Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells

Hypocrisy of British ruling elite as the template for hypocrisy of neoliberal elite

If I had the talent and energy, I might write a sequel to the 'Quiet American', to be entitled 'The Noisy Englishmen.' It would feature a series of inept conspiracies, involving ludicrous means used in support of preposterous ends, necessitating one ham-fisted cover-up after another.

The central characters might be loosely based on Christopher Steele, Matt Tait, Eliot Higgins, and our former UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, author of the July 2002 Downing Street memorandum, in which Sir Richard Dearlove was quoted explaining how, in Washington, "the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy." ~David Habakkuk Oct, 2018

 

News Propaganda Recommended Links Perfidious Albion British roots of US Rusoophobia Hypocrisy of British ruling elite as the template for hypocrisy of neoliberal elite False flag operations as demonization of the enemy strategy
William Browder, MI6, economic rape of Russia, and Magnitsky Act Pussy Riot Provocation -- hand of MI6? Skripal poisoning Steele dossier Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Berezovsky case  Litvinenko poisoning
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair  Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Khodorkovski case   Neocolonialism The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness Sect of fraudulent election witnesses
Machiavellism The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border Demonization of Putin Corruption smoke screen Manipulation of the term "freedom of press" Usage of sexual minorities
Color revolutions Fifth column Propaganda Neoliberalism    Humor Etc
  British scientists conducted thorough experiments and proved that absence or weakness of air defense capabilities in the countries rich in oil inevitably lead to establishing of the democracy in the particular country

GB: once a great cultured nation, now a poorly-educated gangster mafia state, ruled by oligarchs and inhabited by soccer hooligans

The Kremlin Stooge

hypocrisy noun - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online

hypocrisy noun [U]

/hɪˈpɒk.rɪ.si/ US /-ˈpɑː.krə-/ disapproving

Definition

A situation in which someone pretends to believe something that they do not really believe, or that is the opposite of what they do or say at another time.

hypocrisy - definition of hypocrisy by Macmillan Dictionary

behaviour in which someone claims to have certain moral principles or beliefs but behaves in a way that shows they are not sincere

There is a degree of hypocrisy in expressing outrage at environmental disasters while doing nothing to prevent them

 

The British Ruling Class Degenerate, Debauched, Deceitful

That the British ruling class has fiddled whilst Britain burns is no longer a metaphor, it is literally true. Now that the pandora’s box of paedophilic corruption at the top has been opened, an avalanche of vile revelations exposing the whole establishment spews forth each day.

The latest news stands out for the scale of the cover-up it reveals. It is quite clear that for the British establishment cover-ups are routine and essential for self-preservation. The fact that this is the case proves that it is in the nature of the ruling class to engage in corruption and unpalatable behaviour.

This attitude of mutual protection in their mutual decadence was expressed by Lord Whitelaw, Thatcher’s Deputy Prime Minister and Home Secretary, who apparently asked ‘Why has this been allowed to come out?’ when a ‘Tories and prostitutes’ scandal broke in the ‘80s. This was admitted recently by a ‘very worldly former Conservative MP’. In other words, it was generally understood that there were practices to suppress news of this behaviour, and that by implication, this behaviour (of seeing prostitutes) was commonly practiced by Tories.

Clive Driscoll, a former senior Metropolitan police officer, is becoming a familiar face on British TV screens. This is a man who has ‘seen too much’. His investigation led to the conviction of two of Stephen Lawrence’s killers, after, by his own damning indictment of the police, decades of ‘disruption tactics’ to let these racist murderers go free.

exposed his former employer for protecting racist thugs, he has reported that “when he revealed - in an internal meeting - the names of suspects he wanted to investigate [for child abuse], which included politicians, he was taken off the case. He told the BBC his inquiry was ‘all too uncomfortable to a lot of people’.” It is now known that more specifically, a team of police covertly filmed the knighted Liberal MP Cyril Smith abusing children in Lambeth, for which he was actually arrested. He was then released without charge, and the officers were forced to hand over all evidence, including the video footage, notes, etc. and told if they ever spoke of it again they would be breaking the Official Secrets Act.

When asked how such a thing as the arrest of an MP could remain covered up for decades, Driscoll explained that “detectives are fathers, husbands, sons, they have their own families. It's incredibly difficult. If you felt that by coming forward and just telling the truth that you might have your livelihood taken away from you or you, worse still, may be taken to prison, then that's very difficult.” In an earlier interview, Driscoll said that this fear of victimisation for speaking out was widespread and exploited for cover-ups, “Whenever people spoke to you and shared their fears and their story about what they had seen, it was almost on the proviso that they wouldn't make a statement and that they would be scared if you realised who those people were that were talking for fear of reprisals to both themselves [sic] and their families."

It is clear that, as Labour MP Simon Danczuk has argued, Cyril Smith was immediately set free because a host of powerful people had participated with Smith in decades of abuse, and they feared his prosecution could lead to the whole network’s downfall. Clearly their ears and eyes were highly attuned to pick up any danger to their conspiracy and snuff it out immediately.

Scotland Yard itself now admits that a whole network of “politicians and establishment figures abused and terrorised children as young as seven more than 30 years ago and went on to kill three young boys.” Police have now raided the homes of former MP Harvey Proctor and former home secretary Leon Brittan for child abuse. The latter, who died only in January, stands accused of leading the entire cover up. According to one police officer he was actually photographed by police as he used ‘rent-boys’ in 1986 - that investigation was also rapidly shut down. Vishambar Mehrotra, whose son may have been one of those abducted and then killed by this network, took evidence of this to the police but was refused an investigation as it implicated ‘judges and politicians’.

So extensive is this network of paedophiles and mutual protection in the establishment, that the inquiry that has now been ordered into the scandal has moved onto its third judge after the first two were found to have close links to those implicated! They have had to go so far as New Zealand to find an experienced judge not discredited through connections to Britain’s paedophilic establishment!

In any given week, one would normally think the exposure of one extensive cover-up to be fairly unlikely, and yet this week we have the unearthing of two! The public has known for some years now that the real cause of the 96 deaths in the Hillsborough disaster was not the drunken hooliganism of Liverpool fans, as disgustingly portrayed by the police and the Sun, but the ineptitude or conscious neglect of the South Yorkshire police force - the same police force that terrorised miners in the Battle of Orgreave in the Miners’ Strike. But the ongoing inquiry - taking place decades too late - has forced the police force into embarrassing admissions proving a cover-up took place.

David Duckenfield, who was in charge at the stadium on the day of the disaster, has admitted that it was his own foolish decisions that led to fatal overcrowding in the stadium. Under questioning he also revealed the police’s contempt for the working class that underlay such foolish decisions. For instance, even after realising the situation was a ‘medical emergency’ and not simple fan ‘disorder’, he called for reinforcements of police dogs and no ambulances as he watched fans dying. Duckenfield ‘has no idea’ why he did this. There can be no other explanation than contempt for working class football fans, who in his eyes were little more than thugs to be barked at and bitten even whilst being crushed to death.

But the questioning also exposed the cover-up that has lasted decades. The police’s line after the disaster was always that it was the Liverpool fans’ fault - a line infamously taken up and played with by The Sun. Paul Middup, a Police Federation joint branch secretary at the time, was put up to making vile slanders on Liverpool fans, such as that they were drunk, ticketless, took coins from dying fans and urinated on police who were ‘heroically’ resuscitating victims, because his bosses could not be seen making such allegations publicly - although they backed him up. Middup now admits he wasn’t even at the game but was watching snooker at home.

There is a mass campaign in Liverpool to boycott The Sun for making the slanders which helped to deflect blame from where it really lay. Now that we know the police conspired to fabricate these falsehoods, the working class of Liverpool and elsewhere should boycott the police force and establishment as a whole, which is clearly not only no better morally than the rest of us, but is engaged in systematic cover-ups, exploitation, debauchery and violence on a staggering scale.

The British establishment is as corrupt and degenerate as any other, as George Monbiot has recently argued. He points out that, to top all this off, “The City of London, operating with the help of British overseas territories and crown dependencies, is the world’s leading tax haven, controlling 24% of all offshore financial services.”

Whereas our media patronises the Chinese with tales of widespread illegal bribing of officials and politicians, in Britain we have instead legalised and very traditional corruption - the buying and selling of politicians, something at which the Conservative Party is particularly adept. The unwelcome publicity around its notorious ‘black and white ball’ money raiser was extremely revealing. This was a party that welcomed oligarchs and billionaires from all over the world to buy favours from our government so they can fund their election campaigns and lifestyles.

Norman Tebbit was very recently disgraced for offering his services to apparent Chinese businessmen in a very free and easy fashion, subsequently justifying himself on the grounds that he cannot be expected to live on a mere £67,000 salary.

Only yesterday, a sting on the Conservative party recorded Hugo Swire, foreign office minister, joking that those on benefits can afford to make £55,000 donations, whilst at the same fundraiser Russian oligarch Alexander Termerko boasted he could provoke a change of Prime Minister because “for a change of prime minister you need 20 [MPs], I have 37. Much more than half.” So one oligarch feels he ‘owns’ 37 MPs, enough to select the Prime Minister of an entire country!

The relentless revelation of establishment scandals is now feeding off itself, as each outing encourages others to come forward and diminishes the Press’ incentive to hold back - especially after they themselves feel aggrieved at the exposure of their own phone-hacking scandal. One wonders what other scandals are currently suppressed? What network of duplicitous MPs, press barons, bankers and royals are protecting each other’s secrets?

Prince-andrew-photo-siim-tellerPrince Andrew accused of having solicited minors - Photo: Siim TellerWe cannot be fooled into thinking that these inquiries and press reports will weed out the corruption, which is too endemic to the ruling class. Mostly these inquiries happen decades after the fact when the crimes can no longer be denied, and their perpetrators are long dead. And where is the campaigning outrage against these scandals from our media and political parties? In the past, they actively encouraged not only outrage but marches and movements against individual, non-establishment paedophiles. Now they report on systematic cover ups by leading politicians, on entire networks of decades long abuse protected by the state, on our very own royalty accused of using under-age prostitutes. They report it, once they have to, but make no bones about these most appalling crimes which reveal that our society is run by liars and abusers of the worst kind.

What these scandals really tell us is that our society as a whole is unjust, violently oppressive and based on lies and illusions. It is high time we rise up and overthrow the lot and avenge those countless victims of ruling class oppression.

.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Feb 18, 2019] See the real connection between the fake Steele Dossier and the Skipal hoax

Feb 18, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

war is coming , February 17, 2019 at 9:37 pm

See the real connection between the fake Steele Dossier and the Skipal hoax.

The UK MI6 is behind everything with Australia and Nato. War with Russia is coming to avoid the Brexit. It has been planned 5 years ago. The Brexit is just a good excuse.

The continued NATO harassment, sanctions and campaigns of lies and false accusations against Russia, including the blatant war rhetoric of the British Defence Secretary, do not bode well for the future. For the US to tear up nuclear arms treaties and then blame Russia is beyond shameful: it is destroying all possibility of negotiations to avert war. The Kerch Strait incident staged by the puppet regime in Kiev, sending gunboats into the Kerch Strait without observing the 2003 Protocol requiring them to notify in advance the Port of Kerch (a protocol observed by the dozens of ships that go through the Strait peacefully every day) was clearly part of a NATO plan to set up a major naval clash in the Black Sea.

That clash (followed by an attempt to recapture Crimea or at least blow up its magnificent bridge, a reproach to a man who cannot even build a wall) may be expected in coming months, perhaps as a distraction from Brexit or a way of derailing it. NATO, in short, is on a clear trajectory towards war with Russia, which their deluded worldview convinces them they can win.

Their initial use of Russia as a scapegoat and bogeyman to unite the NATO vassals against a common threat, keeping Europe in subjection to America, has got out of hand, and is heading, under the impetus of hysterical rhetoric, towards actual war. Unless decent people unite to stop this escalation then the nuclear catastrophe will occur.

Exposing the barefaced lie of the Skripal false flag attack may be a step towards averting that global cataclysm.

http://thesaker.is/the-alternative-skripal-narrative/

[Feb 16, 2019] When a Foreign Government Interfered in a US Election -- to Reelect FDR

Notable quotes:
"... In 1940, as war raged in Europe, British intel officers in New York and Washington worked to elect candidates who favored U.S. intervention, defeat those who advocated neutrality, and silence or destroy the reputations of American isolationists they deemed a menace to British security. Scores -- perhaps hundreds -- of Americans who believed that fighting fascism justified unethical and, at times, illegal behavior, worked for British intelligence or cooperated with London's efforts. ..."
"... Churchill, the U.K.'s savvy wartime prime minister, knew that Britain could survive and repel an anticipated German invasion only if it received massive amounts of aid from the U.S., and that ultimate victory over the Nazis would require American military involvement. ..."
"... To pull the U.S. into Britain's efforts would require first winning public opinion -- making newspapers and radio programs the front lines in the battle to persuade Americans to elect politicians willing to back Britain over those who promoted an "America First" agenda. SIS, the British intelligence agency, flooded American newspapers with fake stories, leaked the results of illegal electronic surveillance and deployed October surprises against political candidates. ..."
"... Over the 18 months between Britain's humiliation at Dunkirk and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the scale and intensity of the SIS's efforts in the United States were without parallel in the history of relations between allied democracies. ..."
Feb 16, 2019 | www.politico.com

Overt intelligence operations, propaganda, fake news stories, dirty tricks -- all were used in a foreign government's audacious attempt to influence U.S. elections. It wasn't 2016; it was 1940, and the operations were employed not by a hostile adversary, but by America's closest ally, the United Kingdom.

Though technology has advanced, and the two nations' motives could not have been more different, critical aspects of Russia's alleged covert efforts to bolster the campaign of Donald Trump echo the tactics that Britain's Secret Intelligence Service pioneered seven decades ago. In 1940, as war raged in Europe, British intel officers in New York and Washington worked to elect candidates who favored U.S. intervention, defeat those who advocated neutrality, and silence or destroy the reputations of American isolationists they deemed a menace to British security. Scores -- perhaps hundreds -- of Americans who believed that fighting fascism justified unethical and, at times, illegal behavior, worked for British intelligence or cooperated with London's efforts.

Winston Churchill's goals were as clear Vladimir Putin's motives are murky. Churchill, the U.K.'s savvy wartime prime minister, knew that Britain could survive and repel an anticipated German invasion only if it received massive amounts of aid from the U.S., and that ultimate victory over the Nazis would require American military involvement. He also knew that decisions to send food, fuel and weapons across the Atlantic, and to dispatch troop ships to follow in their wake, lay in the hands of the president and a hostile Congress. To pull the U.S. into Britain's efforts would require first winning public opinion -- making newspapers and radio programs the front lines in the battle to persuade Americans to elect politicians willing to back Britain over those who promoted an "America First" agenda. SIS, the British intelligence agency, flooded American newspapers with fake stories, leaked the results of illegal electronic surveillance and deployed October surprises against political candidates.

Over the 18 months between Britain's humiliation at Dunkirk and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the scale and intensity of the SIS's efforts in the United States were without parallel in the history of relations between allied democracies.

The SIS and its American collaborators went to great lengths to obscure the ties between their activities and the British government. These links have since come to light largely because William Stephenson, the Canadian businessman who headed British Security Coordination (BSC), the official front for SIS operations in North and South America from 1941–1945, commissioned a history of the organization's operation. Declassified in 1999, that history provides a remarkably candid picture of London's espionage and propaganda activities. Alongside other documents available in the U.K. National Archives, this history shows that, as it sought to shift America out of neutrality, British intelligence was restrained only by the certainty that the blowback from public exposure would have been disastrous.

The story of British government efforts to influence American elections and public opinion is a cautionary tale, providing a lesson that is all too relevant today about the power of propaganda and covert operations to alter history. It also demonstrates how difficult it can be to differentiate in real time between legitimate concerns and imaginary conspiracy theories -- and, perhaps, provides a glimmer of hope about the resilience of American democracy.

***

American communists, fascists and isolationists complained bitterly and loudly in 1940 and 1941 that Britain was secretly manipulating the U.S. media as part of a campaign to pull America into the war. These accusations, confidently dismissed by liberal politicians and newspapers as paranoid ravings, were inaccurate only in that they were understated. Even the most alarmist commentators and conspiracy-mongers underestimated the depth and effectiveness of British covert activity.

British intelligence employed the full range of cloak-and-dagger techniques in America in 1940 and 1941: forgeries, seductions, burglaries, electoral dirty tricks, physical surveillance, intercepting and reading letters sent under diplomatic seal, illegally bugging offices and tapping phones. British intelligence even listened in on a telephone call in June 1940 between President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House and his ambassador to Britain, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. A report on the call was quickly relayed to Churchill, alerting him that the U.S. was making contingency plans in case the U.K. fell to the Nazis.

While the British government strongly backed Roosevelt, it hedged its bets by working behind the scenes to increase the chances that Republicans would pick a presidential candidate in 1940 who would join the fight against fascism.

The Republican Party, lacking a consensus about a standard-bearer or platform, was in disarray in June 1940 as its national convention approached. BSC worked behind the scenes to smooth the path for a nominee who favored intervention. One element of the BSC's operations surfaced on June 25, when the New York Herald reported on a poll of convention delegates. Surprisingly, given the isolationist positions espoused by GOP stalwarts like Thomas Dewey, Robert Taft and Herbert Hoover, the poll -- which the Herald wrote was "conducted by Market Analysts, Inc., an independent research organization" -- found that three-fifths of GOP delegates supported helping the allies "with everything short of war." In fact, Market Analysts, Inc., was anything but independent. Its head, Sanford Griffith, was an American who had secretly been working for British intelligence since the 1930s, and regardless of the population surveyed, its polls consistently advocated U.S. interventionism in Europe.

Among Market Analysts' clients was the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, a group led by William Allen White, a nationally syndicated columnist influential among liberal Republicans. In his column, White wrote that the GOP delegate poll demonstrated that leading Republican isolationists were out of touch with the party's members, and that Wendell Willkie -- who had not run in the presidential primaries and had switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican only a few months ahead of the national convention -- best represented Republicans' views. While all of the other Republican contenders advocated steering clear of the war in Europe, Willkie argued that "America's first line of defense is Great Britain." It is impossible to determine exactly how influential BSC's assistance was, but Willkie went into the convention an underdog and -- to London's delight, and the astonishment of the Republican establishment -- emerged as the GOP candidate.

In addition to Griffith's operation, BSC funded and coordinated the activities and messaging of a number of American anti-fascist organizations. One of these, an informal group of wealthy businessmen and journalists called the Century Group, operated during the campaign as a liaison between the British government, the White House and the Willkie campaign. It brokered an agreement from Willkie to refrain from criticizing a proposal that allowed Roosevelt to unilaterally authorize the transfer of scores of mothballed destroyers to Britain. As the first president to snub George Washington's precedent of voluntarily stepping down after two terms, FDR was acutely aware of the threat posed by accusations that he was behaving like a dictator, so even the hint of such an accusation from the Republican candidate may have scuttled the deal. On August 30, 1940, BSC's agents secured Willkie's commitment to acquiesce to the transfer. Assured that he wouldn't pay a devastating political price, Roosevelt announced the deal at a press conference four days later.

The BSC's work on Willkie's behalf was an exception. For the most part, it focused not on promoting candidates, but rather on defeating elected officials who opposed American intervention in the war.

Among those opponents was Rep. Hamilton Stuyvesant Fish III, a Republican and leading isolationist who had represented New York's Hudson Valley in Congress since 1920. By picking a high-profile target, the campaign against Fish was intended to "put the fear of God into every isolationist senator and congressman in the country," according to a letter a BSC agent sent in fall 1940.

To do this, the BSC created, funded and operated the Non-Partisan Committee to Defeat Hamilton Fish, which among other activities, circulated a pamphlet juxtaposing Fish, Adolf Hitler and Nazis. Another photo appeared to show Fish meeting with Fritz Kuhn, the "American Hitler" who led the German-American Bund and was, at the time, serving a prison sentence for embezzlement. Contrary to the caption -- "Hamilton Fish inspecting documents with Fritz Kuhn" -- the Republican congressman had never met privately with Bund leader. The photo had been taken at a 1938 public hearing that Congressman Fish had organized to discuss a proposed ban on paramilitary groups like the Bund.

Another bit of British-engineered fake news had an ironic twist, accusing Fish of being a pawn of a foreign power. They alleged that Nazis funneled money to Fish by renting his properties at inflated high rates as a means of subsidizing pro-German propaganda efforts. On October 21, Drew Pearson and Robert Allen reported the story in their hugely influential Washington Merry-go-Round column -- a true October surprise.

Though Fish won reelection, his margin of victory was just 9,000 votes, half the size of his win in 1938. In an after-action report to BSC and since archived at FDR's presidential library, Griffith stated that the local Democratic Party had put practically no effort into defeating Fish, and that an additional "$2,000 or $3,000 a week or two ahead would have been sufficient to put it over." Even after the U.S. entered the war, the BSC stayed on Fish's case, planting scurrilous stories in 1942 that helped cut his margin of victory to 4,000 votes. In 1944, they finally beat him. Fish claimed it had taken "most of the New Deal Administration, half of Moscow, $400,000, and Governor Dewey to defeat me." As the BSC history later crowed: "He might -- with more accuracy -- have blamed BSC."

***

In addition to secretly intervening in campaigns , BSC funded and coordinated the efforts of pro-intervention American political organizations and of associations of emigres from Nazi-occupied countries that lobbied Congress and the public for a muscular U.S. response to Hitler.

BSC also tried to shape public opinion by feeding a stream of true, partially true and completely fabricated stories to sympathetic reporters and columnists. Some -- like Edgar Ansel Mowrer of the Chicago Daily News and Ulric Bell of the Louisville Courier-Journal -- worked directly with British intelligence officers, but most of the journalists who cooperated with BSC did so through American intermediaries. Among them was Walter Winchell, one of the most widely read columnists of the time, who routinely ran BSC items supplied by an intermediary.

Although few of the American reporters and editors who disseminated BSC propaganda were on the British payroll, it is not an exaggeration to characterize them as British agents or "subagents," the latter being operatives directed by individuals who communicated with professional intelligence officers. In fact, this is precisely how the BSC thought about them. "The conduct of political warfare was entirely dependent on secrecy," notes the BSC history. "For that reason, the press and radio men with whom BSC maintained contact were comparable with subagents and the intermediaries with agents. They were thus regarded." In 1991, Edmond Taylor, an American journalist and active collaborator with the Brits during World War II, told a historian that British intelligence agents "connived" with "Americans like myself who were willing to go out of regular (or even legal) channels to try to bend U.S. policy towards objectives that the British, as well as the Americans in question, considered desirable."

One of the journalists in charge of BSC's propaganda efforts described his unit's activities in a 1942 memo to the British Foreign Office without mincing words. He wrote that his remit included "subversive propaganda in the United States for the exposure and destruction of enemy propaganda [and] countering isolationist and appeasement propaganda which is rapidly taking on the shape of a Fascist movement, conscious or unconscious." Weekly reports to London from British agents in New York tallied the number of stories that had been planted in American newspapers.

The BSC history draws a straight line from planting pro-British stories in American newspapers to Roosevelt's decision to send destroyers to England. The transfer happened, according to BSC, because Stephenson had "means at his disposal for influencing American public opinion in favour of aid to Britain. In fact, covert propaganda, one of the most potent weapons which BSC employed against the enemy, was harnessed directly to this task."

***

The British government had a well-oiled, coordinated, worldwide strategy during World War II for generating and disseminating rumors, which it called "sibs," short for sibilare , the Latin word for whisper or hiss . Many of the sibs were silly or outlandish -- for example, rumors that man-eating sharks from Australia had been deposited in the English Channel to consume downed German aviators -- but British intelligence took them extraordinarily seriously. "The object of propaganda rumours is in no sense to convey the official or semi-official views of H.M.G. [His Majesty's Government] by covert means to officials in the countries concerned," read one classified wartime report. "It is rather to induce alarm, despondency and bewilderment among the enemies, and hope and confidence among the friends, to whose ears it comes."

New sibs were approved by an organization called the Underground Propaganda Committee (UPC), which met weekly in London during the war. While rumors spread in Europe by word of mouth, in the U.S., they were disseminated through a network of friendly reporters and, starting in the spring of 1941, by the Overseas News Agency, a news service that received subsidies from, and was controlled by, the BSC. ONA articles appeared in newspapers around the country. Especially prior to Pearl Harbor, these stories were picked up by newspapers in Germany, Japan and occupied countries.

To cite a typical example, at a meeting of the UPC on August 8, 1941, a decision was made to release a series of sibs that, according to the meeting minutes, were "intended to suggest that the Fuehrer, who is alone responsible in the face of a good deal of opposition for the Russian campaign, is becoming more and more unbalanced as he realises that the vast gamble is miscarrying." Eight days later, the New York Post ran an article supplied by ONA citing "circumstantial evidence for a belief that Hitler is not at the Russian front, but at Berchtesgaden suffering from a severe nervous breakdown." The article went on to assert that the Fuehrer's personal physician had recently traveled to Switzerland to consult with the famed psychiatrist Carl Jung to discuss "the rapid deterioration of Hitler's mental condition," which ONA asserted was characterized by delusional rages in which he confused the contemporary battle for Smolensk with a World War I battle in France.

On July 11, 1941, the UPC approved a sib for distribution in the U.S. newspapers, where Japanese diplomats would read it, indicating that if Tokyo attacked Indochina, the Soviet Union would attack Japan by air. The next day, the New York Times and other American newspapers ran an AP story that cited "reliable persons" reporting that Japan was poised to "make a move against French Indo-China soon." The story noted that "Russia has a large air force within easy range of Japan's vulnerable centers of population."

In August 1941, the New York Times published ONA's report that the death of a 130-year-old Bedouin soothsayer was seen in the Middle East as "a sign of a coming defeat for Hitler." Also in the soothsaying business, the BSC sponsored a U.S. tour for Louis de Wohl, a Hungarian "astro-philosopher." In press conferences and an appearance at the annual convention of the American Federation of Scientific Astrologers, de Wohl announced that the stars predicted doom for Hitler and success for Roosevelt. Newspapers credulously reported his statement that a "yogi once told me a man born on the date Hitler came into power would cause his downfall. Hitler rose to power on Jan. 30, and that is Roosevelt's birth date."

***

The BSC operations in the U.S. weren't all frivolity and fake news; many were much more serious.

Using undercover agents, the BSC conducted a yearlong investigation of a scheme by congressional staff to insert pro-Nazi propaganda into the Congressional Record and to use congressional franking privileges to distribute it. The BSC then coordinated media exposés of the franking scandal and supplied federal prosecutors with information on the pro-Nazi plot, resulting in several convictions.

Elsewhere in Washington, the BSC targeted the embassy used by the Vichy French, illegally tapping its phones, burglarizing embassy property and deploying a female operative to seduce Vichy officials. That intel was then used as the basis for a series of newspaper articles revealing Vichy diplomats' efforts to help Nazi Germany -- stories that the BSC then arranged to be printed under the byline of an American journalist. The resulting public furor severely curtailed the Vichy government's American activities.

With the clarity of hindsight, some may write off as a historical curiosity the extraordinary efforts by Britain to influence American public opinion and the results of elections, arguing that Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and Hitler's impetuous declaration of war vaporized notions of neutrality, rendering efforts to propel America into the war superfluous. But in fact, given the depth and strength of the opposition to FDR's efforts to support Britain in 1940 and 1941 -- and the importance of that lifeline, which pro-British propaganda made possible -- it is clear that the efforts of British intelligence officers and their American recruits helped change history.

In the summer of 1941, the Roosevelt administration strained its political muscles in an all-out push to persuade Congress to amend an emergency military conscription law and extend mandatory service from one year to 2½ years. After the White House exerted all its strength, on August 12, the House passed the extension by a one-vote margin. It is easy to imagine, though impossible to prove, that the efforts of the BSC's operatives to bend the public and bully politicians away from isolationism, tipped the balance in favor of the law. If it had not squeaked through Congress, the U.S. military would have had to send tens of thousands of men home, substantially weakening the position of American forces on the verge of war.

America's first experience of large-scale foreign interference in its elections holds lessons that are relevant today, including the fact that SIS continued to target its American political foes until at least 1944 -- long after the United States committed itself to the war. If history is any guide, Donald Trump's inauguration may not mark the end of Russia's attempts to sway American politicians and public opinion.

[Feb 16, 2019] Death Of Russiagate: Mueller Team Tied To Mifsud s Network

Highly recommended!
Looks like all of them were Brennan men. CIA used FBI counterintelligence and counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal.
Notable quotes:
"... We return, now, to this issue and specifically the research of Chris Blackburn, to place the final nail in the coffin of the Trump-Russia collusion charade. Blackburn's insights are incredible not only because they return us to the earliest reporting on the role of British intelligence figures in manufacturing the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but because they also implicate members of Mueller's investigation. ..."
"... If you factor in the dreadful reporting to discredit Joseph Mifsud and leaks, it is pretty clear something rather strange happened to George Papadopoulos during the campaign while he was shuttling around Europe and the Middle East. He was working with people who have intelligence links at the London Centre of International Law Practice ..."
"... A recent article in The Telegraph also alludes to MI5, MI6, and CIA using counter-terrorism assets which would tie into the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP), and its sister organizations, doing counter-terrorism work for the Australian, UK and US governments. They quote anonymous officials who believe that their intelligence agencies used counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal." ..."
"... Continuing, Blackburn pinpointed the significance of defining counter-terrorism as the starting point of the investigation, saying: "It shows that there is a high probability that intelligence was deliberately abused to make Papadopoulos' activities look like they were something else. ..."
"... It's more likely that the CIA played the FBI with the help of close allies who were suspicious and frightened of a Trump presidency." ..."
"... Zainab Ahmad , a member of Mueller's legal team, is the former Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. As pointed out by Blackburn , Ahmad attended a Global Center on Cooperative Security event in 2017 ..."
"... "Zainab Ahmad was one of the first DOJ prosecutors to have seen the Steele dossier. In May 2017, she attended a counter-terrorism conference in New York with the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), an organization which Joseph Mifsud, the alleged Russian spy, had been working within London and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ..."
"... I don't think it's a coincidence that Global Center on Cooperative Security is connected to various elements that popped up in the Papadopoulos case. The fact that a prosecutor on Mueller's team was at Global Center before Mueller was appointed as special counsel is also troubling ..."
"... Days ago, The Hill reported on Congressional testimony by Bruce Ohr, revealing that when served as a DOJ official, he warned FBI and DOJ figures that the Steele dossier was problematic and linked to the Clintons ..."
"... Last year, Blackburn noted the connection between Mifsud and Arvinder Sambei , writing: "LCILP director and FBI counsel, works with Mike Smith at the Global Center. They ran joint counter-terrorism conferences and training with Mifsud's London Academy. Sambei then brought Mifsud over to the [London Centre of International Law Practice]. [Global Center works with Aussies, UK and US State too." ..."
"... Disobedient Media previously reported that Robert Hannigan, then head of British spy agency GCHQ, flew to Washington DC to share 'director-to-director' level intelligence with then-CIA Chief John Brennan in the summer of 2016. This writer noted that " The Guardian reported Hannigan's announcement that he would step down from his leadership position with the agency just three days after the inauguration of President Trump, on 23 January 2017. ..."
"... Jane Mayer, in her profile of Christopher Steele published in the New Yorker, also noted that Hannigan had flown to Washington D.C. to personally brief the then-CIA Director John Brennan on alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. What is so curious about this briefing "deemed so sensitive it was handled at director-level" is why Hannigan was talking director-to-director to the CIA and not Mike Rogers at the NSA, GCHQ's Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partner." ..."
"... There are more and more articles saying that the FBI, CIA, M14 15,16 yada yada, were overly concerned about Trump. Their sin...caring too much for the USA. They attempted a coup de'etat for "our" own good...we... being "we the people". To quote Abe Lincoln "You will find that all the arguments in favour of kingcraft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, -- not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden." Lincoln did not mince words ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Disobedient Media

In April last year, Disobedient Media broke coverage of the British involvement in the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, asking why All Russiagate Roads Lead To London , via the quasi-scholar Joseph Mifsud and others.

The issue was also raised by WikiLeaks's Julian Assange , just days before the Ecuadorian government silenced him last March. Assange's Twitter thread cited research by Chris Blackburn , who spoke with Disobedient Media on multiple occasions covering Joseph Mifsud's ties to British intelligence figures and organizations, as well as his links to Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign, the FBI, CIA and the private cyber-security firm Crowdstrike.

We return, now, to this issue and specifically the research of Chris Blackburn, to place the final nail in the coffin of the Trump-Russia collusion charade. Blackburn's insights are incredible not only because they return us to the earliest reporting on the role of British intelligence figures in manufacturing the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but because they also implicate members of Mueller's investigation. What we are left with is an indication of collusion between factions of the US and UK intelligence community in fabricating evidence of Trump-Russia collusion: a scandal that would have rocked the legacy press to its core, if Western establishment-backed media had a spine.

In Disobedient Media's previous coverage of Blackburn's work, he described his experience in intelligence:

"I've been involved in numerous investigations that involve counter-intelligence techniques in the past. I used to work for the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism , one of the biggest tort actions in American history. I helped build a profile of Osama bin Laden's financial and political network, which was slightly different to the one that had been built by the CIA's Alec Station , a dedicated task force which was focused on Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Alec Station designed its profile to hunt Osama bin Laden and disrupt his network. I thought it was flawed. It had failed to take into account Osama's historical links to Pakistan's main political parties or that he was the figurehead for a couple of organizations, not just Al-Qaeda."

"I also ran a few conferences for US intelligence leaders during the Bush administration. After the 9/11 Commission published its report into the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon it created a public outreach program. The US National Intelligence Conference and Exposition ( Intelcon ) was one of the avenues it used. I was responsible for creating the 'View from Abroad' track. We had guidance from former Senator Slade Gorton and Jamie Gorelick, who both sat on the 9/11 Commission. We got leaders such as Sir John Chilcot and Baroness Pauline Neville Jones to come and help share their experiences on how the US would be able to heal the rifts after 9/11."

"The US intelligence community was suffering from severe turf wars and firewalls, which were hampering counter-terrorism efforts. They were concentrating on undermining each other rather than tackling terrorism. I had mainly concentrated on the Middle East, but in 2003 I switched my focus to terrorism in South Asia."

Counter Terrorism, Not Counter Intelligence, Sparked Probe

In an article published by The Telegraph last November, the paper acknowledged the following:

"It forces the spotlight on whether the UK played a role in the FBI's investigation launched before the 2016 presidential election into Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin... Mr. Trump's allies and former advisers are raising questions about the UK's role in the start of the probe, given many of the key figures and meetings were located in Britain... One former top White House adviser to Mr. Trump made similar insinuations, telling this newspaper: "You know the Brits are up to their neck." The source added on the Page wiretap application: "I think that stuff is going to implicate MI5 and MI6 in a bunch of activities they don't want to be implicated in, along with FBI, counter-terrorism and the CIA. " [Emphasis Added]

The article cites George Papadopoulos, who asked why the "British intelligence apparatus was weaponized against Trump and his advisers." Papadopoulos has also addressed the issue at length via Twitter. In response to the Telegraph's coverage of the issue, Chris Blackburn wrote via Twitter :

"The Telegraph story on Trump Russia acknowledges that activities involving counter-terrorism are at the heart of the scandal...not counter-intelligence. If the [London Centre for International Law Practice] was British state, not private, some Commonwealth countries are going to be seriously pissed off."

Blackburn spoke with Disobedient Media, saying:

" If you factor in the dreadful reporting to discredit Joseph Mifsud and leaks, it is pretty clear something rather strange happened to George Papadopoulos during the campaign while he was shuttling around Europe and the Middle East. He was working with people who have intelligence links at the London Centre of International Law Practice.

A recent article in The Telegraph also alludes to MI5, MI6, and CIA using counter-terrorism assets which would tie into the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP), and its sister organizations, doing counter-terrorism work for the Australian, UK and US governments. They quote anonymous officials who believe that their intelligence agencies used counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal." [Emphasis Added]

Blackburn discussed this differentiation with Disobedient Media:

"Counter-terrorism is obviously involved in more kinetic, violent political actions-concerning mass casualty events, bombings, assassinations, poisonings, and hacking. But, the lines are blurring between them. Counter-intelligence cases have been known to stretch for decades- often relying on nothing more than paranoia and suspicion to fuel investigations. Counter-terrorism is also a broader discipline as it involves tactical elements like hostage rescue, crime scene investigations, and explosive specialists. Counter-Terrorism is a collaborative effort with counter-terrorism officers working closely with local and regional police forces and civic organizations. There is also a wider academic field around countering violent, and radical ideology which promotes terrorism and insurgencies. Cybersecurity has become the third major discipline in intelligence. The London Center of International Law Practice, the mysterious intelligence company that employed both Papadopoulos and Mifsud , had also been working in that area."

Continuing, Blackburn pinpointed the significance of defining counter-terrorism as the starting point of the investigation, saying: "It shows that there is a high probability that intelligence was deliberately abused to make Papadopoulos' activities look like they were something else.

As counter-terrorism and counterintelligence are close in tactics and methods, it would seem that they were used because they share the same skill sets - covert evidence gathering and deception. It's basically sleight of hand. A piece of theatre would be more precise. However, we don't know if the FBI knew it was real or make-believe. It's more likely that the CIA played the FBI with the help of close allies who were suspicious and frightened of a Trump presidency."

Mueller's Team And Joseph Mifsud

Zainab Ahmad , a member of Mueller's legal team, is the former Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. As pointed out by Blackburn , Ahmad attended a Global Center on Cooperative Security event in 2017. In recent days, Blackburn wrote via Twitter :

"Zainab Ahmad is a major player in the Russiagate scandal at the DOJ. Does she work for SC Mueller? She was at a GCCS event in May 2017. Arvinder Sambei, a co-director of the [London Centre of International Law Practice], worked with Joseph Mifsud, [George Papadopoulos] and [Simona Mangiante]. She's a GCCS consultant."

Blackburn told this author:

"Zainab Ahmad was one of the first DOJ prosecutors to have seen the Steele dossier. In May 2017, she attended a counter-terrorism conference in New York with the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), an organization which Joseph Mifsud, the alleged Russian spy, had been working within London and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia."

Zainab Ahmad (AHMAD). Image via the Combatting Terrorism Center, West Point

"Richard Barrett, the Former Chief of Counter-Terrorism at MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence department traveled with Mifsud to Saudi Arabia to give a talk on terrorism in 2017. Ex-CIA officers, US Defense, and US Treasury officials were also there. The London Centre of International Law Practice's relationship to the Global Center had been established in 2014. The Global Center on Cooperative Security made Martin Polaine and Arvinder Sambei consultants, they then became directors at the London Centre of International Law Practice."

"The Global Center on Cooperative Security's first major UK conference was at Joseph Mifsud's London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD). Mifsud then followed Arvinder Sambei and Nagi Idris over to the London Centre of International Law Practice. Sources have told me that Mifsud was moonlighting as a specialist on counter-terrorism and Islamism while working at LAD which explains why he went to work in counter-terrorism after LAD folded."

"I don't think it's a coincidence that Global Center on Cooperative Security is connected to various elements that popped up in the Papadopoulos case. The fact that a prosecutor on Mueller's team was at Global Center before Mueller was appointed as special counsel is also troubling."

Days ago, The Hill reported on Congressional testimony by Bruce Ohr, revealing that when served as a DOJ official, he warned FBI and DOJ figures that the Steele dossier was problematic and linked to the Clintons. Critically, The Hill writes:

"Those he briefed included Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ's fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ's international operations, and Zainab Ahmad , an accomplished terrorism prosecutor who, at the time, was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor. Ahmad and Weissmann would go on to work for Mueller, the special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe." [Emphasis Added]

This point is essential, as it not only describes Ahmad's role in Mueller's team but places her at a crucial pre-investigation meeting.

Last year, Blackburn noted the connection between Mifsud and Arvinder Sambei , writing: "LCILP director and FBI counsel, works with Mike Smith at the Global Center. They ran joint counter-terrorism conferences and training with Mifsud's London Academy. Sambei then brought Mifsud over to the [London Centre of International Law Practice]. [Global Center works with Aussies, UK and US State too."

Sambei has been described elsewhere as a "Former practising barrister, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service of England & Wales, and Legal Adviser at the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), Ministry of Defence." [British spelling has been retained]

Arvinder Sambei. Image via the Public International Law Advisory Group

That Sambei has been so thoroughly linked to organizations where Mifsud was a central figure is yet another cause of suspicion regarding allegations that Joseph Mifsud was a shadowy, unknown Russian agent until the summer of 2016 . She is also a direct link between Robert Mueller and Mifsud.

Blackburn wrote via Twitter : "Arvinder Sambei helped to organize LCILP's counter-terrorism and corruption events. She used her contacts in the US to bring in Middle Eastern government officials that were seen to be vulnerable to graft. Lisa Osofsky, former FBI Deputy General Counsel, was working with her." Below, Arvinder is pictured at a London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP) event.

Arvinder Sambei, pictured at an LCILP event. Image via Chris Blackburn, Twitter

As Chris Blackburn told this author:

" Mifsud and Papadopoulos's co-director Arvinder Sambei was also the former FBI British counsel working 9/11 cases for Robert Mueller. She also runs a consultancy which deals with Special Investigative Measure (SIMs) which is just a posh description for covert espionage and evidence gathering. She has worked for major intelligence and national law agencies in the past. She wore two hats as a director of London Centre and a consultant for the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), a counter-terrorism think tank which is sponsored by the Australia, Canada, UK and US governments. Alexander Downer's former Chief of Staff while at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade now works for the Global Center. Mifsud was also due to meet with Australian private intelligence figures in Adelaide in March 2016. So. Australia is certainly a major focus for the investigation." [Emphasis Added]

Below, former FBI Deputy General Counsel Lisa Osofsky is pictured at a London Centre for International Law Practice event . Osofsky also served as the Money Laundering Reporting Officer with Goldman Sachs International. Since 2018, she has served as the Director of the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Lisa Osofsky, pictured at an LCILP event. Image via Chris Blackburn, Twitter

An Embarrassment For John Brennan?

Disobedient Media previously reported that Robert Hannigan, then head of British spy agency GCHQ, flew to Washington DC to share 'director-to-director' level intelligence with then-CIA Chief John Brennan in the summer of 2016. This writer noted that " The Guardian reported Hannigan's announcement that he would step down from his leadership position with the agency just three days after the inauguration of President Trump, on 23 January 2017.

Jane Mayer, in her profile of Christopher Steele published in the New Yorker, also noted that Hannigan had flown to Washington D.C. to personally brief the then-CIA Director John Brennan on alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. What is so curious about this briefing "deemed so sensitive it was handled at director-level" is why Hannigan was talking director-to-director to the CIA and not Mike Rogers at the NSA, GCHQ's Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partner."

Blackburn told Disobedient Media:

"Former Congressman Trey Gowdy, who has seen most of the information gathered by Congress from the intelligence community concerning the Russia investigation, said that if President Trump were to declassify files and present the truth to the American public, it would " embarrass John Brennan ." I think that is pretty concrete for me, but it's not definitive. I know the polarization and spin in Washington has become perverse, but that statement is pretty specific for me. If Brennan is involved, it is most probably through Papadopoulos who sparked off the 'official' investigation at the FBI. He also made sure the Steele dossier was spread through the US government."

Blackburn added: "Chris Steele was also working on FIFA projects, and a source has told me that he was working to investigate the Russian and Qatari World Cup bids. The London Centre of International Law Practice has been working with Majed Garoub, the former Saudi legal representative of FIFA, the world governing body for soccer. He's also been working against the Qatari bid. Steele likes to get paid twice for his investigations."

"Mifsud has also been associated with Prince Turki the former Saudi intelligence chief, Mifsud and the London Academy of Diplomacy used to train Saudi diplomats and intelligence figures while Turki was the Saudi Ambassador to London. Turki is a close friend of Bill Clinton and John Brennan. Nawaf Obaid was also courting Mifsud and tried to get him a cushy job working with CNN's Freedom Project at Link Campus in Rome. He also knows John Brennan. Intelligence agencies like to give out professional gifts like this plum academic position for completing missions. In the US, it is widely known that intelligence agencies gift the children of assets to get them into prestigious Ivy League schools."

At minimum, we can surmise that Mifsud was not a Russian agent, but was an asset of Western intelligence agencies. We are left with the impression that the Mifsud saga served as a ploy, whether he participated knowingly or not. It seems reasonable to conclude that the gambit was initially developed with participation of John Brennan and UK intelligence. Following this, Mueller inherited and developed the Mifsud narrative thread into the collusion soap opera we know today.

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency, and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power.


snodgrass , 2 hours ago link

What ********. Britain was part of the group pulling of 911 along with the American and Jewish establishment. Blackburn was the inside guy, posing as an outsider, to deflect attention from the real perpetrators. These people always have agents on both sides of every issue in the same way they fund two "opposing" political parties and fund two "opposing" sides in the media.

freedommusic , 3 hours ago link

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency , and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power .

It's called TREASON .

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies , giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere , is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years

Jung , 3 hours ago link

SteeleGate---his mate Skripal, boss Pablo Miller----novichok---Porton Down---anything to blame Russia in the end. After 30 dys of shutdown personnel of CIA, FBI and DOJ can be changed legally: draining of the swamp and DECLAS can begin with proper Military Tribunals in place. This according to Q who shared all of this, so it was not a conspiracy theory that the Q team exposed, but just MSM and Deep State in their last panic mode. Justice will now be able to follow: maybe rel end of endless wars too!

boooyaaaah , 3 hours ago link

There are more and more articles saying that the FBI, CIA, M14 15,16 yada yada, were overly concerned about Trump. Their sin...caring too much for the USA. They attempted a coup de'etat for "our" own good...we... being "we the people". To quote Abe Lincoln "You will find that all the arguments in favour of kingcraft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, -- not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden." Lincoln did not mince words

So now we have an international conspiracy of care. Not one power grubber in the group. A syndicate of misunderstood do gooders.

But not having the consent of the people, but rather trying to undo, and foil the consent of the people.

This part of the Declaration applies

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Last of the Middle Class , 4 hours ago link

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency, and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power..."

Why do you not call it a coup d'etat? That is what it is, nothing less. If it were about something Trump did you would use the harshest possible language. Why not tell the truth here. Let the American people know what happened.

[Feb 10, 2019] Can Elizabeth Warren reclaim her role as Democrats' top foil to Trump? by Sabrina Siddiqui in

Notable quotes:
"... The job paid minimum wage and exposed Warren firsthand to the topics that would later define her career: the power of corporations and the effects of bankruptcy on the American consumer. ..."
"... Warren, who had been sharply critical of Clinton in part over her ties to Wall Street, ultimately chose not to challenge her for the Democratic party's nomination and endorsed the former secretary of state's campaign. It was also during this time that Warren proved among the few capable of getting under then candidate Donald Trump's skin. ..."
"... At the same time, Warren became a top target of conservatives and Trump himself. The president has repeatedly mocked Warren with the derisive nickname "Pocahontas" – including at an event intended to honor Native Americans. ..."
"... Republicans first tried to push the notion that Warren used her Native American ancestry to further her career in the 2012 Senate race, homing in on a single questionnaire in which she claimed mixed ancestry. ..."
"... But the matter did not end there. The Washington Post published a story revealing Warren listed her race as "American Indian" while seeking a Texas bar registration card in 1986. ..."
"... Warren's platform includes the single-payer healthcare system Medicare for All, debt-free college tuition and anti-corruption legislation designed to restore accountability in government. She is also poised to unveil a proposal that would impose a wealth tax on Americans worth over $50m. ..."
Feb 10, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Warren's official entry into the race has differed sharply from when she captured widespread liberal enthusiasm in her unlikely bid for the Senate seven years ago.

The two-term senator will join a crowded Democratic primary field with no clear frontrunner – and several contenders jockeying to claim the progressive mantle that she aspires to grasp. She has also found herself contending with a lingering controversy for previously identifying as Native American over the course of nearly two decades.

The question now is whether Warren, who moved early to build an expansive field operation in anticipation of her presidential run, can overcome early setbacks and reclaim her role as the Democratic party's top foil to Donald Trump.

divider

Born to middle-class parents in Norman, Oklahoma , Warren has spoken candidly about how her family's livelihood was upended when her father's heart attack forced him out of work. Addressing crowds across the country, Warren often recalls how her late mother – determined not to lose the family's home – "pulled on her best dress" and got her first paying job at the department store Sears.

The job paid minimum wage and exposed Warren firsthand to the topics that would later define her career: the power of corporations and the effects of bankruptcy on the American consumer.

Her research in bankruptcy law – and the impact on the average person's medical bills, mortgage payments and other installments – led Warren to become a leading expert on the subject and rise in the academia world.

"These are the issues she still cares about," said Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School who helped recruit Warren to its faculty.

"I think she is extraordinary for this reason, that she got into politics because she cared about some issues. She didn't get into politics because she wanted to be in office and then tried to figure out what issues she cared about."

Warren cultivated a profile as a populist firebrand against the backdrop of the Great Recession, earning the ire of Wall Street by spearheading the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – an agency established under the Obama administration as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill of 2010.

Upon being passed over to head the agency she helped create, Warren decided to continue the fight from within the government, embarking on a campaign to win back the late senator and liberal icon Ted Kennedy's seat from the Republican incumbent, Scott Brown, in the high-profile 2012 Massachusetts Senate race.

Roughly $70m was spent on the bitterly waged contest, which catapulted Warren to the national stage.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Elizabeth Warren speaks during day two of the Democratic national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 5 September 2012. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The race also saw Warren cement herself as a leader of the burgeoning progressive movement within the Democratic party; branding the choice before voters as "Wall Street versus you", Warren viewed the election as an opportunity to hand a major defeat to what she once dubbed as "the largest lobbying force ever assembled on the face of the earth".

Following her victory, Warren's profile grew so rapidly that speculation swiftly emerged over a potential White House run in 2016, despite the inevitability of Hillary Clinton's candidacy. A group of progressives even mounted a #DraftWarren campaign.

Warren, who had been sharply critical of Clinton in part over her ties to Wall Street, ultimately chose not to challenge her for the Democratic party's nomination and endorsed the former secretary of state's campaign. It was also during this time that Warren proved among the few capable of getting under then candidate Donald Trump's skin.

After Trump derided Clinton as a "nasty woman", Warren famously riffed: "Get this, Donald. Nasty women are tough, nasty women are smart and nasty women vote, and on November 8, we nasty women are going to march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever."

The 2016 presidential election did not, however, produce the groundswell of unified opposition to Trump that Democrats had hoped for. Instead, it left the party in search of a clear leader to fill the void left by Obama's departure from the White House.

For Warren, it looked as though her moment had arrived.

In the early days of the Trump administration, Warren quickly emerged as the face of the Democratic opposition, matching the president's tweets with sharp ripostes of her own and holding his cabinet nominees to account when they appeared for consideration before congressional committees.

During the confirmation process for the former attorney general Jeff Sessions, Warren famously read a letter written 30 years prior by Coretta Scott King, in which the widow of Dr Martin Luther King Jr warned of Sessions' civil rights record from the time of his nomination for a federal judgeship.

Silenced by Republicans mid-speech on the Senate floor, Warren read the letter on Facebook Live. The hashtag #LetLizSpeak trended on Twitter and the phrase "Nevertheless, she persisted" was coined.

At the same time, Warren became a top target of conservatives and Trump himself. The president has repeatedly mocked Warren with the derisive nickname "Pocahontas" – including at an event intended to honor Native Americans.

Although Warren long ignored the president's taunts, she took the unusual step of addressing the issue head on in October by making public the results of a DNA test revealing that she did, in fact, have some Native American ancestry.

Rather than putting the topic to rest, Warren's move was rebuked by some tribal leaders, who felt it politicized their identity, and reignited the story.

Republicans first tried to push the notion that Warren used her Native American ancestry to further her career in the 2012 Senate race, homing in on a single questionnaire in which she claimed mixed ancestry.

An exhaustive investigation by the Boston Globe found no evidence that Warren benefited from doing so, and nearly every living Harvard law professor involved in her hiring has said it was not a factor in their votes to offer her a tenured position.

"When we brought her to Harvard, no one had a clue that she thought of herself as Native American," said Laurence Tribe, the school's professor of constitutional law.

"I think she's had an unfair rap," he added. "I don't think it's the case that she ever exploited her family's background or ancestry in a way that some people seem to think she did."

The Cherokee nation, one of the groups that was critical of Warren, said she privately apologized to to tribal leaders.

But the matter did not end there. The Washington Post published a story revealing Warren listed her race as "American Indian" while seeking a Texas bar registration card in 1986. Warren apologized once more, telling reporters: "I'm not a tribal citizen.

"My apology is an apology for not having been more sensitive about tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty. I really want to underline the point, tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship."

Warren remains a popular figure in the Democratic party and was easily re-elected to a second Senate term in the 2018 midterm elections.

Even so, she received fewer votes in her home state than Charlie Baker, the Republican governor of Massachusetts, prompting Warren's hometown paper to urge the senator to reconsider a presidential bid.

"While Warren won re-election, her margin of victory in November suggests there's a ceiling on her popularity," the Boston Globe editorial board wrote. "Baker garnered more votes than she did in a state that is supposed to be a Democratic haven."

She's hard-edged, not personally, but ideologically. She takes very sharp and controversial positions

Barney Frank

"While Warren is an effective and impactful senator with an important voice nationally, she has become a divisive figure," the board added. "A unifying voice is what the country needs now after the polarizing politics of Donald Trump." Those close to Warren dismissed the editorial as having more to do with the personal biographies and inclinations of those who sit on the board. "She's hard-edged, not personally, but ideologically," said Frank. "She takes very sharp and controversial positions."

"So, yeah, they're going to be people who are unhappy with her."

More challenging for Warren, friends and former colleagues said, would be the task of distinguishing herself within a diverse field of Democratic candidates that includes at least three of her Senate colleagues and a record number of women seeking the party's nomination.

Warren's platform includes the single-payer healthcare system Medicare for All, debt-free college tuition and anti-corruption legislation designed to restore accountability in government. She is also poised to unveil a proposal that would impose a wealth tax on Americans worth over $50m.

Fried, who served as solicitor general under Ronald Reagan, said he disagreed with some of the more expansive economic policies touted by Warren. But her greatest asset as a candidate, he acknowledged, would be to approach the campaign with the same steely resolve to elevate the middle class that endeared her to voters seven years ago.

Although he is only occasionally in touch with Warren as she embarks on what will undoubtedly be a grueling campaign for America's highest office, Fried recalled recently sending Warren a lengthy article about capitalism and income inequality.

To his surprise, he received a response from Warren 10 days later. She had not only taken the time to read the article, but highlighted a portion that stood out to her. "How many presidential candidates would do that?" Fried asked. In her email, Warren also recounted to her old colleague how not very long ago they sat together on a flight discussing the prospects of a Clinton presidency. That day never came to fruition, Warren noted. "I don't know what lies ahead," she added. "But I know what I'm fighting for."

[Feb 10, 2019] 'Rigged system': will Warren's rage against the rich win over 2020 voters? by Josh Wood

Feb 09, 2019 | -> www.theguardian.com

While controversy around her heritage lingers, voters call the Democrat's fight against economic injustice 'inspiring' On a cold, blustery January day in 1912, immigrant women walked out of the Everett Mill in the -> Massachusetts factory town of Lawrence demanding higher wages and better working conditions. Mill owners and city government responded in a swift and heavy-handed manner; local militias and police forces were called to the streets. Protesters died. Many more were arrested.

On a cold, blustery February day 117 years later, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren stood in front of Everett Mill -> to announce her candidacy for president of the United States , channeling the spirit of those women as she told her supporters that they were in a fight for their lives against a rigged system that favors the rich and powerful.

ss="rich-link"> Why women 2020 candidates face 'likability' question even as they make history Read more

"These workers – led by women – didn't have much. Not even a common language. Nevertheless, they persisted," she said. "The story of Lawrence is about how real change happens in America. It's a story about power – our power – when we fight together."

For Warren, who grew up in an economically struggling Oklahoma household and who first rose to mainstream prominence by handing out practical financial advice to American families, the word "fight" is central to her platform and political ethos – it was a word peppered throughout her speech.

But on Saturday, she made clear that hers was not just a fight against president Donald Trump, but against a system she described as one where the rich, privileged and powerful oppress the rest of the country.

-> Facebook Twitter Pinterest Supporters in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

"The man in the White House is not the cause of what is broken, he is just the latest – and most extreme – symptom of what's gone wrong in America, a product of a rigged system that props up the rich and the powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else," she said. "So once he's gone, we can't pretend that all of this never happened."

The backdrop of the mill, where the so-called Bread and Roses strikes originated, was symbolic. But so too was the choice of the modern day city of Lawrence, which is one of those places in America that has felt left behind in recent times. To many in New England, Lawrence is synonymous with crime, drugs and poverty. The Republican governors of Maine and New Hampshire have invoked the city's name when laying blame for the opioid crises in their states. As was the case at the time of the strikes, Lawrence is a working class city of immigrants, with a population that is about 80% Latino. It is a city where wealth is nearby, but out of reach for many.

Sebastian Brown, 31, moved to Lawrence five years ago. While he had yet to choose a candidate to support, he was excited by Warren's message and was happy Warren chose the town as the site of her announcement.

ass="inline-garnett-quote inline-icon ">

I think we need a woman president and I think it will be the fight of our lives

Vicki Ward, rally attendee

"This is a working class city. And I think her – and Bernie [Sanders] – are running on platforms that speak to the working class and how they're being screwed over by the rich and powerful," he said. "And I think she's a great messenger for it."

While there was optimism about Warren's candidacy at her rally, she enters an already crowded Democratic field amid -> r enewed controversy over her past identification as Native American.

For years now – since even before he was president – -> Trump has needled Warren on the issue , calling her "Pocahontas". He and others accuse Warren of falsely presenting herself as Native American to gain unfair advantages in life.

The controversy was re-ignited last week when the Washington Post -> published Warren's 1986 registration card for the Texas State Bar. In it, she listed "American Indian" as her race.

Warren has now apologised repeatedly for identifying as Native American, saying in recent days that she "should have been more mindful of the distinction with tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty". She still maintains that Native American ancestry was part of her family's story passed down to her.

-> Facebook Twitter Pinterest Elizabeth Warren called Donald Trump the 'most extreme' symptom of a broken system. Photograph: Cj Gunther/EPA

How damaging the controversy will be remains to be see. Warren enters a diverse Democratic field where other candidates belong to minority groups: New Jersey senator -> Cory Booker is African American ; -> California senator Kamala Harris was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. -> Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is both the first Hindu and first Samoan-American member of Congress, and the former San Antonio mayor -> Julián Castro is Latino . When the Democratic race gets heated, Warren's portrayal of race could prove to be a point of attack.

Peter Devlin, a 56-year-old dentist from the nearby town of North Andover, said he was at the rally to hear what Warren had to say but said that the Native American controversy "is going to be a problem" for her campaign.

"I voted for her as senator, but I'm concerned about her electability," he said. "It's going to be a tough run. She's got a bit of baggage and she's so sort of cliche progressive liberal that I think there's a lot of America that's not up for that. But I want to hear what she's up to."

ss="rich-link"> Stacey Abrams on the ticket? Democrat's star turn fuels talk for 2020 Read more

However, other attendees, like 64-year-old Vicki Ward, who drove two hours to the event from Vermont, were ready to throw their support behind Warren on the first day of the senator's presidential campaign.

"I think she's got the qualities that we need," she said. "I think we need a woman president and I think it will be the fight of our lives."

Maryann Johnson, who came to Warren's announcement from New Hampshire, also said she was already sold on Warren.

"I basically agreed with everything she said. We need to have more equality, there needs to be less corruption in government," she said. "She's inspiring."

Topics -> Elizabeth Warren -> US elections 2020 -> Massachusetts -> Democrats -> US politics analysis Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

[Feb 10, 2019] And does he really think the Brits have "class?"

Feb 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

Bragadocious , says: February 8, 2019 at 5:33 am GMT

Both Haley and Mattis are no longer serving with the Administration; apparently news of this has not reached Fred's watering hole in Ajijic, where I hear the Internet is slow and dodgy. And does he really think the Brits have "class?"

Harry showed up for a photo op in Helmand province and promptly got two American GIs killed, a result that Reed probably found thrilling.

The classy Brits promptly created tall tales of this dimwitted ginger dodging bullets and blasting insurgents to bits, like a modern day Flashman. All this in the run-up to the big wedding. Classy, and not propaganda at all!

[Feb 09, 2019] There are only two ways to remove Maduro

Feb 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

vexarb says Feb, 4, 2019

Analyst Canthama agrees with Pepe (BTL SyrPer #286513):

The Saker has a nice article on Venezuela, few days old, but quite balanced on his analysis, people could disagree with one or two things but in general quite to the point on all fronts.

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-us-aggression-against-venezuela-as-a-diagnostic-tool/

Though Colombia and Brazil border Venezuela on its West and South, any sort of military invasion from those directions will first have to conquer nature.

So there are only two ways to remove Maduro:

1) US cruise missiles hitting hundreds of spots in Venezuela would be completely unacceptable for any Latina America population, a violence that would cause the US to lose support even its most vassal States.
In parallel, such violence would spark the return of the Colombian guerrilla, blowback will be very bad and wide spread. Thus military intervention is not likely.

2) The second option is assassination of Maduro , and this is where some of Venezuela's allies are trying to help, either with security guards, intel and direct protection.

As in Syria, time is an ally for Venezuela, the Venezuela Government will become stronger and diplomacy will take shape, There is a real danger though for a false flag, and this is in fact what Bolton and Pompeo are preparing with Guaidó's supporters knowledge [as in Syria].

Time is also important since the US regime and its dying fiat economy, 2019 will be a tough year for the G7, meaning theses regimes will either have to create another massive QE that will bring them down or start a big war, which the vast majority of their country citizens will never support, see France with yellow vest, many more countries would see the same -- even the US.

So, time is good friend to the Venezuela, they must push it as long as they can, and things will be all right.

vexarb says Feb, 4, 2019
Pepe Escobar gives the global view; with Venezuela, Iran, Russia and China abandoning the mythical petrodollar, Uncle $cam's fiat currency is heading for the dustbin of history: https://thesaker.is/venezuela-lets-cut-to-the-chase/
vexarb says Feb, 4, 2019
Latest from MOA. Uncle $cam is couped in all alone: https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/02/us-coup-attempt-in-venezuela-lacks-international-support.html
Frank Russell says Feb, 3, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/embed/R_2sf6qnuNU?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Frank Russell says Feb, 3, 2019
https://youtu.be/R_2sf6qnuNU
vexarb says Feb, 2, 2019
UN rejects Venezuela's Guaido, will only cooperate with recognized government of Maduro: https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/02/01/587387/UN-reject-Guaido-cooperate-Maduro
vexarb says Feb, 1, 2019
Refusal to hand over Venezuelan gold means end of Britain as a financial center -- Prof. Wolff

https://www.rt.com/business/450144-venezuela-gold-boe-wolff/

"That is a signal to every country that has or may have difficulties with the US, [that they had] better get their money out of England and out of London because it's not the safe place as it once was," he said.

"One of the few things left for Britain is to be the financial center that London has been for so long. And one of the ways you stay a financial center is if you don't play games with other people's money," he said.

Lochearn says Feb, 1, 2019
Jimmy Dore, Abby Martin and others on Venezuela: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98pBLXe7Bmk

crank says Feb, 1, 2019

Listening to David Graeber in this interview there is no mention of declining energy surpluses in the discussion of the economic paradigm of the coming future. No consideration of the role of the labour of fossil fuels in the economy of the past two centuries. It's amazing, the argument seems not to have reached them, such that it is doesn't even get a look in. (Listen from 40 min mark, and you will hear a completely opposite view of what is to come -- " We are not going to have the problem of how to deploy scarce resources, given an only moderate level of productivity ").
https://novaramedia.com/2019/02/01/david-graeber-bullshit-jobs-direct-democracy-the-end-of-capitalism/

Fittingly, there is a fascinating section (52.min 30 sec onwards) exploring Graeber's new book project about how much of the enlightenment thinking of pre-revolutionary France was either a pilfering of, or a reaction to, the ideas of social organisation coming from pre-European Americans.

DunGroanin says Feb, 1, 2019

The Graun seems to have been anti-Chavez from the get go. With a set of 'journalists' who seem to jave made it their lifes work to reverse that democratic revolution. It is not easy to find their biogs.
Johan Meyer says Jan, 31, 2019
This whole business of "recognizing a president" not yet in power has a precedent: Rwanda.

When the bUgandan army invaded Rwanda (with US, Canadian, British and Belgian backing) in 1990 (1 October), or in propaganda terms, the RPA started its "liberation," the US moved its embassy to Mulindi, and sent the bUgandan chief of intelligence from his IMET junket at Fort Leavenworth, to take over in northern Rwanda. I refer to Paul Kagame.

International institutions also started to deal with Mulindi, rather than Kigali. Accusations of genocide within a year

Glasshopper says Jan, 31, 2019
Loathsome though he is, Bolton is probably the only honest neocon around. In Iraq, while the likes of Blair were banging on about 45 minutes, human rights and democracy etc, Bolton always made it clear that is was simply a matter of US interests. AKA Oil. He has never pretended to represent anything but rapacious US self interest.

Fair play. At least you know what you're getting with that tash.

Stonky says Jan, 31, 2019
Prior to being assigned to Latin America, Phillips was the Guardian's China correspondent for five years or so. His task, which he diligently accomplished, was to produce a couple of articles a week on "Why China Is No Good" . I don't think he ever once found anything positive to say about the place.

As an individual he's a complete Jodrell, but there are few to compare with him in his ability to relentlessly toe the Washington neocon line. You couldn't get a fag paper in between him and Luke Harding. I wonder if he's paid for it, or whether it's just that seductive sense of 'belonging' that comes from rubbing shoulders with really powerful people .

Tim Jenkins says Jan, 31, 2019
Principally, the principles , better said the absence of statute & principle in Law, behind mass surveillance, was what Snowden was desperate to highlight and that the public's principal concern of the Guardian's hard drives, were the least of our problems, legally speaking , coz' other copies existed already elsewhere, anyway

OFFG could always ask Glen Greenwald to explain why he ceased to 'copulate' with the Guardian and maybe even 'intercept' an opinion or two from Snowden, whilst he's at it intercepting. Indeed , a few extra nails in the Guardian's coffin , could be delivered quite speedily & succinctly , with some professional journalistic exchange of Question & Answer, with nail-gun loaded & mutual benefit would seem to be an all round obvious win-win debate on matters of principle, legal permissions & submissions.

Andy says Jan, 31, 2019
In some ways it is refreshing to have these power hungry narcissists in charge of the US as they cannot seem to not blurt out their naked ambitions, which in this example ftom the ft basically shows kidnap is an agreeable part of trade negotiation.

'Five days after a top executive of Huawei, the Chinese telecoms group, was arrested on a US request in Canada, President Donald Trump said he was willing to intervene -- if it helped secure "the largest trade deal ever made". The detention of Meng Wanzhou, one of China's best known executives, was undoubtedly an incendiary step, escalating trade tensions with Beijing. But presidential interference in the case would send entirely the wrong message about the US justice system -- and about how the administration conducts international affairs.

The US and western allies have legitimate concerns about China's reputation for digital espionage and theft of intellectual property. They agree a more robust stance is needed towards Beijing. But arresting a star of Chinese business -- Ms Meng has been called China's Sheryl Sandberg -- on a Canadian stopover en route to Mexico from Hong Kong is not the way to persuade Beijing to change its behaviour.

Even if the Huawei chief financial officer was held on unrelated charges of violating US sanctions on Iran, the move smacks of using individuals as pawns in negotiations. It is seen in Beijing as Washington rewriting the rules of engagement. Such waywardness and unpredictability from a country that used to portray itself as a pillar of the international rules-based order will tempt China to respond in kind, leading to a downward spiral of tit-for-tat behaviour. Indeed, the detention of a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig, in Beijing looks worryingly like retaliation.

It may be necessary to take at face value Mr Trump's claims that he was unaware of the US extradition application, and of the detention itself -- which occurred on the day he was holding talks on a trade truce with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires. Had he known, even Mr Trump seems unlikely to have been cynical enough not to mention the arrest to Mr Xi. Presidential ignorance, however, offers little reassurance.

That Mr Trump would not be notified of such a sensitive case by his justice department strengthens the impression of a dysfunctional administration, whose different arms pursue their agendas with little co-ordination, if not in open competition. It strains credibility that his recent presidential predecessors would have been left in the dark in similar situations. The Huawei incident comes in the same week that John Kelly's departure as chief of staff seemed to confirm the extent to which the Trump White House defies conventional management.

The president's offer to do "whatever's good for this country" regarding Ms Meng's case reflects a dealmaker's desire to put his talks with Mr Xi back on track, while extracting whatever advantage he can. But it amounts, in effect, to saying he is holding the Huawei CFO hostage as a trade negotiating chip. The situation carries echoes of the White House's reversal in July of a seven-year executive ban on ZTE, the Chinese telecoms equipment maker, on purchasing critical equipment from the US, in what appeared a tactical concession to Beijing.

Presidential interference in Ms Meng's case would send a worse signal: that rule of law in the US is a function of the whim of the chief executive, or that illegal behaviour can be up for negotiation. It risks creating an impression that there is little difference between America's judicial system and that of, say, Turkey -- or indeed China. The Huawei executive's detention was damaging. It is, however, not for the White House, but for independent courts in Canada and -- if Ms Meng is extradited -- the US to determine what happens next.'

lundiel says Jan, 31, 2019
It all depends on your acceptance of "legality" of American sanctions on Iran. I don't, therefore American action against Ms Meng imo is political and nothing to do with the rule of law. Mr Trump's opinions are irrelevant.
Jen says Jan, 31, 2019
President Trump's comments and opinions as expressed on Twitter will become relevant in Sabrina Meng's court case. Her legal defence could use Trump's opinions as evidence that her arrest was politically motivated and therefore she should not be extradited.

Canadian PM Justin Bieber Trudeau sacked the Ambassador to China for saying this and expressing other opinions, among them Canada's view as to whether the current (and new) US sanctions on Iran are binding on Canada.

harry stotle says Jan, 31, 2019
Just to add I see the US are sending their finest war criminals to 'help' Venezuela.

Elliot Abrams really is a piece of work -- perhaps not everybody realises quite how bad this guy is.

Absolutely shocking allegations here.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IrcT3GJuh0A?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Kathy says Jan, 31, 2019
The hypocrisy of the MSM in all this is yet again. So blatant it is sickening. At the same time as Yemen is being battered by bombs with the Wests names on them. Deliberately starved to death. With Western MSM indifference. Not to even mention. All the other countries Western powers have illegally devastated. The hand ringing over the plight of the Venezuelan people under Maduro is suddenly more then they can all bare. Western sanctioning and deliberate sabotage by the West against the country. Undermining any chance of peace. Don't get a peep of a mention by the MSM.
Here we go again. Roll up roll up. This is the latest hypocritical propaganda media show. Maduro is evil we must save his country from this evil. Saintly peace bringing Western alliance must save Venezuela. All that's needed is a more pliant Western puppet or chaos and civil war. Oil Opps sorry shh don't mention the oil. Does any one really buy into this deranged demented narrative any more. For gods sake how many more times do we have to say. NO NOT IN MY NAME.
Yarkob says Jan, 31, 2019
This is good: https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/29/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the-us-regime-change-laboratory-created-venezuelas-coup-leader/

same old characters..OTPOR in particular has a rosy past. Mixed up with DynCorp and the Serbian "police" abuse fiasco

wardropper says Jan, 31, 2019
The likes of Bolton haven't seen any reason to conceal their wicked agenda for some time. They are so sure that their god has made them untouchable.
mark says Jan, 31, 2019
$13 billion in Venezuelan assets have been stolen by Uncle Sam and his satraps over the past few days. Why oh why oh why do countries and foreign individuals persist in keeping their assets in the US/ UK??????. Billions were stolen from Libya in a few days in 2011. Where it all went is one of life's big mysteries. Cameron even stole a boat load of Libyan currency that had been printed in the UK.
Francis Lee says Jan, 31, 2019
Yes, guilt by omission, the preferred mendacity of the MSM. 'When truth is met by silence, silence is a lie.' Yevgeny Yevtushenko.
mark says Feb, 3, 2019
A Parliamentary Committee has been set up to agitate for sanctions against China on behalf of the "poor oppressed Uighurs" in China. Shedding buckets of tears over the lack of "yuman rights." While supplying British sniper rifles to the Zionists to gun down Palestinian kids with dum dum bullets and planes, cluster bombs and RAF advisors to slaughter kids in Yemen.
harry stotle says Jan, 31, 2019
Trump imposed broader economic sanctions on Venezuela because;
*serious human rights abuses (by Maduro),
*antidemocratic actions, and,
*responsibility for the deepening humanitarian crisis.
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/IF10715.pdf

So definitely nothing to do with the oil, or international relations between Venezuela and other powers that neocons are at war with (wars being conducted in the media, financial markets and on the ground) while the phony who preceeded Trump (Obama) claimed Venezeula posed an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to US national security (which is a bit like Tyson Fury saying he is frightened by a 90 year old woman who is blind and only has one leg).
https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/12885

Isn't there just one soul at the Guardian who will stand up for what is really happening here (as in all other parts of the world where the US has harmed so many people because of its insatiable pursuit of oil and power) -- just one?

I must admit I am not getting my hopes up -- while the Guardian excels at drawing attention to Maduros failings they seem to be deaf, dumb and blind to the geopolitical context in which Venezuela is doing its utmost to escape the tentacles of US-backed neocons in their endless quest for violent regime change.

Maggie says Jan, 31, 2019
Here is a most excellent expose by Jimmy Dore:
?v=whgOvbw53WY

Article 7 of the Rome Statute says US sanctions are illegal because they were not sanctioned by the UN.

So WHY THE FCK DON;'T THEY TURN THE UN TROOPS ON THEM.:
Oh, I know why.. because they are toothless windbags.

Time to sanction the US,,,, NOW!!!

harry stotle says Jan, 31, 2019
Jimmy is an exception.

In general those in the know loath the MSM because of the role they play in backing the gangsters.

"Our own fate as Latin American writers is linked to the need for profound social transformations. To narrate is to give oneself: it seems obvious that literature, as an effort to communicate fully, will continue to be blocked so long as misery and illiteracy exist, and so long as the possessors of power continue to carry on with impunity their policy of collective imbecilization through the mass media. (Open veins of Latin America -- Eduardo Galeano)

http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/More_Books_and_Reports/Open_Veins_of_Latin_America.pdf

Ingwe says Jan, 31, 2019
A good article on the Graun's pro-USA stance on Venezuela. But the analysis in the linked article provides a more nuanced analysis of what's really going on there and it's not just about oil.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/30/trumps-coup-in-venezuela-the-full-story/
vexarb says Jan, 31, 2019
Ingwe, I started reading the Counter Punch, agreed it was not _only_ the oil so what were the other motives for U$ Grand Theft Larceny Fraud with Violence? Got as far as this:

"It should be remembered that the Obama Administration had imposed sanctions against Moscow in March 2014 over the Russian annexation of Crimea, and later involvement in the civil war in Eastern Ukraine."

Could not read follow that, because I remember no such things as Russian annexation of Crimea (at least, not since Catherine the Great), nor do I remember a civil war in Eastern Ukraine (though quite aware that the U$-imposed Jewish Junta with their neo-Nazi stormtroops are continually shelling Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine).

Ingwe says Jan, 31, 2019
vexarb, pity you didn't bother to read further for, if you did, you'd get a rather more serious analysis than "USA bad and after the oil; Russia good and bringing enlightenment to the world" .
Francis Lee says Jan, 31, 2019
Excuse me but where did Vexarb say or intimated that 'Russia was good and bringing enlightenment to the world.' I can't seem to find this.
Antonym says Jan, 31, 2019
Why is anyone sane still reading (or referring to) the Guardian?
RealPeter says Jan, 31, 2019
I think the reason some of us still look at the Graun is that we can't quite believe how appalling it's got, especially when, like me, you're old enough to remember the old newspaper from the time when it had some principles and a lot of good writing. It has the sickly fascination of something you know is really bad for you, like Nutella or reality TV shows. You end up wallowing in its sheer awfulness, unlike, say, the Mail and the Sun, which you always know from the start are going to be barking mad and have no element of surprise.
bc says Jan, 31, 2019
It's pretty obvious Anthony. Because the Guardian, like the BBC and C4 News, presents itself as and is widely regarded to be an authorititative, non-biased news source. Hence it is hugely influential in forming opinion in the corridors of power and in educated society. Opinion that allow bad things to happen and ends up impacting lives. That is reality regardless of comments dismissing these news sources on the internet. And it is why it is appropriate for offguardian and others to try and highlight and expose the dangerous lies and omissions of these wide-reaching propagandists.
bevin says Jan, 31, 2019
It's good for cricket: the best paper in Canada for cricket news. Also for cycling. Since I first began to read the Manchester Guardian for Neville Cardus's famous writing on cricket, I stick with it.
As for foreign affairs, once it has been told by the Foreign Office, who the current enemies are it goes for them. Those who recall the 'good old days' when Latin America and the Middle East, including Palestine got reasonable coverage which sometimes was very good indeed, ought to bear in mind that, in those Cold War days, the main enemy was the Soviet Union and it was necessary to be equivocal about liberation struggles. After all, 'we' were pretending to be desperately sorry about the sufferings of the Russian people, and those of eastern Europe, so it was necessary to tone down the imperialist message.
Now the Establishment is dead set on recovering Latin America in toto, banishing alien (Chinese Russian) influences and consolidating its base in the western hemisphere.
Here comes the Atlantic Treaty Organisation ATO.
Jen says Jan, 31, 2019
Why is anyone sane still reading (or referring to) the Guardian?

This is like the old Soviet joke: Why are the capitalist nations on the edge of a precipice?

Answer: To get a better view of us down here.

The reason sane people still occasionally read or refer to The Guardian is to see how far gone down the abyss the newspaper has descended.

George Cornell says Feb, 1, 2019
Because the people they represent are the biggest threats to world peace.
George Cornell says Feb, 1, 2019
Because they represent and front the interests of the greatest threats to world peace.
George Cornell says Feb, 1, 2019
Sorry about the echolalia
Richard Audet says Jan, 31, 2019
Can't resist.

The oft-used cliche of the kid (not brain washed yet) saying out loud that the emperor has no clothes amongst a crowd propagandized, hypnotized and incentivized not to see and not to know truth from falsehood.

The role of the MSM it seems is to perpetrate this mass denial. Thanks to kids like Kit and those that support sites such as this other kids are catching on. But, alas we are just kids after all and the grown ups have the power to spank us for such blasphemy. It is a risk we kids take to speak the truth we see. When you see and when you know remaining silent can make you sick (despair, anhedonia, addiction etc.). I'll take my chances with the spanking and say as loud as I can that the emperor is a fucking war-mongering liar and thief.

rogerglewis says Jan, 31, 2019
https://d.tube/#!/v/tonefreqhz/2zkhc50m This Russel Brand film did get a limited general release but was quickly dispatched to the memory hole,

This David Malone FIlm Icon Earth got him into a ton of trouble at the Beeb back in 1995 it presages stage 2 of the Liberalisation process

https://d.tube/#!/v/tonefreqhz/siz03mvr

I have uploaded various things to DTube and Steemit This film from the Guardian is very good and relevant to Venezuela its on Bit CHute and survives on Youtube for now.

https://www.bitchute.com/video/uvnkjQDcIxCD/

https://steemit.com/deathsquds/@tonefreqhz/from-el-salvador-to-iraq-washington-s-man-behind-brutal-police-squads

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0iEhXHITAsQ?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&start=2&wmode=transparent

Gezzah Potts says Jan, 31, 2019
Thank you Kit (and others) for starting up OffGuardian. Its a very precious place to vent, and to read the very enlightened, highly informative, and at times profound comments of all the other commenters here. Have made numerous comments about the situation in Venezuela on other recent stories here, so not going to keep repeating myself. Regards the state of the World: surreal and orwellian and just plain bonkers much of the time seems to be the case. At least Bolton was honest in stating the bleedin obvious, which anyone with even one eye open already knew. Thanks for your work.
Loverat says Jan, 31, 2019
Indeed. I came across Off Guardian not long ago and I'm highly impressed by the quality. A site to vent -- yes but that's just a small part of it. What is it now -- 3,000 articles published in just nearly 4 years?. A level of committment by its founders not matched in many places elsewhere that I can see.

What I like about this is the quality and depth of the articles -- and the fact each attracts a large number of readers commenting.

I've been looking around various sites lately. It seems to be a mixture of those which produce good articles but don't seem to have the following -- or at least there's a lack of reader participation. Or sites where the analysis is not so good but attract a large volume of comments not necessarily of great quality.

Off G seems to have struck a really good balance which I think means it has more potential to grow further and build on its success.

I wonder (maybe this has been done before) if Off G thought about organising an event to celebrate its next birthday. Might be a good way to raise funds and further interest.

David William Pear says Jan, 31, 2019
I am surprised that the Guardian even mentioned oil and Venezuela in the same story. Did they also say it has lots of gold, coltron, and many other natural resources. Neoliberals just can't stand seeing all those profits going to "waste on the serfs".
notheonly1 says Jan, 31, 2019
Very likely McCain. Fortunately though, he already croaked. There was never a regime change or war he did not support, or demand. The sooner his warmongering Fascist buddies follow him, the better for mankind. I can imagine what "Bomb. bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" would have said about Venezuela. As I said before, Venezuela is venomous to those who want to destroy it. For all American sheeple to understand: The Bucket stops here. Exactly here.
Jerry Alatalo says Jan, 31, 2019
Bolton's casual mention of U.S. oil corporations going into Venezuela and controlling operation of the nation's oil sector, as if it's already a "done deal", goes right along with Pompeo's focused use of the term "former president Maduro" in the psychological operation aspect of the fully-mapped out coup's full court press. Someone famously described the U.S.-led coup in Ukraine of February 2014 as the most blatant, obvious coup ever, but amazingly this one involving Venezuela has even surpassed Ukraine in insane illegal boldness.

USA Inc.'s use of criminal aggressive war as a business tactic since false flag 9/11 resulted in the self-destruction of American reputation in the Middle East and North Africa region. For that reason the attack on the Venezuelan people for their oil was not surprising. Who will stand for peace? People might think creatively and act to prevent any repeat of senseless violence and horror as experienced by people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.

Peace.

Tim Jenkins says Jan, 31, 2019
For the record, the "USA Inc.'s use of criminal aggressive war as a business tactic since false flag 9/11 resulted in the self-destruction of American reputation " Globally.

Sorry to correct you, but no matter where I go, my first test of any persons intellect is "What do you think happened to WTC 7 ?" and until you get that sorted , the USA is the laughing stock of the 'brave new world' outside Government & MSM >>> Fact , clearly "you cannot be serious", nor the Guardian nor the BBC nor Die Zeit nor Swiss national Television, nor Le Monde &&& and the whole damn network of partners in deep state crimes against innocent people , to further corporate goals.

to even contemplate something in Venezuela is so absurd , when US Governance is so infiltrated with Deep State Dictators & actors, bolstered by Hollywood >>> get own house in order , before becoming guests elsewhere. This clearly applies to Britain & France , as well, indeed all NATO partners.

Trump is gonna' have a real tough time with Xi, coz' you don't get to insult the Chinese in public & arrest CFO's for extradition , without some form of comeback & consequence and Chinese & Russian Military towards region Panama seems almost assured and the USS Fitzgerald warning ? how quickly people forget the 7 dead ! from just a container ship, lol connect the 9 Dot line -- -- --

The world does not want and never needed policing by the U$A, nor their methods of financial control & strangulation with credit on a scale far greater than Ponzi himself. And as for WTC 7 , this made not only the USA a laughing stock in the minds of all intelligent people, it dragged down & outed the very IN-credibility of every single politician in the western world , who accepted the award winning WTC 7 TonyAndyPandy story for CHILDREN !

it's time we got adults back into politics , coz' at present all we have, without exception, is precisely what George Carlin described in 'a few cultural issues' "Garbage in Garbage out" !

and we can be 100% sure that they are all GARBAGE, because they cannot even recognise a controlled explosion, let alone cooking the history books >>> not even one !

The USA has YANKed all their strings, on behalf of Zion and corporate control >>> fact, not one politician permitted to call a spade a spade or WTC 7 a controlled demolition let alone MSM.

Long live the revolution & evolution of political conscience !

[Feb 09, 2019] Post Coup Agenda Items

Feb 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark says Jan, 31, 2019

Post Coup Agenda Items:-

1. Switch payment for Venezuelan oil from yuan back to dollars.
2. Confiscate Chinese and Russian oil investments in Venezuela.
3. Privatise Venezuelan oil to Wall Street at knock down prices.

Or, as the Orange Baboon himself croaked like a two bit Mafia hood, "Grab the oil! Grab the oil! Grab the oil!!"

[Feb 09, 2019] The reality of neoliberal dominatin is not pretty: What we are experiencing today is the worst and most extreme form of predatory and parasitic financialised monopoly crony capitalism (crapitalism), allied with blatant aggressive jingoistic militarism and the crudest form of imperialist exploitation

Feb 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark says Feb, 7, 2019

What we are experiencing today is the worst and most extreme form of predatory and parasitic financialised monopoly crony capitalism (crapitalism), allied with blatant aggressive jingoistic militarism and the crudest form of imperialist exploitation.

I'm not sure even Marx envisaged anything this corrupt and degraded. This must be the terminal stage of crapitalism's death throes. It can only end in war and complete collapse.

It comes as no surprise to see the Faux Left Blairite Backstabbers and the Oh-So-Right-On-Politically-Correct Trudeau Regime leading the charge for a bog standard Pinochet style US coup behind the likes of Trump, Bolton, Pompeo and recycled neocon war criminal and death squad queen Abrams.

They have taken off the mask and showed their true colours. The final outcome is uncertain but the fall out will extend way beyond Venezuela. It may well sound the death knell of our current system.

Archie1954 says Feb, 7, 2019
Isn't it amazing how the scum of the Earth arrange to get into high places? I am totally outraged that Canada had anything to do with fostering a coup in Venezuela! It disturbs my sense of national sovereignty and I rue the day that Trudeau made this apostosy a member of his cabinet. What a poor choice for a Minister of Foreign Affairs! Just consider Canada's recent problems with Saudi Arabia, the Meng problem with /China, the chastising of Russia because it protected its sole military base on the Black Sea and now this foolish interference in Venezuela's internal affairs brought on by US sanctions. Canada's stupidity in all these matters makes me bilious.
Michael says Feb, 7, 2019
Trudeau made Soros' protege Chrystia Freeland part of his cabinet because it was on that condition that Soros generously funded and otherwise caused Trudeau's election bid to be well supported. Billionaires make "democratic" politics so very easy. Canadians, naive, unquestioning, insouciant, swayed by very well rewarded PR & media and with the transacted aquiesence of the other two warmongering neoliberal parties (Conservative & NDP) voted their hopes and Justin Trudeau to PM. But positioning Chrystia Freeland on the global stage and creating a neoliberal path to imperious fascist globalization is the assigned purpose of the swish disposable Canadian Dauphin. Harper played his Soros assigned role, Trudeau will play his and Chrystia hers and they, as quislings all, will exit rewarded as pet functionaries of Soros and his overly entitled ilk. We authorize Soros by wishing & believing this coup is at worst simply a flawed democracy. Ukraine was a Soros coup, Canada is a Soros coup and Venezuela is a Soros coup. All very, very profitable. Don't look, this is how omelettes are made. Our political parties are always for rent by billionaires –that is the main function of political parties. Being corrupt is a design characteristic not a flaw. Buying political parties in supposed democracies is easier, less risky and much more profitable than stealing candy from babies. Canada is undefended against billionaires, invest here, concentrated public assets and resources are available and the quaint people are professionally deactivated. m\\

[Feb 09, 2019] Trump making Bolton look like the paragon of discretion re oil

Feb 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Andy says Jan, 31, 2019

Trump making Bolton look like the paragon of discretion re oil https://youtu.be/4huS-3-Gs74

[Feb 08, 2019] To understand Steele and the five eyes involvement in the Russia hoax you need to go to the library

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Soon you will begin to see that MI6 was there at the OSS and later CIA inceptions. ..."
"... At the hidden deep levels, both these agencies serve the GLOBALIST' enterprise, and have since the start. ..."
Feb 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

RJJCDA , says: February 9, 2019 at 12:26 am GMT

Go to a large library and cross-reference James Jesus Angleton, Kim Philby, Miles Copeland and Nicholas Elliott in the "spy" books. Soon you will begin to see that MI6 was there at the OSS and later CIA inceptions.

At the hidden deep levels, both these agencies serve the GLOBALIST' enterprise, and have since the start.

Then you will understand Steele and the "five eyes" involvement in the Russia hoax.

[Feb 08, 2019] The US dollar is used for the international oil and gas trade and a wide part of global trade. This gives the US an exorbitant privilege to sanction countries it opposes and impose its conditions for oil trading

Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Narrative says Feb, 1, 2019

Nations should explore better system to break US hegemony

"The US dollar is used for the international oil and gas trade and a wide part of global trade. This gives the US an exorbitant privilege to sanction countries it opposes.
..
The latest sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company aim to cut off source of foreign currency of Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro's government and eventually force him to step down.
..
A new mechanism should be devised to thwart such a vicious circle"

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1137847.shtml

crank says Feb, 1, 2019
Francis Lee; Big B,

OK I phrased that badly.

My question is really about those at the top of the power pyramid (those few hundred families who own the controling share of the wealth of the world) -- those who position idiots like Bolton to do their work, do they comprehend 'exergy' decline ?

If we can, then can they not? I agree with Parenti that they are not 'somnambulists'. They are strategists looking out for their own interests, and that means scrutinising trends in political movements, culture, technology and, well, just about everything. I find it hard, the idea that all these people -- people who have seen their businesses shaped by resource discovery, exploitation and then depletion, have no firm grasp on the realities of dwindling returns on energy.

The models were drawn up 47 years ago. I think that some of them at least, do understand that economic growth is coming to a halt, and have understood for decades. If true then they are planning that transition in their favour.

These hard to swallow facts about oil are still on the far fringes of any political conversation. The neoliberal cultists are deaf to them for obvious reasons; the socialist idealists believe that a 'New Deal' can lead us off the death train, but mostly ignore the intractable relationship between energy decline and financial problems; even the anarchists want their work free utopia run by robots and AI but stop short of asking whether solar panels and wind turbines can actually provide the power for all that tech. It's the news that nobody wants to think about, but which they will be forced to thinking about in the very near future.

The Twitter feed 'Limits to Growth' has less than 800 followers (excellent though it is).

BigB says Feb, 1, 2019
Crank

I do not want to get into the mind of the Walrus of Death Bolton! I do not want to know what he does, as he does. But at lower levels of government, and corporatism, there is an awareness of surplus energy economics. And as Nafeez has also pointed out, the military (the Pentagon) are taking an interest. And though it could rapidly change, who really appreciates the nuances of EROEI? I'm guessing at less than a single percent of all populations? And how many include its effects in a integrated political sense?

Its appreciation is sporadic: ranging from tech-utopia hopium to a defeated fatalism of the inevitability of collapse. Unless and until people want to face the harshness of the reality that capitalism has created: we are going to be involved in a marginal analysis. There are very few people who have realised that capitalism is long dead.

Dr Tim Morgan estimates that world capitalism has conservatively had $140tn in stimulus since 2008 -- without stimulating anything or reviving it at all. In fact, that amounts to the greatest robbery in history -- the theft of the future. Inasmuch as they can, those unrepayable debts -- transferred to inflate the parasitic assets of capitalists -- will be socialised. Except they cannot be. Not without surplus energy.

https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2019/01/20/145-fire-and-ice-part-two/

Brexit, gilets jaunes, Venezuela, unending crises in MENA, China's economic slowdown, etc -- all linked by EROEI.

It is a common socio-politico-economic energy nexus -- but linked together by whom? And the emergent surplus energy-mind-environmental ecology nexus? All the information is available. The formation of a new political manifesto started in the 1960s with the New Left but it seems to have been in stasis since. Perhaps this might stimulate the conversation.

According to Nate Hagens: there is 4.5 years of human muscle power leveraged by each barrel of oil. We are all going to be working for a very long time to pay back the debts the possessing classes have built up for us -- with absolutely no marginal utility for ourselves.

We are subsidising our own voluntary slavery unless we develop an emergent ecosocialist and ecosophical alternative to carbon capitalism. We cannot expect paleoconservative carbon relics like Bolton -- or anyone else -- to do it for us. The current political landscape is dominated by a hierarchical, vested interest, carbon aristocracy. We can't expect that to change for our benefit any time ever. Expect the opposite.

BigB says Feb, 2, 2019
Graeber has a point, though. We could already have a post-scarcity, post-production society but for the egregious maldistribution of resources and employment. Andre Gorz said as much 50 years ago (Critique of Economic Reason). Why do we organise around production: it makes no sense but for the relations of production are, and remain, the relations of hierarchical rule. So long as we assign value to a human life on the basis of meritocratic productivity -- we will have dehumanisation, marginalisation, and subjugation (haves and have nots). So why not organisation around care, freedom and play?

Such a solution would require the transversalistion of society and not-full-employment: so that no part of the system is subordinate, and no part is privileged. All systems and sub-ordinate (care) systems would be co-equal, of corresponding value and worth. So, without invoking EROEI, that would go a long way to solve our exergy, waste, pollution, and inequality problems. It is the profligate, unproductive superstructure: supporting rentier, surplus energy accumulating, profit-seeking suprasocieties -- that squanders our excess energy and puts expansive spatio-temporal pressures on already stretched biophysical ecological systems that engenders potential collapse. It is their -- the possessing classes -- assets that are being inflated, at our environmental expense. When it comes to survivability, we cannot afford a parasitic globalised superstructure draining the host -- the ecologically productive base. Without the over-accumulation, overconsumption, and wastage (the accursed share) associated with the superstructure of the advanced economies -- and their cultural, credit, military imperialisms I expect we could live quite well. Without the pressures of globalised transportation networks, and unnecessary military budgets -- the pressure on oil is minimised. It could be used for the 1001 other uses it has, rather than fuelling Saudi Eurofighters bombing Yemeni schoolchildren, for instance. The surplus energy could be used to educate, clothe and feed them instead. That would be a better use of resources, for sure.

If we took stock of what we really have, and what we really are -- a form of spiritual neo-self-sufficiency, augmented and extended into co-mutual care and freedom valorising ecologies we wouldn't need to chase the perceived loss all over the globe, killing everything that moves. The solutions are not hard, they are normative, once we are shocked out of this awful near-life trance state of separationism. Thanks for the link.

crank says Feb, 2, 2019
It seems to me that there are two parallel arguments going on.
One is about social organisation, attitudes towards and policies determining work, money, paid employment, technological development and the distribution of weath.
The other is fundamentally based on the laws of thermodynamics and concerns resource limits, energy surpluses, the role of 'stored sunlight' in producing things and doing work for each other, pollution and projections about these into the future.

I am surprised that Graeber (just as an example) seems to basically ignore the second of these even though he clearly is an incisive thinker and makes good points about the first. It is taken as a given that, theoretically at least, human civilisation could re-organise around a new ethic, transform the economy into a 'caring economy', re-structure money, government and do away with militarism. In terms of what to do now, as an individual, what choices to make, it is disconcerting to me when talk of these ideals seems to ignore those latter questions about overshoot.

I wonder if the egalitarian nature of much of indiginous North American society was inescapably bound with the realities of a low population density, low technology, intimate relationship with the natural world and a culture completely steeped in reverence for Mother Earth.
The talk I hear from Bastani or Graeber along the lines of 'we could be flying around in jet packs on the moon, if only society was organised sensibly' rings hollow to me.

BigB says Feb, 2, 2019
Crank

Welcome to my world! Apart from as a managerial tool, systems thinking has yet to catch on in the wider population. According to reductive materialism: there are two unlinked arguments. According to Dynamic Systems Theory (DST) there is only one integrated argument -- with two inter-connected correlative aspects. We can only organise around what we can energetically afford. Consequently, we cannot organise around what we cannot afford -- that is, global industrialised production with a supervenient elitist superstructure.

Let's face it : ethical arguments carry little weight against organisation around hierarchical rule. The current talk of an ethical capitalism -- in mixed economies with 'commons' elements -- is an appeasement. and distractional to the gathering and ineluctable reality.

The current (2012) EROI for the UK is 6.2:1 -- barely above the 'energy cliff' of 5:1. The GDP 'growth' and bullshit jobs are funded by monetised debt (we borrow around £5 to make every £1 -- from Tim Morgan's SEEDS). From the Earth Overshoot Day website: the UK is in economic overshoot from May 8th onward.

These are indicators that we will not be "flying jetpacks on the moon": even if we reorganise. Everyone, and I mean everyone, will have to make do with less. A lot less. Everything would have to be localised and sustainable. Production would be minimised, and not at all full. Two major systems of production -- food (agroecology) and energy -- would have to be sustainable and self-sovereign. And financialisation and the rentier, service economy? Now you can see why no one, not even Dave the crypto-anarchist, is talking about reality. Elitism, establishment and entitlement do not figure in an equitable future. We can't afford it, energetically or ethically.

So when will the debate move on? Not any time the populace is bought into ideational deferred prosperity. All the time that EROEI is ignored as the fundamental concept governing dwindling prosperity -- no one, and I mean no one, will be talking about a minimal surplus energy future. The magic realism is that the economic affordances of cheap oil (unsustainably mimicked by debt-funding) will return sometime, somehow (the technocratic superfix). The aporia is that the longer the delay, the less surplus energy we will have available to utilise. Something like the Green New Deal -- that has been proposed for around two decades now -- may give us some quality of life to sustain. Pseudo-talk of a Customs Union, 'clean' coal, and nuclear power, will not.

An integrated reality -- along the model of Guattari's 'Three Ecologies' -- of mind, economy, and environment is well, we are not alone, but we are ahead of the curve. The other cultural aporia is that we need to implement such vision now. Actually, about thirty years ago but let's not get depressive!

We are going to need that cooperative organisation around care and freedom just to get through the coming century.

crank says Jan, 31, 2019
As mentioned elsewhere here, Venezualan oil deposits are not all that the hype cracks them up to be. They are mostly oil sands that produce little in the way of net energy gain after the lengthy process of extraction.The Venezuala drama is about the empire crushing democracy (i.e. socialism), not oil. [not that this detracts from Kit's essential point in the article].
The Left (as well as the Right), by and large have not come to terms with the realities of the decline in net surplus energy that is unfolding around the world and driving the political changes that we see. So they still view geopolitics in terms of the oil economy of pre-2008.
The productive economies of Europe are falling apart (check Steve Keen's latest on Max and Stacy -- although even i he doesn't delve into the energy decline aspect).
The carbon density of the global economy has not changed in the 27 years since the founding of the UNFCCC.

The Peak Oil phenomenon was oversimplified, misrepresented and misunderstood as a simple turning point in overall oil production. In truth it was a turning point in energy surplus.
I predict that by the end of this or next year, everyone will be talking about ERoEI. Everyone will realise that there is no way out of this predicament. Maybe there are ways to lessen the catastrophe, but no way to avert it. This will change the conversation, and even change what 'politics' means (i.e. you cannot campaign on a 'new start' or a 'better, brighter future' if everyone knows that that physically cannot happen).
Everyone will understand that their civilisation is collapsing.
Does Bolton understand this?

I dunno.
https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/brexit-stage-one-in-europes-slow-burn-energy-collapse-1f520d7e2d89

Francis Lee says Jan, 31, 2019
"Does Bolton Understand this/? I think this might qualify as a rhetorical question.
BigB says Feb, 1, 2019
Crank

If you were referring to my earlier comments about Venezuelan extra heavy crude: it's still massively about the oil. The current carbon capitalist world system does not understand surplus energy or EROEI, as it is so fixated on maximal short term returns for shareholders. It can't comprehend that their entire business model is unsustainable and self cannibalising. Which is bad for us: because carbon net-energy (exergy) economics it is foundational to all civilisation. The ignorance of it and subsequent environmental and social convergence crises threatens the systemic failure of our entire civilisation. The Venezuelan crisis affects us all: and is symptomatic of a decline in cheap oil due to rapidly falling EROEI.

I can't find the EROEI specifically for Venezuelan heavy oil: but it is only slightly more viscous than bitumen -- which has an EROEI of 3:1. Let's call it 4:1: the same as other tight oils and shale. Anything less than 5:1 is more or less an energy sink: with virtually no net energy left for society. The minimum EROEI for societal needs is 11:1. Does Bolton understand this? Francis hit the nail on the head there.

Do any of our leaders? No. If they did, a transition to decentralisation would be well under way. Globalised supply chains are systemically threatened and fragile. A globalised economy is spectacularly vulnerable. Especially a debt-ridden one. Which way are our leaders trying to take us? At what point will humanity realise we are following clueless Pied Pipers off the Seneca Cliff -- into globalised energy oblivion?

The rapid investment -- not in a post-carbon transition -- but in increased militarisation, and resource and market driven aggressive foreign intervention policies reveal the mindset of insanity. As people come to understand the energy basis of the world crisis: the fact of permanent austerity and increased pauperisation looms large. What will the outcome be when an armed nuclear madhouse becomes increasingly protectionsist of their dwindling share? Too alarmist, perhaps? Let's play pretend that we can plant a few trees and captive breed a few rhinos and it will all be fine. BAU?

The world runs on cheap oil: our socio-politico-economic expectations of progress depend on it. Which means that the modern human mind is, in effect, a thought-process predicated on cheap oil. Oleum ergo sum? Apart from the Middle East: we are already past the point where oil is a liability, not a viability. Debt funding its extraction, selling below the cost of production -- both assume the continual expansion of global GDP. Oil is a highly subsidised -- with our surplus socialisation capital -- negative asset. We foot the bill. A bill that EROEI predicts will keep on rising. At what point do we realise this? Or do we live in hopium of a return to historical prosperity? Or hang on the every word of the populist magic realism demagogue who promises a future social utopia?

If it's based on cheap oil, it ain't happenin'.

BigB says Feb, 1, 2019
Erratum: less viscous than bitumen.
wildtalents says Feb, 1, 2019
Is it no longer considered a courtesy to the reader to spell out, and who knows maybe even explain, the abbreviations one uses?
Jen says Feb, 1, 2019
EROEI = Energy Returned on Energy Invested (also known as EROI = Energy Return on Investment)

EROEI refers to the amount of usable energy that can be extracted from a resource compared to the amount of energy (usually considered to come from the same resource) used to extract it. It's calculated by dividing the amount of energy obtained from a source by the amount of energy needed to get it out.

An EROEI of 1:1 means that the amount of usable energy that a resource generates is the same as the amount of energy that went into getting it out. A resource with an EROEI of 1:1 or anything less isn't considered a viable resource if it delivers the same or less energy than what was invested in it. A viable resource is one with an EROEI of at least 3:1.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_returned_on_energy_invested

The concept of EROEI assumes that the energy needed to get more energy out of a resource is the same as the extracted energy ie you need oil to extract oil or you need electricity to extract electricity. In real life, you often need another source of energy to extract energy eg in some countries, to extract electricity, you need to burn coal, and in other countries, to extract electricity you need to build dams on rivers. So comparing the EROEI of electricity extraction across different countries will be difficult because you have to consider how and where they're generating electricity and factor in the opportunity costs involved (that is, what the coal or the water or other energy source -- like solar or wind energy -- could have been used for instead of electricity generation).

That is probably why EROEI is used mainly in the context of oil or natural gas extraction.

BigB says Feb, 1, 2019
wildtalents: Yes, I normally do. But the thread started from, and includes Crank's link that explains it.
Thomas Peterson says Feb, 1, 2019
That's true, Venezuela's 'oil' is mostly not oil.

[Feb 08, 2019] How Chrystia Freeland Organized Donald Trump's Coup in Venezuela by Eric Zuesse

The key question is how strong is Maduro support within Venezuela? When oil is in stake, imperial powers usually take gloves off pretty quickly.
All this rhetoric of Eric Zuesse does not answer the key question: does Maduro movement propose sustainable alternative to neoliberalism in Venezuela and has unwavering support of armed forces and population in view of this externally driven aggression? Because if the model is unsustainable (iether for internal or external reasons -- presence of neoliberal 3000 pound guerilla on the continent) it will eventually be crushed. What is the plan and what Maduro is trying to built? Left government in several other countries of LA were recently deposed by openly neoliberal puppets: Argentina and Brazil are two recent examples.
"Progressive regimes" all run into problems in economics (which are given due to neocolonial nature of the current World order) which in turn creates social problems and the precondition for neoliberal coup d'état sponsored from Washington. So there is a Neoliberal Catch 22 for all countries who want to excape dependence on the USA: neoliberals new order guarantee that economic condition of peripheral countries do not improve; that creates social discontent that allows to propose population a neoliberal carrot -- elect a neoliberal leader and your standard of living "soon" will be like in the USA. neoliberal coup d'état can now succeed. Further impoverishing follows but it is too late -- the train has left the station.
While convention to to more extreme version of neoliberalism does not solve the problems in economics (Argentina here is nice example of "What happens next after neoliberals came back to power") and impoverishment of population is given. But at the same time the civil war is prevented and the support of the USA guarantee a certain period of political stability.
In other words this struggle is about alternatives to neoliberalism and anti-neoliberal governments have a huge handicap in a form of the USA presence on the continent. It looks like Canada is just another neoliberal puppet of the USA in this game/
Notable quotes:
"... Venezuelan soldiers have blocked the crossing ahead of a delivery arranged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president ..."
Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org
8 August 2017 in order to overthrow and replace Venezuela's current President Nicolás Maduro. She stated in her February 5th announcement :

Today, we have been joined by our Lima Group partners, from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Saint Lucia. We have also been joined in our conversations with our partners from other countries, for this Lima Group ministerial meeting. These include Ecuador, the European Union, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States."

She, along with U.S. President Donald Trump, had, all along, been the actual leaders of this international diplomatic effort, to violate the Venezuelan Constitution blatantly , so as to perpetrate the coup in Venezuela. Her active effort to replace Venezuela's Government began with her formation of the Lima Group, nearly two years ago.

Canada's Ottawa Citizen headlined on 19 August 2017, "Choosing Danger" , and their reporter Peter Hum interviewed Canada's Ambassador to Venezuela, Ben Rowswell, who was then retiring from the post. Rowswell said that Venezuelans who wanted an overthrow of their Government would continue to have the full support of Canada's Government : "'I think that some of them were sort of anx­ious that it (the em­bassy's support for hu­man rights and democ­racy in Venezuela) might not con­tinue after I left,' Rowswell said. 'I don't think they have any­thing to worry about be­cause Minister (of Foreign Affairs Chrystia) Freeland has Venezuela way at the top of her priority list.'"

Maybe it wasn't yet at the top of Trump's list, but it was at the top of hers. And she and Trump together chose whom to replace Venezuela's President, Nicholas Maduro, by: Juan Guaido . Guaido had secretly courted other Latin American leaders for this, just as Freeland had already done, by means of her secretly forming the Lima Group.

On 25 January 2019, the AP bannered "AP Exclusive: Anti-Maduro coalition grew from secret talks" and reported that the man who now claims to be Venezuela's legitimate President (though he had never even run for that post), Juan Guaido, had secretly visited foreign countries in order to win their blessings for what he was planning:

In mid-December, Guaido quietly traveled to Washington, Colombia and Brazil to brief officials on the opposition's strategy of mass demonstrations to coincide with Maduro's expected swearing-in for a second term on Jan. 10 in the face of widespread international condemnation, according to exiled former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, an ally.

Playing a key role behind the scenes was Lima Group member Canada, whose Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke to Guaido [9 January 2019] the night before Maduro's swearing-in ceremony [on 10 January 2019] to offer her government's support should he confront the socialist leader [Maduro], the Canadian official said. Also active was Colombia, which shares a border with Venezuela and has received more than two million migrants fleeing economic chaos, along with Peru and Brazil's new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

To leave Venezuela, he sneaked across the lawless border with Colombia, so as not to raise suspicions among immigration officials who sometimes harass opposition figures at the airport and bar them from traveling abroad, said a different anti-government leader, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss security arrangements.

During the last days in office of Canada's Ambassador to Venezuela Rowswell, U.S. President Donald Trump went public with his overt threat to invade Venezuela. On 11 August 2017, McClatchy's Miami Herald bannered "Trump was making friends in Latin America -- before he raised Venezuela 'military option'" , and Patricia Mazzei reported that "President Donald Trump's unexpected suggestion Friday that he might rely on military force to deal with Venezuela's pressing political crisis was an astonishing statement that strained not only credulity but also the White House's hard-won new friendships in Latin America."

Even a spokesperson from the Atlantic Council (which is the main PR agency for NATO) was quoted as saying that "U.S. diplomats, after weeks of carefully building the groundwork for a collective international response, suddenly find their efforts completely undercut by a ridiculously over the top and anachronistic assertion. It makes us look imperialistic and old-time. This is not how the U.S. has behaved in decades!" However, Peru's Foreign Minister, Ricardo Luna, was just as eager for a coup in Venezuela as were Trump and Freeland.

On 26 October 2017, Peru's Gestion TV reported that Luna was the co-chair of the meeting of the Lima Group in Toronto, which Freeland chaired, and that (as translated into English here) "Luna added that the objective of the meeting of the Group of Lima 'is to create a propitious situation' so that the regime of Nicolás Maduro 'feels obligated to negotiate' not only an exit to the crisis, 'but also an exit to his own regime'."

This gang was going to make Maduro an offer that he couldn't refuse. So, the Lima Group, which was founded by Luna and by Freeland, was taking the initiative as much and as boldly as Trump was, regardless of what NATO might think about it. The topic of that news-report, and its headline, was "Peru proposes Grupo de Lima to involve the UN to face the Venezuelan crisis." Four days later, Freeland and Luna met privately at the U.N., in New York, with the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

Inner City Press reported that "The title of the meeting is 'the situation in Venezuela and efforts by regional organizations to resolve the crisis per Chapter VIII of the UN Charter' [see it here ] and the briefer will be not USG [Under Secretary General] Jeffrey Feltman but his Assistant, ASG [Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs] Miroslav Jenca."

Jeffrey Feltman was the person who, in the secretly recorded 27 January 2014 phone-conversation in which U.S. President Barack Obama's agent, Victoria Nuland -- planning and overseeing the February 2014 coup that overthrew Ukraine's democratically elected President -- instructed the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, that, after Ukraine's President is ousted, Arseniy "Yats" Yatsenyuk was to be appointed as Ukraine's 'interim' leader as the new Prime Minister, to replace the President. She also said :

"I talked to Jeff Feltman this morning; he had a new name for the UN guy Robert Serry. He's now gotten both Serry and Ban ki-Moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. That would be great, I think, to help glue this thing, and to have the UN help glue it, and, you know, fuck the EU."

So, the still Under Secretary General of the U.N, Mr. Feltman, is still America's fixer there, who "glues" whatever the U.S. President orders the U.N. to do, and his Assistant was filling in for him that day. Therefore, if Trump and Freeland turn out to be as successful as Obama was, then the U.N. will "glue" the outcome. Chrystia Freeland happens also to be a friend of Victoria Nuland, and a passionate supporter of her coup in Ukraine.

... ... ...

Of course, the man whom the U.S. and Canadian regimes and the Lima Group are trying to install as Venezuela's President, Juan Guaido, had been well-groomed for that job, but not by political and electoral experience, of which he has almost none, but by his foreign sponsors. On 29 January 2019 the Gray Zone Project bannered "The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela's Coup Leader" , and their two star investigative journalists, Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal, opened: "Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington's elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization."

This report also noted that "The 'real work' began two years later, in 2007, when Guaidó graduated from Andrés Bello Catholic University of Caracas. He moved to Washington, DC to enroll in the Governance and Political Management Program at George Washington University, under the tutelage of Venezuelan economist Luis Enrique Berrizbeitia, one of the top Latin American neoliberal economists. Berrizbeitia is a former executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) [and the IMF is a central part the operation that's described in John Perkins's now-classic Confessions of an Economic Hit Man] who spent more than a decade working in the Venezuelan energy sector, under the old oligarchic regime that was ousted by Chávez."

Moreover, "Stratfor and CANVAS – key advisors of Guaidó and his anti-government cadre – devised a shockingly cynical plan to drive a dagger through the heart of the Bolivarian revolution. The scheme hinged on a 70% collapse of the country's electrical system by as early as April 2010." Etc. This is how 'democracy' now functions. It's not democracy -- it is fascism. The euphemisms for it are "neoliberalism" and "neoconservatism."

Regardless of whether or not the Trump-Freeland-Luna program for Venezuela succeeds, democracy and human rights won't be advanced by it; but, if it succeeds, the fortunes of US-and-allied billionaires will be . It's part of their global privatization program .

Sidebar: If you want to understand what was the historical context where Inner City Press reported that "The title of the meeting is 'the situation in Venezuela and efforts by regional organizations to resolve the crisis per Chapter VIII of the UN Charter'" ; then Luk Van Langenhove has summarized that context , by saying:

Few invocations of Chapter VIII's provisions were made during the cold war period. But when the bipolar world system collapsed and spawned new global security threats, the explosion of local and regional armed conflicts provoked a renewed interest in regional organizations and their role in the maintenance of regional peace and security. The United Nations was forced to acknowledge its inability to solely bear the responsibility for providing peace and security worldwide."

So, "during the cold war period," this provision of the UN Charter remained virtually inactive. Then, suddenly, after 1991, when the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact military alliance to counter America's NATO military alliance, all ended (with no concessions being made on the American side ), America could no longer use 'communism' as a 'justification' to invade or perpetrate coups against foreign governments that were friendly toward or else allied with Russia.

So, now, this provision of the U.N.'s Charter became activated by the U.S. and its allies, in order to be able to say that The West's coups and invasions aren't actually to build-out the U.S. empire, but are instead for (in the terms of this part of the U.N.'s Charter) "the maintenance of international peace and security" -- so as to 'authorize' coups and international invasions by the U.S. and its vassal nations, such as are the members of NATO.

This is what U.S. President G.H.W. Bush had in mind to rely upon, when he told the leaders of the U.S. regime's vassal states, secretly at Camp David, on the night of 24 February 1990, that the 'Cold War' would now continue secretly on the U.S.-allied side, against Russia and against any nation's leaders (such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, and Viktor Yanukovych) that aren't hostile toward Russia, by Bush's saying then to them, that no compromise must ever be allowed "with Moscow," because "To hell with that! We prevailed, they didn't."

In other words, whereas the U.N. had been set up by FDR to evolve ultimately into the global democratic federation of nation-states -- a democratic world-government -- so as to become the sole possessor of control over all strategic weaponry, and thus to become the democratic republic of the entire world authorized to settle international disputes peacefully, the subterranean Nazis and other fascists whom U.S. President Truman and the Bilderberg group represented, were determined that the U.S. and its vassal nations would ultimately become the dictatorship over all nations, the entire world. That's what Ukraine, and now Venezuela, and many other U.S. coups and invasions, are -- and have been -- really about. It's about the 'peace' of the graveyard, NOT any democracy, anywhere at all.

That's their dream. They want to monopolize the corruption everywhere, not to end it, anywhere. And that's why they distort and blatantly lie about Venezuela's democratic constitution now , just as they did about Ukraine's democratic constitution in February 2014. It's, essentially, a lawless international gang of billionaire thugs. It is the international Deep State . It consists of the under 2,000 people who are international billionaires in the U.S. and secondarily in the U.S.-allied countries, and of those billionaires' millions of hirees. 585 of those under-2,000 are Americans .

But the wealthiest person on the planet isn't even listed on any of the standard lists of billionaires, and he is the King of Saudi Arabia . That person is the U.S. aristocracy's #1 international ally, because ever since the 1970s when gold no longer backed the U.S. dollar but instead oil did, that person's decisions have enabled the U.S. dollar to continue as being the world's reserve currency, no matter how big the U.S. economy's trade deficits are, and no matter how high the U.S. Government's fiscal deficits are.

Below those billionaires (and trillionaire), and below their millions of hirees, are the billions of serfs; and, below those, at the very bottom, are the approximately 40 million slaves , and the many millions imprisoned -- virtually all of whom have extremely low (if any) net worth at all, since slavery and imprisonment are, in the real world, only for the very poor, not at all for the international gangsters, except for a very few exceptions (such as, perhaps, "El Chapo").

The billionaires command, and the governments obey; that's 'democracy', and it's 'the rule of law', today. Everything to the contrary is propaganda, such as that what Trump-Freeland-Luna want for Venezuela is to decrease corruption and to increase democracy and human rights.

At least the more blatant fascist John Bolton was honest when he said on January 28th : "It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela." But he would have been lots more honest if he had acknowledged, instead, that "It will make a big difference to the United States billionaires economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela."

This is all that the fascists ever really cared about. Mussolini called it "corporationism." Now, decades in the wake of the Allies' supposed 'victory against fascism' -- against the Axis powers -- in WW II, we all (at least the realists) are acknowledging that we clearly are staring in the face the raw fact that fascism has finally won, or at least very nearly totally won, in the world.

Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito, died; but their ideological followers today rule the world, and FDR would be turning in his grave.

  1. tutisicecream

    Unfortunately the Orange one is being wagged again by those who are most seriously plotting his demise and over reach in Venezuela may be just as much part of the plan as it was in pushing him into launching an attack on Syria. It is true that the global elites are at a loss what to do, as the fracturing of the global oligarchies is proving Marx right . capitalist are just a band of warring brothers [brigands, robbers, pirates – all!]. As there is no serious ideological threat to their hegemony at the moment they fight amongst themselves with imperial designs.

    The threat to the imperium is the chaos which ensues when the elite power struggles fracture their hegemony and an uncontrollable uprising ensues. Who shapes that revolution will be central to this. Where it will come from is not evident yet but let's hope it's a grass roots one!


  1. Yes, they will never stop. Just think of this brand-new propaganda lie of Maduro allegedly preventing aid shipment to come into Venezuela. See BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47143492 : "Venezuelan soldiers have blocked the crossing ahead of a delivery arranged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president".

    Notice the word "ahead" in this sentence. This word appears because there was never a "delivery" (truck) with aid shipment at the bridge!
    The Venezuelan government ("Maduro") blocked the bridge only because of war-threatening Columbia and USA.
    If you want to send aid shipment to Venezuela you can send as much as you want anytime. Of course you have to respect the regulations of the custom (like in every other country!). But that's all!

    Whets foul with this story?
    Well, this aid "delivery" cannot have been collected in Colombia – and thus being taken away from the people of Colombia, who are much poorer than the people of Venezuela. So it would have to come from other country (USA, Europe, China, Japan). And then you would not land this aid shipment in Columbia (a harbour, an airport), drive it, in hot-humid air, through half of Colombia to the border crossing bridge of Cúcuta. Then cross the bridge and then drive it through half of Venezuela!
    Instead aid shipments for Venezuela would be landed directly in Venezuela – in an Venezuelan harbour or airport.

    "Everything (to the contrary) is propaganda".
    Or "Fake News"! So don't miss James Corbett's "FAKE NEWS AWARD" – https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-351-the-2nd-annual-real-fake-news-awards/

  1. Of course I'm speaking rhetorically: we all know what the answer is and it ain't looking very pretty.

[Feb 08, 2019] How money should be spent under neoliberalism

Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark says Jan, 31, 2019

There was one leading US politician whose name escapes me for the moment. When Chavez was president, he complained bitterly that Venezuela's oil wealth was being squandered on things like healthcare, education, literacy and welfare. It could have been given instead to hard pressed Wall Street fund managers in bigger bonuses. He wasn't being ironic.

[Feb 08, 2019] So don't miss James Corbett's "FAKE NEWS AWARD"

Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Joerg says Feb, 7, 2019

"Everything (to the contrary) is propaganda"
Yes, they will never stop. Just think of this brand-new propaganda lie of Maduro allegedly preventing aid shipment to come into Venezuela. See BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47143492 : " Venezuelan soldiers have blocked the crossing ahead of a delivery arranged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president ".

Notice the word " ahead " in this sentence. This word appears because there was never a " delivery " (truck) with aid shipment at the bridge!
The Venezuelan government ("Maduro") blocked the bridge only because of war-threatening Columbia and USA.

If you want to send aid shipment to Venezuela you can send as much as you want anytime. Of course you have to respect the regulations of the custom (like in every other country!). But that's all!

Whets foul with this story?

Well, this aid " delivery " cannot have been collected in Colombia – and thus being taken away from the people of Colombia, who are much poorer than the people of Venezuela. So it would have to come from other country (USA, Europe, China, Japan). And then you would not land this aid shipment in Columbia (a harbour, an airport), drive it, in hot-humid air, through half of Colombia to the border crossing bridge of Cúcuta. Then cross the bridge and then drive it through half of Venezuela!

Instead aid shipments for Venezuela would be landed directly in Venezuela – in an Venezuelan harbour or airport.

"Everything (to the contrary) is propaganda". Or "Fake News"! So don't miss James Corbett's "FAKE NEWS AWARD" – https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-351-the-2nd-annual-real-fake-news-awards/

[Feb 05, 2019] Refusal to hand over Venezuelan gold means end of Britain as a financial center Prof. Wolff -- RT Business News

Feb 05, 2019 | www.rt.com

The freezing of Venezuelan gold by the Bank of England is a signal to all countries out of step with US interests to withdraw their money, according to economist and co-founder of Democracy at Work, Professor Richard Wolff. He told RT America that Britain and its central bank have shown themselves to be "under the thumb of the United States."

"That is a signal to every country that has or may have difficulties with the US, [that they had] better get their money out of England and out of London because it's not the safe place as it once was," he said.

[Jan 31, 2019] Do you think that the Guardian will shortly report that Iraq's WMD were snuck out of Iraq and hidden in Venezuela all those years ago?

Jan 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , , January 31, 2019 at 8:08 am

Do you think that the Guardian will shortly report that Iraq's WMD were snuck out of Iraq and hidden in Venezuela all those years ago?

Colonel Smithers , , January 31, 2019 at 8:36 am

Thank you, Kev.

Please don't give the scoundrels at King's Place any ideas.

[Jan 29, 2019] These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don t be fooled by their progressive veneer by Bhaskar Sunkara

Highly recommended!
Taming of financial oligarchy and restoration of the job market at the expense of outsourcing and offshoring is required in the USA and gradually getting support. At least a return to key elements of the New Deal should be in the cards. But Clinton wing of Dems is beong redemption. They are Wall Street puddles. all of the them.
Issues like Medicare for All, Free College, Restoring Glass Steagall, Ending Citizen's United/Campaign finance reform, federal jobs guarantee, criminal justice reform, all poll extremely well among the american populace
If even such a neoliberal pro globalization, corporations controlled media source as Guardian views centrist neoliberal Democrats like Booker unelectable, the situation in the next elections might be interesting.
Notable quotes:
"... Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin ..."
"... 2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy. ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. Booker , Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of Medicare for All and universal childcare.
Gillibrand, long considered a moderate, has even gone as far as to endorse abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and, along with Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders' single-payer healthcare bill. Harris has also backed universal healthcare and free college tuition for most Americans.

But outward appearances aren't everything. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late -- on Wall Street. According to CNBC , all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone's Jonathan Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.

Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren't far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives.

When CNBC's story about Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take "no corporate Pac money". But what's most telling isn't that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street's money, it's that they want the blessings of financial CEOs. Even if she doesn't take their contributions, she's signaling that she's just playing politics with populist rhetoric. That will allow capitalists to focus their attention on candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shown a real willingness to abandon the traditional coziness of the Democratic party with the finance, insurance and real estate industries.

Gillibrand and others are behaving perfectly rationally. The last presidential election cost $6.6bn -- advertising, staff and conventions are expensive. But even more important than that, they know that while leftwing stances might help win Democratic primaries, the path of least resistance in the general election is capitulation to the big forces of capital that run this country. Those elites might allow some progressive tinkering on the margins, but nothing that challenges the inequities that keep them wealthy and their victims weak.

Big business is likely to bet heavily on the Democratic party in 2020, maybe even more so than it did in 2016. In normal circumstances, the Democratic party is the second-favorite party of capital; with an erratic Trump around, it is often the first.

The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don't have a labor-backed social democratic party that could create barriers to avoid capture by monied interests. It's telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper's recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: "We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors."

Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments like that, it doesn't take fake news to convince working-class Americans that Democrats don't really have their interests at heart.

Of course, the Democratic party isn't a monolith. But the insurgency waged by newly elected representatives such as the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and others is still in its infancy. At this stage, it isn't going to scare capital away from the Democratic party, it's going to make Wall Street invest more heavily to maintain its stake in it.

Men like Mark Gallogly know who their real enemy is: more than anyone else, the establishment is wary of Bernie Sanders . It seems likely that he will run for president, but he's been dismissed as a 2020 frontrunner despite his high favorability rates, name recognition, small-donor fundraising ability, appeal to independent voters, and his team's experience running a competitive national campaign. As 2019 goes on, that dismissal will morph into all-out war.

Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It's afraid of the Democrats who will take them on -- and those, unfortunately, are few and far between.

Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin

memo10 -> Karen Maddening , 15 Jan 2019 14:05

Just like universal health care, let's give up, it's too hard, we're not winners, we're not number one or problem solvers and besides, someone at some time for some reason might get something that someone else might not get regardless if that someone else needs it. Let's go with the Berners who seem to believe there will never be none so pure enough to become president.

The corporate state does not cast the votes. The public does.

Leaning farther to the left on issues like universal healthcare and foreign wars would be agreeing with the public. Not only the progressive public, but the GENERAL public. The big money donors are the ONLY force against the Democrats resisting these things.

mp66 , 15 Jan 2019 13:38
2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy.
Pete Healey , 15 Jan 2019 13:31
Bernie's challenge will "morph into all-out war". "Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats", blah, blah, blah. But we're going to continue to play along? Why? Oh yeah, Bhaskar Sunkara will have us believe "There is no alternative". Remember TINA? Give it up, man, just give it up.
yayUSA , 15 Jan 2019 13:17
Tulsi entering is big news.
Danexmachina , 15 Jan 2019 12:31
One dollar, one vote.
If you want Change, keep it in your pocket.
We can't turn this sinking ship around unless we know what direction it's going. So far, that direction is just delivering money to private islands.
Democrats have a lot of talk, but they still want to drive the nice cars and sell the same crapft that the Republicans are.
Taxing the rich only works when you worship the rich in the first place.
Tim Cahill , 15 Jan 2019 12:00
Election financing is the single root cause for our democracy's failure. Period.

I really don't care too much about the mouthing of progressive platitudes from any 2020 Dem Prez candidate. The only ones that will be worth voting for are the ones that sign onto Sanders' (or similar) legislation that calls for a Constitutional amendment that allows federal and state governments to limit campaign contributions.

And past committee votes to prevent amendment legislation from getting to a floor vote - as well as missed co-sponsorship opportunities - should be interesting history for all the candidates to explain.

Campaign financing is what keeps scum entrenched (because primary challengers can't overcome the streams of bribes from those wonderful people exercising their 'free speech' "rights" to keep their puppet in govt) and prevents any challenges to the corporate establishment who serve the same rich masters.

Lenny Dirges -> Vintage59 , 15 Jan 2019 11:55
Lol, Social Security, Medicare, unemployement protections, so many of the things you mentioned, and so much more, were from the PROGRESSIVE New Deal, which managed to implement this slew of changes in 5 years! 5 years! You can't criticize "progressives" in one sentence and then use their accomplishments to support your argument. Today, the New Deal would be considered too far left by most so called "pragmatic liberals." I assume you are getting fully behind the proposed "Green New Deal" then, right?
memo10 -> L C , 15 Jan 2019 11:54

Vintage59 pointed out lots of things people have changed. Here's an exhaustive list of the legislation passed by people who didn't get elected but were more progressive than the people who did:

There is also a steadily growing list of Democrats who did worse in elections than a hypothetical Democratic candidate had been projected to do.

The party can either continue being GOP-Lite or it can start winning elections. It can't do both.

memo10 -> 2miners , 15 Jan 2019 11:49

Forget it Bernie and Co. -with the women haters in his ranks and his apparent tepid support from African Americans he's way off the pace

Way off the pace compared to who? Trump?

memo10 -> IamDolf , 15 Jan 2019 11:44

Nobody is going to get elected on a far left platform. Not in the USA and not anywhere. That's just a fact. And everybody is going to need $$$ in the campaign. Of course candidates are going to suck up to Wall street and business in general.
And we would have been a thousand percent better off with HRC in the white house than we are now with the Trumpostor.

We don't need a candidate with far-left platform, we need one that is left-leaning at all. HRC and her next generation of clones are mild Republicans.

memo10 -> xxxaaaxxx , 15 Jan 2019 11:40

Those who want to push the Democrats to the left in order to win perhaps need to stop talking to each other and talk to people who live outside of LA and NY. If you stay within your bubble it seems the whole world thinks like you.
How old will Sanders be in 2020?

The people (outside the coasts) lean to the left some big issues. Medicare for all. Foreign wars. etc.

A sane person might ask why in the hell the left-side party is leaning farther to the right than the general public.

memo10 -> Peter Krall , 15 Jan 2019 11:17

Sanders is a dinosaur. If there is a reason for Wall Street to be wary of him then it is that the mentally challenged orange guy may win another term if the Democrats run with Sanders.

Hopefully, Sanders will understand what many of his supporters do not want to see: At some time age becomes a problem. If the Democrats decide to move to the left rather than pursuing a pragmatic centrist approach, Ocasio-Cortez might be an option. If they opt for the centrist alternative, it might be Harris or Gillibrand. Or, in both cases, a surprise candidate. But Sanders' time is over, just as Biden's Bloomberg's.

It's true, but Trump is such a clusterfuck that an 80yo president is still be a better situation. Many countries have had rulers in their 80s at one time or another.

Trump is clearly showing early-stage dementia now. Compare footage of him 10+ years ago to anything within the last 6-12 months and it's obvious. The stress levels of being the POTUS + blackmailed by Putin + investigations bearing down on him . . . it's wearing him down fast.

L C -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 11:15
Anti-trust would be a very good place to start with.

Universal healthcare is a lot harder than you seem to think. I'd love it, but getting there means putting so many people out of work, it'll be a massive political challenge, even if corporations have no influence. Progressives might be better off focusing on how to ensure the existing system works better and Medicaid can slowly expand to fill the universal roll in the future.

Vintage59 -> BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 11:05
Wall Street is a casino. The House never loses.
Vintage59 -> Lenny Dirges , 15 Jan 2019 11:02
Everything changes constantly.

Where has offering candidates who actually have a chance to win gotten us? Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the ADA, Title 9, Social Security, and more. None of these exist without constant changes. All took years to pass against heavy opposition. None went far enough. All were improvements.

The list of wrongheaded things that were also passed is longer but thinking nothing changes because it takes time is faulty logic.

ytram -> ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:30
Our capitalist predators are still alive and well. The finance, insurance, and real estate
organizations are the worst predators in the USA.
They will eat your babies if you let them.

[Jan 29, 2019] Bilderberg 2015: where criminals mingle with ministers by Charlie Skelton

Notable quotes:
"... The Bilderberg set call people like you either their "dogs" (if you are in politics or the military) or the "dead." ..."
"... What do you mean "where criminals mingle with ministers". That is assuming that ministers are not criminals. Considering that there will be ministers from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK, I'd suggest that there is a near 100% certainty that some, if not all, the ministers there are criminals. ..."
"... That one group of almost-certainly-criminals meets another group of almost-certainly-criminals is hardly surprising. That the whole shebang is protected by the host's police force is even less so ..."
Jun 12, 2015 | The Guardian
Convicted criminals. Such as disgraced former CIA boss, David Petraeus, who's just been handed a $100,000 (£64,000) fine and two years' probation for leaking classified information.

Petraeus now works for the vulturous private equity firm KKR, run by Henry Kravis, who does arguably Bilderberg's best impression of Gordon Gecko out of Wall Street. Which he cleverly combines with a pretty good impression of an actual gecko.

... ... ...

"Can I go now?" Another no. So I continued my list of criminals. I moved on to someone closer to home: René Benko, the Austrian real estate baron, who had a conviction for bribery upheld recently by the supreme court. Which didn't stop him making the cut for this year's conference. "You know Benko?" The cop nodded. It wasn't easy to see in the glare of the searchlight, but he looked a little ashamed.

... ... ...

I decided to reward their vigilance with a chat about HSBC. The chairman of the troubled banking giant, Douglas Flint, is a regular attendee at Bilderberg, and he's heading here again this year, along with a member of the bank's board of directors, Rona Fairhead. Perhaps most tellingly, Flint is finding room in his Mercedes for the bank's busiest employee: its chief legal officer, Stuart Levey.

A Guardian editorial this week branded HSBC "a bank beyond shame" after it announced plans to cut 8,000 jobs in the UK, while at the same time threatening to shift its headquarters to Hong Kong. And having just been forced to pay £28m in fines to Swiss regulators investigating money-laundering claims. The big question, of course, is how will the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, respond to all this? Easy – he'll go along to a luxury Austrian hotel and hole up with three senior members of HSBC in private. For three days.

High up on this year's conference agenda is "current economic issues", and without a doubt, one of the biggest economic issues for Osborne at the moment is the future and finances of Europe's largest bank. Luckily, the chancellor will have plenty of time at Bilderberg to chat all this through through with Flint, Levey and Fairhead. And the senior Swiss financial affairs official, Pierre Maudet, a member of the Geneva state council in charge of the department of security and the economy. It's all so incredibly convenient.

... ... ...

Related: The Guardian view on HSBC: a bank beyond shame | Editorial

consumersunite -> MickGJ 12 Jun 2015 15:23

Let's see, maybe because we have read over their leaked documents from the 1950s in which they discussed currency manipulation and GATT. Everything they have discussed in their meetings over the past decades has almost come to fruition. There are elected officials meeting with criminals such as HSBC. Did you even read the article? If you did, and you are not het up or whatever you call it, then you are of a peasant mentality, and there is no use talking to you.

The Bilderberg set call people like you either their "dogs" (if you are in politics or the military) or the "dead." I won't be looking for your response because you have confirmed that you do not matter.

Carpasia -> MickGJ 12 Jun 2015 10:52

Thank you for your comment, my good man. Hatred is human, and helps us all to avoid pain, for pain, especially unnecessary pain, is allowed to be hated by the agreement of all, if nothing else is. I would hate to be beaten by Nazis. Thus, I would avoid going to a place where that could occur. That is how hatred works for me. It is the only way it can work, and not be pernicious to the self and others.

I distrust the international order as it is the means, harnessed by money, whether corporate or state or individual or monarchical, by which this world is being destroyed. Could things have been better? Jesus is on one end of the spectrum, and Lord Acton on the other, of the spectrums of viewpoints from which that could be properly assessed.

If the corruption at the heart of the international order is not regulated properly, this world will come to an end, not the end of the world itself, but the end of the world as we know it. This is happening now. The world is finite.

I am not a xenophobe. In my experience, the people that are most likely to hurt me, and thus deserve fear, are those closest. Perhaps that is a cynical way of describing it, but anyone who thinks honestly about it would accede to the notion that it is the people who "love" us that hurt us the most, for we agree too be vulnerable to them. It is the matrix of love.

As for Austria and Bavaria, I have visited both places and they were, both, the cleanest locales I have ever seen, with Switzerland having to be mentioned in the same breath, of course.

I take a certain liberty in writing. I am not damning the human race, or strangers to me. If I did not entertain, but caused offence, I apologize to you. I do not possess omniscience, and my words will have to speak for themselves.

Thank you, again.

DemonicWarlordSlayer 12 Jun 2015 08:02

"How Geo Bush's Grandfather Helped Hitler's Rise to Power" in the UK Guardian >

"Did Geo H W Bush Coordinate a JFK Hit Team" at Veterans Today >

"9/11 Conspiracy Solved, Names, Connections, Details" on youtube....dot-to-dot of the

Demonic Warlord's Crimes Against Humanity....end feudalism.


Carpasia 12 Jun 2015 07:09

Excellent article.

I visited Austria once, and I know of what he speaks. It was the one place I have ever visited that I thought I would be jailed if I littered. I was wandering at the time, but I tentatively had a meal of chicken and departed henceforth.

Austrians are an interesting lot, to be sure. That they are perfect goes without saying. Their main virtue is that they do not travel, and that strangers, which we call tourists these days, are not welcomed. If only we were all like that, the world would be a far better place.

Austrians do everything well, including crime. Some of the greatest crimes in the world have been committed by Austrians, but their crimes did not include not having their papers.

During World War 2, and I pass over Hitler, the German machine of death had an unusually high proportion of Austrians in commanding roles assisting it. It can not be explained away by saying they were some kind of faux Germans, and so it matters not. Indeed, if anything, Germans are faux Austrians, looked at in the broad brush of history. Men of many nations joined the Germans and adorned themselves with the Death's Head, but many Austrians might as well have tattooed it onto their foreheads. I know of what I speak, for I read on it, and will justify if questioned.

Reinhard Heydrich is an epitome of this, in the true sense of the word. Kurt Waldheim was another, too young too rise too far before the Ragnarok of May of 1945, but government of the world was not out of his reach, a man who had materially assisted the transportation of the Jews of Thessaloniki to the gas chambers of Auschwitz and, when challenged, was unrepentant, not as a racist, but as something worse even, as a man whose great virtue was that he followed orders. It is order that the Austrians value over everything. Even crime is ordered.

In the common-law west we think criminals are disordered beasts to be locked up. We do not give them papers. They are registered only to warn us of their existence, and we do not like to let them travel, as much as we could benefit by their absence, because we think they flee to license, and we think it wrong to inflict them upon innocents abroad. In Austria, the criminal is the man with no papers. If he has papers, all is well, and he is no criminal, whatever he has done.

colingorton 12 Jun 2015 03:19

What do you mean "where criminals mingle with ministers". That is assuming that ministers are not criminals. Considering that there will be ministers from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK, I'd suggest that there is a near 100% certainty that some, if not all, the ministers there are criminals.

That one group of almost-certainly-criminals meets another group of almost-certainly-criminals is hardly surprising. That the whole shebang is protected by the host's police force is even less so.

How far can all this mutual back scratching go? It seems that the only alternative left is far too drastic, but there really seems to be no place for a legal alternative, does there?

[Jan 29, 2019] Guardian became D>eep State Guardian

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Guardian has lost all sense of proportion – mention Tommy Robinson and the entire staff through themselves to floor and roll round like dying flies – yet for when it comes to US neocons they go all misty eyed, redolent of a broody couple when they come across a particularly adorable baby. ..."
"... I would wager a medium sum that Tisdall is on a payroll other than the Grauniad's, or he's an actual asset per Ulfkötte's books and media appearances. ..."
"... George Bush spent his adult life organizing operations and wars that killed a few million people. Anyone who has spiritual beliefs must wonder how it is to die with so much killing on your record or conscience (if you have one). ..."
"... That's something I've wondered about many times. If you review John McCain's actions and comments before he died, it seems these people don't have a conscience. ..."
"... Reagan was primarily a mantle piece for the banking, oil and defense sectors to run wild. Is it really so hard to believe GHW Bush was running the National Security Council? It was a CIA wet dream come true (especially after the alligator-armed "investigations" of the 70's. ..."
"... The Deep State Guardian. Why don't they just change their name to 'The Daily Thatcherite' and have done with it. ..."
"... They should just show it's full title: The Guardian Of The Establishment ..."
"... well, yeah. but for us mad people it goes deeper even than that: https://geopolitics.co/2018/12/02/in-memoriam-george-h-scherff-jr-aka-george-hw-bush-sr/ ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | off-guardian.org

Oslo - Norway, Dec 4, 2018

Let's never forget George H W Bush's love for incubator babies. He loved fake incubator babies.

The incubator baby actress wasn't just any 15 year old, she was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Canada –

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cqiq8P8dRtY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Philpot, Dec 4, 2018
British and most western media are either in the direct or indirect pay of their governments. What journalist can expose this for us? Any of you willing to make the biggest scoop of the 21st century? Tom Bradbury at ITN must be on the spook payroll, for starters? MI6 had foreign correspondents for years, but domestic mouthpieces must now be on the take too? All paid to demonise Russia and Putin.
harry stotle, Dec 4, 2018

The Guardian has lost all sense of proportion – mention Tommy Robinson and the entire staff through themselves to floor and roll round like dying flies – yet for when it comes to US neocons they go all misty eyed, redolent of a broody couple when they come across a particularly adorable baby.

Simon 'white helmets' Tisdall is especially egregious – one can imagine him throwing darts at a picture of Putin while producing his latest homily to the murderous actions of gangsters like Bush and his crime family.

Its hard not to despair now this has become the official face of Britains so-called liberal media.

Yarkob, Dec 4, 2018
I would wager a medium sum that Tisdall is on a payroll other than the Grauniad's, or he's an actual asset per Ulfkötte's books and media appearances. As with Michael White, with whom I had a very illuminating argument via email a few years back. He *is* an asset, not a journalist (and a massive dick, to boot)
George cornell, Dec 4, 2018
I thought the attitude of the Bush family to their fellow Americans was best illustrated by Barbara's response to the plight of the homeless victims of Katrina who had been transported to the Houston domed stadium. They spent their nights there sleeping on hard benches and when good ole Babs heard of it, she opined that they probably had never had it so good so why were they complaining. Could Mother Theresa have had greater generosity of spirit?
Gekaufte Journalisten (bought journalism), Dec 4, 2018
Not just one article, the awful Guardian is full of contents eulogising [yet another] mongrel of a president.

But look at conservative media. The crazy Infowars.com described this Bush as an Anti-American Globalist and Traitor!! .. and zerohedge.com is celebrating: "The Evil Has Died" and "In 2016 he voted for Hillary Clinton, because the Deep State Swamp sticks together". https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-02/exploring-dark-side-bush-41

Just tell me, who is the rabid neo-con right-wing rag that is glorifying wars and mass murderers?

Norcal, Dec 4, 2018
Speaking of neighbors you might appreciate this excellent Journalism by Robert Parry: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/12/03/bush-41s-october-surprise-denials-2/
DunGroanin, Dec 4, 2018
The late Robert Parry, sad to say. Maybe that now both the 'MacBeths' are stains on the tarmac – Parry's notes of the bloodstained legacy of that dynasty can finally be displayed? That Barbara was one cold blooded mother! Would have happily pulled a trigger on JFK, MLK herself (some think).

Just about the whole century from the setup of the Fed, the two world wars, the depression, Hitler, Korea, Cuba all of it, had a a Bush hand in it. He was the self crowned Caesar having publicly executed the whole of Camelot and left us with a poison toad, reminds us how low the Bush's took the USA.

David Eire, Dec 3, 2018
George Bush spent his adult life organizing operations and wars that killed a few million people. Anyone who has spiritual beliefs must wonder how it is to die with so much killing on your record or conscience (if you have one).
Loverat, Dec 4, 2018
That's something I've wondered about many times. If you review John McCain's actions and comments before he died, it seems these people don't have a conscience. If you surround yourself with people of similar mindset and in a climate where war is considered obligatory for US Presidents, you go into self denial. Wars are probably like an addiction for these people and once you get to that stage you no longer have a conscience.

During John McCain's funeral where all living ex-presidents were in attendance, someone remarked on Twitter, 'Quick, lock the church doors and hold the war crimes trial in the church!'. This was a far more realistic observation than the sickening McCain apologist BBC coverage we were subjected to.

At the weekend I went to the place where Oliver Cromwell lived. There was an American tourist who told us she was shocked about Oliver Cromwell being dug up from his grave and his head stuck on a pike. She said it was gruesome. I was tempted to say that at least that was 350 years ago, and similar things are happening today in Iraq, Syria and Libya – all places where the US has instigated the chaos and supports the perpretators. I resisted the temptation.

I note that Cromwell thought he was chosen by God to do what he did. But again that was in different times and there were some redeeming factors in what he did, Probably on par with Obama – who wreaked havoc on the Middle East but reached agreements on Iran and Cuba. Plus Obama looked cool while killing and droning.

But what goes around comes around. I sense the pure evil involved in the current regime change wars, government, media etc will pay a heavy price – whether in this life or the next.

mark, Dec 4, 2018
The state controlled BBC has just done another puff piece on McCain saying what a splendid chap and great statesman and all round good egg he was.

The MSM likes to slag off Vlad The Bad by droning on about how he was in the KGB. But Bush wasn't just IN the CIA, he was the BOSS of the CIA, at a time when hundreds of thousands of Central American peasant farmers and Indians were being killed by CIA trained and orchestrated death squads.

Gezzah Potts, Dec 4, 2018
Mark: jayzus Mark, don't you just want to projectile vomit when you see all this absolute bullshit, just straight out revising of history, just the lies, on and on . I was involved in a Central American solidarity group in the 1980s – early 90s here in Aussie, found out then all about U.S style 'democracatic values' and 'human rights concerns' and death squads and various fascists fully supported by the United States, and places like Guatemala and Nicaragua. Its all an illusion for 'polite society' and the gullible to believe in. Sigh
mark, Dec 5, 2018
I can't remember the exact figures but I think it was over 200,000 murdered in Guatemala out of a population of 4 million. It was the same story in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Colombia. And of course the CIA satrap Noriega was hauled off in chains when that country was invaded. But Uncle Sam is finally paying a price for his antics south of the border. Those societies were wrecked and brutalised beyond repair. There is now an unbelievably high murder rate of women in Guatemala. Millions of those people have sought some kind of refuge in the belly of the beast, causing an immigration crisis, with an illegal immigrant population that may be as high as 30 million. Hence all the uproar over Trump's wall. The immigration crisis was a factor in Trump's election, just as the tidal wave of migrants from the destroyed countries of the Middle East was a factor in Brexit. Cameron, Sarko and Clinton thought it was a spiffing idea and quite a wizard wheeze to bomb Libya back to the Stone Age. So we now have a Mad Max failed state complete with warlords and slave markets just across the Med. What goes around, comes around. You can't expect to export violence and mayhem abroad and remain immune to it at home.
Gezzah Potts, Dec 5, 2018
Mark: after Efrain Rios Montt seized power in a coup in Guatemala in 1982, US Ambassador Frederick Chapin declared that thanks to the coup of Rios Montt "the Guatemalan Govt has come out of the darkness into the light". That sums it up in one sentence, and you're probably aware of the mass killing and disappearances under his genocidal tyranny. Reagan kindly submitted that Rios Montt was 'getting a bum rap on human rights, the same Reagan who declared the Contra's were 'The moral equal of our founding fathers'. In El Salvador, the same mass slaughter, the same mass upheaval, and even murdering Archbishop Romero. You only need to look at what happened in Central & South America to understand what the United States really represents.
Jen, Dec 4, 2018
I would have bypassed the war crimes trial, locked the church and then built a moat stocked with crocodiles and piranhas around it.
mark, Dec 4, 2018
That's entirely right. People understandably despise and revile people like Brady and Hindley, Sutcliffe, Dahmer, Bundy and the like. But they killed a handful of people and were often very damaged individuals to begin with. And at least they did their own dirty work. Subhuman scum sucking filth like Bush, Bush 2, Obama, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Blair, Straw and Campbell are a thousand times worse. They kill millions without getting their hands dirty, and preen and posture as great statesmen and public servants, expecting deference and state funerals and puff piece obituaries from nauseating, loathsome, lickspittle media hacks like Tisdall.
Caitlin Ni Chonaill, Dec 6, 2018
You left out Kissinger and Albright.
Gezzah Potts, Dec 3, 2018
Nailed it Kit. The attempt at revionism and rewriting history by these craven creatures, these sycophantic slimebag shills for Imperialism and War and the Anglo Zionist Empire. They don't speak truth to power, they protect and grovel to the powerful. The eulogising and fawning of Bush was stomach churning, as it was for the arch Imperialist McCain when he croaked. Thank God for alternative news sites, and yeah Caitlin Johnston @ medium nailed it as well, as Fair Dinkum mentioned. Where's John Pilger when you need him?
Badger Down, Dec 3, 2018
GBH Bush's Highway of Death deserves mention. I'll spare you the pictures.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=highway+of+death+desert+storm&t=h_&atb=v92-2_f&ia=web
systemicfraud, Dec 3, 2018
What no one seems to realize is that the VP often takes charge of the US National Security Council when POTUS is not able to attend meetings, which are held weekly. Under Eisenhower it was Richard Nixon who often took charge of the meetings -- Tim Weiner's book "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA" gives some details on this. Reagan was primarily a mantle piece for the banking, oil and defense sectors to run wild. Is it really so hard to believe GHW Bush was running the National Security Council? It was a CIA wet dream come true (especially after the alligator-armed "investigations" of the 70's.
Fair dinkum, Dec 3, 2018
Caitlin sums it up: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/12/01/if-you-murdered-a-bunch-of-people-mass-murder-is-your-single-defining-legacy/
Simon Hodges, Dec 3, 2018
The Deep State Guardian. Why don't they just change their name to 'The Daily Thatcherite' and have done with it.
Frankly Speaking, Dec 4, 2018
They should just show it's full title: The Guardian Of The Establishment
kevin morris, Dec 3, 2018
'Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years' by Russ Baker -- a fascinating account of the Bush family's involvement in a great deal of nefarious activity. Bush senior is one of the few people who didn't remember where he was when Kennedy was shot. Baker puts him in Dallas.
lysias, Dec 4, 2018
Now that G.H.W. Bush hss died, is there anybody suspected of involvement in the JFK assassination still alive?
kevin morris, Dec 4, 2018
I don't know but as a fairly apolitical individual, I never much bothered with the Kennedy Assasination. All that changed when during the fiftieth anniversary, BBC Radio Four ran a program which included an interview with the Dallas police officer who was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when he was shot by Jack Ruby. The consensus of that program was that the case was open shut and Oswald did it. Around that time, several newspapers in the UK featured articles claiming that Oswald acted alone.

Whether or not anyone actively involved still lives, their descendants still do and the probable organising body too. There still appears to be determination in some quarters to spread disinformation about the case. Given that as long ago as the late seventies the House of Representatives Assassination Committee concluded that JFK's death was probably the consequence of a conspiracy, determination amongst the mainstream media to lay Kennedy's death at the hands of Oswald alone suggests that there is still determination that the truth never becomes public.

Frankly Speaking, Dec 3, 2018
Exactly what i was thinking!

I'm sickened by the Guardian's and BBC's obedience to the US neocon project to seek, or create, and destroy "enemies" and whilst ignoring all the disgusting atrocities that arise as a consequence.

The Guardian is not even worth the paper it's printed on. It's become The Guardian Of The Establishment rather than of the Truth which it used to proclaim.

George cornell, Dec 4, 2018
It is in danger of losing its budgie-cage-liner status. If budgies can talk they may refuse to evacuate on it. What kind of person maintains ties to such a a poor excuse for cage toiletry. The moral crunch time for their journalists (actually their opinionists) came and went a long time ago.
Brutally Remastered, Dec 3, 2018
What a great piece. My parents knew them in New York and they came over once and left behind an embossed packet of White House cigs. I asked my father (before he died) what he thought of them and all he ever said was he thought that Barbara was the intellect in the family.
Bloody annoying, thanks Pater.
Marianne Birkby, Dec 3, 2018
From 2004

"The induction of DU weapons in 1991 in Iraq broke a 46-year taboo. This Trojan Horse of nuclear war continues to be used more and more. DU remains radioactive longer than the age of the earth (estimated at 4.5 billion years). The long-term effects from over a decade of DU exposures are devastating. The increased quantities of radioactive material used in Afghanistan are 3 to 5 times greater than Iraq, 1991. In Iraq, 2003, they are already estimated to be 6 to 10 times 1991, and will travel through a larger area and affect many more people, babies and unborn. Countries within a 1000-mile radius of Baghdad and Kabul are being affected by radiation poisoning

Badger Down, Dec 3, 2018
"DU remains radioactive longer than [ ] 4.5 billion years." It's worse than that. It loses half of its radioactivity in that time. The good news is that that slow release means "D"U doesn't zap you much. The bad news is it's chemically toxic, like a heavy metal (which it is).
nwwoods, Dec 3, 2018
Also no mention of the body of circumstantial evidence linking Bush to JFK's murder, though Bush repeatedly insisted that he couldn't recall his whereabouts that day (I can precisely recall where I was, and I was 9 years old in 1963), in spite of the fact that solid documentary evidence exists that puts him in Dallas on Nov 22, 1963.
Norcal, Dec 4, 2018
The very first Google Search I did was this, (George H.W. Bush+November 22, 1963) and it yielded a page like the following link, which began my research into the JFK Assassination.

http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=5420

nomad, Dec 3, 2018

well, yeah. but for us mad people it goes deeper even than that: https://geopolitics.co/2018/12/02/in-memoriam-george-h-scherff-jr-aka-george-hw-bush-sr/

Bush Sr. : Crypto-Nazi patriarch and his disciples
https://eclinik.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/barbara-bush-funeral-four-presidents-four-first-ladies.jpg?w=672&h=372&crop=1

[Jan 29, 2019] Brexit and the future of neoliberalism in UK

Dec 17, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Dave_P -> willpodmore , 23 Aug 2016 10:57

The EU didn't impose austerity on the UK, its own government did. We don't have the euro, in case you haven't noticed. The US is our top overseas buyer. If we want more of that, we'll have to take something like TTIP or worse.

The EU was a voice for African, Caribbean and Pacific producers against US transnationals, and offered favorable terms. We've weakened that voice.

Brexit makes us more dependent on the IMF, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. They're not EU bodies.

Britain opposed EU democratisation for forty years by upholding national governments' veto powers over proposals supported by elected MEPs.

You voted against everything you claim to uphold. Because it was a vote against everything.

None of that's even the issue. Do you have an insight to offer beyond antipathy to the EU?

[Jan 24, 2019] Putin is routinely described as a murderer and a thug in the western MSM. With no evidence is provided to support this. Ditto the claims he has billions syphoned away in some offshore haven.

Jan 24, 2019 | off-guardian.org

grandstand says Jan, 16, 2019

Whatever the truth, and I become daily more distrustful of the media that regularly attack Putin in this way, I doubt very much if his crimes in this regard come anywhere near those of Bush, Cheney, Blair, Cameron, Obama, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
mark says Jan, 16, 2019
This is just routinely parroted by the MSM and equally routinely expanded upon by them. Organs like the Guardian/ BBC casually announce that Putin has stolen £40 billion (sometimes this is casually raised to £200 billion, which would make him the richest man on the planet and people like Gates/ Buffett poor as church mice by comparison.)Occasionally someone does ask for details, like bank transfers, property holdings or whatever.

Nothing is ever forthcoming. All they come up with is that he has some nice Italian suits and a nice gold watch that cost him $1,200.

Apart from that, these allegations must be true because some financial fraudster mate of Khordokovsky who sought refuge in the US said so. Sounds pretty convincing to us here in the MSM – what more evidence do you need? Of course Putin is just a kleptocratic thug and James Bond cartoon villain who has people murdered purely for the fun of it.

George cornel l says Jan, 16, 2019
Very late in the game I finally saw the documentary Icarus recently. I had passed it up because I thought I could predict that it would be rampantly dishonest, and an exercise in propaganda. It having received an Academy award seemed to be an independent confirmation of my prejudice.

Well, I was right for once. It was disgraceful, and the most common image in it was of Putin, accompanied by feeble ad hominem claims, without any counterpoints of any kind. So the core issue, cheating at the Olympics, turned out to be presented with no context at all, for the anti-Russian smear job. No mention of Balco, Carl Lewis, Marion Jones, and just a few seconds of an unidentified Lance Armstrong.

So now we see awards for propaganda. The Americans don't do fairness or integrity, but now they don't even pretend.

mark says Jan, 17, 2019
They gave an Integrity in Journalism award to the Ukraine journalist who faked his own death.
Fair dinkum says Jan, 16, 2019
Tolkien also comes to mind here.
Us 'hobbits' are treated as inferior beings by the 'Saurons', 'Nazguls' and 'Gollums' of this world.
Gandalf ?
We're waiting
Francis Lee says Jan, 16, 2019
Comments were true and apposite enough, but it's all been said really. But given that this is largely an information war the truth needs continuously asserting.

Our opponents – the Guardian (minitru on thames) the New York Post (Pravda on the Hudson) the Washington Post (Izvestia on the Potomac) – sole tactic is constant repetition, this should be our tactic also but with evidence to back it up.

We need to constantly expand our readership and challenge the lunatic narrative of the PTB. We are now in a pivotal historical moment. If we fail it will be Hunger Games.

Loverat says Jan, 16, 2019
Francis Lee

I agree about the repetition but do you want to know what I think? I think you need to play MSM and others a little bit at their own game. They don't back anything up with evidence. They write short pieces of fiction as statements of fact. Yet they are believed.

The thing is all 'our' evidence is already out there just by taking a look. (e.g White Helmets will take you 15 minutes to doubt that narrative) You have an army of researchers/journalists (e.g Kit Klarenberg, Vanessa Beeley etc) posting detailed evidence out there. A lot of the independent/academic articles I read are well backed up with evidence but the problem is to someone not up to speed, is less inclined to read a long article backed up by detailed reasoning and evidence within it.

I think this article is clear and credible and prompts those new to independent thought to look at different sources of information.

So perhaps more independent writing, which is creative setting out the facts in an intelligent way as above and invite (through links) the reader to look at the evidence which is plentiful, at their leisure.

Humour is another good way of spreading the message. The CJ Hopkins piece a few days ago very effective.

[Jan 24, 2019] The Skripal case is a classic illustration of Coleridge's willing suspension of disbelief, Roh's magical realism and Orwell's doublethink (the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct) all rolled into one

Skripals case reminds us that the Red Brigades in Italy and Baader-Meinhof in Germany were entirely bogus and controlled intelligence operations. It's the same story with the "Symbionese Liberation Army" in the US. Then there's Gladio and Northwoods.
Realpolitik has become surrealpolitik. In Skripals case Russia was immediately blamed, despite the fact an investigation had barely begun That instantly suggests british intelligence services participation in Skripals poisoning.
Were are currently the father and daughter who were allegedly poisoned is unknown. Why they are in hiding is also unknown. But such quetions are never raised by MSM.
In the Middle Ages, everybody knew that witches, fairies, pixies and elves existed and were responsible for everything that went wrong in life, like the cows or the pigs falling sick or the hens stopping laying. But round about the early 1600s, judges and juries started demanding evidence and acquitting defendants in witch trials. They accepted their existence, but still wanted to see some evidence. The folk in the 1600s were probably more sceptical and less credulous than our friends like Harding at the Guardian today.
The public can be persuaded to accept almost anything providing the story chimes with deep seated fears or prejudices, such as Russians threatening 'our way of life' (fears and prejudices continually stoked by the media of course)
Jan 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Skripal. The final illustration is the alleged of poisoning with "Novichok" of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March 2018. This was immediately blamed on Russia, again before an investigation had been concluded, followed by sanctions, the expulsion of Russian diplomats (including by Australia) and a general tirade of abuse against Russia in general and President Putin in particular.

The Skripal case is a classic illustration of Coleridge's willing suspension of disbelief, Roh's magical realism and Orwell's doublethink (the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct) all rolled into one.

Rob Slane ( www.theblogmire.com 9 January 2019) has brilliantly deconstructed the many logical, scientific and political absurdities in the official story. One will wait in vain for the merest hint of this demolition in the mainstream media.

One possible reason for this non-coverage of the actual evidence and instead a non-stop barrage of disinformation, suppression of evidence and manipulation of the public can be found in the activities of a shadowy organisation known as the Institute for Statecraft, and one of its projects known as the Integrity Initiative (sic).

Fresh revelations are emerging about this project on a daily basis and a proper analysis must await developments. Suffice to note at this point that the Integrity Initiative is known to be funded by the United Kingdom government, ostensibly to counter 'Russian disinformation.' It is rather a major project to spread falsehoods about Russia through "clusters" of journalists working in mainstream media outlets.

The latter have gone beyond the willing suspension of disbelief and instead actively promote disinformation they know to be untrue. It is not only potential embarrassment that prevents this story getting the attention it deserves. It is a strong suspicion, no more than that at the time of writing, that a D Notice has been issued in the United Kingdom and Australia.

The effect has been to prevent discussion of what is an extraordinary campaign to mislead the public, attack opposition politicians and the alternative media, and generally undermine what used to be regarded as a free press.

That some of the same personnel involved in the Integrity Initiative are also involved in the Skripal matter (itself subject to a D Notice) reinforces the belief that this project has wider tentacles than originally thought .

Paul Carline says Jan, 18, 2019
Major credit due to U.K. Column News who originally researched and broke the story about the Integrity Initiative. Loading...
vexarb says Jan, 17, 2019
The Integrity Initiative

http://syriapropagandamedia.org/working-papers/briefing-note-on-the-integrity-initiative

Syrian Observatory For Human Wrongs says Jan, 17, 2019
"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't." Lewis Carroll.

"Integrity Initiative"
"United Nations"
"Free Press"
"Liberal"
"American Intelligence"

Syrian Observatory For Human Wrongs says Jan, 17, 2019
All you need to know ; )

https://syrianobservatoryforhumanwrongs.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/an-idiots-guide-to-the-skripal-affair/

[Jan 24, 2019] The Integrity Initiative web site has been scrubbed and their twitter acct is now by invitation only

Jan 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bart Hansen , Jan 23, 2019 12:03:08 PM | link

RT is reporting that the Integrity Initiative web site has been scrubbed and their twitter acct is now by invitation only.

[Jan 23, 2019] These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don't be fooled by their progressive veneer

The Democratic Party has for decades been only slightly less solicitous of the desires of America's financial elites than the fully bought-and-paid-for GOP.
Notable quotes:
"... Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren't far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives ..."
"... When CNBC's story about Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take "no corporate Pac money". ..."
"... But what's most telling isn't that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street's money, it's that they want the blessings of financial CEOs ..."
"... The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don't have a labor-backed social democratic party that could create barriers to avoid capture by monied interests. It's telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper's recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: "We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors." ..."
"... Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments like that, it doesn't take fake news to convince working-class Americans that Democrats don't really have their interests at heart. ..."
"... Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It's afraid of the Democrats who will take them on -- and those, unfortunately, are few and far between. ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Bhaskar Sunkara in The Guardian pointed out that most Democratic Party candidates such as Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrandare bought by Wall Street:

It's a framing that's been everywhere over the past two years: the Resistance v Donald Trump. By some definitions that "resistance" even includes people like Mitt Romney and George W Bush. By almost all definitions it encompasses mainstream Democrats, such as the likely presidential hopefuls Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand.

In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of Medicare for All and universal childcare.

Gillibrand, long considered a moderate, has even gone as far as to endorse abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and, along with Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders' single-payer healthcare bill. Harris has also backed universal healthcare and free college tuition for most Americans.

But outward appearances aren't everything. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late -- on Wall Street. According to CNBC, all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone's Jonathan Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.

Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren't far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives .

When CNBC's story about Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take "no corporate Pac money".

But what's most telling isn't that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street's money, it's that they want the blessings of financial CEOs . Even if she doesn't take their contributions, she's signaling that she's just playing politics with populist rhetoric. That will allow capitalists to focus their attention on candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shown a real willingness to abandon the traditional coziness of the Democratic party with the finance, insurance and real estate industries.

Gillibrand and others are behaving perfectly rationally. The last presidential election cost $6.6bn -- advertising, staff and conventions are expensive. But even more important than that, they know that while leftwing stances might help win Democratic primaries, the path of least resistance in the general election is capitulation to the big forces of capital that run this country. Those elites might allow some progressive tinkering on the margins, but nothing that challenges the inequities that keep them wealthy and their victims weak.

Big business is likely to bet heavily on the Democratic party in 2020, maybe even more so than it did in 2016. In normal circumstances, the Democratic party is the second-favorite party of capital; with an erratic Trump around, it is often the first.

The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don't have a labor-backed social democratic party that could create barriers to avoid capture by monied interests. It's telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper's recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: "We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors."

Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments like that, it doesn't take fake news to convince working-class Americans that Democrats don't really have their interests at heart.

Of course, the Democratic party isn't a monolith. But the insurgency waged by newly elected representatives such as the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and others is still in its infancy. At this stage, it isn't going to scare capital away from the Democratic party, it's going to make Wall Street invest more heavily to maintain its stake in it.

Men like Mark Gallogly know who their real enemy is: more than anyone else, the establishment is wary of Bernie Sanders. It seems likely that he will run for president, but he's been dismissed as a 2020 frontrunner despite his high favorability rates, name recognition, small-donor fundraising ability, appeal to independent voters, and his team's experience running a competitive national campaign. As 2019 goes on, that dismissal will morph into all-out war.

Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It's afraid of the Democrats who will take them on -- and those, unfortunately, are few and far between.


Danexmachina , 15 Jan 2019 12:31

One dollar, one vote.
If you want Change, keep it in your pocket.
We can't turn this sinking ship around unless we know what direction it's going. So far, that direction is just delivering money to private islands.
Democrats have a lot of talk, but they still want to drive the nice cars and sell the same crapft that the Republicans are.
Taxing the rich only works when you worship the rich in the first place.
Tim Cahill , 15 Jan 2019 12:00
Election financing is the single root cause for our democracy's failure. Period.

I really don't care too much about the mouthing of progressive platitudes from any 2020 Dem Prez candidate. The only ones that will be worth voting for are the ones that sign onto Sanders' (or similar) legislation that calls for a Constitutional amendment that allows federal and state governments to limit campaign contributions.

And past committee votes to prevent amendment legislation from getting to a floor vote - as well as missed co-sponsorship opportunities - should be interesting history for all the candidates to explain.

Campaign financing is what keeps scum entrenched (because primary challengers can't overcome the streams of bribes from those wonderful people exercising their 'free speech' "rights" to keep their puppet in govt) and prevents any challenges to the corporate establishment who serve the same rich masters.

Lenny Dirges -> Vintage59 , 15 Jan 2019 11:55
Lol, Social Security, Medicare, unemployement protections, so many of the things you mentioned, and so much more, were from the PROGRESSIVE New Deal, which managed to implement this slew of changes in 5 years! 5 years! You can't criticize "progressives" in one sentence and then use their accomplishments to support your argument. Today, the New Deal would be considered too far left by most so called "pragmatic liberals." I assume you are getting fully behind the proposed "Green New Deal" then, right?
L C -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 11:15
Anti-trust would be a very good place to start with.

Universal healthcare is a lot harder than you seem to think. I'd love it, but getting there means putting so many people out of work, it'll be a massive political challenge, even if corporations have no influence. Progressives might be better off focusing on how to ensure the existing system works better and Medicaid can slowly expand to fill the universal roll in the future.

partoftheproblem -> Atlant , 15 Jan 2019 10:55

That's not what I said at all and you know it.

My point is that Trump succeeded despite all the negative coverage, much of the media were laughing at his chances of winning, right up until election night.

Which of the candidates during the last election backed down? Bernie, both in terms of stepping aside for Clinton and also when people invaded the stage and demanded a right to talk before him... and he let them! That only served to make him look weak for many people who didn't care for the issues they wanted to rant about on stage.

[Jan 22, 2019] Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage together

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason. ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

cagnusdei -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 10:50

Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage together.

Bernie Sanders is widely considered by many to be one of the most popular American politicians, more than Trump and certainly more popular than Hillary. I think an interesting phenomenon to notice is the lengths the GOP, in particular, will go to in order to convince the average voter that anything that cuts taxes is inherently good for the 'little guy,' while anything that raises taxes is bad.

Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason.

[Jan 22, 2019] Something about female chickenhawks: they probably perceived that only males could be doves. A total lack of integrity.

Jan 22, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Haigin88 -> Tom J. Davis Clinton's Iraq war vote. She was always dealing with the inverse Nixon In China rule. Just as only Nixon could speak with China, she probably perceived that only males could be doves. That's an explanation not an excuse. Again, a total lack of integrity from Clinton.

Also, much of Clinton's later foulness was attempted to be offset by her early opinions and actions - her speeches at college; her working for children. Gabbard is around the other way: her record got better, offsetting much of her earlier nonsense. Clinton and Gabbard are apples and oranges, I think ,

Clinton's Iraq war vote. She was always dealing with the inverse Nixon In China rule. Just as only Nixon could speak with China, she probably perceived that only males could be doves. That's an explanation not an excuse. Again, a total lack of integrity from Clinton.

Also, much of Clinton's later foulness was attempted to be offset by her early opinions and actions - her speeches at college; her working for children. Gabbard is around the other way: her record got better, offsetting much of her earlier nonsense. Clinton and Gabbard are apples and oranges, I think

[Jan 22, 2019] Neoliberal Dems circled wagons and used Russiagate to avoid the necessary changes: they are now doomed

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

ravioliollie -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 08:55

As usual, the pledge ultimately never changes, New jobs and No increase in taxes. Americans love tag lines even though our infrastructure, poor education et al is the result of fear of taxation. Both parties use the same tag line, we certainly get what we pay for.
TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 08:47
Yep,
The party has circled its wagons.
They insist that the Evil Vlad stole the last election.
Therefore, no need to examine Obama's centrist/neoliberal policies and the socio-economic conditions that fueled the rejection of Hillary.
We're doomed to repeat our errors.
The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo.

[Jan 22, 2019] The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss.

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Art Glick

, 15 Jan 2019 09:44
The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss. Even voters too ignorant to see Trump for what he really was - voters that are misinformed to the point that they unwittingly and continually vote against their own best interests - realized how much the Dems have sold out to Wall Street.

HRC would have been nominated in '08 if she had kissed more Wall Street you-know-what. That's why they anointed Obama who then proceeded to squander eight years of opportunity to remove big money from politics and enact progressive reforms to health care, the environment, etc.

Bernie is a bit long in the tooth, so I am all in for Liz Warren. She's the only one with both the courage and the intelligence to take on the big money that controls our politics.

Therefore, you can expect the Russian trolls to be coming for her in force. If you read anything negative about Warren in the coming months, check the source and don't trust the accuracy.

[Jan 22, 2019] Wall Street gives money to the Dems not to help Dems win; it's to make sure Wall Street doesn't lose.

Highly recommended!
Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 10:37

The best way to determine if one claims to be a Progressive is to fact-check the candidate's claim.

The first and foremost question that should be asked and researched: Does this candidate have as one of his or her top priorities to eliminate corporate/private/labor money in politics? This would require a major federal campaign finance reform law that would establish public funding for all campaigns, permanently bar corporate/labor union/private-entity money (including funding media-attack ads) from any political influence and require all broadcast/cable networks to allow every candidate equal air time to state his opinions, policies, promises, and to state why he believes he is the best candidate for the working class and/or corporations.

As well, such a law should permanently eliminate the revolving door through which many politicians scamper to become a lobbyist for Wall Street after he "retires" from politics and the law should block all former lobbyists from running for an office that would have a bearing on legislation that would affect the corporation for which he or she worked.

As well, such a law should bar any politicians or family members from purchasing or selling stocks in corporate entities that would be affected by the legislation on which the politician is working (insider trading).

Think about it. The lure of big bucks can, and does, corrupt politicians such that they will work mainly for the donor (corporate, labor, and/or private) and provide for just enough benefit politicians' the voters (America's working class) to make them think he cares most about them. Much of that money is hidden in super-pacs where the donor's identity is hidden. Too, super-pacs would have to be eliminated.

A Progressive should advocate for a large infrastructure project . Our bridges and highways are now in a state of disrepair. Other nations such as Japan now have high-speed bullet trains, the fastest so far is Shanghai Maglev and can travel 267.8 mph. The U.S. has none.

Poverty would be a major focus of Progressives. Corporations will pay as little as they can get by paying. So there must be a minimum wage boost to a living wage. To keep corporations from moving to a part-time labor force with less pay, part-time workers must make the same hourly wage as full time workers. As well, universal, proactive healthcare must become law (Medicare for all).

Another major way to eliminate poverty would be to reform the income tax structure such that those individuals whose income exceeds ~$10 million would be taxed at 70%. I would also suggest that every dollar exchanged on the Stock Exchange would be taxed at 3%.

Using a greater influx of money into the public coffers, education should be a top priority for lawmakers. College tuition in public schools would be no cost, thus providing completely tuition free higher education and allowing every student equal access. A major bill should be passed to provide money to modernize/upgrade all secondary schools to provide a better learning environment for study. Every primary school should have a child psychologist on staff. Every High School a psychologist as well as every public college.

There are other Progressive policies--such as reversing the conservative's trickle-down economics (also called supply-side economics) such that we return to demand-side economics--that would be highly beneficial to the working class and to the future intellectual strength of the U.S., especially by providing a course structure that equips students to face the quick shift of industry to electronics and robotics. Currently, those will little technical training are being left behind. We must end this or face a HUGE poorly educated working class that will have no place to work.

Quite likely, both the RNC and the DNC (Wall Street's favorite politicians) will be against such measures. They'd rather have more billionaires and an unfettered Wall Street than eliminate poverty. The only way, however, to have a truly just society is to push for and vote for a progressive government. But before any of the above can happen, we MUST eliminate corporate/private/labor money from our government.

BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 10:37
The money is to ensure the rich do well whoever wins the general.

They do the same in congressional races. If the Democrats who win the primaries are in their pocket, it doesn't matter who wins the general .

Wall Street gives money to the Dems not to help Dems win; it's to make sure Wall Street doesn't lose.

ytram -> ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:30
Our capitalist predators are still alive and well. The finance, insurance, and real estate
organizations are the worst predators in the USA.
They will eat your babies if you let them.
Melty Clock -> William Anthony , 15 Jan 2019 10:07
Except with voting and elections, those hallmarks of the fascist state.
ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:05
I'm not fooled. These are not progressives, they are corporatists, beholden to their donors. They have no courage, no interest in serving their constituencies, but are only interested in the power and money. What our country , and the world, needs is radical change from the profit-first point of view. I won't support either one of them.

[Jan 22, 2019] Benito Mussolini defined fascism as "Barely able to slip a cigarette paper between business and government."

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

William Anthony -> BoneyOCoonassa , 15 Jan 2019 09:40

We've known since WW2, that fighting fascism is difficult. Benito Mussolini defined fascism as "Barely able to slip a cigarette paper between business and government." And when business runs government, we have even exceeded fascism. The new battle against fascism is not going to be easy.

[Jan 21, 2019] The hypocrisy on daily display in London and Washington of late has become difficult to stomach by Andrew J. Bacevich

Jan 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Our Elites' Selective Support for Democracy

The ongoing parallel crises in the United Kingdom and the United States invite us to contemplate unwelcome truths about the nature of politics in the 21st century. In both countries, deep divisions have resulted in paralysis. In both, that paralysis represents something more profound: disagreement over the meaning and proper conduct of contemporary democracy. Yet there is little evidence that elites on either side of the Atlantic understand the actual problem at hand. Hence, the likelihood that it will fester.

In a nominal sense, their immediate problem centers on Brexit -- how, or even whether, to honor the results of a 2016 national referendum in which a majority of voting Britons signaled their wish to leave the European Union. In a nominal sense, our immediate problem is a government shutdown. Yet overshadowing that shutdown is a persistent unwillingness to accept as legitimate the results of the 2016 presidential election in which Americans voted for Donald Trump in numbers sufficient to give him a majority in the Electoral College.

In both, the outcome of what was a manifestly democratic process confounded elite expectations. What happened wasn't supposed to happen. In a few short months, the onward march towards a multicultural society and an integrated global order, with well-refined products of a carefully vetted and suitably diverse meritocracy pulling the strings, had been stopped in its tracks.

Overnight, an alternative vision of greatness -- certainly the political term of the season -- had presented itself. For Brexiteers, greatness meant returning to the glory days when the United Kingdom had been a power to reckon with on the world stage. For pro-Trumpers, it meant going back to when we made stuff that others bought and when identifiable national interests shaped U.S. foreign policy.

Whether the imagined utopia of a dominant Great Britain prior to 1914 or a dominant America after 1945 ever actually existed is beside the point. In 2016, large numbers of citizens in both countries concluded that the solution to their complaints was to be found in reasserting national independence, with Britain breaking free of the EU and the United States severing entanglements that have cost plenty without delivering discernible benefits.

When similar assertions of the popular will occurred in other countries -- the protesters flooding Tiananmen Square in 1989, the crowds in Red Square that helped defeat the attempted putsch of August 1991, the 2011 uprising known as the Arab Spring -- British and American elites cheered. At such moments, they are all-in for democracy. Yet when the exercise of democracy at home yields outcomes likely to affect their interests adversely, they sing a different tune.

Politics is always fraught with hypocrisy. Yet the hypocrisy on daily display in London and Washington of late has become difficult to stomach. This is especially so when it emanates from quarters that otherwise do not hesitate to chastise other governments for failing to honor democratic principles.

In a recent op-ed denouncing Brexit, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote, "A democracy that cannot change its mind is not a democracy." Let's unpack that. What Cohen really means is this: w hen a democracy comes to a decision of which I disapprove, there's always room for a do-over, yet when decisions win my approval, they become permanent and irreversible. So just because Americans elected a president who promised to withdraw from NATO and overturn Roe v. Wade doesn't mean that such possibilities qualify as worthy of consideration. NATO membership is forever. So, too, are abortion rights.

How Democracy is Losing the World What Made the Brexit Revolution

It is no doubt true that the United Kingdom and the United States are democracies, with the people allowed some say. But to be more precise, they are curated democracies, with members of an unelected elite policing the boundaries of acceptable opinion and excluding heretics. Members of this elite are, by their own estimation, guardians of truth and good sense. They know what is best.

But what if the elites get things wrong? What if the policies they promulgate produce grotesque inequality or lead to permanent war? Who then has the authority to disregard the guardians, if not the people themselves? How else will the elites come to recognize their folly and change course?

Andrew Bacevich is TAC' s writer-at-large.

[Jan 20, 2019] Buzzfeed, Question Time the purpose of Fake News by Kit Knightly

Notable quotes:
"... The point of this practice is to propagate lies into the public consciousness. It's a method that can be used to distract and disseminate and divide. The accuracy of the statement is immaterial. ..."
"... The point is, once it has been said it cannot be unsaid. There are countless examples: "Assange was working for Russia", "Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress", "Russia hacked the US election", "Donald Trump worked for the KGB", "Assad gassed his own people", "Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite". The list goes on and on and on. None these have been proven. All were asserted without evidence, fiercely defended as facts, and then discretely qualified. ..."
"... The lie was told, the audience laughed, the reality was created. "Labour are behind in the polls, anybody who says otherwise is a laughingstock" . The lie goes around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on. That's why fake news is so important to them, and so dangerous us. ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | off-guardian.org

... ... ...

Trump has been a disappointment to his base and is yet to implement half the policies he discussed on the campaign trail, but he's not fully and totally being controlled by the warhawking Deep State yet, either. His policy of peace with North Korea and decisions to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan show that there is a tug-of-war ongoing inside the administration. It's probably no coincidence that this latest of many "bombshells" comes so quickly on the heels of Trump's announcement of the Syria withdrawal. Careful "leaks", planted stories and social media witch-hunts remind Trump how precarious his position is, whilst simultaneously distracting the public – both pro-Trump and anti-Trump – from real issues.

The case-specific "why?" doesn't matter so much as the general aim of this type of manipulation. The important question is: Why does the media tell lies if they know they will be revealed as such? Clearly, the lies serve a purpose, regardless of their retraction or qualification. Telling a lie loudly and then taking it back quietly is an old propaganda trick – it allows the paper to maintain a facade of "accountability".

The point of this practice is to propagate lies into the public consciousness. It's a method that can be used to distract and disseminate and divide. The accuracy of the statement is immaterial.

The point is, once it has been said it cannot be unsaid. There are countless examples: "Assange was working for Russia", "Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress", "Russia hacked the US election", "Donald Trump worked for the KGB", "Assad gassed his own people", "Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite". The list goes on and on and on. None these have been proven. All were asserted without evidence, fiercely defended as facts, and then discretely qualified.

That is the purpose of "fake news", to forge the Empire's "created reality" , and force us all to live in it. These are world-shaping, policy-informing, news-dominating narratives and are nothing but feathers in the wind .

A perfect exemplar of this occurred just two days ago on the BBC's flagship Political debate show Question Time : me title= The (notionally impartial) host not only sided with right-wing author Isabel Oakeshott in criticising Labour's polling, but then joined in mocking the Labour MP Diane Abbott for attempting to correct the record. Both Oakeshott and Fiona Bruce, the host, were factually incorrect – as shown a hundred times over since. But that doesn't matter.

The lie was told, the audience laughed, the reality was created. "Labour are behind in the polls, anybody who says otherwise is a laughingstock" . The lie goes around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on. That's why fake news is so important to them, and so dangerous us.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

[Jan 20, 2019] This organisation and all of those part of it should be treated as enemies of the people, as they have attacked, disingenuously and using smears

Notable quotes:
"... Sedition is a crime and it is clear that the multiple seditious acts of II and IfS toward many countries and with their band of controlled journalists was a deliberate and planned activity. ..."
"... I don't expect any prosecutions but there is a chance of promotional impediments applying to some of those named. At least for the next month. Every named employee of II and IfS is an enemy of democracy and its people ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anne Jaclard , Jan 20, 2019 6:02:29 PM | link

On Integrity Initiative Endgame:

From Consortium News

It should be pointed out that the Integrity Initiative recently claimed on Twitter that some of the documents leaked in batch #4 were not theirs and had been misrepresented as part of the organisation.

It doesn't really matter, though: all that we know, anti-socialist shills writing propaganda on behalf of II (Nimmo, Cohen, Reid-Ross) have confirmed their own roles, and the Twitter account was proven to have pushed out slanderous material on Jeremy Corbyn.

Note that "misrepresented" could have referred to the inclusion of the Corbyn slide show document which was presented at but created by the II.

This organisation and all of those part of it should be treated as enemies of the people, as they have attacked, disingenuously and using smears,

-Yellow Vests
– Jill Stein
-Jeremy Corbyn
-George Galloway
-Seuams Milne
-German Left Party
-French Left Party
-French Communist Party
-Greek Communist Party
-Podemos
-Norwegian Red Party
-Norwegian Socialist Left Party
-Swedish Left Party
-Swedish Greens
-International Anti-NATO Groups
-Greyzone Project
-Julian Assange
-MintPressNews

Via

-Infiltrating Corbyn and Sanders campaigns
-Inserting propaganda anonymously into local media including the Daily Beast, Buzzfeed, The Times, the Guardian, and more
-Using social media to orchestrate hate and dismissal campaigns against those mentioned above
-Hosting events for collaboration between members
-Building online "clusters" to deploy and shape discourse in the media and elsewhere

By repeating or openly collaborating with:

-Ben Nimmo
-Oz Katergi
-Anne Applebaum
-Peter Pomerantsev
-Bellingcat
-Atlantic Council
-Carole Cadwalladr
-David Aaronovitch
-Center For A Stateless Society
-PropOrNot
-Alexander Reid-Ross
-Nick Cohen
-Michael Weiss
-Jamie Fly
-Jamie Kirchick

Directed by:

-Tory Government
-NATO
-Facebook
-German Multinationals

uncle tungsten | Jan 20, 2019 6:18:59 PM | 16

Thank you Anne Jaclard @ | 14

Sedition is a crime and it is clear that the multiple seditious acts of II and IfS toward many countries and with their band of controlled journalists was a deliberate and planned activity.

I don't expect any prosecutions but there is a chance of promotional impediments applying to some of those named. At least for the next month. Every named employee of II and IfS is an enemy of democracy and its people.

[Jan 20, 2019] Doctor, nurse, Chief Nursing Officer of the Army, whatever.

Highly recommended!
Now it looks like all this scene was staged by British government and is connected to the Integrity initiative... Poor cat and guinea pigs ...
See also The desperate efforts of the Western neoliberal establishment to build a new propaganda machine by globinfo freexchange
Jan 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
PavewayIV , Jan 20, 2019 11:15:51 AM | 1 ">link

And, one last bit from the BBC report on March 8, 2018:

"...Meanwhile, a doctor who was one of the first people at the scene has described how she found Ms Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench, vomiting and fitting. She had also lost control of her bodily functions.

The woman, who asked not to be named, told the BBC she moved Ms Skripal into the recovery position and opened her airway, as others tended to her father.

She said she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on Ms Skripal's face or body.

The doctor said she had been worried she would be affected by the nerve agent, but added that she "feels fine"

Doctor, nurse, Chief Nursing Officer of the Army, whatever...

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43326734

[Jan 20, 2019] The desperate efforts of the Western neoliberal establishment to build a new propaganda machine by globinfo freexchange

Notable quotes:
"... Recall that, leaked documents passed to the Sunday Mail reveal Integrity Initiative is funded with £2million of Foreign Office cash and run by military intelligence specialists. Politicians and academics have reacted with fury to news a covert Government-funded unit had been attacking the official opposition in Parliament. ..."
Dec 25, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

propaganda machine

The UK government and other Western governments and the US in recent years have had increasing difficulties persuading enough of their populations as to the legitimacy of the foreign policies that they have been pursuing. And at the same time, Western countries have been going through a period of political crisis and economic crisis.

Piers Robinson, Chair in Politics, Society and Political Journalism at the University of Sheffield, further explains:

I think a lot of this drive is as much about trying to shore up shaky official narratives and trying to shore up political systems in a situation of political crisis, as it is actually about countering Russian propaganda. I would suspect that that's a little bit of an excuse here to really what's going on of problems much closer to home.
This is not just to do to UK, this is Europe-wide. And there are also indications from the documents that they are intending to start to have some kind of impact within the United States. So, it's a very wide-ranging network that seems to be established. The reason why it needs to be covert, of course, is that if a media organization, or if a journalist is to let on that he, or she, is involved in a program, which quite clearly is pushing a particular agenda, then the credibility of that journalist will be damaged.

And this is really what is very deceptive about the Integrity Initiative . It's about co-opting journalists and academics into, essentially, a campaign, which appears to be a propaganda campaign, in order to manipulate opinions. And the only way that can really work effectively, is if readers and viewers don't know that what they're reading is something which has emerged from a particular political agenda.

Integrity Initiative 'Army of propagandists disguised as anti-propagandists' - YouTube

Recall that, leaked documents passed to the Sunday Mail reveal Integrity Initiative is funded with £2million of Foreign Office cash and run by military intelligence specialists. Politicians and academics have reacted with fury to news a covert Government-funded unit had been attacking the official opposition in Parliament.

So, it's not accidental that the organized and systematic propaganda campaign against labour party has actually started under Corbyn's leadership. And that the campaign contains a lot of personal attacks against the leader of the Labour party. That's because, of course, Jeremy Corbyn is driving the party out of the neoliberal machine that has been dominating the UK politics for decades.

But it seems that the agents of the neoliberal establishment are really desperate as they see that the new narratives are not particularly successful.
It would not be exaggerating to suggest that the attacks against Leftist leaders like Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders essentially bring the opposite effect. That's because especially the younger generations have turned their back to the mainstream media.

And they understand that the more the media attack Corbyn and Sanders, the stronger the indication that these leaders are not part of the neoliberal establishment that ruined their lives becomes.

[Jan 19, 2019] Integrity Initiative was formed soon after Kissinger's Op-Ed in August 2014 and before Trump began his run for President.

Jan 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jan 19, 2019 8:32:00 PM | link

bevin: Suppose that ...

Suppose that ... CIA-MI6 were trying to ensure the election of Trump, not Hillary. As I described in previous comments , Trump's election followed a logical progression that, in sum, indicate manipulation on his behalf. Hal Duell @21 mentions some of the psyop reality-making: White Helmets, MH-17, Skripal, etc. Karlof1 @30 notes the absolute hubris of the Empire's "we make our own reality".

Lets say Integrity Initiative, working with CIA and MI6, wanted to use the 2016 election to cast aspersion on the Russians. A populist running against Hillary was the logical choice. The narrative: only with Russian help could a challenger hope to win against Hillary. "Russian meddling" and Wikileaks as Russian agent are major "wins" for the establishment. Integrity Initiative was formed soon after Kissinger's Op-Ed in August 2014 and before Trump began his run for President.

[Jan 18, 2019] On the British Establishment

Notable quotes:
"... The British Establishment has done with the concepts of honor. The loudest lying voices against Russia belong either to the whoring "aristocrats," who found that war profiteering (by any means) pays well, or the opportunistic parvenu like Gavin Williamson representing the vulgarity and intellectual inadequacy of the Establishment. ..."
Jan 18, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria says: April 10, 2018 at 2:44 pm GMT 100 Words On the British Establishment:
The Skripal affair is better understood in the context of "sir" Savile' knighthood -- when the influential pedophile had been raping and molesting kids for 40 years and none stood up to the criminal. The BBC has dutifully refused to publish anything that would upset "sir" Savile. The Scotland Yard looked the other way -- precisely as the Establishment ordered them to do.
Savile' specialty were orphans. He was the embodiment of British Establishment.

The British Establishment has done with the concepts of honor. The loudest lying voices against Russia belong either to the whoring "aristocrats," who found that war profiteering (by any means) pays well, or the opportunistic parvenu like Gavin Williamson representing the vulgarity and intellectual inadequacy of the Establishment.

[Jan 17, 2019] The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss

Notable quotes:
"... Even voters too ignorant to see Trump for what he really was - voters that are misinformed to the point that they unwittingly and continually vote against their own best interests - realized how much the Dems have sold out to Wall Street. ..."
"... That's why they anointed Obama who then proceeded to squander eight years of opportunity to remove big money from politics and enact progressive reforms to health care, the environment, etc. ..."
"... Bernie is a bit long in the tooth, so I am all in for Liz Warren. She's the only one with both the courage and the intelligence to take on the big money that controls our politics. ..."
"... Sanders or Warren would mean a change from neoliberal war mongering of the Clinton/W model. If the Democrats offer up another Clintonite they will lose. They need to offer something positive to the 90% who have lost the last 40 years of class war. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Art Glick , 15 Jan 2019 09:44

The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss. Even voters too ignorant to see Trump for what he really was - voters that are misinformed to the point that they unwittingly and continually vote against their own best interests - realized how much the Dems have sold out to Wall Street.

HRC would have been nominated in '08 if she had kissed more Wall Street you-know-what. That's why they anointed Obama who then proceeded to squander eight years of opportunity to remove big money from politics and enact progressive reforms to health care, the environment, etc.

Bernie is a bit long in the tooth, so I am all in for Liz Warren. She's the only one with both the courage and the intelligence to take on the big money that controls our politics.

Therefore, you can expect the Russian trolls to be coming for her in force. If you read anything negative about Warren in the coming months, check the source and don't trust the accuracy.

Canuckistan , 15 Jan 2019 09:30
Sanders or Warren would mean a change from neoliberal war mongering of the Clinton/W model. If the Democrats offer up another Clintonite they will lose. They need to offer something positive to the 90% who have lost the last 40 years of class war.

[Jan 17, 2019] Broadly, authoritarianism is the desire to impose one's own worldview on others in one's society by institutionalized coercion

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

JumpingSpider -> BluebellWood , 29 Nov 2018 13:34

Here are some articles about them.

Para from one of these articles:

Broadly, authoritarianism is the desire to impose one's own worldview on others in one's society by institutionalized coercion. Authoritarians, therefore, see punishment as an appropriate response when members of the group with which they identify [...] diverge too far from values that the authoritarian believes are best for society – even if the punished person has neither caused direct harm to another nor infringed another's rights.

[Jan 17, 2019] The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 08:47

Yep,
The party has circled its wagons.
They insist that the Evil Vlad stole the last election.
Therefore, no need to examine Obama's centrist/neoliberal policies and the socio-economic conditions that fueled the rejection of Hillary.
We're doomed to repeat our errors.

The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo.

Brassic , 15 Jan 2019 08:21
Excellent article. Thank you.

This is the realistic perspective we have to adopt in the US: the Democratic establishment is part of the neoliberal machinery that has generated Bush's wars, Obama's bank bailouts, deportations, and drone executions, and now Trump's anti-democratic populism.

[Jan 17, 2019] In regards to the Hillary v Bernie question, it also didn't help that the primary vote was wildly skewed by so-called 'superdelegates,' who don't actually commit their votes until the DNC convention

Notable quotes:
"... Bernie's bid was crushed by Clinton's superdelegates. No amount of throwing money against him in the direct sense was doing any good. He took popular positions on issues and stubbornly stayed on-message. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

cagnusdei -> cagnusdei , 15 Jan 2019 10:53

In regards to the Hillary v Bernie question, it also didn't help that the primary vote was wildly skewed by so-called 'superdelegates,' who don't actually commit their votes until the DNC convention, but were being counted by the media as having already voted for Hillary, which made it appear to many of the uninformed that Bernie didn't have any chance of winning, which may have been intended to keep Bernie supporters home on primary day under the assumption that Hillary was unbeatable.
ehmaybe -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 10:52
As sensible as your suggestions may be, what you're calling for would require at least three constitutional amendments to be practical - including scrapping the first amendment.

Maybe we should strive towards attainable goals instead?

cagnusdei -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 10:50
Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage together.

Bernie Sanders is widely considered by many to be one of the most popular American politicians, more than Trump and certainly more popular than Hillary. I think an interesting phenomenon to notice is the lengths the GOP, in particular, will go to in order to convince the average voter that anything that cuts taxes is inherently good for the 'little guy,' while anything that raises taxes is bad. Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason.

ConBrio -> cnzewi , 15 Jan 2019 10:45

Progressive believe in inclusion and if that is "moralistic rhetoric" then so be it.

The litany goes "round and round.

Hillary Clinton:

" you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it!

"Barack Obama:

"Referring to working-class voters in old industrial towns decimated by job losses, the presidential hopeful said: "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion "

There's liberal "inclusion" for you!

memo10 -> GRBnative , 15 Jan 2019 10:34
Bernie's bid was crushed by Clinton's superdelegates. No amount of throwing money against him in the direct sense was doing any good. He took popular positions on issues and stubbornly stayed on-message.

[Jan 17, 2019] Managerialism is synonym for corporatism

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

JulesBywaterLees -> Zagradotryad , 29 Nov 2018 08:29

Managerialism is a state of European/Western politics, power has moved to large corporations. In 2008 the finance industry held countries to ransom...
Zagradotryad , 29 Nov 2018 08:03

power that has become too distant from the people.

That's the problem.

It's not technology, or Russians, or Trump or any other of the things you throw up to convince yourself the problem is external.

Managerialism has merely delivered gross inequality. The tools don't matter.

[Jan 17, 2019] The Coke or Pepsi and parties is a perfect corporatist arrangement, which guarantee filtering out any opposition to the oligarchy in 99 percent of elections

Only a severe political crisi can shake this "controlled duopoly" of the US coporatism.
Jan 16, 2019 | theguardian.com

William Williamson, 15 Jan 2019 10:38

Well put. All the USA has is Coke or Pepsi. With a lot of masquerading in between. A couple people who aren't on THE payroll, or wanting to be.
MyGenericUsername , 15 Jan 2019 07:38
Half of Americans don't bother voting for president. Why is the American media full only of people who insist that the country is divided in half between Democrat and Republican supporters? Where are the people of influence who think it's a problem and reflects poorly on the country that half of eligible voters don't see a reason to participate, and that it's worth changing things in order to get more people to change their minds about that?

Both parties are content with being unpopular, but with political mechanisms ensuring they stay in power anyway. The Democrats aren't concerned with being popular. They're content with being a token opposition party that every once in a while gets a few token years with power they don't put to any good anyway. It pays more, I guess.

CanSoc , 15 Jan 2019 07:34
It still looks like if Americans want to live in a progressive country, they'll have to move to one. But as it is clear that the neoliberalism of establishment Democrats has little or nothing to offer the poor and working class, or to non-wealthy millennials, the times they are a-changing.

[Jan 17, 2019] The rise of National Socialism in Germany in the 30s had many causes and some surprising supporters

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

RogerPalmer -> 5nufk1n4prez , 29 Nov 2018 07:30

True but incredibly naive.

The rise of National Socialism in Germany in the 30s had many causes and some surprising supporters.

Part of the problem was undeniably the crippling reparations for WWI forced on Germany by the victorious allies.

Part of the problem was communism strengthening in Russia and a growing communist threat in Germany.

Part of the problem was a desire by the entrenched elites to use the National Socialists as a counter to challenge the populism of the communism.

There are many contributing factors and the responsibility for the Nazis reaches far beyond the German border.

[Jan 17, 2019] Critical thinking is anathema to the neoliberal establishment. That't why they need to corrupt the language, to make the resitnace more dissifult and requiring higher level of IQ

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BluebellWood -> Supermassive , 29 Nov 2018 12:41

Yep - education is the key.

I remember at school we read Orwell's essay Politics and the English Language in an English class and then we were set a writing task as a follow-up, reporting on the same story using the same facts, from completely opposing points of view, using euphemism and mind-numbing cliches. Teach children to do this themselves and they can see how language can be skewed and facts distorted and misrepresented without technically lying.

How many children in schools are taught such critical thinking these days, I wonder? It might be taught in Media Studies, I suppose - but gosh, don't the right really hate that particular subject! Critical thinking is anathema to them.

[Jan 17, 2019] Neoliberal elite which reigned disdainfully over us since the Second World War have ignored our fears over mass immigration and the changing of our established traditions and cultures.

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Selousscout1 , 29 Nov 2018 12:20

''Tis booming because the left/liberal/metropolitan muesli crunching elites (and I include the Tories in that) who have reigned disdainfully over us since the Second World War have ignored our fears over mass immigration and the changing of our established traditions and cultures. They have also connived in the insanity of insisting every hair brained liberal idea is worthy of being protected by the human rights legislative farce. Rapists being offered a say in the upbringing of their issue, school uniforms being dragged into law and a thousand and other one 'special issues' to a tiny minority being rammed down the throats of the fed up majority at every opportunity by activists.

[Jan 17, 2019] That populist has been so vaguely defined that neoliberal MSM use it as a label for anything the authors don't like. It's a straw man, a pejorative.

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

DanInTheDesert -> Tiny Toy , 29 Nov 2018 15:20

But that's the point, isn't it? That populist has been so vaguely defined that it encompasses anything the authors don't like. It's a straw man, a pejorative.

Populism is a belief in the goodness of people, a belief that masses make better decisions than elites and that the the rule of the elite come at the expense of the demos.

It's a term synonymous with grassroots, popular democracy. Proponents of elite rule with reductionistic views democracy (rule with the consent of the governed and all that trash) call their grassroots opponents 'populists' in attempt to tie them to strong men.

Signed, a left populist.

lagoalberche , 29 Nov 2018 15:00
Noam Chomsky has a view on this issue and I am inclined to think he has a better understanding of it than the author of this piece.

Chomsky rejects the term "populism" in this matter and offers, instead, the proposal that ;

"Working people are turning against elites and dominant institutions that have been punishing them for a generation"

The theory of 'cause and effect' seems eminently more sensible to me than the shrill cries of "It was the internet wot dun it"

The elites and dominant institutions that Chomsky refers to ( including mainstream media ) precipitated the current shift and would do better to acknowledge the part they played in it, rather than insult and demean the consequential reaction of people on the receiving end of it.

DanInTheDesert , 29 Nov 2018 12:06
Before people get out the pitchforks and burn the populists in effigy, perhaps we could hear from some left populists?

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/elites-no-credibility-left-interview-journalist-chris-hedges /

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA7NA2TgXBQ&feature=youtu.be

The enemy is not populism, it's the right's capture of the populist narrative. Trump is a faux populist that has nothing but disdain for the people he employs and the people rules.

AnglophileDe -> JulesBywaterLees , 29 Nov 2018 11:39
Well, here's a very apposite quote:

The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov
"A Cult of Ignorance". Newsweek, January 21, 1980.

DanInTheDesert -> JulesBywaterLees , 29 Nov 2018 11:38

the very old school Christian conservative libertarians and old skool nutty right have seized on the success populist narrative has had in recent elections and referendum.

I would argue that is is because establishment figures in the Democratic party -- the New Democrats -- decided that the days of class struggle were over, that 'we are all capitalists now' and ceded the populist narrative to the right. Yes, this a populist moment and the question is not if we can reestablish faith in the elite but whether we can ensure that the new populism goes is a left rather than right direction.

I don't agree that populism lacks depth -- probably because when I think of populism I think of left populist intellectuals like Friere, Martin-Baro and the like who thought that democracy should be built on the virtues of the people.

The occupy movement was a populist movement. It said we, the people on the ground, know better than the elites in the towers. It made decisions democratically, this in stark contrast to the hierarchical structures of decision making exercised by the financial elite. I think populism, or grassroots, popular democracy has intellectual depth and sophistication. Take a look a the writing of Sheldin Wolin, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, David Graeber . . .

I don't agree with most of the definitions of populism we've been offered -- I think they are little more that pejoratives dressed in academic language and have as much depth as the right's favored "snowflake" pejorative.

Brian_Drain -> The_Common_Potato , 29 Nov 2018 11:38
I remember watching 'Tomorrows World' ' in the 1970s and they showed us an unpuncturable cycle tyre that would last 25,000 miles.
The patent was bought by Europe's largest cycle tyre manufacturer, and AFAIK that was the last ever heard of it.
If that happened why is the water fuel idea so fanciful?
If you inject water into the inlet port or combustion chamber of a petrol engine, compression ratios, power output and efficiency can be raised dramatically, this has been known since WW1 and was employed in high altitude aero engines during WW2, yet has never been taken up by any major car manufacturer as far as I know, why?
So the notion that inventions could be suppressed for commercial reasons is really not fanciful at all, it would make less sense for such technology, if it existed, to be made altruistically available on a single purchase basis than to shitcan it.
BluebellWood -> CheshireSalt , 29 Nov 2018 11:30
But who are the 'liberal elite' exactly?

As far as I can see, our country has been ruled by a right-wing, monied elite for many years- not a 'liberal' one. Liberals at least tend to think in terms of economic equality and social freedoms, whatever their other faults might be.

But many working class and middle class people still carry on voting Tory even though it's against their own interests.

We don't have a 'liberal elite' in the UK. We still have the old-fashioned right wing Tory elite in power based on class and wealth. Why 'liberals' get all the abuse these days is beyond me.

(I'm a socialist, btw.)

JulesBywaterLees -> Albert Ravey , 29 Nov 2018 11:28
I'm researching populism on youtube - and it is seedy- and I have yet to turn on the FB news feed, but the algorithms do support populism- watch a PragerU video and the feed is full of other rightwing nonsense.
And all of it has the same empty lines.

I watched the Oxford Union Steve Bannon address- and it could have come from a left winger- the globalised corporate world has abandoned the little guy, and Trump is fixing it.
The on message is the MSM is lying
PC and activists are totalitarian = commies
either capitalism or socialism [commies] = freedom vs enslavement

and an over whelming anti intellectualism - where have we heard that before.

fredmb -> BluebellWood , 29 Nov 2018 11:25
True but there is still a case for having decent housing etc and training our own professionals as well and not hollow out professionals from less advantaged countries. When we took hundreds of nurses from the Philippines in 2000 and whole clinics there had to shut to terrible detriment of ill locals

[Jan 17, 2019] Critique or populism as providing simple solution to complex problems is deliberately overstated by political and media establishement. Lion share of the current nationalistic, anti-foreigner sentiments is due to reaction to neoliberalism in the USA

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

GBM1982 , 29 Nov 2018 08:56

"But populism has two chief characteristics. First, it offers immediate and supposedly obvious answers to complicated problems, which usually blame some other group along the way."

I think this point (simple solutions to complex problems) is often overstated. If you take the issue of immigration (an issue that has fuelled populism) , it actually shouldn't necessarily be that difficult to bring the number of new immigrants down, except that the political and media establishment pretend that it is.

Take Trump's plan to build a wall on the Mexican border. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this as it is ultimately every country's prerogative to defend its borders.

Ditto for intra-EU immigration (perhaps the main reason for Brexit): the EU acts as if this principle of free movement is sacred, but why should that be the case? Or Germany, where I live, where the constitution guarantees a right to asylum for those seeking refuge in the country. Again, this is spoken of as though it were cast in stone, when it really shouldn't be that difficult to amend. So I don't necessarily believe that solutions to problems always have to be difficult and complicated.

HippoMan -> PSmd , 29 Nov 2018 08:30
I agree that advances in people's abilities to interact with greater numbers of other people tend to usher in periods of social upheaval. A lot of the current nationalistic, anti-foreigner sentiments are the result of our initial reactions against unfamiliar influences coming from groups with whom we previously had relatively little contact.

Brexit, "Make America Great Again", and similar movements are the collective screams of resistance against dealing with unfamiliarity, learning new things, and growing. Over time, we will adapt, but this will probably require a generation or so, at minimum.


Of course, given the high pace of technological change, we are likely to be collectively bonded together even more tightly before we are able to adapt to the current state of the world. It won't be long before people will all be interconnected via implants, which means that each and every thing we do and every emotion we have will be sent out over the net.


It will be a brave new world.

[Jan 17, 2019] Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to "the people," often juxtaposing this group against a so-called "elite."

In a way Populism is somewhat similar to Marxism: implicit message is that the class struggle in the societies is the key problem, which is completely true. American middle class was robbed from 1970th of a considerable chunk of its standard of living. So it is not surprising that the neoliberal elite ( the News Class of as they are called the US nomenklatura) now feels threatened and resorts to censorship, usage of intelligence agencies and mass surveillance, and other oppressive tactics to squash the dissent.
But in such cases the dissent grows stronger despise such an efforts and might turn, at some point, into insurrection against financial oligarchy as Marxists predicted.
The only problem is with Marxism is that they considered working class to the the next dominant class and this proved to be a false idea. That will never never happens.
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

JulesBywaterLees -> Jason1925 , 29 Nov 2018 07:50

Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to "the people," often juxtaposing this group against a so-called "elite." There is no single definition of the term, which developed in the 19th century and has been used to mean various things since that time. Few politicians or political groups describe themselves as "populists", and in political discourse the term is often applied to others pejoratively. Within political science and other social sciences, various different definitions of populism have been used, although some scholars propose rejecting the term altogether.

the wiki page is a bit more expansive you should try reading it.

The left is also guilty of populist ideas- blaming the rich, or banking [when in the UK we get a lot of tax from international banking as a service].

The right has just seized on populism and mainly through social media- brexit and trump are proof its works- but the people behind the populist message are the same old tired neo con christian right of the Reagan era and the sad old far right conspiracy nut jobs. Their message failed in the past- but people like Rees-mogg can now seize on this technique.

Your misunderstanding of what socialism means indicates you swallow the new right wing propaganda. Poorly funded education will result in people without proper opportunity- S.Korea is not a socialist country but they spend a huge amount on education and reap the rewards. But they have a culture where children doing well academically is praised but can also have negative pressure consequences.

It is complicated and worth discussion but populism wants the easy message.

[Jan 17, 2019] No wonder the neoliberal establishment is horrified and looking for ways to censor and control content available online!'

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Writeangle , 29 Nov 2018 07:19

One of the better reports on populism I've see recently is ''European Disunion'' by Yascha Mounk, a lecturer on government at Harvard https://newrepublic.com/article/143604/european-disunion-rise-populist-movements-means-democracy .
A analysis by Harvard ''Trump, Brexit, and the Rise of Populism: Economic Have-Nots and Cultural Backlash'' found that the primary factor driving populism is a cultural backlash i.e. against [neo]liberal policies and immigration.
kbg541 , 29 Nov 2018 06:59
Populism is growing because wealth is being concentrated into the hands of the wealthy, at the expense of everyone else.

Generations, instead of doing better, through working are doing worse because governments are allowing individuals and corporations to reduce terms and conditions of the workforce.

Twenty years ago, many UK workers had company pension schemes and jobs that paid the rent & bills. Now, the pensions have largely dried up and as housing has got more expensive, and incomes have shrunk.

Those at the top are pushing those beneath them closer to a bowl of rice a day, and shrug at the social consequences as inevitable - and a necessary step to protect shareholder values and profits.

In essence, it is the same situation that gave rise to populism in the thirties.

Who do you blame for the fact that house prices have gone up?

Who do you blame for the fact that your pension is going to be smaller than your parents'?

Thing is the populist politicians are the very same people who cut your pension and made money out of it. They just want you to blame someone else.

Candidly -> 5nufk1n4prez , 29 Nov 2018 06:54
The Long Read: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/nov/29/why-we-stopped-trusting-elites-the-new-populism

[Jan 17, 2019] We are disenfranchised by what the elites are saying because the elites control the narrative in a way that makes sure the power will always reside with them.

One of the main power weapons of the elite is the control over the information flows
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Albert Ravey , 29 Nov 2018 10:45

Some highlights from this thread (no names, no pack drill):

Populism is a kickback and correction to the forty years of political correctness where the white masses of Europe and America were forbidden by the liberal establishment to be their real selves

People are fed up with the elite consensus because of the failures of the elites.

Perhaps the reason that "populism" is thriving is that the liberal elites who ruled us in the entire post war period became complacent out of touch with those they were meant to represent.

there are millions of others whose voices have been ignored or silenced by the mainstream news

We are disenfranchised by what the elites are saying because the elites control the narrative in a way that makes sure the power will always reside with them.

The MSM has always been biased-

Why is democracy booming the article asks.
Well because the lies and bullshit of the liberal elite are there for all to see.

Take a look at what the MSM refuses to report, or what it deliberately distorts,

You can see the problem. It's like they are all reading from the same limited script which has been handed to them. Given the freedom to express our opinions, we are regurgitating what someone else has told us to say.

Maybe we should not be too pessimistic. The levels of opportunity for expression that the internet and social media have given us might currently have exceeded our ability to think critically about whatever bullshit we are being fed, but future generations may be better. After all, it's only a small step from doubting whatever mainstream thought tells you, to starting to wonder who is telling you to doubt those things and why and then to actually go back and think for yourself about the issues.

TheBorderGuard -> SomlanderBrit , 29 Nov 2018 10:44

... the white masses of Europe and America were forbidden by the liberal establishment to be their real selves.

Lifted straight from the pages of the Völkischer Beobachter , I suspect.

TheBorderGuard , 29 Nov 2018 10:43
Some people are more attracted to certainties than subtleties -- and I suspect such people are ideologues in general and populists in particular.
DanInTheDesert , 29 Nov 2018 09:46
Sigh.

So Corbyn and Trump are the same because they both have shirts. Well, color me convinced!

Like so many of these articles -- including the long but uninformative 'long read' on the same topic -- there is no mention of the failures of the elites.

Clinton sold us a false bill of goods. The Washington Consensus on economics would make the country richer and, after some 'pain', would benefit the working class. Sure you wouldn't be making cars but after some retraining you would work in tech.

This was a broken promise -- de industrialization has devastated the upper midwest. The goods are made in China and the money goes to Bezos. People are rightly upset.

The Washington Consensus on war sold us a false bill of goods. Instead of peace through strength we have seen a century of endless conflict. We have been caught in state of constant killing since 2001 and we are no safer for it. Indeed the conflicts have created new enemies and the only solution on offer is a hair of the dog solution.

People are fed up with the elite consensus because of the failures of the elites. Nowhere are the repeated failures of the elites, the decades of broken promises mentioned in the articles. Instead, those of us who prefer Sanders to Clinton, Corbyn to Blair are mesmerized by emotional appeals and seduced by simplistic appeals to complex problems. And they wonder why we don't accept their analyses . . .

TL;DR -- clickbait didn't get us here. The broken promises of the Washington consensus did.

[Jan 17, 2019] So why is "populist" now used as a derogatory term and populism seen as something to be feared? Part of this is that government and the MSM realise that developments brought by internet means that they have lost control of the narrative.

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

FallenApple , 29 Nov 2018 06:48

My Oxford English Dictionary defines a populist as "a member of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people."

Sounds good to me.

So why is "populist" now used as a derogatory term and populism seen as something to be feared?

Part of this is that government and the MSM realise that developments brought by internet means that they have lost control of the narrative.

Once only government pronouncements or newspaper commentary and propaganda could shape our views.

Newspapers in the UK could more or less bring down a government, such was their influence on the electorate.

Now we can search out information on the internet, fact-check for ourselves, listen to whom we want, and read a whole range of arguments and views.

No wonder the establishment is horrified and looking for ways to censor and control content available online!

samuelbear , 29 Nov 2018 06:22
Why is populism booming asks the writer - simple, because people feel that no-one's listening. Can it really be a surprise to The Guardian Opinion writers that people who have a zero hours contract, pay a high rent and have little job security won't vote for more of the same?
It's not a question as the writer suggests of 'if this wave of populism drifts into authoritarianism or worse' it's more a question of when - and when it does the liberal left will still be asking themselves - why?

[Jan 17, 2019] I've grown very sceptical over the years about the whole issue of asylum. To me, the idea that an individual can cross a border illegally without a visa, or without even a passport, and then suddenly become quasi legal be declaring that they wish to seek asylum is a bit of a farce

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

GBM1982 -> honeytree , 29 Nov 2018 10:25

I've grown very sceptical over the years about the whole issue of asylum. To me, the idea that an individual can cross a border illegally without a visa, or without even a passport, and then suddenly become quasi legal be declaring that they wish to seek asylum is a bit of a farce. The situation becomes even more farcical when failed asylum seekers still aren't deported. As for humanitarian and ethical obligations, I don't really buy into that either because the demographics of the world are such that the West is at risk of losing its very identity if it feels "obliged" to accept everyone seeking asylum and/or work from the world's more troubled regions. I see the admission of refugees as a generous gesture, not as an obligation.

[Jan 16, 2019] Neoliberal media will try to deral Sanders like they did in 2016

Notable quotes:
"... The NYTimes has already begun the exact same campaign for the 2020 cycle. ..."
Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Atlant -> partoftheproblem , 15 Jan 2019 09:55

If he can only succeed in a positive environment then there's not much hope for him, he needs to be able to fight and prove he's got what it takes. As it is I'm not sure he's got it.

That's not what I said at all and you know it.

Last time, the only stories that the NYTimes and (mostly) the Guardian could manage to run were Bernie-negative stories. The NYTimes has already begun the exact same campaign for the 2020 cycle. By comparison, the Guardian has been providing balanced Bernie coverage.

Matthew Hartman -> Atlant , 15 Jan 2019 08:00
Do not count on the mainstream media to support him. They're already hard at work smearing him and he hasn't even announced yet. Half the time they dont even mention him as being a likely contender. It's Biden all day, all night. Might as well be Hillary again.

Expect 2020 to be quite contentious, possibly even more than 2016. That just means as a supporter of Bernie you'll have to work twice, maybe three times as hard. The corporate media is going to suppress and challenge him as much as possible. They don't even mask it anymore.

[Jan 16, 2019] Corporatism is the control of government by big business. This is what we have in the USA today. The main difference between corporatism and fascism is the level of repressions against opposition. Corporatism now tales forma of inverted totalitarism and use ostracism instead of phycal repressions

Jan 16, 2019 | profile.theguardian.com

ChesBay -> KMdude 15 Jan 2019 10:07

That is why we need a Constitutional amendment to get the money OUT of politics. Make bribery illegal. THEN, we will not need Wall Street, which doesn't serve MOST of the population of this country, and is mostly responsible for the wealth gap and lack of opportunities for most of the population.
ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:05
I'm not fooled. These are not progressives, they are corporatists, beholden to their donors. They have no courage, no interest in serving their constituencies, but are only interested in the power and money. What our country , and the world, needs is radical change from the profit-first point of view. I won't support either one of them.
William Anthony , 15 Jan 2019 09:28
It comes as no surprise that Wall Street runs the US Government.

Benito Mussolini defined fascism as "Barely able to slip a cigarette paper between business and government."

The US is a de-facto fascism.

[Jan 16, 2019] The travesty of the US elections

These corporate-Dem candidates are not being forced to sell out to win elections. Quite the opposite in fact. They are risking losing their elections for the sake of selling out.
Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 07:54

Surely, many will comment that Democrats have no choice but to take the money in order to be competitive. I have one truism for such folks to ponder: Why would you trust your allegiance to those who don't care if you win?

Basic logic: rich people win the general election either way, so long as the primary-winning Democrat is in their pocket (the GOP is always on their side). So this monetary affection is certainly more about fixing an no-lose general than it is about ousting Trump, or any Republican.

[Jan 16, 2019] Nobody's perfect but at least Tulsi Gabbard isn't a lawyer!

Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Tiny Toy, 15 Jan 2019 11:35

Tulsi Gabbard for president! Nobody's perfect but at least she isn't a lawyer!

[Jan 15, 2019] State Department was employing a de facto foreign agent

Notable quotes:
"... Integrity Initiative documents reveal that Leventhal has been paid $76,608 dollars (60,000 British pounds) for a 50% contract. ..."
"... While those same documents claim he has retired from the State Department, Leventhal's own Linkedin page lists him as a current "Senior Disinformation Advisor" to the State Department. If that were true, it would mean that the State Department was employing a de facto foreign agent. ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | grayzoneproject.com

Of all the State Department officials named in Integrity Initiative documents, the one who appeared most frequently was Todd Leventhal. Leventhal has been a staffer at the State Department's Global Engagement Center, boasting of "20 years of countering disinformation, misinformation, conspiracy theories, and urban legends." In an April 2018 Integrity Initiative memo, he is listed as a current team member:

Funded to the tune of $160 million this year to beat back Russian disinformation with "counter-propaganda," the State Department's Global Engagement Center has refused to deny targeting American citizens with information warfare of its own. "My old job at the State Department was as chief propagandist," confessed former Global Engagement Center Director Richard Stengel. "I'm not against propaganda. Every country does it and they have to do it to their own population and I don't necessarily think it's that awful."

Like so many of the media and political figures involved in the Integrity Initiative's international network, the Global Engagement Center's Leventhal has a penchant for deploying smear tactics against prominent voices that defy the foreign policy consensus. Leventhal appeared in an outtake of a recent NBC documentary on Russian disinformation smugly explaining how he would take down a 15-year-old book critical of American imperialism in the developing world. Rather than challenge the book's substance and allegations, Leventhal boasted how he would marshall his resources to wage an ad hominem smear campaign to destroy the author's reputation. His strategic vision was clear: when confronting a critic, ignore the message and destroy the messenger.

Like so many of the media and political figures involved in the Integrity Initiative's international network, the Global Engagement Center's Leventhal has a penchant for deploying smear tactics against prominent voices that defy the foreign policy consensus. Leventhal appeared in an outtake of a recent NBC documentary on Russian disinformation smugly explaining how he would take down a 15-year-old book critical of American imperialism in the developing world. Rather than challenge the book's substance and allegations, Leventhal boasted how he would marshall his resources to wage an ad hominem smear campaign to destroy the author's reputation. His strategic vision was clear: when confronting a critic, ignore the message and destroy the messenger.

Integrity Initiative documents reveal that Leventhal has been paid $76,608 dollars (60,000 British pounds) for a 50% contract.

While those same documents claim he has retired from the State Department, Leventhal's own Linkedin page lists him as a current "Senior Disinformation Advisor" to the State Department. If that were true, it would mean that the State Department was employing a de facto foreign agent.

[Jan 15, 2019] "Truth is Treason in the Empire of Lies" - Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... "Truth is Treason in the Empire of Lies" - Ron Paul ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

GuyCybershy -> -> BaronVonAmericano , 10 Dec 2016 17:0

"Truth is Treason in the Empire of Lies" - Ron Paul
greyford14 -> -> GuyCybershy , 10 Dec 2016 17:1
Be careful there, Ron Paul is an FSB agent of Putin, according to the Washington Post.
elias_ , 10 Dec 2016 17:0
At least Tucker Carlson is able to see through the BS and asks searching question.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRkeGkCjdHg

[Jan 13, 2019] Deep State neutered Trump: I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President

He essentially became a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. In any case he betrayed his voters in a way that resembles Obama betrayal. One has a fake slogan "change we can believe in" that other equally fake "Make [middle] America Great Again" (which means restoration of well-being of middle class and working class in my book, not the continuation of Obama foreign wars, and tax cuts for for corporations and super rich.
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters. He might do good and not to try to run in 2020. He definitely is no economic nationalist. Compare his policies with Tucker Carlson Jan 2, 2019 speech to see the difference. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties.
And his "fight" with the Deep State resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two.
Most of his appointees would make Hillary proud. That that extends beyond rabid neocons like Haley, Mattis, Bolton and Pompeo.
Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them. ..."
"... Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. ..."
"... It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors. ..."
"... They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them. ..."
"... The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement. ..."
"... It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

"I would. I don't care," Trump told Pirro, adding: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up," Trump said of the WaPo report.

The president referred to his roughly two-hour dialogue with Putin in Helsinki -- at which only the leaders and their translators were present -- as "a great conversation" that included discussions about "securing Israel and lots of other things."

"I had a conversation like every president does," Trump said Saturday. "You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries." - Politico

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans.

"The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said.

When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?"

"I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

Trump went on an epic tweetstorm Saturday following the Times article, defending his 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!"

rumcho

Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for Washington Post, five years later he gets a government contract with the CIA for $600 million. Are you connecting the dots? You do the numbers. This is how fascism works. Bezos is a crony capitalist joker.

Anunnaki

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/the-trump-russia-scam-how-obama-enabled-the-fbi-to-spy-on-trump.html#more

is Trump waiting for Mueller to lay down his cards? Head him off at the pass and arrest Obama, Rice, Jarrett, Lynch, Comey, Rosenstein and McCabe all on day 1

best defense is a good offense. Make the narrative about Dem sedition not impending House impeachment hearings.

You are President, start acting like it. Make them fear you.

your re-election depends on Mike Obama not being your opponent.

Let it Go

WaPo, again?

The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them.

Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. The article below delves into how WaPo is behind many of the big stories that manipulate America and moves the needle of public opinion in huge ways.

http://Washington-post-influence-and-power.html

MoralsAreEssential

It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors.

shadow54

They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them.

The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement.

It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way.

Then there is the news that Fusion GPS worked with the Democracy Integrity Project and Knew Knowledge to run a fake Russian bots campaign against Roy Moore. The Democracy Integrity Project was started by Feinstein's aide and with New Knowledge wrote a report on Russian bots for the Senate Intelligence Committee. So the Senate Intelligence Committee hired creators of fake Russian bots to write a report on Russian bots.

[Jan 11, 2019] New Documents Reveal a Covert British Military-Intelligence Smear Machine Meddling In American Politics by Mark Ames

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... By Mark Ames, co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast , author of Going Posta l and publisher of The eXile, and Max Blumenthal, an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah , Goliath , The Fifty One Day War , and The Management of Savagery , which will be published in March 2019 by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Killing Gaza and Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie . Originally published at the Greyzone Project ..."
"... The Integrity Initiative has mobilized an international disinformation campaign across Europe. Now, with government and right-wing foundation money, this massive "political smear unit" is infiltrating the US. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Mark Ames, co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast , author of Going Posta l and publisher of The eXile, and Max Blumenthal, an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah , Goliath , The Fifty One Day War , and The Management of Savagery , which will be published in March 2019 by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Killing Gaza and Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie . Originally published at the Greyzone Project

The Integrity Initiative has mobilized an international disinformation campaign across Europe. Now, with government and right-wing foundation money, this massive "political smear unit" is infiltrating the US.

A bombshell domestic spy scandal has been unfolding in Britain, after hacked internal communications exposed a covert UK state military-intelligence psychological warfare operation targeting its own citizens and political figures in allied NATO countries under the cover of fighting "Russian disinformation."

The leaked documents revealed a secret network of spies, prominent journalists and think-tanks colluding under the umbrella of a group called "Integrity Initiative" to shape domestic opinion -- and to smear political opponents of the right-wing Tory government, including the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

Until now, this Integrity Initiative domestic spy scandal has been ignored in the American media, perhaps because it has mostly involved British names. But it is clear that the influence operation has already been activated in the US. Hacked documents reveal that the Integrity Initiative is cultivating powerful allies inside the State Department, top DC think tanks, the FBI and the DHS, where it has gained access to Katharine Gorka and her husband, the fascist-linked cable news pundit Sebastian Gorka .

The Integrity Initiative has spelled out plans to expand its network across the US, meddling in American politics and recruiting "a new generation of Russia watchers" behind the false guise of a non-partisan charity. Moreover, the group has hired one of the most notorious American "perception management" specialists, John Rendon, to train its clusters of pundits and cultivate relationships with the media.

Back in the UK, Member of Parliament Chris Williamson has clamored for an investigation into the Integrity Initiative's abuse of public money.

In a recent editorial , Williamson drew a direct parallel between the group's collaboration with journalists and surreptitious payments the CIA made to reporters during the Cold War.

"These tactics resemble those deployed by the CIA in Operation Mockingbird that was launched at the height of the cold war in the early 1950s. Its aims included using the mainstream news media as a propaganda tool," Williamson wrote.

"They manipulated the news agenda by recruiting leading journalists to write stories with the express purpose of influencing public opinion in a particular way," the Labour parliamentarian continued. "Now it seems the British Establishment have dusted off the CIA's old playbook and is intent on giving it another outing on this side of the Atlantic."

Unmasking a British Military-Intelligence Smear Machine

The existence of the Integrity Initiative was virtually unknown until this November, when the email servers of a previously obscure British think tank called the Institute for Statecraft were hacked, prompting allegations of Russian intrusion. When the group's internal documents appeared at a website hosted by Anonymous Europe, the public learned of a covert propaganda network seed-funded to the tune of over $2 million dollars by the Tory-controlled UK Foreign Office, and run largely by military-intelligence officers.

Through a series of cash inducements, off the record briefings and all-day conferences, the Integrity Initiative has sought to organize journalists across the West into an international echo chamber hyping up the supposed threat of Russian disinformation -- and to defame politicians and journalists critical of this new Cold War campaign.

A bid for funding submitted by the Integrity Initiative in 2017 to the British Ministry of Defense promised to deliver a "tougher stance on Russia" by arranging for "more information published in the media on the threat of Russian active measures."

The Integrity Initiative has also worked through its fronts in the media to smear political figures perceived as a threat to its militaristic agenda. Its targets have included a Spanish Department of Homeland Security appointee, Pedro Banos, whose nomination was scuttled thanks a media blitz it secretly orchestrated; Jeremy Corbyn, whom the outfit and its media cutouts painted as a useful idiot of Russia; and a Scottish member of parliament, Neil Findlay, whom one of its closest media allies accused of adopting "Kremlin messaging" for daring to protest the official visit of the far-right Ukrainian politician Andriy Parubiy -- the founder of two neo-Nazi parties and author of a white nationalist memoir, "View From The Right."

These smear campaigns and many more surreptitiously orchestrated by the Integrity Initiative offer a disturbing preview of the reactionary politics it plans to inject into an already toxic American political environment.

Lessons from "The Man Who Sold the War"

A newly released Integrity Initiative document reveals that the outfit plans an aggressive expansion across the US.

The Integrity Initiative claims to have already established a "simple office" in Washington DC, though it does not say where. It also boasts of partnerships with top DC think tanks like the Atlantic Council, the Center for European Policy Analysis, CNA, and close relationships with US officials.

A major hub of Integrity Initiative influence is the State Department's Global Engagement Center, a de facto US government propaganda operation that was established by President Barack Obama to battle online ISIS recruitment, but which was rapidly repurposed to counter Russian disinformation following the election of Trump.

The Integrity Initiative has also recruited one of the most infamous American PR men to organize its clusters of journalists and political figures.

He is John Rendon, best known as "The Man Who Sold The War" -- several wars, in fact, but most notoriously the Iraq invasion. Rendon was the self-described "information warrior" who planted fake news in the major US-UK media about non-existent WMD threats. With deep ties to the CIA and other military-intelligence agencies, his PR firm was paid $100 million to organize and sell Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress. In 2002, the New York Times exposed a Pentagon program using Rendon to plant "disinformation" -- including "false stories" and "the blackest of black PR" -- in media outlets around the world, in order to shape public opinion and sell the Iraq invasion.

John Rendon (left) with Maj. Gen. Michael Snodgrass, US Africa Command Chief of Staff (photo by US Africom Public Affairs)

Journalist James Bamford outlined a catalogue of disinformation feats Rendon performed for the Pentagon, such as identifying "the biases of specific journalists and potentially obtain an understanding of their allegiances, including the possibility of specific relationships and sponsorships." Bamford also found proposals and programs Rendon was involved in that aimed to "'coerce' foreign journalists and plant false information overseas [and] find ways to 'punish' those who convey the 'wrong message.'"

These tactics seem particularly relevant to his work with the Integrity Initiative, especially considering the internal documents that reveal further Rendon-style plans to produce reports and studies to be "fed anonymously into local media." (Among the outlets listed as friendly hosts in Integrity Initiative internal memos are Buzzfeed and El Pais, the center-left Spanish daily.)

Keeping Up with the Gorkas

Internal documents also refer to interactions between Integrity Initiative Director Chris Donnelly and top Trump officials like Katharine Gorka , a vehemently anti-Muslim Department of Homeland Security official, as well as her husband, Sebastian, who earned right-wing fame during his brief tenure in Trump's White House.

The latter Gorka is an open supporter of the Hungarian Vitezi Rend, a proto-fascist order that collaborated with Nazi Germany during its occupation of Hungary. Following Trump's election victory in 2016, Gorka appeared for televised interviews in a black Vitezi Rend uniform.

Sebastian Gorka, in Vitezi Rend garb, with his wife, Katharine, on Election Night

Gorka was among the first figures listed on an itinerary for Donnelly to Washington this September 18 to 22. The itinerary indicates that the two had breakfast before Donnelly delivered a presentation on "Mapping Russian Influence Activities" at the federally funded military research center, CNA .

According to the itinerary, Donnelly was granted access to Pentagon officials like Mara Karlin , an up-and-coming neoconservative cadre , and John McCain Institute executive director Kurt Volker , another neoconservative operative who also serves as the US Special Representative for Ukraine. Numerous meetings with staffers inside the State Department's Office of Global Engagement were also detailed.

A Foreign Agent in the State Department?

Of all the State Department officials named in Integrity Initiative documents, the one who appeared most frequently was Todd Leventhal. Leventhal has been a staffer at the State Department's Global Engagement Center, boasting of "20 years of countering disinformation, misinformation, conspiracy theories, and urban legends." In an April 2018 Integrity Initiative memo, he is listed as a current team member:

Funded to the tune of $160 million this year to beat back Russian disinformation with "counter-propaganda," the State Department's Global Engagement Center has refused to deny targeting American citizens with information warfare of its own. "My old job at the State Department was as chief propagandist," confessed former Global Engagement Center Director Richard Stengel. "I'm not against propaganda. Every country does it and they have to do it to their own population and I don't necessarily think it's that awful."

Like so many of the media and political figures involved in the Integrity Initiative's international network, the Global Engagement Center's Leventhal has a penchant for deploying smear tactics against prominent voices that defy the foreign policy consensus. Leventhal appeared in an outtake of a recent NBC documentary on Russian disinformation smugly explaining how he would take down a 15-year-old book critical of American imperialism in the developing world. Rather than challenge the book's substance and allegations, Leventhal boasted how he would marshall his resources to wage an ad hominem smear campaign to destroy the author's reputation. His strategic vision was clear: when confronting a critic, ignore the message and destroy the messenger.

Integrity Initiative documents reveal that Leventhal has been paid $76,608 dollars (60,000 British pounds) for a 50% contract.

While those same documents claim he has retired from the State Department, Leventhal's own Linkedin page lists him as a current "Senior Disinformation Advisor" to the State Department. If that were true, it would mean that the State Department was employing a de facto foreign agent.

As a cut-out of the British Foreign Office and Defense Ministry, the Integrity Initiative's work with current and former US officials and members of the media raises certain legal questions. For one, there is no indication that the group has registered under the Justice Department's Foreign Agent Registration Act, as most foreign agents of influence are required to do.

Grants from the Neocons' Favorite Foundation

An Integrity Initiative memo states that the right-wing Smith Richardson Foundation has also committed to ponying up funding for its US network as soon as the group receives 501 c-3 non-profit status. The foundation has already provided it with about $56,000 for covert propaganda activities across Europe.

The Smith Richardson Foundation has old ties to the US intelligence community and controversial cold war influence operations. According to reporter Russ Bellant , the foundation was secretly bankrolling radical right-wing "indoctrination campaigns for the American public on cold war and foreign policy issues" -- programs that got the attention of Senator William Fulbright, who warned then-President Kennedy of their dangers. At one of these indoctrination seminars, a Smith Richardson Foundation director "told attendees that 'it is within the capacity of the people in this room to literally turn the State of Georgia into a civil war college,' in order to overcome their opponents."

Smith Richardson has funded a who's who of the neoconservative movement, from hyper-militaristic think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War. "To say the [Smith Richardson] foundation was involved at every level in the lobbying for and crafting of the so-called global war on terror after 9/11 would be an understatement," wrote journalist Kelley Vlahos.

Besides Smith Richardson, the Integrity Initiative has stated its intention to apply for grants from the State Department "to expand the Integrity Initiative activities both within and outside of the USA." This is yet another indicator that the US government is paying for propaganda targeting its own citizens.

The "Main Event" in Seattle

An Integrity Initiative internal document argues that because "DC is well served by existing US institutions, such as those with which the Institute [for Statecraft] already collaborates," the organization should "concentrate on extending the work of the Integrity Initiative into major cities and key State capitals [sic] across the USA."

This December 10, the Integrity Initiative organized what it called its "main event" in the US. It was a conference on disinformation held in Seattle, Washington under the auspices of a data firm called Adventium Labs. Together with the Technical Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota, the Integrity Initiative listed Adventium Labs as one of its "first partners outside DC."

Adventium is Minneapolis-based research and development firm that has reaped contracts from the US military, including a recent $5.4 million cyber-security grant from the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.

Inside a modest-sized hotel conference room, the Adventium/Integrity event began with a speech by the Integrity Initiative's Simon Bracey-Lane. Two years prior, Bracey-Lane appeared on the American political scene as a field worker for Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential primary run, earning media write-ups as the "Brit for Bernie." Now, the young operator was back in the US as the advance man for a military-intelligence cut-out that specialized in smearing left-wing political figures like Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader widely regarded as the British version of Sanders.

Bracey-Lane opened his address by explaining that Integrity Initiative director Chris Donnelly had been unable to appear at the event, possibly because he was bogged down in the scandal back home. He proceeded to read remarks prepared by Donnelly that offered a window into the frighteningly militaristic mindset the Integrity Initiative aims to impose on the public through their media and political allies.

According to Donnelly's comments, the West was no longer in a "peace time, rules based environment." From the halls of government to corporate boardrooms to even the UK's National Health System, "the conclusion is that we have to look for people who suit a wartime environment rather than peacetime."

During Q&A, Bracey-Lane remarked that "we have to change the definition of war to encompass everything that war now encompasses," referring vaguely to various forms of "hybrid warfare."

"There is a great deal to be done in communicating that to young people," he continued. "When we mean being at war we don't mean sending our boys off to fight. It's right here in our homes."

The emphasis on restructuring society along martial lines mirrored the disturbing thinking also on display in notes of a private meeting between Donnelly and Gen. Richard Barrons in 2016. During that chat, the two officers decided that the British military should be removed from democratic supervision and be able to operate as "an independent body outside politics."

While Bracey-Lane's presentation perfectly captured the military mindset of the Integrity Initiative, the speakers that followed him offered a diverse array of perspectives on the concept of disinformation, some more nuanced than others. But one talk stood out from the rest -- not because of its quality, but because of its complete lack thereof.

Reanimating the "Red-Brown" Grifter

Alexander Reid Ross (left) and Emmi Bevensee at the Integrity Initiative's "main event" in Seattle

The presentation was delivered by Alexander Reid Ross, a half-baked political researcher who peddles computer-generated spiderweb relationship charts to prove the existence of a vast hidden network of "red-brown" alliances and "syncretic media" conspiracies controlled by puppeteers in Moscow.

Ross is a lecturer on geography at Portland State University with no scholarly or journalistic credentials on Russia. His students have given him dismal marks at Rate My Professors, complaining about his "terrible monotone lectures" and his penchant for "insert[ing] his own ideologies into our class." But with a book, "Against the Fascist Creep," distributed by the well-known anarchist publishing house, AK Press, the middling academic has tried to make his name as a maverick analyst.

Before the Integrity Initiative was exposed as a military-intelligence front operation, Ross was among a small coterie of pundits and self-styled disinformation experts that followed the group's Twitter account. The Integrity Initiative even retweeted his smear of War Nerd podcast co-host John Dolan.

In a series of articles for the Southern Poverty Law Center last year, Ross attempted to bring his warmed-over Cold War theories to the broader public. He wound up trashing everyone from the co-author of this piece, Max Blumenthal, to Nation magazine publisher Katrina Vanden Heuvel to Harvard University professor of international relations Stephen Walt as hidden shadow-fascists secretly controlled by the Kremlin.

The articles ultimately generated an embarrassing scandal and a series of public retractions by the editor-in-chief of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen. And then, like some Dr. Frankenstein for discredited and buried journalism careers, the British Ministry of Defense-backed Integrity Initiative moved in to reanimate Ross as a sought-after public intellectual.

Before the Integrity Initiative-organized crowd, Ross offered a rambling recitation of his theory of a syncretic fascist alliance puppeteered by Russians: "The alt right takes from both this 'red-brown,' it's called, or like left-right syncretic highly international national of nationalisms, and from the United States' own paleoconservative movement, and it's sort of percolated down through college organizing, um, and anti-interventionism meets anti-imperialism. Right?"

In a strange twist, Ross appeared on stage at the Integrity Initiative's Seattle event alongside Emmi Bevensee , a contributor to the left-libertarian Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) think tank, whose tagline, "a left market anarchist think-tank" expresses its core aim of uniting far-left anarchists with free-market right-libertarians.

Bevensee , a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona and self-described "Borderlands anarcho into tech and crypto," concluded her presentation by asserting a linkage between the alternative news site, Zero Hedge, and the "physical militarized presence in the borderlands" of anti-immigrant vigilantes. Like Bevensee, Ross has written for C4SS in the past.

The irony of contributors to an anarchist group called the "Center for a Stateless Society" auditioning before The State – the most jackbooted element of it, in fact – for more opportunities to attack anti-war politicians and journalists, can hardly be overstated.

But closer examination of the history of C4SS veers from irony into something much darker and more unsettling.

Pedophile Co-Founder, White Nationalist Associates

C4SS was co-founded in 2006 by a confessed child rapist and libertarian activist, Brad Spangler, who set the group up to promote "Market anarchism" to "replace Marxism on the left."

When Spangler's child rape confessions emerged in 2015, the Center for Stateless Society founder was finally drummed out by his colleagues.

There's more: Spangler's understudy and deputy in the C4SS, Kevin Carson -- currently listed as the group's "Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory" -- turned out to be a longtime friend and defender of white nationalist Keith Preston. Preston's name is prominently plastered on the back of Kevin Carson's book, hailing the C4SS man as "the Proudhon of our time" -- a loaded compliment, given Proudhon's unhinged anti-Semitism . Carson only disowned Preston in 2009, shortly before Preston helped white nationalist leader Richard Spencer launch his alt-right webzine, Alternative Right.

The C4SS group currently participates in the annual Koch-backed International Students For Liberty conference in Washington DC, LibertyCon, a who's who of libertarian think-tank hacks and Republican Party semi-celebrities like Steve Forbes, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, and Alan Dershowitz.

In 2013, C4SS's Kevin Carson tweeted out his dream fantasy that four Jewish leftists -- Mark Ames, Yasha Levine, Corey Robin, and Mark Potok -- would die in a plane crash while struggling over a single parachute. Potok was an executive editor at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which last year retracted every one of the crank articles that Alexander Reid Ross published with them and formally apologized for having run them.

For some reason, the super-sleuth Ross conveniently failed to investigate the libertarian group, C4SS, that he has chosen to partner with and publish in. That ability to shamelessly smear and denounce leftists over the most crudely manufactured links to the far-right -- while cozying up to groups as sleazy as C4SS and authoritarian as the Integrity Initiative -- is the sort of adaptive trait that MI6 spies and the Rendon Group would find useful in a covert domestic influence operation.

Ross did not respond to our request for comment on his involvement with the Integrity Initiative and C4SS.

Disinformation for Democracy

As it spans out across the US, the Integrity Initiative has stated its desire to "build a younger generation of Russia watchers." Toward this goal, it is supplementing its coterie of elite journalists, think tank hacks, spooks and State Department info-warriors with certifiable cranks like Ross.

Less than 24 hours after Ross's appearance at the Integrity Initiative event in Seattle, he sent a menacing email to the co-author of this article, Ames, announcing his intention to recycle an old and discredited smear against him and publish it in the Daily Beast -- a publication that appears to enjoy a special relationship with Integrity Initiative personnel.

Despite the threat of investigation in the UK, the Integrity Initiative's "network of networks" appears to be escalating its covert, government-funded influence operation, trashing the political left and assailing anyone that gets in its way -- all in the name of fighting foreign disinformation.

"We have to win this one," Integrity Initiative founder Col. Chris Donnelly said , "because if we don't, democracy will be undermined."

Disturbed Voter , January 10, 2019 at 4:26 am

This is why you don't put spooks in charge. They are paid to be paranoid.

pretzelattack , January 10, 2019 at 5:18 am

making up lies to get paid. james angleton was paranoid (not that it seemed to make him more effective in counterintelligence)–these people are just con artists, paid to be con artists.
i'm just waiting for "we have to undermine democracy in order to save it".

Pym of Nantucket , January 10, 2019 at 5:46 pm

Agreed. Not only are they paid to make things up, but they have an ingenious scheme for paying themselves from narcotics and arms dealing.

The most amazing feat of confidence artistry (apart from maybe the TARP bailout (c.f. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troubled_Asset_Relief_Program ) is their remarkable ability to convince the population they are needed and working on our behalf instead of being in jail where they belong.

nobody , January 10, 2019 at 6:06 am

I first heard about this enterprise/outfit from 21st Century Wire .

Peter , January 10, 2019 at 6:40 am

hat story has been around since at least December 17. https://grayzoneproject.com/2018/12/17/inside-the-temple-of-covert-propaganda-the-integrity-initiative-and-the-uks-scandalous-information-war/
maybe you should change your sources

Richard H Caldwell , January 10, 2019 at 6:52 am

Gotta love Mark Ames

jsn , January 10, 2019 at 6:55 am

b at Moon of Alabama posted on this on the 4th.

David , January 10, 2019 at 7:01 am

I submitted a long comment on this about an hour ago, which seems to have been eaten by the system. I won't repost it now, but I'll do so later if it doesn't surface.

PlutoniumKun , January 10, 2019 at 7:58 am

This is something that has repeatedly happened to me too recently – it often takes 2 or more hours for most of my recent posting to surface on the site. It rarely disappears altogether, so I would assume your post will eventually arrive.

hemeantwell , January 10, 2019 at 9:25 am

Same here on the delays. Keep a copy.
But anyway, very glad you posted this piece. Whatever we make of Patreon, it's one way to support Mark Ames' work.

flora , January 10, 2019 at 9:13 pm

Me, too. Though not on this post. Me thinks much sp@m and tr0llery happening behind the scenes that the mods have to wade through comment by comment.

jCandlish , January 10, 2019 at 7:50 am

Sir Alan Duncan, responding on behalf of the Government to Emily Thornberry's urgent question (Dec 12) on recent allegations that the Foreign Office funded a company which carried out a smear campaign against the official Opposition.

Chilling indeed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBOwO-MAPKI

RBHoughton , January 10, 2019 at 10:06 pm

What a frightful fellow that Alan Duncan is eh? Talks like a Mafia lawyer and he's supposed to be a national leader. He reminds that other MP, the POS who interrogated David Kelly on TV, they both use the same style. Is it a qualification for legislator?

The Rev Kev , January 10, 2019 at 8:23 am

Just a minor note to start off. That image of "Sebastian Gorka, in Vitezi Rend garb". I think that Vitezi Rend actually refers to the medal he wears on the left. The jacket itself more resembles the patrol jacket that British officers wore in the 19th century. Moving on! Notice how the same players keep on coming up again and again in all these stories of skulduggery? John Rendon, the Atlantic Council, Ajit Pai and Alan Dershowitz – the same scum-bags with a few new wannabe players. As an example.
The penchant that Brad Spangler, C4SS co-founder, has for under-age girls is disgusting of course but you have to put it into the context of the people that you are talking about. If Spengler was more rich or more powerful, you might see his name on a manifest for the "Lolita Express" but his activities would not be splashed about in an article like this one. That sort of activity is given a level of protection if you are in the right group. And it is a good thing that that British General Richard Barrons is retired as his comments are deserving of being cashiered.
Funny how a group that claims to be about protecting democracy wants to push it aside and install propaganda on a "1984" level in the pursuit of their aims. I cannot decide if their target of Russia is a means or an end. If it is a means, that means using the boogy-man of Russia to radically restructure western society to their tastes. If it is an end, well, it is true that Russia has about $75 trillion in resources, mostly in Siberia and the east, so if it was broken up eventually, that would be a bonanza of wealth appropriation.
I was thinking about the activities of this group and how they go about their activities, especially the smearing of anybody that talks truth to power. I wonder if anybody here made the connection with this story and the PropOrNot website that came out of nowhere about two years ago and that had the stamp of approval of the Washington Post. I would not be surprised if it turns out to be that PropOrNot was a trial balloon in the United States for the Integrity Initiative to establish what it was capable of. Just a thought.

Martin Finnucane , January 10, 2019 at 9:39 am

Vitezi Rend garb

He looks like an extra from Star Wars – one of those nazi guys working the bridge of the Death Star. The "look and feel" of a lot of pre-war fascism strikes us as silly in retrospect, though it really wasn't at the time.

EoH , January 10, 2019 at 10:35 am

That tailored black jacket Sebastian wears looks like something Winston Churchill would have changed out of before that last cavalry charge at Omdurman. It seems intentionally designed to mimic 19th century great power imperial army officer garb. Nostalgia for the good times, apparently. Goes with his fascist priorities.

bob , January 10, 2019 at 11:36 am

" my father was Moonraker and that is part of my origin story "

NSFW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbQx0NTV4TU

Tomonthebeach , January 10, 2019 at 9:25 pm

Let us not get carried away with the exuberance of discovering skulduggery among fascist elements of the media and politics. This does not mean that the conspiracy means Russia is thereby a Goodie Twoshoes. It also does not mean that Russia is any less a pain in the ass than it has heretorfore be characterized.

It does mean that there is less reason (any?) than ever to put much faith in FoxNews (already a mere propaganda machine) or other orgs. I am uncomfortable hearing CNA is caught up in this as they are a pseudo government thinktank with some Pentagon influence.

If true, the story should be used to clear out some journalists and analyst riffraff. However, this story is surely not going to restore, much less create, any integrity among the Beltway Punditry.

Off The Street , January 10, 2019 at 8:56 am

The article and related matters may also shed more light on the abrupt resignation of Robert Hannigan from the leadership of GCHQ in January 2017 a few days after Trump's inauguration. Given previous revelations about GCHQ and NSA spying on each other's citizens, what else is next in the UK and in the US and elsewhere?

After reading about that Carson character and others I am ready for a shower to try to wash off the disgust.

DJG , January 10, 2019 at 9:01 am

Yves Smith: Thanks for this. I am wondering about two stories that have been flapping around here for a few days: That odd New Knowledge company that produced the report about Russian influence on the elections as well as the story about the case before the Supreme Court of the US in which a company is invoking claims of sovereign immunity.

I have a feeling that New Knowledge definitely fits into the framework outlined by Ames above. A contractor that appears out of nowhere with a "distinguished" board of concerned semi-liberals (at the trough)?

But what do I know? Some guy named Volodya showed up at my house and bought my vote in 2016 for two bottles of pickled mushrooms

diptherio , January 10, 2019 at 9:32 am

Kevin Carson is always showing up in my twitter feed. I knew there was something I didn't like about that guy, anarchist or no.

jfleni , January 10, 2019 at 9:38 am

Perfideus Albion is not just a neat saying, but a truth that the Irish, French and
Germans (etc.) have known forever, the people don't deserve it, but the
jumped up Tories do in spades.

pjay , January 10, 2019 at 9:48 am

Thank you for highlighting this article! It names names and connects some dots, including some connections reaching into the U.S. It also describes propaganda mechanisms that have been around forever but have become pervasive today. A few protruding tips of a massive iceberg, in my view. I'm sure *this* "bombshell" story will get the massive coverage it deserves in the MSM -- not!

diptherio , January 10, 2019 at 10:43 am

Here's the response from C4SS, if anyone is interested:
https://c4ss.org/content/51563

jsn , January 10, 2019 at 1:11 pm

That was interesting. Well argued all the way through I thought, but they could take a closer look at the unwinding of Yugoslavia; what Serbia and Syria have in common is having been targeted by outside state powers for dissolution, responses did vary.

pjay , January 10, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Thank you diptherio for posting the C4SS response. Such responses are helpful in evaluating issues like this, and we should always be open to the other side when they take the time to reply. However, I can't agree that the response was "well argued." The author does make some valid points, but mainly she resorts to ad hominem attacks on Ames (based on some juvenile antics at eXile that are often used to smear him), or on both authors because they may have agreed with "Assadists" like Ambassador Peter Ford or "9/11 Truthers" like Piers Robinson, whose claims about Syria or the White Helmets are, of course, Kremlin propaganda. Which brings up why Blumenthal would have changed his position on Syria; it was not because of his gradual understanding of what was really happening there. Rather, while he had once grasp the truth of the "revolution," he made the mistake of going to a Kremlin gala and the Rooskies (and RT) got to him. Now he is just another propagandist. Nowhere that I can see does the author discuss the major claims made in Ames and Blumenthal's article, or the evidence cited (except to say that if it was in RT or Sputnik, we can ignore it anyway as propaganda). Nor does she address the actual defamation made by Alexander Ross-Reid through the SPLC that pissed off Blumenthal in the first place. There are other problems (don't get me started on the "red-brown" smear), but that's enough.

Having said all that, I do think that in their criticism of C4SS, Ames and Blumenthal perhaps did some unnecessary punching down. They could have made clearer the distinction between organizations like the Integrity Initiative, that are pretty clearly intelligence operatives or cut-outs, versus groups like C4SS that function more like "useful idiots" because of their ideological position (e.g. equating U.S. and Russian imperialism in this case in their "anarchist" appeal). The latter are in no way as evil as the former, in my mind.

jsn , January 10, 2019 at 3:18 pm

You are clearly much more engaged with the related debates than I. I read the piece as a response to the punching down you mention in your last paragraph and felt like I got a respectable read on someone still developing their arguments. I'm not informed enough to argue with much of it, but having read Diana Johnstone's "Fools Crusade", the Syria/Serbia bit stuck in my craw.

I had thought about commenting on the ad hominems directed at Ames, but didn't want to get into the whole identity argument embedded in much of the language of the post. While I disagree with many of her positions and attitudes on the state actions she criticizes without, in my opinion, adequate grounding, I judged it a mostly good faith effort trying to find solid footing in a world increasingly thick with distorted narratives.

It's hard to argue now, from anywhere with out power, without being someone's "useful idiot": trust has decayed to the point where language impedes communication in the political sphere.

pjay , January 10, 2019 at 5:01 pm

It's funny you should mention Johnstone's book. I normally would not use the derogatory term "useful idiot" for the very reason you imply; most such people are acting in good faith. I admit that her comments on Syria irritated me. But the reason I sometimes overreact to that sort of narrative is because of my own experiences as a useful idiot, starting with Yugoslavia. I fell for the liberal "humanitarian" argument hook, line, and sinker in the 1990s, even though I considered myself a knowledgeable progressive at the time. It wouldn't be the last time I was duped, but I'd like to think I'm a little wiser today.

I appreciate your comment. We definitely need to distinguish empire propagandists from the beliefs of people honestly trying to find their way.

rojo , January 10, 2019 at 6:41 pm

I thought the later part of Ames' piece was unnecessary. It's kind of the same sort of guilt-by-attending-same-conference thing that I find annoying about the Russophobes.

Keep focused on government malfeasance, not basement brown-shirts.

Ignacio , January 10, 2019 at 11:00 am

Oh well, there would be a lot to argue here. In one side it is nice to see that the "Initiative" is being exposed although it doesn't appear yet to trigger any significant response from supposedly democratic institutions like, let's say the english parliament (at ransom by brexit).

Just to demonstrate how this article is well focused and pointed I wanted to comment on this bit:

(Among the outlets listed as friendly hosts in Integrity Initiative internal memos are Buzzfeed and El Pais, the center-left Spanish daily .)

YES! iIt is so true that the former "center-left" –if you wish– daily that years ago was a must read but has been degraded to levels that I wouldn't have imagined, in a case that makes the Guardian as the "guardian of reporting-as-it should-be". One has to bear in mind that the current most important shareholder of Grupo Prisa (owner of El Pais) is an english hedge fund Amber Capital whose CEO, Joseph Oughorlian is chairman at Grupo Prisa and probably responsible for the Russia!Russia!Russia! campaign observed in this medium that surprised me so much. You don't find nothing similar in Spain even in rigth and rigth of the rigth news outlets.

I believe this UK-based shareholder is clearly associated with the peculiar Russia!Russia!Russia! stance of the supposedly centre-left daily.

juliania , January 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm

For those of us from way back way back, these kooks relate to offshoots of the Watergate scandal, the original one, where people working on those burglaries of psychiatrist's offices and Democratic headquarters got their start organizing small gangs of crooks to infiltrate what was then a porous but trustable system of government – on they went to propose surveillance and collection of data that was at first publicly laughed about but on they went. On they went. Technology with all its pluses has these minuses we at first were able to counter (Church hearings) but the rats have scurried into all the back alleys and secretive pathways that need a thorough cleanup. It can be done, but it needs to be done periodically. Hopefully this is finally the year when that will happen.

Thank you, Yves. I believe these folk don't end up in a good place, but meanwhile they are wreaking havoc. The place to start, after the brooms and mops, is to get money OUT of politics and restore a verifiable voting system that happens methodically and is trustworthy. The citizenry will be behind this. We the people don't care how long it takes to vote or to find out who won. We don't! Haste makes waste in more ways than we know.

Let's do this. And please, judges, do your duty or go to jail yourselves.

Andrew Watts , January 10, 2019 at 1:37 pm

It's obvious that neither Ames or Blumenthal read the actual documents they're quoting from. Which is a shame considering the relevant one involving the CIA's Operation Mockingbird comparison was only seven pages long. The CIA were merely imitating British intelligence during the war and it is clearly stated as such when one of the replies involving General Sir Richard Barrons states that they've done this before during the 1930s. The US didn't possess a foreign intelligence agency at the time and I'd fervently argue that we still don't to this day.

but I've already commented about British Security Coordination in the aftermath of PropOrNot though and I'm reluctant to beat a dead horse.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/12/links-12312016.html#comment-2736471
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/01/100755.html#comment-2737564
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/01/links-11217.html#comment-2742827
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/05/links-5-21-18.html#comment-2971759

It's hard to be modest when you're this good.

Roady , January 10, 2019 at 4:02 pm

I wish I could be like Andrew Watts

Chauncey Gardiner , January 10, 2019 at 3:27 pm

Ah, the smell (or should we say stench) of domestic propaganda in the morning, ironically by some of the same individuals who brought us Iraq WMDs. While First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and other civil rights must be protected, it seems to me that a careful balance can be drawn under new legislation that insulates us from such government-sponsored propaganda. We should be able to rely on our government's representations. Instead, as with a former president who openly acknowledged, "My job is to catapult the propaganda," the reverse, together with a related loss of trust, unfortunately seems to be increasingly the case. Stop lying! What part of "of the People, by the People, for the People," is difficult to understand?

[Jan 10, 2019] Stuff To Read Integrity Initiative, Skripal, Kaspersky ...

Notable quotes:
"... Neither Rob nor I have a sound theory of what really happened in Salisbury. There are many possible explanations, but none for which there is sufficient evidence. What we do know is that the British government lied and lies about the case from A to Z. ..."
"... This wasn't an accident blamed on Putin but a planned semi-assassination in which at least one of the victims was unaware of the plan designed from the beginning to be used in the rolling anti-Putin regime change operation. ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stuff To Read: Integrity Initiative, Skripal, Kaspersky ...

The is no original piece ready to post today, but here are some interesting links:

There are several new stories about the Integrity Initiative though still none in any mainstream media.

Apropos Skripal

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b at 12:58 PM | Comments (55)


bevin | Jan 9, 2019 1:19:20 PM | 1

Comments I posted this comment at Off Guardian. There are a couple of points that may be of interest:

The essential feature of this "Integrity Initiative" is that it is purportedly a charity or an NGO. Like Atlantic Council, or Bellingcat, it is funded by government(s) but it has, as this video demonstrates, the capacity to distance itself from government, Deniability.

Deniability is the central feature of all British regime change operations since 1945. The UK takes (took?) the UN Charter and Nuremberg seriously. Not in the sense that it follows the rules but in so far as it tries not to get caught waging aggressive wars and interfering in sovereign states by carrying out regime change operations.

Britain has become very good not just at keeping its secret operations secret and deniable. But, through its controls over the media, stopping leaks by ensuring that whistle blowers are not heard.

What this case indicates is that people like Donnelly, contemptible careerists playing games with humanity's very existence, have prevailed over the more cautious and sensible Civil Servants in the Foreign Office, who used to keep a lid on the irrepressible folly of psychopaths like Christopher Nigel, and have been given license not only to kill but to do so without reference to 'M' and Whitehall.

In this case, thanks to the weakness and demoralised state of the current government what has happened is that Donnelly has improved on the rolling regime change operation against Russia, (consisting of taking advantage of opportunities to castigate the Kremlin and blaming Putin for everything that goes wrong, every Russian expatriate's death, every botched poison gas gambit by the White Helmets (another one of these NGOs run by 'retired MI types),).. improved on it to the extent that, now, rather than waiting to comment on, and build frames around such events as Litvinenko's death, they are constructing them out of whole cloth.
The key word here is bricolage, as used by Levi Strauss to describe one of the characteristic reactions of traditional societies to the irruption of western imperialism.

Donnelly, his acolytes and his dupes in the media are taking whatever they find lying around in the world and twisting it together to form apparent events. The White Helmets, for example, attempt a chlorine gas attack on Syrian forces. It fails but rather than deny that it ever happened British Intelligence convinces the media that, in fact the attack was not by the Jihadists but upon them. The media dutifully takes its cues, from the clusters and, almost before you know it, the US is bombing Damascus on the ground that Assad is carrying out poison gas attacks.

The MH17 affair is another instance: an airliner gets shot down, whether deliberately or not doesn't matter, and Russia is blamed. All manner of phony 'evidence' is publicised. The real evidence such as Air Traffic Control records is suppressed. Sanctions are imposed. Russia further isolated etc. Then we had the DNC emails, again, a leak probably by a decent person disgruntled by the utter cynicism and criminality of the DNC's tactics in the primary elections. Twisted into something resembling a Russian conspiracy against Clinton. Not one that anyone with enough brain to tie his shoelaces would credit but just enough to set the media lynch mobs, led by their clusters, into operation.

All of which leads inexorably to Salisbury and the Skripals.

And here perhaps there is more than bricolage: rather than picking up what providence has delivered and making a passably plausible story of it, here, one suspects, the matter was put together in advance. This wasn't an accident blamed on Putin but a planned semi-assassination in which at least one of the victims was unaware of the plan designed from the beginning to be used in the rolling anti-Putin regime change operation..

Which, and this is something that the old FO mandarins knew would happen if policy were left in the hands of Donnelly and Co, (straight out of schoolboy comics like Magnet or Hotspur), has proved to be exactly what Russia needed: a series of kicks at the Kremlin which drove it into the arms of Beijing and forced it to form an iron alliance which will lead not to regime change in Moscow but to the destruction of the Atlantic empire.

George Lane , Jan 9, 2019 1:30:15 PM | link
Just would like to point out a small, interesting parallel between these Integrity Initiative documents and some of the mainstream academic literature in the US about democracy, namely the use of the phrase "malign influence" to describe the influence of Russia (and China). If one reads the latest issue of the Journal of Democracy (which names the NED as a partner or some such) or the latest Freedom House report, one will find the academic version of the language used by mainstream journalism, warning of the threat that Russia and China pose to the Western liberal democratic way of life.
Hausmeister , Jan 9, 2019 4:38:00 PM | link
james | Jan 9, 2019 4:12:38 PM | 14

Sorry for that.

I would call them a country run fully by intel agencies. I made a game today. Google research results are personalized. I asked several friends to search Google for „Integrity Iniative". All the screenshots showed the same. One sputnik-Link, one to Nachdenkseiten, the rest international. Not one single main stream medium was mentioned. Since November! There has been even a debate in the British parliament. If this is no top-down organized consulting machine what is such a machine then?

james , Jan 9, 2019 4:49:08 PM | link
@19 russ.. thanks.. here is a link to their site.. http://www.medialens.org/

... ... ...

somebody , Jan 9, 2019 5:16:32 PM | link
The Guardian now has an obituary on the Integrity Initiative . They seem to have decided that they cannot silence the case.
Tony_0pmoc , Jan 9, 2019 5:48:51 PM | link
@26 Ross Stanford. I had been posting on Craig Murray's website for nearly 10 years since I read his book Murder in Samarkand, and very nearly turned up at the House of Commons as a witness - but he asked can anyone record this - which I did. I have never actually met him. bevin posted for maybe a couple of years a couple of years ago. bevin wrote about The French political situation, before it kicked off.

He is a very clever man, and to delete someone so intelligent who was almost literally predicting what was likely to happen with yellow vests etc, seems a little bit both arrogant and immature in my my view. However all of us regardless of our political views accept the Craig Murray is a Man of Great Integrity and Courage, even though on a lot of political issues I disagree with him. Surely thats O.K. disagreeing about politics?

"Craig Murray - Torture 1 of 7" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF9spgagSHI

Tony

dh , Jan 9, 2019 5:59:56 PM | link
@30 The basic line seems to be that the West is vulnerable to Russian attacks because we have a free press. So why did it take the free press such a long time to come up with a response? James Ball does admit that a secretive organization using government funding to slander Jeremy Corbyn might not have been a great idea.
Jen , Jan 9, 2019 6:12:15 PM | link
Posted this over at Mark Chapman's The New Kremlin Stooge blog:

The latest news from Salisbury: first, the park bench and the dining table walked the Path of Fire, then the guinea pigs and a cat followed, a house may soon do so as well, and the latest perhaps to join the queue

"Amesbury ambulance station may never reopen after nerve agent attack": https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/17343540.amesbury-ambulance-station-may-never-reopen-after-nerve-agent-attack/

and then at some point in the future: "Revised plan to redevelop Salisbury's Maltings unveiled"
https://www.spirefm.co.uk/news/local-news/2707454/revised-plan-to-redevelop-salisburys-maltings-unveiled/

"Salisbury's shopping centre to be given £69million makeover and major rebrand after infamous Novichok poisonings": https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6275651/Salisburys-shopping-centre-given-69million-makeover-infamous-Novichok-poisonings.html

Several comments attached to that post are of "wish we had Novichok in our shopping centre" or "they planned this all along" type. It seems that Salisbury shopping centre as it is has not been doing well because of high rents previously imposed by Wiltshire Council and it desperately needs a makeover. Call me cynical but maybe Wiltshire Council is using the poisoning incident to bring forward its redevelopment plans for the Salisbury shopping centre that will all but kill off local businesses.

Blooming Barricade , Jan 9, 2019 6:17:08 PM | link
@3
The irony is that, with a genuinely free press, RT would cease to have any appeal. The corporate media is hopelessly biased against Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, as well as pro-war, opposed to anarchism, openly pro-capitalism, and fails to report on issues like fracking, oligarchic trade deals Palestinian struggles, police state brutality against left, and almost every other topic the public would want to know about.

Projects like PropOrNot and the Intgerity Initiative exist solely to prevent the public from knowing about those things by locking down the information sphere against independent media (today they claimed that "neoliberalism" and "neoconservatism" aren't real concepts but Russian-invented insults against the rules-based liberal world order.

karlof1 , Jan 9, 2019 6:35:16 PM | link
George Galloway weighs in on the chaos engulfing the Empire in Washington, London and Paris. The Neoliberal ship is foundering while the uplifting of people-based policies of Russia and China keep them on track to reach their aims. Soon, if Trump keeps the government shutdown, those idled federal workers just might be seen in the streets. George has a penchant for connecting things, and had this to say about Macron:

"The very conditions Macron strove so very hard to bring about in Damascus and that France DID help bring about in Kiev are now rocking the very foundations of the French Republic."

The false flag of Austerity--Neoliberalism preying on its own as was predicted at its beginnings is what we're witnessing, while the actors that created the situation cling with bloody hands to the ship of state unwilling to surrender the wheel to those who might salvage the situation. Metaphorically, Rome burns while Nero and his Senators fiddle.

Peter Schmidt , Jan 9, 2019 6:50:14 PM | link
The Guardian has produced an article about Integrity Initiative. It was so poorly written that they had to close the comment section after 138 comments. People do know a lot more than the Guardian thinks.
pretzelattack , Jan 9, 2019 6:57:42 PM | link
the guardian never keeps comment sections open long if too many posters start disagreeing with their preferred line. their other tactic is simply never to open comments on posts where they think this is likely to happen. and of course they haven't even acknowledged the luke harding travesty, as they continue to beg for donations to support their fearless independent journalism.
dh , Jan 9, 2019 7:15:58 PM | link
I thought James Ball made a gallant effort to exonerate Western media considering he probably had a team of editors breathing down his neck. It's the lack of transparency that seems to upset him most. Perhaps his next article will be an in depth look at how Integrity Initiative got government funding.

[Jan 08, 2019] Shock Files- What Role Did Integrity Initiative Play in Sergei Skripal Affair- - Sputnik International

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... How could Novichok have poisoned people four months after the Skripal attack? -- ..."
"... The Skripal Files ..."
Jan 08, 2019 | sputniknews.com

Hacking syndicate Anonymous has just released its fourth tranche of documents hacked from the internal servers of the Institute for Statecraft and its subsidiary, the Integrity Initiative. Several explosive files raise serious questions about the shadowy British state and NATO-funded 'think tank' and its connections with the Skripal affair.

The files were released just after 2:30pm GMT on January 4 -- I've barely scratched the surface of the content, but what I've seen so far contains a panoply of bombshell revelations -- to say the least, the organization(s) now have serious questions to answer about what role they played in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in March, and its aftermath both nationally and internationally.

Sinister Timeline

One file apparently dating to "early 2015" -- "Russian Federation Sanctions" -- written by the Institute's Victor Madeira outlines "potential levers" to achieve Russian "behaviour change", "peace with Ukraine", "return [of] Crimea", "regime change" or "other?". The suggested "levers" span almost every conceivable area, including "civil society", "sports", "finance" and "technology".

In the section marked "intelligence", Madeira suggests simultaneously expelling "every RF [Russian Federation] intelligence officer and air/defense/naval attache from as many countries as possible". In parentheses, it references 'Operation Foot' , the expulsion of over 1000 Soviet officials from the UK in September 1971, the largest expulsion of intelligence officials by any government in history.

The section on sports also suggests "advocating the view [Russia] is unworthy of hosting [sporting] events" -- and the section marked "information" recommends the sanctioning of 'Russian' media "in West for not complying with regulators' standards".

2015 File Written By Victor Madeira on Possible Anti-Russian Actions 2015 File Written By Victor Madeira on Possible Anti-Russian Actions

In April that year, Institute for Statecraft chief Chris Donnelly was promoted to Honorary Colonel of SGMI (Specialist Group Military Intelligence), and in October he met with General Sir Richard Barrons. Notes from the meeting don't make clear who said what, but one despaired that "if no catastrophe happens to wake people up and demand a response, then we need to find a way to get the core of government to realise the problem and take it out of the political space."

"We will need to impose changes over the heads of vested interests. We did this in the 1930s. My conclusion is it is we who must either generate the debate or wait for something dreadful to happen to shock us into action. We must generate an independent debate outside government. We need to ask when and how do we start to put all this right? Do we have the national capabilities [and/or] capacities to fix it? If so, how do we improve our harnessing of resources to do it? We need this debate now. There is not a moment to be lost," they said.

Operation IRIS Begins

On 4 March 2018, former Russian military officer and double agent for MI6 Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury, England.

Within days, the Institute had submitted a proposal to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, "to study social media activity in respect of the events that took place, how news spread and evaluate how the incident is being perceived" in a number of countries.

The bid was accepted, and the Initiative's 'Operation Iris' was launched. Under its auspices, the Institute employed 'global investigative solutions' firm Harod Associates to analyze social media activity related to Skripal the world over.

It also conducted media monitoring of its own, with Institute 'research fellow' Simon Bracey-Lane producing regular 'roundups' of media coverage overseas, based on insights submitted by individuals connected to the Initiative living in several countries. One submission, from an unnamed source in Moldova, says they "cannot firmly say" whether the country's media had its "own point of view" on the issue, or whether news organizations had taken "an obvious pro-Russian or pro-Western position", strongly suggesting these were key questions for the Initiative.

Integrity Initiative Seeks Intelligence On How Overseas Media Reported Skripal Incident Integrity Initiative Seeks Intelligence On How Overseas Media Reported Skripal Incident

Moreover though, there are clear indications the Institute sought to shape the news narrative on the attack -- and indeed the UK government's response. One file dated March 11 appears to be a briefing document on the affair to date, with key messages bolded throughout.

It opens by setting out "The Narrative" of the incident -- namely "Russia has carried out yet another brutal attack, this time with a deadly nerve agent, on someone living in Britain".

"Use of the nerve agent posed a threat to innocent British subjects, affecting 21 people and seriously affecting a police officer. This is not the first time such an attack has been carried out in the UK 14 deaths are believed to be attributable to the Kremlin Russia has poisoned its enemies abroad on other occasions, most notably then-candidate for the Presidency of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, in 2004. Russian political activist Vladimir Kara-Murza has been poisoned twice; and the journalist Anna Politkovskaya was also poisoned and later shot dead. Since Putin has been running Russia, the Kremlin has a history of poisoning its opponents in a gruesome way," the "narrative" reads.

The file goes on to declare the British response has been "far too weak it's essential the government makes a much stronger response this time" -- and then lists "possible, realistic, first actions", including banning RT and Sputnik from operating in the UK, boycotting the 2018 World Cup, withdrawing the UK ambassador from Moscow and expelling the Russian ambassador to the UK, and refusing/revoking visas to leading Russians within Vladimir Putin's "circle", and their families.

Post-Skripal Incident Anti-Russian Actions Recommended by Integrity Initiative Post-Skripal Incident Anti-Russian Actions Recommended by Integrity Initiative

It's not clear who the document was distributed to -- but it may have been given to journalists within the Initiative's UK 'cluster', if not others. This may explain why the Institute's "narrative", and its various recommended "responses" utterly dominated mainstream media reporting of the affair for months afterwards, despite the glaring lack of evidence of Russian state involvement in the attack.

It's extremely curious so many of the briefing document's recommendations almost exactly -- if not exactly -- echo several of the suggested "levers" outlined in the 2015 document. It's also somewhat troubling the "Global Operation Foot" spoken of in that file duly came to pass on March 28 2018, with over 20 countries expelling over 100 Russian diplomats.

Likewise, it's striking Victor Madeira, the Institute staffer who made the recommendations in 2015, made many media appearances discussing the poisoning following the incident routinely documented by the Institute. Security consultant Dan Kaszeta also wrote a number of articles for the Integrity Initiative website about chemical weapons following the attack -- including a July 14 article, How could Novichok have poisoned people four months after the Skripal attack? -- receiving 40 pence per word .

Invoice submitted to Integrity Initiative by Dan Kaszeta Invoice submitted to Integrity Initiative by Dan Kaszeta Strange Connections

The Institute's bizarrely intimate connections with the incident don't end there. Another document apparently dating to July 2018 contains the contact details of Pablo Miller, Skripal's MI6 recruiter, handler and -- unbelievably -- neighbor in Salisbury. Anonymous claims the document is an invitee list for a meeting the Institute convened between a number of individuals and Syria's highly controversial White Helmets group, but this is yet to be verified.

Whatever the truth of the matter, the latest document dump raises yet further questions about how and why it was BBC Diplomatic and Defense Editor Mark Urban -- who was in the same tank regiment as Miller after leaving University -- came to meet with Skripal in the year before his poisoning. When I attended the launch of his book on the affair in October -- The Skripal Files -- he was evasive on whether he played a role in connecting him with Skripal, and denied Miller was Skripal's recruiter.

The latest trove also raises yet further questions about the activities of the Institute for Statecraft and Integrity Initiative. In light of these revelations, reading the record of Donnelly's meeting with General Barrons takes on an acutely chilling quality. It may be that purely serendipitously the pair got their "catastrophe", their "something dreadful", which "[woke] people up" and made the government "realise the problem" posed by Russia -- or it could be they one way or another played a facilitative role of some kind.

After months of refusing to answer the vast number of questions I and thousands of others have submitted to the paired organizations, it's high time for them to break cover, and be honest with the public.

[Jan 08, 2019] Skripal spin doctors- Documents link UK govt-funded Integrity Initiative to anti-Russia narrative

Highly recommended!
Images removed. Please brose the original to view them.
Notable quotes:
"... "Russian disinformation." ..."
"... "network of networks" ..."
"... It's notable that many of the draconian anti-Russia measures that the group advocated as far back as 2015 were swiftly implemented following the Skripal affair – even as London refused to back up its finger-pointing with evidence. ..."
"... "study social media activity in respect of the events that took place, how news spread, and evaluate how the incident is being perceived" ..."
"... "global investigative solutions" ..."
"... What role did # IntegrityInitiative play in the # Skripal affair? I looked for answers from a brief look at the newly released files. More very much to follow.... ..."
"... "pro-Russia troll accounts" ..."
"... "bombarding the audience with pro-Kremlin propaganda and disinformation relevant to the Skripal case." ..."
"... Another document , dated March 11, 2018 – and titled "Sergei Skripal Affair: What if Russia is Responsible?" – contains a "narrative" ..."
"... These included boycotting the 2018 World Cup, starting campaigns to boycott the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, blocking Russian access to the SWIFT international banking system, and banning "RT TV and Sputnik from operating in the UK." ..."
"... "to publicize what has been happening with their Muslim brethren in Crimea since the Russian invasion [sic]" ..."
"... "threat Russia poses." ..."
"... This would certainly explain the evidence-deficient echo chamber that emerged in the aftermath of Skripal's poisoning ..."
"... One of the more intriguing revelations from the fresh leaks is a document from 2015, in which Victor Madeira of the Institute for Statecraft proposes a series of measures targeting Russia, including mass expulsion of diplomats along the lines of 1971's Operation Foot. ..."
"... "the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history." ..."
"... "Makes you think " ..."
"... The new trove of hacked documents also revealed an unexplained link between the II and Skripal himself – a connection made all the more noteworthy by the group's central role in coordinating an evidence-free campaign to blame and punish Moscow for the alleged nerve-agent attack. A document from July 2018 contains contact details for Pablo Miller, Skripal's MI6 recruiter, handler and (conveniently) neighbor in Salisbury. Miller, it seems, had been invited to a function hosted by the Institute. ..."
"... It was already known that Pablo Miller, the MI6 handler of Sergej Skripal, attended # IntegrityInitiative meetings. There is now more material to draw a connection. It is indeed possible that IfS/II initiated the affair. ..."
"... £2,276.80 in July 2018 during the # Skripal # Novichok affair for writing articles on the subjects of poison gas; nerve agents; treatment; nerve agent persistency & # PortonDown @ RTUKproducer 160 1:24 PM - Jan 4, 2019 ..."
"... It's not clear to what degree Miller is or was involved with the group, but his appearance on an Integrity Initiative guest list adds another layer of mystery to a coordinated campaign which sought to impose punishments on Moscow that were drawn up years in advance. ..."
Jan 05, 2019 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The Integrity Initiative, a UK-funded group exposed in leaked files as psyop network, played a key role in monitoring and molding media narratives after the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal, newly-dumped documents reveal. Created by the NATO-affiliated, UK-funded Institute for Statecraft in 2015, the Integrity Initiative was unmasked in November after hackers released documents detailing a web of politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics involved in purportedly fighting "Russian disinformation."

The secretive, government-bankrolled "network of networks" has found itself under scrutiny for smearing UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a Kremlin stooge – ostensibly as part of its noble crusade against anti-Russian disinformation. Now, new leaks show that the organization played a central role in shaping media narratives after Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were mysteriously poisoned in Salisbury last March.

It's notable that many of the draconian anti-Russia measures that the group advocated as far back as 2015 were swiftly implemented following the Skripal affair – even as London refused to back up its finger-pointing with evidence.

Operation Iris

Days after the Skripals were poisoned, the Institute solicited its services to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, offering to "study social media activity in respect of the events that took place, how news spread, and evaluate how the incident is being perceived" in a number of countries.

After receiving the government's blessing, the Integrity Initiative (II) launched 'Operation Iris,' enlisting "global investigative solutions" firm Harod Associates to analyze social media activity related to Skripal.

Kit Klarenberg @KitKlarenberg

What role did # IntegrityInitiative play in the # Skripal affair? I looked for answers from a brief look at the newly released files. More very much to follow....

264 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

However, Harod's confidential report did more than just parse social media reactions to the Skripal affair: It compiled a list of alleged "pro-Russia troll accounts" accused of "bombarding the audience with pro-Kremlin propaganda and disinformation relevant to the Skripal case."

Among those who found themselves listed as nefarious thought-criminals were Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa, and a gentleman from Kent who goes by Ian56 on Twitter.

Ian56 @Ian56789 · Jan 4, 2019 # IntegrityInitiative "

Top Kremlin Trolls" aka Truth Tellers. Congratulations if you made the list.

https://www. pdf-archive.com/2018/12/28/app endix-o---russian-propaganda-troll-sites-for-monitoring/appendix-o---russian-propaganda-troll-sites-for-monitoring.pdf

Neocon Fascist, al-Qaeda Supporting Treasonous Scumbag @ Benimmo is having a laugh with £2m of Taxpayers money. Nimmo should be IN JAIL for Fraud & Treason

Ian56 @Ian56789 # IntegrityInitiative

examples of Logical, Critical Thinking & Objective Analysis by yours truly Ian56.

https://www. pdf-archive.com/2018/12/28/app endix-r---ian56789-example-tweets/appendix-r---ian56789-example-tweets.pdf

They didn't even include my best ones and they didn't show the pic that went with each tweet. I wonder why?

# Skripal # Novichok # FalseFlag pic.twitter.com/Zq8W9iJshk 41 1:39 PM - Jan 4, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy

34 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy
Moon of Alabama @MoonofA · Jan 4, 2019 @ Ian56789 @ MarkSleboda1 @ Malinka1102 @ ValLisitsa @ NinaByzantina

Folks, you are all noted as "trolls" in some of the files of the new # IntegrityInitiative release

https://www. cyberguerrilla.org/blog/operation -integrity-initiative-british-informational-war-against-all-part-4/ https://www. pdf-archive.com/2018/12/28/app endix-o---russian-propaganda-troll-sites-for-monitoring/appendix-o---russian-propaganda-troll-sites-for-monitoring.pdf https://www. pdf-archive.com/2018/12/28/app endix-p---troll-accounts-mutual-connections-graph/appendix-p---troll-accounts-mutual-connections-graph.pdf https://www. pdf-archive.com/2018/12/28/app endix-q---troll-geolocation-graph/appendix-q---troll-geolocation-graph.pdf

Operation 'Integrity Initiative': British informational war against all. Part 4

Greetings! We are Anonymous.We have warned the UK government that it must conduct an honest and transparent investigation into the activity of the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statec cyberguerrilla.org

Ruslana Boshirova @ValLisitsa

Wanna see something funny?

"The Insider" - the same "Insider", that was credited by Bellingcat with "outing Boshirov and Petrovas GRU agents" - has investigated and found me guilty of passing Putin orders to French yellow jackets. I kid you not.

https:// twitter.com/Antifake_Russi a/status/1073112488072437760?s=19 Antifake @Antifake_Russia СМИ выдали за манифест "желтых жилетов" твиты украинской пианистки с ником "Руслана Боширова" https:// theins.ru/antifake/131804 116 3:21 PM - Jan 4, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy

94 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

Pushing a narrative

Another document , dated March 11, 2018 – and titled "Sergei Skripal Affair: What if Russia is Responsible?" – contains a "narrative" of the Skripal incident, which blames Russia and President Vladimir Putin personally, as well as containing a number of recommended actions.

These included boycotting the 2018 World Cup, starting campaigns to boycott the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, blocking Russian access to the SWIFT international banking system, and banning "RT TV and Sputnik from operating in the UK."

Other suggestions included propaganda directed at British Muslims "to publicize what has been happening with their Muslim brethren in Crimea since the Russian invasion [sic]" and getting members of parliament to publicize the "threat Russia poses." It's not clear who the document was drawn up for, but it may have been provided to II-affiliated journalists in the UK and other countries.

This would certainly explain the evidence-deficient echo chamber that emerged in the aftermath of Skripal's poisoning – which the UK and its allies unanimously blamed on Moscow.

Ahead of its time?

One of the more intriguing revelations from the fresh leaks is a document from 2015, in which Victor Madeira of the Institute for Statecraft proposes a series of measures targeting Russia, including mass expulsion of diplomats along the lines of 1971's Operation Foot.

Coincidentally, more than 100 Russian diplomats were expelled from 20 Western countries in an apparently show of solidarity with the UK following the Skripal attack. At the time, UK Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed what she said was "the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history."

Former MP George Galloway noted that the documents, written long before the Salisbury events, also call for the arrest of RT and Sputnik contributors (such as himself), adding: "Makes you think "

George Galloway @georgegalloway

So: # IntegrityInitiative funded by the British Govt called for the arrest of people like me like @ afshinrattansi @ JohnWight1 @ NeilClark66 et al in the event of an "incident" like the # Skripal affair.

Written incidentally before the # Salisbury events. Makes you think...

@ RT_com 688 12:53 PM - Jan 4, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy

606 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

A curious connection

The new trove of hacked documents also revealed an unexplained link between the II and Skripal himself – a connection made all the more noteworthy by the group's central role in coordinating an evidence-free campaign to blame and punish Moscow for the alleged nerve-agent attack. A document from July 2018 contains contact details for Pablo Miller, Skripal's MI6 recruiter, handler and (conveniently) neighbor in Salisbury. Miller, it seems, had been invited to a function hosted by the Institute.

Moon of Alabama @MoonofA

It was already known that Pablo Miller, the MI6 handler of Sergej Skripal, attended # IntegrityInitiative meetings. There is now more material to draw a connection. It is indeed possible that IfS/II initiated the affair.

# SergeiSkripal # Disinformation # Propaganda # InformationWar 283 2:38 PM - Jan 4, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy

241 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy
Fvnk @WhatTheFvnk

EXPLOSIVE: @ DanKaszeta of @ Strongpoint_UK invoiced @ InitIntegrity # IntegrityInitiative

£2,276.80 in July 2018 during the # Skripal # Novichok affair for writing articles on the subjects of poison gas; nerve agents; treatment; nerve agent persistency & # PortonDown @ RTUKproducer 160 1:24 PM - Jan 4, 2019

188 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

It's not clear to what degree Miller is or was involved with the group, but his appearance on an Integrity Initiative guest list adds another layer of mystery to a coordinated campaign which sought to impose punishments on Moscow that were drawn up years in advance.

Read also:

[Jan 08, 2019] No, wealth isn t created at the top. It is merely devoured there by Rutger Bregman

Highly recommended!
Financialization is a new type of racket...
Notable quotes:
"... Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook ... a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they're sucking the rest of us dry @rcbregman ..."
"... 'A big part of the modern banking sector is essentially a giant tapeworm gorging on a sick body' ..."
"... This piece is about one of the biggest taboos of our times. About a truth that is seldom acknowledged, and yet – on reflection – cannot be denied. The truth that we are living in an inverse welfare state. These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have "made it". By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurialism that are helping to advance the whole world. ..."
"... To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our "human capital" in economic terms) to create something new, whether that's a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth. ..."
"... But there is also a second way to make money. That's the rentier way : by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others' expense, using his power to claim economic benefit. ..."
"... For those who know their history, the term "rentier" conjures associations with heirs to estates, such as the 19th century's large class of useless rentiers, well-described by the French economist Thomas Piketty . These days, that class is making a comeback. (Ironically, however, conservative politicians adamantly defend the rentier's right to lounge around, deeming inheritance tax to be the height of unfairness.) But there are also other ways of rent-seeking. From Wall Street to Silicon Valley , from big pharma to the lobby machines in Washington and Westminster, zoom in and you'll see rentiers everywhere. ..."
"... It may take quite a mental leap to see our economy as a system that shows solidarity with the rich rather than the poor. So I'll start with the clearest illustration of modern freeloaders at the top: bankers. Studies conducted by the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements – not exactly leftist thinktanks – have revealed that much of the financial sector has become downright parasitic. How instead of creating wealth, they gobble it up whole. ..."
"... In other words, a big part of the modern banking sector is essentially a giant tapeworm gorging on a sick body. It's not creating anything new, merely sucking others dry. Bankers have found a hundred and one ways to accomplish this. The basic mechanism, however, is always the same: offer loans like it's going out of style, which in turn inflates the price of things like houses and shares, then earn a tidy percentage off those overblown prices (in the form of interest, commissions, brokerage fees, or what have you), and if the shit hits the fan, let Uncle Sam mop it up. ..."
"... Bankers are the most obvious class of closet freeloaders, but they are certainly not alone. Many a lawyer and an accountant wields a similar revenue model. Take tax evasion . Untold hardworking, academically degreed professionals make a good living at the expense of the populations of other countries. Or take the tide of privatisations over the past three decades, which have been all but a carte blanche for rentiers. One of the richest people in the world, Carlos Slim , earned his millions by obtaining a monopoly of the Mexican telecom market and then hiking prices sky high. The same goes for the Russian oligarchs who rose after the Berlin Wall fell , who bought up valuable state-owned assets for song to live off the rent. ..."
"... Even paragons of modern progress like Apple, Amazon, Google , Facebook, Uber and Airbnb are woven from the fabric of rentierism. Firstly, because they owe their existence to government discoveries and inventions (every sliver of fundamental technology in the iPhone, from the internet to batteries and from touchscreens to voice recognition, was invented by researchers on the government payroll). And second, because they tie themselves into knots to avoid paying taxes, retaining countless bankers, lawyers, and lobbyists for this very purpose. ..."
"... Even more important, many of these companies function as "natural monopolies", operating in a positive feedback loop of increasing growth and value as more and more people contribute free content to their platforms. Companies like this are incredibly difficult to compete with, because as they grow bigger, they only get stronger. ..."
"... Most of Mark Zuckerberg's income is just rent collected off the millions of picture and video posts that we give away daily for free. And sure, we have fun doing it. But we also have no alternative – after all, everybody is on Facebook these days. Zuckerberg has a website that advertisers are clamouring to get onto, and that doesn't come cheap. Don't be fooled by endearing pilots with free internet in Zambia. Stripped down to essentials, it's an ordinary ad agency. In fact, in 2015 Google and Facebook pocketed an astounding 64% of all online ad revenue in the US. ..."
"... Rentierism is, in essence, a question of power. That the Sun King Louis XIV was able to exploit millions was purely because he had the biggest army in Europe. It's no different for the modern rentier. He's got the law, politicians and journalists squarely in his court. That's why bankers get fined peanuts for preposterous fraud, while a mother on government assistance gets penalised within an inch of her life if she checks the wrong box. ..."
"... The biggest tragedy of all, however, is that the rentier economy is gobbling up society's best and brightest. Where once upon a time Ivy League graduates chose careers in science, public service or education, these days they are more likely to opt for banks, law firms, or trumped up ad agencies like Google and Facebook. When you think about it, it's insane. We are forking over billions in taxes to help our brightest minds on and up the corporate ladder so they can learn how to score ever more outrageous handouts. ..."
"... One thing is certain: countries where rentiers gain the upper hand gradually fall into decline. Just look at the Roman Empire. Or Venice in the 15th century. Look at the Dutch Republic in the 18th century. Like a parasite stunts a child's growth, so the rentier drains a country of its vitality. ..."
Mar 30, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Rutger Bregman

Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook ... a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they're sucking the rest of us dry @rcbregman

Comments 890

'A big part of the modern banking sector is essentially a giant tapeworm gorging on a sick body'.

This piece is about one of the biggest taboos of our times. About a truth that is seldom acknowledged, and yet – on reflection – cannot be denied. The truth that we are living in an inverse welfare state. These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have "made it". By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurialism that are helping to advance the whole world.

Now, we may disagree about the extent to which success deserves to be rewarded – the philosophy of the left is that the strongest shoulders should bear the heaviest burden, while the right fears high taxes will blunt enterprise – but across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top.

So entrenched is this assumption that it's even embedded in our language. When economists talk about "productivity", what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like " welfare state ", "redistribution" and "solidarity", we're implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.

In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as "successful" and "innovative" are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it's a non-issue.

To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our "human capital" in economic terms) to create something new, whether that's a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.

But there is also a second way to make money. That's the rentier way : by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others' expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.

'From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, zoom in and you'll see rentiers everywhere.'

For those who know their history, the term "rentier" conjures associations with heirs to estates, such as the 19th century's large class of useless rentiers, well-described by the French economist Thomas Piketty . These days, that class is making a comeback. (Ironically, however, conservative politicians adamantly defend the rentier's right to lounge around, deeming inheritance tax to be the height of unfairness.) But there are also other ways of rent-seeking. From Wall Street to Silicon Valley , from big pharma to the lobby machines in Washington and Westminster, zoom in and you'll see rentiers everywhere.

There is no longer a sharp dividing line between working and rentiering. In fact, the modern-day rentier often works damn hard. Countless people in the financial sector, for example, apply great ingenuity and effort to amass "rent" on their wealth. Even the big innovations of our age – businesses like Facebook and Uber – are interested mainly in expanding the rentier economy. The problem with most rich people therefore is not that they are coach potatoes. Many a CEO toils 80 hours a week to multiply his allowance. It's hardly surprising, then, that they feel wholly entitled to their wealth.

It may take quite a mental leap to see our economy as a system that shows solidarity with the rich rather than the poor. So I'll start with the clearest illustration of modern freeloaders at the top: bankers. Studies conducted by the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements – not exactly leftist thinktanks – have revealed that much of the financial sector has become downright parasitic. How instead of creating wealth, they gobble it up whole.

Don't get me wrong. Banks can help to gauge risks and get money where it is needed, both of which are vital to a well-functioning economy. But consider this: economists tell us that the optimum level of total private-sector debt is 100% of GDP. Based on this equation, if the financial sector only grows, it won't equal more wealth, but less. So here's the bad news. In the United Kingdom, private-sector debt is now at 157.5% . In the United States, the figure is 188.8% .

In other words, a big part of the modern banking sector is essentially a giant tapeworm gorging on a sick body. It's not creating anything new, merely sucking others dry. Bankers have found a hundred and one ways to accomplish this. The basic mechanism, however, is always the same: offer loans like it's going out of style, which in turn inflates the price of things like houses and shares, then earn a tidy percentage off those overblown prices (in the form of interest, commissions, brokerage fees, or what have you), and if the shit hits the fan, let Uncle Sam mop it up.

The financial innovation concocted by all the math whizzes working in modern banking (instead of at universities or companies that contribute to real prosperity) basically boils down to maximizing the total amount of debt. And debt, of course, is a means of earning rent. So for those who believe that pay ought to be proportionate to the value of work, the conclusion we have to draw is that many bankers should be earning a negative salary; a fine, if you will, for destroying more wealth than they create.

Bankers are the most obvious class of closet freeloaders, but they are certainly not alone. Many a lawyer and an accountant wields a similar revenue model. Take tax evasion . Untold hardworking, academically degreed professionals make a good living at the expense of the populations of other countries. Or take the tide of privatisations over the past three decades, which have been all but a carte blanche for rentiers. One of the richest people in the world, Carlos Slim , earned his millions by obtaining a monopoly of the Mexican telecom market and then hiking prices sky high. The same goes for the Russian oligarchs who rose after the Berlin Wall fell , who bought up valuable state-owned assets for song to live off the rent.

But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking.

Take the pharmaceutical industry. Companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer regularly unveil new drugs, yet most real medical breakthroughs are made quietly at government-subsidised labs. Private companies mostly manufacture medications that resemble what we've already got. They get it patented and, with a hefty dose of marketing, a legion of lawyers, and a strong lobby, can live off the profits for years. In other words, the vast revenues of the pharmaceutical industry are the result of a tiny pinch of innovation and fistfuls of rent.

Even paragons of modern progress like Apple, Amazon, Google , Facebook, Uber and Airbnb are woven from the fabric of rentierism. Firstly, because they owe their existence to government discoveries and inventions (every sliver of fundamental technology in the iPhone, from the internet to batteries and from touchscreens to voice recognition, was invented by researchers on the government payroll). And second, because they tie themselves into knots to avoid paying taxes, retaining countless bankers, lawyers, and lobbyists for this very purpose.

Even more important, many of these companies function as "natural monopolies", operating in a positive feedback loop of increasing growth and value as more and more people contribute free content to their platforms. Companies like this are incredibly difficult to compete with, because as they grow bigger, they only get stronger.

Aptly characterising this "platform capitalism" in an article, Tom Goodwin writes : "Uber, the world's largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world's most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world's largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate."

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'Every sliver of fundamental technology in the iPhone, from the internet to batteries and from touchscreens to voice recognition, was invented by researchers on the government payroll.' Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

So what do these companies own? A platform. A platform that lots and lots of people want to use. Why? First and foremost, because they're cool and they're fun – and in that respect, they do offer something of value. However, the main reason why we're all happy to hand over free content to Facebook is because all of our friends are on Facebook too, because their friends are on Facebook because their friends are on Facebook.

Most of Mark Zuckerberg's income is just rent collected off the millions of picture and video posts that we give away daily for free. And sure, we have fun doing it. But we also have no alternative – after all, everybody is on Facebook these days. Zuckerberg has a website that advertisers are clamouring to get onto, and that doesn't come cheap. Don't be fooled by endearing pilots with free internet in Zambia. Stripped down to essentials, it's an ordinary ad agency. In fact, in 2015 Google and Facebook pocketed an astounding 64% of all online ad revenue in the US.

But don't Google and Facebook make anything useful at all? Sure they do. The irony, however, is that their best innovations only make the rentier economy even bigger. They employ scores of programmers to create new algorithms so that we'll all click on more and more ads. Uber has usurped the whole taxi sector just as Airbnb has upended the hotel industry and Amazon has overrun the book trade. The bigger such platforms grow the more powerful they become, enabling the lords of these digital feudalities to demand more and more rent.

Think back a minute to the definition of a rentier: someone who uses their control over something that already exists in order to increase their own wealth. The feudal lord of medieval times did that by building a tollgate along a road and making everybody who passed by pay. Today's tech giants are doing basically the same thing, but transposed to the digital highway. Using technology funded by taxpayers, they build tollgates between you and other people's free content and all the while pay almost no tax on their earnings.

This is the so-called innovation that has Silicon Valley gurus in raptures: ever bigger platforms that claim ever bigger handouts. So why do we accept this? Why does most of the population work itself to the bone to support these rentiers?

I think there are two answers. Firstly, the modern rentier knows to keep a low profile. There was a time when everybody knew who was freeloading. The king, the church, and the aristocrats controlled almost all the land and made peasants pay dearly to farm it. But in the modern economy, making rentierism work is a great deal more complicated. How many people can explain a credit default swap , or a collateralised debt obligation ? Or the revenue model behind those cute Google Doodles? And don't the folks on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley work themselves to the bone, too? Well then, they must be doing something useful, right?

Maybe not. The typical workday of Goldman Sachs' CEO may be worlds away from that of King Louis XIV, but their revenue models both essentially revolve around obtaining the biggest possible handouts. "The world's most powerful investment bank," wrote the journalist Matt Taibbi about Goldman Sachs , "is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."

But far from squids and vampires, the average rich freeloader manages to masquerade quite successfully as a decent hard worker. He goes to great lengths to present himself as a "job creator" and an "investor" who "earns" his income by virtue of his high "productivity". Most economists, journalists, and politicians from left to right are quite happy to swallow this story. Time and again language is twisted around to cloak funneling and exploitation as creation and generation.

However, it would be wrong to think that all this is part of some ingenious conspiracy. Many modern rentiers have convinced even themselves that they are bona fide value creators. When current Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein was asked about the purpose of his job, his straight-faced answer was that he is " doing God's work ". The Sun King would have approved.

The second thing that keeps rentiers safe is even more insidious. We're all wannabe rentiers. They have made millions of people complicit in their revenue model. Consider this: What are our financial sector's two biggest cash cows? Answer: the housing market and pensions. Both are markets in which many of us are deeply invested.

Recent decades have seen more and more people contract debts to buy a home, and naturally it's in their interest if house prices continue to scale new heights (read: burst bubble upon bubble). The same goes for pensions. Over the past few decades we've all scrimped and saved up a mountainous pension piggy bank. Now pension funds are under immense pressure to ally with the biggest exploiters in order to ensure they pay out enough to please their investors.

The fact of the matter is that feudalism has been democratised. To a lesser or greater extent, we are all depending on handouts. En masse, we have been made complicit in this exploitation by the rentier elite, resulting in a political covenant between the rich rent-seekers and the homeowners and retirees.

Don't get me wrong, most homeowners and retirees are not benefiting from this situation. On the contrary, the banks are bleeding them far beyond the extent to which they themselves profit from their houses and pensions. Still, it's hard to point fingers at a kleptomaniac when you have sticky fingers too.

So why is this happening? The answer can be summed up in three little words: Because it can.

Rentierism is, in essence, a question of power. That the Sun King Louis XIV was able to exploit millions was purely because he had the biggest army in Europe. It's no different for the modern rentier. He's got the law, politicians and journalists squarely in his court. That's why bankers get fined peanuts for preposterous fraud, while a mother on government assistance gets penalised within an inch of her life if she checks the wrong box.

The biggest tragedy of all, however, is that the rentier economy is gobbling up society's best and brightest. Where once upon a time Ivy League graduates chose careers in science, public service or education, these days they are more likely to opt for banks, law firms, or trumped up ad agencies like Google and Facebook. When you think about it, it's insane. We are forking over billions in taxes to help our brightest minds on and up the corporate ladder so they can learn how to score ever more outrageous handouts.

One thing is certain: countries where rentiers gain the upper hand gradually fall into decline. Just look at the Roman Empire. Or Venice in the 15th century. Look at the Dutch Republic in the 18th century. Like a parasite stunts a child's growth, so the rentier drains a country of its vitality.

What innovation remains in a rentier economy is mostly just concerned with further bolstering that very same economy. This may explain why the big dreams of the 1970s, like flying cars, curing cancer, and colonising Mars, have yet to be realised, while bankers and ad-makers have at their fingertips technologies a thousand times more powerful.

Yet it doesn't have to be this way. Tollgates can be torn down, financial products can be banned, tax havens dismantled, lobbies tamed, and patents rejected. Higher taxes on the ultra-rich can make rentierism less attractive, precisely because society's biggest freeloaders are at the very top of the pyramid. And we can more fairly distribute our earnings on land, oil, and innovation through a system of, say, employee shares, or a universal basic income .

But such a revolution will require a wholly different narrative about the origins of our wealth. It will require ditching the old-fashioned faith in "solidarity" with a miserable underclass that deserves to be borne aloft on the market-level salaried shoulders of society's strongest. All we need to do is to give real hard-working people what they deserve.

And, yes, by that I mean the waste collectors, the nurses, the cleaners – theirs are the shoulders that carry us all.

• Pre-order Utopia for Realists and How Can We Get There by Rutger Bregman

• Translated from the original Dutch by Elizabeth Manton

See also:

[Jan 07, 2019] How the BBC Manufactured 'Hate' by Jack Krak

Notable quotes:
"... Editor's Introduction: This article is about events that took place in 2012, but anyone who follows the news closely knows that nothing has changed. This is a remarkable account by someone who had an inside look at deliberate falsifications by what was once one of the most respected names in journalism. ..."
"... The program has disappeared from YouTube; it appears to be available only this much less trafficked site . But when it was broadcast, it made national headlines in Poland. The country's biggest television channel took the extraordinary step of broadcasting it just days later, dubbed in Polish. ..."
"... Many Poles were outraged at what they recognized as a vicious smear. It is worth noting that within a week or so, every single person ..."
"... Even Jacek Purski, director of Never Again , an organization dedicated to monitoring racism in Poland, says the program was one-sided . When a "watchdog" group calls a television program "one-sided," you can be sure it was outrageous. ..."
"... The Polish government demanded a clarification from the BBC, and even the foreign minister complained. Newspapers throughout Europe expressed skepticism, and reader comments left online were overwhelmingly outraged. The BBC took the very unusual step of publicly responding to criticism ..."
"... Then the BBC got a huge break from Barack Obama, of all people. During a ceremony at the White House honoring someone who had survived Auschwitz, Mr. Obama referred to it as a "Polish death camp" rather than a Nazi death camp in occupied Poland. Angry demands for an apology from the US government pushed "Stadiums of Hate" off the front page. After that, the relentless media cycle quickly relegated the whole affair to yesterday's news. ..."
"... the BBC seems to have taken pains to get copies off the internet. ..."
"... Panorama ..."
"... Mr. Krak does not expect to get any more work from the BBC. ..."
"... The Grauniad is in the same business. https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/dec/09/raheem-sterling-newspapers-fuelling-racism-alleged-abuse-chelsea ..."
Jan 07, 2019 | www.unz.com
JACK KRAK DECEMBER 28, 2018 4,500 WORDS

Editor's Introduction: This article is about events that took place in 2012, but anyone who follows the news closely knows that nothing has changed. This is a remarkable account by someone who had an inside look at deliberate falsifications by what was once one of the most respected names in journalism.

In May of 2012, the BBC Panorama program broadcast a documentary about "racism" in the host countries of the 2012 European soccer championship: Poland and Ukraine. Those two countries were about to stage the second biggest event in the sport after the World Cup, and legions of journalists had arrived to cover it. The purpose of the BBC program -- aired strategically one week before the opening match -- was to argue that neither country was qualified to host the tournament because of their "hateful" soccer cultures. The message: All-white countries are hotbeds of violent racism, and non-white fans and players would be in danger.

I know a lot about the Panorama program because I helped produce it. I saw what is arguably the world's most famous and trusted media organization fabricate a false, sensationalist story. Through outright distortion -- and by using only those pieces that fit its predetermined views -- the BBC "documented" the vicious attitudes of people who live in countries that are not sufficiently "diverse." The program had a scripted conclusion before a single camera was turned on.

Panorama is the BBC's flagship investigative program. It is the longest-running such production in the world, having been on the air since 1953. The closest thing to it on American television is probably 60 Minutes . Panorama enjoys a reputation for hard-hitting and serious investigative journalism.

About three months before the tournament began, a BBC journalist got in touch with me through mutual media contacts and asked me to help with the part to be filmed in Poland. He said the program would be about aspects of the football culture -- hooliganism, trouble at stadiums, etc. -- that could cause problems for players and fans alike. This topic is something of a hobby of mine, and I have followed it carefully during my time in Poland. The BBC wanted me to be a "fixer" -- the person on the ground who arranges things in advance for the production team. That meant setting up interviews, scouting filming locations, getting press passes and access to events, arranging transport, and a hundred other odds and ends. I was also expected to contribute ideas based on my knowledge.

I suspected right from the start that they wanted things that make for good television rather than a true investigation -- conflict, tension, etc. -- but I was somewhat reassured because this was the BBC. Despite my reservations, I never thought they would make the television equivalent of sensationalist trashy tabloid headlines.

The producer and a cameraman made their first trip to Poland in March 2012. They had asked me to arrange an interview with Aviram Baruchian, an Israeli who played with Polonia Warsaw. They said the interview was supposed to be about "his experience as a football player in Poland," but the fact that they asked for him by name suggested they assumed he would have horror stories about being mistreated by fans because he is Jewish.

The press officer for Polonia was very accommodating, something I found again and again when dealing with officials from football clubs. People automatically trusted the BBC and went to extraordinary lengths to give them what they wanted.

I met the production crew for the first time the day after the interview. When I asked how it went, they joked about how useless it was. I was confused by their dismissive attitude and felt a bit responsible, but they told me not to worry. I learned later from the Polonia media spokesman that Mr. Baruchian had nothing but appreciative things to say about the fans and his experience in Warsaw -- which is exactly why he isn't in the final program.

There is a curious "Jewish" angle to Polish football that is easily misunderstood. Fans chant nasty things about Jews, but, strange as it may seem, it's not accurate to call it serious anti-Semitism.

Many of the older clubs originally had or are thought to have had Jewish financial backing. This is almost certainly true of the team in Lodz -- called Widzew Łódź -- since that city had a large Jewish population before the Second World War. These origins have become a source of cheap name calling for people who seize on any excuse to trade insults. When fans chant "death to the Jews," it sounds shocking -- and it certainly is brutish -- but this is mainly a way of attacking the other team rather than Jews.

There has been a similar situation with the London football club Tottenham Hotspur, which has had Jewish owners. Fans of rival clubs started chanting about the "Jewish" team. Tottenham supporters eventually embraced this and some even call themselves the " Yid Army ." The fans of one Polish club, Cracovia, were in the same position and did the same thing, now proudly calling themselves the "Jewish Sons of Bitches." When I told the BBC about that, they weren't interested.

Needless to say, there is a lot of anti-Jewish chanting in the final Panorama program, but it is presented without explanation. It falsely makes the fans look as though they want to send Jews to the ovens.

The Star of David is now used so much in soccer graffiti that a Polish teacher I met told me that the children in his class associate it with the sport. He also had a friend from Israel, so this seemed like gold for the BBC: a poignant combination of children, the star of David, racism, and a chance to talk to another Israeli and get what they missed from Aviram Baruchian.

I set up the interview, but it was another disaster. Both the teacher and his Israeli friend said that, yes, while there certainly are boorish people, just as there are in every country, most Poles are very nice etc. Again and again, the Israeli put a positive spin on things, even when asked melodramatic questions about the Second World War. It was another "useless" interview that didn't make the final cut. I remember that when we got back to the van everyone burst out laughing about what a complete waste of time it had been.

The first actual match we went to film was Legia Warsaw vs. Polonia Warsaw. This contest had an excellent chance of including all the things that make for great television, and it was before I understood what the real focus of the program was, so I was sure the BBC crew would not be disappointed. For about five hours, they filmed an army of police in full riot gear, flares and firecrackers being thrown around the stands and onto the field, an enormous banner unfurled by the home Legia fans declaring that Warsaw belonged to them, and a reply spelled out by the small but brave contingent of visiting Polonia supporters, who held up cards to form one big reply: "FUCK LEGIA." There was a hooligan with a bullhorn on an elevated platform and countless examples of a well-known hand gesture delivered straight into the camera. A section of the stadium was burned black by a flare that set fire to a banner.

The entire contingent of Polonia fans was still in that blackened section after the match, surrounded by hundreds of security guards who would escort them out of the stadium perhaps an hour or two later. This was to minimize the chance of contact with Legia hooligans who might be waiting for them. It was easy to capture the violent atmosphere of the game, and I was confident the production team was happy. As we made our way back to the van, I asked the assistant producer if he was pleased. He made a face that said "not really," and then out of nowhere asked, "Did you hear any racist or anti-Semitic chants?" He was visibly disappointed when I said I hadn't.

Boring

The lead producer said he was more or less satisfied with the "visuals" but was disappointed with the "substance." He asked again about something I had been unable to do: get one of the more committed hooligan types to go on camera. This time he explicitly said he wanted someone involved in "right-wing politics" as well as hooliganism.

I said it wasn't easy to get inside a violent crime syndicate. The higher-ups in any hooligan organization are wanted by the police, and anyone further down is too scared to speak to the media for fear of the "leaders." Believe me, anyone who goes on camera and says he's a hooligan is either a wannabe or gets a very personal lesson in media relations from his former friends. I did the best I could, striking up awkward and even dangerous conversations on dark streets, and I visited dodgy clubs in four different cities, but I never delivered. The closest I got was a conversation with the head of one club's "supporters organization," who demanded a "fee" for "security." To its credit, the BBC refused to pay.

Time to get serious

The team went back to London, and I continued to look into leads. I began to realize that what they wanted was bananas thrown at black players, Nazi salutes from the stands, and maybe some brutal beatings to add color.

In a phone conversation with the assistant producer at the end of March, I detected a note of urgency and in April, I got an e-mail message from him that said, "Our Executive Producer, Karen Wightman [who was in charge of the entire Panorama series], wants us to film black players and their experience of racism in Poland as a priority."

The BBC had dropped all pretense about what they were after -- at least with me -- though they kept up the charade of a neutral investigation with others.

The crew decided to come see a match in the city of Łódź between ŁKS Łódź and Widzew Łódź. Like the previous game in Warsaw, this was a derby, that is to say, a contest between two clubs in the same city. Derbies typically have the most intense atmosphere, and thus an elevated chance of the kind of incident the BBC was looking for.

Widzew had two Nigerian players, Princewill Okachi and Ugo Ukah, and the BBC wanted first-hand accounts of mistreatment. Mr. Ukah was of particular interest because he had played for Queens Park Rangers in London and could compare his treatment in diverse, tolerant, multicultural England with that of all-white, wicked Poland. Also, there would be two black men on the visiting team in a contest famous for its wild fans. Everything was lined up perfectly to provide the missing "substance."

I asked the BBC specifically what they wanted me to tell the press officer of Widzew and they told me to say we were interested in Poland's preparation for the Euro 2012 tournament. Someone else on the production team, who had also been in contact with Widzew by e-mail, sent me this note:

They don't know at this stage we want to specifically talk about racism in Polish football and their [the black players'] own personal experiences of abuse, so be prepared to schmuz [sic] and impress.

"At this stage" was after the club had agreed to make the players available -- on Easter Sunday, no less, to fit our tight schedule. We were supposed to "schmuz and impress" rather than be forthright about the reason for the interview. I remember wondering how often the BBC gets access and interviews under false pretenses. To my shame, I was helping set the trap.

Łódź was the BBC's last chance to find anti-black "racism." The broadcast date for the final program was already booked and Panorama was fully committed to a headline-grabbing account of the dark, racist side of what was soon to be Europe's biggest sporting stage. But they had no racism.

It was in Łódź that the host, Chris Rogers , finally parachuted into his own program. He was the one who had sold the BBC on the idea months earlier, and the entire Panorama episode is presented as "his" investigation. Mr. Rogers made something of a name for himself in 2007 with an undercover investigation of Romania's orphanages, and he has been dining out on it ever since.

He flew in to interview the two Nigerian players and to do PTC's (pieces to camera) the following day at the match to add to footage shot in Warsaw without him. He came across as a typical media type who was good at fake sincerity and spent a little too much time on his hair.

We went to the Widzew Łódź office to interview Mr. Okachi and Mr. Ukah. Mr. Rogers started with softball questions, such as how long the players had been in Poland, where else they had played professionally, etc. He turned things up a notch by asking about the reception they had received in Poland. Both players gave positive answers. Time and again Rogers dangled the carrot and time and again no one reached for it. Suddenly Rogers put on his best journalist Serious Face, turned to Mr. Ukah, and said "Why has Polish football been hijacked by racism?"

There was nothing in the interview up to that point to justify that question. It was so unexpected that Mr. Ukah was taken aback for a moment before he was finally able to give a suitably noncommittal answer. The next few minutes consisted of both Mr. Ukah and Mr. Okachi repeatedly stating that though they had heard of things happening to other people, they had never heard or seen anything that could be interpreted as racist abuse in Poland.

This went on for a few more minutes until both players had run out of nice ways to say "no" to the same question. Mr. Rogers had no choice but to wrap it up.

"For the hundredth time: No."

The players left quickly to enjoy what was left of Easter. I distinctly remember Mr. Rogers and the producer agreeing that they had "material to work with."

If you watch the final version of the program , you will see how they "worked" with it. They made it sound as though the players were talking about horrible things that happened to them . I was in the room the whole time, paying careful attention, and those bits were taken from rambling answers they gave about things they had heard happened to others . I was amazed at how editing and voice-overs transformed the interview into something I couldn't recognize. Needless to say, those were the only parts of the interview that were used.

I heard it. Trust me. Let's go.

The next day was the match. After filming the police using water cannons on fans, we went inside the stadium. We set up a camera behind one of the goals and a microphone at midfield in front the home fans. Mr. Rogers instructed me to be on the lookout for "anything good," and by then I knew what he meant. He also told me to keep an eye on the Nigerian players and look for any nastiness from the crowd. He constantly disappeared to sneak cigarettes and text his friends in England. He wasn't even there for the kickoff. When he finally reappeared he asked if I had seen or heard anything useful. When I said I hadn't, he disappeared again.

About 30 minutes in to the first half, we were still waiting for "something good," and Mr. Rogers was visibly anxious. He paced back and forth, checking his phone more than he watched the crowd or the match. Once, just to break the silence between us as we stood on the sidelines or maybe to vent his frustration, he actually said out loud "Come on! Sing some Jewish songs!"

At halftime, the five of us who were there got together to trade notes and suggestions, and we decided to switch places to maybe improve our "luck." I was with the producer and one cameraman; the other cameraman was high above the crowd on the opposite stand. Chris Rogers was . . . somewhere.

The second half kicked off and we went back to work. There was plenty of thuggishness in the stands -- you see a lot of it in the final version -- but still not what they wanted. There was a palpable feeling of frustration and hopelessness as another 30 or so minutes passed.

That's when Chris Rogers walked up and said he had heard monkey sounds coming from the crowd. No one knew quite what to say, but this certainly wasn't greeted with the kind of relief and interest you would have expected. For a moment it seemed as though we were just waiting for someone to say "Um . . . really?" but we just waited for Mr. Rogers to tell us exactly what happened. All he said was that the microphone at midfield had probably picked it up, and he told the producer to get ready to do a PTC about it. Thirty second later he was in Serious Face mode, intoning that he had just heard monkey sounds directed at a black player. I kept waiting for him to tell our cameramen what part of the stands the sounds came from so they could zoom in on it. Surely he wanted to watch those fans in the hopes that they would do it again, this time on camera?

No. Chris Rogers made no effort to get visual material for what was to be a key moment in a television program. And it wasn't as if we were in a massive stadium with 60,000 people, where it would be hard to pinpoint where sounds came from. The photo below is of the stadium, and the picture captures about 80 percent of the length of the stand from which the monkey sounds allegedly came. The banner says "This is how we have fun in Łódź." Not one of the BBC crew said, "OK, Chris, where should we look?"

The recording from the microphone is in the final version of the program, and I challenge anyone to detect what Chris Rogers claims to have heard. You might be at a loss to describe exactly what the noise is, but "monkey sounds" is way, way down on the list of possibilities.

In the broadcast version, this part of the recording is played over a shot they had taken earlier in the match of Ugo Ukah attacking the ball. However, the audio is from a microphone planted at the edge of the field. When they went back and "found" those sounds, they had no idea what was going on in the match at that moment. But in the program, the sounds start the moment Mr. Ukah is on the ball. The BBC took the audio from one moment and played it over a video from another moment. I would expect that from the North Korean press, not the BBC.

When we packed up to leave, we had to walk through the part of the stadium where the post-match press conference was to be held. It hadn't started, but print and video journalists were waiting. The BBC producer saw this, and asked Mr. Rogers if we should stop and ask about what he had heard at the match. What more perfect, made-for-television scene could there be? He could have walked into the after-match press conference and announced dramatically, "I'm Chris Rogers from the BBC and I want to know how it's possible that a black player was racially abused in a country that will be hosting the European Championships." That would be the dramatic moment they were looking for. But no, Mr. Rogers said we needn't waste the time. He wanted to go back to the hotel for dinner. He did not speak with Ugo Ukah after the match or the following day while we were still in Lodz.

Mr. Ukah never said anything about hearing monkey noises. No player from either team ever did. Nor did any of the many journalists from the Polish media, nor did a German television crew that was there.

I cannot say what Chris Rogers did or did not hear. However, I do know that in a stadium of around 5,000 people the only person who claims to have heard monkey sounds was the one person who flew to Poland for three days with the sole purpose of finding "racism."

The final version of the program stretches the truth in other ways. For example, Mr. Rogers says he has spent months on location studying local football culture, whereas he spent just a few days in the country. There is also a scene in which a British "anti-racist" named Nick Lowles is shown scanning the crowd with binoculars, looking for "hate." The voiceover says that "he has flown out to see what British fans can expect in Poland," and he obligingly gives an interview. The program makes it look as though the camera crew just stumbled onto him in the stands. In fact, the BBC flew him in just for that scene.

The team certainly didn't mind spending money. I was with the producer when he got a message from London telling him that they were well over budget. He said they had spent around £150,000 pounds (about $230,000). They stayed in expensive hotels and never thought about costs. I was amazed by how much they spent in restaurants and hotel bars. Remember: This is the BBC, to which mandatory payments of £150 pounds a year must be made if you own a television set in Britain. It is a criminal offense not to pay.

The results

Just days before the broadcast, the BBC showed some of the footage to Sol Campbell, son of Jamaican immigrants and former captain of the English national football team. They happily filmed him claiming -- predictably -- to be shocked. He said it was enough to convince him not to go to the tournament and to warn other non-whites not to go.

This was brilliant publicity for Panorama . Polish and Ukrainian media picked up Mr. Campbell's comments, which pushed "racism" to the forefront of any British discussion of the tournament. The program cast a pall over the tournament before the first match was even played, and put a small army of journalists on alert, scanning the stands for "hate."

I watched the show when it first aired at the end of May. I had been dreading it, but my dread turned to shock when I heard what the episode was called: "Stadiums of Hate ." They had come up with a suitably provocative title for their contrived, deliberately misleading fairy tale about a football culture permeated with vile racism.

The program has disappeared from YouTube; it appears to be available only this much less trafficked site . But when it was broadcast, it made national headlines in Poland. The country's biggest television channel took the extraordinary step of broadcasting it just days later, dubbed in Polish.

Many Poles were outraged at what they recognized as a vicious smear. It is worth noting that within a week or so, every single person who appeared on camera in the Polish part of the program claimed publicly to have been misrepresented. This includes Jonathan Ornstein, the director of the Jewish Community Center of Krakow. I was present for the interview with him, and he gave thoughtful answers to all of Chris Rogers' questions, always emphasizing that ugly graffiti and idiots making trouble at stadiums do not represent larger Polish attitudes. In the program, however, he seems to be leading the charge against horrible, hateful, anti-Semitic Poland. Mr. Ornstein told me personally how disgusted he was by how his interview was cut apart and stitched back together.

Even Jacek Purski, director of Never Again , an organization dedicated to monitoring racism in Poland, says the program was one-sided . When a "watchdog" group calls a television program "one-sided," you can be sure it was outrageous.

The Polish government demanded a clarification from the BBC, and even the foreign minister complained. Newspapers throughout Europe expressed skepticism, and reader comments left online were overwhelmingly outraged. The BBC took the very unusual step of publicly responding to criticism .

Then the BBC got a huge break from Barack Obama, of all people. During a ceremony at the White House honoring someone who had survived Auschwitz, Mr. Obama referred to it as a "Polish death camp" rather than a Nazi death camp in occupied Poland. Angry demands for an apology from the US government pushed "Stadiums of Hate" off the front page. After that, the relentless media cycle quickly relegated the whole affair to yesterday's news.

Today, criticism of the "Stadiums of Hate" episode takes up more space on the Wikipedia page for Panorama than any other episode in its history. As the doubts and questions mounted, the BBC seems to have taken pains to get copies off the internet. There are any number of other full episodes of Panorama on YouTube , but not this one.

I was the least important man on the production crew and had no editorial influence, but I still felt responsible the episode that millions of people ultimately watched. At the height of the furor I got in touch with the Polish and foreign press. Their reaction was always the same: intense initial interest that quickly faded after a better understanding of what was involved. The explanation I heard over and over was that attacking a program that attacked racism looks like you're defending racism.

One editor of a major UK newspaper told me it was hard to attack Panorama without a smoking gun. When I asked for an example, he said one would be someone who admitted he was paid by the BBC to pretend to be a "racist" hooligan. The man seemed jaded and not at all surprised by what I told him; he also said he simply could not risk coming across as defending "racism."

As time goes by, doubts about the program's credibility fade. All anyone will remember is that the great Chris Rogers exposed horrible racists in Poland and Ukraine. You will have to dig pretty deep to get the real story. That is the power of the biggest name in news.

Mr. Krak does not expect to get any more work from the BBC.


Tyrion 2 , says: January 7, 2019 at 8:08 am GMT

The documentary was called Stadiums of Hate. I think the quote below, by itself, is enough to rename it a Documentary of Hate.

Ornstein:

As an American-born Jew living happily and safely in Poland and working diligently to build Jewish life in that country, I am furious at the way the BBC has exploited me as a source. The organization used me and others to manipulate the serious subject of anti-Semitism for its own sensationalist agenda; in doing so, the BBC has insulted all Polish people and done a disservice to the growing, thriving Jewish community of Poland.

I have reason to believe the BBC similarly misrepresented the black African football players it used as sources in the same programme.

Moreover, the BBC knowingly cheated its own audience – the British people – by concocting a false horror story about Poland. In doing so, the BBC has spread fear, ignorance, prejudice and hatred.

I would urge the BBC to become more aware of its own negative stereotyping of Poles, before it goes pointing the finger of judgment.

Philip Smeeton , says: January 7, 2019 at 9:32 am GMT

Only causing physical harm to someone that you hate could be termed a hate crime. Hating someone or something and saying so is not a crime. Hate is a natural emotion and reaction to something that is unacceptable. Islam and what it teaches is unacceptable, therefore I hate Islam and I hate the followers of Islam that commit hate-crimes.

Simon Tugmutton , says: January 7, 2019 at 9:33 am GMT

The same dishonesty taints nearly everything the BBC puts out. Even drama is hijacked to carry the globalist message. Whatever is devoid of politics is mindless pap about baking or dance, etc., to keep the proletariat in a state of goodthink docility.

The author errs when he says

mandatory payments of £150 pounds a year must be made if you own a television set in Britain

You need only buy a TV 'licence' if you watch TV as it is broadcast , on any equipment belonging to you. Licences are issued to households; a 'household' may also comprise a student's room or a communal area such as is found in retirement homes. The BBC, through agents, maintains a spotty database of every address in the UK. Any unlicensed address is targeted with letters threatening criminal prosecution. It is legal to own a set if you just use it for watching DVDs or videos from the net.

There are plenty of ways to thwart the BBC's bagmen, the simplest, healthiest and most time-efficient being to stop watching television of any description. I did this in 2005. Since then I have withheld from them the inflation-adjusted equivalent of about £2,000, plus interest, been blessed with many hours of more interesting, lucrative and enjoyable pursuits, and saved myself innumerable episodes of anger and disgust. Moreover I have no idea who any of these 'celebrities' are who grace the tabloids, and have been spared the pontifications of the assorted arseholes and big-heads whose cretinous and toxic opinions the BBC daily spews on the British public and, indeed, on the hapless citizens of the rest of the globe via a propaganda outlet called the BBC World Service.

I commend going TV-free to all. It does wonders for the capacity to think clearly, not to mention the blood-pressure.

jilles dykstra , says: January 7, 2019 at 10:23 am GMT

BBC's neutrality ended when the BBC exposed Tony B-liar's lies about Saddam's 45 minutes WMD's.
The director was fired, replaced by a jew.

As to Polish antisemitism, it existed, still existed around 1967 when Polish jews were given the opportunity to leave. And of course, since Israel tries to make Poland responsible for a part of the holocaust, the gas chamber camps were on Polish territory, Poland responds, they have no desire whatsoever to be the next victim of the holocaust industry.

As to the why of Polish anti-Semitism, suppose it was in Poland more or less the same as in Lithuania in the thirties, Jews controlling the economy. Of course also Polish Catholicism may have played a role. Jews responsible for the death of the son of god.

Descriptions of Polish antisemitism one finds in

Jan T. Gross, 'Neighbours, The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland, 1941', 2003, London
Bogdan Musial, ´Sowjetische Partisanen 1941 – 1944, Mythos und Wirklichkeit', Paderborn 2009

The book describes antisemitism among all E European resistance fighters. Jews were not or hardly allowed among these resistance fighters.

The novel

André Schwartz-Bart, 'Le Dernier des Justes', 1959, 1980 Paris seems to have been to some extent autobiographical, with as country of origin Poland.
Described is on the one hand how jews resisted assimilation, wanted to remain jews, even, or especially, in clothing, on the other hand how non jews did not accept jews, even trying to prevent they visited the synagogue, or jewish children being insulted in schools.

As nearly always, one wonders why the antagonism., no explanation.

Stan d Mute , says: January 7, 2019 at 10:45 am GMT

The program had a scripted conclusion before a single camera was turned on.

This seems self-evident and yet it's rarely or never said. Cameras and word processors don't operate autonomously. Somebody begins with a story, a narrative, they wish to convey. They then point their camera at things they choose, or cherrypick, to illustrate their narrative. Afterwards, they carefully edit, or censor, what they've recorded making sure that only that most sympathetic to their narrative is shown. It is ALL propaganda. And it is ubiquitous.

It is up to the viewer or reader to filter the information presented, to sift through it for specks of unbiased Truth that may have somehow survived their unlikely journey past the narrative writer, his editors, their advertisers and lawyers, to the end product. Thus we see a "News Report" about "a fight that broke out among a group of youths" where the amateur video shows us a pack of feral young negroes, without provocation, attacks a lone white and after knocking him unconscious rifles through his pockets removing his phone and wallet before running off in jubilation.

And yet, despite this being shown to us time and again, incessantly, most people still trust their "News" sources!

And, as Ron Unz has so often shown us on this very site, History is nothing more than yesterday's "News."

The open question, really, is whether or not it is even possible to obtain information assembled and presented by an organization that does not fit the paradigm described above. And, considering the amount of time and cognition required for one to even attempt to find Truth in media, what are the chances that an average viewer or reader (bear in mind illiteracy rates) of average intelligence (bear in mind the left side of the bell curve) can obtain anything resembling a sense of Reality on which he may inform his opinions and beliefs? How often do we hear older people say things like, "I remember when you used to be able to get straight News from Walter Cronkite.." oblivious to the Truth above?

forgottenpseudonym , says: January 7, 2019 at 10:54 am GMT

The BBC twists the truth!? Having also worked in the UK tv industry, the only proper response is "do bears etc?" But thank you, Mr Krak, for having recorded your experiences.

Heros , says: January 7, 2019 at 10:56 am GMT

The truth is that the Cultural Marxism movement was about the take over of all institutions of white european culture and turning them against white europeans.

Professional sports was subverted almost a century ago. The racist anti-German propaganda of WWI and WWII was already strongly "semitic". The ascendence of Hollywood really marks the heeb takeover of American entertainment industry and the beach head for the conquest of the entire culture.

So as we enter 2019, I cannot think of one aspect of western European culture that is not heavily influenced by heebs, under their control or outright under their ownership. Even the alt-right "nazi's" are really just a bunch of jew cut-outs like Breitbard, Savage and Shapiro. Then there are all the crypto jews like Alex Jones or even Jordan Peterson. Many white Europeans are talmudists without having even a drop of jewish blood.

The BBC has been a Tavistock propaganda organ since its inception. After the Armistice and Versailles in 1919, the masonic-zionist propaganda war against the planet never stopped. Every new technology was first weaponized for use in mind control before release to the general population. Even the internet itself was also conceived at Darpa as a mind control tool and is closely linked to the trans-humanist and cultural marxist agenda.

So if you want to successfully attack the BBC, you also have to attack MI5, MI6, CIA, NSA, MIC, the entire 5 eyes spy network, the Queen of England, the Catholic Church, the US deep state, Israel, and ultimately their jewish god who in reality is Satan.

So to me it seems that obsessing about football hooligans is rather pointless, any movement to try to deal with any of the symptoms of our take over will quickly be subsumed. Like the occupy movement. Or the alt-right. Or the yellow-vests.

To kill this snake you will have to cut off its head.

Bill Jones , says: January 7, 2019 at 11:03 am GMT

The Grauniad is in the same business. https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/dec/09/raheem-sterling-newspapers-fuelling-racism-alleged-abuse-chelsea

[Jan 06, 2019] Integrity Initiative - New Documents From Shady NGO Released

Notable quotes:
"... The British Private Eye finds a relation between the Integrity Initiative and the Rendon Group which drove the propaganda for the Iraq invasion. ..."
Jan 04, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Forgot to link this: The Briefing note on the Integrity Initiative by Paul McKeigue, David Miller, Jake Mason and Piers Robinson is the most complete analysis of the Integrity Initiative papers.

The British Private Eye finds a relation between the Integrity Initiative and the Rendon Group which drove the propaganda for the Iraq invasion.

I'll have to say more on the issue. For some fun, check the attachment to this tweet. (Klarenberg writes for Sputnik.)

Kit Klarenberg @KitKlarenberg - 19:51 utc - 5 Jan 2019

Head of @InitIntegrity's German cluster says he's going to bring criminal charges against me for accessing II internal files.

In the process helpfully confirming many of the people I contacted in the cluster for comment ARE collaborating with the organization!!

Cheers pal!

[Jan 06, 2019] Intelligence stooges dominate Western MSM or How Putin s Russia Weaponizes Everything

"Jornos for hire" are now mainstream. Much like escort services.
Again, it's pure projection. These vermin are literally incapable of looking at anything except in terms of how it can be used as a weapon (or how it can be destroyed), so they automatically attribute that fundamentalist way of looking at things to everyone else, and especially to the "enemy". So by definition anything Putin and the Russians do is some kind of "weaponization".
Notable quotes:
"... Yes! All true! But I weaponised Vladimir Putin to make media profits, newspapers (Guardian!), radio (BBC), internet (Bellingcat). Evidently only the Brits understand me. The US does the same in a different style. ..."
"... Here is what Americans really think about the anti-Russia hysteria coming from Washington: https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/08/americans-on-russia-will-of-people.html Washington has completely lost touch with what Main Street America really believes. ..."
"... And besides humor I am sure Putin is also weaponizing calendars, at least in Japan. Maybe in exchange for keeping the Kuril islands: Putin calendar sales surpassing those of Japanese stars in Japan What I am wondering is, if the socalled "Western Elite" maybe actually believe what they are saying and are not aware that it is a self-created illusion they are chaught in. Otherwise I can not understand why they are again and again surprised if Russia is not behaving they way they expected. ..."
"... Yes, these are projections, and they tell us the final world war, a war of aggression by the US against China and Russia, will be a total war beyond our imaginations. (Unless real leftists and real lovers of peace can stop it.) ..."
"... I think this insane epidemic illustrates the degree to which the Western propaganda system has completely decoupled the population from reality. ..."
"... The underlying problem: Russia has weaponized telling the truth. ..."
"... Yes, I'd agree that's part of its purpose -- to prevent the unification of Eurasia, which as I wrote last week's proceeding apace. They're trying to wall off Japan too, so I wonder if Japanese media's as flush with the same garbage as BigLie Media. ..."
"... Although likely covered by weaponizing incompetence and stupidity, Putin has certainly weaponized the Outlaw US Empire's appalling lack of a professional diplomatic corp--just look at who he gets Trump to nominate to key diplomatic positions. ..."
"... Hey guys, guys, you are not getting the point man. There is something really creepy about this Russia place, like Midas. Everything they touch turns to weapons. ..."
"... But since the fall of Communism in Russia, I have lost all belief in anything like a new Cold War. After all, when I was in parochial school, we prayed for the conversion of Russia. Now, that has been accomplished. Russia's government is more Christian than Western governments ..."
"... Truth weaponized. Five eyes pulling out all stops in its propaganda campaign to defeat it. ..."
Dec 17, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Russ , Dec 17, 2018 9:26:23 AM | link

Q: What do humor, health information, giant squids, robotic cockroaches, tedium and postmodernism have in common?

A: Russia weaponized them.

Back in March 2016 we created a list of news items that accused Russia and its bear riding president Vladimir Putin of weaponizing things.

Others have since copied the idea .

Several of the pieces listed in it are products of the recently uncovered British government financed disinformation campaign , or of similar efforts by other governments. But these are only a part of the general anti-Russian reflex that is ingrained in our 'western' culture. Nothing else can explain the craziness of these 'weaponizing' claims.

The updated list with some 65 issues, ideas and things that Russia allegedly 'weaponizes' will hopefully help to convince people that most of what is said or written about Russia is likewise blatant nonsense.

Posted by b on December 17, 2018 at 09:20 AM | Permalink

Comments next page "


Quentin , Dec 17, 2018 9:40:02 AM | link

Yes! All true! But I weaponised Vladimir Putin to make media profits, newspapers (Guardian!), radio (BBC), internet (Bellingcat). Evidently only the Brits understand me. The US does the same in a different style.
Sally Snyder , Dec 17, 2018 9:44:29 AM | link
Here is what Americans really think about the anti-Russia hysteria coming from Washington: https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/08/americans-on-russia-will-of-people.html Washington has completely lost touch with what Main Street America really believes.
old Bill , Dec 17, 2018 9:47:49 AM | link
until the US actually incorporates term limits the same corruption will continue unabated
TJ , Dec 17, 2018 10:01:04 AM | link
The BBC has become Monty Python I await the BBC report on Putins weaponizzation of silly walks.
Fran , Dec 17, 2018 10:20:44 AM | link

And besides humor I am sure Putin is also weaponizing calendars, at least in Japan. Maybe in exchange for keeping the Kuril islands: Putin calendar sales surpassing those of Japanese stars in Japan What I am wondering is, if the socalled "Western Elite" maybe actually believe what they are saying and are not aware that it is a self-created illusion they are chaught in. Otherwise I can not understand why they are again and again surprised if Russia is not behaving they way they expected.

fairleft , Dec 17, 2018 10:28:53 AM | link

Yes, these are projections, and they tell us the final world war, a war of aggression by the US against China and Russia, will be a total war beyond our imaginations. (Unless real leftists and real lovers of peace can stop it.)

William Bowles , Dec 17, 2018 10:48:39 AM | link

I think this insane epidemic illustrates the degree to which the Western propaganda system has completely decoupled the population from reality. Now whether it's believed or not is neither here nor there as it's built upon decades of anti-communism and the inherent racism of the Anglo-Saxon Empire that has demonized the Russians as essentially backward peasants who cannot be trusted. Worse still, the Russkies have ginormous weapons!

It would be ludicrous if it wasn't so dangerous.

Peter VE , Dec 17, 2018 10:59:02 AM | link
The underlying problem: Russia has weaponized telling the truth.
BRF , Dec 17, 2018 11:04:59 AM | link
I agree that both 'sides' in a phony cold war 2.0 weaponize just about anything of a controversial nature or event in civilization. Both sides are advancing agenda that are leading humanity in the same direction even as they create a false adversarial paradigm.

This has been termed non linear psychological warfare under which such a confusing array of created realities leaves the greater public unable to define what is real or a fabrication. It takes at least two or more to create the illusions and the 'other' can simply be created/funded as controlled opposition and then even this can be published to further create more confusion within the confusion. Carl Rove told us this. He just didn't tell us that the 'Empire' also includes Russia, China and any number of other corporate national jurisdictions.

vk , Dec 17, 2018 11:19:06 AM | link
It seems Russia has weaponized the African-Americans too: Russian Effort to Influence 2016 Election Targeted African-Americans
Putin , Dec 17, 2018 11:23:05 AM | link
More seriously, this is not "stupidity" of the political class, as some pundits would have you believe. It is a well thought-out retrenchment plan of attempting to institute a new "iron curtain" to separate Europe from Asia after the demise of unipolarity.
Jackrabbit , Dec 17, 2018 11:58:37 AM | link
Putin | Dec 17, 2018 11:23:05 AM | 23: new "iron curtain"
karlof1 , Dec 17, 2018 12:16:12 PM | link
Putin @23--

Yes, I'd agree that's part of its purpose -- to prevent the unification of Eurasia, which as I wrote last week's proceeding apace. They're trying to wall off Japan too, so I wonder if Japanese media's as flush with the same garbage as BigLie Media.

Russia's weaponized Arctic Ocean or perhaps Russia's weaponized the lack of proper marine maintenance. Russia's also weaponized the Outlaw US Empire's lack of naval or other Arctic Ocean land-based infrastructure -- there's zip to support any off-shore drilling from Alaska's coastline. IOW, Russia's weaponizing a plethora of Outlaw US Empire weaknesses.

jrkrideau , Dec 17, 2018 12:56:26 PM | link
@ 27 karlof1

And what the Sputnik article refers to as the heavy US icebreaker Polar Star is more roughly one half the size of the nuclear powered Russian icebreaker 50 Years of Victory, 50 лет Победы . I suspect the Russians would call the Polar Star a light icebreaker. Sputnik probably probably being polite.

GeorgeV , Dec 17, 2018 1:00:57 PM | link
Way back in the 1950s the Pentagon (specifically the Air Force) was all atwitter over unsubstantiated reports (again leaked by the Air Force) that the Soviets (read: the Russians) were building a nuclear powered strategic bomber that would have unlimited range and flight time. Well now. You know what that means? We gotta have one too! So guess what. The Air Force dutifully volunteered to save the US and Western civilization from being bombed back to the stone age and godless communism all at the same time by building a nuclear powered bomber of our own. To make a long story short the effort failed miserably. The project managed to last into the Kennedy administration but was cancelled in favor of developing submarine launched ICBMs. While the nuclear bomber program died it's spirit lived on. During the Carter administration the then chief of Air Force intelligence (yes I know there's no such thing) became convinced that the russkies were building ground-based and orbiting death ray machines to use against US satellites and ICBMs. Thus was born "Star Wars." Of course this fit in perfectly with the Reagan administration's defense views even though the engineering and science simply didn't exist then of now. Well as the french say the "more things change the more they remain the same"
snake , Dec 17, 2018 1:15:43 PM | link
Some people get weaponized on business trips to Moscow. This video shows how they do it... https://youtu.be/8cs4tKdiiI4 Posted by: dh | Dec 17, 2018 10:36:48 AM | 15

Move over Russia make room for the Chinese weapon program.. its much more dangerous than the Russian disinformation program, unlike Russia, the Chinese circumvent the USA Senate, the President, and the SCOUS and go directly to the poor, innocent governed humans, lending them money, creating for them jobs and developing infra structure to make life easier; such will be the end of us all. WE MUST REMEMBER Aake news and made up fictions are produced by the six entities that own 92 of the media. Without the Internet and other public infra structure, the media could not smear you with its dirty tricks. Someone please pass the soap.

the pair , Dec 17, 2018 1:17:03 PM | link
"weaponizing terrorism "? because until Putin all "terrorists" sat around talking and sipping tea like the goddamn mclaughlin group? then again, given the outsize influence of objectively insane think tanks in DC, maybe they were onto something.

funny how this can also be seen as what psychology types call "projection". in a culture like the west's (especially the states) where the economies are built on warfare and financial voodoo, everything is either "weaponized" or collateralized. look at anything on that list and it's something from which someone "atlantic" has tried or will try to make money. of course, many things start out weaponized and are then collateralized . weaponized taxes? weaponized corporate welfare?

the pair , Dec 17, 2018 1:28:55 PM | link
@#33 see also : https://www.voanews.com/a/putin-rap-must-be-controlled-not-banned/4702678.html

hey, if a bunch of white/israeli suburbanite music executives in LA can control rap, it should be pretty easy. side note: rap is officially banned in iran. some say it's been deemed "satanic". Years ago when i was grooving to das efx or public enemy i'd have disagreed but now that the big names are drake, minaj and meek mill...only malevolent supernatural evil can explain that.

Glenn Brown , Dec 17, 2018 2:08:07 PM | link
I'm shocked to learn that "Russia is weaponizing its Coast Guard", https://warisboring.com/russia-is-weaponizing-its-coast-guard/ The author seems quite angry the Russians are using their "Coast Guard" of all things, to defend their coast. He thinks they should have used their Navy instead!

"The use of the Russian Federation Navy to close the strait would have been more likely to escalate because it would have been a military-on-military clash. In contrast, using the Russian coast guard made it a law enforcement issue rather than a military-sanctioned act of war. Russia is adept at using legal channels to pursue violations of justice. It now appears willing to use its coast guard for this purpose.

Onshore, the situation in eastern Ukraine has been stuck in a rut. Perhaps the escalation in the Sea of Azov was seen by the Russians as a means to break the impasse, using the flimsy legal cover provided by the coast guard. No similar terrestrial options exist, as the Russians have exhausted their plausible deniability for operations by police, volunteers and undercover "little green men."

While Russian seizure of the Azov coast was anticipated, it was not expected to use its coast guard. Utilizing the Russian coast guard in this way opens a new range of options for Moscow, in the Sea of Azov and beyond."

lysias , Dec 17, 2018 2:34:37 PM | link
Easy way for an author to get an article published.
karlof1 , Dec 17, 2018 2:38:03 PM | link
Although likely covered by weaponizing incompetence and stupidity, Putin has certainly weaponized the Outlaw US Empire's appalling lack of a professional diplomatic corp--just look at who he gets Trump to nominate to key diplomatic positions. Indeed, perhaps this ought to be enlarged to include weaponizing mediocrity as portrayed by Trump's entire Cabinet. We can also see the great strides Putin's made in making the Outlaw US Empire appear as the Ogre it is by weaponizing Anglo-American Exceptionalism. It seems, given the above list and its additions via comments, that the Outlaw US Empire is most exceptional at being incapable of weaponizing anything aside from its #1 go-to--The BigLie.
dh , Dec 17, 2018 3:00:26 PM | link
@45 They look like happy smiley people untroubled by any ethical issues... https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/
Strategic Message Code One , Dec 17, 2018 3:04:33 PM | link
Hey guys, guys, you are not getting the point man. There is something really creepy about this Russia place, like Midas. Everything they touch turns to weapons. I seen it here as well, every Russia thing is trouble of some kind, like there is nothing else that comes from there. I seen Russian people and they ok, but now I'm frightened to get close to them in case I turn into a weapon. Aan here too guys, Russia touches the west an the west as consequence are all buying weapons an using them everywhere, they cant do nothing cause Russia makes them weaponators too. Oh my, we are doomed man and waponized press freakin me out aaaaaaahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
bjd , Dec 17, 2018 3:48:24 PM | link
A quote from the report mentioned in (50): "Although the NDS generally reflects the right priorities and objectives, it is not supported by adequate investments. It is beyond the scope of this Commission's work to identify the exact dollar amount required to fully fund the military's needs, but the available means are clearly insufficient to fulfill the strategy's ends. This is true despite the two-year funding increase for FY2018 and FY2019 provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018."
john , Dec 17, 2018 4:14:53 PM | link
weaponize this .
Zanon , Dec 17, 2018 4:19:22 PM | link
The Russia "did it" is part of The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49060.htm
Zanon , Dec 17, 2018 4:24:15 PM | link

Seems like the renewed anti Russian psyops is a cover for the possible Ukrainian false flag/war coming weeks:

"Russia deploys ten fighter jets to Crimea amid rising tensions with Ukraine "
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/12/17/583233/Russia-fighter-jets-Crimea-armed-provocation

Josh , Dec 17, 2018 4:26:27 PM | link
What would be particularly interesting is also to see how the money flow is helping the (we all know it) struggling news organizations. I believe many of these quasi-journalists are going hat in hand to various agencies that have some of that propaganda money. Most of them would need to work for weeks getting paid a measly amount, but doing a couple of these anti-Russia pieces gets them paid well. I certainly think the Guardian has such an arrangement with MI5/6.

The recipe is using the wonderwords like Putin, Russia, 'weaponizing', hackers, cyber, fake news...

jrkrideau , Dec 17, 2018 4:31:02 PM | link
40 Glenn Brown

I'm shocked to learn that "Russia is weaponizing its Coast Guard", https://warisboring.com/russia-is-weaponizing-its-coast-guard/

I believe the Saker was pointing out a few days ago that the Border Guards were often more like spetsnaz than what we in the west think of as a border patrol. The Russian Coast Guard has probably maintained the tradition.

karlof1 , Dec 17, 2018 4:47:55 PM | link
I see culture's already been deemed weaponized, but here's Putin's actual plan he laid out in his speech to a meeting of the Presidential Council for Culture and Art in St Petersburg two days ago. Introductory remarks:

"... global competition in creating best conditions for self-fulfilment and revealing the potential of each individual is growing, and the world's leading powers including Russia, rightly see it as a key to the future. Of course, a significant role here will belong to establishing a vibrant, rich cultural space, which will be interesting and attractive not only for the citizens of our country but also for the whole world."

Meanwhile within the Outlaw US Empire, Boy Scouts of America is about to file for bankruptcy thanks to the many sexual abuse lawsuits it now faces. This leads me to declare yet another Russian accomplishment: Putin has weaponized Machiavellian divide and rule by enticing the Outlaw US Empire's Deep State -- years prior to his birth! -- to promote and escalate what's known as the Culture Wars used to ensure a continuing inability to achieve solidarity by the USA's polity.

William Bowles , Dec 17, 2018 5:04:28 PM | link
Posted by: Anaya | Dec 17, 2018 2:52:00 PM | 45

Anaya, I take it you took a look-see at its staff and there's a lot of them! Yeah, that's what prompted my own feelings about it. The report has apparently been published but I've not yet seen it.

The '150 million' influenced by those scheming Russkies, has been floating for awhie. I first saw it used in a Euro-based setup, funded by NATO I think. I'll try and dig it out as I remember writing something about.

Babyl-on , Dec 17, 2018 5:12:15 PM | link
This kind of "Weaponization" is far less expensive than say an F35 or a 13bn Ford class Aircraft carrier, but the more of them you build the safer you will be from the "Weaponization" of coloring books. Nuke crayons now! The state of the US and its military in my view is that they can't win a war against anyone, all they can do is blow up the world with nukes - the only question is will they deny the world to everyone if they can't own it.
karlof1 , Dec 17, 2018 5:15:00 PM | link
It's a shame we can't massively disseminate our weaponization of ridicule contained in b's article and our commentary. I wonder how many comedians are making good money ridiculing the entire weaponization meme, and not just in English.

What