in 2500 cases of abuse is murdered by her abuser? Of course, whatever a defence lawyer may argue and a Court may accept, this is back to front. OJ Simpson was not on trial for spousal abuse, but for the murder of his former partner. The relevant question is: what is the probability that a man murdered his partner, given that she has been murdered and that he previously battered her.

Accepting the figures used by the defence lawyer, if 1 in 2500 women are murdered every year by their abusive male partners, how many women are murdered by men who did not previously abuse them? Using government figures that 5 women in 100,000 are murdered every year then putting everything onto the same 100,000 population, the frequencies look like this:

So, 40 to 5, it is 8 times more probable that abused women are murdered by their abuser. A relevant issue to raise in Court about the past history of an accused man.

Are people's presumed biases costly, in the sense of making them vulnerable to exploitation, such that they can be turned into a money pump, or is it a case of "once bitten, twice shy"? In fact, there is no evidence that these apparently persistent logical errors actually result in people continually making costly errors. That presumption turns out to be a bias bias.

Gigerenzer goes on to show that people are in fact correct in their understanding of the randomness of short sequences of coin tosses, and Kahneman and Tversky wrong. Elegantly, he also shows that the "hot hand" of successful players in basketball is a real phenomenon, and not a stubborn illusion as claimed.

With equal elegance he disposes of a result I had depended upon since Slovic (1982), which is that people over-estimate the frequency of rare risks and under-estimate the frequency of common risks. This finding has led to the belief that people are no good at estimating risk. Who could doubt that a TV series about Chernobyl will lead citizens to have an exaggerated fear of nuclear power stations?

The original Slovic study was based on 39 college students, not exactly a fair sample of humanity. The conceit of psychologists knows no bounds. Gigerenzer looks at the data and shows that it is yet another example of regression to the mean. This is an apparent effect which arises whenever the predictor is less than perfect (the most common case), an unsystematic error effect, which is already evident when you calculate the correlation coefficient. Parental height and their children's heights are positively but not perfectly correlated at about r = 0.5. Predictions made in either direction will under-predict in either direction, simply because they are not perfect, and do not capture all the variation. Try drawing out the correlation as an ellipse to see the effect of regression, compared to the perfect case of the straight line of r= 1.0

What diminishes in the presence of noise is the variability of the estimates, both the estimates of the height of the sons based on that of their fathers, and vice versa. Regression toward the mean is a result of unsystematic, not systematic error (Stigler,1999).

Gigerenzer also looks at the supposed finding that people are over-confidence in predictions, and finds that it is another regression to the mean problem.

Gigerenzer then goes on to consider that old favourite, that most people think they are better than average, which supposedly cannot be the case, because average people are average.

Consider the finding that most drivers think they drive better than average. If better driving is interpreted as meaning fewer accidents, then most drivers' beliefs are actually true. The number of accidents per person has a skewed distribution, and an analysis of U.S. accident statistics showed that some 80% of drivers have fewer accidents than the average number of accidents (Mousavi and Gigerenzer, 2011)

Then he looks at the classical demonstration of framing, that is to say, the way people appear to be easily swayed by how the same facts are "framed" or presented to the person who has to make a decision.

A patient suffering from a serious heart disease considers high-risk surgery and asks a doctor about its prospects.

The doctor can frame the answer in two ways:

Positive Frame: Five years after surgery, 90% of patients are alive.
Negative Frame: Five years after surgery, 10% of patients are dead.

Should the patient listen to how the doctor frames the answer? Behavioral economists say no because both frames are logically equivalent (Kahneman, 2011). Nevertheless, people do listen. More are willing to agree to a medical procedure if the doctor uses positive framing (90% alive) than if negative framing is used (10% dead) (Moxeyet al., 2003). Framing effects challenge the assumption of stable preferences, leading to preference reversals. Thaler and Sunstein (2008) who presented the above surgery problem, concluded that "framing works because people tend to be somewhat mindless, passive decisionmakers" (p. 40)

Gigerenzer points out that in this particular example, subjects are having to make their judgements without knowing a key fact: how many survive without surgery. If you know that you have a datum which is more influential. These are the sorts of questions patients will often ask about, and discuss with other patients, or with several doctors. Furthermore, you don't have to spin a statistic. You could simply say: "Five years after surgery, 90% of patients are alive and 10% are dead".

Gigerenzer gives an explanation which is very relevant to current discussions about the meaning of intelligence, and about the power of intelligence tests:

In sum, the principle of logical equivalence or "description invariance" is a poor guide to understanding how human intelligence deals with an uncertain world where not everything is stated explicitly. It misses the very nature of intelligence, the ability to go beyond the information given (Bruner, 1973)

The key is to take uncertainty seriously, take heuristics seriously, and beware of the bias bias.

One important conclusion I draw from this entire paper is that the logical puzzles enjoyed by Kahneman, Tversky, Stanovich and others are rightly rejected by psychometricians as usually being poor indicators of real ability. They fail because they are designed to lead people up the garden path, and depend on idiosyncratic interpretations.

For more detail: http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-tricky-question-of-rationality/

Critics of examinations of either intellectual ability or scholastic attainment are fond of claiming that the items are "arbitrary". Not really. Scholastic tests have to be close to the curriculum in question, but still need to a have question forms which are simple to understand so that the stress lies in how students formulate the answer, not in how they decipher the structure of the question.

Intellectual tests have to avoid particular curricula and restrict themselves to the common ground of what most people in a community understand. Questions have to be super-simple, so that the correct answer follows easily from the question, with minimal ambiguity. Furthermore, in the case of national scholastic tests, and particularly in the case of intelligence tests, legal authorities will pore over the test, looking at each item for suspected biases of a sexual, racial or socio-economic nature. Designing an intelligence test is a difficult and expensive matter. Many putative new tests of intelligence never even get to the legal hurdle, because they flounder on matters of reliability and validity, and reveal themselves to be little better than the current range of assessments.

In conclusion, both in psychology and behavioural economics, some researchers have probably been too keen to allege bias in cases where there are unsystematic errors, or no errors at all. The corrective is to learn about base rates, and to use natural frequencies as a guide to good decision-making.

Don't bother boosting your IQ. Boost your understanding of natural frequencies.


res , says: June 17, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT

Good concrete advice. Perhaps even more useful for those who need to explain things like this to others than for those seeking to understand for themselves.
ThreeCranes , says: June 17, 2019 at 3:34 pm GMT
"intelligence deals with an uncertain world where not everything is stated explicitly. It misses the very nature of intelligence, the ability to go beyond the information given (Bruner, 1973)"

"The key is to take uncertainty seriously, take heuristics seriously, and beware of the bias bias."

Why I come to Unz.

Tom Welsh , says: June 18, 2019 at 8:36 am GMT
@Cortes Sounds fishy to me.

Actually I think this is an example of an increasingly common genre of malapropism, where the writer gropes for the right word, finds one that is similar, and settles for that. The worst of it is that readers intuitively understand what was intended, and then adopt the marginally incorrect usage themselves. That's perhaps how the world and his dog came to say "literally" when they mean "figuratively". Maybe a topic for a future article?

Biff , says: June 18, 2019 at 10:16 am GMT
In 2009 Google finished engineering a reverse search engine to find out what kind of searches people did most often. Seth Davidowitz and Steven Pinker wrote a very fascinating/entertaining book using the tool called Everybody Lies

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28512671-everybody-lies

Everybody Lies offers fascinating, surprising, and sometimes laugh-out-loud insights into everything from economics to ethics to sports to race to sex, gender, and more, all drawn from the world of big data. What percentage of white voters didn't vote for Barack Obama because he's black? Does where you go to school effect how successful you are in life? Do parents secretly favor boy children over girls? Do violent films affect the crime rate? Can you beat the stock market? How regularly do we lie about our sex lives, and who's more self-conscious about sex, men or women?

Investigating these questions and a host of others, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz offers revelations that can help us understand ourselves and our lives better. Drawing on studies and experiments on how we really live and think, he demonstrates in fascinating and often funny ways the extent to which all the world is indeed a lab. With conclusions ranging from strange-but-true to thought-provoking to disturbing, he explores the power of this digital truth serum and its deeper potential – revealing biases deeply embedded within us, information we can use to change our culture, and the questions we're afraid to ask that might be essential to our health – both emotional and physical. All of us are touched by big data every day, and its influence is multiplying. Everybody Lies challenges us to think differently about how we see it and the world.

dearieme , says: June 18, 2019 at 11:25 am GMT
I shall treat this posting (for which many thanks, doc) as an invitation to sing a much-loved song: everybody should read Gigerenzer's Reckoning with Risk. With great clarity it teaches what everyone ought to know about probability.

(It could also serve as a model for writing in English about technical subjects. Americans and Britons should study the English of this German – he knows how, you know.)

Inspired by "The original Slovic study was based on 39 college students" I shall also sing another favorite song. Much of Psychology is based on what small numbers of American undergraduates report they think they think.

Anon [410] • Disclaimer , says: June 18, 2019 at 3:47 pm GMT
" Gigerenzer points out that in this particular example, subjects are having to make their judgements without knowing a key fact: how many survive without surgery. "

This one reminds of the false dichotomy. The patient has additional options! Like changing diet, and behaviours such as exercise, elimination of occupational stress , etc.

The statistical outcomes for a person change when the person changes their circumstances/conditions.

Cortes , says: June 18, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh A disposition (conveyance) of an awkwardly shaped chunk out of a vast estate contained reference to "the slither of ground bounded on or towards the north east and extending two hundred and twenty four meters or thereby along a chain link fence " Not poor clients (either side) nor cheap lawyers. And who never erred?

Better than deliberately inserting "errors" to guarantee a stream of tidy up work (not unknown in the "professional" world) in future.

Tom Fix , says: June 18, 2019 at 4:25 pm GMT
Good article. 79% of gynaecologists fail a simple conditional probability test?! Many if not most medical research papers use advanced statistics. Medical doctors must read these papers to fully understand their field. So, if medical doctors don't fully understand them, they are not properly doing their job. Those papers use mathematical expressions, not English. Converting them to another form of English, instead of using the mathematical expressions isn't a solution.
SafeNow , says: June 18, 2019 at 5:49 pm GMT
Regarding witnesses: When that jet crashed into Rockaway several years ago, a high percentage of witnesses said that they saw smoke before the crash. But there was actually no smoke. The witnesses were adjusting what they saw to conform to their past experience of seeing movie and newsreel footage of planes smoking in the air before a crash. Children actually make very good witnesses.

Regarding the chart. Missing, up there in the vicinity of cancer and heart disease. The third-leading cause of death. 250,000 per year, according to a 2016 Hopkins study. Medical negligence.

Anon [724] • Disclaimer , says: June 18, 2019 at 9:48 pm GMT

1. Lack of rationality. Experiments have shown that people's intuitions are systematically biased.

2. Stubbornness. Like visual illusions, biases are persistent and hardly corrigible by education.

3. Substantial costs. Biases may incur substantial welfare-relevant costs such as lower wealth, health, or happiness.

4. Biases justify governmental paternalism. To protect people from theirbiases, governments should "nudge" the public toward better behavior.

Well the sad fact is that there's nobody in the position to protect "governments" from their own biases, and "scientists" from theirs.

So, behind the smoke of all words and rationalisations, the law is unchanged: everyone strives to gain and exert as much power as possible over as many others as possible. Most do that without writing papers to say it is right, others write papers, others books. Anyway, the fundamental law would stay as it is even if all this writing labour was spared, wouldn't it? But then another fundamental law, the law of framing all one's drives as moral and beneffective comes into play the papers and the books are useful, after all.

Curmudgeon , says: June 19, 2019 at 1:42 am GMT
An interesting article. However, I think that the only thing we have to know about how illogical psychiatry is this:

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) asked all members attending its convention to vote on whether they believed homosexuality to be a mental disorder. 5,854 psychiatrists voted to remove homosexuality from the DSM, and 3,810 to retain it.

The APA then compromised, removing homosexuality from the DSM but replacing it, in effect, with "sexual orientation disturbance" for people "in conflict with" their sexual orientation. Not until 1987 did homosexuality completely fall out of the DSM.

(source https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/hide-and-seek/201509/when-homosexuality-stopped-being-mental-disorder )

The article makes no mention of the fact that no "new science" was brought to support the resolution.

It appears that the psychiatrists were voting based on feelings rather than science. Since that time, the now 50+ genders have been accepted as "normal" by the APA. My family has had members in multiple generations suffering from mental illness. None were "cured". I know others with the same circumstances.

How does one conclude that being repulsed by the prime directive of every living organism – reproduce yourself – is "normal"? That is not to say these people are horrible or evil, just not normal. How can someone, who thinks (s)he is a cat be mentally ill, but a grown man thinking he is a female child is not?

Long ago a lawyer acquaintance, referring to a specific judge, told me that the judge seemed to "make shit up as he was going along". I have long held psychiatry fits that statement very well.

Paul2 , says: June 19, 2019 at 8:08 am GMT
Thank you for this article. I find the information about the interpretation of statistical data very interesting. My take on the background of the article is this:

Here we have a real scientist fighting the nonsense spreading from (neoclassical) economics into other realms of science/academia.

Behavioral economics is a sideline by-product of neoclassical micro-economic theory. It tries to cope with experimental data that is inconsistent with that theory.

Everything in neoclassical economics is a travesty. "Rational choice theory" and its application in "micro economics" is false from the ground up. It basically assumes that people are gobbling up resources without plan, meaning or relevant circumstances. Neoclassical micro economic theory is so false and illogical that I would not know where to start in a comment, so I should like to refer to a whole book about it:
Keen, Steve: "Debunking economics".

As the theory is totally wrong it is really not surprising that countless experiments show that people do not behave the way neoclassical theory predicts. How do economists react to this? Of course they assume that people are "irrational" because they do not behave according to their studied theory. (Why would you ever change your basic theory because of some tedious facts?)

We live in a strange world in which such people have control over university faculties, journals, famous prizes. But at least we have some scientists who defend their area of knowledge against the spreading nonsense produced by economists.

The title of the 1st ed. of Keen's book was "Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor of the Social Sciences" which was simply a perfect title.

Dieter Kief , says: June 19, 2019 at 8:22 am GMT
@Curmudgeon Could it be that you expect psychiatrists in the past to be as rational as you are now?

Would the result have been any different, if members of a 1973 convention of physicists or surgeons would have been asked?

[Jun 18, 2019] Wikileaks CIA Stole Russian Malware, Uses It to Misdirect Attribution of Cyber Attacks

Notable quotes:
"... So perhaps the DNC was hacked by the CIA and it was blamed on the Russians. ..."
"... How can we trust any investigation when the investigation can be doctored to scapegoat Russia? This is embarrassing. ..."
"... Clapper is a known perjurer. ..."
"... Of course it was the Obama CIA, pros like the Russians or Chinese, never leave behind "fingerprints" they are smart enough to cover their tracks. As a cyber analyst I can tell you that when you see "fingerprints or breadcrumbs" leading to a source, it's usually deceptive and intentional. Let that sink in! ..."
Jun 12, 2019 | russia-insider.com

From the Wikileaks "Year Zero" dump:

The CIA's Remote Devices Branch 's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.

With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.

UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques.

Everyone knew it. Now we have proof. "Fingerprints" are meaningless. It's now clear that the CIA is able to "pose" as "Russian hackers" whenever it so chooses. Just something to think about. All allegations of "digital fingerprints" left behind by Russian hackers must now be dismissed as either fake or meaningless


ChasMoDee 2 years ago ,

So perhaps the DNC was hacked by the CIA and it was blamed on the Russians.

Disco Obama ChasMoDee 2 years ago ,

How can we trust any investigation when the investigation can be doctored to scapegoat Russia? This is embarrassing.

disqus_ayvQwhvS6h Disco Obama 2 years ago ,

Since 2002. You sheep have had the wool pulled over since 2002. It's been 15 years. Imagine how much you won't find out til the next 15.

Tom 2 years ago ,

So the CIA obtained FISA Warrants for the millions of devices hacked? Guess we now know how Trump Tower was wiretapped when DNI Clapper said there was no such order given.

JackBootedThug✓ Tom 2 years ago ,

Clapper is a known perjurer.

American Freeman 2 years ago ,

Now we know how Obama's administration got through the FISA Court to tape Trump.

4ever&anon 2 years ago ,

So! It now becomes clear what Obama and the Democrats were planning for the Trump Administration. They could hack away at anything and everything and leave Russian "fingerprints" to make it appear that the Russians did it. It's really no telling what is already planted. Thst's why some Democrat's seem so supremely confident that Trump will be impeached.

I don't think that it's really sunk in for most people that this was a plan for World Domination by a force more evil than the average person could ever imagine. We're still in grave danger but thank Heaven for Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Not only have they saved America but perhaps the whole world from domination that heretofore couldn't even be imagined except in science fiction.

Our problem will now be how to build enough gallows to accomodate the traitors and seditionists who have participated in this dark plan.

Mike John Elissen 2 years ago ,

Hysteria in Oceania. The same goons blaming Russia for robbing the local candy store (without producing evidence) are robbing the candy factory 24/7. All of a sudden, the MSM has found issues and terms like `non-verified documents` and `non-verifiable, anonymous sources` to be of the utmost importance, in contrast to when they were copy-pasting the ` information` about Russian hacking. I wonder how much time it takes for the Ministries of Information and their docile press-clowns to (again) turn the story around and blame WikiLeaks for being a `Russian tool` to discard their own obvious crimes.

Elevator2TheTop 2 years ago ,

This whole Russian hacking thing is sounding more and more like the anti-Muslim video that sparked the Benghazi attacks.

Bad Hombre 2 years ago ,

They wiretapped the entire Trump team thinking they would come up with an October surprise...and found NOTHING. If they had ANYTHING, it would have been used prior to the election. And, since Hillary was supposed to win, the illegal wire taps would never have been disclosed.

Now Trump has exposed the Obama admin and democrats are hyperventilating over Russia to deflect from the crimes they committed.

ruadh Bad Hombre 2 years ago ,

We always knew that, were told we were crazy, now we have proof. The MSM has been gas-lighting us. I wonder how many red pills you have to swallow to get to the other side of this Rabbit Hole?

middleclasstaxpayer 2 years ago ,

It seems our government really is the most corrupt entity on this planet.

lou Guest 2 years ago ,

Well BO moved to Washington so it will be easy for the Press to shout these questions at him at his home or a restaurant or a ballgame. We need answers BO, and right now. No BS. anymore. Or go back to Indonesia and hide out.

Peter Shoobridge ن ruadh 2 years ago ,

It's really not fun. The intelligence agencies are unaccountable and cloak their criminality with the secrecy of national security. They're not going to back down. They're ruthless. And they kill people for sport. This will not end well unless the military is called in to round them up, which has huge risks of its own...

TGFD 2 years ago ,

TGFD here.
As far as I'm concerned. death becomes anyone in the effing CIA. Same goes for their parasitic family members. Death's image would look good on them.
There is NO secret in the CIA that I would not expose if I could.

I never heard of the term, "Deep State" prior to 2 months ago, and I don't like what I hear, either. I pray that somehow, God will enable TRUMP to vanquish all the filth in the deep state.

William Dickerson 2 years ago ,

I knew it - the documents I looked over, the IP addresses I checked, the supposed "malware" that the US said "was the same as we know Russia had used" and more - and it just did not add up.

Now to be sure the American population is dumb when it comes to technology - and they usually blindly believe what the CIA, and media, tells them. But me - being in IT for some decades and having worked with Russian people for 6 years (in an electronics engineering company founded by a Russian immigrant to the U.S.) and being a network security administrator for a small government agency, something smelled odd.

The IP addresses - hahaha - really? Try again - up until the spring of 2016 American company Verizon routed 1 million stolen IP addresses - used by cyber-criminals in the USA........ so guess where some of those IP addresses REALLY belonged. Further, the "CIA" and other spooks included - honestly? TOR exit node addresses. If you use TOR browser, you will find some of those same addresses in your own logs (unless you are smart and either purge or don't log, etc.)
So try again, U.S. spooks - the malware? HAHA - what a JOKE. Really. I mean older software that John Q. Public can download for FREE? Sorry, Russians are far far smarter and they'd not use OLD software that works on WordPress based on PHP servers when the target isn't based on blogging software.

Sorry, silly Americans - including and especially McCain and others in our congress who are, say what? members of INTELLIGENCE committees? Really?

You help guide the intelligence and security operations of a major country and you fall for the BS that was presented to you? Did you not ask questions? I did - I did my own research and I guess that proves I'm as smart or smarter than any member of and house or Senate intelligence committee. Do these people even know where the power button is on their computer? Smart - they hire unvetted IT people to take care of congressional computers....... and some of the equipment ends up missing, and these people have full free access as admins to computers used by congressional members of armed services committees and more!

That's how smart our U.S. congress is. Hire your brother-in-laws IT geek, give 'em full admin access, let them come and go freely........... and fall for intelligence reports about Russian hacking...... all the while our own CIA is doing MORE and WORSE.

While this topic is still fresh (thanks to the Democrats) - election interference - Election or campaign interference scores according to political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University: Russia - 36 times, U.S.A - 81 times

The USA's score number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring.

So who exactly is it that interferes or "Helps" with elections? Yeah, I thought so.

President Vladimir Putin must go home each night shaking his head in disbelief at how gullible we are here.

By the way - Podesta was NOT HACKED. He fell for a simple phishing scam. Yes, the email wasn't even very well done. It appeared more like it came out of Nigeria than any professional group, it was lame, didn't even look real, didn't sound real and the URL or link was so obvious, geesh, a fool could have seen it was phishing. Oh, wait, we're talking Podesta here. The man gave away his password (which for a while was indeed 'password'. Worse - he used what for his campaign work? Did you say GMAIL? You have to be kidding! A free consumer email, based in the cloud, and not only that, at least 3 others had account access to his Gmail. He kept documents, calendar, task lists and more in it. The phishing scammer got access to his Gmail inbox, sent items, attachments, calendar, Google Drive, Google Docs, you name it! No hacking needed since this is CLOUD BASED. No one had to touch his computer or iPad.

I really laughed when I found in those emails the admin credentials for his Wi-Fi, and even more funny - the admin credentials for his building security system. Yes, all that in his cloud-based Gmail account. As Bugs Bunny would say- what a maroon!

No wonder he's mad and trying to blame everyone else. He has to know he was scammed and he fell for it and it was all HIS FAULT, no one else but him. Using Gmail for such important work is STUPID as it is - but then to fall for phishing. He got what he deserved, and if it was Russians, tell those teenagers congratulations! That's all it took to phish Podesta - the skill set of KIDS in their early teens.

I could go on about the stupidity involved in all of this, but won't (I hear a collective sigh of relief!)

rayg 2 years ago ,

So, did the Russians hack the election? Or did the Obama CIA hack the election and just did a pizz-poor job of it? Or perhaps Obama really did not want Hillary to win.

This might make those congressional investigations into the alleged hacking of the election by Russians a lot more interesting. That is, of course, assuming that the investigations are really about finding the truth.

Michael K rayg 2 years ago ,

Obama Hates Hillary but could not openly control her. With Trump elected he could work openly to damage his administration, and with the help of MSM demonize him, and make him look like a tool of the Russians as well as his appointees. Notice, there was no talk of Russian hacking prior to the election. The "intelligence" agencies waited for the election results to come out with their charges.

Use delaying tactics to prevent approval of appointees, attack and possibly remove approved appointees eroding confidence in the current government. With the help of RINOs delay legislation. Pay protestors to protest everything Trump does using labels such as sexist, racist, Nazi, etc.

Obama's and DNC's goal: Prevent any progress till the mid term elections and try and overturn the balance in Congress to get the liberal agenda back on track. Get poised for the 2020 election and run a more palatable candidate than Hillary.

Gonzogal Michael K 2 years ago ,

"Obama's and DNC's goal: Prevent any progress till the mid term elections and try and overturn the balance in Congress to get the liberal agenda back on track. Get poised for the 2020 election and run a more palatable candidate than Hillary."

Or, according to Obomber's club make it so that Trump "either resigns or is impeached"
http://www.zerohedge.com/ne...
http://www.zerohedge.com/ne...

Geoff Caldwell 2 years ago ,

Let's unpack this. All those rumors about the Obama's hating the Clinton's? TRUE BUT, he couldn't let DOJ go through with indictment so instead gets Clapper, Brennan and the boys to use Russian fingerprints to hack and then sits back and watches the chaos unfold. When you go back to how he got his start in Chicago its exactly how he operates.

Marsha Moore 2 years ago ,

I am furious. I read the original re CIA attempting to influence French elections. But this is CLEAR TREASON by Obama Administration. I NEVER trusted Brennen. violation for CIA to operate inside US.

rlqretired 2 years ago ,

Looks like this is an example of Obama/CIA preparation for Treason?

The thing that really pisses me off is that the factual basis for all of this criminal and treasonous activity by the Obama Administration, that is being exposed today, remains covered-up by everyone in a position of responsibility to expose it. That factual basis is that every identification document Obama has presented to prove he is a citizen of the USA is a forgery. Based upon the totality of his record as president he is an agent of foreign Islamic allegiance and everything he has done in the Middle East always ends up in favor of radical Islam and refuses to even acknowledge radical Islamic terrorism exists. The same goes for his refusal to acknowledge domestic Islamic terrorism exists.

Factual answers for these three questions will clear up why we are having this treasonous activity. (1) Why does Obama have and need a forged birth certificate as he posted on his POTUS website? (2) Why does Obama's first officially issued copy of his Selective Service Registration Card have a forged 2 digit postal stamp? (3) Why is Obama using a SS# that was first issued to someone else? These three questions must be answered by Congress as the researched information verifying forgery is readily available and will expose the basis of this treason.

Play Hide
Spyplane 2 years ago ,

Let's not forget that logging into an email server because of a weak password and getting a copy of emails does not scream CIA. Also John Podesta's email password was extremely weak. So it did not take a covert CIA hacking program to initiate. We keep hearing Russia hacked our election. Yet have ZERO proof! First the majority of election machines are decentralized and not connected to internet. There was not a single instance where vote the count was effected. This was also immediately stated by Obamas DNI. Claiming they ran a propaganda attack on Hillary Clinton is pathetic. They are claiming the American people did not see who Hillary Clinton truly was. The opposite is true.

Hillary Clinton had made her own propaganda against herself. She is who the American people see. Not what the Russians programmed Us to see. The American people made a choice based on her actions no one else's. The liberals continually attacking someone with false claims without proof is a standard Liberal / Alyinsky strategy. It requires no proof if all liberal extremist continually repeat the same attack which is then amplified by the Liberal propaganda media (CNN, MSNBC, CBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, etc)

The Russian collusion claim is the exact same scenario. Make the claim which we already knew the Trump campaign speaks with Russian diplomats. Most people in politics interact with all countries diplomat and ambassadors. So instantly the claim is impossible to debunk. The Liberal party has become a party willing to use any and all tactics to avoid listening to the American people. This whole Russian drama is created to go against what the American people voted for. The democrat party is as much a threat to The United States as Communism ever was. It has been said if fascism ever comes back to the United States it will come in the form of liberalism. So the American people have a choice.

Use common sense and stop the liberal extremist party from destroying our democracy or deal with the consequences of America becoming ineffective and divided. The majority of the Democrat party and it's supporters have become so ideologically perverted they have lost sight of morality and what America stands for.

The Russians have not hypnotized Americans to vote for Donald Trump. It wasn't possible for the Russians to manipulate voter data and yes the Trump campaign speaks with Russian diplomats.

But it was the same Russian ambassador that Obama left in the country while expelling all others. The same Russian ambassador Obama scheduled meetings with for Jeff sessions. The same rushing ambassador that all Democrat spend time with. Make a claim that's true then find a way to turn it negative.

Typical Saul Alinsky. Everyone needs to remember anything the Liberals attack someone for the opposite is true.

Today Is The Day We Get Trump Spyplane 2 years ago ,

The point of the Wikileaks is that "proof" is easily manufactured.

DanJR 2 years ago ,

And now you know that the CIA (via Obama's orders or tacit approval) was the one that created the ruse of Trump emailing a Russian bank as a pretext to persuade FISA judges to sign off on the warrants to keep surveillance on him and his contacts.

If I were Obama I'd be seeking the nearest airport and fly to any country offering asylum... it's good night, good riddance for him and the rest of the Deep State Globalists.

seanster5977 2 years ago ,

Kind of funny where this started. Remember Hillary stole a server from the government secure server facility and set it up in her basement without proper security software and monitoring for hacking. Proven. And she had idiots in her staff so stupid they used passwords like "p@ssword". Proven. So any 11 year old computer expert could have hacked that server.

And she lied about the content of the messages being transferred. Top secret and classified info was lost due to her illegal actions. But Comey gave the pig a pass.

LH 2 years ago ,

Of course it was the Obama CIA, pros like the Russians or Chinese, never leave behind "fingerprints" they are smart enough to cover their tracks. As a cyber analyst I can tell you that when you see "fingerprints or breadcrumbs" leading to a source, it's usually deceptive and intentional. Let that sink in!

[Jun 16, 2019] When false information is specifically political in nature, part of our political identity, it becomes almost impossible to correct lies.

Jun 16, 2019 | www.politico.com

Leda Cosmides at the University of California, Santa Barbara, points to her work with her colleague John Tooby on the use of outrage to mobilize people: "The campaign was more about outrage than about policies," she says. And when a politician can create a sense of moral outrage, truth ceases to matter. People will go along with the emotion, support the cause and retrench into their own core group identities. The actual substance stops being of any relevance.

Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist at Dartmouth University who studies false beliefs, has found that when false information is specifically political in nature, part of our political identity, it becomes almost impossible to correct lies.

... ... ...

As the 19th-century Scottish philosopher Alexander Bain put it, “The great master fallacy of the human mind is believing too much.” False beliefs, once established, are incredibly tricky to correct. A leader who lies constantly creates a new landscape, and a citizenry whose sense of reality may end up swaying far more than they think possible.

[Jun 15, 2019] U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia s Power Grid by David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth

Comments published by NYT draw a very sad picture of paranoid, brainwashed society. Very few critical comments (less then a dozen), while number of jingoistic and otherwise stupid comments is in the hundreds). This is very sad, if not tragic.
Petty CIA-controlled provocateurs from Grey Prostitute. Hacking national grid means war.. Bolton needs to be fired for jingoism and stupidity.
I am pretty sure that two of those warmongering neocons David E. Sanger Nicole Perlroth ( MadCow disease.
Do those two presstitutes and their handlers accurately calculated possible reaction from Moscow on such "revelations"?
From comments: "It is horrible to think that we have our of control counterintelligence agencies with their own agenda operating as independent forces capable of dragging the country into international conflict "
From comments: "Aggressive malware intrusions into foreign countries' sensitive (and sovereign) computer systems is now seen as a standard security procedure. "Gunboat diplomacy" is not an apt metaphor, as gunboats remained at discreet distances from borders. Our cyber policy is more akin to placing bombs in the public squares of foreign cities with threats to detonate. "
Notable quotes:
"... But in a public appearance on Tuesday, President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was now taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort "to say to Russia, or anybody else that's engaged in cyberoperations against us, 'You will pay a price.'" ..."
"... Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place "implants" -- software code that can be used for surveillance or attack -- inside the Russian grid. ..."
"... Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister. ..."
"... The intent of the operations was described in different ways by several current and former national security officials. Some called it "signaling" Russia, a sort of digital shot across the bow. Others said the moves were intended to position the United States to respond if Mr. Putin became more aggressive. ..."
"... Already, such attacks figure in the military plans of many nations. In a previous post, General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country. ..."
"... How Mr. Putin's government is reacting to the more aggressive American posture described by Mr. Bolton is still unclear. "It's 21st-century gunboat diplomacy," said Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas, who has written extensively about the shifting legal basis for digital operations. "We're showing the adversary we can inflict serious costs without actually doing much. We used to park ships within sight of the shore. Now, perhaps, we get access to key systems like the electric grid." ..."
"... successful attack on Iranian centrifuges as one example ..."
"... Not willing to discuss it with the President but happy to chat about it with reporters..? ..."
"... This scenario sounds like something straight out of Dr, Strangelove. All sides and all actors need to realize that this is a no win game, with the very real possibility of serious harm to the lives and livelihoods of millions of people hanging in the balance. ..."
"... It's a macho power game that can easily escalate into unintended and out-of-control consequences. As with prior successful nuclear test ban negotiations & treaties we need to step back and consider what's truly in the long-term national interests of all concerned. The citizens of all the countries involved are not pawns to be played with like disposable chess pieces, in a power game with no real winners. ..."
"... This turn of events is truly disturbing, as it presents the seriousness, now, of how cyberwar is more likely a prelude to actual war ..."
"... Restated, the Commander In Chief is not briefed on military operations for fear of betrayal. I feel like I'm going nuts. Someone please tell me what is going on in this country! ..."
Jun 15, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

WASHINGTON -- The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia's electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said.

In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia's grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow's disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections.

Advocates of the more aggressive strategy said it was long overdue, after years of public warnings from the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. that Russia has inserted malware that could sabotage American power plants, oil and gas pipelines, or water supplies in any future conflict with the United States.

But it also carries significant risk of escalating the daily digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow. Advertisement

The administration declined to describe specific actions it was taking under the new authorities, which were granted separately by the White House and Congress last year to United States Cyber Command, the arm of the Pentagon that runs the military's offensive and defensive operations in the online world.

But in a public appearance on Tuesday, President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was now taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort "to say to Russia, or anybody else that's engaged in cyberoperations against us, 'You will pay a price.'"

Power grids have been a low-intensity battleground for years. Since at least 2012, current and former officials say, the United States has put reconnaissance probes into the control systems of the Russian electric grid. But now the American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before. It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyberstrikes if a major conflict broke out between Washington and Moscow.

The commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, has been outspoken about the need to "defend forward" deep in an adversary's networks to demonstrate that the United States will respond to the barrage of online attacks aimed at it. President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort to warn anybody "engaged in cyberoperations against us." Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

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President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort to warn anybody "engaged in cyberoperations against us." Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

"They don't fear us," he told the Senate a year ago during his confirmation hearings.

But finding ways to calibrate those responses so that they deter attacks without inciting a dangerous escalation has been the source of constant debate.

Mr. Trump issued new authorities to Cyber Command last summer, in a still-classified document known as National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval.

But the action inside the Russian electric grid appears to have been conducted under little-noticed new legal authorities, slipped into the military authorization bill passed by Congress last summer. The measure approved the routine conduct of "clandestine military activity" in cyberspace, to "deter, safeguard or defend against attacks or malicious cyberactivities against the United States."

Under the law, those actions can now be authorized by the defense secretary without special presidential approval.

"It has gotten far, far more aggressive over the past year," one senior intelligence official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity but declining to discuss any specific classified programs. "We are doing things at a scale that we never contemplated a few years ago."

The critical question -- impossible to know without access to the classified details of the operation -- is how deep into the Russian grid the United States has bored. Only then will it be clear whether it would be possible to plunge Russia into darkness or cripple its military -- a question that may not be answerable until the code is activated. Sign Up for On Politics With Lisa Lerer

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Both General Nakasone and Mr. Bolton, through spokesmen, declined to answer questions about the incursions into Russia's grid. Officials at the National Security Council also declined to comment but said they had no national security concerns about the details of The New York Times's reporting about the targeting of the Russian grid, perhaps an indication that some of the intrusions were intended to be noticed by the Russians.

Speaking on Tuesday at a conference sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Bolton said: "We thought the response in cyberspace against electoral meddling was the highest priority last year, and so that's what we focused on. But we're now opening the aperture, broadening the areas we're prepared to act in."

He added, referring to nations targeted by American digital operations, "We will impose costs on you until you get the point." Gen. Paul Nakasone, the commander of United States Cyber Command, was given more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without obtaining presidential approval.

Gen. Paul Nakasone, the commander of United States Cyber Command, was given more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without obtaining presidential approval. Credit Erin Schaff for The New York Times

Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place "implants" -- software code that can be used for surveillance or attack -- inside the Russian grid.

Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister.

Because the new law defines the actions in cyberspace as akin to traditional military activity on the ground, in the air or at sea, no such briefing would be necessary, they added.

The intent of the operations was described in different ways by several current and former national security officials. Some called it "signaling" Russia, a sort of digital shot across the bow. Others said the moves were intended to position the United States to respond if Mr. Putin became more aggressive.

So far, there is no evidence that the United States has actually turned off the power in any of the efforts to establish what American officials call a "persistent presence" inside Russian networks, just as the Russians have not turned off power in the United States. But the placement of malicious code inside both systems revives the question of whether a nation's power grid -- or other critical infrastructure that keeps homes, factories, and hospitals running -- constitutes a legitimate target for online attack.

Already, such attacks figure in the military plans of many nations. In a previous post, General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country.

How Mr. Putin's government is reacting to the more aggressive American posture described by Mr. Bolton is still unclear. "It's 21st-century gunboat diplomacy," said Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas, who has written extensively about the shifting legal basis for digital operations. "We're showing the adversary we can inflict serious costs without actually doing much. We used to park ships within sight of the shore. Now, perhaps, we get access to key systems like the electric grid."

Russian intrusion on American infrastructure has been the background noise of superpower competition for more than a decade.

A successful Russian breach of the Pentagon's classified communications networks in 2008 prompted the creation of what has become Cyber Command. Under President Barack Obama, the attacks accelerated. But Mr. Obama was reluctant to respond to such aggression by Russia with counterattacks, partly for fear that the United States' infrastructure was more vulnerable than Moscow's and partly because intelligence officials worried that by responding in kind, the Pentagon would expose some of its best weaponry.

At the end of Mr. Obama's first term, government officials began uncovering a Russian hacking group, alternately known to private security researchers as Energetic Bear or Dragonfly. But the assumption was that the Russians were conducting surveillance, and would stop well short of actual disruption.

That assumption evaporated in 2014, two former officials said, when the same Russian hacking outfit compromised the software updates that reached into hundreds of systems that have access to the power switches.

"It was the first stage in long-term preparation for an attack," said John Hultquist, the director of intelligence analysis at FireEye, a security company that has tracked the group.

In December 2015, a Russian intelligence unit shut off power to hundreds of thousands of people in western Ukraine. The attack lasted only a few hours, but it was enough to sound alarms at the White House.

A team of American experts was dispatched to examine the damage, and concluded that one of the same Russian intelligence units that wreaked havoc in Ukraine had made significant inroads into the United States energy grid, according to officials and a homeland security advisory that was not published until December 2016. Advertisement

"That was the crossing of the Rubicon," said David J. Weinstein, who previously served at Cyber Command and is now chief security officer at Claroty, a security company that specializes in protecting critical infrastructure.

In late 2015, just as the breaches of the Democratic National Committee began, yet another Russian hacking unit began targeting critical American infrastructure, including the electricity grid and nuclear power plants. By 2016, the hackers were scrutinizing the systems that control the power switches at the plants. In 2012, the defense secretary at the time, Leon E. Panetta, was warned of Russia's online intrusions, but President Barack Obama was reluctant to respond to such aggression by Moscow with counterattacks. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

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In 2012, the defense secretary at the time, Leon E. Panetta, was warned of Russia's online intrusions, but President Barack Obama was reluctant to respond to such aggression by Moscow with counterattacks. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Until the last few months of the Obama administration, Cyber Command was largely limited to conducting surveillance operations inside Russia's networks. At a conference this year held by the Hewlett Foundation, Eric Rosenbach, a former chief of staff to the defense secretary and who is now at Harvard, cautioned that when it came to offensive operations "we don't do them that often." He added, "I can count on one hand, literally, the number of offensive operations that we did at the Department of Defense."

But after the election breaches and the power grid incursions, the Obama administration decided it had been too passive.

Mr. Obama secretly ordered some kind of message-sending action inside the Russian grid, the specifics of which have never become public. It is unclear whether much was accomplished.

"Offensive cyber is not this, like, magic cybernuke where you say, 'O.K., send in the aircraft and we drop the cybernuke over Russia tomorrow,'" Mr. Rosenbach said at the conference, declining to discuss specific operations.

After Mr. Trump's inauguration, Russian hackers kept escalating attacks.

Mr. Trump's initial cyberteam decided to be far more public in calling out Russian activity. In early 2018, it named Russia as the country responsible for " the most destructive cyberattack in human history ," which paralyzed much of Ukraine and affected American companies including Merck and FedEx.

When General Nakasone took over both Cyber Command and the N.S.A. a year ago, his staff was assessing Russian hackings on targets that included the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation , which runs a nuclear power plant near Burlington, Kan., as well as previously unreported attempts to infiltrate Nebraska Public Power District's Cooper Nuclear Station, near Brownville. The hackers got into communications networks, but never took over control systems.

In August, General Nakasone used the new authority granted to Cyber Command by the secret presidential directive to overwhelm the computer systems at Russia's Internet Research Agency -- the group at the heart of the hacking during the 2016 election in the United States. It was one of four operations his so-called Russia Small Group organized around the midterm elections. Officials have talked publicly about those, though they have provided few details.

But the recent actions by the United States against the Russian power grids, whether as signals or potential offensive weapons, appear to have been conducted under the new congressional authorities.

As it games out the 2020 elections, Cyber Command has looked at the possibility that Russia might try selective power blackouts in key states, some officials said. For that, they said, they need a deterrent.

In the past few months, Cyber Command's resolve has been tested. For the past year, energy companies in the United States and oil and gas operators across North America discovered their networks had been examined by the same Russian hackers who successfully dismantled the safety systems in 2017 at Petro Rabigh, a Saudi petrochemical plant and oil refinery.

The question now is whether placing the equivalent of land mines in a foreign power network is the right way to deter Russia. While it parallels Cold War nuclear strategy, it also enshrines power grids as a legitimate target.

"We might have to risk taking some broken bones of our own from a counterresponse, just to show the world we're not lying down and taking it," said Robert P. Silvers, a partner at the law firm Paul Hastings and former Obama administration official. "Sometimes you have to take a bloody nose to not take a bullet in the head down the road." David E. Sanger reported from Washington, and Nicole Perlroth from San Francisco


Bitsy Fort Collins, CO 6h ago Times Pick

See the Zero Days documentary, available on several streaming services, if you want to better understand this issue and its origins and early applications (successful attack on Iranian centrifuges as one example). This cat has been out of the bag for some time.
Dubliner Dublin 6h ago Times Pick
Not willing to discuss it with the President but happy to chat about it with reporters..? If the President didn't know about it he does now, so it's hardly a successful strategy. I would presume this is more a way to convince the public that something is being done. Whether there is reality behind it is a different issue.
Stan Chaz Brooklyn,New York 6h ago Times Pick
This scenario sounds like something straight out of Dr, Strangelove. All sides and all actors need to realize that this is a no win game, with the very real possibility of serious harm to the lives and livelihoods of millions of people hanging in the balance.

It's a macho power game that can easily escalate into unintended and out-of-control consequences. As with prior successful nuclear test ban negotiations & treaties we need to step back and consider what's truly in the long-term national interests of all concerned. The citizens of all the countries involved are not pawns to be played with like disposable chess pieces, in a power game with no real winners.

David Henderson Arlington, VA 6h ago Times Pick
On the cyber playing field, the U.S. has so far shown itself still in the minor leagues against other nations. If the U.S. is so bold as to reveal action against Russia's power grid, we'd be best advised to stock up on candles and batteries.
B. Rothman NYC 6h ago Times Pick
And here is yet another reason for the US to get off the use of public utilities alone for the production of electricity. A big goal for national security ought to be the decentralization of electrical production. Businesses and many individual households could do this and create a manufacturing boom at the same time. Too bad the guys in charge are so fixated on making energy money in way only.
newsmaned Carmel IN 6h ago Times Pick
What's most disturbing about this article is that Trump hasn't been told much about it, out of concern he could screw it up. It raises the question of how much the president is actually The President or just an obstacle to be managed while parts of the federal government are haring off on their own into uncharted waters.
TMah Salt Lake City 10h ago Times Pick
The US Military revealing that they have done this means that they believe that they have established superiority with this malware, and also the ability to re-establish it if needed. Else, why would they reveal it. If you think what a patchwork the controls on US Power systems, dams, and other key infrastructure are, Russia's must be in much worse shape. Their national systems are likely made up largely of outdated infrastructure, with controls that are a patchwork. Their economy is the size of Italy's, yet they funnel inordinate amounts of money to their armed forces, starving other areas. Their economy is based on petroleum and natural gas, using technology and expertise from European and American companies --just imagine what opportunities that provides.
Bruce1253 San Diego 10h ago Times Pick
We are extremely vulnerable here. The US power grid is made up of a series of local systems that are tied together with high voltage interconnects that allow power to be sent from one system to another to balance loads. Those interconnects are powered by a few, very few, specialized transformers.

These transformers are huge, expensive, and take a long time to build. Disruption of these transformers would have devastating consequences. Several years ago we got a taste of this in SoCal. There was a region wide power outage. The back up generators for business's promptly kicked in, no problem. The power outage lasted longer than their fuel supply, you could not drive to the gas station to get more fuel, all of SoCal was without power. One by one these businesses and other critical operations shutdown. Now try to imagine you life with no power at all for just a short time, say a week. . . .

Telly55 St Barbara 10h ago Times Pick
This turn of events is truly disturbing, as it presents the seriousness, now, of how cyberwar is more likely a prelude to actual war. But what it most alarming is that we have a President who cannot be trusted to honor the institutional frameworks around National Security and our own Intelligence Institutions and organization. It is the height of incredulity to know that his narcissism, coupled with his sense of authoritarian marriage to wealth and delusions of Royalty, is the weakest point, now, in our security as a nation. So--given these new developments: what about all those earlier attempt to create "back channels" with Russia???

Does Trump feign arrogance and disinterest in reading and keeping up on Security and Intelligence briefings--so that he can assimilate what he chooses to "hear/grasp" and then operate on such information as it might fit is grifter family's greed and faux aristocratic delusions? There is much to worry us--and it is worse than daily lies...

William Romp, Vermont | June 15

It is telling that the language of military "defense" has become indistinguishable from that of military offense. Aggressive malware intrusions into foreign countries' sensitive (and sovereign) computer systems is now seen as a standard security procedure. "Gunboat diplomacy" is not an apt metaphor, as gunboats remained at discreet distances from borders. Our cyber policy is more akin to placing bombs in the public squares of foreign cities with threats to detonate.

Absent in this discussion is the distinction between military targets of cyber warfare and civilian targets, if such distinctions remain. America prepares to unplug millions of Russian citizens, including the elderly and children, plus hospitals and other sensitive civilian infrastructure targets, in order to "inflict pain" (on foreign citizens) and "send a message" (to foreign politicians). The abandonment of moral principles formerly displayed by American institutions is striking.

The failure of leadership on all sides is even more striking. Having spent many months in Russia and China I can tell you (as can anyone who has travelled beyond the tourist destinations) that the people there hold largely positive feelings toward Americans and other foreigners. A small minority of xenophobes and racists dominate the leadership, as in America, and form foreign policies that are at odds with the citizenship, at odds with moral justice, and at odds with humanity.

Viv, .|10h ago

@William Romp

In the abstract, of course people hold positive views of their "enemy" nations. In practice, it is not at all true.

You don't need to travel to Russia to find Russians who have been victims of American xenophobia and bigotry. They're right there in America.

Americans has never really held to "moral" standards of war.

To this day you have people believing that dropping atomic bombs on civilians was the right thing to do because it "minimized" loss of life. This is absurd.

To this day you have people believing that it was okay to not only finance the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, but indoctrinate their children to be war fighters.

There's nothing to be proud about this "moral" leadership.

Tim Rutledge, California | June 15

Won't they just do the same to us? This is the strategy?

DaWill, 11 hours ago

"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction - and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister."

Restated, the Commander In Chief is not briefed on military operations for fear of betrayal. I feel like I'm going nuts. Someone please tell me what is going on in this country!

Carlos Fiancé Oak Park, Il | June 15
I appreciate this article. The US media breathlessly report on Russia spending a few hundred thousand on Facebook, but rarely do they recount all the ways the US meddles with Russia, as well as a host of other countries. "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone", as Jesus (doubtfully) said.

Pete, CA|11h ago, @HonorB14U

Actually, everything you could think of in American 'technology' is the result of government, usually military, development projects. The internet and everything associated with it came out of DARPA. American advances in solid state integrated circuitry are the results of satellite, rocketry, i.e. military development.

Castanet, MD-DC-VA | June 15

Another theatre of war where Pandora's unintended consequences plays a major role. We hope the better angels will be able to keep the balance. And put the lid back on the box, and put the box away forever.

Norman, NYC|9h ago

@TMah

Outdated infrastructure is less vulnerable to cyberattacks. It's not connected to the internet. It's like the railroads in Atlas Shrugged. When the latest technology is left dysfunctional, you can go back to the manual controls.

If I was designing digital equipment that's so complicated it's essentially a black box and you can't understand what's going on inside, I'd design it with a fallback to simpler controls, even manual controls.

C.O., Germany|11h ago

For me it is really amazing that so many believe in the meddling of Russia in the US-election in 2016. I at least have never seen or read about concrete evidence that they did. What was apparent, however, was the misuse of social media like Facebook and Co in the election. They are open to everyone who can speak English, and everyone can use fake names. I am sure there were indeed waves of misinformation among voters in the US. But every reasonable person could have read American newspapers or watched American television to correct fake news if they pop up. In addition, I think that FoxNews, Trump's and Steve Bannon's disruptive and manipulative ideology and the massive campaign funds have been much more effective for Trump's victory. To blame it all on Russia is really too simple and in the end rather dangerous. To call for "persistent presence" inside Russian and its digital systems, as Bolton does, moreover shows that the US is not an innocent victim but up to the state of art. Frightening.

N. Smith, New York City|6h ago

It speaks volumes that Donald Trump was not informed and purposely kept out of the loop about these cyber operations against Russia's power grid.
But it's not surprising.

Especially when only a few days ago before walking it back, this President said that he'd have no problem taking advantage of any available information to undercut his opponent, obviously forgetting that Russia already took him up this invitation in the 2016 elections.

No doubt they're primed to do it again. Sooner or later Americans will come to the realization that Vladimir Putin is an ex-KGB operative who plans to restore Russia to its former Soviet glory. And the Cold War never ended.

Phil, Brooklyn | 4h ago

So your argument is that it's a good thing that the military is staging attacks against a nuclear power, basically without any oversight from any branch of government?

Paul, Virginia | June 15

The use of cyber attacks is another slippery road to actual shooting war. Some says that cyber warfare would deter or prevent nations from actually going to war with each other. This is wishful thinking for the national survival instinct would force a nation on the verge of being plunged into darkness and thus cyber defeat to resort to nuclear weapons or maximum conventional warfare which could easily lead to the use of nuclear weapons.
The world's leading powers should come together, discuss, and agree to a treaty outlawing the use of cyber attacks against other nations' power grids and other online systems essential for human welfare. The world cannot afford another arm race similar to the nuclear arm race after WW II that has since placed the survival of the human race on the vagaries of a few men.

Michael, Evanston, IL|June 15

@M. Casey Yes, and we have been doing it to them (and others) for some time. So it is a perfectly reasonable response to wonder if this won't simply escalate. And I hardly assume that this is a transparent process in which we will even know what is going on.

TPH, Colorado|11h ago

@David Henderson Actually, the US has been deeply involved in cyber-warfare for over nine years. In June 2010, the US attacked Iran with a cyber-attack and, together with Israel, completely took out the Iranian military nuclear facility in Natanz with the cyber-worm 'Stuxnet'. That attack destroyed over 1,000 nuclear centrifuges and pushed the Iranian nuclear program back by at least two years. The type of attacks on civilian power plants now being discussed would be a cakewalk in comparison. Nearly ten years of continuing development has taken place since -- not just in the US -- and the tech people working for and with the US government are some of the best in the world.

If the US has decided to start implanting the latest 2019 malware in the Russian power grid, they have a real reason for concern. It will be far more damaging and difficult to stop than anything the Russians have yet to develop.

[Jun 15, 2019] In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen NSA Tool Wreaks Havoc by Nicole Perlroth and Scott Shane

The idea that NonPetya was developed using NSA exploit EternalBlu is most probably false
Notable quotes:
"... Some F.B.I. and Homeland Security officials, speaking privately, said more accountability at the N.S.A. was needed. A former F.B.I. official likened the situation to a government failing to lock up a warehouse of automatic weapons. ..."
"... "I disagree completely," said Tom Burt, the corporate vice president of consumer trust, insisting that cyberweapons could not be compared to pickup trucks. "These exploits are developed and kept secret by governments for the express purpose of using them as weapons or espionage tools. They're inherently dangerous. When someone takes that, they're not strapping a bomb to it. It's already a bomb." ..."
"... Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, has called for a "Digital Geneva Convention" to govern cyberspace, including a pledge by governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than keeping them secret to exploit for espionage or attacks. ..."
May 25, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services.

But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case.

Since 2017, when the N.S.A. lost control of the tool , EternalBlue, it has been picked up by state hackers in North Korea, Russia and, more recently, China, to cut a path of destruction around the world, leaving billions of dollars in damage. But over the past year, the cyberweapon has boomeranged back and is now showing up in the N.S.A.'s own backyard.

It is not just in Baltimore. Security experts say EternalBlue attacks have reached a high , and cybercriminals are zeroing in on vulnerable American towns and cities, from Pennsylvania to Texas, paralyzing local governments and driving up costs. Advertisement

The N.S.A. connection to the attacks on American cities has not been previously reported, in part because the agency has refused to discuss or even acknowledge the loss of its cyberweapon, dumped online in April 2017 by a still-unidentified group calling itself the Shadow Brokers . Years later, the agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation still do not know whether the Shadow Brokers are foreign spies or disgruntled insiders.

Thomas Rid, a cybersecurity expert at Johns Hopkins University, called the Shadow Brokers episode "the most destructive and costly N.S.A. breach in history," more damaging than the better-known leak in 2013 from Edward Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.

"The government has refused to take responsibility, or even to answer the most basic questions," Mr. Rid said. "Congressional oversight appears to be failing. The American people deserve an answer."

The N.S.A. and F.B.I. declined to comment.

Since that leak, foreign intelligence agencies and rogue actors have used EternalBlue to spread malware that has paralyzed hospitals, airports, rail and shipping operators, A.T.M.s and factories that produce critical vaccines. Now the tool is hitting the United States where it is most vulnerable, in local governments with aging digital infrastructure and fewer resources to defend themselves.

On May 7, city workers in Baltimore had their computers frozen by hackers. Officials have refused to pay the $100,000 ransom. Credit .

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On May 7, city workers in Baltimore had their computers frozen by hackers. Officials have refused to pay the $100,000 ransom. Credit .

Before it leaked, EternalBlue was one of the most useful exploits in the N.S.A.'s cyberarsenal. According to three former N.S.A. operators who spoke on the condition of anonymity, analysts spent almost a year finding a flaw in Microsoft's software and writing the code to target it. Initially, they referred to it as EternalBluescreen because it often crashed computers -- a risk that could tip off their targets. But it went on to become a reliable tool used in countless intelligence-gathering and counterterrorism missions. Advertisement

EternalBlue was so valuable, former N.S.A. employees said, that the agency never seriously considered alerting Microsoft about the vulnerabilities, and held on to it for more than five years before the breach forced its hand.

The Baltimore attack , on May 7, was a classic ransomware assault. City workers' screens suddenly locked, and a message in flawed English demanded about $100,000 in Bitcoin to free their files: "We've watching you for days," said the message, obtained by The Baltimore Sun . "We won't talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up!"

Today, Baltimore remains handicapped as city officials refuse to pay, though workarounds have restored some services. Without EternalBlue, the damage would not have been so vast, experts said. The tool exploits a vulnerability in unpatched software that allows hackers to spread their malware faster and farther than they otherwise could.

North Korea was the first nation to co-opt the tool, for an attack in 2017 -- called WannaCry -- that paralyzed the British health care system, German railroads and some 200,000 organizations around the world. Next was Russia, which used the weapon in an attack -- called NotPetya -- that was aimed at Ukraine but spread across major companies doing business in the country. The assault cost FedEx more than $400 million and Merck, the pharmaceutical giant, $670 million.

The damage didn't stop there. In the past year, the same Russian hackers who targeted the 2016 American presidential election used EternalBlue to compromise hotel Wi-Fi networks. Iranian hackers have used it to spread ransomware and hack airlines in the Middle East, according to researchers at the security firms Symantec and FireEye.

"It's incredible that a tool which was used by intelligence services is now publicly available and so widely used," said Vikram Thakur, Symantec's director of security response. Sign Up for The Daily Newsletter

Every Friday, get an exclusive look at how one of the week's biggest news stories on "The Daily" podcast came together.

One month before the Shadow Brokers began dumping the agency's tools online in 2017, the N.S.A. -- aware of the breach -- reached out to Microsoft and other tech companies to inform them of their software flaws. Microsoft released a patch, but hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide remain unprotected. Microsoft employees reviewing malware data at the company's offices in Redmond, Wash. EternalBlue exploits a flaw in unpatched Microsoft software.

Hackers seem to have found a sweet spot in Baltimore, Allentown, Pa., San Antonio and other local, American governments, where public employees oversee tangled networks that often use out-of-date software. Last July, the Department of Homeland Security issued a dire warning that state and local governments were getting hit by particularly destructive malware that now, security researchers say, has started relying on EternalBlue to spread.

Microsoft, which tracks the use of EternalBlue, would not name the cities and towns affected, citing customer privacy. But other experts briefed on the attacks in Baltimore, Allentown and San Antonio confirmed the hackers used EternalBlue. Security responders said they were seeing EternalBlue pop up in attacks almost every day.

Amit Serper, head of security research at Cybereason, said his firm had responded to EternalBlue attacks at three different American universities, and found vulnerable servers in major cities like Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.

The costs can be hard for local governments to bear. The Allentown attack, in February last year, disrupted city services for weeks and cost about $1 million to remedy -- plus another $420,000 a year for new defenses, said Matthew Leibert, the city's chief information officer.

He described the package of dangerous computer code that hit Allentown as "commodity malware," sold on the dark web and used by criminals who don't have specific targets in mind. "There are warehouses of kids overseas firing off phishing emails," Mr. Leibert said, like thugs shooting military-grade weapons at random targets. Advertisement

The malware that hit San Antonio last September infected a computer inside Bexar County sheriff's office and tried to spread across the network using EternalBlue, according to two people briefed on the attack.

This past week, researchers at the security firm Palo Alto Networks discovered that a Chinese state group, Emissary Panda, had hacked into Middle Eastern governments using EternalBlue.

"You can't hope that once the initial wave of attacks is over, it will go away," said Jen Miller-Osborn, a deputy director of threat intelligence at Palo Alto Networks. "We expect EternalBlue will be used almost forever, because if attackers find a system that isn't patched, it is so useful." Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who led the N.S.A. during the leak, has said the agency should not be blamed for the trail of damage. Credit Erin Schaff for The New York Times

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Until a decade or so ago, the most powerful cyberweapons belonged almost exclusively to intelligence agencies -- N.S.A. officials used the term "NOBUS," for "nobody but us," for vulnerabilities only the agency had the sophistication to exploit. But that advantage has hugely eroded, not only because of the leaks, but because anyone can grab a cyberweapon's code once it's used in the wild.

Some F.B.I. and Homeland Security officials, speaking privately, said more accountability at the N.S.A. was needed. A former F.B.I. official likened the situation to a government failing to lock up a warehouse of automatic weapons.

In an interview in March, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who was director of the N.S.A. during the Shadow Brokers leak, suggested in unusually candid remarks that the agency should not be blamed for the long trail of damage. Advertisement

"If Toyota makes pickup trucks and someone takes a pickup truck, welds an explosive device onto the front, crashes it through a perimeter and into a crowd of people, is that Toyota's responsibility?" he asked. "The N.S.A. wrote an exploit that was never designed to do what was done."

At Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash., where thousands of security engineers have found themselves on the front lines of these attacks, executives reject that analogy.

"I disagree completely," said Tom Burt, the corporate vice president of consumer trust, insisting that cyberweapons could not be compared to pickup trucks. "These exploits are developed and kept secret by governments for the express purpose of using them as weapons or espionage tools. They're inherently dangerous. When someone takes that, they're not strapping a bomb to it. It's already a bomb."

Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, has called for a "Digital Geneva Convention" to govern cyberspace, including a pledge by governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than keeping them secret to exploit for espionage or attacks.

Last year, Microsoft, along with Google and Facebook, joined 50 countries in signing on to a similar call by French President Emmanuel Macron -- the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace -- to end "malicious cyber activities in peacetime."

Notably absent from the signatories were the world's most aggressive cyberactors: China, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia -- and the United States.

[Jun 15, 2019] Two filthy NYT neocons try to provoke Russia to attack the USA power grid

Looks like NYT provocation. Coordinated with whom? With Brennan and his cabal?
I wonder what will be reaction of Russian authorities and military intelligence on reading this stupid provocation. Hopefully they will not overreact.
Notable quotes:
"... I think they're revealing it because it may be for Russian ears, but not necessarily true or as good as stated. Misinformation abounds, especially when they're letting the press in. Mass destruction anyone? In Reply to Socrates ..."
"... While Obama and Trump are obviously different in some ways, this article reveals yet another continuity between their administrations. Burgeoning attacks on a foreign country's power grid, and little need for prior approval and oversight. ..."
"... Given the timing and the decision to talk about something so classified just now, I take this to be a threat aimed at Iran. "General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country." The leak is an escalation, a threat. ..."
"... This will not end well. The unspoken assumption behind this issue is that the US assumes it must have dominance in all relations to other countries, and that moral outrage for such acts do not apply to us, because we are the "good guys" of course. ..."
"... It's always the big-mouth in the bar that starts the bar fight, then he sneaks out the side door while the rest of us get hit with beer bottles. ..."
"... What about attaching a price to the US's misdeeds, there are plenty of them, Iraq, and all the other US forced regime changes or attempted regime change as in Syria and Venezuela. ..."
"... Giving the military the authority to decide if and when a cyber attack occurs seems unconstitutional. And it seems very dangerous. Just because the actions originate on computer networks doesn't mean it's not violence against a foreign power. Even though everyone is dancing around the issue, a cyber attack is an act of war. Congress is supposed to make decisions on attacks by the military. It seems very Dr. Strangelove-like to me. Very risky giving a military commander the authority to start a war. ..."
"... Of course, the problem with all these "implants" and zero-day exploits is that once they are out there, they are readily deconstructed, repurposed, and turned back to bite us in new form, as has already happened on numerous occasions. ..."
"... To this day you have people believing that it was okay to not only finance the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, but indoctrinate their children to be war fighters. There's nothing to be proud about this "moral" leadership. ..."
"... Sure, the US can install malware deep inside Russia's grid. But that doesn't mean that the American cyberwar gambit is effective. And it doesn't mean that the US has the capacity to prevent Russia from using malware to inflict even deeper damage on the American grid. ..."
"... To understand exactly who is probably getting the better of who in this conflict, we need to ask ourselves what motivates Russia and America to fight this conflict. The answer doesn't bode well for Americans. Russia, which has been on the defensive since the fall of the USSR three decades ago, is fighting to protect its sovereignty against American encroachment. ..."
"... We could have mandated IPV6 with its better security model twenty years ago. We could encourage end-to-end encryption to secure networks. We could have directed the NSA and other security agencies to search out and fix bugs in software libraries instead of building backdoors that are now open to everyone. Instead everything gets converted to a weapon. Fear reigns supreme. Then we go to war and the merchants of death make huge profits ..."
"... The U.S. escalates cyber attacks on Russia's power grid. However, the Pentagon [and NSA] will not brief Trump because he might "countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials" as he did before with the Russians. Folks, we're running an unchecked cyber war against a global nuclear power without the involvement of POTUS who isn't interested, doesn't care, and is too busy complaining about CNN on Twitter. We are a banana republic and no one is minding the store ..."
"... I just don't get it. The New York Times publishing what surely must be classified information about a secret incursion by the U.S. government into the Russian power grid! And Julian Assange is criminally charged for doing the same thing? ..."
"... The US is certainly a very offensive country. The US Is considered The Exceptional World Leader. I don't know if the world can survive such leadership. The US is going to drown in its military superiority, and settle into a state of violent mediocrity with a poorly educated, somewhat unhealthy citizenry with loads of of weaponry, poor mental health and lots of drug addiction and a country with the world's highest rate of incarceration and lousy infrastructure. ..."
"... And for all of those who are blaming Russia, kindly remember how the U.S. started all this with the creation and deployment of Stuxnet against Iran. ..."
"... This reminds me of the Cold War. We were sold a bill of goods about Russia's capacity to harm us when, we the US was actually the aggressor, JFK sold this under the brand of "Missile Gap". The United States is, as usual, the aggressor here. The US Empire wants to control the world. Any independent nation will be considered a threat and not be tolerated. This demonization of Russia is an embarrassment and worse, is extremely dangerous, The Russian bear is not to be trifled with, despite American fantasies. ..."
"... The world needs a Cyber Geneva Convention. Immediately if not years ago. All the tunnel vision patriotic cheering in these comments is very alarming. Think about where Cyber War could go, what it could do, who it would harm. ..."
"... This is the path to the military itself becoming a danger to the state through ill-considered unilateral action. ..."
"... "Defend forward?" A new entry in the Newspeak dictionary... We are partying like it's 1984. ..."
"... "Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction..." So the commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, decided to undertake an overt act of war and not tell his Commander in Chief because he thought he might disagree? If true, Trump should fire this guy tomorrow, if not court-martial him for insubordination. ..."
"... Something's wrong with this article. A newspaper is telling the world that the US is messing around with Russia's power grid? Shouldn't this be super confidential? Basically now Russians are allowed to re tagliate in any way for what the USA is doing. What would be the reaction of the US if the situation was reversed? A bunch of blackouts in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and the Russians saying "we did it"? Our military would bomb them right away! ..."
"... GREAT ! A military junta within the Trump regime...what could go wrong. ..."
"... There is a real danger in deploying cyber-mines in adversary systems. All code can be broken and used in retaliation. Even so-called "encapsulated" code can be disassembled. STUXNET was disassembled and repurposed as ransom-ware. ..."
Jun 15, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Bruce Rozenblit Kansas City, MO 11h ago

This is very disturbing and it threatens the security of the entire planet. Cyber warfare is cheap. As this technology continues to develop, no nation, no industry, no utility will be safe. Just as many nations want the bomb, many will want this capability and they don't have to spend much to have it. The economic and human costs of disrupting power flows could be huge. This isn't a video game. It is real warfare. We should be extremely cautious with the application of these cyber tools. Do we want to live in a world where nation states are actively trying to cripple any infrastructure they can get at? Talk about the war of all against all. It is also very troubling that organizations within our government can carry out these incursions without specific orders from the top of our command structures. We can't have the dept. of this or that conducting assaults on other nations on their own. Everyone can see where that aircraft carrier is, but no one can see that malware hiding in a water treatment center. These weapons cause us to lose our ability of command and control. That's the real danger here, loss of command and control. We already have president who has command but no control. We don't need a dozen agencies with the same problem.
alanore or 9h ago
@TMah

I think they're revealing it because it may be for Russian ears, but not necessarily true or as good as stated. Misinformation abounds, especially when they're letting the press in. Mass destruction anyone? In Reply to Socrates

Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 8h ago
@Marcus Aurelius

"the action inside the Russian electric grid appears to have been conducted under little-noticed new legal authorities, slipped into the military authorization bill passed by Congress last summer. " That bipartisan bill, now law, is known as "H.R.5515 - The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019", was reluctantly signed by Donald Trump; he hated the law because it was named after an American patriot and hero that he hated.

JDM South Bend, IN June 15
While Obama and Trump are obviously different in some ways, this article reveals yet another continuity between their administrations. Burgeoning attacks on a foreign country's power grid, and little need for prior approval and oversight.
David G. Wisconsin 11h ago
How did we ever survive for half a century without putting our power grid on the internet? Get our power back off the internet, create some extra jobs to do what computers do now, raise prices a couple of percent to cover the new employees, and avoid the worry about hacking the grid. 2 Replies
Mark Thomason Clawson, MI 6h ago
Given the timing and the decision to talk about something so classified just now, I take this to be a threat aimed at Iran. "General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country." The leak is an escalation, a threat.
William Wroblicka Northampton, MA 4h ago
It seems to be common knowledge that our country's electric grid has been infiltrated by the Russians. What I don't understand, given this situation, is why the compromised systems can't be purged of any malware that might be present and the security holes that allowed it to be installed in the first place patched.

Retail software companies (e.g., Microsoft) are finding security vulnerabilities in and releasing updates to their products all the time. What's so different about industrial software systems?

Scott Newton San Francisco , Ca 6h ago
This will not end well. The unspoken assumption behind this issue is that the US assumes it must have dominance in all relations to other countries, and that moral outrage for such acts do not apply to us, because we are the "good guys" of course. Almost anything that another country can be accused of (interfering in elections, cyber-espionage, stealing trade secrets and technology) is something almost surely done by the US first to others. I applaud the NYT for reporting this, but reporters should question the reasoning behind it a bit more. 1 Reply
itsmildeyes philadelphia 8h ago
It's always the big-mouth in the bar that starts the bar fight, then he sneaks out the side door while the rest of us get hit with beer bottles. Sure wish the bouncer had stopped DJT and his entourage at the door.
CK Rye 11h ago
@Socrates - But keep in mind: just any blue will NOT do. Reject Neoliberals without hesitation! In

Reply to Mauichuck

KC Okla 4h ago
They're what? My son graduated in 2002 and we've been at war or trying to start one ever since. Can we not do anything but build weapons of death and destruction and look for ways to put them to use? This war thing is getting out of control.
Lucy Cooke California 8h ago
@GV

What about attaching a price to the US's misdeeds, there are plenty of them, Iraq, and all the other US forced regime changes or attempted regime change as in Syria and Venezuela.

The US has wrecked lots of countries with its superior military and awesome financial clout. The US is going to drown in its military superiority, and settle into a state of violent mediocrity with a poorly educated, somewhat unhealthy citizenry with loads of of weaponry, poor mental health and lots of drug addiction and a country with the world's highest rate of incarceration and lousy infrastructure.

If the US would just drown quickly, before it destroys the livability of the world, perhaps Europe, Russia and China could cooperate enough to save the world.

Michael Chicago 11h ago
Giving the military the authority to decide if and when a cyber attack occurs seems unconstitutional. And it seems very dangerous. Just because the actions originate on computer networks doesn't mean it's not violence against a foreign power. Even though everyone is dancing around the issue, a cyber attack is an act of war. Congress is supposed to make decisions on attacks by the military. It seems very Dr. Strangelove-like to me. Very risky giving a military commander the authority to start a war. 1 Reply
LiorSamson Mass 6h ago
Of course, the problem with all these "implants" and zero-day exploits is that once they are out there, they are readily deconstructed, repurposed, and turned back to bite us in new form, as has already happened on numerous occasions.

Those of us in the cybersecurity community have been sounding the alarm for more than a decade, whether in professional papers, the general press, or in fictionalized accounts. With escalation, we are virtually inviting the Russians to mount counterattacks, the cost of which could be incalculable. Our natural gas transmission network may be even more vulnerable than our power grid, as an industry insider confessed to me prompting the writing of Gasline in 2013. Of course, now we have Trump on the trigger and...

Clearwater Oregon June 15
I can't wait until this US president is gone so that our future Executive branch can directly and positively (not out of self interest or hind-covering denial) get back to the the table with Russia and bring about real change on both sides. If we don't, one has to assume that all types of cold war warfare can lead to a thermonuclear exchange.

That has always been the potential endgame since 1948. Did you think that was no longer possible after 1991? You, like myself, were being naive. I think it's more possible now than ever before. For we have two authoritarians, each carrying a football named, Doom. 1 Reply

Viv . 11h ago
@William Romp In the abstract, of course people hold positive views of their "enemy" nations. In practice, it is not at all true. You don't need to travel to Russia to find Russians who have been victims of American xenophobia and bigotry. They're right there in America. Americans has never really held to "moral" standards of war. To this day you have people believing that dropping atomic bombs on civilians was the right thing to do because it "minimized" loss of life. This is absurd.

To this day you have people believing that it was okay to not only finance the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, but indoctrinate their children to be war fighters. There's nothing to be proud about this "moral" leadership. In Reply to Viv

Ted McGuire 3h ago
Sure, the US can install malware deep inside Russia's grid. But that doesn't mean that the American cyberwar gambit is effective. And it doesn't mean that the US has the capacity to prevent Russia from using malware to inflict even deeper damage on the American grid.

To understand exactly who is probably getting the better of who in this conflict, we need to ask ourselves what motivates Russia and America to fight this conflict. The answer doesn't bode well for Americans. Russia, which has been on the defensive since the fall of the USSR three decades ago, is fighting to protect its sovereignty against American encroachment.

The US, meanwhile, isn't fighting because it has to. America is fighting Russia simply to aggrandize its own power, and to expand its influence over world affairs. In my opinion, Russia is the power that has greater motivation to win this fight. For this reason, any American effort to defeat Russia by using cyberwarfare is likely to trigger a devastating Russian response. The US should quit while it's ahead. 1 Reply

rbitset Palo Alto 4h ago
Reagan talked about a missile shield, a Star Wars defense, that would make nuclear weapons obsolete. Almost 40 years later we know that was a pipe dream. But we can be safe in cyberspace. Many of the tools are there. A few more might need to be invented. What stands in the way? A U.S. government that wants, claims to need, to spy on everyone including its citizens stands in the way. Businesses that want to vacuum up and sell everyone's information stand in the way. Hardware companies that want to lease you a networked service instead of a stand alone device stand in the way.

We could have mandated IPV6 with its better security model twenty years ago. We could encourage end-to-end encryption to secure networks. We could have directed the NSA and other security agencies to search out and fix bugs in software libraries instead of building backdoors that are now open to everyone. Instead everything gets converted to a weapon. Fear reigns supreme. Then we go to war and the merchants of death make huge profits.

Bruce1253 San Diego 8h ago
@B. Rothman Micro grids would be helpful, yes, but what about large businesses? Say the ones who make the fuel for your home furnace, or that power the compressors for your natural gas? Or that power the giant freezers at the plant that makes your french fries? My point is that we are really interconnected, and vulnerable to attacks as described in this article. This is the kind of thing that gives the cyber security pro at you local utility nightmares. We are balanced on a ball. In Reply to Eric Peterson
Dave Madison. WI 11h ago
@M. Casey - Here we go with "timidity" and Obama. At the time, and in keeping with the strategy to withhold knowledge of our cyber reach into their systems, Obama's decision probably made sense. Such a thoughtful approach would have benefited us in the phony, "Weapons of Mass Destruction" war against Iraq, which cost thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. Such a thoughtful approach, which is anathema to chest-pounding chickenhawks, would have also been useful in Vietnam. And the Falklands. And Beirut. And Cuba and... In Reply to JM
Pelasgus Earth 5h ago
Electricity generation and reticulation worked perfectly satisfactorily before the internet, so why does it need to be connected to the internet? The obvious solution to attacks on systems is to cut the internet out of the equation. 2 Replies
Barbara SC 8h ago
@Bruce1253 I have lived through hurricanes that caused power outages for a week or more. Puerto Ricans can tell us just what it's like right now, given the damage they experienced recently. Our forebears lived without power for centuries. We would survive, but we wouldn't enjoy it. In Reply to Larry L
Mark Kinsler Lancaster, Ohio USA 2h ago
Some thoughts from an obsolete old power engineer:

(1) For the most part our power grid can be run by people at the substations and generating plants. There are always manual overrides--to wit: big levers with handles that actuate big switches. This is not a new development, for the systems were initially designed for manual operation. The digital relays were added later.

(2) The whole business makes power guys cringe, for they've been trained to keep the system going. But if necessary, every section of the power grid can be brought back to life by the employees.

(3) No public utility can operate reliably in a war or anywhere else that's lacking basic civil behavior. I'm surprised that cell phones have done so well in combat zones, for they rely on cables to link the towers.

JAS3rd Florida 11h ago
Overdue indeed. Unfortunately, if the U.S. doesn't do it, we would just disadvantage ourselves.
Aaron VanAlstine DuPont, WA 6h ago
The U.S. escalates cyber attacks on Russia's power grid. However, the Pentagon [and NSA] will not brief Trump because he might "countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials" as he did before with the Russians. Folks, we're running an unchecked cyber war against a global nuclear power without the involvement of POTUS who isn't interested, doesn't care, and is too busy complaining about CNN on Twitter. We are a banana republic and no one is minding the store
ldc Woodside, CA 7h ago
@Mark. Ok, but it is inconceivable that either the national security apparatus or his own advisors would have conspired to keep Obama in the dark because they didn't trust him. In Reply to Mark
Hardbop50 Ohio 4h ago
It's clear that most American, including many Times' readers don't understand Putin's strategy toward the U.S. and other democracies of western Europe. The real danger is his attack on our political system and democratic values. While an aggressive cyber defense and hardening of targets is important, cyber operations also need to undermine Russians' confidence in Putin and his government. There are plenty of ways to spread fake news and paranoia in Russia social and political media. The sanctions are our best "weapon". They hurt Russian economy and threaten wealthy oligarchs. If they didn't, why would Putin try so hard to squash them. Unfortunately, the President fails to enforce or expand them. Any guesses why he undermines sanctions?
Mike Ransmil San Bernardino June 15
that's not nice of the US.---disrupting Russia's power [grid]. They will not be happy about this. Donald can expect a phone call from Vladimir, expressing his displeasure!
Eugene NYC 6h ago
The problem, as usual is management. It is not possible underestimate management. Those of us on Long Island were without power after Sandy. In portions of The Rockaways, some 20' or more above sea level, National Grid turned off the power for 15 days. So we know what it is like to have no power. Having solar cells on the roof is no solution because LIPA / PSEG-LI REQUIRES the system to shut down if grid power drops!

But the real question must be, why is the electrical grid vulnerable? Do the control systems use PCs, or rock solid IBM z/OS architecture? Has any z/OS system ever been compromised? Why aren't individual electric systems designed to operate off the regional and therefore national grid in the event of a failure? And whatever happened to synchronous encrypted communication over secure leased lines? These problems are not difficult to solve. They only require a desire. Mr. Cuomo, are you listening?

Ross Stuart NYC 7h ago
I just don't get it. The New York Times publishing what surely must be classified information about a secret incursion by the U.S. government into the Russian power grid! And Julian Assange is criminally charged for doing the same thing? 2 Replies
Doremus Jessup On the move 8h ago
George Orwell would have a great time with all this.
Lucy Cooke California 11h ago
The US is certainly a very offensive country. The US Is considered The Exceptional World Leader. I don't know if the world can survive such leadership. The US is going to drown in its military superiority, and settle into a state of violent mediocrity with a poorly educated, somewhat unhealthy citizenry with loads of of weaponry, poor mental health and lots of drug addiction and a country with the world's highest rate of incarceration and lousy infrastructure.

If the US would just drown quickly, before it destroys the livability of the world, perhaps Europe, Russia and China could cooperate enough to save the world. Or, if enough citizens vote for Senator Bernie Sanders for President, the US could refresh its world leadership with a sane, even wise foreign policy and provide citizens with quality education for all, health care for all, better infrastructure, and, mostly, A FUTURE TO BELIEVE IN. 1 Reply

Mike Iker Mill Valley, CA 7h ago
It's been pointed out for years that our much higher level of internet control of our systems makes us more vulnerable to cyber attacks that Russia or China or Iran and certainly N. Korea. If this story is getting out, and based on the thesis that nothing happens by accident in the political world, the source must think that our defenses are strong enough to more than offset our inherent vulnerabilities. I hope that's true.
Roger Alaska June 15
The fact that we have implanted code is well-known, or at least should be. To say there has been only a handful of offensive operations is either purposely deceitful or shows the lack of access by the person quoted.
Lauren SW Virginia 6h ago
"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister." Sigh.... our prez. Our number one threat to National Security.
Charles M Saint John, NB, Canada 11h ago
@HonorB14U Always? Who went first into space? If you were a trained technical person in control systems you'd know the names of lots of Russians who made fundamental break-throughs in understanding - more Russian names than I can recall American names. In Reply to HonorB14U
free range upstate 6h ago
This mutual insanity results from the disease people all around the world suffer from: the nation-state. Nation-states, in their modern form only four hundred years old, have taken the world hostage through feverish calls to nationalism and patriotism, deliberately confusing in our minds cultural identity with the nation-state. But cultural identity is not dependent on the nation-state! Either we find a way to free our cultural identities from those in power or, if and when this insane posturing leads to war, we pay the ultimate price of losing our lives.
Woof NY 11h ago
@jrinsc Re to freeze Russian oligarchs out of their ill-gotten assets. London is where Russian oligarchs store their assets See link below No US government has taken on the "City" (UK equivalent of Wall Street) on that issue https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/10/11/londons-financial-flows-are-polluted-by-laundered-money 16 Replies
Lawrence Colorado 4h ago
Upgrading the grid to be more resilient to hacking and also to better accommodate wind and solar would be a significant, smart, long term investment. It would improve something we all use that really needs improving. It would help reduce our carbon footprint. It would generate good jobs here in America. So instead the GOP spent a trillion dollars on tax breaks for very wealthy people which the corporate kind used mostly for stock buy backs.
Doug Karo Durham, NH 8h ago
If both countries didn't have stable geniuses in charge, I would be pretty worried. If the stability of one of the leaders was not the case, I would be even more worried.
Ron Vermont 11h ago
So all these attacks we're trading have all gone through proper quality control procedures to make sure they don't disrupt anything by accident? Not likely. And with the UK, China, North Korea and others all doing the same, both the large controlling computers and the small embedded control system components are going to start failing due to all the malware they're being asked to hold. Malware will attack expecting it is attacking clean manufacturer supplied software/firmware, but if someone else has already modified it, how will these systems react? This seems like a mutual game of Russian Roulette. Any time an opponent makes a mistake something will break somewhere.
maureen f. Albuquerque, NM 11h ago
The scariest thing about this escalation is that nobody really knows which country--the U.S., Russia, or China--has the best cyber-weapons and cyber-defenses until the cyber-war actually begins. And for all of those who are blaming Russia, kindly remember how the U.S. started all this with the creation and deployment of Stuxnet against Iran. 2 Replies
RL Groves Amherst, MA 2h ago
This reminds me of the Cold War. We were sold a bill of goods about Russia's capacity to harm us when, we the US was actually the aggressor, JFK sold this under the brand of "Missile Gap". The United States is, as usual, the aggressor here. The US Empire wants to control the world. Any independent nation will be considered a threat and not be tolerated. This demonization of Russia is an embarrassment and worse, is extremely dangerous, The Russian bear is not to be trifled with, despite American fantasies.
Floyd New Mexico 4h ago
Why would information of such intelligence operations be publically announced as it has? Baffling. 1 Reply
Ned OSJL 11h ago
The world needs a Cyber Geneva Convention. Immediately if not years ago. All the tunnel vision patriotic cheering in these comments is very alarming. Think about where Cyber War could go, what it could do, who it would harm.
Saba Albany June 15
@M Congress should be at the helm of formulating an overall policy. The power to make war has moved from Congress to the President, and some Presidents have had an attitude of leave it up to the generals. So, the departments have gained power in some cases. Rightfully, Congress should create defensive and offensive policy which the President should endorse and the Cabinet should carry out. In Reply to TJ
J. von Hettlingen Switzerland 6h ago
John Bolton has a long history as a Russia hawk. It seems he's now in involved in ramping up cyber attacks on Russia's power grid, sending the message "You will pay a price" for cyberoperations – like election interference – against the US. ...
James San Clemente, CA 8h ago
I can understand why the U.S. would want to have this capability and to let the Russians know about it for the purposes of deterrence, but still, the news fills me with dread. The U.S. power infrastructure is far from perfect, but as anyone who has lived and worked in Russia knows, their system is much less reliable and far more prone to breakdowns. In addition, for anyone who watched the recent HBO series "Chernobyl," the idea of messing with the power grid in Russia is a little alarming. Russia still operates several RBMK reactors, and although there are repeated assurances that they are safe now, I wouldn't want to put that theory to the test by fiddling with the system. I'm sure our guys are all well aware of this, but, just sayin'...
Joseph Los Angeles 7h ago
And we'd be the first to complain if they did this to us. How about if humans finally stopped behaving like vindictive petulant 8 year olds. We're all stuck on this rock, so get along!
JohnW13 California June 15
Perhaps the most disturbing reveal in this article is that Trump has delegated an undisclosed amount of authority to engage in offensive military action by launching a cyber attack, potentially amounting to an act of war, without direct presidential oversight and approval. Trump issued "National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval." 9 Replies
Eric Peterson Napa, CA. 8h ago
@B. Rothman Individual decentralization of your home or business or a factory when the grid power goes out would be a wise move for many. This would most likely be solar or wind and possibly a generator as well, all backed by a battery. The interesting part comes in when your system is connected with the power companies grid. Will it be interactive? If it is then if the power company is hacked you are also hacked. If your system only comes on when the grid power goes off you would not be connected to the power companies grid communication and therefor you would not be hacked. An independent distributed system would keep your power on. Only used when the grid power was off. You would not be able to send excess power to the grid or get paid for excess power from solar or wind. Think military base or critical infrastructure. If all critical systems are isolated they stand alone and cannot be taken down by cyber war fare. This is a redundant system but it does keep the power on when everything else goes down. The only way I can see around this is to be connected to the power grid on a two way communication that is secured and verified to be hack free at all times. Not likely in this day of cyber war. It may be possible to shut down communication to the grid as soon as power goes down, thus isolating the location from any further attack or control by the outside. Then get conformation that it was not an attack, just an ordinary power outage and then reconnect. Simple. In Reply to Eric Peterson
Jo Williams Keizer 11h ago
Power grids as legitimate targets. Affecting hospitals, schools, civilian homes. After 9/11 there was discussion as to whether the Geneva Conventions on war should be modified, and also discussions on designating captured terrorists as POWs or....enemy combatants. A follow up article on how these ...agreements on war....might cover cyber attacks, would be helpful. Shutting off the power to a hospital- or all the hospitals, doctor's offices, clinics in a major city- how many die? Nuclear power plants as targets? If its war, call it war. At least we possible victims will know we aren't just disposable pawns in cyber gamesmanship.
Michael Pittsburgh June 15
Until recently I would be concerned if our military was acting independently of presidential direction or oversight and if the president or presidential advisors were not kept informed of initiatives our military and security forces were undertaking against other nations. Now I am thankful for it. As for the U.S. embedding malware and other malicious software in Russian, Chinese, North Korean, Iranian, Saudi, Israeli, and other potentially hostile nation infrastructure systems, we should be prepared to send them all back to campfires and candles at a moment's notice.
Nick Wright Halifax, NS 6h ago
The article reveals that the military is withholding information from the president about actions it's taking against another country, because it doesn't trust him. Predictably in the current political climate, everyone focuses on what it says about President Trump and fails to consider what it says about the military; i.e., that it feels it has a mandate to decide, at its own discretion, what military action against other nations is in the country's best interests. The military didn't trust President Obama either -- to the extraordinary extent of public insubordination by its top leadership.

How do we know that it obeyed his directive not to wage cyberwarfare against Russia, or any other country? We now have no reason to believe that it did. It doesn't matter that the military distrusts the current and previous president for different reasons. It will defy a strong, competent president as easily as it will sideline a weak, incompetent president. This is the path to the military itself becoming a danger to the state through ill-considered unilateral action.

Meredith New York 8h ago
@Andrzej Warminski...they'd call it 'un-American' to freeze US oligarchs out of ill gotten assets. Russia has its oligarchs, we have ours. Ours get protection for spiraling profits and power by mega donations to the lawmakers we elect, and our own Supreme Court legalized this Constitutional 1st A -Free Speech. This obvious collusion of big money and politics is avoided in our news media, famous for it's 1st Amendment protections from censorship. Russia has it's state media, and we have ours. FOX news functions as the GOP state media, consulting with Trump, and broadcasting his messages daily. Then social media further amplifies this across the country. 16 Replies
R. Fenwick U.S. South 11h ago
@David G. Generally increased use of the internet in any industry is a way to cut labor costs. In the pre-internet days, grid workers were likely paid more in today's dollars and jobs were more plentiful. In Reply to R. Fenwick
Doug Marcum Oxford, Ohio 7h ago
"Defend forward?" A new entry in the Newspeak dictionary... We are partying like it's 1984.
B. Honest Puyallup WA 7h ago
@JohnW13 It bothers me the Most that Mr Bolton is in the line of command there, for some ungodly reason. He is the type that would have flown drones, himself, to do a false flag attack like that. That they were above waterline is telling. I wonder what Iran found when they took whatever it was that attached itself to that tanker. I am sure that will be interesting indeed. 9 Replies
Lawrence Linn Phoenix 4h ago
"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction..." So the commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, decided to undertake an overt act of war and not tell his Commander in Chief because he thought he might disagree? If true, Trump should fire this guy tomorrow, if not court-martial him for insubordination.
AR San Francisco 8h ago
The Chinese! The Russians! They started it! Anyone who believes fairy tales from the Pentagon or Washington about this is a fool. Let's see at the end of the 'Cold War' Washington promised not expand NATO if the Russians et al handed over much of their nukes. They handed them over and Clinton, etc. marched NATO right up to the Russian border. George Kennan warned it was the greatest strategic error post WWII.

Who knows what nasty things Washington is really up to. Like the mysterious Venezuelan blackouts right at the height of their coup operation. Washington's unending saber-rattling and war mongering can never be trusted. What a horrifying thought that they would cut off heat and power to millions of Russian people in the winter. It will be ordinary people who pay the price on all sides.

Chris Rurally Isolated 1h ago
I have found that nobody listens to my critique of technology by which I state that 1) we no longer possess the skills that technology does for us, 2) our division of labor has become so extreme due to technological advancements that nobody really knows how to do anything but their one job, shopping and driving, and 3) should we lose power, we lose petroleum too, and without both we lose our society in just a few days. Food goes bad immediately, water pressure drops in cities precipitously, and people can't go to work, school or entertainment -- they can't do anything but wait for the power to come back on. But they don't wait, they loot, they attack, they scavenge, they make trouble. Anybody with a personal supply of food and water are targets. None of this is hyperbole or paranoia, yet those who make such slanders are driven by fearsome possibilities they NEVER want to face. Power outages would be akin to full-scale bombing of whole cities. The Defense Department knows this, but the citizenry does not.
Luca F Philadlphia 7h ago
Something's wrong with this article. A newspaper is telling the world that the US is messing around with Russia's power grid? Shouldn't this be super confidential? Basically now Russians are allowed to re tagliate in any way for what the USA is doing. What would be the reaction of the US if the situation was reversed? A bunch of blackouts in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and the Russians saying "we did it"? Our military would bomb them right away!
Larry L Dallas, TX 8h ago
@Bruce1253, fragmented systems are inherently more resilient because one system going down does not mean everything else goes down. But having fragmented CONTROLS over INTERCONNECTED systems is more problematic. Lack of coordination will mean that if a problem occurs, there will be lack of oversight and will not be able to react quickly enough to contain the situation. As someone else also mentioned: old pre-Internet systems are actually far more secure because they are off the grid. Attempts by companies to make things more efficient (and profitable) actually makes them less secure. 9 Replies
polymath British Columbia 11h ago
"As Washington's strategy shifts to offense ..." What does the word "Washington" mean? It *used* to mean the U.S. gov't -- when it used to speak with more or less one voice. But it doesn't speak with one voice anymore. So, what does it mean now?
Bubba CA 2h ago
Here's the thing - if electricity goes out for any protracted time in the U.S., people will die. Many people, and quickly. The fragile veneer of social cohesion will be the first, and fatal, casualty.
dsbarclay Toronto 7h ago
If you are going to start covert operations that attack Russia's essential power grid, why brag about it? American geeks conducting cyber war can't keep a secret is one answer. Its certainly the wrong thing to do; it gives Putin more ammunition in his propaganda war against the West, and ensures he remain the 'savior' of mother Russia for the people.
HANK Newark, DE 8h ago
GREAT ! A military junta within the Trump regime...what could go wrong. I'm sure these attacks are devastating to Russian citizens, but how will it compare when the Russians are finally successful with similar attacks on us? They've already shown us what happens when they blow up and election.
Debbie Atlanta 6h ago
This brings to mind the devastating power outage in Venezuela recently. Maduro blamed the US for cyberattacking the grid. And others blamed the failing system itself. We may never know but the effects seen there are a sample of what could happen anywhere in the world with this new technology. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2019/03/09/could-venezuelas-power-outage-really-be-a-cyber-attack /
Lucy Cooke California 8h ago
@GV and, I suppose the way the game is played, Putin, and any other leader of a country who has suffered because of the US actions, and that list is long, should attach a price to our misdeeds. The word "price" always reminds me of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright saying, when asked about the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to US sanctions, "The price was worth it". With the US has The Exceptional World Leader, the world may not survive in a livable state. We need more Nelson Mandelas and Mikhail Gorbachevs. GV, do you know much Russian history? Putin's misdeeds are so minor compared to the killing of hundreds of thousands and wrecking of countries by the US... Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia 14 Replies
Vic Malen Offshore 2h ago
What is wrong with this law system? Open demand on attacking energy sources which could lead to casualties, property and environmental damage is an international criminal case and such officials must be investigated and charged immediately to avoid subsequent collateral effects.
Angelsea Maryland 4h ago
There is a real danger in deploying cyber-mines in adversary systems. All code can be broken and used in retaliation. Even so-called "encapsulated" code can be disassembled. STUXNET was disassembled and repurposed as ransom-ware. To be effective in Internet-connected systems, any attack-code must emulate "normal" behavior. To do this, publicly available programming code, such as, Java, Perl, etc., is used as components of the attack-code. Once the encapsulation of the code is broken, and it will be, the code can be reverse-engineered, defended against, and repurposed to use against us. CYBERCOM, tread lightly.
Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 7h ago
@TMah Russian hackers are generally superior to American hackers. This won't end well. 9 Replies
markd michigan 8h ago
Is it just me or shouldn't this kind of program be, you know, black? Eyes only, top secret. The US would have a lot more to lose than Russia if we lost the East Coast for a few weeks. We don't stockpile transformers which are the backbones of the grid so if Russia overloaded a few thousand of them we'd be down for months. We shouldn't "overbound our steps" as Stan Laurel used to say. 1 Reply
Righty America 8h ago
@Bruce1253 exactly. We experienced the giant blackout of 2003. You really can't imagine how damaging this can be until you experience it. We lived somewhat near the interstate and hundreds of people had to pull off at our exit - they were low on gas, and there was no way to get gas. In the city, we know someone who was stuck in a subway under the East River for hours not even knowing what had happened, then had to crawl through dirty tunnels to get up to the streets. These are just the relatively minor things that happen in the first few hours. People were generally helpful, but I can't imagine that lasting over a few days. we don't need to be tested like this. We need to be protected. 9 Replies
Old Maywood Arlington, VA 8h ago
Think on this for just a bit... These authorities were delegated downwards and the plans are largely being kept from Trump because the military and other national security authorities don't trust him not to tell Russia about them. That's right, the military does not trust Trump not to tell Russia or "put Russia first." The good news is that as long as this story stays in the newspapers and not on TV, Trump will never know about it.
AR San Francisco 11h ago
Yes but is a useful narrative created by the Clinton campaign to justify their electoral debacle. It also serves as a useful tool to seek to deligitimize Trump (like the Republicans with Whitewater and 'birther' angles-- both parties equally rotten liars). What is most dangerous is the Democrats resurrection of McCarthyite and jingoistic denunciations of 'foreign' influences (like BLM), and calls for greater and greater censorship of the media and social media. While that seems attractive when applied to rightists, they are fools not to understand it will be enforced against the left first and foremost. In Reply to Dan K
Ed Watters San Francisco 2h ago
Yeah, and I'm pretty certain that Venezuela's accusations of US online attack on their power grid has merit.
sonnel Isla Vista, CA 7h ago
Oh great, American politicians who think power originates in the plug on the wall making decisions about things that neither their IQ nor their training allow them to understand. I can hear our President saying, "we just turned off power to the bad guys' houses and crime dens". Meanwhile, our top leaders will never report how many die in the hospitals or accidents that their messing with the power grids in other countries have caused. Just like... bombing Iraq. Collateral damage: out of sight, out of mind.
Marcus Aurelius Terra Incognita 11h ago
@Socrates As usual, the article read in its entirety tells a different story about what the President's involvement actually was and why presidential briefing wasn't required. "Mr. Trump issued new authorities to Cyber Command last summer, in a still-classified document known as National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval." And as to what the -- again, as usual, "anonymous") officials purportedly aside: "Because the new law defines the actions in cyberspace as akin to traditional military activity on the ground, in the air or at sea, no such briefing would be necessary, they added." In Reply to Mauichuck
Blank Venice 8h ago
@jrinsc Wisely our military and intelligence 'leaders' restrict information flow to Individual-1. He is very Kirkland Russian asset. Remember that he passed Top Secret information to Russians in the Oval Office as a Russian press entourage looked on. 16 Replies
A Goldstein Portland 8h ago
This is a new definition of war in the 21st century, cyber-war, and I suspect that most Americans, especially Trump supporters are nearly clueless about what is at stake. With Putin and other authoritarian rulers, we must put on display our capabilities in more than nuclear warheads and naval powers. I trust the U.S. intelligence agencies and military much more than the executive branch of government. This is not my preference but it reflects the unprecedented time in which we are living.
Frank Raleigh, NC 7h ago
From yesterdays article on US doing trying to start a war with Iran. That was regarding oil tankers that were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. Your editorial on that yesterday stated that we need to stay on top of this tanker violence because of: "American objectives in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere across the region." Those tankers are not American and the serial lying about the middle east and Russia and of course Venezuela are pathetic. All of this combined with climate change, world population growth and a news media that is only doing the "Manufacturing Consent" thing for the corporations including military industrial complex can only lead to world disaster. It is existential. Russia has been interfering with our military recently and that is another horrid example of why Donald Trump is the worst president we have ever had. A very dangerous man who surrounds himself with the most ignorant, hysterical, people who support the military industrial complex over anything else. Billions and billions of money is given to the military by the congress whenever they ask. We do not look for peace; we look to support the MIC at all costs and those COSTS ARE VERY, VERY HIGH AND GLOOMY. Attacking Russian power plants? Faking news for Venezuela and Iran? "American objectives in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere across the region?" Wake up folks. It's up to you; no one else can save us!
Susan Anderson Boston 8h ago
@jrinsc And, of course, Trump and Senate Republicans will reverse the freezing, as has been done in the past. 16 Replies
Raven Earth 2h ago
Imagine a world where one country tried to tell every other country in the world who to be friends with, who to trade with, who their rulers should be, what products they should buy and from whom, what laws they should pass, what meetings they should attend, how to live, etc, etc. And imagine this same world where the people who lived in this bully of a country thought they and their country had the God-given right to tell other people in other countries how to live. Sounds like some future dystopian hellscape, right? Surprise! It's not. This is 'Murica! in the 21st century on planet Earth.
Leslie Amherst 7h ago
How can we aggress in this manner and then be so indignant when it is done to us?? I hate this!! I don't want to be a citizen of a country that attacks others. I want peace! Defense is understandable; attack is not.
Aram Hollman Arlington, MA 2h ago
The newer and more digital a system is, the more vulnerable it is to hacking. The older and less digital it is, the less vulnerable. That probably makes us more vulnerable than Russia, but our somewhat obsolete infrastructure (the one we need to spend $1 trillion on) may be less vulnerable than expected due to its obsolescence. The inherent immorality of going after power plants, refineries, and other non-military targets is that the effects target civilians. The fact that one nation may have done so (Russia, to Ukraine's electricity during a winter) does not justify another nation doing the same.
J Denver 7h ago
This entire notification is a message for one person... Trump. This is the intelligence agencies using their newfound powers that lack White House oversight, to signal to the White House that the intelligence agencies are DEEP inside Russia's systems and that they will know if Trump shows up inside those systems during the next election cycle. They can't stop Russia from waging cyber war... and they can't stop Trump from welcoming help from or siding with Russia... but they can send a message that they will know if this administration "goes there"... again...
ebmem Memphis, TN 4h ago
@Stan Chaz MAD [mutual assured destruction] between Russia and the United States prevented nuclear devastation because both sides knew they couldn't win. We are in a different universe now. Russia, with its poor economy one fifth of the US is no longer a superpower, although it is rebuilding its network of client states [with some like Cuba and Venezuela dying on the vine, and other former satellites like Ukraine and Georgia resisting their reacquisition by Russia.] China is also a growing player, expanding its wealth an political and economic strength. Various quasi stateless terrorist groups can damage the US and not experience appropriate retaliation because they have no official governments or homelands to hold accountable. In Reply to Ron
LibertyLover California 8h ago
@David Henderson I would suggest going back and reading some of the material Edward Snowden revealed about the NSA. Those capabilities will be oriented toward this objective now rather than just conventional espionage. The expertise is second to none. For that matter, read the DOJ indictment of the 12 GRU officers who hacked the DNC. The amount of detail described there will make you understand their capabilities. It's as if they were in the room with them. 7 Replies
Bob M Whitestone, NY 7h ago
This is very concerning on why the Trump administration would disclose this to the public. What's their motive? More concerning is that Trump in his infinite wisdom had the idea of setting up a joint cyber security task force with none other than Russia. Weird.
Loyd Collins Laurens,SC 7h ago
@Telly55 And this from the article. Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister. 4 Replies
WeHadAllBetterPayAttentionNow Southwest 11h ago
I am not so sure I believe much in this. Bragging about such a program would be counterproductive. Meanwhile, our Republican president and Senate continue to deny Russian interference in our elections and do nothing about it.
Chris San Francisco 7h ago
Anyone who thinks that our military is not constantly fighting our enemies doesn't know anything about the military. Some version of this kind of thing has been ongoing throughout history. They are very good at it, often the best in the world. That the US officials would reveal this information can be nothing but part of a strategy related to global objectives, including but not limited to Russia. The revelation itself can be considered a kind of weapon, though, of course, the general public is not privy to it's purpose. I trust the competence of our military almost completely, but I do not trust their ability to set national policy. They control some enormous hammers, and there are many things in the world that could look like a nail. The erosion of civilian oversight described in this article is terrifying. Unfortunately we're all getting used to that.
Dan K Louisville, CO 11h ago
@C.O. I would suggest that you read the Mueller Report. In Reply to Dan K
stan continople brooklyn 8h ago
If I was Russia, I'd demonstrate my prowess by making the NYC subway system run on time. That would cause absolute panic.
chambolle Bainbridge Island 7h ago
All of which begs the question, why on earth do we spend about $750 billion a year on military hardware and personnel, when our adversaries have learned to do as much damage as they want without firing a shell, torpedo or missile? And, it would appear -- and one would hope -- so can we. It cost Russia next to nothing to commence the unraveling of America's political system - a few hackers sitting in cubicles, each with a laptop and an internet connection accomplished that, with the help of Fox News, facebook, instagram, you tube and, above all, an uneducated, bible-thumping American populace uninterested in facts and seemingly incapable of rational thought.
Mike LaFleur Minneapolis, MN 7h ago
To whom it may concern: This article would be far more credible if it listed the names of the companies that make and sell the vulnerable power plant operating systems, transmission line management systems, and the power distribution systems. Which systems are vulnerable? Emerson's? ABB's? Siemens? Who's switch gear is vulnerable? Are they infiltrating the operating systems, the sensors, communications, the actuators, or maybe even the metering? Even the US electric grid is, for the most part, very unsophisticated. Grid operators have very limited visibility into what is happening on the grid. In most of the US, when there is a power outage, linemen are dispatched in trucks to visually look for downed wires with their eyes!!! No computers needed. Combine the fact that Trump shows no interest in fighting election interference with the improbability of vast penetration into the electric grid and all you have left is a paper tiger named John Bolton. This article is likely fake news. Mike
dominic KL 7h ago
I don't quite understand this, if US know that Russia is illegally hacking in to US power grids you either remove the malware or lodge a complaint with with the UN or whatever international authorities involved. If you hack back then you are no better then Russia.
Stuart Alaska 8h ago
@tim k If there was no such thing as global warming your point would be a cogent one. Unfortunately, we can't ignore that fact. 14 Replies
george coastline 7h ago
HOW TO WIN AN ELECTION WITHOUT STEALING ANY EMAILS 1 Restrict early voting in key swing states 2 Pass laws discouraging absentee ballots in those same states 3 On election day, turn off the power in the core of every large city where democrats usually win by large margins, heavily suppressing turnout 4 Count the ballots: Trump wins the state and is re-elected President.
HonorB14U Michigan 7h ago
America decides our wins and losses; not Russia! We decide how much we lose and what success we win on.
Michael Feeley Honolulu 4h ago
Maybe we could do something really useful and sabotage Facebook and Twitter. Now there's an idea that would improve the quality of life.
Michael Tyndall San Francisco 11h ago
My concern with US cyber warfare is the possibility the same code is turned around and used against us or our allies (I think we still have those outside outside our favored Sunni and right wing autocracies). The possibility of boomerang cyber mischief isn't confined to governments either. Remember the stolen NSA hacking tools that ended up on the dark web? Those have been turned against municipal governments and individuals in the form of ransom ware. Perhaps we can limit such risks by forming the most sophisticated cyber weapons as binary tools. Ones where the full capability isn't effective without two secret parts, only one part of which is installed in an adversary's infrastructure. But once fully deployed, there's still the risk the weapon is identified, preserved, and later redeployed against us. I think there are also ways for our adversaries to guard against erasure protocols within cyber weapons. Lastly, we still don't know if our president is a Russian asset. Maybe he just really likes murderous kleptocrats and autocrats like Putin, Kim, MBS, MBZ, and Duterte. Maybe he just has to talk privately with no one else from our side listening. Either way, none of our current top secrets or foreign intelligence assets may be safe while he's in office, or even after he leaves (unless he's in jail).
B. Honest Puyallup WA 8h ago
@maureen f. Israel released Stuxnet, just a minor correction there. That is actually more problem than had we done it, Israel is more unstable than we are, and that says something. In Reply to B. Honest
Jim Georgia 6h ago
What was published here is not classified and if you read the article, you will know that administration officials had no problem with the publication of this work. Assange, on the other hand, definitely published stolen classified information and may have solicited and facilitated its acquisition -- a crime. In Reply to Jim
Alex E elmont, ny 7h ago
I thought that Trump is a stooge of Putin, so, he won't take any action against Russia. This is the misinformation NY Times and other fake news have been telling Americans and the world. Now by releasing this classified information they are jeopardizing American National security. No wonder they are called enemies of the people. 2 Replies
Andy Salt Lake City, Utah 7h ago
Escalating attacks? Or informing Russia of their weaknesses? Cyber assault is inherently centered around stealth. Sounds to me like Trump is intentionally tipping our hand. A submarine isn't much use if you teach your enemy how to find it. The description presented here more closely resembles a joint exercise. However, the US is the only one providing intelligence. Surprise, surprise. Unilaterally providing intelligence to Putin no less.
J Darby Woodinville, WA 7h ago
Good news, I hope we're hitting the cyber bullies as hard or harder than they're hitting us. And it's wise to let trump in on as little as possible.
pb calif 8h ago
This sounds like a coverup story for Trump and the GOP. If it were true, it would have been classified. Gimme a break! Vote them out!
Jomo San Diego 8h ago
Just think what will happen when Russia plants malware into all our self-driving cars.
Mark Conway Naples FL 4h ago
I don't understand why Trump allows such threatening behavior toward one of his closest allies. Isn't he in control of his own government?
Frank Seattle 6h ago
US taxpayers still paying for government officials to create new malware that will eventually be turned against US taxpayers. Thanks "public servants".
Mary Lake Worth FL 7h ago
@M Trump has made unpresented changes much like a fascist dictator, which he wants to be. It's just a wing and a prayer that our government hasn't ceased to function effectively, due to long-standing norms and those who would resist his worst impulses. All Russia would need is another cosy private meeting with Trump to have him bragging about this new secret weapon to deliver all this for Comrad Putin to use on us. Flattery is the way to his heart and there goes everything that should be kept under wraps for security. 8 Replies
md green Topanga, Ca. 8h ago
@GV Couldn't agree more! And it would make the Straits of Hormuz attach a much different issue. What's it going to take to get this oil addicted country to switch to renewables? I guess we'll find out. 14 Replies
Rebel in Disguise TO, Canada 8h ago
This doesn't bode well for Putin's next job performance appraisal of the POTUS he worked so hard to put into power. Trump's been kept in the dark by Americans who aren't subservient to Putin.
New World NYC 8h ago
I keep 14 days worth of water, food, and candles in my apt. I live on the 12th floor and twice a week I use the stairs to get up to my apt. I also keep a shotgun and cash
David Oak Lawn 4h ago
You see how Donald Trump's Iran claims were eaten up by the mainstream media. Now you see how Trump is playing both sides. He claims he wants to be lenient with Russia (which is a fool's errand) but his administration is getting tougher with Russia. Trump is easy to manipulate because he is so beholden to so many interests. Sorry to say it, but this makes him an attractive candidate to powerful interests.
Tim Nelson Seattle 8h ago
The best defense is a good offense, and a vital part of this American offensive capability is to keep the details out of the hands of this president. I have long waited to hear of how we are actively and effectively responding to Russian aggression, but in this age of Trump I have feared his ability to undermine any steps on our part. Of course he is beholden to the regime that got him elected. It is essential to counter the aggression of authoritarian regimes like Putin's and just as important to rid America in 2020 of the authoritarian menace that is Donald Trump.
TTC USA 2h ago
I thought America was the country that always played by the rules, and we're upset because we've been taken advantage of for too long. But apparently we're attacking another nation's power grid. Hypocrites we are. It's better if we're just honest with ourselves. Admit that we spin facts to feed our narrative, to justify the damage we cause to other nations. Next nation to justify going to war with? China. Cause only we can be #1.
uga muga miami fl 4h ago
Finally something presidential about Trump. They say there's a lot of symbolism to the presidency and this piece reflects an instance where he's president in name only.
K. H. Boston 8h ago
GOOD! About time we started punching back. Russia is mistaken if it thinks it can wantonly interfere in other countries (Salisbury, 2016, etc.) without repercussion. Good job boys.
Duane McPherson Groveland, NY 7h ago
Well, if the US decides to engage in some covert cyber-warfare then we should be safe, because the NSA has some really powerful hacking tools. So I'm sleeping easy tonight. Oh, wait, you say those tools got misplaced and lost? Never mind then, just buy some candles for light and a Coleman stove to cook on. You'll be fine; it'll be fun, just like camping out. In your own kitchen.
T OC 4h ago
It is time to go on the offensive in this Cold War. We've been on the losing defensive side of this way too long.
shiningstars122 CT 11h ago
Its obvious that we need to protect our online infrastructure in ways we have never done before, which a majority of the US economy uses. If this is not the case I get nervous if we start kicking the hornets next and we are not fully prepared for the response. As a consumer I am very wary of buying and using " smart" products in my home. It is obvious that the private sector has not even fortified their own firewalls to protect themselves. Do you think that Alexsa or that new refrigerator will have the level of encryption and protection guess against even the most basic cyber attack. I think a parallel approach is to fortify our own network in ways that have not occurred before, but sadly too much of these illegal breaches are based on human error and when it comes to that one you will never be fully secure. It is clear the rules of engagement for cyber warfare need to be discussed and treaties need to be put in play to protect civilians, who sadly in warfare always pay the highest prices when our maligned leaders, like the one currently holding office, go off the deep end.
Easy Goer Louisiana 8h ago
@Bruce1253 Agree. However, imagine your life without any power, for good? Everyone involved, whether they be American, Russian, Chinese, Korean, etc. is playing a deadly chess game, and humanity are the pawns. 9 Replies
steve CT 7h ago
So now we are going to attack other countries power grids , to hurt citizens like it seems we did to Venezuela to try and install our puppet Gaido, because we want to control their oil the largest in the world. We did not like their election of President Maduro so we tried to overthrow him because he wasn't willing to be controlled, like the 73% of dictators around the world that are our allies that we sell arms too. We have never cared about other countries elections, I also wonder if our elections are rigged, with our electronic machines supplied by questionable corporations. Now we are blaming the Russian government for what a troll farm company did in Russia buying election ads for clickbait so they could profit. This sounds like the 1950's red scare. Russia should be our friend just like Iran, except we ally with countries like Saudi Arabia the largest financier of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and that spreads Wahhabism. This is all so our Military Industrial Complex can profit needing ever larger weapons systems. Peace is not profitable it seems for our Oligarchy.
Robert Richardson Halifax June 15
If the US is openly pursuing this course, and succeeds, I would expect Putin to hit back in kind, by shutting down the power grids of America's less prepared allies. Like Canada, where our aging power grid is already struggling, without being attacked. 1 Reply
PE Seattle 11h ago
I'm not sure we want to perpetuate this tactic as fair game in war. Do we want our power grid hacked? This puts regular people at risk of have no electricity, no heat, no AC. Our war is not with regular people. Our war is with oligarchs.
Marc Chicago 7h ago
"Under the law, those actions [cyber espionage against U.S. adversaries] can now be authorized by the defense secretary without special presidential approval." Because Donny would pick up the phone to tattle to his BFF Vlad.
New World NYC 4h ago
One day we're all gonna wake up and look at our bank statements, 401Ks and our Etrade accounts and see a $0.00 balance. Then what ?
stefanie santa fe nm 7h ago
I thought the stable genius did not reveal what he was doing in terms of attacking another country. And if his good bro, Putin, said nothing was going on, why is the US attacking Russia? (sarcasm).
John Grillo Edgewater, MD 8h ago
What an absurd, clearly unprecedented, and highly dangerous state this country is in when the Commander-in-Chief, as reported herein, cannot be trusted by our own military and intelligence leaders with probably compartmentalized, top secret classified information about our cyber warfare capabilities and plans against Russia for fear that he could very well compromise the operation. Isn't this yet another reason why Trump should be removed from office by impeachment? What his own Administration's national security people are saying is that their leader cannot be trusted with the most sensitive information held by the government. If this Fake President is a threat to the nation on a scale of that profound magnitude, he cannot and must not be allowed to remain in office. Congress, are you listening???
C. Gregory California 2h ago
"Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail..." Um, isn't it normal procedure to brief the president of the United States about major changes in military strategy like this? I mean, the president is supposedly "commander in chief." How about Congress, or at least the relevant Congressional committees? Are they being kept in the loop? Or are Bolton and Co. just winging it on their own? If so, that's quite disturbing.
rjh NY 4h ago
So if a Russian nuclear plant has a meltdown or other catastrophe, will they be justified in wondering if the US caused it? Also, the malware against Iran spread to other countries even thought that was not intended to do so.
saucier Pittsburgh 7h ago
Wasn't their just an excellent show on HBO that shows what happens when you mess with controlling power? No, not Game of Thrones. Chernobyl. Nuclear comprises 20% of Russia's electricity generation. Do we really want our fingerprints all over the crime scene should something go wrong? Can't we mess with computer controlled vodka distillation instead?
Norman McDougall Canada 8h ago
Let me understand this. The same USA that is outraged by Russian election hacking is simultaneously conducting cyber-attacks on Russian infrastructure? This situation would be merely ironic if it weren't so callously hypocritical.
just Robert North Carolina 8h ago
It would be nice to think that the self proclaimed 'genius Trump knows something about the cyber war we are fighting or at least trust the experts on the front lines of this war. As it is he looks into Putin's eyes and declares him without sin and denies that Russia used cyber space to hack our 2016 elections and even declares that this information can be used to help his campaign. He prevaricates a little, but we heard you the first time, Mr.Trump. Our intelligence agencies may be planting these bugs in the Russian electric grid, but what we need is a leader who has the intelligence and wisdom to guide its use.
larry dc 8h ago
So CyberCommand doesn't brief the President because (1) they don't think the law requires them to do so, (2) and they don't trust him with important information? This is deeply disturbing on multiple fronts.
Larry L Dallas, TX 7h ago
@Barbara, in the past, before urbanism, it was possible to survive because you could live off the land. This is not a possibility in the middle of NYC, DC or SF. 9 Replies
joshbarnes Honolulu, HI 8h ago
It will all end in tears, I know it.

[Jun 15, 2019] The queen of RussiaGate is going to be asking questions at the debates

MadCow disease of neoliberal MSM is spreading...
Jun 15, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 5:01pm

@skod

So a flaming Russia conspiracist is going to moderate the first Democratic presidential debates. What a joke https://t.co/6QWPrS2cZk

-- Michael Tracey (@mtracey) June 11, 2019

Pluto's Republic on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 5:25pm
Scenes we'd like to see:

@snoopydawg

Anyone want to bet that she will ask someone a question about what they will do to keep Russia from interfering with the election again?

I would love to see that. All answers will be the wrong answer.

[Jun 14, 2019] Russiagate is an institutional initiative of CIA. Current DCI Gina Haspel was in London marshalling the foreign intelligence cutouts for the anti-Russian war propaganda that got repackaged for publication as Dem oppo research.

Jun 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Cmon , June 13, 2019 at 17:46

Articles like this are what make Ray McGovern sound like the limited-hangout artist of the century, this era's Ellsberg.

You've got Barr, who functioned as DCI Bush's mob lip ever since Iran/Contra, who calls in Durham, renowned for CIA's CAT-illegal torture whitewash. No sane professional expects anything but a moist and well-consolidated sigmoid coil of exculpation. Ray is not nearly stupid enough to believe this is for real. Ray himself has said there are two CIAs. These guys are from the criminal one, and Ray knows it.

Russiagate is not the fever dream of lone bad apple Brennan. Russiagate is an institutional initiative of CIA. Current DCI Gina Haspel was in London marshalling the foreign intelligence cutouts for the anti-Russian war propaganda that got repackaged for publication as Dem oppo research.

Ray has brass balls. But wake me up when he goes up against the CIA DO like he went up against DoS or Israeli navy pussies.


hetro , June 13, 2019 at 20:23

Yeah but this flagrant in your face we're-going-to-fuck-with-you people (again), and now with this particular fantasy, is rapidly un-entangling for all to see (and who can resist the naked lady in the sky?):

they used their intelligence assets to frame the whole thing, starting with Brennan's fixation on the juicy Steele thing. And why? A little more on why? What's beyond their repugnance for Trump, in the money angle? Is that coming out too?

Imagery of these people in prison garb behind bars sends a shiver through me.

David Otness , June 13, 2019 at 17:36

"Our long national nightmare is finally over ?"

For those too young, that was for Nixon finally having abdicated after a quite similar in national intrigue episode, his own imperial Presidency caught up short in impeachment. The difference being here, albeit from a scenario contrived for impeachment, it is the prosecutors of a sitting President who are in the spotlight, if not the crosshairs, for having contrived the plot to impeach.
The image of a meddling foreign power, the ultimate "other" as manifested in the decades-now-long demonizing of anything Putin from the CIA -- his Slavic-Asian features, a 'thug,' 'his oligarchs,' (versus our billionaire and quite as lawless 'tycoon/plutocrats') and the ludicrous Russian 'territorial expansion ambitions' (that from the by-far world's largest country and "Pssst, you're thinking of Israel) makes this transition back into the land of approximate reality of 2019 a different kettle of fish.

Meaning the U.S./CIA's easily ginned-up exploitable Cold War 2.0 recidivism is going to be a tenacious monkey to shake from the country's collective back. It's been drilled in -- intentionally -- hard and deep. And that isolates and nullifies the Dem true-believers who won't let go of it. And they continue to show they don't want to.
They are likely the leading edge of the Biden-Believers too; stuck in an unimaginative world that craves the Obama era even as its worse (liberal-approved) elements come back to haunt with these brooding personages like Brennan and the predatory Clapper-Thing foremost. Why does that matter? Because they both committed public perjury under oath. And walked. Unscathed. What does that say about the rule of law? And what does that say about those who lionize them, all the while knowing of that perjury?

Most people in the U.S. despised Nixon in 1974, and the D and R political parties had not reached the unconscionable and corrupt nadir at which we now find them in the pig-sty they have wrought for themselves and drug us into. And despising Trump is something most find easy enough, but his defenders are in the right on this if Brennan is exposed for such infamy. "And such a beautiful fantasy Rachel Maddow had woven for us. Why did it ever have to end ?"
If Dems had been honest with themselves, had critically-thought for themselves, had not fallen for the cheapest of tricks and been lucid-enough to see they were but foils in a mass psy-op they'd be well assured of regaining the Presidency almost by default.
But, as Mark Twain rightfully observed: "It's much easer to fool people than to convince them they've been fooled."

To have observed so many 'leftish' Dems claiming-to-be-progressives lionizing the likes of Brennan, Comey, and Clapper in their televised role-playing as saviors was hard enough to take, but then we come to the specter of Mueller who kept up the act in the face of knowing he had nothing from the get-go, but did his best to obfuscate for 2 years; likely all the while knowing this was Brennan's Brains' 'love child.'

Now even as the msm/House aspersions and egging-on continue post-Mueller report, these same plotters have only further-enfurled themselves in the flag and beckon for the Dem party faithful to drench themselves in further delusions; anything but confront the fact they've been so thoroughly used and abused already by Clinton Inc and its wholly-owned DNC. Silly humans. Mendacious masochists too.

And what of the nation as it spirals ever-downward to the drain ?
Bush would tell you to go shopping.
Obama would lay one of his patented "folks" on you. And tell you to never forget how "exceptional" you really are. It's your 'participation' trophy, mah fellow Americans. You swept the Apathy and Complacency divisions! Congratulations!

Jeff B , June 13, 2019 at 17:09

What the government (Deep State) values more than the truth or global stability is faith in government. They cannot afford to have the reality of this attempted coup come to light because normal, everyday citizens will be more appalled that this could happen more than it was revealed. The investigation may reach the grass roots reality of what transpired but I doubt the public will ever know. Even the hint of a conniving, dishonest Deep State will cause ripples even the media can gloss over. (Have you seen any of the network news programs do any story on the fabrication of WMD intelligence?)

Abe , June 13, 2019 at 17:00

"John Brennan has always been a failure as an intelligence officer even as he successfully climbed the promotion ladder. He was the CIA's Chief of Station (COS) in Saudi Arabia when the Khobar Towers were bombed, killing 19 Americans, a disaster which he incorrectly blamed on the Iranians. He was deputy executive director on 9/11 and was complicit in that intelligence failure. He subsequently served as CIA chief of staff when his boss George Tenet concocted phony stories about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. He also approved of the Agency torture and rendition programs and was complicit in the destruction of Libya as well as the attempt to do the same to Syria.

"Barack Obama wanted Brennan to be his CIA Director but his record with the Agency torture and rendition programs made approval by the Senate problematical. Instead, he became the president's homeland security advisor and deputy national security advisor for counterterrorism, where he did even more damage, expanding the parameters of the death by drone operations and sitting down with the POTUS for the Tuesday morning counterterrorism sessions spent refining the kill list of American citizens.

"After Obama was re-elected in 2012, he was able to overcome objections and appoint Brennan CIA Director. Conniving as ever, Brennan then ordered the Agency to read the communications of the congressional committee then engaged in investigating CIA torture, the very program that he had been complicit in. Brennan then denied to Congress under oath that any such intramural spying had occurred, afterwards apologizing when the truth came out."

Will the Real John Brennan Please Stand Up?
By Philip Giraldi
http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/will-the-real-john-brennan-please-stand-up/

CJ sazdad , June 13, 2019 at 16:57

They're after Kim Dot Com too as he openly admits to communicating with Seth Rich.

[Jun 14, 2019] It has been amusing to watch the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets express their dismay over the rise and spread of 'fake news.'

Jun 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , June 14, 2019 at 15:15

"It has been amusing to watch the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets express their dismay over the rise and spread of 'fake news.' These publications take it as an obvious truth that what they provide is straightforward, unbiased, fact-based reporting. They do offer such news, but they also provide a steady flow of their own varied forms of fake news, often by disseminating false or misleading information supplied to them by the national security state, other branches of government, and sites of corporate power.

"An important form of mainstream media fake news is that which is presented while suppressing information that calls the preferred news into question. [ ]

"The Times has run neck-and-neck with the Washington Post in stirring up fears of the Russian information war and illicit involvement with Trump. The Times now easily conflates fake news with any criticism of established institutions, as in Mark Scott and Melissa Eddy's 'Europe Combats a New Foe of Political Stability: Fake News,' February 20, 2017. But what is more extraordinary is the uniformity with which the paper's regular columnists accept as a given the CIA's assessment of the Russian hacking and transmission to WikiLeaks, the possibility or likelihood that Trump is a Putin puppet, and the urgent need of a congressional and 'non-partisan' investigation of these claims. This swallowing of a new war-party line has extended widely in the liberal media. Both the Times and Washington Post have lent tacit support to the idea that this 'fake news' threat needs to be curbed, possibly by some form of voluntary media-organized censorship or government intervention that would at least expose the fakery.

"The most remarkable media episode in this anti-influence-campaign was the Post's piece by Craig Timberg, 'Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say,' which featured a report by a group of anonymous "experts" entity called PropOrNot that claimed to have identified two hundred websites that, wittingly or not, were 'routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.' While smearing these websites, many of them independent news outlets whose only shared trait was their critical stance toward U.S. foreign policy, the 'experts' refused to identify themselves, allegedly out of fear of being 'targeted by legions of skilled hackers.' As journalist Matt Taibbi wrote, 'You want to blacklist hundreds of people, but you won't put your name to your claims? Take a hike.' But the Post welcomed and promoted this McCarthyite effort, which might well be a product of Pentagon or CIA information warfare. (And these entities are themselves well-funded and heavily into the propaganda business.)

"On December 23, 2016, President Obama signed the Portman-Murphy Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, which will supposedly allow the United States to more effectively combat foreign (namely Russian and Chinese) propaganda and disinformation. It will encourage more government counter-propaganda efforts, and provide funding to non-government entities to help in this enterprise. It is clearly a follow-on to the claims of Russian hacking and propaganda, and shares the spirit of the listing of two hundred tools of Moscow featured in the Washington Post. (Perhaps PropOrNot will qualify for a subsidy and be able to enlarge its list.) Liberals have been quiet on this new threat to freedom of speech, undoubtedly influenced by their fears of Russian-based fake news and propaganda. But they may yet take notice, even if belatedly, when Trump or one of his successors puts it to work on their own notions of fake news and propaganda.

"The success of the war party's campaign to contain or reverse any tendency to ease tensions with Russia was made dramatically clear in the Trump administration's speedy bombing response to the April 4, 2017, Syrian chemical weapons deaths. The Times and other mainstream media editors and journalists greeted this aggressive move with almost uniform enthusiasm, and once again did not require evidence of Assad's guilt beyond their government's claims. The action was damaging to Assad and Russia, but served the rebels well.

"But the mainstream media never ask cui bono? in cases like this. In 2013, a similar charge against Assad, which brought the United States to the brink of a full-scale bombing war in Syria, turned out to be a false flag operation, and some authorities believe the current case is equally problematic. Nevertheless, Trump moved quickly (and illegally), dealing a blow to any further rapprochement between the United States and Russia. The CIA, the Pentagon, leading Democrats, and the rest of the war party had won an important skirmish in the struggle over permanent war."

Fake News on Russia and Other Official Enemies: The New York Times, 1917–2017
By Edward S. Herman
https://monthlyreview.org/2017/07/01/fake-news-on-russia-and-other-official-enemies/

[Jun 14, 2019] Molly McKew, the information-warfare goddess

Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

The Mueller Report, recently released, tried its best to imply that there was collusion even as it stated baldly that the investigation had yielded no evidence of collusion. But what struck me with the most force was the manner in which the Democrats – and the entire crowd which has so much invested in having had an illegitimate president foisted upon them by the Godless Russians – simply shook its head, took a deep breath and went right on blathering the same lunatic narrative. The Russians interfered with our democracy. Nothing is safe. Russia is the enemy of democracy, and will not suffer a democracy to live. Get the kids and pack up enough food for traveling, Mabel; we're headed for the mountains – it's "Red Dawn", babycakes.

Amazing as it will sound, America has learned nothing.

Part of it, of course, is America's belief in its own omnipotence; if something came out differently from the way it was planned to come out, then America was tricked. Hoodwinked, by unscrupulous actors. It cannot be that America is subject to the same vagaries and pressures and caprices as the rest of the world; America decides, and so it shall be. Part of it is the diligent pick-and-shovel work that America's political forces do to preserve that illusion; that America is an unstoppable force, so much more than just a big rich country.

So, the premise endures. Russian trolls, acting on the personal orders of Vladimir Putin, generated a storm of hateful social-media messages on race relations in America, in a coordinated strike which included Russian release of Hillary Clinton's personal emails, and America faltered. It scratched its head in doubt, and Donald Trump slipped past the worthy – and oh, so wronged – Mrs. Clinton to seize the presidency with his soiled hands.

Matt Taibbi did some excellent work on the subject , which I admit grudgingly, as I hoped to get something out on America's inability to learn from its mistakes before the heavyweights. Taibbi's writing will make you wonder whether you should laugh or cry, as you wonder how an influential country could survive the embarrassment of the past couple of years, encapsulated by a journalistic mantra which holds that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Russia is guilty as sin, and you can take that to the bank, so the very fact that Mueller will not leak any proof to us must mean that his findings are so devastating, so jaw-dropping, so "shut up !!" that they would break the media. The one possibility which was not considered a possibility at all was that there was nothing, and that the accusations had been fabrication and desperate damage control from the first.

But the frustrated narrative of Russian collusion is the only component which has been discredited to the point that Democrats and Russophobes of all political persuasions must admit there is no happy ending to the promise that Donald Trump was going to be fired so high he would need to go on oxygen. Mueller – probably deliberately – continued to hint that Russia had 'meddled' in the 2016 election, and that the effect had been important enough that democracy is under attack. No longer listening to anyone outside the party-faithful echo chamber, the Democrats now insist that US Attorney-General William Barr resign , for 'misleading the American people about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia".

"Barr's news conference ultimately did nothing to help Trump, because the public has eyes. Americans could read the damning evidence of obstruction of justice and communications with Russians for themselves and make their own judgements."

Democrats continue to try to make up in volume and intensity for the fact that there is no evidence at all of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, nor of obstruction of justice by Trump. The Republicans shout that the Democrats are on a senseless witch hunt, that the report makes clear there was no collusion between Trump and the Russians but are perfectly happy to agree that Russia meddled in the election. For his part, Mueller is happy to drop hints that both obstruction and collusion probably took place – he just couldn't find any proof.

All are loony. Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election at all, at least no further than Europe did. A lengthy list of European political leaders and former leaders publicly expressed their support for Mrs. Clinton's election to the office of President of the United States. In 2008, just one is recorded as having done so ; Mona Sahlin, leader of Sweden's Social Democrats. Interestingly, in the same list of endorsements of Mrs. Clinton in 2008 – right after "Adult Entertainment Artists" – is this one: under "Well-Known Individuals", "Businessman and television personality, Future Presidential Candidate & Rival for the United States presidential election 2016, future President of the United States Donald Trump" .

There's gratitude for you.

The Presidents of Taiwan, Chile, France and Ukraine, the former Presidents of Mexico, France, Kosovo and Ecuador, the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, France, Italy, New Zealand and Sweden and former Prime Ministers of Sweden, the UK, Canada, Australia and France all openly expressed their hope that Mrs. Clinton would be elected President of the United States. None of this was considered meddling. I don't recall any official endorsement from Russia, although the international English-speaking media helpfully informed us that Putin hoped Trump would win, because he felt Trump would be more approachable for concessions and because he disliked Mrs. Clinton. When Trump did win, despite wrong guesses by just about every political analyst on the planet, it was considered 'additional evidence' that meddling had taken place, instigated by you-know-who.

Perhaps, in highlighting just how stupid America is making itself look with this painfully stubborn insistence that Russia rolled it in 2016, it would be useful to take another look at what American partisans claimed to already know, and could prove as easily as demonstrating that if you put your hand on a hot stove, you will burn it.

One of my favourite American partisans is the Duchess of Displacement, the Baroness of Bulk, Molly McKew . We took a look at her work a long time ago , on the old blog – just before Trump commenced his term, in fact – or perhaps I should say his first term, since the barking madness of the political landscape in today's America makes it entirely possible he will serve a second, unbelievable as that may sound. In that article, we closed out like this; "Look, we're getting close to the end of this, and it's time for plain speaking. Americans are confused and don't know fact from fiction because their own government feeds them bullshit with a side of spin day in, day out, and you're part of it. There was no Russian interference in the American elections, and you know it." My take on what happened has not changed a bit.

McKew is still regarded – highly, I should imagine, by her feeble-minded peers – as an 'information-warfare expert'. Hardly amazing that she sees information-warfare attacks everywhere. Here's what she claimed to know about Russian election interference and general friggin' in the riggin', a little over a year ago. She bases her conclusions on Mueller's Grand Jury indictment, which was issued more than a year in advance of his report – an indictment in which Mueller claimed the Defendants (a variety of Russian advertising and research agencies operating both in Russia and the United States) " knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016."

You know the old quote about how easy it is to get a Grand Jury to indict someone or something.

Something McKew claims is now – meaning as of early 2018 – "undeniable" is that Russia had, and has "a broad, sophisticated system that can influence American opinion, which cost tens of millions of dollars spent over several years to build." She must be talking about RT , although I suggest her cost estimate is a little low. RT, which the west considers a 'propaganda network', cost $30 million to set up, in 2005. Its operating costs now are in the hundreds of millions annually, although 80% of the costs are incurred outside Russia, paying for partner networks who distribute its channels.

We kind of have to give her that one, because it is true that RT's coverage is often at odds with the bullshit du jour that CNN and NBC and FOX are spreading. Bullshit, for example, like CNN's non-stop yammering about the collusion that Mueller could find no evidence ever occurred, and said so. Bullshit like NBC News anchor Brian Williams' recollections about his helicopter being shot down in Iraq – echoes of Hillary 'sniper fire' Clinton – , which never happened . Williams is not a nobody; he was the nation's longest-serving and top-rated news anchor.

I submit, however, that the American people are not subjected to RT's 'propaganda and disinformation' about American propaganda and disinformation against their will; there is a button on the remote called "On/Off" that will free the American enslaved from malign Kremlin influence. Alternatively, they can switch to another channel. I would just point out, though, that if they switch to a popular US news channel, they are very likely to be listening to a broadcast which has been curated by its corporate owners, and who " are unlikely to report news that is broadly hostile to corporate capitalism and the American elite ." That's according to a report entitled "Corporate Control of the Media" (in the USA), printed in 2009.

Warming to her subject, McKew goes on to claim "The Russian efforts described in the indictment focused on establishing deep, authenticated, long-term identities for individuals and groups within specific communities. This was underlaid by the establishment of servers and VPNs based in the US to mask the location of the individuals involved. US-based email accounts linked to fake or stolen US identity documents (driver licenses, social security numbers, and more) were used to back the online identities. These identities were also used to launder payments through PayPal and cryptocurrency accounts. All of this deception was designed to make it appear that these activities were being carried out by Americans."

This might be a good point at which to suggest there is every reason to believe 'these activities' were carried out by Americans. Americans working for national intelligence agencies.

In March 2017, The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima had an article published which was entitled "WikiLeaks' latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations." It detailed, among other things, a cyber tool called "Marble Framework" . This could be used, it was claimed, to re-assign attribution of material posted on the internet so that it appeared, for forensic purposes, to have originated from a different source. Test samples, it was reported, were included in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi.

The report which encouraged President Trump to ask his CIA Director – Mike Pompeo, at the time, who is currently the National Security Advisor – what he knew about this was co-authored by Skip Folden, who for 25 years was the IT Program Manager for IBM. I think it is safe to say he has some credibility in the field of cyber-forensics. The authors of the report contended that the 'hack' of the DNC's server was not actually a hack at all, but the at-source copying of data directly from the server using a storage device, probably a thumb drive. The data transfer rate, the authors claimed, was far too rapid to have occurred over the internet.

Since then I have seen a couple of 'rebuttals' which claimed that under certain conditions – like if nobody else was using the internet during that time – such copying from a remote source was possible. I never saw anything like proof. Like someone demonstrating how it could be done. Much like the old 'clean pee swap' the completely-discredited McLaren Report claimed the Russians performed on athletes' urine samples; he claimed to know how it was done, but never demonstrated it, and appeared to be unable to do so, as it would have strongly supported his allegations.

Having taken us such an eye-blurring distance on the blarney rollercoaster, Molly at last falls apart. "So anyone trying to tell you there was little impact on political views from the tools the Russians used doesn't know. Because none of us knows. No one has looked . Social media companies don't want us to know, and they obfuscate and drag their feet rather than disclosing information. The analytical tools to quantify the impact don't readily exist. But we know what we see, and what we heard -- and the narratives pushed by the Russian information operation made it to all of our ears and eyes" , she tells us.

So if you saw advertising by Black Lives Matter, or perhaps some other civil-rights organization, pushing a false narrative that blacks are second-class citizens in their own country, then you were exposed to Kremlin propaganda. And it affected how you voted, if you're an American. How much? Nobody knows. What everybody does know, or should, is that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, although not the determinate vote in the electoral college – quite a trick for the Russians to manage.

Let's summarize. Americans were supposedly pushed into voting for Donald Trump by the misuse of stolen data which was all true. The DNC did conspire to rig the primary so that Clinton was the Democratic candidate rather than Bernie Sanders; the Chair of the DNC resigned in disgrace because of the revelations which came to light. Her replacement, Donna Brazile, admitted to having fed the primary debate questions to Clinton in advance , giving her an advantage over Sanders, who was unaware of them as he should have been. At its very core, the Democratic party is as corrupt as the Nigerian prince who keeps e-mailing me to help him hide his ill-gotten fortune. American intelligence and technical professionals with no discernible benefit in making their country look bad insist that no hacking of the DNC's server took place, and that the stolen information which kicked the Democrats' feet out from under them on the eve of the election was not hacked, but stolen by direct physical transfer from the server using a portable storage device. Wikileaks insisted the information it released did not come from the Russians. The serving American intelligence services at the time of the 2016 election had a secret program which was capable of mimicking the origin of posted information on social media so that forensic investigation would find traces of Russian authorship, or other non-American authorship. The CIA has vigorously denied any involvement whatsoever in various international events at the time they occurred, only to admit much later – when it would be pointless to punish it – that they did in fact play an influential role. Data from 2014 established that at that time, 27% of black Americans lived below the poverty line , compared with 11% of all Americans; 38% of black children lived in poverty compared with 22% of all American children. I have seen no compelling evidence that this situation has improved. According to the perfidious Kremlin mouthpiece RT, citing American sources, American blacks are incarcerated at a rate six times as high as the national average .

Molly McKew, the information-warfare goddess, tells us that it is 'undeniable' that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, by making Americans doubt the integrity of their political candidates. In the case of the Democrats – which is by no means intended to spare the Republicans – they were demonstrated by their own repeatedly-verified and admitted shenanigans to understand 'integrity' about as well as the average crab fisherman understands how to calculate the mass of the sun. Everything they were accused of doing, they did. Candidate Hillary Clinton unambiguously lied – as she has done on other occasions – about the security classification of her 'private' emails and completely fabricated consent of the State Department for her to maintain a private email server for the sending and receiving of official message traffic. America does have an uneven scale of justice, law enforcement and standard of living based on race. There is no proof at all which has so far been made public that any of those situations were reported, compelled, exacerbated or invented by Russia, or by anyone from Russia. According to persistent revelations from Kiev, the American Democratic party energetically sought dirt on candidate Trump from Ukrainian sources , not Russian. McKew closes her soliloquy on election interference by maintaining that while it is undeniable that Russian interference occurred, nobody knows the extent to which it influenced the vote, which resulted in a popular win for the candidate who lost the election.

Let me posit another reality. Russia played no part at all in the outcome of the 2016 election, although it certainly was a surprise to most. There is no proof even offered that there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials of any description, and no proof which could not have been fabricated that any coherent social-media campaign originating with Russian operatives took place, or that any such imaginary social-media campaign had anything to do with Trump's victory. The Democrats, by sticking to their ridiculous and incredible narrative of Russian masterminds warping American democracy, are setting themselves up for having their headlights sucked out again by the passing Trump juggernaut in the next election, when they will be totally out of excuses if they do not wake up and do some serious retrenching.

But we are probably going to have to wait for history to teach that lesson to Americans.

[Jun 14, 2019] With Russiagate, we Soviet immigrants were finally forced to reckon with the bigotry of America's elite

Highly recommended!
Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al June 8, 2019 at 1:35 am

More good stuff at the link, inc.

Facebook's new public policy manager for Ukraine is nationalist hawk who volunteered with fascist party during US-backed coup

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/06/04/facebook-public-policy-manager-ukraine-kateryna-kruk/

&

With Russiagate, we Soviet immigrants were finally forced to reckon with the bigotry of America's elite

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/05/28/with-russiagate-we-soviet-immigrants-were-finally-forced-to-reckon-with-the-bigotry-of-americas-elite/

We never knew what it was like to have the country's media and political class brand people like us a possible threat. Until now.

By Yasha Levine

Mark Chapman June 8, 2019 at 10:38 am
You can adopt a lot of things about society as given; people will always defend those they know against those they don't. They will always defend their own even when they suspect or even know they are in the wrong. People will mostly help those who are in trouble if it costs them little or nothing to lend their support. And so on – people are mostly predictable as examples of collective will.

And people will often champion the elevation to positions of power of radicals, so long as that person's radical beliefs and policies further their own aims. Going beyond requires that we examine that society for cynicism and naivete. A naive society assumes that once the radical's aims have been achieved – in this case, the joining of the European Union and NATO by Ukraine – the radical will be satisfied, and will become a peaceful and productive servant of freedom and democracy rather than a fierce adherent to his or her own radical policies, but now within European society, where they might not be so welcome. The cynic assumes the radical will be used as long as he or she is useful to reaching the goals the cynics have set for the country, and then shunted aside or otherwise marginalized if he or she is no longer useful.

Which is it, do you think? I vote for cynicism, and I base that judgment on how smoothly the west transitioned from Nadya Savchenko the heroic martyr to Nadya Savchenko the radical anarchist who wanted to blow up the Rada.

moscowexile June 8, 2019 at 8:49 pm
Wonder if Yasha Levine has ever thought of discussing the points he raises in his above linked article with his erstwhile and also present-day fellow country persons Maria Gessen and Yulia "I-can-pronounce-Шереметьево" Ioffe?

[I absolutely refuse to call Gessen "Masha" (Molly)! She's not my pal!]

yalensis June 9, 2019 at 5:26 am
Yasha should not kvetch so much, the current anti-Russian witch hunt won't reach the likes of him. I know some Jewish Russian émigré families in the U.S., they can still skate by on their former "victimhood": They were required to whine about Soviet anti-Semitism, now all that is needed is a supplementary "I hate Putin, Yankee Doodle Dandy", and they're good to go.

These are the ones I actually despise the most, because they are ungrateful wretches. The Soviet Union saved their collective asses from Hitler, and look how they repayed the debt
I don't begrudge them emigrating to the U.S. if they did so for career reasons, maybe they could find better job opportunities, better conditions to raise their kids, etc. They could do that, but nobody really forced them to slime their former country as viciously as they did. And taught their kids to hate everything Russian. Ingrates!

[Jun 13, 2019] A loyal servant of empire -- Crowdstrike CEO -- is well-rewarded for his role in creating Russiagate hysteria by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... Never mind that to this day the DNC servers have not been examined by the FBI, nor indeed were they examined by the Special Counsel of Robert " Iraq has WMD " Mueller, preferring instead to go with the analyses of this extremely shady outfit with extensive and well-documented ties with the oligarchic leaders of the US-centralized empire. ..."
"... When the Romanian REAL Guccifer got Podesta password (password) by phishing, exposing his pizza and walnut sauce perversions, the US had him jailed. When WikiLeaks made a DNC dump, CrowdStrike concocted Guccifer 2.0, then more leaks Fancy Bear, and more leaks Cozy Bear. All these CrowdStrike fabrications used CIA Vault 7 fingerprints to frame Russia. It is time to execute our ruling demonic warlords. ..."
Jun 13, 2019 | caitlinjohnstone.com

A new article by Forbes reports that the CEO of Crowdstrike, the extremely shady cybersecurity corporation which was foundational in the construction of the official CIA/CNN Russian hacking narrative, is now a billionaire. George Kurtz ascended to the billionaire rankings on the back of soaring stocks immediately after the company went public, carried no doubt on the winds of the international fame it gained from its central protagonistic role in the most well-known hacking news story of all time.

A loyal servant of empire well-rewarded. Never mind that US government insiders like Hillary Clinton had been prepping for escalations against Russia well in advance of the 2016 elections, and that their preexisting agendas to shove a geostrategic obstacle off the world stage benefitted from the hacking narrative as much as George Kurtz did.

Never mind that Crowdstrike is tied to the NATO narrative management firm known as the Atlantic Council, which receives funding from the US government, the EU, NATO, Gulf states and powerful international oligarchs. Never mind either that Crowdstrike was financed with a whopping $100 million from Google , which has had a cozy relationship with US intelligence agencies since its very inception .

Never mind that to this day the DNC servers have not been examined by the FBI, nor indeed were they examined by the Special Counsel of Robert " Iraq has WMD " Mueller, preferring instead to go with the analyses of this extremely shady outfit with extensive and well-documented ties with the oligarchic leaders of the US-centralized empire.

Also never mind that the Crowdstrike analyst who led forensics on those DNC servers had in fact worked for and was promoted by Robert Mueller while the two were in the FBI.

The CEO of the Atlantic Council-tied Crowdstrike, which formed the foundation of the official CIA/CNN Russian hacking narrative, is now a billionaire. I'm telling you, the real underlying currency of this world is narrative and the ability to control it. https://t.co/XsBCvkIDzJ -- Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) June 12, 2019
As I never tire of saying, the real underlying currency in our world is not gold, nor bureaucratic fiat, nor even raw military might.

The real underlying currency of our world is narrative, and the ability to control it.

As soon as you really grok this dynamic, you start noticing it everywhere.

George Kurtz is one clear example today of narrative control's central role in the maintenance and expansion of existing power structures, as well as an illustration of how the empire is wired to reward those who advance pro-empire narratives and punish those who damage them...

... ... ...

Joseph Olson / June 13, 2019
When the Romanian REAL Guccifer got Podesta password (password) by phishing, exposing his pizza and walnut sauce perversions, the US had him jailed. When WikiLeaks made a DNC dump, CrowdStrike concocted Guccifer 2.0, then more leaks Fancy Bear, and more leaks Cozy Bear. All these CrowdStrike fabrications used CIA Vault 7 fingerprints to frame Russia. It is time to execute our ruling demonic warlords.

[Jun 11, 2019] Hillary Clinton's Russia collusion IOU The answers she owes America

I think it is oversimplification. It was the intelligence agencies that controlled Hillary, not vise versa. The interests of intelligence agencies and Hillary campaign coincided, that's why she got as much support form CIA and FBI: Trump represented a central danger to flow of funds to "national security parasites" so their reaction was predictable reaction of any large bureaucracy of the possibility of losing power -- they circle the wagons.
Notable quotes:
"... But Steele's first overture on July 5, 2016, failed to capture the FBI's imagination. So the Clinton machine escalated. Steele, a British national, went to senior Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr -- whose wife, Nellie, also worked for Fusion -- to push his Trump dirt to the top of the FBI. ..."
"... Nellie Ohr likewise sent some of her own anti-Trump research augmenting Steele's dossier to the FBI through her husband. Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussmann used his connection to former FBI general counsel James Baker to dump Trump dirt at the FBI, too. ..."
"... In short, the Clinton machine flooded the FBI with pressure -- and bad intel -- until an investigation of Trump was started. The bureau and its hapless sheriff at the time, James Comey, eventually acquiesced with the help of such Clinton fans as then-FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. ..."
"... The Clinton team's dirty trick was as diabolical as it was brilliant. It literally used house money and a large part of the U.S. intelligence apparatus to carry out its political hit job on Trump. ..."
"... After two years of American discomfort, and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars spent, it's time for the house to call in its IOU. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton owes us answers -- lots of them. So far, she has ducked them, even while doing many high-profile media interviews. ..."
"... Longtime Clinton adviser Douglas Schoen said Friday night on Fox News that it's time for Clinton to answer what she knew and when she knew it. ..."
"... John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists' misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He serves as an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill. Follow him on Twitter @jsolomonReports . ..."
Jun 11, 2019 | thehill.com

During the combined two decades she served as a U.S. senator and secretary of State, Hillary Clinton 's patrons regularly donated to her family charity when they had official business pending before America's most powerful political woman.

The pattern of political IOUs paid to the Clinton Foundation was so pernicious that the State Department even tried to execute a special agreement with the charity to avoid the overt appearance of "pay-to-play" policy.

Still, the money continued to flow by the millions of dollars, from foreigners and Americans alike who were perceived to be indebted to the Clinton machine or in need of its help.

It's time for the American public to call in their own IOU on political transparency.

The reason? Never before -- until 2016 -- had the apparatus of a U.S. presidential candidate managed to sic the weight of the FBI and U.S. intelligence community on a rival nominee during an election, and by using a foreign-fed, uncorroborated political opposition research document.

But Clinton's campaign, in concert with the Democratic Party and through their shared law firm, funded Christopher Steele's unverified dossier which, it turns out, falsely portrayed Republican Donald Trump as a treasonous asset colluding with Russian President Vladimir Putin to hijack the U.S. election.

Steele went to the FBI to get an investigation started and then leaked the existence of the investigation, with the hope of sinking Trump's presidential aspirations.

On its face, it is arguably the most devious political dirty trick in American history and one of the most overt intrusions of a foreigner into a U.S. election.

It appears the Clinton machine knew that what it was doing was controversial. That's why it did backflips to disguise the operation from Congress and the public, and in its Federal Election Commission (FEC) spending reports.

Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) used the law firm of Perkins Coie to hire Glenn Simpson's research firm, Fusion GPS, which then hired Steele -- several layers that obfuscated transparency, kept the operation off the campaign's public FEC reports and gave the Clintons plausible deniability.

But Steele's first overture on July 5, 2016, failed to capture the FBI's imagination. So the Clinton machine escalated. Steele, a British national, went to senior Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr -- whose wife, Nellie, also worked for Fusion -- to push his Trump dirt to the top of the FBI.

Nellie Ohr likewise sent some of her own anti-Trump research augmenting Steele's dossier to the FBI through her husband. Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussmann used his connection to former FBI general counsel James Baker to dump Trump dirt at the FBI, too.

Then Steele and, separately, longtime Clinton protégé Cody Shearer went to the State Department to get the story out, increasing pressure on the FBI.

In short, the Clinton machine flooded the FBI with pressure -- and bad intel -- until an investigation of Trump was started. The bureau and its hapless sheriff at the time, James Comey, eventually acquiesced with the help of such Clinton fans as then-FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

To finish the mission, Simpson and Steele leaked the existence of the FBI investigation to the news media to ensure it would hurt Trump politically. Simpson even called the leaks a "hail Mary" that failed.

Trump won, however. And now, thanks to special counsel Robert Mueller, we know the Russia-collusion allegations relentlessly peddled by Team Clinton were bogus. But not before the FBI used the Clinton-funded, foreign-created research to get a total of four warrants to spy on the Trump campaign , transition and presidency from October 2016 through the following autumn.

The Clinton team's dirty trick was as diabolical as it was brilliant. It literally used house money and a large part of the U.S. intelligence apparatus to carry out its political hit job on Trump.

After two years of American discomfort, and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars spent, it's time for the house to call in its IOU.

Hillary Clinton owes us answers -- lots of them. So far, she has ducked them, even while doing many high-profile media interviews.

I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Longtime Clinton adviser Douglas Schoen said Friday night on Fox News that it's time for Clinton to answer what she knew and when she knew it.

Here are 10 essential questions:

Please identify each person in your campaign, including Perkins Coie lawyers, who were aware that Steele provided information to the FBI or State Department, and when they learned it.

Describe any information you and your campaign staff received, or were briefed on, before Election Day that was derived from the work of Simpson, Steele, Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr or Perkins Coie and that tried to connect Trump, his campaign or his business empire with Russia.

Please describe all contacts your campaign had before Election Day with or about the following individuals: Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele, former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, former foreign policy scholar Stefan Halper and Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud.

Did you or any senior members of your campaign, including lawyers such as Michael Sussmann, have any contact with the CIA, its former Director John Brennan, current Director Gina Haspel, James Baker, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page or former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe?

Describe all contacts your campaign had with Cody Shearer and Sidney Blumenthal concerning Trump, Russia and Ukraine.

Describe all contacts you and your campaign had with DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa, the Ukraine government, the Ukraine Embassy in the United States or the U.S. Embassy in Kiev concerning Trump, Russia or former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Why did your campaign and the Democratic Party make a concerted effort to portray Trump as a Russian asset?

Given that investigations by a House committee, a Senate committee and a special prosecutor all have concluded there isn't evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, do you regret the actions by your campaign and by Steele, Simpson and Sussmann to inject these unfounded allegations into the FBI, the U.S. intelligence community and the news media?

Hillary Clinton owes us answers to each of these questions. She should skip the lawyer-speak and answer them with the candor worthy of an elder American stateswoman.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists' misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He serves as an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill. Follow him on Twitter @jsolomonReports .

[Jun 11, 2019] Luke Harding is back with one of his bullshit exclusives in the Guardian.

This is "Integrity Initiative" at work...
Jun 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Ghost Ship , Jun 11, 2019 11:01:51 AM | 134
That arsehole Luke Harding is back with one of his bullshit exclusives in the Guardian .
Leaked documents reveal Russian effort to exert influence in Africa
Exclusive: Kremlin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin leading push to turn continent into strategic hub, documents show
by Luke Harding and Jason Burke
The only thing you really need to know about the exposé:
The leaked documents were obtained by the Dossier Center, an investigative unit based in London. The centre is funded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Russian businessman and exiled Kremlin critic.
The Guardian obviously has no shame for publishing such an article but then it has never explained the claims of Manafort meeting with Assange in the Ecuadorean embassy. As for the article, my reaction was "so fucking what?".

The British French and Americans have fucked up large parts of Africa while the Soviet Union/Russia was indirectly responsible for eradicating that cancerous growth, the apartheid state of South Africa, a single act that was better than all the good things that the United Kingdom, France and the United States have ever done in Africa

[Jun 10, 2019] John Brennan 'Pathological Deceiver' Trump 'Rankles Me to No End'

Notable quotes:
"... Despite special counsel Robert Mueller clearing Trump of collusion with Russia in 2016, Brennan still maintains the counterintelligence operation against the Republican nominee's campaign was more than justified. ..."
"... "I was there in the summer of '16 and it was very well predicated," the former intelligence official told MSNBC's Deadline host Nicole Wallace last month. "To launch this counterintelligence investigation about what the Russians were doing to interfere in our election and how among American citizens might have been working with them." ..."
"... Eventually 0bama will be asked when he authorized the spying on the 2012 election, and you can bet 0bama will toss Brennan under that proverbial bus. 0bama will have to answer the question, because there is a massive paper trail of evidence. ..."
"... President Trump weathered the Russia-Russia-Russia hoax storm. Those slow-moving wheels of real justice are finally starting to turn. ..."
Jun 10, 2019 | www.breitbart.com

Former CIA Director John Brennan has once against spoken out against President Donald Trump, describing him in a recent interview as a "pathological deceiver" who "rankles" him "to no end."

Speaking to the Irish Times over the weekend, Brennan discussed what he claims is the root of his harsh and repeated criticism of President Trump. The longtime Deep Stater's attacks, he claims, aren't driven as much by president's policy prescriptions but by his character.

"So my beef with Donald Trump is not because he has done some very foolish things – like reneging on the Iran nuclear deal, or how he has handled the North Korea situation – I find that many of his policies are deeply flawed and are purely tactical to give him a political bounce," he told interviewer Suzanne Lynch, the Times' Washington Correspondent.

"But if that was the only problem I had with him, I would be silent. What really just rankles me to no end is his dishonesty, his lack of ethics and principles and character, the way he demeans and degrades and denigrates individuals or institutions of government, what he has done and said about the FBI and CIA and the former leadership, the fact that he wilfully misleads not just the American people but the world," the former Obama spy chief continued .

Brennan concluded his thoughts on Trump by stating : "He is a pathological deceiver and that lack of ethical, principled behaviour is something that I never thought I would see in the president of the United States who is the most powerful person in the world, who should serve as a role model to all Americans.

Brennan's remarks come as his conduct during the U.S. government's Russia investigation is under review by the Department of Justice. Last month, President Trump directed several federal departments and agencies to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr's examination of the Russia probe's origins, as well as the declassification of intelligence related to it.

Despite special counsel Robert Mueller clearing Trump of collusion with Russia in 2016, Brennan still maintains the counterintelligence operation against the Republican nominee's campaign was more than justified.

"I was there in the summer of '16 and it was very well predicated," the former intelligence official told MSNBC's Deadline host Nicole Wallace last month. "To launch this counterintelligence investigation about what the Russians were doing to interfere in our election and how among American citizens might have been working with them."

Skeptical Shazaam 6 hours ago

Brennan is worried about what President Trump is doing with the metric-tons of #Spygate & #Obamagate evidence.

Eventually 0bama will be asked when he authorized the spying on the 2012 election, and you can bet 0bama will toss Brennan under that proverbial bus. 0bama will have to answer the question, because there is a massive paper trail of evidence.

They never thought Hillary could lose. Mueller's special counsel, was only a temporary cover-up. President Trump weathered the Russia-Russia-Russia hoax storm. Those slow-moving wheels of real justice are finally starting to turn.

[Jun 07, 2019] The CIA and security services have every right to know who is who on all and every politician and their staff

Yeah and let's take a look at the CIA's backing for Operation Gladio in post WW2 Europe. Yeah, you Americans were there but you certainly weren't saving lives or making the aftermath bearable for the victims.
Notable quotes:
"... Don't fire Brennan. Arrest him and charge him violating the prohibition against domestic surveillance, lying under oath and, arguably, treason. Maybe there is space in Guantanamo for him to reflect upon the meaning of the Constitution and the rule of law. ..."
"... "What might a government of the people that does not trust the people it governs be properly called?" ..."
Aug 01, 2014 | www.theguardian.com

panamadave , 1 Aug 2014 10:54

There should be no discussion about this! However just like Mockingbird, National Students Ass., Tailwind, PBSUCCESS,and so many others, they will stall until they get it dropped from the media and we will forget again.
Get Smart Amarica
Timelooper , 1 Aug 2014 10:41
How can you have any faith or trust in a government like this? It's one damn thing after another. The Executive branch, the Congress, the high courts, the Justice Dept. are all corrupt. Laws are broken, constitutional protections are laughed at, we are constantly being spied on. No charges are brought. Nobody goes to jail. But Snowden is a traitor for revealing the truth.
The1eyedman , 1 Aug 2014 10:11
A minor detail? The CIA and security services have every right to know who is who on all and every politician and their staff.
That's why we are safe. :-)
freeandfair -> Woodby69 , 1 Aug 2014 10:04
And the brave. They are so brave, they are pathologically afraid of everyone. And want to be "protected".
freeandfair -> whatdidyouexpect , 1 Aug 2014 10:03
Other than it is against the law for CIA to spy in the US. It is FBI's job. And Brennan lied to Congress under oath, a crime for which Clinton was impeached. And the fact that if they are coneding this crime, they must've been caught on something even bigger. Sure, everything else is just fine. As far as we know, that is.
J. Alberto Perez Zacarias , 1 Aug 2014 09:40
They are way out of control. They need to take a step back and reevaluate their reason for being and their goals. You can't protect the people if you see them as the enemy.
rickmcq , 1 Aug 2014 09:38
So it appears that some in Congress will get upset if a Executive agency misuses its powers? Are these the same folks who seem to be okay with the IRS focus on Conservative 501(c)(3) applicants?
rickmcq -> rickmcq , 1 Aug 2014 09:36
(Sorry, that should have been "reined in" above.)
rickmcq -> Trevor Alfred , 1 Aug 2014 09:35
Um, no, Trevor Alfred, "the REAL terrorists" are still the folks who deliberately bomb civilians in areas where peace is supposed to exist. The intelligence agencies are civil servants who need to be reigned in whenever they exceed the instructions given to them by their civilian bosses.
hhhobbit , 1 Aug 2014 09:03
Who ever was over the hacking of the Senator's computer and the Senator's staffers computers should be invited to leave. If that extends all the way up to Brennan, so be it.
MuppetPilferR -> PJKatz , 1 Aug 2014 08:38
Unfortunately, that corrective action has to come from those who are perpetrating these crimes in order for it to be legal. It's the classic Catch-22 of political corruption.
DaoTe , 1 Aug 2014 08:28
Don't fire Brennan. Arrest him and charge him violating the prohibition against domestic surveillance, lying under oath and, arguably, treason. Maybe there is space in Guantanamo for him to reflect upon the meaning of the Constitution and the rule of law.
DhammaRider -> Texascelt , 1 Aug 2014 08:10
And the reason that we never hear of these supposed 'facts' is what? That we're all too dumb to know? Dumbing down America is getting mighty costly of late, n'est-pas?
DhammaRider , 1 Aug 2014 08:06
Just because they say you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. Remember: America is not a democracy. That's a sideshow. It's an oligarchy and don't you forget it.
heleninc , 1 Aug 2014 07:40
You can always trust some govts/agencies/people to always take the wrong path/back door. It would simply never occur to them to take the right one. This is who they are.
Nad Gough -> TomG , 1 Aug 2014 07:32

"What might a government of the people that does not trust the people it governs be properly called?"

scared sh&#less?

Nad Gough , 1 Aug 2014 07:30
Don't worry it wasn't official, just "staff". lol

Staffs carry out directives. I'm not buying that staff had cause to go looking otherwise.

Feinstein has problems with being spied on, yet heads the Intelligence Committee who for several years has been authorizing spying on - well, everybody.

Feinstein shouldn't worry about spying, unless she's doing something wrong. Isn't that the proposition?

Markenstein -> Piet Van Der Riet , 1 Aug 2014 07:28
They certainly are most transparent to the 'Company'!
TomG , 1 Aug 2014 07:08
So why is it scandalous for public officials in our supposed western liberal democracies to spy on officials in other agencies, and deserving of an apology, but it's Okay for officials to spy on fellow citizens?

What might a government of the people that does not trust the people it governs be properly called?

Perhaps we all need to stop making sense.

Texascelt , 1 Aug 2014 06:54
I would like to point out that beyond what is touted in the press as "the story" the nature of these sorts of things can remain hidden for many years. Recent events in Germany and in Washington, if viewed from a different perspective may be connected. In the past when such revelations come to light it is resultant from security issues that are of such magnitude that those tasked with intelligence responsibilities remain in power because they are simply doing their job and are doing so at the command of elected officials, who when made aware of covert matters go all quiet and allow the chips to fall as they may. Seldom does the public ever hear of the actual facts in a timely way, and by the time that does happens they have long since moved on to more pressing matters.
diddoit , 1 Aug 2014 06:50
Has any politician asked them to explain why they spied, in terms of their motivations ? It seems the 'why' is surely more damaging than the act of spying itself?
Trevor Alfred -> Hottentot , 1 Aug 2014 06:38
What else is new!...Corruption / deceit / fraud / theft, at the highest level of tax payers money is being conducted..War criminals being sponsored by their own corrupt government ministers / agencies, to create carnage, by divide & rule tactics...Its a fatal backfiring failure / disaster which is causing their downfall.
Trevor Alfred , 1 Aug 2014 06:19
Not surprising...All these out of control "rogue agencies" I.E. CIA / NSA / MI5 / MI6 / GCHG / MOSAD, must be brought to book for their corrupt / deceitful / fraudulent workings...Their most senior officers are involved in a worldwide cover up into illegal involvement of creating criminal wars around the world, by using spying techniques upon government institutions & citizens...The recent scandal of phone tapping / voice mail / email interception, goes to show the lengths they are prepared to conduct / cover up their own war criminality acts. They are the REAL terrorists !!
BarrieJ -> worldperspective , 1 Aug 2014 05:48
"They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger they are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretences, and all of this they hail as the construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace."
― Tacitus (AD56 to after AD117) The Agricola and the Germania

He could have been writing today.
Bardamux -> CornsilkSW , 1 Aug 2014 05:37
Which US-President was any better ?
donkiddick , 1 Aug 2014 05:36
They'll even eat their own... How this behaviour doesn't equate to criminal actions is part of the disgrace. The US government have morphed in to a dystopian movement.
BarrieJ -> freeandfair , 1 Aug 2014 05:34
So true. At least the people of Russia knew they were under a yoke, American citizens were led to believe they lived in the land of the free.
BarrieJ -> Darius Las , 1 Aug 2014 05:26
At least the Chinese know what they've got and know that it's dangerous to discuss it.
BarrieJ -> pa2013 , 1 Aug 2014 05:21
9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA by Webster Griffin Tarpley (ISBN: 9780930852375) another good read and makes a plausible case for a coup carried out on America.
BarrieJ -> fringe_perception , 1 Aug 2014 05:16
Us Brits have led the field for centuries.

In the reign of Elizabeth 1st a blacksmith was executed for treason because he was overhead saying that he believed the uncrowned King Edward V was still alive.

A quick search on Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's Secretary of State will reveal for just how long and how sophisticated state spying on state has been.

BarrieJ -> eldudeabides , 1 Aug 2014 05:03
Yes, they don't like others to be in a position to know of their venality, their sexual deviances and assorted other human failings.

Else that knowledge be used to control them...............

BarrieJ -> consciouslyinformed , 1 Aug 2014 04:58
The problem of how the rest of the world views the actions of the US is exacerbated by the seeming inability or disinterest of its citizens in doing anything about it. Admittedly, a frustration shared by many citizens/subjects in Western countries, that pretend to be functioning democracies but are in fact anything but.

The problem with political power is that it proves to be a magnet to those with sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies and they are easily corrupted.

We are politically and economically very poorly educated and are daily fed propaganda and mind filling mush by media that are 'on message'.

The media ownership needs to be broken up but politicians, corporations and the media are one self serving body and would resist that and have the power to do so.

Back in the day, the people of Russia knew that what they were being fed was propaganda, in the US and the UK we thought it was news.

fireangel , 1 Aug 2014 04:51
Intelligence Agencies have their own Agenda. The CIA spy on everyone including the Senate it seems. Meanwhile the Israeli Intelligence Agencies spy on many people Including the USA, the very people who give them the money... (Out of Control is the thought that springs to mind)
SteveBiko187 -> EndersShadow , 1 Aug 2014 04:27
Whereas in reality it's only the whistleblowers who lose their job and pension.
spartacute , 1 Aug 2014 04:26
If the CIA are Spying on the Senate you have to ask the Question who are they working for ? Is it the American Government ? Is it the American Military? Is it The American Citizen ? Or are we seeing the henchmen of the illuminati in action here !
Their fingers seem to be in every pie and no one seems to be able to control them .
BarrieJ -> David Egan , 1 Aug 2014 04:24
You've just about hit the nail on the head but what to do about it?
DaniJV , 1 Aug 2014 04:22
US democracy is simply a joke.

[Jun 07, 2019] Skip to main content

Jun 07, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers Comments This is our basic commenting system. For the full range of features, use one of our recommended browsers .

panamadave , 1 Aug 2014 10:54

There should be no discussion about this! However just like Mockingbird,National Students Ass., Tailwind, PBSUCCESS,and so many others, they will stall until they get it dropped from the media and we will forget again.
Get Smart Amarica
jet0001 -> Nad Gough , 1 Aug 2014 10:50
'Stop and Frisk' is illegal.
williamdonovan , 1 Aug 2014 10:45
John Brennan's next job should be in a orange jump suit earning pennies and hour.
But we all know that this will never happen. Brennan is the right hand of the commander and chief of death, destruction and torture. and has been for a long time. This is the work of evil, plain and simple.
Christopher Thomann , 1 Aug 2014 10:42
Get rid of this liar
Timelooper , 1 Aug 2014 10:41
How can you have any faith or trust in a government like this? It's one damn thing after another. The Executive branch, the Congress, the high courts, the Justice Dept. are all corrupt. Laws are broken, constitutional protections are laughed at, we are constantly being spied on. No charges are brought. Nobody goes to jail. But Snowden is a traitor for revealing the truth.
maciver -> ecnu , 1 Aug 2014 10:37
That'a because they kept putting women in his bed.
dcmarti1 -> EndersShadow , 1 Aug 2014 10:21
Yes, and then you will be placed under watch as well. Still, I plan on writing my house and senate reps.....
The1eyedman , 1 Aug 2014 10:11
A minor detail?
The CIA and security services have every right to know who is who on all and every politician and their staff.
That's why we are safe. :-)
freeandfair -> Woodby69 , 1 Aug 2014 10:04
And the brave.
They are so brave, they are patologically afraid of everyone. And want to be "protected".
freeandfair -> whatdidyouexpect , 1 Aug 2014 10:03
Other than it is against the law for CIA to spy in the US. It is FBI's job.
And Brennan lied to Congress under oath, a crime for which Clinton was impeached. And the fact that if they are coneding this crime, they must've been caught on something even bigger.
Sure, everything else is just fine. As far as we know, that is.
J. Alberto Perez Zacarias , 1 Aug 2014 09:40
They are way out of control. They need to take a step back and reevaluate their reason for being and their goals.

You can't protect the people if you see them as the enemy.

rickmcq , 1 Aug 2014 09:38
So it appears that some in Congress will get upset if a Executive agency misuses its powers? Are these the same folks who seem to be okay with the IRS focus on Conservative 501(c)(3) applicants?
rickmcq -> rickmcq , 1 Aug 2014 09:36
(Sorry, that should have been "reined in" above.)
rickmcq -> Trevor Alfred , 1 Aug 2014 09:35
Um, no, Trevor Alfred, "the REAL terrorists" are still the folks who deliberately bomb civilians in areas where peace is supposed to exist. The intelligence agencies are civil servants who need to be reigned in whenever they exceed the instructions given to them by their civilian bosses.
altoclef , 1 Aug 2014 09:28
And the CIA torture?
hhhobbit , 1 Aug 2014 09:03
Who ever was over the hacking of the Senator's computer and the Senator's staffers computers should be invited to leave. If that extends all the way up to Brennan, so be it.
MuppetPilferR -> PJKatz , 1 Aug 2014 08:38
Unfortunately, that corrective action has to come from those who are perpetrating these crimes in order for it to be legal. It's the classic Catch-22 of political corruption.
DaoTe , 1 Aug 2014 08:28
Don't fire Brennan. Arrest him and charge him violating the prohibition against domestic surveillance, lying under oath and, arguably, treason. Maybe there is space in Guantanamo for him to reflect upon the meaning of the Constitution and the rule of law.
DhammaRider -> Texascelt , 1 Aug 2014 08:10
And the reason that we never hear of these supposed 'facts' is what? That we're all too dumb to know? Dumbing down America is getting mighty costly of late, n'est-pas?
DhammaRider , 1 Aug 2014 08:06
Just because they say you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. Remember: America is not a democracy. That's a sideshow. It's an oligarchy and don't you forget it.
magzie01950 , 1 Aug 2014 08:05
We need less government with less power. They are parasites sucking off there host, us!
heleninc , 1 Aug 2014 07:40
You can always trust some govts/agencies/people to always take the wrong path/back door. It would simply never occur to them to take the right one. This is who they are.
Nad Gough -> TomG , 1 Aug 2014 07:32
"What might a government of the people that does not trust the people it governs be properly called?"

scared sh&#less?

Nad Gough , 1 Aug 2014 07:30
Don't worry it wasn't official, just "staff". lol

Staffs carry out directives. I'm not buying that staff had cause to go looking otherwise.

Feinstein has problems with being spied on, yet heads the Intelligence Committee who for several years has been authorizing spying on - well, everybody.

Feinstein shouldn't worry about spying, unless she's doing something wrong. Isn't that the proposition?

Markenstein -> Piet Van Der Riet , 1 Aug 2014 07:28
They certainly are most transparent to the 'Company'!
TomG , 1 Aug 2014 07:08
So why is it scandalous for public officials in our supposed western liberal democracies to spy on officials in other agencies, and deserving of an apology, but it's Okay for officials to spy on fellow citizens?

What might a government of the people that does not trust the people it governs be properly called?

Perhaps we all need to stop making sense.

Texascelt , 1 Aug 2014 06:54
I would like to point out that beyond what is touted in the press as "the story" the nature of these sorts of things can remain hidden for many years. Recent events in Germany and in Washington, if viewed from a different perspective may be connected. In the past when such revelations come to light it is resultant from security issues that are of such magnitude that those tasked with intelligence responsibilities remain in power because they are simply doing their job and are doing so at the command of elected officials, who when made aware of covert matters go all quiet and allow the chips to fall as they may. Seldom does the public ever hear of the actual facts in a timely way, and by the time that does happens they have long since moved on to more pressing matters.
diddoit , 1 Aug 2014 06:50
Has any politician asked them to explain why they spied, in terms of their motivations ? It seems the 'why' is surely more damaging than the act of spying itself?
Trevor Alfred -> Hottentot , 1 Aug 2014 06:38
What else is new!...Corruption / deceit / fraud / theft, at the highest level of tax payers money is being conducted..War criminals being sponsored by their own corrupt government ministers / agencies, to create carnage, by divide & rule tactics...Its a fatal backfiring failure / disaster which is causing their downfall.
Trevor Alfred , 1 Aug 2014 06:19
Not surprising...All these out of control "rogue agencies" I.E. CIA / NSA / MI5 / MI6 / GCHG / MOSAD, must be brought to book for their corrupt / deceitful / fraudulent workings...Their most senior officers are involved in a worldwide cover up into illegal involvement of creating criminal wars around the world, by using spying techniques upon government institutions & citizens...The recent scandal of phone tapping / voice mail / email interception, goes to show the lengths they are prepared to conduct / cover up their own war criminality acts. They are the REAL terrorists !!
NhaNghi , 1 Aug 2014 06:14
I'm American but I live in a communist country. I hate these security thugs no matter what country they live in. They're all the same.
Fyflot , 1 Aug 2014 06:11
A failed government agency.
BarrieJ -> worldperspective , 1 Aug 2014 05:48
"They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger they are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretences, and all of this they hail as the construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace."
― Tacitus (AD56 to after AD117) The Agricola and the Germania

He could have been writing today.
David Garrison , 1 Aug 2014 05:41
I kid you not, In the start menu, I typed "bullshit" , pressed enter
and got Milton Friedman.
Bardamux -> CornsilkSW , 1 Aug 2014 05:37
Which US-President was any better ?
padatharasuresh , 1 Aug 2014 05:36
Wow! It will be easier for them to say who they did not spy on.
donkiddick , 1 Aug 2014 05:36
They'll even eat their own... How this behaviour doesn't equate to criminal actions is part of the disgrace. The US government have morphed in to a dystopian movement.
BarrieJ -> freeandfair , 1 Aug 2014 05:34
So true.
At least the people of Russia knew they were under a yoke, American citizens were led to believe they lived in the land of the free.
BarrieJ -> Darius Las , 1 Aug 2014 05:26
At least the Chinese know what they've got and know that it's dangerous to discuss it.
NhaNghi , 1 Aug 2014 05:22
But they're such kind, gentle people . . .
BarrieJ -> pa2013 , 1 Aug 2014 05:21
9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA by Webster Griffin Tarpley (ISBN: 9780930852375) another good read and makes a plausible case for a coup carried out on America.
BarrieJ -> orwellrollsinhisgrav , 1 Aug 2014 05:17
Less than 10%?
BarrieJ -> fringe_perception , 1 Aug 2014 05:16
Us Brits have led the field for centuries.

In the reign of Elizabeth 1st a blacksmith was executed for treason because he was overhead saying that he believed the uncrowned King Edward V was still alive.

A quick search on Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's Secretary of State will reveal for just how long and how sophisticated state spying on state has been.

BarrieJ -> eldudeabides , 1 Aug 2014 05:03
Yes, they don't like others to be in a position to know of their venality, their sexual deviances and assorted other human failings.

Else that knowledge be used to control them...............

BarrieJ -> consciouslyinformed , 1 Aug 2014 04:58
The problem of how the rest of the world views the actions of the US is exacerbated by the seeming inability or disinterest of its citizens in doing anything about it.
Admittedly, a frustration shared by many citizens/subjects in Western countries, that pretend to be functioning democracies but are in fact anything but.

The problem with political power is that it proves to be a magnet to those with sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies and they are easily corrupted.

We are politically and economically very poorly educated and are daily fed propaganda and mind filling mush by media that are 'on message'.

The media ownership needs to be broken up but politicians, corporations and the media are one self serving body and would resist that and have the power to do so.

Back in the day, the people of Russia knew that what they were being fed was propaganda, in the US and the UK we thought it was news.

fireangel , 1 Aug 2014 04:51
Intelligence Agencies have their own Agenda.
The CIA spy on everyone including the Senate it seems.
Meanwhile the Israeli Intelligence Agencies spy on many people Including the USA,the very people who give them the money...
(Out of Control is the thought that springs to mind)
SteveBiko187 -> EndersShadow , 1 Aug 2014 04:27
Whereas in reality it's only the whistleblowers who lose their job and pension.
spartacute , 1 Aug 2014 04:26
If the CIA are Spying on the Senate you have to ask the Question who are they working for ? Is it the American Government ? Is it the American Military? Is it The American Citizen ? Or are we seeing the henchmen of the illuminati in action here !
Their fingers seem to be in every pie and no one seems to be able to control them .
BarrieJ -> David Egan , 1 Aug 2014 04:24
You've just about hit the nail on the head but what to do about it?
DaniJV , 1 Aug 2014 04:22
US democracy is simply a joke.

[Jun 07, 2019] CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers by Spencer Ackerman

Brennan as a long history of illegal spying...
Notable quotes:
"... The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, issued an extraordinary apology to leaders of the US Senate intelligence committee on Thursday, conceding that the agency employees spied on committee staff and reversing months of furious and public denials. ..."
"... Brennan acknowledged that an internal investigation had found agency security personnel transgressed a firewall set up on a CIA network, which allowed Senate committee investigators to review agency documents for their landmark inquiry into CIA torture. ..."
"... CIA spokesman Dean Boyd acknowledged that agency staff had improperly monitored the computers of committee staff members, who were using a network the agency had set up, called RDINet. "Some CIA employees acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding reached between [the committee] and the CIA in 2009 regarding access to the RDINet," he said. ..."
"... If its considered 'extraordinary' that a man apologize for his actions, then that man is either a sociopath, a criminal, or both. ..."
"... The CIA has now clearly suborned the executive. Obama now works for the CIA. He's spineless, Obama. He is craven, before the very same intelligence agencies that are supposed to work for him. ..."
"... You people are so deluded. You think it matter who you vote for. Newsflash - the CIA killed JFK. The CIA runs America. ..."
"... American foreign policy is the same no matter which party is in power. They are all screwing you six ways from Sunday. ..."
"... If America was a just state, that would happen. But America is a neo-fascist - or more properly, corporatist - state. ..."
"... The NSA/CIA in recent hearings forcefully explained to the Judiciary Committee in Congress that they only spy on foreigners and not US citizens. I guess Congressmen/women are not US citizens and must be terrorists. ..."
"... 'The CIA spying on the people supposedly in charge of the CIA' sounds as if they are reaping what they sowed... ..."
Jun 07, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

CIA director apologises for improper conduct of agency staff One senator calls on John Brennan to resign in wake of scandal

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, issued an extraordinary apology to leaders of the US Senate intelligence committee on Thursday, conceding that the agency employees spied on committee staff and reversing months of furious and public denials.

Brennan acknowledged that an internal investigation had found agency security personnel transgressed a firewall set up on a CIA network, which allowed Senate committee investigators to review agency documents for their landmark inquiry into CIA torture.

Among other things, it was revealed that agency officials conducted keyword searches and email searches on committee staff while they used the network.

The admission brings Brennan's already rocky tenure at the head of the CIA under renewed question. One senator on the panel said he had lost confidence in the director, although the White House indicated its support for a man who has been one of Barack Obama's most trusted security aides.

CIA spokesman Dean Boyd acknowledged that agency staff had improperly monitored the computers of committee staff members, who were using a network the agency had set up, called RDINet. "Some CIA employees acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding reached between [the committee] and the CIA in 2009 regarding access to the RDINet," he said.

Asked if Brennan had or would offer his resignation, a different CIA spokesman, Ryan Trapani, replied: "No."

In March, the committee chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, accused the agency of violating constitutional boundaries by spying on the Senate.

Feinstein said the vindication, from CIA inspector general David Buckley, and Brennan's apology were "positive first steps," suggesting that the director had further work to do before she would consider the matter closed.

She stopped short of calling for Brennan's resignation. But her committee colleague, Democrat Mark Udall of Colorado, said Brennan should go. "I have no choice but to call for the resignation of CIA director John Brennan," Udall said after a briefing on the inspector general's findings.

"The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate intelligence committee computers. This grave misconduct is not only illegal, but it violates the US constitution's requirement of separation of powers. These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences.

Mark Udall (@MarkUdall)

. @CIA IG rprt shows John Brennan misled public, whose interests I have championed. I will fight for change at the CIA: http://t.co/uQVsvV43nB

July 31, 2014

Boyd, the CIA spokesman, said Brennan has asked a former committee member, Evan Bayh, a former Indiana Democratic senator, to lead an "accountability board" reviewing Buckley's report and to advise Brennan on next steps.

That advice, Boyd said, "could include potential disciplinary measures and/or steps to address systemic issues."

Steve Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, a longtime observer of the CIA, called its Thursday statement a "conciliatory gesture" to the committee's leaders. "If Senator Feinstein is satisfied with the apology then the affair is effectively over. If she contends there was a fundamental breach that cannot be corrected with a mere apology then some further action might be needed," Aftergood said.

McClatchy first reported the apology on Thursday.

Feinstein, in her dramatic speech on the Senate floor in March, said the agency breached the firewall to obstruct the committee's investigation of the agency's torture of post-9/11 terrorism detainees, a years-long effort expected to be partially declassified in the coming days or weeks. That investigation was itself prompted by a different coverup: the destruction of videotapes of brutal interrogations by a senior official, Jose Rodriguez.


Newt Othis -> 2crudedudes , 3 Aug 2014 12:07

That's true. The only two parties in America are the elites and the peasants.
Newt Othis , 3 Aug 2014 12:04
"In March, the committee chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, accused the agency of violating constitutional boundaries by spying on the Senate."

Aahahahhahhhhahaaa. What a hypocrite hag. She must have something to hide if she doesn't like being spied on. I think that there should be a full investigation into what Dianne...if that is even her real name, has been hiding and bring it to the light of day.

2crudedudes -> FrankBarry , 3 Aug 2014 04:23
The entire government is corrupt and has been corrupt for decades.
2crudedudes , 3 Aug 2014 04:09
I love this. Feinstein is a champion of the 4th amendment and Constitutional rights all of a sudden. B­i­tc­h a­s­s.
awoolf14 , 3 Aug 2014 01:37
If its considered 'extraordinary' that a man apologize for his actions, then that man is either a sociopath, a criminal, or both.
yadayada2 -> freeandfair , 2 Aug 2014 13:26
Good point, but wrong way round imho. The CIA has now clearly suborned the executive. Obama now works for the CIA. He's spineless, Obama. He is craven, before the very same intelligence agencies that are supposed to work for him.

Just imagine how the laugh at him, speak about him, behind his back. No wonder Putin treats him like a fool.

Griffon79 -> Arnet Ramming , 2 Aug 2014 12:42
You people are so deluded. You think it matter who you vote for. Newsflash - the CIA killed JFK. The CIA runs America.
Richard Bittner -> William W Haywood , 2 Aug 2014 12:36
It is time to put all the DemPublicanCFR basterds in prison for life. From the BUSH II (The torturer) to bill clinton who initiated the covert torture operation. The clearest signal that we are not living in a self governing democracy is that; excluding Watergate, the DemPublicanCFR ruling elite do not go to prison, there is rarely any real investigation of their crimes; as in the recent largest public swindle in human history....the DemPublicanCFR, Wall st/Rating Company Swindle that was orchestrated by the "boys" from the bohemian grove.The level of corruption in this Country exceeds that of ancient Rome.The best way to combat "terrorism" is to get the hell out of other peoples countries.and imprison the DemPublicanCFR members who intentionally mislead this Country into a fossil fuel War in Iraq. George Bush II ( the coward draft dodger) is a moron on an epic scale comparable to the Roman Emperor who named his horse a general. We are confronted with a monumental environmental emergency and these idiot myopic assholes debate carbon emission controls instead of leading the way to a fossil fuel nuclear free world.by initiating the largest public works program in human history....a massive energy conversion program funded by cutting the military budget in half.The conversion program will also be funded by the profits made by all the fossil fuel and nuclear power companies. Just imagine all the AMERICAN JOBS WILL BE CREATED. We need leaders who put the interests of the Americam people first and who do not march to the drumb beat of the Rockefucker internationalist DemPublicanCFR elite. It is time to send David Rockyfucker to Iran to stand trial for the crimes he has committed against the Iranian people....We are living in a state of environmental crisis and it is time for true American patriots to rise and confront our Enemy within who, thanks to the great American patriot Edward Snowden, we now know for certain has all or electronic communications under 24 hour surveillance. The DemPublicanCFR ruling elite must be held to pay for their crimes or I fear the planet that our childen, grand children and great grandchildren will be living in is doomed to cataclysmic events that we have yet to even imagine...
Arnet Ramming , 2 Aug 2014 11:03
Boy, once you spy on a Democrat it becomes an issue. Lying seems to be what Obama and his appointees due best as there are no consequences for lying, even under oath as Eric Holder has done several times. So let's just move along here as this is just another day under Obama.
TeeJayzed Addy -> muttley79 , 2 Aug 2014 04:50

if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear

And a justification for refusal to release the report would be that if you have nothing to read then you have nothing to fear.

William W Haywood , 2 Aug 2014 04:00
Agency security personnel had transgressed? And just what is that some kind of creepy code for? We, the bigwigs, did it, but we have language that allows us to blame it on our innocent underlings...of course. This is the height of mental illness and corruption! Just a simple excuse used to placate a supposedly mind dead public already hypnotized by their main stream media and under their almost absolute control. That's you and I, of course...sound familiar? Well, I will be totally under their control when they come and kill me, and not before that! "Agency staff had improperly monitored the computers of committee staff members", well who in the hell is agency staff if not Brennan? Considering how far Obama has fallen since he stated how good he was at killing, I do not see how any of us in a sound state of mind can see Mr. Brennan as anything other than a criminal and a traitor to the American people. Same as our present president, supreme court, congress, and many more.
Griffon79 -> spacetimeloops , 2 Aug 2014 00:15
Yes, we could dispense with elected officials, and instead use direct democracy. But first, revolution will be required, and that means war.

Unfortunately, unless something is done our children will live Orwell's prophecy of the future: a boot stamping on a human face, forever.

Griffon79 -> inabster , 2 Aug 2014 00:12
As long as you persist in your long held delusion that there are differences between democrats and republicans - differences that matter - nothing will change.

Open you eyes. American foreign policy is the same no matter which party is in power. They are all screwing you six ways from Sunday.

Griffon79 -> chuck nasmith , 2 Aug 2014 00:11
If America was a just state, that would happen. But America is a neo-fascist - or more properly, corporatist - state.

Democrats and republicans are two sides of the same coin. Political theater for the plebs to fight over while the real power brokers hide in the shadows.

Griffon79 -> error418 , 2 Aug 2014 00:08
Do they walk away free after assassinating their own president?

You could ask Kennedy..oh, wait..

Griffon79 , 2 Aug 2014 00:02
The free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism.

Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.

Mmmoke , 1 Aug 2014 22:07
The NSA/CIA in recent hearings forcefully explained to the Judiciary Committee in Congress that they only spy on foreigners and not US citizens. I guess Congressmen/women are not US citizens and must be terrorists.
Ziontrain , 1 Aug 2014 19:35
Nothing will change in America until someone actually starts losing their job, being forced to resign or go to jail - both politicians and so called "leaders" in the agencies committing these horrific crimes.
FrankBarry -> Trevor Alfred , 1 Aug 2014 18:00
Trevor, thank you.

You've won the HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD award.
But you did forget the DHS who also has a Prius type
program for surveillance. The name starts with a C
but I cannot remember off the top of my head. I do
recall that Boeing's employees were involved in doing
training of technicians.

Things are "out of hand". I fear the US government will
be using contracted mercenaries to keep us in line before
too much longer. Those guys will be coming home and
taking jobs in our local police departments.

Follow the Blackwater money. Erik Prince, and cohorts.
Names may change many times, but it is still all there.

Ivor Fairney , 1 Aug 2014 17:25
It does not seem to be doing the US any good. Their army would seem to be a complete failure. Their so called intelligence seems to know nothing about anything that matters. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan many trillions of dollars and abject failure and we see a nation that brakes every law of decency.
FrankBarry -> Charleyzencat , 1 Aug 2014 17:19
Charleyzencat
Propaganda is not necessary.

Example,
The CIA agent who shot in the back 2 Pakistani men, and then
after reloading once, he fired 10 times. This occurred during the
day on a busy street in Lahore, Pakistan. He claimed first to be
a US Embassy Staff Member. He was ransomed by Kerry, who
was not yet Secretary of State, but was sent by Obama to do so.
2 other CIA agents, the killer's roommates, who the killer had called
for help, ran over a Pakistani bystander with their jeep on the way
to aid the killer, and killed the poor man. They were immediately airlifted out of Pakistan and returned to the United States, never to
be heard of since, nor reported by the media.

But, this CIA killer just couldn't stop there. He has been arrested by Sheriff's Deputies, inside a Colorado bar for being involved in a knife fight. This CIA killer and his wife own a United States contracted spy agency in Las Vegas.

These are the Agents who represent our United States of America.

Who can forget Obama's Secret Servicemen, one of which, while
a guest of a South American city, tried to rip off a Whore by short-
changing her. That hit the newspapers around the world.

These are the Agents who represent our United States of America.

Philip Leung , 1 Aug 2014 17:17
Don't forget this is the same agency that enabled the capture and imprisonment of Mandela, and that only scratches the surface of some of the stuff they've been up to.

The CIA is beyond reform now, it's no longer a matter of changing who heads it.

FrankBarry -> danielpfeiffer , 1 Aug 2014 16:37
Feinstein is too old and senile to get the job accomplished. Erik Holder is still a slave to Obama. He prosecutes no one who counts.

The leadership of America is in the hands of the Devil. It has been openly corrupt for more than 20 years. Americans are waking to that fact.

FrankBarry -> WayneYoung , 1 Aug 2014 16:33
There are places in the world where these people would be put on a wall and quickly dispensed with.

Spies and Surveillers hide the truth from us all, and the United States Congress pays them to do so.

Voters need to Turn Out the Incumbents. Everyone of them. Along with their Staffers. 100,000 lobbyists need to be
stripped of their licenses, and their political connections.

It is long past time for revolution or revolt.
It is time to clean house.

I have the Tar, bring feathers.

FrankBarry -> Susan Bolson Griffiths , 1 Aug 2014 16:25
Susan, thank you. Seeing is believing. In the US Intelligence Agencies, including the Military, there are 850,000 men and women employees who hold Top Secret clearances and more. That is a lot of Secrets to hide. Only a few come freely forward to report corruption to the public at large. Only a couple have had the guts to paper the world with these corrupt agency's offal.
FrankBarry , 1 Aug 2014 16:19
Cut off the heads, and the tails. The United States Intelligence Agencies are corrupted. They are killers of innocent human beings.

Will Erik Holder send any of them to Prison? He did not prosecute any of the people responsible for our nation's debacle. Not a one of
them went to prison. He and his boss Obama are also corrupted. They both are killers of innocent human beings.

Every man of integrity who works for the United States government should, when he sees corruption, report it to the media 1st, and to
his superior officers 2nd. Not to do so, is a criminal act itself.

We have to wonder if there are any besides Edward Snowden, who work for the United States government, and have the guts to let us
know when they see corruption.

Susan Bolson Griffiths -> Charleyzencat , 1 Aug 2014 15:50
'The CIA spying on the people supposedly in charge of the CIA' sounds as if they are reaping what they sowed...
Susan Bolson Griffiths , 1 Aug 2014 15:39
Great to see truth coming out in the wash.. Also brilliant to hear on the radio,whistleblowers in the UK are going to be protected, there's progress now....
WayneYoung , 1 Aug 2014 14:04
It seems to appear the spying business is a new democratic industry where money, power, and control are prime. Words like decency and morality are flying out the windows. The head of a spy ring can retire to form a new enterprise to charge half million to one million dollars for spy protection...
danielpfeiffer , 1 Aug 2014 13:28
Flagrant Violations of U.S. Constitution & International Law Continue Unabated as CIA/Feinstein Row Over Senate Spying Lands on Front Page and Elite Politely Decline to Prosecute Peers' Crimes
truthspeaker -> EndersShadow , 1 Aug 2014 13:17

I don't know if the 9/11 panic has caused the relaxation of the LAW

The law was relaxed as soon as the Church Committee wrapped up. The CIA was offended at the very idea of having to obey the law, and their allies in Congress, and the White House after Reagan was elected, obliged them.

mirageseekr -> Malkatrinho , 1 Aug 2014 13:16
Who cares about what they admit to that we all already suspected. Who is getting charged and going to jail? Of course the answer is nobody because they are either all complicit or congress is intimidated by what other information they may know about them. Time to purge the whole system.
eldudeabides -> BarrieJ , 1 Aug 2014 13:06
absolutely, Barrie.

one has to wonder how many politicians across the Five Eyes nations (US, UK, Canada, Australia and Canada), are being blackmailed, co-erced and manipulated, by big business/government.

Many of the decisions (and statements from some politicians) that I witness in first world government, make no sense.

for example, is there even one investigatory committee in Westminster or Washington, that has/is not been hacked and controlled by outsiders (big business often in cahoots with senior govt/intelligence people).

look at the antics of the disgraced News of the Wooorld, deliberately targetting members of the sub-committee investigating their hacking.

EarthyByNature -> frispk , 1 Aug 2014 12:31
For all the abuses by powerful men in history there are those, including American Presidents, who have demonstrated both leadership and courage in the face of obstruction, opposition.

But hey, thanks for adding bluster and hot air to the debate. I guess you'd have us all pack up and go home.

OpineOpiner -> Charleyzencat , 1 Aug 2014 12:29
The CIA spying on the people supposedly in charge of the CIA has nothing to do with fighting 'terrorism' and everything to do with the CIA protecting itself from any such namby-pamby libtard delusions such as integrity, accountability, congressional oversight, responsibility, and other such pesky nuisances.
Piet Van Der Riet , 1 Aug 2014 11:57
To paraphrase Hitler: " Is it not fortunate for politicians that the general public do not think ..."
babymamaboy , 1 Aug 2014 11:39
Want a good salary, higher prestige than elected leaders, and less accountability than a welfare recipient? Check out employment postings at the CIA!
Charleyzencat , 1 Aug 2014 11:38
But isn't spying what the CIA is supposed to do? And isn't this what we supported for so many years during the Cold War because of "the threat of communism"?

There are certainly still threats out there (Al Queda and Boko Haram come to mind) but is the CIA geared to handle intelligence in terrorist organizations or are they still fighting the Communists? Revamp the Agency to make it more adapted to the new reality of terrorist threats world wide but don't fault somebody if they're just trying to do their job. Give them some direction or don't complain when things go awry. Maybe they're just looking for something to do. Let's be sure to keep them busy fighting terrorists not the US Senate.

[Jun 07, 2019] Brennan: I'm Still Waiting For Republican Rats To Realize The Trump Ship Is Sinking

I think now Brennan sings a different song...
May 01, 2019 | www.realclearpolitics.com

Former CIA Director John Brennan warned Republicans who support President Trump that they are on a sinking ship, in an appearance Wednesday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I'm waiting for the Republicans to realize that the Trump ship is a sinking one," he said.

"There are still rats on that ship, and there are individuals who are not going to separate themselves from Trump. They do so at their own peril. They need to fulfill their obligations, irrespective of their political affiliations. This is now the presidency and institutions of government we rely on to keep us safe and secure."

MIKE BARNICLE: Last week, there was another continued swipe ordered by the president of the United States, who whatever he says is a megaphone and resonates throughout the country because of the way it is carried, in which he basically said that people like you and several other people in the intelligence community were responsible for trying to participate in a coup, to undermine the presidency of the United States and to remove the president of the United States. What does it do -- nevermind to you personally -- what does it do to institutions like the NSA, the CIA, the FBI.

JOHN BRENNAN: It continues to show Mr. Trump's disdain for the intelligence and law enforcement communities, who are trying to do their jobs irrespective of political winds that might be blowing in Washington. It really is demoralizing for Mr. Trump to continue to say there is this "deep state" that tried to launch a coup, and that he is trying to "clean the swamp," while in fact, it is those professionals within the intelligence community, law enforcement community, who are trying to carry out their duties and responsibilities to the American people. Mr. Trump just continues to go down this road. I think it is having a very damaging impact.

WILLIE GEIST: What do you think, Director Brennan, happens from here? I think people watching want to know. They say, okay, Mueller didn't like how the report was characterized by the attorney general. Fine, on the issue of obstruction of justice. Now, what? Is it Mueller sitting before the Senate and answering specific questions about what is inside the report? What is the outcome of this?

JOHN BRENNAN: Barr has to be interrogated.

WILLIE GEIST: That starts this morning at 10:00.

JOHN BRENNAN: And then Bob Mueller has to get in front of Congress, then Congress has to do its job.

And I'm still waiting for the Republicans to realize that the Trump ship is a sinking one. There are still rats on that ship, and there are individuals who are not going to separate themselves from Trump. But they do so at their own peril. And they need to fulfill their obligations, irrespective of their political affiliations. And to do it now rather than to allow this continued sinking of not just the presidency, but of these institutions of government that we rely on to keep us safe and secure.

[Jun 07, 2019] The CIA is completely out of control. This begs the question, as to why do, or should, American citizen vote for candidates when those candidates are effectively being managed by the CIA

Jun 07, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

BarrieJ -> fringe_perception , 1 Aug 2014 04:21

Yeah and let's take a look at the CIA's backing for Operation Gladio in post WW2 Europe.

Yeah, you Americans were there but you certainly weren't saving lives or making the aftermath bearable for the victims.

BarrieJ -> johhnybgood , 1 Aug 2014 04:10
A sincere question: who is running the CIA and on whose behalf?
BarrieJ -> jma123 , 1 Aug 2014 04:08
They consider us the people, their enemy. We are the 'enemy within', because as we become increasingly aware of our politicians' criminality any action we take may threaten the status quo.
Alex Robinson , 1 Aug 2014 03:45
They should rename the CIA the KGB or the Gestapo
SelfServingShite -> cashedupbogan , 1 Aug 2014 03:44
leaders haven't been voted into office for a while now - they're rigged into office - from the lowly dog catcher to the president - and its happening all over the world.
lsfischer -> Kaitain , 1 Aug 2014 03:29
If you take the easy way now, you will take the easy way in the future. This not a sandlot baseball game here. These are high- powered people , who are responsible for matters extremely operant to the people of our country, and it must be admitted, the world. To simply brush off these serious breaches of Government procedure (law) would serve to perpetuate the Executive Branch intrusions into the business of the Legislative Branch. Separation of the powers is a time- honored method of setting up a government that has kept us 'moving along' for quite awhile now. Most of its problems stem from the populace placing too much trust in their elected officials . It is everyone's responsibility to collectively maintain our government. It was never the intention of our founders that our leaders become reclusive despots: from today's vantage point, we can see this. It is a short walk to realize where the blame should be laid. Up and on your way to no future.
Dutchgirl88 -> fringe_perception , 1 Aug 2014 03:28
Just because Americans don't tend to care about anything that happens beyond their own borders doesn't mean the rest of the world can live with the same blissful ignorance.

The nsa scandal has made us realize that the US regards us as second-rated citizens who are nondeserving of the 'special protections' that Anglo-speaking countries do.

I find it bsoluely shocking that this guy's dismissal is still debatable. Should be a no-brainer is any democracy

justAcomment , 1 Aug 2014 03:14

The three technicians "demonstrated a lack of candor about their activities during interviews."

You mean they lied through their teeth? But of course they were acting on their own initiative ha ha ha ha

jma123 , 1 Aug 2014 02:53
In the UK and USA these spooks backed by politicians and civil servants are getting way out of hand. Having the technology to do things doesn't provide the need or right to do such things. They are getting to the point where they are "protecting" us from the very people and system they have become.
CornsilkSW , 1 Aug 2014 02:48

although the White House indicated its support for a man who has been one of Barack Obama's most trusted security aides.

This is extremely telling about Obama's continued failure to discern good character in his aides and cabinet. His administration has been a shambles largely due to his inability to surround himself with good people.

gab2201 -> killerontheroad , 1 Aug 2014 02:46
I guess so, as we all know that the CIA always tried to silent war opponents. This had been largely documented about Vietnam opponents to the War on US soil.
paramed1 , 1 Aug 2014 02:41
They're all fuc@#$g rogue. Power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely. Who polices the police? No one apparently. They and all their UK counterparts will walk away from this unscathed. If the heat gets a little too warm just play your joker, 'Terrorism'.
carolusmagnus , 1 Aug 2014 02:32

CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers

They have yet to admit they also spy on their President and ex-Presidents. When there is no morality, everyone is an enemy.

johhnybgood , 1 Aug 2014 02:26
The CIA is now a discredited organization run by proven liars. When will Congress do something about it? Answer -- never. They are all being blackmailed.
chuck nasmith , 1 Aug 2014 01:34
Phuck you Brennan. My family worked for the CIA, NSA etc. when they were not the corporate MIC, NSA Zionist mob. Go to jail or Gitmo.
NikMitev -> StrategicVoice213 , 1 Aug 2014 01:33
Your state can imprison anyone it wants, for as long as it wants, without having to justify it in any way... hell they are not even required to let relatives know. That is a police state. The US is operating what effectively are concentration camps all over the place, Guantanamo being the flagship.
Woodby69 , 1 Aug 2014 01:29
America - the land of the free...
Hottentot , 1 Aug 2014 01:22
The CIA is completely out of control. This begs the question, as to why do, or should, American citizen vote for candidates when those candidates are effectively being 'managed' and spied on by people in the CIA. Senators in both houses are not making 'decisions' the CIA is.

Quite how the CIA, White House or any other government body think that they have any credibility regarding any matter, is amazing.

whatdidyouexpect , 1 Aug 2014 01:04
If I was using a program set up by the CIA, I would assume it would monitor my activity. Just like Amazon does. Just like the Guardian does.

I don't see a problem, apart from the naivete of the complainants.

jcamcaldasca , 1 Aug 2014 00:54
'... that's just beyond the – you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we would do,"' Allies, on the other hand, fall within that scope.

'demonstrated a lack of candor' has the same ring to it as being 'economical with the truth'.

Anthony Russell , 1 Aug 2014 00:39
I JUST PUT A LIST OF QUESTIONS ON MY TIME LINE THIS SHOULD KEEP THE SPY NETWORK BUSY FOR A WHILE ! BUT THEY NEVER DO ANYTHING THAT MAKES SENSE ANYWAY ; THEY ONLY HAVE A 30 BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET ; BUT CANNOT TELL US WHAT HAPPENED TO MH370 MALAYSIAN AIRPLANE ! WOW ! SOME SPY NETWORK ! IT 'S EASY FOR THEM TO SCREW WITH US ; BECAUSE WE ARE EVERYDAY MARKS !
majid akram -> Malkatrinho , 1 Aug 2014 00:38
They will never admit until its proven
marmite99 , 1 Aug 2014 00:35
Feinstein couldn't care less about you and me being spied on, but complains when she is spied on. Just like Angela Merkel.
samwoods77 , 1 Aug 2014 00:33
Obama still hasn't fired this turd. Maybe he doesn't want to interrupt his endless rounds of $33k/plate fund raisers to attend to running the country.
marmite99 -> StrategicVoice213 , 1 Aug 2014 00:33
@strategicvoice: More people are imprisoned in the US than in China (on a per capita basis).
sacco -> SummerLulstice , 1 Aug 2014 00:28

People like Feinstein are chosen to oversee mass surveillance for the simple reason that they are old, completely technologically illiterates

See also: M. Rifkind, et al.

FFS, Jacqui f@&%ing Smith use to be Home Secretary ...

Could they really not make it any more obvious that there is absolutely nothing even vaguely resembling effective oversight?

marmite99 -> traidep , 1 Aug 2014 00:28
Yes and the only politician who has called for the abolition of the CIA is Ron Paul.
BaronGrovelville , 1 Aug 2014 00:23
When criminal methods are used expect criminals to use them.

John Brennan and Jose Rodriguez are criminals.

Katze60 -> David Egan , 31 Jul 2014 23:59
Your comment is deep. Wow.
SummerLulstice -> inabster , 31 Jul 2014 23:54
The entire Republican and Democrat parties are puppets.
SummerLulstice -> bobble07 , 31 Jul 2014 23:49
GOOD LUCK WITH THAT
SummerLulstice -> inabster , 31 Jul 2014 23:47
If the United States government doesn't even govern by popular mandate, it certainly won't give a fuck about anyone's respect, dear fellow internet commentator.
DrKropotkin -> jrhaddock , 31 Jul 2014 23:47
The penalties for lying under oath are quite strict and can include up to 5 years of prison time. But nobody is willing to go after these guys, they have too much information on too many people. The day the US congress voted for the patriot act was the last day of their democracy.
SummerLulstice -> madmonty , 31 Jul 2014 23:43
The death penalty in California and Virginia is done by lethal injection. Assuming Diane Feinstein and John Brennan weren't above the law.
error418 -> Therevolt , 31 Jul 2014 23:38
What exactly does a CIA member have to do to get arrested, prosecuted and convicted for an action inside the USA?
It is not spying on Congress. It it spying on the Supreme court, or killing a Senator? Do they walk away free after assassinating their own president? Do they need to do more?
DrKropotkin -> StrategicVoice213 , 31 Jul 2014 23:37
The NSA isn't hindering your movements as you are not a danger to the status quo. You can keep getting blasted at your BBQ's and coming online to defend the indefensible, you're not a threat. But it's not about you. It's about the people who are in a position to challenge the system. This can include anti-war activists, judges, politicians and journalists. Everyone who matters can be kept inline with blackmail and for public figures it can be the smallest thing. Recently, during a primary, a candidate lost as questions were raised about the fact he had checked in the a mental care facility. He probably had a breakdown and needed to be observed for a couple of days. This piece of information would be easy to pick up with the various NSA programmes. If this candidate had the same views as you, this little fact would not have been released but I believe he was a defender of your constitution and that could cause problems for the criminal regime you now live under.

Snooping is poison in a democracy. Your system was built so that it had self correction and could hence adapt to new situations and constantly improve. This served Americans well for many years, but it has ended.

Enduroman -> James J Pitcherella , 31 Jul 2014 23:32
Come on, is not like they sold 2 ounces of marijuana.
SummerLulstice -> Joshua Jeffery , 31 Jul 2014 23:30
Feinstein and the word "hope" do not belong in one and the same sentence. She along with her fellow conspirators in the intelligence committee are the ones that have been green-lighting this fascism for years. It's like expecting John McCain to repeal the Patriot Act.

People like Feinstein are chosen to oversee mass surveillance for the simple reason that they are old, completely technologically illiterates who can be easily fooled or if need be blackmailed through their extensive business empires .

[Jun 07, 2019] Plutocracy needs Neo-McCarthysim to survive

Jun 07, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

Demonizing Workers and the Left

Capitalists, with media in tow, demonized communists and anarchists. The Alien Registration Act of 1940 aimed to preserve the status quo. Japanese-Americans were interred. Communists were targeted.

The FBI was involved. Edgar Hoover had leftists monitored and surveilled by tactics including wiretaps and break-ins. The anti-leftism was so extreme that a section of corporate America supported fascism. The fascists supported Nazi Germany in WWII. 1

Post-WWII the top income tax rate was 91% until 1964. One-third of workers belonged to a union. From 1940 to 1967 real wages doubled. Living standards doubled.

However, the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 would attack workers, banning many types of strikes, closed union shops, union political contributions, communists and radicals in union leadership, and the compelled payment of union dues. The Supreme Court upheld Taft-Hartley, and it remains in force today.

The film also examines McCarthyism, a witch hunt against communists or communist-leaning types, as a psychological attack against Americans. No one was safe. Blacklisting was in vogue and among the first blacklisted were the so-called Hollywood 10 for either communist sympathies or refusal to aid Congress' House Un-American Activities Committee investigations into the Communist party or having fought for the rights of Blacks and workers. The list expanded much past 10. One celebrity given in-depth prominence in Subterranean Fire was singer Paul Robeson who refused to back down before Congress, stated he was for Negro and worker rights, and accused Congress of neo-fascism.

McCarthyism hit hysterical heights as exemplified by Texas proposing the death penalty for communist membership and Indiana calling for the banning of Robin Hood.

McCarthyism was foiled when it bit off more than it could chew. When McCarthyism took on the establishment, in particular the military, its impetus ground to an inglorious halt. The Alien Registration Act was ruled unconstitutional, and the First Amendment right to political beliefs was upheld.

Subterranean Fire notes that the damage to the labor movement was already done. A permanent war economy was established: overtly through the military and covertly through the CIA. Come 2001, union membership had dropped to 13.5%. Radicals were disconnected from their communities; union democracy was subverted by a top-down leadership which avoided the tactic of striking for collective bargaining; the court system was heavily backlogged with labor-management issues, which usually were ruled in favor of management.

Some outcomes noted in the film,

In the early 21st century, Americans took on the dubious distinction of working more hours than any other country .

There is no single county in America where a minimum wage earner can support a family.

The Rise

Grotesque income and wealth disparity signifies the current state of neoliberalism. Yet Subterranean Fire finds glimmers of change for working men and women.

Despite relating the historical trampling of the working class, the film concludes on a sanguine note. Union strength appears to be on the rebound with solidarity being a linchpin. Labor strikes were on the upswing in the US, with teachers leading the way. Fast-food workers are fighting for a decent wage. Labor, which has seen real wages stagnate in the age of neoliberalism, is fighting back worldwide. Autoworkers in Matamoros, Mexico are striking and colleagues in Detroit, Michigan have expressed support for their sisters and brothers. The Gilet Jaunes in France have been joined by labor. A huge general strike took place in India. The uptick of resistance was not just pro-labor but anti-global warming in Manchester, UK; Tokyo, Japan; Cape Town, South Africa; Helsinki, Finland; Genoa, Italy; and, Nelson, Aotearoa (New Zealand).

All this, however, must be considered through the lens of the current political context. A virulent anti-socialist president and his hawkish administration occupy the White House in Washington. Despite the nationwide strike actions, the right-wing BJP and prime minister Narendra Modi won a recent huge re-election in India. The purportedly centrist Liberal Party in Canada, rhetoric aside, has been, in large part, in virtual lockstep with the US administration. 2

The Importance of Metanoia Films

Today, people with access to the internet have little excuse for continuing to depend on state-corporate media sources. Why would anyone willingly subject himself to disinformation and propaganda? Not too mention paying for access to such unreliable information and the soul-sapping advertisements that accompany it.

It is important that we be cognizant of the search engine manipulations of Google, the biased opinions parlayed by moneyed corporate media, and the censorship of social media data-mining sites. The corporate-state media nexus wants to limit and shape what we know. The current war on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange is proof positive of this. Assange and WikiLeaks exposed horrific war crimes. It is a no-brainer that a person should be congratulated for bringing such evil perpetrated by the state to the public awareness. Instead the establishment seeks to destroy WikiLeaks, the publisher Assange, and Chelsea Manning who is accused of providing the information to WikiLeaks.

Given the corporate-state power structure's ideological opposition to WikiLeaks and freedom on information as well as the preponderance of disinformation that emanates from monopoly media, it seems eminently responsible that people seek out credible independent sources of information. Metanoia Films stands out as a credible source.

There are plenty of independent news and information sites that provide analysis that treat the reader/viewer with respect by substantiating information provided in reports and articles with evidence, logic, and even morality. The reader/viewer who seeks veracity has an obligation to consider the facts, sources, and reasoning offered and arrive at her own conclusions.

Metanoia documentaries lay out a historical context that helps us understand how we arrived at the state of affairs we find ourselves in today. It is an understanding that is crucial to come up with solutions for a world in which far too many languish in poverty, suffer in war zones, and are degraded by the cruelties of inequality. It is an understanding that is crucial for communicating, planning, and organizing the establishment of new societies in which all may flourish and of which all may be proud.

Independent media is meant for independent thinkers and those who aspire to a better world. Watch Plutocracy V: Subterranean Fire and the first four parts in the Plutocracy series and become informed. Kim Petersen is a former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: kimohp@gmail.com . Twitter: @kimpetersen . Read other articles by Kim .

This article was posted on Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 at 9:41pm and is filed under Anarchism , Communism/Marxism/Maoism , Film , Film Review , Labor , Poverty , Racism , Unions .

[Jun 07, 2019] Tucker It wasn't 'spying,' it was 'investigating'

If Barr represent different faction of CIA then Brennan, Brannan might pay with his head for his artistic inventions in fomenting Russiagate color revolution and Steele dossier. Not very likely, though...
Jun 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Rob Crz , 1 week ago

Geez!!! Obama is awfully quiet lately🤔🤔🤔🤔....."?????

sion7111 , 1 week ago

Tucker is the best journo in cable television news rigth now

P Pumpkin , 1 week ago

When the FBI was "investigating" thousands of individuals in the 60's the press called it spying.

Monkeywrench542 , 1 week ago

declassify it all. anyone in the federal government shown to be breaking the law should be charged and vigorously prosecuted.

Liddy G , 1 week ago

They spied on Trump because they thought it was a guaranteed win and Hillary could cover it up. They started the witch hunt to make it look like it was a legit investigation.

TominBach , 1 week ago (edited)

"Surveillance". Would you buy a used car from Jim Comey?. Time for issuing a number of orange jumpsuits and for the ones at the top?. A sharp drop and a sudden stop.

Maryland Bass Hunter , 1 week ago

James Comey is basically screaming I'M GUILTY! You can tell this man is scared about whats to come. The rats are not sleeping well at night.

Shade Tree Solar , 1 week ago

All Security Clearances for all bureaucrats should be immediately revoked up termination of service

Edson Silva , 1 week ago

Who is loving Trump's Presidency like 👇🏻

Mezmerized4Life Jay , 1 week ago (edited)

My fav part is watching the globalists turn on each other 😂

David Sanders , 1 week ago

Time for sunlight to cleanse these dark agencies political partisanship!

Tom Korte , 1 week ago

Please keep the MSNBC clips a bit shorter. They're painful to watch and I almost didn't make it through that one.

bahamabrz , 1 week ago

I wasn't robbing that bank. I was just having a discussion with the bank teller with a gun in my hand.

Rob Crz , 1 week ago

Geez!!! Obama is awfully quiet lately🤔🤔🤔🤔....."?????

sion7111 , 1 week ago

Tucker is the best journo in cable television news rigth now

P Pumpkin , 1 week ago

When the FBI was "investigating" thousands of individuals in the 60's the press called it spying.

Monkeywrench542 , 1 week ago

declassify it all. anyone in the federal government shown to be breaking the law should be charged and vigorously prosecuted.

Daniel Cunningham , 1 week ago

Tucker, you are a MINORITY in the news these days. Keep on telling the TRUTH.

Liddy G , 1 week ago

They spied on Trump because they thought it was a guaranteed win and Hillary could cover it up. They started the witch hunt to make it look like it was a legit investigation.

TominBach , 1 week ago (edited)

"Surveillance". Would you buy a used car from Jim Comey?. Time for issuing a number of orange jumpsuits and for the ones at the top?. A sharp drop and a sudden stop.

James Mana , 1 week ago

Spying Work for a government or other organization by secretly collecting information about enemies or competitors. investigating Carry out a systematic or formal inquiry to discover and examine the facts of (an incident, allegation, etc.) so as to establish the truth. What a bunch of idiots

In CogNito , 1 week ago

If you have to make up reasons to investigate, it becomes spying. With this logic, we can investigate anyone! As long as we make sure to cover our tracks in lies! Perfect!

Markus Rodriguez , 1 week ago

How dare they! How dare they! How dare our "government" turn tail like this They at this point are nothing more then dirty DIRTY smear merchant's!

monkeygraborange , 1 week ago

Of course it was spying! Weasel Comey is just clutching at whatever straws he can to try to avoid prison.

Maria Farfan , 1 week ago

Prayers,prayers, Venezuela,and AMERICA 🌹 🌹🌹 🌹🙌 🙌🏼 Prayers

Chuck Haney , 1 week ago

"Finding out about me is irresponsible." - Brennan

bill fupps , 1 week ago

Keep pushing Trump. These demons are screaming louder. What you're doing is working

R. Mercado , 1 week ago

Another outstanding commentary. Bravo Zulu. Semper Fi

Maryland Bass Hunter , 1 week ago

James Comey is basically screaming I'M GUILTY! You can tell this man is scared about whats to come. The rats are not sleeping well at night.

Kohoko , 1 week ago

I will check with Guy Smiley of Sesame Street News before I go to MSNBC....Guy Smiley's got way more street cred!

Leesa Gomez , 1 week ago

And those EVIL DARK SECRETS, Will soon be Revealed. It's different when those things come to light

MsDebbiepolak , 1 week ago

Thank you Tucker for all your truth!!! You and Tom. Fitton rock!!

leslie franssen , 1 week ago

Dirty birds Dems get Wright with the people. Just tell the truth it will set you free🤢🐍🕸🕸🦎🐸Swamp things

LEILE S , 1 week ago

So he admits they spied, I mean investigated Trumps campaign? 🤔

BlueFox94 , 1 week ago

Tucker's "okay" has been a legendary put-down for some time now. ^_^

Gmonkey , 1 week ago

shine the light on the roaches Trumpy. God Bless USA from UK.

Shade Tree Solar , 1 week ago

All Security Clearances for all bureaucrats should be immediately revoked up termination of service

Cid Sapient , 1 week ago

this is my fave part lol 1:20 i laughed out loud towards the end

Rick Care , 1 week ago

If you take away I.C.E . : then You'll have Globle Warming!!••¿¿□●°°!!!

knowTRUTH2013 , 1 week ago

the deep state kabal is covering themselves, including 99% of all politicans and 100% of all the lib media.

Phil Bingham , 1 week ago

THE BUCK STOPS WITH BARR - THAT'S THE BEST SOLUTION

sullyz girl89 , 1 week ago

Investigating a non crime. Show me the man and I'll find a crime

Cooter Campbell , 1 week ago

Chris Hayes, and Rachel Maddow are the same person.

kyle wolfe , 1 week ago

"aiding the Enemy" should come to your mind.... And your Right, It IS Treason.

beo wulf , 1 week ago

YA KNOW ... IF THESE POLITICOS WERE IN THE WORK PLACE THEY WOULD BE BROKE! MORONS EVERY ONE!

Bella Biesel , 1 week ago

This should be mandatory viewing by EVERY U.S. citizen.

Just Me , 1 week ago

It's to protect, and shield the multiple treason committing Obama. PERIOD.

Happy Tripper , 1 week ago (edited)

When you make up lies to trick a judge into letting you watch your political opponents, that is SPYING. You cannot talk your way out of this Comey.

TotPYsera , 1 week ago

Why does John Brennan look like every Bond villain's henchman?

Jonathan Sterling , 1 week ago

That's Judicial Watch's definition of the Deep State! It's not just a few politicians and judges, it's almost all of Washington and many in government around the country. The Deep State will just take its time, put it off, forget about it, make mistakes implementing it, and so on and so forth.

[Jun 06, 2019] Odd NYT 'Correction' Exculpates British Government And CIA From Manipulating Trump Over Skripal Novichok Incident

Notable quotes:
"... Julian E. Barnes is obviously a long-term intelligence asset and his stories are not based on independent research but are just a repetition of the yarn that the CIA want to spin. Julian E. Barnes and the CIA obviously think Americans and other westerners are DAF. ..."
"... And should we be surprised that such false information about Gina Haspel and Donald Trump puts Trump in a bad light and somehow humanises a CIA director with a reputation for torturing prisoners? ..."
"... A week or 3 ago, a Barnes co-reported "article" flat out stated that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. This was done by pretending to quote someone in the the US Defense establishment as saying "we believe Iran will redouble its work on nuclear weapons". ..."
"... Julian Barnes is a well established liar. Sort of akin to Judith Miller and Michael Gordon. ..."
"... Now the Washington post's narrative is quite colorful too. So Trump really was concerned how many Russians Germany or France expelled? Why was he angry? The vassals did not follow his example as they should have? ..."
"... The CIA and MI6 boys must have blanked out to let this one slip through the cracks. We pay them billions to run false flag and cover-up operations. This makes those of us that believe their lying narratives look stupid. I guess we need to add more billions to their annual budgets. ..."
"... More believable that Julian Barnes performs no cross-referencing and zero research. Investigative reporting (or asking questions) is not the job of the modern MSM stenographer. His job - pushing the war machine agenda. He simply writes that which he is instructed to write. Probably emails all of his articles to his CIA liason for approval prior to publication. ..."
"... In the Skripnal psyop one can readily assess that the only truly "dead ducks" are the MSM journalists and the Western politicians who peddled this incredible slapstick nonsense story in order to further the "demonization of Russia" narrative of Western oligarchy. That these same media "dead ducks" appear to have not even the very slightest interest whatsoever in the current whereabouts or safety of said Skripnals speaks volumes about the true nature of this intelligence operation. ..."
"... both versions of the story expose Gina as a untrustworthy ratfucker ..."
"... At the moment the UK is run by MI6 which sees itself as the real political directorate of the CIA and the Deep State in the US. It seriously believes that it is on the verge of establishing global hegemony. ..."
"... Please note, everyone, that not all of these sad excuses for "journalists" are on the CIA payroll. In fact, very few of them are. Most work with the CIA out of warped senses of patriotism and duty to the empire. Most would never think of themselves as intelligence agency assets, and no small number of them probably think their relationships with the CIA are unique. They think that they are special and that their contacts on the inside at the CIA are unusual. Few would guess that they are just another propaganda mule in the CIA's stable, and that friendly guy who "leaks" to them is actually their handler; their "operator" in spook-speak. ..."
"... CIA did not control many of the Vietnam era journalists that had their pieces printed in mainstream media of the day. Not many left now and perhaps since the nineties they could no longer get their articles published. Regan brought in perception management which eventually brought all MSM 100% under US -CIA control. ..."
"... If you're a CIA guy, you get the editor and the ombudsman on the payroll and he will make certain that the desired propaganda gets published. If he's a Zionist, he's on the same page from the start, anyway. ..."
"... What a strange construction. Doesn't the CIA have PR staff? A decent PR team would review every item referencing their boss and issue clarifications and/or demand corrections immediately. There should have been no need for Julian E. Barnes to figure anything out as the CIA should have pointed out his mistake very quickly. This explanation/exculpation is utter bullshit! ..."
"... I doubt that Trump asked questions about how those ducks and kids were doing. More likely that MI5 was annoyed that they were exposed as the providers of the duck snuff pictures, and put pressure on the NY Times. ..."
"... Those who advocated the strong response to Russia are the intellectual authors of "Russia Gate" to thwart detente with Russia. ..."
Jun 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

A piece in the New York Times showed how in March 2018 Trump was manipulated by the CIA and MI6 into expelling 60 Russian diplomats. Eight weeks after it was published the New York Times 'corrects' that narrative and exculpates the CIA and MI6 of that manipulation. Its explanation for the correction makes little sense.

On April 16 the New York Times published a report by Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman about the relation between CIA Director Gina Haspal and President Donald Trump.

Gina Haspel Relies on Spy Skills to Connect With Trump. He Doesn't Always Listen.

The piece described a scene in the White House shortly after the contentious Skripal/Novichok incident in Britain. It originally said (emphasis added):

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The 60 Russian diplomats were expelled on March 26 2018. Other countries only expelled a handful of diplomats over the Skripal incident. On April 15 2018 the Washington Post reported that Trump was furious about this:

The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials -- far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on. The President, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.
...
Growing angrier, Trump insisted that his aides had misled him about the magnitude of the expulsions. 'There were curse words,' the official said, 'a lot of curse words.

In that context the 2019 NYT report about Haspel showing Trump dead duck pictures provided by the Brits made sense. Trump was, as he himself claimed, manipulated into the large expulsion.

The NYT report created some waves. On April 18 2019 the Guardian headlined:

No children or ducks harmed by novichok, say health officials
Wiltshire council clarification follows claims Donald Trump was shown images to contrary

The report of the dead duck pictures in the New York Times was a problem for the CIA and the British government. Not only did it say that they manipulated Trump by providing him with false pictures, but the non-dead ducks also demonstrated that the official narrative of the allegedly poisoning of the Skripals has some huge holes. As Rob Slane of the BlogMire noted :

In addition to the extraordinary nature of this revelation, there is also a huge irony here. Along with many others, I have long felt that the duck feed is one of the many achilles heels of the whole story we've been presented with about what happened in Salisbury on 4th March 2018. And the reason for this is precisely because if it were true, there would indeed have been dead ducks and sick children .

According to the official story, Mr Skripal and his daughter became contaminated with "Novichok" by touching the handle of his front door at some point between 13:00 and 13:30 that afternoon. A few minutes later (13:45), they were filmed on CCTV camera feeding ducks, and handing bread to three local boys, one of whom ate a piece . After this they went to Zizzis, where they apparently so contaminated the table they sat at, that it had to be incinerated.

You see the problem? According to the official story, ducks should have died. According to the official story children should have become contaminated and ended up in hospital. Yet as it happens, no ducks died, and no boys got sick (all that happened was that the boys' parents were contacted two weeks later by police, the boys were sent for tests, and they were given the all clear).

After the NYT story was published the CIA and the British government had to remove the problematic narrative from the record. Yesterday they finally succeeded. Nearly eight weeks after the original publishing of the White House scene the NYT recanted and issued a correction (emphasis. added):

Correction: June 5, 2019

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the photos that Gina Haspel showed to President Trump during a discussion about responding to the nerve agent attack in Britain on a former Russian intelligence officer. Ms. Haspel displayed pictures illustrating the consequences of nerve agent attacks, not images specific to the chemical attack in Britain. This correction was delayed because of the time needed for research.

The original paragraphs quoted above were changed into this:

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel tried to demonstrate the dangers of using a nerve agent like Novichok in a populated area. Ms. Haspel showed pictures from other nerve agent attacks that showed their effects on people.

The British government had told Trump administration officials about early intelligence reports that said children were sickened and ducks were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The information was based on early reporting, and Trump administration officials had requested more details about the children and ducks, a person familiar with the intelligence said, though Ms. Haspel did not present that information to the president. After this article was published, local health officials in Britain said that no children were harmed.

So instead of pictures of dead ducks in Salisbury the CIA director showed pictures of some random dead ducks or hospitalized children or whatever to illustrate the effects consequences of nerve agent incidents?

That the children were taken to hospital but unharmed was already reported in British media on March 24 2018, before the Russian diplomats were expelled, not only after the NYT piece was published in April 2019.

Yesterday the author of the NYT piece, Julian E. Barnes, turned to Twitter to issue a lengthy 'apology':

Julian E. Barnes @julianbarnes - 14:52 utc - 5 Jun 2019

I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong. Here is the correction: 1/9

[...]

The intelligence about the ducks and children were based on an early intelligence report, according to people familiar with the matter. The intelligence was presented to the US in an effort to share all that was known, not to deceive the Trump administration. 7/9

This correction was delayed because conducting the research to figure out what I got wrong, how I got it wrong and what was the correct information took time. 8/9

I regret the error and offer my apology. I strive to get information right the first time. That is what subscribers pay for. But when I get something wrong, I fix it. 9/9

Barnes covers national security and intelligence issues for the Times Washington bureau. His job depends on good access to 'sources' in those circles.

It is remarkable that the CIA spokesperson never came out to deny the original NYT report. There was zero visible push back against its narrative. It is also remarkable that the correction comes just as Trump is on a state visit in Britain.

The original report was sourced on 'people briefed on the conversation'. The corrected version is also based on 'people briefed on the conversation' but adds 'a person familiar with the intelligence'. Do the originally cited 'people' now tell a different story? Are we to trust a single 'person familiar with the intelligence' more than those multiple 'people'? What kind of 'research' did the reporter do to correct what he then and now claims was told to him by 'people'? Why did this 'research' take eight weeks?

That the 'paper of the record' now corrects said 'record' solves a big problem for Gina Haspel, the CIA/MI6 and the British government. They can no longer be accused of manipulating Trump (even as we can be quite sure that such manipulations happen all the time).

In the end it is for the reader to decide if the original report makes more sense than the corrected one.

---
This is a Moon of Alabama fundraising week. Please consider to support our work .

Posted by b on June 6, 2019 at 06:12 AM | Permalink


ADKC , Jun 6, 2019 7:14:50 AM | 2
Julian E. Barnes is obviously a long-term intelligence asset and his stories are not based on independent research but are just a repetition of the yarn that the CIA want to spin. Julian E. Barnes and the CIA obviously think Americans and other westerners are DAF.
John Doe , Jun 6, 2019 7:26:00 AM | 3
Rob Slane, June 5, 2019: The New York Times Tries to Get Itself Out of the Duckgate Hole Using a Spade
Jen , Jun 6, 2019 7:32:17 AM | 4
Surely the time and effort Julian Barnes needed to check what information he had got wrong and how he got it wrong should not have been as major as he makes out. Animals dying and children falling sick to a toxin that could have killed them are incidents that should have stuck out like sore thumbs and warranted careful checks with different and independent sources before reporting that Gina Haspel apparently showed the US President pictures of dead ducks and sick boys in Salisbury.

No wonder Barnes got such a roasting on Twitter after making his abject apology.

And should we be surprised that such false information about Gina Haspel and Donald Trump puts Trump in a bad light and somehow humanises a CIA director with a reputation for torturing prisoners?

John Smith , Jun 6, 2019 7:48:46 AM | 6
J'Accuse News @NewsAccuse:

During years I researched articles published in @nytimes we fact-checked BEFORE publication. Here it comes AFTER bloggers, officials et al point out fatal flaws. That no children were poisoned, and no ducks killed, by #novichok in #Salisbury + was known in Spring 2018. #propaganda

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D8WfKNPUwAAGGWT.jpg

Jay , Jun 6, 2019 8:37:49 AM | 8
A week or 3 ago, a Barnes co-reported "article" flat out stated that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. This was done by pretending to quote someone in the the US Defense establishment as saying "we believe Iran will redouble its work on nuclear weapons".

Except in the Barnes construction it wasn't a quotation, or anything like a phrasing that made clear that the Pentagon source was guessing, not stating, that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.

This was NOT corrected.

Eric Schmitt was the other NY Times "reporter" who signed the article.

Here's the article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/world/middleeast/us-military-plans-iran.html

And here's what the two liars reported, pretending that an Iranian nuclear weapons program is a real thing, first paragraph:

"Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated
military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the
Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on
nuclear weapons, administration officials said."

So Julian Barnes is a well established liar. Sort of akin to Judith Miller and Michael Gordon.

ger , Jun 6, 2019 8:44:10 AM | 9
Barnes provides the truth then provides a lie about the truth....par for the course at NYT. (Remember Judith Miller?) A fake news organization spreading fake news with revised fake news.
joanna , Jun 6, 2019 9:01:26 AM | 10
can't really get excited by the fact that not everything in this type of creative writing is taken serious. Did anyone expect otherwise?

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

It's pretty obvious that his/their narrative necessarily must be cobbled together by a lot of sources. Some by phone. Those may not even share the same idea what image of the president or Haspel they should convey. I always wonder with this type of newspaper reporting. Maybe both writers should write novels.

Now the Washington post's narrative is quite colorful too. So Trump really was concerned how many Russians Germany or France expelled? Why was he angry? The vassals did not follow his example as they should have?

SharonM , Jun 6, 2019 9:08:20 AM | 11
Superb analysis! Been coming here for 11 years now, and I just have to say that "b" is the best propaganda analyst in the English language. He is the sturdiest anchor in these stormy seas:)
AriusArmenian , Jun 6, 2019 9:42:07 AM | 12
The CIA and MI6 boys must have blanked out to let this one slip through the cracks. We pay them billions to run false flag and cover-up operations. This makes those of us that believe their lying narratives look stupid. I guess we need to add more billions to their annual budgets.

Sarcasm is just about the last pleasure one can get from watching the horrific antics of these morons.

fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 10:07:19 AM | 13
More believable that Julian Barnes performs no cross-referencing and zero research. Investigative reporting (or asking questions) is not the job of the modern MSM stenographer. His job - pushing the war machine agenda. He simply writes that which he is instructed to write. Probably emails all of his articles to his CIA liason for approval prior to publication.

Perhaps, the liason can see what this fool types in real time. Who knows?

As the story of the dead ducks and sick children unraveled and fell apart, a sloppy patch up had to be made. Now its fixed. Like a Boeing 737 MAX.

librul , Jun 6, 2019 10:09:17 AM | 14
BoTh vErSioNs of the story (I checked with the "Wayback Machine") still include this paragraph (6th paragraph of story):

Unusually for a president, Mr. Trump has publicly rejected not
only intelligence agencies' analysis, but also the facts they have gathered.
And that has created a perilous situation for the C.I.A.

As usual for the NYT, they did not publicly reject the intelligence agencies' analysis, but also the facts they had gathered. That, of course, would have created a perilous situation for the NYT.

Gary Weglarz , Jun 6, 2019 10:30:32 AM | 16
As the saying goes: "if it looks like a false-flag, walks like a false-flag, and talks like a false-flag, it just might be a "duck."

In the Skripnal psyop one can readily assess that the only truly "dead ducks" are the MSM journalists and the Western politicians who peddled this incredible slapstick nonsense story in order to further the "demonization of Russia" narrative of Western oligarchy. That these same media "dead ducks" appear to have not even the very slightest interest whatsoever in the current whereabouts or safety of said Skripnals speaks volumes about the true nature of this intelligence operation.

Harry Law , Jun 6, 2019 10:36:53 AM | 17
"I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong". It was only when I found the horses head next to me in bed when I woke up, that I realized what a stupid mistake I had made.
aspnaz , Jun 6, 2019 11:04:23 AM | 20
Gina Haspel has to be as dumb and incompetent as I suspected: someone is paying good money to make her look like an ordinary sociopath, not a depraved tart who sucked cock to climb to the head of the organisation.
Noirette , Jun 6, 2019 11:31:31 AM | 22
Slane is ++ on the Skirpals. One 'fact' that emerged early on, made public by Slane, is that the proposed 'official' time-line ( > press, Gvmt between the lines) of the Skripal movements - trivial as in a town, drinkies, lunch, feeding ducks, etc. -- was never reported correctly, obfuscated.

Idk the reasons, but it is a vital point.
___________________________________

Trump, we see, is treated like the zombie public, flashed random photos, sold tearful narratives about babies, children, recall incubator babies, horrific bio-weapons threats...

The PTB loathes him, Pres. are supposed to be complicit like Obama - or at least keep their resistance toned down, be ready to compromise. .. Obama objected to, and refused to act on, at least two engineered / fake Syria chem. 'attacks.' (Just looked on Goog and can't find links to support.)

The only EU figure who stated there is no evidence that the Russkies novichoked Sergei and Yulia was Macron, afaik. He didn't get the memo in time (the Elysée is inefficient, lots of screw-ups there) but soon caught up! and expelled the minimum. -- I have heard, hush hush, one in F was a receptionist - gofer (an excellent + extremely highly paid position) who is now at the Emb. in Washington! Most likely merely emblematic story (see telephone game) .. but telling.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 6, 2019 11:52:33 AM | 24
I like this story. It makes Trump look like a naif which wouldn't bother President Teflon in the least. On the other hand, both versions of the story expose Gina as a untrustworthy ratfucker. I'm hoping she said "cross my heart and hope to die" when he queried her advice...
Zachary Smith , Jun 6, 2019 12:01:15 PM | 25
@ Jay | Jun 6, 2019 8:37:49 AM @8
So Julian Barnes is a well established liar.

I'm glad I checked to see if anyone had mentioned this hack's article about Russia restarting nuclear testing. Using his name as one search item I tried a number of current issues. Like the fellows at local intersections holding up signs "will work for money", Barnes might as well have a tattoo saying "I'll write anything if the price is right. That it took so long to come up with a half-assed "explanation" shows he's not the brightest bulb in the lamp. I suppose people whose jobs consist of slightly re-writing Deep State dictation don't have to be especially clever.

PrairieBear , Jun 6, 2019 12:25:01 PM | 26
That "apology" by Barnes is completely nonsensical. How would you know that there was something wrong with your story, that there was an error in it, without knowing what it was? If the CIA, various bloggers, commenters, etc., alerted him to the errors, it's unlikely they would say, "There's something wrong in this story but I'm not going to say what it is. You'll have to re-research they whole thing to figure it out." I don't think that's how people usually point out errors.
bevin , Jun 6, 2019 12:34:34 PM | 27
"Which narrative is unraveling and which is gathering momentum?"psychohistorian@19

One thing that seems to be unravelling is the tight political cartel that controls Foreign Policy in the UK.

If it does unravel and Labour turns to an independent foreign policy while it reverses the disaster of 'austerity' and neo-liberalism, cases such as that of Assange and the Skripal affair, both products of extremists within the Establishment who regard themselves as privileged members of the DC Beltway, are going to be re-opened.

At the moment the UK is run by MI6 which sees itself as the real political directorate of the CIA and the Deep State in the US. It seriously believes that it is on the verge of establishing global hegemony. And this at a time when the UK is falling apart and its population teeters on the brink of economic disaster. It has fallen into this delusion over the years as it has been able to offer the CIA services which it is afraid to initiate itself. Hence, most recently, the entire Russiagate nonsense which has British fingerprints all over it. Hence too the new aggressiveness in DC towards Assange. Hence the disappearance, without explanation, of the Skripals.
goldhoarder , Jun 6, 2019 12:44:22 PM | 28
Julian Barnes is like Winston Smith without the intellectual curiosity. He quote happily goes about his work. lol. What is the matter with you people? You are supposed to embrace the new narrative!

From wikidpeida... A memory hole is any mechanism for the alteration or disappearance of inconvenient or embarrassing documents, photographs, transcripts or other records, such as from a website or other archive, particularly as part of an attempt to give the impression that something never happened.[1][2] The concept was first popularized by George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the Party's Ministry of Truth systematically re-created all potentially embarrassing historical documents, in effect, re-writing all of history to match the often-changing state propaganda. These changes were complete and undetectable.

frances , Jun 6, 2019 12:48:13 PM | 30
I think the"Why now?" answer was Trump is in the UK and asking questions, lots of questions, can't have that.
james , Jun 6, 2019 12:49:34 PM | 31
@37 bevin... maybe they will do with assange what they have done with the skripals... the uk is more then pathetic at this point in time.. craig murray had more to say on the assange case yesterday - A Swedish Court Injects Some Sense
bjd , Jun 6, 2019 1:32:38 PM | 32
Julian E. Barnes' humble confession (a self-incrimination) sounds like one made in a Gulag.
failure of imaginati , Jun 6, 2019 2:23:10 PM | 35
Further down the memory hole is the side tale of the daughter of Brutish Army Chief Nurse helping Skirpals and getting an award without contaminating the news. Was the girl's father Pablo Miller,(of Orbis Dossier MFG) and a pal of Skirpal? There's debunk in their poor narrative. The public has a photogenic memory.
lysias , Jun 6, 2019 2:28:23 PM | 36
Speaking of MI6, Julian Barnes is a very English-looking name. Do we know anything about his biography?
tuyzentfloot , Jun 6, 2019 2:56:36 PM | 37
There are 2 Julian Barneses (at the very least!), one is an English writer, the other has mostly been writing for the WSJ ( https://www.wsj.com/news/author/julian-e.-barnes) but since recently again for the NYTimes .
fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 3:10:32 PM | 38
30

Trump is a drug-addled, brain-damaged, hollowed-out shell of the dull con man he once was.

But, he perceives himself to be a brilliant mastermind - a stable genius. So, he might indeed, be prone to making inquiries (generally these would induce the toadies around him to stifle their laughter).

It makes sense that he might ask, while in GB, about the Skirpal incident, since he pulled 60 people from their posts and he remembered the fantasy he was lead to believe about sick children and dead ducks.

The fact that he overreacted without sufficient evidence, may have inspired a tiny amount of self-reflection simply because it may have embarrassed him to have been caught on his back foot. He was lead to believe that his contemporaries intended to react in equal measure. They did not. Therefore - he was "fooled" or tricked.

This is the only way to embarrass the buffoon. That is to have someone fool him personally. And to make him look stupid.

He doesn't mind that he is a fat oaf, a greed head and a pig, but that is the stuff of his own doing. He is comfortable in this. Money is the end-all, etc.

He bought Mar A Lago, making it his own club, because the Palm Beach Club and its elite snobs would not let him join.

Trump was betrayed by Gina Haskell, the CIA and the NYT.

What is he gonna do about it?

joebattista , Jun 6, 2019 3:22:02 PM | 40
All of Western media has been compromised by the CIA and friends since at least the 50s. Remember what late CIA director William Casey said in 1981; "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the US public believes is false".
They 'CIA' controls every talking head you can name. Believe no one. Sad isn't it.
William Gruff , Jun 6, 2019 3:56:52 PM | 41
Please note, everyone, that not all of these sad excuses for "journalists" are on the CIA payroll. In fact, very few of them are. Most work with the CIA out of warped senses of patriotism and duty to the empire. Most would never think of themselves as intelligence agency assets, and no small number of them probably think their relationships with the CIA are unique. They think that they are special and that their contacts on the inside at the CIA are unusual. Few would guess that they are just another propaganda mule in the CIA's stable, and that friendly guy who "leaks" to them is actually their handler; their "operator" in spook-speak.

Of course, there is also the incentive provided by just having to take the story their CIA "friend" gives them, edit it a little to fit their employer's style guidelines, and then submit it as their own. A whole day's worth of work and they can have it finished in half an hour. What's not to like about that?

Peter AU 1 , Jun 6, 2019 4:11:22 PM | 42
40

CIA did not control many of the Vietnam era journalists that had their pieces printed in mainstream media of the day. Not many left now and perhaps since the nineties they could no longer get their articles published. Regan brought in perception management which eventually brought all MSM 100% under US -CIA control.

fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 4:45:29 PM | 43
41

If you're a CIA guy, you get the editor and the ombudsman on the payroll and he will make certain that the desired propaganda gets published. If he's a Zionist, he's on the same page from the start, anyway.

The self-important "journalists" are controlled and in fact, they are flattered by their special relationships with informants and the owner/managers. After one has sucked his or her way to the upper level, kissing up and kicking down... Laziness is a bonus.

Jay , Jun 6, 2019 4:47:28 PM | 44
@Zachary Smith:

Barnes' CV has US News and World Report on it. That's big spewer of lies, especially over the last 25 years.

Ghost Ship , Jun 6, 2019 5:35:07 PM | 46
I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong.

What a strange construction. Doesn't the CIA have PR staff? A decent PR team would review every item referencing their boss and issue clarifications and/or demand corrections immediately. There should have been no need for Julian E. Barnes to figure anything out as the CIA should have pointed out his mistake very quickly. This explanation/exculpation is utter bullshit!

wagelaborer , Jun 6, 2019 5:40:19 PM | 47
Every day when I turn on my computer, I am enticed with offers to "see how the Brady Bunch kids look today" or "what do the stars of the 80s look like today?". Apparently, there is quite a demand for updates on celebrities and their current well being. So why would Julian Barnes do an article about the Skirpals without showing us how they look today? And just where are they living? Enquiring minds want to know!

I doubt that Trump asked questions about how those ducks and kids were doing. More likely that MI5 was annoyed that they were exposed as the providers of the duck snuff pictures, and put pressure on the NY Times.

Featherless , Jun 6, 2019 5:49:29 PM | 48
Whatever happened with the Skripals since ? It's like they fell off the face of the planet.
John Sanguinetti , Jun 6, 2019 6:37:46 PM | 50
Could this be referred to as a good old fashioned SNAFU ?
Jen , Jun 6, 2019 6:44:26 PM | 51
SteveK9 @ 49:

Using ducks is easier. Gina Haspel could always ask one of the bottom-feeding subordinates to nip down the road to one of those Chinese BBQ shops and photograph the display of roast ducks hanging in the shop window . The photos can be uploaded and altered to remove the background of the chef and the cashier and then the actual ducks can be altered or colored appropriately before the pictures are sent to Haspel. Anyone looking at the altered pictures would never guess their actual provenance.

:-)

I'm not sure where Haspel can find hippos or any other large animals that might topple on top of someone (with dire consequences) were s/he to apply a whiff of nerve agent.

Jen , Jun 6, 2019 6:49:22 PM | 52
SteveK9 @ 49:

Oops the link @ 51 isn't working so I'd better link to this instead.

El Cid , Jun 6, 2019 8:10:06 PM | 53
Those who advocated the strong response to Russia are the intellectual authors of "Russia Gate" to thwart detente with Russia.
uncle tungsten , Jun 6, 2019 8:12:21 PM | 54
Thanks b for a good laugh at Barnes and Goldman's expense. I note Goldman is silent and I guess that is because he would likely get his apology wrong and contradict Barnes BS.

[Jun 05, 2019] Due to the nature of intelligence agencies work and the aura of secrecy control of intelligence agencies in democratic societies is a difficult undertaking as the entity you want to control is in many ways more politically powerful and more ruthless in keeping its privileges then controllers.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In reality intelligence agencies control the nomination. ..."
"... Russiagate and the DNC hacking scandal were the attempts to reverse the presidential election. Essentially Russiagate was created to tame Trump, although I am not sure that such drastic measures were needed and I might be wrong. He betrayed his election promises with such an ease that Russiagate now looks like a paranoid overreaction of the USA intelligence agencies (and former FBI director Mueller of 9/11 and anthrax investigation fame) Which figuratively speaking moved tanks to capture the unnamed native village. ..."
"... Due to the nature of intelligence agencies work and the aura of secrecy control of intelligence agencies in democratic societies is a difficult undertaking as the entity you want to control is in many ways more politically powerful and more ruthless in keeping its privileges then controllers. And if the society preaches militarism it is outright impossible: any politician deviation from militaristic policies will be met with the counterattack of intelligence agencies which are intimately interested in maintaining the status quo. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 04.27.19 at 5:21 am 99

In reality intelligence agencies control the nomination.

Pics or it didn't happen.

I am very sorry and sincerely apologize. Please view this as a plausible hypothesis ;-)

Some considerations (neoliberals and neocons usually interpret those facts differently so this is a view from paleoconservative universe; you are warned):

1. Exoneration of Hillary deprived Sanders of chances to lead Democratic ticket in 2016. This is as close to the proven fact as we can get.

2. Russiagate and the DNC hacking scandal were the attempts to reverse the presidential election. Essentially Russiagate was created to tame Trump, although I am not sure that such drastic measures were needed and I might be wrong. He betrayed his election promises with such an ease that Russiagate now looks like a paranoid overreaction of the USA intelligence agencies (and former FBI director Mueller of 9/11 and anthrax investigation fame) Which figuratively speaking moved tanks to capture the unnamed native village.

3. JFK and then Robert Kennedy assassination. The key role of the CIA in the JFK assassination now is broadly accepted in the USA.

3. Obama connection to CIA was subject of many articles, especially in the alt-right press. He definitely was raised in a family of CIA operatives.

4. Brennan spied on Congress and was not fired, which means that the CIA hieratically is above the Congress. Proven fact.

In short, nothing in the power structure of democratic societies prevents intelligence agencies from becoming key political actors, the Pretorian guard which selects the Presidents by keeping dirt on politicians and controls the press (see Church commission). They have both motivation (preservation and enhancement of their status as any large bureaucracy), means (weakly controlled, oversized budget; access to shadow funds from arms and narcotics trading) and skills (covert operations, disinformation, sabotage. This triad is inherent in their status as the legalized mafia which operates above the law. As Pompeo recently said in a recent speech at Texas A&M University CIA operatives lie and cheat and steal.

When intelligence agencies control MSM that alone gives them considerable power to influence the political process. For example, in the case of Russiagate, we saw well organized and timed series of leaks. So, in fact, they can be viewed as the "Inner Party" in terms of Orwell dystopia 1984.

And the fact of media control is a proven fact. And not only via Church commission. Dr. Ulfkotte went on public television stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also adding that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job.

Due to the nature of intelligence agencies work and the aura of secrecy control of intelligence agencies in democratic societies is a difficult undertaking as the entity you want to control is in many ways more politically powerful and more ruthless in keeping its privileges then controllers. And if the society preaches militarism it is outright impossible: any politician deviation from militaristic policies will be met with the counterattack of intelligence agencies which are intimately interested in maintaining the status quo.

In any case, the problem of "the tail wagging the dog" is a problem for any country, not only for the USA. The fact that both Brennan and Clapper become 'talking heads' after retirement tells something about the trend. Such things would be impossible 20 years ago.

Some insights into the problem can be obtained by reading the article about the politicization of intelligence agencies in other countries. For example:

https://carnegieendowment.org/2015/12/18/challenges-of-civilian-control-over-intelligence-agencies-in-pakistan-pub-62278

Ultimately, making the intelligence agencies accountable amounts to a broader reevaluation of the larger framework of civil-military relations. As a result, not only is intelligence reform an almost intractable political issue, but it also requires a complete change of mentality for the actors involved. Reigning in the intelligence agencies is a problem of a deeper political culture, one that requires a systemic change in the psychology of the organizations.

the lack of civilian oversight of intelligence agencies is a byproduct of the political imbalance between civilian and military actors, a power structure that favors the latter.

As long as the military can get its way through seemingly constitutional means, the importance of the intelligence agencies will remain relatively limited. Their role, however, becomes essential whenever the military meets some resistance

the military's domestic political power "has always derived from [its] ability to mediate confrontations among feuding political leaders, parties or state institutions, invariably presented as threats to the political order and stability. The military [is] of course the only institution empowered to judge whether such threats existed based on the assumption that a polity in turmoil cannot sustain a professional military" (Rizvi 1998: 100). Yet whenever necessary, the military has not hesitated to generate problems itself if it believes its institutional interests would be better served by a weak and divided polity. This is where the intelligence agencies come into play.

the link between journalists and the intelligence agencies is a complex one, and cannot be reduced to a simple power dynamic in which the journalists are merely the victim. Journalists need information, and thus have an interest in maintaining a good relationship with intelligence agencies. In return, journalists are often asked to provide information themselves to intelligence agencies.

[Jun 05, 2019] Do Spies Run the World by Israel Shamir

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Within America, the alphabet agencies from NSA to CIA to FBI had betrayed their country as obviously as Figuera did, though they didn't run away, yet. Our colleagues Mike Whitney and Philip Giraldi described the conspiracy organised by John Brennan of CIA with active participation of FBI's James Comey, to regime-change the US. ..."
"... The CIA spies in England and passes the results to the British Intelligence. MI6 spies in the US and passes the results to CIA. They became integrated to unbelievable extent in the worldwide network of spies. ..."
"... It is not the Deep State anymore; it is world spooks who had united against their legitimate masters. Instead of staying loyal to their country, the spooks betrayed their countries. They are not only strictly-for-cash – they think they know better what is good for you. In a way, they are a new incarnation of the Cecil Rhodes Society . Democratically-elected politicians and statesmen have to obey them or meet their displeasure, as Corbyn and Trump did. ..."
"... Everywhere, in the US, the UK, and Russia, the spooks became too powerful to handle. The CIA stood behind assassination of JFK and tried to take down Trump. The British Intelligence undermined Jeremy Corbyn, after assisting the CIA in pushing for the Iraq war. They created the Steele Dossier, invented the Skripal hoax and had brought Russia and the West to the brink of nuclear war. ..."
"... In the Ukraine, the heads of their state security, SBU had plotted against the last legitimate president Mr Victor Yanukovych. They helped to organise and run the Maidan 2014 manifestations and misled their President, until he was forced to escape abroad. The Maidan manifestations could be compared with the Yellow Vests movement; however, Macron, an appointee of the Network, had support of his spies, and stayed in power, while Yanukovych had been betrayed and overthrown. ..."
"... You'd ask me, were they so stupid that they believed their own propaganda of inevitable Clinton's victory? Yes, they were and are stupid. They are no sages, evil or benevolent. My main objection to the conspiracy theorists is that they usually view the plotters as omniscient and all-powerful. They are too greedy to be all-powerful, and they are too silly to be omniscient. ..."
"... Now, however, the secret services' cohesion and integration increased to the next level, making it difficult to deal with them. ..."
"... People are fickle and not always know what is good for them; there are many demagogues to mislead the crowd. And still, elected legitimate officials should have precedence in governing, while non-elected ones should obey – and it means the Network spooks and media men should know their place. ..."
"... How did John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Christopher Steele and other Spygate principals manage to rise to the top of the intelligence bureaucracy? ..."
"... These characters have indulged in an orgy of highly conspicuous partisan political meddling and ranting that has created the strong public impression that they engaged in an attempted coup to overthrow a sitting American president on the basis of a frame-up that was largely fueled by Russian disinformation. ..."
"... Brennan in particular: can you imagine any previous CIA director comporting himself in this manner? Throwing all caution to the winds? Inconceivable. Brennan, Comey and Clapper have inflicted serious damage on the reputation of the CIA, FBI and ODNI. ..."
"... It's not just illegal surveillance and blackmail that gives the spies power, it's impunity for even the gravest crimes. If you don't get the message of blackmail you can be tortured or shot, with a bullet like JFK and RFK and Reagan, or with illegal biological weapons like Daschel and Leahy. Institutionalized impunity stares us in the face from US state papers. ..."
"... It's not that CIA and other neo-Gestapos escaped control. They were designed from inception for totalitarian control. The one poor bastard in Congress who pointed that out, Tydings, had McCarthy sicced on him for his cheek. CIA is not out of control; it's firmly IN control. ..."
"... It was funny during the Cold war (the original one) – whenever each side unveiled that a spy from the other side has defected to them – they would say it was because of ideology – i.e. the spy defected to them because he "believed" in "democracy" or socialism – depending on the case. ..."
"... And in order to discredit their own spies when they defected to the other side – they would say that they did it for money, because they were greedy and that they betrayed "democracy" or socialism ..."
"... The other crucial role that spies usually play is that they allow the adversaries to keep technological balance via industrial espionage. By transferring top military secrets, they don't allow any side to gain crucial strategic advantage that might encourage them to do something foolish – like start a nuclear war. Prime example of this were probably the Rosenbergs – who helped USSR close the nuclear weapons gap with US and kept the world in a shaky nuclear arms balance. ..."
"... Profound analysis by Mr. Shamir. It confirms that one of the important reasons for the decline of freemasonry is the monopolization of political conspiracy by the intelligence services. Who needs the lodge when you have the CIA. ..."
"... Spooks are everywhere, from secretaries "losing" important communications to CNN news anchors roleplaying with crisis actors, but they are at their most powerful when they are appointed to powerful positions. President Trump's National Security Advisor is a spook and he does what he wants. ..."
"... John le Carre described it perfectly in "A Perfect Spy". The spooks form their own country. They are only loyal to themselves. ..."
"... A global supra-powerful, organized and united, privately directed, publicly backed society of high technology robin hood_mercenary_spooks who conduct sub-legal "scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-your-back [in the nation of the other] routines"; who ignore duty to country, its constitutions, its laws and human rights. The are evil, global acting, high technology nomads with a monopoly on extortion and terror. ..."
"... Your statement "spooks and ex-spooks feel more proximity to their enemies and colleagues in other countries than to their fellow citizens" fails makes clear the importance of containment-of-citizen access to information. Nation states are armed, rule making structures that invent propaganda and control access to information. Information containment and filtering is the essence of the political and economic power of a national leader and it is more import to the evil your article addresses. ..."
"... Control of the media is 50 times more important than control of the government? Nearly all actions of consequence are intended to drain the governed masses and such efforts can only be successful if the lobbying, false-misleading mind controlling privately owned (92% own by just 6 entities) centrally directed media can effectively control the all information environments. ..."
"... While understanding the mechanics is helpful don't neglect the purpose. Why is more important than how. The why is control. They don't care what you believe, but only what you do. You can be on the left, right, mainstream, or fringe and they won't care as long as you eat what they serve. Take a minute to think about what they want you to do and strongly consider not doing it. ..."
May 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

Conspiratorially-minded writers envisaged the Shadow World Government as a board of evil sages surrounded by the financiers and cinema moguls. That would be bad enough; in infinitely worse reality, our world is run by the Junior Ganymede that went berserk. It is not a government, but a network, like freemasonry of old, and it consists chiefly of treacherous spies and pens-for-hire, two kinds of service personnel, that collected a lot of data and tools of influence, and instead of serving their masters loyally, had decided to lead the world in the direction they prefer.

German Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the last head of the Abwehr, Hitler's Military Intelligence, had been such a spy with political ambitions. He supported Hitler as the mighty enemy of Communism; on a certain stage he came to conclusion that the US will do the job better and switched to the Anglo-American side. He was uncovered and executed for treason. His colleague General Reinhard Gehlen also betrayed his Führer and had switched to the American side. After the war, he continued his war against Soviet Russia, this time for CIA instead of Abwehr.

The spies are treacherous by their nature. They contact people who betrayed their countries; they work under cover, pretending to be somebody else; for them the switch of loyalty is as usual and normal as the gender change operation for a Moroccan doctor who is doing that 8 to 5 every day. They mix with foreign spies, they kill people with impunity; they break every law, human or divine. They are extremely dangerous if they do it for their own country. They are infinitely more dangerous if they work for themselves and still keep their institutional capabilities and international network.

Recently we had a painful reminding of their treacherous nature. Venezuela's top spy, the former director of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin), Manuel Cristopher Figuera , had switched sides during the last coup attempt and escaped abroad as the coup failed. He discovered that his membership on the Junior Ganymede of the spooks is more important for him than his duty to his country and its constitution.

Within America, the alphabet agencies from NSA to CIA to FBI had betrayed their country as obviously as Figuera did, though they didn't run away, yet. Our colleagues Mike Whitney and Philip Giraldi described the conspiracy organised by John Brennan of CIA with active participation of FBI's James Comey, to regime-change the US. In the conspiracy, foreign intelligence agencies, primarily the British GCHQ, played an important role. As by law, these spies aren't allowed to operate on their home ground, they go into you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-your-back routine. The CIA spies in England and passes the results to the British Intelligence. MI6 spies in the US and passes the results to CIA. They became integrated to unbelievable extent in the worldwide network of spies.

It is not the Deep State anymore; it is world spooks who had united against their legitimate masters. Instead of staying loyal to their country, the spooks betrayed their countries. They are not only strictly-for-cash – they think they know better what is good for you. In a way, they are a new incarnation of the Cecil Rhodes Society . Democratically-elected politicians and statesmen have to obey them or meet their displeasure, as Corbyn and Trump did.

Everywhere, in the US, the UK, and Russia, the spooks became too powerful to handle. The CIA stood behind assassination of JFK and tried to take down Trump. The British Intelligence undermined Jeremy Corbyn, after assisting the CIA in pushing for the Iraq war. They created the Steele Dossier, invented the Skripal hoax and had brought Russia and the West to the brink of nuclear war.

Russian spooks are in a special relations mode with the global network – for many years. In Russia, persistent rumours claim the perilous Perestroika of Mikhail Gorbachev had been designed and initiated by the KGB chief (1967 – 1982) Yuri Andropov . He and his appointees dismantled the socialist state and prepared the takeover of 1991 in the interests of the One World project.

Andropov (who had stepped into Brezhnev's shoes in 1982 and died in 1984) had advanced Gorbachev and his architect of glasnost, Alexander Yakovlev . Andropov also promoted the arch-traitor KGB General Oleg Kalugin to head its counter-intelligence. Later, Kalugin betrayed his country, escaped to the US and delivered all Russian spies he knew of to the FBI hands.

In late 1980s-early 1990s, the KGB, originally the guarding dog of the Russian working class, had betrayed its Communist masters and switched to work for the Network. But for their betrayal, Gorbachev would not be able to destroy his country so fast: the KGB neutralised or misinformed the Communist leadership.

They allowed Chernobyl to explode; they permitted a German pilot to land on the Red Square – this was used by Gorbachev as an excuse to sack the whole lot of patriotic generals. The KGB people were active in subverting other socialist states, too. They executed the Romanian leader Ceausescu and his wife; they brought down the GDR, the socialist Germany; they plotted with Yeltsin against Gorbachev and with Gorbachev against Romanov. As the result of their plotting, the USSR fell apart.

The KGB plotters of 1991 had thought that post-Communist Russia would be treated by the West like the prodigal son, with a fattened calf being slaughtered for the welcome feast. To their disappointment, the stupid bastards discovered that their country was to play the part of the fattened calf at the feast, and they were turned from unseen rulers into billionaires' bodyguards. Years later, Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia with the blessing of the world spooks and bankers, but being too independent a man to submit, he took his country into its present nationalist course, trying to regain some lost ground. The dissatisfied spooks supported him.

Only recently Putin began to trim the wild growth of his own intelligence service, the FSB. It is possible the cautious president had been alerted by the surprising insistence of the Western media that the alleged attempt on Skripal and other visible cases had been attributed to the GRU, the relatively small Russian Military Intelligence, while the much bigger FSB had been forgotten. The head of FSB cybercrime department had been arrested and sentenced for lengthy term of imprisonment, and two FSB colonels had been arrested as the search of their premises revealed immense amounts of cash , both Russian and foreign currency. Such piles of roubles and dollars could be assembled only for an attempt to change the regime, as it was demanded by the Network.

In the Ukraine, the heads of their state security, SBU had plotted against the last legitimate president Mr Victor Yanukovych. They helped to organise and run the Maidan 2014 manifestations and misled their President, until he was forced to escape abroad. The Maidan manifestations could be compared with the Yellow Vests movement; however, Macron, an appointee of the Network, had support of his spies, and stayed in power, while Yanukovych had been betrayed and overthrown.

In the US, the spooks allowed Donald Trump to become the leading Republican candidate, for they thought he would certainly lose to Mme Clinton. Surprisingly, he had won, and since then, this man who was advanced as an easy prey, as a buffoon, had been hunted by the spooks-and-scribes freemasonry.

You'd ask me, were they so stupid that they believed their own propaganda of inevitable Clinton's victory? Yes, they were and are stupid. They are no sages, evil or benevolent. My main objection to the conspiracy theorists is that they usually view the plotters as omniscient and all-powerful. They are too greedy to be all-powerful, and they are too silly to be omniscient.

Their knowledge of official leaders' faults gives them their feeling of power, but this knowledge can be translated into actual control only for weak-minded men. Strong leaders do not submit easily. Putin has had his quota of imprudent or outright criminal acts in his past, but he never allowed the blackmailers to dictate him their agenda. Netanyahu, another strong man of modern politics, also had managed to survive blackmail. Meanwhile, Trump defeated all attempts to unseat him, though his enemies had used his alleged lack of delicacy in relation to women, blacks and Jews to its utmost. He waded through the deep pond of Russiagate like Gulliver. But he has to purge the alphabet agencies to reach safety.

In Russia, the problem is acute. Many Russian spooks and ex-spooks feel more proximity to their enemies and colleagues in other countries than to their fellow citizens. There is a freemasonic quality in their camaraderie. Such a quality could be commendable in soldiers after the war is over, but here the war is going on. Russian spooks are particularly besotted with their declared enemies; apparently it is the Christian quality of the Russian soul, but a very annoying one.

When Snowden reached Moscow after his daring escape from Hong Kong, the Russian TV screened a discussion that I participated in, among journalists, members of parliament and ex-spies. The Russian spooks said that Snowden is a traitor; a person who betrayed his agency can't be trusted and should be sent to the US in shackles. They felt they belong to the Spy World, with its inner bond, while their loyalty to Russia was a distant second.

During recent visit of Mike Pompeo to Sochi, the head of SVR, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Mr Sergey Naryshkin proposed the State Secretary Mike Pompeo, the ex-CIA director, to expand contacts between Russian and US special services at a higher level. He clarified that he actively interacted with Pompeo during the period when he was the head of the CIA. Why would he need contacts with his adversary? It would be much better to avoid contacts altogether.

Even president Putin, who is first of all a Russian nationalist (or a patriot, as they say), who has granted Snowden asylum in Moscow at a high price of seriously worsening relations with Obama's administration, even Putin has told Stone that Snowden shouldn't have leaked the documents the way he did. "If he didn't like anything at his work he should have simply resigned, but he went further", a response proving he didn't completely freed himself from the spooks' freemasonry.

While the spooks plot, the scribes justify their plots. Media is also a weapon, and a mighty one. In Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin , the protagonist is defeated by the smear campaign in the media. Despite his miraculous arrival, despite his glorious victory, the evil witch succeeds to poison minds of the hero's wife and of the court. The pen can counter the sword. When the two are integrated, as in the union of spooks and scribes, it is too dangerous tool to leave intact.

In many countries of Europe, editorial international policies had been outsourced to the spooky Atlantic Council, the Washington-based think tank. The Atlantic Council is strongly connected with NATO alliance and with Brussels bureaucracy, the tools of control over Europe. Another tool is The Integrity Initiative , where the difference between spies and journalists is blurred . And so is the difference between the left and the right. The left and the right-wing media use different arguments, surprisingly leading to the same bottom line, because both are tools of warfare for the same Network.

In 1930s, they were divided. The German and the British agents pulled and pushed in the opposite directions. The Russian military became so friendly with the Germans, that at a certain time, Hitler believed the Russian generals would side with him against their own leader. The Russian spooks were befriended by the Brits, and had tried to push Russia to confront Hitler. The cautious Marshal Stalin had purged the Red Army's pro-German Generals, and the NKVD's pro-British spooks, and delayed the outbreak of hostilities as much as he could. Now, however, the secret services' cohesion and integration increased to the next level, making it difficult to deal with them.

If they are so powerful, integrated and united, shouldn't we throw a towel in the ring and surrender? Hell, no! Their success is their undoing. They plot, but Allah is the best plotter, – our Muslim friends say. Indeed, when they succeed to suborn a party, the people vote with their feet. The Brexit is the case to consider. The Network wanted to undermine the Brexit; so they neutralised Corbyn by the antisemitism pursuit while May had made all she could to sabotage the Brexit while calling for it in public. Awfully clever of them – but the British voter responded with dropping both established parties. So their clever plot misfired.

People are fickle and not always know what is good for them; there are many demagogues to mislead the crowd. And still, elected legitimate officials should have precedence in governing, while non-elected ones should obey – and it means the Network spooks and media men should know their place.


Sean McBride , says: May 21, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT

Side note:

How did John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Christopher Steele and other Spygate principals manage to rise to the top of the intelligence bureaucracy?

Spymasters are usually renowned for their inscrutability and for playing their cards close to their vests.

These characters have indulged in an orgy of highly conspicuous partisan political meddling and ranting that has created the strong public impression that they engaged in an attempted coup to overthrow a sitting American president on the basis of a frame-up that was largely fueled by Russian disinformation.

Brennan in particular: can you imagine any previous CIA director comporting himself in this manner? Throwing all caution to the winds? Inconceivable. Brennan, Comey and Clapper have inflicted serious damage on the reputation of the CIA, FBI and ODNI.

Forthcoming books will no doubt get into all the remarkable and bizarre details.

Donald Trump has demonstrated the ability to troll and goad many of his opponents into a state of imbecility. It's a negotiating tactic -- knock them off balance, provoke them to lose control. No matter how smart they are, some people take the bait.

Ding ding ding , says: May 21, 2019 at 4:04 pm GMT
I am sitting here pointing to my nose. Spies run the world – contemporary history in a nutshell. A few provisos:

It's not just illegal surveillance and blackmail that gives the spies power, it's impunity for even the gravest crimes. If you don't get the message of blackmail you can be tortured or shot, with a bullet like JFK and RFK and Reagan, or with illegal biological weapons like Daschel and Leahy. Institutionalized impunity stares us in the face from US state papers.

It's not that CIA and other neo-Gestapos escaped control. They were designed from inception for totalitarian control. The one poor bastard in Congress who pointed that out, Tydings, had McCarthy sicced on him for his cheek. CIA is not out of control; it's firmly IN control.

– There is a crucial difference between US and Russian spies. Russians can go over the head of their government to the world. That's the only effective check on state criminal enterprise like CIA. Article 17 of the Russian Constitution says "in the Russian Federation rights and freedoms of person and citizen are recognized and guaranteed pursuant to the generally recognized principles and norms of international law and in accordance with this Constitution." Article 18 states that rights and freedoms of the person and citizen are directly applicable, which prevents the kind of bad-faith tricks the USA pulls, like declaring "non-self executing" treaties, or making legally void reservations, declarations, understandings, and provisos to screw you out of your rights. Article 46(3) guarantees citizens a constitutional right to appeal to inter-State bodies for the protection of human rights and freedoms if internal legal redress has been exhausted. Ratified international treaties including the ICCPR supersede any domestic legislation stipulating otherwise.

Endgame Napoleon , says: May 21, 2019 at 6:14 pm GMT
Isn't it just collusion that holds certain elite groups together, including in some businesses where a lot of chicanery goes on. The most important thing is to be in on it as one of them, not as a person who can be trusted not to say anything, but as one of the gang. It's exactly how absenteeism-friendly offices full of crony parents with crony-parent managers work.

The only problem for the guy at the tippy top is what would happen if such a tight group turned on him / her? Maybe, some leaders see the value in protecting a few brave individuals, like Snowden, letting any coup-stirring spooks know that some people are watching the Establishment's rights violators, too. Those with technical knowledge have more capacity than most to do it or, at least, to understand how it works.

In a country founded on individual liberties, including Fourth Amendment privacy rights that were protected by less greedy generations, the US should have elected leaders that put the US Constitution first, but that is too much to ask in an era when the top dogs in business & government are all colluding for money.

Digital Samizdat , says: May 21, 2019 at 6:40 pm GMT

In Russia, persistent rumours claim the perilous Perestroika of Mikhail Gorbachev had been designed and initiated by the KGB chief (1967 – 1982) Yuri Andropov.

FWIW, I have heard the exact same thing from Russian commenters myself. Some have insisted that, if Andropov had lived long enough, he would have carried glasnost and perestroika himself.

Cyrano , says: May 21, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
Spies are loathsome bunch, with questionable loyalties and personal integrity. But I believe that overall they play a positive role. They play a positive role because they help adversaries gain insight into their adversary's activities.

If it wasn't for the spies, paranoia about what the other side is doing can get out of hand and cause wrong actions to take place. The problem with the spies is also that no one knows how much they can be trusted and on whose side they are really on.

It was funny during the Cold war (the original one) – whenever each side unveiled that a spy from the other side has defected to them – they would say it was because of ideology – i.e. the spy defected to them because he "believed" in "democracy" or socialism – depending on the case.

And in order to discredit their own spies when they defected to the other side – they would say that they did it for money, because they were greedy and that they betrayed "democracy" or socialism.

The other crucial role that spies usually play is that they allow the adversaries to keep technological balance via industrial espionage. By transferring top military secrets, they don't allow any side to gain crucial strategic advantage that might encourage them to do something foolish – like start a nuclear war. Prime example of this were probably the Rosenbergs – who helped USSR close the nuclear weapons gap with US and kept the world in a shaky nuclear arms balance.

Kirt , says: May 21, 2019 at 10:01 pm GMT
Profound analysis by Mr. Shamir. It confirms that one of the important reasons for the decline of freemasonry is the monopolization of political conspiracy by the intelligence services. Who needs the lodge when you have the CIA.

An aspect of the rule of spies that Mr. Shamir does not touch on is the legitimization of this rule through popular culture. This started with the James Bond novels and movies and by now has become ubiquitous. Spies and assassins are the heroes of the masses. While secrecy is still needed for tactical reasons in the case of specific operations, overall secrecy is not needed nor even desirable. So you have thugs like Pompeo actually boasting of their villainy before audiences of college students at Texas A&M and you have the Mossad supporting the publication of the book Rise and Kill First which is an extensive account of their world-wide assassination policy. They have the power; now they want the perks that go with it, including being treated like rock stars.

israel shamir , says: May 22, 2019 at 4:06 am GMT
@Kirt

Who needs the lodge when you have the CIA

Good explanation of freemasonry's decline, Kirt! As for popular culture – almost all latest cinema characters are spies – like Avengers))

anno nimus , says: May 22, 2019 at 4:44 am GMT
dear mr Shamir, the criminals are not only stupid but also utterly wicked. they will be stricken down in the twinkling of the eye and will cry out why God? all the righteous will shout for joy and give thanks to the Almighty for judging Babylon. woe unto them! they will have no place to hide or run to.

Ezekiel 9 (NKJV)
The Wicked Are Slain
9 Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, "Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand." 2 And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer's inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer's inkhorn at his side; 4 and the Lord said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it."

5 To the others He said in my hearing, "Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. 6 Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the temple. 7 Then He said to them, "Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!" And they went out and killed in the city.

8 So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said, "Ah, Lord God! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?"

9 Then He said to me, "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say, 'The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see!' 10 And as for Me also, My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head."

11 Just then, the man clothed with linen, who had the inkhorn at his side, reported back and said, "I have done as You commanded me."

Antares , says: May 22, 2019 at 5:01 am GMT
Espionage depends on contra-espionage. We will never get that hold on Jewish spies as they can have on our spies.
Paul Bennett , says: May 22, 2019 at 5:38 am GMT
Great article.

E Michael Jones was just warning President Trump about the possibility of this in the Straits of Hormuz. https://youtu.be/iIm3WuJAVEE?t=272

Spooks are everywhere, from secretaries "losing" important communications to CNN news anchors roleplaying with crisis actors, but they are at their most powerful when they are appointed to powerful positions. President Trump's National Security Advisor is a spook and he does what he wants.

John le Carre described it perfectly in "A Perfect Spy". The spooks form their own country. They are only loyal to themselves.

Yarkob , says: May 22, 2019 at 7:52 am GMT
@Antares that's because the Mossad isn't like "our" spy agencies. it's closer to the old paradigm of the hashishim or true assassins. Mossad "agents" don't gad around wearing dark glasses and tapping phones; they run proper deep cover operations. "sleepers" is a term used in the USA. they have jobs. they look "normal". They integrate
MarkU , says: May 22, 2019 at 8:45 am GMT
Do spies run the world? No not really, bankers run the world.

Bankers constitute most of the deep state in the US/UK in particular and most of Europe. It is the bankers/deep state which control the intelligence agencies. The ethnicity of a hefty proportion of said bankers is plain to see for anyone with functioning critical faculties. How else can a tiny country in the middle east have such influence in the US? How else do we explain why 2/3 of the UK parliament are "friends of Israel" How come financial institutions can commit felonies and no one does jail time? why is Israel allowed to commit war crimes and break international law with total impunity? who got bailed out of their gambling debts at the expense of inflicting "austerity" on most of the western world?

I am open to any sensible alternative hypothesis.

Realist , says: May 22, 2019 at 8:48 am GMT
@Sean McBride

How did John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Christopher Steele and other Spygate principals manage to rise to the top of the intelligence bureaucracy?

Shit floats.

Sally , says: May 22, 2019 at 9:06 am GMT
A global supra-powerful, organized and united, privately directed, publicly backed society of high technology robin hood_mercenary_spooks who conduct sub-legal "scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-your-back [in the nation of the other] routines"; who ignore duty to country, its constitutions, its laws and human rights. The are evil, global acting, high technology nomads with a monopoly on extortion and terror.

Since winning, Trump has been hunted by the spooks-and-scribes freemasonry. <fallacy is that Trump could have gained the assistence of every American, had Trump just used his powers to declassify all secret information and make it available to the public, instead he chases Assange, and continues to conduct the affairs of his office in secret.

Propaganda preys on belief.. it is more powerful than an atomic weapon.. when the facts are hidden or when the facts are changed, distorted or destroyed.

Your statement "spooks and ex-spooks feel more proximity to their enemies and colleagues in other countries than to their fellow citizens" fails makes clear the importance of containment-of-citizen access to information. Nation states are armed, rule making structures that invent propaganda and control access to information. Information containment and filtering is the essence of the political and economic power of a national leader and it is more import to the evil your article addresses.

https://theintercept.com/2019/05/08/josh-gottheimer-democrats-yemen/ <i wrote IRT to the article, that contents appearing in private media supported monopoly powered corporations and distributed to the public, direct the use of military and the willingness of soldiers of 22 different countries.

Control of the media is 50 times more important than control of the government? Nearly all actions of consequence are intended to drain the governed masses and such efforts can only be successful if the lobbying, false-misleading mind controlling privately owned (92% own by just 6 entities) centrally directed media can effectively control the all information environments.

I am bothered by you article because it looks to be Trumped weighted and failes to make clear it is these secret apolitical, human rights abusers, that direct the contents of the media distributed articles that appear in the privately owmed, media distributed to the public. Also not explained is how the cost of advertising is shared by the monopoly powered corporations, and it is that advertising that is the source of support that keeps the fake news in business, the nation state propaganda in line, and the support of robin -hood terror.

Monopoly powered global corporation advertising funds the fake and misleading private media, that is why the open internet has been shut in tight. In order for the evil, global acting, high technology nomads to continue their extortion and terror activities they need the media, its their only real weapon. I have never meet a member of any of the twenty two agencies that was not a trained, certified mental case terrorist.

Anon [295] Disclaimer , says: May 22, 2019 at 9:08 am GMT
I think the interplay between the spooks and scribes warrants a deeper explanation. Covert action refers to anything in which the author can disclaim his responsibility, ie it looks like someone else or something else. The handler in a political operation cannot abuse his agent because the agent is the actor. The handler in an intelligence gathering operation can abuse his agent because the agent merely enables action.

The political operations in this case are propaganda. The Congress of Cultural Freedom is the most clearly described one to date. Propaganda is necessary in any mass society to ensure that voters care about the right issues, the right way, at the right time. Propaganda can be true, false, or a mix of the two. Black propaganda deals in falsehoods, ie the Steele Dossier. Black propaganda works best when it enables a pre-planned operation, but it pollutes the intelligence gathering process with disinformation.

Intelligence gathering is colloquially called investigative reporting. If anyone knows about Gary Webb, Alan Frankovich, or Michael Hastings they know you can't really do that job well for very long. So how do the old timers last so long? It's a back and forth. The reporter brings all of his information on a subject to his intelligence source (handler). The source then says, "print this, print that, sit on that, and since you've been a good boy here's a little something you didn't know." The true role of the investigative reporter is to conduct counterintelligence and package it as a limited hangout.

While understanding the mechanics is helpful don't neglect the purpose. Why is more important than how. The why is control. They don't care what you believe, but only what you do. You can be on the left, right, mainstream, or fringe and they won't care as long as you eat what they serve. Take a minute to think about what they want you to do and strongly consider not doing it.

https://www.nytimes.com/1977/12/26/archives/worldwide-propaganda-network-built-by-the-cia-a-worldwide-network.html

http://danwismar.com/uploads/Bernstein%20-%20CIA%20and%20Media.htm

joeshittheragman , says: May 22, 2019 at 9:29 am GMT
Do Spies Run the World?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
If they're Jewish spies – then yes.
Vojkan , says: May 22, 2019 at 9:45 am GMT
Not usually a big fan of Israel Shamir's pieces but this one on spooks is truly excellent. The article is spot on.
9/11 Inside job , says: May 22, 2019 at 10:37 am GMT
Spies do not run the world , they are merely agents of the "families" who use them to retain and increase their control ,power and wealth .
cowherd , says: May 22, 2019 at 10:46 am GMT
@Sean McBride And now Trump should have then all rounded up and hung from the trees in the front of the Whitehouse. Anything less should be seen as encouragement.
atlantis_dweller , says: May 22, 2019 at 11:26 am GMT
Don't agree.

[Should don't agree, agree, troll, and lol "buttons" for columns be added? I think it would be a nice extra].

mike k , says: May 22, 2019 at 11:49 am GMT
The worst among us rule over the rest of us. As Plato said, this needs to change. How to do that? We don't know, but we desperately need to find out ..
Anon [421] Disclaimer , says: May 22, 2019 at 12:41 pm GMT
@Sean McBride

Obama was a very effective promoter of what might be called the "globalist" agenda. He of course didn't invent it but did appoint those three.

Wayne Madsen gave a convincing account in his speculation that both Obama's parent's were CIA operatives. So it's "all the family" and in the details one might conclude with the author that indeed "spies run the world."

[Jun 04, 2019] Attkisson 10 Questions I d Ask Robert Mueller (If I Were Allowed)

Highly recommended!
Jun 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Attkisson: 10 Questions I'd Ask Robert Mueller (If I Were Allowed)

by Tyler Durden Tue, 06/04/2019 - 11:05 0 SHARES Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print Authored by Sharyl Attkisson, op-ed via The Hill,

Most of now-former special counsel Robert Mueller 's public statement to the press last week seemed to fall under the category of "Fair enough." After all, the man did nearly two years of work, he kept largely silent throughout, and he alternately was called a hero or a dog.

So the day Mueller resigns, he chooses to make a fairly brief statement putting a button on all of it, and at the same time declining to take any questions, before gliding back into private life.

But there's at least one comment Mueller made that nags at me. It's when he said, "If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so."

Mueller must have had his reasons for shading his commentary in that way rather than in the other direction: If they'd found adequate evidence to implicate Trump in a crime, or even "collusion," they would have said that, too.

The statement Mueller chose to give carries with it an implication that his team looked for evidence of President Trump 's innocence but simply could not find it. With that in mind, I thought of a short list of questions I'd like to ask Mueller, if ever permitted to do so:

  1. What witnesses did you interview and what evidence did you collect in an attempt to exonerate Trump or prove him not guilty? (I believe the answer would be, "None. It's not the job of a special counsel or prosecutor to do so." Therefore, was Mueller's comment appropriate?)
  2. Does it concern you that the FBI claimed " collection tool failure " in stating that 19,000 text messages between former FBI employees Lisa Page and Peter Strozk had been deleted and were unavailable for review by the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general? Is it worth investigating how the inspector general was able to recover the messages , when the FBI said it could not? Does the FBI lack the technical expertise, or the will? Isn't it a serious issue that should be addressed, either way?
  3. Along the same lines, do you think it strange or inappropriate that the DOJ wiped text messages between Strzok and Page from their special counsel cell phones? The deletions happened shortly after they were ejected from the team and before the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General could review them -- at a time when all had been informed that their actions were under review. Did technicians attempt to recover the messages? Were the circumstances of the deletions thoroughly investigated?
  4. When did you first learn that the FBI and DOJ signed off on and presented unverified, anti-Trump political opposition research to a court to get wiretaps on an innocent U.S. citizen? Doesn't this violate the strict procedures enacted while you were FBI director, intended to ensure that only verified information is seen by the court? Who will be held accountable for any lapses in this arena?
  5. Do these issues point to larger problems within our intelligence community, in terms of how officials operate? Does that put you in a position where there's a conflict of interest since you were in charge of the FBI when prior surveillance abuses were identified by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court? Did you consider disclosing this potential conflict and stepping aside, or referring any issues that overlap with your interests?
  6. What steps did you take after Strzok and Page were exposed, to try to learn if other investigators on your team likewise were conflicted? Did you take action to segregate the work of these agents and any potential biases they injected into your investigation and team? Wasn't their behavior a beacon to call you to follow an investigative trail in another direction?
  7. Did you become concerned about foreign influence beyond Russia when you learned that a foreign national, Christopher Steele, claimed to have obtained opposition research from Russian officials connected to Putin -- and that the FBI and DOJ presented this material to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain wiretap approvals?
  8. Were you aware that some Democratic Party officials acknowledged coordinating with Ukraine in 2016 to undermine Trump and his associates and to leak disparaging information to the news media?
  9. Is it true that you applied for the job as FBI director but Trump rejected you, the day before then-Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed you as special counsel to investigate Trump? Does that put you in a potentially conflicted position?
  10. Do you think Donald Trump is guilty of a crime? If so, then do you believe he is perhaps the most clever criminal of our time since he was able to conceal the evidence despite all the government wiretaps, investigations, informants, surveillance and hundreds of interviews spanning several years?

Clearly, Robert Mueller hopes he has closed the book on his public statements about his investigation. If he has his way, he will not discuss the case further on the record. But his parting shot raised plenty of questions.


ATM , 4 hours ago link

11. Where any of the transcripts of conversations, emails, etc., altered by your office and then those alterations included in your official report??

commiebastid , 5 hours ago link

Mueller reveals his mental gymnastics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvapuwssM8E

lowscorewins , 6 hours ago link

My questions for Mueller would be these:

1) You said DoJ policy prevented you from indicting a sitting president. Did anything prevent you from indicting any co-conspirators in any obstruction efforts the president may have taken? Did anything prevent you from naming the president as an unindicted co-conspirator if there were any obstruction?

2) You said that if you had found clear evidence the president was innocent of collusion or obstruction you would have said so in the report. Would you have done the same if you found clear evidence the president did collude or obstruct even though you were barred from indicting him?

3) Your report says Russian intelligence hacked into DNC servers and stole emails and then leaked the stolen emails through Wikileaks in order to influence the election. Did your investigators ever examine the DNC servers? Did FBI investigators ever examine the DNC servers? Did employess of any other government agency examin the servers? Did anybody other than a firm hired by the DNC do a forensic examination of the DNC servers? What evidence do you have that the DNC servers were hacked? And what evidence do you have that it was by Russian intelligence? How can you be certain that Wikileaks source was not Seth Rich or some other disgruntled DNC employee?

4) Would you like to talk about Whitey Bulger you slimy son of a bitch?

Right Wing-Nut , 7 hours ago link

Mueller merely threw "Innocent until proven guilty" out the window. He handed House Democrats the Impeachment football. Will they fumble?

Lord Raglan , 8 hours ago link

Not the greatest questions in my view.

She ignored the two most important questions of all: (1) that Mueller never confirmed that "Russians" hacked the DNC server because they never looked at it and instead relied on CrowdStrike to tell them it was "Russians" and (2) that Mueller never confirmed that "Russians" uploaded HillDog's, the DNC's and Podesta's emails to Wikileaks. Yet Mueller reaches these 2 conclusions in his Report.

The Report is a total farce when it reaches the foregoing two conclusions as the basis for "the Russians interfering in our elections" absent any evidentiary proof of the same admissible in a court of law. Would be hearsay if they tried to introduce those two facts into evidence at a trial.

VWAndy , 8 hours ago link

Its all for show folks. Bread and circus. And Trump is playing right along too. Sorry.

No perp walks. Nothing of substance declassified. No bodies washing up. None of the things one should expect in a swamp draining.

Willie the Pimp , 8 hours ago link

Muleface the Criminal. How I'd love to get him alone in a room. He belongs at the end of a rope.

Amy G. Dala , 8 hours ago link

One of the oldest legal tactics, force your adversary to prove a negative, prove an event did not occur, prove a crime was not committed. Won't work at bench trials, but in front of a jury of "peers" it stands a chance. Especially when you have the dem congress/MSM-industrial complex willing to parrot the story.

In a different time, Mueller would be shredded in the editorials: two years, unlimited resources, and all you produce is an insinuation? FU, bob.

Everybodys All American , 8 hours ago link

1. Are you aware what the punishment is for treason?

2. Are you aware that Hillary Clinton bought and paid for the Steele Dossier?

3. Are you aware the damage you have done to the US intelligence agencies is far worse than you have accused the Russians of doing?

4. When did you realize that the Trump administration did not collude with the Russians?

5. Why did you not have the DNC server forensically looked at if this was the source of the hack/leaks to the Russians?

6. Does the content in the Clinton/Podesta/DNC emails signal underlying crimes that they are involved in?

7. Why did you not interview Julian Assange?

8. Which government operation killed Seth Rich?

BobEore , 6 hours ago link

  1. Yes. Judge Sullivan alluded to it at the time of the Flynn sentencing. Since Muellers' hands were deliberately tied from investigating the actual crimes of a treasonous nature - vis a vis the laundered money from the turco-talmudic gangsters - he could not bring that element of the serious and flagrant abuses both pre and post election into the proceedings.
  2. The "Steele Dossier" was a joint effort of Uk/USA intelligence operatives who colluded with several parties - including the Clintons, to muddy the waters according to the plans of Urusalem.
  3. Rhetorical. Ignore
  4. When it became clear that the "Russian" government as such operates as a network of mafiyas doing for.... and receiving from the state... favors which are more often than not part of the strategy of a criminal network known as Chabad. That later party is the partner in 'collusion'... which took place in the interests of Urusalem.
  5. Peripheral to the investigation.
  6. Crimes have been committed by both Democrat and Republican operatives. Only those which are part of the specific mandate of the SC were investigated.
  7. Certain specific persons were placed "off limits" to the investigators. All of whom share in common a degree of allegiance to/control by Urusalem
  8. Seth Rich is alive and well, living in a small beacon of democracy in the middle east. The investigation was tasked with investigating false flag operations staged by parties whose names can never be mentioned.
admin user , 8 hours ago link

answers are obvious. it's the question that drives us: what is the deep state?

name_the_user , 8 hours ago link

Folks, the fact that FISA courts are even "legal" on the books is so far outside the boundaries of fair play I don't even know where to start. How is this not a civil war starting offense? We're fucked folks.

JustPastPeacefield , 8 hours ago link

I'd add two more questions, if slightly off topic.

Why did you let 4 men rot in prison for murders they did not commit when you had evidence exonerating them and implicating corrupt FBI agents. I guess that question answers itself.

Why did Whitey Bulger get transferred to a new Federal prison and conveniently murdered - out of the camera's view - just as Rep. Lynch was seeking to expose the FBI's corrupt handling of informants. I guess that question answers itself too.

Washington DC is a sewer of corruption.

notfeelinthebern , 9 hours ago link

These questions are just a start. I would also include: "What sort of punishment should people who try to sponsor a coup to overthrow a duly elected President be subject to?".