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[Oct 21, 2020] How Trump Got Played By The Military-Industrial Complex by Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Highly recommended!
Tramp was essentially the President from military industrial complex and Israel lobby. So he was not played. That's naive. He followed the instructions.
Oct 21, 2020 | www.huffpost.com

On March 20, 2018, President Donald Trump sat beside Saudi crown prince Muhammed bin Salman at the White House and lifted a giant map that said Saudi weapons purchases would support jobs in "key" states -- including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and Ohio, all of which were crucial to Trump's 2016 election victory .

"Saudi Arabia has been a very great friend and a big purchaser of equipment but if you look, in terms of dollars, $3 billion, $533 million, $525 million -- that's peanuts for you. You should have increased it," Trump said to the prince, who was (and still is) overseeing a military campaign in Yemen that has deployed U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

Trump has used his job as commander-in-chief to be America's arms-dealer-in-chief in a way no other president has since Dwight Eisenhower, as he prepared to leave the presidency, warned in early 1961 of the military-industrial complex's political influence. Trump's posture makes sense personally ― this is a man who regularly fantasizes about violence, usually toward foreigners ― and he and his advisers see it as politically useful, too. The president has repeatedly appeared at weapons production facilities in swing states, promoted the head of Lockheed Martin using White House resources, appointed defense industry employees to top government jobs in an unprecedented way and expanded the Pentagon's budget to near-historic highs ― a guarantee of future income for companies like Lockheed and Boeing.

Trump is "on steroids in terms of promoting arms sales for his own political benefit," said William Hartung, a scholar at the Center for International Policy who has tracked the defense industry for decades. "It's a targeted strategy to get benefits from workers in key states."

In courting the billion-dollar industry, Trump has trampled on moral considerations about how buyers like the Saudis misuse American weapons, ethical concerns about conflicts of interest and even part of his own political message, the deceptive claim that he is a peace candidate. He justifies his policy by citing job growth, but data from Hartung , a prominent analyst, shows he exaggerates the impact. And Trump has made clear that a major motivation for his defense strategy is the possible electoral benefit it could have.

Next month's election will show if the bargain was worth it. As of now, it looks like Trump's bet didn't pay off ― for him, at least. Campaign contribution records, analysts in swing states and polls suggest arms dealers have given the president no significant political boost. The defense contractors, meanwhile, are expected to continue getting richer, as they have in a dramatic way under Trump.

Playing Corporate Favorites

Trump has thrice chosen the person who decides how the Defense Department spends its gigantic budget. Each time, he has tapped someone from a business that wants those Pentagon dollars. Mark Esper, the current defense secretary, worked for Raytheon; his predecessor, Pat Shanahan, for Boeing; and Trump's first appointee, Jim Mattis, for General Dynamics, which reappointed him to its board soon after he left the administration.

Of the senior officials serving under Esper, almost half have connections to military contractors, per the Project on Government Oversight. The administration is now rapidly trying to fill more Pentagon jobs under the guidance of a former Trump campaign worker, Foreign Policy magazine recently revealed ― prioritizing political reasons and loyalty to Trump in choosing people who could help craft policy even under a Joe Biden presidency.

Such personnel choices are hugely important for defense companies' profit margins and risk creating corruption or the impression of it. Watchdog groups argue Trump's handling of the hiring process is more evidence that lawmakers and future presidents must institute rules to limit the reach of military contractors and other special interests.

"Given the hundreds of conflicts of interest flouting the rule of law in the Trump administration , certainly these issues have gotten that much more attention and are that much more salient now than they were four years ago," said Aaron Scherb, the director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, a nonpartisan good-government group.

The theoretical dangers of Trump's approach became a reality last year, when a former employee for the weapons producer Raytheon used his job at the State Department to advocate for a rare emergency declaration allowing the Saudis and their partner the United Arab Emirates to buy $8 billion in arms ― including $2 billion in Raytheon products ― despite congressional objections. As other department employees warned that Saudi Arabia was defying U.S. pressure to behave less brutally in Yemen, former lobbyist Charles Faulkner led a unit that urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to give the kingdom more weapons. Pompeo pushed out Faulkner soon afterward, and earlier this year, the State Department's inspector general criticized the process behind the emergency declaration for the arms.

Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention cente MOHAMED AL-SAYAGHI / REUTERS
Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention center in Yemen on Sept. 1, 2019. The Saudis military campaign in Yemen has relied on U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

Even Trump administration officials not clearly connected to the defense industry have shown an interest in moves that benefit it. In 2017, White House economic advisor Peter Navarro pressured Republican lawmakers to permit exports to Saudi Arabia and Jared Kushner, the president's counselor and son-in-law, personally spoke with Lockheed Martin's chief to iron out a sale to the kingdom, The New York Times found.

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When Congress gave the Pentagon $1 billion to develop medical supplies as part of this year's coronavirus relief package, most of the money went to defense contractors for projects like jet engine parts instead, a Washington Post investigation showed .

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"It's a very close relationship and there's no kind of sense that they're supposed to be regulating these people," Hartung said. "It's more like they're allies, standing shoulder to shoulder."

Seeking Payback

In June 2019, Lockheed Martin announced that it would close a facility that manufactures helicopters in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and employs more than 450 people. Days later, Trump tweeted that he had asked the company's then-chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, to keep the plant open. And by July 10, Lockheed said it would do so ― attributing the decision to Trump.

The president has frequently claimed credit for jobs in the defense industry, highlighting the impact on manufacturing in swing states rather than employees like Washington lobbyists, whose numbers have also grown as he has expanded the Pentagon's budget. Lockheed has helped him in his messaging: In one instance in Wisconsin, Hewson announced she was adding at least 45 new positions at a plant directly after Trump spoke there, saying his tax cuts for corporations made that possible.

Trump is pursuing a strategy that the arms industry uses to insulate itself from political criticism. "They've reached their tentacles into every state and many congressional districts," Scherb of Common Cause said. That makes it hard for elected officials to question their operations or Pentagon spending generally without looking like they are harming their local economy.

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, a Democrat who represents Coatesville, welcomed Lockheed's change of course, though she warned, "This decision is a temporary reprieve. I am concerned that Lockheed Martin and [its subsidiary] Sikorsky are playing politics with the livelihoods of people in my community."

The political benefit for Trump, though, remains in question, given that as president he has a broad set of responsibilities and is judged in different ways.

"Do I think it's important to keep jobs? Absolutely," said Marcel Groen, a former Pennsylvania Democratic party chair. "And I think we need to thank the congresswoman and thank the president for it. But it doesn't change my views and I don't think it changes most people's in terms of the state of the nation."

With polls showing that Trump's disastrous response to the health pandemic dominates voters' thoughts and Biden sustaining a lead in surveys of most swing states , his argument on defense industry jobs seems like a minor factor in this election.

Hartung of the Center for International Policy drew a parallel to President George H.W. Bush, who during his 1992 reelection campaign promoted plans for Taiwan and Saudi Arabia to purchase fighter jets produced in Missouri and Texas. Bush announced the decisions at events at the General Dynamics facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and the McDonnell Douglas plant in St. Louis that made the planes. That November, as Bill Clinton defeated him, he lost Missouri by the highest margin of any Republican in almost 30 years and won Texas by a slimmer margin than had become the norm for a GOP presidential candidate.

President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July MANDEL NGAN VIA GETTY IMAGES
President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July 12, 2019. Trump does not appear to be winning his political bet that increased defense spending would help his political fortunes.

Checking The Receipts

The defense industry can't control whether voters buy Trump's arguments about his relationship with it. But it could, if it wanted to, try to help him politically in a more direct way: by donating to his reelection campaign and allied efforts.

Yet arms manufacturers aren't reciprocating Trump's affection. A HuffPost review of Federal Election Commission records showed that top figures and groups at major industry organizations like the National Defense Industrial Association and the Aerospace Industries Association and at Lockheed, Trump's favorite defense firm, are donating this cycle much as they normally do: giving to both sides of the political aisle, with a slight preference to the party currently wielding the most power, which for now is Republicans. (The few notable exceptions include the chairman of the NDIA's board, Arnold Punaro, who has given more than $58,000 to Trump and others in the GOP.)

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that's the case for contributions from the next three biggest groups of defense industry donors after Lockheed's employees.

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One smaller defense company, AshBritt Environmental, did donate $500,000 to a political action committee supporting Trump ― prompting a complaint from the Campaign Legal Center, which noted that businesses that take federal dollars are not allowed to make campaign contributions. Its founder told ProPublica he meant to make a personal donation.

For weapons producers, backing both parties makes sense. The military budget will have increased 29% under Trump by the end of the current fiscal year, per the White House Office of Management and Budget. Biden has said he doesn't see cuts as "inevitable" if he is elected, and his circle of advisers includes many from the national security world who have worked closely with ― and in many cases worked for ― the defense industry.

And arms manufacturers are "busy pursuing their own interests" in other ways, like trying to get a piece of additional government stimulus legislation, Hartung said ― an effort that's underway as the Pentagon's inspector general investigates how defense contractors got so much of the first coronavirus relief package.

Meanwhile, defense contractors continue to have an outsize effect on the way policies are designed in Washington through less political means. A recent report from the Center for International Policy found that such companies have given at least $1 billion to the nation's most influential think tanks since 2014 ― potentially spending taxpayer money to influence public opinion. They have also found less obvious ways to maintain support from powerful people, like running the databases that many congressional offices use to connect with constituents, Scherb of Common Cause said.

"This goes into a much bigger systemic issue about big money in politics and the role of corporations versus the role of Americans," Scherb said.

Given its reach, the defense industry has little reason to appear overtly partisan. Instead, it's projecting confidence despite the generally dreary state of the global economy: Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has said he expects similar approaches from either winner of the election, arguing even greater Democratic control and the rise of less conventional lawmakers isn't a huge concern.

In short, whoever is in the White House, arms dealers tend to do just fine.

[Jun 05, 2020] Antifa in Theory and in Practice

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In recent weeks, a totally disoriented left has been widely exhorted to unify around a masked vanguard calling itself Antifa, for anti-fascist. Hooded and dressed in black, Antifa is essentially a variation of the Black Bloc, familiar for introducing violence into peaceful demonstrations in many countries. Imported from Europe, the label Antifa sounds more political. It also serves the purpose of stigmatizing those it attacks as "fascists". ..."
"... Bray's "enlightening contribution" is to a tell a flattering version of the Antifa story to a generation whose dualistic, Holocaust-centered view of history has largely deprived them of both the factual and the analytical tools to judge multidimensional events such as the growth of fascism. Bray presents today's Antifa as though it were the glorious legitimate heir to every noble cause since abolitionism. But there were no anti-fascists before fascism, and the label "Antifa" by no means applies to all the many adversaries of fascism. ..."
"... The implicit claim to carry on the tradition of the International Brigades who fought in Spain against Franco is nothing other than a form of innocence by association. Since we must revere the heroes of the Spanish Civil War, some of that esteem is supposed to rub off on their self-designated heirs. Unfortunately, there are no veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade still alive to point to the difference between a vast organized defense against invading fascist armies and skirmishes on the Berkeley campus. As for the Anarchists of Catalonia, the patent on anarchism ran out a long time ago, and anyone is free to market his own generic. ..."
"... Since historic fascism no longer exists, Bray's Antifa have broadened their notion of "fascism" to include anything that violates the current Identity Politics canon: from "patriarchy" (a pre-fascist attitude to put it mildly) to "transphobia" (decidedly a post-fascist problem). ..."
"... The masked militants of Antifa seem to be more inspired by Batman than by Marx or even by Bakunin. ..."
"... The main technique is guilt by association. High on the list of mortal sins is criticism of the European Union, which is associated with "nationalism" which is associated with "fascism" which is associated with "anti-Semitism", hinting at a penchant for genocide. This coincides perfectly with the official policy of the EU and EU governments, but Antifa uses much harsher language. ..."
"... The moral of this story is simple. Self-appointed radical revolutionaries can be the most useful thought police for the neoliberal war party. ..."
"... In reality, immigration is a complex subject, with many aspects that can lead to reasonable compromise. But to polarize the issue misses the chances for compromise. By making mass immigration the litmus test of whether or not one is fascist, Antifa intimidation impedes reasonable discussion. Without discussion, without readiness to listen to all viewpoints, the issue will simply divide the population into two camps, for and against. And who will win such a confrontation? ..."
"... The idea that the way to shut someone up is to punch him in the jaw is as American as Hollywood movies. It is also typical of the gang war that prevails in certain parts of Los Angeles. Banding together with others "like us" to fight against gangs of "them" for control of turf is characteristic of young men in uncertain circumstances. The search for a cause can involve endowing such conduct with a political purpose: either fascist or antifascist. For disoriented youth, this is an alternative to joining the U.S. Marines. ..."
"... American Antifa looks very much like a middle class wedding between Identity Politics and gang warfare. Mark Bray (page 175) quotes his DC Antifa source as implying that the motive of would-be fascists is to side with "the most powerful kid in the block" and will retreat if scared. Our gang is tougher than your gang. ..."
"... In the United States, the worst thing about Antifa is the effort to lead the disoriented American left into a wild goose chase, tracking down imaginary "fascists" instead of getting together openly to work out a coherent positive program. The United States has more than its share of weird individuals, of gratuitous aggression, of crazy ideas, and tracking down these marginal characters, whether alone or in groups, is a huge distraction. The truly dangerous people in the United States are safely ensconced in Wall Street, in Washington Think Tanks, in the executive suites of the sprawling military industry, not to mention the editorial offices of some of the mainstream media currently adopting a benevolent attitude toward "anti-fascists" simply because they are useful in focusing on the maverick Trump instead of themselves. ..."
"... Antifa USA, by defining "resistance to fascism" as resistance to lost causes – the Confederacy, white supremacists and for that matter Donald Trump – is actually distracting from resistance to the ruling neoliberal establishment, which is also opposed to the Confederacy and white supremacists and has already largely managed to capture Trump by its implacable campaign of denigration. That ruling establishment, which in its insatiable foreign wars and introduction of police state methods, has successfully used popular "resistance to Trump" to make him even worse than he already was. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

Photo by jcrakow | CC BY 2.0

" Fascists are divided into two categories: the fascists and the anti-fascists ."

– Ennio Flaiano, Italian writer and co-author of Federico Fellini's greatest film scripts.

In recent weeks, a totally disoriented left has been widely exhorted to unify around a masked vanguard calling itself Antifa, for anti-fascist. Hooded and dressed in black, Antifa is essentially a variation of the Black Bloc, familiar for introducing violence into peaceful demonstrations in many countries. Imported from Europe, the label Antifa sounds more political. It also serves the purpose of stigmatizing those it attacks as "fascists".

Despite its imported European name, Antifa is basically just another example of America's steady descent into violence.

Historical Pretensions

Antifa first came to prominence from its role in reversing Berkeley's proud "free speech" tradition by preventing right wing personalities from speaking there. But its moment of glory was its clash with rightwingers in Charlottesville on August 12, largely because Trump commented that there were "good people on both sides". With exuberant Schadenfreude, commentators grabbed the opportunity to condemn the despised President for his "moral equivalence", thereby bestowing a moral blessing on Antifa.

Charlottesville served as a successful book launching for Antifa: the Antifascist Handbook , whose author, young academic Mark Bray, is an Antifa in both theory and practice. The book is "really taking off very fast", rejoiced the publisher, Melville House. It instantly won acclaim from leading mainstream media such as the New York Times , The Guardian and NBC, not hitherto known for rushing to review leftwing books, least of all those by revolutionary anarchists.

The Washington Post welcomed Bray as spokesman for "insurgent activist movements" and observed that: "The book's most enlightening contribution is on the history of anti-fascist efforts over the past century, but its most relevant for today is its justification for stifling speech and clobbering white supremacists."

Bray's "enlightening contribution" is to a tell a flattering version of the Antifa story to a generation whose dualistic, Holocaust-centered view of history has largely deprived them of both the factual and the analytical tools to judge multidimensional events such as the growth of fascism. Bray presents today's Antifa as though it were the glorious legitimate heir to every noble cause since abolitionism. But there were no anti-fascists before fascism, and the label "Antifa" by no means applies to all the many adversaries of fascism.

The implicit claim to carry on the tradition of the International Brigades who fought in Spain against Franco is nothing other than a form of innocence by association. Since we must revere the heroes of the Spanish Civil War, some of that esteem is supposed to rub off on their self-designated heirs. Unfortunately, there are no veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade still alive to point to the difference between a vast organized defense against invading fascist armies and skirmishes on the Berkeley campus. As for the Anarchists of Catalonia, the patent on anarchism ran out a long time ago, and anyone is free to market his own generic.

The original Antifascist movement was an effort by the Communist International to cease hostilities with Europe's Socialist Parties in order to build a common front against the triumphant movements led by Mussolini and Hitler.

Since Fascism thrived, and Antifa was never a serious adversary, its apologists thrive on the "nipped in the bud" claim: "if only" Antifascists had beat up the fascist movements early enough, the latter would have been nipped in the bud. Since reason and debate failed to stop the rise of fascism, they argue, we must use street violence – which, by the way, failed even more decisively.

This is totally ahistorical. Fascism exalted violence, and violence was its preferred testing ground. Both Communists and Fascists were fighting in the streets and the atmosphere of violence helped fascism thrive as a bulwark against Bolshevism, gaining the crucial support of leading capitalists and militarists in their countries, which brought them to power.

Since historic fascism no longer exists, Bray's Antifa have broadened their notion of "fascism" to include anything that violates the current Identity Politics canon: from "patriarchy" (a pre-fascist attitude to put it mildly) to "transphobia" (decidedly a post-fascist problem).

The masked militants of Antifa seem to be more inspired by Batman than by Marx or even by Bakunin.

Storm Troopers of the Neoliberal War Party

Since Mark Bray offers European credentials for current U.S. Antifa, it is appropriate to observe what Antifa amounts to in Europe today.

In Europe, the tendency takes two forms. Black Bloc activists regularly invade various leftist demonstrations in order to smash windows and fight the police. These testosterone exhibits are of minor political significance, other than provoking public calls to strengthen police forces. They are widely suspected of being influenced by police infiltration.

As an example, last September 23, several dozen black-clad masked ruffians, tearing down posters and throwing stones, attempted to storm the platform where the flamboyant Jean-Luc Mélenchon was to address the mass meeting of La France Insoumise , today the leading leftist party in France. Their unspoken message seemed to be that nobody is revolutionary enough for them. Occasionally, they do actually spot a random skinhead to beat up. This establishes their credentials as "anti-fascist".

They use these credentials to arrogate to themselves the right to slander others in a sort of informal self-appointed inquisition.

As prime example, in late 2010, a young woman named Ornella Guyet appeared in Paris seeking work as a journalist in various leftist periodicals and blogs. She "tried to infiltrate everywhere", according to the former director of Le Monde diplomatique , Maurice Lemoine, who "always intuitively distrusted her "when he hired her as an intern.

Viktor Dedaj, who manages one of the main leftist sites in France, Le Grand Soir , was among those who tried to help her, only to experience an unpleasant surprise a few months later. Ornella had become a self-appointed inquisitor dedicated to denouncing "conspirationism, confusionism, anti-Semitism and red-brown" on Internet. This took the form of personal attacks on individuals whom she judged to be guilty of those sins. What is significant is that all her targets were opposed to U.S. and NATO aggressive wars in the Middle East.

Indeed, the timing of her crusade coincided with the "regime change" wars that destroyed Libya and tore apart Syria. The attacks singled out leading critics of those wars.

Viktor Dedaj was on her hit list. So was Michel Collon, close to the Belgian Workers Party, author, activist and manager of the bilingual site Investig'action. So was François Ruffin, film-maker, editor of the leftist journal Fakir elected recently to the National Assembly on the list of Mélenchon's party La France Insoumise . And so on. The list is long.

The targeted personalities are diverse, but all have one thing in common: opposition to aggressive wars. What's more, so far as I can tell, just about everyone opposed to those wars is on her list.

The main technique is guilt by association. High on the list of mortal sins is criticism of the European Union, which is associated with "nationalism" which is associated with "fascism" which is associated with "anti-Semitism", hinting at a penchant for genocide. This coincides perfectly with the official policy of the EU and EU governments, but Antifa uses much harsher language.

In mid-June 2011, the anti-EU party Union Populaire Républicaine led by François Asselineau was the object of slanderous insinuations on Antifa internet sites signed by "Marie-Anne Boutoleau" (a pseudonym for Ornella Guyet). Fearing violence, owners cancelled scheduled UPR meeting places in Lyon. UPR did a little investigation, discovering that Ornella Guyet was on the speakers list at a March 2009 Seminar on International Media organized in Paris by the Center for the Study of International Communications and the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. A surprising association for such a zealous crusader against "red-brown".

In case anyone has doubts, "red-brown" is a term used to smear anyone with generally leftist views – that is, "red" – with the fascist color "brown". This smear can be based on having the same opinion as someone on the right, speaking on the same platform with someone on the right, being published alongside someone on the right, being seen at an anti-war demonstration also attended by someone on the right, and so on. This is particularly useful for the War Party, since these days, many conservatives are more opposed to war than leftists who have bought into the "humanitarian war" mantra.

The government doesn't need to repress anti-war gatherings. Antifa does the job.

The Franco-African comedien Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala, stigmatized for anti-Semitism since 2002 for his TV sketch lampooning an Israeli settler as part of George W. Bush's "Axis of Good", is not only a target, but serves as a guilty association for anyone who defends his right to free speech – such as Belgian professor Jean Bricmont, virtually blacklisted in France for trying to get in a word in favor of free speech during a TV talk show. Dieudonné has been banned from the media, sued and fined countless times, even sentenced to jail in Belgium, but continues to enjoy a full house of enthusiastic supporters at his one-man shows, where the main political message is opposition to war.

Still, accusations of being soft on Dieudonné can have serious effects on individuals in more precarious positions, since the mere hint of "anti-Semitism" can be a career killer in France. Invitations are cancelled, publications refused, messages go unanswered.

In April 2016, Ornella Guyet dropped out of sight, amid strong suspicions about her own peculiar associations.

The moral of this story is simple. Self-appointed radical revolutionaries can be the most useful thought police for the neoliberal war party.

I am not suggesting that all, or most, Antifa are agents of the establishment. But they can be manipulated, infiltrated or impersonated precisely because they are self-anointed and usually more or less disguised.

Silencing Necessary Debate

One who is certainly sincere is Mark Bray, author of The Intifa Handbook . It is clear where Mark Bray is coming from when he writes (p.36-7): " Hitler's 'final solution' murdered six million Jews in gas chambers, with firing squads, through hunger an lack of medical treatment in squalid camps and ghettoes, with beatings, by working them to death, and through suicidal despair. Approximately two out of every three Jews on the continent were killed, including some of my relatives."

This personal history explains why Mark Bray feels passionately about "fascism". This is perfectly understandable in one who is haunted by fear that "it can happen again".

However, even the most justifiable emotional concerns do not necessarily contribute to wise counsel. Violent reactions to fear may seem to be strong and effective when in reality they are morally weak and practically ineffectual.

We are in a period of great political confusion. Labeling every manifestation of "political incorrectness" as fascism impedes clarification of debate over issues that very much need to be defined and clarified.

The scarcity of fascists has been compensated by identifying criticism of immigration as fascism. This identification, in connection with rejection of national borders, derives much of its emotional force above all from the ancestral fear in the Jewish community of being excluded from the nations in which they find themselves.

The issue of immigration has different aspects in different places. It is not the same in European countries as in the United States. There is a basic distinction between immigrants and immigration. Immigrants are people who deserve consideration. Immigration is a policy that needs to be evaluated. It should be possible to discuss the policy without being accused of persecuting the people. After all, trade union leaders have traditionally opposed mass immigration, not out of racism, but because it can be a deliberate capitalist strategy to bring down wages.

In reality, immigration is a complex subject, with many aspects that can lead to reasonable compromise. But to polarize the issue misses the chances for compromise. By making mass immigration the litmus test of whether or not one is fascist, Antifa intimidation impedes reasonable discussion. Without discussion, without readiness to listen to all viewpoints, the issue will simply divide the population into two camps, for and against. And who will win such a confrontation?

A recent survey* shows that mass immigration is increasingly unpopular in all European countries. The complexity of the issue is shown by the fact that in the vast majority of European countries, most people believe they have a duty to welcome refugees, but disapprove of continued mass immigration. The official argument that immigration is a good thing is accepted by only 40%, compared to 60% of all Europeans who believe that "immigration is bad for our country". A left whose principal cause is open borders will become increasingly unpopular.

Childish Violence

The idea that the way to shut someone up is to punch him in the jaw is as American as Hollywood movies. It is also typical of the gang war that prevails in certain parts of Los Angeles. Banding together with others "like us" to fight against gangs of "them" for control of turf is characteristic of young men in uncertain circumstances. The search for a cause can involve endowing such conduct with a political purpose: either fascist or antifascist. For disoriented youth, this is an alternative to joining the U.S. Marines.

American Antifa looks very much like a middle class wedding between Identity Politics and gang warfare. Mark Bray (page 175) quotes his DC Antifa source as implying that the motive of would-be fascists is to side with "the most powerful kid in the block" and will retreat if scared. Our gang is tougher than your gang.

That is also the logic of U.S. imperialism, which habitually declares of its chosen enemies: "All they understand is force." Although Antifa claim to be radical revolutionaries, their mindset is perfectly typical the atmosphere of violence which prevails in militarized America.

In another vein, Antifa follows the trend of current Identity Politics excesses that are squelching free speech in what should be its citadel, academia. Words are considered so dangerous that "safe spaces" must be established to protect people from them. This extreme vulnerability to injury from words is strangely linked to tolerance of real physical violence.

Wild Goose Chase

In the United States, the worst thing about Antifa is the effort to lead the disoriented American left into a wild goose chase, tracking down imaginary "fascists" instead of getting together openly to work out a coherent positive program. The United States has more than its share of weird individuals, of gratuitous aggression, of crazy ideas, and tracking down these marginal characters, whether alone or in groups, is a huge distraction. The truly dangerous people in the United States are safely ensconced in Wall Street, in Washington Think Tanks, in the executive suites of the sprawling military industry, not to mention the editorial offices of some of the mainstream media currently adopting a benevolent attitude toward "anti-fascists" simply because they are useful in focusing on the maverick Trump instead of themselves.

Antifa USA, by defining "resistance to fascism" as resistance to lost causes – the Confederacy, white supremacists and for that matter Donald Trump – is actually distracting from resistance to the ruling neoliberal establishment, which is also opposed to the Confederacy and white supremacists and has already largely managed to capture Trump by its implacable campaign of denigration. That ruling establishment, which in its insatiable foreign wars and introduction of police state methods, has successfully used popular "resistance to Trump" to make him even worse than he already was.

The facile use of the term "fascist" gets in the way of thoughtful identification and definition of the real enemy of humanity today. In the contemporary chaos, the greatest and most dangerous upheavals in the world all stem from the same source, which is hard to name, but which we might give the provisional simplified label of Globalized Imperialism. This amounts to a multifaceted project to reshape the world to satisfy the demands of financial capitalism, the military industrial complex, United States ideological vanity and the megalomania of leaders of lesser "Western" powers, notably Israel. It could be called simply "imperialism", except that it is much vaster and more destructive than the historic imperialism of previous centuries. It is also much more disguised. And since it bears no clear label such as "fascism", it is difficult to denounce in simple terms.

The fixation on preventing a form of tyranny that arose over 80 years ago, under very different circumstances, obstructs recognition of the monstrous tyranny of today. Fighting the previous war leads to defeat.

Donald Trump is an outsider who will not be let inside. The election of Donald Trump is above all a grave symptom of the decadence of the American political system, totally ruled by money, lobbies, the military-industrial complex and corporate media. Their lies are undermining the very basis of democracy. Antifa has gone on the offensive against the one weapon still in the hands of the people: the right to free speech and assembly.

Notes.

* "Où va la démocratie?", une enquête de la Fondation pour l'innovation politique sous la direction de Dominique Reynié, (Plon, Paris, 2017).

[Dec 21, 2019] William Astore on War as Art and Advertising – Antiwar.com Blog

Notable quotes:
"... A lot of art depicts war scenes, and why not? War is incredibly exciting, dynamic, destructive, and otherwise captivating, if often in a horrific way. But I want to consider war and art in a different manner, in an impressionistic one. War, by its nature, is often spectacle; it is also often chaotic; complex; beyond comprehension. Perhaps art theory, and art styles, have something to teach us about war. Ways of representing it and capturing its meaning as well as its horrors. But also ways of misrepresenting it; of fracturing its meaning. Of manipulating it. ..."
"... My point (and I think I have one) is that America's wars are in some sense elaborate productions and representations, at least in the ways in which the government constructs and sells them to the American people. To understand these representations -- the ways in which they are both more than real war and less than it -- art theory, as well as advertising, may have a lot to teach us. ..."
"... Afghanistan as the unfinished masterpiece....most people forget that the government is yet to complete it except when a Marine dies, they think about it for a day and then forget all over again. ..."
Jul 12, 2017 | www.antiwar.com

Consider this article a work of speculation; a jumble of ideas thrown at a blank canvas.

A lot of art depicts war scenes, and why not? War is incredibly exciting, dynamic, destructive, and otherwise captivating, if often in a horrific way. But I want to consider war and art in a different manner, in an impressionistic one. War, by its nature, is often spectacle; it is also often chaotic; complex; beyond comprehension. Perhaps art theory, and art styles, have something to teach us about war. Ways of representing it and capturing its meaning as well as its horrors. But also ways of misrepresenting it; of fracturing its meaning. Of manipulating it.

For example, America's overseas wars today are both abstractions and distractions. They're also somewhat surreal to most Americans, living as we do in comparative safety and material luxury (when compared to most other peoples of the world). Abstraction and surrealism: two art styles that may say something vital about America's wars.

If some aspects of America's wars are surreal and others abstract, if reports of those wars are often impressionistic and often blurred beyond recognition, this points to, I think, the highly stylized representations of war that are submitted for our consideration. What we don't get very often is realism. Recall how the Bush/Cheney administration forbade photos of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Think of all the war reporting you've seen on U.S. TV and Cable networks, and ask how many times you saw severed American limbs and dead bodies on a battlefield. (On occasion, dead bodies of the enemy are shown, usually briefly and abstractly, with no human backstory.)

Of course, there's no "real" way to showcase the brutal reality of war, short of bringing a person to the front and having them face fire in combat -- a level of "participatory" art that sane people would likely seek to avoid. What we get, as spectators (which is what we're told to remain in America), is an impression of combat. Here and there, a surreal report. An abstract news clip. Blown up buildings become exercises in neo-Cubism; melted buildings and weapons become Daliesque displays. Severed limbs (of the enemy) are exercises in the grotesque. For the vast majority of Americans, what's lacking is raw immediacy and gut-wrenching reality.

Again, we are spectators, not participants. And our responses are often as stylized and limited as the representations are. As Rebecca Gordon put it from a different angle at TomDispatch.com , when it comes to America's wars, are we participating in reality or merely watching reality TV? And why are so many so prone to confuse or conflate the two?

Art, of course, isn't the only lens through which we can see and interpret America's wars. Advertising, especially hyperbole, is also quite revealing. Thus the US military has been sold, whether by George W. Bush or Barack Obama, as "the world's finest military in history" or WFMH, an acronym I just made up, and which should perhaps come with a copyright or trademark symbol after it. It's classic advertising hyperbole. It's salesmanship in place of reality.

So, when other peoples beat our WFMH, we should do what Americans do best: sue them for copyright infringement. Our legions of lawyers will most certainly beat their cadres of counsels. After all, under Bush/Cheney, our lawyers tortured logic and the law to support torture itself. Talk about surrealism!

My point (and I think I have one) is that America's wars are in some sense elaborate productions and representations, at least in the ways in which the government constructs and sells them to the American people. To understand these representations -- the ways in which they are both more than real war and less than it -- art theory, as well as advertising, may have a lot to teach us.

As I said, this is me throwing ideas at the canvas of my computer screen. Do they make any sense to you? Feel free to pick up your own brush and compose away in the comments section.

P.S. Danger, Will Robinson. I've never taken an art theory class or studied advertising closely.

William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). He taught history for fifteen years at military and civilian schools and blogs at Bracing Views . He can be reached at [email protected] . Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author's permission.

Jim Savell , 19 hours ago

Afghanistan as the unfinished masterpiece....most people forget that the government is yet to complete it except when a Marine dies, they think about it for a day and then forget all over again.

[Apr 21, 2019] Mark Ames: The FBI Has No Legal Charter But Lots of Kompromat

Notable quotes:
"... Today, it seems, the best description of the FBI's main activity is corporate enforcer for the white-collar mafia known as Wall Street. There is an analogy to organized crime, where the most powerful mobsters settled disputes between other gangs of criminals. Similarly, if a criminal gang is robbed by one of its own members, the mafia would go after the guilty party; the FBI plays this role for Wall Street institutions targeted by con artists and fraudsters. Compare and contrast a pharmaceutical company making opiates which is targeted by thieves vs. a black market drug cartel targeted by thieves. In one case, the FBI investigates; in the other, a violent vendetta ensues (such as street murders in Mexico). ..."
"... The FBI executives are rewarded for this service with lucrative post-retirement careers within corporate America – Louis Freeh went to credit card fraudster, MBNA, Richard Mueller to a corporate Washington law firm, WilmerHale, and Comey, before Obama picked him as Director, worked for Lockheed Martin and HSBC (cleaning up after their $2 billion drug cartel marketing scandal) after leaving the FBI in 2005. ..."
"... Some say they have a key role to play in national security and terrorism – but their record on the 2001 anthrax attacks is incredibly shady and suspicious. The final suspect, Bruce Ivins, is clearly innocent of the crime, just as their previous suspect, Steven Hatfill was. Ivins, if still alive, could have won a similar multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against the FBI. All honest bioweapons experts know this to be true – the perpetrators of those anthrax letters are still at large, and may very well have had close associations with the Bush Administration itself. ..."
"... Comey's actions over the past year are certainly highly questionable, as well. Neglecting to investigate the Clinton Foundation ties to Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments and corporations, particularly things like State Department approval of various arms deals in which bribes may have been paid, is as much a dereliction of duty as neglecting to investigate Trump ties to Russian business interests – but then, Trump has a record of shady business dealings dating back to the 1970s, of strange bankruptcies and bailouts and government sales that the FBI never looked at either. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Mark Ames, founding editor of the Moscow satirical paper The eXile and co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast with Gary Brecher (aka John Dolan). Subscribe here . Originally published at The Exiled

I made the mistake of listening to NPR last week to find out what Conventional Wisdom had to say about Trump firing Comey, on the assumption that their standardized Mister-Rogers-on-Nyquil voice tones would rein in the hysteria pitch a little. And on the surface, it did-the NPR host and guests weren't directly shrieking "the world is ending! We're all gonna die SHEEPLE!" the way they were on CNN. But in a sense they were screaming "fire!", if you know how to distinguish the very minute pitch level differences in the standard NPR Nyquil voice.

The host of the daytime NPR program asked his guests how serious, and how "unprecedented" Trump's decision to fire his FBI chief was. The guests answers were strange: they spoke about "rule of law" and "violating the Constitution" but then switched to Trump "violating norms"-and back again, interchanging "norms" and "laws" as if they're synonyms. One of the guests admitted that Trump firing Comey was 100% legal, but that didn't seem to matter in this talk about Trump having abandoned rule-of-law for a Putinist dictatorship. These guys wouldn't pass a high school civics class, but there they were, garbling it all up. What mattered was the proper sense of panic and outrage-I'm not sure anyone really cared about the actual legality of the thing, or the legal, political or "normative" history of the FBI.

For starters, the FBI hardly belongs in the same set with concepts like "constitutional" or " rule of law." That's because the FBI was never established by a law. US Lawmakers refused to approve an FBI bureau over a century ago when it was first proposed by Teddy Roosevelt. So he ignored Congress, and went ahead and set it up by presidential fiat. That's one thing the civil liberties crowd hates discussing - how centralized US political power is in the executive branch, a feature in the constitutional system put there by the holy Founders.

In the late 1970s, at the tail end of our brief Glasnost, there was a lot of talk in Washington about finally creating a legal charter for the FBI -70 years after its founding. A lot of serious ink was spilled trying to transform the FBI from an extralegal secret police agency to something legal and defined. If you want to play archeologist to America's recent history, you can find this in the New York Times' archives, articles with headlines like "Draft of Charter for F.B.I. Limits Inquiry Methods" :

The Carter Administration will soon send to Congress the first governing charter for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The proposed charter imposes extensive but not absolute restrictions on the bureau's employment of controversial investigative techniques, .including the use of informers, undercover agents and covert criminal activity.

The charter also specifies the duties and powers of the bureau, setting precise standards and procedures for the initiation ,and conduct of investigations. It specifically requires the F.B.I. to observe constitutional rights and establishes safeguards against unchecked harassment, break‐ins and other abuses.

followed by the inevitable lament, like this editorial from the Christian Science Monitor a year later, "Don't Forget the FBI Charter". Which of course we did forget-that was Reagan's purpose and value for the post-Glasnost reaction: forgetting. As historian Athan Theoharis wrote , "After 1981, Congress never seriously considered again any of the FBI charter proposals."

The origins of the FBI have been obscured both because of its dubious legality and because of its original political purpose-to help the president battle the all-powerful American capitalists. It wasn't that Teddy Roosevelt was a radical leftist-he was a Progressive Republican, which sounds like an oxymoron today but which was mainstream and ascendant politics in his time. Roosevelt was probably the first president since Andrew Jackson to try to smash concentrated wealth-power, or at least some of it. He could be brutally anti-labor, but so were the powerful capitalists he fought, and all the structures of government power. He met little opposition pursuing his imperial Social Darwinist ambitions outside America's borders-but he had a much harder time fighting the powerful capitalists at home against Roosevelt's most honorable political obsession: preserving forests, parks and public lands from greedy capitalists. An early FBI memo to Hoover about the FBI's origins explains,

"Roosevelt, in his characteristic dynamic fashion, asserted that the plunderers of the public domain would be prosecuted and brought to justice."

According to New York Times reporter Tim Wiener's Enemies: A History of the FBI , it was the Oregon land fraud scandal of 1905-6 that put the idea of an FBI in TR's hyperactive mind. The scandal involved leading Oregon politicians helping railroad tycoon Edward Harriman illegally sell off pristine Oregon forest lands to timber interests, and it ended with an Oregon senator and the state's only two House representatives criminally charged and put on trial-along with dozens of other Oregonians. Basically, they were raping the state's public lands and forests like colonists stripping a foreign country-and that stuck in TR's craw.

TR wanted his attorney general-Charles Bonaparte (yes, he really was a descendant of that Bonaparte)-to make a full report to on the rampant land fraud scams that the robber barons were running to despoil the American West, and which threatened TR's vision of land and forest conservation and parks. Bonaparte created an investigative team from the US Secret Service, but TR thought their report was a "whitewash" and proposed a new separate federal investigative service within Bonaparte's Department of Justice that would report only to the Attorney General.

Until then, the US government had to rely on private contractors like the notorious, dreaded Pinkerton Agency, who were great at strikebreaking, clubbing workers and shooting organizers, but not so good at taking down down robber barons, who happened to also be important clients for the private detective agencies.

In early 1908, Attorney General Bonaparte wrote to Congress asking for the legal authority (and budget funds) to create a "permanent detective force" under the DOJ. Congress rebelled, denouncing it as a plan to create an American okhrana . Democrat Joseph Sherley wrote that "spying on men and prying into what would ordinarily be considered their private affairs" went against "American ideas of government"; Rep. George Waldo, a New York Republican, said the proposed FBI was a "great blow to freedom and to free institutions if there should arise in this country any such great central secret-service bureau as there is in Russia."

So Congress's response was the opposite, banning Bonaparte's DOJ from spending any funds at all on a proposed FBI. Another Congressman wrote another provision into the budget bill banning the DOJ from hiring Secret Service employees for any sort of FBI type agency. So Bonaparte waited until Congress took its summer recess, set aside some DOJ funds, recruited some Secret Service agents, and created a new federal detective bureau with 34 agents. This was how the FBI was born. Congress wasn't notified until the end of 1908, in a few lines in a standard report - "oh yeah, forgot to tell you-the executive branch went ahead and created an American okhrana because, well, the ol' joke about dogs licking their balls. Happy New Year!"

The sordid history of America's extralegal secret police-initially named the Bureau of Investigation, changed to the FBI ("Federal") in the 30's, is mostly a history of xenophobic panic-mongering, illegal domestic spying, mass roundups and plans for mass-roundups, false entrapment schemes, and planting what Russians call "kompromat"- compromising information about a target's sex life-to blackmail or destroy American political figures that the FBI didn't like.

The first political victim of J Edgar Hoover's kompromat was Louis Post, the assistant secretary of labor under Woodrow Wilson. Post's crime was releasing over 1,000 alleged Reds from detention facilities near the end of the FBI's Red Scare crackdown, when they jailed and deported untold thousands on suspicion of being Communists. The FBI's mass purge began with popular media support in 1919, but by the middle of 1920, some (not the FBI) were starting to get a little queasy. A legal challenge to the FBI's mass purges and exiles in Boston ended with a federal judge denouncing the FBI. After that ruling, assistant secretary Louis Post, a 71-year-old well-meaning progressive, reviewed the cases against the last 1500 detainees that the FBI wanted to deport, and found that there was absolutely nothing on at least 75 percent of the cases. Post's review threatened to undo thousands more FBI persecutions of alleged Moscow-controlled radicals.

So one of the FBI's most ambitious young agents, J Edgar Hoover, collected kompromat on Post and his alleged associations with other alleged Moscow-controlled leftists, and gave the file to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives-which promptly announced it would hold hearings to investigate Post as a left subversive. The House tried to impeach Post, but ultimately he defended himself. Post's lawyer compared his political persecutors to the okhrana (Russia, again!): "We in America have sunk to the level of the government of Russia under the Czarist regime," describing the FBI's smear campaign as "even lower in some of their methods than the old Russian officials."

Under Harding, the FBI had a new chief, William Burns, who made headlines blaming the terror bombing attack on Wall Street of 1920 that killed 34 people on a Kremlin-run conspiracy. The FBI claimed it had a highly reliable inside source who told them that Lenin sent $30,000 to the Soviets' diplomatic mission in New York, which was distributed to four local Communist agents who arranged the Wall Street bombing. The source claimed to have personally spoken with Lenin, who boasted that the bombing was so successful he'd ordered up more.

The only problem was that the FBI's reliable source, a Jewish-Polish petty criminal named Wolf Lindenfeld, turned out to be a bullshitter-nicknamed "Windy Linde"-who thought his fake confession about Lenin funding the bombing campaign would get him out of Poland's jails and set up in a comfortable new life in New York.

By 1923, the FBI had thoroughly destroyed America's communist and radical labor movements-allowing it to focus on its other favorite pastime: spying on and destroying political opponents. The FBI spied on US Senators who supported opening diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union: Idaho's William Borah, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; Thomas Walsh of the Judiciary Committee, and Burton K Wheeler, the prairie Populist senator from Montana, who visited the Soviet Union and pushed for diplomatic relations. Harding's corrupt Attorney General Dougherty denounced Sen. Wheeler as "the Communist leader in the Senate" and "no more a Democrat than Stalin, his comrade in Moscow." Dougherty accused Sen. Wheeler of being part of a conspiracy "to capture, by deceit and design, as many members of the Senate as possible and to spread through Washington and the cloakrooms of Congress a poison gas as deadly as that which sapped and destroyed brave soldiers in the last war."

Hoover, now a top FBI official, quietly fed kompromat to journalists he cultivated, particularly an AP reporter named Richard Whitney, who published a popular book in 1924, "Reds In America" alleging Kremlin agents "had an all-pervasive influence over American institutions; they had infiltrated every corner of American life." Whitney named Charlie Chaplin as a Kremlin agent, along with Felix Frankfurter and members of the Senate pushing for recognition of the Soviet Union. That killed any hope for diplomatic recognition for the next decade.

Then the first Harding scandals broke-Teapot Dome, Veterans Affairs, bribery at the highest rungs. When Senators Wheeler and Walsh opened bribery investigations, the FBI sent agents to the senators' home state to drum up false bribery charges against Sen. Wheeler. The charges were clearly fake, and a jury dismissed the charges. But Attorney General Dougherty was indicted for fraud and forced to resign, as was his FBI chief Burns-but not Burns' underling Hoover, who stayed in the shadows.

"We want no Gestapo or Secret Police. FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail This must stop."

With the Cold War, the FBI became obsessed with homosexuals as America's Fifth Column under Moscow's control. Homosexuals, the FBI believed, were susceptible to Kremlin kompromat-so the FBI collected and disseminated its own kompromat on alleged American homosexuals, supposedly to protect America from the Kremlin. In the early 1950s, Hoover launched the Sex Deviates Program to spy on American homosexuals and purge them from public life. The FBI built up 300,000 pages of files on suspected homosexuals and contacted their employers, local law enforcement and universities to "to drive homosexuals from every institution of government, higher learning, and law enforcement in the nation," according to Tim Weiner's book Enemies. No one but the FBI knows exactly how many Americans' lives and careers were destroyed by the FBI's Sex Deviants Program but Hoover-who never married, lived with his mother until he was 40, and traveled everywhere with his "friend" Clyde Tolson .

In the 1952 election, Hoover was so committed to helping the Republicans and Eisenhower win that he compiled and disseminated a 19-page kompromat file alleging that his Democratic Party rival Adlai Stevenson was gay. The FBI's file on Stevenson was kept in the Sex Deviants Program section-it included libelous gossip, claiming that Stevenson was one of Illinois' "best known homosexuals" who went by the name "Adeline" in gay cruising circles.

In the 1960s, Hoover and his FBI chiefs collected kompromat on the sex lives of JFK and Martin Luther King. Hoover presented some of his kompromat on JFK to Bobby Kennedy, in a concern-trollish way claiming to "warn" him that the president was opening himself up to blackmail. It was really a way for Hoover to let the despised Kennedy brothers know he could destroy them, should they try to Comey him out of his FBI office. Hoover's kompromat on MLK's sex life was a particular obsession of his-he now believed that African-Americans, not homosexuals, posed the greatest threat to become a Kremlin Fifth Column. The FBI wiretapped MLK's private life, collecting tapes of his affairs with other women, which a top FBI official then mailed to Martin Luther King's wife, along with a note urging King to commit suicide.

FBI letter anonymously mailed to Martin Luther King Jr's wife, along with kompromat sex tapes

After JFK was murdered, when Bobby Kennedy ran for the Senate in 1964, he recounted another disturbing FBI/kompromat story that President Johnson shared with him on the campaign trail. LBJ told Bobby about a stack of kompromat files - FBI reports "detailing the sexual debauchery of members of the Senate and House who consorted with prostitutes." LBJ asked RFK if the kompromat should be leaked selectively to destroy Republicans before the 1964 elections. Kennedy recalled,

"He told me he had spent all night sitting up and reading the files of the FBI on all these people. And Lyndon talks about that information and material so freely. Lyndon talks about everybody, you see, with everybody. And of course that's dangerous."

Kennedy had seen some of the same FBI kompromat files as attorney general, but he was totally opposed to releasing such unsubstantiated kompromat-such as, say, the Trump piss files-because doing so would "destroy the confidence that people in the United States had in their government and really make us a laughingstock around the world."

Imagine that.

Which brings me to the big analogy every hack threw around last week, calling Trump firing Comey "Nixonian." Actually, what Trump did was more like the very opposite of Nixon, who badly wanted to fire Hoover in 1971-2, but was too afraid of the kompromat Hoover might've had on him to make the move. Nixon fell out with his old friend and onetime mentor J Edgar Hoover in 1971, when the ailing old FBI chief refused to get sucked in to the Daniel Ellsberg/Pentagon Papers investigation, especially after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the New York Times. Part of the reason Nixon created his Plumbers team of black bag burglars was because Hoover had become a bit skittish in his last year on this planet-and that drove Nixon crazy.

Nixon called his chief of staff Haldeman:

Nixon: I talked to Hoover last night and Hoover is not going after this case [Ellsberg] as strong as I would like. There's something dragging him.

Haldeman: You don't have the feeling the FBI is really pursuing this?

Nixon: Yeah, particularly the conspiracy side. I want to go after everyone. I'm not so interested in Ellsberg, but we have to go after everybody who's a member of this conspiracy.

Hoover's ambitious deputies in the FBI were smelling blood, angling to replace him. His number 3, Bill Sullivan (who sent MLK the sex tapes and suicide note) was especially keen to get rid of Hoover and take his place. So as J Edgar was stonewalling the Daniel Ellsberg investigation, Sullivan showed up in a Department of Justice office with two suitcases packed full of transcripts and summaries of illegal wiretaps that Kissinger and Nixon had ordered on their own staff and on American journalists. The taps were ordered in Nixon's first months in the White House in 1969, to plug up the barrage of leaks, the likes of which no one had ever seen before. Sullivan took the leaks from J Edgar's possession and told the DOJ official that they needed to be hidden from Hoover, who planned to use them as kompromat to blackmail Nixon.

Nixon decided he was going to fire J Edgar the next day. This was in September, 1971. But the next day came, and Nixon got scared. So he tried to convince his attorney general John Mitchell to fire Hoover for him, but Mitchell said only the President could fire J Edgar Hoover. So Nixon met him for breakfast, and, well, he just didn't have the guts. Over breakfast, Hoover flattered Nixon and told him there was nothing more in the world he wanted than to see Nixon re-elected. Nixon caved; the next day, J Edgar Hoover unceremoniously fired his number 3 Bill Sullivan, locking him out of the building and out of his office so that he couldn't take anything with him. Sullivan was done.

The lesson here, I suppose, is that if an FBI director doesn't want to be fired, it's best to keep your kompromat a little closer to your chest, as a gun to hold to your boss's head. Comey's crew already released the piss tapes kompromat on Trump-the damage was done. What was left to hold back Trump from firing Comey? "Laws"? The FBI isn't even legal. "Norms" would be the real reason. Which pretty much sums up everything Trump has been doing so far. We've learned the past two decades that we're hardly a nation of laws, at least not when it comes to the plutocratic ruling class. What does bind them are "norms"-and while those norms may mean everything to the ruling class, it's an open question how much these norms mean to a lot of Americans outside that club.

Huey Long , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 am

Wow, and this whole time I thought the NSA had a kompromat monopoly as they have everybody's porn site search terms and viewing habits on file.

I had no idea the FBI practically invented it!

3.14e-9 , May 16, 2017 at 3:04 am

The Native tribes don't have a great history with the FBI, either.

https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/thing-about-skins/comey-fbi-destructive-history-native-people/

voteforno6 , May 16, 2017 at 6:06 am

Has anyone ever used the FBI's lack of a charter as a defense in court?

Disturbed Voter , May 16, 2017 at 6:42 am

The USA doesn't have a legal basis either, it is a revolting crown colony of the British Empire. Treason and heresy all the way down. Maybe the British need to burn Washington DC again?

Synoia , May 16, 2017 at 9:46 pm

Britain burning DC, and the so call ed "war" of 1812, got no mention in my History Books. Napoleon on the other hand, featured greatly

In 1812 Napoleon was busy going to Russia. That went well.

Ignim Brites , May 16, 2017 at 7:55 am

Wondered how Comey thought he could get away with his conviction and pardon of Sec Clinton. Seems like part of the culture of FBI is a "above and beyond" the law mentality.

Watt4Bob , May 16, 2017 at 7:56 am

Back in the early 1970s a high school friend moved to Alabama because his father was transferred by his employer.

My friend sent a post card describing among other things the fact that Alabama had done away with the requirement of a math class to graduate high school, and substituted a required class called "The Evils of Communism" complete with a text-book written by J. Edgar Hoover; Masters of Deceit.

JMarco , May 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm

In Dallas,Texas my 1959 Civics class had to read the same book. We all were given paperback copies of it to take home and read. It was required reading enacted by Texas legislature.

Watt4Bob , May 16, 2017 at 4:47 pm

So I'd guess you weren't fooled by any of those commie plots of the sixties, like the campaigns for civil rights or against the Vietnamese war.

I can't really brag, I didn't stop worrying about the Red Menace until 1970 or so, that's when I started running into returning vets who mostly had no patience for that stuff.

Carolinian , May 16, 2017 at 8:35 am

We've learned the past two decades that we're hardly a nation of laws, at least not when it comes to the plutocratic ruling class. What does bind them are "norms"

Or as David Broder put it (re Bill Clinton): he came in and trashed the place and it wasn't his place.

It was David Broder's place. Of course the media play a key role with all that kompromat since they are the ones needed to convey it to the public. The tragedy is that even many of the sensible in their ranks such as Bill Moyers have been sucked into the kompromat due to their hysteria over Trump. Ames is surely on point in this great article. The mistake was allowing secret police agencies like the FBI and CIA to be created in the first place.

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 8:37 am

Sorry, my initial reaction was that people who don't know the difference between "rein" and "reign" are not to be trusted to provide reliable information. Recognizing that as petty, I kept reading, and presently found the statement that Congress was not informed of the founding of the FBI until a century after the fact, which seems implausible. If in fact the author meant the end of 1908 it was quite an achievement to write 2008.

Interesting to the extent it may be true, but with few sources, no footnotes, and little evidence of critical editing who knows what that may be?

Carolinian , May 16, 2017 at 9:12 am

Do you even know who Mark Ames is?

Petty .yes.

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 10:08 am

Who he is is irrelevant. I don't take things on faith because "the Pope said" or because Mark Ames said. People who expect their information to be taken seriously should substantiate it.

Bill Smith , May 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Yeah, in the first sentence

Interesting article though.

Fiery Hunt , May 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

Yeah, Kathatine, you're right .very petty.

And completely missed the point.

Or worse, you got the point and your best rejection of that point was pointing out a typo.

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 10:13 am

I neither missed the point nor rejected it. I reserved judgment, as I thought was apparent from my comment.

sid_finster , May 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

But Trump is bad. Very Bad.

So anything the FBI does to get rid of him must by definition be ok! Besides, surely our civic-minded IC would never use their power on the Good Guys™!

Right?

JTMcPhee , May 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

Ah yes, the voice of "caution." And such attention to the lack of footnotes, in this day when the curious can so easily cut and paste a bit of salient text into a search engine and pull up a feast of parse-able writings and video, from which they can "judiciously assess" claims and statements. If they care to spend the time, which is in such short supply among those who are struggling to keep up with the horrors and revelations people of good will confront every blinking day

Classic impeachment indeed. All from the height of "academic rigor" and "caution." Especially the "apologetic" bit about "reign" vs "rein." Typos destroy credibility, don't they? And the coup de grass (sic), the unrebuttable "plausibility" claim.

One wonders at the nature of the author's curriculum vitae. One also marvels at the yawning gulf between the Very Serious Stuff I was taught in grade and high school civics and history, back in the late '50s and the '60s, about the Fundamental Nature Of Our Great Nation and its founding fathers and the Beautiful Documents they wrote, on the one hand, and what we mopes learn, through a drip-drip-drip process punctuated occasionally by Major Revelations, about the real nature of the Empire and our fellow creatures

PS: My earliest memory of television viewing was a day at a friend's house - his middle-class parents had the first "set" in the neighborhood, I think an RCA, in a massive sideboard cabinet where the picture tube pointed up and you viewed the "content" in a mirror mounted to the underside of the lid. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5onSwx7_Cn0 The family was watching a hearing of Joe McCarthy's kangaroo court, complete with announcements of the latest number in the "list of known Communists in the State Department" and how Commyanism was spreading like an unstoppable epidemic mortal disease through the Great US Body Politic and its Heroic Institutions of Democracy. I was maybe 6 years old, but that grainy black and white "reality TV" content had me asking "WTF?" at a very early age. And I'd say it's on the commentor to show that the "2008" claim is wrong, by something other than "implausible" as drive-by impeachment. Given the content of the original post, and what people paying attention to all this stuff have a pretty good idea is the general contours of a vast corruption and manipulation.

"Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no."

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 10:19 am

It is the author's job to substantiate information, not the reader's. If he thinks his work is so important, why does he not make a better job of it?

Edward , May 16, 2017 at 9:22 pm

I think the MLK blackmail scheme is well-established. Much of the article seems to be based on Tim Wiener's "Enemies: A History of the FBI".

nonsense factory , May 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

Interesting article on the history of the FBI, although the post-Hoover era doesn't get any treatment. The Church Committee hearings on the CIA and FBI, after the exposure of notably Operation CHAOS (early 60s to early 70s) by the CIA and COINTELPRO(late 1950s to early 1970s) by the FBI, didn't really get to the bottom of the issue although some reforms were initiated.

Today, it seems, the best description of the FBI's main activity is corporate enforcer for the white-collar mafia known as Wall Street. There is an analogy to organized crime, where the most powerful mobsters settled disputes between other gangs of criminals. Similarly, if a criminal gang is robbed by one of its own members, the mafia would go after the guilty party; the FBI plays this role for Wall Street institutions targeted by con artists and fraudsters. Compare and contrast a pharmaceutical company making opiates which is targeted by thieves vs. a black market drug cartel targeted by thieves. In one case, the FBI investigates; in the other, a violent vendetta ensues (such as street murders in Mexico).

The FBI executives are rewarded for this service with lucrative post-retirement careers within corporate America – Louis Freeh went to credit card fraudster, MBNA, Richard Mueller to a corporate Washington law firm, WilmerHale, and Comey, before Obama picked him as Director, worked for Lockheed Martin and HSBC (cleaning up after their $2 billion drug cartel marketing scandal) after leaving the FBI in 2005.

Maybe this is legitimate, but this only applies to their protection of the interests of large corporations – as the 2008 economic collapse and aftermath showed, they don't prosecute corporate executives who rip off poor people and middle-class homeowners. Banks who rob people, they aren't investigated or prosecuted; that's just for people who rob banks.

When it comes to political issues and national security, however, the FBI has such a terrible record on so many issues over the years that anything they claim has to be taken with a grain or two of salt. Consider domestic political activity: from the McCarthyite 'Red Scare' of the 1950s to COINTELPRO in the 1960s and 1970s to targeting of environmental groups in the 1980s and 1990s to targeting anti-war protesters under GW Bush to their obsession with domestic mass surveillance under Obama, it's not a record that should inspire any confidence.

Some say they have a key role to play in national security and terrorism – but their record on the 2001 anthrax attacks is incredibly shady and suspicious. The final suspect, Bruce Ivins, is clearly innocent of the crime, just as their previous suspect, Steven Hatfill was. Ivins, if still alive, could have won a similar multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against the FBI. All honest bioweapons experts know this to be true – the perpetrators of those anthrax letters are still at large, and may very well have had close associations with the Bush Administration itself.

As far as terrorist activities? Many of their low-level agents did seem concerned about the Saudis and bin Laden in the late 1990s and pre-9/11 – but Saudi investigations were considered politically problematic due to "geostrategic relationships with our Saudi allies" – hence people like John O'Neil and Coleen Rowley were sidelined and ignored, with disastrous consequences. The Saudi intelligence agency role in 9/11 was buried for over a decade, as well. Since 9/11, most of the FBI investigations seem to have involved recruiting mentally disabled young Islamic men in sting operations in which the FBI provides everything needed. You could probably get any number of mentally ill homeless people across the U.S., regardless of race or religion, to play this role.

Comey's actions over the past year are certainly highly questionable, as well. Neglecting to investigate the Clinton Foundation ties to Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments and corporations, particularly things like State Department approval of various arms deals in which bribes may have been paid, is as much a dereliction of duty as neglecting to investigate Trump ties to Russian business interests – but then, Trump has a record of shady business dealings dating back to the 1970s, of strange bankruptcies and bailouts and government sales that the FBI never looked at either.

Ultimately, this is because FBI executives are paid off not to investigate Wall Street criminality, nor shady U.S. government activity, with lucrative positions as corporate board members and so on after their 'retirements'. I don't doubt that many of their junior members mean well and are dedicated to their jobs – but the fish rots from the head down.

Andrew Watts , May 16, 2017 at 3:58 pm

As far as terrorist activities? Many of their low-level agents did seem concerned about the Saudis and bin Laden in the late 1990s and pre-9/11 – but Saudi investigations were considered politically problematic due to "geostrategic relationships with our Saudi allies" – hence people like John O'Neil and Coleen Rowley were sidelined and ignored, with disastrous consequences.

The Clinton Administration had other priorities. You know, I think I'll let ex-FBI Director Freeh explain what happened when the FBI tried to get the Saudis to cooperate with their investigation into the bombing of the Khobar Towers.

"That September, Crown Prince Abdullah and his entourage took over the entire 143-room Hay-Adams Hotel, just across from Lafayette Park from the White House, for six days. The visit, I figured, was pretty much our last chance. Again, we prepared talking points for the president. Again, I contacted Prince Bandar and asked him to soften up the crown prince for the moment when Clinton, -- or Al Gore I didn't care who -- would raise the matter and start to exert the necessary pressure."

"The story that came back to me, from "usually reliable sources," as they say in Washington, was that Bill Clinton briefly raised the subject only to tell the Crown Prince that he certainly understood the Saudis; reluctance to cooperate. Then, according to my sources, he hit Abdullah up for a contribution to the still-to-be-built Clinton presidential library. Gore, who was supposed to press hardest of all in his meeting with the crown Prince, barely mentioned the matter, I was told." -Louis J. Freeh, My FBI (2005)

In my defense I picked the book up to see if there was any dirt on the DNC's electoral funding scandal in 1996. I'm actually glad I did. The best part of the book is when Freeh recounts running into a veteran of the Lincoln Brigade and listens to how Hoover's FBI ruined his life despite having broken no laws. As if a little thing like laws mattered to Hoover. The commies were after our precious bodily fluids!

verifyfirst , May 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm

I'm not sure there are many functioning norms left within the national political leadership. Seemed to me Gingrich started blowing those up and it just got worse from there. McConnell not allowing Garland to be considered comes to mind

lyman alpha blob , May 16, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Great article – thanks for this. I had no idea the FBI never had a legal charter – very enlightening.

JMarco , May 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Thanks to Mark Ames now we know what Pres. Trump meant when he tweeted about his tapes with AG Comey. Not some taped conversation between Pres. Trump & AG Comey but bunch of kompromat tapes that AG Comey has provided Pres. Trump that might not make departing AG Comey looked so clean.

[Feb 08, 2018] The Ever-Growing List of ADMITTED False Flag Attacks

Mar 07, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

In the following instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos:

(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the "Mukden Incident" or the "Manchurian Incident". The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found : "Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the 'Incident' was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ." And see this , this and this.

(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland.

(3) The minutes of the high command of the Italian government – subsequently approved by Mussolini himself – admitted that violence on the Greek-Albanian border was carried out by Italians and falsely blamed on the Greeks, as an excuse for Italy's 1940 invasion of Greece.

(4) Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson.

(5) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union's Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the "Winter War" against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War.

(6) The Russian Parliament, current Russian president Putin and former Soviet leader Gorbachev all admit that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, and then falsely blamed it on the Nazis.

(7) The British government admits that – between 1946 and 1948 – it bombed 5 ships carrying Jews attempting to flee the Holocaust to seek safety in Palestine, set up a fake group called "Defenders of Arab Palestine", and then had the psuedo-group falsely claim responsibility for the bombings (and see this , this and this ).

(8) Israel admits that in 1954, an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind "evidence" implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this ).

The U.S. Army does not believe this is an isolated incident. For example, the U.S. Army's School of Advanced Military Studies said of Mossad (Israel's intelligence service):

"Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act ."

(9) The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister.

(10) The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece – also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey – and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence.

(11) The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change.

(12) The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s through the 1980s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people's support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism .

As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: "You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security" so that "a state of emergency could be declared, so people would willingly trade part of their freedom for the security" (and see this ) (Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred). And watch this BBC special . They also allegedly carried out terror attacks in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK , and other countries.

The CIA also stressed to the head of the Italian program that Italy needed to use the program to control internal uprisings .

False flag attacks carried out pursuant to this program include – by way of example only:

(13) In 1960, American Senator George Smathers suggested that the U.S. launch "a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]".

(14) Official State Department documents show that, in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals.

(15) As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil , and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report ; the official documents ; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

(16) In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States – such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica – and then falsely blaming them on Cuba.

(17) The U.S. Department of Defense also suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States: "The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro's subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo."

(18) A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its "Cointelpro" campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists.

(19) A top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained : "In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque." In response to the surprised correspondent's incredulous look the general said, "I am giving an example".

(20) A declassified 1973 CIA document reveals a program to train foreign police and troops on how to make booby traps, pretending that they were training them on how to investigate terrorist acts:

The Agency maintains liaison in varying degrees with foreign police/security organizations through its field stations .

[CIA provides training sessions as follows:]

a. Providing trainees with basic knowledge in the uses of commercial and military demolitions and incendiaries as they may be applied in terrorism and industrial sabotage operations.

b. Introducing the trainees to commercially available materials and home laboratory techniques , likely to he used in the manufacture of explosives and incendiaries by terrorists or saboteurs.

c. Familiarizing the trainees with the concept of target analysis and operational planning that a saboteur or terrorist must employ.

d. Introducing the trainees to booby trapping devices and techniques giving practical experience with both manufactured and improvised devices through actual fabrication .

***

The program provides the trainees with ample opportunity to develop basic familiarity and use proficiently through handling, preparing and applying the various explosive charges, incendiary agents, terrorist devices and sabotage techniques .

(21) The German government admitted (and see this ) that, in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted "escape tools" on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on.

(22) A Mossad agent admits that, in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi's compound in Tripoli, Libya which broadcast fake terrorist transmissions recorded by Mossad, in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter.

(23) The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him "to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident", thus framing the ANC for the bombing.

(24) An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video ; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author).

(25) In 1993, a bomb in Northern Ireland killed 9 civilians. Official documents from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (i.e. the British government) show that the mastermind of the bombing was a British agent, and that the bombing was designed to inflame sectarian tensions. And see this and this .

(26) The United States Army's 1994 publication Special Forces Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces – updated in 2004 – recommends employing terrorists and using false flag operations to destabilize leftist regimes in Latin America. False flag terrorist attacks were carried out in Latin America and other regions as part of the CIA's " Dirty Wars ". And see this .

(27) Similarly, a CIA "psychological operations" manual prepared by a CIA contractor for the Nicaraguan Contra rebels noted the value of assassinating someone on your own side to create a "martyr" for the cause. The manual was authenticated by the U.S. government. The manual received so much publicity from Associated Press, Washington Post and other news coverage that – during the 1984 presidential debate – President Reagan was confronted with the following question on national television:

At this moment, we are confronted with the extraordinary story of a CIA guerrilla manual for the anti-Sandinista contras whom we are backing, which advocates not only assassinations of Sandinistas but the hiring of criminals to assassinate the guerrillas we are supporting in order to create martyrs.

(28) A Rwandan government inquiry admitted that the 1994 shootdown and murder of the Rwandan president, who was from the Hutu tribe – a murder blamed by the Hutus on the rival Tutsi tribe, and which led to the massacre of more than 800,000 Tutsis by Hutus – was committed by Hutu soldiers and falsely blamed on the Tutis.

(29) An Indonesian government fact-finding team investigated violent riots which occurred in 1998, and determined that " elements of the military had been involved in the riots, some of which were deliberately provoked ".

(30) Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion ).

(31) As reported by the New York Times , BBC and Associated Press , Macedonian officials admit that in 2001, the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the "war on terror". luring foreign migrants into the country, executing them in a staged gun battle, and then claiming they were a unit backed by Al Qaeda intent on attacking Western embassies". Macedonian authorities had lured the immigrants into the country, and then – after killing them – posed the victims with planted evidence – "bags of uniforms and semiautomatic weapons at their side" – to show Western diplomats.

(32) At the July 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy, black-clad thugs were videotaped getting out of police cars, and were seen by an Italian MP carrying "iron bars inside the police station". Subsequently, senior police officials in Genoa subsequently admitted that police planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer at the G8 Summit, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters.

(33) The U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war.

Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is "overwhelming" that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime, that Cheney "probably" had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not 'doing their homework' in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction.

Despite previous "lone wolf" claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers. (Many U.S. officials have alleged that 9/11 was a false flag operation by rogue elements of the U.S. government; but such a claim is beyond the scope of this discussion. The key point is that the U.S. falsely blamed it on Iraq, when it knew Iraq had nothing to do with it.).

(Additionally, the same judge who has shielded the Saudis for any liability for funding 9/11 has awarded a default judgment against Iran for $10.5 billion for carrying out 9/11 even though no one seriously believes that Iran had any part in 9/11.)

(34) Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like ). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country. And see this .

(35) According to the Washington Post , Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.

(36) The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings.

(37) Police outside of a 2003 European Union summit in Greece were filmed planting Molotov cocktails on a peaceful protester .

(38) In 2003, the U.S. Secretary of Defense admitted that interrogators were authorized to use the following method: "False Flag: Convincing the detainee that individuals from a country other than the United States are interrogating him." While not a traditional false flag attack , this deception could lead to former detainees attacking the country falsely blamed for the interrogation.

(39) Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having "our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization . It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda's ranks, causing operatives to doubt others' identities and to question the validity of communications."

(40) Similarly, in 2005, Professor John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School – a renowned US defense analyst credited with developing the concept of 'netwar' – called for western intelligence services to create new "pseudo gang" terrorist groups , as a way of undermining "real" terror networks. According to Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, Arquilla's 'pseudo-gang' strategy was, Hersh reported, already being implemented by the Pentagon:

"Under Rumsfeld's new approach, I was told, US military operatives would be permitted to pose abroad as corrupt foreign businessmen seeking to buy contraband items that could be used in nuclear-weapons systems. In some cases, according to the Pentagon advisers, local citizens could be recruited and asked to join up with guerrillas or terrorists

The new rules will enable the Special Forces community to set up what it calls 'action teams' in the target countries overseas which can be used to find and eliminate terrorist organizations. 'Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador?' the former high-level intelligence official asked me, referring to the military-led gangs that committed atrocities in the early nineteen-eighties. 'We founded them and we financed them,' he said. 'The objective now is to recruit locals in any area we want. And we aren't going to tell Congress about it.' A former military officer, who has knowledge of the Pentagon's commando capabilities, said, 'We're going to be riding with the bad boys.'"

(41) United Press International reported in June 2005:

U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.

(42) In 2005, British soldiers dressed as Arabs were caught by Iraqi police after a shootout against the police. The soldiers apparently possessed explosives , and were accused of attempting to set off bombs . While none of the soldiers admitted that they were carrying out attacks, British soldiers and a column of British tanks stormed the jail they were held in, broke down a wall of the jail, and busted them out . The extreme measures used to free the soldiers – rather than have them face questions and potentially stand trial – could be considered an admission.

(43) Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians.

(44) Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this ).

(45) A 2008 US Army special operations field manual recommends that the U.S. military use surrogate non-state groups such as "paramilitary forces, individuals, businesses, foreign political organizations, resistant or insurgent organizations, expatriates, transnational terrorism adversaries, disillusioned transnational terrorism members , black marketers, and other social or political 'undesirables.'" The manual specifically acknowledged that U.S. special operations can involve both counterterrorism and "Terrorism" (as well as "transnational criminal activities, including narco-trafficking, illicit arms-dealing, and illegal financial transactions.")

(46) The former Italian Prime Minister, President, and head of Secret Services (Francesco Cossiga) advised the 2008 minister in charge of the police, on how to deal with protests from teachers and students:

He should do what I did when I was Minister of the Interior infiltrate the movement with agents provocateurs inclined to do anything . And after that, with the strength of the gained population consent, beat them for blood and beat for blood also those teachers that incite them. Especially the teachers. Not the elderly, of course, but the girl teachers yes.

(47) An undercover officer admitted that he infiltrated environmental, leftwing and anti-fascist groups in 22 countries. Germany's federal police chief admitted that – while the undercover officer worked for the German police – he acted illegally during a G8 protest in Germany in 2007 and committed arson by setting fire during a subsequent demonstration in Berlin. The undercover officer spent many years living with violent "Black Bloc" anarchists.

(48) Denver police admitted that uniformed officers deployed in 2008 to an area where alleged "anarchists" had planned to wreak havoc outside the Democratic National Convention ended up getting into a melee with two undercover policemen. The uniformed officers didn't know the undercover officers were cops.

(49) At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence.

(50) The oversight agency for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police admitted that – at the G20 protests in Toronto in 2010 – undercover police officers were arrested with a group of protesters. Videos and photos (see this and this , for example) show that violent protesters wore very similar boots and other gear as the police, and carried police batons. The Globe and Mail reports that the undercover officers planned the targets for violent attack, and the police failed to stop the attacks.

(51) Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this ) that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts 2011 to try to discredit the protesters.

(52) Austin police admit that 3 officers infiltrated the Occupy protests in that city. Prosecutors admit that one of the undercover officers purchased and constructed illegal "lock boxes" which ended up getting many protesters arrested.

(53) In 2011, a Colombian colonel admitted that he and his soldiers had lured 57 innocent civilians and killed them – after dressing many of them in uniforms – as part of a scheme to claim that Columbia was eradicating left-wing terrorists. And see this .

(54) Rioters who discredited the peaceful protests against the swearing in of the Mexican president in 2012 admitted that they were paid 300 pesos each to destroy everything in their path. According to Wikipedia, photos also show the vandals waiting in groups behind police lines prior to the violence.

(55) A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat.

(56) On November 20, 2014, Mexican agent provocateurs were transported by army vehicles to participate in the 2014 Iguala mass kidnapping protests, as was shown by videos and pictures distributed via social networks.

(57) The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence – Prince Bandar – recently admitted that the Saudi government controls "Chechen" terrorists.

(58) Two members of the Turkish parliament , high-level American sources and others admitted that the Turkish government – a NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks in Syria and falsely blamed them on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government.

(59) The Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others. Ukrainian officials admit that the Ukrainian snipers fired on both sides, to create maximum chaos.

(60) Burmese government officials admitted that Burma (renamed Myanmar) used false flag attacks against Muslim and Buddhist groups within the country to stir up hatred between the two groups, to prevent democracy from spreading.

(61) Israeli police were again filmed in 2015 dressing up as Arabs and throwing stones, then turning over Palestinian protesters to Israeli soldiers.

(62) Britain's spy agency has admitted (and see this ) that it carries out "digital false flag" attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material and blaming it on the target.

(63) The CIA has admitted that it uses viruses and malware from Russia and other countries to carry out cyberattacks and blame other countries.

(64) U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then "drop" automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants.

(65) Similarly, police frame innocent people for crimes they didn't commit. The practice is so well-known that the New York Times noted in 1981:

In police jargon, a throwdown is a weapon planted on a victim.

Newsweek reported in 1999:

Perez, himself a former [Los Angeles Police Department] cop, was caught stealing eight pounds of cocaine from police evidence lockers. After pleading guilty in September, he bargained for a lighter sentence by telling an appalling story of attempted murder and a "throwdown"–police slang for a weapon planted by cops to make a shooting legally justifiable . Perez said he and his partner, Officer Nino Durden, shot an unarmed 18th Street Gang member named Javier Ovando, then planted a semiautomatic rifle on the unconscious suspect and claimed that Ovando had tried to shoot them during a stakeout.

Wikipedia notes :

As part of his plea bargain, Pérez implicated scores of officers from the Rampart Division's anti-gang unit, describing routinely beating gang members, planting evidence on suspects, falsifying reports and covering up unprovoked shootings .

(As a side note – and while not technically false flag attacks – police have been busted framing innocent people in many other ways , as well.)

(66) A former U.S. intelligence officer recently alleged :

Most terrorists are false flag terrorists or are created by our own security services.

(67) The head and special agent in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office said that most terror attacks are committed by the CIA and FBI as false flags. Similarly, the director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom said :

By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In '78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.

(audio here ).

(68) The Director of Analytics at the interagency Global Engagement Center housed at the U.S. Department of State, also an adjunct professor at George Mason University, where he teaches the graduate course National Security Challenges in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology, a former branch chief in the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, and an intelligence advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security (J.D. Maddox) notes :

Provocation is one of the most basic, but confounding, aspects of warfare. Despite its sometimes obvious use, it has succeeded consistently against audiences around the world, for millennia, to compel war . A well-constructed provocation narrative mutes even the most vocal opposition.

***

The culmination of a strategic provocation operation invariably reflects a narrative of victimhood: we are the
victims of the enemy's unforgivable atrocities .

***

In the case of strategic provocation the deaths of an aggressor's own personnel are a core tactic of the provocation.

***

The persistent use of strategic provocation over centuries – and its apparent importance to war planners – begs the question of its likely use by the US and other states in the near term.

(69) Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the "benefits" of of false flags to justify their political agenda:

" Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death".
– Adolph Hitler

"Why of course the people don't want war But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked , and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

"The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened".
– Josef Stalin

Postscript: The media plays along as well . For example, in 2012, NBC News' chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, was kidnapped in Syria. NBC News said that Engel and his reporting team had been abducted by forces affiliated with the Syrian government. He reported that they only escaped when some anti-Syrian government rebels killed some of the pro-government kidnappers.

However, NBC subsequently admitted that this was false. It turns out that they were really kidnapped by people associated with the U.S. backed rebels fighting the Syrian government who wore the clothes of, faked the accent of, scrawled the slogans of, and otherwise falsely impersonated the mannerisms of people associated with the Syrian government. In reality, the group that kidnapped Engel and his crew were affiliated with the U.S.-supported Free Syrian Army , and NBC should have known that it was blaming the wrong party . See the New York Times and the Nation's reporting.

Of course, sometimes atrocities or warmongering are falsely blamed on the enemy as a justification for war when no such event ever occurred . This is sort of like false flag terror without the terror.

For example:

had been checked out -- and debunked -- by U.S. intelligence a year before the President repeated it.

[Dec 30, 2017] Not a single officer resigned in protest despite the fact that the US is deeply in bed with ISIS and those who are responsible, at least according to the official conspiracy theory, for 9/11

Saker, of course, if "Russia firster". And that makes his analyses of Russia weaker than it should be. But his analysis of the USA is superb.
Notable quotes:
"... What defeats? US achieved its real goal in Iraq, which was to smash it and leave it divided. Zionist wanted a weak Iraq, and it is weak indeed. US still occupies Afghanistan and uses it for whatever it wants. The longer the war goes on, the Occupation is justified like continued US presence in South Korea. US doesn't want to win in Afghanistan. As long as the war is officially 'on', US can stay and rule that part of the world. ..."
"... And Libya is destroyed. Gaddafi's dream of counter-currency is finished. Libya is like humpty dumpty, smashed forever, and the Zionists are happy. ..."
"... And Syria? It didn't cost America anything to see that nation totally wrecked. ..."
"... re the first sentence of this comment. And probably confusing for "Russia-Firsters"; USA is this/that (all bad) and Russia/China are this/that (all good) but there is a fear about the "bad boy". Doesn't make sense but, well, who cares. We gotta go with the message, that one "USA bad" etc. ..."
"... The burden now is clearly on Russia and China to do everything they can to try to stop the US from launching even more catastrophic and deeply immoral wars. That is a very, very difficult task and I frankly don't know if they can do it. I hope so. That is the best I can say. ..."
"... US foreign policy flows from internal conditions. As long as the US is ruled by ...Globalists... as their cuckaroo dogs like Joe Biden, Lindsey Graham, and the rest, nothing will change. ..."
"... Simplistically, it appears most Americans because of the Cold War view geopolitics as a Manichean struggle of civilizations, good versus evil. Therefore, as they understand the United States, representing absolute good, to have been the victor in that battle for the planet, the United States now has the right to dictate terms to the entire globe in a mopping up action. ..."
"... It is US "elites" Modus Operandi, otherwise "exceptionalism" flies out of the window. With some effort and time given we may yet see the US taking credit for the Battle of Lepanto and, eventually, for Thermopylae. Consider his: "Kursk was an Anglo-American victory as well as a Soviet one." (c) ..."
Dec 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor , Website December 29, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

The same goes for the US military: not one single officer has found in himself/herself to resign to protest the fact that the US is deeply in bed with those who are responsible, at least according to the official conspiracy theory, for 9/11. Nope, in fact US special forces are working with al-Qaeda types day in and day out and not a single one of these "patriots" has the honor/courage/integrity to go public about it.

But for 9/11, Alqaeda was always the US's baby. They were used in Afghanistan against the Soviets. US and its ally Pakistan fully backed Osama and his ilk for a long time. If not for 9/11, US and Alqeda's good relations would have been unbroken.

It's like US-Japan's relations. It got rocky cuz of disagreement over China and then Pearl Harbor. But had it not been for that, US-Japan relations would have been smooth throughout the 20th century. US had initially backed Japan's war with Russia and looked the other way when Japan moved into Korea and China. It was Japan's over-reaching that set the two nations apart and led to Pearl Harbor. But after WWII, they were friends against against China and Russia.

So, it shouldn't surprise us that US and Alqaeda are pals again. They were for a long time. It was US presence in Saudi Arabia that made Osama bitter and turn against his ally, the US. But with Iran and Shias as the Big Enemy, the US and Alqaeda are friends again.

Priss Factor , Website December 29, 2017 at 5:53 am GMT
And yet, somewhere, to some degree, these guys must know that the odds are not in their favor. For one thing, an endless stream of military defeats and political embarrassments ought to strongly suggest to them that inaction is generally preferable to action, especially for clueless people.

What defeats? US achieved its real goal in Iraq, which was to smash it and leave it divided. Zionist wanted a weak Iraq, and it is weak indeed. US still occupies Afghanistan and uses it for whatever it wants. The longer the war goes on, the Occupation is justified like continued US presence in South Korea. US doesn't want to win in Afghanistan. As long as the war is officially 'on', US can stay and rule that part of the world.

And Libya is destroyed. Gaddafi's dream of counter-currency is finished. Libya is like humpty dumpty, smashed forever, and the Zionists are happy.

And Syria? It didn't cost America anything to see that nation totally wrecked.

...These were great successes in a sick way. The Zionist-US goal was to spread chaos and turn those nations into hellholes that will take many decades to recover. And since 9/11, there's been hardly any major terrorist attacks in America.

peterAUS , December 29, 2017 at 6:00 am GMT
Beauties of time zone(s). Anyway . The usual Saker's "panic attack". So, for those 10 % here who aren't actually on his wavelength, a brief comment. As usual there is a bit of discrepancy between:

the AngloZionist Empire is reeling from its humiliating defeat in Syria

and

Syria (threats of a US-Israeli-KSA attack; attack on Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria)
attack on Russian forces in Syria)
.attack Iranian forces in Syria)

but not important, of course. Just think "USA bad", "Russia good" and all makes sense. Surprisingly, though, this is well stated

Let me immediately say here that listing pragmatic arguments against such aggression is, at this point in time, probably futile.

with a bit of Freudian slip

that is really frightening.

re the first sentence of this comment. And probably confusing for "Russia-Firsters"; USA is this/that (all bad) and Russia/China are this/that (all good) but there is a fear about the "bad boy". Doesn't make sense but, well, who cares. We gotta go with the message, that one "USA bad" etc.

Now, he got this mostly right:

whereas those in the elites not only know that they are total hypocrites and liars, but they actually see this as a sign superiority: the drones believes in his/her ideology, but his rulers believe in absolutely nothing.

Except they do believe in something: POWER.

He got close here, I admit:

Because they profoundly believe in four fundamental things:
1. We can buy anybody
2. Those we cannot buy, we bully
3. Those we cannot bully we kill
4. Nothing can happen to us, we live in total impunity not matter what we do

Now, I also admit THIS is quite interesting:

The same goes for the US military: not one single officer has found in himself/herself to resign to protest the fact that the US is deeply in bed with those who are responsible, at least according to the official conspiracy theory, for 9/11. Nope, in fact US special forces are working with al-Qaeda types day in and day out and not a single one of these "patriots" has the honor/courage/integrity to go public about it.

Still, the explanation feels weak.

Imbeciles and cowards. Delusional imbeciles giving orders and dishonorable cowards mindlessly executing them.

He could've gone deeper, but that would've complicated the message. Propaganda is all about keeping things simple and close to the lowest denominator (read imbecile). Makes sense, actually. He is correct here, though:

Alas, this is also a very hard combo to deter or to try to reason with.

The usual "Bad USA has been losing badly" compulsory part of the article we'll skip here, save:

.to engage either the Iranians or Hezbollah is a very scary option

("panic" thing) And, of course oh man .

Putin is a unpredictable master strategist and the folks around him are very, very smart.

I suggest reading this a couple of times. For a couple of reasons I'd leave to the reader. Back to topic at hand:

I think that we can agree that the Neocons are unlikely to be very impressed by the risks posed by Russian forces in Syria and that they will likely feel that they can punch the russkies in the nose and that these russkies will have to take it.

with

I place the risk here at 'medium' even if, potentially, this could lead to a catastrophic thermonuclear war because I don't think that the Neocons believe that the Russians will escalate too much (who starts WWIII over one shot down aircraft anyway, right?!)

..("panic" thing)
and

Let's hope that the Urkonazis will be busy fighting each other and that their previous humiliating defeat will deter them from trying again, but I consider a full-scale Urkonazi attack on the Donbass as quite likely

..("panic" thing).
and

The truth is that at this point nobody knows what the outcome of a US attack on the DPRK might be, not even the North Koreans. Will that be enough to deter the delusional imbeciles giving and dishonorable cowards currently at the helm of the Empire? You tell me!

("panic" thing).

And, at the end, kudos actually, he appears to be getting there:

Frankly, I am not very confident about this attempt as analyzing the possible developments in 2018. All my education has always been based on a crucial central assumption: the other guy is rational.

This isn't bad:

The burden now is clearly on Russia and China to do everything they can to try to stop the US from launching even more catastrophic and deeply immoral wars. That is a very, very difficult task and I frankly don't know if they can do it. I hope so. That is the best I can say.

But I'd keep focus on "I frankly don't know if they can do it". Now, back to fanboys and resident agenda pushers.

Priss Factor , Website December 29, 2017 at 6:23 am GMT
Frankly, I am not very confident about this attempt as analyzing the possible developments in 2018.

US foreign policy flows from internal conditions. As long as the US is ruled by ...Globalists... as their cuckaroo dogs like Joe Biden, Lindsey Graham, and the rest, nothing will change.

America needs a new civil 'war' to set things right. The ruling elites must be outed, routed, and destroyed. But the elites have framed the civil war in America as between 'nazis' and 'antifa', and this divide-and-conquer strategy gets nothing done. The American Left is more at war with Civil War monuments than with the REAL power. This civil 'war' must be between people vs the elites. But elites have manipulated the conflict as 'blue' vs 'red'.

What happens IN America will affect what happens OUTSIDE America.

There are people on both right and left who know what is going on with this neo-imperialism BS. Elite intellectuals are useless as critics because the filtering system for elitism favors the cucks and toadies. To reach the top in any profession, one has to suck up to Zionists, denounce Russia, worship homos, and denounce any form of white agency as 'white supremacism'.

... ... ...

How can the elite power be challenged by non-elites? Is there some way? A new way to use the internet? Maybe. That must be why the Platforms are shutting down so many alternative voices.

And how can masses of Trumptards and Anti-Trump resistance be convinced that the real power is not with Trump or any president but with the Deep State that colludes with Big Media and Big donors?

So many Trumptards think all is fine because Trump is president. Likewise, so many progs paid no attention as long as Obama was president even though Obama proved to be a war criminal.

US is now a silly nation where progs are totally incensed over 'gay cakes'. With dummy populists who think in terms of flag and guns and idiot decadent proggists who think in terms of 'muh gender' and 'white privilege', a true challenge to sick elite power is impossible.

We need more on the right to call out on Trump, and we need more on the left to call out on likes of Obama and Hillary. And both sides need to focus on the Power above Trump-Hillary-Obama. But they are too childish to see anything cuz for most of them, it's either 'muh guns' or 'muh gender'.

Fran Macadam , Website December 29, 2017 at 7:46 am GMT
Simplistically, it appears most Americans because of the Cold War view geopolitics as a Manichean struggle of civilizations, good versus evil. Therefore, as they understand the United States, representing absolute good, to have been the victor in that battle for the planet, the United States now has the right to dictate terms to the entire globe in a mopping up action.
Andrei Martyanov , Website December 29, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

Yet none of that prevents them from claiming that they, not Russia, defeated Daesh/ISIS/al-Nusra/etc. This is absolutely amazing, think of it –

It is US "elites" Modus Operandi, otherwise "exceptionalism" flies out of the window. With some effort and time given we may yet see the US taking credit for the Battle of Lepanto and, eventually, for Thermopylae. Consider his: "Kursk was an Anglo-American victory as well as a Soviet one." (c)

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/why-the-battle-kursk-might-just-be-the-most-misunderstood-22931?page=3

You see where it is all going? In real everyday life this is qualified as Stolen Valor and there is a Federal Law from 2013 which makes it a crime.

Diversity Heretic , December 29, 2017 at 2:30 pm GMT
@Priss Factor

Calvin Coolidge referred to Japan as America's natural friend. Were the economic sanctions imposed because of Japanese expansion in China, Indochina and the Dutch East Indies really necessary? How important was it to Mr. and Mrs. Average American that China be governed by Communists, warlords and corrupt nationalists, that Indochina be governed by French colonialists, and the Dutch East Indies be governed by Dutch colonialists, than by Japanese imperalists? Pat Buchanan has called WWII in Europe the unnecessary war; I think the truly unnecessary WWII conflict was in the Pacific.

[Dec 29, 2017] As former CIA Director William Casey allegedly once said: "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."

Notable quotes:
"... Russiagate and corporate media scapegoating Putin's trolls are information operations to keep the little people misinformed. The Ukraine Putsch and the MH-17 shoot down were handled poorly by Russia. They've come back in Syria. Russian intelligence wouldn't be doing their job if they weren't surveilling the West. ..."
"... What got western oligarchs upset is the disclosure of the truth; the system is rigged. Obama voters in mid-America voted for Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton's loss triggered a witch hunt rather than addressing the root causes of her defeat. A group of oligarchs want the upstart NY casino boss gone. The only question is what will be the collateral damage from the mob war. ..."
"... As former CIA Director William Casey allegedly once said: "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." His error here was saying Americans were the target and not the global population as well, but at least as far as America goes I think its pretty much a thumbs up. Mission Accomplished. ..."
"... Media and social media tycoons - all could be taken down very fast if they did not toe the CIA line, though for most, it seems their work with CIA is voluntary and enthusiastic. ..."
"... I guess you don't get that rich by having ethics or scruples. ..."
Dec 29, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

VietnamVet , Dec 26, 2017 3:40:43 PM | 30

Russiagate and corporate media scapegoating Putin's trolls are information operations to keep the little people misinformed. The Ukraine Putsch and the MH-17 shoot down were handled poorly by Russia. They've come back in Syria. Russian intelligence wouldn't be doing their job if they weren't surveilling the West.

Victoria Nuland's EU rant was released. Vladimir Putin preferred Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

What got western oligarchs upset is the disclosure of the truth; the system is rigged. Obama voters in mid-America voted for Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton's loss triggered a witch hunt rather than addressing the root causes of her defeat. A group of oligarchs want the upstart NY casino boss gone. The only question is what will be the collateral damage from the mob war.

NemesisCalling , Dec 26, 2017 4:39:00 PM | 36 karlof1 , Dec 26, 2017 4:42:57 PM | 37
Name of Me | Dec 26, 2017 12:13:28 PM | 2

The US Government was controlling media well before the CIA's creation. Please take a little time to learn about George Seldes whose 1929 book You Can't Print That!: The Truth Behind the News, 1918–1928 is vastly informative with original copies easy to find under $15, or even online through this link . Indeed, numerous works of his are digitized. I.F. Stone followed in Seldes's footsteps, and the website with his collected writings is here . Perhaps one of the least known episodes of US Government media manipulation was related to the atomic bomb crimes, an event nearly 100% airbrushed from history books, and of course the ongoing attempt to cover up one of the biggest crimes of all time.

My mention of media manipulation by the US Government wouldn't be complete without including the 100% blackout that was to apply to the discussions in Philadelphia that led to the 1787 Constitution -- the document that elevated the "natural aristocracy" into the catbird seat ensuring their control of the federal government until it's overthrown via revolution.

Fortunately, Madison and others kept copious notes that were eventually published long after the fate of Commoners was sealed, so we know that Aristocracy viewed its contemporary deplorables no differently than how HRC and today's 1% view them/us.

Pft , Dec 26, 2017 7:09:07 PM | 43
Americans and much of the rest of the world are the target of an immense psyop . Propaganda techniques going back to Bernay and WWI have been expanded on and perfected. Infiltration and control is lot limited to the print media and TV news stations but also , hollywood movies/TV shows , academia (history, economics, etc) , book publishing, blogs and social media. The last few bastions of truth will be eliminated with the end of net neutrality.

As former CIA Director William Casey allegedly once said: "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." His error here was saying Americans were the target and not the global population as well, but at least as far as America goes I think its pretty much a thumbs up. Mission Accomplished.

Peter AU 1 , Dec 26, 2017 7:58:27 PM | 49
"We do not know what the billionaires get for their service. The CIA surely has many ways to let them gain information on their competition or to influence business regulations in foreign countries. One hand will wash the other."

Something I have often thought about. Media and social media tycoons - all could be taken down very fast if they did not toe the CIA line, though for most, it seems their work with CIA is voluntary and enthusiastic.

I guess you don't get that rich by having ethics or scruples.

[Dec 29, 2017] Hunt s Deathbed Confession Reveals JFK Killers

Dec 29, 2017 | rense.com
Hunt's Deathbed Confession
Reveals JFK Killers
The Last Confession Of E. Howard Hunt -
US government/CIA team murdered JFK

By Larry Chin
Online Journal Associate Editor
4-4-7

The April 5 issue of Rolling Stone features the deathbed confession of CIA operative and key Bay of Pigs/Watergate/Nixon administration figure E. Howard Hunt, The Last Confession of E. Howard Hunt by Erik Hedegaard. This piece is significant not only for its exploration of Hunt, but for breakthrough information that appears to thoroughly corroborate the work of key John F. Kennedy assassination researchers and historians.

Who killed JFK?

According to Hunt's confession, which was taken by his son, St. John ("Saint") Hunt, over the course of many personal and carefully planned father-son meetings, the following individuals were among the key participants:

Lyndon B. Johnson: LBJ, whose own career was assisted by JFK nemesis J. Edgar Hoover (FBI), gave the orders to a CIA-led hit team, and helped guide the Warren Commission/lone gunman cover-up.

Cord Meyer: CIA agent, architect of the Operation Mockingbird disinformation apparatus, and husband of Mary Meyer (who had an affair with JFK).

David Atlee Philips: CIA and Bay of Pigs veteran. Recruited William Harvey (CIA) and Cuban exile militant Antonio Veciana.

William Harvey: CIA and Bay of Pigs veteran. Connected to Mafia figures Santos Trafficante and Sam Giancana.

Antonio Veciana: Cuban exile, founder of CIA-backed Alpha 66.

Frank Sturgis: CIA operative, mercenary, Bay of Pigs veteran, and later Watergate figure.

David Morales: CIA hit man, Bay of Pigs veteran. Morales was also a figure involved with the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

Lucien Sarti: Corsican assassin and drug trafficker, possible "French gunman," Grassy Knoll (second) shooter.

Would Hunt continue to tell lies on his deathbed? Perhaps. Would Hunt tell a final tall story or two, to protect himself, or perhaps deal one final slap in the face to the US government (which made him a fall guy for Watergate)? Yes. Would Hunt hide the involvement of certain individuals to whom he remained loyal, including people who are still alive? Certainly. Anything from an operative like Hunt can only be accepted with caution and healthy skepticism.

Nevertheless, Hunt's scenario has the ring of truth.

Each of the named names are well-known CIA and CIA-linked players exposed by many researchers and historians who have detailed the enduring connection from the Bay of Pigs and the Dallas hit to Watergate and Iran-Contra.

The Hunt confession vindicates generations of historians, researchers and whistleblowers who have given their lives and careers to expose the truth about Dealey Plaza. While there are too many to name, they include, but are not limited to (and in no particular order): Jim Garrison, Mark Lane, Fletcher Prouty, Josiah Thompson, Carl Oglesby, Peter Dale Scott, Anthony Summers, Robert Groden, Victor Marchetti, David Lifton, Harrison Livingstone, Michael Canfield, A.J. Weberman, Sylvia Meagher, William Turner, Jim Marrs, Pete Brewton, John Newman, Philip Melanson, Hal Verb, Mae Brussell, Harold Weisberg, Oliver Stone, Mike Ruppert and Dan Hopsicker, Jim diEugenio and Linda Pease.

Meanwhile, the criminal deceptions of the US government and its corporate media, the Warren Commission, and the dirty work of cover-up specialists such as Gerald Posner and Mark Fuhrman, and the legions of JFK assassination revisionist/theorists, deserve a final rebuke, and eternal scorn.

Highlighting Hunt's role

Although the Rolling Stone piece does not address it, the Hunt confession directly corroborates two classic investigations that previously exposed the role of Hunt. They are Mark Lane's Plausible Denial and Michael Canfield/A.J. Weberman's Coup D'Etat in America. Lane's book details how he took Hunt to court, and won a libel suit, essentially proving that the CIA murdered JFK, and that Hunt lied about his whereabouts. The investigation of Canfield and Weberman identified Hunt and Frank Sturgis as two of the three "tramps" arrested at Dealey Plaza.

Time has only made these investigations more relevant. More than ever, their books, and those of the JFK historians and researchers above listed, deserve to be found, read and studied.

Hunt to Nixon to Bush

The Rolling Stone piece fails to go after the roles of Richard Nixon and George Herbert Walker Bush. But the Hunt confession, if accurate, leads directly to them, to their lifelong associates, and all the way to the present George W. Bush administration.

The Dallas-Watergate-Iran-Contra connection has been thoroughly documented by the key JFK researchers, and in particular, in the work of Peter Dale Scott, one of the very first to show the deep political continuity across three decades. Daniel Hopsicker's Barry and the Boys goes into even more detail on the players.

Consider the career of George H.W. Bush. He was a Texas oilman (Zapata Oil) and a CIA operative, involved with the Bay of Pigs. Bush's name was found in the papers of George DeMohrenschildt, one of Lee Harvey Oswald's CIA handlers. As documented by Pete Brewton, author of The Mafia, the CIA and George Bush, Bush was deeply connected with a small circle of Texas elites tied to the CIA and the Mafia, as well as the Florida-based CIA/anti-Casto Cuban exile/ Mafia milieu As Richard Nixon's hand-picked Republican National Committee chairman, and later as CIA director, Bush constantly covered-up and stonewalled for his boss about Watergate, which itself (by the admission of Frank Sturgis and others) was a cover-up of the JFK assassination.

Tracking any of the individual CIA operatives involved with the Bay of Pigs, it is impossible to ignore or deny direct connections to George H.W. Bush and his crime family, across the Kennedy assassinations, covert operations in Indochina and, later, Latin America.

Beyond any reasonable doubt, the US government murdered John F. Kennedy. There are people still alive today who were involved directly and indirectly implicated. Some are probably even serving in positions of high influence. Some still have never been identified or touched.

All of these individuals still need to be pursued, exposed, and brought to justice.

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal

[email protected]

Email Online Journal Editor

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/printer_1918.shtml

[Dec 29, 2017] E. Howard Hunt, Agent Who Organized Botched Watergate Break-In, Dies at 88 - The New York Times

Dec 29, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

E. Howard Hunt, a cold warrior for the Central Intelligence Agency who left the spy service in disillusionment, joined the Nixon White House as a secret agent and bungled the break-in at the Watergate that brought the president down in disgrace, died Tuesday in Miami. He was 88.

His death, at North Shore Medical Center, was caused by pneumonia, said his wife, Laura.

"This fellow Hunt," President Richard M. Nixon muttered a few days after the June 1972 break-in, "he knows too damn much."

That was Howard Hunt's burden: he was entrusted with too many secret missions. His career at the C.I.A. was destroyed by the disastrous invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, and his time as Nixon's master of dirty tricks ended with his arrest in the Watergate case. He served 33 months in prison for burglary, conspiracy and wiretapping and emerged a broken man.

"I am crushed by the failure of my government to protect me and my family as in the past it has always done for its clandestine agents," Mr. Hunt told the Senate committee investigating the Watergate affair in 1973, when he faced a provisional prison sentence of 35 years. "I cannot escape feeling that the country I have served for my entire life and which directed me to carry out the Watergate entry is punishing me for doing the very things it trained and directed me to do."

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He was a high-spirited 30-year-old novelist who aspired to wealth and power when he joined the C.I.A. in 1949. He set out to live the life he had imagined for himself, a glamorous career as a spy. But Mr. Hunt was never much of a spy. He did not conduct classic espionage operations in order to gather information. His field was political warfare: dirty tricks, sabotage and propaganda.

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When he left the C.I.A. in 1970 after a decidedly checkered career, he had become a world-weary cynic. Trading on the thin veneer of a reputation in the clandestine service, he won a job as a $100-a-day "security consultant" at the Nixon White House in 1971.

In that role, he conducted break-ins and burglaries in the name of national security. He drew no distinction between orchestrating a black-bag job at a foreign embassy in Mexico City and wiretapping the Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate complex. He recognized no lawful limit on presidential power, convinced that "when the president does it," as Nixon once said, "that means it is not illegal." Mr. Hunt and the nation found out otherwise.

Mr. Hunt was intelligent, erudite, suave and loyal to his friends. But the record shows that he mishandled many of the tasks he received from the C.I.A. and the White House. He was "totally self-absorbed, totally amoral and a danger to himself and anybody around him," Samuel F. Hart, a retired United States ambassador who first met him in Uruguay in the 1950s, said in a State Department oral history.

"As far as I could tell, Howard went from one disaster to another," Mr. Hart said, "until he hit Watergate."

Everette Howard Hunt Jr. was born in Hamburg, N.Y., on Oct. 9, 1918, the son of a lawyer and a classically trained pianist who played church organ. He graduated from Brown University in June 1940 and entered the United States Naval Academy as a midshipman in February 1941.

He worked as a wartime intelligence officer in China, a postwar spokesman for the Marshall Plan in Paris and a screenwriter in Hollywood. Warner Brothers had just bought his fourth novel, "Bimini Run," a thriller set in the Caribbean, when he joined the fledgling C.I.A. in April 1949.

Mr. Hunt was immediately assigned to train C.I.A. recruits in political and psychological warfare, fields in which he was a rank amateur, like most of his colleagues. He moved to Mexico City, where he became chief of station in 1950. He brought along another rookie C.I.A. officer, William F. Buckley Jr., later a prominent conservative author and publisher, who became godfather and guardian to the four children of Mr. Hunt and his wife, the former Dorothy L. Wetzel.

Photo
E. Howard Hunt in 1973. Credit Mike Lien/The New York Times

In 1954, Mr. Hunt helped plan the covert operation that overthrew the elected president of Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz. "What we wanted to do was to have a terror campaign," Mr. Hunt said in a CNN documentary on the cold war, "to terrify Arbenz particularly, to terrify his troops." Though the operation succeeded, it ushered in 40 years of military repression in Guatemala.

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By the time of the coup, Mr. Hunt had been removed from responsibility. He moved on to uneventful stints in Japan and Uruguay. Not until 1960 was Mr. Hunt involved in an operation that changed history.

The C.I.A. had received orders from both President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his successor, President John F. Kennedy, to alter or abolish the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro in Cuba. Mr. Hunt's assignment was to create a provisional Cuban government that would be ready to take power once the C.I.A.'s cadre of Cuban shock troops invaded the island. He fared no better than the paramilitary planners who had vowed to defeat Mr. Castro's 60,000-man army with a 1,500-strong brigade.

The careers of the American intelligence officers who planned and executed the Bay of Pigs debacle in April 1961 were damaged or destroyed, as was the C.I.A.'s reputation for derring-do. Mr. Hunt spent most of the 1960s carrying out desultory propaganda tasks at the agency, among them running news services and subsidizing books that fell stillborn from the press.

He funneled his talent into writing paperback spy novels. His works followed a formula of sex and intrigue but offered flashes of insight. "We become lawless in a struggle for the rule of law -- semi-outlaws who risk their lives to put down the savagery of others," says the author's alter ego, Peter Ward, in the novel "Hazardous Duty."

He retired from the C.I.A. in 1970 and secured a job with an agency-connected public relations firm in Washington. Then, a year later, came a call from the White House. A fellow Brown alumnus, Charles W. Colson, special counsel to President Nixon, hired Mr. Hunt to carry out acts of political warfare. Within weeks, Mr. Hunt was in charge of a subterranean department of dirty tricks.

He went back to C.I.A. headquarters, requesting false identification, a red wig, a voice-altering device and a tiny camera. He then burglarized the Beverly Hills office of a psychiatrist treating Dr. Daniel J. Ellsberg, a former national-security aide who had leaked a copy of the Pentagon Papers, a classified history of the Vietnam War, to The New York Times. Mr. Hunt was looking for information to discredit Mr. Ellsberg. When the break-in became public knowledge two years later, the federal case against Mr. Ellsberg on charges of leaking classified information was dismissed.

Mr. Hunt, in league with another recently retired C.I.A. officer and four Cuban Bay of Pigs veterans, then led a break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex to bug the telephone lines. The job was botched, and the team went in again to remove the taps. The burglars were arrested on the night of June 17, 1972. One had Mr. Hunt's name and a White House telephone number in his address book, a classic failure of espionage tradecraft that proved the first thread of the web that ensnarled the president.

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The final blow that drove Nixon from office was one of the secret White House recordings he made -- the "smoking gun" tape -- in which he vowed to order the C.I.A. to shut down the federal investigation of the Watergate break-in on spurious national-security grounds. By the time Nixon resigned in August 1974, Mr. Hunt was a federal prisoner.

His life was in ruins: his wife had been killed in a plane crash in 1972, his legal fees approached $1 million, he had suffered a stroke, and whatever illusions he once had that his government would protect him were shattered. Standing before the judge who imprisoned him, he said he was "alone, nearly friendless, ridiculed, disgraced, destroyed as a man."

Freed from prison just before his 60th birthday, Mr. Hunt moved to Miami, where he met and married his second wife, Laura, a schoolteacher, and started a second family. Besides his wife, he is survived by the two daughters and two sons from his first marriage: Lisa Hunt of Las Vegas, Kevan Hunt Spence of Pioneer, Calif., Howard St. John Hunt of Eureka, Calif., and David Hunt of Los Angeles; two children from his second marriage, Austin and Hollis, both of Miami; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Mr. Hunt's last book, "American Spy: My Secret History in the C.I.A., Watergate and Beyond," written with Greg Aunapu, is to be published on March 16 with a foreword by his old friend William F. Buckley Jr.

Late in life, he said he had no regrets, beyond the Bay of Pigs.

[Dec 29, 2017] Watergate Burglar Howard Hunt Was William Buckley's Deep Throat

Dec 29, 2017 | www.thedailybeast.com

According to Buckley's son, Christopher, Hunt informed Buckley that, were he to die, Buckley would be contacted by a person he did not know who had a key to a safe deposit box, which the two of them would open together. When Christopher asked his father what the box might have contained, Buckley replied, "I don't know exactly, but it could theoretically involve information that could lead to the impeachment of the president of the United States." He felt bound to keep confidential what he knew.

[Dec 29, 2017] Are E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis JFK Assassins

Notable quotes:
"... Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States ..."
Dec 29, 2017 | posc.mu.edu

H oward Hunt and Frank Sturgis became notorious in 1972 with the start of the Watergate scandal. Both men plead guilty on a variety of charges in January of 1973.

Frank Sturgis was arrested by police at the Democratic party headquarters on the sixth floor of Watergate. He was found with four other men, wearing rubber surgical gloves, unarmed, and carrying extensive photographic equipment and electronic surveillance devices. He was officially charged with attempted burglary and attempted interception of telephone and other conversations. Sturgis was also apart of the Miami Cuban exile community and involved in various "adventures" relating to Cuba which he believed were organized and financed by the CIA.

E. Howard Hunt was one of the "plumbers" and a former White House aid during the Watergate scandal. He was directly linked to Sturgis and the other four men that broke into Watergate. He was charged with burglary, conspiracy, and wiretapping. He served 33 months. Hunt was also a former employee of the CIA, serving from 1949-1970. He typically performed work relating to propaganda operations in foreign countries.

To say this punched all kinds of buttons among JFK conspiracy theorists would be an understatement.

In no time flat the theorists concluded that Hunt and Sturgis were involved in the death of JFK. It was claimed that they were two of the three tramps photographed on the day of the assassination. By 1974, when the Rockefeller Commission was established to investigate the domestic activities of the CIA, Hunt and Sturgis were chief suspects in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The following section from the Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States outlines the Commission's conclusions.

... ... ...

B. The Theory That the CIA Had Relationships With Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby The second theory advanced in support of allegations of CIA participation in the assassination of President Kennedy is that various links existed between the CIA, Oswald and Ruby. Lee Harvey Oswald was found by the Warren Commission to be the person who assassinated the President. Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald two days after the President's assassination.

There is no credible evidence that either Lee Harvey Oswald or Jack Ruby was ever employed by the CIA or ever acted for the CIA in any capacity whatever, either directly or indirectly.

Testimony was offered purporting to show CIA relationships with Oswald and Ruby. It was stated, for example, the E. Howard Hunt, as an employee of the CIA, engaged in political activity with elements of the anti-Castro Cuban community in the United States on behalf of the CIA prior to the Bay of Pigs operation in April 1961. In connection with those duties, it was further alleged that Hunt was instrumental in organizing the Cuban Revolutionary Council and that the Cuban Revolutionary Council had an office in New Orleans. Finally, it was claimed that Lee Harvey Oswald lived in New Orleans from April to September 1963, and that a pamphlet prepared and distributed by Oswald on behalf of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee during that period indicated that the office of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee was situated in building which was also the address of the New Orleans office of the Cuban Revolutionary Council. (4)

It was therefore implied that Hunt could have had contact with Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans during the spring or summer of 1963. No evidence was presented that Hunt ever met Oswald, or that he was ever in New Orleans in 1963, or that he had any contact with any New Orleans office of the Cuban Revolutionary Council.

Hunt's employment record with the CIA indicated that he had no duties involving contacts with Cuban exile elements or organizations inside or outside the United States after the early months of 1961. This was more that two years before Oswald went to New Orleans in April 1963 and more than a year before Oswald returned to the United States from the Soviet Union, where he had lived for almost three years.

An example of the testimony relating to an alleged relationship between the CIA and Jack Ruby consisted of a statement that Frank Sturgis was engaged in a series of revolutionary activities among Cuban exiles in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's and that the CIA also sponsored and organized anti-Castro activities among Cuban exiles in the United States in 1959 and the early 1960's.

It was further stated that someone once reported to the FBI that Jack Ruby had engaged in supplying arms to persons in Cuba in the early 1950's in association with a former Cuban President, Carlos Prio, and that Frank Sturgis also had connections with Carlos Prio during the 1950's and 1960's.

In addition, it was alleged that Frank Sturgis was at one time (before he escaped from Cuba in June 1959) a director of gambling and gaming establishments in Havana for the Castro government, and that in August or September, 1959, Jack Ruby made a trip to Havana at the invitation of a friend who had interests in gambling establishments in Cuba and the United States.

Moreover, both Sturgis and Ruby were alleged to have had connections with underground figures who had interests in the United States and Cuba.

From this group of allegations, the witness inferred that Sturgis and Ruby could have met and known each other--although no actual evidence was presented to show that Ruby or Sturgis ever met each other.

Even if the individual items contained in the foregoing recitations were assumed to be true, it was concluded that the inferences drawn must be considered farfetched speculation insofar as they purport to show a connection between the CIA and either Oswald or Ruby.

Even in absence of denials by living persons that such a connection existed, no weight could be assigned to such testimony. Moreover, Sturgis was never an employee or agent of the CIA.

A witness, a telephone caller, and a mail correspondent tendered additional information of the same nature. None of it was more than a strained effort to draw inferences of conspiracy from the facts which would not fairly support the inferences. A CIA involvement in the assassination was implied by the witness, for example, from the fact that the Mayor of Dallas at that time was a brother of a CIA official who had been involved in the planning of the Bay of Pigs operation in Cuba several years previously, and from the fact that President Kennedy reportedly blamed the CIA for the Bay of Pigs failure.

The same witness testified that E. Howard Hunt was Acting Chief of a CIA station in Mexico City in 1963, implying that he could have had contact with Oswald when Oswald visited Mexico City in September 1963. Hunt's service in Mexico City, however, was twelve years earlier--in 1950 and 1951--and his only other CIA duty in Mexico covered only a few weeks in 1960. At no time was he ever the Chief, or Acting Chief, of a CIA station in Mexico City.

Hunt and Sturgis categorically denied that they had ever met or known Oswald or Ruby. They further denied that they ever had any connection whatever with either Oswald or Ruby.

Conclusions
Numerous allegations have been made that the CIA participated in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The Commission staff investigated these allegations. On the basis of the staff's investigation, the Commission concluded there was no credible evidence of any CIA involvement.

[Dec 29, 2017] Confession of Howard Hunt

Dec 29, 2017 | www.maryferrell.org

Confession of Howard Hunt Legendary CIA spy and convicted Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt. Legendary CIA spy and convicted Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt.

Before his death in January 2007, CIA master spy and convicted Watergate conspirator Howard Hunt confessed to being peripherally involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, and named several other participants.

In notes and conversations with his son Saint John, and in an audiotape he created in 2004 to be played after his death, Hunt described being invited into the "big event" at a Miami safehouse in 1963. Others named in the plot:

Hunt says he declined active participation but did have a "benchwarmer" role in the plot. In the tape excerpt made available so far, Hunt made no claims which would prove his allegations. However, the people he names have all been suspects in the assassination for some time, and many of them worked closely together in anti-Castro operations.

In the "smoking gun" tape which helped drive him from office, President Richard Nixon said this of Hunt: "You open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things..." He then instructed Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman to take a message to CIA Director Richard Helms, asking Helms to intervene in the FBI's early Watergate investigation because "the President believes that it is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again." In his book The Ends of Power , Haldeman described Helms' reaction: "Turmoil in the room. Helms gripping the arms of his chair leaning forward and shouting, 'The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this. I have no concern about the Bay of Pigs'." Haldeman came to believe that the "Bay of Pigs" referred to the Kennedy assassination.

Hunt's story has been challenged due to its lack of corroboration, its internal inconsistencies and Hunt's failure to provide any details from his activities in 1963 which would support it.

Some will accept Hunt's confession as the truth. For others, Hunt's naming of LBJ at the top of the plot will be seen as a bit of "spin" to present the assassination as a "rogue operation," deflecting attention from higher-level sponsors within the government. For that matter, Hunt was not necessarily in a position to know the ultimate authors of the conspiracy.

For others, the confession will be dismissed, seen as a parting gift to a ne'er-do-well son or perhaps a "last laugh" on America from a man who hated Kennedy with a passion.

[Dec 28, 2017] I think many British journalists work for the British secret service, and they were recruited at university and slotted into journalist employment

Notable quotes:
"... Tisdall's weekly spiel about the Evil Empire and its Dark Lord made many CiFers comment that he must report regularly to Chatham House, London, at weekends for briefings, after which he'd knock out some good, blood-curdling copy about Russia in order to please his masters. ..."
"... As a matter of fact, I think many British "journalists" – Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment to do their business of propagandizing. ..."
Sep 15, 2012 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile says: September 15, 2012 at 11:58 am

Something went wrong there!

Here's Tisdall on Russia:

And on and on

Tisdall's weekly spiel about the Evil Empire and its Dark Lord made many CiFers comment that he must report regularly to Chatham House, London, at weekends for briefings, after which he'd knock out some good, blood-curdling copy about Russia in order to please his masters.

I don't think that's far from the truth actually. As a matter of fact, I think many British "journalists" – Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment to do their business of propagandizing. That might explain why Harding is such a god awful journalist that has had on occasion to take recourse to a spot of cut and paste plagiarism.

Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment to do their business of propagandizing. That might explain why Harding is such a god awful journalist that has had on occasion to take recourse to a spot of cut and paste plagiarism.

[Dec 28, 2017] How CrowdStrike placed malware in DNC hacked servers by Alex Christoforou

Highly recommended!
If this is true, then this is definitely a sophisticated false flag operation. Was malware Alperovich people injected specifically designed to implicate Russians? In other words Crowdstrike=Fancy Bear
Images removed. For full content please thee the original source
One interesting corollary of this analysis is that installing Crowdstrike software is like inviting a wolf to guard your chicken. If they are so dishonest you take enormous risks. That might be true for some other heavily advertized "intrusion prevention" toolkits. So those criminals who use mistyped popular addresses or buy Google searches to drive lemmings to their site and then flash the screen that they detected a virus on your computer a, please call provided number and for a small amount of money your virus will be removed get a new more sinister life.
I suspected many of such firms (for example ISS which was bought by IBM in 2006) to be scams long ago.
Notable quotes:
"... Disobedient Media outlines the DNC server cover-up evidenced in CrowdStrike malware infusion ..."
"... In the article, they claim to have just been working on eliminating the last of the hackers from the DNC's network during the past weekend (conveniently coinciding with Assange's statement and being an indirect admission that their Falcon software had failed to achieve it's stated capabilities at that time , assuming their statements were accurate) . ..."
"... To date, CrowdStrike has not been able to show how the malware had relayed any emails or accessed any mailboxes. They have also not responded to inquiries specifically asking for details about this. In fact, things have now been discovered that bring some of their malware discoveries into question. ..."
"... there is a reason to think Fancy Bear didn't start some of its activity until CrowdStrike had arrived at the DNC. CrowdStrike, in the indiciators of compromise they reported, identified three pieces of malware relating to Fancy Bear: ..."
"... They found that generally, in a lot of cases, malware developers didn't care to hide the compile times and that while implausible timestamps are used, it's rare that these use dates in the future. It's possible, but unlikely that one sample would have a postdated timestamp to coincide with their visit by mere chance but seems extremely unlikely to happen with two or more samples. Considering the dates of CrowdStrike's activities at the DNC coincide with the compile dates of two out of the three pieces of malware discovered and attributed to APT-28 (the other compiled approximately 2 weeks prior to their visit), the big question is: Did CrowdStrike plant some (or all) of the APT-28 malware? ..."
"... The IP address, according to those articles, was disabled in June 2015, eleven months before the DNC emails were acquired – meaning those IP addresses, in reality, had no involvement in the alleged hacking of the DNC. ..."
"... The fact that two out of three of the Fancy Bear malware samples identified were compiled on dates within the apparent five day period CrowdStrike were apparently at the DNC seems incredibly unlikely to have occurred by mere chance. ..."
"... That all three malware samples were compiled within ten days either side of their visit – makes it clear just how questionable the Fancy Bear malware discoveries were. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | theduran.com

Of course the DNC did not want to the FBI to investigate its "hacked servers". The plan was well underway to excuse Hillary's pathetic election defeat to Trump, and CrowdStrike would help out by planting evidence to pin on those evil "Russian hackers." Some would call this entire DNC server hack an "insurance policy."

... ... ...

[Dec 28, 2017] From Snowden To Russia-gate - The CIA And The Media

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The promotion of the alleged Russian election hacking in certain media may have grown from the successful attempts of U.S. intelligence services to limit the publication of the NSA files obtained by Edward Snowden. ..."
"... In May 2013 Edward Snowden fled to Hongkong and handed internal documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) to four journalists, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian and separately to Barton Gellman who worked for the Washington Post . ..."
"... In July 2013 the Guardian was forced by the British government to destroy its copy of the Snowden archive. ..."
"... In August 2013 Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for some $250 million. In 2012 Bezos, the founder, largest share holder and CEO of Amazon, had already a cooperation with the CIA. Together they invested in a Canadian quantum computing company. In March 2013 Amazon signed a $600 million deal to provide computing services for the CIA. ..."
"... The motivation for the Bezos and Omidyar to do this is not clear. Bezos is estimated to own a shameful $90 billion. The Washington Post buy is chump-change for him. Omidyar has a net worth of some $9.3 billion. But the use of billionaires to mask what are in fact intelligence operations is not new. The Ford Foundation has for decades been a CIA front , George Soros' Open Society foundation is one of the premier "regime change" operations, well versed in instigating "color revolutions" ..."
"... It would have been reasonable if the cooperation between those billionaires and the intelligence agencies had stopped after the NSA leaks were secured. But it seems that strong cooperation of the Bezos and Omidyar outlets with the CIA and others continue. ..."
"... The Washington Post , which has a much bigger reach, is the prime outlet for "Russia-gate", the false claims by parts of the U.S. intelligence community and the Clinton campaign, that Russia attempted to influence U.S. elections or even "colluded" with Trump. ..."
"... The revelation that the sole Russiagate "evidence" was the so-called Steele Dossier - i.e. opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign - which was used by the intelligence community to not only begin the public assertions of Trump's perfidy but to then initiate FISA approved surveillance on the Trump campaign, that is truly astonishing. Instructive then that the NY Times, Washington Post, etc have yet to acknowledge these facts to their readers, and instead have effectively doubled down on the story, insisting that the Russiagate allegations are established fact and constitute "objective reality." That suggests this fake news story will continue indefinitely. ..."
"... What we see here is these bastions of establishment thinking in the USA promoting "objective reality" as partisan - i.e. there is a Clinton reality versus a Trump reality, or a Russian reality versus a "Western" reality, facts and documentation be damned. This divorce from objectivity is a symptom of the overall decline of American institutions, an indicate a future hard, rather than soft, landing near the end of the road. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The promotion of the alleged Russian election hacking in certain media may have grown from the successful attempts of U.S. intelligence services to limit the publication of the NSA files obtained by Edward Snowden.

In May 2013 Edward Snowden fled to Hongkong and handed internal documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) to four journalists, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian and separately to Barton Gellman who worked for the Washington Post . Some of those documents were published by Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian , others by Barton Gellman in the Washington Post . Several other international news site published additional material though the mass of NSA papers that Snowden allegedly acquired never saw public daylight.

In July 2013 the Guardian was forced by the British government to destroy its copy of the Snowden archive.

In August 2013 Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for some $250 million. In 2012 Bezos, the founder, largest share holder and CEO of Amazon, had already a cooperation with the CIA. Together they invested in a Canadian quantum computing company. In March 2013 Amazon signed a $600 million deal to provide computing services for the CIA.

In October 2013 Pierre Omidyar, the owner of Ebay, founded First Look Media and hired Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. The total planned investment was said to be $250 million. It took up to February 2014 until the new organization launched its first site, the Intercept . Only a few NSA stories appeared on it. The Intercept is a rather mediocre site. Its management is said to be chaotic . It publishes few stories of interests and one might ask if it ever was meant to be a serious outlet. Omidyar has worked, together with the U.S. government, to force regime change onto Ukraine. He had strong ties with the Obama administration.

Snowden had copies of some 20,000 to 58,000 NSA files . Only 1,182 have been published . Bezos and Omidyar obviously helped the NSA to keep more than 95% of the Snowden archive away from the public. The Snowden papers were practically privatized into trusted hands of Silicon Valley billionaires with ties to the various secret services and the Obama administration.

The motivation for the Bezos and Omidyar to do this is not clear. Bezos is estimated to own a shameful $90 billion. The Washington Post buy is chump-change for him. Omidyar has a net worth of some $9.3 billion. But the use of billionaires to mask what are in fact intelligence operations is not new. The Ford Foundation has for decades been a CIA front , George Soros' Open Society foundation is one of the premier "regime change" operations, well versed in instigating "color revolutions".

It would have been reasonable if the cooperation between those billionaires and the intelligence agencies had stopped after the NSA leaks were secured. But it seems that strong cooperation of the Bezos and Omidyar outlets with the CIA and others continue.

The Intercept burned a intelligence leaker, Realty Winner, who had trusted its journalists to keep her protected. It smeared the President of Syria as neo-nazi based on an (intentional?) mistranslation of one of his speeches. It additionally hired a Syrian supporter of the CIA's "regime change by Jihadis" in Syria. Despite its pretense of "fearless, adversarial journalism" it hardly deviates from U.S. policies.

The Washington Post , which has a much bigger reach, is the prime outlet for "Russia-gate", the false claims by parts of the U.S. intelligence community and the Clinton campaign, that Russia attempted to influence U.S. elections or even "colluded" with Trump.

Just today it provides two stories and one op-ed that lack any factual evidence for the anti-Russian claims made in them.

In Kremlin trolls burned across the Internet as Washington debated options the writers insinuate that some anonymous writer who published a few pieces on Counterpunch and elsewhere was part of a Russian operation. They provide zero evidence to back that claim up. Whatever that writer wrote (see list at end) was run of the mill stuff that had little to do with the U.S. election. The piece then dives into various cyber-operations against Russia that the Obama and Trump administration have discussed.

A second story in the paper today is based on "a classified GRU report obtained by The Washington Post." It claims that the Russian military intelligence service GRU started a social media operation one day after the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was illegally removed from his office in a U.S. regime change operation . What the story lists as alleged GRU puppet postings reads like normal internet talk of people opposed to the fascist regime change in Kiev. The Washington Post leaves completely unexplained who handed it an alleged GRU report from 2014, who classified it and how, if at all, it verified its veracity. To me the piece and the assertions therein have a strong odor of bovine excrement.

An op-ed in the very same Washington Post has a similar smell. It is written by the intelligence flunkies Michael Morell and Mike Rogers. Morell had hoped to become CIA boss under a President Hillary Clinton. The op-ed (which includes a serious misunderstanding of "deterrence") asserts that Russia never stopped its cyberattacks on the United States :

Russia's information operations tactics since the election are more numerous than can be listed here . But to get a sense of the breadth of Russian activity, consider the messaging spread by Kremlin-oriented accounts on Twitter, which cybersecurity and disinformation experts have tracked as part of the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy.

The author link to this page which claims to list Twitter hashtags that are currently used by Russian influence agents. Apparently the top issue Russia's influence agents currently promote is "#merrychristmas".


bigger

When the authors claim Russian operations are "more numerous than can be listed here" they practically admit that they have not even one plausible operation they could cite. Its simply obfuscation to justify their call for more political and military measures against Russia. This again to distract from the real reasons Clinton lost the election and to introduce a new Cold War for the benefit of weapon producers and U.S. influence in Europe.

Cont. reading: From Snowden To Russia-gate - The CIA And The Media

11:53 AM | Comments (137)

G , Dec 26, 2017 12:10:03 PM | 1

If what you allege is true about Greenwald and the Intercept, then why hasn't Snowden spoken out about it yet? Surely he would have said something about the Intercept and Greenwald keeping important stories buried by now. Yet, as far as I can tell, he has a good relationship with Greenwald. I find it hard to believe hat a man who literally gave up everything he had in life to leak important docs would remain silent for so long about a publishing cover up. I don't really like the Intercept and I think your analysis of its content is accurate, but I do find it hard to believe that the NSA docs were "bought" back by the CIA.
Ort , Dec 26, 2017 1:41:21 PM | 16
@G | 1

If what you allege is true about Greenwald and the Intercept, then why hasn't Snowden spoken out about it yet?
_____________________________________________________

My understanding is that early on, Snowden placed his trove of documents in the exclusive care of Glenn Greenwald and his associates. Although Snowden has since become a public figure in his own right, and his opinions on state-security events and issues are solicited, as far as I know Snowden has no direct responsibility for managing the material he downloaded.

I haven't followed Snowden closely enough to know how familiar he may be with the contents of the reported "20,000 to 58,000 NSA files" turned over to GG/Omidyar. Snowden presumably took pains to acquire items of interest in his cache as he accumulated classified material, but even if he has extraordinary powers of recall he may not remember precisely what remains unreleased.

FWIW, I was troubled from the first by one of the mainstays of GG's defense, or rationale, when it became clear that he was the principal, and perhaps sole, executive "curator" of the Snowden material. In order to reassure and placate nervous "patriots"-- and GG calls himself a "patriot"-- he repeatedly emphasized that great care was being taken to vet the leaked information before releasing it.

GG's role as whistleblower Snowden's enabler and facilitator was generally hailed uncritically by progressive-liberals and civil-liberties advocates, to a point where public statements that should've raised skeptical doubts and questions were generally passively accepted by complacent admirers.

Specifically, my crap detectors signaled "red alert" early on, when Greenwald (still affiliated with "The Guardian", IIRC) took great pains to announce that his team was working closely with the US/UK governments to vet and screen Snowden's material before releasing any of it; GG repeatedly asserted that he was reviewing the material with the relevant state-security agencies to ensure that none of the released material would compromise or jeopardize government operatives and/or national security.

WTF? Bad enough that Greenwald was requiring the world to exclusively trust his judgment in deciding what should be released and what shouldn't. He was also making it clear that he wasn't exactly committed to disclosing "the worst" of the material "though the heavens fall".

In effect, as GG was telling the world that he could be trusted to manage the leaked information responsibly, he was also telling the world that it simply had to trust his judgment in this crucial role.

To me, there was clearly a subliminal message for both Western authorities and the public: don't worry, we're conscientious, patriotic leak-masters. We're not going to irresponsibly disclose anything too radical, or politically/socially destabilizing.

GG and the Omidyar Group have set themselves up as an independent "brand" in the new field of whistleblower/hacker impresario and leak-broker.

Like only buying NFL-approved merchandise, or fox-approved eggs, the public is being encouraged to only buy (into) Intercept-approved Snowden Leaks™. It's a going concern, which lends itself much more to the "modified limited hangout" approach than freely tossing all the biggest eggs out of the basket.

GG found an opportunity to augment his rising career as a self-made investigative journalist and civil-liberties advocate. Now he's sitting pretty, the celebrity point man for a lucrative modified limited hangout enterprise. What is wrong with this picture?

Bart Hansen , Dec 26, 2017 1:51:59 PM | 17
#1: I suspect that Snowden needs Glenn and Laura as liaisons to the outside world.
G , Dec 26, 2017 2:05:23 PM | 18
@16 I just see no evidence of that aside from fitting the narrative of people who are convinced of a cover up in leaked docs. Moreover, there is no way Russia would continue to offer Snowden asylum if he was gov agent. I'm sure Russian intelligence did a very thorough background check on him.

@17 that's simply not true. He regularly tweets, gives online talks and publishes on his own. He has not used either Poitras or Greenwald as a means of communication for years. And he has never dropped a single hint of being disappointed or frustrated with how documents and info was published.

It just seems so implausible given the total lack of any sign of Snowden's dissatisfaction.

jayc , Dec 26, 2017 2:31:15 PM | 22
The revelation that the sole Russiagate "evidence" was the so-called Steele Dossier - i.e. opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign - which was used by the intelligence community to not only begin the public assertions of Trump's perfidy but to then initiate FISA approved surveillance on the Trump campaign, that is truly astonishing. Instructive then that the NY Times, Washington Post, etc have yet to acknowledge these facts to their readers, and instead have effectively doubled down on the story, insisting that the Russiagate allegations are established fact and constitute "objective reality." That suggests this fake news story will continue indefinitely.

What we see here is these bastions of establishment thinking in the USA promoting "objective reality" as partisan - i.e. there is a Clinton reality versus a Trump reality, or a Russian reality versus a "Western" reality, facts and documentation be damned. This divorce from objectivity is a symptom of the overall decline of American institutions, an indicate a future hard, rather than soft, landing near the end of the road.

Jen , Dec 26, 2017 2:50:16 PM | 25
G @ 1 and 18: My understanding is that Edward Snowden has been advised (warned?) by the Russian government or his lawyer in Moscow not to reveal any more than he has said so far. The asylum Moscow has offered him may be dependent on his keeping discreet. That may include not saying much about The Intercept, in case his communications are followed by the NSA or any other of the various US intel agencies which could lead to their tracking his physical movements in Russia and enable any US-connected agent or agency (including one based in Russia) to trace him, arrest him or kill him, and cover up and frame the seizure or murder in such a way as to place suspicion or blame on the Russian government or on local criminal elements in Russia.

I believe that Snowden does have a job in Russia and possibly this job does not permit him the time to say any more than what he currently tweets or says online.

There is nothing in MoA's article to suggest that Glenn Greenwald is deliberately burying stories in The Intercept. B has said that its management is chaotic which could suggest among other things that Greenwald himself is dissatisfied with its current operation.

G , Dec 26, 2017 2:57:40 PM | 26
@21 I'm not disputing that moneyed interests might have been leaned on by the CIA to stop publishing sensitive info. What I'm disputing is the idea that people like Greenwald have deliberately with-held information that is in the public interest. I doubt that, regardless of the strength of the Intercept as a publication.

@25 What interest would the Russian gov have in helping protect NSA? I assume Russia loves the idea of the US Intel agencies being embarrassed. Snowden speaks his mind about plenty of domestic and international events in US. I have never seen him act like he's being censored.

Jen , Dec 26, 2017 3:46:44 PM | 31
G @ 25: Moscow would have no interest in helping protect the NSA or any other US intel agency. The Russians would have advised Snowden not to say more than he has said so far, not because they are interested in helping the NSA but because they can only protect him as long as he is discreet and does not try to say or publish any more that would jeopardise his safety or give Washington an excuse to pressure Moscow to extradite him back to the US. That would include placing more sanctions on Russia until Snowden is given up.

There is the possibility also that Snowden trusts (or trusted) Greenwald to know what to do with the NSA documents. Perhaps that trust was naively placed - we do not know.

Red Ryder , Dec 26, 2017 3:48:47 PM | 33
b, a big exposition of facts, rich in links to more facts.

This is important material for all to understand.

Snowden is "the squirrel over there!" A distraction turned into a hope.
Compared to Assange, who is being slow-martyred in captivity, Snowden is a boy playing with gadgets.

Why did not Snowden make certain a copy of his theft went to Wikileaks? That would have been insurance.
Since he did not, it all could be just a distraction.

What is known about the Snowden affair is we received proof of what we knew. Not much else. For those who didn't know, they received news.
And ever since, the shape of things from the Deep State/Shadow Government/IC has been lies and warmongering against American freedoms and world cooperation among nations.

Fascism is corporate + the police state. The US government is a pure fascist tyranny that also protects the Empire and Global Hegemony.

We connect the dots and it's always the same picture. It was this way in the 60s,70s,80s,90s, 00s, and this forlorn decade.
Fascism more bold each decade. Billionaires and millionaires have always been in the mix.

[Dec 28, 2017] When GG acquired apparently exclusive stewardship of the Snowden trove, one of my first thoughts was, "If there's anything in Snowden's documents that contradict or cast doubt upon the official 9/11 narrative, Glenn will be careful to put it on the bottom of the pile and keep it there." I still believe this

Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

@ WJ | 110

119

Sorry I can't help with your questions, but I concur with your hunches about the creation of Intercept.

Your reference to Intercept being set up "to block the inquiry into or exposure of special access Intel operations during or prior to 9/11 which would blow up entirely the official narrative of that epochal event" touches a nerve.

I was a regular reader and commenter at Glenn Greenwald's (GG) "Unclaimed Territory" blog, which was absorbed into the progressive-liberal lite Salon site. I even had a few brief but cordial e-mail exchanges with GG, since I diligently sent him (requested) private e-mail alerts to grammatical and syntactic errors in his prolific posts.

I sympathized with GG's early attempts to deal fairly with aggressive 9/11 Truthers monopolizing the comments; he personally moderated, and participated in, his comments threads. At first, GG's stance was "agnostic" towards 9/11 "Truther" theories, but he reasonably insisted that 9/11-related comments not be allowed to hijack every discussion.

But GG himself was not much of a 9/11 skeptic, and I soured on GG when he proved to be what I call a "Trutherphobe".

Before long, he became openly censorious and began removing both comments and commenters who insisted on mentioning 9/11, even if the 9/11 reference was germane to the topic. (Not me; I knew better than to push his buttons.) Also, GG adopted, or independently reached, what I call the "Chomsky Bubble" stance-- essentially, a sophisticated rationalization that amounts to "nothing to see here, move along."

Eventually, despite his efforts to seem nominally open-minded towards 9/11 skeptics, it became clear that to GG, pursuing 9/11 truth was both a distraction and a nuisance. 9/11 truth is simply not part of GG's agenda.

When GG acquired apparently exclusive stewardship of the Snowden trove, one of my first thoughts was, "If there's anything in Snowden's documents that contradict or cast doubt upon the official 9/11 narrative, Glenn will be careful to put it on the bottom of the pile and keep it there." I still believe this.

It's too late to blithely conclude "In short...", but all this to say that if you're correct, GG is just the person to put in charge of a modified limited hangout operation that, in part, suppresses 9/11 inquiry and truth.

[Dec 28, 2017] Was Snowden a double agent or not

Notable quotes:
"... I have always been flabbergasted about the naivety of the general public in regards to the abilities, capabilities and determination of the so called 'establishment' - aka Plutocracy, when it comes to the choice of means to achieve their psychopathic goals. What is out of reach, or undoable to those that willingly accept the death of millions of innocent people in the ME and the world over? ..."
"... The utter destruction of sovereign Nations that don't fall in line? Organizing coup d'etats like local fundraisers for soup kitchens? Looking at the track record of the American establishment, nothing, absolutely nothing is ever off the table. ..."
"... I'm always wary of talk about limited hangouts. A case can usually be made that such talk is itself intended for the same purpose - to lull the recipient into despair and passivity. ..."
"... And it WAS a secret weapon. It took a long time for this to become obvious. We see the media all along has been completely mediocre, but since it has long given wall-to-wall coverage, it never had to get very good in order to send the daily propaganda message. Come the Internet, everyone sees how sloppy the media's work is. But does this raise the quality of the media lies? It seems not - the opposite in fact, the readers get far smarter than the writers. ..."
"... The greatest trick the Devil pulled was not convincing the world he didn't exist, it was convincing the world that evil was clever, when in fact it's very mediocre. Evil performs badly. It will continue to perform badly. It can be resisted and overcome. This takes time. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , Dec 26, 2017 8:34:55 PM | 57

Snowden went to established journalists because he wanted the story to get out. He also wanted them to be cautious and conservative, to redact whatever seemed damaging to operations or his country.

In my opinion, what the journalists did worked. And Snowden destroyed his own access to the materials.

My guess - purely a guess - is that Snowden was, and remains, quite satisfied with what happened and what got published. He never wanted operational FACTS to get out so much as he wanted the SCALE of what the US was doing to get out. In this matter, I'd call his entire effort a tremendous success.

Snowden's face and story went around the world and shook things up. Paradigms came crashing down. In my own personal case, the Snowden material showed me the scale of US adventurism, and the vast audacity of its criminality. It made it clear, in philosophical terms rather than evidentiary terms, that 9/11 could easily be an inside job. It took a change in the paradigms of the scale of corruption to open up that possibility for me. I'm sure it's done similar things for millions of people. Snowden was one of the few events I can think of that actually played out in the mainstream before anyone figured out how to shut it down - and the genie was out of the bottle.

We don't know what we've lost by not having the missing pages released. But I find it hard to think they could change paradigms any more than has already happened. There's a diminishing return here. Wikileaks publishes troves of material, but what paradigms get changed unless it plays in the mainstream? Manning with the video of the mercs shooting the civilians was the last time this happened, I think.

When it comes to seeing what's behind the curtain - which is precisely what the information war is about - the words and the details of the stories matter far less than the way that people's thinking gets changed.

~~

At Christmas I socialized with ordinary people. I learned that they believe the Russians interfered in the US election, and planted Trump. Bummer, but on the other hand, I could talk to everyone about the NSA getting my Facebook feed or my phone data, and there's full agreement, or at least no disagreement.

Snowden went into the culture. Russiagate is still playing out, and we don't yet know who will be the big loser in the belief system of the culture. I'm still willing to bet it's the mainstream media.

~~

Putin has said that Snowden didn't reveal anything that Russian intelligence didn't already know. Russia didn't want to harbor Snowden, but the US State Department forced the issue by revoking his passport while he was in the air terminal in Russia. The current asylum granted is for a 3-year period. I see no reason to make any change in this. It will be reviewed when it expires, and if Snowden is still a stateless political refugee, which seems very likely, than I imagine it will be renewed. Russia is a nation of laws.

Russia has little to do with Snowden. And even less to do with the US elections. Russia doesn't want confrontation, between anyone. Russia wants a world of no conflict, and every action it takes pursues this end. Russia will easily forego a cheap victory in order to gain a valuable cessation of hostilities. I believe Putin when he says that who won the US election was of no great importance to Russia - they would deal with whomever was there.

It's always important to understand that Russia is not playing a zero-sum game, nor is she playing to "win" against any other nation in geopolitics. Russia wins when other nations stop fighting. The lat thing she wants to do is interfere with the internal order of other countries. But she is rooting for the orderliness of each country.

~~

Sorry such a long comment.

karlof1 , Dec 26, 2017 9:31:54 PM | 63
Grieved @57--

Thanks for your nice long comment and its excellent observations. And Happy Holidays since I haven't wished them on you yet this year!

For me, Snowden's revelations were nothing new as I had already learned about Project Echelon , which by the end of the 1980s was global girding and mostly intent on industrial espionage as this summary at the link informs:

"The ECHELON program was created in the late 1960s to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War, and was formally established in 1971.[5][6]

"By the end of the 20th century, the system referred to as "ECHELON" had allegedly evolved beyond its military and diplomatic origins, to also become ' a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications' (mass surveillance and industrial espionage)."

Indeed, the extent of Echelon was available to the public--sort of--but there were very few publications about it, although that changed as the internet grew during the 1990s. So for me, Snowden's actions becoming headline news was more important than the content of his revelations as the slumbering public got slapped upside its collective head.

Another historical factoid of interest is FDR's meeting with media CEOs a few days prior to 7 Dec 1941, of which no transcript exists to my knowledge, although what was said can be inferred by subsequent actions by all the actors involved--there was no, zero, deviation from the official government line about the Day of Infamy, which was a prelude to media portrayal on 911.

Fundamentally, the bottom line is whenever interests between national governments diverge from those of their public, governments will lie every time--those two sets of policy HRC admitted she had for public versus private consumption. Although it's too soon to be certain, it appears that the leadership of Russia and China have learned the difficult lesson that the best policy is for the national government to be in sync with the interests of its citizenry, thus the philosophical adoption of Win/Win versus the Outlaw US Empire's Zero Sum game, which forms the basis for our ongoing Hybrid Third World War.

nottheonly1 , Dec 26, 2017 9:32:22 PM | 64
Pe entities at work that are not under the control of the Russian secret services. Here is a link to an article on RT.de about US Special Forces at the Russian Border
All we can do is assume.

@karlof1 #37

My favorite pet peeve is Bernays. Even those who are aware of his deplorable actions, seldom grasp just how devastating his selling out of the human psyche to corporations and the NSA/CIA really turned out to be. The man hated the masses and short of calling them 'useless eaters', he saw them solely as means to corporate profits.
His legacy is a citizen without any other rights than that to "go shopping".

Go Ask Alice tells us the latest story about how much the surveillance has advanced. The article is about some content provider with unknown identity. The core message though is about the NSA/FBI/CIA going after anybody that comments on the internet, provided certain keywords are triggered. While that has been known since Snowden, the masses suffer from short term memory loss. Any dissent to the establishment is noted. This proves that there is no more rule of common law and nothing resembling a democracy by a far shot. A Plutocratic dictatorship determined to destroy anybody that poses a threat to its existence.

Red Ryder , Dec 26, 2017 10:43:54 PM | 69
@66
"What would be the most sinister scenario in regards to Snowden and the NSA leak?"

That General Hayden gets his wish and kills Snowden. That's the most sinister.

If you meant, intrigue, double agent or useful idiot sort of thing, well, Snowden had no intention of running to China and definitely not to Russia.
The Intel Agencies would have loved if he ran straight to Moscow. But it didn't happen. So,we sort of know he wasn't "used". He was "allowed" because they had it covered when he handed off the purloined data.

What sort of encrypted communication did he use on that trip to Hong Kong? They knew what he was doing.
They tried for it to be an out-and-out treason case. Remember that they insisted the Chinese in Beijing had it all?
They they tried to generate the same with Russia and Putin when he landed in Moscow.

I find him to be a useful tool for everyone who wants something out of his adventure. People who think he's a hero have their hero. People who want him dead probably have some contract out on him. And others want him to be returned and prosecuted like Timothy McVeigh and executed.

Grieved indicated above @57, Snowden was in our culture now. He's an asterisk. Compare him to Daniel Ellsberg. You cannot. Ellsberg forced the country against the war machine, forced the NYTimes to grow a set of balls and publish the Papers, and he won against the Deep State who tried to destroy him. All the while he stood like a man of courage and didn't scurry around and lateral the papers off. They got published. He faced down the system and won a huge First Amendment battle.

I chalk up the differences as Snowden is a kid with a keyboard. Assange and Ellsberg are men. The latter really matter. Snowden is a very light symbol, at best. He embarrassed NSA and only exists today because of Putin and Russian values.

I guess Vietnam was the great Evil, and surveillance just doesn't match up against what that charnel house of napalm, carpet bombing, white phosphorus, Agent Orange and Agent Blue, Phoenix Program assassinations became.

Ellsberg was a true hero. I named my first son after him.

Penelope , Dec 26, 2017 11:46:12 PM | 76
The original 3 TV Networks were started by Intelligence figures. When the Church Committee documented that all 3 were controlled by the Rockefellers, Senator Nelson Rockefeller was able to limit the GPO printing of the report to less than 100 copies.
Time Warner was govt & military intelligence controlled since its founding in 1923 by Henry Luce, a Yale Skull & Bones guy from an intelligence family. His father was a spy in China pretending to be a missionary.

The German journalist Udo Ulfkotte wrote a book, Bought Journalists, in which he reported that every significant European journalist functions as a CIA asset.

It became even worse during the Clinton regime when six mega-media companies were permitted to acquire 90% of the US print, TV, radio, and entertainment media, a concentration that destroyed diversity and independence. Today the media throughout the Western world serves as a Propaganda Ministry for Washington. The Western media is Washington's Ministry of Truth.

At the top it isn't the case that the CIA controls the media; rather that the board of directors is named by the banksters and mega-rich. Like all the mega-corps, they are thoroughly controlled by the Usurpers. The CIA has always been their private police force for intell & enforcement at home and abroad.

To rule a world requires control of military force, of money, information, energy, and the elimination of private property. Everything else is distraction. Probably the end of net neutrality is important. The coming global digital money is catastrophic. Agenda 21 is the global dictatorship, and is already decreasing private property-- among other things. https://geopolitics.co/2015/04/09/the-true-purpose-of-agenda-21/ I recommend the video within it.

Grieved , Dec 27, 2017 1:08:11 AM | 77
@73 Mark - I cannot understand why Snowden doesn't have another copy to give to Wikileaks.

This is a crucial point. Edward Snowden chose not to possess the files after he had handed them off to the journalists. He wiped out his copy when they started to publish them. This was a deliberate choice, and part of an entire ethical view that Snowden held of the situation he was in, and the situation he had created.

If you can't understand why he held this view, then you have to ask him, or study his words. But rest assured that he didn't simply "fail" to have a backup copy in case his journalists chickened out or sold out their commitment. He was a geek. He wasn't a journalist. He wanted sensible journalists to handle the lifetime scoop that he was holding. In my view, he made an incredibly good choice.

Put yourself in his shoes. The path he had already walked just to get those files to those real-world journalists in Hong Kong was already a thousand times longer than anything that could possibly lie in front of him. All this talk about assets - like you can keep this kind of thing going: the man lived a lifetime in a few short years and did the best thing he could ever have conceived of.

He earned the space to delete the files and sit back for a while and watch things happen. He said he wanted the public to know, and the public to discuss - if he was wrong, so be it, but it was for the public to discuss, he always said.

Everything I've written here may not be true. But if it is true, then on the basis of this narrative of events, no one has any right to ask anything more of Snowden. He was the messenger who put his body in the circuit to complete the signal. We all gained. He gained nothing, except satisfaction of mission accomplished.

For me that's where his story ends. Greenwald, Intercept, oligarchs, slavery - these are all another story, and one that I'm focused on. But I choose to honor Snowden for the bravery of what he seems to have done, and if true that achievement scored so high that no amount of falling short can diminish it.

Peter AU 1 , Dec 27, 2017 1:38:17 AM | 79
78

Snowden confirmed the NSA files held by shadow brokers as genuine. How many years after destroying his copies? Snowden worked in US intelligence, perhaps just as a geek, but I don't see him destroying the only weapon he has against them.

psychohistorian , Dec 27, 2017 2:04:04 AM | 80
@ Grieved with recent support for Snowden

I agree and thank you for your words.

I haven't read here any discussion of the movie, SNOWDEN, produced by Oliver Stone. I saw it when it first came out. Is it on Netflix or other outlets yet? As movies go it fell short of a documentary. That said, it provides yet another potential thin-edge-of-a-wedge thought for the zombies that live among us.

The neurofeedback treatment that I am up to 132 session of has healed many people like Edward Snowden (with his reported epilepsy) and I hope he gets such soon in his life; us old folks are harder to heal. One of neurofeedback earliest successes was a woman with epilepsy who after being healed went out and got a drivers license.....can't find the source but this was 30-40 years ago

I consider Snowden to be a true American patriot. The American values that I was taught are in stark contrast to those exhibited by the God of Mammon cabal in control today. I don't believe that we are a bad species but sorely misdirected by something that can be "easily" changed. Look at the progress we have made as a species. Why do we let ourselves be limited in our development by centuries old conventions about who controls the tools of finance? How many wars would there be if money was a public utility?

Wake up zombies! It is time to change the world.

Thominus , Dec 27, 2017 2:52:00 AM | 81
What more revelations of Snowden's archive could possibly make any difference? It is already basically understood that the NSA, its contractors, and 5 eyes agencies "collect it all" illegally, with no meaningful oversight, to the degree that social media became their accomplice and extension, that they abuse this power and the constitution proudly and with impunity for any purposes and justifications they see fit, and so on, and the vast majority of citizens cower, or delude themselves with some comforting trust that it won't be used against them.

It has only proven that nothing will snap the majority ignorance from its coma.
No one with any voice - even those involved seem able to comprehend how vastly and deeply this will effect the free will of people, culture, and society - for that matter how it already has progressed to do so.

In the wake of the retroactive telcom immunity (which by definition is an admission of blatant criminality and conspiracy by and between both government and telcom corporations) The Snowden revalations couldn't have been more explicit, signifiacnt, or urgent. The people did nothing. Those minor percentage of us who bother to read and understand what is happening can chatter and pontificate all we want, because the ignorant majority hasn't the interest or energy to question the status quo. (they absoloutely have not the attention span to read a single Greenwald article) So really I can understand why there is no point releaseing the rest.

Snowden was the one upholding his oath to the constitution, against whose who systematically violated it, and he is called a traitor.

As far as RussiaGate being some sort of distraction from this - no more than a distraction from any other meaningful information that SHOULD be on people's minds.

brabantian , Dec 27, 2017 4:11:38 AM | 83
Regrettably, Moon of Alabama has not spotted what all major government intelligence agencies have known for a couple of years now ... European intel agency report - 'Edward Snowden & Glenn Greenwald are CIA frauds'
...
[copy of a Veterans Today nonsense piece deleted - b.]
V. Arnold , Dec 27, 2017 4:14:20 AM | 84
Peter AU 1 | Dec 27, 2017 1:38:17 AM | 80

Snowden didn't "destroy" anything. He gave it all to Greenwald in Hong Kong.
That way, nobody could coerce or otherwise intimidate him; as there were no files in his possesion.
Snowden himself clearly stated this fact.
That he landed in Russia is entirely the fault of the U.S. government (such as it is) by cancelling Snowden's passport enroute; this becomes ancient history in today's world...

Oh mercy; this is getting just too weird and woo, woo, for this one; later will be greater...

Posted by: V. Arnold , Dec 27, 2017 4:16:44 AM | 85

Oh mercy; this is getting just too weird and woo, woo, for this one; later will be greater...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Dec 27, 2017 4:16:44 AM | 85 /div

V. Arnold , Dec 27, 2017 6:20:14 AM | 86
So, it seems Pierre Omidyar sold out Greenwald; that's just peachy...
john , Dec 27, 2017 6:40:27 AM | 87
the Snowden('snowed in') saga is yet to be written, or perhaps, like much verity, will NEVER be written. eluding the intelligence hounds for a couple of weeks while shooting a nice HD video with a couple of prominent journalists never passed my smell test...

,,,

...and what might seem a minor quibble with Grieved's:

Manning with the video of the mercs shooting the civilians was the last time this happened, I think

those weren't mercs, dude, they were US Army.

John , Dec 27, 2017 9:50:53 AM | 90
Re#56 - Grieved

I agree that the Snowden info was the paradym changer that showed to me in unmistakable imagery,
that my country was an outlaw nation hellbent on economic empire and had shifted from liberty to total
Control mechanisms.

The Snowden info together with the missing 28 pages from the 911 committee findings sent me on a
truth mission; reading everything from "CIA Rouges Killed JFK, Russ Baker's book on the Bush
family, to Fahrenheit 911.

This former Neocon keeps trying to wash himself in the pure waters of the truth but cannot wash clean his guilt
for once voting for and defending such trash.

So I continue reading sites like MOA and others seeking the truth and speaking out to those in my life.

john , Dec 27, 2017 10:11:12 AM | 91
John says:

I agree that the Snowden info was the paradym changer that showed to me in unmistakable imagery,
that my country was an outlaw nation hellbent on economic empire and had shifted from liberty to total
Control mechanisms

"Earth-shattering!" Bah! Humbug!

Penelope , Dec 27, 2017 11:09:22 AM | 95
Brabantian @ 83, Yes, the huge amount of publicity given Snowden was an obvious tip-off that he is a hoax. All other whistleblowers get no publicity at all. Plus, everything that Snowden "disclosed" was already known. Perhaps he's out there to give credibility to lies as yet untold. Already his "asylum" promotes the fiction of East vs West opposition. It is a play and we are the audience, stuck in Plato's cave.
wendy davis , Dec 27, 2017 12:00:01 PM | 98
'Snowden says he took no secret files to russia', NYSlimes 10/13

He argued that he had helped American national security by prompting a badly needed public debate about the scope of the intelligence effort. "The secret continuance of these programs represents a far greater danger than their disclosure," he said. He added that he had been more concerned that Americans had not been told about the N.S.A.'s reach than he was about any specific surveillance operation.

" So long as there's broad support amongst a people, it can be argued there's a level of legitimacy even to the most invasive and morally wrong program, as it was an informed and willing decision," he said . "However, programs that are implemented in secret, out of public oversight, lack that legitimacy, and that's a problem. It also represents a dangerous normalization of 'governing in the dark,' where decisions with enormous public impact occur without any public input."
Pffffft.

Zo, will congress renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Section 702 when they're back in town?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/world/snowden-says-he-took-no-secret-files-to-russia.html

WJ , Dec 27, 2017 2:11:30 PM | 110
There's a lot going on in this post and comment thread. I have no strong opinion about the disputed status/role of either Snowden or Greenwald that are being discussed above, but I do think it very likely that the Intercept was originally started as what is often referred to (I believe following the Nixon tapes) as a "limited hangout" operation.

It was intended to "expose" certain truths the CIA/NSA knew were already implied by earlier revealed and published documents and by this means was to distract the public (as if) and journalists (all three of them) from probing more deeply into the history, scope, and current operations of these and related programs. I would not be surprised if it turned out somehow that the real objective of this was to block the inquiry into or exposure of special access Intel operations during or prior to 9/11 which would blow up entirely the official narrative of that epochal event.

But I would like to bring up one fact that bears on the ongoing discussion of Snowden and Greenwald but has not been mentioned yet (I believe) in this thread. That is the NSA's reported identification of (I believe) at least two other possible leakers or whistleblowers simultaneous with or just after Snowden. I recall there being several reports about the arrest or possible detainment of one possible leaker in particular whose identity has never (to my knowledge) come to light. Does anybody remember better than I do this intriguing but often forgot facet of the NSA / Snowden affair?

The existence, identity, and (unknown?) fate of this possible NSA leaker bears on the questions being asked above about Snowden and Greenwald in obvious ways. If there really was such a leaker or potential leaker who had at the time not yet been apprehended by the NSA, then it is at least certainly possible that Snowden's own leaks were co-opted (willingly or not) by the CIA/NSA to render the revelations of the other not-yet-identified leaker anticlimactic and redundant. In this way, it is possible that Snowden's leaks, as filtered through Greenwald, the Guardian, and the Post, were themselves a kind of limited hangout operation.

Note what they produced: Obama admitted a discussion was needed, Clapper was dutifully brought before Congress, lied to them, and was not punished at all for it, and some peripheral laws were tweaked (and then untweaked) to give the impression that something had been discovered, discussed, and addressed, with the hope that now everybody would stop thinking too much about the NSA etc. This is exactly what happened, and it's exactly what limited hangouts are designed to do.

I would be interested in hearing more information from others here about those one or two other unidentified NSA leakers. What ever happened with that story? Was the identity of both leakers ever revealed?

nottheonly1 , Dec 27, 2017 5:57:15 PM | 123
@Red Ryder #69
...

As many other here stated, what WAS revealed, to was already known to a large degree. What WAS revealed, did not stir up the public sentiment beyond a ripple. It is the absence of any whatsoever consequence to his revelations that does not make sense. For the first part, of his living here in Hawai'i and subcontractor work for the NSA via Booz Allen Hamilton, reads like a cheap version of a spy b-picture. Compared to the surrounding circumstances of Daniel Ellsberg, Snowden's story appeared to be staged - if only to me. The more became known, the less did people pay attention to Libya and Syria. The distractive value of the unfolding Snowden whistle blowing was enormous.

...

nottheonly1 , Dec 27, 2017 6:30:36 PM | 125
@Red Ryder #69
...

I have always been flabbergasted about the naivety of the general public in regards to the abilities, capabilities and determination of the so called 'establishment' - aka Plutocracy, when it comes to the choice of means to achieve their psychopathic goals. What is out of reach, or undoable to those that willingly accept the death of millions of innocent people in the ME and the world over?

The utter destruction of sovereign Nations that don't fall in line? Organizing coup d'etats like local fundraisers for soup kitchens? Looking at the track record of the American establishment, nothing, absolutely nothing is ever off the table.

A staged NSA leak story that turns out to become more inconceivable and more suspicious by the day. And it matters not. Not more than Assange spending his days in an Ecuadorian exile until the plot line demands to change.

Therefore, the most sinister scenario includes a wholly staged Snowden storyline, with the participation of Russia. This is not to say that this is the way it is, but not discounting the possibility that it could be. On more than one occasion, Russian behavior, be it either reactionary, or proactive has been inconclusive. A fool who would think that it is all just theater on the expense of millions of innocent people and humanity as a whole.

No one has ever been able to predict the future in detail. Mankind is left to make sense of the present and with constant misinformation and distraction, that appears to be impossible.

Thanks to You and the other knowledgeable commenters.

All the best for 2018.

fast freddy , Dec 27, 2017 6:44:05 PM | 126
There is a good case that both Snowjob and Assange are Limited Hangouts. Each has exposed little beyond that which was already known. Neither offers any criticism of Israel's occupation of Palestine and the Yinon Plan.

What they have done is to get the worlds' citizenry to understand that domestic surveillance is a normal condition which should be expected and accepted.

Grieved , Dec 27, 2017 7:45:07 PM | 132
@126 What they have done is to get the worlds' citizenry to understand that domestic surveillance is a normal condition which should be expected and accepted.

This could also be stated as, "What they have done is to get the worlds' citizenry to understand that domestic surveillance is a normal condition which should be expected and guarded against ."

I think the world has changed since Snowden. Within the IT community, the sense of security and its requirements has been changed. What's missing so far is a discernible response. Wait a few more short years, until Chinese computing oustrips western encryption by an order of magnitude, and sooner than that when Russian hardware and software made for the consumer market is invulnerable to NSA technology. There's no sense trying to protect oneself from NSA at present because it will only draw attention. But when the Russian kit is on the market, let's just see who in the west buys it. I predict large sales.

dh , Dec 27, 2017 7:52:50 PM | 133
@132 Didn't Kaspersky just get banned in the US?
Grieved , Dec 27, 2017 8:13:41 PM | 137
I'm always wary of talk about limited hangouts. A case can usually be made that such talk is itself intended for the same purpose - to lull the recipient into despair and passivity.

When we say that we've all been gamed by theater, it's another way of saying not to fight back. But the Devil doesn't get it all his way all the time. And the rulers of the Earth always have to work through agents, and they are so frigging human that plans often go slightly, or greatly, awry.

We see more botched conspiracy action than seems credible. So a case can be made that the carelessness itself is part of the subliminal message that resistance is futile. But is it really intentional, or is it simply making the best of a bad job? Was Kennedy really gunned down in daylight as a message to all of us that we'd better not resist, because the power was total? Or was it just the way the state criminals think, that the way to kill a president is the same playbook that always worked before, and still they botched the hit with all kinds of missed shots and clumsy actions? Their secret weapon was media complicity - this allowed a multitude of sins, and without it we'd have known 50 years ago who killed Kennedy.

And it WAS a secret weapon. It took a long time for this to become obvious. We see the media all along has been completely mediocre, but since it has long given wall-to-wall coverage, it never had to get very good in order to send the daily propaganda message. Come the Internet, everyone sees how sloppy the media's work is. But does this raise the quality of the media lies? It seems not - the opposite in fact, the readers get far smarter than the writers.

The greatest trick the Devil pulled was not convincing the world he didn't exist, it was convincing the world that evil was clever, when in fact it's very mediocre. Evil performs badly. It will continue to perform badly. It can be resisted and overcome. This takes time.

I always enjoy the words of fictional Lazarus Long: "Of course the game is rigged. But don't let that stop you playing. If you don't play, you can't win."

David Park , Dec 27, 2017 9:39:05 PM | 138
Here is my little experience with the surveillance state: I am a user of the Mathematica computer program developed and sold by Wolfram Research Inc. They have a web site for users to exchange information called Wolfram Community. It is mostly about asking and answering questions about the use of Mathematica or sharing Mathematica tricks. About a year ago a series of about half a dozen ads for programmers appeared which were clearly link to expanding the surveillance state. Here is one of them:

Programming Ad

I replied by quoting the U.S. Constitution 4th Amendment and saying "Yes it was relevant to the advertisement."

Within 10 minutes my reply was deleted. I received an email from Wolfram Research saying: "We work very hard to foster positive environment on Wolfram Community and cannot allow any discussions outside the Wolfram Community guidelines. This means discussions that stray way beyond Wolfram Technologies topics."

So what is positive about advertisements on a community forum for the surveillance state and what is negative about the 4th Amendment? And the advertisements had little direct relevance to Mathematica. But I suppose they had their reasons.

[Dec 27, 2017] The remarkable thing is to see the complete disappearance of the anti-war left.

Dec 27, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Christian Chuba , 26 December 2017 at 10:36 AM

A comment on Trump's national security doctrine, I read it as 'U.S. uber alles'.

The remarkable thing is to see the complete disappearance of the anti-war left. On CNN, their reaction was, Trump is talking the talk but not walking the walk. They were miffed that he had a polite phone conversation with Putin. It's not enough to send weapons to Ukraine, call the Russians and Chinese revisionist powers, have aggressive air patrols near Crimea, maintain sanctions in perpetuity, have a massive increase in Defense spending, and expand NATO, you have to be rude to Putin on every possible occasion, perhaps even allow a terrorist attack.

Some see this as a big fake out to satisfy the Neocons, he's got me eating grass too (picture Defensive End missing a Running Back in a football game). I guess we just have to wait to see what the next 3yrs bring.

BTW this link shows the flight pattern of U.S. surveillance aircraft as they take off from Bulgaria and fliesl along the coast of Sevastopol http://russia-insider.com/en/us-keeps-loitering-coast-russian-naval-base-sevastopol-russia-adds-second-s-400-air-defense-battery

Lyttenburgh , 26 December 2017 at 06:16 PM
On the new National Security Doctrine – excellent! The US does not mince words and states clearly, that both China and Russia are "resurgent" and "revisionist powers", who "threaten the world order". The US dominated unipolar world order that's it. Which, again, is true.

If Obama/Clinton had their way, Russia will be listed among the "threats to the national security" such as ISIL, Ebola and DPRK. Well – who remembers about Ebola's outbreak and ISIL is losing its memeticness by hour. The esteemed members of the establishment (the legislative branch) also would have liked to see Russia among such "top priority national security threats" as Iran and DPRK.

Instead we, Russia, are in China's company. Not bad, not bad at all. Cuz the US can't negotiate with Iran, North Korea and ISIL without losing a face. With China – now, here a sort of détente is possible.

D , 26 December 2017 at 07:23 PM
@EE

"Apparently they've collectively forgotten that it all started out as a con for the rubes."

Exactly. And that condition seems to appertain to the formation of most domestic and foreign policies emanating from Washington these day. That's what you get in a country where folks like to gorge themselves on the swill of cable news and talk radio.

[Dec 24, 2017] De Facto Travel Restrictions Now Exist For Americans by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org . ..."
Dec 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org
Green Party presidential Candidate Jill Stein is being investigated by the Senate Intelligence (sic) Committee for "Russian connections."

What has brought Russiagate to Jill Stein? The answer is that she attended the 10th Anniversary RT dinner in Moscow as did the notorious "Russian collaborator" US General Michael Flynn. RT is a news organization, a far better one than exists in the West, but if you were one of the many accomplished people who attended the anniversary dinner, you are regarded by Republican Senator Richard Burr from North Carolina as a possible Kremlin agent.

What is going on here? Stein sums it up: "we must guard against the potential for these investigations to be used to intimidate and silence principled opposition to the political establishment."

Here I sit considering two interesting invitations. One is to speak at the main Plenary Session of the Moscow Economic Forum in April. The other is to speak at the Summit for Global Challenges in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan in May. The very minute I accept, the NSA will notify its mouthpieces, the New York Times, PropOrNot's promoter the Washington Post, Senator Burr, and Special Russiagate Prosecutor Robert Mueller. Would I be renditioned to Israel or Eqypt or Saudi Arabia and tortured until I confessed that I was a member of the Trump-Flynn-Jill Stein Kremlin spy network?

As the United States is no longer a free country governed by a Constitution that protects civil liberty, that possibility cannot be discounted. What is for sure is that if I accept these invitations, the US Establishment will discredit my voice when I write about US/Russia relations. Indeed, that was the intention of the PropOrNot Washington Post story that attacked 200 truth-tellers as "Russian agents/dupes." Many of those so attacked have experienced slower growth in their readership. After all, Americans and Europeans are insouciant. They are actually sufficiently stupid to believe what governments and print and TV media tell them.

I, too, was invited to RT's 10th Anniversary celebration in Moscow. Imagining the celebration would be grand balls in palaces and myself, decked out in white tie with my French Legion of Honor dancing with those beautiful RT women, I almost accepted. But I learned in time that the event was conferences and speeches and decided to forego a Moscow winter.

Otherwise I would be in the dock with Trump, Flynn, and Jill Stein and whomever the Washington Gestapo settles on next.

Russiagate is an orchestrated hoax. That has now become so apparent that even insouciant Americans are catching on, even those low IQ ones who sit in front of TV news. I often disparage Congress, but here is a member who is admirable, Republican Representative Jim Jordan from Ohio.

Watch the short video and delight in the power and force with which Rep. Jordan goes after the piece of crap US deputy attorney general the Twitter President has in office. When the President of the United States has to rely on a congressman to call out the Justice Department and the FBI for its criminal actions and for its treason to overthrow both democracy and the elected government of the United States, you know we have elected a president who is too scared to defend himself. Roger Stone is correct, if Trump were a real man, Mueller, Comey, Hillary, Obama, and the rest of the criminal scum would be arrested, prosecuted and sentenced for their vast crimes, crimes that exceed those of anyone in prison today.

But Trump is nothing but talk. No action.

How much longer can I give interviews to Russian and Iranian media before the Washington Gestapo gives me a midnight knock on my door.

Whatever America is, it is not a free country.

If Trump wants to make America great again, he must shatter the CIA, FBI, NSA, and media into a thousand pieces. The concentrated power that President Eisenhower warned Americans about in 1961 is far too great for liberty to survive.

Instead, the weakest president in American history actually read the speech handed to him by the ruling neocon military/security complex and declared Russia and China inimical to Washington's interests.

Americans are too insouciant to understand it, but this was a declaration of war against two countries, which when combined are more than a match for Washington.

Neither Russia nor China, much less an alliance between them, will accept Washington's hegemony.

If the hubris-crazed fools in Washington persist, we are all going to die.

Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org .

[Dec 22, 2017] When Sanity Fails - The Mindset of the Ideological Drone by The Saker

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... North Korea's air defenses are so weak that we had to notify them we were flying B1 bombers near their airspace–they didn't even know our aircraft were coming. This reminds me of the "fearsome" Republican Guard that Saddam had in the Persian Gulf. Turns out we had total air superiority and just bombed the crap out of them and they surrendered in droves. ..."
"... We have already seen what happens when an army has huge amounts of outdated Soviet weaponry versus the most technologically advanced force in the world. It's a slaughter. Also, there has to be weaponry up the USA's sleeve that would be used in the event of an attack. Don't forget our cyber warfare abilities that would undoubtedly be implemented as well. This writer seems to always hype Russia's capabilities and denigrate the US's capabilities. Sure, Russia has the capacity to nuke the US into smithereens, and vice versa. But if its a head to head shooting war, the US and NATO would dominate. FACT. ..."
"... Commander's intent: ..."
"... Decapitate the top leadership and remove retaliatory capability. ..."
"... Massive missile/bombing campaign (including carpet) of top leadership locations, tactical missile locations and DMZ artillery belt. Destruction of surface fleet and air force. ..."
"... Advance into DMZ artillery belt up to a range of 240 mm cannon. Not further (local tactical considerations taken into account of course). ..."
"... Phase three: "break the enemy's will to fight" and destroy the "regime support infrastructure" ..."
"... I guess an American attack on North Korea would consist of preemptive strategic nuking to destroy the entire country before it can do anything. Since North Korea itself contributes essentially nothing to the world economy, no one would lose money. ..."
"... These examples perfectly illustrate the kind of mindset induced by what Professor John Marciano called "Empire as a way of life" [1] which is characterized by a set of basic characteristics: ..."
"... there has to be ..."
"... would undoubtedly ..."
"... the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts ..."
"... A perfect illustration of that is the famous quote " it became necessary to destroy the town to save it ..."
"... I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you, the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God ..."
"... this applies to the vast majority of US politicians, decision-makers and elected officials, hence Putin's remark that " It's difficult to talk with people who confuse Austria and Australia ". ..."
"... As a result, there is no more discernible US diplomacy left: all the State Department does is deliver threats, ultimatums and condemnations. Meaningful *negotiations* have basically been removed form the US foreign policy toolkit. ..."
"... That belief is also the standard cop out in any conversation of morality, ethnics, or even the notions of right and wrong. An anti-religious view par excellence . ..."
"... The US policies towards Russia, China and Iran all have the potential of resulting in a disaster of major magnitude. The world is dealing with situation in which a completely delusional regime is threatening everybody with various degrees of confrontation. This is like being in the same room with a monkey playing with a hand grenade. Except for that hand grenade is nuclear. ..."
"... This situation places a special burden of responsibility on all other nations, especially those currently in Uncle Sam's cross-hairs, to act with restraint and utmost restraint. That is not fair, but life rarely is. It is all very well and easy to declare that force must be met by force and that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness until you realize that any miscalculation can result in the death of millions of people. I am therefore very happy that the DPRK is the only country which chose to resort to a policy of hyperbolic threats while Iran, Russia and China acted, and are still acting, with the utmost restraint. ..."
"... they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners ..."
"... If the U.S. attacks North Korea or Iran we will become a pariah among nations (especially once the pictures start pouring in). We will be loathed. Countries may very well decide that we are not worthy of having the world's reserve currency. In that case the dollar will collapse as will our economy. ..."
"... Maybe it's just me, but it seems that NK is just another tyranny in a long list of tyrannies throughout millennia, and like all of them it will just implode on its own. Therefore, the best thing you can do is simply to ignore it (thus denying the tyrant an external threat to rally the populace) and wait for the NK people to say enough is enough. ..."
"... I agree with the logic that as Americans become dumber the ability to have a powerful military also degrades, however an increasingly declining America also makes it more dangerous. As ever more ideologues rule the corridors of power and the generally stupid population that will consent to everything they are told, America will start involving itself in ever more reckless conflicts. This means they despite being a near idiocracy, the nuclear weapons and military bases all over world make America an ever greater threat for the world ..."
Dec 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

My recent analysis of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK has elicited a wide range of reactions. There is one type of reaction which I find particularly interesting and most important and I would like to focus on it today: the ones which entirely dismissed my whole argument. The following is a selection of some of the most telling reactions of this kind:

Example 1:

North Korea's air defenses are so weak that we had to notify them we were flying B1 bombers near their airspace–they didn't even know our aircraft were coming. This reminds me of the "fearsome" Republican Guard that Saddam had in the Persian Gulf. Turns out we had total air superiority and just bombed the crap out of them and they surrendered in droves.

We have already seen what happens when an army has huge amounts of outdated Soviet weaponry versus the most technologically advanced force in the world. It's a slaughter. Also, there has to be weaponry up the USA's sleeve that would be used in the event of an attack. Don't forget our cyber warfare abilities that would undoubtedly be implemented as well. This writer seems to always hype Russia's capabilities and denigrate the US's capabilities. Sure, Russia has the capacity to nuke the US into smithereens, and vice versa. But if its a head to head shooting war, the US and NATO would dominate. FACT.

Example 2:

Commander's intent:

Decapitate the top leadership and remove retaliatory capability.

Execution:

Phase one:

Massive missile/bombing campaign (including carpet) of top leadership locations, tactical missile locations and DMZ artillery belt. Destruction of surface fleet and air force.

Phase two:

Advance into DMZ artillery belt up to a range of 240 mm cannon. Not further (local tactical considerations taken into account of course).

Phase three: "break the enemy's will to fight" and destroy the "regime support infrastructure"

Phase four: Regime change.

There you go .

Example 3:

I guess an American attack on North Korea would consist of preemptive strategic nuking to destroy the entire country before it can do anything. Since North Korea itself contributes essentially nothing to the world economy, no one would lose money.

These examples perfectly illustrate the kind of mindset induced by what Professor John Marciano called "Empire as a way of life" [1] which is characterized by a set of basic characteristics:

First foremost, simple, very simple one-sentence "arguments" . Gone are the days when argument were built in some logical sequence, when facts were established, then evaluated for their accuracy and relevance, then analyzed and then conclusions presented. Where in the past one argument per page or paragraph constituted the norm, we now have tweet-like 140 character statements which are more akin to shouted slogans than to arguments (no wonder that tweeting is something a bird does – hence the expression "bird brain"). You will see that kind of person writing what initially appears to be a paragraph, but when you look closer you realize that the paragraph is really little more than a sequence of independent statements and not really an argument of any type. A quasi-religious belief in one's superiority which is accepted as axiomatic .

Nothing new here: the Communists considered themselves as the superior for class reasons, the Nazis by reason of racial superiority, the US Americans just "because" – no explanation offered (I am not sure that this constitutes of form of progress). In the US case, that superiority is cultural, political, financial and, sometimes but not always, racial. This superiority is also technological, hence the " there has to be " or the " would undoubtedly " in the example #1 above. This is pure faith and not something which can be challenged by fact or logic. Contempt for all others . This really flows from #2 above. Example 3 basically declares all of North Korea (including its people) as worthless. This is where all the expressions like "sand niggers" "hadjis" and other "gooks" come from: the dehumanization of the "others" as a preparation for their for mass slaughter. Notice how in the example #2 the DPRK leaders are assumed to be totally impotent, dull and, above all, passive.

The notion that they might do something unexpected is never even considered (a classical recipe for military disaster, but more about that later). Contempt for rules, norms and laws . This notion is well expressed by the famous US 19th century slogan of " my country, right or wrong " but goes far beyond that as it also includes the belief that the USA has God-given (or equivalent) right to ignore international law, the public opinion of the rest of the planet or even the values underlying the documents which founded the USA. In fact, in the logic of such imperial drone the belief in US superiority actually serves as a premise to the conclusion that the USA has a "mission" or a "responsibility" to rule the world. This is "might makes right" elevated to the rank of dogma and, therefore, never challenged. A very high reliance on doublethink . Doublethink defined by Wikipedia as " the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts ".

A perfect illustration of that is the famous quote " it became necessary to destroy the town to save it ". Most US Americans are aware of the fact that US policies have resulted in them being hated worldwide, even amongst putatively allied or "protected" countries such as South Korea, Israel, Germany or Japan. Yet at the very same time, they continue to think that the USA should "defend" "allies", even if the latter can't wait for Uncle Sam's soldiers to pack and leave. Doublethink is also what makes it possible for ideological drones to be aware of the fact that the US has become a subservient Israeli colony while, at the same time, arguing for the support and financing of Israel.

A glorification of ignorance which is transformed into a sign of manliness and honesty. This is powerfully illustrated in the famous song " Where were you when the world stopped turning " whoso lyrics include the following words " I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you, the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God " (notice how the title of the song suggests that New York is the center of the world, when when get hit, the world stops turning; also, no connection is made between watching CNN and not being able to tell two completely different countries apart). If this were limited to singers, then it would not be a problem, but this applies to the vast majority of US politicians, decision-makers and elected officials, hence Putin's remark that " It's difficult to talk with people who confuse Austria and Australia ".

As a result, there is no more discernible US diplomacy left: all the State Department does is deliver threats, ultimatums and condemnations. Meaningful *negotiations* have basically been removed form the US foreign policy toolkit.

A totally uncritical acceptance of ideologically correct narratives even when they are self-evidently nonsensical to an even superficial critical analysis. An great example of this kind of self-evidently stupid stories is all the nonsense about the Russians trying to meddle in US elections or the latest hysteria about relatively small-size military exercises in Russia .

The acceptance of the official 9/11 narrative is a perfect example of that. Something repeated by the "respectable" Ziomedia is accepted as dogma, no matter how self-evidently stupid. A profound belief that everything is measured in dollars . From this flow a number of corollary beliefs such as "US weapons are most expensive, they are therefore superior" or "everybody has his price" [aka "whom we can't kill we will simply buy"]. In my experience folks like these are absolutely unable to even imagine that some people might not motivated by greed or other egoistic interests: ideological drones project their own primitive motives unto everybody else with total confidence.

That belief is also the standard cop out in any conversation of morality, ethnics, or even the notions of right and wrong. An anti-religious view par excellence .

Notice the total absence of any more complex consideration which might require some degree of knowledge or expertise: the imperial mindset is not only ignoramus-compatible, it is ignoramus based . This is what Orwell was referring to in his famous book 1984 with the slogan "Ignorance is Strength". However, it goes way beyond simple ignorance of facts and includes the ability to "think in slogans" (example #2 is a prefect example of this).

There are, of course, many more psychological characteristics for the perfect "ideological drone", but the ones above already paint a pretty decent picture of the kind of person I am sure we all have seen many times over. What is crucial to understand about them is that even though they are far from being a majority, they compensate for that with a tremendous motivational drive. It might be due to a need to repeatedly reassert their certitudes or a way to cope with some deep-seated cognitive dissonance, but in my experience folks like that have energy levels that many sane people would envy. This is absolutely crucial to how the Empire, and any other oppressive regime, works: by repressing those who can understand a complex argument by means of those who cannot. Let me explain:

Unless there are mechanisms set in to prevent that, in a debate/dispute between an educated and intelligent person and an ideological drone the latter will always prevail because of the immense advantage the latter has over the former. Indeed, while the educated and intelligent person will be able to immediately identify numerous factual and logical gaps in his opponent's arguments, he will always need far more "space" to debunk the nonsense spewed by the drone than the drone who will simply dismiss every argument with one or several slogans. This is why I personally never debate or even talk with such people: it is utterly pointless.

As a result, a fact-based and logical argument now gets the same consideration and treatment as a collection of nonsensical slogans (political correctness mercilessly enforces that principle: you can't call an idiot and idiot any more). Falling education standards have resulted in a dramatic degradation of the public debate: to be well-educated, well-read, well-traveled, to speak several languages and feel comfortable in different cultures used to be considered a prerequisite to expressing an opinion, now they are all treated as superfluous and even useless characteristics. Actual, formal, expertise in a topic is now becoming extremely rare. A most interesting kind of illustration of this point can be found in this truly amazing video posted by Peter Schiff:

One could be tempted to conclude that this kind of 'debating' is a Black issue. It is not. The three quotes given at the beginning of this article are a good reminder of this (unless, of course, they were all written by Blacks, which we have no reason to believe).

Twitter might have done to minds what MTV has done to rock music: laid total waste to it.

Consequences:

There are a number of important consequences from the presence of such ideological drones in any society. The first one is that any ideology-based regime will always and easily find numerous spontaneous supporters who willingly collaborate with it. Combined with a completely subservient media, such drones form the rontline force of any ideological debate. For instance, a journalist can always be certain to easily find a done to interview, just as a politician can count on them to support him during a public speech or debate. The truth is that, unfortunately, we live in a society that places much more emphasis on the right to have an opinion than on the actual ability to form one .

By the way, the intellectually challenged always find a natural ally in the coward and the "follower" (as opposed to "leader types") because it is always much easier and safer to follow the herd and support the regime in power than to oppose it. You will always see "stupid drones" backed by "coward drones". As for the politicians , they naturally cater to all types of drones since they always provide a much bigger "bang for the buck" than those inclined to critical thinking whose loyalty to whatever "cause" is always dubious.

The drone-type of mindset also comes with some major weaknesses including a very high degree of predictability, an inability to learn from past mistakes, an inability to imagine somebody operating with a completely different set of motives and many others. One of the most interesting ones for those who actively resist the AngloZionist Empire is that the ideological drone has very little staying power because as soon as the real world, in all its beauty and complexity, comes crashing through the door of the drone's delusional and narrow imagination his cocky arrogance is almost instantaneously replaced by a total sense of panic and despair. I have had the chance to speak Russian officers who were present during the initial interrogation of US POWs in Iraq and they were absolutely amazed at how terrified and broken the US POWs immediately became (even though they were not mistreated in any way). It was as if they had no sense of risk at all, until it was too late and they were captured, at which point they inner strength instantly gave way abject terror. This is one of the reasons that the Empire cannot afford a protracted war: not because of casualty aversion as some suggest, but to keep the imperial delusions/illusions unchallenged by reality . As long as the defeat can be hidden or explained away, the Empire can fight on, but as soon as it becomes impossible to obfuscate the disaster the Empire has to simply declare victory and leave.

Thus we have a paradox here: the US military is superbly skilled at killing people in large numbers, but but not at winning wars . And yet, because this latter fact is easily dismissed on grounds #2 #5 and #7 above (all of them, really), failing to actually win wars does not really affect the US determination to initiate new wars, even potentially very dangerous ones. I would even argue that each defeat even strengthens the Empire's desire to show it power by hoping to finally identify one victim small enough to be convincingly defeated. The perfect example of that was Ronald Reagan's decision to invade Grenada right after the US Marines barracks bombing in Beirut. The fact that the invasion of Grenada was one of the worst military operations in world history did not prevent the US government from handing out more medals for it than the total number of people involved – such is the power of the drone-mindset!

We have another paradox here: history shows that if the US gets entangled in a military conflict it is most likely to end up defeated (if "not winning" is accepted as a euphemism for "losing"). And yet, the United States are also extremely hard to deter. This is not just a case of " Fools rush in where angels fear to tread " but the direct result of a form of conditioning which begins in grade schools. From the point of view of an empire, repeated but successfully concealed defeats are much preferable to the kind of mental paralysis induced in drone populations, at least temporarily, by well-publicized defeats . Likewise, when the loss of face is seen as a calamity much worse than body bags, lessons from the past are learned by academics and specialists, but not by the nation as a whole (there are numerous US academics and officers who have always known all of what I describe above, in fact – they were the ones who first taught me about it!).

If this was only limited to low-IQ drones this would not be as dangerous, but the problem is that words have their own power and that politicians and ideological drones jointly form a self-feeding positive feedback loop when the former lie to the latter only to then be bound by what they said which, in turn, brings them to join the ideological drones in a self-enclosed pseudo-reality of their own.

What all this means for North Korea and the rest of us

I hate to admit it, but I have to concede that there is a good argument to be made that all the over-the-top grandstanding and threatening by the North Koreans does make sense, at least to some degree. While for an educated and intelligent person threatening the continental United States with nuclear strikes might appear as the epitome of irresponsibility, this might well be the only way to warn the ideological drone types of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK. Think of it: if you had to deter somebody with the set of beliefs outlined in #1 through #8 above, would you rather explain that a war on the Korean Peninsula would immediately involve the entire region or simple say "them crazy gook guys might just nuke the shit out of you!"? I think that the North Koreans might be forgiven for thinking that an ideological drone can only be deterred by primitive and vastly exaggerated threats.

Still, my strictly personal conclusion is that ideological drones are pretty much "argument proof" and that they cannot be swayed neither by primitive nor by sophisticated arguments. This is why I personally never directly engage them. But this is hardly an option for a country desperate to avoid a devastating war (the North Koreans have no illusions on that account as they, unlike most US Americans, remember the previous war in Korea).

But here is the worst aspect of it all: this is not only a North Korean problem

The US policies towards Russia, China and Iran all have the potential of resulting in a disaster of major magnitude. The world is dealing with situation in which a completely delusional regime is threatening everybody with various degrees of confrontation. This is like being in the same room with a monkey playing with a hand grenade. Except for that hand grenade is nuclear.

This situation places a special burden of responsibility on all other nations, especially those currently in Uncle Sam's cross-hairs, to act with restraint and utmost restraint. That is not fair, but life rarely is. It is all very well and easy to declare that force must be met by force and that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness until you realize that any miscalculation can result in the death of millions of people. I am therefore very happy that the DPRK is the only country which chose to resort to a policy of hyperbolic threats while Iran, Russia and China acted, and are still acting, with the utmost restraint.

In practical terms, there is no way for the rest of the planet to disarm the monkey. The only option is therefore to incapacitate the monkey itself or, alternatively, to create the conditions in which the monkey will be too busy with something else to pay attention to his grenade. An internal political crisis triggered by an external military defeat remains, I believe, the most likely and desirable scenario (see here if that topic is of interest to you). Still, the future is impossible to predict and, as the Quran says, " they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners ". All we can do is try to mitigate the impact of the ideological drones on our society as much as we can, primarily by *not* engaging them and limiting our interaction with those still capable of critical thought. It is by excluding ideological drones from the debate about the future of our world that we can create a better environment for those truly seeking solutions to our current predicament.

-- -- -

1. If you have not listened to his lectures on this topic, which I highly recommend, you can find them here:

Paul b , December 22, 2017 at 12:28 pm GMT

If the U.S. attacks North Korea or Iran we will become a pariah among nations (especially once the pictures start pouring in). We will be loathed. Countries may very well decide that we are not worthy of having the world's reserve currency. In that case the dollar will collapse as will our economy.
Third world nationalist , December 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm GMT
North Korea is a nationalistic country that traces their race back to antiquity. America on the other hand is a degenerated country that is ruled over by Jews. The flag waving American s may call the Koreans gooks but if we apply the American racial ideology on themselves, the Americans are the the 56percent Untermensch. While the north Koreans are superior for having rejected modern degeneracy.
Andrei Martyanov , Website December 22, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness

A key point, which signifies a serious cultural degeneration from values of chivalry and honoring the opposite side to a very Asiatic MO which absolutely rules current US establishment. This, and, of course, complete detachment from the realities of the warfare.

Sean , December 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm GMT
It is all talk, because China makes them invulnerable to sanctions and NK has nukes. The US will have to go to China to deal with NK and China will want to continue economically raping the US in exchange. That is why China gave NK an H bomb and ICBM tech ( it's known to have gave those same things to Pakistan). The real action will be in the Middle East. The Saudi are counting on the US giving them CO2 fracking in the future, and Iran being toppled soon. William S. Lind says Iran will be hit by Trump and Israel will use the ensuing chaos to expel the West Bank Palestinians (back to the country whose passports they travel on).
VICB3 , December 22, 2017 at 4:49 pm GMT

Maybe it's just me, but it seems that NK is just another tyranny in a long list of tyrannies throughout millennia, and like all of them it will just implode on its own. Therefore, the best thing you can do is simply to ignore it (thus denying the tyrant an external threat to rally the populace) and wait for the NK people to say enough is enough.

Don't think that would ever happen? Reference 'How Tyrannies Implode' by Richard Fernandez: https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2016/02/27/how-tyrannies-implode/?print=true&singlepage=true

There's no doubt in my mind that Kim will end up like Nikolae Ceaușescu in Romania, put up against a wall by his own military and shot on TV. All anyone has to do is be patient and not drink the Rah-Rah Kool-Aid.*

Just a thought.

VicB3

*Was talking with a 82nd Major at the Starbucks, and mentioned NK, Ceausecu, sitting tight, etc. (Mentioned we might help things along by blanketing the whole country with netbooks, wi-fi, and even small arms.) Got the careerist ladder- climber standard response of how advanced our weapons are, the people in charge know what they're doing, blah blah blah. Wouldn't even consider an alternative view (and didn't know or understand half of what I was talking about). It was the same response I got from an Air Force Colonel before the U.S. went into Afghanistan and Iraq and I told him the whole thing was/would be insanely stupid.

His party-line team-player response was when I knew for certain that any action in NK would/will fail spectacularly for the U.S., possibly even resulting in and economic collapse and civil war/revolution on this end.

Wish I didn't think that, but I do.

pyrrhus , December 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm GMT
Excellent post. But the US public education "system", while awful, is not the main reason that America is increasingly packed with drones and idiots. IQ is decreasing rapidly, as revealed in the College Board's data on SAT scores over the last 60 years .In addition, Dr. James Thompson has a Dec.15 post on Unz that shows a shocking decline in the ability of UK children to understand basic principles of physics, which are usually acquired on a developmental curve. Mike Judge's movie 'Idiocracy' appears to have been set unrealistically far in the future ..
In short, the current situation can and will get a lot worse in America. On the other hand, America's armed forces will be deteriorating apace, so they are becoming less dangerous to the rest of the world.
anonymous , Disclaimer December 22, 2017 at 6:10 pm GMT
The good thing about democracy is that anyone can express an opinion. The bad thing about democracy is that anyone can express an opinion. I have to laugh at all the internet commandos and wannabe Napoleons that roost on the internet giving us their advice. It's easy to cherrypick opinions that range from uninformed to downright stupid and bizarre. Those people don't actually run anything though, fortunately. Keep in mind that half the population is mentally average or below average and that average is quite mediocre. Throw in a few degrees above mediocre and you've got a majority, a majority that can and is regularly bamboozled. The majority of the population is just there to pay taxes and provide cannon fodder, that's all, like a farmer's herd of cows provides for his support. Ideological drones are desired in this case. It's my suspicion that the educational system is geared towards producing such a product as well as all other aspects of popular culture also induce stupefying effects. Insofar as American policy goes, look at what it actually does rather than what it says, the latter being a form of show biz playing to a domestic audience. I just skip the more obnoxious commenters since they're just annoying and add nothing but confusion to any discussion.
Randal , December 22, 2017 at 6:41 pm GMT
@VICB3

but it seems that NK is just another tyranny in a long list of tyrannies throughout millennia, and like all of them it will just implode on its own
.
There's no doubt in my mind that Kim will end up like Nikolae Ceaușescu in Romania, put up against a wall by his own military and shot on TV.

All things come to an end eventually, and I agree with you that the best course of action for the US over NK would be to leave it alone (and stop poking it), but this idea that "tyrannies always collapse" seems pretty unsupported by reality.

Off the top of my head all of the following autocrats died more or less peacefully in office and handed their "tyranny" on intact to a successor, just in the past few decades: Mao, Castro, Franco, Stalin, Assad senior, two successive Kims (so much for the assumption that the latest Kim will necessarily end up like Ceausescu). In the past, if a tyrant and his tyranny lasted long enough and arranged a good succession, it often came to be remembered as a golden age, as with the Roman, Augustus.

I suspect it might be a matter of you having a rather selective idea of what counts as a tyranny (I wouldn't count Franco in that list, myself, but establishment opinion is against me there, I think). You might be selectively remembering only the tyrannies that came to a bad end.

neutral , December 22, 2017 at 7:24 pm GMT
@pyrrhus

so they are becoming less dangerous to the rest of the world

I agree with the logic that as Americans become dumber the ability to have a powerful military also degrades, however an increasingly declining America also makes it more dangerous. As ever more ideologues rule the corridors of power and the generally stupid population that will consent to everything they are told, America will start involving itself in ever more reckless conflicts. This means they despite being a near idiocracy, the nuclear weapons and military bases all over world make America an ever greater threat for the world.

neutral , December 22, 2017 at 7:35 pm GMT

The good thing about democracy is that anyone can express an opinion.

Not sure if this is a joke or not. In case you are serious, you clearly have not been following the news, from USA to Germany all these so called democracies have been undertaking massive censorship operations. From jailing people to shutting down online conversations to ordering news to not report on things that threaten their power.

Dana Thompson , December 22, 2017 at 9:37 pm GMT
A bizarre posting utterly detached from reality. Don't you understand that if a blustering lunatic presses a megaton-pistol against our collective foreheads and threatens to pull the trigger, it represents a very disquieting situation? And if we contemplate actions that would cause a million utterly harmless and innocent Koreans to be incinerated, to prevent a million of our own brains from being blown out, aren't we allowed to do so without being accused of being vile bigots that think yellow gook lives are worthless? Aren't we entitled to any instinct of self preservation at all?
What the Korean situation obviously entails is a high-stakes experiment in human psychology. All that attention-seeking little freak probably wants is to be treated with respect, and like somebody important. Trump started out in a sensible way, by treating Kim courteously, but for that he was pilloried by the insanely-partisan opposition within his own party – McCain I'm mainly thinking of. That's the true obstacle to a sane resolution of the problem. I say if the twerp would feel good if we gave him a tickertape parade down Fifth Avenue and a day pass to Disneyland, we should do so – it's small enough a concession in view of what's at stake. But if rabid congress-critters obstruct propitiation, then intimidation and even preemptive megadeath may be all that's left.
peterAUS , December 22, 2017 at 10:37 pm GMT
@Dana Thompson

Agree.

I suspect the true conversation about the topic will start when all that becomes really serious. I mean more serious than posting the latest selfie on a Facebook. Hangs around that warhead miniaturization/hardening timetable, IMHO. Maybe too late then.

VICB3 , December 23, 2017 at 12:07 am GMT
@Randal

Just be patient.

Also, one man's tyranny is another mans return to stability. For better or worse, Mao got rid of the Warlords. Franco got rid of the Communists and kept Spain out of WWII. The Assads are Baath Party and both secular and modernizers.

Stalin? Depends on who you talk to, but the Russians do like a strong hand.

Kim? His people only have to look West to China and Russia, or def. to the South, to know that things could be much better. And more and more he can't control the flow of information. That, and the rank and file of his army have roundworms. And guns.

At some point, the light comes on. And that same rank and file with guns tells itself "You know, we could be doing better."

And then it's "Live on TV Time!"

Hope this helps.

Just a thought.

VicB3

Santoculto , December 23, 2017 at 12:27 am GMT
Double think is not just a question of ignorance or self contradiction because often it's important to make people embrace COMPLEXITY instead CONFUSION believing the late it's basically the first

METWO#

Erebus , December 23, 2017 at 12:59 am GMT
@peterAUS

Saker and his legion of fanboys here didn't "attack" the text but the writer.

In the first place, there's nothing in the text to "attack". It's a laundry list of disconnected slogans and so is not a different point of view at all. Released from the confines of the author's gamer world, it evaporates into nothing. I pointed this out to you at some length elsewhere.

In the second, it appears you missed the point of the article. Hint: it's stated in the title. The article's about the mindsets of the authors of such "texts", and not about the texts themselves.

It appears that I am sort of a "dissident" here.

You flatter yourself. To be a dissident requires, at the very least, comprehension of the argument one is disagreeing with. Your "texts" are the equivalent of shouting slogans and waving placards. It may work for a street protest, but is totally out of place on a webzine discussion forum. Hence your screeds here do not constitute real dissension, but trolling.

Simple, really.

[Dec 22, 2017] When Sanity Fails - The Mindset of the Ideological Drone by The Saker

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... North Korea's air defenses are so weak that we had to notify them we were flying B1 bombers near their airspace–they didn't even know our aircraft were coming. This reminds me of the "fearsome" Republican Guard that Saddam had in the Persian Gulf. Turns out we had total air superiority and just bombed the crap out of them and they surrendered in droves. ..."
"... We have already seen what happens when an army has huge amounts of outdated Soviet weaponry versus the most technologically advanced force in the world. It's a slaughter. Also, there has to be weaponry up the USA's sleeve that would be used in the event of an attack. Don't forget our cyber warfare abilities that would undoubtedly be implemented as well. This writer seems to always hype Russia's capabilities and denigrate the US's capabilities. Sure, Russia has the capacity to nuke the US into smithereens, and vice versa. But if its a head to head shooting war, the US and NATO would dominate. FACT. ..."
"... Commander's intent: ..."
"... Decapitate the top leadership and remove retaliatory capability. ..."
"... Massive missile/bombing campaign (including carpet) of top leadership locations, tactical missile locations and DMZ artillery belt. Destruction of surface fleet and air force. ..."
"... Advance into DMZ artillery belt up to a range of 240 mm cannon. Not further (local tactical considerations taken into account of course). ..."
"... Phase three: "break the enemy's will to fight" and destroy the "regime support infrastructure" ..."
"... I guess an American attack on North Korea would consist of preemptive strategic nuking to destroy the entire country before it can do anything. Since North Korea itself contributes essentially nothing to the world economy, no one would lose money. ..."
"... These examples perfectly illustrate the kind of mindset induced by what Professor John Marciano called "Empire as a way of life" [1] which is characterized by a set of basic characteristics: ..."
"... there has to be ..."
"... would undoubtedly ..."
"... the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts ..."
"... A perfect illustration of that is the famous quote " it became necessary to destroy the town to save it ..."
"... I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you, the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God ..."
"... this applies to the vast majority of US politicians, decision-makers and elected officials, hence Putin's remark that " It's difficult to talk with people who confuse Austria and Australia ". ..."
"... As a result, there is no more discernible US diplomacy left: all the State Department does is deliver threats, ultimatums and condemnations. Meaningful *negotiations* have basically been removed form the US foreign policy toolkit. ..."
"... That belief is also the standard cop out in any conversation of morality, ethnics, or even the notions of right and wrong. An anti-religious view par excellence . ..."
"... The US policies towards Russia, China and Iran all have the potential of resulting in a disaster of major magnitude. The world is dealing with situation in which a completely delusional regime is threatening everybody with various degrees of confrontation. This is like being in the same room with a monkey playing with a hand grenade. Except for that hand grenade is nuclear. ..."
"... This situation places a special burden of responsibility on all other nations, especially those currently in Uncle Sam's cross-hairs, to act with restraint and utmost restraint. That is not fair, but life rarely is. It is all very well and easy to declare that force must be met by force and that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness until you realize that any miscalculation can result in the death of millions of people. I am therefore very happy that the DPRK is the only country which chose to resort to a policy of hyperbolic threats while Iran, Russia and China acted, and are still acting, with the utmost restraint. ..."
"... they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners ..."
"... If the U.S. attacks North Korea or Iran we will become a pariah among nations (especially once the pictures start pouring in). We will be loathed. Countries may very well decide that we are not worthy of having the world's reserve currency. In that case the dollar will collapse as will our economy. ..."
"... Maybe it's just me, but it seems that NK is just another tyranny in a long list of tyrannies throughout millennia, and like all of them it will just implode on its own. Therefore, the best thing you can do is simply to ignore it (thus denying the tyrant an external threat to rally the populace) and wait for the NK people to say enough is enough. ..."
"... I agree with the logic that as Americans become dumber the ability to have a powerful military also degrades, however an increasingly declining America also makes it more dangerous. As ever more ideologues rule the corridors of power and the generally stupid population that will consent to everything they are told, America will start involving itself in ever more reckless conflicts. This means they despite being a near idiocracy, the nuclear weapons and military bases all over world make America an ever greater threat for the world ..."
Dec 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

My recent analysis of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK has elicited a wide range of reactions. There is one type of reaction which I find particularly interesting and most important and I would like to focus on it today: the ones which entirely dismissed my whole argument. The following is a selection of some of the most telling reactions of this kind:

Example 1:

North Korea's air defenses are so weak that we had to notify them we were flying B1 bombers near their airspace–they didn't even know our aircraft were coming. This reminds me of the "fearsome" Republican Guard that Saddam had in the Persian Gulf. Turns out we had total air superiority and just bombed the crap out of them and they surrendered in droves.

We have already seen what happens when an army has huge amounts of outdated Soviet weaponry versus the most technologically advanced force in the world. It's a slaughter. Also, there has to be weaponry up the USA's sleeve that would be used in the event of an attack. Don't forget our cyber warfare abilities that would undoubtedly be implemented as well. This writer seems to always hype Russia's capabilities and denigrate the US's capabilities. Sure, Russia has the capacity to nuke the US into smithereens, and vice versa. But if its a head to head shooting war, the US and NATO would dominate. FACT.

Example 2:

Commander's intent:

Decapitate the top leadership and remove retaliatory capability.

Execution:

Phase one:

Massive missile/bombing campaign (including carpet) of top leadership locations, tactical missile locations and DMZ artillery belt. Destruction of surface fleet and air force.

Phase two:

Advance into DMZ artillery belt up to a range of 240 mm cannon. Not further (local tactical considerations taken into account of course).

Phase three: "break the enemy's will to fight" and destroy the "regime support infrastructure"

Phase four: Regime change.

There you go .

Example 3:

I guess an American attack on North Korea would consist of preemptive strategic nuking to destroy the entire country before it can do anything. Since North Korea itself contributes essentially nothing to the world economy, no one would lose money.

These examples perfectly illustrate the kind of mindset induced by what Professor John Marciano called "Empire as a way of life" [1] which is characterized by a set of basic characteristics:

First foremost, simple, very simple one-sentence "arguments" . Gone are the days when argument were built in some logical sequence, when facts were established, then evaluated for their accuracy and relevance, then analyzed and then conclusions presented. Where in the past one argument per page or paragraph constituted the norm, we now have tweet-like 140 character statements which are more akin to shouted slogans than to arguments (no wonder that tweeting is something a bird does – hence the expression "bird brain"). You will see that kind of person writing what initially appears to be a paragraph, but when you look closer you realize that the paragraph is really little more than a sequence of independent statements and not really an argument of any type. A quasi-religious belief in one's superiority which is accepted as axiomatic .

Nothing new here: the Communists considered themselves as the superior for class reasons, the Nazis by reason of racial superiority, the US Americans just "because" – no explanation offered (I am not sure that this constitutes of form of progress). In the US case, that superiority is cultural, political, financial and, sometimes but not always, racial. This superiority is also technological, hence the " there has to be " or the " would undoubtedly " in the example #1 above. This is pure faith and not something which can be challenged by fact or logic. Contempt for all others . This really flows from #2 above. Example 3 basically declares all of North Korea (including its people) as worthless. This is where all the expressions like "sand niggers" "hadjis" and other "gooks" come from: the dehumanization of the "others" as a preparation for their for mass slaughter. Notice how in the example #2 the DPRK leaders are assumed to be totally impotent, dull and, above all, passive.

The notion that they might do something unexpected is never even considered (a classical recipe for military disaster, but more about that later). Contempt for rules, norms and laws . This notion is well expressed by the famous US 19th century slogan of " my country, right or wrong " but goes far beyond that as it also includes the belief that the USA has God-given (or equivalent) right to ignore international law, the public opinion of the rest of the planet or even the values underlying the documents which founded the USA. In fact, in the logic of such imperial drone the belief in US superiority actually serves as a premise to the conclusion that the USA has a "mission" or a "responsibility" to rule the world. This is "might makes right" elevated to the rank of dogma and, therefore, never challenged. A very high reliance on doublethink . Doublethink defined by Wikipedia as " the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts ".

A perfect illustration of that is the famous quote " it became necessary to destroy the town to save it ". Most US Americans are aware of the fact that US policies have resulted in them being hated worldwide, even amongst putatively allied or "protected" countries such as South Korea, Israel, Germany or Japan. Yet at the very same time, they continue to think that the USA should "defend" "allies", even if the latter can't wait for Uncle Sam's soldiers to pack and leave. Doublethink is also what makes it possible for ideological drones to be aware of the fact that the US has become a subservient Israeli colony while, at the same time, arguing for the support and financing of Israel.

A glorification of ignorance which is transformed into a sign of manliness and honesty. This is powerfully illustrated in the famous song " Where were you when the world stopped turning " whoso lyrics include the following words " I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you, the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God " (notice how the title of the song suggests that New York is the center of the world, when when get hit, the world stops turning; also, no connection is made between watching CNN and not being able to tell two completely different countries apart). If this were limited to singers, then it would not be a problem, but this applies to the vast majority of US politicians, decision-makers and elected officials, hence Putin's remark that " It's difficult to talk with people who confuse Austria and Australia ".

As a result, there is no more discernible US diplomacy left: all the State Department does is deliver threats, ultimatums and condemnations. Meaningful *negotiations* have basically been removed form the US foreign policy toolkit.

A totally uncritical acceptance of ideologically correct narratives even when they are self-evidently nonsensical to an even superficial critical analysis. An great example of this kind of self-evidently stupid stories is all the nonsense about the Russians trying to meddle in US elections or the latest hysteria about relatively small-size military exercises in Russia .

The acceptance of the official 9/11 narrative is a perfect example of that. Something repeated by the "respectable" Ziomedia is accepted as dogma, no matter how self-evidently stupid. A profound belief that everything is measured in dollars . From this flow a number of corollary beliefs such as "US weapons are most expensive, they are therefore superior" or "everybody has his price" [aka "whom we can't kill we will simply buy"]. In my experience folks like these are absolutely unable to even imagine that some people might not motivated by greed or other egoistic interests: ideological drones project their own primitive motives unto everybody else with total confidence.

That belief is also the standard cop out in any conversation of morality, ethnics, or even the notions of right and wrong. An anti-religious view par excellence .

Notice the total absence of any more complex consideration which might require some degree of knowledge or expertise: the imperial mindset is not only ignoramus-compatible, it is ignoramus based . This is what Orwell was referring to in his famous book 1984 with the slogan "Ignorance is Strength". However, it goes way beyond simple ignorance of facts and includes the ability to "think in slogans" (example #2 is a prefect example of this).

There are, of course, many more psychological characteristics for the perfect "ideological drone", but the ones above already paint a pretty decent picture of the kind of person I am sure we all have seen many times over. What is crucial to understand about them is that even though they are far from being a majority, they compensate for that with a tremendous motivational drive. It might be due to a need to repeatedly reassert their certitudes or a way to cope with some deep-seated cognitive dissonance, but in my experience folks like that have energy levels that many sane people would envy. This is absolutely crucial to how the Empire, and any other oppressive regime, works: by repressing those who can understand a complex argument by means of those who cannot. Let me explain:

Unless there are mechanisms set in to prevent that, in a debate/dispute between an educated and intelligent person and an ideological drone the latter will always prevail because of the immense advantage the latter has over the former. Indeed, while the educated and intelligent person will be able to immediately identify numerous factual and logical gaps in his opponent's arguments, he will always need far more "space" to debunk the nonsense spewed by the drone than the drone who will simply dismiss every argument with one or several slogans. This is why I personally never debate or even talk with such people: it is utterly pointless.

As a result, a fact-based and logical argument now gets the same consideration and treatment as a collection of nonsensical slogans (political correctness mercilessly enforces that principle: you can't call an idiot and idiot any more). Falling education standards have resulted in a dramatic degradation of the public debate: to be well-educated, well-read, well-traveled, to speak several languages and feel comfortable in different cultures used to be considered a prerequisite to expressing an opinion, now they are all treated as superfluous and even useless characteristics. Actual, formal, expertise in a topic is now becoming extremely rare. A most interesting kind of illustration of this point can be found in this truly amazing video posted by Peter Schiff:

One could be tempted to conclude that this kind of 'debating' is a Black issue. It is not. The three quotes given at the beginning of this article are a good reminder of this (unless, of course, they were all written by Blacks, which we have no reason to believe).

Twitter might have done to minds what MTV has done to rock music: laid total waste to it.

Consequences:

There are a number of important consequences from the presence of such ideological drones in any society. The first one is that any ideology-based regime will always and easily find numerous spontaneous supporters who willingly collaborate with it. Combined with a completely subservient media, such drones form the rontline force of any ideological debate. For instance, a journalist can always be certain to easily find a done to interview, just as a politician can count on them to support him during a public speech or debate. The truth is that, unfortunately, we live in a society that places much more emphasis on the right to have an opinion than on the actual ability to form one .

By the way, the intellectually challenged always find a natural ally in the coward and the "follower" (as opposed to "leader types") because it is always much easier and safer to follow the herd and support the regime in power than to oppose it. You will always see "stupid drones" backed by "coward drones". As for the politicians , they naturally cater to all types of drones since they always provide a much bigger "bang for the buck" than those inclined to critical thinking whose loyalty to whatever "cause" is always dubious.

The drone-type of mindset also comes with some major weaknesses including a very high degree of predictability, an inability to learn from past mistakes, an inability to imagine somebody operating with a completely different set of motives and many others. One of the most interesting ones for those who actively resist the AngloZionist Empire is that the ideological drone has very little staying power because as soon as the real world, in all its beauty and complexity, comes crashing through the door of the drone's delusional and narrow imagination his cocky arrogance is almost instantaneously replaced by a total sense of panic and despair. I have had the chance to speak Russian officers who were present during the initial interrogation of US POWs in Iraq and they were absolutely amazed at how terrified and broken the US POWs immediately became (even though they were not mistreated in any way). It was as if they had no sense of risk at all, until it was too late and they were captured, at which point they inner strength instantly gave way abject terror. This is one of the reasons that the Empire cannot afford a protracted war: not because of casualty aversion as some suggest, but to keep the imperial delusions/illusions unchallenged by reality . As long as the defeat can be hidden or explained away, the Empire can fight on, but as soon as it becomes impossible to obfuscate the disaster the Empire has to simply declare victory and leave.

Thus we have a paradox here: the US military is superbly skilled at killing people in large numbers, but but not at winning wars . And yet, because this latter fact is easily dismissed on grounds #2 #5 and #7 above (all of them, really), failing to actually win wars does not really affect the US determination to initiate new wars, even potentially very dangerous ones. I would even argue that each defeat even strengthens the Empire's desire to show it power by hoping to finally identify one victim small enough to be convincingly defeated. The perfect example of that was Ronald Reagan's decision to invade Grenada right after the US Marines barracks bombing in Beirut. The fact that the invasion of Grenada was one of the worst military operations in world history did not prevent the US government from handing out more medals for it than the total number of people involved – such is the power of the drone-mindset!

We have another paradox here: history shows that if the US gets entangled in a military conflict it is most likely to end up defeated (if "not winning" is accepted as a euphemism for "losing"). And yet, the United States are also extremely hard to deter. This is not just a case of " Fools rush in where angels fear to tread " but the direct result of a form of conditioning which begins in grade schools. From the point of view of an empire, repeated but successfully concealed defeats are much preferable to the kind of mental paralysis induced in drone populations, at least temporarily, by well-publicized defeats . Likewise, when the loss of face is seen as a calamity much worse than body bags, lessons from the past are learned by academics and specialists, but not by the nation as a whole (there are numerous US academics and officers who have always known all of what I describe above, in fact – they were the ones who first taught me about it!).

If this was only limited to low-IQ drones this would not be as dangerous, but the problem is that words have their own power and that politicians and ideological drones jointly form a self-feeding positive feedback loop when the former lie to the latter only to then be bound by what they said which, in turn, brings them to join the ideological drones in a self-enclosed pseudo-reality of their own.

What all this means for North Korea and the rest of us

I hate to admit it, but I have to concede that there is a good argument to be made that all the over-the-top grandstanding and threatening by the North Koreans does make sense, at least to some degree. While for an educated and intelligent person threatening the continental United States with nuclear strikes might appear as the epitome of irresponsibility, this might well be the only way to warn the ideological drone types of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK. Think of it: if you had to deter somebody with the set of beliefs outlined in #1 through #8 above, would you rather explain that a war on the Korean Peninsula would immediately involve the entire region or simple say "them crazy gook guys might just nuke the shit out of you!"? I think that the North Koreans might be forgiven for thinking that an ideological drone can only be deterred by primitive and vastly exaggerated threats.

Still, my strictly personal conclusion is that ideological drones are pretty much "argument proof" and that they cannot be swayed neither by primitive nor by sophisticated arguments. This is why I personally never directly engage them. But this is hardly an option for a country desperate to avoid a devastating war (the North Koreans have no illusions on that account as they, unlike most US Americans, remember the previous war in Korea).

But here is the worst aspect of it all: this is not only a North Korean problem

The US policies towards Russia, China and Iran all have the potential of resulting in a disaster of major magnitude. The world is dealing with situation in which a completely delusional regime is threatening everybody with various degrees of confrontation. This is like being in the same room with a monkey playing with a hand grenade. Except for that hand grenade is nuclear.

This situation places a special burden of responsibility on all other nations, especially those currently in Uncle Sam's cross-hairs, to act with restraint and utmost restraint. That is not fair, but life rarely is. It is all very well and easy to declare that force must be met by force and that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness until you realize that any miscalculation can result in the death of millions of people. I am therefore very happy that the DPRK is the only country which chose to resort to a policy of hyperbolic threats while Iran, Russia and China acted, and are still acting, with the utmost restraint.

In practical terms, there is no way for the rest of the planet to disarm the monkey. The only option is therefore to incapacitate the monkey itself or, alternatively, to create the conditions in which the monkey will be too busy with something else to pay attention to his grenade. An internal political crisis triggered by an external military defeat remains, I believe, the most likely and desirable scenario (see here if that topic is of interest to you). Still, the future is impossible to predict and, as the Quran says, " they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners ". All we can do is try to mitigate the impact of the ideological drones on our society as much as we can, primarily by *not* engaging them and limiting our interaction with those still capable of critical thought. It is by excluding ideological drones from the debate about the future of our world that we can create a better environment for those truly seeking solutions to our current predicament.

-- -- -

1. If you have not listened to his lectures on this topic, which I highly recommend, you can find them here:

Paul b , December 22, 2017 at 12:28 pm GMT

If the U.S. attacks North Korea or Iran we will become a pariah among nations (especially once the pictures start pouring in). We will be loathed. Countries may very well decide that we are not worthy of having the world's reserve currency. In that case the dollar will collapse as will our economy.
Third world nationalist , December 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm GMT
North Korea is a nationalistic country that traces their race back to antiquity. America on the other hand is a degenerated country that is ruled over by Jews. The flag waving American s may call the Koreans gooks but if we apply the American racial ideology on themselves, the Americans are the the 56percent Untermensch. While the north Koreans are superior for having rejected modern degeneracy.
Andrei Martyanov , Website December 22, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness

A key point, which signifies a serious cultural degeneration from values of chivalry and honoring the opposite side to a very Asiatic MO which absolutely rules current US establishment. This, and, of course, complete detachment from the realities of the warfare.

Sean , December 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm GMT
It is all talk, because China makes them invulnerable to sanctions and NK has nukes. The US will have to go to China to deal with NK and China will want to continue economically raping the US in exchange. That is why China gave NK an H bomb and ICBM tech ( it's known to have gave those same things to Pakistan). The real action will be in the Middle East. The Saudi are counting on the US giving them CO2 fracking in the future, and Iran being toppled soon. William S. Lind says Iran will be hit by Trump and Israel will use the ensuing chaos to expel the West Bank Palestinians (back to the country whose passports they travel on).
VICB3 , December 22, 2017 at 4:49 pm GMT

Maybe it's just me, but it seems that NK is just another tyranny in a long list of tyrannies throughout millennia, and like all of them it will just implode on its own. Therefore, the best thing you can do is simply to ignore it (thus denying the tyrant an external threat to rally the populace) and wait for the NK people to say enough is enough.

Don't think that would ever happen? Reference 'How Tyrannies Implode' by Richard Fernandez: https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2016/02/27/how-tyrannies-implode/?print=true&singlepage=true

There's no doubt in my mind that Kim will end up like Nikolae Ceaușescu in Romania, put up against a wall by his own military and shot on TV. All anyone has to do is be patient and not drink the Rah-Rah Kool-Aid.*

Just a thought.

VicB3

*Was talking with a 82nd Major at the Starbucks, and mentioned NK, Ceausecu, sitting tight, etc. (Mentioned we might help things along by blanketing the whole country with netbooks, wi-fi, and even small arms.) Got the careerist ladder- climber standard response of how advanced our weapons are, the people in charge know what they're doing, blah blah blah. Wouldn't even consider an alternative view (and didn't know or understand half of what I was talking about). It was the same response I got from an Air Force Colonel before the U.S. went into Afghanistan and Iraq and I told him the whole thing was/would be insanely stupid.

His party-line team-player response was when I knew for certain that any action in NK would/will fail spectacularly for the U.S., possibly even resulting in and economic collapse and civil war/revolution on this end.

Wish I didn't think that, but I do.

pyrrhus , December 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm GMT
Excellent post. But the US public education "system", while awful, is not the main reason that America is increasingly packed with drones and idiots. IQ is decreasing rapidly, as revealed in the College Board's data on SAT scores over the last 60 years .In addition, Dr. James Thompson has a Dec.15 post on Unz that shows a shocking decline in the ability of UK children to understand basic principles of physics, which are usually acquired on a developmental curve. Mike Judge's movie 'Idiocracy' appears to have been set unrealistically far in the future ..
In short, the current situation can and will get a lot worse in America. On the other hand, America's armed forces will be deteriorating apace, so they are becoming less dangerous to the rest of the world.
anonymous , Disclaimer December 22, 2017 at 6:10 pm GMT
The good thing about democracy is that anyone can express an opinion. The bad thing about democracy is that anyone can express an opinion. I have to laugh at all the internet commandos and wannabe Napoleons that roost on the internet giving us their advice. It's easy to cherrypick opinions that range from uninformed to downright stupid and bizarre. Those people don't actually run anything though, fortunately. Keep in mind that half the population is mentally average or below average and that average is quite mediocre. Throw in a few degrees above mediocre and you've got a majority, a majority that can and is regularly bamboozled. The majority of the population is just there to pay taxes and provide cannon fodder, that's all, like a farmer's herd of cows provides for his support. Ideological drones are desired in this case. It's my suspicion that the educational system is geared towards producing such a product as well as all other aspects of popular culture also induce stupefying effects. Insofar as American policy goes, look at what it actually does rather than what it says, the latter being a form of show biz playing to a domestic audience. I just skip the more obnoxious commenters since they're just annoying and add nothing but confusion to any discussion.
Randal , December 22, 2017 at 6:41 pm GMT
@VICB3

but it seems that NK is just another tyranny in a long list of tyrannies throughout millennia, and like all of them it will just implode on its own
.
There's no doubt in my mind that Kim will end up like Nikolae Ceaușescu in Romania, put up against a wall by his own military and shot on TV.

All things come to an end eventually, and I agree with you that the best course of action for the US over NK would be to leave it alone (and stop poking it), but this idea that "tyrannies always collapse" seems pretty unsupported by reality.

Off the top of my head all of the following autocrats died more or less peacefully in office and handed their "tyranny" on intact to a successor, just in the past few decades: Mao, Castro, Franco, Stalin, Assad senior, two successive Kims (so much for the assumption that the latest Kim will necessarily end up like Ceausescu). In the past, if a tyrant and his tyranny lasted long enough and arranged a good succession, it often came to be remembered as a golden age, as with the Roman, Augustus.

I suspect it might be a matter of you having a rather selective idea of what counts as a tyranny (I wouldn't count Franco in that list, myself, but establishment opinion is against me there, I think). You might be selectively remembering only the tyrannies that came to a bad end.

neutral , December 22, 2017 at 7:24 pm GMT
@pyrrhus

so they are becoming less dangerous to the rest of the world

I agree with the logic that as Americans become dumber the ability to have a powerful military also degrades, however an increasingly declining America also makes it more dangerous. As ever more ideologues rule the corridors of power and the generally stupid population that will consent to everything they are told, America will start involving itself in ever more reckless conflicts. This means they despite being a near idiocracy, the nuclear weapons and military bases all over world make America an ever greater threat for the world.

neutral , December 22, 2017 at 7:35 pm GMT

The good thing about democracy is that anyone can express an opinion.

Not sure if this is a joke or not. In case you are serious, you clearly have not been following the news, from USA to Germany all these so called democracies have been undertaking massive censorship operations. From jailing people to shutting down online conversations to ordering news to not report on things that threaten their power.

Dana Thompson , December 22, 2017 at 9:37 pm GMT
A bizarre posting utterly detached from reality. Don't you understand that if a blustering lunatic presses a megaton-pistol against our collective foreheads and threatens to pull the trigger, it represents a very disquieting situation? And if we contemplate actions that would cause a million utterly harmless and innocent Koreans to be incinerated, to prevent a million of our own brains from being blown out, aren't we allowed to do so without being accused of being vile bigots that think yellow gook lives are worthless? Aren't we entitled to any instinct of self preservation at all?
What the Korean situation obviously entails is a high-stakes experiment in human psychology. All that attention-seeking little freak probably wants is to be treated with respect, and like somebody important. Trump started out in a sensible way, by treating Kim courteously, but for that he was pilloried by the insanely-partisan opposition within his own party – McCain I'm mainly thinking of. That's the true obstacle to a sane resolution of the problem. I say if the twerp would feel good if we gave him a tickertape parade down Fifth Avenue and a day pass to Disneyland, we should do so – it's small enough a concession in view of what's at stake. But if rabid congress-critters obstruct propitiation, then intimidation and even preemptive megadeath may be all that's left.
peterAUS , December 22, 2017 at 10:37 pm GMT
@Dana Thompson

Agree.

I suspect the true conversation about the topic will start when all that becomes really serious. I mean more serious than posting the latest selfie on a Facebook. Hangs around that warhead miniaturization/hardening timetable, IMHO. Maybe too late then.

VICB3 , December 23, 2017 at 12:07 am GMT
@Randal

Just be patient.

Also, one man's tyranny is another mans return to stability. For better or worse, Mao got rid of the Warlords. Franco got rid of the Communists and kept Spain out of WWII. The Assads are Baath Party and both secular and modernizers.

Stalin? Depends on who you talk to, but the Russians do like a strong hand.

Kim? His people only have to look West to China and Russia, or def. to the South, to know that things could be much better. And more and more he can't control the flow of information. That, and the rank and file of his army have roundworms. And guns.

At some point, the light comes on. And that same rank and file with guns tells itself "You know, we could be doing better."

And then it's "Live on TV Time!"

Hope this helps.

Just a thought.

VicB3

Santoculto , December 23, 2017 at 12:27 am GMT
Double think is not just a question of ignorance or self contradiction because often it's important to make people embrace COMPLEXITY instead CONFUSION believing the late it's basically the first

METWO#

Erebus , December 23, 2017 at 12:59 am GMT
@peterAUS

Saker and his legion of fanboys here didn't "attack" the text but the writer.

In the first place, there's nothing in the text to "attack". It's a laundry list of disconnected slogans and so is not a different point of view at all. Released from the confines of the author's gamer world, it evaporates into nothing. I pointed this out to you at some length elsewhere.

In the second, it appears you missed the point of the article. Hint: it's stated in the title. The article's about the mindsets of the authors of such "texts", and not about the texts themselves.

It appears that I am sort of a "dissident" here.

You flatter yourself. To be a dissident requires, at the very least, comprehension of the argument one is disagreeing with. Your "texts" are the equivalent of shouting slogans and waving placards. It may work for a street protest, but is totally out of place on a webzine discussion forum. Hence your screeds here do not constitute real dissension, but trolling.

Simple, really.

[Dec 20, 2017] It seems like the intelligence agencies are spending more time monitoring politicians and public than Al Queda.

Notable quotes:
"... Freedom Watch lawyer Larry Klayman has a whistle-blower who has stated on the record, publicly, he has 47 hard drives with over 600,000,00 pages of secret CIA documents that detail all the domestic spying operations, and likely much much more. ..."
"... The rabbit hole goes very deep here. Attorney Klayman has stated he has been trying to out this for 2 years, and was stonewalled by swamp creatures, so he threatened to go public this week. Several very interesting videos, and a public letter, are out there, detailing all this. Nunes very likely saw his own conversations transcripted from surveillance taken at Trump Tower (he was part of the transition team), and realized the jig was up. Melania has moved out of Trump Tower to stay elsewhere, I am sure after finding out that many people in Washington where watching them at home in their private residence, whichi is also why Pres Trump sent out those famous angry tweets 2 weeks ago. Democrats on the Committee (and many others) are liars, and very possibly traitors, which is probably why Nunes neglected to inform them. Nunes did follow proper procedures, notifying Ryan first etc, you can ignore the MSM bluster there ..observe Nunes body language in the 2 videos of his dual press briefings he gave today, he appears shocked, angry, disturbed etc. ..."
"... This all stems from Obama's Jan 16 signing of the order broadening "co-operation" between the NSA and everybody else in Washington, so that mid-level analysts at almost any agency could now look at raw NSA intercepts, that is where all the "leaks" and "unmasking" are coming from. ..."
"... AG Lynch, Obama, and countless others knew, or should have known, all about this, but I am sure they will play the usual "I was too stupid too know what was going on in my own organization" card. ..."
Mar 23, 2017 |
fresno dan March 22, 2017 at 6:56 pm

So I see where Nunes in a ZeroHedge posting says that there might have been "incidental surveillance" of "Trump" (?Trump associates? ?Trump tower? ?Trump campaign?)
Now to the average NC reader, it kinda goes without saying. But I don't think Trump understands the scope of US government "surveillance" and I don't think the average citizen, certainly not the average Trump supporter, does either – the nuances and subtleties of it – the supposed "safeguards".

I can understand the rationale for it .but this goes to show that when you give people an opportunity to use secret information for their own purposes .they will use secret information for their own purposes.

And at some point, the fact of the matter that the law regarding the "incidental" leaking appears to have been broken, and that this leaking IMHO was purposefully broken for political purposes .is going to come to the fore. Like bringing up "fake news" – some of these people on the anti Trump side seem not just incapable of playing 11th dimensional chess, they seem incapable of winning tic tac toe .

Was Obama behind it? I doubt it and I don't think it would be provable. But it seems like the intelligence agencies are spending more time monitoring repubs than Al queda. Now maybe repubs are worse than Al queda – I think its time we have a real debate instead of the pseudo debates and start asking how useful the CIA is REALLY. (and we can ask how useful repubs and dems are too)

craazyboy March 22, 2017 at 8:45 pm

If Obama taped the information, stuffed the tape in one of Michelle's shoeboxes, then hid the shoebox in the Whitehouse basement, he could be in trouble. Ivanka is sure to search any shoeboxes she finds.

Irredeemable Deplorable March 23, 2017 at 2:57 am

Oh the Trump supporters are all over this, don't worry. There are many more levels to what is going on than what is reported in the fakenews MSM.

Adm Roger of NSA made his November visit to Trump Tower, after a SCIF was installed there, to .be interviewed for a job uh-huh yeah.

Freedom Watch lawyer Larry Klayman has a whistle-blower who has stated on the record, publicly, he has 47 hard drives with over 600,000,00 pages of secret CIA documents that detail all the domestic spying operations, and likely much much more.

The rabbit hole goes very deep here. Attorney Klayman has stated he has been trying to out this for 2 years, and was stonewalled by swamp creatures, so he threatened to go public this week. Several very interesting videos, and a public letter, are out there, detailing all this. Nunes very likely saw his own conversations transcripted from surveillance taken at Trump Tower (he was part of the transition team), and realized the jig was up. Melania has moved out of Trump Tower to stay elsewhere, I am sure after finding out that many people in Washington where watching them at home in their private residence, whichi is also why Pres Trump sent out those famous angry tweets 2 weeks ago. Democrats on the Committee (and many others) are liars, and very possibly traitors, which is probably why Nunes neglected to inform them. Nunes did follow proper procedures, notifying Ryan first etc, you can ignore the MSM bluster there ..observe Nunes body language in the 2 videos of his dual press briefings he gave today, he appears shocked, angry, disturbed etc.

You all should be happy, because although Pres Trump has been vindicated here on all counts, the more important story for you is that the old line Democratic Party looks about to sink under the wieght of thier own lies and illegalities. This all stems from Obama's Jan 16 signing of the order broadening "co-operation" between the NSA and everybody else in Washington, so that mid-level analysts at almost any agency could now look at raw NSA intercepts, that is where all the "leaks" and "unmasking" are coming from.

AG Lynch, Obama, and countless others knew, or should have known, all about this, but I am sure they will play the usual "I was too stupid too know what was going on in my own organization" card.

Lambert Strether Post author March 23, 2017 at 4:08 am

> Was Obama behind it? I doubt it and I don't think it would be provable

I think he knew about it. After fulminating about weedy technicalities, let me just say that Obama's EO12333 expansion made sure that whatever anti-Trump information got picked up by the intelligence community could be spread widely, and would be hard to trace back to an individual source .

[Dec 19, 2017] Do not Underestimate the Power of Microfoundations

Highly recommended!
Nice illustration of ideologically based ostrakism as practiced in Academia: "Larry [Summers] leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice. I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don't listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People - powerful people - listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: they don't criticize other insiders."
Notable quotes:
"... A more probable school of thought is that this game was created as a con and a cover for the status quo capitalist establishment to indulge themselves in their hard money and liquidity fetishes, consequences be damned. ..."
"... The arguments over internal and external consistency of models is just a convenient misdirection from what policy makers are willing to risk and whose interests they are willing to risk policy decisions for ..."
"... Mathematical masturbations are just a smoke screen used to conceal a simple fact that those "economists" are simply banking oligarchy stooges. Hired for the specific purpose to provide a theoretical foundation for revanschism of financial oligarchy after New Deal run into problems. Revanschism that occurred in a form of installing neoliberal ideology in the USA in exactly the same role which Marxism was installed in the USSR. With "iron hand in velvet gloves" type of repressive apparatus to enforce it on each and every university student and thus to ensure the continues, recurrent brainwashing much like with Marxism on the USSR universities. ..."
"... To ensure continuation of power of "nomenklatura" in the first case and banking oligarchy in the second. Connections with reality be damned. Money does not smell. ..."
"... Economic departments fifth column of neoliberal stooges is paid very good money for their service of promoting and sustaining this edifice of neoliberal propaganda. Just look at Greg Mankiw and Rubin's boys. ..."
"... "Larry [Summers] leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice. I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don't listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People - powerful people - listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: they don't criticize other insiders." ..."
Apr 04, 2015 | Economist's View

Darryl FKA Ron -> pgl...

At the risk of oversimplifying might it not be as simple as stronger leanings towards IS-LM and kind are indicative of a bias towards full employment and stronger leanings towards DSGE, microfoundations, and kind are indicative of a bias towards low inflation?

IN general I consider over-simplification a fault, if and only if, it is a rigidly adhered to final position. This is to say that over-simplification is always a good starting point and never a good ending point. If in the end your problem was simple to begin with, then the simplified answer would not be OVER-simplified anyway. It is just as bad to over-complicate a simple problem as it is to over-simplify a complex problem. It is easier to build complexity on top of a simple foundation than it is to extract simplicity from a complex foundation.

A lot of the Chicago School initiative into microfoundations and DSGE may have been motivated by a desire to bind Keynes in a NAIRU straight-jacket. Even though economic policy making is largely done just one step at a time then that is still one step too much if it might violate rentier interests.

Darryl FKA Ron -> Barry...

There are two possible (but unlikely) schools of (generously attributed to as) thought for which internal consistency might take precedence over external consistency. One such school wants to consider what would be best in a perfect world full of perfect people and then just assume that is best for the real world just to let the chips fall where they may according to the faults and imperfections of the real world. The second such school is the one whose eyes just glaze over mesmerized by how over their heads they are and remain affraid to ask any question lest they appear stupid.

A more probable school of thought is that this game was created as a con and a cover for the status quo capitalist establishment to indulge themselves in their hard money and liquidity fetishes, consequences be damned.

Richard H. Serlin

Consistency sounds so good, Oh, of course we want consistency, who wouldn't?! But consistent in what way? What exactly do you mean? Consistent with reality, or consistent with people all being superhumans? Which concept is usually more useful, or more useful for the task at hand?

Essentially, they want models that are consistent with only certain things, and often because this makes their preferred ideology look far better. They want models, typically, that are consistent with everyone in the world having perfect expertise in every subject there is, from finance to medicine to engineering, perfect public information, and perfect self-discipline, and usually on top, frictionless and perfectly complete markets, often perfectly competitive too.

But a big thing to note is that perfectly consistent people means a level of perfection in expertise, public information, self-discipline, and "rationality", that's extremely at odds with how people actually are. And as a result, this can make the model extremely misleading if it's interpreted very literally (as so often it is, especially by freshwater economists), or taken as The Truth, as Paul Krugman puts it.

You get things like the equity premium "puzzle", which involves why people don't invest more in stocks when the risk-adjusted return appears to usually be so abnormally good, and this "puzzle" can only be answered with "consistency", that people are all perfectly expert in finance, with perfect information, so they must have some mysterious hidden good reason. It can't be at all that it's because 65% of people answered incorrectly when asked how many reindeer would remain if Santa had to lay off 25% of his eight reindeer ( http://richardhserlin.blogspot.com/2013/12/surveys-showing-massive-ignorance-and.html ).

Yes, these perfect optimizer consistency models can give useful insights, and help to see what is best, what we can do better, and they can, in some cases, be good as approximations. But to say they should be used only, and interpreted literally, is, well, inconsistent with optimal, rational behavior -- of the economist using them.

Richard H. Serlin -> Richard H. Serlin...
Of course, unless the economist using them is doing so to mislead people into supporting his libertarian/plutocratic ideology.

dilbert dogbert

As an old broken down mech engineer, I wonder why all the pissing and moaning about micro foundations vs aggregation. In strength of materials equations that aggregate properties work quite well within the boundaries of the questions to be answered. We all know that at the level of crystals, materials have much complexity. Even within crystals there is deeper complexities down to the molecular levels. However, the addition of quantum mechanics adds no usable information about what materials to build a bridge with.

But, when working at the scale of the most advanced computer chips quantum mechanics is required. WTF! I guess in economics there is no quantum mechanics theories or even reliable aggregation theories.

Poor economists, doomed to argue, forever, over how many micro foundations can dance on the head of a pin.

RGC -> dilbert dogbert...

Endless discussions about how quantum effects aggregate to produce a material suitable for bridge building crowd out discussions about where and when to build bridges. And if plutocrats fund the endless discussions, we get the prominent economists we have today.

Darryl FKA Ron -> dilbert dogbert...

"...I guess in economics there is no quantum mechanics theories or even reliable aggregation theories..."

[I guess it depends upon what your acceptable confidence interval on reliability is. Most important difference that controls all the domain differences between physical science and economics is that underlying physical sciences there is a deterministic methodology for which probable error is merely a function of the inaccuracy in input metrics WHEREAS economics models are incomplete probabilistic estimating models with no ability to provide a complete system model in a full range of circumstances.

YOu can design and build a bridge to your load and span requirements with alternative models for various designs with confidence and highly effective accuracy repeatedly. No ecomomic theory, model, or combination of models and theories was ever intended to be used as the blueprint for building an economy from the foundation up.

With all the formal trappings of economics the only effective usage is to decide what should be done in a given set of predetermined circumstance to reach some modest desired effect. Even that modest goal is exposed to all kinds of risks inherent in assumptions, incomplete information, externalities, and so on that can produce errors of uncertain potential bounds.

Nonetheless, well done economics can greatly reduce the risks encountered in the random walk of economics policy making. So much so is this true, that the bigger questions in macro-economics policy making is what one is willing to risk and for whom.

The arguments over internal and external consistency of models is just a convenient misdirection from what policy makers are willing to risk and whose interests they are willing to risk policy decisions for.]

Darryl FKA Ron -> Peter K....

unless you have a model which maps the real world fairly closely like quantum mechanics.

[You set a bar too high. Macro models at best will tell you what to do to move the economy in the direction that you seek to go. They do not even ocme close to the notion of a theory of everything that you have in physics, even the theory of every little thing that is provided by quantum mechanics. Physics is an empty metaphor for economics. Step one is to forgo physics envy in pursuit of understanding suitable applications and domain constraints for economics models.

THe point is to reach a decision and to understand cause and effect directions. All precision is in the past and present. The future is both imprecise and all that there is that is available to change.

For the most part an ounce of common sense and some simple narrative models are all that are essential for making those policy decisions in and of themselves. HOWEVER, nation states are not ruled by economist philosopher kings and in the process of concensus decision making by (little r)republican governments then human language is a very imprecise vehicle for communicating logic and reason with respect to the management of complex systems. OTOH, mathematics has given us a universal language for communicating logic and reason that is understood the same by everyone that really understands that language at all. Hence mathematical models were born for the economists to write down their own thinking in clear precise terms and check their own work first and then share it with others so equipped to understand the language of mathematics. Krugman has said as much many times and so has any and every economist worth their salt.]

likbez -> Syaloch...

I agree with Pgl and PeterK. Certain commenters like Darryl seem convinced that the Chicago School (if not all of econ) is driven by sinister, class-based motives to come up justifications for favoring the power elite over the masses. But based on what I've read, it seems pretty obvious that the microfoundation guys just got caught up in their fancy math and their desire to produce more elegant, internally consistent models and lost sight of the fact that their models didn't track reality.

That's completely wrong line of thinking, IMHO.

Mathematical masturbations are just a smoke screen used to conceal a simple fact that those "economists" are simply banking oligarchy stooges. Hired for the specific purpose to provide a theoretical foundation for revanschism of financial oligarchy after New Deal run into problems. Revanschism that occurred in a form of installing neoliberal ideology in the USA in exactly the same role which Marxism was installed in the USSR.
With "iron hand in velvet gloves" type of repressive apparatus to enforce it on each and every university student and thus to ensure the continues, recurrent brainwashing much like with Marxism on the USSR universities.

To ensure continuation of power of "nomenklatura" in the first case and banking oligarchy in the second. Connections with reality be damned. Money does not smell.

Economic departments fifth column of neoliberal stooges is paid very good money for their service of promoting and sustaining this edifice of neoliberal propaganda. Just look at Greg Mankiw and Rubin's boys.

But the key problem with neoliberalism is that the cure is worse then disease. And here mathematical masturbations are very handy as a smoke screen to hide this simple fact.

likbez -> likbez...

Here is how Rubin's neoliberal boy Larry explained the situation to Elizabeth Warren:

"Larry [Summers] leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice. I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don't listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People - powerful people - listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: they don't criticize other insiders."

Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance

Syaloch -> likbez...

Yeah, case in point.

[Dec 18, 2017] Prepare! Pursue!! Prevail!!! by Brian Cloughley

Dec 15, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
The waves, the artificial tides of anti-Russian propaganda continue to beat upon the ears and eyes of Western citizens, spurred by US politicians, bureaucrats and tycoons whose motives vary from duplicitous to blatantly commercial. It is no coincidence that there has been vastly increased expenditure on US weaponry by Eastern European countries.

Complementing the weapons' build-up, which is so sustaining and lucrative for the US industrial-military complex, the naval, air and ground forces of the US-NATO military alliance continue operations ever closer to Russia's borders.

Shares and dividends in US arms manufacturing companies have rocketed, in a most satisfactory spinoff from Washington's policy of global confrontation, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) records that "arms sales are recognized widely as an important instrument of state power. States have many incentives to export arms. These include enhancing the security of allies or partners; constraining the behavior of adversaries; using the prospect of arms transfers as leverage on governments' internal or external behavior; and creating the economics of scale necessary to support a domestic arms industry."

The CRS notes that arms deals "are often a key component in Congress's approach to advancing US foreign policy objectives," which is especially notable around the Baltic and throughout the Middle East, where US wars have created a bonanza for US weapons makers -- and for the politicians whom the manufacturers reward so generously for their support. (Additionally, in 2017 arms manufacturers spent $93,937,493 on lobbying Congress.)

Some countries, however, do not wish to purchase US weaponry, and they are automatically categorized as being influenced by Russia, which is blamed for all that has gone wrong in America over the past couple of years. This classification is especially notable in the Central Asian Republics.

The US military's Central Command (Centcom) states that its "area of responsibility spans more than 4 million square miles and is populated by more than 550 million people from 22 ethnic groups, speaking 18 languages . . . and confessing [ sic; probably 'professing'] multiple religions which transect national borders. The demographics create opportunities for tension and rivalry." Centcom is deeply engaged in the US wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, while supporting Saudi Arabia in its war on Yemen, and the extent of its influence in the Pentagon's self-allotted geographical Area of Responsibility is intriguing, to say the least. Some of its priorities were revealed in March 2017 by the Commander of this enormous military realm, General Joseph Votel, in testimony to the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives in Washington.

General Votel's description of US "responsibilities" was astonishing in its imperialistic arrogance.

As Commander of Centcom, General Votel gave the Armed Services Committee a colorful tour of his territory, describing nations in terms ranging from condescendingly supportive to patently insolent, and he devoted much time to describing relations with countries abutting Russia, Iran and China, which nations, he declared , are trying "to limit US influence in the sub-region." That "sub-region" includes many countries immediately on the borders of Russia, Iran and China, and averaging 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers) from Washington.

First he dealt with Kazakhstan with which the US has its "most advanced military relationship in Central Asia" in furtherance of which Washington is "making notable progress . . . despite enduring Russian influence." It is obviously unacceptable to the Pentagon that Russia wishes to maintain cordial relations with a country with which it has a border of 6,800 kilometers. Then General Votel went into fantasyland by claiming that "Kazakhstan remains the most significant regional contributor to Afghan stability . . ." which even the members of the Congressional Committee would have realized is spurious nonsense.

But more nonsense was to follow, with General Votel referring to Kyrgyzstan in patronizing terms usually associated with a Viceroy or other colonial master of a region that Votel describes as "widely characterized by pervasive instability and conflict," which he failed to note were caused by the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He told the Committee that Kyrgyzstan "sees political pressure from its larger, more powerful neighbors, including Russia, hosting a small Russian airbase outside the capital, Bishkek. Despite ongoing challenges in our bilateral and security cooperation, we continue to seek opportunities to improve our mil-to-mil relationship." He did not explain why Kyrgyzstan should be expected to embrace a military alliance with United States Central Command, but Viceroys don't have to provide explanations.

Votel then moved to describe Tajikistan with which "our mil-to-mil relationship is deepening despite Moscow's enduring ties and the presence of the military base near Tajikistan's capital of Dushanbe, Russia's largest military base outside of its borders." Not only this, says Votel, but China (having a 400 kilometer border with Tajikistan) has had the temerity to have "initiated a much stronger military cooperation partnership with Tajikistan, adding further complexity to Tajikistan's multi-faceted approach to security cooperation."

No : China hasn't added any complexity to Tajikistan's circumstances. What has complicated their relations is the fact that Afghanistan is in a state of chaos, following the US invasion of 2001, and drugs and terrorists cross the border (1,300 kilometers long) from Afghanistan into Tajikistan, which is trying to protect itself. During its sixteen years of war in Afghanistan there has been no attempt by the United States to secure that border.

None of these countries wants to be forced into a military pact with the United States, and Turkmenistan (border with Afghanistan 750 kilometers) has made it clear it doesn't want to be aligned with anyone. But General Votel states that its "UN-recognized policy of 'positive neutrality' presents a challenge with respect to US engagement." No matter what is desired by Turkmenistan, it seems, there must always be a way for the United States Central Command to establish military relations and, as General Votel told the Defence Committee, "we are encouraged somewhat by Turkmenistan's expressed interest in increased mil-to-mil engagement with the US within the limits of their 'positive neutrality' policy."

In the minds (to use the word loosely) of General Votel and his kind, it doesn't matter if a country wants nothing whatever to do with the United States' military machine, and wants very much to be left alone to get on with its affairs without interference. Adoption of such a policy by any nation presents a "challenge" and the United States, which in this region is overseen by General Votel's Central Command, is determined to seek military "engagement" irrespective of what is desired by governments. Arms sales would swiftly follow.

Votel's tour of his area of responsibility covered Afghanistan, about which his most absurd assertion was "I believe what Russia is attempting to do is they are attempting to be an influential party in this part of the world. I think it is fair to assume they may be providing some sort of support to [the Taliban] in terms of weapons or other things that may be there."

There was not a shred of evidence provided, but the Committee accepted his pronouncement without question. If an allegation is made about Russia it doesn't matter if it is false. It must be believed. But unfortunately for the imperial Votel and his deferential audience, a person with some sense of truth and balance came up two months later with a statement rubbishing Votel's unfounded and provocative accusation. In May the Director of the US Defence Intelligence Agency told a Senate Committee that "We have seen indication that [Russia] offered some level of support [to the Taliban], but I have not seen real physical evidence of weapons or money being transferred." The mainstream media gave no publicity to the truth, and continue to blame Russia for all the ills that befall the US Empire, at home and overseas.

The state of affairs was summed up admirably by Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation on December 4 when he wrote that "Central to any national-security state is the need for official enemies, ones that are used to frighten and agitate the citizenry. If there are no official enemies, the American citizenry might begin asking some discomforting questions: What do we need a national-security state for? Why not abolish the CIA and dismantle the military-industrial complex and the NSA. Why can't we have our limited-government, constitutional republic back?"

The Motto of the Pentagon's Central Command is "Prepare, Pursue, Prevail." and the Central Asian Republics would be well-advised to bear in mind these threats and think hard about the underlying motif of the US military-industrial complex which is "Propagandize, Provoke, Profit."

[Dec 14, 2017] Tech Giants Trying to Use WTO to Colonize Emerging Economies

Notable quotes:
"... The initiative described in this article reminds me of how the World Bank pushed hard for emerging economies to develop capital markets, for the greater good of America's investment bankers. ..."
"... By Burcu Kilic, an expert on legal, economic and political issues. Originally published at openDemocracy ..."
"... Today, the big tech race is for data extractivism from those yet to be 'connected' in the world – tech companies will use all their power to achieve a global regime in which small nations cannot regulate either data extraction or localisation. ..."
"... One suspects big money will be thrown at this by the leading tech giants. ..."
"... Out of idle curiosity, how could you accurately deduce my country of origin from my name? ..."
Dec 14, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

December 14, 2017 by Yves Smith Yves here. Notice that Costa Rica is served up as an example in this article. Way back in 1997, American Express had designated Costa Rica as one of the countries it identified as sufficiently high income so as to be a target for a local currency card offered via a franchise agreement with a domestic institution (often but not always a bank). 20 years later, the Switzerland of Central America still has limited Internet connectivity, yet is precisely the sort of place that tech titans like Google would like to dominate.

The initiative described in this article reminds me of how the World Bank pushed hard for emerging economies to develop capital markets, for the greater good of America's investment bankers.

By Burcu Kilic, an expert on legal, economic and political issues. Originally published at openDemocracy

Today, the big tech race is for data extractivism from those yet to be 'connected' in the world – tech companies will use all their power to achieve a global regime in which small nations cannot regulate either data extraction or localisation.

n a few weeks' time, trade ministers from 164 countries will gather in Buenos Aires for the 11th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11). US President Donald Trump in November issued fresh accusations of unfair treatment towards the US by WTO members , making it virtually impossible for trade ministers to leave the table with any agreement in substantial areas.

To avoid a 'failure ministerial," some countries see the solution as pushing governments to open a mandate to start conversations that might lead to a negotiation on binding rules for e-commerce and a declaration of the gathering as the "digital ministerial". Argentina's MC11 chair, Susana Malcorra, is actively pushing for member states to embrace e-commerce at the WTO, claiming that it is necessary to " bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots ".

It is not very clear what kind of gaps Malcorra is trying to bridge. It surely isn't the "connectivity gap" or "digital divide" that is growing between developed and developing countries, seriously impeding digital learning and knowledge in developing countries. In fact, half of humanity is not even connected to the internet, let alone positioned to develop competitive markets or bargain at a multilateral level. Negotiating binding e-commerce rules at the WTO would only widen that gap.

Dangerously, the "South Vision" of digital trade in the global trade arena is being shaped by a recent alliance of governments and well-known tech-sector lobbyists, in a group called 'Friends of E-Commerce for Development' (FED), including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, and, most recently, China. FED claims that e-commerce is a tool to drive growth, narrow the digital divide, and generate digital solutions for developing and least developed countries.

However, none of the countries in the group (apart from China) is leading or even remotely ready to be in a position to negotiate and push for binding rules on digital trade that will be favorable to them, as their economies are still far away from the technology revolution. For instance, it is perplexing that one of the most fervent defenders of FED's position is Costa Rica. The country's economy is based on the export of bananas, coffee, tropical fruits, and low-tech medical instruments, and almost half of its population is offline . Most of the countries in FED are far from being powerful enough to shift negotiations in favor of small players.

U.S.-based tech giants and Chinese Alibaba – so-called GAFA-A – dominate, by far, the future of the digital playing field, including issues such as identification and digital payments, connectivity, and the next generation of logistics solutions. In fact, there is a no-holds-barred ongoing race among these tech giants to consolidate their market share in developing economies, from the race to grow the advertising market to the race to increase online payments.

An e-commerce agenda that claims unprecedented development for the Global South is a Trojan horse move. Beginning negotiations on such topics at this stage – before governments are prepared to understand what is at stake – could lead to devastating results, accelerating liberalization and the consolidation of the power of tech giants to the detriment of local industries, consumers, and citizens. Aware of the increased disparities between North and South, and the data dominance of a tiny group of GAFA-A companies, a group of African nations issued a statement opposing the digital ambitions of the host for MC11. But the political landscape is more complex, with China, the EU, and Russia now supporting the idea of a "digital" mandate .

Repeating the Same Mistakes?

The relationships of most countries with tech companies are as imbalanced as their relationships with Big Pharma, and there are many parallels to note. Not so long ago, the countries of the Global South faced Big Pharma power in pharmaceutical markets in a similar way. Some developing countries had the same enthusiasm when they negotiated intellectual property rules for the protection of innovation and research and development costs. In reality, those countries were nothing more than users and consumers of that innovation, not the owners or creators. The lessons of negotiating trade issues that lie at the core of public interest issues – in that case, access to medicines – were costly. Human lives and fundamental rights of those who use online services should not be forgotten when addressing the increasingly worrying and unequal relationships with tech power.

The threat before our eyes is similarly complex and equally harmful to the way our societies will be shaped in the coming years. In the past, the Big Pharma race was for patent exclusivity, to eliminate local generic production and keep drug prices high. Today, the Big Tech race is for data extractivism from those who have yet to be connected in the world, and tech companies will use all the power they hold to achieve a global regime in which small nations cannot regulate either data extraction or data localization.

Big Tech is one of the most concentrated and resourceful industries of all time. The bargaining power of developing countries is minimal. Developing countries will basically be granting the right to cultivate small parcels of a land controlled by data lords -- under their rules, their mandate, and their will -- with practically no public oversight. The stakes are high. At the core of it is the race to conquer the markets of digital payments and the battle to become the platform where data flows, splitting the territory as old empires did in the past. As the Economist claimed on May 6, 2017: "Conflicts over control of oil have scarred the world for decades. No one yet worries that wars will be fought over data. But the data economy has the same potential for confrontation."

If countries from the Global South want to prepare for data wars, they should start thinking about how to reduce the control of Big Tech over -- how we communicate, shop, and learn the news -- , again, over our societies. The solution lies not in making rules for data liberalization, but in devising ways to use the law to reduce Big Tech's power and protect consumers and citizens. Finding the balance would take some time and we are going to take that time to find the right balance, we are not ready to lock the future yet.

Jef , December 14, 2017 at 11:32 am

I thought thats what the WTO is for?

Thuto , December 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm

One suspects big money will be thrown at this by the leading tech giants. To paraphrase from a comment I made recently regarding a similar topic : "with markets in the developed world pretty much sewn up by the tripartite tech overlords (google, fb and amazon), the next 3 billion users for their products/services are going to come from developing world". With this dynamic in mind, and the "constant growth" mantra humming incessantly in the background, it's easy to see how high stakes a game this is for the tech giants and how no resources will be spared to stymie any efforts at establishing a regulatory oversight framework that will protect the digital rights of citizens in the global south.

Multilateral fora like the WTO are de facto enablers for the marauding frontal attacks of transnational corporations, and it's disheartening to see that some developing nations have already nailed the digital futures of their citizens to the mast of the tech giants by joining this alliance. What's more, this signing away of their liberty will be sold to the citizenry as the best way to usher them into the brightest of all digital futures.

Mark P. , December 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm

One suspects big money will be thrown at this by the leading tech giants.

Vast sums of money are already being thrown at bringing Africa online, for better or worse. Thus, the R&D aimed at providing wireless Internet via giant drones/balloons/satellites by Google, Facebook, etc.

You're African. Possibly South African by your user name, which may explain why you're a little behind the curve, because the action is already happening, but more to the north -- and particularly in East Africa.

The big corporations -- and the tech giants are competing with the banking/credit card giants -- have noted how mobile technology leapt over the dearth of last century's telephony tech, land lines, and in turn enabled the highest adoption rates of cellphone banking in the world. (Particularly in East Africa, as I say.) The payoffs for big corporations are massive -- de facto cashless societies where the corporations control the payment systems –and the politicians are mostly cheap.

In Nigeria, the government has launched a Mastercard-branded national ID card that's also a payment card, in one swoop handing Mastercard more than 170 million potential customers, and their personal and biometric data.

In Kenya, the sums transferred by mobile money operator M-Pesa are more than 25 percent of that country's GDP.

You can see that bringing Africa online is technically a big, decade-long project. But also that the potential payoffs are vast. Though I also suspect China may come out ahead -- they're investing far more in Africa and in some areas their technology -- drones, for instance -- is already superior to what the Europeans and the American companies have.

Thuto , December 14, 2017 at 4:58 pm

Thank you Mark P.

Hoisted from a comment I made here recently: "Here in South Africa and through its Free Basics programme, facebook is jumping into bed with unsuspecting ISPs (I say unsuspecting because fb will soon be muscling in on their territory and becoming an ISP itself by provisioning bandwidth directly from its floating satellites) and circumventing net neutrality "

I'm also keenly aware of the developments in Kenya re: safaricom and Mpesa and how that has led to traditional banking via bank accounts being largely leapfrogged for those moving from being unbanked to active economic citizens requiring money transfer facilities. Given the huge succes of Mpesa, I wouldn't be surprised if a multinational tech behemoth (chinese or american) were to make a play for acquiring safaricom and positioning it as a triple-play ISP, money transfer/banking services and digital content provider (harvesting data about users habits on an unprecedented scale across multiple areas of their lives), first in Kenya then expanded throughout east, central and west africa. I must add that your statement about Nigeria puts Mark Zuckerberg's visit there a few months back into context somewhat, perhaps a reconnaissance mission of sorts.

Out of idle curiosity, how could you accurately deduce my country of origin from my name?

Mark P. , December 14, 2017 at 6:59 pm

Out of idle curiosity, how could you accurately deduce my country of origin from my name?

Though I've lived in California for decades, my mother was South African and I maintain a UK passport, having grown up in London.

Mark P. , December 14, 2017 at 3:34 pm

As you also write: "with markets in the developed world pretty much sewn up by the tripartite tech overlords (google, fb and amazon), the next 3 billion users for their products/services are going to come from developing world."

Absolutely true. This cannot be stressed enough. The tech giants know this and the race is on.

Mattski , December 14, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Been happening with food for 50 years.

[Dec 11, 2017] How Russia-gate Met the Magnitsky Myth by Robert Parry

Highly recommended!
Looks like Browder was connected to MI6. That means that intellignece agances participated in economic rape of Russia That's explains a lot, including his change of citizenship from US to UK. He wanted better protection.
Notable quotes:
"... The Russian lawyer, Natalie Veselnitskaya, who met with Trump Jr. and other advisers to Donald Trump Sr.'s campaign, represented a company that had run afoul of a U.S. investigation into money-laundering allegedly connected to the Magnitsky case and his death in a Russian prison in 2009. His death sparked a campaign spearheaded by Browder, who used his wealth and clout to lobby the U.S. Congress in 2012 to enact the Magnitsky Act to punish alleged human rights abusers in Russia. The law became what might be called the first shot in the New Cold War. ..."
"... Despite Russian denials – and the "dog ate my homework" quality of Browder's self-serving narrative – the dramatic tale became a cause celebre in the West. The story eventually attracted the attention of Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, a known critic of President Vladimir Putin. Nekrasov decided to produce a docu-drama that would present Browder's narrative to a wider public. Nekrasov even said he hoped that he might recruit Browder as the narrator of the tale. ..."
"... Nekrasov discovered that a woman working in Browder's company was the actual whistleblower and that Magnitsky – rather than a crusading lawyer – was an accountant who was implicated in the scheme. ..."
"... Ultimately, Nekrasov completes his extraordinary film – entitled "The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes" – and it was set for a premiere at the European Parliament in Brussels in April 2016. However, at the last moment – faced with Browder's legal threats – the parliamentarians pulled the plug. Nekrasov encountered similar resistance in the United States, a situation that, in part, brought Natalie Veselnitskaya into this controversy. ..."
"... That was when she turned to promoter Rob Goldstone to set up a meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. To secure the sit-down on June 9, 2016, Goldstone dangled the prospect that Veselnitskaya had some derogatory financial information from the Russian government about Russians supporting the Democratic National Committee. Trump Jr. jumped at the possibility and brought senior Trump campaign advisers, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, along. ..."
"... By all accounts, Veselnitskaya had little or nothing to offer about the DNC and turned the conversation instead to the Magnitsky Act and Putin's retaliatory measure to the sanctions, canceling a program in which American parents adopted Russian children. One source told me that Veselnitskaya also wanted to enhance her stature in Russia with the boast that she had taken a meeting at Trump Tower with Trump's son. ..."
"... But another goal of Veselnitskaya's U.S. trip was to participate in an effort to give Americans a chance to see Nekrasov's blacklisted documentary. She traveled to Washington in the days after her Trump Tower meeting and attended a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, according to The Washington Post. ..."
"... There were hopes to show the documentary to members of Congress but the offer was rebuffed. Instead a room was rented at the Newseum near Capitol Hill. Browder's lawyers. who had successfully intimidated the European Parliament, also tried to strong arm the Newseum, but its officials responded that they were only renting out a room and that they had allowed other controversial presentations in the past. ..."
"... Their stand wasn't exactly a profile in courage. "We're not going to allow them not to show the film," said Scott Williams, the chief operating officer of the Newseum. "We often have people renting for events that other people would love not to have happen." ..."
"... So, Nekrasov's documentary got a one-time showing with Veselnitskaya reportedly in attendance and with a follow-up discussion moderated by journalist Seymour Hersh. However, except for that audience, the public of the United States and Europe has been essentially shielded from the documentary's discoveries, all the better for the Magnitsky myth to retain its power as a seminal propaganda moment of the New Cold War. ..."
"... Over the past year, we have seen a growing hysteria about "Russian propaganda" and "fake news" with The New York Times and other major news outlets eagerly awaiting algorithms that can be unleashed on the Internet to eradicate information that groups like Google's First Draft Coalition deem "false." ..."
"... First Draft consists of the Times, the Post, other mainstream outlets, and establishment-approved online news sites, such as Bellingcat with links to the pro-NATO think tank, Atlantic Council. First Draft's job will be to serve as a kind of Ministry of Truth and thus shield the public from information that is deemed propaganda or untrue. ..."
"... From searches that I did on Wednesday, Nekrasov's film was not available on Amazon although a pro-Magnitsky documentary was. I did find a streaming service that appeared to have the film available. ..."
"... Why are so many people–corporate executives, governments, journalists, politicians–afraid of William Browder? Why isn't Andrei Nekrasov's film available via digital versatile disk, for sale on line? Mr. Parry, why can't you find it? Oh, wait: You did! Heaven forbid we, your readers, should screen it. Since you, too, are helping keep that film a big fat secret at least give us a few clues as to where we can find it. Throw us a bone! Thank you. ..."
"... Hysterical agit-prop troll insists that world trembles in fear of "genuine American hero" William Browder. John McCain in 2012 was too busy trembling to notice that Browder had given up his US citizenship in 1998 in order to better profit from the Russian financial crisis. ..."
"... Abe – and to escape U.S. taxes. ..."
"... Excellent report and analysis. Thanks for timely reminder regarding the Magitsky story and the fascinating background regarding Andrei Nekrasov's film, in particular its metamorphosis and subsequent aggressive suppression. Both of those factors render the film a particular credibility and wish on my part to view it. ..."
"... I am beginning to feel more and more like the citizens of the old USSR, who, were to my recollection and understanding back in the 50's and 60's:. Longing to read and hear facts suppressed by the communist state, dependent upon the Voice of America and underground news sources within the Soviet Union for the truth. RU, Consortium news, et. al. seem somewhat a parallel, and 1984 not so distant. ..."
"... Last night, After watching Max Boot self destruct on Tucker Carlson, i was inspired to watch episode 2 of The Putin Interviews. I felt enlightened. If only the Establishment Media could turn from promoting its agenda of shaping and suppressing the news into accurately reporting it. ..."
"... Media corruption is not so new. Yellow journalism around the turn of the 19th century, took us into a progression of wars. The War to End All Wars didn't. Blame the munitions makers and the Military Industrial Complex if you will, but a corrupt medial, at the very least enabled a progression of wars over the last 120 or so years. ..."
"... Nekrasov, though he's a Putin critic, is a genuine hero in this instance. He ulitimately put his preconceptions aside and took the story where it truly led him. Nekrasov deserves boatloads of praise for his handling of Browder and his final documentary film product. ..."
"... "[Veselnitskaya] traveled to Washington in the days after her Trump Tower meeting and attended a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, according to The Washington Post." The other day I saw photos of her sitting right behind Amb. McFaul in some past hearing. How did she get a seat on the front row? ..."
"... "The approach taken by Brennan's task force in assessing Russia and its president seems eerily reminiscent of the analytical blinders that hampered the U.S. intelligence community when it came to assessing the objectives and intent of Saddam Hussein and his inner leadership regarding weapons of mass destruction. The Russia NIA notes, 'Many of the key judgments rely on a body of reporting from multiple sources that are consistent with our understanding of Russian behavior.' There is no better indication of a tendency toward 'group think' than that statement. ..."
"... "The acknowledged deficit on the part of the U.S. intelligence community of fact-driven insight into the specifics of Russian presidential decision-making, and the nature of Vladimir Putin as an individual in general, likewise seems problematic. The U.S. intelligence community was hard wired into pre-conceived notions about how and what Saddam Hussein would think and decide, and as such remained blind to the fact that he would order the totality of his weapons of mass destruction to be destroyed in the summer of 1991, or that he could be telling the truth when later declaring that Iraq was free of WMD. ..."
"... Magnitsky Act in Canada has been based on made-up `facts` as Globe & Mail reporting proves. Not news, but deepens my concern about Canada following the Cold War without examination. ..."
"... Bill Browder's grandfather was Earl Browder, leader of the CPUSA from the the late 30s to late 40s. His father was also a communist. Bill jr parlayed those connections with the Soviet apparatchiks to gain a foothold in looting Russia of its state assets during the 1990s. No he was not a communist but neither were the leaders of the Soviet Union at the time of its dissolution (in name yes, but in fact not). ..."
"... I've also heard that it was the Jewish commissars who, when the USSR fell apart, rushed off to grab everything they could (with the help of outside Jewish money) and became the Russian oligarchs we hear about today. This is probably what Britton is getting at: "His father has a communist past." You go from running the government to owning it. Anti-Putin because Putin put a stop to them. ..."
"... backwardsevolution: I worked with a Soviet emigre engineer – Jewish – on the same project in an Engineering design and construction company during early 1990's. He immigrated with his family around 1991. In Soviet Union, there being no private financial institutions or lawyers so to speak , many Jews went into science and engineering. A very interesting person, we were close work place friends. His elder brother had stayed behind back in Russia. His brother was in Moscow and involved in this plunder going on there. He used to tell me all these hair raising first hand stories about what was going on in Russia during that time. All the plunder flowed into the Western Countries. ..."
"... I have read all the comments up to yours you have told it like it was in Russia in those years. Browder was the king of the crooks looting Russia. ..."
"... I remember reading Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine," but I just could not get through the chapter on the USSR falling apart. I started reading it, but I didn't want to finish it (and I didn't) because it just made me angry. The West was too unfair! Russia was asking for help, but instead the West just looted. I'd say that Russia was very lucky to have someone like Putin clean it up. ..."
"... The Canadian Minister Chrysta Freeland met with William Brawder in Davos a few months ago " -- Birds of a feather flock together. Mrs. Chrystal Freeland has a very interesting background for which she is very proud of: her granddad was a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator denounced by Jewish investigators: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/27/a-nazi-skeleton-in-the-family-closet/ ..."
Jul 13, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: A documentary debunking the Magnitsky myth, which was an opening salvo in the New Cold War, was largely blocked from viewing in the West but has now become a factor in Russia-gate, reports Robert Parry.

Near the center of the current furor over Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 is a documentary that almost no one in the West has been allowed to see, a film that flips the script on the story of the late Sergei Magnitsky and his employer, hedge-fund operator William Browder.

The Russian lawyer, Natalie Veselnitskaya, who met with Trump Jr. and other advisers to Donald Trump Sr.'s campaign, represented a company that had run afoul of a U.S. investigation into money-laundering allegedly connected to the Magnitsky case and his death in a Russian prison in 2009. His death sparked a campaign spearheaded by Browder, who used his wealth and clout to lobby the U.S. Congress in 2012 to enact the Magnitsky Act to punish alleged human rights abusers in Russia. The law became what might be called the first shot in the New Cold War.

According to Browder's narrative, companies ostensibly under his control had been hijacked by corrupt Russian officials in furtherance of a $230 million tax-fraud scheme; he then dispatched his "lawyer" Magnitsky to investigate and – after supposedly uncovering evidence of the fraud – Magnitsky blew the whistle only to be arrested by the same corrupt officials who then had him locked up in prison where he died of heart failure from physical abuse.

Despite Russian denials – and the "dog ate my homework" quality of Browder's self-serving narrative – the dramatic tale became a cause celebre in the West. The story eventually attracted the attention of Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, a known critic of President Vladimir Putin. Nekrasov decided to produce a docu-drama that would present Browder's narrative to a wider public. Nekrasov even said he hoped that he might recruit Browder as the narrator of the tale.

However, the project took an unexpected turn when Nekrasov's research kept turning up contradictions to Browder's storyline, which began to look more and more like a corporate cover story. Nekrasov discovered that a woman working in Browder's company was the actual whistleblower and that Magnitsky – rather than a crusading lawyer – was an accountant who was implicated in the scheme.

So, the planned docudrama suddenly was transformed into a documentary with a dramatic reversal as Nekrasov struggles with what he knows will be a dangerous decision to confront Browder with what appear to be deceptions. In the film, you see Browder go from a friendly collaborator into an angry adversary who tries to bully Nekrasov into backing down.

Blocked Premiere

Ultimately, Nekrasov completes his extraordinary film – entitled "The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes" – and it was set for a premiere at the European Parliament in Brussels in April 2016. However, at the last moment – faced with Browder's legal threats – the parliamentarians pulled the plug. Nekrasov encountered similar resistance in the United States, a situation that, in part, brought Natalie Veselnitskaya into this controversy.

Film director Andrei Nekrasov, who produced "The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes."

As a lawyer defending Prevezon, a real-estate company registered in Cyprus, on a money-laundering charge, she was dealing with U.S. prosecutors in New York City and, in that role, became an advocate for lifting the U.S. sanctions, The Washington Post reported.

That was when she turned to promoter Rob Goldstone to set up a meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. To secure the sit-down on June 9, 2016, Goldstone dangled the prospect that Veselnitskaya had some derogatory financial information from the Russian government about Russians supporting the Democratic National Committee. Trump Jr. jumped at the possibility and brought senior Trump campaign advisers, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, along.

By all accounts, Veselnitskaya had little or nothing to offer about the DNC and turned the conversation instead to the Magnitsky Act and Putin's retaliatory measure to the sanctions, canceling a program in which American parents adopted Russian children. One source told me that Veselnitskaya also wanted to enhance her stature in Russia with the boast that she had taken a meeting at Trump Tower with Trump's son.

But another goal of Veselnitskaya's U.S. trip was to participate in an effort to give Americans a chance to see Nekrasov's blacklisted documentary. She traveled to Washington in the days after her Trump Tower meeting and attended a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, according to The Washington Post.

There were hopes to show the documentary to members of Congress but the offer was rebuffed. Instead a room was rented at the Newseum near Capitol Hill. Browder's lawyers. who had successfully intimidated the European Parliament, also tried to strong arm the Newseum, but its officials responded that they were only renting out a room and that they had allowed other controversial presentations in the past.

Their stand wasn't exactly a profile in courage. "We're not going to allow them not to show the film," said Scott Williams, the chief operating officer of the Newseum. "We often have people renting for events that other people would love not to have happen."

In an article about the controversy in June 2016, The New York Times added that "A screening at the Newseum is especially controversial because it could attract lawmakers or their aides." Heaven forbid!

One-Time Showing

So, Nekrasov's documentary got a one-time showing with Veselnitskaya reportedly in attendance and with a follow-up discussion moderated by journalist Seymour Hersh. However, except for that audience, the public of the United States and Europe has been essentially shielded from the documentary's discoveries, all the better for the Magnitsky myth to retain its power as a seminal propaganda moment of the New Cold War.

Financier William Browder (right) with Magnitsky's widow and son, along with European parliamentarians.

After the Newseum presentation, a Washington Post editorial branded Nekrasov's documentary Russian "agit-prop" and sought to discredit Nekrasov without addressing his many documented examples of Browder's misrepresenting both big and small facts in the case. Instead, the Post accused Nekrasov of using "facts highly selectively" and insinuated that he was merely a pawn in the Kremlin's "campaign to discredit Mr. Browder and the Magnitsky Act."

The Post also misrepresented the structure of the film by noting that it mixed fictional scenes with real-life interviews and action, a point that was technically true but willfully misleading because the fictional scenes were from Nekrasov's original idea for a docu-drama that he shows as part of explaining his evolution from a believer in Browder's self-exculpatory story to a skeptic. But the Post's deception is something that almost no American would realize because almost no one got to see the film.

The Post concluded smugly: "The film won't grab a wide audience, but it offers yet another example of the Kremlin's increasingly sophisticated efforts to spread its illiberal values and mind-set abroad. In the European Parliament and on French and German television networks, showings were put off recently after questions were raised about the accuracy of the film, including by Magnitsky's family.

"We don't worry that Mr. Nekrasov's film was screened here, in an open society. But it is important that such slick spin be fully exposed for its twisted story and sly deceptions."

The Post's gleeful editorial had the feel of something you might read in a totalitarian society where the public only hears about dissent when the Official Organs of the State denounce some almost unknown person for saying something that almost no one heard.

New Paradigm

The Post's satisfaction that Nekrasov's documentary would not draw a large audience represents what is becoming a new paradigm in U.S. mainstream journalism, the idea that it is the media's duty to protect the American people from seeing divergent narratives on sensitive geopolitical issues.

Over the past year, we have seen a growing hysteria about "Russian propaganda" and "fake news" with The New York Times and other major news outlets eagerly awaiting algorithms that can be unleashed on the Internet to eradicate information that groups like Google's First Draft Coalition deem "false."

First Draft consists of the Times, the Post, other mainstream outlets, and establishment-approved online news sites, such as Bellingcat with links to the pro-NATO think tank, Atlantic Council. First Draft's job will be to serve as a kind of Ministry of Truth and thus shield the public from information that is deemed propaganda or untrue.

In the meantime, there is the ad hoc approach that was applied to Nekrasov's documentary. Having missed the Newseum showing, I was only able to view the film because I was given a special password to an online version.

From searches that I did on Wednesday, Nekrasov's film was not available on Amazon although a pro-Magnitsky documentary was. I did find a streaming service that appeared to have the film available.

But the Post's editors were right in their expectation that "The film won't grab a wide audience." Instead, it has become a good example of how political and legal pressure can effectively black out what we used to call "the other side of the story." The film now, however, has unexpectedly become a factor in the larger drama of Russia-gate and the drive to remove Donald Trump Sr. from the White House.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

Joseph A. Haran, Jr. , July 13, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Why are so many people–corporate executives, governments, journalists, politicians–afraid of William Browder? Why isn't Andrei Nekrasov's film available via digital versatile disk, for sale on line? Mr. Parry, why can't you find it? Oh, wait: You did! Heaven forbid we, your readers, should screen it. Since you, too, are helping keep that film a big fat secret at least give us a few clues as to where we can find it. Throw us a bone! Thank you.

Rob Roy , July 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Parry isn't keeping the film viewing a secret. He was given a private password and perhaps can get permission to let the readers here have it. It isn't up to Parry himself but rather to the person(s) who have the rights to the password. I've come across this problem before.

ToivoS , July 13, 2017 at 4:01 pm

Parry wrote: I did find a streaming service that appeared to have the film available.

Any link?? I am willing to buy it.

Lisa , July 13, 2017 at 6:28 pm

This may not be of much help, as the film is dubbed in Russian. If you want to look for the Russian versions on the internet, search for: "????? ?????? ????????? "????? ???????????. ?? ????????"

https://my.mail.ru/bk/n-osetrova/video/71/18682.html?time=155&from=videoplayer

I'll keep looking for the film with translation into some other language.

Lisa , July 13, 2017 at 6:31 pm

Sorry, the Russian text did not appear. Try with latin alphabet: Film Andreia Nekrasova "Zakon Magnitskogo. Za kulisami"

Lisa , July 13, 2017 at 6:45 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8d1ylakLMNU

This is the same dubbed version, on youtube.

Abe , July 13, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Hysterical agit-prop troll insists that world trembles in fear of "genuine American hero" William Browder. John McCain in 2012 was too busy trembling to notice that Browder had given up his US citizenship in 1998 in order to better profit from the Russian financial crisis.

backwardsevolution , July 13, 2017 at 5:51 pm

Abe – and to escape U.S. taxes.

incontinent reader , July 13, 2017 at 6:24 pm

Well stated.

Vincent Castigliola , July 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Mr. Parry,

Excellent report and analysis. Thanks for timely reminder regarding the Magitsky story and the fascinating background regarding Andrei Nekrasov's film, in particular its metamorphosis and subsequent aggressive suppression. Both of those factors render the film a particular credibility and wish on my part to view it.

Is there any chance you can share information regarding a means of accessing the forbidden film?

I am beginning to feel more and more like the citizens of the old USSR, who, were to my recollection and understanding back in the 50's and 60's:. Longing to read and hear facts suppressed by the communist state, dependent upon the Voice of America and underground news sources within the Soviet Union for the truth. RU, Consortium news, et. al. seem somewhat a parallel, and 1984 not so distant.

Last night, After watching Max Boot self destruct on Tucker Carlson, i was inspired to watch episode 2 of The Putin Interviews. I felt enlightened. If only the Establishment Media could turn from promoting its agenda of shaping and suppressing the news into accurately reporting it.

Media corruption is not so new. Yellow journalism around the turn of the 19th century, took us into a progression of wars. The War to End All Wars didn't. Blame the munitions makers and the Military Industrial Complex if you will, but a corrupt medial, at the very least enabled a progression of wars over the last 120 or so years.

Demonizing other countries is bad enough, but wilfully ignoring the potential for a nuclear war to end not only war, but life as we know it, is appalling.

Anna , July 13, 2017 at 5:54 pm

"After watching Max Boot self destruct on Tucker Carlson "
Am I the only one who thinks that Max Boot should have been institutionalized for some time already? He is not well.

Vincent Castigliola , July 13, 2017 at 9:41 pm

Anna,
Perhaps Max can share a suite with John McCain. Sadly, the illness is widespread and sometimes seems to be in the majority. Neo con/lib both are adamant in finding enemies and imposing punishment.

Finding splinters, ignoring beams. Changing regimes everywhere. Making the world safe for Democracy. Unless a man they don't like get elected

Anna , July 14, 2017 at 9:31 am

Max Boot parents are Russain Jews who seemingly instilled in him a rabid hatred for everything Russian. The same is with Aperovitch, the CrowdStrike fraudster. The first Soviet (Bolshevik) government was 85% Jewish. Considering what happened to Russia under Bolsheviks, it seems that Russians are supremely tolerant people.

orwell , July 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Anna, Anti-Semitism will get you NOWHERE, and you should be ashamed of yourself for injecting such HATRED into the rational discussion here.

Cal , July 14, 2017 at 8:03 pm

Dear orwell

re Anna

Its not anti Semitic if its true .and its true he is a Russian Jew and its very obvious he hates Russia–as does the whole Jewish Zionist crowd in the US.

Kiza , July 15, 2017 at 1:02 am

orwell, I wonder why the truth always turns out to be so anti-semitic!?

Taras77 , July 13, 2017 at 11:17 pm

I hope you caught the preceding tucker interview with Ralph Peters, who says he is a retired us army LTC. He came off as completely deranged and hysterical. The two interviews back to back struck me as neo con desperation and panic. My respect for Tucker just went up for taking on these two wackos.

Zachary Smith , July 13, 2017 at 2:51 pm

The fact that the film is being suppressed by everybody is significant to me. I don't know a thing about the "facts" of the Magnitsky case, and a quick look at the results of a Google search suggests this film isn't going to be available to me unless I shell out some unknown amount of money.

If the producers want the film to be seen, perhaps they ought to release it for download to any interested parties for a nominal sum. This will mean they won't make any profit, but on the other hand they will be able to spit in the eyes of the censors.

Dan Mason , July 13, 2017 at 6:42 pm

I went searching the net for access to this film and found that I was blocked at every turn. I did find a few links which all seemed to go to the same destination which claimed to provide access once I registered with their site. I decided to avoid that route. I don't really have that much interest in the Magnitsky affair, but I do wonder why we are being denied access to information. Who has this kind of influence, and why are they so fearful. I'm really afraid that we already live in a largely hidden Orwellian world. Now where did I put that tin foil hat?

orwell , July 14, 2017 at 3:48 pm

The Orwellian World is NOT HIDDEN, it is clearly visible.

Drew Hunkins , July 13, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Nekrasov, though he's a Putin critic, is a genuine hero in this instance. He ulitimately put his preconceptions aside and took the story where it truly led him. Nekrasov deserves boatloads of praise for his handling of Browder and his final documentary film product.

backwardsevolution , July 13, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Drew – good comment. It's very hard to "turn", isn't it? I wonder if many people appreciate what it takes to do this. Easier to justify, turn a blind eye, but to actually stop, question, think, and then follow where the story leads you takes courage and strength.

BannanaBoat , July 13, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Especially when your bucking an aggressive billionaire.

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 1:49 am

BannanaBoat – that too!

Zim , July 13, 2017 at 3:11 pm

This is interesting:

"In December 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Hillary Clinton opposed the Magnitsky Act while serving as secretary of state. Her opposition coincided with Bill Clinton giving a speech in Moscow for Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank! for which he was paid $500,000.

"Mr. Clinton also received a substantial payout in 2010 from Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank whose executives were at risk of being hurt by possible U.S. sanctions tied to a complex and controversial case of alleged corruption in Russia.

Members of Congress wrote to Mrs. Clinton in 2010 seeking to deny visas to people who had been implicated by Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who was jailed and died in prison after he uncovered evidence of a large tax-refund fraud. William Browder, a foreign investor in Russia who had hired Mr. Magnitsky, alleged that the accountant had turned up evidence that Renaissance officials, among others, participated in the fraud."

The State Department opposed the sanctions bill at the time, as did the Russian government. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pushed Hillary Clinton to oppose the legislation during a meeting in St. Petersburg in June 2012, citing that U.S.-Russia relations would suffer as a result."

More: http://observer.com/2017/07/natalia-veselnitskaya-hillary-clinton-magnitsky-act/

Virginia , July 13, 2017 at 6:13 pm

Very interesting, Zim.

Bart in Virginia , July 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm

"[Veselnitskaya] traveled to Washington in the days after her Trump Tower meeting and attended a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, according to The Washington Post." The other day I saw photos of her sitting right behind Amb. McFaul in some past hearing. How did she get a seat on the front row?

Now I remember that Post editorial. I was one of only 20 commenters before they shut down comments. It was some heavy pearl clutching.

Cal , July 13, 2017 at 3:31 pm

WOW..excellent reporting.

BobH , July 13, 2017 at 3:35 pm

nice backgrounder for an ever evolving story censorship is censorship by any other name!

BobH , July 13, 2017 at 3:38 pm

afterthought couldn't the film be shown on RT America?

Kiza , July 15, 2017 at 1:11 am

Would that not enable Bowder's employees online to claim that this documentary is Russian state propaganda, which it obviously is not because it would have been made available for free everywhere already just like RT. I believe that Nekrasov does not like RT and RT probably still does not like Nekrasov. The point of RT has never been the truth then the alternative point of view, as they advertised: Audi alteram partem.

Abe , July 13, 2017 at 3:41 pm

"The approach taken by Brennan's task force in assessing Russia and its president seems eerily reminiscent of the analytical blinders that hampered the U.S. intelligence community when it came to assessing the objectives and intent of Saddam Hussein and his inner leadership regarding weapons of mass destruction. The Russia NIA notes, 'Many of the key judgments rely on a body of reporting from multiple sources that are consistent with our understanding of Russian behavior.' There is no better indication of a tendency toward 'group think' than that statement.

Moreover, when one reflects on the fact much of this 'body of reporting' was shoehorned after the fact into an analytical premise predicated on a single source of foreign-provided intelligence, that statement suddenly loses much of its impact.

"The acknowledged deficit on the part of the U.S. intelligence community of fact-driven insight into the specifics of Russian presidential decision-making, and the nature of Vladimir Putin as an individual in general, likewise seems problematic. The U.S. intelligence community was hard wired into pre-conceived notions about how and what Saddam Hussein would think and decide, and as such remained blind to the fact that he would order the totality of his weapons of mass destruction to be destroyed in the summer of 1991, or that he could be telling the truth when later declaring that Iraq was free of WMD.

'President Putin has repeatedly and vociferously denied any Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Those who cite the findings of the Russia NIA as indisputable proof to the contrary, however, dismiss this denial out of hand. And yet nowhere in the Russia NIA is there any evidence that those who prepared it conducted anything remotely resembling the kind of 'analysis of alternatives' mandated by the ODNI when it comes to analytic standards used to prepare intelligence community assessments and estimates. Nor is there any evidence that the CIA's vaunted 'Red Cell' was approached to provide counterintuitive assessments of premises such as 'What if President Putin is telling the truth?'

'Throughout its history, the NIC has dealt with sources of information that far exceeded any sensitivity that might attach to Brennan's foreign intelligence source. The NIC had two experts that it could have turned to oversee a project like the Russia NIA!the NIO for Cyber Issues, and the Mission Manager of the Russian and Eurasia Mission Center; logic dictates that both should have been called upon, given the subject matter overlap between cyber intrusion and Russian intent.

'The excuse that Brennan's source was simply too sensitive to be shared with these individuals, and the analysts assigned to them, is ludicrous!both the NIO for cyber issues and the CIA's mission manager for Russia and Eurasia are cleared to receive the most highly classified intelligence and, moreover, are specifically mandated to oversee projects such as an investigation into Russian meddling in the American electoral process.

'President Trump has come under repeated criticism for his perceived slighting of the U.S. intelligence community in repeatedly citing the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction intelligence failure when downplaying intelligence reports, including the Russia NIA, about Russian interference in the 2016 election. Adding insult to injury, the president's most recent comments were made on foreign soil (Poland), on the eve of his first meeting with President Putin, at the G-20 Conference in Hamburg, Germany, where the issue of Russian meddling was the first topic on the agenda.

"The politics of the wisdom of the timing and location of such observations aside, the specific content of the president's statements appear factually sound."

Throwing a Curveball at 'Intelligence Community Consensus' on Russia By Scott Ritter http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/did-17-intelligence-agencies-really-come-to-consensus-on-russia/

Joe Tedesky , July 13, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Thanks Abe once again, for providing us with news which will never be printed or aired in our MSM. Brennan may ignore the NIC, as Congress and the Executive Branch constantly avoid paying attention to the GAO. Why even have these agencies, if our leaders aren't going to listen them?

Virginia , July 13, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Abe, I'm always amazed at how much you know. Thank you for sharing. If you have your comments in article form or on a site where they can be shared, I'd really like to know about it. I've tried, but I garble the many points you make when trying to explain historical events you've told us about.

Skip Scott , July 14, 2017 at 9:08 am

Thanks Abe. You are a real asset to us here at CN.

John V. Walsh , July 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Very good article! The entire Magnitsky saga has become so convoluted and mired in controversy and propaganda that it is very hard to understand. I remember vaguely the controversy surrounding the showing of the film at the Newseum. it is especially impressive that Nekrasov changed his opinion as fcts unfolded.

I will now try to get the docudrama and watch it.
If anyone has suggestions on how to do this, please let me know via a response. here.
Thanks.

Roger Annis , July 13, 2017 at 4:02 pm

A 'Magnitsky Act' in Canada was approved by the (appointed) Senate several months ago and is now undergoing fine tuning in the House of Commons prior to a third and final vote of approval. The proposed law has the unanimous support of the parties in Parliament.

A column in today's Globe and Mail daily by the newspaper's 'chief political writer' tiptoes around the Magnitsky story, never once daring to admit that a contrary narrative exists to that of Bill Browder.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/when-it-comes-to-magnitsky-laws-its-clear-what-russia-is-looking-for/article35678618/

John-Albert Eadie , July 13, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Magnitsky Act in Canada has been based on made-up `facts` as Globe & Mail reporting proves. Not news, but deepens my concern about Canada following the Cold War without examination.

backwardsevolution , July 13, 2017 at 5:56 pm

Roger Annis – just little lemmings following the leader. Disgusting. I hope you posted a comment at the Globe and Mail, Roger, with a link to this article.

Britton , July 13, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Browder is a Communist Jew, his father has a Communist past according to his background so I know I can't trust anything he says. Hes just one of many shady interests undermining Putin I've seen over the years. His book Red Notice is just as shady. Good reporting Consortium News. Fox News promotes Browder like crazy every chance they get especially Fox Business channel.

Joe Average , July 13, 2017 at 5:06 pm

"Browder is a Communist " Hedge Fund managers are hardly Communist – that's an oxymoron.

ToivoS , July 13, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Bill Browder's grandfather was Earl Browder, leader of the CPUSA from the the late 30s to late 40s. His father was also a communist. Bill jr parlayed those connections with the Soviet apparatchiks to gain a foothold in looting Russia of its state assets during the 1990s. No he was not a communist but neither were the leaders of the Soviet Union at the time of its dissolution (in name yes, but in fact not).

Joe Average , July 13, 2017 at 6:34 pm

ToivoS,

thank you for this background information.

My main intention had been to straighten out the blurring of calling a hedge fund manager communist. Nowadays everything gets blurred by people misrepresenting political concepts. Either the people have been dumbed-down by misinformation or misrepresenting is done in order to keep neo-liberalism the dominant economical model. On many occasions I had read comments of people seemingly believing that Nationalsocialism had been some variant of socialism. Even the ideas of Bernie Sanders had been misrepresented as socialist instead of social democratic ones.

backwardsevolution , July 13, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Joe Average – Dave P. mentioned Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's book entitled "Two Hundred Years Together" the other day. I've been reading a long synopsis of this book. What Britton says appears to be quite true. I don't know about Browder, but from what I've read the Jews were instrumental in the communist party, in the deaths of so many Russians. It wasn't just the Jews, but they played a big part. It's no wonder Solzhenitsyn's book has been "lost in translation", at least into English, for so many years.

I've also heard that it was the Jewish commissars who, when the USSR fell apart, rushed off to grab everything they could (with the help of outside Jewish money) and became the Russian oligarchs we hear about today. This is probably what Britton is getting at: "His father has a communist past." You go from running the government to owning it. Anti-Putin because Putin put a stop to them.

Dave P. , July 13, 2017 at 7:37 pm

backwardsevolution: I worked with a Soviet emigre engineer – Jewish – on the same project in an Engineering design and construction company during early 1990's. He immigrated with his family around 1991. In Soviet Union, there being no private financial institutions or lawyers so to speak , many Jews went into science and engineering. A very interesting person, we were close work place friends. His elder brother had stayed behind back in Russia. His brother was in Moscow and involved in this plunder going on there. He used to tell me all these hair raising first hand stories about what was going on in Russia during that time. All the plunder flowed into the Western Countries.

In recent history, no country went through this kind of plunder on a scale Russia went through during ten or fifteen years starting in 1992. Russia was a very badly ravaged country when Putin took over. Means of production, finance, all came to halt, and society itself had completely broken down. It appears that the West has all the intentions to do it again.

Bruce Walker , July 13, 2017 at 9:29 pm

I have read all the comments up to yours you have told it like it was in Russia in those years. Browder was the king of the crooks looting Russia. Then he got to John McCain with all his lies and bullshit and was responsible for the sanctions on Russia. All the comments aboutBrowders grandfather andCommunist party are all true but hardly important. Except that it probably was how Browder was able to get his fingers on the pie in Russia. And he sure did get his fingers in the pie BIG TIME.

I am a Canadian and am aware of Maginsky Act in Canada. Our Minister Chrystal Freeland met with William Brawder in Davos a few months ago both of these two you could say are not fans of Putin, I certainly don't know what they spoke about but other than lies from Browder there is no reason she should have been talking with him. I have made comments on other forums regarding these two meeting. Read Browders book and hopefully see the documentary that this article is about. When I read his book I knew instantly that he was a crook a charloten and a liar. Just the kind of folk John McCain and a lot of other folks in US politics love. You all have a nice Peacefull day

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 12:38 am

Joe Average – "I guess that this book puts blame for Communism entirely on the Jewish people and that this gave even further rise to antisemitism in the Germany of the 1930's."

No, it doesn't put the blame entirely on the Jews; it just spells out that they did play a large part. As one Jewish scholar said, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was too much of an academic, too intelligent to ever put the blame entirely on one group. But something like 40 – 60 million died – shot, taken out on boats with rocks around their necks and thrown overboard, starved, gassed in rail cars, poisoned, worked to death, froze, you name it. Every other human slaughter pales in comparison. Good old man, so civilized (sarc)!

But someone(s) has been instrumental in keeping this book from being translated into English (or so I've read many places online). Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago" and his other books have been translated, but not this one. (Although I just found one site that has almost all of the chapters translated, but not all). Several people ordered the book off Amazon, only to find out that it was in the Russian language. LOL

Solzhenitsyn does say at one point in the book: "Communist rebellions in Germany post-WWI was a big reason for the revival of anti-Semitism (as there was no serious anti-Semitism in the imperial [Kaiser] Germany of 1870 – 1918)."

Lots of Jewish people made it into the upper levels of the Soviet government, academia, etc. (and lots of them were murdered too). I might skip reading these types of books until I get older. Too bleak. Hard enough reading about the day-to-day stuff here without going back in time for more fun!

I remember reading Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine," but I just could not get through the chapter on the USSR falling apart. I started reading it, but I didn't want to finish it (and I didn't) because it just made me angry. The West was too unfair! Russia was asking for help, but instead the West just looted. I'd say that Russia was very lucky to have someone like Putin clean it up.

Keep smiling, Joe.

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 12:58 am

Dave P. – I told you, you are a wealth of information, a walking encyclopedia. Interesting about your co-worker. Sounds like it was a free-for-all in Russia. Yes, I totally agree that Putin has done and is doing all he can to bring his country back up. Very difficult job he is doing, and I hope he is successful at keeping the West out as much as he can, at least until Russia is strong and sure enough to invite them in on their own terms.

Now go and tell your wife what I said about you being a "walking encyclopedia". She'll probably have a good laugh. (Not that you're not, but you know what she'll say: "Okay, smartie, now go and do the dishes.")

Chucky LeRoi , July 14, 2017 at 9:56 am

Just some small scale, local color kind of stuff, but living in the USA, west coast specifically, it was quite noticeable in the mid to late '90's how many Russians with money were suddenly appearing. No apparent skills or 'jobs', but seemingly able to pay for stuff. Expensive stuff.

A neighbor invited us to her 'place in the mountains', which turned out to be where a lumber company had almost terra-formed an area and was selling off the results. Her advice: When you go to the lake (i.e., the low area now gathering runoff, paddle boats rentals, concession stand) you will see a lot of men with huge stomachs and tiny Speedos. They will be very rude, pushy, confrontational. Ignore them, DO NOT comment on their rudeness or try to deal with their manners. They are Russians, and the amount of trouble it will stir up – and probable repercussions – are simply not worth it.

Back in town, the anecdotes start piling up quickly. I am talking crowbars through windows (for a perceived insult). A beating where the victim – who was probably trying something shady – was so pulped the emergency room staff couldn't tell if the implement used was a 2X4 or a baseball bat. When found he had with $3k in his pocket: robbery was not the motive. More traffic accidents involving guys with very nice cars and serious attitude problems. I could go on. More and more often somewhere in the relating of these incidents the phrase " this Russian guy " would come up. It was the increased use of this phrase that was so noticeable.

And now the disclaimer.

Before anybody goes off, I am not anti-Russian, Russo-phobic, what have you. I studied the Russian language in high school and college (admittedly decades ago). My tax guy is Russian. I love him. My day to day interactions have led me to this pop psychology observation: the extreme conditions that produced that people and culture produced extremes. When they are of the good, loving , caring, cultured, helpful sort, you could ask for no better friends. The generosity can be embarrassing. When they are of the materialistic, evil, self-centered don't f**k with me I am THE BADDEST ASS ON THE PLANET sort, the level of mania and self-importance is impossible to deal with, just get as far away as possible. It's worked for me.

Joe Average , July 13, 2017 at 8:10 pm

backwardsevolution,

thanks for the info. I'll add the book to the list of books onto my to-read list. As far as I know a Kibbutz could be described as a Communist microcosm. The whole idea of Communism itself is based on Marx (a Jew by birth). A while ago I had started reading "Mein Kampf". I've got to finish the book, in order to see if my assumption is correct. I guess that this book puts blame for Communism entirely on the Jewish people and that this gave even further rise to antisemitism in the Germany of the 1930's.

The most known Russian Oligarchs that I've heard of are mainly of Jewish origin, but as far as I know they had been too young to be commissars at the time of the demise of the USSR. At least one aspect I've read of many times is that a lot of them built their fortunes with the help of quite shady business dealings.

With regard to President Putin I've read that he made a deal with the oligarchs: they should pay their taxes, keep/invest their money in Russia and keep out of politics. In return he wouldn't dig too deep into their past. Right at the moment everybody in the West is against President Putin, because he stopped the looting of his country and its citizens and that's something our Western oligarchs and financial institutions don't like.

On a side note: Several years ago I had started to read several volumes about German history. Back then I didn't notice an important aspect that should attract my attention a few years later when reading about the rise of John D. Rockefeller. Charlemagne (Charles the Great) took over power from the Merovingians. Prior to becoming King of the Franks he had been Hausmeier (Mayor of the Palace) for the Merovingians. Mayor of the Palace was the title of the manager of the household, which seems to be similar to a procurator and/or accountant (bookkeeper). The similarity of the beginnings of both careers struck me. John D. Rockefeller started as a bookkeeper. If you look at Bill Gates you'll realize that he was smart enough to buy an operating system for a few dollars, improved it and sold it to IBM on a large scale. The widely celebrated Steve Jobs was basically the marketing guy, whilst the real brain behind (the product) Apple had been Steve Wozniak.

Another side note: If we're going down the path of neo-liberalism it will lead us straight back to feudalism – at least if the economy doesn't blow up (PCR, Michael Hudson, Mike Whitney, Mike Maloney, Jim Rogers, Richard D. Wolff, and many more economists make excellent points that our present Western economy can't go on forever and is kept alive artificially).

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 12:50 am

Joe Average – somehow my reply to you ended up above your post. What? How did that happen? You can find it there. Thanks for the interesting info about John D. Rockefeller, Gates, Jobs and Wozniak. Some are good managers, others good at sales, while others are the creative inventors.

Yes, Joe, I totally agree that we are headed back to feudalism. I don't think we'll have much choice as the oil is running out. We'll probably be okay, but our children? I worry about them. They'll notice a big change in their lifetimes. The discovery and capture of oil pulled forward a large population. As we scale back, we could be in trouble, food-wise. Or at least it looks that way.

Thanks, Joe.

Miranda Keefe , July 14, 2017 at 5:48 am

Charlemagne did not take over from the Merovingians. The Mayor of the Palace was not an accountant.

During the 7th Century the Mayor of the Place more and more became the actual ruler of the Franks. The office had existed for over a century and was basically the "prime minister" to the king. By the time Pepin of Herstal, a scion of a powerful Frankish family, took the position in 680, the king was ceremonial leader doing ritual and the Mayor ruled- like the relationship of the Emperor and the Shogun in Japan. In 687 Pepin's Austrasia conquered Neustria and Burgundy and he added "Duke of the Franks" to his titles. The office became hereditary.

When Pepin died in 714 there was some unrest as nobles from various parts of the joint kingdoms attempted to get different ones of his heirs in the office until his son Charles Martel took the reins in 718. This is the famous Charles Martel who defeated the Moors at Tours in 732. But that was not his only accomplishment as he basically extended the Frankish kingdom to include Saxony. Charles not only ruled but when the king died he picked which possible heir would become king. Finally near the end of his reign he didn't even bother replacing the king and the throne was empty.

When Charles Martel died in 741 he followed Frankish custom and divided his kingdom among his sons. By 747 his younger son, Pepin the Short, had consolidated his rule and with the support of the Pope, deposed the last Merovingian King and became the first Carolingian King in 751- the dynasty taking its name from Charles Martel. Thus Pepin reunited the two aspects of the Frankish ruler, combining the rule of the Mayor with the ceremonial reign of the King into the new Kingship.

Pepin expanded the kingdom beyond the Frankish lands even more and his son, Charlemagne, continued that. Charlemagne was 8 when his father took the title of King. Charlemagne never was the Mayor of the Palace, but grew up as the prince. He became King of the Franks in 768 ruling with his brother, sole King in 781, and then started becoming King of other countries until he united it all in 800 as the restored Western Roman Emperor.

When he died in 814 the Empire was divided into three Kingdoms and they never reunited again. The western one evolved into France. The eastern one evolved in the Holy Roman Empire and eventually Germany. The middle one never solidified but became the Low Countries, Switzerland, and the Italian states.

Anna , July 14, 2017 at 9:45 am

The Canadian Minister Chrysta Freeland met with William Brawder in Davos a few months ago " -- Birds of a feather flock together. Mrs. Chrystal Freeland has a very interesting background for which she is very proud of: her granddad was a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator denounced by Jewish investigators: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/27/a-nazi-skeleton-in-the-family-closet/

Since the inti-Russian tenor of the Canadian Minister Chrysta Freeland is in accord with the US ziocons anti-Russian policies (never mind all this fuss about WWII Jewish mass graves in Ukraine), "Chrysta" is totally approved by the US government.

Joe Average , July 14, 2017 at 11:32 pm

I'll reply to myself in order to send a response to backwardsevolution and Miranda Keefe.

For a change I'll be so bold to ignore gentleman style and reply in the order of the posts – instead of Ladies first.

backwardsevolution,

in my first paragraph I failed to make a clear distinction. I started with the remark that I'm adding the book "Two Hundred Years Together" to my to-read list and then mentioned that I'm right now reading "Mein Kampf". All remarks after mentioning the latter book are directed at this one – and not the one of Solzhenitsyn.

Miranda Keefe,

I'm aware that accountant isn't an exact characterization of the concept of a Mayor of the Palace. As a precaution I had added the phrase "seems to be similar". You're correct with the statement that Charlemagne was descendant Karl Martel. At first I intended to write that Karolinger (Carolings) took over from Merowinger (Merovingians), because those details are irrelevant to the point that I wanted to make. It would've been an information overload. My main point was the power of accountants and related fields such as sales and marketing. Neither John D. Rockefeller, Bill Gates nor Steve Jobs actually created their products from scratch.

Many of those who are listed as billionaires haven't been creators / inventors themselves. Completely decoupled from actual production is banking. Warren Buffet is started as an investment salesman, later stock broker and investor. Oversimplified you could describe this activity as accounting or sales. It's the same with George Soros and Carl Icahn. Without proper supervision money managers (or accountants) had and still do screw those who had hired them. One of those victims is former billionaire heiress Madeleine Schickedanz ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeleine_Schickedanz ). Generalized you could also say that BlackRock is your money manager accountant. If you've got some investment (that dates back before 2008), which promises you a higher interest rate after a term of lets say 20 years, the company with which you have the contract with may have invested your money with BlackRock. The financial crisis of 2008 has shown that finance (accountants / money managers) are taking over. Aren't investment bankers the ones who get paid large bonuses in case of success and don't face hardly any consequences in case of failure? Well, whatever turn future might take, one thing is for sure: whenever SHTF even the most colorful printed pieces of paper will not taste very well.

Cal , July 13, 2017 at 10:13 pm

History's Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks on

http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1nppst

History's Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks . EVER SINCE THE Emperor Constantine established the legal position of the church in the

Many Bolsheviks fled to Germany , taking with them some loot that enabled them to get established in Germany. Lots of invaluable art work also.

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 1:54 am

Cal – read about "History's Greatest Heist" on Amazon. Sounds interesting. Was one of the main reasons for the Czar's overthrow to steal and then flee? It's got to have been on some minds. A lot of people got killed, and they would have had wedding rings, gold, etc. That doesn't even include the wealth that could be stolen from the Czar. Was the theft just one of those things that happened through opportunism, or was it one of the main reasons for the overthrow in the first place, get some dough and run with it?

Cal , July 14, 2017 at 2:22 pm

@ backwards

" Was the theft just one of those things that happened through opportunism, or was it one of the main reasons for the overthrow"'

imo some of both. I am sure when they were selling off Russian valuables to finance their revolution a lot of them set aside some loot for themselves.

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Cal – thank you. Good books like this get us closer and closer to the truth. Thank goodness for these people.

Brad Owen , July 14, 2017 at 11:45 am

An autocratic oligarch would probably be a better description. He probably believes like other Synarchist financiers that they should rightfully rule the World, and see democratic processes as heresy against "The Natural Order for human society", or some such belief.

Brad Owen , July 14, 2017 at 12:13 pm

Looking up "A short definition of Synarchism (a Post-Napoleonic social phenomenon) by Lyndon LaRouche" would give much insight into what's going on. People from the intelligence community made sure a copy of a 1940 army intelligence dossier labelled something like "Synarchism:NAZI/Communist" got into Lyndon's hands. It speaks of the the Synarchist method of attacking a targeted society from both extreme (Right-Left) ends of the political spectrum. I guess this is dialectics? I suppose the existence of the one extreme legitimizes the harsh, anti-democratic/anti-human measures taken to exterminate it by the other extreme, actually destroying the targeted society in the process. America, USSR, and (Sun Yat Sen's old Republic of) China were the targeted societies in the pre-WWII/WWII yearsfor their "sins" of championing We The People against Oligarchy. FDR knew the Synarchist threat and sided with Russia and China against Germany and Japan. He knew that, after dealing with the battlefield NAZIs, the "Boardroom" NAZIs would have to be dealt with Post-War. That all changed with his death.The Synarchists are still at it today, hence all the rabid Russo-phobia, the Pacific Pivot, and the drive towards war. This is all being foiled with Trump's friendly, cooperative approach towards Russia and China.

mike k , July 13, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Big Brother at work – always protecting us from upsetting information. How nice of him to insure our comfort. No need for us to bother with all of this confusing stuff, he can do all that for us. The mainstream media will tell us all we need to know .. (Virginia – please notice my use of irony.)

Joe Tedesky , July 13, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Do you remember mike K when porn was censored, and there were two sides to every issue as compromise was always on the table? Now porn is accessible on cable TV, and there is only one side to every issue, and that's I'm right about everything and your not, what compromise with you?

Don't get me wrong, I don't really care how we deal with porn, but I am very concerned to why censorship is showing up whereas we can't see certain things, for certain reasons we know nothing about. Also, I find it unnerving that we as a society continue to stay so undivided. Sure, we can't all see the same things the same way, but maybe it's me, and I'm getting older by the minute, but where is our cooperation to at least try and work with each other?

Always like reading your comments mike K Joe

Joe Average , July 13, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Joe,

when it comes to the choice of watching porn and bodies torn apart (real war pictures), I prefer the first one, although we in the West should be confronted with the horrible pictures of what we're assisting/doing.

Joe Tedesky , July 13, 2017 at 5:27 pm

This is where the Two Joe's are alike.

mike k , July 13, 2017 at 6:07 pm

I do remember those days Joe. I am 86 now, so a lot has changed since 1931. With the 'greed is good' philosophy in vogue now, those who seek compromise are seen as suckers for the more single minded to take advantage of. Respect for rules of decency is just about gone, especially at the top of the wealth pyramid.

Cal , July 13, 2017 at 10:15 pm

Yep

BannanaBoat , July 13, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Distraction from critical thinking, excellent observation ( please forget the NeoCon Demos they are responsible for half of the nightmare USA society has become.

ranney , July 13, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Wow Robert, what a fascinating article! And how complicated things become "when first we practice to deceive".
Abe thank you for the link to Ritter's article; that's a really good one too!

John , July 13, 2017 at 4:40 pm

If we get into a shooting war with Russia and the human race somehow survives it Robert Parry' s name will one day appear in the history books as the person who most thoroughly documented the events leading up to that war. He will be considered to be a top historian as well as a top journalist.

Abe , July 13, 2017 at 7:01 pm

"Browder, who abjured his American citizenship in 1998 to become a British subject, reveals more about his own selective advocacy of democratic principles than about the film itself. He might recall that in his former homeland freedom of the press remains a cherished value."

A Response to William Browder
By Rachel Bauman
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/response-william-browder-16654

Abe , July 13, 2017 at 7:16 pm

William Browder is a "shareholder activist" the way Mikhail Khodorkovsky is a "human rights activist".

Both loudly bleat the "story" of their heroic "fight for justice" for billionaire Jewish oligarchs: themselves.

http://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.686922.1447865981!/image/78952068.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_625/78952068.jpg

Abe , July 13, 2017 at 7:19 pm

"never driven by the money"
https://www.thejc.com/culture/books/be-careful-of-putin-he-is-a-true-enemy-of-jews-1.61745

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 2:50 am

Abe – "never driven by the money". No, he would never be that type of guy (sarc)!

"It's hard to know what Browder will do next. He rules out any government ambitions, instead saying he can achieve more by lobbying it.

This summer, he says he met "big Hollywood players" in a bid to turn his book into a major film.

"The most important next step in the campaign is to adapt the book into a Hollywood feature film," he says. "I have been approached by many film-makers and spent part of the summer in LA meeting with screenwriters, producers and directors to figure out what the best constellation of players will be on this.

"There are a lot of people looking at it. It's still difficult to say who we will end up choosing. There are many interesting options, but I'm not going to name any names."

What the ..? I can see it now, George Clooney in the lead role, Mr. White Helmets himself, with his twins in tow.

Kiza , July 15, 2017 at 1:56 am

Is it not impressive how money buys out reality in the modern world? This is why one can safely assume that whatever is told in the MSM is completely opposite to the truth. Would MSM have to push it if it were the truth? You may call this Kiza's Law if you like (modestly): " The truth is always opposite to what MSM say! " The 0.1% of situations where this is not the case is the margin of error.

Abe , July 13, 2017 at 7:39 pm

"no figure in this saga has a more tangled family relationship with the Kremlin than the London-based hedge fund manager Bill Browder [ ]

"there's a reticence in his Jewish narrative. One of his first jobs in London is with the investment operation of the publishing billionaire Robert Maxwell. As it happens, Maxwell was originally a Czech Jewish Holocaust survivor who fled and became a decorated British soldier, then helped in 1948 to set up the secret arms supply line to newly independent Israel from communist Czechoslovakia. He was also rumored to be a longtime Mossad agent. But you learn none of that from Browder's memoir.

"The silence is particularly striking because when Browder launches his own fund, he hires a former Israeli Mossad agent, Ariel, to set up his security operation, manned mainly by Israelis. Over time, Browder and Ariel become close. How did that connection come about? Was it through Maxwell? Wherever it started, the origin would add to the story. Why not tell it?

"When Browder sets up his own fund, Hermitage Capital Management -- named for the famed czarist-era St. Petersburg art museum, though that's not explained either -- his first investor is Beny Steinmetz, the Israeli diamond billionaire. Browder tells how Steinmetz introduced him to the Lebanese-Brazilian Jewish banking billionaire Edmond Safra, who invests and becomes not just a partner but also a mentor and friend.

"Safra is also internationally renowned as the dean of Sephardi Jewish philanthropy; the main backer of Israel's Shas party, the Sephardi Torah Guardians, and of New York's Holocaust memorial museum, and a megadonor to Yeshiva University, Hebrew University, the Weizmann Institute and much more. Browder must have known all that. Considering the closeness of the two, it's surprising that none of it gets mentioned.

"It's possible that Browder's reticence about his Jewish connections is simply another instance of the inarticulateness that seizes so many American Jews when they try to address their Jewishness."

http://forward.com/news/376788/the-secret-jewish-history-of-donald-trump-jrs-russia-scandal/

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 3:15 am

Abe – what a web. Money makes money, doesn't it? It's often what club you belong to and who you know. I remember a millionaire in my area long ago who went bankrupt. The wealthy simply chipped in, gave him some start-up money, and he was off to the races again. Simple as that. And I would think that the Jews are an even tighter group who invest with each other, are privy to inside information, get laws changed in favor of each other, pay people off when one gets in trouble. Browder seems a shifty sort. As the article says, he leaves a lot out.

Abe , July 14, 2017 at 11:37 pm

In 1988, Stanton Wheeler (Yale University – Law School), David L. Weisburd (Hebrew University of Jerusalem; George Mason University – The Department of Criminology, Law & Society; Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Faculty of Law). Elin Waring (Yale University – Law School), and Nancy Bode (Government of the State of Minnesota) published a major study on white collar crime in America.

Part of a larger program of research on white-collar crime supported by a grant from the United States Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice, the study included "the more special forms associated with the abuse of political power [ ] or abuse of financial power". The study was also published as a Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper

The research team noted that Jews were over-represented relative to their share of the U.S. population:

"With respect to religion, there is one clear finding. Although many in both white collar and common crime categories do not claim a particular religious faith [ ] It would be a fair summary of our. data to say that, demographically speaking, white collar offenders are predominantly middle-aged white males with an over-representation of Jews."

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2632989

In 1991, David L. Weisburd published his study of Crimes of the Middle Classes: White-Collar Offenders in the Federal Courts, Weisburd found that although Jews comprised only around 2% of the United States population, they contributed at least 9% of lower category white-collar crimes (bank embezzlement, tax fraud and bank fraud), at least 15% of moderate category white-collar crimes (mail fraud, false claims, and bribery), and at least 33% of high category white-collar crimes (antitrust and securities fraud). Weisburg showed greater frequency of Jewish offenders at the top of the hierarchy of white collar crime. In Weisbug's sample of financial crime in America, Jews were responsible for 23.9%.

Kiza , July 15, 2017 at 2:26 am

What I find most interesting is how Putin handles the Jews.

It is obvious that he is the one who saved the country of Russia from the looting of the 90s by the Russian-American Jewish mafia. This is the most direct explanation for his demonisation in the West, his feat will never be forgiven, not even in history books (a demon forever). Even to this day, for example in Syria, Putin's main confrontation is not against US then against the Zionist Jews, whose principal tool is US. Yet, there is not a single anti-Semitic sentence that Putin ever uttered. Also, Putin let the Jewish oligarchs who plundered Russia keep their money if they accepted the authority of the Russian state, kept employing Russians and paying Russian taxes. But he openly confronted those who refused (Berezovsky, Khodorovsky etc). Furthermore, Putin lets Israel bomb Syria under his protection to abandon. Finally, Putin is known in Russia as a great supporter of Jews and Israel, almost a good friend of Nutty Yahoo.

Therefore, it appears to me that the Putin's principal strategy is to appeal to the honest Jewish majority to restrain the criminal Jewish minority (including the criminally insane), to divide them instead of confronting them all as a group, which is what the anti-Semitic Europeans have traditionally been doing. His judo-technique is in using Jewish power to restrain the Jews. I still do not know if his strategy will succeed in the long run, but it certainly is an interesting new approach (unless I do not know history enough) to an ancient problem. It is almost funny how so many US people think that the problem with the nefarious Jewish money power started with US, if they are even aware of it.

Cal , July 16, 2017 at 5:41 am

" His judo-technique is in using Jewish power to restrain the Jews. "

The Jews have no power without their uber Jew money men, most of whom are ardent Zionist.
And because they get some benefits from the lobbying heft of the Zionist control of congress they arent going to go against them.

Abe , July 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Bill Browder with American-Israeli interviewer Natasha Mozgovaya, TV host for Voice of America.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbgNeQ_xINM

In this 2015 tirade, Browder declared "Someone has to punch Putin in the nose" and urged "supplying arms to the Ukrainians and putting troops, NATO troops, in all of the surrounding countries".

The choice of Mozgovaya as interviewer was significant to promote Browder with the Russian Jewish community abroad.

Born in the Soviet Union in 1979, Mozgovaya immigrated to Israel with her family in 1990. She became a correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth in 2000. Although working most of the time in Hebrew, her reports in Russian appeared in various publications in Russia.

Mozgovaya covered the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, including interviews with President Victor Yushenko and his partner-rival Yulia Timoshenko, as well as the Russian Mafia and Russian oligarchs. During the presidency of Vladimir Putin, Mozgovaya gave one of the last interviews with the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. She interviewed Garry Kasparov, Edward Limonov, Boris Berezovsky, Chechen exiles such as Ahmed Zakaev, and the widow of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.

In 2008, Mozgovaya left Yedioth Ahronoth to become the Washington Bureau Chief for Haaretz newspaper in Washington, D.C.. She was a frequent lecturer on Israel and Middle Eastern affairs at U.S. think-tanks. In 2013, Mozgovaya started working at the Voice of America.

HIDE BEHIND , July 13, 2017 at 7:43 pm

Gramps was decended from an old Irish New England Yankee lineage and in my youth he always dragged me along when the town meetings were held, so my ideas of American DEmocracy stem from that background, one of open participation.
The local newspapers had more social chit chat than political news of international or for that mstter State or Federal shenanigansbut everu member in that far flung settled communit read them from front to back; ss a child I got to read the funny and sports pages until Gramps got finidhed reading the "News Section, always the news first yhen the lesser BS when time allowed,this habit instilled in me the sence of
priority.
Aftrr I had read his dection of paper he would talk with me,even being a yonker, in a serious but opinionated manner, of the Editorial section which had local commentary letterd to the editor as large as somtimes too pages.
I wonder today at which section of papersf at all, is read by american public, and at how manyadults discuss importsn news worthy tppics with their children.
At advent of TV we still had trustworthy journalist to finally be seen after years of but reading their columns or listening on radios,almost tottaly all males but men of honesty and character, and worthy of trust.
They wrre a part of all social stratas, had lived real lives and yes most eere well educated but not the elitist thinking jrrks who are no more than parrots repeating whatevrr a teleprompter or bias of their employers say to write.
Wrll back to Gramps and hid home spun wisdom: He alwsys ,and shoeed by example at those old and somrtimes boistrous town Halls, that first you askef a question, thought about the answer, and then questioned the answer.
This made the one being question responsible for the words he spoke.
So those who have doubts by a presumed independent journalist, damn right they should question his motives, which in reality begin to answer our unspoken questions we can no longer ask those boobs for bombs and political sychophants and their paymasters of popular media outlets.
As one who likes effeciency in prodution one monitors data to spot trends and sny aberations bring questions so yes I note this journalist deviation from the norms as well.
I can only question the why, by looking at data from surrounding trends in order to later be able to question his answers.

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 2:07 am

Hide Behind – sounds like you had a smart grandpa, and someone who cared enough about you to talk things over with you (even though he was opinionated). I try to talk things over with my kids, sometimes too much. They're known on occasion to say, "Okay, enough. We're full." I wait a few days, and then fill them up some more! Ha.

Joe Tedesky , July 13, 2017 at 10:53 pm

Here's a thought; will letting go of Trump Jr's infraction cancel out a guilty verdict of Hillary Clinton's transgressions?

I keep hearing Hillary references while people defend Donald Trump Jr over his meeting with Russian Natalia Veselnitskaya. My thinking started over how I keep hearing pundits speak to Trump Jr's 'intent'. Didn't Comey find Hillary impossible to prosecute due to her lack of 'intent'? Actually I always thought that to be prosecuted under espionage charges, the law didn't need to prove intent, but then again we are talking about Hillary here.

The more I keep hearing Trump defenders make mention of Hillary's deliberate mistakes, and the more I keep hearing Democrates point to Donald Jr's opportunistic failures, the more similarity I see between the two rivals, and the more I see an agreed upon truce ending up in a tie. Remember we live in a one party system with two wings.

Am I going down the wrong road here, or could forgiving Trump Jr allow Hillary to get a free get out of jail card?

F. G. Sanford , July 14, 2017 at 12:42 am

I've been saying all along, our government is just a big can of worms, and neither side can expose the other without opening it. But insiders on both sides are flashing their can openers like it's a game of chicken. My guess is, everybody is gonna get a free pass. I read somewhere that Preet Bharara had the goods on a whole bunch of bankers, but he sat on it clear up to the election. Then, he got fired. So much for draining the swamp. If they prosecute Hillary, it looks like a grudge match. If they prosecute Junior, it looks like revenge. If they prosecute Lynch, it looks like racism. When you deal with a government this corrupt, everybody looks innocent by comparison. I'm still betting nobody goes to jail, as long as the "deep state" thinks they have Trump under control.

Joe Tedesky , July 14, 2017 at 1:29 am

It's like we are sitting on the top of a hill looking down at a bunch of little armies attacking each other, or something.

I'm really screwy, I have contemplated to if Petraues dropped a dime on himself for having a extra martial affair, just to get out of the Benghazi mess. Just thought I'd tell you that for full disclosure.

When it comes to Hillary, does anyone remember how in the beginning of her email investigation she pointed to Colin Powell setting precedent to use a private computer? That little snitch Hillary is always the one when caught to start pointing the finger .she would never have lasted in the Mafia, but she's smart enough to know what works best in Washington DC.

I'm just starting to see the magic; get the goods on Trump Jr then make a deal with the new FBI director.

Okay go ahead and laugh, but before you do pass the popcorn, and let's see how this all plays out.

Believe half of what you hear, and nothing of what you see.

Joe

Lisa , July 14, 2017 at 4:22 am

"Believe half of what you hear, and nothing of what you see."

Joe, where does this quote originate? Or is it a paraphrase?
I once had an American lecturer (political science) at the university, and he stressed the idea that we should not believe anything we read or hear and only half of what we see. This was l-o-o-ng ago, in the 60's.

Joe Tedesky , July 14, 2017 at 10:59 am

The first time I ever heard that line, 'believe nothing of what you see', was a friend of mine said it after we watched Roberto Clemente throw a third base runner out going towards home plate, as Robert threw the ball without a bounce to the catcher who was standing up, from the deep right field corner of the field .oh those were the days.

Gregory Herr , July 14, 2017 at 9:12 pm

JT,
Clemente had an unbelievable arm! The consummate baseball player I have family in western PA, an uncle your age in fact who remembers Clemente well. Roberto also happened to be a great human being.

Joe Tedesky , July 14, 2017 at 9:56 pm

I got loss at Forbes Field. I was seven years old, it was 1957. I got separated from my older cousin, we got in for 50 cents to sit in the left field bleachers. Like I said I loss my older cousin so I walked, and walked, and just about the time I wanted my mum the most I saw daylight. I followed the daylight out of the big garage door, and I was standing within a foot of this long white foul line. All of a sudden this Black guy started yelling at me in somekind of broken English to, 'get off the field, get out of here'. Then I felt a field ushers hand grab my shoulder, and as I turned I saw my cousin standing on the fan side of the right field side of the field. The usher picked me up and threw me over to my cousin, with a warning for him to keep his eye on me. That Black baseball player was a young rookie who was recently just drafted from the then Brooklyn Dodgers .#21 Roberto Clemente.

Gregory Herr , July 14, 2017 at 10:12 pm

You were a charmed boy and now you are a charmed man. Great story life is a Field of Dreams sometimes.

Zachary Smith , July 15, 2017 at 9:00 pm

Believe half of what you hear, and nothing of what you see.

My introduction to this had the wording the other way around:

"Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see."

This was because the workplace was saturated with rumors, and unfortunately there was a practice of management and union representatives "play-acting" for their audience. So what you "saw" was as likely as not a little theatrical production with no real meaning whatever. The two fellows shouting at each other might well be laughing about it over a cup of coffee an hour later.

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 2:01 am

Sanford – "But insiders on both sides are flashing their can openers " That's funny writing.

Gregory Herr , July 14, 2017 at 10:20 pm

yessir, love it

Kiza , July 15, 2017 at 2:41 am

Absolutely, one of the best political metaphors ever (unfortunately works in English language only).

Kiza , July 15, 2017 at 6:19 pm

BTW, they are flashing at each other not only can openers then also jail cells and grassy knolls these days. But the can openers would still be most scary.

Abe , July 14, 2017 at 2:13 am

Israeli banks have helped launder money for Russian oligarchs, while large-scale fraudulent industries, like binary options, have been allowed to flourish here.

A May 2009 diplomatic cable by the US ambassador to Israel warned that "many Russian oligarchs of Jewish origin and Jewish members of organized crime groups have received Israeli citizenship, or at least maintain residences in the country."

The United States estimated at the time that Russian crime groups had "laundered as much as $10 billion through Israeli holdings."

In 2009, then Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara charged 17 managers and employees of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims for defrauding Germany 42.5 million dollars by creating thousands of false benefit applications for people who had not suffered in the Holocaust.

The scam operated by creating phony applications with false birth dates and invented histories of persecution to process compensation claims. In some cases the recipients were born after World War II and at least one person was not even Jewish.

Among those charged was Semyon Domnitser, a former director of the conference. Many of the applicants were recruited from Brooklyn's Russian community. All those charged hail from Brooklyn.

When a phony applicant got a check, the scammers were given a cut, Bharara said. The fraud which has been going on for 16 years was related to the 400 million dollars which Germany pays out each year to Holocaust survivors.

Later, in November 2015, Bharara's office charged three Israeli men in a 23-count indictment that alleged that they ran a extensive computer hacking and fraud scheme that targeted JPMorgan Chase, The Wall Street Journal, and ten other companies.

According to prosecutors, the Israeli's operation generated "hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal profit" and exposed the personal information of more than 100 million people.

Despite his service as a useful idiot propagating the Magnitsky Myth, Bharara discovered that for Russian Jewish oligarchs, criminals and scam artists, the motto is "Nikogda ne zabyt'!" Perhaps more recognizable by the German phrase: "Niemals vergessen!"

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 3:00 am

Abe – wow, what a story. I guess it's lucrative to "never forget"! Bandits.

Cal , July 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm

https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=6180

National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS)
NCJRS Abstract
The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

NCJ Number: NCJ 006180
Title: CRIMINALITY AMONG JEWS – AN OVERVIEW

United States of America
Journal: ISSUES IN CRIMINOLOGY Volume:6 Issue:2 Dated:(SUMMER 1971) Pages:1-39
Date Published: 1971
Page Count: 15
.
Abstract: THE CONCLUSION OF MOST STUDIES IS THAT JEWS HAVE A LOW CRIME RATE. IT IS LOWER THAN THAT OF NON-JEWS TAKEN AS A WHOLE, LOWER THAN THAT OF OTHER RELIGIOUS GROUPS,

HOWEVER, THE JEWISH CRIME RATE TENDS TO BE HIGHER THAN THAT OF NONJEWS AND OTHER RELIGIOUS GROUPS FOR WHITE-COLLAR OFFENSES,

THAT IS, COMMERCIAL OR COMMERCIALLY RELATED CRIMES, SUCH AS FRAUD, FRAUDULENT BANKRUPTCY, AND EMBEZZLEMENT.

Index Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences ; Adult offenders ; Minorities ; Behavioral science research ; Offender classification

Country: United States of America
Language: English

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Cal – that does not surprise me at all. Of course they would be where the money is, and once you have money, you get nothing but the best defense. "I've got time and money on my side. Go ahead and take me to court. I'll string this thing along and it'll cost you a fortune. So let's deal. I'm good with a fine."

A rap on the knuckles, a fine, and no court case, no discovery of the truth that the people can see. Of course they'd be there. That IS the only place to be if you want to be a true criminal.

Skip Scott , July 15, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Thanks again Abe, you are a wealth of information. I think you have to allow for anyone to make a mistake, and Bharara has done a lot of good.

BannanaBoat , July 14, 2017 at 10:45 am

USA justice for Oilygarchs; Ignore capital crimes and mass destruction ; concentrate on entertaining shenanigans.

Cal , July 13, 2017 at 11:39 pm

If Trump wants to survive he better let go of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Lets start here:

Trump's personal attorneys are reportedly fed up with Jared Kushner
http://www.businessinsider.com/jared-kushner-trump-lawyers-donald-jr-emails-2017-7

Longtime Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz and his team have directed their grievance at Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser.
Citing a person familiar with Trump's legal team, The Times said Kasowitz has bristled at Kushner's "whispering in the president's ear" about stories on the Russia investigation without telling Kasowitz and his team.
The Times' source said the attorneys, who were hired as private counsel to Trump in light of the Russia investigation, view Kushner "as an obstacle and a freelancer" motivated to protect himself over over Trump. The lawyers reportedly told colleagues the work environment among Trump's inner circle was untenable, The Times said, suggesting Kasowitz could resign

Second
Who thinks Jared works for Trump? I don't.
Jared works for his father Charles Kushner, the former jail bird who hired prostitutes to blackmail his brother in law into not testifying against him. Jared spent every weekend his father was in prison visiting him.,,they are inseparable.

Third
So what is Jared doing in his WH position to help his father and his failing RE empire?

Trying to get loans from China, Russia, Qatar,Qatar

And why Is Robert Mueller Probing Jared Kushner's Finances?

Because of this no doubt:..seeking a loan for the Kushners from a Russian bank.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/03/sergei-gorkov-russian-banker-jared-kushner

The White House and the bank have offered differing accounts of the Kushner-Gorkov sit-down. While the White House said Kushner met Gorkov and other foreign representatives as a transition official to "help advance the president's foreign policy goals." Vnesheconombank, also known as VEB, said it was part of talks with business leaders about the bank's development strategy.
It said Kushner was representing Kushner companies, his family real estate empire.

Jared Kushner 'tried and failed to get a $500m loan from Qatar before
http://www.independent.co.uk › News › World › Americas › US politics
2 days ago –
Jared Kushner tried and failed to secure a $500m loan from one of Qatar's richest businessmen, before pushing his father-in-law to toe a hard line with the country, it has been alleged. This intersection between Mr Kushner's real estate dealings and his father-in-law's

The Kushners are about to lose their shirts..unless one of those foreign country's banks gives them the money.

At Kushners' Flagship Building, Mounting Debt and a Foundered Deal
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/03/nyregion/kushner-companies-666-fifth-avenue.html
The Fifth Avenue skyscraper was supposed to be the Kushner Companies' flagship in the heart of Manhattan -- a record-setting $1.8 billion souvenir proclaiming that the New Jersey developers Charles Kushner and his son Jared were playing in the big leagues.
And while it has been a visible symbol of their status, it has also it has also been a financial headache almost from the start. On Wednesday, the Kushners announced that talks had broken off with a Chinese financial conglomerate for a deal worth billions to redevelop the 41-story tower, at 666 Fifth Avenue, into a flashy 80-story ultraluxury skyscraper comprising a chic retail mall, a hotel and high-priced condominiums"

Get these cockroaches out of the WH please.,,,Jared and his sister are running around the world trying to get money in exchange for giving them something from the Trump WH.

BannanaBoat , July 14, 2017 at 10:52 am

The NYC skyline displays 666 in really really really HUGE !!!! numbers. Perhaps the USA government as Cheney announced has gone to the very very very DARK side.

Cal , July 14, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Yea 666 probably isn't a coincidence .lol

Chris Kinder , July 14, 2017 at 12:15 am

What I think most comments overlook here is the following: the US is the primary imperialist aggressor in the world today, and Russia, though it is an imperialist competitor, is much weaker and is generally losing ground. Early on, the US promised that NATO would not be extended into Eastern Europe, but now look at what's happened: not only does the US have NATO allies and and missiles in Eastern Europe, but it also engineered a coup against a pro-Russian regime in Ukraine, and is now trying to drive Russia out of Eastern Ukraine, as in Crimea and the Donbass and other areas of Eastern Ukraine, which are basically Russian going back more than a century. Putin is pretty mild compered to the US' aggressive stance. That's number one.

Number two is that the current anti-Russian hysteria in the US is all about maintaining the same war-mongering stance against Russia that existed in the cold war, and also about washing clean the Democratic Party leadership's crimes in the last election. Did the Russians hack the election? Maybe they tried, but the point is that what was exposed–the emails etc–were true information! They show that the DNC worked to deprive Bernie Sanders of the nomination, and hide crimes of the Clintons'! These exposures, not any Russian connection to the exposures, are what really lost Hillary the election.

So, what is going on here? The Democrats are trying to hide their many transgressions behind an anti-Russian scare, why? Because it is working, and because it fits in with US imperialist anti-Russian aims which span the entire post-war period, and continue today. And because it might help get Trump impeached. I would not mind that result one bit, but the Democrats are no alternative: that has been shown to be true over and over again.

This is all part of the US attempt to be the dominant imperialist power in the world–something which it has pursued since the end of the last world war, and something which both Democrats and Republicans–ie, the US ruling class behind them–are committed to. Revolutionaries say: the main enemy is at home, and that is what I say now. That is no endorsement of Russian imperialism, but a rejection of all imperialism and the capitalist exploitative system that gives rise to it.

Thanks for your attention -- Chris Kinder

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 1:58 am

Chris – good post. Thanks.

mike k , July 14, 2017 at 11:35 am

Chris, I think most commenters here are aware of everything you summarized above, but we just don't put all that in each individual post.

Paranam Kid , July 14, 2017 at 6:40 am

It is ironic that Browder on his website describes himself as running a battle against corporate corruption in Russia, and there is a quote by Walter Isaacson: "Bill Browder is an amazing moral crusader". http://www.billbrowder.com/bio

HIDE BEHIND , July 14, 2017 at 10:02 am

One cannot talk of Russian monry laundering in US without exposing the Jewish Israeli and many AIPAC connections.
I studied not so much the Jewish Orthodoxy but mainly the evolution of noth their outlook upon G.. but also how those who do not believe in a G.. and still keep their cultural cohesiveness
The largest money laundering group in US is
both Jewish and Israeli, and while helping those of their cultural similarities, their ecpertise goes. Very deep in Eastern U.S. politics and especially strong in all commercial real estate, funding, setting up bribes to permitting officials,contractors and owners of construvtion firms.
Financials some quite large are within this Jew/Israel connections, as all they who offshore need those proper connections to do so. take bribes need the funding cleaned and
flow out through very large tax free Jewish Charity Orgd, the largest ones are those of Orthodox.
GOV Christie years ago headed the largest sting operation to try and uproot what at that time he believed was just statewide tax fraud and laundering operations, many odd cash flows into political party hacks running for evrry gov position electefd or appointed.
Catchng a member of one of the most influential Orthofox familys mrmbers, that member rolled on many many indivifuals of his own culture.
It was only when Vhristies investigative team began turning up far larger cases of laundering and political donations thst msinly centered in NY Stste and City, fid he then find out howuch power this grouping had.
Soon darn near every AIPAC aided elected politico from city state and rspecially Congress was warning him to end investigation.
Which he did.
His reward was for his fat ass to be funded for a run towards US Presidency, without any visibly open opposition by that cultural grouping.
No it is not odd for Jewery to charge goyim usury or to aid in political schemes that advance their groups aims.
One thing to remenber by the Bible thumpers who delay any talks of Israel ; Christian Zionist, is that to be of their culture one does not have to believe in G.
There are a few excellent books written about early days Jewish immigrant Pre Irish andblre Sicilian mafias.
The Jewish one remainst to this day but are as well orgNized as the untold history of what is known as "The Southern mafia.

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Hide Behind – fascinating! I guess if we ever knew half of what goes on behind the scenes, we'd be shocked. We only ever know things like this exist when people like you enlighten us, or when there's a blockbuster movie about it. Thanks.

Deborah Andrew , July 14, 2017 at 10:03 am

With great respect and appreciation for your writing about the current unsubstantiated conversations/writing about 'Russia-gate' I would ask if 'the other side of a story' is really what we want or, is it that we want all the facts. Analysis and opinions, that include the facts, may differ. However, it is the readers who will evaluate the varied analysis and opinions when they include all the facts known. I raise this question, as it seems to me that we have a binary approach to our thinking and decision making. Something is either good or bad, this or that. Sides are taken. Labels are added (such as conservative and progressive). Would we not be wiser and would our decision making not be wiser if it were based on a set of principles? My own preference: the precautionary principle and the principle of do no harm. I am suggesting that we abandon the phrase and notion of the 'other side of the story' and replace it with: based on the facts now known, or, based on all the facts revealed to date or, until more facts are revealed it appears

BannanaBoat , July 14, 2017 at 11:00 am

HEAR -- HEAR -- Excellent --

Zachary Smith , July 14, 2017 at 11:04 am

I would ask if 'the other side of a story' is really what we want or, is it that we want all the facts.

Replying to a question with another question isn't really good form, but given my knowledge level of this case I can see no alternative.

How do you propose to determine the "facts" when virtually none of the characters involved in the affair appear trustworthy? Also, there is a lot of evidence (displayed by Mr. Parry) that another set of "characters" we call the Mainstream Media are extremely biased and one-sided with their coverage of the story.

Again – Where am I going to find those "facts" you speak of?

Kiza , July 15, 2017 at 2:52 am

Spot on.

backwardsevolution , July 14, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Deborah Andrew – good comment, but the problem is that we never seem to get "the other side of the story" from the MSM. You are right in pointing out that "the other side of the story" probably isn't ALL there is (as nothing is completely black and white), but at least it's something. The only way we can ever get to the truth is to put the facts together and question them, but how are you going to do that when the facts are kept away from us?

It can be very frustrating, can't it, Deborah? Cheers.

Cal , July 14, 2017 at 8:52 pm

Nice comment.

None of us can know the exact truth of anything we ourselves haven't seen or been involved in. The best we can do is try to find trusted sources, be objective, analytical and compare different stories and known the backgrounds and possible agendas of the people involved in a issue or story.

We can use some clues to help us cull thru what we hear and read.

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation

Note: The first rule and last five (or six, depending on situation) rules are generally not directly within the ability of the traditional disinfo artist to apply. These rules are generally used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don't discuss it -- especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it's not reported, it didn't happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the 'How dare you!' gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method which works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such 'arguable rumors'. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a 'wild rumor' from a 'bunch of kids on the Internet' which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent's argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary 'attack the messenger' ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as 'kooks', 'right-wing', 'liberal', 'left-wing', 'terrorists', 'conspiracy buffs', 'radicals', 'militia', 'racists', 'religious fanatics', 'sexual deviates', and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism, reasoning -- simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent's viewpoint.

7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could be taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough 'jargon' and 'minutia' to illustrate you are 'one who knows', and simply say it isn't so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues except with denials they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man -- usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with – a kind of investment for the future should the matter not be so easily contained.) Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually then be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues -- so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.

11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the 'high road' and 'confess' with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made -- but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, 'just isn't so.' Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later, and even publicly 'call for an end to the nonsense' because you have already 'done the right thing.' Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for 'coming clean' and 'owning up' to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.

12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to lose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.

13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards or with an apparent deductive logic which forbears any actual material fact.

14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best with issues qualifying for rule 10.

15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.

16. Vanish evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won't have to address the issue.

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can 'argue' with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.

18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can't do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how 'sensitive they are to criticism.'

19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the 'play dumb' rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon.) In order to completely avoid discussing issues, it may be required that you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.

20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations -- as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.

21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed and unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed. Usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim.

22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.

24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of theircharacter by release of blackmail information, or merely by destroying them financially, emotionally, or severely damaging their health.

25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen. .

Note: There are other ways to attack truth, but these listed are the most common, and others are likely derivatives of these. In the end, you can usually spot the professional disinfo players by one or more of seven (now 8) distinct traits:

Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist
by H. Michael Sweeney
copyright (c) 1997, 2000 All rights reserved

(Revised April 2000 – formerly SEVEN Traits)

1) Avoidance. They never actually discuss issues head-on or provide constructive input, generally avoiding citation of references or credentials. Rather, they merely imply this, that, and the other. Virtually everything about their presentation implies their authority and expert knowledge in the matter without any further justification for credibility.

2) Selectivity. They tend to pick and choose opponents carefully, either applying the hit-and-run approach against mere commentators supportive of opponents, or focusing heavier attacks on key opponents who are known to directly address issues. .

3) Coincidental. They tend to surface suddenly and somewhat coincidentally with a new controversial topic with no clear prior record of participation in general discussions in the particular public arena involved. They likewise tend to vanish once the topic is no longer of general concern. They were likely directed or elected to be there for a reason, and vanish with the reason.

4) Teamwork. They tend to operate in self-congratulatory and complementary packs or teams. Of course, this can happen naturally in any public forum, but there will likely be an ongoing pattern of frequent exchanges of this sort where professionals are involved. Sometimes one of the players will infiltrate the opponent camp to become a source for straw man or other tactics designed to dilute opponent presentation strength.

5) Anti-conspiratorial. They almost always have disdain for 'conspiracy theorists' and, usually, for those who in any way believe JFK was not killed by LHO. Ask yourself why, if they hold such disdain for conspiracy theorists, do they focus on defending a single topic discussed in a NG focusing on conspiracies? One might think they would either be trying to make fools of everyone on every topic, or simply ignore the group they hold in such disdain.Or, one might more rightly conclude they have an ulterior motive for their actions in going out of their way to focus as they do.

6) Artificial Emotions. An odd kind of 'artificial' emotionalism and an unusually thick skin -- an ability to persevere and persist even in the face of overwhelming criticism and unacceptance. You might have outright rage and indignation one moment, ho-hum the next, and more anger later -- an emotional yo-yo. With respect to being thick-skinned, no amount of criticism will deter them from doing their job, and they will generally continue their old disinfo patterns without any adjustments to criticisms of how obvious it is that they play that game -- where a more rational individual who truly cares what others think might seek to improve their communications style, substance, and so forth, or simply give up.

7) Inconsistent. There is also a tendency to make mistakes which betray their true self/motives. This may stem from not really knowing their topic, or it may be somewhat 'freudian', so to speak, in that perhaps they really root for the side of truth deep within.

8) BONUS TRAIT: Time Constant. Wth respect to News Groups, is the response time factor. There are three ways this can be seen to work, especially when the government or other empowered player is involved in a cover up operation:
1) ANY NG posting by a targeted proponent for truth can result in an IMMEDIATE response. The government and other empowered players can afford to pay people to sit there and watch for an opportunity to do some damage. SINCE DISINFO IN A NG ONLY WORKS IF THE READER SEES IT – FAST RESPONSE IS CALLED FOR, or the visitor may be swayed towards truth.
2) When dealing in more direct ways with a disinformationalist, such as email, DELAY IS CALLED FOR – there will usually be a minimum of a 48-72 hour delay. This allows a sit-down team discussion on response strategy for best effect, and even enough time to 'get permission' or instruction from a formal chain of command.
3) In the NG example 1) above, it will often ALSO be seen that bigger guns are drawn and fired after the same 48-72 hours delay – the team approach in play. This is especially true when the targeted truth seeker or their comments are considered more important with respect to potential to reveal truth. Thus, a serious truth sayer will be attacked twice for the same sin.

Michael Kenny , July 14, 2017 at 11:22 am

I don't really see Mr Parry's point. The banning of Nekrasov's film isn't proof of the accuracy of its contents and even less does it prove that anything that runs counter to Nekrasov's argument is false. Nor does proving that a mainstream meida story is false prove that an internet story saying the opposite is true. "A calls B a liar. B proves that A is a liar. That proves that B is truthful." Not very logical! What seems to be established is that the lawyer in question represents a Russian-owned company, a money-laundering prosecution against which was settled last May on the basis of what the company called a "surprise" offer from prosecutors that was "too good to refuse". This "Russian government attorney" (dixit Goldstone) had information concerning illegal campaign contributions to the Democratic National Committee. Trump Jr jumped at it and it makes no difference whether he was tricked or even whether he actually got anything, his intent was clear. In addition DNC "dirt" did indeed appear on the internet via Wikileaks, just as "dirt" appeared in the French election. MacronLeaks proves Russiagate and "Juniorgate" confirms MacronLeaks. The question now is did Trump, as president, intervene to bring about this "too good to refuse" offer? That question cannot just be written off with the "no evidence" argument.

Skip Scott , July 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm

God, you are persistent if nothing else. Keep repeating the same lie until it is taken as true, just like the MSM. You say that Russia-gate, Macron leaks, etc can't be written off with the "no evidence" argument (how is that logical?), and then you trash a film you haven't even seen because it doesn't fit your narrative. Maybe some evidence is provided in the film, did you consider that possibility? That fact that Nekrasov started out to make a pro Broder film, and then switched sides, leads me to believe he found some disturbing evidence. And if you look into Nekrasov you will find that he is no fan of Putin, so one has to wonder what his motive is if he is lying.

I am wondering if you ever look back at previous posts, because you never reply to a rebuttal. If you did, you would see that you are almost universally seen by the commenters here as a troll. If you are being paid, I suppose it might not matter much to you. However, your employer should look for someone with more intelligent arguments. He is wasting his money on you.

Abe , July 14, 2017 at 9:27 pm

Propaganda trolls attempt to trash the information space by dismissing, distracting, diverting, denying, deceiving and distorting the facts.

The trolls aim at confusing rather than convincing the audience.

The tag team troll performance of "Michael Kenny" and "David" is accompanied by loud declarations that they have "logic" on their side and "evidence" somewhere. Then they shriek that they're being "censored".

Propaganda trolls target the comments section of independent investigative journalism sites like Consortium News, typically showing up when articles discuss the West's "regime change" wars and deception operations.

Pro-Israel Hasbara propaganda trolls also strive to discredit websites, articles, and videos critical of Israel and Zionism. Hasbara smear tactics have intensified due to increasing Israeli threats of military aggression, Israeli collusion with the United States in "regime change" projects from the Middle East to Eastern Europe, and Israeli links to international organized crime and terrorism in Syria.

Kiza , July 15, 2017 at 3:04 am

Gee Abe, you are a magician (and I thought that you only quote excellent articles). Short and sharp.

Abe , July 15, 2017 at 4:15 pm

When they have a hard time selling that they're being "censored" (after more than a dozen comments), trolls complain that they're being "dismissed" and "invalidated" by "hostile voices".

exiled off mainstreet , July 14, 2017 at 1:54 pm

Aaron Kesel, in Activistpost documents the links between Veselnitskaya and Fusion GPS, the company engaged by the Clintons to prepare the defamatory Christopher Steele Dossier against Trump later used by Comey to help gin up the Russian influence conspiracy theory. In the article, it is true the GPS connection may have involved her lobbying efforts to overturn the Magnitsky law, not the dossier, but it is also interesting that she is on record as anti-Trump and having associations with Clinton democrats. Though it may have been part of the beginnings of a conspiracy, the conspiracy may have developed later and the meeting became something they related back to to bolster this fraudulent dangerous initiative.

mike k , July 14, 2017 at 2:01 pm

I think as you say Skip that most on this blog have seen through Michael Kenny's stuff. Nobody's buying it. He's harmless. If he's here on his own dime, if we don't feed him, he will get bored and go away. If he's being payed, he may persist, but so what. Sometimes I check the MSM just to see what the propaganda line is. Kenny is like that; his shallow arguments tell me what we must counter to wake people up.

Skip Scott , July 14, 2017 at 5:51 pm

Yeah mike k, I know you're right. I don't know why I let the guy get under my skin. Perhaps it's because he never responds to a rebuttal.

Kiza , July 15, 2017 at 3:14 am

Then you would have to waste more time rebutting the (equally empty) rebuttal.

The second thing is that many trolls suffer from DID, that is the Dissociative Identity Disorder, aka sock puppetry. There is a bit of similarity in argument between David and Michael and HAWKINS, only one of them rebuts quite often.

Philippe Lemoine , July 14, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Another excellent article! I wrote a very detailed blog post in which I methodically take apart the latest "revelation" about Donald Trump Jr.'s emails. I talk a lot about the Magnitsky Act, which is very relevant to this whole story.

Joe Tedesky , July 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

I always like reading your articles Philippe, you have a real talent. Maybe read what I wrote above, but I'm sensing this Trump Jr affair will help Hillary more than anything, to give her a reprieve from any further FBI investigations. I mean somehow, I'm sure by Hillary's standards and desires, that this whole crazy investigation thing has to end. So, would it not seem reasonable to believe that by allowing Donald Jr to be taken off the hook, that Hillary likewise will enjoy the taste of forgiveness?

Tell me if you think this Donald Trump Jr scandal could lead to this Joe

PS if so this could be a good next article to write there I go telling the band what to play, but seriously if this Russian conclusion episode goes on much longer, could you not see a grand bargain and a deal being made?

Philippe Lemoine , July 14, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Thanks for the compliment, I'm glad you like the blog. I wasn't under the impression that Clinton was under any particular danger from the Justice Department, but even if she was, she doesn't have the power to stop this Trump/Russia collusion nonsense because it's pushed by a lot of people that have nothing to do with her except for the fact that they would have preferred her to win.

Abe , July 14, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Excellent summary and analysis, Philippe. Key observation:

"as even the New York Times admits, there is no evidence that Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort for 20-30 minutes on 9 June 2016, provided any such information during that meeting. Donald Trump Jr. said that, although he asked her about it, she didn't give them anything on Clinton, but talked to him about the Magnitsky Act and Russia's decision to block adoption by American couples in retaliation. Of course, if we just had his word, we'd have no particularly good reason to believe him. But the fact remains that no documents of the sort described in Goldstone's ridiculous email ever surfaced during the campaign, which makes what he is saying about how the meeting went down pretty convincing, at least on this specific point. It should be noted that Donald Trump Jr. has offered to testify under oath about anything related to this meeting. Moreover, he also said during the interview he gave to Sean Hannity that there was no follow-up to this meeting, which is unlikely to be a lie since he must know that, given the hysteria about this meeting, it would come out. He may not be the brightest guy in the world, but surely he or at least the people who advised him before that interview are not that stupid."

Philippe Lemoine , July 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm

Thanks!

exiled off mainstreet , July 16, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Your own necpluribus article was one of the best I've seen summarising the whole controversy, and your exhaustive responses to the pro-deep state critics was edifying. I am now convinced that your view of Veselnitskaya's role in the affair and the nature her connections to the dossier drafting company GPS being based on their unrelated work on the magnitsky law is accurate.

Mike , July 14, 2017 at 9:36 pm

Pretty interesting:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-jr-russia-bill-browder-testify-senate-links-natalia-veselnitskaya-steele-dossier-a7840061.html

Big Tim , July 15, 2017 at 12:31 am

"Bill Browder, born into a notable Jewish family in Chicago, is the grandson of Earl Browder, the former leader of the Communist Party USA,[2] and the son of Eva (Tislowitz) and Felix Browder, a mathematician. He grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and attended the University of Chicago where he studied economics. He received an MBA from Stanford Business School[3] in 1989 where his classmates included Gary Kremen and Rich Kelley. In 1998, Browder gave up his US citizenship and became a British citizen.[4] Prior to setting up Hermitage, Browder worked in the Eastern European practice of the Boston Consulting Group[5] in London and managed the Russian proprietary investments desk at Salomon Brothers.[6]"

Rake , July 15, 2017 at 9:13 am

Successfully keeping a salient argument from being heard is scary, given the social media and alternative media players who are all ripe to uncover a bombshell. Sy Hersh needs to convince Nekrasov to get his documentary to WkiLeaks.

Anna , July 15, 2017 at 10:25 am

"Sy Hersh needs to convince Nekrasov to get his documentary to WkiLeaks."
Agree.

P. Clark , July 15, 2017 at 12:01 pm

When Trump suggested that a Mexican-American judge might be biased because of this ethnicity the media said this was racist. Yet these same outlets like the New York Times are now routinely questioning Russian-American loyalty because of their ethnicity. As usual a ridiculous double standard. Basically the assumption is all Russians are bad. We didn't even have this during the cold war.

Cal , July 15, 2017 at 8:10 pm

Yes indeed P. Clark .that kind or hypocrisy makes my head explode!

MichaelAngeloRaphaelo , July 15, 2017 at 12:17 pm

Enough's Enough
STOP DNC/DEMs
#CryBabyFakeNewsBS

Support Duly ELECTED
@POTUS @realDonaldTrump
#BoycottFakeNewsSponsors
#DrainTheSwamp
#MAGA

Roy G Biv , July 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm

CN article on 911 truthers:

https://www.consortiumnews.com/2011/011511.html

Finnish wonderer , July 15, 2017 at 1:19 pm

Wow, I just learned via this article that in US Nekrasov is labeled as "pro-Kremlin" by WaPo. That's just too funny. He's in a relationship with a Finnish MEP Heidi Hautala, who is very well known for her anti-Russia mentality. Nekrasov is defenetly anti-Kremlin if something. He was supposed to make an anti-Kremlin documentary, but the facts turned out to be different than he thought, but still finished his documentary.

Mark Dankof , July 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm

The lengths to which the Neo Conservative War Cabal will go to destroy freedom of speech and access to alternative news sources underscores that the United States is becoming an Orwellian agitation-propaganda police state equally dedicated to igniting World War III for Netanyahu, the Central Banks, our Wahhabic Petrodollar Partners, and a pipeline consortium or two. The Old American Republic is dead.

Roy G Biv , July 15, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Interesting to note that each and everyone of David's comments were bleached from this page. Looks like he was right about the censorship. Sad.

Abe , July 15, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Note "allegations that are unsupported by facts".

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/01/19/a-reminder-about-comment-rules-2/

David , July 16, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Duly noted Abe. But you should adhere to the first part of the statement that you somehow forgot to include:

From Editor Robert Parry: At Consortiumnews, we welcome substantive comments about our articles, but comments should avoid abusive language toward other commenters or our writers, racial or religious slurs (including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia), and allegations that are unsupported by facts.

Kiza , July 15, 2017 at 6:06 pm

My favorite was David's claim that he contributed to this zine whilst it was publishing articles not to his liking (/sarc). I kindly reminded him that people pay much more money to have publishing the way they like it – for example how much Bezos paid for Washington Post, or Omidyar to establish The Intercept.

Except for such funny component, David's comments were totally substance free and useless. Nothing lost with bleaching.

Roy G Biv , July 16, 2017 at 5:44 am

You're practicing disinformation. He actually said he contributed early on and had problems with the recent course of the CN trajectory. Censorship is cowardly.

Abe , July 16, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Consortium News welcomes substantive comments.

"David" was presenting allegations unsupported by facts and disrupting on-topic discussion.

Violations of CN comment policy are taken down by the moderator. Period. It has nothing to do with "censorship".

Stop practicing disinformation and spin, "Roy G Biv".

David , July 16, 2017 at 3:57 pm

I stopped contributing after the unintellectual dismissal of scientific 911 truthers. And it's easy for you to paint over my comments as they have been scrubbed. There was plenty of useful substance, it just ran against the tide. Sorry you didn't appreciate it the contrary viewpoint or have the curiosity to read the backstory.

Abe , July 16, 2017 at 5:02 pm

The cowardly claim of "censorship".

The typical troll whine is that their "contrary viewpoint" was "dismissed" merely because it "ran against the tide".

No. Your allegations were unsupported by facts. They still are.

Martyrdom is just another troll tactic.

dub , July 15, 2017 at 9:44 pm

torrent for the film?

Roy G Biv , July 16, 2017 at 5:56 am

Here is the pdf of the legal brief about the Magnitsky film submitted by Senator Grassly to Homeland Security Chief. Interesting read and casts doubt on the claims made in the film, refutes several claims actually. Skip past Chuck Grassly's first two page intro to get to the meat of it. If you are serious about a debate on the merits of the case, this is essential reading.

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2017-04-04%20CEG%20to%20DHS%20(Akhmetshin%20Information)%20with%20attachment.pdf

Abe , July 16, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Yes, very interesting read. By all means, examine the brief.

But forget the spin from "Roy G Biv" because the brief actually refutes nothing about Andrei Nekrasov's film.

It simply notes that the Russian government was understandably concerned about "unscrupulous swindler" and "sleazy crook" William Browder.

After your finished reading the brief, try to remember any time when Congress dared to examine a lobbying campaign undertaken on behalf of Israeli (which is to say, predominantly Russian Jewish) interests, the circumstances surrounding a pro-Israel lobbying effort and the potential FARA violations involved. or the background of a Jewish "Russian immigrant".

Note on page 3 of the cover letter the CC to The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Feinstein was born Dianne Emiel Goldman in San Francisco, to Betty (née Rosenburg), a former model, and Leon Goldman, a surgeon. Feinstein's paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Poland. Her maternal grandparents, the Rosenburg family, were from Saint Petersburg, Russia. While they were of German-Jewish ancestry, they practiced the Russian Orthodox faith as was required for Jews residing in Saint Petersburg.

In 1980, Feinstein married Richard C. Blum, an investment banker. In 2003, Feinstein was ranked the fifth-wealthiest senator, with an estimated net worth of US$26 million. By 2005 her net worth had increased to between US$43 million and US$99 million.

Like the rest of Congress, Feinstein knows the "right way" to vote.

David , July 16, 2017 at 1:50 pm

So you're saying because a Jew Senator was CC'd it invalidates the information? Read the first page again. The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is obligated to CC these submissions to the ranking member of the Committee, Jew heritage or not. Misinformation and disinformation from you Abe, or generously, maybe lazy reading. The italicized unscrupulous swindler and sleazy crook comments were quoting the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after the Washington screening of Nekrasov's film and demonstrating Russia's intentions to discredit Browder. You are practiced at the art of deception. Hopefully readers will simply look for themselves.

Abe , July 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Ah, comrade "David". We see you're back muttering about "disinformation" using your "own name".

My statements about Senator Feinstein are entirely supported by facts. You really should look into that.

Also, please note that quotation marks are not italics.

And please note that the Russian Foreign Minister is legally authorized to present the view of the Russian government.

Browder is pretty effective at discrediting himself. He simply has to open his mouth.

I encourage readers to look for themselves, and not simply take the word of one Browder's sockpuppets.

David , July 16, 2017 at 2:55 pm

It won't last papushka. Every post and pended moderated post was scrubbed yesterday, to the cheers of you and your mean spirited friends. But truth is truth and should be defended. So to the point, I reread the Judiciary Committee linked document, and the items you specified are in italics, because the report is quoting Lavrov's comments to a Moscow news paper and "another paper" as evidence of Russia's efforts to undermine the credibility and standing of Browder. This is hardly obscure. It's plain as day if you just read it.

David , July 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Also Abe, before I get deleted again, I don't question any of you geneological description of Feinstein. I merely pointed out that she is the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, and it is normal for the Chairman of the Committee (Republican) to CC the ranking member. Unless of course it is Devin Nunes, then fairness and tradition goes out the window.

Abe , July 16, 2017 at 4:01 pm

It's plain as day, "David" or whatever other name you're trolling under, that you're here to loudly "defend" the "credibility" and "standing" of William Browder.

Sorry, but you're going to have to "defend" Browder with something other than your usual innuendo, blather about 9-11, and slurs against RP.

Otherwise it will be recognized for what it is, repeated violation of CN comment policy, and taken down by the moderator again.

Good luck to any troll who wants to "defend" Browder's record.

But you're gonna have to earn your pay with something other than your signature unsupported allegations, 9-11 diversions, and the "non-Jewish Russian haters gonna hate" propaganda shtick.

David , July 16, 2017 at 5:07 pm

I wish you would stop with the name calling. I am not a troll. I have been trying to make simple rational points. You respond by calling me names and wholly ignoring and/or misrepresenting and obfuscating easily verifiable facts. I suspect you are the moderator of this page, and if so am surprised by your consistent negative references to Jews. I'm not Jewish but you're really over the top. Of course you have many friends here so you get little push back, but I really hope you are not Bob or Sam.

Anonymous , July 16, 2017 at 10:26 am

We can see that it was what can be considered to be a Complex situation, where it was said that someone had Dirt on Hillary Clinton, but there was No collusion and there was No attempted collusion, but there was Patriotism and Concern for Others during a Perplexing situation.

This is because of what is Known as Arkancide, and which is associated with some People who say they have Dirt on the Clintons.

The Obvious and Humane thing to do was to arrange to meet the Russian Lawyer, who it was Alleged to have Dirt on Hillary Clinton, regardless of any possible Alleged Electoral advantage against Hillary Clinton, and until further information, there may have been some National Security Concerns, because it was Known that Hillary Clinton committed Espionage with Top Secret Information on her Unauthorized, Clandestine, Secret Email Server, and the Obvious cover up by the Department of Justice and the FBI, and so it was with this background that this Complex situation had to be dealt with.

This is because there is Greater Protection for a Person who has Dirt or Alleged Dirt on the Clintons, if that Information is share with other People.

This is because it is a Complete Waste of time to go to the Authorities, because they will Not do anything against Clinton Crimes, and a former Haitian Government Official was found dead only days before he was to give Testimony regarding the Clinton Foundation.

We saw this with Seth Rich, where the Police Videos has been withheld, and we have seen the Obstruction in investigating that Crime.

The message to Leakers is that Seth Rich was taken to hospital and Treated and was on his way to Fully Recovering, but he died in hospital, and those who were thinking of Leaking Understood the message from that.

There was Also concern for Rob Goldstone, who Alleged that the Russian Lawyer had Dirt on the Clintons.

We Know that is is said Goldstone that he did Not want to hear what was said at the meeting.

This is because Goldstone wanted associates of Candidate Donald Trump to Know that he did Not know what was said at that meeting.

We now Know that the meeting was a set up to Improperly obtain a FISA Warrant, which was Requested in June of 2016, and that is same the month and the year as the meeting that the Russian Lawyer attended.

There was what was an Unusual granting of a Special Visa so that the Russian Lawyer could attend that set up, which was Improperly Used to Request a FISA Warrant in order to Improperly Spy on an Opposition Political Candidate in order to Improperly gain an Electoral advantage in an Undemocratic manner, because if anything wrong was intended by Associates of Candidate Donald Trump, then there were enough People in that meeting who were the Equivalent of Establishment Democrats and Establishment Republicans, because we Know that after that meeting, that the husband of the former Florida chair of the Trump campaign obtained a front row seat to a June 2016 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing for the Russian Lawyer.

There are Americans who consider that the 2 Major Political Party Tyranny has Betrayed the Constitution and the Principles of Democracy, because they oppose President Donald Trump's Election Integrity Commission, because they think that the Establishment Republicans and the Establishment Democrats are the Bribed and Corrupted Puppets of the Shadow Regime.

We Know from Senator Sanders, that if Americans want a Political Revolution, then they will need their own Political Party.

There are Americans who think that a Group of Democratic Party Voters and Republican Party Voters who have No association with the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, and that they may be named The Guardians of American Democracy.

These Guardians of American Democracy would be a numerous Group of People, and they would ask Republican Voters to Vote for the Democratic Party Representative instead of the Republican who is in Congress and who is seeking Reelection, in exchange for Democratic Party Voters to Vote for the Republican Party Candidate instead of the Democrat who is in Congress and who is seeking Reelection, and the same can be done for the Senate, because the American People have to Decide if it is they the Shadow Regime, or if it is We the People, and the Establishment Republicans and the Establishment Democrats are the Bribed and Corrupt Puppets of the Shadow Regime, and there would be equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats replaced in this manner, and so it will Not affect their numbers in the Congress or the Senate.

There could be People who think that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was Unacceptability Biased and Unacceptability Corrupt during the Democratic Party Primaries, and that if she wants a Democratic Party Candidate to be Elected in her Congressional District, then she Should announce that she will Not be contesting the next Election, and there could be People who think that Speaker Paul Ryan was Unacceptability Disloyal by insufficiently endorse the Republican Presidential nominee, and with other matters, and that if he wants a Republican Party Candidate to be Elected in his Congressional District, then he Should announce that he will Not be contesting the next Election, and then the Guardians of American Democracy can look at other Dinos and Rinos, including those in the Senate, because the Constitution says the words: We the People.

There are Many Americans who have Noticed that Criminal Elites escape Justice, and Corruption is the norm in American Politics.

There are those who Supported Senator Sanders who Realize that Senator Sanders would have been Impeached had he become President, and they Know that they Need President Donald Trump to prepare the Political Landscape so that someone like Senator Sanders could be President, without a Coup attempt that is being attempted on President Donald Trump, and while these People may not Vote for the Republicans, they can Refuse to Vote for the Democratic Party, until the conditions are there for a Constitutional Republic and a Constitutional Democracy, and they want the Illegal Mueller Team to recuse themselves from this pile of Vile and Putrid McCarthyist Lies Invented by their Shadow Regime Puppet Masters,

There are Many Americans who want Voter Identification and Paper Ballots for Elections, and they have seen how several States are Opposed to President Donald Trump's Commission on Election Integrity, because they want to Rig their Elections, and this is Why there are Many Americans who want America to be a Constitutional Republic and a Constitutional Democracy.

MillyBloom54 , July 16, 2017 at 12:31 pm

I just read this article in the Washington Monthly, and wish to read informed comments about this issue. There are suggestions that organized crime from Russian was heavily involved. This is a complicated mess of money, greed, etc.

http://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/07/10/trumps-inner-circle-met-with-no-ordinary-russian-lawyer/

Abe , July 16, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Yes, very interesting read. By all means, examine the article, which concludes:

"So, let's please stay focused on why this matters.

"And why was Preet Bharara fired again?"

Israeli banks have helped launder money for Russian oligarchs, while large-scale fraudulent industries have been allowed to flourish in Israel.

A May 2009 diplomatic cable by the US ambassador to Israel warned that "many Russian oligarchs of Jewish origin and Jewish members of organized crime groups have received Israeli citizenship, or at least maintain residences in the country."

The United States estimated at the time that Russian crime groups had "laundered as much as $10 billion through Israeli holdings."

In 2009, then Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara charged 17 managers and employees of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims for defrauding Germany 42.5 million dollars by creating thousands of false benefit applications for people who had not suffered in the Holocaust.

The scam operated by creating phony applications with false birth dates and invented histories of persecution to process compensation claims. In some cases the recipients were born after World War II and at least one person was not even Jewish.

Among those charged was Semyon Domnitser, a former director of the conference. Many of the applicants were recruited from Brooklyn's Russian community. All those charged hail from Brooklyn.

When a phony applicant got a check, the scammers were given a cut, Bharara said. The fraud which has been going on for 16 years was related to the 400 million dollars which Germany pays out each year to Holocaust survivors.

Later, in November 2015, Bharara's office charged three Israeli men in a 23-count indictment that alleged that they ran a extensive computer hacking and fraud scheme that targeted JPMorgan Chase, The Wall Street Journal, and ten other companies.

According to prosecutors, the Israeli's operation generated "hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal profit" and exposed the personal information of more than 100 million people.

Why was Bharara fired?

Any real investigation of Russia-Gate will draw international attention towards Russian Jewish corruption in the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) sectors, and lead back to Israel.

Ain't gonna happen.

David , July 16, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Remember Milly that essentially one of the first things Trump did when he came into office was fire Preet, and just days before the long awaited trial. Then, Jeff Sessions settled the case for 6 million without any testimony on a 230 million dollar case, days after. Spectacular and brazen, and structured to hide the identities of which properties were bought by which investors. Hmmmm.

David , July 16, 2017 at 3:33 pm

By the way Milly, great summary article you have linked and one that everyone who is championing the Nekrasov film should read.

Abe , July 16, 2017 at 4:37 pm

The "great" article was not written by a journalist. It's an opinion piece written by Martin Longman, a blogger and Democratic Party political consultant.

From 2012 to 2013, Longman worked for Democracy for America (DFA) a political action committee, headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont, founded by former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.

Since March 2014, political animal Longman has managed the The Washington Monthly website and online magazine.

Although it claims to be "an independent voice", the Washington Monthly is funded by the Ford Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, and well-heeled corporate entities http://washingtonmonthly.com/about/

Longman's credentials as a "progressive" alarmist are well established. Since 2005, he has been the publisher of Booman Tribune. Longman admits that BooMan is related to the 'bogey man' (aka, bogy man, boogeyman), an evil imaginary character who harms children.

Vladimir Putin is the latest bogey man of the Democratic Party and its equally pro-Israel "opposition".

Neither party wants the conversation to involve Jewish Russian organized crime, because that leads to Israel and the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby that funds both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Very interesting.

[Dec 10, 2017] blamePutin continues to be the media s dominant hashtag. Vladimir Putin finally confesses his entire responsibility for everything bad that has ever happened since the beginning of time

Highly recommended!
Guardian in Russia coverage acts as MI6 outlet. Magnitsky probably was MI6 operation, anyway.
Notable quotes:
"... The Observer fabricated a direct quote from the Russian president for their propaganda purposes without any regard to basic journalistic standards. They wanted to blame Putin personally for the suspicions of some Russian investigators, so they just invented an imaginary statement from him so they could conveniently do so. ..."
"... What is really going on here is the classic trope of demonisation propaganda in which the demonised leader is conflated with all officials of their government and with the targeted country itself, so as to simplify and personalise the narrative of the subsequent Two Minutes Hate to be unleashed against them. ..."
"... In the same article, the documents from Russian investigators naming Browder as a suspect in certain crimes are first "seen as" a frame-up (by the sympathetic chorus of completely anonymous observers yellow journalism can always call on when an unsupported claim needs a spurious bolstering) and then outright labelled as such (see quote above) as if this alleged frame-up is a proven fact. Which it isn't. ..."
"... No evidence is required down there in the Guardian/Observer journalistic gutter before unsupported claims against Russian officials can be treated as unquestionable pseudo-facts, just as opponents of Putin can commit no crime for the outlet's hate-befuddled hacks. ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | off-guardian.org

by VT

The decline of the falsely self-described "quality" media outlet The Guardian/Observer into a deranged fake news site pushing anti-Russian hate propaganda continues apace. Take a look at this gem :

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has accused prominent British businessman Bill Browder of being a "serial killer" – the latest extraordinary attempt by the Kremlin to frame one of its most high-profile public enemies.

But Putin has not been reported anywhere else as making any recent statement about Browder whatever, and the Observer article makes no further mention of Putin's supposed utterance or the circumstances in which it was supposedly made.

As the rest of the article makes clear, the suspicions against Browder were actually voiced by Russian police investigators and not by Putin at all.

The Observer fabricated a direct quote from the Russian president for their propaganda purposes without any regard to basic journalistic standards. They wanted to blame Putin personally for the suspicions of some Russian investigators, so they just invented an imaginary statement from him so they could conveniently do so.

What is really going on here is the classic trope of demonisation propaganda in which the demonised leader is conflated with all officials of their government and with the targeted country itself, so as to simplify and personalise the narrative of the subsequent Two Minutes Hate to be unleashed against them.

When, as in this case, the required substitution of the demonised leader for their country can't be wrung out of the facts even through the most vigorous twisting, a disreputable fake news site like The Guardian/Observer is free to simply make up new, alternative facts that better fit their disinformative agenda. Because facts aren't at all sacred when the official propaganda line demands lies.

In the same article, the documents from Russian investigators naming Browder as a suspect in certain crimes are first "seen as" a frame-up (by the sympathetic chorus of completely anonymous observers yellow journalism can always call on when an unsupported claim needs a spurious bolstering) and then outright labelled as such (see quote above) as if this alleged frame-up is a proven fact. Which it isn't.

No evidence is required down there in the Guardian/Observer journalistic gutter before unsupported claims against Russian officials can be treated as unquestionable pseudo-facts, just as opponents of Putin can commit no crime for the outlet's hate-befuddled hacks.

The above falsifications were brought to the attention of the Observer's so-called Readers Editor – the official at the Guardian/Observer responsible for "independently" defending the outlet's misdeeds against outraged readers – who did nothing. By now the article has rolled off the site's front page, rendering any possible future correction nugatory in any case.

Later in the same article Magnitsky is described as having been Browder's "tax lawyer" a standard trope of the Western propaganda narrative about the case. Magnitsky was actually an accountant .

A trifecta of fakery in one article! That makes crystal clear what the Guardian meant in this article , published at precisely the same moment as the disinformation cited above, when it said:

"We know what you are doing," Theresa May said of Russia. It's not enough to know. We need to do something about it.

By "doing something about it" they mean they're going to tell one hostile lie about Russia after another.


michaelk says November 26, 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/26/big-issue-who-will-step-in-after-bullies-have-silenced-dissenters

From the 'liberal' Guardian/Observer wing of the rightwing bourgeois press, spot the differences with the article in the Mail on Sunday by Nick Robinson?

michaelk says November 26, 2017
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-5117723/Nick-Robinson-Putin-using-fake-news-weaken-West.html

This thing seems to have been cobbled together by a guy called Nick Robinson. The same BBC Nick Robinson that hosts the Today Programme? I dunno, one feels really rather depressed at how low our media has sunk.

michaelk says November 23, 2017
I think huge swathes of the media, in the eyes of many people, have never really recovered from the ghastly debacle that was their dreadful coverage of the reasons for the illegal attack on Iraq.

The journalists want us to forget and move on, but many, many, people still remember. Nothing happened afterwards. There was no tribunal to examine the media's role in that massive international crime against humanity and things actually got worse post Iraq, which the attack on Libya and Syria illustrates.

rtj1211 says November 29, 2017
Exactly: in my opinion there should be life sentences banning scribblers who printed lies and bloodthirsty kill, kill, kill articles from ever working again in the media.

Better still, make them go fight right now in Yemen. Amazing how quickly truth will spread if journalists know they have a good chance of dying if they print lies and falsehoods ..

michaelk says November 23, 2017
At a time when the ruling elite, across virtually the entire western world, is losing it; it being, political legitimacy and the breakdown of any semblance of a social contract between the ruled and the rulers the Guardian lurches even further to the political right . amazing, though not really surprising. The Guardian's role appears to be to 'coral' radical and leftist ideas and opinions and 'groom' the educated middle class into accepting their own subjugation.

The Guardian's writers get so much, so wrong, so often it's staggering and nobody gets the boot, except for the people who allude to the incompetence at the heart of the Guardian. They fail dismally on Trump, Brexit and Corbyn and yet carry on as if everything is fine and dandy. Nothing to complain about here, mover along now.

I suppose it's because they are actually media aristocrats living in a world of privilege, and they, as members of the ruling elite, look after one another regardless of how poorly they actually perform. This is typical of an elite that's on the ropes and doomed. They choose to retreat from grubby reality into a parallel world where their own dogmas aren't challenged and they begin to believe their propaganda is real and not an artificial contruct. This is incredibly dangerous for a ruling elite because society becomes brittle and weaker by the day as the ruling dogmas become hollow and ritualized, but without traction in reality and real purpose.

The Guardian is a bit like the Tory government, lost and without any real ideas or ideals. The slow strangulation of the CIF symbolizes the crisis of confidence at the Guardian. A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug. When they start running scared and pretending there is no dissent or opposition, well, this is a sign of decadence and profound weakness. They are losing the battle of ideas and the battle of solutions to our problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status, and that's really not enough anymore.

All our problems are pathetically and conviniently blamed on the Russians and their Demon King and his vast army of evil Trolls. It's like a political version of the Lord of the Rings.

WeatherEye says November 21, 2017
Don't expect the Guardian to cover the biggest military build-up (NATO) on Russia's borders since Hitler's 1941 invasion.

John Pilger has described the "respectable" liberal press (Guardian, NYT etc) as the most effective component of the propaganda system, precisely BECAUSE it is respectable and trusted. As to why the Guardian is so insistent in demonising Russia, I would propose that is integrates them further with a Brexit-ridden Tory government. Its Blairite columnists prefer May over Corbyn any day.

rtj1211 says November 29, 2017
The Guardian is now owned by Neocon Americans, that is why it is demonising Russia. Simple as that.
WeatherEye says November 29, 2017
Evidence?
Harry Stotle says November 21, 2017
The Guardian is trying to rescue citizens from 'dreadful dangers that we cannot see, or do not understand' – in other words they play a central role in 'the power of nightmares' https://www.youtube.com/embed/LlA8KutU2to
rtj1211 says November 21, 2017
So Russians cannot do business in America but Americans must be protected to do business in Russia?

If you look at Ukraine and how US corporations are benefitting from the US-funded coup, you ask what the US did in Russia in the 1990s and the effect it had on US business and ordinary Russian people. Were the two consistent with a common US template of economic imperialism?

In particular, you ask what Bill Browder was doing, his links to US spying organisations etc etc. You ask if he supported the rape of Russian State assets, turned a blind eye to the millions of Russians dying in the 1990s courtesy of catastrophic economic conditions. If he was killing people to stay alive, he would not have been the only one. More important is whether him making $100m+ in Russia needed conditions where tens of millions of Russians were starving .and whether he saw that as acceptable collateral damage ..he made a proactive choice, after all, to go live in Moscow. It is not like he was born there and had no chance to leave ..

I do not know the trurh about Bill Browder, but one thing I do know: very powerful Americans are capable of organising mass genocide to become rich, so there is no possible basis for painting all American businessmen as philanthropists and all Russians as murdering savages ..

michaelk says November 21, 2017
It's perfectly possible, in fact the norm historically, for people to believe passionately in the existence of invisible threats to their well-being, which, when examined calmly from another era, resemble a form of mass-hysteria or collective madness. For example; the religious faith/dogma that Satan, demons and witches were all around us. An invisible, parallel, world, by the side of our own that really existed and we were 'at war with.' Satan was our adversary, the great trickster and disseminator of 'fake news' opposed to the 'good news' provided by the Gospels.

What's remarkable, disturbing and frightening is how closely our media resemble a religious cult or the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. The journalists have taken on a role that's close to that of a priesthood. They function as a 'filtering' layer between us and the world around us. They are, supposedly, uniquely qualified to understand the difference between truth and lies, or what's right and wrong, real news and propaganda. The Guardian actually likes this role. They our the guardians of the truth in a chaotic world.

This reminds one of the role of the clergy. Their role was to stand between ordinary people and the 'complexities' of the Bible and separate the Truths it contained from wild and 'fake' interpretations, which could easily become dangerous and undermine the social order and fundamental power relationships.

The big challenge to the role of the Church happened when the printing press allowed the ordinary people to access the information themselves and worst still when the texts were translated into the common language and not just Latin. Suddenly people could access the texts, read and begin to interpret and understand for themselves. It's hard to imagine that people were actually burned alive in England for smuggling the Bible in English translation a few centuries ago. That's how dangerous the State regarded such a 'crime.'

One can compare the translation of the Bible and the challenge to the authority of the Church and the clergy as 'guardians of the truth' to what's happeing today with the rise of the Internet and something like Wikileaks, where texts and infromation are made available uncensored and raw and the role of the traditional 'media church' and the journalist priesthood is challenged.

We're seeing a kind of media counter-reformation. That's why the Guardian turned on Assange so disgracefully and what Wikileaks represented.

WeatherEye says November 21, 2017
A brilliant historical comparison. They're now on the legal offensive in censoring the internet of course, because in truth the filter system is wholly vulnerable. Alternative media has been operating freely, yet the majority have continued to rely on MSM as if it's their only source of (dis)information, utilizing our vast internet age to the pettiness of social media and prank videos. Marx was right: capitalist society alienates people from their own humanity. We're now aliens, deprived of our original being and floating in a vacuum of Darwinist competition and barbarism. And we wonder why climate change is happening?
tutisicecream says November 21, 2017
Apparently we are "living in disorientating times" according to Viner, she goes on to say that "championing the public interest is at the heart of the Guardian's mission".

Really? How is it possible for her to say that when many of the controversial articles which appear in the Guardian are not open for comment any more. They have adopted now a view that THEIR "opinion" should not be challenged, how is that in the public interest?

In the Observer on Sunday a piece also appeared smearing RT entitled: "MPs defend fees of up to £1,000 an hour to appear on 'Kremlin propaganda' channel." However they allowed comments which make interesting reading. Many commenter's saw through their ruse and although the most vociferous critics of the Graun have been banished, but even the mild mannered ones which remain appear not the buy into the idea that RT is any different than other media outlets. With many expressing support for the news and op-ed outlet for giving voice to those who the MSM ignore – including former Guardian writers from time to time.

Why Viner's words are so poisonous is that the Graun under her stewardship has become a agitprop outlet offering no balance. In the below linked cringe worthy article there is no mention of RT being under attack in the US and having to register itself and staff as foreign agents. NO DEFENCE OF ATTACKS ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS by the US state is mentioned.

Surely this issue is at the heart of championing public interest?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/18/mps-kremlin-propaganda-channel-rt#comments

The fact that it's not shows clearly the fake Guardian/Observer claim and their real agenda.

WE ARE DEFINITELY LIVING IN DISORIENTATION TIMES and the Guardian/Observer are leading the charge.

tutisicecream says November 21, 2017
Correction: DISORIENTATING TIMES
Peter says November 21, 2017
For the political/media/business elites (I suppose you could call them 'the Establishment') in the US and UK, the main problem with RT seems to be that a lot of people are watching it. I wonder how long it will be before access is cut. RT is launching a French-language channel next month. We are already being warned by the French MSM about how RT makes up fake news to further Putin's evil propaganda aims (unlike said MSM, we are told). Basically, elites just don't trust the people (this is certainly a constant in French political life).
Jim says November 21, 2017
It's not just that they don't allow comments on many of their articles, but even on the articles where CiF is enabled, they ban any accounts that disagree with their narrative. The end result is that Guardianistas get the false impression everyone shares their view and that they are in the majority. The Guardian moderators are like Scientology leaders who banish any outsiders for fear of influencing their cult members.
BigB says November 20, 2017
Everyone knows that Russia-gate is a feat of mass hypnosis, mesmerized from DNC financed lies. The Trump collusion myth is baseless and becoming dangerously hysterical: but conversely, the Clinton collusion scandal is not so easy to allay. Whilst it may turn out to be the greatest story never told: it looks substantive enough to me. HRC colluded with Russian oligarchy to the tune of $145m of "donations" into her slush fund. In return, Rosatom gained control of Uranium One.

A curious adjunct to this corruption: HRC opposed the Magnitsky Act in 2012. Given her subsequent rabid Russophobia: you'd have thought that if the Russians (as it has been spun) arrested a brave whistleblowing tax lawyer and murdered him in prison – she would have been quite vocal in her condemnation. No, she wanted to make Russia great again. It's amazing how $145m can focus ones attention away from ones natural instinct.

[Browder and Magnitsky were as corrupt as each other: the story that the Russians took over Browder's hedge fund and implicated them both in a $230m tax fraud and corruption scandal is as fantastical as the "Golden Shower" dossier. However, it seems to me Magnitsky's death was preventable (he died from complications of pancreatitis, for which it seems he was initially refused treatment ) ]

So if we turn the clock back to 2010-2013, it sure looks to me as though we have a Russian collusion scandal: only it's not one the Guardian will ever want to tell. Will it come out when the FBI 's "secret" informant (William D Cambell) testifies to Congress sometime this week? Not in the Guardian, because their precious Hillary Clinton is the real scandal here.

jag37777 says November 20, 2017
Browder is a spook.
susannapanevin says November 20, 2017
Reblogged this on Susanna Panevin .
Eric Blair says November 20, 2017
This "tactic" – a bold or outrageous claim made in the headline or in the first few sentences of a piece that is proven false in the very same article – is becoming depressingly common in the legacy media.

In other words, the so-called respectable media knowingly prints outright lies for propaganda and clickbait purposes.

labrebisgalloise says November 20, 2017
I dropped a line to a friend yesterday saying "only in a parallel universe would a businessman/shady dealer/tax evader such as Browder be described as an "anti-corruption campaigner."" Those not familiar with the history of Browder's grandfather, after whom a whole new "deviation" in leftist thinking was named, should look it up.
Eric Blair says November 20, 2017
Hey, MbS is also an "anti-corruption" campaigner! If the media says so it must be true!
Sav says November 20, 2017
Some months ago you saw tweets saying Russophobia had hit ridiculous levels. They hadn't seen anything yet. It's scary how easily people can be brainwashed.

The US are the masters of molesting other nations. It's not even a secret what they've been up to. Look at their budgets or the size of the intelligence buildings. Most journalists know full well of their programs, including those on social media, which they even reported on a few years back. The Guardian run stories by the CIA created and US state funded RFE/RL & then tell us with a straight face that RT is state propaganda which is destroying our democracy.

A Petherbridge says November 20, 2017
Well said – interesting to know what the Guardian is paid to run these stories funded by this arm of US state propaganda.
bevin says November 20, 2017
The madness spreads: today The Canary has/had an article 'proving' that the 'Russians' were responsible for Brexit, Trump, etc etc.

Then there is the neo-liberal 'President' of the EU charging that the extreme right wing and Russophobic warmongers in the Polish government are in fact, like the President of the USA, in Putin's pocket..

This outbreak is reaching the dimensions of the sort of mass hysteria that gave us St Vitus' dance. Oh and the 'sonic' terrorism practised against US diplomats in Havana, in which crickets working for the evil one (who he?) appear to have been responsible for a breach in diplomatic relations. It couldn't have happened to a nicer empire.

Admin says November 21, 2017
The Canary is publishing mainstream russophobia?

[Dec 10, 2017] When Washington Cheered the Jihadists Consortiumnews

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany. ..."
"... A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .) ..."
"... So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs." ..."
"... The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark. ..."
"... The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place. ..."
"... The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency." ..."
"... ancien régime, ..."
"... With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway. ..."
"... Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad. ..."
"... So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it. ..."
"... It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for. ..."
"... The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy ..."
"... I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them. ..."
"... The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. ..."
"... Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business. ..."
"... It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people! ..."
"... The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC. ..."
"... This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end. ..."
"... Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves. ..."
"... On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives. ..."
"... The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria. ..."
"... Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities. ..."
"... An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena." ..."
"... The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)." ..."
"... To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime." ..."
"... The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines. ..."
"... The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime. ..."
"... The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians. ..."
"... In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision." ..."
"... Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making ..."
"... General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria. ..."
"... The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection. ..."
"... That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions". ..."
"... The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces. ..."
"... I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm ..."
"... Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. ..."
"... Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. ..."
"... The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic. ..."
"... Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union. ..."
"... All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth. ..."
"... There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html ..."
"... Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg. ..."
"... The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth. ..."
"... The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292 ..."
"... This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions ..."
"... Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicated ..."
"... So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either. ..."
"... From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm". ..."
"... For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree. ..."
"... I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit. ..."
"... Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking. The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences. ..."
"... I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r? ..."
"... Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars. ..."
"... Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy. ..."
"... Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace? ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

When a Department of Defense intelligence report about the Syrian rebel movement became public in May 2015, lots of people didn't know what to make of it. After all, what the report said was unthinkable – not only that Al Qaeda had dominated the so-called democratic revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for years, but that the West continued to support the jihadis regardless, even to the point of backing their goal of creating a Sunni Salafist principality in the eastern deserts.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative in August 2014.

The United States lining up behind Sunni terrorism – how could this be? How could a nice liberal like Barack Obama team up with the same people who had brought down the World Trade Center?

It was impossible, which perhaps explains why the report remained a non-story long after it was released courtesy of a Judicial Watch freedom-of-information lawsuit . The New York Times didn't mention it until six months later while the Washington Post waited more than a year before dismissing it as "loopy" and "relatively unimportant." With ISIS rampaging across much of Syria and Iraq, no one wanted to admit that U.S. attitudes were ever anything other than hostile.

But three years earlier, when the Defense Intelligence Agency was compiling the report, attitudes were different. Jihadis were heroes rather than terrorists, and all the experts agreed that they were a low-risk, high-yield way of removing Assad from office.

After spending five days with a Syrian rebel unit, for instance, New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers wrote that the group "mixes paramilitary discipline, civilian policing, Islamic law, and the harsh demands of necessity with battlefield coldness and outright cunning."

Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, assured the Washington Post that "al Qaeda is a fringe element" among the rebels, while, not to be outdone, the gossip site Buzzfeed published a pin-up of a "ridiculously photogenic" jihadi toting an RPG.

"Hey girl," said the subhead. "Nothing sexier than fighting the oppression of tyranny."

And then there was Foreign Policy, the magazine founded by neocon guru Samuel P. Huntington, which was most enthusiastic of all. Gary Gambill's " Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists ," which ran on the FP web site just a couple of weeks after the DIA report was completed, didn't distort the facts or make stuff up in any obvious way. Nonetheless, it is a classic of U.S. propaganda. Its subhead glibly observed: "So the rebels aren't secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn't much matter."

Assessing the Damage

Five years later, it's worth a second look to see how Washington uses self-serving logic to reduce an entire nation to rubble.

First a bit of background. After displacing France and Britain as the region's prime imperial overlord during the 1956 Suez Crisis and then breaking with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser a few years later, the United States committed itself to the goal of defeating Arab nationalism and Soviet Communism, two sides of the same coin as far as Washington was concerned. Over the next half-century, this would mean steering Egypt to the right with assistance from the Saudis, isolating Libyan strong man Muammar Gaddafi, and doing what it could to undermine the Syrian Baathist regime as well.

William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany.

A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .)

Since the United States didn't like what such governments were doing, the solution was to install more pliable ones in their place. Hence Washington's joy when the Arab Spring struck Syria in March 2011 and it appeared that protesters would soon topple the Baathists on their own.

Even when lofty democratic rhetoric gave way to ominous sectarian chants of "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin," U.S. enthusiasm remained strong. With Sunnis accounting for perhaps 60 percent of the population, strategists figured that there was no way Assad could hold out against religious outrage welling up from below.

Enter Gambill and the FP. The big news, his article began, is that secularists are no longer in command of the burgeoning Syrian rebel movement and that Sunni Islamists are taking the lead instead. As unfortunate as this might seem, he argued that such a development was both unavoidable and far from entirely negative.

"Islamist political ascendancy is inevitable in a majority Sunni Muslim country brutalized for more than four decades by a secular minoritarian dictatorship," he wrote in reference to the Baathists. "Moreover, enormous financial resources are pouring in from the Arab-Islamic world to promote explicitly Islamist resistance to Assad's Alawite-dominated, Iranian-backed regime."

So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs."

The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark.

"So long as Syrian jihadis are committed to fighting Iran and its Arab proxies," the article concluded, "we should quietly root for them – while keeping our distance from a conflict that is going to get very ugly before the smoke clears. There will be plenty of time to tame the beast after Iran's regional hegemonic ambitions have gone down in flames."

Deals with the Devil

The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place.The Islamists were something America could employ to their advantage and then throw away like a squeezed lemon. A few Syrians would suffer, but America would win, and that's all that counts.

The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency."

Where Gambill predicted that "Assad and his minions will likely retreat to northwestern Syria," the DIA speculated that the jihadis might establish "a declared or undeclared Salafist principality" at the other end of the country near cities like Hasaka and Der Zor (also known as Deir ez-Zor).

Where the FP said that the ultimate aim was to roll back Iranian influence and undermine Shi'ite rule, the DIA said that a Salafist principality "is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

Bottle up the Shi'ites in northwestern Syria, in other words, while encouraging Sunni extremists to establish a base in the east so as to put pressure on Shi'ite-influenced Iraq and Shi'ite-ruled Iran.

As Gambill put it: "Whatever misfortunes Sunni Islamists may visit upon the Syrian people, any government they form will be strategically preferable to the Assad regime, for three reasons: A new government in Damascus will find continuing the alliance with Tehran unthinkable, it won't have to distract Syrians from its minority status with foreign policy adventurism like the ancien régime, and it will be flush with petrodollars from Arab Gulf states (relatively) friendly to Washington."

With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway.

Disastrous Thinking

Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad.

U.S.-backed Syrian "moderate" rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video] War-time destruction totals around $250 billion , according to U.N. estimates, a staggering sum for a country of 18.8 million people where per-capita income prior to the outbreak of violence was under $3,000. From Syria, the specter of sectarian violence has spread across Asia and Africa and into Europe and North America as well. Political leaders throughout the advanced industrial world are still struggling to contain the populist fury that the Middle East refugee crisis, the result of U.S.-instituted regime change, helped set off.

So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it.

It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for.

The forum is particularly well known for its Campus Watch program, which targets academic critics of Israel, Islamists, and – despite Gambill's kind words about "suicide bombings and roadside bombs" – anyone it considers the least bit apologetic about Islamic terrorism.

Double your standard, double the fun. Terrorism, it seems, is only terrorism when others do it to the U.S., not when the U.S. does it to others.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

Babyl-on , December 8, 2017 at 5:26 pm

I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them.

The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. When that happens the world will return to the gold standard + Bitcoin possibly and US dollar hegemony will end. After that the trillion dollar a year military and the 20 trillion debt take on a different meaning. Before that slaughter non-stop will continue.

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:31 am

Really, Baby-lon, your first short paragraph sums this piece by Lazare perfectly and makes the rest of his blog seem rather pointless. Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business.

Jerald Davidson , December 9, 2017 at 11:53 am

Babyl-on and John Wilson: you have nailed it. The last thing the US (gov't.) wants is peace. War is big business; casualties are of no concern (3 million Koreans died in the Korean War; 3 million Vietnamese in that war; 100's of thousands in Iraq [including Clinton's sanctions] and Afghanistan). The US has used jihadi proxies since the mujahedeen in 1980's Afghanistan and Contras in Nicaragua. To the US (gov't.), a Salafist dictatorship (such as Saudi Arabia) is highly preferable to a secular, nationalist ruler (such as Egypt's Nasser, Libya's Gaddafi, Syria's Assad).
So the cover story of the jjihadi's has changed – first they are freedom fighters, then terrorists. What does not change is that in either case they are pawns of the US (gov't.) goal of hegemony.
(Incidentally, Drew Hunkins must be responding to a different article.)

BannanaBoat , December 9, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Exactly Baby right on, Either USA strategists are extremely ignorant or they are attempting to create chaos, probably both. Perhaps not continuously but surely frequently the USA has promoted war prior to the last 73 years. Native Genocide , Mexican Wars, Spanish War, WWI ( USA banker repayment war)

Richard , December 9, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Exactly Babylon! Looks like consortiumnews is turning into another propaganda rag. Assad was allied with Russia and Iran – that's why the U.S. wanted him removed. Israel said that they would preferred ISIS in power over Assad. The U.S. would have happily wiped out 90% of the population using its terrorist proxies if it thought it could have got what it wanted.

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:50 am

CN tends to make moderate statements so as to communicate with those most in need of them. One must start with the understandings of the audience and show them that the evidence leads further.

Richard , December 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

Sam F, no, it's a DELIBERATE lie in support of U.S. foreign policy. The guy wrote: "the NAIVE belief that jihadist proxies could be used to TRANSFORM THE REGION FOR THE BETTER." It could have been written as: "the stated justification by the president that he wanted to transform the region for the better, even though there are often ulterior motives."

It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people!

Either Robert Parry or the author wrote that introduction. I suspect Mr Parry – he always portrays the president as having a heart of gold, but, always, sadly, misinformed; being a professional journalist, he knows full well that people often only read the start and end of an article.

Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm

What we have occurring right now in the United States is a rare divergence of interests within our ruling class. The elites are currently made up of Zionist-militarists. What we're now witnessing is a rare conflict between the two factions. This particular internecine battle has reared its head in the past, the Dubai armaments deal comes to mind off the top of my head.

Trump started the Jerusalem imbroglio because he's concerned about Mueller's witch hunt.

The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC.

Since Trump's concerned about 1.) Mueller's witch hunt (he definitely should be deeply concerned, this is an out of control prosecutor on mission creep), and 2.) the almost total negative coverage the press has given him over the last two years, he's made a deal with the Zionist Power Configuration; Trump, effectively saying to them: "I'll give you Jerusalem, you use your immense influence in the American mass media to tamp down the relentlessly hostile coverage toward me, and perhaps smear Mueller's witch hunt a bit ".

This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end.

How this all eventually plays out is anyone's guess indeed. Let's just make sure it doesn't end with mushroom clouds over Tehran, Saint Petersburg, Paris, Chicago, London, NYC, Washington and Berlin.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Trump's purported deviation from foreign policy orthodoxy regarding both Russia and Israel was a propaganda scam engineered by the pro-Israel Lobby from the very beginning. As Russia-gate fiction is progressively deconstructed, the Israel-gate reality becomes ever more despicably obvious.

The shamelessly Israel-pandering Trump received the "Liberty Award" for his contributions to US-Israel relations at a 3 February 2015 gala hosted by The Algemeiner Journal, a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news.

"We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent." VIDEO minutes 2:15-8:06 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiwBwBw7R-U

After the event, Trump did not renew his television contract for The Apprentice, which raised speculation about a Trump bid for the presidency. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.

Trump's purported break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel's commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, and refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel's undivided capital, were all stage-managed for the campaign.

Cheap theatrics notwithstanding, the Netanyahu regime in Israel has "1000 percent" support from the Trump regime.

Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 8:10 pm

If Trump were totally and completely subservient to Netanyahu he would have bombed Damascus to remove Assad and would have bombed Tehran to obliterate Iran. Of course thus far he has done neither. Don't get me wrong, Trump is essentially part and parcel of the Zionist cabal, but I don't quite think he's 1,000% under their thumb (not yet?).

I don't think the Zionist Power Configuration concocted Trump's policy of relative peace with the Kremlin. Yes, the ZPC is extremely powerful in America, but Trump's position of detente with Moscow seemed to be genuine. He caught way too much heat from the mass media for it to be a stunt, it's almost torpedoed his presidency, and may eventually do just that. It was actually one of the very few things Trump got right; peace with Russia, cordial relations with the Kremlin are a no-brainer. A no-brainer to everyone but the military-industrial-complex.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Russian. Missiles. Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves.

Whether it was "bird strike" or something more technological that recently grounded the "mighty" Israeli F-35I, it's clear that America isn't eager to have those "Inherent Resolve" jets, so busily not bombing ISIS, painted with Russian SAM radar.

Russia made it clear that Trump's Tomahawk Tweet in April 2017 was not only under totally false pretenses. It had posed a threat to Russian troops and Moscow took extra measures to protect them.

Russian deployment of the advanced S-400 system on the Syrian coast in Latakia also impacts Israel's regional air superiority. The S-400 can track and shoot down targets some 400 kilometers (250 miles) away. That range encompasses half of Israel's airspace, including Ben Gurion International Airport. In addition to surface-to-air missiles installations, Russian aircraft in Syria are equipped with air-to-air missiles. Those weapons are part of an calculus of Israeli aggression in the region.

Of course, there's much more to say about this subject.

WC , December 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Here's a good one from Hedges (for what little good it will do). https://www.truthdig.com/articles/zero-hour-palestine/

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:34 am

Surely, Drew, even the brain washed sheep otherwise known as the American public can't seriously believe that their government armed head choppers in a bid to bring peace to the region, can they?

Drew Hunkins , December 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Yup Mr. Wilson. It's too much cognitive dissonance for them to process. After all, we're the exceptional nation, the beacon on the hill, the country that ONLY intervenes abroad when there is a 'right to protect!' or it's a 'humanitarian intervention.' As Ken Burns would say: Washington only acts "with good intentions. They're just sometimes misplaced." That's all. The biggest global empire the world has ever seen is completely out of the picture.

mike k , December 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm

When evil people with evil intentions set out to do something in the world, the result is evil. Like Libya, or Iraq, or Syria. Why do I call these people who killed millions for their own selfish greed for power evil? If you have to ask that, then you just don't understand what evil is – and you have a lot of company, because many people believe that evil does not even exist! Such sheeple become the perfect victims of the evil ones, who are destroying our world.

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:36 am

Correction, Mike. The public do believe that evil exists but they sincerely think that Putin and Russia are the evil ones'

mike k , December 9, 2017 at 5:41 pm

One of the ways to avoid recognizing evil is to ascribe it to inappropriate, incorrect sources usually as a result of believing misleading propaganda. Another common maneuver is to deny evil's presence in oneself, and believe it is always "out there". Or one can feel that "evil" is an outmoded religious concept that is only used to hit at those one does not like.

Mild - ly Facetious , December 8, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Oh Jerusalem: Requiem for the two-state solution (Gas masks required)

https://electronicintifada.net/content/oh-jerusalem-requiem-two-state-solution/22521

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:24 pm

On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/24/syria-rebels-nsa-saudi-prince-assad/

Marked "Top Secret" the NSA memo focuses on events that unfolded outside Damascus in March of 2013.

The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria.

Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm

An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena."

The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime."

The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines.

The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime.

The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6Y274U7QIs

Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making:

Hasan: "You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn't listening?"

Flynn: "I think the administration."

Hasan: "So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?"

Flynn: "I don't know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision."

Hasan: "A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Flynn: "It was a willful decision to do what they're doing."

Holding up a paper copy of the 2012 DIA report declassified through FOIA, Hasan read aloud key passages such as, "there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."

Rather than downplay the importance of the document and these startling passages, as did the State Department soon after its release, Flynn did the opposite: he confirmed that while acting DIA chief he "paid very close attention" to this report in particular and later added that "the intelligence was very clear."

Lt. Gen. Flynn, speaking safely from retirement, is the highest ranking intelligence official to go on record saying the United States and other state sponsors of rebels in Syria knowingly gave political backing and shipped weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to put pressure on the Syrian regime:

Hasan: "In 2012 the U.S. was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups [Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda in Iraq], why did you not stop that if you're worried about the rise of quote-unquote Islamic extremists?"

Flynn: "I hate to say it's not my job but that my job was to was to to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be."

Flynn unambiguously confirmed that the 2012 DIA document served as source material in his own discussions over Syria policy with the White House. Flynn served as Director of Intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) during a time when its prime global mission was dismantling Al-Qaeda.

Flynn's admission that the White House was in fact arming and bolstering Al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria is especially shocking given his stature. The Pentagon's former highest ranking intelligence officer in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden confessed that the United States directly aided the Al Qaeda terrorist legions of Ayman al-Zawahiri beginning in at least 2012 in Syria.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency

Full Transcript: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2016/01/transcript-michael-flynn-160104174144334.html

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm

"Flynn would later tell the New York Times that this 2012 intelligence report in particular was seen at the White House where it was 'disregarded' because it 'didn't meet the narrative' on the war in Syria. He would further confirm to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that Defense Department (DoD) officials and DIA intelligence in particular, were loudly warning the administration that jihadists were leading the opposition in Syria -- warnings which were met with 'enormous pushback.' Instead of walking back his Al Jazeera comments, General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria.

"In a personal exchange on his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, legendary DoD intelligence officer and former presidential briefer Pat Lang explained [ ] that the DIA memo was used as a 'warning shot across the [administration's] bow.' Lang has elsewhere stated that DIA Director Flynn had 'tried to persuade people in the Obama Administration not to provide assistance to the Nusra group.' It must be remembered that in 2012 what would eventually emerge as distinct 'ISIS' and 'Nusra' (AQ in Syria) groups was at that time a singular entity desiring a unified 'Islamic State.' The nascent ISIS organization (referenced in the memo as 'ISI' or Islamic State in Iraq) was still one among many insurgent groups fighting to topple Assad.

"In fact, only one year after the DIA memo was produced (dated August 12, 2012) a coalition of rebels fighting under the US-backed Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo were busy celebrating their most strategic victory to date, which served to open an opposition corridor in Northern Syria. The seizure of the Syrian government's Menagh Airbase in August 2013 was only accomplished with the military prowess of fighters identifying themselves in front of cameras and to reporters on the ground as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

"Public embarrassment came for Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford who reluctantly confirmed that in fact, yes, the US-funded and supplied FSA commander on the ground had personally led ISIS and Nusra fighters in the attack (Ford himself was previously filmed alongside the commander). This after the New York Times publicized unambiguous video proof of the fact. Even the future high commander of Islamic State's military operations, Omar al-Shishani, himself played a leading role in the US sponsored FSA operation."

Obama and the DIA 'Islamic State' Memo: What Trump Gets Right
By Brad Hoff
https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/07/01/obama-and-the-dia-islamic-state-memo-what-trump-gets-right/

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm

"one first needs to understand what has happened in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries in recent years. The original plan of the US and Saudi Arabia (behind whom stood an invisible Israel) was the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and his replacement with Islamic fundamentalists or takfiris (Daesh, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra).

"The plan involved the following steps:

"It was an ambitious plan, and the Israelis were completely convinced that the United States would provide all the necessary resources to see it through. But the Syrian government has survived thanks to military intervention by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Daesh is almost defeated and Iran and Hezbollah are so firmly entrenched in Syria that it has driven the Israelis into a state of fear bordering on panic. Lebanon remains stable, and even the recent attempt by the Saudis to abduct Prime Minister Saad Hariri failed.

"As a result, Saudi Arabia and Israel have developed a new plan: force the US to attack Iran. To this end, the 'axis of good"' (USA-Israel-Saudi Arabia) was created, although this is nothing new. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab States in the Persian Gulf have in the past spoken in favor of intervention in Syria. It is well known that the Saudis invaded Bahrain, are occupying it de facto, and are now at war in Yemen.

"The Israelis will participate in any plan that will finally split the Sunnis and Shiites, turning the region into rubble. It was not by chance that, having failed in Lebanon, they are now trying to do the same in Yemen after the murder of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"For the Saudis and Israelis, the problem lies in the fact that they have rather weak armed forces; expensive and high-tech, but when it comes to full-scale hostilities, especially against a really strong opponent such as the Iranians or Hezbollah, the 'Israel/Wahhabis' have no chance and they know it, even if they do not admit it. So, one simply needs to think up some kind of plan to force the Shiites to pay a high price.

"So they developed a new plan. Firstly, the goal is now not the defeat of Hezbollah or Iran. For all their rhetoric, the Israelis know that neither they nor especially the Saudis are able to seriously threaten Iran or even Hezbollah. Their plan is much more basic: initiate a serious conflict and then force the US to intervene. Only today, the armed forces of the United States have no way of winning a war with Iran, and this may be a problem. The US military knows this and they are doing everything to tell the neo-cons 'sorry, we just can't.' This is the only reason why a US attack on Iran has not already taken place. From the Israeli point of view this is totally unacceptable and the solution is simple: just force the US to participate in a war they do not really need. As for the Iranians, the Israeli goal of provoking an attack on Iran by the US is not to defeat Iran, but just to bring about destruction – a lot of destruction [ ]

"You would need to be crazy to attack Iran. The problem, however, is that the Saudis and the Israelis are close to this state. And they have proved it many times. So it just remains to hope that Israel and the KSA are 'crazy', but 'not that crazy'."

The Likelihood of War with Iran By Petr Lvov https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/09/the-likelihood-of-war-with-iran/

BobH, December 8, 2017 at 7:13 pm

The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection.

That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions".

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm

There WAS dissension within the Pentagon, not only about being in a coalition with the Gulf States and Turkey in support of terrorist forces, but about allowing ISIS to invade Ramadi, which CENTCOM exposed by making public that US forces watched it happen and did nothing. In addition, CENTCOM and SOCOM publicly opposed switching sides in Yemen.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/17/us-generals-think-saudi-strikes-in-yemen-a-bad-idea.html

A senior commander at Central Command (CENTCOM), speaking on condition of anonymity, scoffed at that argument. "The reason the Saudis didn't inform us of their plans," he said, "is because they knew we would have told them exactly what we think -- that it was a bad idea.

Military sources said that a number of regional special forces officers and officers at U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) argued strenuously against supporting the Saudi-led intervention because the target of the intervention, the Shia Houthi movement -- which has taken over much of Yemen and which Riyadh accuses of being a proxy for Tehran -- has been an effective counter to Al-Qaeda.

The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces.

BobH , December 8, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Thanks, I never read anything about it in the MSM (perhaps Aljazeera was an exception?). However, this doesn't explain Gen. Flynn's tight relationship with Turkey's Erdogan who clearly backed the Al Qaeda affiliated rebels to the point of shooting down a Russian jet over Syria.

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:57 am

The fighter shoot-down incident was before Erdogan's reversals in Syria policy.

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:28 pm

I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

B. THE SALAFIST, THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.

C. THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION; WHILE RUSSIA, CHINA, AND IRAN SUPPORT THE REGIME.

C. IF THE SITUATION UNRAVELS THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHIA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN).

D. THE DETERIORATION OF THE SITUATION HAS DIRE CONSEQUENCES ON THE IRAQI SITUATION AND ARE AS FOLLOWS:

–1. THIS CREATES THE IDEAL ATMOSPHERE FOR AQI TO RETURN TO ITS OLD POCKETS IN MOSUL AND RAMADI, AND WILL PROVIDE A RENEWED MOMENTUM UNDER THE PRESUMPTION OF UNIFYING THE JIHAD AMONG SUNNI IRAQ AND SYRIA ISI COULD ALSO DECLARE AN ISLAMIC STATE THROUGH ITS UNION WITH OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, WHICH WILL CREATE GRAVE DANGER IN REGARDS TO UNIFYING IRAQ AND THE PROTECTION OF ITS TERRITORY

https://geopolitics.co/2015/12/22/dempseys-pentagon-aided-assad-with-military-intelligence-hersh/
London Review of Books Vol. 38 No. 1 · 7 January 2016
Military to Military: US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war
Seymour M. Hersh

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasn't doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,' Flynn told me. 'We understood Isis's long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.' The DIA's reporting, he said, 'got enormous pushback' from the Obama administration. 'I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.'

j. D. D. , December 9, 2017 at 8:33 am

Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. Ironically, the MSM is now going bananas over his support for nuclear power in the region, which he had tied to desalination of sea water, toward alleviating that crucial source of conflict in the area.

Abbybwood , December 9, 2017 at 11:24 pm

I believe Wesley Clark told Amy Goodman that he was handed the classified memo regarding the U.S. overthrowing seven countries in five years starting with Iraq and ending with Iran, in 2001, not 2006. He said it was right after 9/11 when he visited the Pentagon and Joint Chief of Staff's office and was handed the memo.

jaycee , December 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm

The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic.

One disturbing common feature across the years have been US sponsored airlifts of Islamist fighters facing defeat, as seen in Afghanistan in late 2001 and just recently in eastern Syria. In 2001, some of those fighters were relocated to North Africa, specifically Mali – the roots of the Islamist insurgency which has destabilized that country over the past few years. Where exactly the ISIS rebels assisted some weeks ago were relocated is yet unknown.

turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union.

Hence the birth of the Mujaheddin and Bin Laden, the rest is history.

j. D. D. , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

The article does not support the sub-headline. There is no evidence provided, nor is there any evidence to be found, that Washington's policy in the region was motivated by anything other than geopolitical objectives.

David G , December 9, 2017 at 7:25 am

I think that phrasing may point to the hand of editor Robert Parry. The incredible value of CN notwithstanding, Parry in his own pieces (erroneously in my eyes) maintains a belief that Obama somehow meant well. Hence the imputation of some "naïve" but ultimately benevolent motive on the part of the U.S. genocidaires, as the whole Syria catastrophe got going on Obama's watch.

Anon , December 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

The imputation of naivete works to avoid accusation of a specific strategy without sufficient evidence.

Skip Scott , December 9, 2017 at 9:45 am

Although I am no fan of Obama, and most especially the continuation of the warmongering for his 8 years, he did balk at the "Red line" when he found out he was being set up, and it wasn't Assad who used chemical weapons. I don't think he "meant well" so much as he knew the exact length of his leash. His bragging about going against "The Washington playbook" was of course laughable; just as his whole hopey/changey thing was laughable with Citigroup picking his cabinet.

Stephen , December 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Off topic but you can listen to some of Obama's banking handiwork here: https://sputniknews.com/radio_loud_and_clear/201712091059844562-looming-government-shutdown-will-democrats-fight-trumps-pro-rich-plan/ It starts at about minute 28:14. It explains the whole reaction by Obama and Holder to the banking fiasco in my mind. Sorry but I had to get it from the evil Rooski radio program.

Lois Gagnon , December 8, 2017 at 8:41 pm

All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth.

Stephen J. , December 8, 2017 at 8:42 pm

There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html

MarkU , December 8, 2017 at 10:00 pm

"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare." What a load of old rubbish, naïve belief indeed. it is difficult to believe that anyone could write this stuff with a straight face.

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg.

Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

That Gary Gambill character "outed" himself as a Zionist on September 4 of this year. He appears to have mastered the propaganda associated with the breed. At the link see if you can find any mention of the murders, thefts, ethnic cleansing, or apartheid of his adopted nation. Blaming the victim may be this fellow's specialty. Sample:

The well-intentioned flocked in droves to the belief that Israeli- Palestinian peace was achievable provided Israel made the requisite concessions, and that this would liberate the Arab-Islamic world from a host of other problems allegedly arising from it: bloated military budgets, intolerance of dissent, Islamic extremism, you name it.

Why tackle each of these problems head on when they can be alleviated all at once when Israel is brought to heel? Twenty years later, the Middle East is suffering the consequences of this conspiracy of silence.

Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-accidental-Zionist-504221

Gerry , December 9, 2017 at 4:51 am

The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth.

It takes courage to go against the flow of course and one can only hope that the Americans are what they think they are: courageous and strong enough to hear their cherished truths smashed, allow the scales before their eyes to fall and practise free speech and free thought.

Theo , December 9, 2017 at 6:35 am

Thanks for this article and many others on this site.In Europe and in Germany you hardly hear,read or see any of these facts and their connections.It seems to be only of marginal interest.

Josh Stern , December 9, 2017 at 6:49 am

The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292

triekc , December 9, 2017 at 8:27 am

This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions.

Beginning in the 1990's, neocons who would become W's cabinet, wrote detailed plans of military regime change in Middle East, but stating they needed a "strong external shock to the United States -- a latter-day 'Pearl Harbor", to get US sheeple to support increased militarism and global war. Few months after W took office, and had appointed those war mongering neocons to positions of power, Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicated

Joe Tedesky , December 9, 2017 at 11:27 am

You commented on what I was thinking, and that was, 'remember when al Queda was our enemy on 911'? So now that bin Laden is dead, and his al Queda now fights on our side, shouldn't the war be over? And, just for the record who did attack us on 911?

So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either.

Knowing the Pentagon mentality they probably have an 'al Queda combat medal' to pin on the terrorists chest. Sarcasm I know, but seriously is anything not within the realm of believable when it comes to this MIC establishment?

Christene Bartels , December 9, 2017 at 8:53 am

Great article and spot on as far as the author takes it. But the world is hurtling towards Armageddon so I'd like to back things up about one hundred years and get down to brass tacks.

The fact of the matter is, the M.E. has never been at total peace but it has been nothing but one colossal FUBAR since the Ottoman Empire was defeated after WWI and the Allied Forces got their grubby, greedy mitts on its M.E. territories and all of that luscious black gold. First up was the British Empire and France and then it really went nuclear (literally) in 1946 when Truman and the U.S. joined in the fun and decided to figure out how we could carve out that ancient prime piece of real estate and resurrect Israel. By 1948 ..violà ..there she was.

So now here we sit as the hundred year delusion that we knew what the hell we were doing comes crashing down around us. Seriously, whoever the people have been who thought that a country with the historical perspective of a toddler was going to be able to successfully manage and manipulate a region filled with people who are still tribal in perspective and are still holding grudges and settling scores from five thousand years ago were complete and total arrogant morons. Every single one of them. Up to the present moment.

Which gets me down to those brass tacks I alluded to at the beginning of my comment. Delusional crusades lead by arrogant morons always, always, always end up as ash heaps. So, I would suggest we all prepare for that rapidly approaching conclusion accordingly. For me, that means hitting my knees.

Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Middle Eastern people are no more "tribal" or prone to holding grudges than any other people. Middle Eastern people have exhibited and practiced peaceful and tolerant living arrangements within several different contexts over the centuries. Iraq had a fairly thriving middle class and the Syrians are a cultured and educated people.

Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Syrian society is constructed very much within the construct of close family ties and a sense of a Syrian homeland. It is solely the business of the Syrian people to decide whether the socialist Ba'ath government functions according to their own sense of realities and standards. Some of those realities may include aspects of a necessitated national security state (necessitated by CIA and Israeli subterfuge) that prompts shills to immediately characterize the Assad government as "an authoritarian regime" and of course that's all you need to know. Part of what pisses the West off about the Syrians is that they are so competent, and that includes their intelligence and security services. One of the other parts is the socialist example of government functioning in interests of the general population, not selling out to vultures.

It bothers me that Mr. Lazare wrote: "Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair." Really? Well the Syrian government can hardly be blamed for the vile strategy of using terrorist mercenaries to take or destroy a people's homeland–killing horrific numbers of fathers, mothers, and children on the way to establish some kind of Wild West control over Damascus that can then be manipulated for the typical elite deviances. What was purposely planned and visited upon the Syrian people has had human consequences that were known and disregarded by the planners. It has been and continues to be a grave crime against our common humanity that should be raised to the roof of objection! People like Gambill should be excoriated for their crass appraisal of human costs .and for their contrived and twisted rationalizations and deceits. President Assad recently gave an interview to teleSUR that is worth a listen. He talks about human costs with understanding for what he is talking about. Gambill doesn't give a damn.

BASLE , December 9, 2017 at 10:46 am

From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm".

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:08 am

Yes, Israel is the cut-out or fence for US politicians stealing campaign money from the federal budget. US policy is that of the bribery sources and nothing else. And it believes that to be professional competence. For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree.

Herman , December 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare."

Lazare makes the case very well about our amoral foreign policy but I think he errs in saying our aim was to "transform the region for the better." Recent history, going back to Afghanistan shows a very different goal, to defeat our enemies and the enemies of our allies with little concern for the aftermath. Just observing what has happened to the people where we supported extremists is evidence enough.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men. We hope the conscience of our nation is bothered by our behavior but we know that is not true, and we sleep very well, thank you.

Marilyn Vogt-Downey , December 9, 2017 at 11:18 am

I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit.

There is ample evidence–see the Brookings Institute study among many others–that the Gulf monarchies–flunkies of US imperialism–who "host" dozens of US military bases in the region, some of them central to US war strategy–initiated and nourished and armed and financed the "jihadi armies" in Syria AND Libya AND elsewhere; they did not do this on their own. The US government–the executive committee of the US ruling class–does not naively support the Gulf monarchies because it doesn't know any better! Washington (following British imperialism) organized, established and backed these flunky regimes. They are autocratic, antediluvian regimes, allowing virtually civil rights, with no local proletariat to speak of, no popular base. They are no more than sheriffs for imperialism in that region of the world, along with the Zionist state of Israel, helping imperialism do the really dirty work.

I research this and gathered the evidence to support what I just asserted in a long study printed back in Dec. 2015 in Truthout. Here is the link: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34151-what-is-the-war-on-terror-and-how-to-fight-it

Look at the evidence. Stop the totally foolish assessment that the US government spends all this money on a war machine just to "naively" blunder into wars that level entire nations–and is not taking on destruction of the entire continent of Africa to eliminate any obstacles to its domination.

No! That is foolish and destructive. Unless we look in the face what is going on–the US government since its "secret" intervention in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s, has recruited, trained, armed, funded and relied on jihadi armies to unseat regimes and destabilize and destroy populations and regimes the US government wants to overthrow, and destroy, any that could potentially develop into an alternative model of nationalist, bourgeois industrial development on any level.

Wake up!!! The evidence is there. There is no reason to bumble and bungle along as if we are in the dark.

Randal Marlin , December 9, 2017 at 11:26 am

Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking.
The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences.

Behind all this is the thinking that the survival of Israel outweighs anything else in any global ethical calculus. Those who don't accept this moral premise but who believe in supporting the survival of Israel have their work cut out for them. This work would be made easier if the U.S. population saw clearly what was going on, instead of being preoccupied with salacious sexual misconduct stories or other distractions.

Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

A Russian interceptor has been scrambled to stop a rogue US fighter jet from actively interfering with an anti-terrorist operation, the Russian Defense Ministry said. It also accused the US of provoking close encounters with the Russian jets in Syria.

A US F-22 fighter was preventing two Russian Su-25 strike aircraft from bombing an Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) base to the west of the Euphrates November 23, according to the ministry. The ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov described the episode as yet another example of US aircraft attempts to prevent Russian forces from carrying out strikes against Islamic State.

"The F-22 launched decoy flares and used airbrakes while constantly maneuvering [near the Russian strike jets], imitating an air fight," Konashenkov said. He added that the US jet ceased its dangerous maneuvers only after a Russian Su-35S fighter jet joined the two strike planes.

If this story is true, then it illustrates a number of things. First, the US is still providing ISIS air cover. Second, either the F-22 pilot or his commander is dumber than dirt. The F-22 may be a fine airplane, but getting into a contest with an equally fine non-stealth airplane at eyeball distances means throwing away every advantage of the super-expensive stealth.

Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

https://www.rt.com/news/412590-russia-us-syria-air-force/

Pablo Diablo , December 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Gotta keep the War Machine well fed and insure Corporate control of markets and taking of resources.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

In October 1973, a nuclear armed rogue state almost triggered a global thermonuclear war.

Yom Kippur: Israel's 1973 nuclear alert
By Richard Sale
https://www.upi.com/Yom-Kippur-Israels-1973-nuclear-alert/64941032228992/

Israel obtained operational nuclear weapons capability by 1967, with the mass production of nuclear warheads occurring immediately after the Six-Day War. In addition to the Israeli nuclear arsenal, Israel has offensive chemical and biological warfare stockpiles.

Israel, the Middle East's sole nuclear power, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In 2015, the US-based Institute for Science and International Security estimated that Israel had 115 nuclear warheads. Outside estimates of Israel's nuclear arsenal range up to 400 nuclear weapons.

Israeli nuclear weapons delivery mechanisms include Jericho 3 missiles, with a range of 4,800 km to 6,500 km (though a 2004 source estimated its range at up to 11,500 km), as well as regional coverage from road mobile Jericho 2 IRBMs.

Additionally, Israel is believed to have an offshore nuclear capability using submarine-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles, which can be launched from the Israeli Navy's Dolphin-class submarines.

The Israeli Air Force has F-15I and F-16I Sufa fighter aircraft are capable of delivering tactical and strategic nuclear weapons at long distances using conformal fuel tanks and supported by their aerial refueling fleet of modified Boeing 707's.

In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Dimona, fled to the United Kingdom and revealed to the media some evidence of Israel's nuclear program and explained the purposes of each building, also revealing a top-secret underground facility directly below the installation.

The Mossad, Israel's secret service, sent a female agent who lured Vanunu to Italy, where he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and smuggled to Israel aboard a freighter. An Israeli court then tried him in secret on charges of treason and espionage, and sentenced him to eighteen years imprisonment.

At the time of Vanunu's kidnapping, The Times reported that Israel had material for approximately 20 hydrogen bombs and 200 fission bombs by 1986. In the spring of 2004, Vanunu was released from prison, and placed under several strict restrictions, such as the denial of a passport, freedom of movement limitations and restrictions on communications with the press. Since his release, he has been rearrested and charged multiple times for violations of the terms of his release.

Safety concerns about this 40-year-old reactor have been reported. In 2004, as a preventive measure, Israeli authorities distributed potassium iodide anti-radiation tablets to thousands of residents living nearby. Local residents have raised concerns regarding serious threats to health from living near the reactor.

According to a lawsuit filed in Be'er Sheva Labor Tribunal, workers at the center were subjected to human experimentation in 1998. According to Julius Malick, the worker who submitted the lawsuit, they were given drinks containing uranium without medical supervision and without obtaining written consent or warning them about risks of side effects.

In April 2016 the U.S. National Security Archive declassified dozens of documents from 1960 to 1970, which detail what American intelligence viewed as Israel's attempts to obfuscate the purpose and details of its nuclear program. The Americans involved in discussions with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and other Israelis believed the country was providing "untruthful cover" about intentions to build nuclear weapons.

mike k , December 9, 2017 at 6:38 pm

The machinations of those seeking to gain advantages for themselves by hurting others, are truly appalling. If we fail to name evil for what it is, then we fail as human beings.Those who look the other way as their country engages in an organized reign of terror, are complicit in that enormous crime.

Den Lille Abe , December 9, 2017 at 8:54 pm

The path the US has chosen since the end of WWII has been over dead bodies. In the name of "security", bringing "Freedom" and "Democracy" and complete unconstrained greed it has trampled countless nations into piles of rubble. To say it is despised or loathed is an overwhelming understatement. It is almost universally hated in the third world. Rightly. Bringing this monstrosity to a halt is a difficult task, and probably cannot be done militarily without a nuclear war, economically could in the end have the same outcome, then how?

Easy! Ruin its population. This process has started, long ago. The decline in the US of health, general wealth, nutrition, production, education, equality, ethics and morals is already showing as cracks in the fabrics of the US.

A population of incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns, in a country with a crumbling infrastructure, full of environmental disasters is 21 st century for most Americans. In all the areas I mentioned the US is going backwards compared to most other countries. So the monster will come down.

turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:20 pm

I think you are being a little hard on the incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns

I am not sure who is more loathsome the evangelicals who were supporting the Bush / Cheney cabal murderous wars until the bitter end or the liberal intelligentsia careerist cheerleaders for Obama and Hilary's Wars in Iraq and Syria, who also dont give a damn about another Arab country being destroyed and sold into slavery as long as Hillary gets elected. At least with the former group, you can chalk it up to a lack of education.

Linda Wood , December 10, 2017 at 1:52 am

This is possibly the most intelligent and hopeful discussion I have read since 9/11. It says that at least some Americans do see that we have a fascist cell in our government. That is the first step in finding a way to unplug it. Best wishes to all of you who have written here. We will find a way to put war out of business.

Barbara van der Wal-Kylstra , December 10, 2017 at 2:46 am

I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r?

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:18 am

Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars.

Luutzen , December 10, 2017 at 9:15 am

Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy.

mike k , December 10, 2017 at 11:05 am

The US Military is part of the largest terrorist organization on Earth. For the super rich and powerful rulers of that US Mafia, the ignorant religious fanatics and other tools of Empire are just pawns in their game of world domination and universal slavery for all but themselves. These monsters of evil delight in profiting from the destruction of others; but their insatiable greed for more power will never be satisfied, and will become the cause of the annihilation of every living thing – including themselves. But like other sold out human addicts, at this point they don't really care, and will blindly pursue their nightmare quest to the very end – and perhaps they secretly hope that that final end of everything will at last quench their burning appetite for blood and gold.

Joe Tedesky , December 10, 2017 at 11:12 am

I'm leaving a link to a very long David Swanson article, where Mr Swanson goes into quite a lot of detail to how the U.S. wages war.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/12/76-years-pearl-harbor-lies.html

Brendan , December 10, 2017 at 12:09 pm

What's interesting of course is how not just Washington, but much of the 'left' also cheered on the jihadists.

Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace?

[Dec 10, 2017] Russia-gate s Reach into Journalism by Dennis J Bernstein

Highly recommended!
When national security establishment is trying to undermine sitting President this is iether color revolution or coup d'état. In the USa it looks more like color revolution.
"Now you have this interesting dynamic where the national security establishment is effectively undermining a duly elected president of the United States. I recognize that Trump is vulnerable, but these types of investigations often become highly politicized."
Notable quotes:
"... The Credico subpoena, after he declined a request for a "voluntary" interview, underscores how the investigation is moving into areas of "guilt by association" and further isolating whistleblowers who defy the powers-that-be through unauthorized release of information to the public, a point made by National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake in an interview. ..."
"... Drake knows well what it means to blow the whistle on government misconduct and get prosecuted for it. A former senior NSA executive, Drake complained about a multi-billion-dollar fraud, waste, and widespread violation of the rights of civilians through secret mass surveillance programs. As a result, the Obama administration indicted Drake in 2010, "as the first whistleblower since Daniel Ellsberg charged with espionage," according to the Institute for Public Accuracy. ..."
"... In 2011, the government's case against him, which carried a potential 35 years in prison, collapsed. Drake went free in a plea deal and was awarded the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize. ..."
"... In this hyper-inflated, politicized environment, it is extremely difficult to wade through the massive amount of