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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
If Ronald Reagan was America's neo-Julius Caesar, his adopted son was the first George Bush (just as J.C. adopted Augustus). And look what THAT progeny wrought. I fully expect that over the next century, no fewer than seven Bushes will have run or become president (mimicking the Roman Caesarian line). Goodbye, American Republic.
From review of Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia by Gore Vidal
Skepticism -> Political Skeptic
|News||Neoliberalism||Recommended books||Recommended Links||Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few||Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism||The Deep State|
|Libertarian Philosophy||Elite Theory||Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization||US and British media are servants of security apparatus||Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich||"Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place||Neoconservatism as an attack dog of neoliberalism|
|Corporatism||Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia||Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class||Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking||Globalization of Financial Flows||Anti-globalization movement||Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization|
|Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite||The Iron Law of Oligarchy||"Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry||Neo-conservatism||National Security State||Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ?||Hypocrisy of British ruling elite as the template for hypocrisy of neoliberal elite|
|Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump||Anti-Russian hysteria||DNC emails leak||Anti Trump Hysteria||Two Party System as Polyarchy||Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"||Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative|
|Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA||Demonization of Putin||Media-Military-Industrial Complex||Strzok-gate||Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization||Neoliberal corruption||Neoliberalism and Christianity|
|Pathological Russophobia of the US elite||Israel lobby||IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement||Disaster capitalism||American Exceptionalism||Predator state||Obama: a yet another Neocon|
|Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime||In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment||Corruption of Regulators||Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult||Neo-Theocracy as a drive to simpler society||American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism||Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition|
|Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism||Ukraine: From EuroMaydan to EuroAnschluss||Civil war in Ukraine||Syria civil war||Gas Wars||Color revolutions||New American Militarism|
|MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage||Groupthink||Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite||Deception as an art form||Mayberry Machiavellians||Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers||Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?|
|Compradors vs. national bourgeoisie||Talleyrand quotes||Otto Von Bismarck Quotes||Kurt Vonnegut Quotes||Somerset Maugham Quotes||George Carlin||Propaganda Quotes|
|Overcomplexity of society||Paleoconservatism||Non-Interventionism||Key Myths of Neoliberalism||Skeptic Quotations||Humor||Etc|
|We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking,
class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
FDR. speech after the election (1936)polyarchy: A system where the participation of masses of people is limited to voting among one or another representatives of the elite in periodic elections. Between elections the masses are now expected to keep quiet, to go back to life as usual while the elite make decisions and run the world until they can choose between one or another elite another four years later. So polyarchy is a system of elite rule, and a system of elite rule that is little bit more soft-core than the elite rule that we would see under a military dictatorship. But what we see is that under a polyarchy the basic socio-economic system does not change, it does not become democratized.
▬William I. Robinson, Behind the Veil, Minute 1:29:15
Skepticism is a useful quality that some people naturally possess and other can develop, but it not a panacea. As such any "Skeptical" or even "Slightly skeptical" paged by definition suffer from "confirmation bias". They postulate that only information that does not correlate well with official position is worth presenting. The reality is more complex than that. There is no grantee that such skeptical openion is correct. And in retrospect many such opinion, which look highly plausible in the heat of the day, look naive and unsubstantiated ten years after. Been there, saw that.
Also, while not so lucrative as shilling for government, adhering to anything that differ to government position is too simplistic an approach. Especially in the long run, as historical forces in action at the particular moment are often unknown and not evident to participants of the events.
Those considerations probably should be kept in mind when reading those pages. While skeptical opinion is an excellent tool for destroying propaganda stereotypes it is your own task to integrate them into your new understanding of the situation. Sometime that requires integration under some new paradigm, or rejection based on the new paradigm for particular historical situation. The problem with history is that the real meaning of events often became clear only a centruty or so after they occure.
The central for this set of "slightly skeptical" Softpanorama pages is the idea that we live in neoliberal society and will continue to live in it for some type despite the crisis it experiences now. Because there is no viable alternative on the horizon and resurrection of New Deal capitalism is not possible as the countervailing forces that existed to keep financial oligarchy in check dissipated, and part of them (top management of corporations) joined the former enemy.
At the same time I adhere to the working hypothesis that neoliberalism is not sustainable "in the long run" as it tend to weaken, or destroy the very foundation on which the society is based, and first of all human solidarity. That means that we live in an unstable society prone to unleashing wars and falling in periodic financial crisis (aka Minsky moments). In this sense Financial crisis of 2008 can be called using Churchill's quote "This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning.
"Neoliberalism is not only the current social system in the USA, but also in most European countries, Japan, Russia and China (with some minor variations). It is a global social system which displayed both New Deal Capitalism and Bolshevism. It is a very interesting ideology, the second 'man made" ideology after Bolshevism, which which it has several important similarities, see Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich.) The clandestine ideology one that does not dare to speak its name ;-).
The crescendo of Triumphal march of neoliberalism which stated in 1980th was the collapse of the USSR, which happened in 1991, when Soviet elite switched sides and preferred to became "entrepreneurs" like their Western counterparts, privatizing and looting their own country. Communists proved to be very corruptible folk, especially at Nomenklatura level and they like dollars more then their country. BTW the collapse of Soviet Union was not what neoliberal propaganda teaches us. In essence Soviet elite (aka nomenklatura) simply changed sides. The collapse of Bolshevism both as an ideology and the society paralleled the collapse of New Deal capitalism in the USA. Like large part of the USA management elite, Soviet nomenklatura became turncoats. And it was the alliance of management elite and trade unions that was at the core of New Deal capitalism. As soon as it collapsed the New Deal capitalism was replaced with neoliberalism.
But neoliberalism entered the major crisis in 2008. The net result was so called Secular Stagnation. The "end of cheap oil" is another factor that guarantee the continuation of Secular Stagnation. See Peak Cheap Energy.
This site is slightly skeptical as for long-term viability of Neoliberalism as a social system. At the same time as bad as neoliberalism is as a social system was/is in comparison with New Deal Capitalism, that does not mean the coming successor can't be worse. If there is a way out of this neoliberal mess that was pushed on us since late 70th, I can't see it.
Right now Neoliberalism is seriously sick and reminds me the condition of Bolshevism after WWII and Stalin death (around 1960th). Bolshevism lasted almost 50 years after 1945, and do not see why neoliberalism can't last much longer then that, as currently there is no viable alternatives. For example, Russia which neocons try to paint as the new "Great Satan" is a yet another neoliberal state. Just with a different flavor of neoliberalism. BTW Trumps "national neoliberalism" (or neoliberalism without neoliberal globalization) is why we have trade war with China (another neoliberal state) as well with Russia (also a neoliberal state). So much for "neoliberal International". That's a real crumbling of classic neoliberalism, which proved to to have clay feet.
But neoliberalism proved to be a sustainable social system which was able to survive its first crisis of 2008 and the collapse of neoliberal ideology. So it probably can be reformed by increasing the role of the state (that's what Trump national neoliberalism is actually doing, although very inconsistently) and rejecting most elements of "market fundamentalism". Financial institutions now again should be viewed as a special kind of Mafioso structures, which untamed tend to buy the control of the government, and regulated and taxes accordingly.
At the same time neoliberal center (let's say care G7) needs countries to loot. From 1991 to 2000 xUSSR area was such a region. And G7 prospered. but looting was cut after 2000 and due to this and Minsky moment circumstances due to financialization (which took form of creating and turning public non-profitable IT startups) the USA experienced short dot-com" crisis in 2008. To escape consequences of this crisis FED stimulated building industry, especially home building was propelled by giving mortgages to anybody with ward breath and that led to 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. The crisis which severely undermined the neoliberal ideology. That means that after 2008 neoliberalism entered zombie state, much like Soviet communism after WWII. It became more bloodthirsty and several countries fall victims (Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc)
Due to neoliberalism the USA is no longer a politically stable country. Political animosity after election of Trump reminds a "soft civil war", racial hostility (which is amplified by "identify politics") is growing, standards of living of the majority of population are either stagnant or fall, neoliberal globalization (with off shoring and outsourcing) as well as automation leave both the young and people "over 50" unemployed. Epidemic of narco addiction in the USA (which claims 70K victims a year) and suicides (which claim approx 47K in 2017) reminds epidemic of alcoholism in the USSR. Both were at least partially caused by desperation of people, who can't get a meaningful well paying job and see no future for themselves and their children.
Under neoliberalism wealth is redistributed up by several powerful mechanisms and the level of inequality became dangerously high. The working class falls into drugs and anomie. The wars for sustaining and expanding the neoliberal empire and crushing dissenters from neoliberal dogma never end. Meanwhile infrastructure ages and falls behind that of more advanced nations. Anger grows, which was pretty evident in 2016elections -- for many voting for Trump was the way to show middle finger to the neoliberal establishment. As the pie shrinks, someone have to get less pie. And it is not financial oligarchy, or MIC. They are pretty well fed at the expense of others.
Who would thought that 30 years later the winner of the Cold War will enter the phase of decline which in may respects remind many observers the decline of the USSR ? And that inability to predict the figure is also a powerful sign to view the pages in this collection with the grain of salt. Please do not take views expressed for granted. No matter how plausible they are now many of them with time will prove to be wrong. Think and analyze the situation yourself.
I would like to repeat again that this decline of neoliberal society started after the crisis of 2008 (the point at which neoliberal ideology collapsed and was discredited, much like communist ideology was after WWII. Trump election and Brexit were two historical events, after which we can attest that neoliberalism is most probably past its prime and entered the decline stage. And this decline increases the polarization of the USA society in which ruling neoliberal elite lost most of its legitimacy in the eyes of common people. This is the problem which neoliberal elite tried to hide after 2016 Presidential elections under the smoke screen of Russiagate (which is essence is a color revolution with the goal of deposing Trump). Resulting Neo-McCarthyism hysteria, designed to redirect anger to the external enemy (the scapegoat) and cement the cracks in the neoliberal facade, is a very dangerous phenomena, which increases the chances of WWIII, the war which can end the human civilization as we know it. Professor Stephen Cohen has several insightful articles that analyse this danger.
The discreditation of the neoliberal ideology is very similar to the process of discreditation on Bolshevism in the USSR: after 2007 it became clear to the majority of population that it can't secure the rising standard of living for the majority USA population. Only tiny fraction of population (less then top 10%) benefitted from neoliberalism. This is a very similar situation with bolshevism in the USSR, when in late 60th and early 70th it became clear that it can't match the standard of living of common people in Western European countries (and even most of the East European countries), which remained under the capitalism.
Paradoxically golden days of capitalism in Western Europe and the USA (which lasted till 79th) were possible only because communist states such as USSR existed, as it served as a powerful deterrent against the restoration of the power of financial oligarchy. So it's not surprising that the New Deal Capitalism was very quickly dismantled after the USSR collapse. Moor did its duty, moor can go ;-). In other words, the mere existence of the USSR, while was not threat to the Western countries social system, served as a powerful inhibitor of cannibalistic instincts of the elite in the USA and Western countries. It was communism that helped to secured the dominance of the New Deal capitalism till early 80th and the period of prosperity for the common people in the USA.
From this point the standard of living of poor and lower middle class in the West started to slide. First slowly from 1990 to 2000 and then at accelerated pace due to outsourcing, capabilities of which were tremendously enhanced by technological revolution, especially the revolution in communication. Also till 2000 (dot com crisis) the slide was masked by tremendous technological progress in computers and communications. Still outside top 10-20% of population, the slide of the standard of living and the income is a fact. Outsourcing and offshoring killed many meaningful, well paying jobs. The new level of automation, possible with modern computers, killed some more. The possibility of cheap transcontinental communications also killed IT jobs and even many helpdesk type which migrated to India and other countries with cheap and qualified labor force. So the loss of manufacturing jobs was amplified by the loss of some segments of white collar jobs as well.
While neoliberal think tanks and powerful MSM propaganda machine (in which the word neoliberalism is still a taboo) now try to contain damage, the fatal flaws of neoliberal ideology after 2008 financial collapse are apparent and can't be hidden. The key neoliberal country and the key enforcer of neoliberalism over the globe -- the USA -- entered "secular stagnation" period in economics. It is also is trying to fend off the challenge that China economic growth presents to its world dominance.
Brexit and the election of Trump mean that the protest against neoliberal globalization entered the political mainstream in the USA in 2016: Hillary Clinton suffered her electoral fiasco because she was the proponent of neoliberal status quo, the proponent of neoliberal globalization and the wars for expansion of neoliberal empire, the candidate who promised to kick the neoliberal can down the road.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in
the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children...
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
From the Chance for Peace address delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953. (Regarded as one of the finest speeches of Eisenhower's presidency.)
Trump should probably be viewed as a new stage of this decline of American republic (which for a long time is neither democracy not a republic, but a warmongering empire, a new social system of "inverted totalitarism" as Sheldon Wolin called it ). Some trapping of previous "New Deal style" democracy remained, but most of New Deal achievement such as using trade unions as countervailing social force to check the greed of capital owners was perverted. During elections Trump used to have anti-globalization inclinations -- anathema to neoliberals -- and that's why he was so viciously attacked after he has won; but those inclinations almost completely disappeared after the election. Trumpism which sometimes is defined as "economic nationalism" (or national neoliberalism, if you wish ;-) includes the following (partially intersecting) elements which are anathema to classic neoliberalism:
Of course, the notion of "Trumpism" is fuzzy and different people might include some additional issues and disagree with some listed here, but the core probably remains. Please note that Trump was emasculated by the "deep state" and turned into neocon in foreign policy just three-four months into his presidency. The only action which is along this lines so far was his decision to withdraw from Syria. Whether it will be implemented remains to be seen. His appointments directly contradict those 14 items. People such as Bolton, Pompeo, Haley are anathema to such a program.
Still the fact remains: in 2016 financial oligarchy not only failed to put the desired puppet into White House, but was forced to unleash a color revolution against new POTUS ( Russiagate witch hunt is only the tip of the iceberg in this sense) to put him into compliance, or depose him. Neoliberals and neocons also failed with their color revolution as Brennan machinations (As Professor Stephen Cohen noted Russiagate should be renamed to Intelgate) with Steele dossier backfired that they got under fire from Trump supporters. And both Brennan and FBI Mayberry Machiavellians suddenly from predators became a pray. Neoliberal Democrats (Clinton wing of Democratic Party, of DemoRats) while managed to preserve political power over the party of suppress Sunders supporters, overplayed their hand with Russiagate and neo-McCarthyism campaign (which was designed to rally nation around the flag) and might face consequences during midterm elections. Their only hope is help from the Grand Inquisitor, appointed as a part of coup d'état against Trump launched by intelligence agencies (the core of the "deep state"), Mr. Mueller.
Neocons are actually a cancer of the US society. May be even terminal cancer. In any case they are look like extremely destructive force, MIC lobbyists without any principles, or consciousness. In other words bunch of highly paid psychopaths as people without consciousness are called.
This is not the first time the "Deep State" (read intelligence agencies+Pentagon+Department of State) in alliance with neocons and "liberal interventionists" tried to depose elected president. JFK was probably the first, Nixon was probably the second (the key role of CIA in his removal now became apparent) and now Trump might be the third.
What is new in the current situation is the complete disappearance of anti-war forces and the total conversion under Hillary of Democratic Party into another War Party, the party of militant globalists (which can be a perfect new home for neocons). Clinton wing of the Democratic Party doesn't want to admit she lost the election because neoliberalism became unpopular among the US electorate. At the same time "the fifth branch of government" -- the intelligence services proved to be a formidable political force on the US political arena, able to block any attempts to stop "feeding and care" of military industrial complex (which requires having a scapegoat like Russia or China). And for this particular reason "media-military-intelligence-financial" complex block any even feeble attempts of rapprochement or cooperation with Russia.
The country now resembles military camp with war propaganda on all major TV channel and newspapers broadcasted 24 x7. But the cost of "guns instead of butter" policies are growing: the cost of post 9/11 War project approaches $5.6 trillion. those trillions were stolen from ordinary Americans under false pretences (As President Eisenhower noted "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." If even small part of those funds were invested within the country we would have high speed trains between all major cities, or at least might not be having frequent deadly crashes of Amtrak trains. Among other useful things like better roads, more fuel efficient cars, more and better bridges and airports.
While I am openly nostalgic for the New Deal capitalism, I understand perfectly well that currently, there is no viable new alternative to neoliberalism. First of all because as in late 70th "managerial class" became yet another turncoat and allied with capital owners, against workers and middle class. That happened not only in the USA, but in the USSR too (that's why the USSR collapsed; in this case USSR "managerial class" (nomenklatura) allied and was partially bought by the USA capital owners)
Still the New Deal remain the most humane form of capitalism invented, and our analysis of neoliberalism has distinct "pro New Deal capitalism" bias. But we need to understand that the restoration of the New Deal capitalism looks impossible because the social base of it -- the alliance of corporate management and trade union leaders, was destroyed due to the defection of corporate managers to the side of capital owners. This realignment of political power made possible the restoration of the rule of the financial oligarchy, which happened in the USA in late 1980th.
The new coalition of anti-globalization forces that emerged during Trump election campaign is still pretty amophic political force and is unable to force changes in the society, as easy emasculation of President Trump by the Deep State proved to all of us. But hopefully it will grow and became better organized politically whether within the Republican Party of outside of it.
And yes, my friends, like Molière's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme character, who was surprised and delighted to learn that he has been speaking prose all his life without knowing it, all of us are living under neoliberal regime at least since 1980, most probably without knowing it.
Current events are much easier to analyze if you use the framework of analyzing neoliberalism as a social system proposed in those pages. Neoliberalism as a social system replaced the notion of Political party with the collection of neoliberal think tanks, a new class of "professional revolutionaries" who are mercenary political army that fight for the victory of neoliberalism and comprise kind of global Neoliberal International. On interesting nuance is that the idea of "professional revolutionaries" was one of the key innovations of Bolsheviks and Trotskyites. And we can view neoliberalism as some kind of "Trotskyism for rich." In this sense this social system is almost as far from real democracy as the USSR one party system. It is something Sheldon Wolin called "inverted totalitarism". In certain aspects it is even more anti-democratic than the capitalism of the Gilded Age with which it has some uncanny similarities (enforcement of the "Law of Jungles" in labor market by suppression of trade unions and "atomization" of individuals as agent who sells themselves on some kind of marketplace, not as human being) . As Pope Francis noted neoliberalism in anti-Christian system that despise and demonize poor blaming them as incapable to provide "value" to the marketplace, and ignoring their value as a human beings:
... Such an [neoliberal] economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.
Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.
Another interesting aspect of neoliberalism is the existence of so-called "neoliberal rationality" (compare with the "proletarian mindset" of Bolshevism ). As well as the extent of brainwashing of population into this rationality, especially at the university level (via neoclassical economics). As well as the level and the sophistication of the use of propaganda which includes a set of neoliberal myths very similar to what were created by Bolshevism. For example, the neoliberal myths of "Free trade", "free market" (why not "fair" in both cases?) , "labor market", "human capital", etc. In reality, the key idea behind this Potemkin Village-style ideological facade is the redistribution of wealth up toward top 1% (or even more to the top 0.01%). Exactly like was the case with Bolshevism, which while proclaiming the false facade of "dictatorship of proletariat" mercilessly suppressed unions and kept 90% of population at the standard of living much lower than in Western and even Eastern Europe. Although not close to starvation which is the ideal of neoliberal "plantation economy" (implemented, for example, by Wal-Mart, with its below subsistence wages), with atomized and isolated from each other "debt slaves."
In other words, there are some striking similarities between Soviet nomenklatura and neoliberal oligarchy, similarities that no objective scholar studying neoliberalism can ignore. See also Two-Party System as Polyarchy -- "the first after the post system" proved to be ideal for neoliberal regime as it allows financial oligarchy preselect candidates from both Parties. Effectively turning the election into expensive staged event -- a grandiose political spectacle, if you wish. but with predicted outcome as stage directors who perform casting are members of a close circle of neoliberal elite -- mostly financial oligarchy. It could have been adopted by Soviet nomenklatura as well, as it very effectively prevents any real challenges to the existing political regime by pre-selection of two candidates running to the given position and two parties, which are essentially a "soft" and "hard" factions of a single party of financial oligarchy.
The level of "synchronicity" in coverage of foreign events by neoliberal MSM also reminds me the level typical for Soviet Union. With all MSM repeating the State Department talking points and in general going out their skin be politically correct stooges of the neoliberal regime.
Yet another very interesting aspect of neoliberal regime is the level of public apathy, limited public discourse and even vocabulary (try to find the word "neoliberal" in WaPo ;-) as well as epidemic of narco-addition (especially in Rust Belt, which is more severely hit by neoliberal globalization with its offshoring and outsourcing). Which is not that dissimilar to the epidemic of alcoholism under Bolshevism. When common people see no future for themselves and their children they tend to engage in self-destructing behaviour. Sheldon Wolin called this approach to suppressing of dissent "inverted totalitarism."
What is really interesting is that the term "neoliberalism" has the status of a semi-taboo in the USA, and seldom can be found in articles published by the USA MSM, due to some kind of "silence" pact ;-). the intent of this set of pages intent is to fight this trend and present a "slightly skeptical" view of this important social phenomenon.
It is also important to understand that the level of hostility to Trump by the "deep state" is directly connected with three main (and very quickly betrayed) promises that Trump made during elections:
All three were the direct revision of neoliberal ideology postulates, as well as departure from the "neoliberal rationality". That's why the counter-attack of both the "Deep State" and neoliberal MSM on Trump was so vicious, with well coordinated set of leaks, appointment of Special Prosecutor (on fake pretext), re-launch of McCarthyism, and campaign of demonization of Trump and his administration in media. In the level of outrage that writers of Pravda during Stalin "Show Trials" would find completely in line with their own writings -- they so vividly resembles the attacks on "revisionists" in the USSR during Stalinism, that you may wish to revisit books devoted to those trials ;-).
What is new in putsch of intelligence services and neoliberal establishment against Trump is the strong presence of classic elements of color revolutions technology. Which were for the first time used within the USA by "neoliberal nomenklatura" (and first of all the elite which represents Clinton wing of Democratic Party) to preserve power. Some people call it Purple revolution but the most common name is now Russiagate. The ultimate goal is to remove Trump from power, and if this is not possible to emasculate his for the next four years. Some elements of this technology were previously used probably to depose Nixon. Watergate also involved intelligence agencies (the core of the Deep State) activities directed at the removal of the sitting President. And going back JFK was probably the first President removed by intelligence services.
Initially color revolution technologies were designed to topple "unfriendly" to neoliberalism regimes in xUSSR space and "resource nationalists" in the Middle East (as well as against China in Hong Cong). That suggests that after the election of 2016 neoliberals felt a real threat from Trump "revisionism".
Deployment of those technologies does not spell well with the social stability because delegitimization of elected government has lasting negative effects. Just look at Ukraine which was the victim of the most recent "color revolution" experiment. They have now two breakaway regions and the drop of the standard of living of population around 200% or more. The country also now is a debt slave. In other words when the gin of color revolution is out of the bottle it is not that easy to put it back and the events can turn in the direction not anticipated by the originators of such a color revolution.
See also Neoliberalism
|It's easy to pretend to be a great strategist,
while sitting on the top of the hill,
at the safe distance from the battle in the valley
-- Shota Rustavelli (1172–1216)
Oct 30, 2017 | www.washingtontimes.com
Posted by Jjdocquote:
Today, Mr. Weissmann stands as special counsel Robert Mueller's top gun in a squadron of nearly 20 prosecutors and scores of FBI agents delving into Trump-Russia. Mr. Weissmann is leading the probe into the biggest target to date, Paul Manafort, President Trump's onetime campaign manager.
How Mr. Weissmann operated over a decade ago offers possible glimpses at how he carries out orders today from his longtime mentor, Mr. Mueller.
He's a dirty "cop"quote:
The backstory: Defense attorneys say Mr. Weissmann bent or broke the rules. As proof, they point to appeals court decisions, exhibits and witness statements.
They say he intimidated witnesses by threatening indictments, created crimes that did not exist and, in one case, withheld evidence that could have aided the accused. At one hearing, an incredulous district court judge looked down at an Enron defendant and told him he was pleading guilty to a wire fraud crime that did not exist.
This is the man going after Trump.quote:
Mr. Weissmann's cases against Andersen and Merrill Lynch lay in shambles just a few years later.
The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 vote in 2005, overturned the Andersen conviction. A year later, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erased all the fraud convictions against four Merrill Lynch managers. The jury had acquitted another defendant.
"People went off to prison for a completely phantom of a case," said Mr. Kirkendall.
Sep 28, 2019 | www.unz.com
The men of Qi presented the government of Lu with a troupe of singing girls. Ji Huanzi accepted them and for three days failed to appear at court. Confucius left the state . Analects
Everywhere, since ancient times, peole have feared government corruption for, unlike war or fraud, corrupt policies cripple nations for centuries. No society has suffered more grievously from–nor waged more protracted war against–official corruption than the Chinese. Today however, though the story not over, it is nearing a goal that could make them the envy of the world and, like most Chinese stories, theirs is a long one.
Corruption–nepotistic, pecuniary, blatant, discreet, major and minor–has been subverting governments since governments were invented. Roman politicians were scandalously corrupt, Christianity failed to improve them, and their legacy of official impunity, bribery, influence peddling, patronage, nepotism and cronyism, electoral fraud, embezzlement, kickbacks, unholy alliances, and involvement with organized crime afflicts us today and we have become numb to it.
China, by contrast, has often enjoyed honest governments and upright officials have been dear to Chinese hearts for millennia. On May 5, 278 BC, after the King of Chu ignored his warnings about official corruption, State Minister Qu Yuan  Qu Yuan, 340-278 BC, was a Chu kingdom official and government minister who wrote some of the greatest poetry in Chinese history. drowned himself in the Miluo River in protest. On that day ever since, Dragon Boats renew their search for his body. Great Confucians like the The Hongwu Emperor  From Huáng-Míng Zǔxùn (Instructions of the Ancestor of the August Ming), admonitions left to his descendants by the Hongwu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644). fought corruption tirelessly:
Had I thoroughly eradicated corrupt officials in addition to those already imprisoned I would have been dealing with two thousand men from just two prefectures, men with no useful occupation who used my prestige to oppress people. No-one outside government knew how wicked they were, so everyone said my punishments were harsh, for they saw only the severity of the law and didn't know that these villains had used the government's good name to engage in evil practices. In the morning I punished a few and, by evening, others had committed the same crimes. I punished those in the evening and next morning there were more violations! Although the corpses of the first had not been removed others were already lined up to follow in their path, day and night! The harsher the punishment, the more violations. I didn't know what to do, but I couldn't rest. If I was lenient the law became ineffectual, order deteriorated, people thought me weak and engaged in still more evil practices. If I punished them, others regarded me as a tyrant. How could anyone lead a peaceful life in such circumstances? Really, my situation was dreadful.
Confucians fought corruption more effectively than the Romans, partly because of public participation. The people retained the right to withdraw the Mandate of Heaven–and, according to the constitution, still do–and many governments met grisly ends when they failed to honor the Four Principles–propriety, justice, honesty, and honor–or their officials lacked the Eight Virtues–loyalty, filial piety, benevolence, love, integrity, righteousness, harmony and peace.
From the earliest days, officials transferred to provinces were forbidden to bring their parents lest their needs conflict with the Emperor's. They were rotated every three years and, after each rotation, their successors were encouraged to report discrepancies for fear that they be blamed for them. Palace officials were regularly moved between departments and the seriously corrupt were strangled and their families sold into slavery.
Every Chinese, from humble farmers to eminent politicians, knows this history and understands that promoting honest men to leadership is the way to prevent corruption. Many still living saw how a century of chaos devastated public morality, as Mao observed during a 1950 anti-corruption drive, "Today, you can buy a branch secretary for a few packs of cigarettes, not to mention marrying a daughter to him." Mao's slogan, "The masses have sharp eyes," encouraged people to report wrongdoing and corruption fell dramatically. His insistence on merely shaming corrupt officials worked because, says Sydney Rittenberg  An old friend of the party assesses China's new leaders. Rob Schmitz. Marketplace. November 19, 2012 . "Nobody locked their doors. The banks–there was a local bank branch on many, many corners–the door was wide open, the currency was stacked up on the table in plain sight of the door, there were no guards and they never had a bank robbery, ever."
As its accomplishments demonstrate, postwar China was free of corruption at the policy-making level but, especially during the forty year Reform and Opening, lower level corruption flourished. Anticipating this in 1980, planners redesigned officials' incentives so that bribers would effectively be rewarding them for expediting the plan, says Yukon Huang  Yukon Huang was the World Bank's Director for China. The Diplomat , "The system countered the growth‐inhibiting aspects of corruption by setting investment and production targets that gave local officials incentives to promote expansion. It fostered a unity of purpose so that, even when corruption flourished, the collaborators still made growth the guiding principle of their actions. This was reinforced by competition between localities to meet targets and support productivity‐enhancing economic reforms. The competitive element helped curb waste and ensured a modicum of efficiency despite the high degree of state intervention in commercial activities." Sometimes though, as throughout Chinese history, things got out of hand.
Acting on a tipoff about smuggling, Beijing secretly sent detectives to Xiamen Port in 1999 but the smugglers, tipped off, set fire to the investigators' hotel and killed them as they slept. On national television the next day, Premier Zhu Rongji declared war and ordered a hundred coffins, "Ninety-nine for the crooks and one for me." Detectives from across the country converged on the city and what they found staggered them: four million tons of imported diesel fuel had bypassed customs in just two years. They tracked hundreds of suspects, locked escapees in a local hotel with armed guards on each floor, and spent three years unravelling a case so complex that the customs files alone would be higher than a ten-story building. The gang had bribed the vice-minister of Public Security, Li Jizhou, through his wife and daughter, and Li and thirteen others were sentenced to death, his wife to thirty months in prison and three hundred officials were tried for aiding or abetting the criminals. The ringleader, farmer-turned-smuggler Lai Changxing, fled to Canada, was extradited, and jailed for life in 2009.
After ten years of economic free rein the economy was booming but critics complained of endemic corruption, forgetting that the cycle of alternating liberal and conservative policies is as old and predictable as the moon. Rapid growth had solved many problems but a new cycle was presaged by a nepotism scandal, a form of corruption to which family centric China is uniquely vulnerable. Emperor Wu of Han curbed nepotism by examination in the second century BC and sixteen centuries later, of two-hundred seventy-nine senior officials whose family histories we know  China's Meritocratic Examinations and the Ideal of Virtuous Talents. Xiao, H., & Li, C. (2013). In D. Bell & C. Li (Eds.), The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative Perspective: Cambridge University Press. , fewer than half had forebears in government (by 2018, it was one-sixth).
In 1985 Bo Xilai, son of a Revolutionary Immortal and Xi Jinping's schoolmate, had ignored his father's pleas to stay out of politics, "You know nothing of the sufferings of ordinary people and just want to capitalize on my name." Xilai cultivated a charismatic image, was named one of Time's Most Influential People, rose rapidly to provincial governor and publicly campaigned for a cabinet position. But, as conservative scholar Cheng Li said at the time, "Nobody really trusts him. A lot of people are scared of him, including several princelings who are supposed to be his power base." Michael Wines wrote that, though he possessed prodigious charisma and deep intelligence, "He possessed a studied indifference to the wrecked lives that littered his path to power Mr. Bo's ruthlessness stood out." With the help of Justice Minister Zhou Yongkang, Bo had even wiretapped President Hu.
Despite considerable internal resistance, Vice Premier Wu Yi, the nation's highest woman official, demanded an open investigation and a 2012 trial revealed that Bo owned expensive properties around the world and that his wife had murdered a British agent. They were jailed for life and joined a long line of disgraced elites like the grandson of China's Head of State and founder of the Red Army, Zhu De, who was executed for rape, and Yan Jianhong, wife of Guizhou's powerful Party Secretary, who was executed for corruption.
With prosperity assured, and elite corruption confronted, Congress anointed Xi Jinping, the most honest, competent official of his generation, to succeed President Hu. In its first year, Xi's anti-corruption campaign saw ten thousand officials passed over for promotion for concealing information and one-hundred thirty-thousand demoted or disciplined for making false declarations. By 2016, prosecutors had charged sixty-three senior officials and ministers with corruption, released confessions from fifty-seven thousand Party members who made restitution and accepted demotions and seen Yunnan's corrupt Party Secretary, Bai Enpei, sentenced to death. By 2018, anti-corruption squads had investigated 1.3 million bureaucrats, filed a million court cases, issued one hundred thousand indictments, captured thousands of overseas fugitives and jailed or executed one-hundred twenty high-ranking officials–including five national leaders, twelve generals, a dozen CEOs and Sun Zhengcai, former Chongqing Party chief, who was sentenced to life in prison for taking huge bribes. After a 2019 industrial explosion in Tianjin killed one-hundred sixty-five people, the magistrate found that petty bribery had led to weak code enforcement, sentenced the responsible official to death, and jailed forty-nine of his colleagues.
Graft investigators unannounced inspections now resemble elite athletes' doping tests. An Anhui inspection team telephoned an official four times between 7:31-7:35 one evening about his poverty alleviation efforts. He was showering and, when he failed to answer, they reported him for obstruction and moved to dismiss him. Happily, through social media, the public came to his defense and he was exonerated.
Knowing that that ten percent of their statements will be audited, even deputy county officials now report their marital status, overseas travel, criminal record, wages, other earnings, family properties, stocks, funds, insurance and investments. If they refuse to answer questions, or collude with, or protect accomplices, they are detained immediately.
Bureaucrats–especially those with leadership ambitions–endure increasing scrutiny as they advance, says Zhao Bing Bing  Daniel Bell and Zhao Bing Bing, The China Model. , "The selection criteria are: a person must have 'both ability and moral integrity and the latter should be prioritized  The same wording as the Chief Censor used in the Tang Dynasty. .'" Midlevel officials must report their own assets and those of their parents, wives, children, children's spouses and cousins, children from previous marriages, children born out of wedlock and foster children. They must report their income, savings, real estate, stock portfolios, insurance policies, unit trusts, bonds, assets in overseas accounts and, "Income shall include salary and various bonuses, allowances, subsidies, and payment you receive from lectures, writing, consultation, reviewing, painting and calligraphy." Says a scion of a prominent family:
I am a Party Member in China and all my family are Party members. What I think of Xi is that the life is really changing after he came to power. A relative of mine works for the government as a vital governor in my city Chengdu (which is a big city like BeiJing or ShangHai), then all my family people are like in the hierarchy of privilege. We pay nothing when go out for dinner, the Party pays. We pay nothing for filling in oil, the Party pays. It seems like we don't need to pay for anything with our salaries, cause either the Party pays, or someone will pay for us (who wants to flatter us). I smoke the best, I drink the best, sometimes I even drive without license when drunk, because I fear no one.
In past times, yes we did have privilege everywhere, I felt so arrogant to be superior to others that's also true. But the problem is, there is a tradeoff. We drank quite a lot of alcohol to show respect to others, we had to accept bribes even we know it's risky, cause we have to consider about our clan (like the interest of my boss). We had to do some many things we don't want to do, that's the rule of living in Party, care about the interest of Clan more than your own. That's how we united. We have to fear a lot of threats from ordinary people, colleagues, and bosses. We cannot keep our own passports, Party keeps it in case of we flee.
But life changed after Xi came to power, he did real things on anti-corruption. No one dare to present gifts to governors and the abuse of public funds is strictly monitored. The Party took back the public cars from my family and even we have to pay for the parking fee now! But..my family and I are actually happy with this, we are thankful to President Xi. Cause he seems like dragging China to a healthier future. My relatives don't need to go out for dinner with other governors as social intercourse daily, they don't need to drink so much on the table. And they start to learn to pay for the bill by turns, cause the Party will no longer do this for them. They start to learn how to take bus or metro. That's good, actually. People start to think about what kind of lifestyle is called 'healthy,' they are more like human now, no longer some conceited stupid with expanding power. That's how our life changed after Xi came.
Senior ministers' lives have become excruciatingly transparent. Their private activities are scrutinized and their children must adopt assumed names to avoid influence-seekers. Their meetings must have third-party observers as one-on-one appointments are taken as evidence of impropriety. A record of excessive, or poor quality, government debts is treated as prima facie evidence of corruption and automatically investigated. Senior officials are audited annually after retirement, remain responsible for the consequences of all their decisions until the day they die and, even then, clawback provisions apply.
Xi invited amateur corruption fighters to join the campaign and Beijing publishes a monthly scoresheet. Citizens text tips and complaints to the Rules and Discipline Committee (founded in the Tang Dynasty) at #12388 and often post accusations and photographs of evidence on social media and request additional witnesses. Social media have made the masses' eyes sharper. Netizens scrutinizing a news photograph noticed the work safety boss of Shaanxi province grinning broadly as he assessed the twisted wreckage of a bus and a methanol tanker following an accident that left 36 people dead. They spotted his expensive timepiece and their tipoff and subsequent investigation sent Yang Dacai, Brother Watch, to jail for fourteen years for taking a million dollars in bribes.
Today visitors burn incense at the shrines of great corruption fighters, the battle with official corruption still accounts for half of all Chinese dramas, and millions watch TV dramas about 'Justice Bao' Zheng, the incorruptible Prefect of the Capital in 1000 AD. A popular TV series, 'In the Name of People,' depicts current-day intra-Party power struggles in the fictional city of Jingzhou. There a prosecutor and a handful of honest local officials help laid-off workers protest a corrupt land deal, foil corrupt bureaucrats sabotaging an arrest warrant, and stop fake police bulldozing honest citizens' homes. The show's writers say they have no shortage of material.
The anti-corruption campaign has been immensely popular and, by any measure, successful. In 2018, eighty-three percent of Chinese said the government runs the country for everyone's benefit and ninety-three percent said they trust it–figures rivaling Switzerland's and Finland's. But it was just a prelude to what will probably be Xi's most memorable contribution to Chinese history, the creation of the National Supervision Commission  The National Supervision Commission was formed at the first session of the 13th National People's Congress in 2018 and absorbed the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China. .
Until 2018, anti-corruption work was shared by the National Bureau of Corruption Prevention, which recommended anti-corruption policies and handled international anti-corruption coordination. The Supreme People's Procuratorate investigated various kinds of malfeasance. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection enforced party loyalty, anti-graft, ethical and Party lifestyle requirements among civil servants and leading officials who are Party members, but turned criminal evidence over to the state for prosecution. The Ministry of Supervision, MOS, supervised civil servants who were non-Party members, investigated graft, misappropriation of public funds and other duty-related violations.
The Commission subsumes their functions into an independent, fourth arm of government that ranks with the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice. As the most powerful such agency on earth, it employs legislation, digital technology (including face recognition and AI), the sharp eyes of the people, and great investigative powers. With the goal of making corruption impossible, it centralizes all anti-corruption processes and exercises authority over all civil servants within and outside the Party, the government, the People's Congresses, the local supervisory commissions, the people's courts and procuracy, the People's Congresses, the eight democratic parties, federations of industry and commerce, and everyone who works in, or consults for, organizations managing public affairs. With extensive powers to interrogate, search, wiretap, detain suspects and freeze their assets, its writ extends to managers of state owned enterprises, state educational, scientific, research, cultural, health care, sports, and similar agencies, think tanks, village and urban residents committees, and 'all other personnel who perform public duties' and oversees provincial, city, and county level anti-corruption agencies.
Congress appoints the Commission's senior staff and Yang Xiaodu, its first director was, like Xi, a sent-down youth who performed manual labour in Anhui province during the Cultural Revolution. Staff need not be Party members but they can never work in another arm of government for the rest of their lives. The Commission is a political, not administrative body, and is exempt from the extensive procedural and substantive constraints on administrative organs like the police. Though the law requires staff to pay compensation 'in accordance with law' for infringing people's lawful rights and interests, it does not provide a right of further recourse through the courts, but does permit targets to appeal to higher-level organs for re-examination of the Commission's decisions and to challenge unlawful conduct like prolonged detention.
If the Commission comes even close to its goal of making corruption impossible, grateful citizens will credit Confucius and the First Emperor for limiting political power to a single lifetime and confining it to those who demonstrate both honesty and intelligence. They will credit the present dynasty for testing officials in the wilderness and imposing extraordinary transparency, themselves for their unwillingness to tolerate corruption, and Xi Jinping for creating the most powerful corruption-fighting agency in history. Looking back only ten years, it is difficult to believe that corruption in China is on track to rival Singapore's by 2021.
* Corruption in Eighteenth-Century China. Nancy E. Park. The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 56, no. 4, 1997.
 Qu Yuan, 340-278 BC, was a Chu kingdom official and government minister who wrote some of the greatest poetry in Chinese history.
 From Huáng-Míng Zǔxùn (Instructions of the Ancestor of the August Ming), admonitions left to his descendants by the Hongwu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644).
 An old friend of the party assesses China's new leaders. Rob Schmitz. Marketplace. November 19, 2012
 Yukon Huang was the World Bank's Director for China. The Diplomat
 China's Meritocratic Examinations and the Ideal of Virtuous Talents. Xiao, H., & Li, C. (2013). In D. Bell & C. Li (Eds.), The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative Perspective: Cambridge University Press.
 Daniel Bell and Zhao Bing Bing, The China Model.
 The same wording as the Chief Censor used in the Tang Dynasty.
 The National Supervision Commission was formed at the first session of the 13th National People's Congress in 2018 and absorbed the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China.
FatPanda , says: September 26, 2019 at 7:28 pm GMTGreat article.d dan , says: September 26, 2019 at 8:04 pm GMT
Is that "law breaking" chart from Jeff Browns "China Rising" book? The name has changed?One salient difference between the Chinese and the Western concept of corruption is the role of laws. For people in the west, the definition of corruption is strongly tied to, and in fact mostly defined through laws. To put it very crudely: anything legal is not corruption, and vice versa (i.e. all corruption is illegal).Muggles , says: September 26, 2019 at 9:40 pm GMT
In China, there is an additional emphasis of the moral aspect and it is less constrained by laws. An immoral action, even if it is legal, may still be considered a corruption by the Chinese society. For example, if a relative of Xi would to give a speech, and then received an exorbitant fee, it probably would be considered a corruption in China. However, in US, this is perfectly legal (and a reason many ex-politicians and ex-government employees become very rich) and it won't be considered a corruption.
There is really no right or wrong in either approaches. Both contains their pros and cons. The Western way has the advantage of transparency that make it easier to follow. But it favors the rich and powerful people who can find loopholes and workarounds to the laws. It also has the disadvantage of difficulty in keeping abreast with advances and changes of society and technologies . The Chinese way has the advantage of flexibility to meeting the moral standard and demands from the people, but may become confusing and uncertain for many people like businessmen or foreigners.In case you hadn't noticed from prior postings, "Godfree Roberts" is a fake name for a CCP propaganda writer who scours the Internet for things to promote official views for, such as this absurd piece.SteveK9 , says: September 26, 2019 at 9:41 pm GMT
The stilted prose and logic is evident. His stuff is full of charts and graphs which magically appear on his computer, unlike yours or mine. Much of that might be "true" in the sense of basic historical writings, but selectively edited. Current Chinese leader Xi here is extolled as chasing "corruption" away. Ha!
The CCP knows corruption/graft, etc. is poison to their authoritarian one party state dictatorship. It is endemic in all such states. So periodically there are huge purges, trials, executions, etc. and a new set of stooges are risen up. Some get the message, most just bow humbly and wait for the storm to pass. It is as old as China. Of course government corruption is hardly unique to China. But in places where party leaders can be voted out (not merely a few shot for effect) it can be cleaned out periodically. Chinese are wisely quiet and cynical about this.
Meanwhile Mr. "Roberts" probably earns a very nice salary doing this work. Maybe even teaches English and propaganda messaging part time. Billions are spent censoring the Internet there and creating rosy statistics. Some gullible foreigners buy into that. Fair enough. Every State has its hired liars and propaganda artists. But China has really set the mark for its effort.
Just avoid going there and saying anything negative. Their prisons are not like ours.What mechanisms are in place to keep this from going too far? That is, accusing someone for personal reasons, for example, to further one's own career.Anonymous  Disclaimer , says: September 26, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMTI thought Bo Xilai was a maoist and so was Zhou Yongkang, both also had countryside experiences similar to Xi Jinping, and Bo Xilai as mayor of Chongqing was very much aligned with Maoists and worked on rehabilitating the memory of the cultural revolution.Tusk , says: September 26, 2019 at 11:18 pm GMT
I have viewed Xi Jinping with more suspicion because his family has a lot of wealth and he sent his daughter to Harvard. He also did not agitate for rehabilitating the cultural revolution when it would have been more politically risky for him to have done so, like Bo Xilai did.
Xi Jinping isn't anywhere near the leftist Bo Xilai was.
Godfree did you communicate with Chinese who lived in Chongqing under Bo Xilai's mayorship, what did they say then? I recall the corrupt wealthy hating him and the poor loving him. let's not forget Bo Xilai also had anti-corruption anti-gang campaigns.Svevlad , says: September 26, 2019 at 11:37 pm GMT
I am a Party Member in China and all my family are Party members. What I think of Xi is that the life is really changing after he came to power
I wonder if the Government would have something to say if he spoke out against the party and against Xi? Considering that people have received jail sentences (of years) for calling Xi a steamed bun, and that Winnie the Pooh is banned because poor Xi can't handle light hearted criticism I think we all know the answers here.
This is the ultimate corruption that a society faces – the inability to communicate freely and to criticise those accountable. Every Chinese citizen is under the CCP Yoke regardless of how this CCP shill wants to spin it.Corruption exists everywhere. It's just that it depends on what level it occurs. Heck, in the West, it's legal! Lobbying, they call it You can't bribe a cop to forgive a ticket, but goddamn you can bribe a politician to drive the country into the ground.peterAUS , says: September 27, 2019 at 2:05 am GMT@Muggles Pretty much.FatPanda , says: September 27, 2019 at 7:06 am GMT@Muggles I am a US expat, and happen to live in the China Mainland, and my impression is that most Chinese believe Xi Jinping is doing a great job. What do you care really? Do you have any dogs in this race?Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 9:47 am GMT
Talk about propaganda. Tell me then whom are the following:
New Tang Dynasty
There is no doubt in my mind China is a threat to the hegemony of the West. I definitely prefer Western civilization. But if forced to choose between Chung Kuo and Babel 2.0, I'll take the former every time.@FatPanda I think we both got it from the same source.Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 10:11 am GMT@Muggles It's not often someone gets so many things wrong in such a tight space. Congratulations.Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
I've published at least six books, none about China, my bio is all over the place, and I run a business in under my own name.
If you want accurate information about China, stilted prose is inevitable. Real writers, professionals, are paid to lie about China. Anyone who tries to tell the truth is shunned, not only by our mainstream media, but by the PRC, which prefers to let its accomplishments speak for themselves.
I estimate that, since 1950, we taxpayers have spent $100 billion creating and disseminating lies about China–$1.5 billion annually. Money well spent, if you're in the top 1%, because it convinces the masses that, in Margaret Thatcher's words, there is no alternative to our failing system.
CIA Director William Casey confirmed this when he told President Reagan in 1981, "We'll know our disinformation campaign has worked when everything the American public believes is false." Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, revealed that four hundred journalists had 'secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.' All major US media outlets cooperated, he said, including ABC, NBC, AP, UPI, Reuters, Newsweek, Hearst, the Miami Herald, and the New York Herald‑Tribune.
Udo Ulfkotte, Editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, says that no significant European journalist, including himself, was free of CIA influence. Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew outlined the consequences:
The Philippines press enjoys all the freedoms of the US system but fails the people: a wildly partisan press helped Philippines politicians flood the marketplace of ideas with junk and confuse and befuddle the people so that they could not see what their vital interests were in a developing country. And, because vital issues like economic growth and equitable distribution were seldom discussed, they were never tackled and the democratic system malfunctioned. Look at Taiwan and South Korea: their free press runs rampant and corruption runs riot. The critic itself is corrupt yet the theory is, if you have a free press, corruption disappears. Now I'm telling you, that's not true. Freedom of the press, freedom of news critics, must be subordinated to the overriding needs of the integrity of Singapore and to the primacy of purpose of an elected government.
Says Ann Lee, "
A reporter and friend of Michael Massing who worked at the Beijing office of The Wall Street Journal told him that the editors in Washington regularly changed material information and opinions in his articles. Given the twelve-hour time difference, by the time his stories went to press in the West, the editors had replaced all the Chinese interviews with statements from American talking heads who work at think tanks promoting anti-China perspectives."
The weird result of this enormous, expensive effort is that, while we were busy lying to ourselves about China, the Chinese were busy eating our lunch, and now it's too late. By 2021 every Chinese will have a home, a job, plenty of food, education, safe streets, health- and old age care. 300,000,000 urban Chinese will have more net worth and disposable income than the average American, their mothers and infants will be less likely to die in childbirth, their children will graduate from high school three years ahead of American kids and live longer, healthier lives and there will be more drug addicts, suicides and executions, more homeless, poor, hungry and imprisoned people in America than in China.
What's more, they'll be ahead of us in science and technology–they're already ahead in math, chemistry, engineering and computer science–because they have 10x more geniuses and spend 3x more on R&D than we do.
They pulled it off because rubes like you believed the bs you read in our media and insulted anyone who tried to tell you the truth. Congratulations.
 A direct quote, provided and authenticated by Barbara Honegger, White House Policy Analyst and Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy in the first Reagan Administration, 1981–83, who was present at the briefing and confirmed it with other witnesses.
 "The CIA and the Media: How America's Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up." Carl Bernstein. Rolling Stone, 1977.
 Gekaufte Journalisten (Bought Journalists), Udo Ulfkotte. Kopp Verlag. 2014. The English language edition, Journalists For Hire: How The CIA Buys The News, has been suppressed.
 A Third World Perspective on the Press. RH Lee Kwan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore. C-SPAN, APRIL 14, 1988
 What the U.S. Can Learn from China: An Open-Minded Guide to Treating Our Greatest Competitor as Our Greatest Teacher, by Ann Lee, 2012
 Editor of The Columbia Journalism Review.@SteveK9 There are several mechanisms.Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 11:13 am GMT
The first is to do what Confucian states are always supposed to do: recruit your brightest sparks, promote the most honest, competent of them until the topmost are the very best you've got. As its track record demonstrates, the current dynasty has earned everyone's trust by doing that consistently.
The next step is making the process transparent: publish the rules, put an accountable person in charge of the process–someone with a great deal to lose if they're perceived as being unfair or dishonest (interestingly, Rome's Chief Censor was also such a person) and China's current censor is one of the most admired people in the country.
Then, have a transparent appeals process so that everyone can watch issues being thrashed out.
It's a human and therefore, imperfect, process but people don't expect perfection of their leaders, just best efforts–and that's what the PRC delivers.@Anonymous Bo was very popular in Chongqing and people still point to the trees he planted and to the rapid progress they made under his administration.Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 11:18 am GMT
But that is a sine qua non in Chinese government. Even someone as high born as Bo can only hope for advancement if they show dramatic, tangible progress in their area of responsibility.
I suspect from his profile that Bo was a high functioning sociopath whose birth allowed him to bypass many of the filters in the system.
He is often spoken of as a 'rival' of Xi Jinping, but that is simply a Western projection. China's elite knew about Bo's liabilities for decades and one of the reasons Xi got the nod was that he ranked as high as Bo socially. Do you remember how Xi 'disappeared' for ten days following his promotion to the Peacock Throne? He was meeting with his and Bo's peers–their age cohort–to get their blessing on the cleanup he had planned.@Tusk Nobody has suffered from calling Xi a steamed bun.Tusk , says: September 27, 2019 at 12:48 pm GMT
However, Chinese don't call their leaders names because their relationship to officials is entirely different from our (Roman) relationship. Martin Jacques explains it well:
The Chinese state enjoys much greater legitimacy than any Western state. The Chinese treat the state with a reverence and respect that is more or less unknown in the West; and the reason clearly has nothing to do with democracy. In other words, a state's legitimacy cannot be reduced to the existence or otherwise of democracy: on the contrary, democracy is not necessarily the most important factor in a state's legitimacy and may, as in the case of China, be relatively unimportant. The underlying reason for the legitimacy of the Chinese state is that, as discussed earlier, it is seen by the people as the embodiment and guardian of Chinese civilization, enjoying, as a consequence, something akin to a spiritual significance. It follows that what would undermine the legitimacy of a government, the present one included, is a threat to the country's unity. The attitude of the Chinese towards the state, thus, is very different to that of Westerners. For the latter, the state is an outsider, a stranger, even an interloper, whose presence should, as far as possible, be limited and confined. This is most obviously the case in the United States, with those who identify with the Tea Party, for example, regarding the state as an alien body, but even in Europe it is viewed with varying degrees of suspicion. In China, in contrast, the state and society are seen as on the same side and part of the same endeavour: the state enjoys the status of an intimate and is treated like a member of the family, not just any member but the head of the family – the patriarch himself. We can only understand the immense authority of the Chinese state in these terms, an authority which has been reinforced by the fact that, unlike in the West, it has had no serious rivals for over a millennium.@Godfree Roberts https://international.thenewslens.com/article/65955klcTan , says: September 27, 2019 at 1:22 pm GMT
Huh@Mugglesd dan , says: September 27, 2019 at 4:12 pm GMT
Jeff J Brown has spoken to Godfree and the video is on youtube. I have seen the video myself.
Godfree stays in ChiangMai, Thailand.@Godfree RobertsGodfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 10:57 pm GMT
"The weird result of this enormous, expensive effort is that, while we were busy lying to ourselves about China "
At this stage, any one who still believes in the western propaganda about China is simply too brain-washed and not too smart for any cure. Excuse me, I should say "too dumb for any cure".
For example, Nathan Rich's recent video shows how media biased reporting of Hong Kong compare with Ukraine riots. The contrast can't be anymore stark:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/-2Rr8hZK2aQ?feature=oembed@Tusk "Radio Free Asia reports .". RFA is a US Government propaganda outlet. 100% WMD, 24×7.Ber , says: September 28, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT@Godfree Roberts Here is a good analysis of how the main stream media (MSM) gang up to give propaganda, and how I wish they have objective comments about China or any country they do not like.Erebus , says: September 28, 2019 at 4:05 am GMT
All these so-called anti communist slant against countries, I suspect, have its origins in the Vatican. People seem to forget that they should bear false witness
https://www.youtube.com/embed/yUGPIeE9kMc?feature=oembed@peterAUSTusk , says: September 28, 2019 at 4:20 am GMT
Are you sharing the 10′ of 1″ pipe through which you view the world with Muggles? Are you aware that Muggles did nothing but add a few more feet to it?
People view the world through narratives, and the value of a narrative lies only in how closely it follows and "explains" the widest possible array of empirical facts. Muggles' ignores the vast majority – perhaps even all – of the facts.
Ergo, it renders neither yourself nor your readers any value to champion it. Why make the effort to propagate such an obvious failure? Have you never wondered why you lack the dignity and common sense to desist from promoting something whereof you would more usefully remain silent? Are you even aware of the shortfall?@Godfree Roberts And anything the Chinese government puts out is 100% propaganda as well.Anon  Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 4:48 am GMTCorrupt Chinese have practically taken over the US West Coast and Northeast. There isn't anywhere you could go in LA, Bay Area or Seattle without encountering mandarin speaking people. 99.9% Chinese nationals in the US are corrupt. With a nominal per capita GDP of $8,600, the only people who could afford to emigrate or send their children abroad for education are the rich, and China is so corrupt, no one can get rich without being corrupt, either by taking bribes or giving them. These are the corrupt factory owners who leave behind polluted rivers and air for their countrymen to die from while they escape to greener pastures with their family, and the government officials they bribed to pollute at will.Ruckus , says: September 28, 2019 at 4:54 am GMT
The New York Times exposed some of them a few years back, it's only gotten worse since:
They are taking full advantage of the lack of extradition treaty btwn US and China.
They are bribing the US congress to end the per country cap on EB5 visas, where 80% of applicants are corrupt Chinese. The House passed the HR 1044 bill a few months ago scrapping the H1b cap for India and EB5 cap for China. Now Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is trying to get the same bill passed in the Senate. Chuck Grassley and Diane Feinstein tried to kill off the EB5 a few times, but Trump and SIL wouldn't let them. The Kushner family relies on EB5 money for their real estate development.
EB5 is the #1 get out of jail on the cheap card for corrupt Chinese. Many are now buying homes in the US and letting their high school and college age children live in those houses, sometimes 16 year olds who could barely speak English living in million dollar homes by themselves, attending our local high schools for free.
I know of a woman from China in my area who works for JP Morgan, who handles all rich clients from China. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the FBI shows up at her house one day and walks her out in handcuffs, for helping rich Chinese launder their money in the US. The US needs to deport every single last one of these disgusting corrupt pigs to let them go back to China and face trial.Curious to see the author responding 6 times now (in only 20 posts) to commentors. Aren't the new site rules against this? It's a little off-putting to see an article author respond at all, not to mention that it buttresses Muggles's assertions.Anon  Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 4:55 am GMT
inb4 Godfree's reply, lolzChina is now detaining family members of corrupt officials who return to China with US passports to lure the corrupt husband/father back to China:renfro , says: September 28, 2019 at 4:57 am GMT
Good for them. They need to work out a treaty with all countries to return their fugitives.I have no reason to doubt Roberts.Anon  Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 5:04 am GMT
Years ago I read a news report on the execution of a Chinese manufacturing official who was bribed into buying some cheaper ingredient, I think it was, that turned out to sicken or poison people.
Maybe Roberts remembers that.
Some executions or long prison terms for the corrupt in the US would be a good thing.@klcTan Isn't Chaing Mai the headquarters of the Asian opinion heroin trade?aandrews , says: September 28, 2019 at 5:19 am GMTWow, the scale of the corruption kinda explains all the bizarrely rich ChiComs that took a powder to Vancouver, BC.Anon  Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 5:21 am GMT@d dan You are right the US is also very corrupt. The book Tailspin – The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty Year Fall by Steven Brill is a great read. America is destroyed by its effed up laws, mostly crafted by Jewish lawyers, who basically built corruption into laws sanctioned by the Supreme Court through cases like Citizens United and Super PAC.peterAUS , says: September 28, 2019 at 5:40 am GMT
This country is destroyed by (((lawyers))). As Niall Ferguson said, we no longer have the rule of law, we have the rule of (((lawyers))).
Germany and the Scandinavian countries would consider our campaign financing and lobbying industry as corruption on a mass scale. Hitler lost the battle of WWII but won the war for Germany by ridding them of the Jews, until Merkel the idiot came along but that's another story.@peterAUS Author's "remuneration" coming from the same/similar fund?!anonymous  Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT
United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party, that is.
.The United Front, which is supported by considerable resources and a vast bureaucratic operation, was called one of his "magical weapons" by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September 2014. One of the objectives is to co-opt ethnic Chinese individuals and organizations in foreign countries
.Xi has delivered multiple speeches and made it formal policy to demand loyalty and commitment from diasporas who the Party refers to as the "sons and daughters" of China. The United Front is the apparatus of choice.
.In Australia, the majority of Chinese-language press are owned by entities with at least partial links to Beijing.
Now, that line of thought could go even further in this pub . but, let's skip that, for the moment.
Anyway, a good gig for sure.I had a roommate in college who was from China. He pretty much said that if you know people in the government or have money you could get away with a lot. One of his parents was a customs official, and so he would talk about different things he planned on smuggling to China when he returned with no worries. This was in the late 90's, though.Realist , says: September 28, 2019 at 10:42 am GMT@d danRealist , says: September 28, 2019 at 10:50 am GMT
At this stage, any one who still believes in the western propaganda about China is simply too brain-washed and not too smart for any cure. Excuse me, I should say "too dumb for any cure".
And speaking of media bias, Gordon Chang is one of the worst US anti-China propagandist there is he is never right.No country can hold a candle to the US for corruption lying, greed, hypocrisy or hegemony.onebornfree , says: Website September 28, 2019 at 11:06 am GMTThe naivete displayed in this article concerning the unavoidable, true, core, fundamental nature of all governments everywhere,[past present, or future], is, sadly, very, very common in both East, West and all points between.nsa , says: September 28, 2019 at 11:17 am GMT
Reality fact: All governments are 100% corrupt, all the time.
Its impossible for them to be anything else, given the sources of their entirely unearned income.[see first quote below].
To make an exception in the case of modern China succeeds only in highlighting the extreme naivete and gullibility of the articles author. Either that [naivete/gullibility], or the author is just another communist party hack who has no idea [or doesn't care] about the extreme danger to all humanity that the communist "ideology" represents, and in particular, has zero idea about how centralized, top down economic systems all inevitably must "work", and what inevitably must/will happen to majority of the population in a country that enforces the idiotic, anti- free market, top-down economic policies of any of the various brands of collectivism, be those policies be labelled "communism", "fascism" ,"nationalism", "democratic socialism", or whatever. Hint: it's called "extreme poverty and enslavement".
Even the historical record of the 20th century vis a vis all forms of collectivism, [including that of Chinas' "great leap forward", is consistently ignored/ covered up.[ "That was then, this is now"!]
In "defense" of this author, I'll just remind myself that the very same false assumptions concerning the true nature of all governments are at the core of almost every Unz.com article I've read here in the last 6 months since I started reading this site. Indeed, the exact same false assumptions concerning the true nature of all governments are consistently evident in the articles by the sites owner, Ron Unz. Recently, I even experienced the pleasure of being banned by one author here [A. Karlin], for pointing out that his own revered "nationalism" was just another brand of socialism.
And so it goes .. :
"Because they are all ultimately funded via both direct and indirect theft [taxes], and counterfeiting [via central bank monopolies], all governments are essentially, at their very cores, 100% corrupt criminal scams which cannot be "reformed","improved", nor "limited" in scope, simply because of their innate criminal nature." onebornfree
"Taking the State wherever found, striking into its history at any point, one sees no way to differentiate the activities of its founders, administrators and beneficiaries from those of a professional-criminal class." Albert J. Nock
"Why should any self-respecting citizen endorse an institution grounded on thievery? For that is what one does when one votes. If it be argued that we must let bygones be bygones, see what can be done toward cleaning up the institution of the State so that it might be useful in the maintenance of orderly existence, the answer is that it cannot be done; you cannot clean up a brothel and yet leave the business intact. We have been voting for one "good government" after another, and what have we got?" Frank Chodorov, Out of Step (1962)
"Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure." Robert LeFevre
Regards, onebornfree@d dan " ..media biased Hong Kong reporting ."Kal , says: September 28, 2019 at 11:25 am GMT
How would American cops react to punks tossing Molotov Cocktails at them? Arson is a felony but there would be no need for a trial just a coroner.@Godfree Robertson, What do you think the Chinese diaspora especially in Canada, U.S., and Australia do? The ones that hold foreign passports I mean. And my experience with Chinese people is they largely dislike the government, but have an extreme aggressive nationalism for their country which only manifests when a 外国人 says something. Because as far as I can tell Chinese rush to get out of China and you yourself don't seem to live there either. I personally don't doubt your claims that China will be better off than America, but why is there still a lot of emigration? Another question are you aware of any attempts or plans to fix the massive pollution problem? look forward from hearing back from you.melpol , says: September 28, 2019 at 12:15 pm GMTMy former employer had no use for corruption, even a paperclip was accounted for due to the office spy. We had only 20 employees and nobody dared badmouth the boss. My job was terminated when the office spy reported me taking home paper cups from the water fountain. My boss received his jobs from the local government by bribing a few politicians. But he demanded honesty from his staff.Anonymous  Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 12:38 pm GMT@onebornfree Reality fact: All you (((LoLbertarians))) are 100% pedo, all the time.Godfree Roberts , says: September 28, 2019 at 12:40 pm GMT
"In short, we must face the fact that the purely free society will have a flourishing free market in children ." -Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) was the dean of the Austrian School of economics, a founder of lolbertarianism@Tusk If propaganda is information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view , then the PRC doesn't put much out. 80% of Chinese trust it, compared to the 30% of us who trust our media.MikeatMikedotMike , says: September 28, 2019 at 12:44 pm GMT
And remember, the Chinese are smarter, better educated and more widely traveled than us.@FatPanda "What do you care really? Do you have any dogs in this race?"MikeatMikedotMike , says: September 28, 2019 at 12:49 pm GMT
He is offering thoughts on an article posted on an American website. Perhaps as an expat living in China you've become too accustomed to only viewing "approved" opinions.I do find watching a presumably white guy, who's shtick is a weekly shilling for a foreign country, whining about treason particularly amusing.Anon  Disclaimer , says: September 28, 2019 at 12:52 pm GMTAnother drawn out piece from the guy who could not get rich in the capitalist usa and lives the good life in bang-cock thailand on social. But, whatever, china is for the Chinese and not for the anglo saxons; he is not allowed in but worships from afar.
My 77 years as a participant observer tell me that corruption and criminality are endemic to any large human society so, therefore, utopianism is a pipe dream.
Nov 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Her messaging confirms what many have long suspected: Nikki Haley is a human weathervane, trying to ingratiate herself to the boss (she knows Trump will remain a popular figure within Republican politics for years to come) while at the same time distancing herself from his most controversial actions.
And, of course, it wouldn't be good, old-fashioned Washington gunslinging if she didn't pin the blame on somebody else. In this case, it was former secretary of state Rex Tillerson and former White House chief of staff John Kelly -- portrayed by Haley as duplicitous snakes who sought to undermine the president behind his back.
Doug Wallis • 9 hours agoShe is a neocon and people arent going to vote for more war. She has no real accomplishments. I think she would make an interesting candidate. A republican woman is generally not as loopy left wing as the democratic women running just because their women. Personally Nikki does not represent my values and I wouldnt vote for her.Fayez Abedaziz • 2 hours agoWell, what does that tell ya about the continuing corruption and ruining of America's elections systems in this evolving, shallower society and the major 'news' media being 'neo-con' run or influenced as such?PeaceObserver • 2 hours ago • edited
It's ridiculous and I'm being kind, that people with no qualifications are seriously being given money and given media exposure such as- Buttgieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and some others with low IQ's and only want the ego tripping and be one of the 'elites' all their non-productive lives.
So, Nikki Haley is seriously one of those to lead America?
You now what, people who vote for these clowns, clowns that never worked in their lives, are just plain shallow too. But...the big donors give these characters money so that they will continue the terrible neo-con foreign policy.
Now, may I ask, as a fella that was born in another nation:
how come I use my real name but Nikki Haley and others do not?
I laugh, as did others, over the years when I say-you would think, that a guy with my name, being a Palestinian/Arab/Moslem heritage, would be the last one to do that!
Well, how 'bout that question in our great big country America? Dig?Opportunism of this one is so sky high that it resembles a cartoonish psychopath. Even her name is not real. A pathological liar who took up barking as a profession because that is what sells these days. Tragedy of America is that snakes move high and up.
Oct 30, 2019 | off-guardian.org
As the Quantum field oversees the disintegration of institutions no longer in service to the public, the Democratic party continues to lose their marbles, perpetuating their own simulated bubble as if they alone are the nation's most trusted purveyors of truth.
Since the Mueller Report failed to deliver on the dubious Russiagate accusations, the party of Thomas Jefferson continues to remain in search of another ethical pretense to justify continued partisan turmoil. In an effort to discredit and/or distract attention from the Barr-Durham and IG investigations, the Dems have come up with an implausible piece of political theatre known as Ukrainegate which has morphed into an impeachment inquiry.
The Inspector General's Report, which may soon be ready for release, will address the presentation of fabricated FBI evidence to the FISA Court for permission to initiate a surveillance campaign on Trump Administration personnel. In addition, the Department of Justice has confirmed that Special Investigator John Durham's probe into the origin of the FBI's counter intelligence investigation during the 2016 election has moved from an administrative review into the criminal prosecution realm. Durham will now be able to actively pursue candidates for possible prosecution.
The defensive assault from the Democrat hierarchy and its corporate media cohorts can be expected to reach a fevered pitch of manic proportions as both investigations threatened not only their political future in 2020 but perhaps their very existence.
NBC s uggests that the Barr investigation is a ' mysterious ' review " amid concerns about whether the probe has any legal or factual basis " while the NY Times continues to cast doubt that the investigation has a legitimate basis implying that AG Barr is attempting to " deliver a political victory for President Trump." The Times misleads its readers with:
Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia investigation, portraying it as a hoax and illegal even months after the special counsel closed it."
when in fact, it was the Russiagate collusion allegations that Trump referred to as a hoax, rather than the Mueller investigation per se.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va), minority leader of the Senate Intel Committee suggested that Attorney General William Barr " owes the Committee an explanation " since the committee is completing a " three-year bipartisan investigation " that has " found nothing to justify " Barr's expanded effort.
The Senator's gauntlet will be ever so fascinating as the public reads exactly how the Intel Committee spent three years and came up with " nothing " as compared to what Durham and the IG reports have to say.
On the House side, prime-time whiners Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) commented that news of the Durham investigation moving towards criminal liability " raised profound concerns that Barr has lost his independence and become a vehicle for political revenge " and that " the Rule of Law will suffer irreparable damage ."
Since Barr has issued no determination of blame other than to assure a full, fair and rigorous investigation, it is curious that the Dems are in premature meltdown as if they expect indictments even though the investigations are not yet complete.
There is, however, one small inconvenient glitch that challenges the Democratic version of reality that does not fit their partisan spin. The news that former FBI General Counsel James Baker is actively cooperating with the BD investigation ought to send ripples through the ranks. Baker has already stated that it was a 'small group' within the agency who led the counterintelligence inquiry into the Trump campaign; notably former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Baker's cooperation was not totally unexpected since he also cooperated with the Inspector General's FISA abuse investigation which is awaiting public release.
As FBI General Counsel, Baker had a role in reviewing the FISA applications before they were submitted to the FISA court and currently remains under criminal investigation for making unauthorized leaks to the media.
As the agency's chief legal officer, Baker had to be a first-hand participant and privy to every strategy discussion and decision (real or contemplated). It was his job to identify potential legal implications that might negatively affect the agency or boomerang back on the FBI. In other words, Baker is in a unique position to know who knew what and when did they know it.
His 'cooperation' can be generally attributed to being more concerned with saving his own butt rather than the Constitution.
In any case, the information he is able to provide will be key for getting to the true origins of Russiagate and the FISA scandal. Baker's collaboration may augur others facing possible prosecution to step up since 'cooperation' usually comes with the gift of a lesser charge.
With a special focus on senior Obama era intel officials Durham has reportedly already interviewed up to two dozen former and current FBI employees as well as officials in the office of the Director of National Intelligence.
From the number of interviews conducted to date it can be surmised that Durham has been accumulating all the necessary facts and evidence as he works his way up the chain of command, prior to concentrating on top officials who may be central to the investigation.
It has also been reported that Durham expects to interview current and former intelligence officials including CIA analysts, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper regarding Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.
In a recent CNN interview , when asked if he was concerned about any wrongdoing on the part of intel officials, Clapper nervously responded:
I don't know. I don't think there was any wrongdoing. It is disconcerting to know that we are being investigated for having done our duty and done what we were told to do by the President."
One wonders if Clapper might be a candidate for 'cooperating' along with Baker.
As CIA Director, Brennan made no secret of his efforts to nail the Trump Administration. In the summer of 2016, he formed an inter-agency taskforce to investigate what was being reported as Russian collusion within the Trump campaign. He boasted to Rachel Maddow that he brought NSA and FBI officials together with the CIA to ' connect the dots ."
With the addition of James Clapper's DNI, three reports were released: October, 2016, December, 2016 and January, 2017 all disseminating the Russian-Trump collusion theory which the Mueller Report later found to be unproven.
Since 1947 when the CIA was first authorized by President Harry Truman who belatedly regretted his approval, the agency has been operating as if they report to no one and that they never owe the public or Congress any explanation of their behaviour or activity or how they spend the money.
Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.
Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU's Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31
Martin UsherI don't think the Democratic leadership wanted a formal impeachment, they would prefer that Trump just faded away quietly before the 2020 election and were in the process of collecting information to reinforce this. They got cornered into formalizing the investigation by Trump's defense team baiting them as part of their overall strategy. It really doesn't change anything.Joerg
Whichever way you slice and/or dice it Trump is fundamentally incompetent, he's unable to fulfill the duties of the office of the President. He also refuses to distinguish between private interests and public service. His cabinet, a rag tag body of industry insiders and special interests, are busy trying to ride roughshod over opposition, established policy and even public opinion to grab as much as possible before the whole house of cards collapses. Its a mess, and its a mess that's quite obviously damaging US interests. Many constituency groups will have gone along with the program because they thought they could control things or benefit from them but as its become increasingly obvious Trump's unable to deliver they've been systematically alienated.
The DNC is playing this with a relatively weak field of potential candidates for 2020. Much as I personally like a Sanders or Warren they're just not going to fly in a Presidential contest -- as we found from the Obama presidency the ship of state just doesn't turn on a dime, you're not going to undo decades or generations of entrenched neoconservatism and a politically divided country overnight by some kind of Second Coming pronouncements. My concern is that if we don't get our collective acts together we're going to end up with a President Romney after 2020 -- a much more reasonable choice considering the last four years but also one that's guaranteed to change nothing. We need the journey but its only going to start with a few steps.
( and as for Trump/collusion we've spent the last three years confusing money with nation states. Trump's a businessman in a business that's notorious for laundering money from dubious sources (this doesn't mean he's involved, of course)(legal disclaimer!). I daresay that if Russia really wanted to sink Trump they could easily do so but why would they bother when he's doing such a great job unaided?)Please make sure You see the Interview-Video "MICHAEL FLYNN CASE UNRAVELS. US-UK DEEP STATE ENTRAPMENT PLAN" on https://youtube.com/channel/UCdeMVChrumySxV9N1w0Au-w – it's a must-see!Jonathan JarvisSomething much deeper going on?Simon Hodges
Latest in series of articles by the author re USA – Ukraine connections
"American Ukrainian nationalists don't like democracy. They don't understand the concept of it and don't care to learn. But they do understand nationalist fascism where only the top of society matters. They are behind the actors of the Intelligence coup going on in the US today .This is the mentality and politics the Diaspora is pushing into American politics today. Hillary Clinton and the DNC is surrounded with this infection which even includes political advisors.
Rest assured they all the related Diasporas are in a fight for their political lives. If Donald Trump wins, their ability to infect American politics might be broken. Many of the leadership will be investigated for attempting to overthrow the government of the United States.""My thoughts on all this are that many of us have become distracted and failed to examine the timeline of events since 9/11. We look at news and conflict in isolation and move on to the next without seeing what is now a clear pattern."Gezzah Potts
In terms of the Middle East you need to go back further than the fortuitous event of 9/11 – at least to 1997 and the founding of the Project for the New American Century which was essentially the first explicit formalisation of the agenda for an imperialist Neoliberal and Neoconservative globalist new world order deployed through the media constructed conflicts of 'good' and 'evil' around the world and with it the call for the 'democratisation' of the Middle East under the alibi of humanitarian interventionism against broadly socialist governments, which since the fall of communism were constructed by Neoliberal fundamentalists as being patently heretical and ideologically illegitimate forms of government. If it is economically illogical to elect a socialist failed form of government then one can only assume that the election must have been rigged.
I started looking at this all a few years ago when I asked myself the question 14 years after the invasion of Iraq: where was the liberal outrage at what had subsequently taken place in the ME? The answer was that from the Invasion of Iraq onward in addition to fully embracing the economics of Neoliberalism as the end of economic history, the progressive 'left' quietly assimilated and reduplicated the fundamentalist illiberal political philosophy of the Neocons. The progressive 'left' both in the UK and US have subsequently become the far Neocon 'right' in all but name and their party hosts of Labour in the UK and the Democrats in the US remain blissfully unaware of all of this. How else can we explain why they would welcome 'Woke' Bill Kristol into their ranks? Once one accepts this hypothesis, then an awful lot falls into place in order to explain the 'Progressive' open support for regime change and the almost total lack of any properly liberal objections to what has taken place ever since.
One key point here is that the Neocons have nothing to do with conservatism or the right. What is striking and most informative about the history of Neo-conservatism is that it does not have its roots in conservatism at all, but grew out of disillusioned US left wing intellectuals who were Marxist, anti-Stalinist Trotskyites. This is important because at the heart of Neo-conservatism is something that appeals strongly to the die hard revolutionaries of the left who hold a strong proclivity for violence, conflict and struggle. If one looks at the type of people in the Labour party who gravitated to the 'progressive' Neoliberal imperialist camp they all exhibit similar personality traits of sociopathic control freaks with sanctimonious Messiah complexes such as Blair. These extremist, illiberal fundamentalists love violence and revolution and the bloodier the better. In Libya or Syria is did not matter that Gadaffi or Assad headed socialist governments, the Neo-colonised progressives would back any form of apparent conflict and bloody revolution in any notional struggle between any identifiable form of 'authority' or 'oppression' with any identifiable form of 'resistance' even if those leading the 'resistance' were head chopping, misogynist, jihadist terrorists. It makes no difference to the fundamentalist revolutionary mindset.
The original left wing who gradually morphed in the Neoconservatives took 30-40 years to make the transition for the 1960s to 1990s. The Labour party Blairites made the same journey from 1990 to 2003. Christopher Hitchens made the same journey in his own personal microcosm.When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end? Does anyone else think that Adam Schiff has a screw or three loose, and should be residing in an institution? And imagine if somehow Mike Pence became Prez. Now that would be something to scare the bejesus out of you.Tim JenkinsAdam Schiff should be shot for Treason, of the highest order, along with many others, including HRC, Brennan & Clapper ; and it should be a public execution, like in Saudi Arabia. This is war on the minds of the masses, that Schiff for brains cares nothing for.vexarb
As for Chuck Schumer, he can have a life sentence, as long as he manages to shut his utterly unfunny dumb vulgar cousin Amy up & keep her out of the public eye, forever
Gezzah, life may seem bad right now: but imagine if, you were Amy Schumer's Husband and father of her child. Talk about obnoxious and utterly nauseating 🙂 , with you Gezzah, all the way.
"When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end?"Pepe sends more news from the real world:vexarb
"The presidential election in Argentina was a game-changer and a graphic lesson. It pitted the people versus neoliberalism. The people won – with new President Alberto Fernandez and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) as his VP.
Neoliberalism was represented by a PR marketing product, Mauricio Macri [a Micron look-alike]: former millionaire playboy, president of football legends Boca Juniors, obsessed with spending cuts, who was unanimously sold by Western MSM as a New Age paradigm.
Well, the paradigm will soon be ejected, leaving behind the usual New Age wasteland: $250 billion in foreign debt, less than $50 billion in reserves; inflation at 55 percent; 35.4 percent of Argentine homes can't make it); and (incredible as it may seem in an agriculturally self-sufficient nation) a food emergency."And from Yemen:vexarb
https://southfront.org/10000-sudanese-troops-to-potentially-withdraw-from-yemen-leaving-saudi-arabia-to-dry/Meanwhile, in the real world, the Denmark's Ukronazi-friendly regime has been brought to heel by Germany's common sense:Antonym
Some big natural gas news very significant for Russia, Germany and the Ukraine. The Danish pipeline sector has been stalled for a while now by anti-Russia, pro-Ukrainian forces within the Scandiwegian NATZO-friendly regimes. But it appears that Nordstream 2 _will_ get completed and that Ukraine's gas transit chokehold on the EU will come to an end when Russia's Nordstream 2 comes online for Europe.
-- -- -- -
Permit for the Nord Stream 2 project is reluctantly granted by the Danish Energy Agency. Nord Stream 2 AG has been granted a permit to construct natural gas pipelines on the Danish continental shelf.
The permit is granted pursuant to the Continental Shelf Act and in accordance with Denmark's obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Denmark has been put under obligation to allow the construction of transit pipelines with respect to resources and the environment.
https://en-press.ens.dk/pressreleases/permit-for-the-nord-stream-2-project-is-granted-by-the-danish-energy-agency-2937696Gas is the second most firm green energy source after nuclear. Denmark manages only due to their undersea cables to Norway's hydro mountains.RobG
In another field has far more common sense than neighbors Germany or Sweden: immigration / integration.In my humble opinion, the Trump stuff is all total nonsense.Wilmers31
Donald Trump was a property speculator in New York (amongst other places) and was heavily involved with the Mafia. Likewise, Trump was heavily involved with Jeffery Epstein.
There's so much dirt on Trump that they could get him with the snap of fingers; but of course that's not what they really want. Trump is pure theatre; a ploy to divert the masses. 'RussiaGate', 'UkraineGate' are all utter rollocks.
Trump and Obama, and all the rest going back to the assassination of Kennedy, are just puppets.
American/ deep state policy doesn't change a jot with any of them.America is always presentation over substance, wrapper over content, and shoot the messenger if you don't like the message. In the meantime the adults in this world outside the US have to hold it all together. Why was for instance Hillary Clinton not in the dock for saying 'Assad must go'?? It was meddling in the highest order.phree
I guess this just goes to show you that a person can be a member of the ACLU, even a leader apparently, and still be highly biased in favor of Trump.George Cornell
Just because a witness is "cooperating" with an investigation does not entail that the witnesses testimony or evidence will favor any particular side.
And implying that Clapper's comments somehow shows guilt when he clearly says he knows of no wrongdoing is pretty over the top.
I've read a lot of what's out there about the start of the initial Russia investigation, and it does seem that some of the FBI personnel leading it (McCabe particularly) were anti-Trump.
Isn't the bigger question whether the investigation was justified based on the reports from the Australians that Trump was getting political dirt on Hillary from Russia? Is the FBI just supposed to ignore those reports? Really?Love the Clapper claim (the same Clapper who lied to Congress) says he was just doing his duty in Russiagate. As GBS said, " when a scoundrel is doing something of which he is ashamed, he always says he is doing his duty".markThe Spook Organisations and the Dirty Cops are a greater threat to our way of life than any foreign army or terrorist group (most of which they created in the first place and which they directly control.) They are a law unto themselves and completely free of any genuine oversight or control.Tim Jenkins
This applies equally to the US and UK. "We lie, we cheat, we steal", as Pompeo helpfully explains. They also murder people, at home and abroad. JFK, David Kelly, Diana, Epstein. They plant bombs and blow people up. Many of the "terrorist atrocities" from Northern Ireland to the present day, were false flag spook operations. The same applies with Gladio on the continent and the plethora of recent false flags.
There is also a long and inglorious history of interference in domestic politics from the Zinoviev Letter onwards. Plots to stage a military coup against the Wilson government of the 60s and 70s, with Mountbatten as its figurehead. The more recent Skripal Hoax. The contrived Syrian Gas Attack Hoaxes and the White Helmets. They would not hesitate to do the same to Corbyn if they deemed it necessary.
The CIA and FBI conspired with the UK and Ukrainian governments to prevent the election of Trump, and then to sabotage and smear his administration once he had been elected. The UK played a major part in this through MI6 and Steele. This is highly dangerous for this country, irrespective of your view of Trump.
Trump has repaid the favour by meddling in Brexit and interfering in UK politics. It is not in his nature to turn the other cheek. We have spook organisations claiming for themselves a right of veto over election results and foreign policy. These people are poor servants and terrible masters. We see Schumer warning against crossing the spook organisations, begging the obvious question – who runs this country, you or the spooks?
The Democrats, the Deep State, the MSM, and the Deranged Left were willing to support these conspiracies and hoaxes, and even suspend disbelief, for the greater good. The ends justify the means. All that matters is getting rid of Trump. Anything goes. The corrosive erosion of trust, credibility and integrity in all the institutions of the state is probably irreparable. The legislature and the political process in general. The judiciary. The spooks and police. About 9% of Americans now believe the MSM.
The irony in all this is that it very much serves Trump's interests. He is extremely vulnerable, having failed to keep any of his promises. Building The Wall, Draining The Swamp, Bringing The Troops Home. Sorting out health care. Building "incredible, fantastic" infrastructure.
All the Democrats had to do was highlight these failures, find a suitable candidate, and put forward some sensible policies, and they were home and dry. Instead, they provided an endless series of diversions and distractions from Trump's failures by charging down every rabbit hole they could find, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, Impeachment. It couldn't work out better for Trump if he was paying them.
Expect to see the Orange Man in the White House for another 4 years. And another even more virulent outbreak of Trump Derangement Syndrome.Enigmatic and brilliant synopsis, m8, lol: & surely BigB could only agree. And you never even mentioned HQ.Intel. inside.Israel, today & their illegal trespass of WhatsApp, via corporate 'subsidiaries' with 'plausible' denial of liability of spying on everything-everything & any body, that could possibly threaten corporate fascist computerised dictatorship: distributing backdoors, like Promis & Prism, liberally & worldwide, the Maxwells legacy . . . (yet)Dungroanin
No need to even discuss, until Western societies ALL get a grip on the depths of depravity that lie within the actions and "The History of the National Security State" you have to admit, that Julian Assange could not have picked a better book to firmly grip and signal with, than GORE Vidal's, when being manhandled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, by Spooks who would sell their own mother, let alone nation, in their utter technological ignorance and adherence to anachronistic doctrines & mentality !
Glad you mentioned 'good ole' cousin ChuckS.' >>> Lol, just for a laugh and a sense of perspective: yes, he is related to Amy Queen of Vulgarity & hideous societal distraction. What a family of wimps & morons: the 'Schumers' being perfect fodder for ridicule & intelligent humour, naturally . . . on a positive note, mark, think yourself lucky that you are not married to or the father of Amy Schumer's child 🙂Catching up Off-G. Excellent.Chris Rogers
Larry C Johnson is at the vanguard on the debacle and is miles ahead on it. Check his output at sst. Here is a short speech outlining the conspiracy.
Two more pieces there – it is moving fast now.
The most important thing for us and deliciously so now the election is happening is the BLOWBACK. Our DS lying murdering arses are going to get new ones drilled by Trump and BoBos bromance exploding in full technicolor.
Think May's dementia tax and Strong and Stable were bad?
Lol. This is going to be a FUN month of early xmases.Dungroanin,Dungroanin
SST is essential reading for anyone concerned with US overseas policy and the corruption of the USA itself in the service of the security state, so, many thanks for posting this link.By sharing we disrupt the msm messages. Bernard at MoonofAlabama is also worth a daily visitation – priceless analysis on multiple subjects.lundiel
Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.
Pretty much a carbon copy of our own oversight. We hear even less about our security services than Americans do of theirs. I'd have thought that events like the spy in the holdall, the spies caught by farmers in Libya, the Skripal's, and the whole over-the-top reaction to the domestic terrorism threat and consequent successful pleas for extra funding, the obvious danger of creating terrorists by security services, the policy of giving asylum to foreign terrorists of countries we don't like and the whole concept of the 5 eyes and GCHQ needs more than ministerial oversight, a committee of yes men/women and an intelligence services commissioner.
Oct 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Taylor notably expressed his concerns in a Sept. 9 text message to US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, saying: " I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. "
To which Sondland replies " Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind, " adding "I suggest we stop the back and forth by text."
On Tuesday, Mr. Taylor directly addressed accusations surrounding Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company that employed Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., one of the leading Democratic candidates for president.
He "drew a very direct line in the series of events he described between President Trump's decision to withhold funds and refuse a meeting with Zelensky unless there was a public pronouncement by him of investigations of Burisma and the so-called 2016 election conspiracy theories," Ms. Wasserman Schultz said. - New York Times
As the Washington Post notes, Taylor said "By mid-July it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelenskyy wanted was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma," the Ukrainian gas firm which employed Hunter Biden, "and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections."
HoserF16 , 24 seconds ago linkJackprong , 3 minutes ago link
He's a Liar. There's no QPQ. We have the transcript of the call. No QPQ. This Frail looking Douche Bag is lying. He's obviously on the Ukrainian-Take like the rest of them. DNC kept Servers in the Ukraine. Why would they do that??? (wink, wink)Largebrneyes1 , 3 minutes ago link
Democrats have called the testimony the most damaging account yet, as Taylor provided an "excruciatingly detailed" opening statement, according to the New York Times .
And they have Zero, Zilch, Nada!south40_dreams , 8 minutes ago link
Taylor was a democratic appointee from the Obama administration...shocker. And he was the only one suggesting this was politically motivated. Sondland corrected him immediately. Nobody else, including the Ukrainians, agree with his "interpretation".slickrick , 9 minutes ago link
JOE BIDEN IN 1998;
"Even if the President should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching..."
He said a dirty wordBobzilla. Do not piss him off , 12 minutes ago link
Schiff's bitch said it like he was told to. Nothing to see folks.The Persistent Vegetable , 21 minutes ago link
Wasn't creepy uncle joe doing a quid pro quo when he said no billion $ unless you fir the prosecutor?? Seems the demonrats have two sets of rules. ******* hypocrites.William Dorritt , 10 minutes ago link
Manaforts in prison
Cohens in prison
Rudy? Soon to be arrested
Whose next in the most transparent administration in history? An administration which only arrests its own and lets the Dems skate?Rest Easy , 25 minutes ago link
Trump forgot to fire 10,000 Obama Political Appointees
when he took office
Trump created this mess
he actually stiff armed conservatives who offered to help him
doubt many would now.
McConnell has systemically undermined Trump
blocking Trump's appointments and
blocking Trump from making recess appointments
KY needs to do the US a favor and retire McConnellTahoeBilly2012 , 22 minutes ago link
Ex ******* scuse me, but didn't obumer and company start a civil war in Ukraine?
Ukraine is right next to ******* Russia. A nuclear power.
People have died here. Whatever else these ******* fuckers were up to, this seems pretty clearly criminally insane.
Let's cut the crap journalists. Start doing your jobs.
Dept. Of whatever Justice. And congress. This is unacceptable. And beyond irresponsible.Son of Loki , 25 minutes ago link
That's right, I followed everything Ukraine in detail in 2013, so did my Mom who is 81. She knows more Ukraine than any of my dirtbag Democrat friends. Hunter Biden corruption old news.estradagold , 34 minutes ago link
I definitely believe the neocon anti-Trumper.
He's so brave to come forward.
He even talked in a little gurl's voice!
#MeToo!joego1 , 36 minutes ago link
Yet the average Ukrainian makes $300 a month and we have zero qualms about robbing their country blind. Some friend we are.
First of all Ukraine had already started to investigate Biden and Burisma in March, second of all the aid was turned over to them already and there is no resolution to the investigation yet. Third, the Ukrainians have gone on the record saying there was no pressure. Last, the president has a responsibility to look into corruption even if it was a Demonrat.
Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
This is a working thread intended to be updated when new details come to light.
The Washington Post provided a timeline of the 2015/206 intervention
by then-Vice President Joe Biden against the then-General Prosecutor of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin. Shokin was investigating Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of the gas company Burisma Holdings which paid Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden at least $50,000 per month for being on its board.
We used that timeline to show that Biden's intervention reached its height shortly after the prosecutor confiscated Zlochevsky houses.
A new report by John Solomon, based on released State Department emails, supports the suspicion that Joe Biden and others intervened against Shokin on behalf of Burisma and on request of his son:Hunter Biden and his Ukrainian gas firm colleagues had multiple contacts with the Obama State Department during the 2016 election cycle, including one just a month before Vice President Joe Biden forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son's company for corruption, newly released memos show.
During that February 2016 contact, a U.S. representative for Burisma Holdings sought a meeting with Undersecretary of State Catherine A. Novelli to discuss ending the corruption allegations against the Ukrainian firm where Hunter Biden worked as a board member, according to memos obtained under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
Just three weeks before Burisma's overture to State, Ukrainian authorities raided the home of the oligarch who owned the gas firm and employed Hunter Biden, a signal the long-running corruption probe was escalating in the middle of the U.S. presidential election.
Solomon points to the same Interfax-Ukraine report about the prosecutor's action against Burisma owner Zlochevsky that we have used to make our case against Biden. Other media have so far ignored that report and several have falsely claimed that the case against Burisma was "dormant" when Biden intervened to get the Prosecutor General fired.
Below is an integrated timeline which combines the one WaPo provided with the new dates from Solomon's reporting and from additional sources. It is intended as a working reference that can be updated when new details come to light.
- Jul 2010 - Apr 2012 Mykola Zlochevsky heads the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources in Ukraine. Several oil and gas companies owned by Zlochevsky receive lucrative special drilling permits. Feb 23 2014 The U.S. supported Maidan 'regime change' coup overthrows the elected government of Ukraine. Mar 2014 The EU blocks funds of several Ukrainian oligarchs including Zlochevsky's. RFERL
- Mar 11 2014 Britain blocks the transfer of $23 million owned by Mykola Zlochevsky companies and opens an investigation against him. Guardian
- Spring 2014 Burisma hires Devon Archer and Hunter Biden as members of its board. Archer and Biden together own a firm called Rosemont Seneca Partners. Guardian
- May 2014 Rosemont Seneca Partners starts to receive monthly checks of $166,000 from Burisma. JS
- Nov 24 2014 U.S. government organ RFERL publishes a video report showing one of Zlochevsky's palaces near Kiev. It notes the Hunter Biden connection. RFERL
- Dec 2 2014 Unknown Ukrainian prosecutor writes letter saying that Zlochevsky is not under suspicion. Guardian
- Late 2014 Zlochevsky is put on Ukraine's most-wanted list for alleged economic crimes. RFERL
- Late 2014 Zlochevsky leaves the Ukraine. Interfax
- Jan 21 2015 Referring to the letter by the unknown Ukrainian prosecutor a British court orders the closure of the British case against Zlochevsky and to release the $23m. Guardian
- Feb 10 2015 Victor Shokin nominated as Prosecutor General of Ukraine Interfax
- Mar 2015 EU lifts blocking of funds of several Ukrainian oligarchs including Zlochevsky RFERL
- May 27 2015 Hunter Biden meets then-Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, a former national security adviser to Joe Biden who was promoted to the No. 2 job at State under then-Secretary John Kerry. JS
- July 22 2015 Hunter Biden against meets with the State Department No. 2 Tony Blinken. JS
- July 31 2015 Ukraine's prosecutor general issues an arrest warrant against Zlochevsky. RFERL
- Sep 2015 Referring to the closed British case then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt gives a speech urging Ukrainian prosecutors to do more against corruption. Guardian
- Oct 8 2015 Then-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland testifies in Congress: "The Prosecutor General's Office has to be reinvented as an institution that serves the citizens of Ukraine, rather than ripping them off." WaPo
- Oct 17 2015 Shokin announces a joint investigation with Britain of the Zlochevsky case. Interfax
- Dec 7 2015 Joe Biden holds a press conference in Kiev and announces $190 million to "fight corruption in law enforcement and reform the justice sector." WaPo
- Dec 7/8 2015 According to his then-National Security Advisor Colin Kahl VP Biden withholds the announcement of a $1 billion loan guarantee Ukraine was supposed to receive. WaPo
- Dec 8 2015 Joe Biden speaks in the Ukrainian parliament and decried the "cancer of corruption" in the country. "The Office of the General Prosecutor desperately needs reform," he noted. WaPo
- End of 2015 Shokin hands one case on Zlochevsky to the U.S. supported National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) Interfax
- Jan 20 2016 Biden meets Poroshenko in Davos, Switzerland, when he also presses "the need to continue to move forward on Ukraine's anti-corruption agenda," according to a White House statement. Kahl said Biden at that meeting reinforced the linkage between the loan guarantee and the necessary reforms. WaPo
- Feb 2 2016 Shokin confiscates several large properties and a Rolls-Royce Phantom owned by Zlochevsky. Interfax
- Feb 4 2016 First public announcement of the confiscation of Zlochevsky's properties. Interfax
- Feb 4 2016 Hunter Biden starts following Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Twitter. JS
- Feb 12 2016 Biden speaks to Poroshenko by phone. "The two leaders agreed on the importance of unity among Ukrainian political forces to quickly pass reforms in line with the commitments in its IMF program, including measures focused on rooting out corruption," the White House said. WaPo
- Feb 16 2016 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says that he had advised Shokin to step down. Interfax
- Feb 16 2016 Poroshenko announced he had asked Shokin to resign. WaPo
- Feb 17 2016 Shokin goes on paid leave. Interfax
- Feb 18 2016 Another call takes place between Biden and Poroshenko. WaPo
- Feb 19 2016 The presidential press secretary Sviatoslav Tseholko says that Shokin's letter of resignation had arrived at the presidential administration. On the same day, Poroshenko tables a motion in parliament to dismiss Shokin. Interfax
- Feb 19 2016 Poroshenko announces he has received Shokin's resignation letter. It still required parliamentary approval, and Shokin did not go away quietly. WaPo
- Feb 19 2016 Biden speaks separately with Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. WaPo
- Feb 22/23 2016 Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies, a U.S. representative for Burisma Holdings, seeks a meeting with then-Undersecretary of State Catherine A. Novelli who oversees international energy issues to discuss ending the corruption allegations against Burisma. JS
- Feb 24 2016 A State Department email exchange under the subject line "Burisma" notes that Karen Tramontano especially mentioned Hunter Biden while she tried to get the meeting. JS
- Mar 1 2016 Tramontano is scheduled to meet Novelli and that State Department officials are scrambling to get answers ahead of time from the U.S. embassy in Kiev. JS
- Mar 2 2016 Hunter Biden's fellow board member at Burisma, Devon Archer, has a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry. Secretary Kerry's stepson, Christopher Heinz, had earlier been a business partner with both Archer and Hunter Biden at the Rosemont Seneca investment firm. JS
- Mar 3 2016 Shokin is back at work. Interfax
- Mar 16 2016 Reports emerged that Shokin was back at work after having been on vacation. WaPo
- Mar 22 2016 Biden and Poroshenko speak again by phone. WaPo
- Mar 29 2016 The Ukrainian parliament, in a 289-to-6 vote, approves Shokin's dismissal. WaPo
- undated "Mr. Zlochevsky's allies were relieved by the dismissal of Mr. Shokin, the prosecutor whose ouster Mr. Biden had sought, according to people familiar with the situation." NYT
- Mar 31 2016 Poroshenko meets with Biden during a trip to Washington, and Biden emphasizes that the loan guarantee was contingent on further reform progress beyond Shokin's removal. WaPo
- Apr 14 2016 Biden and Poroshenko have ano