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Note: due to the size introduction was moved to a separate page November 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization
This election is about the backlash against neoliberalism that became the dominant ideology of the ruling elite in the USA since 1980th. At this point blue color workers became sick of Demorats (aka Neoliberal Democrats) who are betraying them after each elections ("Change we can believe in" in worlds of the king of "bait and switch" Obama) and expecting still they will vote for Democratic as they have nowhere to go (Clinton strategy). They want to show middle finger to Clinton and other neoliberal criminals who deprived them of work, of dignity, of health (heroine epidemic is hitting the USA really hard). It's a class war all over again. Note how neoliberal media tried to misrepresent it accusing Trump supporters of racism, bigotry, and all other sins to mask anti-neoliberal backlash of the US population, and the revolutionary situation in the county, when the elite lost the control of the population. Which really somewhat reminds me the last days of the USSR when communist propaganda stopped working and people start seeing the "Politburo" as "naked king" -- a bunch of corrupt priests of obscure religion, who do not believe in the ideology they promote for "shmucks", only with their own and their families well-being. that their sons and daughters attend Western universities and their wives are shopping in Paris.
It is not an exaggeration to see in 2016 Presidential election as a referendum on neoliberal globalization. But the political power still belongs to Neoliberals, which dominates both the government and the economy (transnationals are the cornerstone of neoliberal world order). It's a big question if the American people will be able to change neoliberal dogma, the official civil religion of the USA without a violent revolution...
The great Trump political breakthrough was consolidating the white working class and white middle class vote. At last "clintonization" (sellout of the Party to Wall Street whichwas initialed by Bill Clinton, converting it into the party of "soft neoliberalism" which at times was undistinguishable from "hard neoliberalism" ) of Democratic Party backfired. Demexit -- abandoning of Demorats by white working and middle class is now a reality.
Writing in Politico, Georgetown political scientist Joshua Mitchell has a long, important take on the deep meaning of Trump — and it’s probably not what you think:
If you listen closely to Trump, you’ll hear a direct repudiation of the system of globalization and identity politics that has defined the world order since the Cold War. There are, in fact, six specific ideas that he has either blurted out or thinly buried in his rhetoric: (1) borders matter; (2) immigration policy matters; (3) national interests, not so-called universal interests, matter; (4) entrepreneurship matters; (5) decentralization matters; (6) PC speech—without which identity politics is inconceivable—must be repudiated.
These six ideas together point to an end to the unstable experiment with supra- and sub-national sovereignty that many of our elites have guided us toward, siren-like, since 1989.
That is what the Trump campaign, ghastly though it may at times be, leads us toward: A future where states matter. A future where people are citizens, working together toward (bourgeois) improvement of their lot. His ideas do not yet fully cohere. They are a bit too much like mental dust that has yet to come together. But they can come together. And Trump is the first American candidate to bring some coherence to them, however raucous his formulations have been.
This is a clear repudiation of neoliberalism (aka "casino capitalism" or Trotskyism for the rich) -- the secular religion to both Republican and Democratic parties adhere (while the term is prohibited from mass media -- can you imagine the Communist Party of the USSR would prohibit its members under the threat of purge to utter the word "communism" or call themselves "communists"). And that means that Trump is a threat to Washington neoliberal elite, the threat to neoliberal Washington_Consensus, which since 1980 (or even earlier) rules the place. That's why they fight and demonization of Trump is conducted by neoliberal media with such a fierce determination. That's why such a tremendous efforts and money are spend on propelling sick and unprincipled establishment candidate -- Hillary Clinton. A warmonger neoconservative, who is a staunch neoliberal (like her husband Bill Clinton).
The US neoliberal elite ("creator class" or "Masters of the Universe" in neoliberal jargon) have successfully revolted against the political and economic constraints on their wealth and power put by "enlightened corporatism" of the New Deal, and for 36 years managed to redistribute wealth up to the level that has no historical presidents. As a result social stability is in danger and "the rest" (or Untermensch, or "takers"/"welfare queen" in neoliberal jargon) are rebelling in the only way left open to them: voting for anyone who claims to be an outsider. (Romney-Ryan 'makers vs. takers' rhetoric helped spawn Donald Trump Washington Examiner)
This idea of low-income "takers" lay beneath Mitt Romney's view that the 47 percent of adults in the U.S. who owed no federal income tax were therefore "dependent upon government" and "who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them…."
But "taker" is a slur also when aimed at recipients of government benefits. Millions of "takers" are people who work 40 hours, but at low wages, and thus receive the earned-income tax credit. Will you blame their low wages on them? Perhaps they got horrible education thanks to incompetent government, or were just never blessed with marketable skills.
Some percentage of the 47 percent are World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam Veterans, who after serving their country, put in decades of work, and now live off the Social Security they paid into, without earning enough to owe federal income tax.
The "takers" include widows receiving food stamps, the ill being kept alive by Medicaid, and people drawing on unemployment because their employer got up and moved to Mexico.
More importantly, many of those on welfare or disability hate that they are dependent. They want to be working.
Are there "welfare queens," lazy able-bodied moochers, and people scamming disability? Yes. But lumping in 47 percent of the country with these scoundrels is as illegitimate lumping all businessmen in with the failed bankers who depend on bailouts.
This wasn't just Ryan's mistake. Conservatives broadly have equated low income with dependency. The conservative belief that the market tends to reward skill and diligence often mutates into a belief that poverty reflects some sort of turpitude.
That view helped give birth to Donald Trump, who has tapped into the working class that Ryan and Romney had pushed away.
Globalization and free trade are fast becoming dirty words. That’s because they were culprits for major shocks — like the 2008 financial crisis. In the United States alone, median household income has been practically stagnant for about three decades, the labor market continues to be anemic, manufacturing jobs have been lost, and many have experienced a significant deterioration in living standards.
Much of the post-Brexit and primary election conventional wisdom seems to be stuck in a political narrative in which the Brexit vote and the rise of Trump_vs_deep_state in the United States are seen as symbols of the populist revolution. These symbols are combined with a nationalist tide has been sweeping not only the United Kingdom and the United States, but also many other parts of Europe, including Poland, Hungary, France, The Netherlands and Scandinavia, not to mention, Russia, Turkey, India and Israel.
According to this narrative, economic insecurity and cultural anxiety that reflect sociodemographic trends have given momentum to ethnonationalism and religious separatism in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The Rust Belt is pitted against New York City, and the Midlands against London.
All this means that the crisis of neoliberalism, which started in 2008 now obtained political dimension, when the institutions created by neoliberalism are under attacks from the disgruntled population. The power of neoliberal propaganda, the power of brainwashing and indoctrination of population via MSM, schools and universities to push forward neoliberal globalization started to evaporate. And the fight against neoliberal globalization is not easy and it is not accidentally Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee and neoliberal MSM unlashed unprecedented campaign of blackmail against Trump. The fact is, Sheldon Wolin not accidentally calls neoliberalism "inverted totalitarianism" . It's a system where corporate power has seized all of political levers of control. In fact, under neoliberalism, there is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobil or Raytheon. We also have lost our privacy. And under Obama, an assault against civil liberties has outstripped what George W. Bush carried out.
This is about the crisis of neoliberal ideology and especially Trotskyism part of it (neoliberalism can be viewed as Trotskyism for the rich). The following integral elements of this ideology no longer work well and are starting to cause the backlash:
So after 36 (or more) years of dominance (which started with triumphal march of neoliberalism in early 90th) the ideology entered "zombie state". That does not make it less dangerous but its power over minds of the population started to evaporate. Far right ideologies now are filling the vacuum, as ith the discreditation of socialist ideology and decimation of "enlightened corporatism" of the New Deal in the USA there is no other viable alternatives.
The same happened in late 1960th with the Communist ideology. It took 20 years for the USSR to crash after that with the resulting splash of nationalism (which was the force that blow up the USSR) and far right ideologies.
It remains to be seen whether the neoliberal US elite will fare better then Soviet nomenklatura as challenges facing the USA are now far greater then challenges which the USSR faced at the time. Among them is oil depletion which might be the final nail into the coffin of neoliberalism and, specifically, the neoliberal globalization.
This has been a bipartisan effort, because they've both been captured by corporate power. We have undergone what John Ralston Saul correctly calls a corporate coup d'état in slow motion, and it's over.
Neoliberal poison destroys a society and lifts the politicians with nationalistic bend like Trump. First, neoliberalism dislocated the working class, de-industrialized the country. Then, in the name of austerity, it destroyed public institutions, education, public broadcasting. And then it poisoned the political system.
I would argue that in terms of megalomania and narcissism, Hillary Clinton is not far behind Trump. But the point is, we've got to break away from-which is exactly the narrative neoliberal MSM want us to focus on.
We've got to break away from political personalities and understand and examine and critique the structures of power. And, in fact, the Democratic Party, especially beginning under Bill Clinton, has carried water for corporate entities as assiduously as the Republican Party.
We need to be aware of neoliberal brainwashing. I mean, this whole debate over the DNC WikiLeaks emails disclosure is insane. The key question here is not who leaked emails, but whether they are authentic or not. They are. As well as DNC dirty laundry exposed those long emails -- you should read them. They're really appalling, and exposes the way the Democratic primaries were rigged. Tricks used included the mechanism of the superdelegates (which unlawfully declared their allegiance very early creating pro-Clinton pressure of voters) , the stealing of the caucus in Nevada, and the huge amounts of corporate money and money of super PACs that flowed into the Clinton campaign. This faux feminism on which Hillary Clinton based her campaign is another propaganda trick. She si hostile to both women and children. Cold like any sociopath. The fact is, Clinton has a track record of hurting US children: she and her husband destroyed welfare as we know it, and 70% of the original recipients were children.
If is important to understand that the rise of nationalism, the phenomenal success of Trump is just a form of backlash against neoliberalism.
|Post election events (the first half of 2017)||US Presidential Elections of 2016 from primaries to election day||US Presidential Elections of 2016: Primaries||US Presidential Elections of 2016: 2015 part of the campaign||US Presidential Elections of 2012|
Jun 18, 2018 | www.unz.com
Brabantian , Website June 18, 2018 at 8:42 am GMTNice account of 'getting woke' from Ron Unz quite appreciate the tidbits such as the mention of the once-very-famous Dorothy Kilgallen of the 'What's My Line?' TV show (1950-67)
Counting the shooting of JFK in 1963, and the shooting-wouding of Ronald Reagan in 1981 by a guy whose father was working for George Bush's brother (!), plus the two arguably-staged 'impeachments' of Richard Nixon (ending 1974) and Bill Clinton (ending 1999), you have a 40% removal-programme hit rate on the previous 10 US Presidents.
Maybe even more hidden from public knowledge, is the truth of the Watergate 'Silent Coup' (Colodny / Gettlin book). Bob Woodward was a US Navy intelligence agent under Admiral Maurer, and when Maurer became head of the US Joint Chiefs and thus the entire US military, Woodward was planted at the CIA's Washington Post to be the fake 'brave reporter' for the coup d'état of 'Watergate', entirely a US Joint Chiefs -- CIA operation. Bob Woodward was apparently such an idiot re journalism at first he needed lots of remedial coaching to meet minimal standards.
'Deep Throat' was fiction, the CIA had all the info, the CIA fake 'leaker' is another big distraction game getting repeated (Daniel Ellsberg; Deep Throat; Wikileaks Assange who was admitted by both Brzezinski and Netanyahu to be fake, seems he isn't even really 'living' at the London Ecuador Embassy, faker Edward Snowden , first 'leaking' to the CIA's Washington Post, ha!, with Glenn Greenwald posing as the latest Jewish 'brave journalist'; Mossad-historian-supervised 'Panama Papers', etc.)
Another 'impeachment' farce was the Deep State 'Monica Lewinsky' nonsense against Bill Clinton, fired up when Bill balked in nausea, at the thought of ordering the war-crime bombing of Serbia that would kill thousands. For Clinton-Lewinsky, another Jewish figure, Matt Drudge, was propped up to play the Woodward role of 'great investigative reporter' When Clinton consented to approve the war as his way to stay alive, he was 'acquitted' -- the bombings of Serbia began shortly afterwards. Clearly, the Deep State cannot even trust its highly pre-vetted White House occupants.
Now that the Unz site is on board with collusion in US President removals, we still have to get Unz site writers woke on the laughably fake 9 'trips to the moon' with 6 alleged 'moon landings' of 1968-72 regarding which director Stanley Kubrick even admitted before in March 1999 before he died, that he faked the 'moon landing' NASA videos (CIA movie studios, Laurel Canyon, California) 50th anniversary of the 'trips to the moon' starts this December a good time for Unz debunking
Jun 18, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
cka2ndJune 14, 2018 at 11:54 pm"a chaotic cluster of competing pro- and anti- Clinton/Trump factions inside the Bureau"Erik , says: June 15, 2018 at 3:12 am
Which is what the FBI looked like at the time and over the last two years, the anti-Clinton faction seeming to be centered in New York, and the anti-Trump faction in, what, D.C.?This report merely provides more talking points for politicians. And, talk they will. IG Michael Horowitz had a specific mandate. It was to investigate "violations of criminal and civil law." It was not to investigate breaches of protocol and bureaucratic regulations.Joe the Plutocrat , says: June 15, 2018 at 7:51 am
This report makes no allegations of criminal activity. As such, it can only be read as exonerating those under investigation, of same. The ultimate remedy for "breaches of protocol and bureaucratic regulations" is termination of employment. And, Comey has already been fired. The rest is irrelevant and/or superfluous.Agreed. the report sheds light on some truly incompetent (and unprofessional, inappropriate behavior). Disagree – the 'deep state' is behind this. perhaps the most depressing aspect of this circus is the realization there was incompetence and malfeasance in the Obama administration. there was incompetence and malfeasance in the Clinton campaign.midtown , says: June 15, 2018 at 8:37 am
There was incompetence and malfeasance in the DoJ, there was incompetence and malfeasance in the Trump campaign, and there is a whole lot of incompetence and malfeasance in the current administration. see where this is going? "malfeasance" recognized and leveraged by "foreign actors" (some other 'deep state' as it were) demonstrates competence in terms of their job(s).
I am reminded of the Seinfeld episode in which "Puddy" and "Elaine" meet with a priest to discuss their relationship and its impact on their eternal lives – with Puddy being Christian and Elaine not. the priest says, "oh that's easy, you're both going to hell "The overt bias exhibited by FBI agents was shocking.SDS , says: June 15, 2018 at 8:39 am"It will be too easy, however, to miss the most important conclusion of the report: there is no longer a way to claim America's internal intelligence agency, the FBI, did not play a role in the 2016 election."connecticut farmer , says: June 15, 2018 at 8:53 am
SO we are expected to believe the FBI, et. al; never played a role before? Spare me
"The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared" -Well, obviously; or Hillary would be President NOWWay funny, this! And all the time we've been looking for enemies abroad-in this case the Rooshians-the real enemy was right in our own backyard. The Deep State may not have been very competent ( Gee,whudda surprise!)) but– it's still in place. And that fact alone should make all of us uneasy.Will Harrington , says: June 15, 2018 at 9:29 amIf you are going to have a deep state, and in a large nation, it does seem necessary, then it should be a meritocracy. Clearly the system of recruiting high level officials from certain Ivy League schools does not result in a meritocracy.MM , says: June 15, 2018 at 10:24 amCentralist , says: June 15, 2018 at 11:06 am
Erik: "It was not to investigate breaches of protocol and bureaucratic regulations." Well, he did, and thank goodness. I'm satisfied that we have the final word on Clinton's guilt and the special treatment she and her staff were given by criminal investigators who believed she was going to win the election.
If that's not political bias, then we need another word for it. Political consideration in the outcome of a criminal probe.
Think about that if it had been a GOP candidate, what would the progressives be saying about the same behavior?I think a good book to explain what we are seeing is The Fiefdom Syndrome by Robert Herbold. That highlights how various managers set up their own sub organizations in a groups. It focuses on the corporate model yet it can equally apply to any other human organization.Scott , says: June 15, 2018 at 1:05 pmWhat I find amusing is the emphasis on texts between Strzok and Page. They sure were sloppy in using govt cell phones for their texting. However, at the end of the day, their texts were the equivalent of pillow talk. What's the remedy? Everybody wear a wire to bed to trap people in the act of gossiping? Does anybody think that these casual conversations go on all the time. There is no group of people more cynical that law enforcement people.Johann , says: June 15, 2018 at 1:43 pm
At the end of the day, people did their jobs and prevented their opinions from the proper execution of their jobs.Comey took Lynch completely off the hook. She had not recused herself from the case. Prosecution or not was her decision, not Comey's. And even if she had recused herself, the decision would have gone to Yates. Lynch had no good options. If she had said there were no grounds for prosecution, she would have been crucified for partisanship. If she had decided that Clinton should be prosecuted, all hell would have broken loose. Well, there is no way she would have ever made the decision to prosecute, but point is, Comey took her completely off the hook. No wonder Lynch made no big deal about his "insubordination".connecticut farmer , says: June 15, 2018 at 1:45 pmH. Clinton squirreled away over 30 thousand emails into a private server. I am reliably informed that if any other federal employee pulled a move like that they would have been fired, with loss of pension and possible jail time in as much as this is grand jury fodder. Not ol' Hillary though.Fred , says: June 15, 2018 at 2:18 pm
People do tend to notice these things."There is only to argue which side they favored and whether they meddled via clumsiness, as a coordinated action, or as a chaotic cluster of competing pro- and anti- Clinton/Trump factions inside the Bureau. "eheter , says: June 15, 2018 at 8:54 pm
More fake news – there were NO pro-Trump factions inside the Bureau.Michael KennyGandydancer , says: June 16, 2018 at 12:34 am
June 15, 2018 at 11:29 am
The important point is that Trump has no need to worry about any of this if he really is as innocent as he claims. In fact, infiltrated informers, wiretaps etc. are a godsend to Trump if he's innocent because they prove that innocence. Thus, Trump's making such a fuss about these things is a tacit admission of guilt.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
Yes, of course. Because if someone spied on you looking for a crime of which you were innocent, you'd be totally ok with it and would keep quiet. Only someone who's guilty of a crime would speak up being spied upon.
smhGerald Arcuri , says: June 16, 2018 at 2:41 pm"There is only to argue whether they meddled via clumsiness, as a coordinated action, or as a chaotic cluster of competing pro- and anti- Clinton/Trump factions inside the Bureau."
What anti-Clinton faction? Every one of the five agents identified as sending politically biased communications was anti-Trump. As best I can determine every decision by biased decision makers that Horowitz is baffled by, or reports himself "unpersuaded" by the explanations advanced, was anti-Trump. Even when Strzok writes a text message that Horowitz admits is a smoking gun (~"We'll stop Trump") Horowitz says it's no biggie because other decision-makers were involved, "unbiased" ones like, explicitly, Bill Priestap, he of the procedures-violating spy launch against Trump BEFORE any investigation was opened!
To believe Horowitz' conclusions about lack of bias in decision making you have to be as willfully reluctant to connect the dots as he is. And I'm not, nor should you be.The real take away is that the Deep State is a reality, far more entrenched than anyone of us knows. Whether it is particularly competent or not ( compared to what? Government in general? ) is irrelevant. No one of any stature in any part of the government bureaucracy will be held accountable ever. They never are. As soon as the media circus moves on, it will be back to business as usual in DC.Patricus , says: June 16, 2018 at 10:03 pmThose Russians are so clever. They trained agents for a lifetime to master accents of rural Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin then duped the bible thumping gun lovers into rejecting her highness Hillary. The immense Russian powers are extraordinary when one considers the Russian economy is smaller than Texas.mike , says: June 17, 2018 at 8:45 am
But seriously, we had eight years of a Democratic president and people had enough and chose a Republican even though he was outspent. That is the consistent pattern. After Trump another Democrat will move into the White House.Speaking of idiocracy, some personal emails between FBI agents were made public this week with the release of the IG report. They give a glimpse into the infantilisation of our ruling "class". It is clear that fatherlessness and the replacement of education with indoctrination have produced a generation of child-men and child-women who view the State as parent, provider, deity (even as lover – supplier of ideologically acceptable bed-mates).Winston , says: June 17, 2018 at 11:04 am
A cosmic ignorance radiates from these email exchanges. These agents appear to have been dropped here from another planet. They not only seem to have been disconnected from or to have forgotten the Civilisation that gave birth to the society in which they live, but they seem never to have had any knowledge or awareness of it in the first place.
(Reading between the lines, deducing their "principles" from their mentality, one could confidently conclude that these adolescents truly believe that State is God and Marx is His prophet.)"seems less competent than we originally feared"MM , says: June 17, 2018 at 12:23 pm
They're going to get away with it with no adequately serious repercussions meaning they're competent enough, aren't they? That also means they won't be properly deterred and will simply do it better next time.jp: "Hard to see how the FBI's mistakes didn't benefit one candidate over the other." That's the standard line from the Clinton campaign. They believe everything begins and ends with Comey causing her to lose. Of course, they never mention why the FBI was investigating her, personally, and key members of her State Dept. staff, not her campaign by the way.MM , says: June 17, 2018 at 3:48 pm
The FBI may have hurt her campaign, but only because they were doing their job, albiet badly. She hurt her campaign infinitely by breaking the law and compromising national security, which required a criminal probe into her lawbreaking.
If you're going to fault the FBI, you can't then not fault Secretary Clinton. The two go hand-in-hand, and she comes first in the chain of event.
Case closed. Though she didn't get her just desserts in court, at least she received political justice. 🙂Dave: "Peter and Lisa were 2 cops talking about a criminal." Well, that's one more reason not to trust federal law enforcement. I can cite the criminal statutes Hillary Clinton was being personally investigated for. Can anyone cite any criminal statute that Donald Trump was being personally investigated for at the same time? Was he even being personally investigated? A counterintelligence investigation is not a criminal investigation.
Jun 16, 2018 | www.rt.com
The FBI's inquiry into hundreds of thousands of emails found on a laptop belonging to former Congressman Anthony Weiner may have been improperly shelved to focus on the agency's Russia investigation, a DOJ report states. A review of the FBI's investigations into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server by the DOJ inspector general concluded that federal investigators failed to "take immediate action on the Weiner laptop" due in part to a decision to "prioritize" the investigation into claims that Donald Trump " colluded" with Russia.
The FBI leadership waited nearly a month after receiving initial information about the laptop to reopen the investigation and notifying Congress about it, the IG report shows.Read moreFBI agent's text to lover: 'We'll stop' Trump from becoming president
Citing text messages written by FBI agent Peter Strzok, who said in one message that he would "stop" then-candidate Trump from being elected, the report notes that federal investigators may have been "willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate's electoral prospects."
"Under these circumstances, we did not have confidence that Strzok's decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the [Hillary Clinton]-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias," the report concludes on page 329.
The contents of Weiner's laptop became the subject of widespread speculation during the FBI's 2016 probe into Clinton's private email server and alleged mishandling of classified data. Weiner, the now ex-husband of top Clinton aide and adviser Huma Abedin, became a person of interest for federal investigators after it was discovered that he had sent sexually explicit messages to a 15-year-old girl in 2016.
Weiner had resigned from Congress in 2011 after it was revealed he sent lewd photographs and messages to women.
In September 2016, as part of the investigation into his communication with the underage teen, an FBI agent in New York found hundreds of thousands of emails on Weiner's laptop that were possibly relevant to the Clinton investigation.
In December 2017, it was revealed that at least five of the emails stored on Weiner's laptop were marked "confidential" and involved delicate talks with Middle Eastern leaders and Abedin.
Weiner is currently serving a 21-month sentence in federal prison for sending obscene material to a minor.
The DOJ IG report also noted that then-FBI Director James Comey violated procedure in announcing to Congress that the bureau was reopening an investigation into Clinton's emails just days before the 2016 presidential election.
Clinton has repeatedly claimed that the announcement contributed to her loss to Trump.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Jun 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
trillion_dolla Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:22 Permalinkhooligan2009 -> trillion_dolla Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:59 Permalink
They do have someone and her name is Tulsi Gabbard. But, shes not a raving neoliberal. So, the base ignores her.Chief Joesph Fri, 06/15/2018 - 17:10 Permalink
agreed - classy, smart lady.
if she ever goes "stateswoman like" by not bitching at opponents and just beingalways positive she would attract a lot of votes.
one of the few demoNrats i would enjoy having dinner or a drink with.kudocast -> Chief Joesph Fri, 06/15/2018 - 17:31 Permalink
Democrats can lament all they want, but they did have a very good candidate that they allowed to be thrown under the bus. That was Bernie Sanders. Despite his "socialist" leanings, (for you conservatives), he was really fresh blood to the Democratic party. And even though Jimmy Carter is old, he has a very good working mind, better than all that are currently in the Democratic party. Clinton turned the Democratic party into a Mafia organization, taking orders from her, paving the way for her, knocking off anyone that looked like potential trouble, like Seth Rich, John Ashe, Joe Montano, Victor Thorn, and Shawn Lucas. All five of these guys died within 6 weeks of each other. Strange? Not if you are operating an old style mafia organization. Democrats need to resign the party, and form something new, that has fresh ideas, and people who are not there for self-coronations. The most honest democrat you have left is Jimmy Carter. Democrats are not honest today.kudocast Fri, 06/15/2018 - 17:29 Permalink
I would add Howard Dean and Elizabeth Warren to Jimmy Carter.PrivetHedge Fri, 06/15/2018 - 17:46 Permalink
They need to purge the leadership of the DNC - Perez, Clinton and the gang, they are the ones that shoved Hillary Clinton down Democrats throats instead letting Bernie Sanders, the real nominee, win the nomination. The DNC fucked over themselves, no one else is to blame.
Howard Dean is the one that got Obama elected the first time. From 2005 to 2009, he headed the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and successfully implemented the 50 State Strategy, which aimed for Democrats to be competitive in places considered Republican-dominated territory. As a result, during the midterms in 2006, Democrats won the House back and gained seats in the Senate. In 2008 Barack Obama also used the same strategy to win his presidential bid.
Just like the DNC and Democratic bourgeoise fucked over Bernie, they fucked over Howard Dean. Obama didn't select Howard Dean for his cabinet for Secretary of Health and Human Services - even though he was a successful governor, is a medical doctor, and was one of the main reasons Obama won in 2008.
Howard Dean should run as an Independent in 2020.bwdiii Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:14 Permalink
Funny, I thought they had a red-hot candidate called - err - Bernie Sanders.
Shame they sabotaged him and his political future, oh well.3-fingered_chemist Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:19 Permalink
Is that a $65,000 Chicago foot long the ex pres is busy with? Or just a hotdog?NuYawkFrankie Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:26 Permalink
Obama has always been about himself. I mean who publishes a memoir about yourself when you're just a nobody? Even Obama knows a loser when he sees one...the Democratic Party. He did more for the Republican Party than any Republican could ever do. One of the Greatest Presidents in my lifetime for the conservative movement.3-fingered_chemist Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:26 Permalink
DNC DOAZazzOne Fri, 06/15/2018 - 20:26 Permalink
The Dems are caught between a rock and a hard place. The result of losing 1000s of seats nationwide since 2010 means you've got no farm system to develop politicians/leaders. It's no different than any sports franchise. The successful ones have a deep bench and prospects to knock off old, overpaid, underachieving veterans. If the Dems trot out Obama, he will be a death sentence for the Dems' chances in November. Guy is hated by almost everyone. Don't believe the approval ratings from CNN. He got more popular towards the end when people realized he was finally leaving.
Obama and the Clinton's have DESTROYED the Democrat party!!! Leaders of the current Democratic party apparatchik, Schumer, Pelosi, Schiff, et al , are fucking idiots!!! I see a Red tsunami wave for the mid-term election!
Jun 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Thursday's DOJ Inspector General report covering the Obama DOJ/FBI conduct during the Hillary Clinton email investigation confirms a bombshell that had previously been hinted at through WikiLeaks disclosures:
Obama lied when he said in 2015 that he learned of Hillary Clinton's private email server through a New York Times report.
Specifically, Obama told CBS News the following a March 7, 2015 report:
President Obama only learned of Hillary Clinton's private email address use for official State Department business after a New York Times report, he told CBS News in an interview
CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante asked Mr. Obama when he learned about her private email system after his Saturday appearance in Selma, Alabama.
' The same time everybody else learned it through news reports,' the president told Plante. - CBS
The OIG report reveals this was a lie . A footnote on page 89 reads " President Barack Obama was one of the 13 individuals with whom Clinton had direct contact using her clintonemail.com account "
What's more, FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok told the Inspector General that the top brass of the agency wrestled over whether or not to include Obama's involvement in Clinton's exoneration statement - and that former FBI Director James Comey knew Obama had lied :
"A paragraph [in Comey's "exoneration" statement] summarizing the factors that led the FBI to assess that it was possible that hostile actors accessed Clinton's server was added, and at one point referenced Clinton's use of her private email for an exchange with then President Obama while in the territory of a foreign adversary, " the IG report reads. " This reference later was changed to 'another senior government official,' and ultimately was omitted ."
My recollection is that the early Comey speech drafts included references to emails that Secretary Clinton had with President Obama and I think there was some conversation about, well do we want to be that specific? -Peter Strzok
We already knew all of this though...
In October of 2016, a round of emails released by WikiLeaks featured an email from top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills reacting Obama's statement that he didn't know about Obama's server - writing to John Podesta "we need to clean this up - he has emails from her - they do not say state.gov"
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest later claimed that Obama was simply "not aware of the details of how that email address and that server had been set up," and that "The President, as I think many people expected, did over the course of his first several years in office exchange emails with his Secretary of State."
The Washington Examiner , meanwhile, reported in October 2016 that FBI agents "revealed in notes from their closed investigative file that Obama communicated with Clinton on her private server using a pseudonym . "
Chupacabra-322 -> JimmyJones Fri, 06/15/2018 - 20:24 PermalinkMK ULTRA Alpha -> Chupacabra-322 Fri, 06/15/2018 - 22:06 Permalink
The ramifications of what the World is witnessing are Gargantuan to say the least.
"Clinton, Obama might have be labeled Democrat but their Foreign Policy was 100% percent neocon"
Suffice it to, say, you can add Bush Senior, Jr to you list & the last 30 years of a Globalist Foreign Policy.
We're at a National Emergency & Constitutional Crises.
"This entire case is built on a fake piece of information in the Dossier. Or multiple pieces of information in a Fake Dossier, I should say to be more precise. Breaking yesterday, Brennan has insisted that to multiple people by the way, that he didn't know much about the Dossier. Wait till we play this audio. Get the Chuck Todd one ready Joe."
"This is Devastating audio. But hold on a minute. Why is Brennan doing this? Because Brennan knows that the Dossier was his case. And, the minute he admits on the record. That as a Senior Level, powerful member of the Intelligence Community. That John Brennan started a Political Investigation based on Fake Information he may very well of known was not verified. John Brennan is going to be in a World of trouble. So he has to run from this thing."
"Now I'll get to this Sberry piece in a second. And, why it's important. But just to show you that Brennan has run from this Dossier. Despite the fact, we know he knew about it. And, he Lied about it. Here's him basically telling Chuck Todd....listen to how he emphasizes on the Dossier played no role, no, no, no role, no, no, no, no, no to the Dossier. Listen to him with Chuck Todd:"
Chuck Todd Interview 3:30 Mark. Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopath John Brennan admits the Fake Dossier Played:
"and it did not play any role whatsoever in the Intelligence Community Assessment that was done. That was presented to then...President Obama & President Elect Trump."
-Former CIA Director John Brennan.
Absolute, Complete, Open, in your Faces Tyrannical Lawlessness.
It was Brennan, Obama and Clapper. I can remember when Obama said we were going after the Russians for election interference. It became so big, the Homeland Security director said he would have to federalize elections, then the push back-out cry from states shut that down.
Brennan has always worked with Obama in political dirty tricks operations, Brennan worked for the Obama election campaign, providing political intelligence.
Clapper created his own intelligence network. He conducted political dirty tricks to damage Trump before and after. The secret wars conducted by the CIA, involved Clinton, Brennan, Clapper and Obama, I remember when Obama was asked when he was on his way to the UN to be crowned president of the world, he said the secret wars was "smart war". Nobel Prize winning Obama, conducted genocide smart war on the Christians of Syria, killing over 500K using Brennan CIA funded by Saudi and Qatar money. Look at what they have done, and how the MSM spewed lies to hide and are still hiding the crimes. Ukraine, Libya, Egypt? Why?
Clinton, Brennan, Obama, Clapper is the center of the Russian collusion narrative, it's a coordinated plan to prevent Trump from being president, and when it was known Trump would be president, to sabotage Trump by destroying the last vestige of relations with Russia and to accuse Trump of campaign collusion with the Russians, knowingly using false information paid for by Clinton, coordinated with operatives of MI6. Who made the contacts with MI6, and the UK GHQ, the NSA of the UK? Clapper. Also remember McCain hand carrying the false data, the Steele Dossier to the FBI? How sick was that? McCain is lower than dog shit and can't vote on his death bed, thus why won't he resign for health reasons to allow his vote to be used to help rebuild the nation? It's because he's mentally ill and wants to do as much damage, working with the communist, to this nation as possible, ask anyone who is for this nation.
The extent of the criminal activity is so great, it can't see the light of day, it would cause a civil war to take down the last administration. The precedence for Obama crimes were Bush II crimes, it was a continuation. The Bush II imperial presidency, created the foundation, the huge intelligence apparatus created by Bush II, the Homeland Security police state, all built by Bush II, was expanded and used against the American people. Not the terrorist the extreme corrupt media brainwashed into everyone to submit to the state and to give up our rights.
The reason Clapper and Brennan are giving the most delusional analysis to confuse the truth is they know they are guilty so they must take Trump down to survive. Obama is quite because he knows he is guilty, and more questions of real crimes are coming out. Clinton, she's taunting everyone and believes she will be able to have revenge on the American people through a long term plan to use the Clinton Foundation billions to build her revenge socialist communist homosexual reform of the American people. They plan on buying the government through more manipulation of the vote and political campaigns, money rules and the Clinton's have the money to rule America.
That's where we are, the Clinton Foundation is a racketeering operation, most all of the money was acquired illegally. If it wasn't for loans provided by the Clinton Foundation, the DNC wouldn't have been able to run the election campaign.
francis_the_wo -> JimmyJones Fri, 06/15/2018 - 22:09 PermalinkExpendable Container -> Keyser Fri, 06/15/2018 - 21:11 Permalink
"The redacted material was just removed"
And guess who did that redacting?
Oh, that would be one Rod Rosenstein.
The same Rod Rosenstein who is very much implicated of wrongdoing regarding his (illegal and unnecessary) appointment of a Special Counsel.
In other words, Rod's got a conflict of interest in redacting a document that implicates him in conflicts of interest.
You can't make this stuff up.....francis_the_wo -> Keyser Fri, 06/15/2018 - 21:48 Permalink
Have a listen to this Greg Hunter/USA Watchdog interview with Dr David Janda. He's a courageous individual and he addresses Zero Hedge commenters specifically in parts. Here's what he says about all this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rri-Ngj8QoE
"but his name was removed from the IG report and replaced with "government agent"..."
Correction: I believe you mean Comey's exoneration speech. The IG report (which is referenced above in the article we are commenting on) did just the opposite and clearly stated that Obama emailed the wicked wench.
"The IG report was a whitewash, nothing about clinton herself".
I'm surprised to read that here on ZH. I've not been spending much time in the comments section here lately, but hadn't realized that things had gotten this bad. ZHers used to be more aware.
The IG was not a whitewash. It is loaded with absolute bombshells. We're talking game-changing-save-the-republic bombshells. There are tons of findings that will likely end up in criminal charges.
But, see, that's the point. IG's do not make criminal charges. They investigate internal processes. They can share their findings or coordinate with actual US Attorney Generals, WHOSE JOB IT IS TO MAKE CRIMINAL DETERMINATIONS!
What's nice is, is that this is exactly what is happening. Horowitz has been working side by side with Huber, who is actually an AUSAG, and who has already convened at least one grand jury (meaning criminal charges are likely).
"no one implicated other than underlings and it's obvious that Horowitz is on the deep state team"
The key to getting kingpins is to get his underlings first and have them turn on the kingpins to save their own skin.
I disagree with your conclusions on Horowitz. I think he is exactly what his reputation says he is: a rigidly straight arrow who is narrowly focused on his holy mission to preserve the proper procedures in his blessed Bureau of Matters. This makes him a White Hat in this whole saga.
Sorry if I picked on you with my reply, but I just think this story is so important to get right, particularly in light of how blatantly untruthful CNN and the MSM are being (even more blatant than normal).
When the real bombshell hits, a lot of our fellow Americans are going to be very confused as their entire worldview is shaken. It is our job to make that as painless as possible, and setting expectations based on what is actually happening/going to happen is a huge step towards that worthy goal.
Jun 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
francis_the_wo -> JimmyJones Fri, 06/15/2018 - 22:09 Permalink
"The redacted material was just removed"
And guess who did that redacting? Oh, that would be one Rod Rosenstein.
The same Rod Rosenstein who is very much implicated of wrongdoing regarding his (illegal and unnecessary) appointment of a Special Counsel.
In other words, Rod's got a conflict of interest in redacting a document that implicates him in conflicts of interest.
You can't make this stuff up.....
Jun 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
During their push to turn public opinion against Mueller, Trump's lawyers, led by Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani, have engaged in selective leaking, including back in early May when they leaked a list of 49 questions purportedly turned. As one lawyer who spoke with Bloomberg pointed out, the ongoing negotiations have turned into "a bit of a game." Others have claimed that the leak was intended to pressure Mueller into killing the interview (of course, we all know how that turned out).
"It's a little bit of a game," said Harry Sandick, a former federal prosecutor who's now a partner with law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler. "Mueller could subpoena the president but probably doesn't want to. He faces some litigation risk. Trump could fight the subpoena, but he also faces a political risk."
The interview is key to Mueller's investigation into whether Trump or any of his associates helped Russia interfere in the 2016 U.S. election and whether Trump acted to obstruct the probe, one official said.
Meanwhile, Giuliani claimed late last month that he and Trump have already been rehearsing for an in-person interview with Mueller after the special counsel summarily rejected the Trump legal team's request to conduct some of the interview in a written format.
However, since FBI agents raided Trump attorney Michael Cohen's home, office and hotel room and are reportedly preparing to charge him with a crime, the president has grown increasingly wary of an interview.
One problem for Trump, though, is that if Mueller wins at the Supreme Court, he could compel Trump to sit for a Grand Jury for as long as he wants, and subject Trump to questions on a range of topics without providing any advanced warning.
"I think the Supreme Court will rule in Mueller's favor, but we don't really know," Sandick said. "If Mueller wins, he can actually put Trump in the grand jury without his lawyer for as long as he wants and ask about any subject he wants."
Furthermore, if Trump chooses the court battle route, Mueller's probe would encounter further delays, as the ruling likely wouldn't arrive until October at the earliest, after the Court returns from its summer recess. That would mean the investigation likely wouldn't wrap up until late this year - or early next year - at the very earliest. It also would open the Republican Party up to a high degree of political risk, because the Court's final ruling could arrive just before the midterms.
But since the beginning of the probe, the biggest obstacle to a direct interview is Trump. The president's legal team came within a hair's breadth of an agreement back in January. But as Trump got cold feet, his team sent Mueller a 20-page letter arguing that Trump isn't entitled to answer Mueller's questions as they invoked Trump's executive privilege.
Regardless of whether the interview happens, Mueller has told Trump's team that he will prepare a report summarizing his findings that will be turned over to the DOJ and, eventually, Congress. Then it will be up to Congress whether to release the report.
That will ultimately depend on the outcome of the midterm vote.
cankles' server -> natronic Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:51 PermalinkBorisTheBlade -> cankles' server Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:54 Permalink
Why Mueller is still investigating.glenlloyd -> cankles' server Thu, 06/14/2018 - 00:25 Permalink
Hell of a racket, investigating something nonexistent can take years.D503 -> BorisTheBlade Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:55 Permalink
This is becoming the biggest shit show in the US. There is no evidence of Russian collusion at all Mueller has nothing. There's nothing to find but it drags on and wastes tax payer dollars.
You can't impeach a President for performing his duties as set out in the Constitution. Firing Comey was perfectly legitimate, especially now that the facts are coming out that the FBI needs to be completely purged from top to bottom.
Mueller needs to pack his bags and conclude this sucker and admit there was never anything to find, either that or arrest Hillary for the actual collusion with Russians plus go after her for the hacked email server.The First Rule -> D503 Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:59 Permalink
I hear Mueller's next investigation is Bigfoot.MuffDiver69 Thu, 06/14/2018 - 01:02 Permalink
Mueller is a Crooked Cop.
Rosenstein is an outright Criminal.
Trump should Fire them both. Get rid of Sessions while he's at it, and install Pruitt on a temp basis.
There are no lasting political consequences. The Republicans in Congress wouldn't dare move against Trump; it would be political suicide.
And all the Democrats/Press can do is bitch and whine; they are utterly, completely powerless - like a 5 year old with a temper tantrum.
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER, should Trump agree to sit down with these CRIMINAL DEEP STATE SCUM.
Watched an interview with Rudy tonight. He started going after Weismann and the other corrupt thugs Mueller hired. Always a plan within and it was tailored for IG report today...I expect Trump to crank it up on this obvious Deep State axis of hitmen populating DOJ and FBI...Rosenstein was getting pummeled today as well....
In politics, as in professional wrestling, it's always important to have a heel.
Trump understands this.
Hillary was the perfect heel in 2016.
>The lack of a single heel in 2018 was always going to be a challenge for him, but media/Mueller etc are doing an incredible job of filling that role.
Jun 13, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Credit: Andrew Cline/Shutterstock
At the G-7 summit in Canada, President Donald Trump described America as "the piggy bank that everybody is robbing."
After he left Quebec, his director of Trade and Industrial Policy, Peter Navarro, added a few parting words for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: "There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door. And that's what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did. And that comes right from Air Force One."
In Singapore, Trump tweeted more about that piggy bank: "Why should I, as President of the United States, allow countries to continue to make Massive Trade Surpluses, as they have for decades [while] the U.S. pays close to the entire cost of NATO-protecting many of these same countries that rip us off on Trade?"
To understand what drives Trump, and explains his exasperation and anger, these remarks are a good place to begin.
Our elites see America as an "indispensable nation," the premiere world power whose ordained duty it is to defend democracy, stand up to dictators and aggressors, and uphold a liberal world order.
They see U.S. wealth and power as splendid tools that fate has given them to shape the future of the planet.
Trump sees America as a nation being milked by allies who free-ride on our defense efforts as they engage in trade practices that enrich their own peoples at America's expense.
Where our elites live to play masters of the universe, Trump sees a world laughing behind America's back, while allies exploit our magnanimity and idealism for their own national ends.
The numbers are impossible to refute and hard to explain.
Last year, the EU had a $151 billion trade surplus with the U.S. China ran a $376 billion trade surplus with the U.S., the largest in history. The world sold us $796 billion more in goods than we sold to the world.
A nation that spends more than it takes in from taxes, and consumes more of the world's goods than it produces itself for export, year in and year out, is a nation on the way down.
We are emulating our British cousins of the 19th century.
Trump understands that this situation is not sustainable. His strength is that the people are still with him on putting America first.
Yet he faces some serious obstacles.
What is his strategy for turning a $796 billion trade deficit into a surplus? Is he prepared to impose the tariffs and import restrictions that would be required to turn America from the greatest trade-deficit nation in history to a trade-surplus nation, as we were up until the mid-1970s?
Americans are indeed carrying the lion's share of the load of the defense of the West, and of fighting the terrorists and radical Islamists of the Middle East, and of protecting South Korea and Japan.
But if our NATO and Asian allies refuse to make the increases in defense he demands, is Trump really willing to cancel our treaty commitments, walk away from our war guarantees, and let these nations face Russia and China on their own? Could he cut that umbilical cord?
Ike's secretary of state John Foster Dulles spoke of conducting an "agonizing reappraisal" of U.S. commitments to defend NATO allies if they did not contribute more money and troops.
Dulles died in 1959, and that reappraisal, threatened 60 years ago, never happened. Indeed, when the Cold War ended, our NATO allies cut defense spending again. Yet we are still subsidizing NATO in Europe and have taken on even more allies since the Soviet Empire fell.
If Europe refuses to invest the money in defense that Trump demands, or accept the tariffs America needs to reduce and erase its trade deficits, what does he do? Is he prepared to shut U.S. bases and pull U.S. troops out of the Baltic republics, Poland, and Germany, and let the Europeans face Vladimir Putin and Russia themselves?
This is not an academic question. For the crunch that was inevitable when Trump was elected seems at hand.
Trump promised to negotiate with Putin and improve relations with Russia. He promised to force our NATO allies to undertake more of their own defense. He pledged to get out and stay out of Mideast wars and begin to slash the trade deficits that we have run with the world.
That's what America voted for.
Now, after 500 days, he faces formidable opposition to these defining goals of his campaign, even within his own party.
Putin remains a pariah on Capitol Hill. Our allies are rejecting the tariffs Trump has imposed and threatening retaliation. Free-trade Republicans reject tariffs that might raise the cost of the items U.S. companies make abroad and then ships back to the United States.
The decisive battles between Trumpian nationalism and globalism remain ahead of us. Trump's critical tests have yet to come.
And our exasperated president senses this.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.
Bradley June 12, 2018 at 6:10 amAmerica spends 3 times as much on defense as its allies because it is addicted to military spending. The solution is not to pressure other countries to acquire the same addiction. The solution is for America cut its own military spending.Joe the Plutocrat , says: June 12, 2018 at 6:58 am
This is just another example of America trying to "export" its domestic issues. Quit blaming foreigners and deal with your issues."A nation that spends more than it takes in from taxes, and consumes more of the world's goods than it produces itself for export, year in and year out, is a nation on the way down. We are emulating our British cousins of the 19th century." never imagined I'd say this, but you are absolutely correct. of course you neglect to acknowledge, Trump himself is an "elite" and a "globalist". the fact his "game" is real estate, as opposed to governance is more of a semantic distinction than ideological. debt-fueled consumerism drives real estate just as it drives globalism. this is nothing new. add to this the pathological narcissism and the ability to leverage moral bankruptcy as he has the tax codes and bankruptcy laws, and voila, just another globalist in populist clothing. as I have maintained all along, he is not so much anti-establishment as he is an establishment of one – he simply thrives in a different type of swamp and favors a smaller oligarchy/plutocracy. and of course, there is the big news out of Singapore/Korea, but again, much of the 'spin' or upside cited in a denuclearized Korean peninsula involves the opportunity for North Korea to join the globalists at the globalists' table. one can only wonder if there will be Ivanka's handbags will be made in Panmunjom, and if Kim Jong Un will stay at the Trump hotel in DC? either way, you are correct he is the candidate the American people, and the globalists "elected".JonF , says: June 12, 2018 at 8:35 amOne problem with Trump's rant: the US enjoys a small trade surplus with Canada.Michael Kenny , says: June 12, 2018 at 10:36 am
Would someone please get this president some hard facts and drill him on them for however long it takes top get them fixed in his mind before he goes off half-cocked with any more nonsense?As always, Mr Buchanan sets out his personal agenda and then claims that Trump promised to implement it if elected. The more Trump backs away from globalised free trade (if that's what he's really doing), the more that suits the EU. The "core value" of the EU is a large internal market protected by a high tariff wall. Globalization was rammed down an unwilling EU's throat by the US in the Reagan years and only the British elite ever really believed in it. As for NATO, nobody now believes that the US will honor its commitments, no matter how much Europe pays, so logically, the European members are concentrating their additional expenditure on an independent European defense system, which, needless to say, the US is trying to obstruct.Kent , says: June 12, 2018 at 11:17 am
By the way, the US provides 22% of NATO funding, a formula which is based on population. Thus, if the European members increased their contributions to NATO, the US contribution would also rise!Donald Trump will remain exasperated because he is fighting the good fight but not really understanding who his adversary's are.bacon , says: June 12, 2018 at 11:26 am
Foreign countries aren't taking advantage of the USA. American industrialists are taking advantage of the USA. Why does Apple make its iPhones in China? Why does Ford build so many of its SUVs in Mexico? Not because of the decisions those countries have made. It's because of the decisions American industrial leaders have made.
Secondly, there is absolutely no threat to NATO from Russia or Putin. Europe could slash its already meager defense budget with only beneficial consequences. The same with Japan and S. Korea. None of these countries need US military help. There are no real military threats to these countries. US military spending has never been about defending other countries. It is about enriching the shareholders of American military contractors.
So here is the real world: The United States has established a "liberal rules-based global order" that allows wealthy American and European commercial interests to benefit mightily from trade, and property and resource control in foreign countries. And this order is maintained by US military power. That is why the US is "the one indispensable nation". We are the nation that is allowed to break the order, to be the bully, in order for the rules-based order to even exist. That's why we are beating up on countries that try to live outside of this order like Iran, NK, Venezuela, Russia and everyone else who don't fall in line.
So Donald Trump is fighting against the power elite of the United States, he just doesn't understand that. He is fighting against the most powerful people in the world, people who are well represented by both political parties. He can win this fight if he lets the average American on to this reality. And then leads them properly to a better, more balanced world. But I suspect that he would be assassinated if he tried.In re NATO and other oversea DOD spending, the old saying "who pays, says" has a corollary. Who wants to say has to pay. The US, since WWII, has wanted, insisted, on being in charge of everything we touch. This costs a lot, not to mention it often doesn't work the way we want. It would be easy enough to stop spending all this money. The Pentagon and the military-industrial complex would have a conniption and those whose defense bills we've been paying would complain to high heaven, but Trump seems intent on trashing all those alliances anyway and also on spending more money on defense than even the Pentagon thinks they need.GregR , says: June 12, 2018 at 11:31 amTrade deficits don't work the way you think they work. In todays economy the traditional measures of deficits don't actually tell us much about what is going on.One Guy , says: June 12, 2018 at 1:27 pm
Do you know what China does with that $350b trade surplus? A huge percentage of it is rolled back immediately into US Treasury bonds because we are the only issuer of credit in sufficient amounts and of suitable stability for them to buy. All of that deficit spending Trump and the Republicans in congress passed last year is being financed by the very trade imbalance that Trump is trying to eliminate.
But trade imbalances really don't tell us much about the flow of money. Most of the imbalance is created by US companies that have built factories in China to sell goods back to the US, then repatriate money back to the US in the form of dividends or stock buy backs (which are not counted in the trade balance at all).
At best trade balances tell us very little meaningful about what is really going on, but can be wildly deceptive. At worst they are an easy tool, for demogogs who have zero understanding of what is going on, to inflame other uninformed people to justify trade wars.Interesting the things that Buchanan ignores (on purpose?). The USA has a trade surplus with Canada. Trump lied about that. There's nothing wrong with the USA spending less money to defend other countries. Trump doesn't have to insult our allies to do that.Jim Houghton , says: June 12, 2018 at 1:49 pmJohn S , says: June 12, 2018 at 1:56 pm"Trump understands that this situation is not sustainable."
You give him more credit than he deserves. What he does understand is that while we're being the world's piggy bank, the American taxpayer is being the Military-Industrial Complex's piggy-bank and that's just fine with him. As it is with most members of Congress.Sam Bufalini , says: June 12, 2018 at 2:14 pm" our NATO allies cut defense spending again. Yet we are still subsidizing NATO in Europe "
Mr. Buchanan, like Trump, does not understand how NATO is funded. All NATO members have been paying their dues. In fact, many pay a greater proportion relative to GDP per capita than the U.S. does. Defense budgets are a different matter entirely.Remind me again, who just raised the U.S. deficit by more than a $1 trillion over the next 10 years?S , says: June 12, 2018 at 3:19 pmThis entire article seems to reduce complex issues into simple arithmetic. Economics and job creation is about much more than balance of payments both the author and the US president don't seem to realise this. Very shallow article.Sean , says: June 12, 2018 at 5:35 pmAmerica has a trade surplus with Canada, but seems determined to rub it in.Mia , says: June 12, 2018 at 8:24 pm
Some background. As the glaciers retreated south at the end of the ice age, they scraped away Canada's topsoil and deposited it in America. Rural Canada has little arable areas; it's beef and dairy by necessity. Costs are high and there are ten Americans to every Canadian hence the subsidy. America subsidizes it's agriculture $55 billion annually.Great, if we're upset about having to protect our allies in the Pacific, let's change the Japanese constitution to allow them to have a real military again to defend themselves and give the South Koreans nukes to balance out the power situation between them and the Norks/ Chinese. (Why is it so little is ever said about China being a nuclear power?) This whole fantasy of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is so naive it's laughable. If nukes exist, there will never be any permanent guarantee of anything, and other countries will just keep getting the bomb without our permission, like Pakistan and China. The genie is out of the bottle, so time to be brutally realistic about what we face and what can be done. We can whine all we want to about how it's not our responsibility, but then we expect other countries to be hobbled and still somehow face enemy powers.LouisM , says: June 12, 2018 at 9:24 pmLets take a look at the growing list of nations shifting to the right (nationalism and populism) -The Czech, Slovak and Slovenia Republics Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, the US.
Nations shifting this year to the right (nationalism and populism) -Austria, Bavaria and Italy
Nations leaning to the right and leaning toward joining the VISEGRAD -Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Greece
AS YOU CAN SEE THE PILLARS OF MARXIST / SOCIALIST / COMMUNIST OPEN BORDERS EUROPE/EU ARE BEING TAKEN DOWN. THE FIGHT WILL BE WITH FRANCE, GERMANY, BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS, BRITAIN, SWEDEN AND THE UNELECTED EU SUPERSTATE. RIGHT NOW THE FIGHT IS WITH THE POOR SOUTHERN AND EASTERN EUROPEAN INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS BUT EVENTUALLY IT WILL REACH A TIPPING POINT WHERE IT BECOMES AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT BUT ITS ONLY AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT FOR THE LEFT AS THE EU REACHES THE TIPPING POINT AND THE POWER SHIFTS TO THE RIGHT.
Jun 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
"Downright Chilling": Rosenstein "Threatened" To Subpoena Congressmen In Closed-Door Meeting
by Tyler Durden Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:00 57 SHARES
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to "subpoena" GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee during a tense January meeting involving committee members and senior DOJ/FBI officials, according to emails seen by Fox News documenting the encounter described by aides as a "personal attack."
That said, Rosenstein was responding to a threat to hold him in contempt of Congress - and the "threat" to subpoena GOP records was ostensibly in order for him to be able to defend himself.
Rosenstein allegedly threatened to "turn the tables" on the committee's aggressive document requests, according to Fox .
" The DAG [Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] criticized the Committee for sending our requests in writing and was further critical of the Committee's request to have DOJ/FBI do the same when responding ," the committee's then-senior counsel for counterterrorism Kash Patel wrote to the House Office of General Counsel. " Going so far as to say that if the Committee likes being litigators, then 'we [DOJ] too [are] litigators, and we will subpoena your records and your emails ,' referring to HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and Congress overall."
A second House committee staffer at the meeting backed up Patel's account, writing: " Let me just add that watching the Deputy Attorney General launch a sustained personal attack against a congressional staffer in retaliation for vigorous oversight was astonishing and disheartening . ... Also, having the nation's #1 (for these matters) law enforcement officer threaten to 'subpoena your calls and emails' was downright chilling." - Fox News
The committee staffer suggested that Rosenstein's comment could be interpreted to mean that the DOJ would " vigorously defend a contempt action " -- which might be expected. But the staffer continued, " I also read it as a not-so-veiled threat to unleash the full prosecutorial power of the state against us. "
But really - Rosenstein appears to have been warning the GOP Committee members that he would aggressively defend himself.
G-Men Hit Back
A DOJ official said that Rosenstein "never threatened anyone in the room with a criminal investigation," telling Fox that the department and bureau officials in the room "are all quite clear that the characterization of events laid out here is false, " and that Rosenstein was merely responding to a threat of contempt.
The FBI, meanwhile, said that they disagree with " a number of characterizations of the meeting as described in the excerpts of a staffer's emails provided to us by Fox News. "
"The Deputy Attorney General was making the point -- after being threatened with contempt -- that as an American citizen charged with the offense of contempt of Congress, he would have the right to defend himself, including requesting production of relevant emails and text messages and calling them as witnesses to demonstrate that their allegations are false ," the official said. "That is why he put them on notice to retain relevant emails and text messages, and he hopes they did so. (We have no process to obtain such records without congressional approval.)"
Details of the encounter began to trickle out in early February, as Fox News' Greg Jarrett tweeted: "A 2nd source has now confirmed to me that, in a meeting on January 10, Deputy A-G Rosenstein used the power of his office to threaten to subpoena the calls & texts of the Intel Committee to get it to stop it's investigation of DOJ and FBI. Likely an Abuse of Power & Obstruction."
Pure Evil -> Ambrose Bierce Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:21 PermalinkNoDebt -> Pure Evil Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:30 Permalink
Nothing like insubordination in the ranks.cankles' server -> NoDebt Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:41 Permalink
Rosenstein, translated: "I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground!"
Seriously, for the grown-ups here... Is there really ANY doubt what he said was anything other than a threat? Didn't think so. If he had said "Come at me, bro!" it couldn't be any more clear. He is ready to use the full resources of his office to respond to any attempt of Congress to oversee his activities, regardless of the fact that they have a legal right and responsibility to do so.Unknown User -> A Sentinel Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:42 Permalink
For anyone to think that this wasn't a threat is a fool. The only reason that he'd be charged with contempt is because he didn't do his job and turn over the documents.rgraf -> phaedrus1952 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:27 Permalink
Why Nunes is not using his Constitutional power to have the Sergent at Arms arrest and jail Rosenstein?philipat -> NoDebt Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:55 Permalink
They're all dirty, and the banksters must be deeply regretting their policy of hiring stooges just intelligent enough to foolow orders, but too stupid to question those orders. They all think they have the backing of their bankster overlords, not realizing that they are merely decoys. And the banksters are now seeing that enough of the populace is aware to the point that too many people have figured out the hoax, for the exposition to be shouted down. Complicate that with the fact that the only believers left are far too stupid to present a coherent position, and it all equals meltdown. Going to be an interesting summer.phaedrus1952 -> philipat Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:54 Permalink
Seems like Comey was not the only insubordinate one? Congress has a constitutional oversight duty over DOJ and yet, even though the applicable members have the necessary levels of security clearance, DOJ is fighting them every step of the way, presumably because something or someone(s) is being covered up. Rosenstein should be fired, although that should have happened long ago. Where is Sessions?rgraf -> NoDebt Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:10 Permalink
There is a LOT that is being covered up, with the main - not the only - crime being an attempted coup d'etat.
The 8chan Q Research board has 24/7 input on all these developments and those autists are a colorful, talented bunch.
Huber is working with Horowitz and the 'flipping' - particularly with key players like Priestap - will ensure as smooth and complete a demolition of the Deep State as possible.
A significant component of this process will be to have tens of millions of Americans who loathe Trump accept these outcomes as both true and fair.
Obama is now strongly implicated in ALL the minutia of this plot.cankles' server -> Pure Evil Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:37 Permalink
The executive branch is only supposed to execute whatever the legislative branch, unless it gets vetoed. And, the judicial branch is supposed to be the final check on those powers, even though the judiciary is appointed by executive nomination with congressional approval. So, the real question now is: was that 'strike three, you're out', or 'ball four: take a walk'.philipat -> cankles' server Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:58 Permalink
That this pissing contest is still going after Trump told the DOJ to turn over the documents to congress really demonstrates the power of the Deep State.Got The Wrong No -> philipat Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:33 Permalink
Trump can and should still declassify everything. There are no genuine National Security issues involved here...phaedrus1952 -> cankles' server Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:01 Permalink
According to Q, the IG report is going to be heavily redacted and Trump will use an EO to declassify everything in due time. He will wait until after the IG report on the Clinton Foundation is released. Catch everything at once. We shall see.Got The Wrong No -> phaedrus1952 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:38 Permalink
The documents show a concentrated effort targeting Trump MONTHS before he declared his candidacy.
Operatives were hired to approach Trump people and these events were then used as pretext for FISA warrants.
What you are seeing are the final, frantic actions of DOJ, FBI, DNI, CIA cadres attempting to stave off the inevitable.
Huber will follow up on the IG report in the coming days with publicized indictments that are apt to rock our world.yrad -> Cognitive Dissonance Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:20 Permalink
Huber, I believe has 400 Investigators at his disposal. Things are about to get interesting. Much more firepower than a Special Counsel.thinkmoretalkless -> bigkahuna Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:19 Permalink
This book will tell you all you need to know about Rosenstein.
https://www.amazon.com/Licensed-Lie-Exposing-Corruption-Department/dp/1A Sentinel -> thinkmoretalkless Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:00 Permalink
RR stinks of desperation...not a good frame of mind. He is deep in the trap.MadHatt -> A Sentinel Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:29 Permalink
Your insight is an important one. He's snarling and showing teeth -- that means that he's either 1) out of maneuvering room or 2) the larvae he protects are nearby and/or in danger.
And you can't just bluff your boss- rosey HAS TO follow through. It's his only dominant strategy.
Unless they're idiots, Congress must issue an asymmetrical response and do it preemptively.
If they let this go, it's over.phaedrus1952 -> Handful of Dust Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:23 Permalink
There are still quite a few people who trust and watch TV news stations like CNN, ABC, MSNBC ect
None of those news stations report the truth, that the top of the DOJ, FBI and CIA were corrupt.
Arresting the previous president within the first year of taking office is asking for riots.
The only way to do it, and protect the public individuals as much as possible, is to allow the information out piece by piece, remove bad actors one by one. There are a lot of people who live with their head in the sand, and exposing them to something as shocking as arresting a previous president for treason, it... might be too much all at once.lester1 -> takeaction Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:09 Permalink
Interesting question that we shall know the answer to shortly.
Q has indicated that both Mueller and Rosenstein were on the same team without clarifying whether white or black hat.
Recent posts, always cryptic and subject to interpretation, seem to indicate Rosenstein is reneging on secret deals.G-R-U-N-T -> lester1 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:19 Permalink
Rosenstein is the gate keeper to the deep state secrets and hes protecting the illegal NSA surveillance actions ordered by Barack Obama !!
President Trump needs to fire Rosenstein immediately for insubordination and corruption!Boxed Merlot Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:15 Permalink
If, indeed, Rosenstein is the 'gatekeeper of the deep state' and the deep state has been surveilling everything organic for years, then they have something on every tom, dick, harry and jane, which means all 3 branches are compromised. I can just imagine the massive blackmail that has gone on for years which is why Washington has turned into a cesspool. So many turds floating in the piss, that a regular Sodom and Gomorra event may have to occur to clean up this disgusting mess.Yen Cross Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:18 Permalink
...he would have the right to defend himself, including requesting production of relevant emails and text messages...
OK, so as a "citizen" he claims to have the "right" to "request" from duly elected officials what can legitimately be classified communications. Yet, he as a political appointee and not directly answerable to an electorate claims the right to tell these same individuals to pound sand when they request legitimate findings he is required by law to provide them with?
The fact is, they are the ones, as elected officials that are in the position to tell him as a mere appointee to pound sand. There are no "tables to turn", the fact is he is on the end of the downhill slope. Now, if he has evidence that some legislators have appointed personnel within their personal offices guilty of crimes, then put up or shut up.
This charade has gone on far too long. The best we can hope for is a real time lesson in Constitutional law that will right this ship of state again and place all these imbeciles in custody and out of circulation permanently. This clown show is disgusting!
jmo.Thom Paine Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:19 Permalink
Rosenstein isn't overly intelligent. He likes to lurk in the shadows, and will do anything to please his masters.
Maybe Trump gets rid of the Semite, and Sessions starts to play ball?
Political jockeying has nothing to do with the constituency.VWAndy Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:51 Permalink
Rosenstein has NO right to defend himself as AAG.
He is an appointed official, not an individual, he is Assistant AG - and has no right to obstruct any peak into his workings..
Do people forget that these people are employed by the People, they are employees?robobbob Tue, 06/12/2018 - 23:04 Permalink
Revoke his security clearance. Trump could on any old whim. Does not have to give a reason to anyone.
"after being threatened with contempt"
a branch of government empowered by the constitution demanding answers within their oversight authority is not threatening
that a civil servant would take retaliatory action if forced to do his job is a threat
he should have been removed immediately
Jun 08, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
He was brilliant, but his vanity turned him into a reckless alarmist and a pro-Israeli partisan.I encountered the late Bernard Lewis (1916-2018) during the 1990s culture wars, when historians and educators met full-frontal multiculturalism, a thematic force beginning to reshape U.S. and world history curricula in schools and colleges.
The two of us shared early, firsthand experience with Islamist disinformation campaigns on and off campus. Using sympathetic academics, curriculum officers, and educational publishers as tools, Muslim activists were seeking to rewrite Islamic history in textbooks and state and national standards.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, created in 1994, was complaining of anti-Muslim "bigotry," "racial profiling," "institutional racism," and "fear-mongering," while trying to popularize the word "Islamophobia," and stoking the spirit of ethnic injustice and prejudice in Washington politics.
Lewis and I were of different generations, he a charming academic magnifico long associated with Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study. He had just retired from teaching and was widely regarded as the nation's most influential scholar of Islam. "Islam has Allah," he said sardonically at the time. "We've got multiculturalism."Washington's Pax Americana Cartel Christopher Columbus: At the Center of the Culture War
Long before I met him, Lewis had alerted those who were listening to rising friction between the Islamic world and the West. This was, in his mind, the outcome of Islam's centuries-long decline and failure to embrace modernity. In thinking this way, Lewis had earned the fury of the professor and Palestinian activist Edward Said at Columbia University, who wrote Orientalism in 1978.
Said's influential book cast previous Western studies of the Near and Middle East as Eurocentric, romantic, prejudiced, and racist. For Said, orientalism was an intellectual means to justify Western conquest and empire. Bernard Lewis's outlook epitomized this approach and interpretation. Said's line of thought profoundly influenced his undergraduate student Barack Obama, and would have an immense impact on Obama's Mideast strategies and geopolitics as president.
For some years, Lewis had warned of the ancient feuds between the West and Islam: in 1990 he'd forecast a coming "clash of civilizations" in Atlantic magazine, a phrase subsequently popularized by Harvard professor Samuel E. Huntington.
Throughout his long career, Lewis warned that Western guilt over its conquests and past was not collateral. "In the Muslim world there are no such inhibitions," Lewis once observed. "They are very conscious of their identity. They know who they are and what they are and what they want, a quality which we seem to have lost to a very large extent. This is a source of strength in the one, of weakness in the other."
Other examples of Lewis's controversial, persuasive observations include:
During the run up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Lewis suddenly gained immense political influence, love-bombed by White House neocons Richard Cheney, Richard Perle, and other policymakers to a degree that preyed on the old man's vanity and love of the spotlight.
Anti-war feeling in official Washington then was unpopular. Among Republicans and Democrats alike, to assert that Israel and oil were parts of the equation appeared uncouth. Insisted the neocons and White House: the aim of the war was to bring democratic government and regional order to the Mideast. Rescued from despotism, Iraqis would cheer invasion, Lewis and his allies claimed, as Afghanis welcomed relief from Taliban fundamentalists.
In 2004 the Wall Street Journal devised what it called a Lewis Doctrine, which it defined as "seeding democracy in failed Mideast states to defang terrorism." The Journal clarified that the Lewis Doctrine "in effect, had become U.S. policy" in 2001. The article also revealed that Lewis had long been politically involved with Israel and a confidant of successive Israeli prime ministers, including Ariel Sharon.
"Though never debated in Congress or sanctified by presidential decree, Mr. Lewis's diagnosis of the Muslim world's malaise, and his call for a U.S. military invasion to seed democracy in the Mideast, have helped define the boldest shift in U.S. foreign policy in 50 years. The occupation of Iraq is putting the doctrine to the test," the Journal proclaimed.
And so it has gone. After 15 years of many hard-to-follow shifts in policy and force, with vast human and materiel costs, some analysts look upon U.S. policy in Iraq and the Mideast as a geopolitical disaster, still in shambles and not soon to improve.
In other eyes Lewis stands guilty of devising a sophistic rationale to advance Israel's security at the expense of U.S. national interests. In 2006, Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer accused Lewis of consciously providing intellectual varnish to an Israel-centered policy group inside the George W. Bush administration that was taking charge of Mideast policies. The same year, Lewis's reckless alarmism on Iranian nukes on behalf of Israeli interests drew wide ridicule and contempt.
A committed Zionist, Lewis conceived of Israel as an essential part of Western civilization and an island of freedom in the Mideast. Though, acutely aware of Islam's nature and history, he must have had doubts about the capacity to impose democracy through force. Later, he stated unconvincingly that he had opposed the invasion of Iraq, but the facts of the matter point in another direction.
Lewis thus leaves a mixed legacy. It is a shame that he shelved his learned critiques and compromised his scholarly stature late in life to pursue situational geopolitics. With his role as a government advisor before the Iraq war, academic Arabists widely took to calling Lewis "the Great Satan," whereas Edward Said's favored position in academic circles is almost uncontested.
Yet few dispute that Lewis was profoundly knowledgeable of his subject. His view that Islamic fundamentalism fails all liberal tests of toleration, cross-cultural cooperation, gender equality, gay rights, and freedom of conscience still holds. Most Islamic authorities consider separation of church and state either absurd or evil. They seek to punish free inquiry, blasphemy, and apostasy. Moreover, it is their obligation to do so under holy law. Wearing multicultural blinders, contemporary European and American progressives pretend none of this is so. As has been demonstrated since 2015, Europe provides opportunities for territorial expansion, as do open-borders politics in the U.S. and Canada.
In 1990, long before his Washington adventures, Lewis wrote in the American Scholar , "We live in a time when great efforts are being made to falsify the record of the past and to make history a tool of propaganda; when governments, religious movements, political parties, and sectional groups of every kind are busy rewriting history as they would wish it to have been."
On and off campus, Islamists today use Western progressive politics and ecumenical dreams to further their holy struggle.
Lewis would point out that this force is completely understandable; in fact, it is a sacred duty. What would disturb him more is that in the name of diversity, Western intellectuals and journalists, government and corporate officials, and even military generals have eagerly cooperated.
Gilbert T. Sewall is co-author of After Hiroshima: The United States Since 1945 and editor of The Eighties: A Reader .
Ray Steinberg June 8, 2018 at 12:56 amWhy the long spiel when this article could have conveyed its thesis in the single line:Fayez Abedaziz , says: June 8, 2018 at 2:10 am
"Among Republicans and Democrats alike, to assert that Israel and oil were parts of the equation appeared uncouth "This article is exactly what this so-called intellectual Lewis is:undertakings , says: June 8, 2018 at 6:12 am
All that's said by this Lewis guy is his opinion and his goal was hatred of Islam, therefore, he wanted it to then have people follow along with hatred for arabs and Palestinians.
This was, of course, because then, people would keep supporting Israel!
How 'bout that?
Who are we kidding?
When talking about the history of this nation or that religion, Lewis offers mostly his opinion and takes whatever event out of context to try to prove all this anti-Islam
rubbish. There are nations that have a majority of people of the Moslem religion, that have different systems of government and so, we have free voting, and had for decades, in Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon and so on.
Pakistan and Turkey had female Prime Ministers decade ago how 'bout that! And so did Indonesia, the nation most populated by Moslems, in the word, and so did Senegal, in Africa.
These nations are thousands of miles apart, with different languages and cultures.
What is not pointed out, but I will, since I know, is that whenever there was turmoil in an election in a mostly Moslem populated nation, why it was the meddling by the U.S. covertly and with bribes and trouble making.
Like when the CIA did that in Iran in 1953 after a fellow, Mosaddegh was freely elected and he was stopped and the dictator Shah was put in.
The U.S. constantly either installed or supported anti-democratic leaders in the Middle East and Asia.
By the way, that's how you put the subject of Edward Said- that he was a professor and a Palestinian activist? That's it?
How come you didn't tell us readers that he is a Christian?
Lewis knows no more about the makings, origins or history of religions that do many dozens of thousands of professors in the U.S. alone.
But, he has been is given a lot of media, and still is, because he is liked by the neo-cons. Also, I know more than Lewis did.
dig what I'm saying"In 2004 the Wall Street Journal devised what it called a Lewis Doctrine, which it defined as "seeding democracy in failed Mideast states to defang terrorism." The Journal clarified that the Lewis Doctrine "in effect, had become U.S. policy" in 2001. The article also revealed that Lewis had long been politically involved with Israel and a confidant of successive Israeli prime ministers, including Ariel Sharon."Saint Kyrillos , says: June 8, 2018 at 8:00 am
In laymen's terms, Lewis was an Israeli operative working the academic beat. His American citizenship meant about as much to him as his earlier British citizenship had, a matter of convenience, nothing more. Stripped of the spurious Ivy League gloss, his "scholarship" was tendentious; it served to advance a political agenda and was consistently tainted by his entanglements with politicians and political institutions. Circa 2018 it reads as badly dated, often wrong, and generally wrong-headed.
I see he died a few weeks ago. Good riddance. "Intellectual father of the Iraq War" isn't the epitaph of a decent human being.The consensus I'm aware of is that Obama's foreign policy was just a continuation of the foreign policy pursued by Bush during his second term. How does Obama continuing the foreign policy positions of Bush, who was influenced by Lewis, indicate that Obama's views on the middle east were influenced by Said? It should similarly be noted that while academics are practically universal in siding with Said over Lewis, they did not universally support him against other orientalists. While I'm likely butchering his claims, I seem to recall that Robert Irwin criticized Said's Orientalism for focusing too much on Bernard Lewis, ignoring the work of German orientalists who would complicate Said's claims about the West's portrayal of the middle east.George Hoffman , says: June 8, 2018 at 9:23 amI admire his spirited defense of the Western canon in literature and culture based upon Judeo-Christian values. But he lost me when he joined forces with the campaign to blacklist Professors John Meanshimer and Steven Walt with their book The Israel Lobby. The book originally was an article that was expanded into their book. But because of the blacklist against them, they coildn't ge their critique published in America and had to go to The London Review of Books. And of course the article was smeared as anti-Semitic because it was critical of the Israeli lobby (namely AIPAC) and its influence over our foreign policy.mrscracker , says: June 8, 2018 at 9:53 am"He was brilliant, but his vanity turned him into a reckless alarmist and a pro-Israeli partisan."polistra , says: June 8, 2018 at 10:51 am
I'm missing how vanity & supporting Israel are connected?Islamic "fundamentalism" was rare and insignificant until we funded it, armed it, and trained it. Our purpose was not to defang Islam but to superfang it, so we could have a new enemy to justify ever-increasing budgets and power for Deepstate.Frank Healy , says: June 8, 2018 at 11:46 am
Now that we've switched back to Russia as the official enemy, our focus on Islam is fading.Saying that Lewis fell prey to vanity is easier than saying he, like the rest of the neocons, was a hypocritical ethnic chauvinist.Myron Hudson , says: June 8, 2018 at 1:04 pm
In other words:
"Ethnic chauvinism is a sin and a great evil, or evidence of dangerous mental illness, except for the Zionists who you need to support uncritically and unconditionally."One thing to remember about zionists is that many of the christian ones are expecting to trigger the second coming once certain things come to pass and this includes geography in that region. I grew up with that. Anyway, to them it's not reckless, it's speeding the prophecy along to its rightful end.ed , says: June 8, 2018 at 2:20 pmLewis' so-called analysis and historiography was politicized and deeply flawed, so much so that he showed himself to be a bigot against Arabs and Armenians – he was a scholar of Turkish history, who had been, wined, dined, bought and sold, and corrupted by the Turkish and Israeli governments to serves as their genocide denialist- and of Islam, and anything else Middle Eastern, that did not serve Israel's interests. He offered himself to the neocons as a willing academic and did much damage by 'legitimizing' their bogus 'war on terror'.EliteCommInc. , says: June 8, 2018 at 5:54 pm
He should not be allowed to rest in peace or escape accountability in the judgment of history.i guess is the question . . . to decipher the depth and scope that islam poses to the US.Janwaar Bibi , says: June 8, 2018 at 7:10 pm
There are just not that many non-Muslims shooting people over cartoons, and insults in the name of god. I have some very fine relational dynamics with muslims, but on occasion, i can't help but wonder which one is going take me out because i don't use the term honorable when I say mohammed's name.
The Nt doesn't even advocate throwing stones at people who steal my coat, I am supposed to offer up the other.Islamic "fundamentalism" was rare and insignificant until we funded it, armed it, and trained it.BillWAF , says: June 9, 2018 at 2:21 am
Islamic fundamentalism blighted and extinguished the lives of millions of Armenians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and others in the first half of the 20th century, long before dumb Westerners funded it or armed it. The fact that people in the West are clueless about this history does not mean it did not happen.Obama had an English class with Said as an undergrad at Columbia. So did Leon Wieseltier years earlier, as did many other Columbia students. Interestingly enough, Wiesaltier remained an aggressive zionist. The claim that Said had any effect upon Obama's foreign policy ideas; policies; or actions is profoundly silly.Donald , says: June 9, 2018 at 3:01 pm
To support your claim that "Said's line of thought profoundly influenced his undergraduate student Barack Obama, and would have an immense impact on Obama's Mideast strategies and geopolitics as president," you need a great deal more evidence. Currently, you have none.Cheer up Janwaar -- most of us are clueless about fascist Hindus and Buddhists as well.Philly guy , says: June 9, 2018 at 3:04 pmIslamic fundamentalism was created and funded by Israel and the US to compete with the then Marxist PLO and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.You thought Marxist terrorism was problematic,look at Islamic terrorism.
Jun 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
"We had productive discussion on having fair and reciprocal" trade and market access.
"We're linked in the great effort to create a more just and prosperous world. And from the standpoint of trade and creating more prosperous countries, I think they are starting to be committed to more fair trade. We as a nation lost $870 billion on trade...I blame our leaders and I congratulate leaders of other countries for taking advantage of our leaders."
"If they retaliate they're making a tremendous mistake because you see we have a tremendous trade imbalance...the numbers are so much against them, we win that war 1000 times out of a 1000."
"We're negotiating very hard, tariffs and barriers...the European Union is brutal to the United States....the gig is up...there's nothing they can say."
"We're like the piggy bank that everybody's robbing."
"I would say the level of relationship is a ten - Angela, Emmanuel and Justin - we have a very good relationship. I won't blame these people, unless they don't smarten up and make the trades fair."
Trump is now making the 20-hour flight to Singapore, where he will attend a historic summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un. We'll now keep our eye out for the finalized communique from the group. The US is typically a leader in the crafting of the statement. But this time, it's unclear if the US had any input at all into the statement, as only the leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan as well as the presidents of the European Commission and European Council remain at the meeting. But regardless of who writes it, the statement will probably be of little consequence, as UBS points out:
Several heads of state will be heading off on a taxpayer-financed "mini-break" in Canada today. In all of its incarnations (over the past four years, we've gone from G-8 to G-6+1) the group hasn't really accomplished much since an initial burst of enthusiasm with the Plaza Accords and Louvre Accords in the 1980s.
And this meeting likely won't be any different.
Simplifiedfrisbee -> ravolla Sat, 06/09/2018 - 11:31 PermalinkKlassenfeind -> Dickweed Wang Sat, 06/09/2018 - 11:43 Permalink
Unprepared son of a bitch.
Sack of filth.Escrava Isaura -> helltothenah Sat, 06/09/2018 - 14:51 Permalink
"We're the piggy bank that everybody is robbing." Excuse me?!
Errrr, that so-called "piggy bank' just happens to;
- have the world's reserve currency
- dominates the entire planet militarily since the end of the Cold War
- dictates "regime change" around the world
- manipulates and controls the world's entire financial system, from the price of a barrel to every financial transaction in the SWIFT system.
And Trump has the ignorance, the arrogance and the audacity to be pleading 'poverty?'
Who THE FUCK is robbing who here?!?bshirley1968 -> Escrava Isaura Sat, 06/09/2018 - 15:00 Permalink
By the way, Trump is right on the tariffs in my view, Europeans should lower their tariffs and not having the US raising it.
Trump: "We're The Piggy Bank That Everybody's Robbing"
Isn't Trump great in catch phrases? Trump's base will now regurgitate it to death.
Now reconcile Trump's remarks with reality:
Professor Werner: Germany is for instance not even allowed to receive delivery of US Treasuries that it may have purchased as a result of the dollars earned through its current account surplus: these Treasuries have to be held in custody by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a privately owned bank: A promise on a promise. At the same time, German influence over the pyramid structure of such promises has been declining rapidly since the abolition of the German currency and introduction of the euro, controlled by an unaccountable supranational international agency that cannot be influenced by any democratic assembly in the eurozone. As a result, this structure of one-sided outflows of real goods and services from Germany is likely to persist in the short and medium-term.
To add insult to injury:
Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs
The documents show that ACUE financed the European Movement, the most important federalist organisation in the post-war years. In 1958, for example, it provided 53.5 per cent of the movement's funds.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1356047/Euro-federalists-financed-by-US-spy-chiefs.htmlwaspwench -> bshirley1968 Sat, 06/09/2018 - 16:47 Permalink
Okay, everyone set your "team" aside for a few minutes and let's look at the facts and reality.
Do you really believe the rest of the world has trade advantages over the US? Well, let's consider major industries.
Agriculture.....maybe, but only sightly. Our farmers are the richest in the workd....by far.
Manufacturers.....probably so....because we gave it away to countries with slave labor. Manufacturers jobs were jobs where people could earn a decent living...and that had to go..can't be cutting into corporate profits with all that high cost labor.
Defense.....need I go here? We spend more than the next 11 countries combined! We sell more as well.
Energy.....we rule thus space because we buy it with worthless printed fiat debt...whenever we want to....and nd if you deny us, we will bomb the hell out of you and take it.
Technology. ....Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Google, Amazon, Oracle, Dell, Cisco.....who can touch that line up....not to mention all the on-line outfits like Facebook and Twitter.
Finance.....the best for last. We control the printing press that prints the dollar the rest of the world needs. We control energy and foreign policy. Don't do what we like and we will cut you off from SWIFT and devalue the hell out of your currency...and then move in for the "regime" change to some one who plays ball the way we like it. 85% of all international trade takes place in dollars everyday. We have the biggest banks, Wall Street, and infest the world with our virus called the dollar so that we can Jeri their chain at will.
Now I ask you....just where the hell is the "trade imbalances"? Sure there are some companies or job sectors that get a raw deal because our politicians give some foreigners unfair trade advantages here and there, but as a whole, we dominate trade by far. The poor in our country lives like kings compared to 5.5 billion of the world's population. Trump knows this.....or he is stupid. He is pandering to his sheeple voting base that are easily duped into believing someone is getting what is their's.
Hey, I am thankful to be an American and enjoy the advantages we have. But I am not going to stick my head up Trump's ass and agree with this bullshit. It is misdirection (corporate America and politicians are the problem here, not foreign countries) and a major distraction. Because all the trade in the world isn't going to pull us out of this debt catastrophe that's coming.bshirley1968 -> waspwench Sat, 06/09/2018 - 18:45 Permalink
But, if we cut through all the verbiage, we will arrive at the elephant in the room.
American manufacturing jobs have been off-shored to low wage countries and the jobs which have replaced them are, for the most part, minium wage service jobs. A man cannot buy a house, marry and raise a family on a humburger-flippers wage. Even those minimum wage jobs are often unavailable to Americans because millions of illegal aliens have been allowed into the country and they are undercutting wages in the service sector. At the same time, the better paid positions are being given to H-1B visa holders who undercut the American worker (who is not infrequently forced to train his own replacement in order to access his unemployment benefits.)
As the above paragraph demonstrates the oligarchs are being permitted to force down American wages and the fact that we no longer make, but instead import, the things we need, thus exporting our wealth and damaging our own workers is all the same to them. They grow richer and they do not care about our country or our people. If they can make us all into slaves it will suit them perfectly.
We need tariffs to enable our workers to compete against third world wages in countries where the cost-of-living is less. (American wages may be stagnating or declining but our cost-of-living is not declining.) We need to deport illegal aliens and to stop the flow of them over our borders. (Build the wall.) We need to severely limit the H-1B visa programme which is putting qualified Americans out of work. (When I came to the US in 1967 I was permitted entry on the basis that I was coming to do a job for which there were not enough American workers available. Why was that rule ever changed?)mkkby -> helltothenah Sat, 06/09/2018 - 17:52 Permalink
You are making my point. China didn't "off shore" our jobs....our politicians and corporations did. You can't fix that by going after other countries. You fix that by penalizing companies for using slave labor workers from other countries. Tariffs are not going to fix this. They will just raise prices on everyone.
I can't believe you Trumptards can't see this! Once again we will focus on a symptom and ignore the real problem. Boy, Trump and his buddies from NYC and DC have really suffered because of unfair trade practices, right? Why can't you people see that "government is the problem" and misdirection your attention to China, Canada, Germany, Mexico, or whomever is just that....misdirection.
I would tax the shit out of companies like Apple that make everything overseas with slave labor and then ship it in here to sell to Americans at ridiculous prices.
Plenty of down votes but no one has proven that I am wrong on one point.
The EU countries have free college, health care, day care and just about everything else. All paid for because they have no military spending.
It's all on the backs of the US tax payer. Or the fed, if you prefer.
Trump is working both angles. Forcing them to pay for their own defense. Forcing them to allow US products with no trade disadvantages. Go MAGA and fuck the EU.
Dec 24, 2016 | www.commondreams.orgOriginally published by Dollars & Sense
And why the world is about to get much more dangerous The election of Donald Trump "represents a triumph of neoliberal thinking and values." (Photo: Carlo Allegri/ Reuters) Many writers and pundits are currently framing Trump's election in terms of a dispossessed and disenfranchised white, male working class, unsatisfied with neoliberal globalization and the insecurity and hardship it has unleashed -- particularly across regions of the United States that were formerly manufacturing powerhouses (like the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, four states believed to have cost Hillary Clinton the election). While there is much truth to this perspective and substantial empirical evidence to support it, it would be a mistake to see Trump's election wholly in these terms.
"What Trump's election has accomplished is an unmasking of the corporate state."
Trump's election is in some ways a neoliberal apex, an event that portends the completion of the U.S. government's capture by wealthy corporate interests. While in my opinion Trump's election does not signal the beginning of a rapid descent into European-style fascism, it appears to be a key stage in the ongoing process of American democratic disintegration. American democracy has been under attack from large and wealthy corporate interests for a long time, with this process accelerating and gaining strength over the period of neoliberal globalization (roughly the early 1970s to the present). This time period is associated with the rise of powerful multinational corporations with economic and political might that rivals that of many national governments.
In terms of the political consequences of these trends in the U.S., certain thinkers have argued that the U.S. political system is not democratic at all, but rather an "inverted totalitarian" system. Political commentator Chris Hedges notes: "Inverted totalitarianism is different from classical forms of totalitarianism. It does not find its expression in a demagogue or charismatic leader but in the faceless anonymity of the corporate state." Citing the American political theorist Sheldon Wolin, Hedges continues, "Unlike the Nazis, who made life uncertain for the wealthy and privileged while providing social programs for the working class and poor, inverted totalitarianism exploits the poor, reducing or weakening health programs and social services, regimenting mass education for an insecure workforce threatened by the importation of low-wage workers." Our inverted totalitarian system is one that retains the trappings of a democratic system -- e.g. it retains the appearance of loyalty to "the Constitution, civil liberties, freedom of the press, [and] the independence of the judiciary" -- all the while undermining the capacity of citizens to substantively participate and exert power over the system.
In my view, what Trump's election has accomplished is an unmasking of the corporate state. Trump gives inverted totalitarianism a persona and a face, and perhaps marks the beginning of a transformation from inverted totalitarianism to totalitarianism proper. In spite of this, it makes no sense to me to call the system toward which we are heading (that is, if we do not stand up and resist with all our might right this second) "fascism" or to make too close comparisons to the Nazis. Whatever totalitarian nightmare is on our horizon, it will be uniquely American. And it will bear a striking resemblance to the corporate oriented system we've been living in for decades. Indeed, if the pre-Trump system of inverted totalitarianism solidified in the context of global neoliberalism, the period we are entering now seems likely to be one characterized by what I call "national neoliberalism."Trump's Election Doesn't Mean the End of Neoliberalism
Trump's election represents a triumph of neoliberal thinking and values. Perhaps most importantly, we should all keep in mind the fact that Americans just elected a businessman to the presidency. In spite of his Wall Street background and billionaire status, Trump successfully cast himself as the "anti-establishment" candidate. This configuration -- in which a top-one-percenter real estate tycoon is accepted as a political "outsider" -- is a hallmark of neoliberal thinking. The fundamental opposition between market and government is a central dichotomy in the neoliberal narrative. In electing Trump, American voters are reproducing this narrative, creating an ideological cover for the closer connections between business and the state that are in store moving forward (indeed, Trump is already using the apparatus of the U.S. federal government to promote his own business interests). As states and markets further fuse in coming years, this representation of Trump and his administration -- as being anti-government -- will help immunize his administration from accusations of too-cozy relationships with big business. Trump's attempts to "drain the swamp" by imposing Congressional term limits and constraints on lobbying activities by former political officials will also help to hide this relationship. (Has anyone else noticed that Trump only addresses half of the "revolving door," i.e., he plans to limit the lobbying of former politicians, but not the political roles of businessmen?)
"Whatever totalitarian nightmare is on our horizon, it will be uniquely American."
Trump's Contract with the American Voter, his plan for the first 100 days in office, discusses policies and programs many of which are consistent with neoliberal thinking. (I understand the term "neoliberalism" to emphasize at its core the importance of private property rights, market-based social organization, and the dangers of government intervention in the economy.) Trump's plan redirects the activities of the U.S. government along the lines touted by neoliberal "market fundamentalists" like Milton Friedman, who advocate limiting government's role to market-supportive functions like national defense (defense stocks are doing very well since the election) and domestic law and order (Trump's proposals have a lot to do with altering immigration policy to "restore security"). Trump also plans to use government monies to revitalize physical infrastructure and create jobs. Other government functions, for example, health care provision and education as well as protecting the environment and public lands, are open for privatization and defunding in Trump's agenda. Under Trump, the scope of federal government activities will narrow, likely to infrastructure, national defense, and domestic policing and surveillance, even if overall government spending increases (as bond markets are predicting).
Trump also seems content to take neoliberal advice in regard to business regulation (less is best) and the role of the private sector in regulating itself (industry insiders understand regulatory needs better than public officials). Trump's plan for the first 100 days specifies "a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated." As of the time of this writing, his selection of cabinet appointees illustrate a broad willingness to appoint businesspeople to government posts. As of mid-December 2016, a Goldman Sachs veteran, Steven Mnuchin, has been appointed Secretary of the Treasury; billionaire investor Wilbur Ross has been appointed Secretary of Commerce; fossil fuel industry supporter and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been appointed as EPA administrator; and fast-food mogul Andrew Puzder has been appointed as Secretary of Labor. Trump's business council is staffed by the CEOs of major U.S. corporations including JP Morgan Chase, IBM and General Motors. To be fair, the "revolving door" between government and industry has been perpetuated by many of Trump's predecessors, with Trump poised to continue the tradition. But this is not to say that neoliberalism will continue going in a "business as usual" fashion. The world is about to get much more dangerous, and this has serious implications for patterns of global trade and investment.Trump's Election Does Mean the End of Globalism
The nationalism, xenophobia, isolationism, and paranoia of Donald Trump are about to replace the significantly more cosmopolitan outlook of his post-WWII predecessors. While Trump is decidedly pro-business and pro-market, he most certainly does not see himself as a global citizen. Nor does he intend to maintain the United States' extensive global footprint or its relatively open trading network. In other words, while neoliberalism is not dead, it is being transformed into a geographically more fragmented and localized system (this is not only about the US election, but also about rising levels of global protectionism and Brexit, among other anti-globalization trends around the world). I expect that the geographic extent of the US economy in the coming years will coincide with the new landscape of U.S. allies and enemies, as defined by Donald Trump and his administration.
Trump's Contract with the American Voter outlines several policies that will make it more expensive and riskier to do business abroad. All of these need not occur; I think that even one or two of these changes will be sufficient to alter expectations in business communities about the benefits of certain cross-border economic relationships. Pulling the United States out of the TPP, along with threats to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement and attempts to renegotiate NAFTA, is already signaling to other countries that we are not interested in international cooperation and collaboration. A crackdown on foreign trading abuses will prompt retaliation. Labelling China a currency manipulator will sour relations between the two countries and prompt retaliation by China. As Trump goes forward with his anti-immigration and anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies, he will alienate the United States' traditional allies in Europe (at least until Europe elects its own nationalist and xenophobic leaders) and communities across the Global South. The U.S. election has already undermined performance in emerging markets, and bigoted rhetoric and policy will only increase anti-American sentiment in struggling economies populated largely by people of color. Add to this the risk of conflict posed by any number of the following: his antagonizing China, allying with Russia, deploying ground troops to stop ISIS, and pulling out of the Korean DMZ, among other initiatives that seem likely to contribute to a more confrontational and violent international arena. All of this is to say that Trump will not have to intervene directly in the affairs of business in order to nationalize it. The new global landscape of conflict and risk, combined with elevated domestic spending on infrastructure and security, will bring U.S. business and investment back home nonetheless.National Neoliberalism and State-Market Relations
Fascist states are corporatist in nature, a state of affairs marked by a fusion of state and business functions and interests, with an often significant role for labor interests as well. In the fascist states on the European continent in the 1930s and 1940s -- systems that fall under the umbrella of "national socialism" -- the overwhelming power of the state characterized this tripartite relationship. Political theorist Sheldon Wolin writes in Democracy, Inc. in regard to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy (as well as Stalinist Russia), "The state was conceived as the main center of power, providing the leverage necessary for the mobilization and reconstruction of society".
By contrast, in Trump's America -- where an emergent "national neoliberalism" may be gradually guiding us to a more overt and obvious totalitarian politics -- we can expect a similar fusion of state and market interests, but one in which the marketplace and big business have almost total power and freedom of movement (I think that labor will do poorly in this configuration). State and market in the U.S. will fuse further together in the coming years, leading some to make close parallels with European fascism. But it will do so not because of heavy handed government dictates and interventions, but rather because domestic privatization initiatives, appointments of businessmen to government posts, fiscal stimulus and the business community's need for protection abroad will bring them closer. Corporate interests will merge with state interests not because corporations are commanded to, but rather because the landscape of risk and reward will shift and redirect investment patterns to a similar effect. This may be where a budding U.S. totalitarianism differs most starkly from its European cousins.
Of course it helps that much of the fusion of state and market in the United States is already complete, what with decades of revolving doors and privatization initiatives spanning the military, police, prison, healthcare and educational sectors, among others. It will not take much to further cement the relationship. © 2018 Dollars & Sense
Sasha Breger Bush is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Colorado–Denver and author of Derivatives and Development: A Political Economy of Global Finance, Farming, and Poverty (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
Jun 10, 2018 | www.dollarsandsense.org
This article is from Dollars & Sense : Real World Economics, available at http://www.dollarsandsense.org
Last winter, in the wake of the 2016 Presidential election, I wrote an article for Dollars & Sense in which I argued that Trump's election represented a transition toward "national neoliberalism" in the United States ("Trump and National Neoliberalism: Trump's ascendance means the end of globalism -- but not of neoliberalism," January/February 2017).
I argued that this emergent state of affairs would be marked by a completion of the takeover of the U.S. government by corporate interests. I saw the election of Trump -- a top one-percenter and real estate tycoon firmly rooted in the culture and logic of big business, who has somehow convinced many Americans that he is an anti-establishment "outsider" -- as an "unmasking" of the corporate state, a revelation of the ongoing merger between state and market that has arguably been ongoing since the 1970s. In short, I envisioned a movement away from "global neoliberalism," a state of affairs characterized by the increasing preeminence of transnational corporate capital in a relatively open global political-economic system, and towards "national neoliberalism," a state of affairs in which transnational corporate dominance is cemented in the context of an ever more fragmented and dangerous global system.
About ten years ago, political theorist Sheldon Wolin published Democracy Incorporated , diagnosing American democracy with a potentially fatal corporate disease. Referring to the specter of "inverted totalitarianism," Wolin writes in his preface:
Primarily it represents the political coming of age of corporate power and the political demobilization of the citizenry. Unlike the classic forms of totalitarianism [e.g. Germany, Italy], which openly boasted of their intentions to force their societies into preconceived totality, inverted totalitarianism is not expressly conceptualized as an ideology or objectified in public policy. Typically it is furthered by power-holders and citizens who often seem unaware of the deeper consequences of their actions or inactions. There is a certain heedlessness, an inability to take seriously the extent to which a pattern of consequences may take shape without having been preconceived. Wolin paints a picture of a gradual process of change in which many different actors, some wealthy and powerful and others not, unwittingly push the country's politics, bit by bit in piecemeal fashion, towards an undemocratic, corporate-controlled end. Many of these actors may have good intentions. Many of them may see themselves as champions of the people. Many of them may actually speak out against the very interests that they in other ways empower.
This framework for thinking about the plight of the United States, which has for me been legitimated over and over again during Trump's first year in office, conditions how I think about President Trump and the Republican Party, and how I think about our opportunities for nonviolent social transformation, freedom, and social justice. It's hard not to point to President Trump and blame him for our problems. He is a bigot who has struck out at immigrants, Muslims, Arabs, African-Americans, Mexicans, women, LGBT people, and disabled people. He lacks the basic knowledge of politics and foreign policy that are a necessary condition for competent leadership. He picked up a congratulatory call from the President of Taiwan in December 2016, disrupting relations with China, and called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un "short" and "fat." He is a paranoid and narcissistic demagogue who has scorned and marginalized journalists, and made the terms "fake news" and "alternative facts" household words. He is a corrupt businessman who is using the levers of power that he controls to enrich Big Business, as well as his cronies, his friends, and himself. I could go on.
It's also hard not to point to Republicans in Congress. After the election, there was hope that the "never Trump" Republicans would win out and that Trump's agenda would be blocked. This has not happened. While some in Congress, like Senators McCain (R-Ariz.), Corker (R-Tenn.), Collins (R-Maine), Flake (R-Ariz.) and Murkowski (R-Alaska) have defied Trump in certain contexts (e.g. on foreign policy), on many issues congressional Republicans have simply fallen in line (e.g. with tax reform). Today, the Republican Party is often discussed by liberals in the same breath as Trump, with everyone hoping for good news in 2018 and 2020.
But if we take seriously the idea that Trump is a consequence of the disintegration of American democracy rather than the cause of it, this "blame game" becomes especially problematic. Partisan bickering, with one party constantly pointing to the other as responsible for the country's ills, covers up the fact that Democrats and Republicans alike have presided over the consolidation of corporate power in the United States. To paraphrase Ralph Nader, the U.S. corporate state is a two-headed beast. Sure, President Trump and the Republican Party are currently handing over public lands to oil and gas companies, eliminating net neutrality, introducing pro-corporate tax legislation, kowtowing to the military industrial complex, defunding the welfare state, and attempting to privatize education and deregulate finance. But let's not forget our recent Democratic presidents, for example, who are also guilty of empowering and enriching big business and disempowering and impoverishing ordinary Americans.
President Obama presided over the modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, a process that President Trump is continuing. As William Hartung recently reported in Mother Jones , "There is, in fact, a dirty little secret behind the massive U.S. arsenal: It has more to do with the power and profits of weapons makers than it does with any imaginable strategic considerations." President Obama also helped corporations get richer and more powerful in other ways. He negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade deal that, if Trump had not withdrawn us, would have expanded U.S. corporate access to overseas markets and given multinational corporates new policy leverage over governments (via investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms). (See Robin Brand, "Remembering the 'Tokyo No'," Dollars & Sense , January/February 2015.) In 2012, as he was running for his second term, Obama proposed a reduction in the corporate tax rate to 28%, not much different from the bill just passed by Congress. He also lobbied Congress for the $700 billion Wall Street bailouts after the Great Recession, continuing on the policy path set by his Republican predecessor, President Bush. (Obama received huge campaign contributions from finance, insurance, and real estate.) In terms of income inequality, CNBC had to reluctantly conclude that the gap widened under Obama, in spite of all his powerful rhetoric about equity and equality.
President Clinton negotiated and signed NAFTA into law, a trade agreement that created hardship for millions of American manufacturing workers and farmers, and generated large profits for multinational industrial and agricultural corporations. Clinton also pushed for welfare reform, signing into law a "workfare" system that required recipients to meet strict job and employment related conditions. Millions of people became ineligible for payments under the new system, and poverty increased especially among households in which members were long-term unemployed. Clinton's 1997 tax proposal advocated cutting estate taxes and capital gains taxes, and did not favor lower-income Americans. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted, "Analyses by the Treasury Department indicate that when fully in effect, the Clinton plan would give the 20 percent of Americans with the highest incomes about the same amount in tax cuts as the bottom 60 percent combined. This is an unusual characteristic for a tax plan proposed by a Democratic President."
All of this is to say that I'm considerably less excited about 2018 and 2020 than many others -- on what counts as the U.S. left -- appear to be. Democratic Party victories at the ballot box would certainly reduce some of the pressures on a variety of marginalized groups who are suffering mightily under President Trump. This is, of course, a good thing. But, Democratic victories will not "fix" the structural problems that underpin our current political crisis nor will they ensure a freer and more just future.
I plan to support third-party candidates at the ballot box in coming years, in the hopes of contributing to the creation of a new kind of political infrastructure that can help us to unmake the corporate state.
SASHA BREGER-BUSH is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Colorado–Denver.
Jun 09, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny . It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity -- including two "alumni" who were former National Security Agency technical directors -- have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the "emails related to Hillary Clinton" via a "hack" by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device -- probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.
On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the "conclusions" of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were "inconclusive." Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA "Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections" of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement. That did not prevent the "handpicked" authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing "high confidence" that Russian intelligence "relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks." Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.
Never mind. The FBI/CIA/NSA "assessment" became bible truth for partisans like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who was among the first off the blocks to blame Russia for interfering to help Trump. It simply could not have been that Hillary Clinton was quite capable of snatching defeat out of victory all by herself. No, it had to have been the Russians.
Five days into the Trump presidency, I had a chance to challenge Schiff personally on the gaping disconnect between the Russians and WikiLeaks. Schiff still "can't share the evidence" with me or with anyone else, because it does not exist.
It was on June 12, 2016, just six weeks before the Democratic National Convention, that Assange announced the pending publication of "emails related to Hillary Clinton," throwing the Clinton campaign into panic mode, since the emails would document strong bias in favor of Clinton and successful attempts to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders. When the emails were published on July 22, just three days before the convention began, the campaign decided to create what I call a Magnificent Diversion, drawing attention away from the substance of the emails by blaming Russia for their release.
Clinton's PR chief Jennifer Palmieri later admitted that she golf-carted around to various media outlets at the convention with instructions "to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton." The diversion worked like a charm. Mainstream media kept shouting "The Russians did it," and gave little, if any, play to the DNC skullduggery revealed in the emails themselves. And like Brer' Fox, Bernie didn't say nothin'.
Meanwhile, highly sophisticated technical experts, were hard at work fabricating "forensic facts" to "prove" the Russians did it. Here's how it played out:
June 12, 2016: Assange announces that WikiLeaks is about to publish "emails related to Hillary Clinton."
June 14, 2016: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.
June 15, 2016: "Guccifer 2.0" affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the "hack;" claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."
The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack.
Enter Independent Investigators
A year ago independent cyber-investigators completed the kind of forensic work that, for reasons best known to then-FBI Director James Comey, neither he nor the "handpicked analysts" who wrote the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment bothered to do. The independent investigators found verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of an alleged Russian hack of July 5, 2016 showing that the "hack" that day of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else.
Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider -- the same process used by the DNC insider/leaker before June 12, 2016 for an altogether different purpose. (Once the metadata was found and the "fluid dynamics" principle of physics applied, this was not difficult to disprove the validity of the claim that Russia was responsible.)
One of these independent investigators publishing under the name of The Forensicator on May 31 published new evidence that the Guccifer 2.0 persona uploaded a document from the West Coast of the United States, and not from Russia.
In our July 24, 2017 Memorandum to President Donald Trump we stated , "We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI."
Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, the disclosure described below may be related. Even if it is not, it is something we think you should be made aware of in this general connection. On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began to publish a trove of original CIA documents that WikiLeaks labeled 'Vault 7.' WikiLeaks said it got the trove from a current or former CIA contractor and described it as comparable in scale and significance to the information Edward Snowden gave to reporters in 2013.
"No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.]
"Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the "Marble Framework" program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since .
"The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima, it seems, 'did not get the memo' in time. Her March 31 article bore the catching (and accurate) headline: 'WikiLeaks' latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.'
"The WikiLeaks release indicated that Marble was designed for flexible and easy-to-use 'obfuscation,' and that Marble source code includes a "de-obfuscator" to reverse CIA text obfuscation.
"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."
A few weeks later William Binney, a former NSA technical, and I commented on Vault 7 Marble, and were able to get a shortened op-ed version published in The Baltimore Sun
The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates "demons," and insisting; "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia."Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ]
We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today's technology enables hacking to be 'masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin' [of the hack] And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.
"'Hackers may be anywhere,' he said. 'There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? I can.'
New attention has been drawn to these issues after I discussed them in a widely published 16-minute interview last Friday.
In view of the highly politicized environment surrounding these issues, I believe I must append here the same notice that VIPS felt compelled to add to our key Memorandum of July 24, 2017:
"Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.
"We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental." The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.
Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer before serving as a CIA analyst for 27 years. His duties included preparing, and briefing one-on-one, the President's Daily Brief.
ThomasGilroy , June 9, 2018 at 9:44 amanon , June 9, 2018 at 11:28 am
"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report, Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."
Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the "rebels" by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to "his" people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn't reveal he was the "real" source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers.
The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. It must be the Gulf of Tonkin all over again. While Crowdstrike might have a "dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest", their results were also confirmed by several other cyber-security firms (Wikipedia):
cybersecurity experts and firms, including CrowdStrike, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Mandiant, SecureWorks, ThreatConnect, and the editor for Ars Technica, have rejected the claims of "Guccifer 2.0" and have determined, on the basis of substantial evidence, that the cyberattacks were committed by two Russian state-sponsored groups (Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear).
Then there was Papadopoulas who coincidentally was given the information that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. Obviously, they were illegally obtained (unless this was another CIA false flag operation). This was before the release of the emails by WikiLeaks. This was followed by the Trump Tower meeting with Russians with connections to the Russian government and the release of the emails by WikiLeaks shortly thereafter. Additionally, Russia had the motive to defeat HRC and elect Trump. Yesterday, Trump pushed for the reinstatement of Russia at the G-7 summit. What a shock! All known evidence and motive points the finger directly at Russia.
Calling everything a false flag operation is really the easy way out, but ultimately, it lets the responsible culprits off of the hook.CitizenOne , June 8, 2018 at 11:40 pm
I don't seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don't like is merely "tossed out" propaganda. One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not. No evidence that the Syria CW attacks "had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply."susan sunflower , June 8, 2018 at 7:52 pm
There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths.
In pre computer technology days there were also many false flags which were set up to create real world scenarios which suited the geopolitical agenda. Even today, there are many examples of tactical false flag operations either organized and orchestrated or utilized by the intelligence agencies to create the narrative which supports geopolitical objectives.
The US loaded munitions in broad daylight visible to German spies onto the passenger ship Lusitania despite German warnings that they would torpedo any vessels suspected of carrying munitions. The Lusitania then proceeded to loiter unaccompanied by escorts in an area off the Ireland coast treading over the same waters until it was spotted by a German U-Boat and was torpedoed. This was not exactly a false flag since the German U-Boat pulled the trigger but it was required to gain public support for the entrance of the US into WWI. It worked.
There is evidence that the US was deliberately caught "off guard" in the Pearl Harbor Attack. Numerous coded communication intercepts were made but somehow the advanced warning radar on the island of Hawaii was mysteriously turned off in the hours before and during the Japanese attack which guaranteed that the attack would be successful and also guaranteed that our population would instantly sign on to the war against Japan. It worked.
There is evidence that the US deliberately ignored the intelligence reports that UBL was planning to conduct an attack on the US using planes as bombs. The terrorists who carried out the attacks on the twin towers were "allowed" to conduct them. The result was the war in Iraq which was sold based on a pack of lies about WMDs and which we used to go to war with Iraq.
The Tonkin Gulf incident which historians doubt actually happened or believe if it did was greatly exaggerated by intelligence and military sources was used to justify the war in Vietnam.
The Spanish American War was ginned up by William Randolph Hearst and his yellow journalism empire to justify attacking Cuba, Panama and the Philippines. The facts revealed by forensic analysis of the exploded USS Maine have shown that the cataclysm was caused by a boiler explosion not an enemy mine. At the time this was also widely believed to not be caused by a Spanish mine in the harbor but the news sold the story of Spanish treachery and war was waged.
In each case of physical false flags created on purpose, or allowed to happen or just made up by fictions based on useful information that could be manipulated and distorted the US was led to war. Some of these wars were just wars and others were wars of choice but in every case a false flag was needed to bring the nation into a state where we believed we were under attack and under the circumstances flocked to war. I will not be the judge of history or justice here since each of these events had both negative and positive consequences for our nation. What I will state is that it is obvious that the willingness to allow or create or just capitalize on the events which have led to war are an essential ingredient. Without a publicly perceived and publicly supported cause for war there can be no widespread support for war. I can also say our leaders have always known this.
Enter the age of technology and the computer age with the electronic contraptions which enable global communication and commerce.
Is it such a stretch to imagine that the governments desire to shape world events based on military actions would result in a plan to use these modern technologies to once again create in our minds a cyber scenario in which we are once again as a result of the "cyber" false flag prepared for us to go to war? Would it be too much of a stretch to imagine that the government would use the new electronic frontier just as it used the old physical world events to justify military action?
Again, I will not go on to condemn any action by our military but will focus on how did we get there and how did we arrive at a place where a majority favored war.
Whether created by physical or cyberspace methods we can conclude that such false flags will happen for better or worse in any medium available.Gary Weglarz , June 8, 2018 at 11:08 am
I'd like "evidence" and I'd also like "context" since apparently international electoral "highjinks" and monkey-wrenching and rat-f*cking have a long tradition and history (before anyone draws a weapon, kills a candidate or sicc's death squads on the citizenry.
The DNC e-mail publication "theft" I suspect represents very small small potatoes for so many reasons As Dixon at Black Agenda Report put it . Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are "linked" to alleged "Russian funding"on one and and Soros funding on another
(FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich "liberals" can quietly fund marches on Washington and "grassroots" networking making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 "free" signs or t-shirts -- impecccably designed and printed.Skip Scott , June 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm
Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden.Realist , June 9, 2018 at 1:36 am
I can't think of any single piece of evidence that our MSM is under the very strict control of our so-called intelligence agencies than how fast and completely the Vault 7 releases got flushed down the memory hole. "Nothing to see here folks, move along."Skip Scott , June 9, 2018 at 7:05 am
http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/dems-put-finishing-touches-on-one-party-surveillance-superstate/willow , June 8, 2018 at 9:24 pm
I don't think anyone can predict whether or not Sanders would have won as a 3rd party candidate. He ran a remarkable campaign, but when he caved to the Clinton machine he lost a lot of supporters, including me. If he had stood up at the convention and talked of the DNC skullduggery exposed by Wikileaks, and said "either I run as a democrat, or I run as a Green, but I'm running", he would have at least gotten 15 pct to make the TV debates, and who knows what could have happened after that. 40 pct of registered voters didn't vote. That alone tells you it is possible he might have won.
Instead he expected us to follow him like he was the f'ing Pied Piper to elect another Wall St. loving warmonger. That's why he gets no "pass" from me. He (and the Queen of Chaos) gave us Trump. BTW, Obama doesn't get a "pass" either.Vivian O'Blivion , June 8, 2018 at 8:22 am
It's all about the money. A big motive for the DNC to conjure up Russia-gate was to keep donors from abandoning any future
Good Ship Hillary or other Blue Dog Democrat campaigns: "Our brand/platform wasn't flawed. It was the Rooskies."Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:28 pm
An earlier time line.
March 14th. Popadopoulos has first encounter with Mifsud.
April 26th. Mifsud tells Popadopoulos that Russians have "dirt" on Clinton, including "thousands of e-mails".
May 4th. Trump last man standing in Republican primary.
May 10th. Popadopoulos gets drunk with London based Australian diplomat and talks about "dirt" but not specifically e-mails.
June 9th. Don. Jr meets in Trump tower with Russians promising "dirt" but not specifically in form of e-mails.
It all comes down to who Mifsud is, who he is working for and why he has been "off grid" to journalists (but not presumably Intelligence services) for > 6 months.
On March 14th Popadopoulos knew he was transferring from team Carson to team Trump but this was not announced to the (presumably underwhelmed) world 'till March 21st. Whoever put Mifsud onto Popadopoulos was very quick on their feet.
The Australian diplomat broke chain of command by reporting the drunken conversation to the State Department as opposed to his domestic Intelligence service. If Mifsud was a western asset, Australian Intelligence would likely be aware of his status.
If Mifsud was a Russian asset why would demonstrably genuine Russians be trying to dish up the dirt on Clinton in June?
There are missing pieces to this jigsaw puzzle but it's starting to look like a deep state operation to dirty Trump in the unlikely event that he went on to win.Wcb , June 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm
Ms. Clinton was personally trying to tar Trump with allusions to "Russia" and being "Putin's puppet" long before he won the presidency, in fact, quite conspicuously during the two conventions and most pointedly during the debates. She was willing to use that ruse long before her defeat at the ballot box. It was the straw that she clung to and was willing to use as a pretext for overturning the election after the unthinkable happened. But, you are right, smearing Trump through association with Russia was part of her long game going back to the early primaries, especially since her forces (both in politics and in the media) were trying mightily to get him the nomination under the assumption that he would be the easiest (more like the only) Republican candidate that she could defeat come November.Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:33 am
Steven Halper?MLS , June 7, 2018 at 9:59 pm
I might add to this informative article that the reason why Julian Assange has been ostracized and isolated from any public appearance, denied a cell phone, internet and visitors is that he tells the truth, and TPTB don't want him to say yet again that the emails were leaked from the DNC. I've heard him say it several times. H. Clinton was so shocked and angry that she didn't become president as she so confidently expected that her, almost knee-jerk, reaction was to find a reason that was outside of herself on which to blame her defeat. It's always surprised me that no one talks about what was in those emails which covered her plans for Iran and Russia (disgusting).
Trump is a sociopath, but the Russians had nothing to do with him becoming elected. I was please to read here that he or perhaps just Pompeo? met with Binney. That's a good thing, though Pompeo, too, is unstable and war hungry to follow Israel into bombing yet another innocent sovereign country. Thank, Mr. McGovern for another excellent coverage of this story.strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:14 am
"no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team"
Do tell, Ray: How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:48 am
MLS: Thank you! No one stands up for what is right any more. We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen. And just last week the Republicans Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel and Trey Gowdy (who I detest) said the FBI and CIA and NSA were just doing there jobs the way ALL AMERICANS woudl want them to. And even Adam Schiff, do you think he will tell any reporter what evidence he does have? #1 It is probably classified and #2 he is probably saving it for the inpeachment. We did not find out about the Nixon missing 18 minutes until the end anyways. All of these articles sound like the writer just copied Sean Hannity and wrote everything down he said, and yesterday he told all suspects in the Mueller investigation to Smash and Bleach there mobile devices, witch is OBSTRUCTION of justice and witness TAMPERING. A great American there!John , June 8, 2018 at 5:48 am
Sean Hannity??? Ha, ha, ha.
As Mr. McGoven wrote .."any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."incontinent reader , June 8, 2018 at 7:14 am
Sorry I had to come back and point out the ultimate irony of ANYONE who supports the Butcher of Libya complaining about having an election stolen from them (after the blatant rigging of the primary that caused her to take the nomination away from the ONE PERSON who was polling ahead of Trump beyond the margin of error of the polls.)
It is people like you who gave us Trump. The Pied Piper Candidate promoted by the DNC machine (as the emails that were LEAKED, not "hacked", as the metadata proves conclusively, show.)Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:12 pm
What is this baloney? Seventeen Intelligence agencies DID NOT conclude what you are alleging, And in fact, Brennan and his cabal avoided using a National intelligence Estimate, which would have shot down his cherry-picked 'assessment' before it got off the ground – and it would have been published for all to read.
The NSA has everything on everybody, yet has never released anything remotely indicating Russian collusion. Do you think the NSA Director, who, as you may recall, did not give a strong endorsement to the Brennan-Comey assessment, would have held back from the Congress such information, if it had existed, when he was questioned? Furthermore, former technical directors of the NSA, Binney, Wiebe and Loomis- the very best of the best- have proven through forensics that the Wikileaks disclosures were not obtained by hacking the DNC computers, but by a leak, most likely to a thumb drive on the East Coast of the U.S. How many times does it have to be laid out for you before you are willing and able to absorb the facts?
As for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, (and Trey Gowdy, who was quite skilled on the Benghazi and the Clinton private email server investigations- investigations during which Schiff ran interference for Clinton- but has seemed unwilling to digest the Strozk, Page, McCabe, et al emails and demand a Bureau housecleaning), who cares what they think or say, what matters is the evidence.
I suggest you familiarize yourself with the facts- and start by rereading Ray's articles, and the piece by Joe diGenova posted on Ray's website.Farmer Pete , June 8, 2018 at 7:30 am
The guy's got Schiff for brains. Everyone who cares about the truth has known since before Mueller started his charade that the "17 intelligence agency" claim was entirely a ruse, bald-faced confected propaganda to anger the public to support the coup attempted by Ms. Clinton and her zombie followers. People are NOT going to support the Democratic party now or in the future when its tactics include subverting our public institutions, including the electoral process under the constitution–whether you like the results or not! If the Democratic party is to be saved, those honest people still in it should endeavor to drain the septic tank that has become their party before we can all drain the swamp that is the federal government and its ex-officio manipulators (otherwise known as the "deep state") in Washington.strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm
"We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen."
You opened up with a talking point that is factually incorrect. The team of hand-picked spooks that slapped the "high confidence" report together came from 3 agencies. I know, 17 sounds like a lot and very convincing to us peasants. Regardless, it's important to practice a few ounces of skepticism when it comes to institutions with a long rap sheet of crime and deception. Taking their word for it as a substitute for actual observable evidence is naive to say the least. The rest of your hollow argument is filled with "probably(s)". If I were you, I'd turn off my TV and stop looking for scapegoats for an epically horrible presidential campaign and candidate.irina , June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm
/horrible presidential campaign and candidate/ Say you. But we all went to sleep comfortable the night before the election where 97% of all poles said Clinton was going to be are next President. And that did not happen! So Robert Mueller is going to find out EXACTLY why. Stay tuned!!!Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm
Not 'all'. I knew she was toast after reading that she had cancelled her election night fireworks
celebration, early on the morning of Election Day. She must have known it also, too.
And she was toast in my mind after seeing the ridiculous scene of her virtual image
'breaking the glass ceiling' during the Democratic Convention. So expensively stupid.Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:57 pm
Mueller is simply orchestrating a dramatic charade to distract you from the obvious reason why she lost: Trump garnered more electoral votes, even after the popular votes were counted and recounted. Any evidence of ballot box stuffing in the key states pointed to the Democrats, so they gave that up. She and her supporters like you have never stopped trying to hoodwink the public either before or after the election. Too many voters were on to you, that's why she lost.Curious , June 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm
Indeed, stop the nonsense which can't be changed short of a coup d'etat, and start focusing on opposing the bad policy which this administration has been pursuing. I don't see the Dems doing that even in their incipient campaigns leading up to the November elections. Fact is, they are not inclined to change the policies, which are the same ones that got them "shellacked" at the ballot box in 2016. (I think Obama must own lots of stock in the shellack trade.)Daniel , June 8, 2018 at 6:38 pm
Ignorance of th facts keep showing up in your posts for some unknown reason. Sentence two: "we have 17 intelligency (sic) agencies that say ". this statement was debunked a long time ago.
Have you learned nothing yet regarding the hand-picked people out of three agencies after all this time? Given that set of lies it makes your post impossible to read.
I would suggest a review of what really happened before you perpetuate more myths and this will benefit all.
Also, a good reading of the Snowden Docs and vault 7 should scare you out of your shell since our "intelligeny" community can pretend to be Chinese, Russian, Iranian just for starters, and the blame game can start after hours instead of the needed weeks and/or months to determine the veracity of a hack and/or leak.
It's past trying to win you over with the actual 'time lines' and truths. Mr McGovern has re-emphasized in this article the very things you should be reading.
Start with Mr Binney and his technical evaluation of the forensics in the DNC docs and build out from there This is just a suggestion.
What never ceases to amaze me in your posts is the 'issue' that many of the docs were bought and paid for by the Clinton team, and yet amnesia has taken over those aspects as well. Shouldn't you start with the Clintons paying for this dirt before it was ever attributed to Trump?Joe Lauria , June 8, 2018 at 2:12 am
Actually, both Brennan and Hayden testified to Congress that only 3 agencies signed off on their claim. They also said that they'd "hand picked" a special team to run their "investigation," and no other people were involved. So, people known to be perjurers cherry picked "evidence" to make a claim. Let's invade Iraq again.
More than 1/2 of their report was about RT, and even though that was all easily viewable public record, they got huge claims wrong. Basically, the best they had was that RT covered Occupy Wall Street and the NO DAPL and BLM protests, and horror of horrors, aired third party debates! In a democracy! How dare they?
Why didn't FBI subpoena DNC's servers so they could run their own forensics on them? Why did they just accept the claims of a private company founded by an Atlantic Council board member? Did you know that CrowdStrike had to backpedal on the exact same claim they made about the DNC server when Ukraine showed they were completely wrong regarding Ukie artillery?Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm
Until he went incommunicado Assange stated on several occasions that he was never questioned by Muellers team. Craig Murray has said the same. And Kim Dotcom has written to Mueller offering evidence about the source and he says they have never replied to him.Miranda Keefe , June 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm
Mueller is not interested in the truth. He can't handle the truth. His purpose is not to divulge the truth. He has no use for truthtellers including the critical possessors of the truth whom you mentioned. This aversion to the truth is the biggest clue that Mueller's activities are a complete sham.F. G. Sanford , June 7, 2018 at 8:22 pm
MLS wrote, "How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?"
Robert Mueller is NOT a Special Prosecutor appointed by the Congress. He is a special counsel appointed by the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, and is part of the Department of Justice.
I know no one who dislikes Trumps wants to hear it. But all Mueller's authority and power to act is derived from Donald J. Trump's executive authority because he won the 2016 presidential election. Mueller is down the chain of command in the Executive Department.
That's why this is all nonsense. What we basically have is Trump investigating himself. The framers of the Constitution never intended this. They intended Congress to investigate the Executive and that's why they gave Congress the power to remove him or her via impeachment.
As long as we continue with this folly of expecting the Justice Department to somehow investigate and prosecute a president we end up with two terrible possibilities. Either a corrupt president will exercise his legitimate authority to end the investigation like Nixon did -or- we have a Deep State beyond the reach of the elected president that can effectively investigate and prosecute a corrupt president, but also then has other powers with no democratic control.
The solution to this dilemma? An empowered Congress elected by the People operating as the Constitution intended.
As to the rest of your post? It is an example of the "will to believe." Me? I'll not act as if there is evidence of Russian interference until I'm shown evidence, not act as if it must be true, because I want to believe that, until it's fully proven that it didn't happen.Ray McGovern , June 8, 2018 at 1:03 am
There must be some Trump-Russia ties.
Or so claim those CIA spies-
McCabe wants a deal, or else he won't squeal,
He'll dissemble when he testifies!
No one knows what's on Huma's computer.
There's no jury and no prosecutor.
Poor Adam Schiff hopes McCabe takes the fifth,
Special council might someday recruit her!
Assange is still embassy bound.
Mueller's case hasn't quite come unwound.
Wayne Madsen implies that there might be some ties,
To Israelis they haven't yet found!
Halper and Mifsud are players.
John Brennan used cutouts in layers.
If the scheme falls apart and the bureau is smart,
They'll go after them all as betrayers!
They needed historical fiction.
A dossier with salacious depiction!
Some urinous whores could get down on all fours,
They'd accomplish some bed sheet emiction!
Pablo Miller and Skripal were cited.
Sidney Blumenthal might have been slighted.
Christopher Steele offered Sidney a deal,
But the dossier's not copyrighted!
That story about Novichok,
Smells a lot like a very large crock.
But they can't be deposed or the story disclosed,
The Skripals have toxic brain block!
Papadopolis shot off his yap.
He told Downer, that affable chap-
There was dirt to report on the Clinton cohort,
Mifsud hooked him with that honey trap!
She was blond and a bombshell to boot.
Papadopolis thought she was cute.
She worked for Mifsud, a mysterious dude,
Now poor Paps is in grave disrepute!
But the trick was to tie it to Russians.
The Clinton team had some discussions.
Their big email scandal was easy to handle,
They'd blame Vlad for the bad repercussions!
There must have been Russian collusion.
That explained all the vote count confusion.
Guccifer Two made the Trump team come through,
If he won, it was just an illusion!
Lisa Page and Pete Strzok were disgusted
They schemed and they plotted and lusted.
If bald-headed Clapper appealed to Jake Tapper,
Brennan's Tweets might get Donald Trump busted!
There had to be cyber subversion.
It would serve as the perfect perversion.
They would claim it was missed if it didn't exist,
It's a logically perfect diversion!Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:41 am
BRAVO, F.G. and thanks.
RayKiwiAntz , June 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm
F.G., you've done it again, and I might add, topped even yourself! Thanks.Sam F , June 7, 2018 at 7:11 pm
What a joke, America, the most dishonest Country on Earth, has meddled, murdered & committed coups to overturn other Govts & interfered & continues to do so in just about every Country on Earth by using Trade sanctions, arming Terrorists & illegal invasions, has the barefaced cheek to puff out its chest & hypocritcally blame Russia for something that it does on a daily basis?? And the point with Mueller's investigation is not to find any Russian collusion evidence, who needs evidence when you can just make it up? The point is provide the US with a list of unfounded lies & excuses, FIRSTLY to slander & demonise RUSSIA for something they clearly didn't do! SECONDLY, was to provide a excuse for the Democrats dismal election loss result to the DONALD & his Trump Party which just happens to contain some Republicans? THIRDLY, to conduct a soft Coup by trying to get Trump impeached on "TRUMPED UP CHARGES OF RUSSIAN COLLUSION"? And FOURTLY to divert attention away from scrutiny & cover up Obama & Hillary Clinton's illegal, money grubbing activities & her treasonous behaviour with her private email server?? After two years of Russiagate nonsense with NOTHING to show for it, I think it's about time America owes Russia a public apology & compensation for its blatant lying & slander of a innocent Country for a crime they never committed?Antiwar7 , June 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm
Thanks, Ray, for revealing that the CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate is the likely cause of the Russiagate scams.
I am sure that they manipulate the digital voting machines directly and indirectly. True elections are now impossible.
Your disclaimer is hilarious: "We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."mike k , June 7, 2018 at 5:55 pm
Expecting the evil people running the show to respond to reason is futile, of course. All of these reports are really addressed to the peanut gallery, where true power lies, if only they could realize it.
Thanks, Ray and VIPS, for keeping up the good fight.John , June 8, 2018 at 5:42 am
For whatever reason, Ray McGovern chose not to mention the murder of Seth Rich, which pretty clearly points to the real source of the leak being him, as hinted by Assange offering a reward for anyone uncovering his killer. The whole thing stinks of a democratic conspiracy.
And BTW people have become shy about using the word conspiracy, for fear it will automatically brand one as a hoaxer. On the contrary, conspiracies are extremely common, the higher one climbs in the power hierarchy. Like monopolies, conspiracies are central to the way the oligarchs do business.Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 10:44 am
Ray, from what I have seen in following his writing for years, meticulously only deals in knowns. The Seth Rich issue is not a known, it is speculation still. Yes, it probably is involved, but unless Craig Murray states that Seth Rich was the one who handed him the USB drive, it is not a known.
There is a possibility that Seth Rich was not the one who leaked the information, but that the DNC bigwigs THOUGHT he was, in which case, by neither confirming nor denying that Seth Rich was the leaker, it may be that letting the DNC continue to think it was him is being done in protection of the actual leaker. Seth Rich could also have been killed for unrelated reasons, perhaps Imran Awan thought he was on to his doings.Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 10:47 am
Don't forget this Twitter post by Wikileaks on October 30, 2016: Podesta: "I'm definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it." https://www.wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/36082#efmAGSAH-Drew Hunkins , June 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm
" whether or not"?!! Wow. That's an imperialistic statement.jose , June 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm
Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians. Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump. Which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. Sure be interesting to see how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face?
So sickening to see the manner in which many DNC sycophants obsequiously genuflect to their godlike Mueller. A damn prosecutor who was arguably in bed with the Winter Hill Gang!Jeff , June 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm
If they had had any evidence to inculpate Russia, we would have all seen it by now. They know that by stating that there is an investigation going on: they can blame Russia. The Democratic National Committee is integrated by a pack of liars.john wilson , June 7, 2018 at 4:09 pm
Thanx, Ray. The sad news is that everybody now believes that Russia tried to "meddle" in our election and, since it's a belief, neither facts nor reality will dislodge it. Your disclaimer should also probably carry the warning – never believe a word a government official says especially if they are in the CIA, NSA, or FBI unless they provide proof. If they tell you that it's classified, that they can't divulge it, or anything of that sort, you know they are lying.Joe Tedesky , June 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm
I suspect the real reason no evidence has been produced is because there isn't any. I know this is stating the obvious, but if you think about it, as long as the non extent evidence is supposedly being "investigated" the story remains alive. They know they aren't going to find anything even remotely plausible that would stand up to any kind of scrutiny, but as long as they are looking, it has the appearance that there might be something.Realist , June 7, 2018 at 5:25 pm
I first want to thank Ray and the VIPS for their continuing to follow through on this Russia-Gate story. And it is a story.
My question is simple, when will we concentrate on reading Hillary's many emails? After all wasn't this the reason for the Russian interference mania? Until we do, take apart Hillary's correspondence with her lackeys, nothing will transpire of any worth. I should not be the one saying this, in as much as Bernie Sanders should be the one screaming it for justice from the highest roof tops, but he isn't. So what's up with that? Who all is involved in this scandalous coverup? What do the masters of corruption have on everybody?
Now we have Sean Hannity making a strong case against the Clinton's and the FBI's careful handling of their crimes. What seems out of place, since this should be big news, is that CNN nor MSNBC seems to be covering this story in the same way Hannity is. I mean isn't this news, meant to be reported as news? Why avoid reporting on Hillary in such a manner? This must be that 'fake news' they all talk about boy am I smart.
In the end I have decided to be merely an observer, because there are no good guys or gals in our nation's capital worth believing. In the end even Hannity's version of what took place leads back to a guilty Russia. So, the way I see it, the swamp is being drained only to make more room for more, and new swamp creatures to emerge. Talk about spinning our wheels. When will good people arrive to finally once and for all drain this freaking swamp, once and for all?Joe Tedesky , June 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm
Ha, ha! Don't you enjoy the magic show being put on by the insiders desperately trying to hang onto their power even after being voted out of office? Their attempt to distract your attention from reality whilst feeding you their false illusions is worthy of Penn & Teller, or David Copperfield (the magician). Who ya gonna believe? Them or your lying eyes?F. G. Sanford , June 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm
Realist, You can bet they will investigate everything but what needs investigated, as our Politico class devolves into survivalist in fighting, the mechanism of war goes uninterrupted. JoeSam F , June 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm
Joe, speaking of draining the swamp, check out my comment under Ray's June 1 article about Freddy Fleitz!Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 11:00 am
That is just what I was reminded of; here is an antiseptic but less emphatic last line:
"Swamp draining progresses apace.
It's being accomplished with grace:
They're taking great pains to clean out the drains,"
New swamp creatures will need all that space!
We must realize that to them, "the Swamp" refers to those in office who still abide by New Deal policy. Despite the thoroughly discredited neoliberal economic policy, the radical right are driving the world in the libertarian direction of privatization, austerity, private bank control of money creation, dismantling the nation-state, contempt for the Constitution, etc.
May 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
As the role of a well-connected group of British and U.S. intelligence agents begins to emerge, new suspicions are growing about what hand they may have had in weaving the Russia-gate story, as Daniel Lazare explains.
Special to Consortium News
With the news that a Cambridge academic-cum-spy named Stefan Halper infiltrated the Trump campaign, the role of the intelligence agencies in shaping the great Russiagate saga is at last coming into focus.
It's looking more and more massive. The intelligence agencies initiated reports that Donald Trump was colluding with Russia, they nurtured them and helped them grow, and then they spread the word to the press and key government officials. Reportedly, they even tried to use these reports to force Trump to step down prior to his inauguration. Although the corporate press accuses Trump of conspiring with Russia to stop Hillary Clinton, the reverse now seems to be the case: the Obama administration intelligence agencies worked with Clinton to block " Siberian candidate " Trump.
The template was provided by ex-MI6 Director Richard Dearlove , Halper's friend and business partner. Sitting in winged chairs in London's venerable Garrick Club, according to The Washington Post , Dearlove told fellow MI6 veteran Christopher Steele, author of the famous "golden showers" opposition research dossier, that Trump "reminded him of a predicament he had faced years earlier, when he was chief of station for British intelligence in Washington and alerted US authorities to British information that a vice presidential hopeful had once been in communication with the Kremlin."
Apparently, one word from the Brits was enough to make the candidate in question step down. When that didn't work with Trump, Dearlove and his colleagues ratcheted up the pressure to make him see the light. A major scandal was thus born – or, rather, a very questionable scandal. Besides Dearlove, Steele, and Halper, a bon-vivant known as "The Walrus" for his impressive girth , other participants include: Robert Hannigan, former director Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, UK equivalent of the NSA. Alexander Downer, top Australian diplomat. Andrew Wood, ex-British ambassador to Moscow. Joseph Mifsud, Maltese academic. James Clapper, ex-US Director of National Intelligence. John Brennan, former CIA Director (and now NBC News analyst).
A few things stand out about this august group. One is its in-bred quality. After helping to run an annual confab known as the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, Dearlove and Halper are now partners in a private venture calling itself "The Cambridge Security Initiative." Both are connected to another London-based intelligence firm known as Hakluyt & Co. Halper is also connected via two books he wrote with Hakluyt representative Jonathan Clarke and Dearlove has a close personal friendship with Hakluyt founder Mike Reynolds, yet another MI6 vet. Alexander Downer served a half-dozen years on Hakluyt's international advisory board, while Andrew Wood is linked to Steele via Orbis Business Intelligence, the private research firm that Steele helped found, and which produced the anti-Trump dossier, and where Wood now serves as an unpaid advisor .
Everyone, in short, seems to know everyone else. But another thing that stands out about this group is its incompetence. Dearlove and Halper appear to be old-school paranoids for whom every Russian is a Boris Badenov or a Natasha Fatale . In February 2014, Halper notified US intelligence that Mike Flynn, Trump's future national security adviser, had grown overly chummy with an Anglo-Russian scholar named Svetlana Lokhova whom Halper suspected of being a spy – suspicions that Lokhova convincingly argues are absurd.
Halper: Infiltrated Trump campaign
In December 2016, Halper and Dearlove both resigned from the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar because they suspected that a company footing some of the costs was tied up with Russian intelligence – suspicions that Christopher Andrew, former chairman of the Cambridge history department and the seminar's founder, regards as " absurd " as well.
As head of Britain's foreign Secret Intelligence Service, as MI6 is formally known, Dearlove played a major role in drumming up support for the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq even while confessing at a secret Downing Street meeting that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the [regime-change] policy." When the search for weapons of mass destruction turned up dry, Clapper, as then head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, argued that the Iraqi military must have smuggled them into neighboring Syria, a charge with absolutely no basis in fact but which helped pave the way for US regime-change efforts in that country too.
Brennan was meanwhile a high-level CIA official when the agency was fabricating evidence against Saddam Hussein and covering up Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11. Wood not only continues to defend the Iraqi invasion, but dismisses fears of a rising fascist tide in the Ukraine as nothing more than "a crude political insult" hurled by Vladimir Putin for his own political benefit. Such views now seem distressingly misguided in view of the alt-right torchlight parades and spiraling anti-Semitism that are now a regular feature of life in the Ukraine.
The result is a diplo-espionage gang that is very bad at the facts but very good at public manipulation – and which therefore decided to use its skill set out to create a public furor over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
It Started Late 2015
The effort began in late 2015 when GCHQ, along with intelligence agencies in Poland, Estonia, and Germany, began monitoring what they said were " suspicious 'interactions' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents."
Since Trump was surging ahead in the polls and scaring the pants off the foreign-policy establishment by calling for a rapprochement with Moscow, the agencies figured that Russia was somehow behind it. The pace accelerated in March 2016 when a 30-year-old policy consultant named George Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign as a foreign-policy adviser. Traveling in Italy a week later, he ran into Mifsud, the London-based Maltese academic, who reportedly set about cultivating him after learning of his position with Trump. Mifsud claimed to have "substantial connections with Russian government officials," according to prosecutors. Over breakfast at a London hotel, he told Papadopoulos that he had just returned from Moscow where he had learned that the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails."
This was the remark that supposedly triggered an FBI investigation. The New York Times describes Mifsud as "an enthusiastic promoter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia" and "a regular at meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, that Mr. Putin attends," which tried to suggest that he is a Kremlin agent of some sort.
But WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange later tweeted photos of Mifsud with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and a high-ranking British intelligence official named Claire Smith at a training session for Italian security agents in Rome. Since it's unlikely that British intelligence would rely on a Russian agent in such circumstances, Mifsud's intelligence ties are more likely with the UK.
After Papadopoulos caused a minor political ruckus by telling a reporter that Prime Minister David Cameron should apologize for criticizing Trump's anti-Muslim pronouncements, a friend in the Israeli embassy put him in touch with a friend in the Australian embassy, who introduced him to Downer, her boss. Over drinks, Downer advised him to be more diplomatic. After Papadopoulos then passed along Misfud's tip about Clinton's emails, Downer informed his government, which, in late July, informed the FBI.
Was Papadopoulos Set Up?
Suspicions are unavoidable but evidence is lacking. Other pieces were meanwhile clicking into place. In late May or early June 2016, Fusion GPS, a private Washington intelligence firm employed by the Democratic National Committee, hired Steele to look into the Russian angle.
On June 20, he turned in the first of eighteen memos that would eventually comprise the Steele dossier , in this instance a three-page document asserting that Putin "has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years" and that Russian intelligence possessed "kompromat" in the form of a video of prostitutes performing a "golden showers" show for his benefit at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton. A week or two later, Steele briefed the FBI on his findings. Around the same time, Robert Hannigan flew to Washington to brief CIA Director John Brennan about additional material that had come GCHQ's way, material so sensitive that it could only be handled at "director level."
One player was filling Papadopoulos's head with tales of Russian dirty tricks, another was telling the FBI, while a third was collecting more information and passing it on to the bureau as well.
Page: Took Russia's side.
On July 7, 2016 Carter Page delivered a lecture on U.S.-Russian relations in Moscow in which he complained that " Washington and other western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption, and regime change." Washington hawks expressed " unease " that someone representing the presumptive Republican nominee would take Russia's side in a growing neo-Cold War.
Stefan Halper then infiltrated the Trump campaign on behalf of the FBI as an informant in early July, weeks before the FBI launched its investigation. Halper had 36 years earlier infiltrated the Carter re-election campaign in 1980 using CIA agents to turn information over to the Reagan campaign. Now Halper began to court both Page and Papadopoulous, independently of each other.
On July 11, Page showed up at a Cambridge symposium at which Halper and Dearlove both spoke. In early September, Halper sent Papadopoulos an email offering $3,000 and a paid trip to London to write a research paper on a disputed gas field in the eastern Mediterranean, his specialty. "George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?" Halper asked when he got there, but Papadopoulos said he knew nothing. Halper also sought out Sam Clovis, Trump's national campaign co-chairman, with whom he chatted about China for an hour or so over coffee in Washington.
The rightwing Federalist website speculates that Halper was working with Steele to flesh out a Sept. 14 memo claiming that "Russians do have further 'kompromat' on CLINTON (e-mails) and [are] considering disseminating it." Clovis believes that Halper was trying "to create an audit trail back to those [Clinton] emails from someone in the campaign so they could develop a stronger case for probable cause to continue to issue warrants and to further an investigation." Reports that Halper apparently sought a permanent post in the new administration suggest that the effort was meant to continue after inauguration.
Notwithstanding Clovis's nutty rightwing politics , his description of what Halper may have been up to makes sense as does his observation that Halper was trying " to build something that did not exist ." Despite countless hyper-ventilating headlines about mysterious Trump Tower meetings and the like, the sad truth is that Russiagate after all these months is shaping up as even more of a "nothing-burger" than Obama administration veteran Van Jones said it was back in mid-2017. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has indicted Papadopoulos and others on procedural grounds, he has indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for corruption, and he has charged a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency with violating US election laws.
But the corruption charges have nothing to do with Russian collusion and nothing in the indictment against IRA indicates that either the Kremlin or the Trump campaign were involved. Indeed, the activities that got IRA in trouble in the first place are so unimpressive – just $46,000 worth of Facebook ads that it purchased prior to election day, some pro-Trump, some anti, and some with no particular slant at all – that Mueller probably wouldn't even have bothered if he hadn't been under intense pressure to come up with anything at all.
The same goes for the army of bots that Russia supposedly deployed on Twitter. As The Washington Post noted in an oddly, cool-headed Dec. 2 article , 2, 700 suspected Russian-linked accounts generated just 202,000 tweets in a six-year period ending in August 2017, a drop in a bucket compared to the one billion election-related tweets sent out during the fourteen months leading up to Election Day.
The Steele dossier is also underwhelming. It declares on one page that the Kremlin sought to cultivate Trump by throwing "various lucrative real estate development business deals" his way but says on another that Trump's efforts to drum up business were unavailing and that he thus "had to settle for the use of extensive sexual services there from local prostitutes rather than business success."
Why would Trump turn down business offers when he couldn't generate any on his own? The idea that Putin would spot a U.S. reality-TV star somewhere around 2011 and conclude that he was destined for the Oval Office five years later is ludicrous. The fact that the Democratic National Committee funded the dossier via its law firm Perkins Coie renders it less credible still, as does the fact that the world has heard nothing more about the alleged video despite the ongoing deterioration in US-Russian relations. What's the point of making a blackmail tape if you don't use it?
Steele: Paid for political research, not intelligence.
Even Steele is backing off. In a legal paper filed in response to a libel suit last May, he said the document "did not represent (and did not purport to represent) verified facts, but were raw intelligence which had identified a range of allegations that warranted investigation given their potential national security implications." The fact is that the "dossier" was opposition research, not an intelligence report. It was neither vetted by Steele nor anyone in an intelligence agency. Opposition research is intended to mix truths and fiction, to dig up plausible dirt to throw at your opponent, not to produce an intelligence assessment at taxpayer's expense to "protect" the country. And Steele was paid for it by the Democrats, not his government.
Using it Anyway
Nonetheless, the spooks have made the most of such pseudo-evidence. Dearlove and Wood both advised Steele to take his "findings" to the FBI, while, after the election, Wood pulled Sen. John McCain aside at a security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to let him know that the Russians might be blackmailing the president-elect. McCain dispatched long-time aide David J. Kramer to the UK to discuss the dossier with Steele directly.
Although Kramer denies it, The New Yorker found a former national-security official who says he spoke with him at the time and that Kramer's goal was to have McCain confront Trump with the dossier in the hope that he would resign on the spot. When that didn't happen, Clapper and Brennan arranged for FBI Director James Comey to confront Trump instead. Comey later testified that he didn't want Trump to think he was creating "a J. Edgar Hoover-type situation – I didn't want him thinking I was briefing him on this to sort of hang it over him in some way."
But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver "resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I'd sure hate to see end up in the press."
Since then, the Democrats have touted the dossier at every opportunity, The New Yorker continues to defend it , while Times columnist Michelle Goldberg cites it as well, saying it's a "rather obvious possibility that Trump is being blackmailed." CNN, for its part, suggested not long ago that the dossier may actually be Russian disinformation designed to throw everyone off base, Republicans and Democrats alike.
It sounds more like CIA paranoia raised to the nth degree. But that's what the intelligence agencies are for, i.e. to spread fear and propaganda in order to stampede the public into supporting their imperial agenda. In this case, their efforts are so effective that they've gotten lost in a fog of their own making. If the corporate press fails to point this out, it's because reporters are too befogged themselves to notice.
Daniel Lazare is the author of The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique , and his articles about the Middle East, terrorism, Eastern Europe, and other topics appear regularly on such websites as Jacobin and The American Conservative.
Vivian O'Blivion , June 4, 2018 at 6:36 amRealist , June 3, 2018 at 4:50 am
Interesting technical detail.
Mueller is trying to omit the normal burden of legal liability, "wilful intent" in his charges against the St Petersburg, social media operation. In a horrifically complex area such as tax, campaign contributions or lobbying, a foreign entity can be found guilty of breaking a law that they cannot reasonably have been expected to have knowledge of.
But the omission or inclusion of "wilful intent" is applied on a selective basis depending on the advantage to the deep state. From a practical standpoint, omission of "wilful intent" makes it easier for Mueller to get a guilty verdict (in adsentia assuming this is legally valid in America). Once the "guilt" of the St Petersburg staff is established, any communication between an American and them becomes "collusion".
This stinks.backwardsevolution , June 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm
"Russiagate" continues to attract mounting blowback at Clinton, Obama and the Dems. Might well be they who end up charged with lawbreaking, though I'd be surprised if anyone in authority is ever really punished. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-02/fbi-spying-trump-started-london-earlier-thought-new-texts-implicate-obama-white
I've always thought that the great animus between Obama and Trump stemmed from Trump's persistent birtherist attacks on Obama followed by Obama's public ridicule of Trump at the White House Correspondants' Dinner. Without the latter, Trump probably would not have been motivated to run for the presidency. Without the former, Obama would probably not have gotten into the gutter to defeat and embarrass Trump at all costs. Clinton and Obama probably never recruit British spooks to sabotage and provide a pretense for spying on the campaigns of Jeb, Ted or Little Marco. Since these were all warmongers like Hillary and Obama, the issues would have been different, Russia would not have been a factor, and Putin would have had no alleged "puppet."
The irony is that Clinton and Obama wanted Trump as her opponent. They cultivated his candidacy via liberal media bias throughout the primaries. (MSNBC and Rachel Maddow were always cutting away to another full length Trump victory speech and rally, including lots of jibber jabber with the faithful supporters.) Why? Because they thought he was the easiest to beat. The polls actually had Hillary losing against the other GOP candidates. The Dems beat themselves with their own choice of candidate and all the intrigue, false narratives and other questionable practices they employed in both the primaries and the general. That's what really happened.Abe , June 2, 2018 at 2:20 am
Realist – good post. I think what you say is true. Trump got too caught up in the birther crap, and Obama retaliated. But I think that Trump had been thinking about the presidency long before Obama came along. He sees the country differently than Obama and Clinton do. Trump would never have built up China to the point where all American technology has been given away for free, with millions of jobs lost and a huge trade deficit, and he would have probably left Russia alone, not ransacked it.
I saw Obama as a somewhat reluctant globalist and Hillary as an eager globalist. They are both insiders. Trump is not. He's interested in what is best for the U.S., whereas the Clinton's and the Bush's were interested in what their corporate masters wanted. The multinationals have been selling the U.S. out, Trump is trying to put a stop to this, and it is going to be a fight to the death. Trump is playing hardball with China (who ARE U.S. multinationals), and it is working. Beginning July 1, 2018, China has agreed to reduce its tariffs:
"Import tariffs for apparel, footwear and headgear, kitchen supplies and fitness products will be more than halved to an average of 7.1 percent from 15.9 percent, with those on washing machines and refrigerators slashed to just 8 percent, from 20.5 percent.
Tariffs will also be cut on processed foods such as aquaculture and fishing products and mineral water, from 15.2 percent to 6.9 percent.
Cosmetics, such as skin and hair products, and some medical and health products, will also benefit from a tariff cut to 2.9 percent from 8.4 percent.
In particular, tariffs on drugs ranging from penicillin, cephalosporin to insulin will be slashed to zero from 6 percent before.
In the meantime, temporary tariff rates on 210 imported products from most favored nations will be scrapped as they are no longer favorable compared with new rates."
Trade with China has been all one way. At least Trump is leveling the playing field. He at least is trying to bring back jobs, something the "insiders" could care less about.
I agree that Hillary wanted Trump as an opponent, thought she could easily win. I've underestimated idiot opponents before, always to my detriment. Why is it that they are always the most formidable? The "insiders" are so used to voters rolling over, taking it on the chin. They gave away their jobs, replaced them with the service industry, killed their sons and daughters in wars abroad, and still the American people cast their ballots in their favor. This time was different. The insiders just did not see the sea change, not like Trump did.CitizenOne , June 1, 2018 at 11:19 pm
"Pentagon documents indicate that the Department of Defense's shadowy intelligence arm, the Office of Net Assessment, paid Halper $282,000 in 2016 and $129,000 in 2017. According to reports, Halper sought to secure Papadopoulos's collaboration by offering him $3,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to London, ostensibly to produce a research paper on energy issues in the eastern Mediterranean.
"The choice of Halper for this spying operation has ominous implications. His deep ties to the US intelligence apparatus date back decades. His father-in-law was Ray Cline, who headed the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence at the height of the Cold War. Halper served as an aide to Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Alexander Haig in the Nixon and Ford administrations.
"In 1980, as the director of policy coordination for Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign, Halper oversaw an operation in which CIA officials gave the campaign confidential information on the Carter administration and its foreign policy. This intelligence was in turn utilized to further back-channel negotiations between Reagan's campaign manager and subsequent CIA director William Casey and representatives of Iran to delay the release of the American embassy hostages until after the election, in order to prevent Carter from scoring a foreign policy victory on the eve of the November vote.
"Halper subsequently held posts as deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs and senior adviser to the Pentagon and Justice Department. More recently, Halper has collaborated with Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, the British intelligence service, in directing the Cambridge Security Initiative (CSi), a security think tank that lists the US and UK governments as its principal clients.
"Before the 2016 election, Halper had expressed his view – shared by predominant layers within the intelligence agencies – that Clinton's election would prove 'less disruptive' than Trump's.
"The revelations of the role played by Halper point to an intervention in the 2016 elections by the US intelligence agencies that far eclipsed anything one could even imagine the Kremlin attempting."
Long-time CIA asset named as FBI's spy on Trump campaign By Bill Van Auken https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/21/poli-m21.htmlRealist , June 1, 2018 at 4:32 am
Sorry for not commenting on other posts as of yet. But I think I have a different perspective. Russia Gate is not about Hillary Clinton or Putin but it is about Donald Trump. Specifically an effort to get rid of him by the intelligence agencies and the MSM. The fact is the MSM created Trump and were chiefly responsible for his election. Trump is their brainchild starlet used to fleece all the republican campaigns like a huckster fleeces an audience. It all ties to key Supreme Court rulings eliminating campaign finance regulations which ushered in the age of dark money.
When billionaires can donate unlimited amounts of money anonymously to the candidate of their choosing what ends up is a field of fourteen wannabes in a primary race each backed by their own investor(s). The only way these candidates can win is to convince us to vote. The only way they can do that is to spend on advertising.
What the MSM dreamed of in a purely capitalistic way was a way to drain the wallets of every single one of the republican Super PACs. The mission was fraught with potential checkmates. Foe example, there could be an early leader who snatched up the needed delegates for the nomination early on which would have stopped the flow of advertising cash flowing to the MSM. Such possibilities worried the MSM and caused great angst since this might just be the biggest haul they ever took in during a primary season. How would they prevent a premature end of the money river. Like financial vampire bats, ticks and leeches they needed a way to keep the money flowing from the veins of the republican Super PACs until they were sucked dry.
What the MSM really needed was a bait which they could use to lure more dollars just like a horse race where the track owners needed a fast underdog horse to clean up. I believe the term is to be "hustled". The con men of the media hustlers decided they needed a way to cause all of the candidates to squirm uneasily and to then react to the news that Donald Trump was "in the lead".
It was a pure stroke of genius and it worked so well that Carl Rove is looking for a job and Donald Trump is sitting in the White House.
Those clever media folks. What a gift the Supreme Court handed them. But there was one little (or big) problem. The problem was the result of the scam put Trump in the White House. Something that no conservative republican would ever sign onto. Trump had spent years as a democrat, hobnobbed with the Clinton's and was an avowed agnostic who favored the liberal ideology for the most part.
What to do? Trump was now the Commander in Chief and was spouting nonsense that the establishment recoiled at such as Trumps plans to form economic ties with Russia rather than continue to wage a cold war spanning 65 years which the MIC used year after year to spook us all and guarantee their billions annual increase in funding. Trump directly attacked defense projects and called for de-funding major initiatives like F35 etc.
The new guy in the White House with his crazy ideas of making friends with Vladimir Putin horrified a national arms industry funded with hundreds of billions of our tax dollars every year propped up by all the neocons with their paranoid beliefs and plans to make America the hegemon of the World. Our foreign allies who use the USA to fight their perceived enemies and entice our government to sell them weapons and who urge us to orchestrate the overthrow of governments were all alarmed by the "not a real republican" peace-nick occupying the White House.
What to do? There was clearly a need to eliminate this bad guy since his avowed policies were in direct opposition to the game plan that had successfully compromised the former administration. They felt powerless to dissuade the Administration to continue the course and form strategies to eliminate Iran, Syria, North Korea, Libya, Ukraine and other vulnerable targets swaying toward China and Russia. They faced a new threat with the Trump Administration which seemed hell bent to discontinue the wars in these regions robbing them of many dollars.
It is probable that the casino and hotel owner in the White House posed an very threatening alternate strategy of forming economic ties with former enemies which scared the hell out of the arms industry which built its economy on scaring all of us and justifying its existence based on foreign enemies.
So the MSM and the MIC created a new cold war with their friends at the New York Times and the Washington Post which published endless stories about the new Russian threat we faced. It had nothing to do with the 0.02% Twitter and Facebook "influence" that Russia actually had in the election. It was billed as the crime of the century. The real crime was that they committed the crime of the century that they mightily profited from by putting Trump in the White House in the first place with a plan to grab all the election cash they could grab.
In the interim, they also forgot on purpose to tell anyone about the election campaign finance fraud that they were the chief beneficiaries of. They also of course forgot to tell anyone what the fight was about for the Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Twenty seven million dollars in dark money was donated by dark money donors enabled by the Supreme Court's decisions to eliminate campaign finance regulations which enabled these donors to buy out Congress and elect and confirm a Supreme Court Justice who would uphold the laws which eliminate all the election rules and campaign finance regulations dating back to the Tillman Act of 1907 which was an attempt to eliminate corporate contributions in political campaigns with associated meager fines as penalties. The law was weak then and has now been eliminated.
In an era of dark money in politics protected by revisionist judges laying at the top of our federal judicial branch posing as strict constructionists while being funded by the corporatocracy that viciously fights over control of the highest court by a panicked republican party that seeks to tie up their domination in our Congress by any means including the abdication of the Constitutional authority granted to the citizens of the nation we now face a new internal enemy.
That enemy is not some foreign nation but our own government which conspires to represent the wealthy and the powerful and which exalts them and which enacts laws to defend their control of our nation. Here is a quote:
When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.
Frederic Bastiat – (1801-1850) in Economic SophismsVivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 6:25 am
Different journalist covering much the same ground:
"Russiagate" is strictly a contrivance of the Deep State, American & British Spookery, and the corporate media propagandists. It clearly needs to be genuinely investigated (unlike the mockery being orchestrated by Herr Mueller from the Ministry of Truth), re-christened "Intellgate" (after the real perpetrators of crime), pursued until all the guilty traitors (including Mueller) who really tried to steal our democratic election are tried, convicted and incarcerated (including probably hundreds complicit from the media) and given its own lengthy chapter in all the history books about "The Election They Tried to Steal and Blame on Russia: How America Nearly Lost its Constitution." If not done, America will lose its constitution, or rather the incipient process will become totally irreversible.Seer , June 1, 2018 at 7:02 am
Your timing of events is confused.
The deep state didn't try and steal the election because they were overly complacent that their woman would win. Remember, they didn't try to use the dodgy, Steele dossier before the election.
What the deep state has done is reactively try to overcome the election outcome by launching an investigation into Trump. The egregious element of the investigation is giving it the title "investigation into collusion" when they in all probability knew that collusion was unlikely to have taken place. To achieve their aim (removing Trump) they included the line "and matters arising" in the brief to give them an open ended remit which allowed them to investigate Trump's business dealings of a Russian / Ukrainian nature (which may venture uncomfortably close to Semion Mogilevich).
If as you state (and I concur) there was no Russian collusion, then barring fabrication of evidence by Mueller (and there is little evidence of that to date) you have nothing to worry about on the collusion front. Remember, to date, Mueller has stuck (almost exclusively) to meat and potatoes charges like tax evasion and money laundering. If however the investigation leads to credible evidence that Trump broke substantive laws in the past for financial gain, then it is not reasonable to cry foul.Skip Scott , June 1, 2018 at 7:29 am
The Deep State assisted the DNC in knocking out Sanders. THAT was ground zero. Everything since then has been to cover this up and to discredit Trump (using him as the distraction). Consider that the Deep State never bothered to investigate the DNC servers/data; reason being is that they'd (Deep State) be implicated.Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 8:13 am
Very true Seer. That is the real genesis of RussiaGate. It was a diversion tactic to keep people from looking at the DNC's behavior during the primaries. They are the reason Trump is president, not the evil Ruskies.dikcheney , June 2, 2018 at 5:09 pm
We all seem agreed that the Russia collusion is an exercise in distraction. I can't say I know enough to comment with authority on whether the DNC would require assistance from the deep state to trash Bernie. From an outsider perspective it looked more like an application of massively disproportionate spending and standard, back room dirty tricks.
There is a saying; don't attribute to conspiracy that which can be explained by incompetence. In this case, try replacing incompetence with MONEY.robjira , June 1, 2018 at 11:55 am
Totally agree with you Skip and the Mueller performance is there to keep up the intimidation and distraction by regularly finding turds to throw at Trump. Mueller doesnt need to find anything, he just needs to create vague intimations of 'guilty Trump' and suspicious associates so that no one will look at the DNC or the Clinton corruption or the smashing of the Sanders campaign.
Their actual agenda is to smother analysis and clear thinking. Thankfully there is the forensicator piecing the jigsaw as well as consortium news.michael , June 1, 2018 at 4:49 pm
Spot on, Seer.Uncle Bob , June 1, 2018 at 10:33 pm
Those servers probably had a lot more pay-to-play secrets from the Clinton Foundation and ring-kissing from foreign big donors than what was released by Wikileaks, which mostly was just screwing over Bernie, which the judge ruled was Hillary's prerogative. Some email chains were probably construed as National Security and were discreetly not leaked.
The 30,000 emails Hillary had bit bleached from her private servers are likely in the hands of Russians and every other major country, all biding their time for leverage. This was the carrot the British (who undoubtedly have copies as well) dangled over idiot Popodopolous.anon , June 1, 2018 at 7:42 am
Seth RichRealist , June 1, 2018 at 9:32 am
Realist is likely referring to events before the election which involved people with secret agency connections, such as the opposition research (Steele dossier and Skripal affair).Realist , June 1, 2018 at 9:31 am
Realist responded but is being "moderated" as per usual.Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 1:48 pm
Hillary herself was a prime force in cooking up the smear against Trump for being "Putin's puppet." This even before the Democratic convention. Then she used it big time during the debates. It wasn't something merely reactive after she lost. Certainly she and her collaborators inside the deep state and the intelligence agencies never imagined that she would lose and have to distract from what she and her people did by projecting the blame onto Trump. That part was reactive. The rest of the conspiracy was totally proactive on her part and that of the DNC, even during the primaries.
Don't forget, the intel agencies led by Clapper, Brennan and Comey were all working for Obama at the time and were totally acquiescent in spying on the Trump campaign and "unmasking" the identities and actions of his would-be administration, including individuals like General Flynn. The cooked up Steele dossier was paid for by money from the Clinton campaign and used as a pretext for the intel agencies to spy on the Trump campaign. There is no issue on timing. The establishment was fully behind Clinton by hook or crook from the moment Trump had the delegates to win the GOP nomination. (OBTW, I am not a Trump supporter or even a Republican, so I KNOW that I "have nothing to worry about on the collusion front." I'm a registered Dem, though not a Hillary supporter.)
Moreover, if you think that Mueller (and the other intel chiefs) have been on the impartial up-and-up, why did the FBI never seize and examine the DNC servers? Why simply accept the interpretation of events given by the private cybersecurity firm (Crowdstrike) that the Clinton campaign hired to very likely mastermind a cover-up? That is exceptional (nay, unheard of!) "professional courtesy." Why has Mueller to this day not deposed Julian Assange or former British Ambassador Craig Murray, both of whom admit to knowing precisely who provided the leaked (not hacked) Podesta and DNC emails to Wikileaks? Why has Mueller not pursued the potential role of the late Seth Rich in the leaking of said emails? Why has Mueller not pursued the robust theory, based on actual evidence, proposed by VIPS, and supported by computer experts like Bill Binney and John McAfee, that the emails were not, as the Dems and the intel agencies would have you believe on NO EVIDENCE, hacked (by the "Russians" or anyone else) but were downloaded to a flash drive directly from the DNC servers? Why has Mueller not deposed Binney or Ray McGovern who claim to have evidence to bear on this and have discussed it freely in the media (to the miniscule extent that the corporate media will give them an audience)? Is Mueller after the truth, or is this a kangaroo court he is running? Is the media really independent and impartial or are they part of a cover-up, perpetrating numerous sins of both commission and omission in their highly flawed reportage?
I don't see clarity in what has been thus far been propounded by Mueller or any of Trump's other accusers, but I don't think I am the one who is confused here, Vivian. If you want to meet a thoroughly confused individual on what transpired leading up to this moment in American political history, just go read Hillary's book. Absolutely everyone under the sun shares in the blame but her for the fact that she does not presently reside in the White House.Realist , June 1, 2018 at 4:26 pm
You have presented your case with a great deal more detail and clarity than the original post that prompted my reply. You are also a great deal more knowledgeable than I on the details. I think we are 98% in agreement and I wouldn't like to say who's correct on the remaining 2%.
For clarity, I didn't follow the debates and wouldn't do so now if they were repeated. Much heat very little light.
The "pretext" that the intel agencies claim launched their actions against Trump was not the Steele dossier, at least that is what the intel agencies say. Either way your assertion that it was the dossier that set things off is just that, an assertion. I think this is a minor point.
On the DNC servers and the FBI we are 100% singing from the same hymn book and it all sticks. Mueller's apparent disinterest in the question of hack or USB drive does rather taint his investigation and thanks for pointing this out, I hadn't thought of that angle. I still think Mueller will stick to tax and money laundering and stay well clear of "collusion", so yes he may be running a kangaroo court investigation but the charges will be real world.
The MSM as a whole are a sick joke which is why we collectively find ourselves at CN, Craig Murray's blog, etc. I wouldn't like to attribute "collaboration" to any individual in the media. It was the reference to hundreds of journalists being sent to jail in your original post that set me off in the first place. When considering the "culpability" of any individual journalist you can have any position on a spectrum from; fully cognisant collaborator with a deep state conspiracy, to; a bit dim and running with the "sexy" story 'cause it's the biggest thing ever, the bosses can't get enough of it and the overtime is great. If American journalists are anything like their UK counterparts, 99% will fall into the latter category.
Don't have any issue with your final point. Hillary on stage and on camera was phoney as rocking horse s**te and everyone outside her extremely highly remunerated team could see it.
Sorry for any inconvenience, but your second post makes your points a hell of a lot clearer than the original.backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 4:49 pm
My purpose for the first post in this thread was to direct readers to the article in Unz by Mike Whitney, not to compress a full-blown amateur expose' by myself into a three-sentence paragraph. You would have found much more in the way of facts, analysis and opinion in his article to which my terse comments did not even serve as an abstract.
Quoting his last paragraph may give you the flavor of this piece, which is definitely not a one-off by him or other actual journalists who have delved into the issues:
"Let's see if I got this right: Brennan gets his buddies in the UK to feed fake information on Russia to members of the Trump campaign, after which the FBI uses the suspicious communications about Russia as a pretext to unmask, wiretap, issue FISA warrants, and infiltrate the campaign, after which the incriminating evidence that was collected in the process of entrapping Trump campaign assistants is compiled in a legal case that is used to remove Trump from office. Is that how it's supposed to work?
It certainly looks like it. But don't expect to read about it in the Times."backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 1:52 pm
Vivian – 90% of all major media is owned by six corporations. There most definitely was and IS collusion between some of them to bring down the outsider, Trump.
As far as individual journalists go, yeah, they're trying to pay their mortgage, I get it, and they're going to spin what their boss bloody well tells them to spin. But there is evidence coming out that "some" journalists did accept money from either Fusion GPS, Perkins Coie (sp) or Christopher Steele to leak information, which they did.
Bill Clinton passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that enabled these six media conglomerates to dominate the news. Of course they're political. They need to be split up, like yesterday, into a thousand pieces (ditto for the banks). They have purposely and with intent been feeding lies to the American people. Yes, some SHOULD go to jail.
As Peter Strzok of the FBI said re Trump colluding with Russia, "There was never any there, there." The collusion has come from the intelligence agencies, in cahoots with Hillary Clinton, perhaps even as high as Obama, to prevent Trump being elected. When that failed, they set out to get him impeached on whatever they could find. Of course Mueller is going to stick with tax and money laundering because he already KNOWS there was never any collusion with Russia.
This is the Swamp versus the People.Realist , June 1, 2018 at 4:38 pm
Realist – another excellent post. "Is Mueller after the truth, or is this a kangaroo court he is running?" As you rightly point out, Mueller IS being very selective in what he examines and doesn't examine. He's not after the whole truth, just a particular kind of truth, one that gets him a very specific result – to take down or severely cripple the President.
Evidence continues to trickle out. Former and active members of the FBI are now even begging to testify as they are disgusted with what is being purposely omitted from this so-called "impartial" investigation. This whole affair is "kangaroo" all the way.
I'm not so much a fan of Trump as I am a fan of the truth. I don't like to see him – anyone – being railroaded. That bothers me more than anything. But he's right about what he calls "the Swamp". If these people are not uncovered and brought to justice, then the country is truly lost.michael , June 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Precisely. Destroy the man on false pretenses and you destroy our entire system, whether you like him and his questionable policies or not.
Some people would say it's already gone, but we do what we can to get it back or hold onto to what's left of it. Besides, all the transparent lies and skullduggery in the service of politics rather than principles are just making our entire system look as corrupt as hell.backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 6:17 pm
When Mueller arrested slimy Manafort for crimes committed in the Ukraine and gave a pass to the Podesta Brothers who worked closely with Manafort, it was clear that Russiagate was a partisan operation.KiwiAntz , June 1, 2018 at 1:00 am
Michael – good point!Sean Ahern , May 31, 2018 at 7:25 pm
Its becoming abundantly clear now, that the whole Russiagate charade was had nothibg to do with Russia & is about a elaborate smokescreen & shellgame coverup designed to divert attention away from, firstly the Democratic Party's woeful defeat & its lousy Candidate choice in the corrupt Hillary Clinton? & also the DNC's sabotaging of Bernie Saunders campaign run! But the most henious & treacherous parts was Obama's, weaponising the intelligence agencies to spy (Halper) on the imaginary Mancharian Candidate Trump & to set him up as a Russia stooge? Obama & Hillary Clinton are complicent in this disgraceful & illegal activity to get dirt on Trump withe goal of ensuring Clinton's election win? This is bigger than Watergate & more scandalous? But despite the cheating & stacking of the card deck, she still lost out to the Donald? And this isn't just illegal its treasonous & willful actions deserving of a lengthy jail incarceration? HRC & her crooked Clinton foundation's funding of the fraudulent & discredited "Steele Dosier" was also used to implement Trump & Russia in a made up, pile of fictitious gargage that was pure offal? Obama & HRC along with their FBI & CIA spys need to be rounded up, convicted & thrown in jail? Perhaps if Trump could just shut his damn mouuth for once & get off twitter long enough to be able too get some Justice Dept officials looking into this, without being distracted by this Russiagate shellgame fakery, then perhaps the real criminal's like Halpert, Obama,HRC & these corrupt spooks & spies can be rounded up & held to account for this treasonous behaviour?Paul G. , May 31, 2018 at 8:46 pm
Attention should be paid also to the role of so called progressive media outlets such as Mother Jones which served as an outlets for the disinformation campaign described in Lazare's article.
Here from David Corn's Mother Jones 2016 article:
"And a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jones that in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump -- and that the FBI requested more information from him."
Not only was Corn and Mother Jones selected by the spooks as an outlet, but these so called progressives lauded their 'expose' as a great investigative coup on their part and it paved the way for Corn's elevation on MSNBC for a while as a 'pundit.'dikcheney , June 3, 2018 at 6:57 am
In that vein did the spooks influence Rachel Maddow or is her $30,000. a day salary adequate to totally compromise her microscopic journalistic integrity.Abby , May 31, 2018 at 6:23 pm
Passing around references to Mother Jones is like passing round used toilet paper for another try. MJ is BS it is entirely controlled fake press.F. G. Sanford , May 31, 2018 at 7:48 pm
Stefan Halper was being paid by the Clinton's foundation during the time he was spying on the Trump campaign. This is further evidence that Hillary Clinton's hands are all over getting Russia Gate started. Then there's the role that Obama's justice department played in setting up the spying on people who were working with the Trump campaign. This is worse than Watergate, IMO.
Rumors are that a few ex FBI agents are going to testify to congress in Comey's role in covering up Hillary's crimes when she used her private email server to send classified information to people who did not have clearance to read it. Sydney Bluementhol was working for Hillary's foundation and sending her classified information that he stole from the NSA.
Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills were concerned about Obama knowing that Hillary wasn't using her government email account after he told the press that he only found out about it at the same time they did. He had been sending and receiving emails from her Clintonone email address during her whole tenure as SOS.
Obama was also aware of her using her foundation for pay to play which she was told by both congress and Obama to keep far away from her duties. Why did she use her private email server? So that Chelsea could know where Hillary was doing business so she could send Bill there to give his speeches to the same organizations, foreign governments and people who had just donated to their foundation.
Has any previous Secretary of State in history used their position to enrich their spouses or their foundations? I think not.
The secrets of how the FBI covered for Hillary are coming out. Whether she is charged for her crimes is a different matter.Rob , June 1, 2018 at 2:14 am
If Hillary paid a political operative using Clinton Foundation funds – those are tax exempt charitable contributions – she would be guilty of tax fraud, charity fraud and campaign finance violations. Hillary may be evil, but she's not stupid. The U.S.Government paid Halper, which might be "waste, fraud and abuse", but it doesn't implicate Hillary at all. Not that she's innocent, mind youchris m , May 31, 2018 at 2:52 pm
I need some references to take any of your multitude of claims seriously. With all due respect, this sound like something taken from info wars and stylized in smartened up a little bit.backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 4:36 pm
the idea that Stefan Halper was some sort a of mastermind spy behind the so called "Russiagate" fiasco
seems very implausible considering what he seems to have spent doing for the past 40 years
going back to the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980 and his efforts then.
i think he must have had a fairly peripheral role as to whatever or not was going on behind the scenes from 2016 election campaign, and the campaign to first stop Trump getting elected, and secondly, when that failed, to bring down his Presidency.
of course, the moment his name was revealed in recent days, would have shocked or surprised those of in the general
public, but not certainly amongst those in Government aka FBI/CIA/Military-industrial circles.F. G. Sanford , May 31, 2018 at 5:09 pm
chris m – Halper is probably one of those people who hide behind their professor (or other legitimate) jobs, but are there at the ready to serve the Deep State. "I understand. You want me to set up some dupes in order to make it look like there was or could be actual Russian meddling. Gotcha." All you've got to do is make it "look like" something nefarious was going on. This facilitates a "reason" to have a phony investigation, and of course they make it as open-ended an investigation as possible, hoping to get the target on something, anything.
Well, they've no doubt looked long and hard for almost two years now, but zip. However, in their zeal to get rid of their opponent, who they did not think would win the election, they left themselves open, left a trail of crimes. Whoops!
This is the Swamp that Trump talked about during the election. He's probably not squeaky clean either, but he pales in comparison to what these guys have done. They have tried to take down a duly-elected President.backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:13 pm
His role may have been peripheral, but I seem to recall that the Office of Net Assessments paid him roughly a million bucks to play it. That office, run from the Pentagon, is about as deep into the world of "black ops" spookdom as you can get. Hardly "peripheral", I'd say.ranney , May 31, 2018 at 6:17 pm
F. G. Sanford – yes, a million bucks implies something more than just a peripheral involvement, more like something essential to the plot, like the actual setting up of the plot. Risk of exposure costs money.backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:07 pm
Chris, I think the Halper inclusion in this complex tale is simply an example of how these things work in the ultra paranoid style of spy agencies. As Lazare explains, every one knew every one else – at least at the start of this, and it just kind of built from there, and Halper may have been the spark – but the spark landed on a highly combustible pile of paranoia that caught on fire right away. This is how our and the UK agencies function. There is an interesting companion piece to this story today at Common Dreams by Robert Kohler titled The American Way of War. It describes basically the same sort of mind set and action as this story. I'd link it for you if I knew how, but I'm not very adept at the computer. (Maybe another reader knows how?)
We (that is the American people who are paying the salaries of these brain blocked, stiff necked idiots) need to start getting vocal and visible about the destructive path our politicians, banks and generals have rigidly put us on. Does any average working stiff still believe that all this hate, death and destruction is to "protect" us?irina , May 31, 2018 at 8:13 pm
ranney – when you are on the page that you want to link to, take your cursor (the little arrow on your screen) to the top of the page to the address bar (for instance, the address for this article is:
Once your cursor is over the address bar, right click on your mouse. A little menu will come up. Then position your cursor down to the word "copy" and then left click on your mouse. This will copy the link.
Then proceed back to the blog (like Consortium) where you want to provide the link in your post. You might say, "Here is the link for the article I just described above." Then at this point you would right click on your mouse again, position your cursor over the word "paste", and then left click on your mouse. Voila, your link magically appears.
If you don't have a mouse and are using a laptop pad, then someone else will have to help you. That's above my pay grade. Good luck, ranney.ranney , June 1, 2018 at 3:39 pm
If you are using a Mac, either laptop w/touch screen or with a mouse, the copy/paste function
works similarly. Use either the mouse (no need to 'right click, left click') or the touch screen
to highlight the address bar once you have the cursor flashing away on the left side of it.
You may need to scroll right to highlight the whole address. Then go up to Edit (there's also
a keyboard command you can use, but I don't) in your tool bar at the top of your screen.
Click on 'copy'. Now your address is in memory. Then do the same as described above to
get back to where you want to paste it. Put your cursor where you want it to be 'pasted'.
Go back to 'edit' and click 'paste'. Voila !
This is a very handy function and can be used to copy text, web addresses, whatever you want.
Explore it a little bit. (Students definitely overuse the 'paste and match style' option, which allows
a person to 'paste' text into for example an essay and 'match the style' so it looks seamless, although
unless carefully edited it usually doesn't read seamlessly !)
Remember that whatever is in 'copy' will remain there until you 'copy' something else. (Or your
computer crashes . . . )backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 8:53 pm
Irina and Backwards Evolution – Thanks guys for the computer advice! I'll try it, but I think I need someone at my shoulder the first time I try it.irina , June 2, 2018 at 10:00 pm
ranney – you're welcome! Snag one of your kids or a friend, and then do it together. Sometimes I see people posting things like: "Testing. I'm trying to provide a link, bear with me." Throw caution to the wind, ranney. I don't worry about embarrassing myself anymore. I do it every day and the world still goes on.
I heard a good bit of advice once, something I remind my kids: when you're young, you think everybody is watching you and so you're afraid to step out of line. When you're middle-aged, you think everybody is watching you, but you don't care. When you're older, you realize nobody is really watching you because they're more concerned about themselves.
Good luck, ranney.mike , June 1, 2018 at 7:43 pm
I find it helpful to write down the steps (on an old fashioned piece of paper, with old fashioned ink)
when learning to use a new computer tool, because while I think I'll remember, it doesn't usually
'stick' until after using it for quite a while. And yes, definitely recruit a member of the younger set
or someone familiar with computers. My daughter showed me many years ago how to 'cut & paste'
and to her credit she was very gracious about it. Remember that you need a place to 'paste' what-
ever you copied -- either a comment board like this, or a document you are working on, or (this is
handy) an email where you want to send someone a link to something. Lots of other possibilities too!Gary Weglarz , May 31, 2018 at 1:57 pm
No one is presenting Halper as a mastermind spy. He was a tool of the deep state nothing more.backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:18 pm
It seems a mistake to frame the "Russiagate" nonsense as a "Democrat vs Republican" affair, except at the most surface level of understanding in terms of our political realities. If one considers that the Bush family has been effectively the Republican Party's face of the CIA/deep state nexus for decades, as the Clinton/Obama's have been the Democratic Party's face for decades now, what comes into focus is Trump as a sort of unknown, unexpected wild card not appropriately tethered to the control structure. Simply noting that the U.S. and Russia need not be enemies is alone enough to require an operation to get Trump into line.
This hardly means this is some sort of "partisan" issue as the involvement of McCain and others demonstrates.
One of the true "you can't make this stuff up" ironies of the Bush/Clinton CIA/deep state nexus history is worth remembering if one still maintains any illusions about how the CIA vets potential presidents since they killed JFK. During Iran/Contra we had Bush, the former CIA director now vice president, running a drugs for arms operation out the White House through Ollie North, WHILE then unknown Arkansas governor Bill Clinton was busy squashing Arkansas State Police investigations into said narcotics trafficking. Clinton obviously proved his bona fides to the CIA/deep state with such service and was appropriately rewarded as an asset who could function as a reliable president. Here in one operation we had two future presidents in Bush and Clinton both engaged in THE SAME CIA drug running operation. You truly can't make this stuff up.
Russiagate seems to be in the end all about keeping deep state policy moving in the "right direction" and "hating Russia" is the only entree on the menu at this time for the whole cadre of CIA/deep state, MIC, neocons, Zionists, and all their minions in the MSM. The Obama White House would have gladly supported Vlad the Impaler as the Republican candidate that beat Hillary if Vlad were to have the appropriate foaming at the mouth "hate-Russia" vibe going on.irina , May 31, 2018 at 8:18 pm
Gary – great post.Mark Thomason , May 31, 2018 at 1:12 pm
Roger that. I would really like to see an inquiry re-opened into the
teenage boys who died 'on the train tracks' in Arkansas during the
early years of the Clinton-Bush trafficking. Many questions are still
unanswered. Speculation is that they saw something they weren't
supposed to see.Babyl-on , May 31, 2018 at 12:46 pm
This all grows out of the failure to clean up the mess revealed by the Iraq fiasco. Instead, those who did that remained, got away with it, and are doing more of the same.Abby , May 31, 2018 at 6:36 pm
So, here is my question – Who, ultimately does the permanent/bureaucratic/deep/Imperial* state finally answer to? Who's interests are they serving? How do they know what those interests are?
It could be, and increasingly it looks as if, the answer is – no one in particular – but the Saud family, the Zionist cabal of billionaires, the German industrialist dynasties, the Japanese oligarchy and never forget the arms dealers, all of them once part of the Empire now fighting for themselves so we end up with the high level apparatchiks not knowing what to do or who to follow so they lie outright to Congress and go on TV and babble more lies for money.
It's a great contradiction that the greatest armed force ever assembled with cutting edge robotics and AI yet at the same time so weak and pathetic it can not exercise hegemony over the Middle East as it seems to desire more than anything. Being defeated by forces with less than 20% of the US spend.Abe , May 31, 2018 at 12:43 pm
You're right. They answer to no one because they are not just working in this country, but they think that the whole world is theirs.
To these people there are no borders. They meet at places like the G20, Davos and wherever the Bilderberg group decides to meet every year. No leader of any country gets to be one unless they are acceptable to the Deep State. The council of foreign relations is one of the groups that run the world. How we take them down is a good question.Herman , May 31, 2018 at 4:13 pm
Following the pattern of mainstream media, Daniel Lazare assiduously avoids mentioning Israel and pro-Israel Lobby interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the Israel-gate reality underlying all the Russia-gate fictions.
For example, George Papadopoulos is directly connected to the pro-Israel Lobby, right wing Israeli political interests, and Israeli government efforts to control regional energy resources.
Lazare mentions that Papadapoulos had "a friend in the Israeli embassy".
But Lazare conspicuously neglects to mention numerous Israeli and pro-Israel Lobby players interested in "filling Papadopoulos's head" with "tales of Russian dirty tricks".
Papadopoulos' LinkedIn page lists his association with the right wing Hudson Institute. The Washington, D.C.-based think tank part of pro-Israel Lobby web of militaristic security policy institutes that promote Israel-centric U.S. foreign policy.
The Hudson Institute confirmed that Papadopoulos was an intern who left the pro-Israel neoconservative think tank in 2014.
In 2014, Papadopoulos authored op-ed pieces in Israeli publications.
In an op-ed published in Arutz Sheva, media organ of the right wing Religionist Zionist movement embraced by the Israeli "settler" movement, Papadopoulos argued that the U.S. should focus on its "stalwart allies" Israel, Greece, and Cyprus to "contain the newly emergent Russian fleet".
In another op-ed published in Ha'aretz, Papadopoulos contended that Israel should exploit its natural gas resources in partnership with Cyprus and Greece rather than Turkey.
In November 2015, Papadapalous participated in a conference in Tel Aviv, discussing the export of natural gas from Israel with a panel of current and past Israeli government officials including Ron Adam, a representative of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Eran Lerman, a former Israeli Deputy National Security Adviser.
Among Israel's numerous violations of United Nations Resolution 242 was its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981. Recent Israeli threatened military threats against Lebanon and Syria have a lot to do with control of natural gas resources, both offshore from Gaza and on land in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights region.
Israeli plans to develop energy resources and expand territorial holdings in the Syrian Golan are threatened by the Russian military presence in Syria. Russian diplomatic efforts, and the Russian military intervention that began in September 2015 after an official request by the Syrian government, have interfered with the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis "dirty war" in Syria.
Israeli activities and Israel-gate realities are predictably ignored by the mainstream media, which continues to salivate at every moldy scrap of Russia-gate fiction.
Lazare need no be so circumspect, unless he has somehow been spooked.mike k , May 31, 2018 at 11:59 am
"Among Israel's numerous violations of United Nations Resolution 242 was its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981. Recent Israeli threatened military threats against Lebanon and Syria have a lot to do with control of natural gas resources, both offshore from Gaza and on land in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights region."
And water. Rating energy and water, what's at the top for Israel. Israel would probably say both but Israel shielded by the US will take what it wants. That is already true with the Palestinians.. The last figure I heard is that the Palestinians are allocated one fifth per capita what is allocated to Israel'sirina , May 31, 2018 at 8:24 pm
A large swamp is actually an ancient and highly organized ecosystem. Only humans could create a lawless madness like Washington DC.Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 10:21 pm
Yes that is a good description of a swamp. BUT, if it loses what sustains it --
water, in the case of a 'real' swamp and money in the case of this swamp --
it changes character very quickly and becomes first a bog, then a meadow.
I am definitely ready for more meadowland ! But the only way to create it
is to voluntarily redirect federal taxes into escrow accounts which stipulate
that the funds are to be used for (fill in the blank) Public Services at the
Local and Regional levels. Much more efficient than filtering them through
the federal bureaucracy !irina , June 1, 2018 at 2:30 am
But how would one avoid prosecution for nonpayment of taxes?
That seems a very quiet way to be rendered ineffective as a resister.Bill , June 2, 2018 at 3:19 pm
The thing is, you don't 'nonpay' them. The way it used to work, through the
Con$cience and Military Tax Campaign Escrow Account, was that you filed
your taxes as usual. (This does require having less withholding than you owe).
BUT instead of paying what is due to the IRS, you send it to the Escrow Account.
You attach a letter to your tax return, explaining where the money is and why it
is there. That is, you want it to be spent on _________________(fill in the blank)
worthy public social service. Then you send your return to the IRS.
When I used to do this, I stated that I wanted my tax dollars to be spent to develop
public health clinics at neighborhood schools. Said clinics would be staffed by nurse
practitioners, would be open 24-7 and nurses would be equipped with vans to make
House Calls. Security would be provided.
So you're not 'nonpaying' your taxes, you are (attempting) to redirect them. Eventually,
after several rounds of letters back and forth, the IRS would seize the monies from the
escrow account, which would only release them to the IRS upon being told to by the
tax re-director. Unfortunately, not enough people participated to make it a going concern.
But the potential is still there, and the template has been made and used. It's very scale-
able, from local to international. And it would not take that many 're-directors' to shift the
focus of tax liability from the collector to the payor. Because ultimately we are liable for
how our funds are used !Abe , May 31, 2018 at 11:54 am
this was done a lot during the Vietnam conflict, especially by Quakers. the first thing, if you are a wage earner, is to re-file a W2 with maximum withholdings-that has two effects: 1) it means you owe all your taxes in April. 2) it means the feds are deprived of the hidden tax in which they use or invest your withholding throughout the year before it's actually due(and un-owed taxes if you over over-withhold). Pretty sure that if a large number of people deprive the government of that hidden tax by under-withholding, they will begin to take notice.mike k , May 31, 2018 at 12:23 pm
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is an intelligence agency of the government and armed forces of the United Kingdom.
In 2013, GCHQ received considerable media attention when the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the agency was in the process of collecting all online and telephone data in the UK. Snowden's revelations began a spate of ongoing disclosures of global surveillance and manipulation.
For example, NSA files from the Snowden archive published by Glenn Greenwald reveal details about GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) unit, which uses "dirty trick" tactics to covertly manipulate and control online communities.
JTRIG document: "The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations"
In 2017, officials from the UK and Israel made an unprecedented confirmation of the close relationship between the GCHQ and Israeli intelligence services.
Robert Hannigan, outgoing Director-General of the GCHQ, revealed for the first time that his organization has a "strong partnership with our Israeli counterparts in signals intelligence." He claimed the relationship "is protecting people from terrorism not only in the UK and Israel but in many other countries."
Mark Regev, Israeli ambassador to the UK, commented on the close relationship between British and Israeli intelligence agencies. During remarks at a Conservative Friends of Israel reception, Regev opined: "I have no doubt the cooperation between our two democracies is saving British lives."
Hannigan added that GCHQ was "building on an excellent cyber relationship with a range of Israeli bodies and the remarkable cyber industry in Be'er Sheva."
The IDF's most important signal intelligence–gathering installation is the Urim SIGINT Base, a part of Unit 8200, located in the Negev desert approximately 30 km from Be'er Sheva.
Snowden revealed how Unit 8200 receives raw, unfiltered data of U.S. citizens, as part of a secret agreement with the U.S. National Security Agency.
After his departure from GCHQ, Hannigan joined BlueteamGlobal, a cybersecurity services firm, later re-named BlueVoyant.
BlueVoyant's board of directors includes Nadav Zafrir, former Commander of the Israel Defense Forces' Unit 8200. The senior leadership team at BlueVoyant includes Ron Feler, formerly Deputy Commander of the IDF's Unit 8200, and Gad Goldstein, who served as a division head in the Israel Security Agency, Shin Bet, in the rank equivalent to Major General.
In addition to their purported cybersecurity activities, Israeli. American, and British private companies have enormous access and potential to promote government and military deception operations.Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 10:19 pm
Thanks Abe. Sounds like a manual for slave owners and con men. What a tangled wed the rich bastards weave. The simple truth is their sworn enemy.Seer , June 1, 2018 at 7:18 am
Interesting that a foreign power would be given all US communications data, which implies that the US has seized it all without a warrant and revealed it all in violation of the Constitution. If extensive, this use of information power amounts to information warfare against the US by its own secret agencies in collusion with a foreign power, an act of treason.Sam F , June 1, 2018 at 8:23 am
This has been going on for a LONG time, it's nothing new. I seem to recall 60 Minutes covering it way back in the 70s(?). UK was allowed to do the snooping in the US (and, likely, vice versa) and then providing info to the US. This way the US govt could claim that it didn't spy/snoop on its citizens. Without a doubt Israel has been extensively intercepting communications in the US..
Secrecy kills.F. G. Sanford , May 31, 2018 at 11:36 am
Yes, but the act of allowing unregulated foreign agencies unwarranted access to US telecoms is federal crime, and it is treason when it goes so far as to allow them full access, and even direct US bulk traffic to their spy agencies. If this is so, these people should be prosecuted for treason.Vivian O'Blivion , May 31, 2018 at 12:19 pm
To listen to the media coverage of these events, it is tempting to believe that two entirely different planets are being discussed. Fox comes out and says Mueller was "owned" by Trump. Then, CNN comes out and says Trump was "owned" by Clapper. Clapper claims the evidence is "staggering", while video clips of his testimony reveal irrefutable perjury. Some of President Trump's policies are understandably abhorrent to Democrats, while Clinton's email server and charity frauds are indisputably violations of Federal statutes. Democrats are attempting to claim that a "spy" in the Trump campaign was perfectly reasonable to protect "national security", but evidence seems to indicate that the spy was placed BEFORE there was a legitimate national security concern. Some analysts note that, while Mueller's team appears to be Democratic partisan hacks, their native "skill set" is actually expertise in money laundering investigations. They claim that although Mr. Trump may not be compromised by the Russian government, he is involved with nefarious Russian organized crime figures. It follows, according to them, that given time, Mueller will reveal these illicit connections, and prosecution will become inevitable.
Let's assume, for argument, that both sides are right. That means that our entire government is irretrievably corrupt. Republicans claim that it could " go all the way to Obama". Democrats, of course, play the "moral high ground" card, insinuating that the current administration is so base and immoral that somehow, the "ends justify the means". No matter how you slice it, the Clinton campaign has a lot more liability on its hands. The problem is, if prosecutions begin, people will "talk" to save their own skins. The puppet masters can't really afford that.
"All the way to Obama", you say? I think it could go higher than that. Personally, I think it could go all the way to Dick Cheney, and the 'powers that be' are in no mood to let that happen.David G , May 31, 2018 at 5:14 pm
The issue as I see it is that from the start everyone was calling the Mueller probe an investigation into collusion and not really grasping the catch all nature of his brief.
It's the "any matters arising " that is the real kicker. So any dodgy dealing / possible criminal activity in the past is fair game. And this is exactly what in happening with Manafort.
Morally you can apply the Nucky Johnson defence and state that everyone knew Trump was a crook when they voted for him, but legally this has no value.
There is an unpleasant whiff of deep state interference with the will of the people (electoral college). Perhaps if most bodies hadn't written Trump's chances off in such an off hand manner, proper due diligence of his background would have uncovered any liabilities before the election.
If there is actionable dirt, can't say I am overly sympathetic to Trump. Big prizes sometimes come with big risks.Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 5:29 am
My own feeling from the start has been that Mueller was never going to track down any "collusion" or "meddling" (at least not to any significant degree) because the whole, sprawling Russia-gate narrative – to the extent one can be discerned – is obviously phony.
But at the same time, there's no way the completely lawless, unethical Trump, along with his scummy associates, would be able to escape that kind of scrutiny without criminal conduct being exposed.
So far, on both scores, that still seems to me to be a likely outcome, and for my part I'm fine with it.Bill , June 2, 2018 at 3:26 pm
My thoughts exactly. Collusion was never a viable proposition because the Russians aren't that stupid. Regardless of any personal opinion regarding the intelligence and mental stability of Donald Snr., the people he surrounds himself with are weapons grade stupid. I don't see the Russians touching the Trump campaign with a proverbial barge pole.Steve Naidamast , May 31, 2018 at 3:15 pm
it just happens that Trump appears to have been involved (wittingly or not), with the laundering a whole lot of Russian money and so many of his friends seem to be connected with wealthy Russian oligarchs as well plus they are so stupid, they keep appearing to (and probably are) obstructing justice. The Cohen thing doesn't get much attention here, but it's significant that they have all this stuff on a guy who is clearly Trump's bagman.
There is also quite an indication that the entire Mueller investigation is a complete smoke screen to be used as cannon fodder in the mainstream media.
On the one hand, Mueller and his hacks have found nothing of import to link Trump to anything close to collusion with members of the Russian government. And I am by no means a Trump supporter by any stretch of the imagination, except as a foil to Clinton. However, even my minimalist expectations for Trump have not worked out either.
In addition. the Mueller investigation has been spending what appears to be a majority of its time on ancillary matters that were not within the supposed scope and mandate of this investigation. Further, a number of indictments have come down against people involved with such ancillary matters.
The result is that if Mueller is going beyond the scope of his investigatory mandate, this may come in as a technicality that will allow indicted persons to escape prosecution on appeal.
Such a mandate, I would think, is the same thing as a police warrant, which can find only admissible evidence covered by the warrant. Anything else found to be criminally liable must be found to be as a result of a completely different investigation that has nothing to do with the original warrant.
In other words, it appears that the M