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Cold War II: The USA war for "Full Specturm Dominance" on the globe

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization > Color revolutions

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The second Cold War is the war of the USA against Russia and China for "Full spectrum Dominance" on the globe.  Anatol Lieven's recent piece, How the west lost, describes well the current situation of global crisis of neoliberalism which happened just after 40 years after the USA dubious 'victory' in the Cold War I -- the dissolution of the USSR. Which to a certain extent was facilitated by mediocre and subservant  to the West of Michael Gorbachov and his close "neoliberal" entourage of reformersas well as ascendance of neoliberalism and the level of degradation of the USSR Bolsheviks elite -- the level that reminds the level of degradation of the current USA neoliberal elite (Hillary Clinton, Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, Kamala Harris, etc) ):

As Alexander Zevin has written at the Economist, the house journal of Anglo-American elites, the revolutions in Eastern Europe “turbocharged the neoliberal dynamic, and seemed to stamp it with an almost providential seal.” In retrospect, the magazine’s 1990s covers have a tragicomic appearance, reflecting a degree of faith in the rightness and righteousness of neoliberal capitalism more appropriate to a religious cult.

These beliefs interacted to produce a dominant atmosphere of “there is no alternative,” which made it impossible and often in effect forbidden to conduct a proper public debate on the merits of the big western presumptions, policies or plans of the era. As a German official told me when I expressed some doubt about the wisdom of rapid EU enlargement, “In my ministry we are not even allowed to think about that.”

This was a sentiment I encountered again and again (if not often so frankly expressed) in western establishment institutions in that era: in economic journals if it was suggested that rapid privatisation in the former USSR would lead to massive corruption, social resentment and political reaction; in security circles, if anyone dared to question the logic of Nato expansion; and almost anywhere if it was pointed out that the looting of former Soviet republics was being assiduously encouraged and profited from by western banks, and regarded with benign indifference by western governments.

... ... ...

Accompanying this overwhelmingly dominant political and economic ideology was an American geopolitical vision equally grandiose in ambition and equally blind to the lessons of history. This was summed up in the memorandum on “Defence Planning Guidance 1994-1999,” drawn up in April 1992 for the Bush Senior administration by Under-Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and subsequently leaked to the media. Its central message was:

“The US must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests… We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role…”

By claiming for the US the right of unilateral intervention anywhere in the world and denying other major powers a greater role in their regions, this strategy essentially extended the Monroe Doctrine (which effectively defined the “western hemisphere” as the US sphere of influence) to the entire planet: an ambition greater than that of any previous power. The British Empire at its height knew that it could never intervene unilaterally on the continent of Europe or in Central America. The most megalomaniac of European rulers understood that other great powers with influence in their own areas of the world would always exist.

While that 1992 Washington paper spoke of the “legitimate interests” of other states, it clearly implied that it would be Washington that would define what interests were legitimate, and how they could be pursued. And once again, though never formally adopted, this “doctrine” became in effect the standard operating procedure of subsequent administrations. In the early 2000s, when its influence reached its most dangerous height, military and security elites would couch it in the terms of “full spectrum dominance.” As the younger President Bush declared in his State of the Union address in January 2002, which put the US on the road to the invasion of Iraq: “By the grace of God, America won the Cold War… A world once divided into two armed camps now recognises one sole and pre-eminent power, the United States of America.”

Global crisis of neoliberalism put the USA world dominance pretentions into question. At the same time  the USA elite can't abandon this ideology without complete and utter loss of face.  The first state of this crisis was the 2008 financial crisis and now  we entered the second  stage due to the COVID-19 pandemic and inept reaction to it by the USA government.

Triumphalism led US policymakers, and their transatlantic followers, to forget one cardinal truth about geopolitical and military power: that in the end it is not global and absolute, but local and relative. It is the amount of force or influence a state wants to bring to bear in a particular place and on a -particular issue, relative to the power that a rival state is willing and able to bring to bear. The truth of this has been shown repeatedly over the past generation. For all America’s overwhelming superiority on paper, it has turned out that many countries have greater strength than the US in particular places: Russia in Georgia and Ukraine, Russia and Iran in Syria, China in the South China Sea, and even Pakistan in southern Afghanistan.

American over-confidence, accepted by many Europeans and many Britons especially, left the US in a severely weakened condition to conduct what should have been clear as far back as the 1990s to be the great competition of the future—that between Washington and Beijing.

On the one hand, American moves to extend Nato to the Baltics and then (abortively) on to Ukraine and Georgia, and to abolish Russian influence and destroy Russian allies in the Middle East, inevitably produced a fierce and largely successful Russian nationalist reaction. Within Russia, the US threat to its national interests helped to consolidate and legitimise Putin’s control. Internationally, it ensured that Russia would swallow its deep-seated fears of China and become a valuable partner of Beijing.

While the war is called "cold" (attempt to strangulate the opponent via sanctions and dollar hegemony in the world financial system; see USA-Russia Gas War for detail)  the distance from the hot war is really small, especially in Syria, where the USA support jihadists (financed by the USA proxies such as Saudi Arabia and Gulf states) , while Russians support Assad government.

On the level of "political class" the Russian and US perceptions of war are totally different: for a Russian politician the war is a fight for survival as an individual and as a nation, for a US politician war and killing are just another day in the office. Most USA politicians seem to be unable to grasp the simple truth that the WWIII will be the end of the USA as a country (as well as the end of Russia as a country -- mutual assured destruction). They love to balance of the edge. But most probably the level of destruction will be such that those who stay alive in those two countries will envy dead.  It looks like they blindly subscribe to the quote attributed to Otto von Bismarck: “God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.”

A classic example of this kind of people are and  the current Secretary of state "Pompous Pompeo" and Michael Morell  served as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2010 to 2013 and twice as its acting director, first in 2011 and then from 2012 to 2013. The latter is probably representative of the whole CIA "anti-Russian"  stratum.

And that includes perception of the risks of "Cold War" turning into hot.  Jingoism of the current US elite is really crazy: ‘Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,’ says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton. And this is not some drunk schmuck in the pub.  This is a  top CIA official, who twice served as the acting director of the agency

In an interview with Charlie Rose in August 2016, Morell blamed Syrian President Assad, Russia, and Iran for the death toll in Syria.[28] He called on the moderate opposition in Syria to make Russia and Iran "pay a price" for their involvement in Syria, in part by targeting their military personnel in the country.[29] He also called on the US to begin bombing Syrian government targets in order to bring Assad to the negotiating table.[30] Regarding President Bashar al-Assad, Morell argued "I want to go after those things that Assad sees as his personal power base. I want to scare Assad."[29]

You would think that this guys is a crazy psychopath (thanks God he retired form CIA in 2013). But his views reflect the views of a large swat of Washington political establishment. And President Trump actually fulfilled Hillary bidding and attacked Assad's military installations, the action  which Morell argued for.   Which opened a new chapter in Cold War II history.

Key events of Cold War II

Generally we can think about Cold War II as consisting of several phases, signified by particular events:

  1. Phase I
    1. Prehistory (1991-1999). The USA, especially Bill Clinton administration,  wanted to weaken, isolate and subdue Russia since the dissolution of the USSR (using corrupt regime of drunk Yeltsin as a puppet and Harvard mafia as economic advisors; Russian neoliberals who came to power in Russia after the dissolution of the USSR  allowed fox to guard the chickens and faced consequences )  and encouraged efforts to dismember it (via support of Chechen radicals and islamists, in general).
    2. 1999: War against Yugoslavia as the demonstration of Russia neo-colonial status.  Primakov flight U-turn over Athlantic
    3. 2000: Putin ascendance to power as a reaction to Yeltsin regime failings and neo-colonization of Russia.  Kursk submarile disaster CBS news then broke the story that the United States had three ships in the vicinity observing the naval exercise that Kursk was taking part in. Two of the three ships were submarines, later determined to be USS Memphis and USS Toledo, type 688 Los Angeles class fast attack submarines which are often used for covert intelligence gathering.  USS Memphis, reported by Norway to be undergoing repairs at a Norwegian naval yard.
    4. 2001: Neocons get full power in Bush II administration and started to implement PNAC agenda. September 11, 2001 events. Invasion of Afghanistan with Russian support (via North Alliance) with large supplies of Russian arms.
    5. 2003: Colin Powell lies to UN in his speech about Iraq weapons of mass destruction(full text) falsely accusing Iraq regime of producing chemical weapons. Subsequent invasion of Iraq under false evidence and occupation of Iraq. The USA uses events in Afghanistan to establish military bases in former Soviet republics starting the operation of "encirclement" of Russia. For some period of time Russia allowed transport of military cargo via its territory. this stopped only after "NATO sanctions" were introduced in 2014.
    6. 2008: In august 2008 Georgia staged invasion of north Ossetia which resulted in Russian military operation against Georgia (called the war with Georgia). This was the first time Russia opposed US sanctioned actions of US allies. And did it militarily.
    7. 2011: "We say, we came, he died". The USA fooled Russian President Medvedev into supporting "no-fly zones" which were interpreted by West as the cart blanche for full scale bombing of Gaddafi regime. American and British naval forces fired over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles,[20] the French Air Force, British Royal Air Force, and Royal Canadian Air Force[21] undertaking sorties across Libya and a naval blockade by Coalition forces. French jets launched air strikes against Libyan Army tanks and vehicles. The Libyan government response to the campaign was totally ineffectual. Regime soon fell and Gaddafi was brutally murdered.
    8. 2011-2012 attempt to stage a color revolution in Russia by Obama administration (with Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State), using the power of NGOs and neoliberal fifth column to prevent return of Putin to power ("white revolution" of 2012)
  2. Phase II
    1. 2014: Anti-Russian hysteria during Sochi Olympics, Ukrainian coup d'état and introduction of sanctions. Malaysian flight MH17  tragegy that points to a false flag operation
    2. 2015: Russian involvement in Syria and Ambush of Russian Su-24 bomber by Turkey facilitated by US intelligence.  
    3. 2016: US deploy offensive and dangerous to Russian strategic forces "missile shield" in Poland and Romania, continuing the policy of encirclement of Russia. On May 12, 2016 US missile shield in Romania goes live to Russian fury
    4. 2016: Anti-Russian hysteria during and after Presidential elections.
    5. 2016 -- the start of Russiagate hysteria and Neo-McCarthyism campaign Democratic Pary turns into the second War party in Washington and the level of jingoism and anti-Russian hysteria reached unprecedented level. Matt Taibbi (Mar 23, 2019, this is chapter of his book Hate Inc. ) aptly called Russiagate this generation's Iraq WMD story.
    6. 2017: Neo-Mccratyism campaign against Russia was launched as a reaction to Hillary loss in 2016 election fierce  , with the level of demonization of Russia justifiable only if the USA is reading population for a war.  The Congress starts the investigation of Russian meddling into the US Presidential Elections.
    7. April 2017: Hopes about Trump more reasonable approach to foreign policy and detente with Russia vanished. Under relentless attacks of neocons, which actually resemble a color revolution" (called Purple revolution) Trump folded. Attack on Syrian airbase followed, which actually signify direct attack on Russian involvement (and policy) in Syria. It was masked as a reaction on Khan Sheikhoun gas attack (which, most probably, was a false flag operation)
    8. March 2018, Skripal poisoning false flag by (most probably) the UK intelligence services with full support of the USA and weker support of other NATO countries.
    9. March 2018 Mike Pompeo, the CIA director nominated to be secretary of state boasted that the U.S. killed up to 200 Russians in airstrikes conducted against forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in February.
    10. December 2019 -- Ukrainegate -- attempt to depose President Trump attempted by Clinton democrats who fear revelations of their dirty dealings in Ukraine during EuroMaidan coup d'état, including corrupt dealings of Vice-President Biden
    11. August 2020. The USA attempt to block North Stream and organization by unknown actors (some suspicions are that it was MI6 via her person in Navalny close circle ) of "Navalny poisoning" provocation to derail the project.

Sanction as official start of Cold War II

What is called "sanctions" is essentially the "official" start of Cold War II. Not everybody  understand this. Russians tend to obscure this fact with bravado. "Sanctions is not only a challenge, but also can serve as a useful resource for our country economic development" -- said the first deputy head of the Presidential Administration Vyacheslav Volodin, in his address to the seminar meeting with officials of the government of subjects of the Russian Federation and representatives of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation which took place Dec 1-3.

"Today, the state conducts an internal policy that really reflects the interests and enjoys the support of the absolute majority of the Russian people. For example, the reunification of the Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia has supported more than 93% of Russian citizens" noted Vyacheslav Volodin. "But the highest level of support for government policy - not a reason to calm down and relax. This is the issue of preversing this huge level of credibility, great expectations of people. It is important to use this social energy for development of the country, addressing major social and economic problems. "

"The current economic situation is today is an inflected on us stress test for the government, for the economy, for the country as a whole," - said Vyacheslav Volodin.

"This is an opportunity to see who is who. World leaders of the 20th century took place at different times this path - the path of development in the face of opposition of the environment, trade wars, sanctions and restrictions. Some of the countries, such as China, have been able, in spite of the sanctions regime, to build one of the strongest economies in the world and dramatically improve the quality of life of its citizens. Such an opportunity does exist for us too. "

According to Vyacheslav Volodin, economic recovery should be a continuing priority for the country. Sanctions - this is an additional opportunity to resolve overdue to restructure the domestic market, provided support for domestic manufactures.

"Import substitution and new industrialization, which we discussed back in the pre-election articles and messages of the President of the Russian Federation in 2012 and 2013 - a key aspect of state sovereignty,"

I would recommend Volodin to listen famous Russian song, almost a hymn of Russian navy Varyag.  Russia now faces the whole NATO alliance, which is by oprder or magnitute is more powerful economically.  

Putin assessed situation in more sober way (From 28 min Putin discuss sanctions), but still I think underestimated the capabilities of the "collective West" led by the USA to wreck Russian economy. And while Biden is a regular neocon chickenhawk (essentially Hillary in pants), behind him  like an aircraft carriers stand 500 largest US companies and the whole US military industrial complex which wants war: 

The U.S. and the European Union imposed sanctions on people and companies close to President Vladimir Putin after Russia annexed the Black Sea Crimea peninsula in March. Ukraine has accused Russia of supplying weapons, military vehicles and mercenaries to separatists, which Russia denies. The two nations are also in conflict over gas, with Russia cutting off supplies this week because of unpaid bills.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Putin's government faces the threat of further economic sanctions if it doesn’t do more “to exercise its influence among the separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence, both of which Russia has thus far failed to do,” according to a statement released by the White House yesterday.

And it is not accidental that  the World Bank, one of the cornerstones of world neoliberal economic order,  has designed two scenarios for the growth of the Russian economy in 2014 taking into account increased risks over the Crimean crisis (MOSCOW, March 26 (RIA Novosti)

The first variant is based on short-term influences of the events in Ukraine on Russia's economy, and the second, threats of a serious shock and downturn of the gross domestic product (GDP).

"The scenario with a low level of risk presupposes that actions over the Crimean crisis will be limited and short-term and with a prognosis of a slowing economic growth to 1.1 percent in 2014 and a slight increase to 1.3 percent in 2015,"

according to a World Bank report on the Russian economy published on Wednesday.

French politician Philippe de Villiers Without Russia Europe has no future by Viacheslav

Q: What do you think about the "war of sanctions" that Russia waged against the West?

Philippe de Villiers: I will answer you as a person, seriously studied history. It was not even a single case where sanctions would lead to the desired result. Moreover, they give the opposite result.

Country against which an embargo is introduced, usually finds the hidden reserves and becomes stronger. Sanctions by themselves - it is an act of war, they hurt the pride of the people, and those mobilized, concentrated, what is happening now in Russia. In French, one of the meanings of the word "sanctions" refers to a school dictionary. Teacher allowed to punish the student to apply to it "sanctions." But as far as I know, Mr. Putin is not a disciple of Mr Barroso. Sanctions lead to retaliatory sanctions to a dangerous chain of mutual blows.

Cooperation between countries - it is an act of peace. Our joint project of theme parks in Russia and indeed this is. Support him, President Putin has committed an act of peace. I appeal to all the French entrepreneurs to follow suit in order to strengthen ties and friendship between France and Russia.

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William Bonner


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[Jul 29, 2021] Yeltsin role in Russian history

Jul 29, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Max21c 12 hours ago (Edited) remove link

When has Russia not been ruled by an autocrat?

From Peter the Great to Catherine the Great to Alexander I, Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II in 1917, Romanov czars ruled Russia. After 1917 came Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin.

Pat was doing so well up until this set of sentences... when Pat Buchanan horribly erred in including the shifty and ne'er-do-well Boris Yeltsin as such person was an idiot & a crook so much more so than an autocrat... He was too dumb, crooked, naive, drunken, and out of touch with reality to be an autocrat... Yeltsin was just a fool, a lost fool, a forlorn fool, and a weakling... Much like the Czar that came under the spell of Rasputin... Yeltsin bought into all the Western Elites malarkey and foolishness about economic reforms that came close to ruining Russian civilization and destroying Russia as a society and a nation...

Thereafter God upon feeling guilty for having allowed the worthless Yeltsin onto power... then God sent the Angel St. Vladimir to save Russian civilization from destruction and to save the Russian people... and the Holy Putin worked his magic and Russia was not destroyed, the Russians were saved, and Russian civilization preserved for the future and spared its demise...

CovidBannedTard 12 hours ago (Edited) remove link

The CCP loving corporate western bankers who sold American manufacturing to the CCP almost had Russia on its knees with Yeltsin.They were asset stripping it.

Then Putin slammed their tally whackers in a door.

And booted them out.

The same CCP loving corporate bankers are still asset stripping America 21 years and counting since Putin kicked them out.

[Jul 24, 2021] Steele Dossier Peddlers Confirm Its Substance With New Forgeries

Jul 16, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Today the Guardian published another fake 'Russiagate' story:

Kremlin papers appear to show Putin's plot to put Trump in White House

Vladimir Putin personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a "mentally unstable" Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia's national security council, according to what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents.
...
Western intelligence agencies are understood to have been aware of the documents for some months and to have carefully examined them. The papers, seen by the Guardian, seem to represent a serious and highly unusual leak from within the Kremlin.

Yaawwwnn ...

We know, without reading it, that the story is fake because its main author is Luke Harding. Harding also authored the story which claimed that Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manaford met Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. That story was proven to be false but the Guardian , to its shame, still has it up on its website .

In 2017 Luke Harding abruptly ended an interview with Aaron Maté after Harding was challenged over false claims he had made in his book about 'Russiagate'. The last five minutes of that video are quite amusing .

The Guardian story claims that the 'leaked' nonsense paper was discussed in high level Kremlin meeting in January 2016. It was then decided, it alleges, to support Trump. But in January 2016 there was no one, not even Donald Trump himself, who thought that he would win the Republican primary or even the presidency. But the Kremlin is supposed to have discussed him at the highest level well before anyone thought he could win?

Various people make interesting remarks about the new Guardian fakery:

Tara McCormack @McCormack_Tara - 12:13 UTC · Jul 15, 2021

I am seriously coming to the conclusion that Luke Harding is a Russian operative who has been put in place as part of a long term dastardly plan to make British journalism appear ridiculous.

---
Craig Murray @CraigMurrayOrg - 12:02 UTC · 15 Jul 2021

The next Luke Harding MI6 hoax.
Passing off forged Kremlin minutes saying things like "It is acutely necessary to use all possible force to facilitate his [Trump's] election to the post of US president."
Hilarious
theguardian.com/world/2021/jul"¦

---
Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald - 12:07 UTC · 15 Jul 2021

The part of the media that feigns anger at misinformation is uncritically promoting a story today by Luke Harding that Russia was blackmailing Trump -- the same Harding who has published many false stories, championed the Steele Dossier and claimed Trump was long a Russian agent.
...
Now suddenly, Harding claims he obtained leaked, highly sensitive Kremlin documents that just so happen to prove all the lies he's been peddling for years, that not even Mueller's huge team found. Because it advances liberals' interests, journalists are uncritically spreading it.
...
I will once use this shabby behavior to against highlight 2 points:

1) The contempt and loss of trust people harbor for the corporate media is completely justified and well-earned.

2) These outlets are by far the most prolific and destructive disseminators of disinformation.

Even people who are typically inclined to promote all kinds of anti-Russian nonsense are cautious on this item.

Thomas Rid @RidT - 12:38 UTC · 15 Jul 2021

This Guardian story is likely to make big waves. I would remain somewhat cautious for now, however. For a "leak" of this magnitude, we need at least some details on the chain of custody. Also note the Guardian's own hedging ("papers appear to show") theguardian.com/world/2021/jul"¦

---
Pwn All The Things @pwnallthethings - 14:40 UTC · 15 Jul 2021

Also, just putting this out there, if the US had this and thought it was real, how likely is it that it would have survived the waterfall of leaks of the past few years? And yet, here we are, with this as exclusive by the UK's Guardian, and conspicuously not, say, WaPo or NYT.

Christopher Steele, the 'former' British intelligence officer who peddle the fake dossier about alleged Russian Trump kompromat on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign, worked and still works for Orbis Intelligence, a British private outlet run by 'former' British spies.

They are still at it ...

Orbis Business Intelligence @OrbisBIOfficial - 10:48 UTC · Jul 15, 2021

Great reporting on an important story.

Luke Harding @lukeharding1968 - 10:02 UTC · Jul 15, 2021

Exclusive: Leaked Putin papers appear to show #Russia's plot to put a "mentally unstable" Donald Trump into the White House "" my story with @julianborger in Washington and @dansabbagh in London
Kremlin papers appear to show Putin's plot to put Trump in White House

"Great reporting.. " "..important story"

Yeah. Sure. Whatever.

Posted by b on July 15, 2021 at 15:20 UTC | Permalink


Bemildred , Jul 15 2021 15:31 utc | 1


They embarass us all with this sort of stupidity. And being British, of course, they double down on it.

" REVEALED: Iran plotted to kidnap Iranian-American journalist from Brooklyn, transport her by speedboat to Venezuela and then fly her to the Islamic republic because she criticized regime, FBI say"

You just cannot get much more ludicrous than that.

Bemildred , Jul 15 2021 15:33 utc | 2
And lots of projection too, we all know who lies and indulges in all sorts of chicanery to silence critics (like Assange, say).
james , Jul 15 2021 15:50 utc | 3
damn you gottlieb! look what you started, lol...

thanks b... these intel agencies running the "free press" sure are getting boring really fast....

james , Jul 15 2021 15:52 utc | 4
@ 1 bemildred.... i knew it was a lie when i heard it on the cbc radio yesterday... if the cbc is running with it - it is an outright made up lie... accept everything on the surface and never question anything!!! be a good citizen, lol...
Bigben , Jul 15 2021 16:00 utc | 5
The articles from The Guardian and all don't prove anything about Russia's plans. The cite the January 26 meeting of the Security Council as Proof of Putin's plans. If I were in Putin's place, I would also have been happy with Trump's election and its likely socioeconomic impact on the US society.
Tuyzentfloot , Jul 15 2021 16:12 utc | 6
Harding strikes me as someone who's completely into the business of selling stories. He senses where the money is , looks at his sales numbers and concludes he's doing great because that is how he measures things. No concept of 'truth' other than financial success in the market of ideas. I suspect he makes a lot of money.
the pair , Jul 15 2021 16:18 utc | 7
damn, i wish i had it in me to be a cult leader...i'd make a beeline to the guardian office and have an army of kool-aid drinking simps at my disposal. when they aren't harrassing and firing women writers for calling out "female identifying" sex offenders in dresses or stirring up imaginary "anti-semitism" they're peddling this delusional nonsense and LARPing as MI6 spooks. truly in their own little world. i'll guess some LSD in the water cooler and a decent powerpoint presentation is all it would take to be the limey jim jones.
Ð"жММ , Jul 15 2021 16:35 utc | 8
The chunks of the supposed document that the Guardian included with its article really give it away. The text - supposedly from an internal Kremlin communication - reads as no more or less than a chunk of English passed through Google Translate. Idiomatically, it is chock full of awkwardness and simple ridiculous phrasings. There are even grammatical errors! "..во Ð²Ñ€ÐµÐ¼Ñ Ð¿Ñ€ÐµÐ±Ñ‹Ð²Ð°Ð½Ð¸Ñ ÐµÐ³Ð¾..." is simply incorrect. In Russian, the last two words are reversed in order.

It recalls the recent Putin's Palace story, with the "комната грÑзи".

It's just shameful how little pride the propagandists take in their work. I understand that they hold their audience in only the lowest of regard (not without cause, to be fair), but it's not like there is any shortage of Russian-speakers in the west they could go to for proofreading, if not copy writing.

vk , Jul 15 2021 16:55 utc | 9
Kremlin's response came out:

Peskov called the article by The Guardian about the authorities of Russia and Trump a fiction

"Of course, this is such a continuation of absolutely low-quality publications. Either the newspaper is trying to somehow increase its popularity, or the newspaper continues such a frenzied Russophobic line. Of course, all this does not and cannot correspond to the truth. This, in fact, is not true ... This is a continuation of the exercises on total demonization of Russia and Putin, which The Guardian sometimes likes to do, or is it a desperate attempt to attract some new readers by publishing such tales, "Peskov said.
Stonebird , Jul 15 2021 17:18 utc | 10
"REVEALED: Iran plotted to kidnap Iranian-American journalist from Brooklyn, transport her by speedboat to Venezuela and then fly her to the Islamic republic because she criticized regime, FBI say", Bemildred | Jul 15 2021 15:31 utc | 1

I TOLD you all that the FBI needed new script writers. Either that or they have so little imagination that they have to use up all the scripts from a couple of years back, as they cannot afford new ones.

******

Don't underestimate stupidity

pnyx , Jul 15 2021 17:18 utc | 11
Luke 'Skywalker' Harding defeats the evil empire. Part 13.
Citizen621 , Jul 15 2021 17:58 utc | 12
Doesn't matter - the MSNBC watchers will never accept this. I still try to punch through the armor of confirmation bias now and then. My last jab was: "I think Russiagate is every bit as much evidence-free bullshit as Quanon!". No effect whatsoever. Willing to agree with half of what I said - just like Fox watchers.

Unfortunately, I don't think my fellow citizens here in the heart of Pindostan will pay attention until things get bad enough that they know actual hunger - and then they will serve the elites by fighting each other.

Sorry for the pessimism, the one positive thing I do think I can do is tend my vegetable garden!

jo6pac , Jul 15 2021 18:07 utc | 13
Amerikan intel agrees it fake but they will walk it back soon I'm sure

https://www.alternet.org/2021/07/trump-and-kremlin/

QA , Jul 15 2021 18:53 utc | 14
Ð"жММ:

"во Ð²Ñ€ÐµÐ¼Ñ Ð¿Ñ€ÐµÐ±Ñ‹Ð²Ð°Ð½Ð¸Ñ ÐµÐ³Ð¾", maybe awkward but semikosher, many examples can be found Googling it ---like during stay of his vs. during his stay (e.g. kamchatka.mid.ru can be found to say: "ÑвÑÐ·Ð°Ð½Ð½Ñ‹Ñ Ñ Ð´ÐµÐ¹ÑтвиÑми и поÑтупками пригÐ"ашаемого во Ð²Ñ€ÐµÐ¼Ñ Ð¿Ñ€ÐµÐ±Ñ‹Ð²Ð°Ð½Ð¸Ñ ÐµÐ³Ð¾ в РФ, в том чиÑÐ"е, в ÑÐ"учае депортации").

Thomas , Jul 15 2021 20:22 utc | 15
Jeez, it just gets worse-as soon as I saw the name Luke harding, I knew it was a pile of trash; really, who in the hell reads this without a sense to vomit.

Well, there there is Orbis: "great reporting."

MI6 and prob cia has this clown on the payroll; I tried to watch the last 5 minutes of the video but could not get past the first minute; the guy is absolutely repulsive and they continue to double down on this garbage.

Cadence calls , Jul 15 2021 20:28 utc | 16
Headlines on Democratic Underground and Daily KOS:
"Explosive evidence that Putin supported a Trump Presidency"

Commenters: "I knew it!"

Thomas , Jul 15 2021 20:30 utc | 17
Ð"жММ-8

I think you really nailed it; we see it every day, with this latest pail of s___, that these purveyors absolutely have no shame or embarrassment, but believe their audience, the sheeple, are complete idiots or stupid. The question is who is stupid as this level of stupidity cannot be fixed or underestimated.

librul , Jul 15 2021 21:41 utc | 18
I remember the scene in the movie "The Big Short" where Steve Carell
was saying, "they knew all along!".

Goldman Sachs, et al, had over-leveraged the housing mortgages and "they knew all along"
if and when it all crumbled the government would cover Wall Street's bad bets with taxpayer debt.

They knew all along it was bs but they did it anyway.

The MSM is a different arena but has the same arrogant attitude towards average joe citizen.

The MSM knows it is selling bs but they don't care.

What I see is they are counting on the "Reiteration Effect" (look it up, it is a real thing).
"Russia bad", "Russia bad", "Russia bad", "Russia bad", "Russia bad", "Russia bad".

There have been a steady stream of "Russia bad" stories and "Russia helped Trump" stories, and over time
the fact that these stories are one by one debunked does not matter. The "Reiteration Effect" is what matters.
"Say something a million times and it becomes true" is not a mere cynical phrase, it actually works - the "Reiteration Effect".

Keep putting out these "Russia bad" stories and "Russia helped Trump" stories and over time people will accept the basic message as true.

The MSM has known all along they were selling bs, but they don't care.

vk , Jul 15 2021 22:11 utc | 19
@ Posted by: librul | Jul 15 2021 21:41 utc | 18

They definitely didn't know 2008 would happen. On the contrary: they thought they had discovered the elixir of immortality for capitalism.

The USA was caught completely off-guard in September 2008. You have to search with a magnifying glass to find the ten people who predicted the crisis would happen in its nature and more or less its timing - but even then, most of them were Marxists, i.e. outside the commanding heights of the USG.

librul , Jul 15 2021 22:23 utc | 20
@Posted by: vk | Jul 15 2021 22:11 utc | 19

Goldman Sachs began to short mortgage bonds and like instruments before the crash of 2008.

Regardless, they *knew* their bets were covered by the government.

---

Were you aware that Henry Paulson began to ready a coup in 2008?

Tuyzentfloot , Jul 15 2021 22:41 utc | 21
I like the idea of the makers of this thing deciding that it's a shoddy job which only Harding will take. Also Harding gets all the attention but let's not forget the honourable mentions in this story: Julian Borger and Dan Sabbagh.
librul , Jul 15 2021 22:49 utc | 22
@Posted by: librul | Jul 15 2021 22:23 utc | 20 ....continued

I saved this from somewhere (?) years ago. Doesn't matter, you can read Paulson's coup document for yourself.
The WSJ link still works but you hit a pay wall. You can put the following url at http://web.archive.org/
and read the original WSJ publication and Paulson's coup document dated Sept 20, 2008 at the WSJ.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/09/20/treasurys-financial-bailout-proposal-to-congress/


**** "shall not be subject to judicial review" ****

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/09/20/treasurys-financial-bailout-proposal-to-congress/

"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

Did you catch that? Paulson went further. Not just the courts are cut out but "any adminstrative agency" as well.

Paulson also was giving to Himself the authority to APPROPRIATE any funds He wished.

"Any funds expended for actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses, shall be deemed appropriated at the time of such expenditure."

HE could pass ANY legislation He wanted to:

"(5) issuing such regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to define terms or carry out the authorities of this Act."

The word "term" has a duel meaning. It also refers to TIME, as in length of a term.

Give powers to anyone and hire anyone He wished to:

"(1) appointing such employees as may be required to carry out the authorities in this Act and defining their duties;"

What miscellaneous authorities did G-d Paulson give Himself? Answer: Authority over the police and the military.

"In exercising the authorities granted in this Act, the Secretary shall take into consideration means for""

(1) providing stability or preventing disruption to the financial markets or banking system; and

"providing stability OR". That OR makes for confusion (intentional confusion). Stability is a word used often in the context of economics but it is also used in the context of police action. Get it? He wants to create his own SS. See the very next word: "protecting", as in "We Serve and Protect".

(2) protecting the taxpayer."

The last one is my favorite. Who is a *taxpayer*? Hmmm, is not everyone, even candy purchasing kids liable to pay tax? Corporations are also taxpayers...

G-d Paulson covered all his bases.

Even the one about being G-d Forever:

"Sec. 9. Termination of Authority.

The authorities under this Act, with the exception of authorities granted in sections 2(b)(5), 5 and 7, shall terminate two years from the date of enactment of this Act."

Paulson wants you to believe this terminates in two years. However, 2(b)(5) does NOT terminate and that one says he can just place the crown back on His own head:

"(5) issuing such regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to define terms or carry out the authorities of this Act."

Cheers

A coup! A massive scandal that has been totally missed.

Michael888 , Jul 15 2021 23:01 utc | 23
@Posted by: librul | Jul 15 2021 21:41 utc | 18

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."-- Joseph Goebbels (Luke Harding's Father?)

corvo , Jul 15 2021 23:16 utc | 24
@ Cadence calls | Jul 15 2021 20:28 utc | 16:

We can take some comfort in the fact that Daily Kos readership has fallen precipitously over the last few years. Nobody takes it seriously anymore.

Dim sim , Jul 15 2021 23:31 utc | 25
In 2017 Luke Harding abruptly ended an interview with Aaron Maté after Harding was challenged over false claims he had made in his book about 'Russiagate'. The last five minutes of that video are quite amusing.

I'm not normally a follower of this topic even though one of our sleazers, Downer, was involved but needing something to smile at while in our CV lockdown I watched the link.

What an understatement! It's a hilarious 28m:51s train wreck interview with a complete dick. Thanks b for sharing it.

mismatch , Jul 15 2021 23:49 utc | 26
@Vk, I'm sorry to contradict you but if you pick up a copy of the Financial Times in 2008 before the crash, everyone was predicting it. I checked recently, and sure enough, it was all over the paper.
TEP , Jul 16 2021 0:18 utc | 27
Luke Harding. Nuff said.
TEP.
Erelis , Jul 16 2021 0:22 utc | 28
Once again super duper evil genius ex-KGB spy cannot keep state secrets secret.
Christian J. Chuba , Jul 16 2021 0:24 utc | 29
Painful video to watch. Harding is using the Hitler argument.

'My evidence that Trump colluded with Putin (Saddam has WMD) is that Putin is Hitler. If you don't believe me, you are supporting Adolf Hitler'.

Harding is Satan's minion, and Jesus said, 'Satan is a liar and a murderer, when he lies, he speaks his native language'

Lies kill.

vk , Jul 16 2021 0:39 utc | 30
@ Posted by: mismatch | Jul 15 2021 23:49 utc | 26

By 2007, the financial elite already knew something would happen - but not a structural crisis. In fact, they predicted nothing: the chain of bankruptcies started at the end of 2006; September 2008 was just the date it "leaked" to the "real economy".

Not every crisis is bad for capitalism. Cyclical crisis are natural and beneficial to capitalism. The crisis of 2008 was not a cyclical crisis, but a structural one. They probably thought it was either a cyclical crisis (a la Dotcom crisis of 2000) or, if something more serious, something the free market would easily be able to "self-regulate" out of.

[Jul 21, 2021] Civilized nations' efforts to deter Russia and China are starting to add up

Jul 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lysander , Jul 17 2021 11:31 utc | 2

...WaPo columnist George Will then asserts:

Henry Kissinger has said, not unreasonably, that we are in "the foothills" of a cold war with China. And Vladimir Putin, who nurses an unassuageable grudge about the way the Cold War ended, seems uninterested in Russia reconciling itself to a role as a normal nation without gratuitous resorts to mendacity. It is, therefore, well to notice how, day by day, in all of the globe's time zones, civilized nations are, in word and deed, taking small but cumulatively consequential measures that serve deterrence.

If arrogance were a deadly disease, George Will would be dead.

George Will has been an ass clown since I first had the displeasure of watching him in the 1970s. Age has not brought an ounce of wisdom. Nevertheless, this total lack of self reflection and ability to project American sins on others is unfortunately not unique to our man George. It seems a habit throughout the entire US political spectrum. The ability to view, for example, the invasion of Iraq as perfectly normal behavior, while viewing any resistance to US/Israeli dominance as beyond the pale is the character of the decaying American superpower. George Will is but one manifestation of it. It was once infuriating. But now it's simply like listening to the ravings of a schizophrenic. More pathetic than anything else.

Dao Gen , Jul 17 2021 11:35 utc | 3

What do you expect from George Swill? He is a pathetic, disoriented refugee from his home in Victorian England, when barbarism never set for a single instant on the British Empire.
Donbass Lives Matter , Jul 17 2021 11:45 utc | 4
There's a way to get the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from the mainstream news media. Just look at their propaganda and ask yourself, "Why do they want me to believe this particular lie?" If you can figure that you, you will have the truth.
alaff , Jul 17 2021 11:52 utc | 5
Well, you know, the white man's burden...
The funny thing is that they seriously consider themselves a "superior race", while behaving like wild barbarians.
Such opinions/articles of "Western civilized people" cause only a condescending smile, nothing more. So let's let George Will entertain us.
Midville , Jul 17 2021 11:57 utc | 7

I find it pretty bizzarre how western media obsessively try to portray the Defender incident as a some sort of "victory" for "civilized nations".
What exactly is the victory here? The fact that Russia only resorted to warning fire and didn't blow up the ship?

Perimetr , Jul 17 2021 12:16 utc | 11

Decades of propaganda masquerading as news has led most "educated" Americans into a Matrix of false narratives. Should you dare mention election fraud or question the safety of COVID vaccines in the presences of anyone who considers the NY Times and Wash Post as the "papers of record", they will be happy to inform you that you are "captured" by false news. Dialogue with these true believers has become almost impossible. We are the indispensable, civilized nation, don't you understand basic facts?

My sister, who is truly a good-hearted person, unfortunately keeps CNN and MSNBC on most of the day in her small apartment, and lives for The NY Times, which she pours over, especially the weekend edition. She knows that Putin is evil and Russia is a bad place to live, etc etc. I got rid of my TV ten years ago and started looking elsewhere for my information. I live in a rural area of a Red state, she lives in Manhattan. We have to stick to topics that revolve around museums, gardening, and food.

Ayatoilet , Jul 17 2021 12:50 utc | 16

This is precisely the type of arrogance that has led to US leaving Afghanistan with their pants down - having spent untold Trillions of dollars and having nothing to show for it. And soon, leaving Iraq and Syria too. It reminds me of how the US left Vietnam and Cambodia.

The 'White' establishment in Washington and across the US military industrial complex, has an air of superiority and always seem to feel that they can subjugate via throwing money at people! This in effect turns everyone they deal with into Whores (yes, prostitutes). Its fundamentally humiliating, and sews the seeds of corruption - both economic and moral. Then, they are shocked that there's a back clash!

The Taliban succeeded not with arms - but by projecting a completely different narrative of "Morality (i.e. non-corruption), honor, and even intermingled nationalism with their narrative". They projected a story that suggested that new Afghan daughters would not turn into Britney Spears or porn stars.

And, believe it or not, the Chinese see themselves as having been fundamentally humiliated by the West and couch their efforts as a struggle for their civilization (its not ideological or even economic) - they are fighting for honor and respect.

Western Civilization (and western elite) on the left and right are fundamentally materialistic. They worship money, and simply don't understand it when others don't. When they talk about superiority, they are basically saying the worship of money rules supreme. You sort of become dignified in the west if you have a lot of wealth. They want to turn the whole world into prostitutes. Policy and laws are driven by material considerations.

Now, I am not saying that spirituality or religion is good; and in fact, the Chinese are not driven by religious zeal (they are, on the whole, non-religious). What I am saying is that - no matter how its expressed - be it through religion, through culture, through rhetoric, etc. - all this back clash is really a struggle for respect, 'honor' and thus a push back to Western Arrogance, and the humiliation it has caused. The West simply doesn't understand that there are societies - especially in the east, that value honor over other things.

When Trump calls other people losers, he is basically saying he is richer, they are poorer. In his mind, winning, is all about money. When people write articles about the superiority of a civilization - they are implicitly putting other people down. That's not just arrogant, its rude and disrespectful. Its basically like a teenager judging their parents. How dare a newly formed nation (the US), judge or differentiate or even pretend to be superior to the Chinese, Persians etc.?

Our foreign policy (and rhetoric) in the West has to completely change. We have to be really careful, because, (honestly), it won't be very long before these other (inferior) civilizations actually take over global leadership. Then how will we want to be treated? Don't for a second think these folks can't build great gadgets that go to Mars! Oh, did China just do that? Does Iran have a space program? Did they just make their own vaccines? Once they start trading among themselves without using the USD greenback, we are finished.

We need them, they don't need us.

Et Tu , Jul 17 2021 13:07 utc | 18

Some notable recent achievements of 'civilised' nations include:

-Illegal invasion and bombing of multiple non-aggressor nations
-Overthrowing of democratically elected Governments
-Support of extremist and oppressive regimes
-Sponsoring of terrorism, including weapon sales to ISIS
-Corruption of once trusted institutions like the UN and OPCW

Oh, the civility...

Petri Krohn , Jul 17 2021 14:05 utc | 26

HOW DID RUSSIA BECOME THE ENEMY?

...when all she did was offer slight resistance to Western aggression? The key event was the August 2013 false-flag gas attack and massacre of hostages in Ghouta in Damascus.

What really angered the West was the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean that prevented the NATO attack on Syria. (You will not find a single word of this in Western media.) This is why Crimea needed to be captured by the West. As revenge and deterrence against the Russian agression.

I wrote about these events in 2016:

The standoff was first described by Israel Shamir in October 2013:

"The most dramatic event of September 2013 was the high-noon stand-off near the Levantine shore, with five US destroyers pointing their Tomahawks towards Damascus and facing them - the Russian flotilla of eleven ships led by the carrier-killer Missile Cruiser Moskva and supported by Chinese warships.

Apparently, two missiles were launched towards the Syrian coast, and both failed to reach their destination."

A longer description was published by Australianvoice in 2015:

"So why didn't the US and France attack Syria? It seems obvious that the Russians and Chinese simply explained that an attack on Syria by US and French forces would be met by a Russian/Chinese attack on US and French warships. Obama wisely decided not to start WW III in September 2013." Can Russia Block Regime Change In Syria Again?

In my own comments from 2013 I tried to understand the mission of the Russian fleet. This is what I believed Putin's orders to the fleet were:

  1. To sink any NATO ship involved in illegal aggression against Syria.
  2. You have the authority to use tactical nuclear weapons in self-defense.

I am sure NATO admirals understood the situation the same way. I am not sure of the American leadership in Washington.

Billb , Jul 17 2021 14:15 utc | 28

Insulting language aside, the narrative they are trying to create is that there is an anti-Russia, anti-China trend developing and that those sitting on the fence would be wise to join the bandwagon.

This will be particularly effective on the majority of folks who barely scan headlines and skim articles. Falun Gong/CIA mouthpiece Epoch Times is on board with this, based on recent headlines.

Petri Krohn , Jul 17 2021 14:44 utc | 33

Democracy grows in darkness

Wikipedia has a list of reliable and unreliable sources . "Reliable" are those sources that are under the direct control of the US regime. Any degree of independence from the regime makes the source "unreliable." WaPo and NYT are at the top of the list of reliable sources.

This is the diametric opposite of how Wikispooks defines reliability. Reliability of sources is directly proportional to their distance *from* power.

At A Closer Look on Syria (ACLOS) we only trust primary sources.

Andres , Jul 17 2021 14:58 utc | 35
Civilization vs Uncivilization

Makes me remember the cornerstone work from former Argentine president DF Sarmiento, who dealt with "Civilization or Barbarism" in his book "Facundo". Of course, his position was the "civilized" one.

Those "civilized" succeeded in creating a country submitted to the British rule, selling cheap crops and getting expensive manufactures, with a privileged minority living lavishly and a great majority, in misery.

Also, their "civilized" methods to impose their project was the bloody "Police War"

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerra_entre_la_Confederaci%C3%B3n_Argentina_y_el_Estado_de_Buenos_Aires#Segunda_guerra_contra_el_Chacho

Same language used now, for the same undisclosed intentions.

lysias , Jul 17 2021 15:10 utc | 36
In Russian, to be uncivilized (nekulturny) is a bad thing.
Mar man , Jul 17 2021 16:14 utc | 44

This article is fundamentally about propaganda and "soft power".

Soft power in foreign policy is usually defined when other countries defer to your judgement without threat of punishment or promise of gain.

In other words, if other countries support your country without a "carrot or stick" approach, you have soft power.

For years, the US simply assumed other "civilized" of the western world would dutifully follow along in US footsteps due to unshakeable trust in America's moral authority. The western media played a crucial role by suppressing news regarding any atrocities the western powers committed and amplifying any perceived threats or aggressions from "enemies".

Now, with the age of the internet, western audiences can read news from all over the world and that has been a catastrophe for western powers. We can now see real-time debunking of propaganda.

In the past, the British would have easily passed off the recent destroyer provocation as pure Russian aggression and could expect outrage from all western aligned countries. The EU and US populations could have easily been whipped into a frenzy and DEMANDED reprisals against Russia if not outright war. Something similar to a "Gulf of Tonkin" moment.

But, that did not happen. People all over the world now know NOTHING from the US or British press is to be trusted. People also now know NATO routinely try to stir up trouble and provoke Russia.

So, Americans and even British citizens displayed no widespread outrage because they simply did not believe their own government's and compliant media's side of the story.

US and British "soft power" are long gone. No one trusts them. No one wants to follow them into anymore disastrous wars of aggression.

Western media still do not understand this and cannot figure out why so many refuse western vaccines or support the newest color revolutions.

We simply do not believe it.

librul , Jul 17 2021 17:04 utc | 55

This site appears to be the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/deceiving-the-public


They cast Germany as a victim or potential victim of foreign aggressors, as a peace-loving nation forced to take up arms to protect its populace or defend European civilization against Communism.

I remember a tv history program that had interviews with German soldiers.
I recall one who had seen/participated in going from village to village in the USSR
hanging local communist leaders. He said they had been taught that by doing this
they were "protecting civilization".

fx , Jul 17 2021 19:01 utc | 68

Arrogance is not a deadly disease or even a hindrance for mainstream presstitutes; it is a job qualification, making them all the more manipulable and manipulative. And so, as with Michael Gordon, Judith Miller, Brett Stephens and David Sanger (essentially all of them pulling double duty for the apartheid state), people will die from their propaganda, but they will advance.

Max , Jul 17 2021 19:48 utc | 72

Name a democracy that isn't a suzerainty.

Name a leader with moral courage and integrity among suzerainties (private plantations). Nations without integrity and filled with Orcs (individuals without conscience), can't be civilized. They're EVIL vassals of Saruman & Sauron, manipulated by Wormtongue.

"The true equation is 'democracy' = government by world financiers."
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Henry Kissinger, in his interview with Chatham House stated, "the United States is in a CRISIS of confidence... America has committed great moral wrongs." What are U$A's core values?

According to a CFR member :
"How lucky I am that my mother studied with JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis and WH Auden and that she passed on to me a command of language that permits me to "tell the story" of the world economy in plain English. She would have been delighted that I managed to show that the evil Gollum from Tolkien's tales lives above the doorway in the Oval Office, which he certainly does. I saw him there myself. He may have found a new perch over at The Federal Reserve Bank as well."
– Excerpt From, Signals: The Breakdown of the Social Contract and the Rise of Geopolitics by Dr Philippa Malmgren

The Financial Empire has ran out of LUCK. "In God We Trust"

Why Mordor Failed... Sauron's hegemonic collapse holds potent lessons

"A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims but accomplices."

Tuyzentfloot , Jul 17 2021 21:08 utc | 78

I thought moral superiority was the official position of NATO. The explicit intent is to weaponize human rights and democracy . So it is not merely the mundane 'our group is better' or the somewhat nostalgic western form of moral superiority, it's weaponized moral superiority.

Erelis , Jul 17 2021 21:27 utc | 79

George Will looking good I tellya. Anybody know who does his embalming?

Doesn't Will's article reek of Nazi propaganda against the Russians as a mongrel Asiatic uncivilized people? Of course to attack the Chinese as uncivilized? China uncivilized? 5,000 years of continuous culture? The Russians and Chinese must join up with civilization. Unfortunately at least in the West race is only about skin color. It certainly wasn't the case with the original Nazis. Will's piece is blatantly racist out of the tradition of Nazism.

Rob , Jul 17 2021 22:41 utc | 83

American exceptionalism's finest spokesman -- George F. Will

circumspect , Jul 18 2021 1:38 utc | 88

Oxford and the Ivy League. The training grounds for the Anglo American deep state and the cheerleaders of the empire. Expect nothing more of these deeply under educated sudo intellectuals.

Tom_Q_Collins , Jul 18 2021 5:00 utc | 95

Posted by: Ayatoilet | Jul 17 2021 12:50 utc | 16

Plenty of people who work for the MIC and in various policy circles/think tanks have plenty "to show for it" where all these wars are concerned. Many billions of dollars were siphoned upwards and outwards into the bank accounts and expensive homes of the managerial and executive classes (even the hazard pay folks who actually went to the places "we" were bombing) not just at Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Booz Allen, etc. but plenty of lesser known "socioeconomically disadvantaged" Small Businesses (proper noun in this context) companies who utilized the services of an army of consultants to glom onto the war machine. In most cases of the larger firms, Wall Street handled the IPOs long ago, and these companies have entire (much less profitable) divisions dedicated to state and local governments to "diversify" their business portfolios in case the people finally get sick of war. But that rarely happens in any real sense because the corporate establishment "legacy media" makes sure that there's always an uncivilized country to bomb or threaten....and that means the "defense" department needs loads of services, weapons, and process improvement consultants all the time. War is a racket; always has been, always will be.

Tom_Q_Collins , Jul 18 2021 5:03 utc | 96

In what ways is the USA like Darth Vader's Galactic Empire in Star Wars?

Constantine , Jul 18 2021 7:33 utc | 98
Posted by: Mar man | Jul 17 2021 16:14 utc | 44

Unfortunately, it seems that truly large segments of the population in the developed western countries and especially in the Anglo-sphere believe the propaganda emanating from the imperial mouthpieces. The US citizenry is a case study in manipulating the public.

Indeed, the DNC liberals are effectively the vanguard of the pro-war movement, espouse racist Rusophobia and conitnue Trump's hostility to China. The so-cslled conservatives follow their own tradition of imperial mobilization behind the Washington regime: Chin,Latin America, the very people who berated the 'Deep State' now paise its subversive activities against the targeted left-wing governments.

As for the moribund left - it would be better described as leftovers - it is often taken for a ride as long as the imperial messaging is promoted by the liberal media. The excuses for imperialism are a constant for many of them (even as they call themselves anti-imperialists) and the beleaguered voicesfor the truth are far and few. The latter often face silencing campaigns not just from the establishment hacks, but from their own supposed ideological comrades, who are, of course, in truth nothing of the sort.

All in all, despite the consistent record of manipulative propaganda and utter criminality the imperial regime never loses the support of the critical masss of the citizenry.

Bemildred , Jul 18 2021 7:48 utc | 99
All in all, despite the consistent record of manipulative propaganda and utter criminality the imperial regime never loses the support of the critical masss of the citizenry.

Posted by: Constantine | Jul 18 2021 7:33 utc | 98

Maybe 50% of the people here bother to vote, in IMPORTANT elections. Can be a lot less if the election is not important. The only people still engaged politically here at all are the people with good jobs. The American people have given up. And there are a lot of angry people running around, with guns. Claiming the citizenry here support the government is imperial propaganda. Why do you think they like mercenaries and proxies so much? And this is all in great contrast to when I was young 50 years ago.

[Jul 14, 2021] It s now revealed that OPCW sent its team to Germany before Navalny made it to the hospital in Omsk:

Jul 13, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jul 10 2021 23:29 utc | 41

Speaking of always blaming Russia regardless the facts, it's now revealed that OPCW sent its team to Germany before Navalny made it to the hospital in Omsk:

"'How is it even possible?' Russia asks OPCW after report claims team was sent to Germany the same day Navalny fell ill in Siberia"!!!!

"[T]he OPCW states [Link at Original] that its secretariat 'deployed a team to perform a technical assistance visit' related to the suspected poisoning of a 'Russian citizen' at Germany's request on August 20. The problem is that on that day, Navalny was only flying from the Russian Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow. It was on that flight that he first felt ill and was then rushed to a hospital in another Siberian city, Omsk, following the plane's emergency landing ." [My Emphasis]

OOPS!!!! Someone must have put the Brits in charge. It will be very interesting to see how this gaff is spun.

[Jul 05, 2021] I admit to some amusement over the suspension of the female American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson by WADA

Jul 05, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Erelis , Jul 4 2021 14:53 utc | 4

I admit to some amusement over the suspension of the female American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson by WADA. Imagine if she were Russian. WADA has waged a political war against Russian Olympians ruling against the entire national team most of whom never used performance enhancing drugs according to independent testing. And now the expected cries of racism against a blood test for a banned drug. Sort of ironic I suppose, but watched a clips of several African American sports pundits and they all agreed that rules are rules and must be followed. It has been mostly white pundits who have virtue signaled that her suspension must be lifted due to racism.

[Jul 04, 2021] After Putin?

Jul 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [130] Disclaimer , says: July 3, 2021 at 7:05 am GMT • 20.1 hours ago

Russia under Putin stewardship has been doing more than just good given the disaster of Yeltsin period. That's said. Russia now is just a one-man-Putin show. It's not the "Russian system of governance."
So, the question is what would happen after Putin?
Given the fact that several "oligarchies" are pulling their strings around Putin, another-Yeltsin is waiting at the gate of Kremlin is very likely. I hope I am wrong for the Russians' best interests!

[Jul 01, 2021] Putin Signs Law Forcing Foreign Social Media Giants To Open Russian Offices

Comments are mostly idiotic/uninformed/biased as typical for Slashdot on topics related to Russia
Jul 01, 2021 | tech.slashdot.org
Putin Signs Law Forcing Foreign Social Media Giants To Open Russian Offices (reuters.com) 47 Posted by msmash on Thursday July 01, 2021 @12:45PM from the how-about-that dept. President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that obliges foreign social media giants to open offices in Russia , a document published by the government on Thursday showed, the latest move by Moscow to exert greater control over Big Tech. From a report: The Russian authorities are keen to strengthen their control of the internet and to reduce their dependence on foreign companies and countries. In particular, they have objected in the past to political opponents of the Kremlin using foreign social media platforms to organise what they say are illegal protests and to publicise politically-tinged investigations into alleged corruption. Moscow has fined firms for failing to delete content it says is illegal, slowing down the speed of Twitter as punishment, and on Wednesday opened a new case against Alphabet subsidiary Google for breaching personal data legislation. by Vlijmen Fileer ( 120268 ) on Thursday July 01, 2021 @12:47PM ( #61540686 )

Other countries do the same. But somehow get less media attention for it

[Jun 26, 2021] So Much Of What The CIA Used To Do Covertly It Now Does Overtly - ZeroHedge

Jun 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

In the later years of an abusive relationship I was in, my abuser had become so confident in how mentally caged he had me that he'd start overtly telling me what he is and what he was doing. He flat-out told me he was a sociopath and a manipulator, trusting that I was so submitted to his will by that point that I'd gaslight myself into reframing those statements in a sympathetic light. Toward the end one time he told me "I am going to rape you," and then he did, and then he talked about it to some friends trusting that I'd run perception management on it for him.

The better he got at psychologically twisting me up in knots and the more submitted I became, the more open he'd be about it. He seemed to enjoy doing this, taking a kind of exhibitionistic delight in showing off his accomplishments at crushing me as a person, both to others and to me. Like it was his art, and he wanted it to have an audience to appreciate it.

me title=

Close 168.1K Pfizer CEO on mRNA Vaccine Creation, R&D, Drug Costs

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I was reminded of this while watching a recent Fox News appearance by Glenn Greenwald where he made an observation we've discussed here previously about the way the CIA used to have to infiltrate the media, but now just openly has US intelligence veterans in mainstream media punditry positions managing public perception.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jU58mrEpPvU

"If you go and Google, and I hope your viewers do, Operation Mockingbird, what you will find is that during the Cold War these agencies used to plot how to clandestinely manipulate the news media to disseminate propaganda to the American population," Greenwald said .

"They used to try to do it secretly. They don't even do it secretly anymore. They don't need Operation Mockingbird. They literally put John Brennan who works for NBC and James Clapper who works for CNN and tons of FBI agents right on the payroll of these news organizations. They now shape the news openly to manipulate and to deceive the American population."

In 1977 Carl Bernstein published an article titled " The CIA and the Media " reporting that the CIA had covertly infiltrated America's most influential news outlets and had over 400 reporters who it considered assets in a program known as Operation Mockingbird . It was a major scandal, and rightly so. The news media are meant to report truthfully about what happens in the world, not manipulate public perception to suit the agendas of spooks and warmongers.

Nowadays the CIA collaboration happens right out in the open, and the public is too brainwashed and gaslit to even recognize this as scandalous. Immensely influential outlets like The New York Times uncritically pass on CIA disinfo which is then spun as fact by cable news pundits . The sole owner of The Washington Post is a CIA contractor , and WaPo has never once disclosed this conflict of interest when reporting on US intelligence agencies per standard journalistic protocol. Mass media outlets now openly employ intelligence agency veterans like John Brennan, James Clapper, Chuck Rosenberg, Michael Hayden, Frank Figliuzzi, Fran Townsend, Stephen Hall, Samantha Vinograd, Andrew McCabe, Josh Campbell, Asha Rangappa, Phil Mudd, James Gagliano, Jeremy Bash, Susan Hennessey, Ned Price and Rick Francona, as are known CIA assets like NBC's Ken Dilanian, as are CIA interns like Anderson Cooper and CIA applicants like Tucker Carlson.

They're just rubbing it in our faces now. Like they're showing off.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=879036821954539520&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fso-much-what-cia-used-do-covertly-it-now-does-overtly&sessionId=f90acd7ceb3bc7675f43696376e59f5ebdc79571&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

And that's just the media. We also see this flaunting behavior exhibited in the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a propaganda operation geared at sabotaging foreign governments not aligned with the US which according to its own founding officials was set up to do overtly what the CIA used to do covertly. The late author and commentator William Blum makes this clear :

[I]n 1983, the National Endowment for Democracy was set up to "support democratic institutions throughout the world through private, nongovernmental efforts". Notice the "nongovernmental"" part of the image, part of the myth. In actuality, virtually every penny of its funding comes from the federal government, as is clearly indicated in the financial statement in each issue of its annual report. NED likes to refer to itself as an NGO (Non-governmental organization) because this helps to maintain a certain credibility abroad that an official US government agency might not have. But NGO is the wrong category. NED is a GO.

"We should not have to do this kind of work covertly," said Carl Gershman in 1986, while he was president of the Endowment. "It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the C.I.A. We saw that in the 60's, and that's why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that's why the endowment was created."

And Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, declared in 1991: "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."

In effect, the CIA has been laundering money through NED.

We see NED's fingerprints all over pretty much any situation where the western power alliance needs to manage public perception about a CIA-targeted government, from Russia to Hong Kong to Xinjiang to the imperial propaganda operation known as Bellingcat.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1278456656305643521&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fso-much-what-cia-used-do-covertly-it-now-does-overtly&sessionId=f90acd7ceb3bc7675f43696376e59f5ebdc79571&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1337063301113581568&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fso-much-what-cia-used-do-covertly-it-now-does-overtly&sessionId=f90acd7ceb3bc7675f43696376e59f5ebdc79571&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Hell, intelligence insiders are just openly running for office now. In an article titled " The CIA Democrats in the 2020 elections ", World Socialist Website documented the many veterans of the US intelligence cartel who ran in elections across America in 2018 and 2020:

"In the course of the 2018 elections, a large group of former military-intelligence operatives entered capitalist politics as candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination in 50 congressional seats" nearly half the seats where the Democrats were targeting Republican incumbents or open seats created by Republican retirements. Some 30 of these candidates won primary contests and became the Democratic candidates in the November 2018 election, and 11 of them won the general election, more than one quarter of the 40 previously Republican-held seats captured by the Democrats as they took control of the House of Representatives. In 2020, the intervention of the CIA Democrats continues on what is arguably an equally significant scale."

So they're just getting more and more brazen the more confident they feel about how propaganda-addled and submissive the population has become. They're laying more and more of their cards on the table. Soon the CIA will just be openly selling narcotics door to door like Girl Scout cookies.

Or maybe not. I said my ex got more and more overt about his abuses in the later years of our relationship because those were the later years. I did eventually expand my own consciousness of my own inner workings enough to clear the fears and unexamined beliefs I had that he was using as hooks to manipulate me. Maybe, as humanity's consciousness continues to expand , the same will happen for the people and their abusive relationship with the CIA.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook , Twitter , Soundcloud or YouTube , or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi , Patreon or Paypal . If you want to read more you can buy my books . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here .

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[Jun 26, 2021] Late Stage Globalism- When Anything That Is Not Censored Is A Lie

Money quote: " Zerohedge has more traffic than Huffington Post, Vox, Vice, The Atlantic and pretty well any of the other bluecheck day camps for aspiring establishment shills."
Jun 23, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mark Jeftovic via BombThrower.com,

Late Stage Globalism Is A Tale of Narratives vs Networks

Over the past few weeks in my weekly #AxisOfEasy newsletter I've been covering how Big Tech and the corporate media tried, unsuccessfully, to keep a lid on the Wuhan Lab origin narrative. At one point I half-joked "I'll shut up about this when it's safe to talk about Ivermectin" . This week, I did end up writing a piece about Ivermectin, namely how doctors can't even mention it in their videos or podcast appearances without being penalized by social media platforms.

Bret Weinstein, an evolutionary biologist who has studied bats (from which COVID-19 purportedly originated) was recently on Triggernometry , the UK based podcast that my company, easyDNS , has been sponsoring since mid-2020. It turns out that neither Weinstein nor Triggernometry can say the word "Ivermectin" in their shows. If they do they'll get an automatic takedown by YouTube and a strike on Facebook for violating community standards.

Matt Taibbi recently posed the question " Why has "˜Ivermectin' become a dirty word? " He cites Dr. Pierre Kory in his testimony to a US Senate Committee hearing on medical responses to COVID-19 in December 2020. Kory was referring to an existing medicine that was already FDA approved that he was describing as a "wonder drug" in treating COVID-19, that drug was Ivermectin.

This Senate testimony was televised and viewed by approximately 8 million people. YouTube removed the video of this exchange. They later suspended the account of the United States senator who invited Dr. Kory to speak. (Kory also appeared on Brett Weinstein's show and they took down that as well).

Associated Press for their part "fact checked" the senate testimony, and because, in their words "there is no evidence that Ivermectin is a "˜miracle drug' against COVID", they labeled it as false:

CLAIM: The antiparasitic drug ivermectin "has a miraculous effectiveness that obliterates" the transmission of COVID-19 and will prevent people from getting sick.

AP'S ASSESSMENT: False. There's no evidence ivermectin has been proven a safe or effective treatment against COVID-19.

... ... ...

But I'm looking beyond that, outside of network TV. The hottest news outlets are fast becoming independent journalists like Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald , self-publishing via their Substack. That's mainly email.

Joe Rogan has a larger audience than Rachel Maddow and Don Lemon combined. So too does Steve Bannon, btw. The few times I've been on his Warroom I was astounded at the reach of his audience. According to company sources he's doing between 2.5 and 3.5 million downloads per day. The last people I would ever expect to be tuning into Bannon are telling me "I saw you on Warroom". (It's mind-blowing).

Zerohedge has more traffic than Huffington Post, Vox, Vice, The Atlantic and pretty well any of the other bluecheck day camps for aspiring establishment shills.

It's because of independent, renegade journalists and people writing outside of major outlets that these stories are starting go mainstream despite the best efforts of Big Tech, enforcing whatever canon the corporate press deems to be truth, or the establishment anointed "fact checkers" who try to step in whenever something looks to gain traction:

The Wuhan lab origin was suspected for over a year (and the Fauci emails prove it). Zerohedge was on it almost immediately and got deplatformed for their troubles. It was finally pushed over the line in a Medium post by Nicholas Wade over a year later.

Ivermectin may be next round and it looks like if it gets anywhere it will be thanks to people like Matt Taibbi and Bret Weinstein.

What is the common thread here? It's the power of decentralized networks and open source protocols vs narrative control that is promulgated from global governments, amplified by the corporate media, and enforced by technocratic platforms.

... ... ...

It may seem like the censorship is absolute and that the narrative and the spin is overwhelming. But take solace that it only appears that way because the facade is breaking.

As more people realize that the centralized technocratic system is failing, those who's privilege and position are premised on it have to double down, triple down. They have to burn the boats.

They're fully committed now and because they have no other choice they have to overstep and overreach. Too much, too soon. Too late.

[Jun 21, 2021] Why china is not helping syrian goverment

Jun 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Keith McClary , Jun 21 2021 21:08 utc | 27

@dh:
The US is cozying up to Mohammad al-Jolani of AQ, re-branded as Hay-at Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS.
https://thegrayzone.com/2021/06/09/washington-positioning-syrian-al-qaeda-mohammad-jolani-asset/

Ian2 , Jun 21 2021 21:17 utc | 28

"For some reason, China provides almost no humanitarian support for Syria...China should at the very least donate $1 billion a year in humanitarian assistance to Syria. It's hard to understand China's indifference considering the extent it affects their security. Sometimes I wonder who wastes more money on the military in relation to otehr spending on foreign affairs. China's $250 billion military budget in 2020 or America's $800 billion military spending last year?"<\blockquote>

posternnn | Jun 21 2021 19:32 utc | 7:

From what I gather China sees Syria as a national interests of Israel, Iran, Russia and Turkey. The last thing they want is to step on their toes especially when some of them are their allies and or in the process of being lobbied to switch sides.

dh , Jun 21 2021 21:26 utc | 29

@26 I don't put Syria and Afghanistan in the same bag. The US is in Syria to protect Israel from Iran and Hezbullah. Going into Afghanistan was a reaction to the Twin Towers bombing.....Bin Laden, Bush, we must do something etc.. I could be wrong but I see the Taliban as quite pragmatic. Of course the MSM wants us to think they are just a bunch of bloodthirsty muslim fanatics.

A.L. , Jun 21 2021 22:49 utc | 38

Posted by: posternnn | Jun 21 2021 19:32 utc | 7

It almost seems like China is under some kind of pressure not to help Syria even with humanitarian help.

China has given political cover to Syria at the UN. It is also probable that its been agreed between putin and xi that Syria is to be a Russian show. For China to fly in vaccines now would not make Russia look good.

Additionally there aren't much military nor political ties between Syria and Chinese in the past like there were between Syria and Russia. To do much more uninvited would breach Chinese's own policy of non-interference of others internal affairs. Remember this whole Syria saga is dressed up and still designated as a civil war by the UN...

In any case there's much we don't know, what's not to say China isn't bankrolling something behind the scenes with Russia as the frontman?

Assad have said those who have helped Syria in its hour of need will be rewarded in its reconstruction. When that time comes and the contracts doled out we'll know for certain.

[Jun 21, 2021] All War is for economic reasons

Jun 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

VetinLA , Jun 21 2021 19:25 utc | 6

Red Rider @ 2 said; "All War is for economic reasons."

Always has been, always will be. No matter the reasons given to the peons.

Max , Jun 21 2021 20:11 utc | 13

What is the fastest way to create lots of DEBT (money)? Wars, civil war, technological waves, credit bubbles (speculative, housing,...), infrastructures...

What is the real purpose of war? To capture & control more areas for EXPLOITATION? War is the fastest way to create lots of debt for all parties.

"the real value of a conflict, the true value, is in the debt it creates. You control the debt, you control everything."

Money Power = Land x Lives x Loans

Putting Afghanistan in further debt, enables it to be exploited... What are its revenue sources? Who pays for its security and infrastructure? Will NATO leave by September?

Who wants to make us all, whether we be nations or individuals, slaves to debt?

[Jun 20, 2021] Why Big Business Ends Up Supporting The Regime

In reality big tech is the part of neoliberal elite that control the politics and politician (the USA politics and politicians were privatized during Reagan and nothing changed since that period). They also has strong ties with intelligence community often emerging from some some intelligence agency plan and DAPRA or CIA funds. So it is strange to be suprozed that they will always take the side of the government -- they control the goverment...
Jun 20, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The Democrats in Congress want comprehensive regulation of social media which will ultimately allow regime regulators to decide what is and what is not "disinformation." This has become very clear as Congress has held a series of Congressional hearings designed to pressure tech leaders into doing even more to silence critics of the regime and its preferred center-left narratives.

Back in February, for instance, Glen Greenwald reported:

For the third time in less than five months , the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms.

House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing: to exert control over the content on these online platforms. "Industry self-regulation has failed," they said, and therefore "we must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation." In other words, they intend to use state power to influence and coerce these companies to change which content they do and do not allow to be published.

(The February hearing wasn't even the end of it. Big Tech was summoned yet again on March 25 .)

Greenwald is probably right. The end game here is likely to create a permanent "partnership" between big tech in which government regulators will ultimately decide just how much these platforms will deplatform user and delete content that run afoul of the regime's messaging.

It might strike many readers as odd that this should even be necessary. It's already become quite clear that Big Social Media is hardly an enemy of mainstream proregime forces in Washington. Quite the opposite.

Jack Dorsey, for instance, is exactly the sort of partisan regime apparatchik one expects out of today's Silicon Valley. For example, during October of last year , Twitter locked down the account of the New York Post , because the Post reported a story on Hunter Biden that threatened to hurt Biden's chances for election. Over 90 percent of political donation money coming out of Facebook and Twitter goes to Democrats.

Yet, it's important to keep in mind that this isn't going to be enough to convince politicians to pack up and decide to leave social media companies alone. The regime is unlikely to be satisfied with anything other than full state control of social media through permanent regulatory bodies that can ultimately bring the industry to heel. Regardless of the ideological leanings of the industry players involved, they're likely to see the writing on the wall. As with any regime where the regulators and legislators hold immense power -- as is the case in Washington today -- the regime will generally be able to win the "cooperation" of industry leaders who will end up taking a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" position.

Silicon Valley Is Ideologically Allied with the Regime. But That's Not Enough.

It's been abundantly clear for at least a decade that ideologically speaking, Silicon Valley is as politically mainstream as it gets. The old early-2000s notion that Silicon Valley harbors secret libertarian, antiestablishment leanings has been disproven dozens of times over.

Moreover, Washington has a long history of co-opting tech "geniuses" to serve the whims of the regime. Even back in 2013 Julian Assange already saw the "ever closer union" between government agents and Silicon Valley. Assange saw how federal agencies were hiring Silicon Valley workers as "consultants" and saw where the "partnership" was headed. He concluded "The advance of information technology epitomized by Google heralds the death of privacy for most people and shifts the world toward authoritarianism."

But even if Silicon Valley is packed full of stooges for the NSA -- as appears to be the case -- this still doesn't mean that Silicon Valley firms are willing to happily hand over their property to the federal government. After all, Silicon Valley CEOs, managers, and stockholders are all still at least partly in it for the money. All else being equal, they prefer profit to loss, and they want freedom to make decisions free of regulatory control. They probably don't care about freedom in the abstract, but they care about it for themselves.

The Threat of Regulation Creates Support for the Regime

On the other hand, once federal policymakers and regulators start making threats, the game changes entirely. All of a sudden, it makes a lot of sense to pursue "friendly" relations with the state as a matter of self-preservation. If Washington has the ability to destroy your business -- and if it has become impossible to "fly under the radar" -- then it makes a lot of sense to make Washington your friend.

Under these circumstances, there's little to be gained from blanket opposition to federal regulation, and a lot to be gained from embracing regulation while merely working to ensure that regulation benefits you and your friends.

Big Business versus Small Business

So, it should never surprise us when big business ultimately ends up siding with the regime. It would be folly not to, especially if one has the means to hire lobbyists, attorneys, and PR consultants which can help Big Business negotiate effectively with regulators. Needless to say, the outcomes of these negotiations are likely to end up helping the big players at the expense of smaller ones who aren't even present at the negotiating table.

For small firms that have little hope of influencing federal policy, it still makes sense to simply oppose federal activism altogether and hope for the best. But if your firm manages to get a seat "at the table" it's best to seize the opportunity. To quote an old saying among lobbyists: "if you're not at the table, you're on the menu."

But let us not forget that even when private firms can bring immense amounts of resources to bear for purposes of influencing public policy and negotiating with bureaucrats: the regime itself ultimately holds the advantage. No private firm in the world has the resources to ignore or veto the wishes of the regime's army of regulatory, prosecutors, and tax collectors. No private firm enjoys anything approaching the coercive monopoly power of the state.

But this doesn't mean those firms can't share in this power. And that's very often what happens. Faced with a "join us or be destroyed" ultimatum from federal regulators or lawmakers, most private firms choose the "join us" option. Of course, many smaller firms aren't even offered the choice.


Tillyoudrop 9 minutes ago (Edited)

Wwwwrong.

BIG BUSINESS is the Regime, they own this fxxxing place, and they control you by the balls.

AriusArmenian 3 minutes ago remove link

All the major social media companies in the US were funded and controlled by the CIA from startup.

There is not a future end-game - it has been the CIA's agenda from the beginning.

The CIA along with Watt Street and the MIC owns and controls the US from top to bottom - and they intend for the lumpen white people to fall on their swords. This is all to the interests of the rich and powerful button pushers. I pity the young people like idiots so easily used by the elites.

freedommusic 10 minutes ago

Well when DARPA, the DOD, CIA, et al, created your company what choice do you have?

What did you think this company is YOURS Mr Z?

We created LifeLog with The Peoples money, handed it over to you so there is plausible deniability, and are now weaponizing this data against the very people who have funded it.

Welcome to the MO of monolithic government.

bunnyswanson 1 minute ago

Big Business is the regime. Unfair competition is the name of their game. Monopolizing their industry is their goal. Oversight committees should have stopped them but simple men who define themselves by what they own sell out eagerly.

[Jun 18, 2021] PATRICK LAWRENCE- The US-Russia Summit

Jun 15, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

C urious it was to read that the Russian judiciary ruled last Wednesday that Alexei Navalny's political network is an extremist movement. Its members should be grateful that the courts recognized it as a movement, given Navalny's nationwide support has never exceeded 3 percent or so, but on paper they are now liable to arrest and prosecution and, if convicted of one or another charge, could be fined or imprisoned.

There have been no arrests, so far as has been reported. But think of all those chances Western intel agencies and their clerks in the press may now have to lionize a new cohort of oppositionists as Navalny's heroic followers. Let us not forget, a kooky poseur journalist named Oleg Kashin had the nerve to call Navalny "Russia's true leader" in a recent New York Times opinion piece .

There is no limit to the silliness in all matters Russian, it seems. At least not at the Times .

I say "curious" because, in the ordinary conduct of statecraft as we have had it for the past seven decades, the Moscow's court's ruling, exactly a week prior to President Joe Biden's first summit with President Vladimir Putin, would have to be counted obtuse. Wouldn't minding one's manners -- especially given that the Navalny network's significance resides solely in the minds and news pages of Western propagandists -- be the wise course?

I don't think so. I have no clue as to the independence or otherwise of the Russian judiciary, but it is unthinkable the Russian leader did not know in advance of what the courts were about to determine. I think Russia was indeed minding its manners -- a different and altogether more honorable set of manners than American pols and diplomats have exhibited lo these many decades.

In a sensible read, the court ruling was a calculated gesture in response to Biden's commitment, announced during a Memorial Day speech, to confront Putin in Geneva on June 16 with the question of human rights in the Russian Federation. "We will not stand by and let him abuse those rights," saith the man from Scranton.

We will not stand by, Moscow replied in so many words, as you grandstand at Russia's expense. Recall in this connection, Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, has lately made it a habit to note that Moscow is monitoring human rights in the U.S. since the Jan. 6 protests at the Capitol. "We have no taboo topics," Lavrov said in evident response to Biden's speech. "We will discuss whatever we think is necessary."

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and President Vladimir Putin meeting with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, 2017. (President of Russia)

It would be very wrong to take this matter as a passing spat as the Russian and American presidents find their feet with one another. In my view, the court judgment last week and Lavrov's remarks on human rights as a two-way street make the Geneva encounter far more important than it may have otherwise turned out to be.

Five Principles

To understand this, we must go back and back and back some more until we reach the early 1950s, when newly independent India and newly socialist China were working out how two very large neighbors ought best to conduct their relations. It was while negotiating a bilateral agreement on this question in 1953 that Zhou Enlai, Mao's cultured, subtle, farsighted premier, first articulated his Five Principles, the ethical code by which the People's Republic would conduct its relations with all nations.

These were incorporated into the Sino–Indian Agreement of 1954 and have been justifiably well-known since. Note that four of the five have to do with respectful conduct and parity:

– Mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty;

– Mutual nonaggression;

– Noninterference in the internal affairs of other nations;

– Equality and mutual benefit among nations;

– Peaceful coexistence.

A year after New Delhi and Beijing signed their accord, Zhou's principles were reiterated at the historically monumental conference of nonaligned nations Sukarno hosted at an Indonesian hill station called Bandung. When the Non–Aligned Movement was formally constituted six years after that, the Five Principles effectively became the non–West's statement -- of aspiration, of intent -- to the West: This is what we have to offer the postcolonial world, the NAM said in so many words. This is our contribution to a new and peaceable world order. This is how we will manage our relations with others.

The Grand Mosque of Bandung, Indonesia, with its twin minarets, adjacent to the city square in Asia-Afrika Street, 2008. (Prayudi Setiadharma, Wikimedia Commons)

The United States never had any time for the NAM. As readers of a certain age will recall, it dismissed the movement, with-us-or-against-us style, as a badly dressed bunch of crypto–Communists or Soviet dupes. The decades since are an easy lesson in why Washington took this utterly awful position: It has not once, not in any given year, observed even one of Zhou's principles. It has always, in any given year, abused all five.

Vladimir Putin

One may admire or detest Vladimir Putin, but he is undeniably possessed of an excellent grasp of history, as many of his speeches attest. I doubt he thinks very specifically about the NAM or Zhou's principles, but, without naming them, these are what he will have on the table when he meets Joe Biden.

This is the meaning of the oddly timed court judgment against Navalny's apparatus and the message Lavrov conveyed in response to Biden's Memorial Day speech: Internal affairs are to be resolved internally.

Geneva will mark the start of a long and welcome process. Its importance will lie in its formalization of a stance Russia -- and China, too -- have adopted since those two catastrophically stupid mistakes Biden and Secretary of State Blinken made last March, when Biden called Putin a murderer and tin-eared Blinken hollowly lectured the Chinese about human rights and democracy.

President Joe Biden in Oval Office, April 27. (White House, Adam Schultz)

Beijing and Moscow have ever since stiffened their backs toward the U.S., giving as good as they get on all the questions with which Washington customarily browbeats others.

If we have begun a process, where will it lead? In my read to an excellent place, where nations mind the better set of manners noted above -- Zhou Enlai's manners, let us say.

Before this century is out, and very possibly before the midway mark, Zhou's Five Principles stand to become the norm in international relations. Zhou's true topic was parity between West and non–West. This will be achieved, and strange it is that the opening months of the Biden administration have opened us to this salutary prospect. The U.S. will otherwise lead us all into an egregiously messy period of history, and I do not think rising powers -- Russia, China, India, others -- will find this acceptable.

One other matter must be clarified as Geneva approaches.

I do not know the merits of the case against Navalny or, since last week, the ruling against his followers. But I have always found it curious that The New York Times and the other major dailies recite as rote that Navalny and his people consider the two charges of embezzlement (and the two convictions) that put him in jail in the first place to be "trumped up" or "politically motivated." Why doesn't the Times ' Moscow bureau do the gumshoe work and inform readers whether or not this is so?

True, Times ' Moscow correspondents are among the worst in my lifetime, but this kind of kabuki requires one to consider carefully whether the charges are indeed legitimate. My read: The legal case against Navalny probably holds water, and the American press uses the power of omission to avoid acknowledging this.

Pitiful, if this is the case.

The larger point here: We must learn to put all such questions aside in contexts such as we have now in U.S.–Russia relations. Anyone who has ever been in a Marxist reading group knows the importance of distinguishing between primary and secondary contradictions. Let us not forget the essential lesson, no matter anyone's political stripe.

What is the primary contradiction here? It is Washington's refusal to observe the principles of noninterference and sovereignty, and it is vital far, far beyond bilateral relations that Russia defends these. The Navalny case and the associated matter of human rights are, plainly and simply, a secondary contradiction -- and one it is imperative to leave to Russians to resolve.

Geneva in June, a rather nice place to be. Let us see if Biden and Putin mind their manners -- and whose manners these turn out to be.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune , is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century . Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist . His web site is Patrick Lawrence . Support his work via his Patreon site .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News .

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Tags: Alexei Navalny Bandung Conference Non Aligned Movement Patrick Lawrence Sergei Lavrov


[Jun 14, 2021] Jessica Ashooh- The Taming of Reddit and the National Security State Plant Tabbed to Do It

Jun 14, 2021 | www.mintpressnews.com

Reddit is one of the world's most influential news and social media platforms. The website attracted over 1.2 billion visits in April 2021 alone, making it the United States' eighth most visited site, ahead of other leviathans like Twitter, Instagram and eBay. Now majority-owned by a much larger corporate publishing empire, Reddit is also far ahead of more established news sites, garnering three times the numbers of Fox News and five times those of The New York Times .

That is why it was so surprising that so little was made of the company's decision to appoint foreign policy hawk Jessica Ashooh to the position of Director of Policy in 2017, at which time it was also the eight most visited site in the U.S. Ashooh, who had been a Middle East foreign policy wonk at NATO's think tank the Atlantic Council, was appointed at around the same time that the Senate Select Intelligence Committee was demanding more control over the popular website, on the grounds that it was being used to spread disinformation. In her role as Director of Policy, she oversees all government relations and public policy for the company, in addition to managing content, product and advertising. Yet a Google search for "Jessica Ashooh Reddit" filtered between late 2016 and early 2017 (after she was appointed) elicits zero relevant results, meaning not one media outlet even mentioned the questionable appointment.

This is all the more hair-raising, given her resume as a high state official -- all of which raises serious questions about the extent of collaboration between Silicon Valley and the national security state.

A hawk's talons on Syria

The Atlantic Council is the de-facto brains of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and takes funding from the military alliance, as well as from the U.S. government, the U.S. military, Middle Eastern dictatorships, other Western governments, big tech companies, and weapons manufacturers. Its board of directors has been and continues to be a who's who of high U.S. statespeople like Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, as well as senior military commanders such as retired generals Wesley Clark, David Petraeus, H.R. McMaster, James "Mad Dog" Mattis, the late Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, and Admiral James Stavridis. At least seven former CIA directors are also on the board. As such, the council chooses to represent both political wings of the national security state.

Jessica Ashooh Resume

Ashooh's LinkedIn resume epitomizes the troubling relantionship between think tanks and big tech

Between 2015 and 2017, Ashooh was Deputy Director of the Atlantic Council's Middle East Strategy Task Force, working directly with and under Madeline Albright and Stephen Hadley. This is particularly noteworthy, given both these individuals' roles in the region. As Bill Clinton's secretary of state, Albright oversaw the Iraq sanctions and the Oil for Food Program, denounced as "genocide" by the successive United Nations diplomats charged with carrying them out. In an infamous interview with 60 Minutes , Albright casually brushed off a question about her role in the killing of half a million children, stating "the price is worth it." Meanwhile, Hadley was deputy or senior national security advisor to the government of George W. Bush throughout the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, surely the greatest crimes against humanity thus far in the 21st century.

Ashooh appears to be as hawkish as her bosses. Her particular area of expertise is the war in Syria, regarding which she has been among the most belligerent voices, constantly calling for more American intervention to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad. In a 2015 interview with Al Jazeera , she praised the U.K. government's decision to bomb the country, claiming that the British public was "coming around" to the idea of war. A shocked interviewer asked "how will the British airstrikes [on] Syria make the British public any safer?" Ashooh replied that it was "generally a positive decision" because "it goes a long way in improving international consensus on the way forward on Syria," although she lamented that there wouldn't be "much improvement in the situation without ground troops." There will be "no political solution without a military element," she predicted, essentially making the pitch for war.

https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/bhFBUukP-YuKiCfZc.html


Ashooh has also constantly praised and supported Syria's opposition forces. In 2016, she said that she was very happy that "fighters on the ground from a number of key factions" were uniting against the "Assad regime." She condemned Russia for claiming these opposition forces were members of terrorist groups like Al-Nusra, Jaysh al-Islam or ISIS, insisting that these were "moderate" rebels.

Of course, the idea that there was still any measurable distance between "moderate" rebels and outright militant jihadists by 2016 was hard to maintain . Even The Washington Post by this time was admitting as much, noting that so-called moderates were now so "intermingled" with al-Nusra that it was difficult to tell them apart.

Nevertheless, the New Hampshire native took to the pages of The New York Times to demand that the U.S. arm the opposition. Of course, it was already doing so, the CIA spending $1 billion per year fielding rebel mercenary armies in the conflict -- with one in every 15 dollars the agency spent going to this endeavor. All of this Ashooh surely knew, yet she maintained that the West must continue to "jack up the price" of Russia defending Assad. "As long as [Assad] remains in power and remains the figurehead of the Syrian government this conflict won't end," she said , laying out her regime-change-or-bust position. Just weeks before unexpectedly taking over at Reddit, Ashooh seemed to still be in full foreign-policy-hawk mode, condemning Obama in the pages of The Washington Post for his apparent softness on Syria and demanding that Trump "restore U.S. credibility" by "order[ing] targeted, punitive strikes against the Assad regime."

Jessica Ashooh

Ashooh attends British Polo Day at Abu Dhabi's Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club. Photo | Ahlan Dirty war, dirty warrior

Ashooh is actually even more involved in the Syrian conflict than one might realize from her hawkish opinions alone. Between 2011 and 2015, she worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, in her own words , "[p]rovid[ing] senior decision makers with policy analysis and strategic advice, with a particular focus on Syria."

At that time the UAE was using its enormous financial clout to arm and fund a myriad of jihadist groups attempting to overthow the secular strongman Assad and establish some kind of Islamic state. Far from a conspiracy theory, this comes straight from the horse's mouth, as then-Vice President Joe Biden revealed in a Q&A session in 2014. The future president frankly stated :

The Saudis, the Emiratis, what were they doing? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world. "

Under pressure, he later apologized for his loose lips.

MintPress News asked the Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs to comment on precisely what Ashooh's role was, but they failed to respond.

Jessica Ashooh Kurdistan

Ashooh is pictured during her time as a "consultant" in Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo | Academyalumni

Ashooh herself appears to have been a relatively major player in the Syrian Civil War. In her previously mentioned Washington Post article , she notes that her boss was a former Emirati Air Force General and that she was flown to Istanbul in 2013 to attend an emergency meeting with leaders of the Syrian opposition, as well as ambassadors from unnamed Arab and Western states, in order to plan a response to a reported chemical weapons attack and to help the U.S. "coordinate with the Syrian opposition."

At the same time as she was advising the nation on Middle Eastern affairs, the UAE was widely accused of flying ISIS and al-Qaeda leaders into Yemen to help them intensify the Saudi-led onslaught on the impoverished nation and of smuggling U.S.-made weaponry -- including small arms, TOW missiles and Oshkosh fighting vehicles -- to the jihadist groups. While Ashooh's writing is careful to maintain a distinction between the "moderate" rebels she supports and the fundamentalist radicals she does not, it certainly is noteworthy that the entities she worked for consistently seem to end up in league with the most regressive forces in the region. MintPress also reached out to Reddit for comment on why they appointed Ashooh, given her past history, and on the wider phenomenon of government penetration of social media. The company initially promised to issue a response to the inquiry but has not followed through with it.

An Unholy Alliance: Did the US-Backed UAE Fly ISIS Leaders into Yemen's Killing Fields? The US-allied United Arab Emirates (UAE stands accused of flying ISIS leaders from Syria into Yemen to use in the Saudi-led Coalition war. MintPress News | Alexander Rubinstein | Mar 6, 2019 Opposing some dictatorships, supporting others

Regime change is on the table for more than just one Middle Eastern nation. In a 2017 paper for the Center for the National Interest -- a think tank established by former Republican President Richard Nixon and the "Godfather of Neoconservatism," Irving Kristol -- Ashooh explores the different options for forcing regime change in Iran, but concludes that overthrowing the "odious regime" is an impossible task right now, and criticizes the idea as a quixotic dream.

Nevertheless, she is far from an Iran dove. An Atlantic Council report she co-wrote insists that "Iranian interference in the Arab world must be deterred," and that "America's friends and partners must be reassured that the U.S. opposes Iranian hegemony and will work with them to prevent it."

Ashooh's commitment to fighting against Middle Eastern dictatorships might seem more principled if she did not appear so enamored of the least democratic one of them all. In 2016, she accompanied Albright and Hadley to Saudi Arabia and praised the monarchy's dynamic leadership on the economy and its nurturing of a new generation. "It was really really exciting to see that level of energy and the level of government support for these young people who were interested in shaping their own futures it was just wonderful," she said . In an article about her experience for business news website Market Watch , she waxed lyrical about how forward-thinking the Saudi government is and how the country has become "a hub for the dynamic and positive change that is swelling up throughout the region." Presumably, this excludes Yemen, a nation they were bombing relentlessly . In a 2020 interview , Ashooh revealed that her dream job would be U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. One of her earliest comments on her public Reddit page (made before she began working there) is deflecting the Kingdom from criticism of its dreadful treatment of women.

Jessica Ashooh Reddit profile

Ashooh's Reddit account, which doesn't identify her real identity, uses the moniker, arabscarab

As part of the Atlantic Council, Ashooh was tasked with envisaging a new Middle East for the 21st century. Given her output , it seems that she advocates for a transition towards a more privatized, free-market economic setup, not completely unlike the shock therapy tried in Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s. "We have to "encourage states to make the reforms that move economies from state-based to ones that support entrepreneurship, because the age of state-based economies is over," she said at a talk at New York University in 2015, adding:

You've got to move to support entrepreneurship in the region and let people take advantage of the natural industrial tendencies of people in the Middle East. My God, if you've ever been to a Turkish bazaar or a market in Cairo you know that these countries are perfectly capable of having functioning market economies. But the state has gotten in the way.

Ashooh's LinkedIn profile also notes that in 2010, she worked as an advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Planning "on a variety of strategic and economic development issues," but does not go into any more detail about what those issues were. A further biography merely states that her consultancy agency "provid[ed] strategic and management consulting services to the Ministry of Planning of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Northern Iraq." Unsurprisingly, the organization has links to the U.S. military; the agency's lead partner being a former Army captain.

Think Tankie

Ashooh comes from a relatively prominent New Hampshire family of Lebanese descent, the most notable of which is probably her uncle Richard . Richard Ashooh was Donald Trump's Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration and a former executive at weapons manufacturer BAE Systems. Unlike her uncle, Jessica appears to lean more Democratic, having donated money to a number of local politicians, as well as to anti-Trump Republican groups aimed at convincing them to vote blue, such as Right Side PAC and the now infamous Lincoln Project. However, she also appears to have great respect for many Republicans, having written her doctoral thesis at Oxford University on the Middle East policy of the George W. Bush administration. She also stated that the person she would have most liked to have met was 41st President George Bush Senior, describing him as possessing "incredible amounts of strategy, finesse and restraint." Thus, her political views appear to be exactly in the center of the neoliberal " blob " in Washington.

Ashooh also worked for the right-wing think tank the CATO Institute and is a Term Member of the more Democratic-aligned Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR's term member program is intended to, in its own words, "cultivate the next generation of foreign policy leaders."

Surveillance Valley

How and why, then, did a hawkish young mandarin hothoused at elite universities and in the halls of state power end up an executive at an anarchic messageboard site with an anti-establishment reputation? Virtually everyone else in senior roles at Reddit has relevant backgrounds in marketing or tech, having worked with comparable companies such as Yelp, Expedia and Snapchat.

Tom Secker -- a journalist, podcaster and researcher who runs SpyCulture.com , an online archive about government involvement in the entertainment industry -- was deeply skeptical. "That someone whose entire career has been in international relations and foreign affairs is now the senior policy wonk at Reddit is simply bizarre. Given her ties to the CFR, Atlantic Council and the like, it's downright suspicious," Secker told MintPress .

Underneath the surface, however, the Atlantic Council has been rapidly expanding its influence and control over big social media companies. In 2018, it announced that it would be partnering with Facebook to promote trustworthy sources and derank, demote and even delete low quality or fake news, thus effectively curating what the platform's 2.85 billion worldwide users see in their news feeds. But the effect of recent algorithmic changes has been to throttle alternative media traffic in favor of establishment sources such as CNN , Fox News and The New York Times . Even such more mainstream liberal sites as Mother Jones have seen their numbers crater. Facebook later admitted that they were directly targeting Mother Jones because of its left-leaning content, raising the question that if such a middle-of-the-road liberal outlet was being penalized, wasn't the collapse in traffic to more radical publications surely deliberate? Given the Atlantic Council's funding and the identities of those on its board , their control over social media is tantamount to state censorship on a global level.

Earlier this year, Facebook also hired NATO press officer Ben Nimmo to be its intelligence chief, in another move that dismayed free-speech advocates. In the past, Nimmo has identified a Welsh pensioner and an internationally known Ukranian pianist as Russian bots, raising more questions about the suitability of the Atlantic Council to be an arbiter of truth online.

The Facebook-Atlantic Council link mirrors that of Microsoft with NewsGuard , a new piece of software purportedly trying to fight fake news by placing either green shields or red warning logos, corresponding to an outlet's credibility, beside all links in its browser, Microsoft Edge -- this credibility being decided entirely by NewsGuard itself. Newsguard pushed Microsoft to install the software on all its products as standard. Again, however, NewsGuard's system rated establishment websites like Fox News and CNN as trustworthy but independent media as suspect. And again, a glance at its advisory board makes it clear that this is a state operation. Those in key positions included George W. Bush's Secretary of Homeland Security and former NSA and CIA Director General Michael Hayden; ex-White House Communications Director Don Baer; and former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Worse still, NewsGuard is also linked to a PR agency employed in whitewashing the Saudi government's human-rights record and its role in the carnage in Yemen.

Twitter, too, has some extremely troubling links with state power. In 2019 Gordon MacMillan, a senior Twitter executive responsible for the Middle East region, was outed as an active duty officer in the British Army's 77th Brigade, a unit dedicated to online operations and psychological warfare. Far from causing a scandal, only one major U.S. outlet even mentioned the story, and the journalist in question resigned from the profession weeks later, claiming the existence of a network of top-down state censors who quash stories that threaten the power and prestige of the national security state. To this day, MacMillan remains in his post at Twitter, strongly suggesting the social media company knew of his role before he was hired.

Over the past few years, Twitter, Reddit and Facebook have announced the deletion of hundreds of thousands of accounts linked to sources in Russia, Iran, China and other enemy states, often on the recommendation of Western governments or state-sponsored intelligence organizations. However, they never seem willing or able to find any manipulation of their platforms by Western governments. Thus, the upshot of this has been to slowly dissuade critics of Western foreign policy from using their services.

"The mainstream media-politik establishment has managed to get a hold over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram -- shadow-banning and downrating posts considered 'Russian propaganda' or whatever other excuse they use to marginalize perspectives and content outside of the mainstream," Secker told MintPress . "Audiences for this sort of content are increasingly pissed off and alienated by the major social media sites."

Facebook, Social Media Giants Admit to Silencing Palestinian Voices Online Social media companies including Facebook have admitted to MintPress that pro-Palestinian posts were removed, blaming mistakes in the algorithm. MintPress News | Jessica Buxbaum | May 14

Increasingly, unwelcome political voices are either brushed off by centrist pundits as repeating Russian talking points or smeared as being amplified by Kremlin-based bot farms. The popularity of movements on the left like Black Lives Matter or the Bernie Sanders' campaign were written off as partially linked to Russia, while others suggested that the January 6 insurrection in Washington was essentially a Russian operation.

The irony is that many of the wildest accusations against Putin that have fed this climate of suspicion began life in Atlantic Council documents. For example, the organization has published a series of studies that suggest that virtually every European political party challenging the neoliberal status quo in some way -- from Labour and UKIP in the U.K. to Syriza and Golden Dawn in Greece and PODEMOS and Vox in Spain -- are secretly controlled by Russia, functioning as the "Kremlin's Trojan Horses," in its words.

The Atlantic Council is also deeply intertwined with a U.K. government-funded organization called the Integrity Initiative, something that purports to be a group defending democracy from disinformation. However, in practice, it appears to be doing the opposite: planting disinformation about politicians' supposed links to Russia in order to undermine them. The Integrity Initiative is a government-backed cluster of journalists who operate in unison to conduct propaganda blitzes on unsuspecting publics. In 2018, it launched a successful operation to prevent Colonel Pedro Baños being appointed Spain's head of national security. Considering Baños too soft on Russia for the Atlantic Council and other hawks' liking, the initiative sprung into action, creating a storm of protest that led to another individual being chosen.

New Documents Reveal Covert UK Military-Intelligence Smear Machine Meddling In US Politics With the help of John Rendon and the State Department's Global Engagement Center, the Integrity Initiative brings its disinformation campaign to the US. MintPress News | Mark Ames | Jan 9, 2019

Reddit actually played a key role in a 2019 propaganda blitz against anti-war Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. A few days before the U.K.'s general election, Corbyn promoted documents leaked on the platform that showed that Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson was negotiating with American companies, putting much of the country's National Health Service up for sale. With just days to go before polls opened, it could have proved a game changer. Reddit quickly came to Johnson's rescue, however, asserting that the documents were part of a Russian disinformation campaign. The story in the pliant British press switched from "Boris Johnson is selling off the NHS" to "Corbyn promotes Russian disinfo," thus greasing the skids for an easy victory for the hardline anti-Russia Conservative Party, an outcome the hawks at the Atlantic Council were no doubt relieved by, given Corbyn's open skepticism about war, empire and nuclear weapons. The veracity of the documents was not challenged.

For a while

Founded in 2005, Reddit has grown to become one of the world's largest and most influential websites. However, it began life as an anarchistic messageboard whose culture was profoundly libertarian and anti-establishment. For years, the company's administrators took a near free speech absolutist position. Aaron Swartz, Reddit's co-founder, was an open source hacktivist and even attempted to download and publish the entirety of academic publisher Jstor's library. When authorities got wind of what he was doing, they threatened him with 40 years in prison, an action that caused him to take his own life in 2013.

Reddit's own position on free information and free speech was often so extreme it caused huge controversy. The site became the internet's largest source of child pornography. It was only after CNN began reporting on it to a nationwide audience that things began to change. Other, grossly offensive communities like /r/BeatingWomen and /r/CoonTown were also protected.

Nevertheless, the culture established by anarchistic tech bros remained for some years, with the site resembling darker corners of the internet like 4Chan and 8Chan as much as more family-friendly mainstream social media like Facebook.

Ashooh's arrival in 2017 coincided with a new era in the site's history. Gone were the days of protecting communities that would bring in bad publicity. Her team quickly brought in a new content policy and began to delete communities that violated it. Last year, she oversaw the banning of over 2,000 communities in a single day, including /r/The_Donald, the main Donald Trump subreddit, and /r/ChapoTrapHouse, the most active left-wing community. These decisions have helped the money flow in; since 2017 revenue has more than tripled .

However, what has been lost across the internet is the liberatory potential of these technologies. In the 1990s and 2000s, many predicted that the internet would usher in a new era of egalitarianism and genuine democracy, helping even to reduce barriers and tensions between nations. For a while, the new medium allowed political actors to challenge the status quo and gain huge followings quickly. Alternative media was easily outperforming legacy media, and challenging the status quo when it came to news. Seeing that, the reaction since 2016 has been swift, as the elite have moved to retighten their grip over the means of communication. Ashooh's jump from national security state official to Reddit Director of Policy is just one more point of reference on that chart.

Feature photo | Graphic by Antonio Cabrera

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent , as well as a number of academic articles . He has also contributed to FAIR.org , The Guardian , Salon , The Grayzone , Jacobin Magazine , and Common Dreams .

[Jun 12, 2021] Putin Reveals Personal Thoughts On Trump Biden In Rare NBC Interview

NBC pushed regular neocon garbage, so it is not very interesting interview. We saw better executed similar attempts to attack Putin in the past. The guy is really second rate: too pushy, too opinioned to be a good interviewer. He really is not interested in Putin opinions, he need to push the agenda of his handlers. He demonstrated zero respect as if Russia is a US vassal (it was in 1990 under alcoholic Yeltsin) . In other words he is a regular Pressitute. This neocon pushed the label killer on Putin, while this label is appropritate to any recent US presendent to much greater measure. Just look at how many people were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in attempt to achive "full spectrum Dominance" and enhance andcement global neoliberal empire. But some moments when Putin destroyed neocon agenda are pretty educational.
Jun 12, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin this week sat down for an interview with a US media outlet for the first time in nearly three years . NBC's Keir Simmons talked to Putin for about 90 minutes, and released a teaser segment Friday night.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the conversation centered on the Russian leader's perspective on American politics and his personal thoughts and comparison of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Putin called the former president "extraordinary" and "talented" while noting that Biden is "radically different" and is a quintessential "career man" in politics .

https://www.youtube.com/embed/oh_obIUJ7HA

"Well even now, I believe that former U.S. president Mr. Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual, otherwise he would not have become U.S. President," Putin told Simmons.

" He is a colorful individual. You may like him or not. And, but he didn't come from the US establishment, he had not been part of big time politics before , and some like it some don't like it but that is a fact."

In contrast, he said of President Biden :

"...President Biden is a career man. He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics," Putin said in part.

"That's a different kind of person, and it is my great hope that yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse-based movements, on behalf of the sitting U.S. president."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1403486131132506119&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fputin-reveals-personal-thoughts-trump-biden-rare-us-media-interview&sessionId=1e2973eddbbb4bb3a4de25e2928af1d7e080705f&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Also interesting is Putin's response to the March George Stephanopoulos interview with Biden wherein the US President dubbed Putin a "killer" with "no soul". Putin responded in this new NBC clip:

"Over my tenure, I've gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext, and reasons and of different caliber and fierceness and none of it surprises me."

Putin called the "killer" label "Hollywood macho."

Putin also took aim at a recent Washington Post report over Russia-Iranian military relations and the transfer of advanced satellite systems. "It's just fake news," Putin dismissed. "At the very least, I don't know anything about this kind of thing. Those who are speaking about it probably will maybe know more about it. It's just nonsense, garbage."


activisor 2 hours ago

Funny how Putin has become leader of the free world! He and Lavrov are streets ahead of the rest, and have massive support outside Russia based on their common sense approach to world events. He will be hard to replace.

yerfej 2 hours ago

EVERYONE with common sense realize Putin is the ONLY current leader who gives a **** about his country and people and is willing to cooperate with any country that isn't wandering around the globe looking to tell everyone else what they can say or do or think.

No_Pretzel_Logic 2 hours ago

How fascinating that you speak for "everyone" with common sense. That's quite a skill.

Do tell us about the responses from people you've polled in the Scandinavian countries, Poland, UK, France, etc.?

George Bush League 2 hours ago

You can start by not being such an pathetic condescending azzhole.

smellmyfingers 54 minutes ago

Putin, articulate, intelligent, answers without a teleprompter and without babbling or stumbling.

Is he perfect? Obviously not nor is he a messiah. But I'd bet people have more confidence in him out in front than the corruption and lies the USA and many other western nations have that are completely compromised.

chunga 2 hours ago remove link

Dmitry Orlov has got some interesting translations from Putin at the thing in St. Petersburg.

https://cluborlov.blogspot.com/

Here's the money shot.

"The United States are making sure-footed strides directly along the path of the Soviet Union."

Orlov concludes.

If there is anything at all that you can do to prepare, your time is short. This is not a drill.

[Jun 12, 2021] Putin warns US may regret using dollar as sanctions weapon - Nation - postguam.com

Jun 10, 2021 | www.postguam.com

President Vladimir Putin said Russia doesn't want to stop using the dollar as he accused the U.S. of exploiting the currency's dominance for sanctions and warned the policy may rebound on Washington.

Russia has to adopt other payment methods because the U.S. "uses its national currency for various kinds of sanctions," Putin said late Friday in St. Petersburg at a videoconference with representatives of international media organizations. "We don't do this deliberately, we are forced to do it."

Settlements in national currencies with other countries in areas such as defense sales and reductions in foreign-exchange reserves held in dollars eventually will damage the U.S. as the greenback's dominance declines, Putin said. "Why do U.S. political authorities do this? They're sawing the branch on which they sit," he said.

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Putin spoke a day after Russia announced it will eliminate the dollar from its oil fund to reduce vulnerability to sanctions, a largely symbolic move as the switch in holdings will take place within the central bank's reserves. Russia has tried with limited success to shift away from the dollar for years amid international sanctions over Putin's 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, as well as for alleged cyber attacks, election meddling and espionage operations.

The Russian leader's comments came ahead of his first summit meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Geneva on June 16. While he praised Biden as one of the world's most experienced leaders, Putin said he expects no breakthrough in relations with the U.S. at the talks.

And he offered a warning at Friday's meeting for the U.S., based on what he said was his own experiences "as a former citizen of the former Soviet Union."

"The problem with empires is that they think they can afford small errors and mistakes," which gradually accumulate, Putin said. "There comes a time when they can no longer be dealt with. And the U.S., with a confident step, a confident gait, a firm step, is walking straight along the path of the Soviet Union."

[Jun 12, 2021] Scrap Sanctions Warfare! by Oliver Boyd

Looks like UNZ commenters are not fans of the US government :-)
Jun 09, 2021 | www.unz.com

Sanctions are the "gentlemanly" neo-imperial language of gunboat diplomacy, never better expressed than the attempts of the British government in the early 1950s to discipline a newly democratic Iran. First the British Labour Government, then a Conservative government under a splenetic Churchill, tried to put a halt to the runaway popularity of Mohammed Mossadegh, prime minister of Iran, and his policy to shut down the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and nationalize Iran's own oil. The British sabotaged their own company, refused to distribute the oil, and did everything else they could to impoverish Iran. This was only after the AIOC had refused to budge from its insistence on taking practically all of the profits and to refrain from treating Iranian oil workers as subhuman. Ironically, the British needed AIOC money to finance their own program of industrial nationalization and the welfare state. As is so often the case, the "sanctions" merely hardened anti-imperial sentiment, and were succeeded by a joint US-UK directed regime-change coup d'etat

None of this need suggest a diminution in the importance of national sovereignty. Sovereign nations should be free to trade with whomsoever they choose, to protect which domestic industries they consider worthy of protection. That is their right. They also have the right to enter into trade agreements with others for the purpose of regulating the conditions of trade between them, provided that they enter into such agreements without duress, bribery or punishment.

Questions of Definition

The Council for Foreign Relations (CFR) explains that sanctions have become one of the most favored tools for governments to respond to foreign policy challenges. The term sanctions can refer to travel bans, asset freezes, arms embargoes, capital restraints, foreign aid reductions, and trade restrictions, and represent efforts to coerce, deter, punish, or shame entities that are considered by those who wield them to endanger their interests. They are generally viewed as a lower-cost, lower-risk course of action in calculations that balance diplomacy against war. Yet sanctions can be just as devasting in terms of loss of human life. They may be particularly attractive in the case of policy responses to foreign crises in which national interest is considered less than vital, or where military action is not feasible.

Sanctions that blanket entire populations generally do most damage to poorer and more vulnerable social strata, who lack the means to avoid or compensate for their consequences. The USA has more than two dozen sanctions regimes. Some target specific countries such as Cuba and Iran, others target specific categories of person or institution or even specific named individuals. Sanctions have been used in efforts of counterterrorism, counter-narcotics, nonproliferation, democracy and human rights promotion, conflict resolution, and cybersecurity. They are frequently applied as a form of punishment or reprisal for behavior in which it is alleged that the target has engaged and of which the applying entity disapproves.

In the case of the UN Security Council sanctions resolutions must pass the fifteen-member council by a majority vote and without a veto from any of the five permanent members: the United States, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The most common types of UN sanctions, binding for all member states, are asset freezes, travel bans, and arms embargoes. The UN relies on member states for enforcement, with all the idiosyncrasies and abuses that this entails. The council-imposed sanctions against Southern Rhodesia in 1966 were intended to undermine Ian Smith's white supremacist regime and were followed in 1977 by another set of comprehensive UN sanctions against apartheid South Africa. They have been applied more than twenty times since 1990 against targeting parties to an intrastate conflict, as in Somalia, Liberia, and Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

The European Union imposes sanctions as part of its Common Foreign and Security Policy. They must receive unanimous consent from member states in the Council of the European Union, the body that represents EU leaders. The EU has levied its sanctions more than thirty times. Individual EU states may also impose harsher sanctions independently within their national jurisdiction.

The USA resorts to economic and financial sanctions more than any other country. Presidents may issue an executive order that declares a national emergency and invokes special powers to regulate commerce for a period of one year, unless extended by the president or terminated by a joint resolution of Congress. Most of the more than fifty states of emergency declared by Congress remain in effect today. Congress may pass legislation imposing new sanctions or modifying existing ones.

In 2019, the United States had comprehensive sanctions regimes on Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and Syria, as well as more than a dozen other programs targeting individuals and entities (currently some 6,000). Existing U.S. sanctions programs are administered by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), while other departments, including State, Commerce, Homeland Security, and Justice, may also play an integral role. The secretary of state can designate a group a foreign terrorist organization or label a country a state sponsor of terrorism, both of which have sanctions implications. State and local authorities may also contribute to enforcement efforts.

The practice of sanctions received a significant boost with the formation of the World Trade Organization, which recognizes the legitimacy of sanctions as a response to the failure of parties in a trade dispute to reach agreement on satisfactory compensation. A complainant may ask the Dispute Settlement Body for permission to impose trade sanctions against the respondent that has failed to implement. The complainant's retaliatory response may not go beyond the level of the harm caused by the respondent. The complainant should first seek to suspend obligations in the same sector as that in which the violation or other nullification or impairment was found, unless the complainant considers it impracticable or ineffective to remain within the same sector The complainant is allowed countermeasures that are in effect and would in other circumstances be inconsistent with the WTO Agreement. In other words, the result is that a complainant responds to one trade barrier with another trade barrier, contrary to the liberalization philosophy underlying the WTO. Such measures are nearly always harmful for both the complainant and the target. Although such retaliation requires prior approval by the DSB 1, the countermeasures are applied selectively by one Member against another. The suspension of obligations is temporary and the DSB is obligated to maintain a review of the situation for as long as there is no implementation. The suspension must be revoked once the Member concerned has fully complied with the DSB's recommendations and rulings.

In a 2019 decision the WTO allowed China to impose trade sanctions on $3.6 billion of American goods on the grounds that the USA had not followed WTO rules in the way it imposed duties on what it regarded as unfairly cheap Chinese goods. The ruling concluded a case that China brought against the USA in 2013 that stemmed from levies placed on more than 40 Chinese goods. At issue were subsidies that the USA accused China of providing to its companies so that they can sell goods more cheaply overseas.

The case touched on some of the deep politics of neoliberalism for which the WTO is supreme icon, and which make the very notion of sanctions problematic as evidenced in frequent criticisms of the WTO . These are that free trade benefits developed countries more than developing countries; that countries should trade without discrimination means a local firm is not allowed to favor local contractors, giving an unfair advantage to multinational companies and imposing costs for local firms; ; it is important that nations be allowed to assist in the diversification of their economies and not be penalized for favoring emerging industries; free trade is not equally sought across different industries "" notably, both the US and EU retain high tariffs on agriculture, which hurts farmers in developing economies; principles of free trade often ignore environmental considerations, considerations of labor equity and cultural diversity.

After 9/11 "" still one of the least understood events in modern history "" and amidst the subsequent US invasions of the sovereign countries of Afghanistan and Iraq, and de-stabilization of many others (including Libya, Syria, Ukraine), the USA set about disrupting what it deemed the financial infrastructure supporting terrorists and international criminals, (but not including the USA itself). The Patriot Act awarded Treasury Department officials far-reaching authority to freeze the assets and financial transactions of individuals and other entities suspected of supporting terrorism, and broad powers to designate foreign jurisdictions and financial institutions as "primary money laundering concerns." Treasury needs only a reasonable suspicion""not necessarily any evidence""to target entities under these laws. The centrality of New York and the dollar to the global financial system means these U.S. policies are felt globally. Penalties for sanctions violations can be huge in terms of fines, loss of business, and reputational damage. Sanctions regimes today increasingly impact not merely the primary targeted countries or entities but also those who would do business with such countries or entities.

Questions of Effectiveness

Sanctions have a poor track record, registering a modest 20-30 percent success rate at best, according to one source, Emily Cashen, writing for World Finance in 2017. According to leading empirical analyses, between 1915 and 2006, comprehensive sanctions were successful, at best, just 30 percent of the time. The longer sanctions are in place, the less likely they are to be effective, as the targeted state tends to adapt to its new economic circumstances instead of changing its behavior.

Examples of "successful" applications of sanctions (always judged from the very partial viewpoint of those who impose them) are said to include their role in persuading the Iranian leadership to comply with limits to its uranium enrichment program. But if this was "success," why then did the USA break its agreement with Iran in 2018? And why was there an agreement in the first place if Iran had never had nuclear weapons nor was likely to produce them on its own account without serious provocation. Sanctions are also said to have pressured Gadaffi in handing over the Lockerbie suspects for trial, renouncing the nation's weapons of mass destruction and ending its support for terrorist activities. But then, if that was "success," why did NATO bomb Libya back to the stone age in 2011?

Sanctions that are effective in one setting may fail in another . Context is everything. Sanctions programs with relatively limited objectives are generally more likely to succeed than those with major political ambitions. Furthermore, sanctions may achieve their desired economic effect but fail to change behavior. Only correlations, not causal relationships, can be determined. The central question is one of comparative utility: Is the imposition of sanctions better or worse than not imposing sanctions, from whose viewpoint, and why? Best practices are said to combine punitive measures with positive inducements; set attainable goals; build multilateral support; be credible and flexible: and give the target reason to believe that sanctions will be increased or reduced based on its behavior.

In cases where the targeted country has other trading options unilateral measures have no real impact or may be counterproductive. Sanctions against Russia over Ukraine may have simply helped to push Russia closer to its eastern neighbors, notably China. To bypass sanctions Russia has shifted its trade focus towards Asia. Asian non-cooperation with the sanctions helps explain why Russia was expecting to grow its trade with China to $200bn by 2020. For several countries in western Europe, the sanctions had a double-edged sword. Russia is the European Union's third largest commercial partner, and the EU, reciprocally, is Russia's chief trade partner, accounting for almost 41 percent of the nation's trade prior to the sanctions. In 2012, before the Ukrainian crisis began, the EU exported a record €267.5bn ($285bn) of goods to Russia. Further, US sanctions against Russia increasingly and patently had nothing to do with Ukraine and everything to do with US interest in exploiting its imperial relationship with West European vassal states to grow its LNG (liquefied natural gas) market in competition with Russia, and by doing everything possible to obstruct "" and to coerce European nations into helping it obstruct "" Russia's Nord Stream 2 oil and gas pipeline that will bring cheap Russian oil to Europe without passing through Ukraine. The very opposite of principles of globalization and free trade.

The USA can afford to be aggressive in sanctions policies largely because (for the time being, and that time is getting shorter by the day) there is no alternative to the dollar and because there is no single country export market quite as attractive (for now and even then, one must wonder about China) as the USA. Sanctions that are effective in one setting may fail in another. Context is everything. Sanctions programs with relatively limited objectives are generally more likely to succeed than those with major political ambitions. Furthermore, sanctions may achieve their desired economic effect but fail to change behavior. Only correlations, not causal relationships, can be determined. The central question is one of comparative utility: Is the imposition of sanctions better or worse than not imposing sanctions, from whose viewpoint, and why? Best practices are said to combine punitive measures with positive inducements; set attainable goals; build multilateral support; be credible and flexible: and give the target reason to believe that sanctions will be increased or reduced based on its behavior.

Sanctions and Human Misery

Since the early 1990s, the US, Europe and other developed economies have employed sanctions on other nations more than 500 times , seeking to assert their influence on the global stage without resorting to military interventions. Yet military interventions tend to happen in any case suggesting that in some cases the sanctions are intended to "soften up" the target prior to armed conflict). The economic stranglehold of stringent sanctions on Iraq after the successful allied invasion of 1991 caused widescale malnutrition and prolonged suffering, and a lack of medical supplies and a shortage of clean water led to one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history. Sanctions all but completely cut off the oil trade. Iraq lost up to $130 billion in oil revenues during the 1990s, causing intense poverty to many Iraqi civilians. Prior to the embargo, Iraq had relied on imports for two thirds of its food supply. With this source suddenly cut off, the price of basic commodities rose 1,000 percent between 1990 and 1995. Infant mortality increased 150 percent, according to a report by Save the Children, with researchers estimating that between 670,000 and 880,000 children under five died because of the impoverished conditions caused by the sanctions. Then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright notoriously excused this horrendous slaughter as "worth the price ." During the Gulf War, almost all of Iraq's essential infrastructure was bombed by a US-led coalition, leaving the country without water treatment plants or sewage treatment facilities, prompting extended outbreaks of cholera and typhoid.

Targeted sanctions can be equally devastating. The de facto boycott on Congolese minerals, for example, has led to the loss of more than 750,000 jobs in the nation's mining sector. The loss of income resulting from this mass redundancy has had a severe impact on child health in the nation, with conservative estimates recording a 143 percent increase in infant mortality. Despite an international shift away from comprehensive sanctions, this Congolese suffering indicates targeted measures are still not free from ethical quandaries.

Application of sanctions became more popular at the end of the first cold war because previously targeted nations could negotiate for relief with the oppositional superpower. In the succeeding era of greater enthusiasm for sanctions it became clear that they could have dire consequences for civilian populations, and this helps account for increased popularity of targeted sanctions.

Sanctions of Spite: Syria and the Caesar Act

There are many current examples of the murderous horror of the impact of sanctions by "civilized," usually western powers, especially when their targets are poorer countries such as Venezuela and Syria. Not untypically, some of the behaviors that the imperialists seek to change are themselves the consequence of past imperial aggression.

The secular regime of Bashar Assad in Syria has faced a ten-year existential threat from the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda affiliates, ISIS and other jihadist entities supported by an array of global and regional actors including the USA, UK, and other NATO members, Israel, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the UAE. Whatever the regime's defects they are at the very least comparable and in some cases dwarfed by those of many of Syria's opponents in the Arab world. The significance of genuine popular support for Assad , demonstrated in numerous polls, has been marginalized by western mainstream media. The regime's survival, with air support from Russia and ground support from Hezbollah and Iran, is extraordinary by any measure. Yet the USA has continued to interfere in the affairs of Syria with a view to its continuing impoverishment and destabilization by allowing Turkey to occupy large areas of the north west and populate these with jihadist emigrees; funding Kurdish forces to secure Syria's oil resources on behalf of the USA, and for maintaining prisons and camps for ISIS supporters, by maintaining its own military bases; and permitting a constant succession of Israeli bombing attacks on what Israel claims are Iranian-backed militia or Syrian Arab Army militia working in collaboration with Iran; and approving further Israeli incursions into the Golan Heights.

Defeat of ISIS and recovery of non-Kurdish areas outside of Idlib by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) took place in conditions of considerable economic challenge, exacerbated by US-imposed sanctions against both Syria and its neighbor Lebanon. This had a corrosive impact on relations among top regime figures. Bashar al-Assad's billionaire first cousin and richest man in Syria, Rami Makhlouf, complained in early 2020 of regime harassment and arrests of employees. Until then, the Makhlouf family enjoyed exclusive access to business opportunities and monopolies on hotels, tobacco, and communications, partly camouflaged by a philanthropic empire that assisted many Syrians through the conflict . Some $30 billion of the country's wealth, representing 20% of all deposits in Lebanese banks, was trapped by Beirut's financial implosion, exacerbated by the unprecedented explosion "" possibly accidental, possibly sabotage "" in the city's harbor area on August 4. Syrian businessmen needed Beirut's banks to conduct business abroad, and to evade sanctions. A regime crackdown on money transfer companies made matters worse by creating a dollar shortage , depriving thousands of families who were dependent on foreign remittances. Before the explosion, purchasing power of the Syrian pound was already worth 27 times less than before the start of the conflict.

Deteriorating economic conditions ravaged Syria's surviving pretensions to socialist principle. In the first decade of Bashar's rule, there had been big gains in healthcare in terms of available beds, hospitals, and nursing staff. But by now there were 50% fewer doctors, 30% fewer hospitals. Before the conflict, 90% of pharmaceutical needs were filled by Syrian factories. By 2018 those factories which remained had trouble getting raw materials and replacement parts for equipment because of sanctions. Before the conflict there was improved land irrigation and food security. In 2011, abject poverty stood at less than one percent, rising to 35 percent by 2015. The percentage of those facing food insecurity had fallen from 2.2% in 1999 to 1.1% in 2010. Now, 33% lacked food security. One third of homes were damaged or destroyed, 380,000 killed and 11 million displaced since 2011.

Economic conditions were worsened by ever tightening economic sanctions and US enforcement of the so-called Caesar Act from June 2020 (named after a faked human rights scandal in 2015). The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act sanctioned the Syrian government, including President Bashar al-Assad, for alleged war crimes. The purposes were to cripple Syria for the purposes of regime change, while luring Russia further into the Syrian quagmire. The Act targeted 39 individuals and entities, including the president's wife, Asma. Anyone doing business with the regime, no matter where, was potentially vulnerable to travel restrictions and financial sanctions. The Caesar Act smeared the Syria Central Bank as a "˜money laundering' institution and sought to render it impossible for Syrian companies to export and import from Lebanon. It made it difficult or impossible for Syrians abroad to transfer money to family members. The Act contributed to devaluation of the Syrian pound which tumbled from 650 Syrian pounds to one US dollar in October 2019 to 2600 to the US dollar in summer 2020.

The Caesar Act (alongside legal initiatives in Europe designed to charge senior administration officials with war crimes) were designed to stymie reconstruction, hit the construction, electricity, and oil sectors, and cripple the Lebanese private companies that would otherwise lead reconstruction efforts. Sanctions prevented non-U.S. aid organizations from assisting reconstruction. An opposition leader predicted it would result in " even greater levels of destitution, famine, and worsening criminality and predatory behavior " and would precipitate regime change, migratory flight, excess deaths, and youth deprivation. In a climate of regulatory confusion, sanctions often encourage over-compliance. Prospects of reconstruction investment funds from Russian companies were negatively impacted . Blumenthal ascribed responsibility for the Caesar sanctions initiative to a "years-long lobbying campaign carried out by a network of regime-change operatives working under cover of shadowy international NGOs and Syrian-American diaspora groups." The country had already suffered severe US and EU economic sanctions. A 2016 UNESCO report found that sanctions had brought an end to humanitarian aid because sanctions regulations, licenses, and penalties made it so difficult and risky (Sterling 2020). In 2018, United Nations Special Rapporteur, Idriss Jazairy, observed that sanctions impacted negatively on

"agricultural inputs and outputs, medicines, on many dual use items related to water and sanitation, public electricity and transportation, and eventually on rebuilding schools, hospitals and other public buildings and services, are increasingly difficult to justify, if they ever were justifiable "

After 500,000 civilians returned to Aleppo following its liberation in 2016, US sanctions and UN rules prohibited reconstruction. Returnees were allowed "shelter kits" with plastic but rebuilding with glass and cement walls was not allowed because "˜reconstruction' was prohibited.

In brazen acknowledgment of US support for the HTS terrorists of Idlib, the Caesar Act exempted Idlib province, as well as the northeast areas controlled by US troops and the SDF. It designated $50 million for "˜humanitarian aid' to these areas. Other US allies pumped in hundreds of millions of dollars more in aid, further exacerbating pressure on the Syrian pound and substantially increasing prices for all commodities in regime-controlled areas.

Syria experts Joshua Landis and Steven Simon critiqued the logic of US sanctions policy, arguing that the:

"best-designed sanctions can be self-defeating, strengthening the regimes they were designed to hurt and punishing the societies they were supposed to protect."

They recalled the destruction of Iraq's middle class in the 1990s, when US sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis:

"Their effect was gendered, disproportionately punishing women and children. The notion that sanctions work is a pitiless illusion." .

Several European nations (Italy, Poland, Austria, Greece, Hungary) indicating unease with the continuing stagnation of US and EU sanctions policy, restored tacit contacts with Damascus. While the EU was an important source of humanitarian aid for internally displaced people in Syria and for displaced Syrians abroad, it continued to refrain from dealing directly with Damascus or from support for reconstruction efforts, on the grounds of continuing instability.

Conclusion

Under indubitably wise international leadership, acting within a framework of equitable political power among nation states whose sovereignty is sacrosanct, then perhaps sanctions policies might sometimes be strategically appropriate. These conditions clearly do not apply. The increasing weaponization of sanctions is a powerful contribution to a crumbling world order, one that invokes the grave danger of over-reaction by an aggrieved victim, in a context of intense economic and military competition between rival nuclear powers.

Oliver Boyd-Barrett is Professor Emeritus at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is an expert on international media, news, and propaganda. His writings can be accessed by subscription at Substack at https://oliverboydbarrett.substack.com.


MarkU , says: June 8, 2021 at 11:44 am GMT "¢ 1.6 days ago

A comprehensive roundup of the sanctions-based aggression being imposed on the world by the bankster dominated west. I really don't think the majority of citizens have a clue what is being done by their rulers, nor any idea of the sheer hatred being fostered by those actions. The time for waking up is well overdue, the west has been sucked dry by those same policies (especially the US) and the fall is imminent.

onebornfree , says: "¢ Website June 8, 2021 at 4:40 pm GMT "¢ 1.4 days ago

"The increasing weaponization of sanctions is a powerful contribution to a crumbling world order, one that invokes the grave danger of over-reaction by an aggrieved victim, in a context of intense economic and military competition between rival nuclear powers."

Fact: "War is the health of the state" [Randolph Bourne]- meaning, the "business" of governments is always war- war on its citizens, war on other nations, it never ends.

Tom Marvolo Riddle , says: June 9, 2021 at 6:56 am GMT "¢ 18.8 hours ago

Invade the world, invite the world. Economic cold war vs. 1/3 of the world's landmass and population. Seemingly purposeful hollowing out of it's middle class, the abolition of educational/societal standards to placate the demands of wokeness and the replacement of it's historical population with an eclectic mix of third world strivers, corrupt east asians and south american day laborers. Oh, and an increasingly debt centric economy.

The USA is obviously a very prudent country which focuses on it's own long term survival first and foremost. I expect it to do quite well in the coming years.

GMC , says: June 9, 2021 at 7:19 am GMT "¢ 18.5 hours ago
@beavertales

My good friend in Canada says that it seems to be a "BioSecurity Fascist State" forming also. And it's not against Cuba , it's against the populace of Canada. Worse than anything in the US.

V. K. Ovelund , says: June 9, 2021 at 1:04 pm GMT "¢ 12.7 hours ago

Sanctions strike hard at the very essence of positive international relationship "" trade.

U.S. economic sanctions are insulting, provocative, corrosive and largely ineffective. However, trade is hardly the essence of positive international relationship.

Claude Frédéric Bastiat was simply wrong. If instead of his special pleading, he had said, "When soldiers cross borders, goods will not," then he might have come nearer the truth; but Bastiat instead reversed cause and effect, which is why ideologically committed free traders continue to celebrate his ill-supported, ahistorical epigram to this day: "When goods do not cross borders, soldier will."

Britain traded massively with Germany right up until Britain attacked Germany in 1914. Germany traded even more massively with the Soviet Union right up until Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941. Were it not for Japanese trade with China, the Mukden Incident that, in 1931, opened the conflict that developed into World War II in Asia""well, it probably would not have occurred. In short, the trade premise that underlies your article needs to be revisited.

bayviking , says: June 9, 2021 at 2:49 pm GMT "¢ 11.0 hours ago

Sanctions is war. US wars are always cloaked behind our alleged love for democracy and freedom, but alleged friends beginning with Saudi Arabia and impacting every country South of our border, prove we are liars, interested only in preserving the best interests of our wealthiest citizens.

The purpose of US foreign policy is to enhance the profits of global US Corporations regardless what the consequences are to local targeted populations. The US has extraordinary power over the EU, but the Russian pipeline is evidence that EU support is cracking.

Shame on the USA for failing to respect the national sovereignty of other nations big and small. Our constitutional form of government is not a model example of the fruits of democracy and freedom, as both are crippled by original design, for profit prisons and schools, toll roads, and the moral hazards imposed by misguided religious fanatics who impose their will on a disinterested public.

Rev. Spooner , says: June 9, 2021 at 4:21 pm GMT "¢ 9.4 hours ago

Winston Churchill was a great one for blockades. Churchill, the MoFker is responsible for 5 million deaths. During the 2nd World War he shipped grain from India to Britain and left the Indians to starve. Five million Bengalis and east Indians died of starvation. Let's hope when the tide turns all this is forgotten and forgiven.
The war against Japan was instigated by blocades.
The war against Iran is the next.

Blade , says: June 9, 2021 at 5:46 pm GMT "¢ 8.0 hours ago

Syria policy has nothing to do with oil or Assad being a dictator. It is a continuation of Israel's policies. The whole purpose of these wars is to establish an independent Kurdish state so that the pressure on Israel could be reduced and states in the region could be destabilized. While the US was busy trying to fight Israel's wars in ME, China has become a strategic threat with no signs of slowing down the process of overtaking the US as the dominant superpower of the world. Despite all the damage these policies have caused, even the so-called conservatives in the US keep repeating nonsensical ideas like "Kurds deserve a state." Not realizing that there is no such thing as "deserving a state" or that this just a zionist project that offers nothing to the US.

Regarding China, sanctions should be used more not less, unless the US wants to be the secondary power. However, they are not needed with other countries. In ME, the US should wash its hands off Israel and let the most moral army of the world protect their own country. That country is a huge liability and problem for the US, it offered the US nothing other than selling American military secrets and earning 1.5 billion Muslims' disdain. To counter Russia and Iran, the US should double down on cooperating with Turkey, increase investments and military support so that Turks can be more active in Central Asia and Afghanistan as well. This is the smartest and the most efficient way for the US to achieve its goals in Asia and ME. Which would be slowing China's growth, Russia's creeping in the South, and Iranian activity in Arab ME.

However, the US basically does the opposite of everything it should. Turning neutral/unfriendly with Turkey is one of the dumbest things the US foreign service could do, considering the fact that Turks are the historical enemies of all three of China, Russia, and Iran, and they did exactly that? Why? For Israel whose feelings were hurt by Erdogan of course. Currently, the US government is a hostage to vocal minorities and interest groups. Therefore, its relative decline will not stop unless actual Americans with no double allegiances step up and take back their government.

nsa , says: June 9, 2021 at 8:44 pm GMT "¢ 5.0 hours ago
@beavertales

Canada is a pathetic American colony, selling their resources cheap in return for being allowed to have a few crappy hockey teams and access to degenerate American entertainment. The Brits tell them to murder white Germans, they do it. The Americans tell them to murder Afghans, they do it...

Zina , says: June 9, 2021 at 10:50 pm GMT "¢ 2.9 hours ago

The US government is a menace to all, including the US population. All US presidents are war criminals, and sanctions are only one aspect of their endless criminality.

Beagle , says: June 9, 2021 at 11:31 pm GMT "¢ 2.3 hours ago

Sanctions are the modern day adaptation of siege warfare. It's essentially a "˜starve them out' approach to foreign policy. Theoretically, one presumes, the goal is to cause enough instability to harm the targeted regime. But I can't think of a single time they have succeeded at anything but causing mass suffering to those at the bottom of the power pyramid.

In the case of sanctions on Iraq and the subsequent corrupt Oil-For-Food Program, the sanctions became a vehicle to transfer billions of dollars to oligarchs and their pet politicians" as usual.

[Jun 12, 2021] Latest Novichok Poisoning Originates From UK Lab, Authorities Say

Jun 12, 2021 | newspunch.com


The latest Novichok victims were exposed to the deadly agent as a result of a leak from a nearby UK laboratory, authorities have confirmed.

Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, fell ill at a house in Amesbury on Saturday, after being exposed to Novichok "" the same nerve agent that poisoned ex-Russian spy Sergei Skirpal.

Rt.com reports: Two people, this time a British couple in their 40s with no link to Russian intelligence, were affected by a chemical substance on Saturday. Four days later, the UK's counter-terrorism chief said the chemical that hit them was the same that sent former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, into a coma in early March.

Back then, it took mere hours for the UK government to pin the blame on Moscow and unleash a massive diplomatic offensive together with its allies. Moscow, still waiting for compelling evidence to be produced, has been shut out of the investigation, and it has raised a number of questions about the poisoning "" none of which have been answered.

Linking the two poisonings "is clearly a line of enquiry" for UK investigators, but the new incident doesn't look likely to answer any of those concerns either.

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Location, location, location

The new victims, 45-year-old Charlie Rowley and his 44-year-old girlfriend Dawn Sturgess were discovered in Amesbury, some 12 km (7 miles) north of Salisbury. Both scenes, though, are located around Porton Down, which houses a secretive government chemical lab.

Porton Down has been a crucial part of the Skripal case investigation. It was there that the chemical agent was identified as Novichok in both cases. Back in March, UK officials cited this as proof that the substance came from Russia "" only to later be contradicted by the lab's chief executive, who said they weren't really able to verify the agent's origins.

As for the location of the new scene relative to the old one, 12 km doesn't seem like an improbably large distance. Plus, a friend of the victims said the couple had been to Salisbury before they fell ill. The UK Home Secretary's working theory is that the exposure was accidental, which begs the question: how would that be possible after four months and a massive clean-up operation? Also, why were there only two random people in the whole 12km radius that were affected?

Curious timing

Investigators say it's unclear if the supposed Novichok came from the same batch that poisoned the Skripals in March. But, according to experts, the nerve agents of the Novichok family lose their potency very quickly, which makes it unlikely that a trace powerful enough had survived for four months to strike again at this particular moment.

And the moment is significant for two reasons "" two events key to Russia's international image. One is the hugely successful FIFA World Cup, where the English team just secured a quarter-final spot. British fans seem to be enjoying themselves in Russia, and berating British politicians and media for their efforts to scare them away from the event.

The other is the preparations for a summit between US President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin. A date and a place for the meeting "" Helsinki, Finland, July 16 "" were set just last week, and a possible rapprochement between the two rival superpowers seems to be keeping British officials up at night.

Nobody died, again

One of the key questions asked back in March was: why did the Skripals survive if they were indeed exposed to a military-grade nerve agent? While UK officials peddle Novichok as a deadly nerve agent manufactured by the Soviets, claiming its recent use was the first chemical attack in Europe since World War Two, it appears to have a surprisingly low lethality rate.

A friend of the couple described Rowley becoming increasingly ill over the course of the day, before finally being taken to the hospital. There, the supposedly deadly Novichok gave doctors enough time to treat the couple for a completely different diagnosis: the medics initially believed that the couple had taken contaminated drugs (Rowley is a registered heroin addict). Samples from the two were only sent to Porton Down on Monday, two days after they were admitted.

Back in March, the Skripals were similarly discovered slipping in and out of consciousness on a park bench. They were also treated for an opioid overdose at first, before the diagnosis switched to nerve agent poisoning. Both ultimately survived and have now been discharged from the hospital.

Analysts have repeatedly questioned the apparent low lethality of the supposed "military-grade nerve agent." Russian officials, as well, have said that if such a deadly substance had indeed been used, survival would be impossible.

British officials are still investigating the incident. However, this time "" now that Novichok has been brought up "" they seem less inclined to point fingers, even as England fans frolic in Russia and Theresa May's handling of Brexit continues to divide the public.

[Jun 06, 2021] US Troops Die for World Domination, Not Freedom Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... CaitlinJohnstone.com ..."
"... Please Support Our Spring Fund Drive! ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... War is a Racket ..."
"... Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix ..."
"... Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone ..."
"... Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ..."
"... This article was re-published with permission. ..."
"... The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of ..."
Jun 06, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

US Troops Die for World Domination, Not Freedom May 31, 2021 Save

On Memorial Day, Caitlin Johnstone says it's important to block the propaganda that helps feed a steady supply of teenagers into the imperial war machine.

Airman placing U.S. flags at military graves, May 27. (Arlington National Cemetery, Flickr)

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

V ice President Kamala Harris spent the weekend under fire from Republicans, which of course means that Kamala Harris spent the weekend being criticized for the most silly, vapid reason you could possibly criticize Kamala Harris for.

Apparently the likely future president tweeted "Enjoy the long weekend," a reference to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, instead of gushing about fallen troops and sacrifice.

That's it, that's the whole entire story. That silly, irrelevant offense by one of the sleaziest people in the single most corrupt and murderous government on earth is the whole entire basis for histrionic headlines from conservative media outlets like this :

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1398784636193488897&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F05%2F31%2Fus-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom%2F&sessionId=8c4db816a251b9ec8a405c5ae95098e3aa132642&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Harris, the born politician, was quick to course correct.

"Throughout our history our service men and women have risked everything to defend our freedoms and our country," the veep tweeted . "As we prepare to honor them on Memorial Day, we remember their service and their sacrifice."

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?visual=true&url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F1059031867&show_artwork=true&maxwidth=860&maxheight=1000&dnt=1&utm_campaign=wtshare&utm_medium=widget&utm_content=https%25253A%25252F%25252Fsoundcloud.com%25252Fgoing_rogue%25252Fus-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom&utm_source=caitlinjohnstone.com

Listen to this article.

Which is of course complete bullshit. It has been generations since any member of the U.S. military could be said to have served or sacrificed defending America or its freedoms, and that has been the case throughout almost the entirety of its history. If you are reading this it is statistically unlikely that you are of an age where any U.S. military personnel died for any other reason than corporate profit and global domination, and if you are it's almost certain you weren't old enough to have had mature thoughts about it at the time.

Please Support Our Spring Fund Drive!

Whenever you criticize the U.S. war machine online within earshot of anyone who's sufficiently propagandized, you will invariably be lectured about the second World War and how we'd all be speaking German or Japanese without the brave men who died for our freedom. This makes my point for me: the fact that apologists for U.S. imperialism always need to reach all the way back through history to the cusp of living memory to find even one single example of the American military being used for purposes that weren't evil proves that it most certainly is evil.

But this is one of the main reasons there are so very many movies and history documentaries made about World War II: it's an opportunity to portray U.S. servicemen bravely fighting and dying for a noble cause without having to bend the truth beyond recognition. The other major reason is that focusing on the second World War allows members of the U.S. empire to escape into a time when the Big Bad Guy on the world stage was someone else.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1399109694334046211&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F05%2F31%2Fus-troops-die-for-world-domination-not-freedom%2F&sessionId=8c4db816a251b9ec8a405c5ae95098e3aa132642&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

From the end of World War II to the fall of the U.S.S.R., the U.S. military was used to smash the spread of communism and secure geostrategic interests toward the ultimate end of engineering the collapse of the Soviet Union. After this was accomplished in 1991, U.S. foreign policy officially shifted to preserving a unipolar world order by preventing the rise of any other superpower which could rival its might.

A 1992 article by The New York Times titled " U.S. Strategy Plan Calls For Insuring No Rivals Develop ," reporting on a leaked document which describes a policy known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine after then-Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz, reads as follows:

"In a broad new policy statement that is in its final drafting stage, the Defense Department asserts that America's political and military mission in the post-cold-war era will be to insure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia or the territory of the former Soviet Union.

A 46-page document that has been circulating at the highest levels of the Pentagon for weeks, and which Defense Secretary Dick Cheney expects to release later this month, states that part of the American mission will be 'convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.'

The classified document makes the case for a world dominated by one superpower whose position can be perpetuated by constructive behavior and sufficient military might to deter any nation or group of nations from challenging American primacy."

This is all U.S. troops have been fighting and dying for since the Berlin Wall came down. Not "freedom", not "democracy" and certainly not the American people. Just continual uncontested domination of this planet at all cost: domination of its resources, its trade routes, its seas, its air, and its humans, no matter how many lives need to risked and snuffed out in order to achieve it. The U.S. has killed millions and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century in the reckless pursuit of that goal.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/26O-2SVcrw0?enablejsapi=1&autoplay=0&cc_load_policy=0&iv_load_policy=1&loop=0&modestbranding=1&fs=1&playsinline=0&controls=1&color=red&rel=0&autohide=2&theme=dark&

And, as Smedley Butler spelled out 86 years ago in his still-relevant book War is a Racket , U.S. military personnel have been dying for profit.

Nothing gets the gears of industry turning like war, and nothing better creates chaotic Wild West environments of shock and confusion during which more wealth and power can be grabbed. War profiteers pour immense resources into lobbying , think tanks and campaign donations to manipulate and bribe policy makers into making decisions which promote war and military expansionism, with astounding success . This is all entirely legal.

It's important to spread awareness that this is all U.S. troops have been dying for, because the fairy tale that they fight for freedom and for their countrymen is a major propaganda narrative used in military recruitment. While poverty plays a significant role in driving up enlistments as predatory recruiters target poor and middle class youth promising them a future in the nation with the worst income inequality in the industrialized world, the fact that the aggressively propagandized glorification of military "service" makes it a more esteemed career path than working at a restaurant or a grocery store means people are more likely to enlist.

Without all that propaganda deceiving people into believing that military work is something virtuous, military service would be the most shameful job anyone could possibly have; other stigmatized jobs like sex work would be regarded as far more noble. You'd be less reluctant to tell your extended family over Christmas that you're a janitor at a seedy massage parlor than that you've enlisted in the U.S. military, because instead of congratulating and praising you, your Uncle Murray would look at you and say, "So you're gonna be killing kids for crude oil?"

And that's exactly how it should be. Continuing to uphold the lie that U.S. troops fight and die for a good cause is helping to ensure a steady supply of teenagers to feed into the gears of the imperial war machine. Stop feeding into the lie that the war machine is worth killing and being killed for. Not out of disrespect for the dead, but out of reverence for the living.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Her work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook , following her antics on Twitter , checking out her podcast on either Youtube , soundcloud , Apple podcasts or Spotify , following her on Steemit , throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of her sweet merchandise , buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix , Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News .



Em , June 1, 2021 at 09:52

Instead of annually memorializing those dead youth, who were, in one way or the other, coerced to go off to foreign lands to kill or be killed, by other youth, in the name of a piece of dead symbolic cloth, wouldn't it be a better idea to honor them, while alive in the prime of living (the world over) by affording them the means to learn, leading by example, to discover for themselves – how to think critically as to what the real options are, collectively as well as individually, for survival and thriving.

CNfan , June 1, 2021 at 04:06

"Global domination" for the benefit of a predatory financial oligarchy.

Peter Loeb , June 1, 2021 at 09:11

Read William Hartung's "Prophets of War " to understand the dynamics.

Peter in Boston

Thom Williams , May 31, 2021 at 20:12

Re: CorsortiumNews, Joe Lauria, Caitlin Johnstone, Realist, & Rael Nidess, M.D.

Thank you all for speaking your truth in this dystopian human universe so apparently lacking human reason and understanding. As is so wisely introduced and recognized herein, the murderous depravity of the "Wolfwitz Doctrine" being and remaining the public policy formulation of our national governance, both foreign and domestic, is a fact that every U.S. citizen should consider and understand on this Memorial Day.
As Usual,
EA

Realist , May 31, 2021 at 17:27

Well stated, perfectly logical again on this subject as always, Caitlin. You out the warmongers for their game to fleece the public and rape the world all so a handful of already fat, lazyass but enormously wealthy and influential people can acquire, without the slightest bit of shame, yet more, more and more of everything there is to be had. You and General Butler.

Will this message get through, this time? Maybe the billionth time is the charm, eh? Can the scales suddenly fall from the eyes of the 330 million Americans who will then demand an immediate end to the madness? On the merits, it's the only conclusion that might realise any actual justice for our country and the rest of the world upon whose throat it keeps a knee firmly planted.

Sorry, nothing of the sort shall ever happen, not as long as the entire mercenary mass media obeys its corporate ownership and speaks nothing but false narratives every minute of every day. Not as long as the educational system is really nothing more than a propaganda indoctrination experience for every child born in the glorious USA! Not as long as every politician occupying any given office is just a bought and paid for tool of the Matrix with great talents for convincing the masses that 2 + 2 = 3, or 5, or whatever is convenient at the time to benefit the ledgers of their plutocrat masters.

What better illustrates the reality of my last assertion than the occupancy of the White House by Sleepy/Creepy Joe Biden who, through age alone, has been reduced to nothing more than a sack of unresponsive meat firmly trussed up with ropes and pulleys that his handlers pull this way or that to create an animatronic effect apparently perfectly convincing to the majority of the American public? Or so they say, based upon some putative election results.

Truly, thanks for the effort, Caitlin. I do appreciate that some have a grasp on the truth. I look forward to its recapitulation by yourself and many others to no effect on every Memorial Day in the USA. It would be unrealistic of me to say otherwise.

Rael Nidess, M.D. , May 31, 2021 at 12:54

Kudos for being one of a very few to mention the central driving ethic behind U.S. foreign policy since the demise of the USSR: The Wolfowitz Doctrine. As central today as it was when first published.

[Jun 04, 2021] Multi-Domain Operations- A Developing Doctrine - TTG - TurcopolierTurcopolier

Jun 04, 2021 | turcopolier.com

"HUNTSVILLE: The Army's experimental Multi-Domain Task Force is a "game changer" that's turned the tide in "at least 10 wargames," the commander of US Army Pacific says. "Plans are already changing at the combatant command level because of this." The key: the unit cracked the Anti-Access, Area Denial (A2/AD) conundrum, Russia and China's dense layered defenses of long-range missiles, sensors, and networks to coordinate them. "Before, we couldn't penetrate A2/AD. With it, we could," Gen. Robert Brown said of the task force's performance in "at least 10 exercises and wargames. With the Multi-Domain Task Force," he told me after his remarks to the AUSA Global conference here, "we could impact their long-range systems and have a much greater success against an adversary. If I go into any more, it'd be classified."

"In the future, Brown said here last week, "all formations will have to become multi-domain or they'll be irrelevant, [but] it's going to be years before it can happen." The Army's goal is modernize enough forces to wage multi-domain warfare against either China or Russia -- but not both at once -- by 2028." (Breaking Defense)

Comment: I was intrigued when, in April, SecDef Austin announced he was sending two units with about 500 personnel to Germany. The units are a multi-domain task force and a theater fires command. Sounded like a mere symbolic move. But there's nothing symbolic about these particular units. They are an early implementation of the Pentagon's new multi-domain operations doctrine which focuses on theater level operations. That doesn't mean mass divisions and corps. It means theater level employment of global assets across the entire spectrum of conflict. It's still billed as a concept rather than a full blown doctrine, but it's getting there and is already being implemented in the Pacific theater.

In an Army Chief of Staff paper, "Army Multi-Domain Transformation Ready to Win in Competition and Conflict" dated 16 March 2021, the multi-domain task force (MDTF) is described as "theater-level maneuver elements designed to synchronize precision effects and precision fires in all domains against adversary anti-access/ area denial (A2/AD) networks in all domains, enabling joint forces to execute their operational plan (OPLAN) directed roles." The MDTF's purpose is during competition, to "gain and maintain contact with our adversaries to support the rapid transition to crisis or conflict"; during a crisis, to "deter adversaries and shape the environment by providing flexible response options to the combatant commander"; and if conflict arises, to "neutralize adversary A2/AD networks to enable joint freedom of action."

Russia has been modernizing their doctrine, force structure and equipment in earnest for at least the last decade. Surely China has been moving in the same direction. It's about time we do the same. It will be several years, at least, before this doctrine can be fully implemented with the necessary force structure and equipment. In many ways, our military has atrophied terribly due to two decades of brigade level, at best, counterinsurgency operations. However, we should, and apparently are, implementing this new doctrine now with the minimal force structure changes of the MDTF and the inclusion of EW within cyber. Our current equipment can be employed more effectively especially if land, sea, air and space systems are better integrated. It's an evolution, not a revolution.

TTG

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/04/armys-multi-domain-unit-a-game-changer-in-future-war/

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/04/breaking-new-army-long-range-units-coming-to-germany/

Eol says: June 1, 2021 at 4:23 pm

A2/AD is just modern defense IMO – is it really necessary to have a doctrine that demands superiority over Russia or China at – lets say – 200 km from their border? And at which point do we just call this outright agressive posturing ? DougDiggler says: June 3, 2021 at 1:42 pm

Is this more Pentagon wishful thinking, like their exercise that involved firing a still nonexistent hypersonic from a B-52? I get the feeling that NATO's ID Pol army would not fare well in attacking the military professionals of Russia, not even in these proposed multi-front "crumbling" attacks. However, it is nice that they're finally getting around to studying Operation Bagration. However I think the operational heirs to that offensive have probably improved on it and have also spent much time considering being on the receiving end of such a nightmare. They play chess while we play Nintendo. Christian J. Chuba says: June 1, 2021 at 5:32 pm

Wow. We've been pushing our navy up Russia and China's nose today and doing the same with NATO war games on land and air patrols. I hope this doesn't give us a false sense of confidence to be outright reckless.

For some reason we have become obsessed with depriving the Russians control of their arctic coastline. I'm not saying we are control freaks (actually we are control freaks) but I can easily see a situation developing up their if we think we have some technology edge. That is one place Russia wants to be secure and for some reason, if there is water, we must have our navy just outside that 12 nautical mile limit.

What kills me is that we do this in the name of 'freedom of navigation' but that route is going to be mostly transporting Chinese stuff to Europe and only because the Russians are paying for the necessary ice breakers and rescue stations. In other words, we are waving our wand over waters that are only navigable because of Russian investment.

Anyway, so they were able to develop a simulation? That's impressive. Patrick Armstrong says: June 1, 2021 at 7:32 pm

Can the MIC make anything other than cost over-runs these days? d74 says: June 1, 2021 at 11:38 pm

The answer is too easy: no.
Not only are the costs insane, but the functionality is insufficient. Simply put, it doesn't work or seem unfit for fighting. Stacking technologies is a dream that does not stand up to warfare realities. 'Keep it simple' seems out of reach.

I followed the adoption of the 120mm mortar by USMC. They started with a good weapon, with confirmed potential. The end point was tactical paralysis.
This is (was) a very small issue, and an old one. It is significant. blue peacock says: June 2, 2021 at 9:42 am

Washington would be easy to spot in a game of chess. It's the player with no plan beyond an aggressive opening. That is no strategy at all. The failure to think several moves ahead matters.

https://wulfstein.org/2021/05/11/washington-is-playing-a-game-with-no-strategy/

While I don't agree with everything many pundits including Chas Freeman say about our behavior with respect to China, I do see the point that Chas makes in the quote above. Iraq and Afghanistan are great examples. Our political and governmental leadership have no sense of "smarts", all they've known for decades is bully behavior under both Democrats and Republicans, especially towards those they perceive as weak, like our "invasion" of Grenada. How would we actually perform against a serious military rival like China or Russia? What would be the reporting at hysterical CNN, MSNBC and Fox when a few carrier strike elements are sunk? Would they be shrieking to unleash nuclear-tipped ICBMs? How would a "mission accomplished" George Bush/Dick Cheney type with all their hubristic swagger react? The continental US has not been attacked like ever. What happens when Seattle, Los Angeles and even DC are under actual missile fire? How would contemporary woke Americans who have no tolerance for "sacrifice" react?

Do we have the force that reflects good value for money considering that we spend more than Russia & China combined on the military? What type of military do we actually have relative to the tens of trillions of dollars spent over the last decade on the credit card? What are the metrics to evaluate actual effectiveness of a military beyond graphics and tables on Powerpoint slides?

What would an actual strategic plan to crush the CCP look like? IMO, it begins with insuring no dependence on a Chinese supply chain. Would the Party of Davos even allow that?

[Jun 03, 2021] Multi-Domain Operations- A Developing Doctrine - TTG - TurcopolierTurcopolier

Jun 03, 2021 | turcopolier.com

"HUNTSVILLE: The Army's experimental Multi-Domain Task Force is a "game changer" that's turned the tide in "at least 10 wargames," the commander of US Army Pacific says. "Plans are already changing at the combatant command level because of this." The key: the unit cracked the Anti-Access, Area Denial (A2/AD) conundrum, Russia and China's dense layered defenses of long-range missiles, sensors, and networks to coordinate them. "Before, we couldn't penetrate A2/AD. With it, we could," Gen. Robert Brown said of the task force's performance in "at least 10 exercises and wargames. With the Multi-Domain Task Force," he told me after his remarks to the AUSA Global conference here, "we could impact their long-range systems and have a much greater success against an adversary. If I go into any more, it'd be classified."

"In the future, Brown said here last week, "all formations will have to become multi-domain or they'll be irrelevant, [but] it's going to be years before it can happen." The Army's goal is modernize enough forces to wage multi-domain warfare against either China or Russia -- but not both at once -- by 2028." (Breaking Defense)

Comment: I was intrigued when, in April, SecDef Austin announced he was sending two units with about 500 personnel to Germany. The units are a multi-domain task force and a theater fires command. Sounded like a mere symbolic move. But there's nothing symbolic about these particular units. They are an early implementation of the Pentagon's new multi-domain operations doctrine which focuses on theater level operations. That doesn't mean mass divisions and corps. It means theater level employment of global assets across the entire spectrum of conflict. It's still billed as a concept rather than a full blown doctrine, but it's getting there and is already being implemented in the Pacific theater.

In an Army Chief of Staff paper, "Army Multi-Domain Transformation Ready to Win in Competition and Conflict" dated 16 March 2021, the multi-domain task force (MDTF) is described as "theater-level maneuver elements designed to synchronize precision effects and precision fires in all domains against adversary anti-access/ area denial (A2/AD) networks in all domains, enabling joint forces to execute their operational plan (OPLAN) directed roles." The MDTF's purpose is during competition, to "gain and maintain contact with our adversaries to support the rapid transition to crisis or conflict"; during a crisis, to "deter adversaries and shape the environment by providing flexible response options to the combatant commander"; and if conflict arises, to "neutralize adversary A2/AD networks to enable joint freedom of action."

Russia has been modernizing their doctrine, force structure and equipment in earnest for at least the last decade. Surely China has been moving in the same direction. It's about time we do the same. It will be several years, at least, before this doctrine can be fully implemented with the necessary force structure and equipment. In many ways, our military has atrophied terribly due to two decades of brigade level, at best, counterinsurgency operations. However, we should, and apparently are, implementing this new doctrine now with the minimal force structure changes of the MDTF and the inclusion of EW within cyber. Our current equipment can be employed more effectively especially if land, sea, air and space systems are better integrated. It's an evolution, not a revolution.

TTG

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/04/armys-multi-domain-unit-a-game-changer-in-future-war/

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/04/breaking-new-army-long-range-units-coming-to-germany/

Eol says: June 1, 2021 at 4:23 pm

A2/AD is just modern defense IMO – is it really necessary to have a doctrine that demands superiority over Russia or China at – lets say – 200 km from their border? And at which point do we just call this outright agressive posturing ? DougDiggler says: June 3, 2021 at 1:42 pm

Is this more Pentagon wishful thinking, like their exercise that involved firing a still nonexistent hypersonic from a B-52? I get the feeling that NATO's ID Pol army would not fare well in attacking the military professionals of Russia, not even in these proposed multi-front "crumbling" attacks. However, it is nice that they're finally getting around to studying Operation Bagration. However I think the operational heirs to that offensive have probably improved on it and have also spent much time considering being on the receiving end of such a nightmare. They play chess while we play Nintendo. Christian J. Chuba says: June 1, 2021 at 5:32 pm

Wow. We've been pushing our navy up Russia and China's nose today and doing the same with NATO war games on land and air patrols. I hope this doesn't give us a false sense of confidence to be outright reckless.

For some reason we have become obsessed with depriving the Russians control of their arctic coastline. I'm not saying we are control freaks (actually we are control freaks) but I can easily see a situation developing up their if we think we have some technology edge. That is one place Russia wants to be secure and for some reason, if there is water, we must have our navy just outside that 12 nautical mile limit.

What kills me is that we do this in the name of 'freedom of navigation' but that route is going to be mostly transporting Chinese stuff to Europe and only because the Russians are paying for the necessary ice breakers and rescue stations. In other words, we are waving our wand over waters that are only navigable because of Russian investment.

Anyway, so they were able to develop a simulation? That's impressive.

[Jun 01, 2021] Shades of dementia: Bidden claims that human rights R us.

May 31, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , May 31 2021 0:12 utc | 29

Believe it or not, the president says that human rights R us.

Hear that, BLM? Women? Asian Americans? Hispanics? homeless? heavily indebted students? . . the list goes on.

Biden said so, May 30, 2021

"I had a long conversation -- for two hours -- recently with President Xi, making it clear to him that we could do nothing but speak out for human rights around the world because that's who we are. I'll be meeting with President Putin in a couple of weeks in Geneva, making it clear that we will not -- we will not stand by and let him abuse those rights." . . here

..reminds me of Aeschylus: "In war, truth is the first casualty."

[May 30, 2021] Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism by Quinn Slobodian

The author is a very fuzzy way comes to the idea that neoliberalism is in essence a Trotskyism for the rich and that neoliberals want to use strong state to enforce the type of markets they want from above. That included free movement of capital goods and people across national borders. All this talk about "small government" is just a smoke screen for naive fools.
Similar to 1930th contemporary right-wing populism in Germany and Austria emerged from within neoliberalism, not in opposition to it. They essentially convert neoliberalism in "national liberalism": Yes to free trade by only on bilateral basis with a strict control of trade deficits. No to free migration, multilateralism
Notable quotes:
"... The second explanation was that neoliberal globalization made a small number of people very rich, and it was in the interest of those people to promote a self-serving ideology using their substantial means by funding think tanks and academic departments, lobbying congress, fighting what the Heritage Foundation calls "the war of ideas." Neoliberalism, then, was a restoration of class power after the odd, anomalous interval of the mid-century welfare state. ..."
"... Here one is free to choose but only within a limited range of options left after responding to the global forces of the market. ..."
"... Neoliberal globalism can be thought of in its own terms as a negative theology, contending that the world economy is sublime and ineffable with a small number of people having special insight and ability to craft institutions that will, as I put it, encase the sublime world economy. ..."
"... One of the big goals of my book is to show neoliberalism is one form of regulation among many rather than the big Other of regulation as such. ..."
"... I build here on the work of other historians and show how the demands in the United Nations by African, Asian, and Latin American nations for things like the Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources, i.e. the right to nationalize foreign-owned companies, often dismissed as merely rhetorical, were actually existentially frightening to global businesspeople. ..."
"... They drafted neoliberal intellectuals to do things like craft agreements that gave foreign corporations more rights than domestic actors and tried to figure out how to lock in what I call the "human right of capital flight" into binding international codes. I show how we can see the development of the WTO as largely a response to the fear of a planned -- and equal -- planet that many saw in the aspirations of the decolonizing world. ..."
"... The neoliberal insight of the 1930s was that the market would not take care of itself: what Wilhelm Röpke called a market police was an ongoing need in a world where people, whether out of atavistic drives or admirable humanitarian motives, kept trying to make the earth a more equal and just place. ..."
"... The culmination of these processes by the 1990s is a world economy that is less like a laissez-faire marketplace and more like a fortress, as ever more of the world's resources and ideas are regulated through transnational legal instruments. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 16, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0674979524
ISBN-13: 978-0674979529

From introduction

...The second explanation was that neoliberal globalization made a small number of people very rich, and it was in the interest of those people to promote a self-serving ideology using their substantial means by funding think tanks and academic departments, lobbying congress, fighting what the Heritage Foundation calls "the war of ideas." Neoliberalism, then, was a restoration of class power after the odd, anomalous interval of the mid-century welfare state.

There is truth to both of these explanations. Both presuppose a kind of materialist explanation of history with which I have no problem. In my book, though, I take another approach. What I found is that we could not understand the inner logic of something like the WTO without considering the whole history of the twentieth century. What I also discovered is that some of the members of the neoliberal movement from the 1930s onward, including Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, did not use either of the explanations I just mentioned. They actually didn't say that economic growth excuses everything. One of the peculiar things about Hayek, in particular, is that he didn't believe in using aggregates like GDP -- the very measurements that we need to even say what growth is.

What I found is that neoliberalism as a philosophy is less a doctrine of economics than a doctrine of ordering -- of creating the institutions that provide for the reproduction of the totality [of financial elite control of the state]. At the core of the strain I describe is not the idea that we can quantify, count, price, buy and sell every last aspect of human existence. Actually, here it gets quite mystical. The Austrian and German School of neoliberals in particular believe in a kind of invisible world economy that cannot be captured in numbers and figures but always escapes human comprehension.

After all, if you can see something, you can plan it. Because of the very limits to our knowledge, we have to default to ironclad rules and not try to pursue something as radical as social justice, redistribution, or collective transformation. In a globalized world, we must give ourselves over to the forces of the market, or the whole thing will stop working.

So this is quite a different version of neoliberal thought than the one we usually have, premised on the abstract of individual liberty or the freedom to choose. Here one is free to choose but only within a limited range of options left after responding to the global forces of the market.

One of the core arguments of my book is that we can only understand the internal coherence of neoliberalism if we see it as a doctrine as concerned with the whole as the individual. Neoliberal globalism can be thought of in its own terms as a negative theology, contending that the world economy is sublime and ineffable with a small number of people having special insight and ability to craft institutions that will, as I put it, encase the sublime world economy.

To me, the metaphor of encasement makes much more sense than the usual idea of markets set free, liberated or unfettered. How can it be that in an era of proliferating third party arbitration courts, international investment law, trade treaties and regulation that we talk about "unfettered markets"? One of the big goals of my book is to show neoliberalism is one form of regulation among many rather than the big Other of regulation as such.

What I explore in Globalists is how we can think of the WTO as the latest in a long series of institutional fixes proposed for the problem of emergent nationalism and what neoliberals see as the confusion between sovereignty -- ruling a country -- and ownership -- owning the property within it.

I build here on the work of other historians and show how the demands in the United Nations by African, Asian, and Latin American nations for things like the Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources, i.e. the right to nationalize foreign-owned companies, often dismissed as merely rhetorical, were actually existentially frightening to global businesspeople.

They drafted neoliberal intellectuals to do things like craft agreements that gave foreign corporations more rights than domestic actors and tried to figure out how to lock in what I call the "human right of capital flight" into binding international codes. I show how we can see the development of the WTO as largely a response to the fear of a planned -- and equal -- planet that many saw in the aspirations of the decolonizing world.

Perhaps the lasting image of globalization that the book leaves is that world capitalism has produced a doubled world -- a world of imperium (the world of states) and a world of dominium (the world of property). The best way to understand neoliberal globalism as a project is that it sees its task as the never-ending maintenance of this division. The neoliberal insight of the 1930s was that the market would not take care of itself: what Wilhelm Röpke called a market police was an ongoing need in a world where people, whether out of atavistic drives or admirable humanitarian motives, kept trying to make the earth a more equal and just place.

The culmination of these processes by the 1990s is a world economy that is less like a laissez-faire marketplace and more like a fortress, as ever more of the world's resources and ideas are regulated through transnational legal instruments. The book acts as a kind of field guide to these institutions and, in the process, hopefully recasts the 20th century that produced them.


Mark bennett 3.0 out of 5 stars One half of a decent book May 14, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

This is a rather interesting look at the political and economic ideas of a circle of important economists, including Hayek and von Mises, over the course of the last century. He shows rather convincingly that conventional narratives concerning their idea are wrong. That they didn't believe in a weak state, didn't believe in the laissez-faire capitalism or believe in the power of the market. That they saw mass democracy as a threat to vested economic interests.

The core beliefs of these people was in a world where money, labor and products could flow across borders without any limit. Their vision was to remove these subjects (tariffs, immigration and controls on the movement of money) from the control of the democracy-based nation-state and instead vesting them in international organizations. International organizations which were by their nature undemocratic and beyond the influence of democracy. That rather than rejecting government power, what they rejected was national government power. They wanted weak national governments but at the same time strong undemocratic international organizations which would gain the powers taken from the state.

The other thing that characterized many of these people was a rather general rejection of economics. While some of them are (at least in theory) economists, they rejected the basic ideas of economic analysis and economic policy. The economy, to them, was a mystical thing beyond any human understanding or ability to influence in a positive way. Their only real belief was in "bigness". The larger the market for labor and goods, the more economically prosperous everyone would become. A unregulated "global" market with specialization across borders and free migration of labor being the ultimate system.

The author shows how, over a period extending from the 1920s to the 1990s, these ideas evolved from marginal academic ideas to being dominant ideas internationally. Ideas that are reflected today in the structure of the European Union, the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the policies of most national governments. These ideas, which the author calls "neoliberalism", have today become almost assumptions beyond challenge. And even more strangely, the dominating ideas of the political left in most of the west.

The author makes the point, though in a weak way, that the "fathers" of neoliberalism saw themselves as "restoring" a lost golden age. That golden age being (roughly) the age of the original industrial revolution (the second half of the 1800s). And to the extent that they have been successful they have done that. But at the same time, they have brought back all the political and economic questions of that era as well.

In reading it, I started to wonder about the differences between modern neoliberalism and the liberal political movement during the industrial revolution. I really began to wonder about the actual motives of "reform" liberals in that era. Were they genuinely interested in reforms during that era or were all the reforms just cynical politics designed to enhance business power at the expense of other vested interests. Was, in particular, the liberal interest in political reform and franchise expansion a genuine move toward political democracy or simply a temporary ploy to increase their political power. If one assumes that the true principles of classic liberalism were always free trade, free migration of labor and removing the power to governments to impact business, perhaps its collapse around the time of the first world war is easier to understand.

He also makes a good point about the EEC and the organizations that came before the EU. Those organizations were as much about protecting trade between Europe and former European colonial possessions as they were anything to do with trade within Europe.

To me at least, the analysis of the author was rather original. In particular, he did an excellent job of showing how the ideas of Hayek and von Mises have been distorted and misunderstood in the mainstream. He was able to show what their ideas were and how they relate to contemporary problems of government and democracy.

But there are some strong negatives in the book. The author offers up a complete virtue signaling chapter to prove how the neoliberals are racists. He brings up things, like the John Birch Society, that have nothing to do with the book. He unleashes a whole lot of venom directed at American conservatives and republicans mostly set against a 1960s backdrop. He does all this in a bad purpose: to claim that the Kennedy Administration was somehow a continuation of the new deal rather than a step toward neoliberalism. His blindness and modern political partisanship extended backward into history does substantial damage to his argument in the book. He also spends an inordinate amount of time on the political issues of South Africa which also adds nothing to the argument of the book. His whole chapter on racism is an elaborate strawman all held together by Ropke. He also spends a large amount of time grinding some sort of Ax with regard to the National Review and William F. Buckley.

He keeps resorting to the simple formula of finding something racist said or written by Ropke....and then inferring that anyone who quoted or had anything to do with Ropke shared his ideas and was also a racist. The whole point of the exercise seems to be to avoid any analysis of how the democratic party (and the political left) drifted over the decades from the politics of the New Deal to neoliberal Clintonism.

Then after that, he diverts further off the path by spending many pages on the greatness of the "global south", the G77 and the New International Economic Order (NIEO) promoted by the UN in the 1970s. And whatever many faults of neoliberalism, Quinn Slobodian ends up standing for a worse set of ideas: International Price controls, economic "reparations", nationalization, international trade subsidies and a five-year plan for the world (socialist style economic planning at a global level). In attaching himself to these particular ideas, he kills his own book. The premise of the book and his argument was very strong at first. But by around p. 220, its become a throwback political tract in favor of the garbage economic and political ideas of the so-called third world circa 1974 complete with 70's style extensive quotations from "Senegalese jurists"

Once the political agenda comes out, he just can't help himself. He opens the conclusion to the book taking another cheap shot for no clear reason at William F. Buckley. He spends alot of time on the Seattle anti-WTO protests from the 1990s. But he has NOTHING to say about BIll Clinton or Tony Blair or EU expansion or Obama or even the 2008 economic crisis for that matter. Inexplicably for a book written in 2018, the content of the book seems to end in the year 2000.

I'm giving it three stars for the first 150 pages which was decent work. The second half rates zero stars. Though it could have been far better if he had written his history of neoliberalism in the context of the counter-narrative of Keynesian economics and its decline. It would have been better yet if the author had the courage to talk about the transformation of the parties of the left and their complicity in the rise of neoliberalism. The author also tends to waste lots of pages repeating himself or worse telling you what he is going to say next. One would have expected a better standard of editing by the Harvard Press. Read less 69 people found this helpful Helpful Comment Report abuse

Jesper Doepping 5.0 out of 5 stars A concise definition of neoliberalism and its historical influence November 14, 2018

Anybody interested in global trade, business, human rights or democracy today should read this book.

The book follow the Austrians from the beginning in the Habsburgischer empire to the beginning rebellion against the WTO. However, most importantly it follows the thinking and the thoughts behind the building of a global empire of capitalism with free trade, capital and rights. All the way to the new "human right" to trade. It narrows down what neoliberal thought really consist of and indirectly make a differentiation to the neoclassical economic tradition.

What I found most interesting is the turn from economics to law - and the conceptual distinctions between the genes, tradition, reason, which are translated into a quest for a rational and reason based protection of dominium (the rule of property) against the overreach of imperium (the rule of states/people). This distinction speaks directly to the issues that EU is currently facing.

[May 30, 2021] How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... No other book out there has the level of breadth on the history of US imperialism that this work provides. Even though it packs 400 pages of text (which might seem like a turnoff for non-academic readers), "How to Hide an Empire" is highly readable given Immerwhar's skills as a writer. Also, its length is part of what makes it awesome because it gives it the right amount of detail and scope. ..."
"... Alleging that US imperialism in its long evolution (which this book deciphers with poignancy) has had no bearing on the destinies of its once conquered populations is as fallacious as saying that the US is to blame for every single thing that happens in Native American communities, or in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, etc. Not everything that happens in these locations and among these populations is directly connected to US expansionism, but a great deal is. ..."
"... This is exactly the kind of book that drives the "My country, right or wrong" crowd crazy. Yes, slavery and genocide and ghastly scientific experiments existed before Europeans colonized the Americas, but it's also fair and accurate to say that Europeans made those forms of destruction into a bloody artform. Nobody did mass slaughter better. ..."
Feb 19, 2019 | www.amazon.com
4.6 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews Reviews

Jose I. Fuste, February 25, 2019

5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive yet highly readable. A necessary and highly useful update.

I'm a professor at the University of California San Diego and I'm assigning this for a graduate class.

No other book out there has the level of breadth on the history of US imperialism that this work provides. Even though it packs 400 pages of text (which might seem like a turnoff for non-academic readers), "How to Hide an Empire" is highly readable given Immerwhar's skills as a writer. Also, its length is part of what makes it awesome because it gives it the right amount of detail and scope.

I could not disagree more with the person who gave this book one star. Take it from me: I've taught hundreds of college students who graduate among the best in their high school classes and they know close to nothing about the history of US settler colonialism, overseas imperialism, or US interventionism around the world. If you give University of California college students a quiz on where the US' overseas territories are, most who take it will fail (trust me, I've done it). And this is not their fault. Instead, it's a product of the US education system that fails to give students a nuanced and geographically comprehensive understanding of the oversized effect that their country has around our planet.

Alleging that US imperialism in its long evolution (which this book deciphers with poignancy) has had no bearing on the destinies of its once conquered populations is as fallacious as saying that the US is to blame for every single thing that happens in Native American communities, or in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, etc. Not everything that happens in these locations and among these populations is directly connected to US expansionism, but a great deal is.

A case in point is Puerto Rico's current fiscal and economic crisis. The island's political class share part of the blame for Puerto Rico's present rut. A lot of it is also due to unnatural (i.e. "natural" but human-exacerbated) disasters such as Hurricane Marķa. However, there is no denying that the evolution of Puerto Rico's territorial status has generated a host of adverse economic conditions that US states (including an island state such as Hawaii) do not have to contend with. An association with the US has undoubtedly raised the floor of material conditions in these places, but it has also imposed an unjust glass ceiling that most people around the US either do not know about or continue to ignore.

To add to those unfair economic limitations, there are political injustices regarding the lack of representation in Congress, and in the case of Am. Samoa, their lack of US citizenship. The fact that the populations in the overseas territories can't make up their mind about what status they prefer is: a) understandable given the way they have been mistreated by the US government, and b) irrelevant because what really matters is what Congress decides to do with the US' far-flung colonies, and there is no indication that Congress wants to either fully annex them or let them go because neither would be convenient to the 50 states and the political parties that run them. Instead, the status quo of modern colonial indeterminacy is what works best for the most potent political and economic groups in the US mainland. Would

This book is about much more than that though. It's also a history of how and why the United States got to control so much of what happens around the world without creating additional formal colonies like the "territories" that exist in this legal limbo. Part of its goal is to show how precisely how US imperialism has been made to be more cost-effective and also more invisible.

Read Immerwhar's book, and don't listen to the apologists of US imperialism which is still an active force that contradicts the US' professed values and that needs to be actively dismantled. Their attempts at discrediting this important reflect a denialism of the US' imperial realities that has endured throughout the history that this book summarizes.

"How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States" is a great starting point for making the US public aware of the US' contradictions as an "empire of liberty" (a phrase once used by Thomas Jefferson to describe the US as it expanded westward beyond the original 13 colonies). It is also a necessary update to other books on this topic that are already out there, and it is likely to hold the reader's attention more given its crafty narrative prose and structure Read less 194 people found this helpful Helpful Comment Report abuse

David Robson, February 26, 2019
Why So Sensitive?

5.0 out of 5 stars Why So Sensitive?

This is exactly the kind of book that drives the "My country, right or wrong" crowd crazy. Yes, slavery and genocide and ghastly scientific experiments existed before Europeans colonized the Americas, but it's also fair and accurate to say that Europeans made those forms of destruction into a bloody artform. Nobody did mass slaughter better.

The author of this compelling book reveals a history unknown to many readers, and does so with first-hand accounts and deep historical analyses. You might ask why we can't put such things behind us. The simple answer: we've never fully grappled with these events before in an honest and open way. This book does the nation a service by peering behind the curtain and facing the sobering truth of how we came to be what we are.

Thomas W. Moloney, April 9, 2019
This is a stunning book, not to be missed.

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a stunning book, not to be missed.

This is a stunning book, not to be missed. If you finished Sapiens with the feeling your world view had greatly enlarged, you're likely to have the same experience of your view of the US from reading this engaging work. And like Sapiens, it's an entirely enjoyable read, full of delightful surprises, future dinner party gems.

The further you get into the book the more interesting and unexpected it becomes. You'll look at the US in ways you likely never considered before. This is not a 'political' book with an ax to grind or a single-party agenda. It's refreshingly insightful, beautifully written, fun to read.

This is a gift I'll give to many a good friend, I've just started with my wife. I rarely write reviews and have never met the author (now my only regret). 3 people found this helpful

P , May 17, 2019
Content is A+. Never gets boring/tedious; never lingers; well written. It is perfect. 10/10

4.0 out of 5 stars Content is A+. Never gets boring/tedious; never lingers; well written. It is perfect. 10/10

This book is an absolutely powerhouse, a must-read, and should be a part of every student's curriculum in this God forsaken country.

Strictly speaking, this brilliant read is focused on America's relationship with Empire. But like with nearly everything America, one cannot discuss it without discussing race and injustice.

If you read this book, you will learn a lot of new things about subjects that you thought you knew everything about. You will have your eyes opened. You will be exposed to the dark underbelly of racism, corruption, greed and exploitation that undergird American ambition.

I don't know exactly what else to say other than to say you MUST READ THIS BOOK. This isn't a partisan statement -- it's not like Democrats are any better than Republicans in this book.

This is one of the best books I've ever read, and I am a voracious reader. The content is A+. It never gets boring. It never gets tedious. It never lingers on narratives. It's extremely well written. It is, in short, perfect. And as such, 10/10.

Sunny May 11, 2019
Excellent and thoughtful discussion regarding the state of our union

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and thoughtful discussion regarding the state of our union

I heard an interview of Daniel Immerwahr on NPR news / WDET radio regarding this book.

I'm am quite conservative and only listen to NPR news when it doesn't lean too far to the left.

However, the interview piqued my interest. I am so glad I purchased this ebook. What a phenomenal and informative read!!! WOW!! It's a "I never knew that" kind of read. Certainly not anything I was taught in school. This is thoughtful, well written and an easy read. Highly recommend!!

[May 28, 2021] Is The Pentagon's UFO PsyOps Fueling Russia, China War Risk by Finian Cunningham

May 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

There are reasons to be skeptical. After decades of stonewalling on the issue, suddenly American military chiefs appear to be giving credence to claims of UFOs invading Earth.

Several viral video clips purporting to show extraordinary flying technology have been "confirmed" by the Pentagon as authentic. The Pentagon move is unprecedented.

The videos of the Unidentified Flying Objects were taken by U.S. air force flight crews or by naval surveillance and subsequently "leaked" to the public. The question is: were the "leaks" authorized by Pentagon spooks to stoke the public imagination of visitors from space? The Pentagon doesn't actually say what it believes the UFOs are, only that the videos are "authentic".

A Senate intelligence committee is to receive a report from the Department of Defense's Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Task Force next month. That has also raised public interest in the possibility of alien life breaching our skies equipped with physics-defying technology far superior to existing supersonic jets and surveillance systems.

Several other questions come to mind that beg skepticism. Why does the phenomenon of UFOs or UAP only seem to be associated with the American military? This goes back decades to the speculation during the 1950s about aliens crashing at Roswell in New Mexico. Why is it that only the American military seems privy to such strange encounters? Why not the Russian or Chinese military which would have comparable detection technology to the Americans but they don't seem to have made any public disclosures on alien encounters? Such a discrepancy is implausible unless we believe that life-forms from lightyears away have a fixation solely on the United States. That's intergalactic American "exceptionalism" for you!

Also, the alleged sightings of UFOs invariably are associated with U.S. military training grounds or high-security areas.

Moreover, the released videos that have spurred renewed public interest in UFOs are always suspiciously of poor quality, grainy and low resolution. Several researchers, such as Mick West, have cogently debunked the videos as optical illusions. That's not to say that the U.S. air force or naval personnel were fabricating the images. They may genuinely believe that they were witnessing something extraordinary. But as rational optics experts have pointed out there are mundane explanations for seeming unusual aerial observations, such as drones or balloons drifting at high speed in differential wind conditions, or by the crew mistaking a far-off aircraft dipping over the horizon for an object they believe to be much closer.

The military people who take the videos in good – albeit misplaced – faith about what they are witnessing are not the same as the military or intelligence people who see an opportunity with the videos to exploit the public in a psychological operation.

Fomenting public anxieties, or even just curiosity, about aliens and super-technology is an expedient way to exert control over the population. At a time when governing authorities are being questioned by a distrustful public and when military-intelligence establishments are viewed as having lost a sense of purpose, what better way to realign public respect by getting them to fret over alien marauders from whom they need protection?

There is here a close analogy to the way foreign nations are portrayed as adversaries and enemies in order to marshal public support or least deference to the governing establishment and its military. We see this ploy played over and over again with regard to the U.S. and Western demonization of Russia and China as somehow conveying a malign intent towards Western societies. In other words, it's a case of Cold War and UFOs from the same ideological launchpad, so to speak, in order to distract public attention from internal problems.

However, more worrying still is that there is a dangerous reinforcing crossover of the two propaganda realms. The fueling of UFO speculation is feeding directly into speculation that U.S. airspace is being invaded by high-tech weapons developed by Russia or China.

U.S. lawmakers are demanding answers from the Pentagon about whether the aerial "encounters" are advanced weaponry from foreign enemies who are surveilling the American homeland at will. Some U.S. air force aviators have recently expressed to the media a feeling of helplessness in the face of seeming superior technology.

At a time of heightened animosity towards Russia and China and febrile talk among Pentagon chiefs about the possibility of all-out war, it is not difficult to imagine, indeed it is disturbingly easy to imagine, how optical illusions about alien phenomena could trigger false alarms attributed to Russian or Chinese military incursions.

The stoking of UFO controversy appears to be a classic psyops perpetrated by U.S. military intelligence for the objective of population control. Its aim is to corral the citizenry under the authority of the state and for them to accept the protector function of "our" military. The big trouble is that the psyops with aliens are, in turn, risking the exacerbation of fears and tensions with Russia and China.

With all the Pentagon-assisted chatter, it is more likely that an F-18 squadron could mistake an errant weather balloon on the horizon for an alien spacecraft. And amid our new Cold War tensions, it is but a small conceptual step to further imagine that the UFO is not from outer space but rather is a Russian or Chinese hypersonic cruise missile heading towards the U.S. mainland.

[May 28, 2021] Biden aministsration is building a coalition to challenge China. It wants to neutralize Russia. Nord Stream 2 is an element of contention

May 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Max , May 19 2021 21:16 utc | 26

@ Old man of the sea | May 19 2021 20:46 utc | 22

One can't blame everything on Israel. Yes, it is part of five eyes, more like SIX eyes.

Biden (JB) is building a coalition to challenge China. JB's administration wants to neutralize Russia. Nord Stream 2 is an element of contention and by making a concession JB is making Germany and Russia happy. Agree, that its completion will be a "huge geopolitical win for Putin". Let's see when Nord Stream 2 becomes fully operational. Time will tell.

Russia's main focus is De-Dollarization, stability in Russia and in its neighborhood.

China's announcement about Bitcoin led to it dropping by 30%. What will China, Russia, Turkey and Iran announcement about the U$A dollar do to its value and the market? When will China become the #1 ECONOMY?

THE MOST DANGEROUS DECADE: 2018-2028

Stonebird , May 19 2021 21:42 utc | 29

Old man of the sea | May 19 2021 20:46 utc | 22

The US is now the largest provider of LNG, so there is relatively little more financial advantage to be gained from a direct confrontation with Germany or Russia. Political maybe, but the dedollarisation is starting to take hold. (Aside; even Israel depends on the strength of the dollar to continue, like musical chairs, when the music stops there will be precious few chairs left ). The Gas/Oil lobbies in the US who are behind the sanctions may have some other trick up their sleeve, but the deflation of Zelensky in Ukraine, and the opening up of a steal-fest of Ukrainian assets might compensate.

***
Note that the West has closed Syrian Embassies so as to stop Syrians voting for Assad. They steal it's oil, and Syria is still next to Israel and doing relatively well in spite of tanker bombings, and missiles. It is also possible that, as you say, there is a price for non-interference in Israel itself.

[May 28, 2021] Attorney General Bill Barr threatened to quit last year over Trump's attempts to fire FBI Director Chris Wray

Once Deep State always Deep State... So Barr was essentially Trump handler from the Deep State.
May 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

play_arrow
CheapBastard 39 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

(Coward) Attorney General Bill Barr threatened to quit last year over Trump's attempts to fire FBI Director Chris Wray

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/attorney-general-bill-barr-threatened-to-quit-last-year-over-trump-s-attempts-to-fire-fbi-director-chris-wray/ar-BB1gxWEQ?li=BB141NW3&ocid=mailsignout

Should never have appointed these swamp creatures to begin with.

[May 28, 2021] Accused Russiagate Spy Kilimnik Speaks -- and Evidence Backs His No Collusion Account

Highly recommended!
Money quite from comments: " more importantly it is devastating information about the dishonesty of our government. What have we come to? What recourse is available?"
May 24, 2021 | www.realclearinvestigations.com
By Aaron Maté , RealClearInvestigations
May 19, 2021

The man cast as a linchpin of debunked Trump-Russia collusion theories is breaking his silence to vigorously dispute the U.S. government's effort to brand him a Russian spy and put him behind bars.

In an exclusive interview with RealClearInvestigations, Konstantin Kilimnik stated, "I have no relationship whatsoever to any intelligence services, be they Russian or Ukrainian or American, or anyone else."

Konstantin Kilimnik: Decries the U.S. government's "senseless and false accusations." AP Photo

Kilimnik, a longtime employee of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, spoke out in response to an explosive Treasury Department statement declaring that he had "provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy" during the 2016 election. That press release, which announced an array of sanctions on Russian nationals last month, also alleged that Kilimnik is a "known Russian Intelligence Services agent implementing influence operations on their behalf."

Treasury 's claim came shortly after two other accusatory U.S. government statements about the dual Ukrainian-Russian national. In March, a U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment accused Kilimnik of being a "Russian influence agent" who meddled in the 2020 campaign to assist Trump's reelection. A month earlier, an FBI alert offered $250,000 for information leading to his arrest over a 2018 witness tampering charge in Manafort's shuttered Ukraine lobbying case, which was unrelated to Russia, collusion, or any elections.

Treasury provided no evidence for its claims, which go beyond the findings of the two most extensive Russiagate investigations: the 448-page report issued in 2019 by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the 966-page report issued in August 2020 by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Treasury has declined all media requests for elaboration on how it reached conclusions that those probes did not. Two unidentified officials told NBC News that U.S. intelligence "has developed new information" about Kilimnik "that leads them to believe " (emphasis added) that he passed on the polling data to Russia. But these sources "did not identify the source or type of intelligence that had been developed," nor "when or how" it was received.

"Nobody has seen any evidence to support these claims about Kilimnik," a congressional source familiar with the House and Senate's multiple Russia-related investigations told RCI.

Adam Schiff: Treated the Treasury claim about Kilimnik as the Trump-Russia smoking gun. "That's what most people would call collusion," he said. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)

Despite the absence of evidence, the Treasury press release's one-sentence claim about Kilimnik has been widely greeted as the Trump-Russia smoking gun. Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who heads the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC that Treasury's assertion about Kilimnik proved that Russian intelligence was "involved in trying to help Trump win in that [2016] election. That's what most people would call collusion."

Speaking to RCI in fluent English from his home in Moscow, Kilimnik, 51, described these U.S. government assertions as "senseless and false accusations."

His comments are backed up by documents, some previously unreported, as well as by Rick Gates, a longtime Manafort associate and key Mueller probe cooperating witness. (Gates pleaded guilty to making a false statement and to failing to register as a foreign agent in connection to his lobbying work in Ukraine.) The evidence raises doubts about new efforts to revive the Trump-Kremlin collusion narrative by casting Kilimnik as a central Russian figure.

"They needed a Russian to investigate 'Russia collusion,' and I happened to be that Russian," Kilimnik said.

Highlights from the interview and RCI's related reporting:

Reviving the Polling Data Conspiracy Theory

Kilminik has provided an inviting target for proponents of Trump-Russia conspiracy theories. He was born in 1970 in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union, and later worked for Paul Manafort as a translator and aide there. This background makes him one of the few people in the broad Trump 2016 campaign orbit to possess a Russian passport.

To this Mueller and others have added a series of ambiguous and disputed allegations to say that the FBI "assesses" him to "have ties to Russian intelligence." This characterization, first made in a 2017 court filing, quickly transmogrified into a presumed fact of the collusion narrative.

Rather than prosecute Manafort for any crime related to Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, the Mueller team instead pursued him on financial and lobbying charges involving his pre-Trump stint as a political consultant in Ukraine. In 2018, it accused Kilimnik of seeking to pressure two "potential witnesses" by sending them text messages about Manafort's Ukraine lobbying work.

As the Russia probe came to a close without a single indictment related to a Trump-Kremlin conspiracy, the Mueller team used Kilimnik to suggest collusion without formally alleging it.

In January 2019, the Mueller team accused Manafort of breaching their cooperation agreement by lying about his interactions with his Russian employee. Topping the list were alleged false statements about sharing election polling data with Kilimnik in 2016.

Andrew Weissmann: Despite this lead Mueller prosecutor's suggestion otherwise, the Mueller report "did not identify evidence of a connection between Manafort's sharing polling data and Russia's interference in the election," as the report itself stated. NYU Law

"This goes to the larger view of what we think is going on, and what we think is the motive here," lead prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC. "This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the special counsel's office is investigating."

Weissmann's musings became collusion fodder. Media pundits and influential Democrats, namely Congressional intelligence leaders Schiff and Mark Warner, speculated that Kilimnik shared Trump campaign polling data with Russian intelligence officers as they allegedly worked to turn the election in Trump's favor. "This appears as the closest we've seen yet to real, live, actual collusion," Warner told CNN . "Clearly, Manafort was trying to collude with Russian agents."

But soon after, the Mueller team quietly undercut Weissmann's "larger view" and the conspiratorial innuendo that it had fueled. One month after igniting the frenzy about the polling data, Weissmann submitted a heavily redacted court filing that walked back some of his claims. The following month, the Special Counsel's final report acknowledged that its musings and speculations about Kilimnik could not be corroborated. The Mueller team not only "did not identify evidence of a connection between Manafort's sharing polling data and Russia's interference in the election," as the report stated, but also "could not assess what Kilimnik (or others he may have given it to) did with it."

Rick Gates: Ex-Manafort aide says the Mueller team "cherry-picked" his testimony about Kilimnik to spread a misleading, collusion-favorable narrative. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

"I have no idea who made up the lies about 'detailed' or 'sensitive' polling data, or why they did it," Kilimnik says. "They were mostly quotes of the polls from the media, such as LA Times and others. They would be 'Clinton "" 43, Trump "" 42.' Never anything more detailed. I never got even a page printed out with either polling data or any other info."

This public data was shared, Kilimnik says, with Ukrainian clients of Manafort's as part of both regular political chatter and an effort to encourage future business. "I shared this info with a lot of our clients in Ukraine, who were closely following the race and who were excited about Paul working for [Trump]," Kilimnik says.

If any government official did receive his polling data, Kilimnik adds, they were not Russian but rather from Ukraine or even the United States. "I would share it with our political contacts in Ukraine, basically to keep their interest to Paul and our Ukrainian business alive. Also I shared it with the U.S. and other embassies, basically offering the opinion that the election is not over."

Kilimnik's account is corroborated by Gates, the ex-Manafort associate and Trump campaign official whose testimony was used by the Mueller team "" deceptively, he says "" to suggest a connection between the polling data and possible Trump-Russia collusion. The Special Counsel's office "relied heavily on Mr. Gates for evidence" about the polling data, the New York Times noted in February 2019.

According to Gates, that reliance entailed significant creative license by Mueller's prosecutors, particularly Weissmann. Gates says he told the Special Counsel's Office that the polling data was not sensitive information, but rather publicly available figures taken from media outlets.

"I explained to them, over the course of many interviews, what the polling data was about, and why it was being shared," Gates told RCI. "All that was exchanged was old, topline data from public polls and from some internal polls, but all dated, nothing in real time. So for example, Trump 48, Clinton 46. It was not massive binders full of demographics or deep research. No documents were ever shared or disclosed. And this is part of what Mueller left out of the report. They cherry-picked and built a narrative that really was not true, because they had pre-determined the conclusion."

Happier times: Manafort and colleagues, with Kilimnik far left and the boss seated in white shirt, red tie. AP Photo

Asked why Manafort shared any polling data with clients in Ukraine, Kilimnik and Gates stressed the same reason: money. "The were some outstanding debts, which we were working to get repaid, which never happened," Kilimnik says. "And there was also Paul's reputation. He was very well known to a lot of people in Kiev, and he hoped [he] could generate some new business" by showcasing his work for Trump's campaign.

"This was a way that Paul was using to let people in Ukraine know that he was doing very well in the United States running the election of Donald Trump, and that he was trying to collect the remaining fees that he was owed," for prior work in Ukraine, Gates says. "He was trying to position himself. This is not unlike any other political operative, Republican or Democrat, in politics. They all do it."

The Mueller report itself quietly bolsters Gates' and Kilimnik's converging recollections. "Gates' account about polling data is consistent [redacted]," it states, ""¦ with multiple emails that Kilimnik sent to U.S. associates and press contacts" in the summer of 2016. "Those emails referenced 'internal polling,' described the status of the Trump Campaign and Manafort's role in it, and assessed Trump' s prospects for victory." The corresponding footnote cites eight emails from Kilimnik to these "U.S. associates and press contacts." This indicates that the Mueller team obtained direct evidence of the polling data that was shared; how it was discussed; and with whom it was shared.

Rather than highlight the Kilimnik emails that it obtained, and Gates' account that the polling data was shared for financial reasons, the Mueller report mentioned this information only in passing and ultimately concluded that it "could not reliably determine Manafort's purpose in sharing" the information.

Weissmann did not respond to a request for comment.

The Kilimnik Passport Kilimnik's passport from the time in question "" to judge from photos and a video he shared with RCI "" was issued in the standard red ... Konstantin Kilimnik via RealClearInvestigations ... not in the green of the diplomatic corps. Mueller cited a Kilimnik "diplomatic passport" as evidence of "ties to Russian intelligence." Government of Russia/Wikimedia

Although the Mueller report walked back Weissman's innuendo regarding polling data, its assertion that Kilimnik has "ties to Russian intelligence" remains a foundation of the Russia collusion narrative.

Putting aside the fact that the government has never produced any evidence that Kilimnik communicated with Russian intelligence or the Kremlin, RCI has obtained documents that undercut the government's basis for assuming those unspecified "ties."

In Mueller's own telling, Kilimnik's only direct link to the Russian government was his enrollment in a Soviet military academy from 1987 to 1992, where he trained as a linguist. "It's a language school, similar to what you guys have in Fort Monterey," Kilimnik said, referring to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, in Monterey, California. "It's a university that trains military translators, mostly for the army, not for the intelligence services. Basically it was a military training, for five years, focusing on English and Swedish. In normal circumstances, I would actually go and serve in the army, but because Soviet Union was falling apart, I was able to get a job as the instructor of Swedish at the university. I never served in the real army. If teaching Swedish counts as spying "" that will be very surprising."

To substantiate Kilimnik's alleged Russian intelligence "ties," the Mueller team wrote that Kilimnik "obtained a visa to travel to the United States with a Russian diplomatic passport in 1997." (Intelligence operatives often travel to foreign countries under diplomatic cover.)

Kilimnik's U.S. visa shows an "R" for "regular." (The typo in his last name was corrected on a later visa.) Konstantin Kilimnik via RealClearInvestigations

But Kilimnik's passport from that period "" to judge from the images he shared with RCI via a messaging app "" was issued in the standard red color, not in the green color of the diplomatic corps. The document also contains a regular U.S. visa issued on October 28, 1997 "" the same date the Mueller report claims he traveled to the U.S. "with a Russian diplomatic passport." The U.S. visa to Kilimnik is issued under the category of "R" "" which stands for Regular "" and "B1/B2," the designation for a temporary visa for business and tourism.

The Mueller team's claim that he possessed and travelled on a diplomatic passport is "a blatant lie," Kilimnik told RCI. "I never had a diplomatic passport in my life. It's one of many very sloppy things in the Muller report, which don't make sense."

The Mueller report cites Kilimnik's "travel to the United States with a Russian diplomatic passport." Mueller report, Page 133

Told of the Mueller report's apparent error concerning Kilimnik's passport, a Justice Department spokesperson declined comment. Former Special Counsel Mueller and former lead prosecutor Weissmann did not respond to emailed queries.

Ironically, at the time when Mueller team claims that he visited the U.S. on behalf of the Russian government, Kilimnik was in fact working for the U.S. government at the U.S. Congress-funded International Republican Institute (IRI) in Moscow. As RealClearInvestigations has previously reported , Kilimnik's 10-year IRI tenure is among several substantial Western government connections that have been ignored in amid efforts to accuse him of ties to the Russian government. "I gave IRI my CV which clearly said which school I graduated from, and gave my detailed background," Kilimnik recalls. "I never concealed anything."

Kilimnik: No Madrid Meeting With Manafort

When it comes to his travel history, Kilimnik says that the Special Counsel's Office made another significant error: falsely claiming that he and Manafort held a meeting in Spain .

"I have never been to Madrid in my life," Kilimnik says. Wikimedia

When Manafort denied that he and Kilimnik met in Madrid in 2017, the Mueller team accused him of lying and cited this as one of several alleged breaches of their cooperation agreement. The Mueller report claims that the two met in the Spanish capital on Feb. 26, 2017, "where Kilimnik had flown from Moscow."

It also states that Manafort initially denied the Madrid meeting in his first two interviews with the Special Counsel's office, but then relented "after being confronted with documentary evidence that Kilimnik was in Madrid at the same time as him."

But Kilimnik tells RCI that no such meeting occurred, and that he believes that Manafort was coerced into changing his story.

"I have never been to Madrid in my life," Kilimnik says. The "documentary evidence" referenced in the Mueller report was, he speculates, a flight booking that was ultimately cancelled. "I was thinking about going to Madrid, and I discussed it with Paul," he says. "But it made no sense. And ultimately, it was too expensive. So I didn't go."

Had he actually visited Madrid, Kilimnik says, the Mueller team would have "easily found proof "" tickets, boarding passes, border crossings "" all that stuff. It's not rocket science to get it. The European Union is a pretty disciplined place. There would be at least be a record of me crossing the border somewhere in the EU."

Kilimnik told RCI that the last time he saw Manafort was one month before the alleged Madrid trip, around the time of Trump's inauguration in Janaury 2017. "I did not attend any of the inauguration events myself," he recalls. "But I spent some time to meet with Paul, and to catch up. That was our last meeting in-person, in Alexandria [Virginia]."

Asked why Manafort would have admitted to a Madrid meeting that did not in fact take place, Kilimnik said that his former boss faced heavy pressure while locked up by the Mueller team, which included a long stint in solitary confinement. "I don't know why he said that. I have difficulties to imagine Paul's psychological state when he was jailed. A guy who [had] a very high-level life. Jail is a tough place. I still get the shudders to think what he had to go through."

The allegation that Manafort lied to the Mueller team proved consequential. In February 2019, U.S. District Judge Jackson sided with the Special Counsel and voided Manafort's plea deal. No longer bound to give him a reduced sentence for cooperating, Jackson nearly doubled Manafort's prison term on top of his earlier conviction and excoriated him for telling "lies." President Trump pardoned in Manafort in December 2020.

Told that Kilimnik denies ever visiting Madrid, and asked whether the Special Counsel's office collected concrete evidence to the contrary, both former Special Counsel Mueller and lead prosecutor Weissmann did not respond. A Justice Department spokesperson declined comment.

FBI Alert Contradicts Senate-Treasury Spy Claim

Over one year after Mueller closed up shop, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) unilaterally upgraded Kilimnik's alleged Russian intelligence status. The panel's August 2020 report declared that Kilimnik, far from merely having "ties" to the GRU as Mueller had claimed, is in fact a full-fledged "Russian intelligence officer."

The Senate made the leap despite offering no new public evidence to support its explosive "assessment", and even acknowledging that its "power to investigate" "" as well as "its staffing, resources, and technical capabilities" -- ultimately "falls short of the FBI's."

Richard Burr and Mark Warner, Republican chair and Democratic co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The FBI and Justice Department do not endorse their panel's judgment that Kilimnik is a "Russian intelligence officer." AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The Senate also labelled Kilimnik a Russian spy despite simultaneously presenting new evidence that he was, in the Committee's own words, a "valuable resource" for officials at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, with whom he was "in regular contact."

In September 2020, RCI asked the FBI and Justice Department whether it shares the SSCI's judgment that Kilimnik is a "Russian intelligence officer." A DOJ spokesperson replied that "the Mueller report speaks for itself," and advised that the public "defer" to how Kilimnik was characterized in the Mueller report and the Special Counsel Office's indictments. This strongly suggested, RCI reported, that the FBI has not adopted the SSCI's view that Kilimnik is a Russian spy.

The FBI's February "alert" offering $250,000 for information leading to Kilimnik's arrest bolsters this reporting. It once again states that Kilimnik is "assessed by the FBI to have ties to Russian intelligence" "" shunning the SSCI's spy language and reverting to Mueller's original, ambiguous characterization.

The wording of the FBI alert underscores that while the Senate Intelligence Committee and Treasury Department have declared that Kilimnik is a Russian spy, the nation's top law enforcement agency has never adopted that assessment. When Manafort's legal team asked the Special Counsel's Office for any communication between Manafort and "Russian intelligence officials," they were told that "there are no materials responsive to [those] requests." In unsealed notes from early 2017, Peter Strzok "" the top FBI counterintelligence agent who opened the Trump-Russia investigation "" wrote : "We are unaware of ANY Trump advisers engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials."

Asked whether the FBI has altered its characterization of Kilimnik in light of Treasury's claim that he is a "known Russian Intelligence Services agent", an FBI spokesperson declined comment.

The FBI's alert was also remarkable for the size of the Kilimnik bounty, which is more than double the amount of most members of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List. While the bureau is offering $100,000 each for information regarding six alleged murderers, and $200,000 for another, the FBI is offering $250,000 for help nabbing Kilimnik on a lone witness tampering charge in Manafort's Ukraine lobbying case.

The Mueller team accused Kilimnik of sending text messages to two individuals with whom Manafort had worked during his Ukraine lobbying days. Kilimnik's aim, the Special Counsel's Office alleged, was to pressure the pair to attest that their prior work was focused on lobbying officials in Europe, not in the United States. These individuals "" identified in court documents as "Person D1" and "Person D2" "" were not active witnesses for the Mueller probe, but instead, according to the Special Counsel's Office, "potential witnesses."

The 13 Kilimnik messages to these "potential witnesses" cited by Mueller include the following:

Kilimnik says that he was not trying to tamper with anyone. "I do not understand how two messages to our old partners who helped us get out the message about Ukraine's integration aspirations in EU, and asking them to get in touch with Paul, can be interpreted as 'intimidation' or 'obstruction of justice,'" he says.

Whether or not Kilimnik sought to tamper with "potential witnesses" in Manafort's Ukraine lobbying case, the alleged 2018 infraction has nothing to do with 2016 Trump-Russia collusion.

The FBI alert from February raises questions about the bombshell Treasury Department claims released two months later. If the U.S. government stands by Treasury's claims about Kilimnik, why is he wanted only on a minor, non-Russia related witness-tampering charge, and not for taking part in alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election? If Kilimnik indeed passed on "sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy" to Russian intelligence while working as a spy, why has he not been indicted alongside the Russian social media company charged by Mueller in February 2018, or the Russian intelligence officers charged by Mueller in July 2018?

To Kilimnik, the answer is found on that same Russian passport that Mueller mischaracterized. "It is clear to me that the indictment of 2018 was pulled out of the thin air, simply to have a Russian face in the mix," he says. "I understand that they needed a Russian to investigate 'Russia collusion,' and I happened to be that Russian," he says.

"The funny thing is that I'm not hiding. And I would have explained the same thing to the FBI or anyone who never reached out to me. They don't because they don't want the truth."

From Russian Spy to "Influence Agent"

In Kilimnik's eyes, his utility as a Russian national for the Trump-Russia collusion narrative also explains his prominent inclusion in the recent U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment , released in March one month after the FBI alert for his arrest.

In yet another new iteration of how Kilimnik is described by the U.S. government, the ICA does not call him a Russian intelligence officer, but instead a "Russian influence agent."

The ICA does not define the term "Russian influence agent," or explain how it reached that new assessment about Kilimnik. Nor does it put forth any evidence for the alleged Russian influence activities ascribed to him .

The report alleges that Kilimnik was part of a "network of Ukraine-linked individuals "¦ connected to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB)" who "took steps throughout the [2020] election cycle to damage U.S. ties to Ukraine, denigrate President Biden and his candidacy, and benefit former President Trump's prospects for reelection."

Andriy Derkach: "I have never met him in my life," Kilimnik says of this Ukrainian lawmaker with reputed Kremlin ties. Petro Zhuravel/Wikimedia

As part of this alleged meddling network, the ICA asserts that Kilimnik tried to influence U.S. officials; helped produce a documentary that aired on U.S. television in January 2020; and worked with Andriy Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker alleged to have Kremlin ties. "Derkach, Kilimnik, and their associates sought to use prominent U.S. persons and media conduits to launder their narratives to U.S. officials and audiences," the ICA states.

Kilimnik says the U.S. intelligence officials who wrote those words are using their anonymity and power to launder their false narratives about him.

"I have no idea what they're talking about," he says. "I would really love to see at least one confirmation of the things they allege. Pulling me into this report with zero evidence really shows that [U.S. intelligence] people high up do not give a damn about the truth, facts, or anything."

As for Derkach, "I have never met him in my life," Kilimnik says. "I don't know why, or on what basis, they're making claims that he has any relationship to me."

"I had zero meetings with anybody related to the Trump campaign. In fact, I have tried to do my best "" understanding how I've gotten into this mess "" to stay as far as possible from any U.S. politics." If he had held such meetings, Kilimnik adds, "this should be easy to prove."

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not respond to requests for comment.

No Effort to Contact Russiagate's Top Russian

Even though Kilimnik's name fills dozens of pages of the Mueller and Senate Intelligence reports after years of federal scrutiny and he is the target of a $250,000 FBI reward, this seemingly critical Russiagate figure has never been contacted by a single U.S. government official, to judge from the public record as well as Kilimnik's account.

The lack of contact is similar to the way FBI, Mueller, and Senate investigators treated other supposedly central Russiagate figures. When Joseph Mifsud, whose conversations with George Papadopoulos triggered the FBI's Trump-Russia probe, visited the U.S. in early 2017, the FBI subjected him to a light round of questioning and then let him leave the country. The Mueller team later claimed in its final report that Mifsud had lied to FBI agents, yet inexplicably did not indict him. Despite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's central role in publishing the stolen Democratic Party emails supposedly hacked and supplied by Russia, the Mueller team never contacted him and the Senate Intelligence Committee shunned an offer to interview him .

Kilimnik believes that this avoidance is deliberate. "The FBI and others could have had the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv or Moscow, or have any of my numerous contacts in the U.S., reach out and start a conversation, if they wanted info," he says. "But they do not really need it. All they is need is a scarecrow. And as one of the few people within reach of the Trump campaign who has a Russian passport, they picked me."

"They never reached out to me," he adds. "I never had a single contact with FBI or any government official, basically since charges were brought [on] Paul. Nobody ever tried to talk to me because they know the truth. They understood damn well that I will tell them what I'm telling you."

Kilimnik says that he has had only minimal contact with Manafort since the former Trump campaign chairman was released to home confinement in March 2020 and subsequently pardoned by Trump in late December. "We had one short contact after he got out of jail, basically catching up about family and kids and everything," Kilimnik recalls. "I want to give him time to just basically get his life back to normal. We have not spoken on the telephone."

After years in Ukraine working with Manafort, Kilimnik now lives full-time in Moscow with his wife and two children. "I have been pretty open all my life, and have not been hiding from anyone," Kilimnik says. "I would have been happy to answer any questions from the FBI, or whoever. But I refuse to be a toy in bizarre political games and have my life ruined more than it has been because of the senseless and false accusations."

Despite being labeled a Russian spy who meddled in the 2016 election, Kilimnik has no plans to return to the U.S. and try to clear his name. "I am not going to the U.S. on my own dime, with no visa in COVID times only to be crucified by the media, having zero chance of justice," he says. "This is a sad continuation of a deeply wrong story. I thought it would be over with Trump gone and the need to create lies about his 'ties to Russia.' But obviously, I was wrong."

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futbolfan 19 May, 2021 I respect all the dogged investigators who root out the truth of the crimes and corruption of our "justice department", and FBI. I hope they keep up the good work. Personally I have no more faith in anything which was soaked in the hate and insanity of the Obama thug regime...
will.ganness 20 May, 2021 Who is calling the January 6th Protests the biggest threat the the country since the Civil war? The Democratic Party, the MSM, The FBI.... Who produced and directed Russiagate? The same three!! If progressives think they should get on board with Insurrectiongate, they should have more sense! VAPOR 19 May, 2021 The Fake Russian Dossier do it by the book Crossfire Hurricane insurance policy to overturn a presidential election and frame Trump. Where is Professor Misfud and why won't Steele talk to Durham? Call in Mary Jacoby and ask her what she discussed with Obama at the white house.
Justis 20 May, 2021 Why did Horowitz not discover this in his investigation? Was that investigation another coverup, finding just enough to look authentic? Is he too, untrustworthy?

[May 28, 2021] A book on the crimes of the international coalition in Syria was presented in Moscow.

May 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

alaff , May 19 2021 20:13 utc | 16

It is unlikely that you will see this news on CNN or BBC.

A book on the crimes of the international coalition in Syria was presented in Moscow. The book is called 'Crimes of the US-led international coalition in Syria'. The study is based on interviews with over 200 Syrian citizens who witnessed the crimes of the international coalition. They reportedly allowed the authors to use their testimony in legal proceedings, including in international courts. The conference dedicated to the presentation of the book was attended by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Syrian Arab Republic to the Russian Federation, Riad Haddad.

The presented facts prove that the US-led coalition systematically destroyed Syrian hospitals, schools, markets, mosques, houses of civilians, which, according to international humanitarian law, qualifies as war crimes. Each of the facts is personalized with an accurate indication of the identity of the victim and the circumstances of the crime, and is also accompanied by their requests to use this evidence to appeal to national and international courts.

The book is available for reading online (so far only in Russian).

Btw, earlier, in February, an exhibition of the same name was held, which was visited by Sergey Naryshkin, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation.

[May 28, 2021] EU Parliament report says regime change needed in Russia, recommends Brussels launch propaganda TV channel to help it happen

Notable quotes:
"... A draft report published online by the assembly's Committee on Foreign Affairs caused consternation in Russian media on Monday, after statements came to light that argued the bloc "should establish with the US a transatlantic alliance to defend democracy globally" and "deter Russia" from supposed aggression in Eastern Europe. ..."
May 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , May 19 2021 22:31 utc | 35

Very aggressive stuff from the EU:

EU Parliament report says regime change needed in Russia, recommends Brussels launch propaganda TV channel to help it happen

A draft report published online by the assembly's Committee on Foreign Affairs caused consternation in Russian media on Monday, after statements came to light that argued the bloc "should establish with the US a transatlantic alliance to defend democracy globally" and "deter Russia" from supposed aggression in Eastern Europe.

As part of its "vision" for future ties with Moscow, the paper concludes that the EU should put forward a number of incentives designed to persuade Russians that a turn to the West would be beneficial, including visa liberalization and "free trade investment."

[...]

At the same time, the committee puts forward a number of extreme steps that it says the bloc should take. It insists that Brussels "must be prepared not to recognize the parliament of Russia and to ask for Russia's suspension from international organizations with parliamentary assemblies if the 2021 parliamentary elections in Russia are recognized as fraudulent."

The success or failure of this operation will depend entirely on the Russian people. Will it fall for the Western European honey trap once again?

After Putin is gone, bets are off. Also, the EU continues to suffer from refugee waves from Syria and Libya, and its economy continues to deteriorate (recession confirmed for Q1 2021). The whole system is so exhausted that they don't talk about even of the absorption of Moldova anymore (the Moldovan president had to bring that up to the Kremlin; good they remembered them).

--//--

US waives sanctions against Nord Stream company and CEO as Blinken & Lavrov meet in Iceland

This looks like Biden had some surge of sanity, but it's not: I read an article on Izvestia some days ago and it seems Russia won the war for the Arctic and has expelled the USA from that sea. That, combined with the fact that Russia has been ramping up investment on the sector, results in the fact that, soon enough, Russia will also have the infrastructure to deliver cheaper LNG by ship to Europe, too.

That means the USA has given up on the NordStream II in order to hurt the Russian LNG investments. Yes, people, that's the insanity of the situation: the USG is completely lost. It still has its ace in the hole, though: the Green Party is set to win the next German general elections, and they're rabid Atlanticists. Like, this would cost Germany dearly and they wouldn't last two years in government, but at least Russian gas to Europe through a non-Ukrainian route would be stopped.

Speaking of the Ukraine, this whole situation makes us reflect: it is patent at this point in time that the EU is a subsidiary of NATO - it expands eastwards after those countries become NATO members. They're the "socioeconomic" version of NATO. This has created a huge problem for the EU, though, because the Ukraine is a massive financial black hole to the American economy (through the IMF) and the USA is pressuring the EU to make it a member quick, so that this black hole goes to European (i.e. German) hands. The thing is Germany obviously doesn't want that, because it needs the Euro to keep at where it is or stronger (you can only enter the EU by entering the EZ nowadays). The Ukraine is salivating to become an EZ member - that's the whole point of the Maidan coup in the first place - so Ukraine entering the EU without entering the EZ is out of the table. The EU must've told the USA that no, the Ukraine must first become a NATO member, then they'll make it an EZ-EU member. The Ukraine is the proverbial hot potato.

All of that coupled with the hard economic fact that, without the Russian gas transit exclusivity, you can't leverage Ukraine's debt, because, after Maidan, all of the public goods and infrastructure were privatized to American capitalists. That means we have the absurd situation where Germany has to give up cheaper gas for itself (which would be essential for its economic recovery) in order to make the Ukraine happy so that it enters the EU, so that it becomes a financial black hole... to the German economy! Germany has to pay the Ukraine for the privilege of having to pay it even more, for eternity.

The price of nation-building has become more and more expensive to the capitalist world. Turns out those Third World shitholes have learned something after all those decades.

--//--

Well, well, well... how the tables have turned:

Iron Curtain reversed? EU agrees to open up to foreign tourists fully vaccinated against Covid-19, but NOT to those who've had Russia's Sputnik V jab

Taiwan is also suffering from a significant brain drain to the Mainland. They're trying to solve the problem by demonizing those people by calling them "traitors".

Interesting times.

--//--

Colonial Pipeline CEO confirms paying $4.4 million ransom to hackers, says he did it for America

This is USSR-of-the-1980s level of propaganda.

Either way, give that man a statue in D.C.!

P.S.: this is the quotation of what the CEO really said, so you don't accusing me of just reading the headline:

"[it was very hard, difficult to me etc. etc.] But it was the right thing to do for the country," Blount, who leads the company since 2017, added.

--//--

No shit, Sherlock:

Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine hasn't been approved by EU due to political pressure from top officials – Moscow's spy chief

[May 28, 2021] More Hacks, More Baseless Accusations Against Russia

May 11, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

More Hacks, More Baseless Accusations Against Russia

In January police in various countries took down the Emotet bot-network that was at that time the basic platform for some 25% of all cybercrimes.

Based on hearsay Wikipedia and other had falsely attributed Emotet to Russian actors. The real people behind it were actually Ukrainians :

The operating center of Emotet was found in the Ukraine. Today the Ukrainian national police took control of it during a raid (video). The police found dozens of computers, some hundred hard drives, about 50 kilogram of gold bars (current price ~$60,000/kg) and large amounts of money in multiple currencies.

bigger

Emotet had nothing to do with Russia.

Now the U.S. is accusing Russia of somehow having part in another cybercrime :

President Joe Biden said Monday that a Russia-based group was behind the ransomware attack that forced the shutdown of the largest oil pipeline in the eastern United States.

The FBI identified the group behind the hack of Colonial Pipeline as DarkSide, a shadowy operation that surfaced last year and attempts to lock up corporate computer systems and force companies to pay to unfreeze them.

"So far there is no evidence ... from our intelligence people that Russia is involved, although there is evidence that actors, ransomware is in Russia," Biden told reporters.

"They have some responsibility to deal with this," he said.

Three days after being forced to halt operations, Colonial said Monday it was moving toward a partial reopening of its 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) of pipeline" the largest fuel network between Texas and New York.

Biden however is badly informed. There is no evidence that DarkSide has anything to do with Russia. It is, like Emotet, a commercial 'ransomware-as-a-service' criminal entity that wants to make money and does not care about geopolitics.

Yes, a version of the DarkNet software does exclude itself from running on system with specific language settings :

The DarkSide malware is even built to conduct language checks on targets and to shut down if it detects Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Armenian, Georgian, Kazakh, Turkmen, Romanian, and other languages ...

That is a quite long list of east European languages and Russian is only one of it. Why the authors of DarkNet do not want their software to run on machines with those language settings is unknown. But why would a Russian actor protect machines with Ukrainian or Romanian language settings? Both countries are hostile towards Russia. To claim that this somehow points to Russian actors is therefore baseless.

Russia strongly rejected Biden's accusation:

The Kremlin has once again pointed out the importance of cooperation between Moscow and Washington in tackling cyberthreats amid a cyber-attack on Colonial Pipeline, a US company. "Russia has nothing to do with these hacker attacks, nor with the previous hacker attacks," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Preskov assured reporters on Tuesday.

"We categorically reject any accusation against us, and we can only regret that the US is refusing to cooperate with us in any way to counter cyber-threats. We believe that such cooperation - both international and bilateral - could indeed contribute to the common struggle against this scourge [known as] cyber-crime," Peskov said.

The U.S. seems notoriously bad at attributing computer hacks. It claims that the recent SolarWinds attack which intruded several government branches was also done by Russia. But that attack required deep insider knowledge and access to SolarWinds' computers and processes :

The recently discovered deep intrusion into U.S. companies and government networks used a manipulated version of the SolarWinds Orion network management software. The Washington borg immediately attributed the hack to Russia. Then President Trump attributed it to China. But none of those claims were backed up by facts or known evidence.

The hack was extremely complex, well managed and resourced, and likely required insider knowledge. To this IT professional it 'felt' neither Russian nor Chinese. It is far more likely, as Whitney Webb finds, that Israel was behind it .

Indeed - the programmers of an Israeli company, recently bought up by SolarWinds, had all the necessary access for such a hack. However the U.S. sanctioned Russia over the SolarWinds hack without providing any evidence of its involvement.

If the U.S. continues to blame Russia without any evidence for each and every hack there may come a time when Russia stops caring and really starts to hack into or destroy important U.S. systems. The U.S. should fear that day.

Posted by b on May 11, 2021 at 17:31 UTC | Permalink


David G Horsman , May 11 2021 17:48 utc | 1

Thanks b. I don't think Russia is going to escalate destructive attacks any time soon. There's no upside.
They might even be reluctant to reveal their capabilities in the Ukraine.
For the moment, mockery is the best remedy while they up their game.
psychohistorian , May 11 2021 17:56 utc | 2
@ b who ended with
"
If the U.S. continues to blame Russia without any evidence for each and every hack there may come a time when Russia stops caring and really starts to hack into or destroy important U.S. systems.
"

How can you write such assertions that vary from the approach that both Russia and China are taking?....strong defense but no offense.

Now if empire tried to hack into a Russian or Chinese system/network then appropriate takedowns of malicious systems/networks would seem logical....and I expect they know how...but will not do it on the basis of another avenue of empire lies and deceit.

anon48 , May 11 2021 18:20 utc | 3
You should have titled the post "Killing Two Birds With One Stone".
This pipeline is huge, running from Texas through the Southeast and all the way up to New England. It's condition is beyond awful with multiple leaks along the route some of which lose more than a million gallons per month and much more than can be determined since some of the gasoline / jet fuel went into the aquifers. These faults have been well known for decades and although some of the areas are heavily populated no remediation was done. The local outcry recently caught the attention of the press when kids reported a gasoline smell along the pipeline route to the police. The locals demanded the pipeline be closed for repairs and sought answers from state officials and Federal authorities as to why this situation was allowed. To blame the Russians for the closure of the pipeline which results in a surge in prices and limited availability of gas for the summer is an absolute stroke of genius.
https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/local/ncdeq-colonial-pipeline-spill-huntersville/275-70e16fb6-c945-4634-b933-3975d0573f2e
Ike , May 11 2021 18:27 utc | 4
Great article. Russia must be getting so pissed off with the idiots in Washington.The uninformed and easily manipulated Western people surely get the governments they deserve.
Paul Craig Roberts highlights this with another bit of truth telling from Tucker Carlson
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/05/11/the-proof-is-in-tony-fauci-is-responsible-for-the-creation-of-the-covid-19-virus/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the_proof_is_in_tony_fauci_is_responsible_for_the_creation_of_the_covid_19_virus&utm_term=2021-05-11
DG , May 11 2021 18:43 utc | 5
@all

I need to ask this: What do you think about the vaccination of children?

...

Josh , May 11 2021 18:44 utc | 6
It is odd that certain elements of the us intelligence community, along with negative factions within the us political establishment, continue to absolutely refuse to enter into verifiable and mutually binding international agreements on cyber security with exactly the nation states that they accuse (without evidence) of malicious activity in the same sphere, while at the same time operating in this field in an openly declared hostile manner under the secrecy deemed necessary for 'national security'.

[May 28, 2021] More Hacks, More Baseless Accusations Against Russia

May 17, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , May 16 2021 13:24 utc | 1

Related:
- MI6 spy Christopher Steele 'produced second dossier on Donald Trump for FBI' - Telegraph
- Master List Of Official Russia Claims That Proved To Be Bogus - Matt Taibbi
- Secret Sharers: The Hidden Ties Between Private Spies and Journalists - NYT
> In a recent book, Luke Harding, an investigative reporter at The Guardian, described how Mr. Steele had dispatched his "collector"¯ to surreptitiously approach a real estate broker, Sergei Millian, who was a peripheral figure in the Trump/Russia saga. "Millian spoke at length and privately to this person, believing him or her to be trustworthy "" a kindred soul,"¯ Mr. Harding wrote.

But the trouble for Mr. Harding, who is close to both Mr. Steele and Mr. Simpson, was that he wrote those lines before the release of the F.B.I. interview of Mr. Danchenko.

In the interview, the collector said that he and Mr. Millian might have spoken briefly over the phone, but that the two had never met.

Mr. Harding did not respond to requests for comment. <

Here are Ten Things We Have Learned During the Covid Coup.

1. Our political system is hopelessly corrupt. Virtually all politicians are hopelessly corrupt. No political party can be trusted. They all can be, and have been, bought.

2. Democracy is a sham. It has been a sham for a very long time. There will never be any real democracy when money and power amount to the same thing.

3. The system will stop at nothing to hold on to its power and, if possible, increase its levels of control and exploitation. It has no scruples. No lie is too outrageous, no hypocrisy too nauseating, no human sacrifice too great.

4. So-called radical movements are usually nothing of the sort. From whatever direction they claim to attack the system, they are just pretending to do so, and serve to channel discontent in directions which are harmless to the power clique and even useful to its agendas.

5. Any "dissident"¯ voice you have ever heard of through corporate media is probably a fake. The system does not hand out free publicity to its actual enemies.

6. Most people in our society are cowards. They will jettison all the fine values and principles which they have been loudly boasting about all their lives merely to avoid the slightest chance of public criticism, inconvenience or even minor financial loss.

7. The mainstream media is nothing but a propaganda machine for the system... ...and those journalists who work for it have sold their sorry souls, placing their (often minimal) writing skills entirely at the disposition of Power.

8. Police are not servants of the public... ...but servants of a powerful and extremely wealthy minority which seeks to control and exploit the public for its own narrow and greedy interests.

9. Scientists cannot be trusted. They will use the hypnotic power of their white coats and authoritative status for the benefit of whoever funds their work and lifestyle. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

10. Progress is a misleading illusion. The "progress"¯ of increasing automation and industrialisation does not go hand in hand with a progress in the quality of human life, but in fact will "progressively"¯ reduce it to the point of complete extinction.


vk , May 16 2021 15:19 utc | 15

Corpses Disposed in India's Rivers, Causing Environmental Experts Grave Concern

Cannot fake that. The pandemic is real.

--//--

The West has created an imaginary, evil China for its people to hate and fear -- and it's working

Irrelevant how much the Western peoples hate China. China is not Iran, Afghanistan, Russia or some other random Third World country, it is above the pay grade of Western public opinion.

However, it is true China is not up to the level achieved by the Soviet Union. It still has a military disproportionately weak compared to its economic might. That problem will still take some three or more decades to solve, but it is being worked on.

--//--

After Years of Quiet, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Exploded. Why Now?

This headline by the NYT (in the upper right corner of the Home Page) reflects the West's frustration with Israel. In the first part, they try to tell the reader that the Israeli are waging a war of equals, and not genociding, the Palestinians (and that the USA has nothing to do with it). In the second part, it laments the bad timing by the Israelis, who interrupted their propaganda warfare operation against China on the "Uighur genocide" campaign.

It urges Israel to clean the mess as quick as possible in order for the anti-China propaganda campaign to resume.

--//--

America Is Failing Its Moral Test on Vaccine [NYT Editorial Board]

Can't lose what you never happened to begin with.

In the case of the COVID-19 vaccines, the above statement is literal, as the USA has, so far, exported zero - I repeat, zero (not rounding down) - vaccines so far.

Meanwhile, China has already exported 250 million doses and counting (last time I checked, a week ago) - more than the entire Indian production (India had just exported some 60 million doses).

--//--

Unemployment Pay May Again Require a Job Search. Is It Too Soon?

The inner contradictions of capitalism in plain sight.

On the one side, you have to give people money so they can keep themselves quarantined. On the other side, capitalism requires people to keep working or to keep searching for work in order to pull down wages, thus increasing the rate of surplus value. That's why conservatives are usually in favor of the Christian charity, that gives only food and shelter, but not cash, to the unemployed, but not of wage raises and unemployment benefits - the fact that you're paid in cash and not in kind makes all the difference in the world in the capitalist system.

Unemployment benefits only help capitalism is it is low enough just to keep one physically alive and in constant search for jobs. That way, he/she incorporates the industrial reserve army, which brings wages down. The problem with the USA is that wages were already so low before the pandemic that those USD 600.00 checks made 35% (!!) of its recently unemployed recipients richer than when they were employed. Logically, those 35% don't want to go back to work, as their lives are objectively better now than they were before the pandemic, and that's why the Republican congressmen and senators are pressuring Biden (as they pressured Trump) to outright extinguish those checks.

P.S.: the top rated commentary in the article ("Great generations of Americans came here 100 years ago...") by the time I typed this is hilarious, shows the delusion of the average American towards their own system almost perfectly. The other comments are also very funny. The narrative that "there are a lot of jobs available, but no one is skilled enough/wants it" is used by the capitalists every time there's an economic crisis, just search your favorite newspaper for the years of 1980-1982, 1975 etc. etc. and you'll see the same bullshit being preached over and over again.

--//--

Israel has chosen a two-tiered society. Violence is the inevitable result.

Talks about apartheid as the only possible synthesis between a Jewish theocratic state and a liberal bourgeois state, which I mentioned in the past two threads about the subject.

As I said before, the system is unstable and is doomed to fail. Either Israel abandons its Zionist project and gives up the idea of being an 100% Jewish state and thus becomes a liberal bourgeois state or it will continue to wither and degenerate until it falls to a civil war.

--//--

China Becomes Second Nation to Land on Mars

It would've been the first if not for a providential last grasp effort by NASA, who used the resources it had and didn't have to pull that off, by a few months.

The tendency, however is clear. NASA will soon cease to exist as we know it and essentially become the State faƧade of SpaceX. The USA's space program will then be entirely dependent on the genius of Elon Musk.

--//--

Cuban vaccines (Abdala and Soberana 02) continue advancing on their trials:

Va Abdala, como marca de vida en los brazos de Cuba (+Video)

Lemming , May 17 2021 4:03 utc | 99

If you had read and understood the Mars 3 link I provided you would have learned that it wasn't a rover either. Which the first rover was has already been told. End of story.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 16 2021 18:37 utc | 37

Yes, but no. Mars 3 actually had a rover on board, PROP-M. To quote Wikipedia:

"The Mars 3 lander, a so called Passability Estimating Vehicle for Mars, was designed and manufactured in Mobile Vehicle Engineering Institute by a team of approximately 150 engineers, led by Alexander Kemurdzhian. The vehicle had a small 'Mars rover' on board, which was planned to move across the surface on skis while connected to the lander with a 15-meter umbilical cable. Two small metal rods were used for autonomous obstacle avoidance, as radio signals from Earth would take too long to drive the rovers using remote control. The rover carried a dynamic penetrometer and a gamma ray densitometer."

... although it seems it never was deployed because of the communication failure, so it cannot count as the first rover to function on Mars.

[May 28, 2021] Was the Colonial Pipeline Co. ransomware attack a false flag operation ?

Probably it was not a false flag. First of all the state of IT security at Colonial Pipeline was so dismal that it was strange that this did not happened before. And there might be some truth that they try to exploit this hack to thier advantage as maintenance of the pipeline is also is dismal shape.
Notable quotes:
"... "As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went." If you are right about the perpetrators, my guess would be that it went into the black-ops fund, two birds one stone. ..."
"... I have become so used to false flags, I am going to be shocked when a real intrusion happens! ..."
"... an in depth article researching solarwinds hack - looks like it was Israel, not a great leap to see that colonial was a false flag https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/01/investigative-reports/another-mega-group-spy-scandal-samanage-sabotage-and-the-solarwinds-hack/ ..."
"... Regarding the ownership of Colonial Pipeline: 'IFM Investors, which is owned by 27 Australian union- and employer-backed industry superannuation funds, owns a 16 per cent stake in Colonial Pipeline, which the infrastructure manager bought in 2007 for $US651 million.' ..."
"... 'The privately held Colonial Pipeline is valued at about $US8 billion, based upon the most recent sale of a 10 per cent stake to a unit of Royal Dutch Shell in 2019.' ..."
May 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Blackhat , May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

The Colonial Pipeline Co.,ransomware attack was a false flag. They wanted to blame Russian hackers so they could derail Nordstream II

It is common knowledge that the only real hackers that are able of such sabotage is CIA and Israeli. It's the same attack types they do to Iranian infrastructure on a regular basis.

The Russians are not that stupid to do something they know will be blamed on them and is of no political use to them. And could derail Nordstream2.

As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went. CEO is ultra corrupt. They never ever invested in their infrastructure so when it went down they came up with a profitable excuse. Just look at their financials/balance sheet over the years. No real investment in updating and maintaining infrastructure. Great false flag. Corruption and profiteering.


MarkU , May 19 2021 19:04 utc | 7

@ Blackhat | May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

"As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went." If you are right about the perpetrators, my guess would be that it went into the black-ops fund, two birds one stone.

james , May 19 2021 19:08 utc | 9

@ 6 blackhat..

I have become so used to false flags, I am going to be shocked when a real intrusion happens!

abee , May 19 2021 19:21 utc | 10

@ blackhat 6

an in depth article researching solarwinds hack - looks like it was Israel, not a great leap to see that colonial was a false flag https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/01/investigative-reports/another-mega-group-spy-scandal-samanage-sabotage-and-the-solarwinds-hack/

vinnieoh , May 19 2021 20:05 utc | 15

Blackhat | May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

I'm not familiar with your handle - hello. IMO, it would be counterproductive for Russia to initiate such a hack. What really affects and debilitates US oil and gas interests is low prices, both at the pump and on the stock exchange. The hack helped jack up prices (which were already being jacked-up despite demand still lagging behind supply) which only HELPS those energy interests. It has long been known, the math isn't complicated, what level crude must trade at for US domestic oil & gas operations to be profitable. Remember that just as the pandemic was emerging Russia and Saudi Arabia once again sent the global crude market into the depths of despair.

I do agree the hack can be interpreted in light of the desperation of US energy interests to try to kill NS2. I have not yet read the recent articles discussing Biden's recent moves in that regard. If these moves are a recognition that US LNG to Europe (and elsewhere) are diametrically opposed to climate responsibility, I'd welcome those moves. As is usually the case though, environmental responsibility is probably the least likely reason.

vk , May 19 2021 22:31 utc | 35

Colonial Pipeline CEO confirms paying $4.4 million ransom to hackers, says he did it for America

This is USSR-of-the-1980s level of propaganda. Either way, give that man a statue in D.C.!

P.S.: this is the quotation of what the CEO really said, so you don't accusing me of just reading the headline:

"[it was very hard, difficult to me etc. etc.] But it was the right thing to do for the country," Blount, who leads the company since 2017, added.

--//--

No shit, Sherlock:

Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine hasn't been approved by EU due to political pressure from top officials – Moscow's spy chief

Paul , May 19 2021 23:42 utc | 42

Posted By Oldhippy @28

Thanks for your comment.

Regarding the ownership of Colonial Pipeline: 'IFM Investors, which is owned by 27 Australian union- and employer-backed industry superannuation funds, owns a 16 per cent stake in Colonial Pipeline, which the infrastructure manager bought in 2007 for $US651 million.'

also

'The privately held Colonial Pipeline is valued at about $US8 billion, based upon the most recent sale of a 10 per cent stake to a unit of Royal Dutch Shell in 2019.'

see Australian Financial Review 6 days ago.

Koch may well own another multi million $ stake.

[May 28, 2021] Nuances of the right to vote and Liz Cheney

Both Liz Cheney and Mitt The Bitch Romney are examples of the filthy neocons...
Notable quotes:
"... [in case of Cheney] The war monger doesn't fall far from the tree. ..."
"... Amazing how the liberal news outlets are now supporting a Cheney. But they know more war equals more rating ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Mike Rotsch 10 minutes ago

. . . which has caused some GOP leaders to fear alienating female Republican voters, particularly educated suburbanites who will be key votes in the 2022 elections.

When I first met my wife, she told me women shouldn't have the right to vote. It was instant love.

A Girl In Flyover Country 59 minutes ago

[in case of Cheney] The war monger doesn't fall far from the tree.

Rise21 42 minutes ago remove link

Amazing how the liberal news outlets are now supporting a Cheney. But they know more war equals more rating

yochananmichael 51 seconds ago

its time for the republicans to rid itself of chicken hawk warmongers like Cheney.

He father disbanded there Iraqi Army which was supposed to provide security, causing an insurgency and 5000 dead American boys and countless maimed.

vic and blood PREMIUM 4 minutes ago

Cheney's benefactors have erected massive billboards all over the state, 'thanking her for defending the Constitution.'

She has an incredible war chest, and sadly, money and advertising decides a lot of elections.

[May 24, 2021] French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned on Sunday of the risk of "long-lasting apartheid" in Israel

May 24, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Մասիս , May 24 2021 6:59 utc | 124

The Roots of Coincidence

France is was denying any discomfort with Zionism for 52 years. but since yesterday effect of Plate tectonics are perceptible.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned on Sunday of the risk of "long-lasting apartheid" in Israel. The veteran politician [and high rank French official for 40 years with solid connection to French weapons trade] made the remarks in an interview with LCI TV NewsChannel, RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper [ three major MSM]

https://www.lefigaro.fr/politique/jean-yves-le-drian-met-en-garde-israel-contre-un-risque-d-apartheid-envers-ses-populations-arabes-20210523


from Guardian.ng


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned on Sunday of the risk of "long-lasting apartheid" in Israel in the event the Palestinians fail to obtain their own state.
Le Drian is one of the first senior French officials to use the term "apartheid" in reference to Israel , which has angrily denied any policy of racial discrimination.
The veteran politician made the remarks in an interview with RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper in reference to the clashes between Jews and Arabs that erupted in several Israeli cities during the latest conflict.
The violence, which revealed simmering anger among Israeli Arabs over the crackdown on Palestinians in Jerusalem, shattered years of peaceful coexistence within Israel.
"It's the first time and it clearly shows that if in the future we had a solution other than the two-state solution, we would have the ingredients of long-lasting apartheid," Le Drian said, using the word for the white supremacist oppression of blacks in South Africa from 1948 to 1991.
Le Drian said the "risk of apartheid is high" if Israel continued to act "according to a single-state logic" but also if it maintained the status quo.
"Even the status quo produces that," he said.
He added that the 11-day conflict between Hamas and Israel had shown the need to revive the moribund Middle East peace process.
https://guardian.ng/news/france-sees-risk-of-apartheid-in-israel-paris-france/
"We have take one step at a time," he said, expressing satisfaction that US President Joe Biden had reiterated support for creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Israel's latest offensive against Hamas killed 248 people in the Gaza Strip, including 66 children, and wounded over 1,900, the Hamas-run health ministry said.
Meanwhile, rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups into Israel killed 12 and wounded around 357 others, Israeli police said.

Long-lasting apartheid usually ends badly

--//--

@ James & al.
Please, enjoy a little more Roots of Coincidence


Grieved , May 24 2021 7:05 utc | 125

@120 m - "Iron Dome system according to Israeli sources..."

The point is not the numbers taken from the sales brochure of the system. The point is, what does the penetration of the fantasy shield do to the Israeli psyche?

Israel initiated the ceasefire, without conditions. After 11 days, it could take no more.

Israel has failed to protect itself from the indigenous population that it was oppressing. Palestine has won a victory that changes the game and changes the world.

The entire regional Resistance now knows that Palestine alone can hold the enemy in check. And all the Palestinians everywhere are completely united with only the Resistance as their leader.

Over at the Saker just now, a speech from Hezbollah acknowledges proudly that Palestine itself is now the leading edge of the struggle to remove Israel from the Middle East, and that Hezbollah yearns for the day when it joins side by side with the Palestinians to drive the oppressor from the land.

Palestine as it says could keep up this barrage against Israel for six months - just Palestine alone. And the damage from such a thing would not be measured in how few or how many individual persons were killed by those rockets. The damage would be measured by the scream of madness and defeat from the Zionist oppressor, thrown down by the indigenous populace and cast out of the land in abject fear.

Paul , May 24 2021 8:02 utc | 126
As barflies can see, There may be an undefined 'ceasefire' but the 100 year old ethnic cleansing project in the rest of Palestine continues:

Israel's Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Land

(Compiled by Leslie Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Auckland, New Zealand)
18 May 2021 {Main source of statistics: Palestinian Monitoring Group (PMG): http://www.nad.ps/ NB:The period covered by this newsletter is taken from the PMG's 24-hour sitrep ending 8am the day after the above date.}
We shall always do our best to verify the accuracy of all items in these IOP newsletters/reports wherever possible [e.g. we often suspect that names of people and places that we see in the PMG sitreps could be typos; also frequently the translation into English seems rather odd ~ but as we do not speak Arabic, we have no alternative but to copy and paste these names from the PMG sitreps!] – please forgive us for any errors or omissions – Leslie and Marian.
206 projectiles
launched from Gaza

82 air strikes (157)

Very many
Israeli attacks

158 Israeli
ceasefire violations

21 raids including
home invasions

11 killed – 261 injured

Economic sabotage

43 taken prisoner

Night peace disruption
and/or home invasions
in 6 towns and villages
Home invasions: 09:20, Nazlet al-Sheikh Zaid - 09:20, al-Arqa - 04:00, Anabta - 03:30, Madama - 03:30, Tel.
Peace disruption raids: 14:40, Beitunya - 16:05, Um Safa village - 03:20, Bir Zeit - dawn, Bil'in - 17:40, Tura village - 18:55, Ya'bad - 19:45, Zububa - 06:30, Tubas - 18:05, Quffin - 04:00, Tulkarem - 20:00, Aqraba - 13:45, al-Azza UN refugee camp - 13:45, Aida UN refugee camp - 18:10, al-Khadr - 18:10, Janata - 20:15, Tuqu - 03:00, al-Ubeidiya - dawn, Husan - dawn, al-Ubeidiya.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Gaza enclave: From 07:00 until 07:00 the following day 206 projectiles were launched towards the Green Line from Northern Gaza, Gaza City, Central Gaza and Khan Yunis.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Gaza enclave: From 07:00 until 07:00 the following day, 206 projectiles were launched towards the Green Line from Northern Gaza, Gaza City, Central Gaza and Khan Yunis.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Northern Gaza – 53 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Gaza – 81 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Central Gaza – 17 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Khan Yunis – 38 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – Palestinian missile attacks: Khan Yunis – 17 projectiles launched towards the Green Line.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Gaza enclave – from 07:00 until 07:00 the following day, Israeli warplanes carried out 82 air strikes, launching 157 missiles onto Gaza. There were 7 killed, 50 injured, 35 homes destroyed and much damage caused.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Northern Gaza – Israeli warplanes launched 21 air strikes – 35 missiles: 16 injured and 10 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Gaza – Israeli warplanes launched 17 air strikes – 27 missiles: 6 killed (including a child), 15 injured (including women and children) and 7 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Central Gaza – Israeli warplanes launched 14 air strikes – 20 missiles: 11injured and 6 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Khan Yunis – Israeli warplanes launched 13 air strikes – 46 missiles: 1 killed, 14 injured and 10 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – air strikes: Rafah – Israeli warplanes launched 17 air strikes – 29 missiles. 3 injured and 2 homes destroyed.
Ceasefire violations – Israeli attacks: Gaza enclave: From 07:00 until 07:00 the following day, the Israeli Army and Navy pounded Central Gaza, Khan Yunis and Rafah.
Israeli Army attacks – 18 wounded: Jerusalem – Israeli Occupation forces opened fire, with live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters on protesters in Shuafat, al-Zaim, al-Jib, Beit Ijza, Qalandiya, near the villages of Qatanna and al-Issawiya, as well as in Abu Dis, al-Eizariya and at the entrances to Hizma, al-Sawahrah al-Sharqiya, Anata, the al-Ram road junction, Bab al-Amoud area and al-Wad Street in Jerusalem Old City. 18 protesters were wounded.
Israeli Army attack: Jerusalem – 18:00, Israeli Occupation forces opened fire on Palestinian motor vehicles in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood.
Israeli Army attacks – 3 killed – 72 wounded: Ramallah – Israeli forces in or near al-Bireh, Sinjil, Aboud, Ni'lin, al-Mughayer, Deir Jarir, Kafr Malik, Nabi Salih, Ein Qiniya, Ras Karkar, Kharbatha Bani Harith, Beit Sira, al-Jalazoun refugee camp, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, killing 3 people, Muhammad Mahmoud Hamid (24), Adham Fayez Al-Kashef (20) and Islam Wael Fahmy Barnat, and wounding 72. There were many tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 4 wounded: Jenin – Israeli troops, manning the Jalamah and Dotan checkpoints and at the southern entrance to Silat al-Dahr, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 4 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 7 wounded: Tulkarem – Israeli forces, manning the Einav checkpoint and troops in Tulkarem, Quffin, Zit and at the entrance to Beit Lid, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 7 and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 8 wounded: Qalqiliya – Israeli Occupation forces, at the entrances to Azun, Hajjah, and Kafr Qaddum as well as near Jayus, Hablat and at the Eyal crossing, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 8 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 33 wounded: Nablus – Israeli Army positions, near the Huwara checkpoint, the intersection of Osirin and Sarra villages and near the entrances to Qusra, Beta, Jama'in, Naqoura, Deir Sharaf, Burin, Madama, Asirah al-Qibliya, Yutma, al-Labban al-Sharqiya, Odla, al-Sawiyah and the village of Tal, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 33 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks: Salfit – Israeli troops, near the entrances to Deir Istiya, Qarawat Bani Hassan, al-Zawiya and the northern entrance to Salfit, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters. There were several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 18 wounded: Bethlehem – Israeli forces, present at Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque, the Aida refugee camp, northern entrance to Tuqu', western entrance to Beit Fajar, Um Rakba area of al-Khadr and entrance to Husan, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 18 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attacks – 1 killed: Hebron – morning, Israeli Occupation forces, positioned in the Old City, opened fire on and killed a resident: Islam Fayyad Zahida (32).
Israeli Army attacks – 30 wounded: Hebron – the Israeli Army, positioned in the Bab al-Zawiya area of Hebron and in the Old City, as well as near the entrances to Beit Ummar, Bani Naim, Tarqumiya, Khurasa village, the al-Aroub refugee camp and on Halhul Bridge, fired live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 30 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Economic sabotage: Gaza -- the Israeli Navy continues to enforce an arbitrary fishing limit.
Home invasion: Jenin – 09:20, Israeli Occupation forces raided the villages of Nazlet al-Sheikh Zaid and al-Arqa, and invaded a house.
Home invasion – boy (aged 15) abducted : Tulkarem – 04:00, Israeli troops raided Anabta and abducted 15-year-old Muhammad Salam Wajih Rasheed.
Home invasions: Nablus – 03:30, Israeli forces raided Madama and Tel villages and invaded a number of homes.
Israeli police and settlers' mosque violation: 23:00, Israeli Occupation police invaded the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, filming the Mosque and its facilities.
Israeli Army – 7 wounded – rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Tubas – Israeli Occupation forces, manning the Tayasir checkpoint and in the village of Atouf, fired rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 7 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army – 5 wounded – rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Jericho – Israeli forces, at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho, as well as outside the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp, fired rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards protesters, wounding 5 people and causing several tear gas casualties.
Occupation settler violence: Jerusalem – 18:00, Israeli settlers stoned a family home, on the outskirts of the village of Beit Ijza.
Occupation road casualties: Bethlehem – 16:40, an Israeli settler drove his motor vehicle over and hospitalised a 19-year-old Abdullah Saqr Saad, near Khalet Iskarya.
Raid: Ramallah – 14:40, Israeli Occupation forces raided and patrolled Beitunya.
Raid: Ramallah – 16:05, Israeli forces raided and patrolled Um Safa village.
Raid – 1 taken prisoner: Ramallah – 03:20, Israeli troops raided Bir Zeit, taking prisoner one person.
Raid – 1 taken prisoner: Ramallah – dawn, the Israeli Army raided Bil'in village, taking prisoner one person.
Raid: Jenin – 17:40, Israeli troops raided and patrolled Tura village.
Raid: Jenin – 18:55, Israeli soldiers raided and patrolled Ya'bad.
Raid: Jenin – 19:45, Israeli Occupation forces raided and patrolled Zububa village.
Raid: Tubas – 06:30, Israeli forces raided and patrolled Tubas.
Raid: Tulkarem – 18:05, the Israeli Army raided and patrolled Quffin.
Raid: Tulkarem – 04:0 Israeli troops raided Tulkarem.
Raid: Nablus – 20:00, Israeli soldiers raided and patrolled Aqraba.
Raid – UN refugee camps: Bethlehem – 13:45, Israeli Occupation forces raided and patrolled the al-Azza and Aida UN refugee camps in Bethlehem.
Raid: Bethlehem – 18:10, Israeli forces raided and patrolled al-Khadr and Janata.
Raid – 2 abductions: Bethlehem – 20:15, Israeli troops raided Tuqu and abducted two 16-year-old youths: Muhammad Khaled Nasrallah and Sind Talal Al-Amor.
Raid: Bethlehem – 03:00, Israeli soldiers raided and patrolled al-Ubeidiya.
Raid – 2 taken prisoner: Bethlehem – dawn, the Israeli Army raided Husan village, taking prisoner two people.
Raid – 2 taken prisoner: Bethlehem – dawn, Israeli Occupation forces raided al-Ubeidiya, taking prisoner twopeople.
Restrictions of movement (14): 11:30, entrance to Turmusaya- 11:20, tightened procedures at Huwara - 12:00, tightened procedures at Kifl Haris - 12:50, entrance to al-Zawiya - 11:25-12:30, al-Nashash road junction - 14:10, entrance to al-Walaja village - midnight, entrance to Marah Mualla - 09:15, entrance to the Fahs area, south of Hebron - 18:45, entrance to Sa'ir - Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing closed - al-Mantar-Karni crossing closed - al-Shujaiyeh crossing (Nahal Oz) closed - Sufa crossing closed - al-Awda Port closed.
[NB: Times indicated in Bold Type contribute to the sleep deprivation suffered by Palestinian children]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If any of our subscribers should like to reproduce complete, in full and unedited, these In Occupied Palestine daily newsletters that would be very welcome!
If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please let us know and if you have friends or family who would like to receive them ask them to contact us at sumud1@outlook.com
...

[Message clipped] View entire message

Մասիս , May 24 2021 11:11 utc | 137

@ Paul, "100 year old ethnic cleansing project in the rest of Palestine continues", but
Tectonic plates still moving, collapse of an edifice of complacency

David Horovitz is the founding editor of The Times of Israel. He previously edited The Jerusalem Post (2004-2011) and The Jerusalem Report (1998-2004).
Published a shaking OP ED

Losing the war: The rising cost of Israel's lapsed support for 2-state solution

Must read

"It doesn't matter that Hamas is a repressive, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamist terrorist organization that fires thousands of rockets indiscriminately at innocent civilians all over the State of Israel...
[...]
It doesn't matter...
[...]
Again, it doesn't matter, because we are no longer avowedly seeking, even in principle, a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- the currently and foreseeably insoluble Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And since we no longer avowedly aspire to be part of the solution, we are increasingly perceived as part of the problem, as rejectionists.
[...]
Israel still has plenty of friends, and plenty of support, including crucially in the US. Three EU foreign ministers chose to make a solidarity visit to bombed Israeli homes at the height of the conflict. But the ground is shifting dangerously.
Many of us, this writer emphatically included, regard a two-state solution as essential if we are not to lose either our Jewish majority, or our democracy, or both, forever entangled among millions of hostile Palestinians. Many of us, this writer emphatically included, cannot currently see a safe route to such an accommodation.

For the last time, it doesn't matter. So long as Israel does not place itself firmly and distinctly on the side of those seeking a viable framework for long-term peace and security for ourselves and for the Palestinians, we will be regarded as blocking that framework. And even when facing an enemy so patently cynical, amoral and intransigent as Hamas, militarily strong Israel will be held responsible for the loss of life on both sides of the conflict.
We may keep on winning the battles, though they will get harder if fighting spreads to and deepens on other fronts. But we will be gradually losing the war.

[May 20, 2021] Peddlers Of Russiagate Won t Take Truth For An Answer

Notable quotes:
"... What is clear is that the FBI is taking a thumb-screws page from the playbook of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who deployed the little-used Foreign Agents Registration Act to pursue the white whale of collusion. As Lee Smith reported for RealClearInvestigations , just three people had pleaded guilty to FARA violations in the half-century before Mueller deployed it to pressure and punish Trump allies. ..."
"... And note, the FBI's zeal to crack down on unregistered foreign agents does not extend to the president's son Hunter Biden, who, Paul Sperry reported for RCI, "failed to register as a foreign agent while promoting the interests of foreign business partners in Washington, including brokering meetings with his father and other government officials." It appears that we have two tiers of justice: one for Biden administration enemies, another for its family and friends. ..."
May 20, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by J. Peder Zane via RealClearPolitics.com,

The Biden administration is vigorously pursuing key figures from the phony Trump/Russia collusion scandal that roiled the nation for four years. But instead of trying to punish the liars who perpetrated that fraud, it is targeting the truth-tellers who challenged and exposed the conspiracy to negate the 2016 election.

Working from the same playbook used to smear dozens of Trump associates, the administration and its allies are planting stories based on blind quotes in friendly media outlets to seek revenge.

On April 16, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported that the Justice Department is investigating Kash Patel – who had worked with Rep. Devin Nunes and later the Trump administration to reveal the Russiagate hoax – for the "possible improper disclosure of classified information." Ignatius said he received the tip from "two knowledgeable sources" who "wouldn't provide additional details."

Violating the bedrock principles of American justice and journalism, this article is an exercise in thuggery as the government uses a powerful media outlet to intimidate and besmirch a citizen without evidence. With nothing to respond to, how can Patel defend himself? If Patel is lucky, the federal government has only placed a sharp sword over his head that may not fall. If not, he might be dragged into a lengthy court battle that could drain his finances and also cost him his freedom.

We don't know if Patel broke the law, but note that the administration has shown no interest in pursuing former FBI leaders such as James Comey and Andrew McCabe , who improperly disclosed information regarding Russiagate.

Trump's former lawyer Rudolph Giuliani is also in the "cross hairs of a federal criminal investigation," according to an April 29 article in New York Times that relied on "people with knowledge of the matter."

At issue, those anonymous sources say, is whether Giuliani was serving two masters when he counseled Trump to remove Marie L. Yovanovitch as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in 2019. "Did Mr. Giuliani go after Ms. Yovanovitch solely on behalf of Mr. Trump, who was his client at the time?" the Times reports. "Or was he also doing so on behalf of the Ukrainian officials, who wanted her removed for their own reasons?"

I'll leave it to the lawyers to determine the wisdom of bringing a case based on the parsing of tangled motives. What is clear is that the FBI is taking a thumb-screws page from the playbook of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who deployed the little-used Foreign Agents Registration Act to pursue the white whale of collusion. As Lee Smith reported for RealClearInvestigations , just three people had pleaded guilty to FARA violations in the half-century before Mueller deployed it to pressure and punish Trump allies.

And note, the FBI's zeal to crack down on unregistered foreign agents does not extend to the president's son Hunter Biden, who, Paul Sperry reported for RCI, "failed to register as a foreign agent while promoting the interests of foreign business partners in Washington, including brokering meetings with his father and other government officials." It appears that we have two tiers of justice: one for Biden administration enemies, another for its family and friends.

The targeting of Giuliani looks especially suspect and politically motivated after three main news outlets that have driven much of the false Russiagate coverage – the New York Times, Washington Post and NBC News – were forced to correct a recent story , once again based on anonymous sources, claiming the FBI had warned Giuliani in 2019 "that he was a target of a Russian disinformation campaign during his efforts to dig up unflattering information about then-candidate Joe Biden in 2019." Giuliani was never given such a briefing.

Considering the numerous instances in which the press published bogus information from "informed sources" during Russiagate, one has to ask why they continue to serve as vehicles for falsehoods. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a dozen times and you're not fooling me – we're acting in concert. As RCI editor Tom Kuntz has argued, journalistic integrity demands, at the very least, that these organizations tell their audience who exactly had misled them. Confidentiality agreements should not protect liars.

A third example of the Biden administration's effort to punish Russiagate figures is its renewed effort to put former Manafort associate Konstantin V. Kilimnik behind bars. In an extensive new article for RCI, Aaron Maté reports that the Treasury Department provided no evidence to support its recent claim that Kilimnik is a "known Russian Intelligence Services agent implementing influence operations on their behalf." It also refuses to explain how it was able to discover the truth of Kilimnik's identity, which the two most extensive Russiagate investigations – the 448-page Muller report and the 966-page Senate Intelligence report – failed to uncover.

This absence of evidence has not stopped the peddlers of the Trump/Russia conspiracy theory from claiming vindication. Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff casts Treasury's unsubstantiated claim as smoking-gun evidence of collusion. The New York Times reports that the claim demonstrates that "there had been numerous interactions between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence during the year before the [2016] election."

Who needs proof when the government says it's so?

The FBI is also putting the screws to Kilimnik, offering $250,000 for information leading to his arrest on witness-tampering charges involving text messages he sent in 2018 to two people who have only been identified as "potential witnesses" involving Manafort's lobbying work for Ukraine, not Russiagate.

In an exclusive interview, Kilimnik told Maté, "I don't understand how two messages to our old partners who helped us get out the message about Ukraine's integration aspirations in [the] EU, and asking them to get in touch with Paul, can be interpreted as 'intimidation' or 'obstruction of justice.'"

Maté also reports that the $250,000 bounty on Kilimnik is more than double the amount the FBI is offering for information leading to the arrest of murder suspects.

The Biden administration's campaigns against Patel, Giuliani and Kilimnik suggest how the winners of the 2020 election are attempting to rewrite the history of Russiagate. Having been debunked and rebuked by their own investigators, the conspiracists are taking a second bite at the poisoned apple. Using anonymous sources to make unsubstantiated charges in the nation's most influential news outlets, they are seeking to punish people for the crime of exposing their malfeasance.

[May 20, 2021] Peddlers Of Russiagate Won t Take Truth For An Answer

Notable quotes:
"... What is clear is that the FBI is taking a thumb-screws page from the playbook of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who deployed the little-used Foreign Agents Registration Act to pursue the white whale of collusion. As Lee Smith reported for RealClearInvestigations , just three people had pleaded guilty to FARA violations in the half-century before Mueller deployed it to pressure and punish Trump allies. ..."
"... And note, the FBI's zeal to crack down on unregistered foreign agents does not extend to the president's son Hunter Biden, who, Paul Sperry reported for RCI, "failed to register as a foreign agent while promoting the interests of foreign business partners in Washington, including brokering meetings with his father and other government officials." It appears that we have two tiers of justice: one for Biden administration enemies, another for its family and friends. ..."
May 20, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by J. Peder Zane via RealClearPolitics.com,

The Biden administration is vigorously pursuing key figures from the phony Trump/Russia collusion scandal that roiled the nation for four years. But instead of trying to punish the liars who perpetrated that fraud, it is targeting the truth-tellers who challenged and exposed the conspiracy to negate the 2016 election.

Working from the same playbook used to smear dozens of Trump associates, the administration and its allies are planting stories based on blind quotes in friendly media outlets to seek revenge.

On April 16, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported that the Justice Department is investigating Kash Patel – who had worked with Rep. Devin Nunes and later the Trump administration to reveal the Russiagate hoax – for the "possible improper disclosure of classified information." Ignatius said he received the tip from "two knowledgeable sources" who "wouldn't provide additional details."

Violating the bedrock principles of American justice and journalism, this article is an exercise in thuggery as the government uses a powerful media outlet to intimidate and besmirch a citizen without evidence. With nothing to respond to, how can Patel defend himself? If Patel is lucky, the federal government has only placed a sharp sword over his head that may not fall. If not, he might be dragged into a lengthy court battle that could drain his finances and also cost him his freedom.

We don't know if Patel broke the law, but note that the administration has shown no interest in pursuing former FBI leaders such as James Comey and Andrew McCabe , who improperly disclosed information regarding Russiagate.

Trump's former lawyer Rudolph Giuliani is also in the "cross hairs of a federal criminal investigation," according to an April 29 article in New York Times that relied on "people with knowledge of the matter."

At issue, those anonymous sources say, is whether Giuliani was serving two masters when he counseled Trump to remove Marie L. Yovanovitch as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in 2019. "Did Mr. Giuliani go after Ms. Yovanovitch solely on behalf of Mr. Trump, who was his client at the time?" the Times reports. "Or was he also doing so on behalf of the Ukrainian officials, who wanted her removed for their own reasons?"

I'll leave it to the lawyers to determine the wisdom of bringing a case based on the parsing of tangled motives. What is clear is that the FBI is taking a thumb-screws page from the playbook of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who deployed the little-used Foreign Agents Registration Act to pursue the white whale of collusion. As Lee Smith reported for RealClearInvestigations , just three people had pleaded guilty to FARA violations in the half-century before Mueller deployed it to pressure and punish Trump allies.

And note, the FBI's zeal to crack down on unregistered foreign agents does not extend to the president's son Hunter Biden, who, Paul Sperry reported for RCI, "failed to register as a foreign agent while promoting the interests of foreign business partners in Washington, including brokering meetings with his father and other government officials." It appears that we have two tiers of justice: one for Biden administration enemies, another for its family and friends.

The targeting of Giuliani looks especially suspect and politically motivated after three main news outlets that have driven much of the false Russiagate coverage – the New York Times, Washington Post and NBC News – were forced to correct a recent story , once again based on anonymous sources, claiming the FBI had warned Giuliani in 2019 "that he was a target of a Russian disinformation campaign during his efforts to dig up unflattering information about then-candidate Joe Biden in 2019." Giuliani was never given such a briefing.

Considering the numerous instances in which the press published bogus information from "informed sources" during Russiagate, one has to ask why they continue to serve as vehicles for falsehoods. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a dozen times and you're not fooling me – we're acting in concert. As RCI editor Tom Kuntz has argued, journalistic integrity demands, at the very least, that these organizations tell their audience who exactly had misled them. Confidentiality agreements should not protect liars.

A third example of the Biden administration's effort to punish Russiagate figures is its renewed effort to put former Manafort associate Konstantin V. Kilimnik behind bars. In an extensive new article for RCI, Aaron Maté reports that the Treasury Department provided no evidence to support its recent claim that Kilimnik is a "known Russian Intelligence Services agent implementing influence operations on their behalf." It also refuses to explain how it was able to discover the truth of Kilimnik's identity, which the two most extensive Russiagate investigations – the 448-page Muller report and the 966-page Senate Intelligence report – failed to uncover.

This absence of evidence has not stopped the peddlers of the Trump/Russia conspiracy theory from claiming vindication. Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff casts Treasury's unsubstantiated claim as smoking-gun evidence of collusion. The New York Times reports that the claim demonstrates that "there had been numerous interactions between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence during the year before the [2016] election."

Who needs proof when the government says it's so?

The FBI is also putting the screws to Kilimnik, offering $250,000 for information leading to his arrest on witness-tampering charges involving text messages he sent in 2018 to two people who have only been identified as "potential witnesses" involving Manafort's lobbying work for Ukraine, not Russiagate.

In an exclusive interview, Kilimnik told Maté, "I don't understand how two messages to our old partners who helped us get out the message about Ukraine's integration aspirations in [the] EU, and asking them to get in touch with Paul, can be interpreted as 'intimidation' or 'obstruction of justice.'"

Maté also reports that the $250,000 bounty on Kilimnik is more than double the amount the FBI is offering for information leading to the arrest of murder suspects.

The Biden administration's campaigns against Patel, Giuliani and Kilimnik suggest how the winners of the 2020 election are attempting to rewrite the history of Russiagate. Having been debunked and rebuked by their own investigators, the conspiracists are taking a second bite at the poisoned apple. Using anonymous sources to make unsubstantiated charges in the nation's most influential news outlets, they are seeking to punish people for the crime of exposing their malfeasance.

[May 16, 2021] Liz Cheney Lied About Her Role In Spreading The Discredited CIA -Russian Bounty- Story - ZeroHedge

May 16, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Liz Cheney Lied About Her Role In Spreading The Discredited CIA "Russian Bounty" Story BY TYLER DURDEN SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2021 - 11:30 AM

Authored by Glenn Greenwald via greenwald.substack.com ,

In an interview with Fox News ' Bret Baier this week, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) denied that she spread the discredited CIA "Russian bounty" story. That CIA tale, claiming Russia was paying Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan, was cooked up by the CIA and then published by The New York Times on June 27 of last year, right as former President Trump announced his plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The Times story, citing anonymous intelligence officials, was then continually invoked by pro-war Republicans and Democrats -- led by Cheney -- to justify their blocking of that troop withdrawal. The story was discredited when the U.S. intelligence community admitted last month that it had only "low to moderate confidence" that any of this even happened.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) speaks to members of the media after she was removed of her leadership role as Conference Chair, following a Republican House caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on on May 12, 2021 in Washington, DC (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

When Baier asked Cheney about her role in spreading this debunked CIA story, Cheney blatantly lied to him, claiming "if you go back and look at what I said -- every single thing I said : I said if those stories are true , we need to know why the President and Vice President were not briefed on them." After Baier pressed her on the fact that she vested this story with credibility, Cheney insisted a second time that she never endorsed the claim but merely spoke conditionally, always using the "if these reports are true" formulation. Watch Cheney deny her role in spreading that story.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Fd6u_p0K9aE

Liz Cheney, as she so often does, blatantly lied. That she merely spoke of the Russian bounty story in the conditional -- " every single thing I said: I said if those stories are true" -- is completely and demonstrably false. Indeed, other than Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) , there are few if any members of Congress who did more to spread this Russian bounty story as proven truth, all in order to block troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. In so doing, she borrowed from a pro-war playbook pioneered by her dad, to whom she owes her career: the former Vice President would leak CIA claims to The New York Times to justify war, then go on Meet the Press with Tim Russert, as he did on September 8, 2002 , and cite those New York Times reports as though they were independent confirmation of his views coming from that paper rather than from him:

MR. RUSSERT: What, specifically, has [Saddam] obtained that you believe would enhance his nuclear development program? ..

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Now, in the case of a nuclear weapon, that means either plutonium or highly enriched uranium. And what we've seen recently that has raised our level of concern to the current state of unrest, if you will, if I can put it in those terms, is that he now is trying, through his illicit procurement network, to acquire the equipment he needs to be able to enrich uranium to make the bombs.

MR. RUSSERT: Aluminum tubes.

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Specifically aluminum tubes. There's a story in The New York Times this morning this is -- I don't -- and I want to attribute The Times . I don't want to talk about, obviously, specific intelligence sources, but it's now public that, in fact, [Saddam] has been seeking to acquire, and we have been able to intercept and prevent him from acquiring through this particular channel, the kinds of tubes that are necessary to build a centrifuge. And the centrifuge is required to take low-grade uranium and enhance it into highly enriched uranium, which is what you have to have in order to build a bomb.

So having CIA stories leak to the press that fuel the pro-war case, then having pro-war politicians cite those to justify their pro-war position, is a Cheney Family speciality.

On July 1, the House Armed Services Committee, of which Rep. Cheney is a member, debated amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that authorized $740.5 billion in military spending. One of Cheney's top priorities was to align with the Committee's pro-war Democrats, funded by weapons manufacturers, to block Trump's plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2020 and to withdraw roughly 1/3 of the 34,000 U.S. troops in Germany.

To justify her opposition, Cheney -- contrary to what she repeatedly insisted to Baier -- cited the CIA's Russian bounty story without skepticism . In a joint statement with Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, that Cheney published on her website on June 27 -- the same day that The New York Times published its first story about the CIA tale -- Cheney pronounced herself "concerned about Russian activity in Afghanistan, including reports that they have targeted U.S. forces." There was nothing conditional about the statement: they were preparing to block troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and cited this story as proof that "Russia does not wish us well in Afghanistan."

After today's briefing with senior White House officials, we remain concerned about Russian activity in Afghanistan, including reports that they have targeted U.S. forces. It has been clear for some time that Russia does not wish us well in Afghanistan. We believe it is important to vigorously pursue any information related to Russia or any other country targeting our forces. Congress has no more important obligation than providing for the security of our nation and ensuring our forces have the resources they need.

An even more definitive use of this Russia bounty story came when Cheney held a press conference to explain her opposition to Trump's plans to withdraw troops. In this statement, she proclaimed that she "remains concerned about Russian activities in Afghanistan." She then explicitly threatened Russia over the CIA's "bounty" story, warning them that "any targeting of U.S. forces by Russians, by anyone else, will face a very swift and deadly response." She then gloated about the U.S. bombing of Russia-linked troops in Syria in 2018 using what she called "overwhelming and lethal force," and warned that this would happen again if they target U.S. forces in Afghanistan:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_NUXZog_Vf0

Does this sound even remotely like what Cheney claimed to Baier? She denied having played a key role in spreading the Russia bounty story because, as she put it, " every single thing I said, I said: if those stories are true." She also told him that she never referred to that CIA claim except by saying: "if these reports are true." That is false.

The issue is not merely that Cheney lied: that would hardly be news. It is that the entire media narrative about Cheney's removal from her House leadership role is a fraud. Her attacks on Trump and her party leadership were not confined to criticisms of the role played by the former president in contesting the validity of the 2020 election outcome or inciting the January 6 Capitol riot -- because Liz Cheney is such a stalwart defender of the need for truth and adherence to the rule of law in politics.

Cheney played the key role in forming an alliance with pro-war Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee to repeatedly defeat the bipartisan anti-war minority [led by Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)] to prevent any meaningful changes promised by Trump during the 2016 campaign to put an end to the U.S. posture of Endless War. As I reported about the House Armed Services Committee hearing last July, the CIA tale was repeatedly cited by Cheney and her allies to justify ongoing U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan.

Cheney is motivated by power, not ethics. In 2016, Trump ran -- and won -- by explicitly inveighing against the Bush/Cheney foreign policy of endless war, militarism and imperialism that Liz Cheney, above all else, still vehemently supports. What she is attempting to do is reclaim the Republican Party and deliver it back to the neocons and warmongers who dominated it under her father's reign. She is waging an ideological battle, not an ethical one, for control of the Republican Party.

That will be a debate for Republican voters to resolve. In the meantime, Liz Cheney cannot be allowed to distance herself from the CIA's fairy tale about Russians in Afghanistan. Along with pro-war Democrats, she used this conveniently leaked CIA story repeatedly to block troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. And just as her father taught her to do -- by example if not expressly -- she is now lying to distance herself from a pro-war CIA script that she, in fact, explicitly promoted.


For those who have not seen it, I produced a one-hour video report last July on how and why the House Armed Services Committee succeeded in enacting virtually every pro-war amendment they considered and how this was accomplished through an alliance between Liz Cheney and her neocon GOP allies on the one hand, and pro-war, Raytheon-funded Democrats on the other:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ejqYrzEX14E https://youtu.be/ejqYrzEX14E
play_arrow 1


rosalinda 8 hours ago

Circular politics, who knew? Happens all the time. 'Leak' a story to a paper that for sure will publish it, and quote that very same story to push whatever it is you, or more precisely, your backers, want. Nobody wants war, why is the US spending almost $1T on defense? Nobody else is spending that kind of money, the MIC is able to force down whatever it wants on the compliant press, and gullible public

Demologos 7 hours ago

Liz Cheney is carrying daddy's water. This is why there should have been war crimes trials for the fake wars promoted by the neocons for the benefit of the Wall Street/London/MIC complex. If Daddy Darth had swung from a rope we wouldn't be dealing with the current mess.

You can blame the fake news media for the lack of consequences. When they want to, they can take a thimble full of bad behavior and turn it into an Olympic size pool of condemnation and character assassination. They were given an Olympic size pool of outright lies and corruption related to the illegal wars and didn't see anything that offended their sense of human decency and justice. But a thug dies in the street and the fake news machine turns him into the national martyr for systemic racism.

vic and blood PREMIUM 7 hours ago remove link

Look at how many RINOs are swamp creatures who establish residency in lower population states, where campaign cash goes further.

**** Cheney was a swamp creature and fake Wyoming person, just like Liz Cheney.

Pernicious Gold Phallusy 7 hours ago

McCain did that in the 1970s. Abandoned his wheelchair-bound wife and his kids, then married a rich drug addict in a new State.

pndr4495 7 hours ago

As I have repeated many times here on ZH, a politician is not seriously concerned about representing the constituents. The politician is busy with reprenting his/her own interests, especially the financial interest.

vic and blood PREMIUM 7 hours ago remove link

Liz Cheney is a perfect example of how little the neocons differ from the neolibs. They are the same thing with different cynical marketing strategies.

HAL9000rev1 7 hours ago (Edited)

The roots of neocon philosophy is Trotskyism. Neocons are left/right agnostic, they latch on to which ever political party in power.

perpetual war/perpetual revolution is thier stratagy

freedommusic 8 hours ago (Edited)

Language was invented so people can lie.

Politics was invented so people can make a career out of lying.

Paul Bunyan 8 hours ago remove link

Language was invented to communicate, but yes, people take advantage.

Pretty Like an Ugly Girl 7 hours ago

I confess that in 2001, and until about 2008, I was part of the crowd that bought the whole ******* line. Then with Obama I fell for the ******** that it's better to vote for the lesser of two evils.

Then I started watching the countless documentaries on 911 that show the official 911 report is a bigger concoction of horse**** than the Warren Report. Here's the definitive documentary, for any searchers out there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DOnAn_PX6M

The thing about Cheney back in the day is that he seemed like the most credible/reasonable man in government. I remember after he debated Joe Lieberman how everybody wished they were both at the tops of their tickets.

Bottom line is we believe what aligns with what we want to believe, and they know it, and they took down the towers knowing the majority of the US would be willing to go to war with the entire world if need be.

Folks who think the covid scam or the stolen election was the beginning of the breakdown haven't been paying attention. The people haven't been in control of their country for a long, long time, if ever.

Ms No PREMIUM 7 hours ago

There are anti-human mimicks born, psychopaths, that literally have to study human emotion, learn it and parrot it. That's why when one watches you, especially at first encounter, it's so intense.

They are analyzing your every facial crease and body language trying to decode the human and what it all means. When they lie they will sometimes pause to do this to see if it's fully taking. They often can't tell if what they are saying is too absurd, they wait for you to show them. They develop this skill over time.

What's even creepier, is that since they don't use empathy capacity and other human tendencies, that brain capacity becomes devoted to their predatory nature, analyzing, imitating and being phony. So they are damn near preternatural at it. They know your weaknesses and needs immediately.

In addition to their dead, intense analyzing stare, they don't recognize that their stare is too intense and that they often get too close. Like if this fatty had halitosis for example, she would always just be at least a little too close to you. They don't understand what it is about people that wants space They don't have that feeling either. When you squirm and try to get away, they won't notice or care, unless they are doing it on purpose to intimidate. They can also lie with ease, because they don't have any of those things that makes people moral. They are simply annoyances to them. It pisses them off that they have to pretend to care.

wellwaddyaknow 7 hours ago

So in other words, the CIA makes sht up, floats it out there in the direction of dumb gullible compromised power hungry members of congress, and then wait to see who picks it up and smells it.

[May 12, 2021] Reds under the bed? Or forgot to take the antipsychotics today?

May 12, 2021 | www.wsj.com

D

Reds under the bed? Or forgot to take the antipsychotics today? D David Keating

For any fairly recent US posters on this site, here is a hint to the wise.

There is a significant Russian presence on the WSJ comments. Basically our Russian visitors dominate these comments - at a ratio perhaps of 8-1 - or even worse.

The best way to get your footing on this site is to understand that these Russians are educated, fluent in English, knowledgeable about us, oftentimes quite funny ( sometimes not. ) And the Russians are seeking to pass as Americans.

In this capacity, the Russians will often be earnest & insightful. As well as say horrible things about Republicans and about Democrats.

They are here to stoke division and conflict. They seek to amplify partisanship and misinformation.

As soon as you understand these essential facts, you will find it quite easy to work the thread.

Reds under the bed? Or forgot to take the antipsychotics today? D David Keating
For any fairly recent US posters on this site, here is a hint to the wise.

There is a significant Russian presence on the WSJ comments. Basically our Russian visitors dominate these comments - at a ratio perhaps of 8-1 - or even worse.

The best way to get your footing on this site is to understand that these Russians are educated, fluent in English, knowledgeable about us, oftentimes quite funny ( sometimes not. ) And the Russians are seeking to pass as Americans.

In this capacity, the Russians will often be earnest & insightful. As well as say horrible things about Republicans and about Democrats.

They are here to stoke division and conflict. They seek to amplify partisanship and misinformation.

As soon as you understand these essential facts, you will find it quite easy to work the thread.

[May 12, 2021] Taibbi- Reporters Once Challenged The Spy State. Now, They're Agents Of It - ZeroHedge

May 12, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Taibbi: Reporters Once Challenged The Spy State. Now, They're Agents Of It BY TYLER DURDEN WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 2021 - 04:20 PM

Authored by Matt Taibbi via TK News ,

What a difference a decade makes.

Former CIA director John Brennan was a media villain, now he's media himself.

Just over ten years ago, on July 25, 2010, Wikileaks released 75,000 secret U.S. military reports involving the war in Afghanistan . The New York Times, The Guardian , and Der Spiegel helped release the documents, which were devastating to America's intelligence community and military, revealing systemic abuses that included civilian massacres and an assassination squad, TF 373, whose existence the United States kept "protected " even from its allies.

The Afghan War logs came out at the beginning of a historic stretch of true oppositional journalism, when outlets like Le Monde, El Pais, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, The New York Times, and others partnered with sites like Wikileaks. Official secrets were exposed on a scale not seen since the Church Committee hearings of the seventies, as reporters pored through 250,000 American diplomatic cables, secret files about every detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and hundreds of thousands of additional documents about everything from the Iraq war to coverups of environmental catastrophes, among other things helping trigger the "Arab Spring."

There was an attempt at a response -- companies like Amazon, Master Card, Visa, and Paypal shut Wikileaks off, and the Pentagon flooded the site with a "denial of service" attack -- but leaks continued. One person inspired by the revelations was former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who came forward to unveil an illegal domestic surveillance program, a story that won an Oscar and a Pulitzer Prize for documentarian Laura Poitras and reporters Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill. By 2014, members of Congress in both parties were calling for the resignations of CIA chief John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, both of whom had been caught lying to congress.

The culmination of this period came when billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar launched The Intercept in February 2014. The outlet was devoted to sifting through Snowden's archive of leaked secrets, and its first story described how the NSA and CIA frequently made errors using geolocation to identify and assassinate drone targets. A few months later, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden admitted, "We kill people based on metadata."

Fast forward seven years. Julian Assange is behind bars, and may die there. Snowden is in exile in Russia. Brennan, Clapper, and Hayden have been rehabilitated and are all paid contributors to either MSNBC or CNN, part of a wave of intelligence officers who've flooded the airwaves and op-ed pages in recent years, including the FBI's Asha Rangappa, Clint Watts, Josh Campbell, former counterintelligence chief Frank Figliuzzi and former deputy director Andrew McCabe, the CIA's John Sipher, Phil Mudd, Ned Price, and many others.

Once again, Internet platforms, credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard , and payment processors like PayPal are working to help track down and/or block the activities of "extremists." This time, they're on the same side as the onetime press allies of Wikileaks and Snowden, who began a course reversal after the election of Donald Trump.

Those outlets first began steering attention away from intelligence abuses and toward bugbears like Trumpism, misinformation, and Russian meddling, then entered into partnerships with Langley-approved facsimiles of leak sites like Hamilton 68 , New Knowledge , and especially Bellingcat , a kind of reverse Wikileaks devoted to exposing the misdeeds of regimes in Russia, Syria, and Iran -- less so the United States and its allies. The CIA's former deputy chief of operations for Europe and Eurasia, Marc Polymeropolous, said of the group's work, " I don't want to be too dramatic, but we love this ."

After the Capitol riots of January 6th, the War on Terror came home, and "domestic extremists" stepped into the role enemy combatants played before. George Bush once launched an all-out campaign to pacify any safe haven for trrrsts, promising to "smoke 'em out of their holes." The new campaign is aimed at stamping out areas for surveillance-proof communication, which CNN security analyst and former DHS official Juliette Kayyem described as any online network "that lets [domestic extremists] talk amongst themselves."

Reporters pledged assistance, snooping for evidence of wrongness in digital rather than geographical "hidey holes." We've seen The Guardian warning about the perils of podcasts , ProPublica arguing that Apple's lax speech environment contributed to the January 6th riot, and reporters from The Verge and Vice and The New York Times listening in to Clubhouse chats in search of evidence of dangerous thought. In an inspired homage to the lunacy of the War on Terror years, a GQ writer even went on Twitter last week to chat with the author of George Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech about imploring the "authorities" to use the "Fire in a Crowded Theater" argument to shut down Fox News.

Multiple outlets announced plans to track "extremists" in either open or implied cooperation with authorities. Frontline, ProPublica , and Berkley Journalism's Investigative Reporting Program used " high-precision digital forensics " to uncover "evidence" about the Boogaloo Bois, and the Huffington Post worked with the "sedition hunters " at the Twitter activist group "Deep State Dogs" to help identify a suspect later arrested for tasering a Capitol police officer. One of the Huffington Post stories, from February, not only spoke to a willingness of the press to work with law enforcement, but impatience with the slowness of official procedure compared to "sleuthing communities":

The FBI wants photos of Capitol insurrections to go viral , and has published images of more than 200 suspects. But what happens when online sleuthing communities identify suspects and then see weeks go by without any signs of action ? There are hundreds of suspects, thousands of hours of video, hundreds of thousands of tips, and millions of pieces of evidence the FBI's bureaucracy isn't necessarily designed to keep organized.

The Intercept already saw founding members Poitras and Greenwald depart, and shut down the aforementioned Snowden archive to, in their words, "focus on other editorial priorities" -- parent company First Look Media soon after launched a partnership with "PassionFlix," whose motto is, " Turning your favorite romance novels into movies and series ." Last week, they announced a new project in tune with current media trends:

Are there legitimate stories about people with racist or conspiratorial views who for instance shouldn't be working in positions of authority, as cops or elected officials or military officers? Sure, and there's a job for reporters in proving that out, especially if there's a record of complaints or corruption to match. It gets a little weird if the newsworthiness standard is "person with a job has abhorrent private opinions," but it's not like it's impossible that a legit story could be found in something like the Gab archive, especially if it involves a public figure.

But that depends on the media people involved having a coherent standard for outing subjects, which hasn't always (or even often) been the case.

Here The Intercept is announcing it considers QAnon devotee Marjorie Taylor Greene and Alex Jones "violent white supremacists" -- they're a lot of things, but "violent white supremacists"? In the first piece about "extremists" on Gab, reporter Micah Lee claimed to have found an account belonging to a little-known conservative youth figure; the man's attorney later reached out to deny the account was his, leading to a correction . When asked about his process, Lee responded, sarcastically, that he "certainly wouldn't want to accidentally do investigative journalism about white supremacist domestic terrorists." When asked how he defined a terrorist, and if he'd be naming public figures only, the sarcastic answer this time was, "Of course I won't be naming anyone. Racist white people must be defended at all costs."

Greenwald left the organization among other things after an editor asked that he address the "disinformation issue" in a piece about Hunter Biden's laptop, a reference to a claim made by 50 intelligence officers that the story had "the classic earmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign." He found it inappropriate then for a publication with The Intercept's history to be pushing an intelligence narrative, and the Gab project struck him in a similar way.

"The leap from disseminating CIA propaganda to doing the police work of security state agencies is a short one," says Greenwald, "and with its statements about what they are doing with this Gab archive, The Intercept and its trite liberal managers in New York have now taken it."

Read the rest here . .. play_arrow


safelyG 1 hour ago

we need to find a way to keep stories like this from being reported.

lovingly,
rachel maddow's wife

ted41776 1 hour ago remove link

they hate us for our freedumb

was anyone punished for that WMD lie that cause the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and a few thousand US troops?

i mean it is a widely accepted fact now, isn't it? that it was a lie that caused a genocide and deaths of hundreds of thousands of people?

where are the nuremberg trials? UN? anyone?

crickets

Lt. Shicekopf 1 hour ago

Operation Mockingbird has paid immense dividends, one of the most successful programs ever.

Maltheus 1 hour ago remove link

I dunno. What's the name of the program to infiltrate the schools? Gives Mockingbird a run for its money.

fishpoem 32 minutes ago

Use the titles of any of the books written by members of the Frankfurt School. Start with Marcuse. How such circular reasoning, boring prose, and patently bogus arguments became mandatory reading material in every college in America is a puzzle future historians will have to unravel.

Well, if the ruling Marxist Democrats allow historians to exist in the future...which they probably won't. Truth, in that era, will be what "art" became in Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia: cliched state-worship.

Wait. Isn't that what we've already got?

Argon1 1 hour ago

https://schoolhistory.co.uk/notes/operation-mockingbird/

DesertEagle 37 minutes ago

Most of the "reporters" for the big media cartel were always enemies of the American people.

tedstr 57 minutes ago

News organizations have always been agents of the IC. Just as they are agents of Hollywood and the biz news are agents of corporations. They no longer have the staffs to truely "do news" so they rely on being spoon fed from their sources. they will never bite the hand.

Steve in Greensboro 1 hour ago remove link

Lee Smith on Bannon's Warroom 53 in December 2019.

Lee Smith: " Here's something that boggles me still that there are still people after what we have seen and after I've documented in the book what the press has become what the WaPo what the prestige brands of American journalism have become and nonetheless there are Republicans only blocks from here who are more than happy to treat whether it's the WaPo, NYT, CNN, MSNBC as though these are regular news networks still. Even after three years of seeing them operate exactly like media operatives "

Steve Bannon: "You believe they are the opposition party media. Right?

Lee Smith: "It's not a media, it's a platform for intelligence operations. It's not media at all. This is like the Arab press."

Joe Davola 1 hour ago

Maybe a curious investigative reporter might look into why "financial services" companies jump right in whenever the deep state needs them.

NewMouldy 1 hour ago

Kabuki theatre..

College deans, professors, teachers were all bought and paid for decades ago by the deep state. The very people that educate upcoming politicians, reporters and scientists.

This is how we got to where we are now.

US Banana Republic 6 minutes ago

When media "personalities" like Cuomo, Madcow, and Cooper make more than $10 million dollars a year from corporate sponsors towing the corporate/government line then NOBODY want to be a hard hitting investigative reporter. Everybody wants to be a corporate/government boot licker.

As always, follow the money.

Isn't Life Gland 15 minutes ago

Ali Watkins is my favorite. "Worked" her way all the way up to the pinnacle gig at the New York Crimes..on her back.

[May 11, 2021] Internal emails reveal that the Dutch government suppressed White Helmets' financial fraud what else are they hiding

May 11, 2021 | www.rt.com

By Kit Klarenberg , an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. Follow him on Twitter @KitKlarenberg The epic establishment clean-up operation launched in the wake of James Le Mesurier's apparent suicide was effective in the short term, but determined digging by critical journalists means the scandal definitely isn't over yet.

A Dutch newspaper, De Volkskrant, has published a stunning exclusive based on internal government emails, exposing how officials conspired to prevent a minister publicly raising concerns about fraudulent activity at Mayday Rescue, the now-defunct "humanitarian" organization behind Syria's highly controversial White Helmets.

The internal communications show that, following the ever-mysterious demise of Helmets and Mayday founder James Le Mesurier in November 2019 in Istanbul, Sigrid Kaag, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, planned to formally caution parliament about financial impropriety on Le Mesurier's part. Several draft statements were produced over the ensuing Christmas period, in which Mayday was openly named.

ALSO ON RT.COM 'Humanitarian' agency USAID was 'key tool' for Washington undermining the Venezuelan government, official review reveals

Her anxieties were well-founded. On November 8, three days before his death, Le Mesurier openly confessed in an email to his organization's numerous international donors – of which the Netherlands had been but one – that he was guilty of misconduct and fraud, admitting to forging receipts to hide the disappearance of $50,000 in cash, paying himself and his wife Emma Winberg "excessive" salaries, and potential tax evasion, among other malfeasance.

While claiming this wasn't intentional, he took full and sole responsibility, and warned against further investigation into Mayday's financial affairs, fearing that continued probing could expose yet more "mistakes and internal failures."

In the wake of his apparent suicide, Volkskrant reports that donor countries – who'd collectively committed in excess of $100 million to Le Mesurier's cause – convened a crisis meeting at the Dutch consulate in Istanbul, at which diplomats concluded the Netherlands was "extra vulnerable", given all the funding it had provided to Mayday, and the organization having ostensibly been based on its soil, meaning millions in international payments had been processed through Dutch accounts.

Funding from Amsterdam had nonetheless ceased in September 2018, after a Ministry of Foreign Affairs report outlined serious concerns about Mayday's financial practices, including a virtually total lack of oversight over, and even awareness of, how its money entered Syria, and precisely where it eventually ended up.

However, top Netherlands State Department officials strongly disagreed with Kaag's proposal, arguing that if lawmakers were warned at all, it was best done confidentially, as if the allegations weren't in fact true, it could " unjustly harm" Mayday.

ALSO ON RT.COM Bogus story of Iranian interference in Scottish politics shows Western media to be the true election meddler

After some toing and froing, a compromise was struck – Kaag agreed to wait for the results of an independent audit of Mayday by accounting firm Grant Thornton to be published, whereupon a letter would be sent "immediately" to parliament. As the auditors went about their assessment, in February 2020 diplomats again travelled to Istanbul to discuss the organization's possible malpractice. Key considerations for those present were "avoiding political risks" and ensuring "minimal exposure" for Amsterdam in the case.

As luck would have it, Grant Thornton found no evidence of fraud, but did identify major failings in bookkeeping and financial supervision, with many payments untraceable. Kaag opted to keep the report private, and declined after all to apprise parliament of its conclusions. This move would be somewhat inexplicable if the auditor did indeed exonerate Mayday, but the emails unearthed by Volkskrant amply demonstrate that it didn't.

In one missive, a Dutch official states that "it cannot be established with certainty" that the Netherlands' subsidies to Mayday had in fact been provided to the White Helmets. When asked which funds in particular, they responded, " all expenses to the White Helmets."

In other words, fraud on the part of Mayday couldn't be detected only because quite literally no records relating to where any of the sums actually went existed. As such, it's unsurprising that an independent followup probe of the organization's finances was considered to be a waste of time.

The Dutch Central Audit Service, which controls government expenditure, in summer 2020 ruled that €3.6 million should "preferably" be reclaimed from Mayday. However, Grant Thornton's findings were invoked to argue there were "insufficient grounds" to pursue the matter, and Mayday was duly removed from the list of cases to be reported to parliament in July 2020.

Volksrant's seismic revelations will no doubt make extremely uncomfortable reading for a great many powerful people. After all, the mainstream media, and the numerous governments which funded Mayday, have struggled to get their story straight on Le Mesurier, his company, and the group he founded, ever since his fatal plunge. Over the final months of 2020, a concerted campaign was waged to tie up the assorted loose ends.

ALSO ON RT.COM The Syrian government has been blamed for the 2018 Saraqib chemical attack, but this time around India isn't buying it

First, in October, a fawning 6,000 word Guardian hagiography acquitted Le Mesurier on charges of fraud, being an agent of British intelligence, using the Helmets as a Trojan Horse for regime change in Syria, and affiliation with extremist groups.

The next month, a multi-part BBC World Service podcast series amplified this sycophantic apologism globally, while in the process smearing independent journalists and researchers who'd raised questions about the Helmets as agents of the Russian and Syrian governments, who bore significant responsibility for Le Mesurier's suicide by spreading malicious, dangerous "disinformation" .

Both The Guardian and BBC relied exclusively on Grant Thornton's audit to exonerate Le Mesurier of fraud charges, despite not actually having seen the findings – the former firmly contended it was just one example of how "Le Mesurier unravelled under the weight of claims that would later prove to be false."

That this fundamental aspect of the exculpatory mainstream narrative of Le Mesurier and the Helmets has now seemingly been demonstrated to be entirely bogus, one can only wonder what other elements are similarly erroneous, why, and what else Mayday's backers have to hide.

In respect of the latter question, one answer could well be direct or indirect funding of violent terrorist groups in Syria by the Netherlands if not many other Western governments, under the cover of humanitarian payments to Mayday. In December 2020, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte admitted that he blocked a parliamentary request for an independent investigation into this very question.

ALSO ON RT.COM Western media quick to accuse Syria of 'bombing hospitals' - but when TERRORISTS really destroy Syrian hospitals, they are silent

After initially attempting to deny having done so, the previous month he told journalists such a probe may result in "tensions" with Netherlands' allies, and "put the lives of former members of opposition groups at stake."

Evidently, try as the establishment might, the controversy surrounding the White Helmets isn't going anywhere, and, in fact, is gaining significantly in volume and credibility. It's anyone's guess which will be the next domino to fall. Watch this space.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.



Stranded 15 hours ago
15 hours ago

The government in the Netherlands used taxpayer money to fund terrorism in Syria. This is what happened and normally if you aid terrorism there is a big price to pay. Not for politicians though its perfectly fine to stir up trouble abroad and then act oblivious when it hits home.
Vincent2000 14 hours ago 14 hours ago
This is truly very old news. We knew all along that the white helmets were financially supported by western governments. All the other intricacies of that support were irrelevant to us. The white helmets were just another tool used by western governments to topple the legitimate government of Syria.
zoombeenie 15 hours ago 15 hours ago
Thank you. I long believed the White Helmets had a connection with shady Western Governments. Did Le Mesurier have an Epstein moment? More probing needs to be done and head role
frankfalseflag 18 hours ago 18 hours ago
The West will soon discover that the Dutch - who invented civilization's first bubble of the tulip bulb - are also responsible for inventing cryptocurrencies and the bubble that will soon engulf the investors who believe in them
CrabbyB 19 hours ago 19 hours ago
Evil is exposing itself.. it's up to us how we handle it. If we get it wrong we will suffer 10 fold.
Vera Narishkin 16 hours ago 16 hours ago
Why am I not surprised? What else are they hiding? The real culprits of the downing of flight MH17, of course!
frankfalseflag 18 hours ago 18 hours ago
It's nice to be hearing about the White Helmets again. One of the CIA's recent, great successes
Roger Hudson 20 hours ago 20 hours ago
Investigate and expose the whole thing, from MI6/SIS onwards.
errovi 21 hours ago 21 hours ago
Sigrid Kaag profiled herself on "new leadership" during the recent elections...

[May 10, 2021] Biden says 'no evidence' Russia responsible for pipeline cyberattack but Russia has 'some responsibility'

May 10, 2021 | www.rt.com

A cyberattack that crippled the US fuel supply wasn't the work of Russia, President Joe Biden said. Confusingly, Biden then said that Russia bears "some responsibility" for the attack.

A ransomware attack on Friday shut down a gasoline and diesel pipeline running 5,500 miles along the entire US East Coast. Operated by the Colonial Pipeline Company, the vital fuel artery normally transits 100 million gallons per day from Texas all the way to New York. The Biden administration responded by invoking emergency powers to enable truckers to transport more fuel, as traders scrambled to import fuel by sea from Europe.

... ... ...

Home USA News Biden says 'no evidence' Russia responsible for pipeline cyberattack but Russia has 'some responsibility' 10 May, 2021 19:52 Get short URL Biden says 'no evidence' Russia responsible for pipeline cyberattack but Russia has 'some responsibility' Joe Biden speaks on the Colonial Pipeline attack as Vice President Kamala Harris stands by at the White House in Washington, DC, May 10, 2021 © Reuters / Kevin Lamarque 14 Follow RT on RT A cyberattack that crippled the US fuel supply wasn't the work of Russia, President Joe Biden said. Confusingly, Biden then said that Russia bears "some responsibility" for the attack.

A ransomware attack on Friday shut down a gasoline and diesel pipeline running 5,500 miles along the entire US East Coast. Operated by the Colonial Pipeline Company, the vital fuel artery normally transits 100 million gallons per day from Texas all the way to New York. The Biden administration responded by invoking emergency powers to enable truckers to transport more fuel, as traders scrambled to import fuel by sea from Europe.

ALSO ON RT.COM Reported cyberattack on major US pipeline sends oil & gasoline prices higher

Addressing the attack on Monday, Biden initially threw cold water on the claims of Russian involvement, instead blaming "transnational criminals."

"So far there's no evidence from our intelligence people that Russia is involved," Biden told reporters. However, he followed that statement by saying that the ransomware used "is in Russia," and Russia therefore has "some responsibility to deal with this."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1391819003560144900&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fusa%2F523420-biden-colonial-pipeline-russia-responsiblity%2F&sessionId=8bea10ea6256a9d086ef25229613f3d67d97cfb5&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Rumors of Russian involvement were stoked by several mainstream media outlets over the weekend, after it emerged that 'DarkSide,' a criminal hacking organization believed by CNN's anonymous sources to be based in "a Russian-speaking country," was responsible for the attack. In a short statement on Monday, the FBI confirmed "that the DarkSide ransomware is responsible for the compromise of the Colonial Pipeline networks."

Other media outlets took the opportunity to link the hackers to the Russian government, "whether they work for the state or not," in the words of one cybersecurity consultant to NBC.

[May 09, 2021] As the world has become more complex, people have relied more and more on stereotypes and simplifications to help them interpret and filter events around them

Notable quotes:
"... As the world has become more complex, people have relied more and more on stereotypes and simplifications to help them interpret and filter events around them. Propaganda manipulates this desire for simplicity – handing people easy answers rather than winning them over with rational arguments. Society then rallies around these stereotypes and squashes dissents with 'herd mentality', an irrational set of psychological behaviors where individuals are swept along with a group, overriding their own rational assessments ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , May 5 2021 19:47 utc | 85

Below is a repeat of a Glenn Diesen quote from karlof1 comment # 57

"
"As the world has become more complex, people have relied more and more on stereotypes and simplifications to help them interpret and filter events around them. Propaganda manipulates this desire for simplicity – handing people easy answers rather than winning them over with rational arguments. Society then rallies around these stereotypes and squashes dissents with 'herd mentality', an irrational set of psychological behaviors where individuals are swept along with a group, overriding their own rational assessments."
"

Think about the vaccine situation and what just happened to the medical profession in the West....they got railroaded into agreeing that there was not an off the shelf "ivermectin" to the virus and guaranteed future income to Big Pharma is more important.

Hey docs!!! Do no harm! Your complicity in this war crime against humanity is noted. What are the responsible and humanistic actions to take now and why does the public not see evidence that you are organizing to do them?

karlof1 , May 5 2021 19:50 utc | 86

Until the reality of the CIA--to undermine peaceful relations and promote wars required for Military Keynesianism--is taught in grade school, it will always find recruits. As with the FBI, government sponsored propaganda was and remains required to manufacture the reasons for their existence. Nations that promote an equitable polity have no need for a secret police force, but do need some force to counter attempts from the outside to foment destabilization. For example, today's Russia is freer than at any previous time in its history as only extremist ideologies are banned while Communism--still deemed extremist by the West--is relegated to a normal ideology with status as a normative political party. Indeed, I'd argue that Russia remains the only genuine Liberal Western nation, which is a reality Russophobes are unable to accept or even contemplate. The same also applies to the concept of Communism thanks to the unwillingness to even attempt to understand Marx. And as Western thought gets subsumed by Wokeness, the ideological divide between Neoliberal nations and all others will continue to grow.

[May 09, 2021] Remembering Yuri Gagarin, the First Man in Space

May 09, 2021 | science.slashdot.org

(space.com) 97

Space.com reports: Because no one was certain how weightlessness would affect a pilot, the spherical capsule had little in the way of onboard controls ; the work was done either automatically or from the ground. If an emergency arose, Gagarin was supposed to receive an override code that would allow him to take manual control, but Sergei Korolev, chief designer of the Soviet space program, disregarded protocol and gave the code to the pilot prior to the flight.

Over the course of 108 minutes, Vostok 1 traveled around the Earth once, reaching a maximum height of 203 miles (327 kilometers). The spacecraft carried 10 days' worth of provisions in case the engines failed and Gagarin was required to wait for the orbit to naturally decay. But the supplies were unnecessary. Gagarin re-entered Earth's atmosphere, managing to maintain consciousness as he experienced forces up to eight times the pull of gravity during his descent.
The BBC remembers how on his return to earth, Gagarin parachuted into some farmland several hundred miles from Moscow â€" "much to the surprise of a five-year-old girl who was out in the fields planting potatoes."

60 years later, the BBC tracked down and interviewed Interviewed that woman â€" who still remembered Gagarin's kind voice and smile. (Thanks to Slashdot reader 4wdloop for sharing the article.)

The BBC also published a look at Gagarin's global fame in the years that followed â€" and Phys.org notes that even today, there are few people more universally admired in Russia than Yuri Gagarin : His smiling face adorns murals across the country. He stands, arms at his sides as if zooming into space, on a pedestal 42.5 metres (140 feet) above the traffic flowing on Moscow's Leninsky Avenue. He is even a favourite subject of tattoos... The anniversary of Gagarin's historic flight on April 12, 1961 â€" celebrated every year in Russia as Cosmonautics Day â€" sees Russians of all ages lay flowers at monuments to his accomplishment across the country...

Gagarin, says historian Alexander Zheleznyakov, was a figure who helped fuel the imagination. "He transformed us from a simple biological species to one that could imagine an entire universe beyond Earth."

[May 09, 2021] Wokism and Russiagate

Notable quotes:
"... No, people get their belief systems (religious, political, economic, cultural) from their identity groups. **Then** (if called upon) they apply the intellect to rationalize the beliefs that they **already** hold. ..."
"... Rationalizing the Russiagate nonsense was seemingly inevitable with the 24/7 help of the MSM, and the continuous chirping of Democrat politicians. The intellect was not a lighthouse beacon that led intelligent Democrats through the fog of 24/7/52 issued propaganda, rather; the intellect was the tool that solidified vaporous forms into false-reality. ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , May 5 2021 18:00 utc | 61

re: Wokism

My two cents. People are mimics. It is fascinating when you realize this.

People don't muse, contemplate and chew over the circumstances and issues in their environment and then resolve - "aha! I have got it." That is not where people get their belief systems. For example, a million and more people didn't all independently study the Bible and then realize that their interpretation was fully consistent with those of the Roman Catholics and therefore they should go join the Catholic Church.

No, people get their belief systems (religious, political, economic, cultural) from their identity groups. **Then** (if called upon) they apply the intellect to rationalize the beliefs that they **already** hold.

The epiphany came to me when I observed intelligent people falling for Russiagate. WTF !! I thought intelligent people would get it. Russiagate would be a flash-in-the-pan that would disappear in a few days (or less!). Boy was I wrong. The intellect does not rule, group identity does. Those that identified Democrat (generalizing here, of course) fell in step with the beliefs common to Democrats, including Russiagate.

Rationalizing the Russiagate nonsense was seemingly inevitable with the 24/7 help of the MSM, and the continuous chirping of Democrat politicians. The intellect was not a lighthouse beacon that led intelligent Democrats through the fog of 24/7/52 issued propaganda, rather; the intellect was the tool that solidified vaporous forms into false-reality.

To find one's identity in groups is deeply human. People are dominated by their need to be group-accepted. It is unsurprising that group acceptance and group identity produce what we call fashion - fashion in style, fashion in vocabulary, fashion in beliefs. This applies to Wokism. People are mimics.

You can even get them to wear Pussy Hats.

[May 09, 2021] Children from Parents Exposed to Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Show No Genetic Damage

May 09, 2021 | science.slashdot.org

(usnews.com) 80 There's no evidence of genetic damage in the children of parents who were exposed to radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, researchers say.

Several previous studies have examined the risks across generations of radiation exposure from events such as this, but have yielded inconclusive results. In this study, the investigators analyzed the genomes of 130 children and parents from families where one or both parents were exposed to radiation due to the Chernobyl accident, and where children were conceived afterward and born between 1987 and 2002.

There was no increase in gene changes in reproductive cells of study participants, and rates of new germline mutations were similar to those in the general population, according to a team led by Meredith Yeager of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, in Rockville, Md.

[May 08, 2021] US Officials Claim That Iraqi Kurds Helped To Kill Qassam Soleimani

May 08, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sam F , May 8 2021 16:16 utc | 1

Hardly anything of that - besides the murder of Soleimani - is mentioned in the Yahoo piece. There is not one word on Muhandis, his role in Iraq or the consequences of his death. There is no mention of the Iraqi parliament vote or of the ongoing attacks on U.S. units in Iraq.

Instead the piece prominently emphasizes alleged Kurdish collaboration in the assassination:

In late December 2019, Delta Force operators and other special operations members began filtering into Baghdad in small groups. Kurdish operatives, who played a key role in the killing, had already started infiltrating Baghdad International Airport by that point, going undercover as baggage handlers and other staff members.
...
The three sniper teams positioned themselves 600 to 900 yards away from the "kill zone," the access road from the airfield, setting up to triangulate their target as he left the airport. [...] A member of the Counter Terrorism Group (CTG), an elite Kurdish unit in northern Iraq with deep links to U.S. Special Operations, helped them make the wind call from down range.
...
After the strike, according to two U.S. officials, a Kurdish operative disguised as an Iraqi police officer walked up to the wreckage of Soleimani's vehicle, snapped photographs and quickly obtained a tissue sample for DNA confirmation before walking away and vanishing into the night.

Muhandis and Soleimani were revered by the Shia majority in Iraq. The revelation of Kurdish involvement in Soleimani's death might have harsh consequences for Iraqi Kurds.

If the Kurds were really involved why was this released? Why does it come in a piece that is more or less a recap of already known stuff? What are the motives of those who revealed this?

I for one do not believe those claims.

Who is interested in (re-)launching an ethnic civil war in Iraq?


The Yahoo piece then comes to the consequences of the attack:

Iran reacted with predictable fury to Soleimani's killing, lobbing dozens of ballistic missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq. Though no one was killed, Pentagon officials later said more than 100 service personnel were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury.

But the rocket attack was just a "slap in the face," said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, and did not represent Iran's full retaliation for the killing. U.S. officials and experts believe that Iran may eventually attempt a high-profile assassination of a senior U.S. official or a terrorist attack aimed at a U.S. facility.

The 'U.S. officials and experts' believe that they are way more important than they really are. Iran's Supreme Leader Ajatollah Khamenei, who was extremely near to Soleimani , has let it known that there is no one of Soleimani's caliber in U.S. ranks who could be taken out as revenge. There will be no Iranian assassination campaign of U.S. politicians or military leader.

Fears of such only shows that the former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, one of the initiator of the assassination of Soleimani, is a craven milquetoast :

Tucked into the appropriations bill signed by President Trump in the final days of 2020 was $15 million set aside to provide protective services to "former or retired senior Department of State officials" who "face a serious and credible threat from a foreign power or the agent of a foreign power" because of the work they did while in office.

The real second part of the revenge that is still coming was announced by Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah:

What do we mean by just punishment? Some are saying this must be someone of the same level as Qassem Soleimani - like Chairman of Joint Chiefs, head of @CENTCOM, but there is no one on Soleimani or Muhandis' level. Soleimani's shoe is worth more than Trump's head, so there's no one I can point to to say this is the person we can target.

Just punishment therefore means American military presence in the region, U.S. military bases, U.S. military ships, every American officer and soldier in our countries and regions. The U.S. military is the one who killed Soleimani and Muhandis, and they will pay the price. This is the equation.
...
The response to the blood of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis must be expulsion of all U.S, forces from the region.

General Esmail Qaani, Soleimani's replacement as commander of the Quds Brigade, confirmed Nasrallah's statement:

Going Underground on RT @Underground_RT - 00:14 UTC · Jan 6, 2020

Esmail Qaani, the new leader of Iran's IRGC Quds Force:
"Our promise is to continue the path of martyr Soleimani. Due to the martyrdom of #Soleimani, our promise will be the expulsion of the US from the region in different steps."

These are not empty threats but a military project that will play out over the next years. I would not bet on the U.S. as the winner of that war.

Posted by b on May 8, 2021 at 15:50 UTC | Permalink

The Kurds have long been associated with Israeli secret agencies, and Israeli bribes-from-aid to US politicians are the determinant of US ME policy. So Israel via Yahoo news was likely celebrating to provoke Iran or for similar purposes.


Jen , May 8 2021 20:56 utc | 25

The Yahoo article sure is a real slap in the face to the Kurdish forces working with the West in occupying northern Iraq and NE Syria. No doubt it was written to deflect Iraqi and Iranian anger away from Western interference in the Middle East towards the Kurds to get a sectarian war going to justify continued Western occupation and meddling.

Who are Jack Murphy and Zach Dorfman anyway? From what I could find of Dorfman on search engines, he is a writer employed or associated with the Aspen Institute headquartered in Washington DC writing on cyber-security topics. That might suggest he and the other writer were fed this information or farrago about Kurdish involvement in Soleymani's assassination from the usual anonymous sources.

Jen , May 8 2021 21:16 utc | 27

Question @ 6:

Read that paragraph from the MoA article carefully and understand that such an undertaking means ridding the entire Middle Eastern region of all US military interference. This surely includes forcing the US to leave Saudi Arabia and other ME nations with their heads stuck in the US backside.

Understand also that other Western nations also have forces, mercenaries and "advisors" in the Middle East and their removal from the region is just as much important but less urgent. If the chief bully can be thrown out first, its minions will follow like the craven cowards they are. No doubt the British and the French will try to keep a toehold in the region through proxy forces but whether those govts have the backbone to keep going is another question.

[May 03, 2021] Some other countries of the world just aren't swallowing Bidan and his handlers worshipping of all things non-white..

May 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

Defender , says: April 30, 2021 at 8:51 am GMT • 18.6 hours ago

Some other countries of the world just aren't swallowing Bidan and his handlers worshipping of all things non-white..

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CBS8TYLO_A0?feature=oembed

BorisMay , says: April 30, 2021 at 1:38 pm GMT • 13.8 hours ago
@Chris Moore to eternal servitude as debt slaves.

*** Please Note: Russia is not weak considering that it has the ability to nuke America in to ashes within 30 minutes, or any other bunch of idiots that chooses to step over her red lines. Okay the US has 350 million people compared to 150 million Russians, but the US is irrevocably divided and Russia is fully united even the Muslim minority is united with the State in Russia. A divided house can not stand no man can serve two masters. On top of that the US has no moral values whereas Russia is a Christian country where marriage is between a man and a woman, by State law. Biden can fly all the queer flags he likes but he still leads a divided nation with a corrupt State comprised of dual passport holders, amoral materialists and deluded mentally challenged idiots like Waters and Pelosi.

[May 03, 2021] US new Foreign Malign Influence Center is just official cover for American intelligence interference in domestic politics by Scott Ritter

May 03, 2021 | www.rt.com

Scott Ritter Scott Ritter

is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ' SCORPION KING : America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter 28 Apr, 2021 20:44 Get short URL US’ new Foreign Malign Influence Center is just official cover for American intelligence interference in domestic politics Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines speaks during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing about worldwide threats © Reuters The Director of National Intelligence has ostensibly created a new “center†for the sharing and analysis of information and intelligence about foreign interference in US elections. Its real focus is much more nefarious.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) announced in a statement on Monday that it was creating a new intelligence “center†focused on tracking so-called “ foreign malign influence, †reported Politico. This new entity, known as the Foreign Malign Influence Center, was mandated in the recent intelligence and defense budget authorization acts, representing the reality that the impetus for its creation came from Congress, and not the intelligence community.

For example, the most recent defense expenditure authorization required that the ODNI establish a “ social media data analysis center †to coordinate and track foreign social media influence operations by analyzing data voluntarily shared by US social media companies. Based upon this analysis, the ODNI would report to Congress on a quarterly basis on trends in foreign influence and disinformation operations to the public. As envisioned by Congress, the intelligence community would determine jointly with US social media companies which data and metadata will be made available for analysis.

ALSO ON RT.COM The cynical hypocrisy of the world’s No1 propagandist: US pledges $300mn to fund massive global anti-China media machine

In short, the intelligence community, using data obtained from the social media accounts of American citizens, will report to Congress how this data influences the political decision making of these same American citizens.

If this does not make the most ardent defender of the US Constitution ill, nothing will.

It is not as if the US intelligence community wasn’t trending in this direction on its own volition. The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was the publication in March 2021 of an intelligence community assessment entitled ‘Foreign Threats to the US 2020 Presidential Election’. In this document, the US intelligence community assessed that “ Russian President Putin authorized, and a range of Russian government organizations conducted, influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the US .â€

But the most damning portion of this assessment came when it delved into the specific methodology employed by Russia to achieve these nefarious aims. “ Throughout the election cycle â€, the assessment declared, “ Russia’s online influence actors sought to affect US public perceptions of the candidates, as well as advance Moscow’s long standing goals of undermining confidence in US election processes and increasing sociopolitical divisions among the American people. During the presidential primaries and dating back to 2019, these actors backed candidates from both major US political parties that Moscow viewed as outsiders, while later claiming that election fraud helped what they called ‘establishment’ candidates. Throughout the election, Russia’s online influence actors sought to amplify mistrust in the electoral process by denigrating mail-in ballots, highlighting alleged irregularities, and accusing the Democratic Party of voter fraud. â€

As an American citizen who is politically engaged, I read the intelligence community assessment with a combination of interest, concern, and outrage. The notion of “ Russian online influence actors †affecting “US public perceptions of the candidates†is as intellectually vacuous as it is factually unsustainable. The stupidity encapsulated by such analysis can only be excused by the fact that the intelligence community assessment is a document produced more for the benefit of domestic political consumption than a genuine effort at identifying and quantifying legitimate threats to the US.

The assessment itself is short on hard data. However, the House Intelligence Committee has documented some 3,000 social media ads bought by Russian “troll farms†between 2015-2017, at a cost of some $100,000. These ads were in addition to so-called “organic posts,†some 80,000 of which were published on US social media, free of charge, by alleged Russian “bots†resulting in 126 million “views†by Americans. These ads were crude, unfocused, and simply inane in terms of their content.

ALSO ON RT.COM Putin should refuse Biden’s offer of a summit: Americans will bring only political theatrics & threats, nothing will be achieved

To put the alleged Russian influence campaign into perspective, one need only reflect on the fact that during his short bid for the Democratic nomination, Michael Bloomberg spent nearly $1 billion underwriting the single most sophisticated public relations campaign, including hundreds of millions of targeted social media ads put together by the most brilliant political minds money could buy. All this money, time and effort, however, could not change the reality that, to the American public, Michael Bloomberg was an unattractive candidate â€" in the end his $1 billion bought him exactly two delegates.

The fact is, the political opinions of most American citizens are formed based upon a lifetime of exposure to issues that matter for them the most, whether it be education, right-to-life, gun control, social justice, agriculture, energy, environment, law enforcement, or any other of the multitude of sources of causation that impact the day-to-day existence of the American electorate.

Some of these beliefs are inherited, such as the working-class attachment to unions. Some are driven by current affairs, such as the growing awareness of climate change. But all are derived from the life experience of each American, and the thought that these deeply held beliefs could be bought, changed, or otherwise manipulated by social media posts published by foreign actors, malign or otherwise, is deeply insulting to me, and should be to every other American as well.

The irony is that by creating an intelligence organization whose task it is to help prevent the political Balkanization of America by analyzing the social media accounts of Americans who hold differing political beliefs than “the establishment†the newly minted Foreign Malign Influence Center ostensibly serves, the resulting process will only cause the further political division of the United States.

Some 74 million Americans voted for a candidate, Donald Trump, who has promulgated the very issues that the Democratic-controlled Congress seeks to denigrate and suppress through the work of this new intelligence center. These ideas will not simply disappear because the Democrats in Congress have empowered a “center†within the intelligence community whose sole function is to demonize any political thought that does not conform with the powers that be.

As it is currently focused, the Foreign Malign Influence Center is the living, breathing embodiment of politicized intelligence, two words which, when put together, represent the death knell for any intelligence organization. Worse, the work it will be doing, when turned over to a Democratically controlled Congress desperate to undermine the political viability of those 74 million American citizens, will only further fracture an already divided nation.

ALSO ON RT.COM New York Times ‘bounties’ non-story shows US/UK media has got so used to blaming Russia, it's basically now doing it out of habit

The Foreign Malign Influence Center was specifically mandated to examine the social media influence campaigns operated by Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. It is particularly telling that they were not directed to investigate the two largest foreign sources of political influence in America today, namely the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the Murdoch media empire. President Putin could only dream about being able to buy congressional seats the way AIPAC does, or control what information becomes magnified (and, by extension, suppressed) by the newspapers, television and radio enterprises owned by Rupert Murdoch.

These are the true villains when it comes to foreign corruption of American politics. These foreigners, however, have a seat at the establishment table. Their malign influence will never be labeled as such, and they will never have to withstand the ignominy of having their work scrutinized under the politicized microscope of an intelligence community that has allowed itself to be corrupted by domestic American politics to the point that it no longer serves the American people as a whole, but only a select class of American persons.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


Congozebilu 4 hours ago 4 hours ago

Foreign Malign Influence Center sounds like something out of a cartoon.
AwareAussie2 Congozebilu 4 hours ago 4 hours ago
The catch words "freedom", "democracy" and "terrorism" don't work any more, they need to now use different phrases to con us.

John Titor 4 hours ago
4 hours ago
The Foreign Malign Influence Center is just the latest in the Democrat Government Propaganda machine.
frankfalseflag 4 hours ago 4 hours ago
Does Scott Ritter actually expect Americans to wake up to the fact that they are getting more lies and propaganda than the Germans got from their Reich Chancellery in the 30s and 40s?

[May 03, 2021] US generals to the Director of DNA: Either supply the facts or shut up

May 03, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stonebird , Apr 28 2021 18:38 utc | 18

These folks have had it with the constant stream of baseless propaganda U.S. intelligence is spilling over the world:

Dear Director of National Intelligence,

we, the the 4-star Generals leading U.S. regional commands all over the world, are increasingly concerned with about the lack of evidence for claims you make about our opponents.

We, as true believers, do not doubt whatever judgment you make about the harmful activities of Russia, Iran and China. However - our allies and partners do not yet subscribe to the bliss of ignorance. They keep asking us for facts that support those judgments

Unfortunately, we have none that we could provide.

You say that Russia thought to manipulate Trump allies and to smear Biden , that Russia and Iran aimed to sway the 2020 election through covert campaigns and that China runs covert operations to influence members of Congress .

Media reports have appeared in which 'intelligence sources' claim that Russia, China and Iran are all paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers. Fortunately no soldier got hurt by those rumors.

Our allies and partners read those and other reports and ask us for evidence. They want to know how exactly Russia, Iran and China are doing these things.

They, of course, hope to learn from our experience to protect their own countries.

Currently we are not able to provide them with such information. Your people keep telling our that all of it is SECRET.

We therefore ask you to declassify the facts that support your judgments. *

Sincerely

The Generals

----
PS: * Either that or shut the fuck up.

Look, The generals and the intelligence agencies haven't won a war for a long time. So now they will fight each other . At least ONE of them will win this time ! Success.

[May 03, 2021] The NYT is simply a propaganda organ of the corporate oligarchy. Whenever the US does something bad, it is always "alleged". When opponents of US hegemony are accused of doing something bad, it is never "alleged"

Apr 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Gerald Smith , Apr 27 2021 9:00 utc | 7

The NYT is simply a propaganda organ of the corporate oligarchy. Whenever the US does something bad, it is always "alleged". When opponents of US hegemony are accused of doing something bad, it is never "alleged" - for example, you won't read about the "alleged Douma chemical attack" in the NYT.

Just a small point about English grammar: "alleged burglar", "alleged miracle" and "alleged conspiracy" are all correct, because "alleged" is being used here as an adjective. "Alleged antique vase", on the other hand, is incorrect because what is being alleged is not that the object is a vase; what is being alleged is that the vase is antique. Because it is being used to describe an adjective (antique), it is being used adverbially: therefore the correct usage is "allegedly antique vase".

This reminds me of John Michael Greer's formulation: the "allegedly smart phone". I use it all the time, to imply that intensive users of mobile devices may not be quite as intelligent as is generally believed. Note that what is being is alleged is not that it's a phone, but that it's smart!

Otter , Apr 27 2021 12:10 utc | 20

NYT does use "alleged" correctly. In the land of truth, one need merely state one's statement. In the land of lies, one must insert "alleged", so that others know the statement is truth.

There was a Soviet aphorism to this effect.

[May 03, 2021] The CIA Used To Infiltrate The Media... Now The CIA Is The Media by Caitlin Johnstone,

Apr 16, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone,

Back in the good old days, when things were more innocent and simple, the psychopathic Central Intelligence Agency had to covertly infiltrate the news media to manipulate the information Americans were consuming about their nation and the world. Nowadays, there is no meaningful separation between the news media and the CIA at all.

me data-google-container-id=

Analysis: US blinks first on Russia-Ukraine tensions

Journalist Glenn Greenwald just highlighted an interesting point about the reporting by The New York Times on the so-called “Bountygate†story the outlet broke in June of last year about the Russian government trying to pay Taliban-linked fighters to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan.

“One of the NYT reporters who originally broke the Russia bounty story (originally attributed to unnamed ‘intelligence officials’) say today that it was a CIA claim,†Greenwald tweeted .

“So media outlets - again - repeated CIA stories with no questioning: congrats to all.â€

Indeed, NYT’s original story made no mention of CIA involvement in the narrative, citing only “officials,†yet this latest article speaks as though it had been informing its readers of the story’s roots in the lying, torturing , drug-running , warmongering Central Intelligence Agency from the very beginning. The author even writes “The New York Times first reported last summer the existence of the C.I.A.’s assessment,†with the hyperlink leading to the initial article which made no mention of the CIA. It wasn’t until later that The New York Times began reporting that the CIA was looking into the Russian bounties allegations at all.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382793565714153472&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media&sessionId=77ef0dadbd05c9f3bcb1de7857a624713a43f3d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

This would be the same “Russian bounties†narrative which was discredited all the way back in September when the top US military official in Afghanistan said no satisfactory evidence had surfaced for the allegations, which was further discredited today with a new article by The Daily Beast titled “ U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops â€.

The Daily Beast , which has itself uncritically published many articles promoting the CIA “Bountygate†narrative, reports the following:

It was a blockbuster story about Russia’s return to the imperial “Great Game†in Afghanistan. The Kremlin had spread money around the longtime central Asian battlefield for militants to kill remaining U.S. forces. It sparked a massive outcry from Democrats and their #resistance amplifiers about the treasonous Russian puppet in the White House whose admiration for Vladimir Putin had endangered American troops.

But on Thursday, the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate†confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven â€" and possibly untrue.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382769897420296194&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media&sessionId=77ef0dadbd05c9f3bcb1de7857a624713a43f3d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

So the mass media aggressively promoted a CIA narrative that none of them ever saw proof of, because there was no proof, because it was an entirely unfounded claim from the very beginning. They quite literally ran a CIA press release and disguised it as a news story.

This allowed the CIA to throw shade and inertia on Trump’s proposed troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Germany, and to continue ramping up anti-Russia sentiments on the world stage , and may well have contributed to the fact that the agency will officially be among those who are exempt from Biden’s performative Afghanistan “withdrawal†.

In totalitarian dictatorships, the government spy agency tells the news media what stories to run, and the news media unquestioningly publish it. In free democracies, the government spy agency says “Hoo buddy, have I got a scoop for you!†and the news media unquestioningly publish it.

In 1977 Carl Bernstein published an article titled “ The CIA and the Media †reporting that the CIA had covertly infiltrated America’s most influential news outlets and had over 400 reporters who it considered assets in a program known as Operation Mockingbird . It was a major scandal, and rightly so. The news media is meant to report truthfully about what happens in the world, not manipulate public perception to suit the agendas of spooks and warmongers.

Nowadays the CIA collaboration happens right out in the open, and people are too propagandized to even recognize this as scandalous. Immensely influential outlets like The New York Times uncritically pass on CIA disinfo which is then spun as fact by cable news pundits . The sole owner of The Washington Post is a CIA contractor , and WaPo has never once disclosed this conflict of interest when reporting on US intelligence agencies per standard journalistic protocol. Mass media outlets now openly employ intelligence agency veterans like John Brennan, James Clapper, Chuck Rosenberg, Michael Hayden, Frank Figliuzzi, Fran Townsend, Stephen Hall, Samantha Vinograd, Andrew McCabe, Josh Campbell, Asha Rangappa, Phil Mudd, James Gagliano, Jeremy Bash, Susan Hennessey, Ned Price and Rick Francona, as are known CIA assets like NBC’s Ken Dilanian, as are CIA interns like Anderson Cooper and CIA applicants like Tucker Carlson.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382777804014641152&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media&sessionId=77ef0dadbd05c9f3bcb1de7857a624713a43f3d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

This isn’t Operation Mockingbird. It’s so much worse. Operation Mockingbird was the CIA doing something to the media. What we are seeing now is the CIA openly acting as the media. Any separation between the CIA and the news media, indeed even any pretence of separation, has been dropped.

This is bad. This is very, very bad. Democracy has no meaningful existence if people’s votes aren’t being cast with a clear understanding of what’s happening in their nation and their world, and if their understanding is being shaped to suit the agendas of the very government they’re meant to be influencing with their votes, what you have is the most powerful military and economic force in the history of civilization with no accountability to the electorate whatsoever. It’s just an immense globe-spanning power structure, doing whatever it wants to whoever it wants. A totalitarian dictatorship in disguise.

And the CIA is the very worst institution that could possibly be spearheading the movements of that dictatorship. A little research into the many, many horrific things the CIA has done over the years will quickly show you that this is true; hell, just a glance at what the CIA was up to with the Phoenix Program in Vietnam will.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382856410443186179&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fcia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media&sessionId=77ef0dadbd05c9f3bcb1de7857a624713a43f3d8&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

There’s a common delusion in our society that depraved government agencies who are known to have done evil things in the past have simply stopped doing evil things for some reason. This belief is backed by zero evidence, and is contradicted by mountains of evidence to the contrary. It’s believed because it is comfortable, and for literally no other reason.

The CIA should not exist at all, let alone control the news media, much less the movements of the US empire. May we one day know a humanity that is entirely free from the rule of psychopaths, from our total planetary behavior as a collective, all the way down to the thoughts we think in our own heads.

May we extract their horrible fingers from every aspect of our being.

* * *

New book: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix .

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi , Patreon or Paypal . If you want to read more you can buy my books . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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19,360 115

[May 03, 2021] US/NATO Troops Patrolling Opium Poppy Fields in Afghanistan

May 03, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Apr 28 2021 22:44 utc | 29

Hoarsewhisperer #10

Ditto. I am sure the CIA will be grinding the generals as we speak. Even the letter in Politico could well be one of their strategies. I posted a piece in the open thread yesterday from The HILL that was pure propaganda.

USA is not alone in losing guerrilla warfare.

Watch for Biden announcing a 'shake up' of the military command in the next few weeks/months.

The US military 2021 retreat from Kabul will result in a slaughter in the USA.

I see the Pentagon pulling the plug on the opium income for the CIA. Now THAT is the real war. So the CIA now has to pay its mercenary army to defend the harvest and extraction. That added cost to the CIA will not be taken lightly.

arby , Apr 28 2021 22:53 utc | 31

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 28 2021 22:44 utc | 29

"So the CIA now has to pay its mercenary army to defend the harvest and extraction."

Seems to me it is the taxpayer that is paying for defending the fields.

US/NATO Troops Patrolling Opium Poppy Fields in Afghanistan

[May 03, 2021] A Lifetime -at War- -

Notable quotes:
"... By Tom Engelhardt. Originally published at TomDispatch ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... I supported the rule of law and human rights, not to mention the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. ..."
"... In these years, one key to so much of this is the fact that, as the Vietnam War began winding down in 1973, the draft was ended and war itself became a “voluntary†activity for Americans. In other words, it became ever easier not only to not protest American war-making, but to pay no attention to it or to the changing military that went with it. And that military was indeed altering and growing in remarkable ways. ..."
"... “The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on armaments†..."
"... “The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on armaments†..."
"... “Large-scale armaments are inseparable from the expansion of the armed forces and the preparation of plans for a war of conquest. They also induce competitive rearmament of other countries.†..."
May 03, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

A Lifetime “at War†Posted on April 30, 2021 by Yves Smith

Yves here. Englehardt describes how US war-making has been a continuing exercise starting with World War II. It’s important to recognize that before that, US military budgets were modest both in national and global terms. But with manufacturing less specialized, the US was able to turn a considerable amount of its productive capacity to armaments in fairly short order.

A second point is as someone who was in Manhattan on 9/11, I did not experience the attacks as war. I saw them as very impressive terrorism. However, I was appalled at how quickly individuals in positions of authority pushed sentiment in that direction. The attack was on a Tuesday (I had a blood draw and voted before I even realized Something Bad had happened). I was appalled to see the saber-rattling in Bush’s speech at the National Cathedral on Friday. On Sunday, I decided to go to the Unitarian Church around the corner. I was shocked to hear more martial-speak. And because the church was packed, I had to sit in the front on the floor, which meant I couldn’t duck out.

By Tom Engelhardt. Originally published at TomDispatch

Here’s the strange thing in an ever-stranger world: I was born in July 1944 in the midst of a devastating world war. That war ended in August 1945 with the atomic obliteration of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by the most devastating bombs in history up to that moment, given the sweet code names “Little Boy†and “Fat Man.â€

I was the littlest of boys at the time. More than three-quarters of a century has passed since, on September 2, 1945, Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu signed the Instrument of Surrender on the battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay, officially ending World War II. That was V-J (for Victory over Japan) Day, but in a sense for me, my whole generation, and this country, war never really ended.

The United States has been at war, or at least in armed conflicts of various sorts, often in distant lands, for more or less my entire life. Yes, for some of those years, that war was “cold†(which often meant that such carnage, regularly sponsored by the CIA, happened largely off-screen and out of sight), but war as a way of life never really ended, not to this very moment.

In fact, as the decades went by, it would become the “infrastructure†in which Americans increasingly invested their tax dollars via aircraft carriers , trillion-dollar jet fighters, drones armed with Hellfire missiles, and the creation and maintenance of hundreds of military garrisons around the globe, rather than roads, bridges, or rail lines (no less the high-speed version of the same) here at home. During those same years, the Pentagon budget would grab an ever-larger percentage of federal discretionary spending and the full-scale annual investment in what has come to be known as the national security state would rise to a staggering $1.2 trillion or more.

In a sense, future V-J Days became inconceivable. There were no longer moments, even as wars ended, when some version of peace might descend and America’s vast military contingents could, as at the end of World War II, be significantly demobilized. The closest equivalent was undoubtedly the moment when the Soviet Union imploded in 1991, the Cold War officially ended, and the Washington establishment declared itself globally triumphant. But of course, the promised “peace dividend†would never be paid out as the first Gulf War with Iraq occurred that very year and the serious downsizing of the U.S. military (and the CIA) never happened.

Never-Ending War

Consider it typical that, when President Biden recently announced the official ending of the nearly 20-year-old American conflict in Afghanistan with the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from that country by 9/11/21, it would functionally be paired with the news that the Pentagon budget was about to rise yet again from its record heights in the Trump years. “Only in America,†as retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and historian William Astore wrote recently, “do wars end and war budgets go up.â€

Buy the Book

Of course, even the ending of that never-ending Afghan War may prove exaggerated. In fact, let’s consider Afghanistan apart from the rest of this country’s war-making history for a moment. After all, if I had told you in 1978 that, of the 42 years to follow, the U.S. would be involved in war in a single country for 30 of them and asked you to identify it, I can guarantee that Afghanistan wouldn’t have been your pick. And yet so it’s been. From 1979 to 1989, there was the CIA-backed Islamist extremist war against the Soviet army there (to the tune of billions and billions of dollars). And yet the obvious lesson the Russians learned from that adventure, as their military limped home in defeat and the Soviet Union imploded not long after â€" that Afghanistan is indeed the “graveyard of empires†â€" clearly had no impact in Washington.

Or how do you explain the 19-plus years of warfare there that followed the 9/11 attacks, themselves committed by a small Islamist outfit, al-Qaeda, born as an American ally in that first Afghan War? Only recently, the invaluable Costs of War Project estimated that America’s second Afghan War has cost this country almost $2.3 trillion (not including the price of lifetime care for its vets) and has left at least 241,000 people dead, including 2,442 American service members. In 1978, after the disaster of the Vietnam War, had I assured you that such a never-ending failure of a conflict was in our future, you would undoubtedly have laughed in my face.

And yet, three decades later, the U.S. military high command still seems not faintly to have grasped the lesson that we “taught†the Russians and then experienced ourselves. As a result, according to recent reports, they have uniformly opposed President Biden’s decision to withdraw all American troops from that country by the 20th anniversary of 9/11. In fact, it’s not even clear that, by September 11, 2021, if the president’s proposal goes according to plan, that war will have truly ended. After all, the same military commanders and intelligence chiefs seem intent on organizing long-distance versions of that conflict or, as the New York Times put it , are determined to “fight from afar†there. They are evidently even considering establishing new bases in neighboring lands to do so.

America’s “forever wars†â€" once known as the Global War on Terror and, when the administration of George W. Bush launched it, proudly aimed at 60 countries â€" do seem to be slowly winding down. Unfortunately, other kinds of potential wars, especially new cold wars with China and Russia (involving new kinds of high-tech weaponry) only seem to be gearing up.

War in Our Time

In these years, one key to so much of this is the fact that, as the Vietnam War began winding down in 1973, the draft was ended and war itself became a “voluntary†activity for Americans. In other words, it became ever easier not only to not protest American war-making, but to pay no attention to it or to the changing military that went with it. And that military was indeed altering and growing in remarkable ways.

In the years that followed, for instance, the elite Green Berets of the Vietnam era would be incorporated into an ever more expansive set of Special Operations forces, up to 70,000 of them (larger, that is, than the armed forces of many countries). Those special operators would functionally become a second, more secretive American military embedded inside the larger force and largely freed from citizen oversight of any sort. In 2020, as Nick Turse reported, they would be stationed in a staggering 154 countries around the planet, often involved in semi-secret conflicts “in the shadows†that Americans would pay remarkably little attention to.

Since the Vietnam War, which roiled the politics of this nation and was protested in the streets of this country by an antiwar movement that came to include significant numbers of active-duty soldiers and veterans, war has played a remarkably recessive role in American life. Yes, there have been the endless thank-yous offered by citizens and corporations to “the troops.†But that’s where the attentiveness stops, while both political parties, year after endless year, remain remarkably supportive of a growing Pentagon budget and the industrial (that is, weapons-making) part of the military-industrial complex. War, American-style, may be forever, but â€" despite, for instance, the militarization of this country’s police and the way in which those wars came home to the Capitol last January 6th â€" it remains a remarkably distant reality for most Americans.

One explanation: though the U.S. has, as I’ve said, been functionally at war since 1941, there were just two times when this country felt war directly â€" on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and on September 11, 2001, when 19 mostly Saudi hijackers in commercial jets struck New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

And yet, in another sense, war has been and remains us. Let’s just consider some of that war-making for a moment. If you’re of a certain age, you can certainly call to mind the big wars: Korea (1950-1953), Vietnam (1954-1975) â€" and don’t forget the brutal bloodlettings in neighboring Laos and Cambodia as well â€" that first Gulf War of 1991, and the disastrous second one, the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Then, of course, there was that Global War on Terror that began soon after September 11, 2001, with the invasion of Afghanistan, only to spread to much of the rest of the Greater Middle East, and to significant parts of Africa. In March, for instance, the first 12 American special-ops trainers arrived in embattled Mozambique, just one more small extension of an already widespread American anti-Islamist terror role ( now failing ) across much of that continent.

And then, of course, there were the smaller conflicts (though not necessarily so to the people in the countries involved) that we’ve now generally forgotten about, the ones that I had to search my fading brain to recall. I mean, who today thinks much about President John F. Kennedy’s April 1961 CIA disaster at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba; or President Lyndon Johnson’s sending of 22,000 U.S. troops to the Dominican Republic in 1965 to “restore orderâ€; or President Ronald Reagan’s version of “aggressive self-defense†by U.S. Marines sent to Lebanon who, in October 1983, were attacked in their barracks by a suicide bomber, killing 241 of them; or the anti-Cuban invasion of the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada that same month in which 19 Americans were killed and 116 wounded?

And then, define and categorize them as you will, there were the CIA’s endless militarized attempts (sometimes with the help of the U.S. military) to intervene in the affairs of other countries, ranging from taking the nationalist side against Mao Zedong’s communist forces in China from 1945 to 1949 to stoking a small ongoing conflict in Tibet in the 1950s and early 1960s, and overthrowing the governments of Guatemala and Iran, among other places. There were an estimated 72 such interventions from 1947 to 1989, many warlike in nature. There were, for instance, the proxy conflicts in Central America, first in Nicaragua against the Sandinistas and then in El Salvador, bloody events even if few U.S. soldiers or CIA agents died in them. No, these were hardly “wars,†as traditionally defined, not all of them, though they did sometimes involve military coups and the like, but they were generally carnage-producing in the countries they were in. And that only begins to suggest the range of this country’s militarized interventions in the post-1945 era, as journalist William Blum’s “ A Brief History of Interventions †makes all too clear.

Whenever you look for the equivalent of a warless American moment, some reality trips you up. For instance, perhaps you had in mind the brief period between when the Red Army limped home in defeat from Afghanistan in 1989 and the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991, that moment when Washington politicians, initially shocked that the Cold War had ended so unexpectedly, declared themselves triumphant on Planet Earth. That brief period might almost have passed for “peace,†American-style, if the U.S. military under President George H. W. Bush hadn’t, in fact, invaded Panama (“Operation Just Causeâ€) as 1989 ended to get rid of its autocratic leader Manuel Noriega (a former CIA asset, by the way). Up to 3,000 Panamanians (including many civilians) died along with 23 American troops in that episode.

And then, of course, in January 1991 the First Gulf War began . It would result in perhaps 8,000 to 10,000 Iraqi deaths and “only†a few hundred deaths among the U.S.-led coalition of forces. Air strikes against Iraq would follow in the years to come. And let’s not forget that even Europe wasn’t exempt since, in 1999, during the presidency of Bill Clinton, the U.S. Air Force launched a destructive 10-week bombing campaign against the Serbs in the former Yugoslavia.

And all of this remains a distinctly incomplete list, especially in this century when something like 2 00,000 U.S. troops have regularly been stationed abroad and U.S. Special Operations forces have deployed to staggering numbers of countries, while American drones regularly attacked “terrorists†in nation after nation and American presidents quite literally became assassins-in-chief . To this day, what scholar and former CIA consultant Chalmers Johnson called an American “empire of bases†â€" a historically unprecedented 800 or more of them â€" across much of the planet remains untouched and, at any moment, there could be more to come from the country whose military budget at least equals those of the next 10 (yes, that’s 10!) countries combined, including China and Russia.

A Timeline of Carnage

The last three-quarters of this somewhat truncated post-World War II American Century have, in effect, been a timeline of carnage, though few in this country would notice or acknowledge that. After all, since 1945, Americans have only once been “at war†at home, when almost 3,000 civilians died in an attack meant to provoke â€" well, something like the war on terror that also become a war of terror and a spreader of terror movements in our world.

As journalist William Arkin recently argued , the U.S. has created a permanent war state meant to facilitate “endless war.†As he writes, at this very moment, our nation “is killing or bombing in perhaps 10 different countries,†possibly more, and there’s nothing remarkably out of the ordinary about that in our recent past.

The question that Americans seldom even think to ask is this: What if the U.S. were to begin to dismantle its empire of bases, repurpose so many of those militarized taxpayer dollars to our domestic needs, abandon this country’s focus on permanent war, and forsake the Pentagon as our holy church? What if, even briefly, the wars, conflicts, plots, killings, drone assassinations, all of it stopped?

What would our world actually be like if you simply declared peace and came home?


Hemanth Kumar , April 30, 2021 at 8:11 am

Here in Asia, many people think the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan was an act of flaying the dying horse, since Japan was staring at defeat even without the bombs. It was a totally callous act of the USA to drop the bombs just to “test their efficacyâ€.

Why then the bombs could not have dropped on Germany that was still waging war at that time? Asians smirk and say one) the “collateral†damage of radiation etc., to neighbours like France who were Allies and two) they were (and are) ‘whites’; unlike Japan and its neighbours.

NotTimothyGeithner , April 30, 2021 at 9:40 am

The war in Europe was over when the bomb was first tested.

The Rev Kev , April 30, 2021 at 9:43 am

I think that you have the dates mixed up. The war against Germany in Europe ended on May 7th and the testing of the first atom bomb was not until 16th July when the first bomb went off at Alamogordo in New Mexico. The following month the two remaining atom bombs that the US had were dropped on Japan. In short, the bombs arrived too late to use in Europe.

JBird4049 , April 30, 2021 at 3:57 pm

The bomb was built with Berlin being the first target, but because the war ended a year sooner than what everyone thought it would and making the very first bombs took longer than planned, it was used on Japan. It was probably used as a demonstration for the Soviets, but considering that sixty-six other large Japanese cities had already been completely destroyed by “conventional†firebombing, and in Tokyo’s case, with greater casualties than either nuclear bombing, the Bomb wasn’t really needed. The descriptions and the personal accounts of the destruction of Tokyo (or Dresden and Hamburg) are (if that is even possible) worse than of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Honestly, just what new and excitingly horrific ways of killing people the atom bomb used was not clearly understood. They generally thought of it as a bigger kaboom in a smaller package. And honestly, being pre-cremated during an entire night with your family and neighbors in the local bomb-shelter or dying after a few days, weeks, or even a month from radiation poisoning, is not really a difference is it?

WobblyTelomeres , April 30, 2021 at 6:28 pm

“More bang for the buck†is the phrase I heard years ago at Los Alamos.

John Wright , April 30, 2021 at 11:56 am

Another view has the dropping of the atomic bombs was a message, not to Japan, but to the Soviet Union.

From https://www.nytimes.com/1995/07/30/books/did-we-need-to-drop-it.html

“FOR 20 years after Harry Truman ordered the atomic bomb dropped on Japan in August 1945, most American scholars and citizens subscribed to the original, official version of the story: the President had acted to avert a horrendous invasion of Japan that could have cost 200,000 to 500,000 American lives. Then a young political economist named Gar Alperovitz published a book of ferocious revisionism, “Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam†(1965). While acknowledging the paucity of evidence available at the time, he argued that dropping the atomic bomb “was not needed to end the war or to save lives†but was Truman’s means of sending a chastening message to the Soviet Union.â€

Timh , April 30, 2021 at 1:32 pm

If we accept that at face value, then certainly the second bombing was unecessary. The threat would have been enough. But the US had a second bomb design to test…

BCD , April 30, 2021 at 4:13 pm

Few things working here. The US needed Japan to surrender quickly before Stalin invaded (which they asked him to do) so he couldn’t get his forces onto the island where the Allies couldn’t stop him. Most Japanese feared Stalin and preferred surrendering to the US but the Japanese government was trying to use talks with the USSR to get better terms than unconditional surrender (little did they know Stalin was licking his chops for more territory under his iron curtain).

The first bomb design (little man) was significantly less ambitious, it was so certain to function they never tested it because a study had proven there was almost no chance it would fail.

Fat boy was the scientific leap in technology needing to be demonstrated. Building little man was mostly a matter of enriching Uranium vs Fat boy Plutonium enrichment harder and detonation mechanism more complicated. However the end result was a bomb that could produce significantly higher yields with smaller amounts of fissionable material where both the size of the bomb could be significantly reduced and the yield of the device could be significantly scaled up at the same time.

Fat boy demonstrated the USA could someday be putting nukes on V2 rockets recently smuggled out of Germany. Even more important Fat boy is a precursor to the mechanism that initiates the H bomb fusion devices that Edward Teller would soon be Dr Strangloving.

Even after Trinity Fat boy still had very high odds of failure. They feared looking like fools if it failed and the USSR ended up with the Plutoniumt. As a result the US Air Force dropped little man first because it was certain to work. After the 1st bomb dropped, the Soviets declared war and began their invasion of Japan which forced Truman’s hand to drop Fat boy too. Even after Fat Boy, war mongers in Japan still refused to surrender where Emperor Hirohito finally overruled them and although there was a military coupe attempted, it failed.

Thus ended the most bloody conflict in the history of human kind.

Harold , April 30, 2021 at 7:52 pm

I’m not saying it isn’t true, but is there any actual evidence that the bombs were dropped as “a message to the Soviet Union†and not to speed the end of the war?

Also, who exactly wanted to send this “message� The US generals were against it, I understand.

Jason , April 30, 2021 at 9:23 pm

An apologia on bomb design, manufacture, and real-world application!

These ones weren’t even atomic:

https://i0.wp.com/wrongkindofgreen.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/libya-before-and-after-1.jpg

And look what they can do. Yay bombs.

Tom Pfotzer , April 30, 2021 at 9:25 am

“What would our world actually be like if you simply declared peace and came home?â€

a. All those families whose livelihood is based on waging war would have to find a new job. These people will fight tooth and nail to avoid change

b. The resource grabs by the rich people behind the Oz-like curtain would fail. Their fate would be that of the English aristocrats who have to rent out their castles in order to maintain a roof over their head. These people will fight tooth and nail to avoid change

c. The general public would have a fire-hose of newly-available resources to direct toward activities which benefit all the rest of the families outside A and B above

d. Fear-based leverage by the few over the many would be diminished. Attention would be re-directed toward valid problems we all face

=====

There’s an interesting question which I see posed from time to time, and often ask myself. It runs thus:

“Who decides who our “enemies†are, and why they are “enemies�

This is a fundamental question which I believe very few of us can currently answer accurately. Yet this question carries a $1.2T per year consequence. That’s a lot of money to allocate toward something we know nothing about.

One time I asked an acquaintance â€" who spent a career at CIA â€" that question. His reply was “Why, Congress decides who our enemies are, and why. Congress then tells the CIA what to doâ€.

I wasn’t sure if he truly believed that. It’s quite possible he did, of course, and I’m sure many of the people in group A above surely do think they’re doing honorable and patriotic work.

Group B above â€" the people who are actually moving the chess pieces of “the Great Game†â€" they are pretty clear on who defines our “enemies†and why they are “enemiesâ€. And they wisely don’t stand in front of podiums and explain their actions. These people aren’t visible, or explained, or known because it’s better for them not to be.

The way to combat manipulation by these predators is to:

a. Know them by their actions. Predators predate.
b. Don’t participate. In order for them to predate, they need minions. Don’t be a minion. Instead…
c. Be the giver, the creator and the constructor of things that are of no use to predators

NotTimothyGeithner , April 30, 2021 at 10:06 am

It’s not the soldiers but the contractors who live in dumpy overpriced holes like Northern Virginia.

As to your acquaintance, my godfather was in the CIA in the 60’s and a bit into the 70’s, and he might not say Congress as much as the President’s Chief of Staff as threat they choose what the President sees. You have to remember it’s primarily an organization of boring paper pushers looking to get promoted which requires political patronage. Imagine getting the Canada desk. You’ll be at a dead end unless you paint it as a grave threat. Then there is information overload and just the sheer size of the US. They would file reports, he mentioned an incident in Africa in the wake of decolonization when y godfather was stationed there that maybe warranted the President’s attention, but to get information to the President’s CoS took so long, it was in the President’s daily newspaper before the report could be handled. By then, why care, given the size of the US? Who can get to the Chief of Staff? Congress, so everyone else lobbies them. The CIA director is an appendage of the CoS.

When the President wants something, everyone jumps, but when the President doesn’t care, everyone is jockeying get for patronage.

HH , April 30, 2021 at 10:35 am

The war machine is sustained by plutocrats and their sociopathic flunkies in the national security state. How this works is clearly depicted in “The Devil’s Chessboard,†by David Talbot, a deeply depressing chronicle of how Allen Dulles and his brother John Foster Dulles did the dirty work of US corporations worldwide. The arrogance, impunity, and irresponsibility of these men established the framework of our secret government, which remains intact to this day.

It would be pleasant to believe that this evil persists because of public ignorance, but like the good Germans of the Nazi era, Americans accept that deception, torture, and murder are routinely practiced on our behalf to maintain our high standard of living and to keep us “safe.†The reverence for the operatives of the US national security state is evident throughout our popular culture, and that is a damning judgment on the American people.

Tom Pfotzer , April 30, 2021 at 11:17 am

Yes. Succinctly stated, and quite correct.

Of course the core problems are stationed at the place hardest to get to: right between our ears. This complicity disease runs deep and wide.

While I often succumb to that same despondency you mentioned, occasionally I interrupt the doom tape to notice that there’s a lot of people who are paddling hard toward a new ethos…like the posters here @ NC, for ex.

So today I’m going to indulge in a little happiness. Plant a tree. Do something good, something durable, something hopeful.

Something that offers no real hope of rent extraction potential.

:)

JBird4049 , April 30, 2021 at 8:53 pm

It was nice being accused of supporting the terrorists because I supported the rule of law and human rights, not to mention the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

WTF do some people think that the Founders wanted an extremely small army, a large organized militia, and passed the Bill of Rights? It was a reaction to what the British Army did to them (using much of the same tactics as the current “justice†system does today.) The ignorance and lack of thinking is really annoying.

Much of what the British military did was not good. Even now some of it would not be allowed in a court of law, but I do not recall them being nearly as violent, brutal, or deadly in their tactics while enforcing the King’s Law as the current regime or the local police are. That the milder British tactics caused a civil war with in a decade, and that the people then had less to fear from an occupying army as we do from “our†police is disturbing to think on.

But wars always come home, don’t they? Faux toughness on the supposed baddies here with claims of treason and insurrections on protests and riots now that often would hardly be in the news fifty years ago, so great was the protests and riots happening then. The cry to use the same tactics that did not work overseas to be used here at home. “To keep us safe.â€

Swamp Yankee , May 1, 2021 at 2:06 am

There’s truth to this, but once the war was really on, British and Tory/Loyalist brutality had decisive effects on public opinion, putting lots of people into the Whig/Patriot camp. Tom Paine makes great efforts to publicize British sexual assaults, looting, and general thugishness as they chase the Continental Army across New Jersey in 1776; the cruelty of backcountry British cavalry officers and Tory rangers in the Carolinas was legendary as the war reaches its latter phases.

And there was brutality on the other side, too, especially for Loyalist elites who faced a kind of “social death.†It was a war, after all, as well as a social revolution. It wasn’t France in 1789 or Russia in 1917, but it was rough, especially given the small population size.

FluffytheObeseCat , April 30, 2021 at 11:36 am

Except as Engelhardt just pointed out, the national security state does not “maintain our high standard of livingâ€. It’s an immense net drain on our standard of living. The only Americans made well-to-do or wealthy by it are those who are directly involved in supplying contract goods and services to the system.

FriarTuck , April 30, 2021 at 3:41 pm

I don’t know if Americans “accept†it as opposed to taking a dim view of being able to affect change.

The levers the average person has to change the behavior of the state is infinitesimal. Add to that the scope of action and Overton window mediated by the hypernormalized press ecosystem just means those in power get to act without restraint.

Hell, Obama literally said “We tortured some folks†and the media and government barely shrugged. To my knowledge, no one went to jail, no one was brought up in the Hague, and some of the same ghouls that perpetrated such crimes got cushy commenter jobs in the media.

Right now, localities can’t even keep their police from regularly killing citizens.

What does the average person do in the face of such things?

Jason , April 30, 2021 at 5:07 pm

Hell, Obama literally said “We tortured some folks†and the media and government barely shrugged. To my knowledge, no one went to jail, no one was brought up in the Hague, and some of the same ghouls that perpetrated such crimes got cushy commenter jobs in the media.

No one went to jail. Certainly no one went before the Hague. No bankers went to jail either. Even during the nutty Reagan administration, people went to jail for financial shenanigans. Some got long sentences. Hell, the Iran-Contra stuff was at least covered and people were indicted, even if they all got pardoned. Not anymore. These shenanigans are the norm and happen right out in the open. I’d imagine some of it’s been given legal cover. It seems like it’s become the expected behavior within these circles. To act otherwise â€" to attempt to be honest, in other words â€" is seen as weak and is mocked as fiercely as a weaker child on the playground might be.

It’s just a continuing regression. And as you note, it’s an excellent career builder:

“Looking for a job in mainstream media? Research has shown that reducing your sense of ethics and morality actually helps you get ahead.â€

John Wright , May 1, 2021 at 1:53 pm

I like to quote a radio advertisement that a local Northern California bail bondsman ran on one local radio station years ago.

“Friends don’t let friends do timeâ€.

LowellHighlander , April 30, 2021 at 10:59 am

Doubtless, Ms. Smith and Ms. Engelhardt have provided a key public service here. And I speak as a veteran, decorated for service in the War Over Oil (a.k.a. the “Persian Gulf Warâ€).

Between the vast economic inequality currently raging in our country, the social stratification enabled by access to colleges and universities accepted as “eliteâ€, the trashing of Constitutional protections (e.g. the 4th Amendment, now thoroughly eviscerated owing to the “PATRIOT ACTâ€), and the rampaging rule by “intelligence agencies†over foreign policy, I see no reason why any father should tell his children that this is a country worth fighting and dying for. [Think: China] Of course, the Empire â€" just as Rome did in its dying days â€" will be able to find enough desperately poor who will take the king’s shilling and don the uniform.

If anyone wishes to prove me wrong, let them work for a substantive “peace dividend†for a 2-3 years. Then we can sit down and talk; I’ll buy the ale.

tegnost , April 30, 2021 at 11:38 am

I think Englehart is a “Mr.†but I don’t want to get myself in trouble with the gender neutralization crowd

LowellHighlander , April 30, 2021 at 12:41 pm

oops; my apologies to all.

Rod , April 30, 2021 at 12:25 pm

And here is a nice companion reading alluding to Media collusion by a CNN colluder:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/29/opinions/lies-told-to-sustain-us-and-uk-mission-in-afghanistan-walsh/index.html

from the above article:

In these years, one key to so much of this is the fact that, as the Vietnam War began winding down in 1973, the draft was ended and war itself became a “voluntary†activity for Americans. In other words, it became ever easier not only to not protest American war-making, but to pay no attention to it or to the changing military that went with it. And that military was indeed altering and growing in remarkable ways.

Because, imo,

Since the Vietnam War, which roiled the politics of this nation and was protested in the streets of this country by an antiwar movement that came to include significant numbers of active-duty soldiers and veterans, war has played a remarkably recessive role in American life.

Despite having already ‘pledged’ at my Uncles Invitation, with the Draft’s End, I had great hope my future would see the great Peace Dividand rather than 9 more Opportunity Conflicts.
Little did that then 21 year old see the brilliance in that Pentagon Strategy.
I Now firmly support a No Exemption Draft for all post HS.
Military Service being only one, and a restricted one, of many counter-balancing options available for Public Service for that cohort.

Frank Little , April 30, 2021 at 12:42 pm

This article reminded me of one of the best Congressional Research Service reports that I’ve read: Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2020 . Despite being just a list of dates and locations with a brief description, it comes in at around 50 pages, which I think is a testament to how important foreign military engagement has been to the growth of the US even before 1945. Between these foreign wars and the genocidal war against the indigenous people of the continent I think it’s fair to say this country has been at war since its founding.

juno mas , April 30, 2021 at 6:16 pm

Correct. Even the so called Louisiana Purchase was not really a purchase of land, but a faux “option†to engage in land treaties with the native Americans;.the US chose Indian Wars and relocation treaties that have been violated repeatedly. (This territory is now known as the Red States.)

The rest of the land extending to the west coast was acquired through conquest with the new nation of Mexico. I guess the only real honest acquisition would be Seward’s Icebox.

JBird4049 , April 30, 2021 at 8:30 pm

>>I guess the only real honest acquisition would be Seward’s Icebox.

Alaska has only been inhabited for a few tens of thousands of years. I would think that the natives should have some say about who “owns†the land even though the Russian Empire did say that they did. The reasons sometimes included the use of guns. As for stealing Mexico’s territory, again that was, and in some areas still is, inhabited by natives who somehow became under the “governance†of New Spain or the country of Mexico despite not being asked about it and often still a majority part of the population in many areas when Mexico lost control.

Often, Europeans or Americans would show up somewhere, plant a flag, and say that they claimed or owned the very inhabited land, sometimes with farms and even entire cities. Rather arrogant, I would say.

Harold , April 30, 2021 at 8:49 pm

“Whatever happens, we have got
The Maxim gun, and they have not.â€

juno mas , April 30, 2021 at 9:44 pm

I agree. Seward’s Icebox was not empty at time of sale. My understanding is that Seward thought it was. So faraway, so cold; no one would be living there, right?

As I’ve commented here many times, it was small pox not small bullets that allowed the Old World to take the New. There were estimates of 20 million native Americans living on the land now known as Mexico and the US. 90% were felled by Old World disease before Custer lost his scalp to the northern Plains Indians. In a fair fight the Indians would be enforcing the treaties.

It is amazing how the US continues to engage in war and still lose: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. . .Ukraine?

kgw , April 30, 2021 at 5:58 pm

I remember the words of Patrick Henry in his speech on the floor of the Virginia legislature debating the passing of the new constitution…

In particular, his views on the standing army : “What does a farmer in Virginia have to fear from a farmer in France?â€

Democracy Working , April 30, 2021 at 10:29 pm

For nearly a decade now every time I’ve read about the war in Afghanistan I’ve thought about Tim Kreider’s mordant 2011 cartoon We Could’ve Had The Moon, Instead We Get Afghanistan . Ten years later, that $432 billion has ballooned to $2.3 trillion (and more) and every word he wrote still stands. :-(

The author has retired from cartooning and now focuses on essay writing.

Sound of the Suburbs , May 1, 2021 at 4:37 am

We are going to have to halt the production lines.
The warehouses are full of bombs already, there is no more room.

Biden to the rescue; he’s started dropping bombs already.
When you have a large defence industry, you need war.
The only purpose is to use up the output from the defence industry.

This is what they realised in the 1940s, but we forgot.
http://delong.typepad.com/kalecki43.pdf

“The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or
consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on
armamentsâ€

Sound of the Suburbs , May 1, 2021 at 4:47 am

Ran out of edit time.
Should be two quotes.

“The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on armamentsâ€

“Large-scale armaments are inseparable from the expansion of the armed forces and the preparation of plans for a war of conquest. They also induce competitive rearmament of other countries.â€

These were the lessons they learnt from the 1930s.

Susan the other , May 1, 2021 at 12:18 pm

So now, here we are. And how do we create a peaceful world? Refit the US military for a sustainable world. It will prove to be very useful. We and other advanced nations still have the advantage for prosperity but we should not abuse it. The whole idea back in 1945 was for the world to prosper. So I’ll just suggest my usual hack: Get rid of the profit motive. It’s pure mercantilism. And totally self defeating in a world seeking sustainability for everyone.

Philip Ebersole , May 1, 2021 at 1:35 pm

The Manhattan Project was an enormously expensive enterprise with two components â€" the development of a uranium bomb (Oak Ridge) and a plutonium bomb (Hanford, WA).

If no bomb had been used, the project would have been considered a waste of time, and there would have been a congressional investigation. If only one bomb had been used, half the cost would have been considered a waste.

I’m not saying these were the only reasons for dropping the bombs. The event was, as they say, “overdetermined.â€

[May 03, 2021] Escobar- US, Europe, The Vienna JCPOA 'Shadowplay'

May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Few people, apart from specialists, may have heard of the JCPOA Joint Commission. That’s the group in charge of a Sisyphean task: the attempt to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal through a series of negotiations in Vienna.

The Iranian negotiating team was back in Vienna yesterday, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi. Shadowplay starts with the fact the Iranians negotiate with the other members of the P+1 â€" Russia, China, France, UK and Germany â€" but not directly with the US.

That’s quite something: after all, it was the Trump administration that blew up the JCPOA. There is an American delegation in Vienna, but they only talk with the Europeans.

Shadowplay goes turbo when every Viennese coffee table knows about Tehran’s red lines: either it’s back to the original JCPOA as it was agreed in Vienna in 2015 and then ratified by the UN Security Council, or nothing.

Araghchi, mild-mannered and polite, has had to go on the record once again to stress that Tehran will leave if the talks veer towards “bullyingâ€, time wasting or even a step-by-step ballroom dance, which is time wasting under different terminology.

Neither flat out optimistic nor pessimistic, he remains, let’s say, cautiously upbeat, at least in public: “We are not disappointed and we will do our job. Our positions are very clear and firm. The sanctions must be lifted, verified and then Iran must return to its commitments.â€

So, at least in the thesis, the debate is still on. Araghchi: “There are two types of U.S. sanctions against Iran. First, categorized or so-called divisional sanctions, such as oil, banking and insurance, shipping, petrochemical, building and automobile sanctions, and second, sanctions against real and legal individuals.â€

“Second†is the key issue. There’s absolutely no guarantee the US Congress will lift most or at least a significant part of these sanctions.

Everyone in Washington knows it â€" and the American delegation knows it.

When the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, for instance, says that 60% or 70% has been agreed upon, that’s code for lifting of divisional sanctions. When it comes to “secondâ€, Araghchi has to be evasive: “There are complex issues in this area that we are examiningâ€.

Now compare it with the assessment of informed Iranian insiders in Washington such as nuclear policy expert Seyed Hossein Mousavian : they’re more like pessimistic realists.

That takes into consideration the non-negotiable red lines established by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei himself. Plus non-stop pressure by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who are all JCPOA-adverse.

But then there’s extra shadowplay. Israeli intel has already notified the security cabinet that a deal most certainly will be reached in Vienna. After all, the narrative of a successful deal is already being constructed as a foreign policy victory by the Biden-Harris administration â€" or, as cynics prefer, Obama-Biden 3.0.

Meanwhile, Iranian diplomacy remains on overdrive. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is visiting Qatar and Iraq, and has already met with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim al Thani.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, virtually at the end of his term before the June presidential elections, always goes back to the same point: no more US sanctions; Iran’s verification; then Iran will return to its “nuclear obligationsâ€.

The Foreign Ministry has even released a quite detailed fact sheet once again stressing the need to remove “all sanctions imposed, re-imposed and re-labeled since January 20, 2017â€.

The window of opportunity for a deal won’t last long. Hardliners in Tehran couldn’t care less. At least 80% of Tehran members of Parliament are now hardliners. The next President most certainly will be a hardliner. Team Rouhani’s efforts have been branded a failure since the onset of Trump’s “maximum pressure†campaign. Hardliners are already in post-JCPOA mode.

That fateful Fateh

What none of the actors in the shadowplay can admit is that the revival of the JCPOA pales compared to the real issue: the power of Iranian missiles.

In the original 2015 negotiations in Vienna â€" follow them in my Persian Miniatures e-book â€" Obama-Biden 2.0 did everything in their power to include missiles in the deal.

Every grain of sand in the Negev desert knows that Israel will go no holds barred to retain its nuclear weapon primacy in the Middle East. Via a spectacular kabuki, the fact that Israel is a nuclear power happens to remain “invisible†to most of world public opinion.

While Khamenei has issued a fatwa clearly stating that producing, stockpiling and using weapons of mass destruction â€" nuclear included â€" is haram (banned by Islam), Israel’s leadership feels free to order stunts such as the sabotage via Mossad of the (civilian) Iranian nuclear complex at Natanz.

The head of Iran’s Parliament Energy Committee, Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, even accused Washington and London of being accomplices to the sabotage of Natanz, as they arguably supplied intel to Tel Aviv.

Yet now a lone missile is literally exploding a great deal of the shadowplay.

On April 22, in the dead of night before dawn, a Syrian missile exploded only 30 km away from the ultra-sensitive Israeli nuclear reactor of Dimona. The official â€" and insistent â€" Israeli spin: this was an “errantâ€.

Well, not really.

Here â€" third video from the top â€" is footage of the quite significant explosion. Also significantly, Tel Aviv remained absolutely mum when it comes to offering a missile proof of ID. Was it an old Soviet 1967 SA-5? Or, rather more likely, a 2012 Iranian Fateh-110 short range surface-to-surface, manufactured in Syria as the M-600 , and also possessed by Hezbollah?

A Fateh family tree can be seen in the attached chart. The inestimable Elijah Magnier has posed some very good questions about the Dimona near-hit. I complemented it with a quite enlightening discussion with physicists, with input by a military intel expert.

The Fateh-110 operates as a classic ballistic missile, until the moment the warhead starts maneuvering to evade ABM defenses. Precision is up to 10 meters, nominally 6 meters. So it hit exactly where it was supposed to hit. Israel officially confirmed that the missile was not intercepted â€" after a trajectory of roughly 266 km.

This opens a brand new can of worms. It implies that the performance of the much hyped and recently upgraded Iron Dome is far from stellar â€" and talk about an euphemism. The Fateh flew so low that Iron Dome could not identify it.

The inevitable conclusion is this was a message/warning combo. From Damascus. With a personal stamp from Bashar al-Assad, who had to clear such a sensitive missile launch. A message/warning delivered via Iranian missile technology fully available to the Axis of Resistance â€" proving that regional actors have serious stealth capability.

It’s crucial to remember that when Tehran dispatched a volley of deliberately older Fateh-313 versions at the US base Ayn al-Assad in Iraq, as a response to the assassination of Gen Soleimani in January 2020, the American radars went blank.

Iranian missile technology as top strategic deterrence. Now that’s the shadowplay that turns Vienna into a sideshow.

[May 03, 2021] U.S. Four Star Generals Ask DNI To Stop Lying

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Dear Director of National Intelligence, ..."
"... we, the the 4-star Generals leading U.S. regional commands all over the world, are increasingly concerned with about the lack of evidence for claims you make about our opponents. ..."
"... We, as true believers, do not doubt whatever judgment you make about the harmful activities of Russia, Iran and China. However - our allies and partners do not yet subscribe to the bliss of ignorance. They keep asking us for facts that support those judgments ..."
"... Unfortunately, we have none that we could provide. ..."
"... You say that Russia thought to manipulate Trump allies and to smear Biden , that Russia and Iran aimed to sway the 2020 election through covert campaigns and that China runs covert operations to influence members of Congress . ..."
"... Media reports have appeared in which 'intelligence sources' claim that Russia, China and Iran are all paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers. Fortunately no soldier got hurt by those rumors. ..."
"... Our allies and partners read those and other reports and ask us for evidence. They want to know how exactly Russia, Iran and China are doing these things. ..."
"... They, of course, hope to learn from our experience to protect their own countries. ..."
"... Currently we are not able to provide them with such information. Your people keep telling our that all of it is SECRET. ..."
"... We therefore ask you to declassify the facts that support your judgments. * ..."
"... PS: * Either that or shut the fuck up. ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

These folks have had it with the constant stream of baseless propaganda U.S. intelligence is spilling over the world:

Dear Director of National Intelligence,

we, the the 4-star Generals leading U.S. regional commands all over the world, are increasingly concerned with about the lack of evidence for claims you make about our opponents.

We, as true believers, do not doubt whatever judgment you make about the harmful activities of Russia, Iran and China. However - our allies and partners do not yet subscribe to the bliss of ignorance. They keep asking us for facts that support those judgments

Unfortunately, we have none that we could provide.

You say that Russia thought to manipulate Trump allies and to smear Biden , that Russia and Iran aimed to sway the 2020 election through covert campaigns and that China runs covert operations to influence members of Congress .

Media reports have appeared in which 'intelligence sources' claim that Russia, China and Iran are all paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers. Fortunately no soldier got hurt by those rumors.

Our allies and partners read those and other reports and ask us for evidence. They want to know how exactly Russia, Iran and China are doing these things.

They, of course, hope to learn from our experience to protect their own countries.

Currently we are not able to provide them with such information. Your people keep telling our that all of it is SECRET.

We therefore ask you to declassify the facts that support your judgments. *

Sincerely

The Generals

----
PS: * Either that or shut the fuck up.

The above may well have been a draft for the letter behind this report :

America’s top spies say they are looking for ways to declassify and release more intelligence about adversaries’ bad behavior, after a group of four-star military commanders sent a rare and urgent plea asking for help in the information war against Russia and China.

The internal memo from nine regional military commanders last year, which was reviewed by POLITICO and not made public, implored spy agencies to provide more evidence to combat "pernicious conduct."

Only by "waging the truth in the public domain against America’s 21st century challengers†can Washington shore up support from American allies, they said. But efforts to compete in the battle of ideas, they added, are hamstrung by overly stringent secrecy practices.

“We request this help to better enable the US, and by extension its allies and partners, to win without fighting, to fight now in so-called gray zones, and to supply ammunition in the ongoing war of narratives," the commanders who oversee U.S. military forces in Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America, as well as special operations troops, wrote to then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire last January.

“Unfortunately, we continue to miss opportunities to clarify truth, counter distortions, puncture false narratives, and influence events in time to make a difference," they added.

The generals must have been seriously miffed to write such a letter. There have been a number of published intelligence judgments where the NSA had expressed low confidence in conclusions made mainly by the CIA. The NSA is part of the military.

Between two bureaucracies such an accusing letter or internal memo is the equivalent of a declaration of war. It is doubtful that the intelligence folks would win that fight.

That gives some hope that the Office of the DNI and the agencies below it will now lessen their production of nonsensical claims.

Posted by b on April 28, 2021 at 15:49 UTC | Permalink


Josh , Apr 28 2021 16:02 utc | 1

Right on man.
Thank You.
Kartoschka , Apr 28 2021 16:04 utc | 2
I hope you're right.
It could go the other way.
They will produce more "evidence"
psychohistorian , Apr 28 2021 16:12 utc | 3
Thanks for that b....is it rubber meets the road time?

I just read that the US is getting all its ambassadorial folk out of Afghanistan....maybe somebody is believing May 1 is a firmer deadline than the Biden 9/11 myth.

The shit show is about to crash, IMO, but if it is in slow motion, this crazy could go on for a while....what geo-political straw will break the camel's back?

Caliman , Apr 28 2021 16:25 utc | 4
Lewis Black, a pretty good US comedian, used to have a bit in the mid-2000's where he would ask the W administration flacks why they didn't just make up evidence about the Iraq WMDs after they "found out" that there were no weapons in the country. Black would tell them just make it up; we're used to it. Just give us an excuse to believe in the BS for God's sake; we'll do it!

I feel it's the same with our satrap nations around the world. At this time, is there anyone who does not understand that US foreign policy is conducted for and by MICIMATT (look it up)? So the generals have got nothing to worry about: keep pounding out that BS; there's a willing, able, and ready corps of salesmen and women in the media who will make enough of the public believe it for "democracy's" purposes.

Serg , Apr 28 2021 16:29 utc | 5
General Mackenzie who testified before the US House Armed Services Committee said Iran’s widespread use of drones means that the US is operating without complete air superiority for the first time since the Korean War.

Iran has time and again stated that its military capabilities are merely defensive and are designed to deter foreign threats.

https://politnew.com/politics/4796-gen-kenneth-mckenzie-iran-possesses-one-of-most-capable-militaries-in-the-middle-east.html

librul , Apr 28 2021 16:30 utc | 6
General Flynn had been head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (military).
The CIA was out to get him. It took a while but they eventually hamstrung him good.
gottlieb , Apr 28 2021 16:36 utc | 7
"Dear Generals, who haven't won a war in 75 years, so much for the DIA huh? We'd love to share our intelligence with you, our evidence showing the overwhelming and egregious misdeeds of our hateful, spiteful disgusting enemies, whose questioning of our Word should be met with charges of treason, but to give you evidence on top of our own unquestionable and 100% correct threat estimations, would compromise our Intelligence Gathering Methods which are of the strictest security and would threaten the ongoing ability of this Agency to gather and disseminate the unquestionable facts that without fear of contradiction we know is the truth. In short, dear Generals - work on winning a war, any war, and don't meddle in places that befuddle your ability to follow orders. Hooah! The CIA."
librul , Apr 28 2021 16:51 utc | 8
This fight has been ongoing for years.
Bottom line: The CIA wants to control the messages and narrative.

Article from 2013, great lead photo. Robert Mueller, James Clapper, John Brennan
and General Flynn all seated near each other.

https://www.defenseone.com/policy/2013/07/intel-wars-dia-cia-and-flynns-battle-consolidate-spying/66716/
Headline and subtext:

Intel Wars: DIA, CIA and Flynn’s Battle to Consolidate Spying
The Defense Department wants in on the spying game. But will the CIA block their efforts?


The CIA essentially absorbed the Pentagon’s only military-wide spying agency seven years ago [2006]
when the Defense HUMINT Service was dismantled -- and now, the Pentagon wants it back.

The CIA is quietly pushing the Armed Services committees along, hoping that Flynn’s DCS will be remembered by history as a failed power grab.

Canadian Cents , Apr 28 2021 17:10 utc | 11

The CIA/FBI/17+ known/unknown agencies are clearly a security apparatus that's gone out of control when even the USA's "nine regional [four-star general] military commanders" are out of the loop and pleading to be better informed. Worryingly, though, they ask for "ammunition in the ongoing war of narratives," which they apparently are ready to go right along with.

Western news media, of course, has become but a compliant weaponized appendage of that security apparatus, and democracy, which depends on informed voters, is nowhere in control of any of this.

Down this slippery slope, lies fascism.

rgl , Apr 28 2021 17:31 utc | 13

I do not see how this is possible. Every major event, from Vietnam, to JFK, to 9-11, and a myriad of others, had US lies baked into the cake. If the US ceased to lie, it would cease to function as America functions today. It would be incapable of empire.

The US establishment, from the President on down, is based on lies. They cannot survive on truth.

No. Nothing is going to change in this regard.

librul , Apr 28 2021 17:48 utc | 15

b ended his post with: " lessen their production of nonsensical claims."

"Nonsensical" misses the mark. They are *agenda-driven* claims.
I don't believe the Generals care one whit whether the spineless jellyfish pols
in other countries see through our lies. The Generals want the Pentagon to
have more participation in shaping the agenda and it's attendant narrative.

m , Apr 28 2021 18:13 utc | 17

The military used to be that part pf the US government apparatus ("deep state") that emphasized the value and importance of allies the most.

IMHO what is happening here is that the generals sense the imcreasing cracks in the US-centered alliance system. They attribute it to the work of the intelligence community, which is certainly a contributing factor, but thr real cause is the relative decline in US power and general unreliability due to political instability. The USA is less and less attractive as a partner. When the generals ask another country for a favour as they had been used to for decades they increasingly often get just questions and excuses in return.

Erelis , Apr 28 2021 20:31 utc | 26

Is this a sign of a struggle between the CIA and Pentagon as to who is the boss of foreign and war policy? Anybody remember when CIA supported jihadists were fighting Pentagon supported groups (were they jihadists?) in Syria. Seems like the Pentagon is the one deciding on relations with the Syrian Kurds, and not the CIA. Flynn was actively helping the Damascus with info about the CIA backed jihadists.

I would rather have the Pentagon win as they are not all that hot-to-trot for actual wars. The CIA should just go back to running US media, law makers, corporation and ruining civil liberties.

K_C_ , Apr 28 2021 22:26 utc | 28

Isn't it safe to assume that *anything* the CIA says publicly, either through direct channels or their co-opted corporate media, is false? Cue the Mike Pimpeo quote: "We lied, we cheated, we stole..." and of course the entire history of that useless agency, lol.

[Apr 29, 2021] Crisis in American expertise- Washington has a dangerous destructive pattern of willful ignorance on Russia by Natylie Baldwin

Notable quotes:
"... Bernie Sanders in 2016, the self-described democratic socialist "showed little interest or knowledge about US-Russia relations and the attendant dangers of a new cold war." Instead, Sanders was ultimately content to mimic the juvenile and Manichean "democracies versus authoritarians" model of international relations. ..."
"... in the Obama era, as mediocre academics like Celeste Wallander were given positions on the National Security Council, and an ideologue like Michael McFaul was bizarrely appointed as ambassador. ..."
"... Under Biden – who caved to pressure from the foreign policy blob to not appoint Rojansky – the advisers who are in place or in line, including Jake Sullivan , Antony Blinken , Madeleine Albright/Hillary Clinton adviser Wendy Sherman, the German Marshall Fund's Karen Donfried , and State Department nominee Victoria Nuland represent more of the same dangerous ineptitude and strident thinking. Many of these advisers, like their predecessors, have little on-the-ground experience with contemporary Russia. ..."
"... Neoconservative ideologue Nuland, of course, is a slightly different case in that she has put her boots on the ground in the region. Unfortunately, that experience includes facilitating the dangerously divisive 2014 coup in Ukraine, without which Crimea would still be in Ukraine and the Donbass would be at peace. Competent officials would have warned Obama and Biden that the Maidan would lead to consequences like these. ..."
"... importantly, this 'perceived enemy' and its corresponding narrative sells... it enriches the military complexes, CIA etc. Even if it sounded unbelievable and outrageous, they will still be regurgitated and at best, given a new guised repackaging ..."
"... the author assumes that the mistakes made by advisors to Obama and others were because of incompetence, when in fact it should be seriously considered they were actually quite deliberate and planned ..."
"... the job was NOT to deliver facts to the public; the job was to tell the public how to think and what to believe; ie. anti-Russia propaganda. ..."
Apr 29, 2021 | www.rt.com
The rejection of Matthew Rojansky's candidacy as a Russia adviser to Joe Biden represents an escalation, and not a departure, from a pervasive bipartisan American pattern of dangerous ignorance about Russia in the post-Soviet era.

It was reported last week that Joe Biden's government would not be hiring Rojansky, of the Kennan Institute think tank, to help form policy towards Russia. Though the analyst is known as a moderate realist regarding Russia issues – in other words, he is not a virulent anti-Moscow ideologue – he was considered too controversial to be allowed a hearing during White House deliberations on policy regarding the world's largest country.

Rojansky's sin? Unlike many of the current crop of foreign policy officials, he actually has some expertise and experience on the subject.

While the scholar's fate may be a glaring and extreme example of an anti-Russia mindset in Washington that is counterproductive, it represents only a new low, and not a change from a pervasive bipartisan pattern in the post-Soviet era.

Those who aspire to, or attain, the most powerful executive position in the United States have shown a disturbingly willful ignorance of Russia. I learned from a former State Department official that, in response to a renowned Russia expert attempting to brief presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in 2016, the self-described democratic socialist "showed little interest or knowledge about US-Russia relations and the attendant dangers of a new cold war." Instead, Sanders was ultimately content to mimic the juvenile and Manichean "democracies versus authoritarians" model of international relations.

Similarly, an American business executive told me that, during a lunch with him and other leaders of commerce at the US Embassy in Moscow in 2012, then-Vice President Joe Biden showed no interest in his interlocutors' suggestions that it was in the US' best interests to partner with Russia after they offered social, economic, and strategic justifications for their view.

Biden seemed to see the meeting as an opportunity to lecture on his position rather than to learn or seek insight on Russia.

Moreover, once a US president is in power, the advisers that are appointed to counsel the commander in chief about Russia have been less than impressive from the 1990s onward. Condoleezza Rice served as an expert in the George Bush Senior administration and was wrong about the impending collapse of the Soviet Union. During her stint as secretary of state in the second term of the junior Bush administration, her Russian counterparts who spent significant time with her made the observation that Rice was "a Soviet expert, and not a Russia expert."

There was little improvement in the Obama era, as mediocre academics like Celeste Wallander were given positions on the National Security Council, and an ideologue like Michael McFaul was bizarrely appointed as ambassador.

According to investigative journalist Gareth Porter, advisers to Obama were so utterly incompetent that those serving in the administration really didn't think Russia had the ability or inclination to counter Washington's provocative actions in Syria, and therefore they did not plan for that possibility. This incompetence was also highlighted by Obama's public comments to the Economist in 2014, in which he claimed that Russia didn't make anything, immigrants didn't go there, and male life expectancy was 60 years – three claims that anyone with actual expertise on Russia should have easily known were false.

In fact, at that point, Russia was the second most popular migration destination in the world, after America itself, while average lifespans have been converging with those of the US over the past decade. As for manufacturing, Obama said these words at a time when the US, for instance, was totally reliant on Russian rockets for access to space, having retired its own unreliable Space Shuttle fleet. If he had access to a competent adviser on the subject, would he have made these mistakes?

Under Biden – who caved to pressure from the foreign policy blob to not appoint Rojansky – the advisers who are in place or in line, including Jake Sullivan , Antony Blinken , Madeleine Albright/Hillary Clinton adviser Wendy Sherman, the German Marshall Fund's Karen Donfried , and State Department nominee Victoria Nuland represent more of the same dangerous ineptitude and strident thinking. Many of these advisers, like their predecessors, have little on-the-ground experience with contemporary Russia.

Neoconservative ideologue Nuland, of course, is a slightly different case in that she has put her boots on the ground in the region. Unfortunately, that experience includes facilitating the dangerously divisive 2014 coup in Ukraine, without which Crimea would still be in Ukraine and the Donbass would be at peace. Competent officials would have warned Obama and Biden that the Maidan would lead to consequences like these.

It takes a special kind of hubris for the US political class to keep thinking they can get away with this level of sloppiness in understanding the world's other nuclear superpower – a country so massive that it straddles two major continents and is the sixth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity – without serious consequences. At what point will God's providence run out?

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

Natylie Baldwin is author of "The View from Moscow: Understanding Russia and U.S.-Russia Relations," available at Amazon. She blogs at http://natyliesbaldwin.com/ .

See also


ewel Gyn 9 hours ago 9 hours ago

"Washington has a dangerous & destructive pattern of wilful ignorance on Russia in post-Soviet era" It is not just wilful ignorance per se. Without a 'perceived enemy', the narrative for Russia will fall apart. Ditto China, Iran, N Korea et al.

But importantly, this 'perceived enemy' and its corresponding narrative sells... it enriches the military complexes, CIA etc. Even if it sounded unbelievable and outrageous, they will still be regurgitated and at best, given a new guised repackaging, but with the antiquated contents remaining intact.

dotmafia 6 hours ago 6 hours ago
Good article, but, the author assumes that the mistakes made by advisors to Obama and others were because of incompetence, when in fact it should be seriously considered they were actually quite deliberate and planned. In the example of Obama's remarks to The Economist, the job was NOT to deliver facts to the public; the job was to tell the public how to think and what to believe; ie. anti-Russia propaganda.
Levin High 8 hours ago 8 hours ago
It used to be said that you couldn't be fired for buying IBM, now days in the US you seem to be hired for blaming Russia.
apothqowejh 9 hours ago 9 hours ago
The US State Department is packed with idiots, political appointees, ideologues and globalist nut jobs. Their lack of anything remotely like competence is as astonishing as the CIA's full on embrace of evil.
wowhead1977 4 hours ago 4 hours ago
The cabal in America always want to blame Russia. I'm a American citizen and have no problem with Russia. These so called sanctions on other countries is a control tactic that most Americans didn't vote for. This race baiting tactic is from The Fabian Society play book. Wolf in sheep's clothing is the Fabian Society logo.

We must realize that our Party's most powerful weapon is racial tension. By propounding into the consciousness of the dark races, that for centuries have been oppressed by the Whites, we can mold them to the program of the Communist Party ... In America, we will aim for subtle victory. While enflaming the color people minority against the Whites, we will instill in the Whites, a guilt complex for the exploitation of the color people.

We will aid the color people to rise to prominence in every walk of life, in the professions, and in the world of sports and entertainment. With this prestige, the color people will be able to intermarry with the Whites, and begin a process which will deliver America to our cause." ~ Israel Cohen - Fabian Society Founder

[Apr 27, 2021] Gauleiter: Swedish Filmmaker Exposes Biden Corruption In Eastern Europe And Ukraine

Apr 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Norwegian , Apr 25 2021 14:19 utc | 9

Must see video

Gauleiter: Swedish Filmmaker Exposes Biden Corruption In Eastern Europe And Ukraine

Norwegian , Apr 25 2021 14:34 utc | 11

@Norwegian | Apr 25 2021 14:19 utc | 9

Btw, I think the filmmaker is Finnish, not Swedish. This is judging from his dialect and the video contents.

@jared and @Lelush : Thank you

[Apr 27, 2021] Czech counterintelligence finds no proof of Russians presence in Vrbetice - president (TASS, April 25, 2021)

Apr 27, 2021 | tass.com

I will allow myself to quote from b’s link:

Czech counterintelligence finds no proof of Russians’ presence in Vrbetice - president (TASS, April 25, 2021)

PRAGUE, April 25. /TASS/. The evidence that some "Russian agents" were present at the ammo depot in the village of Vrbetice was not mentioned in the reports of the Czech Republic’s Security Information Service, Czech President Milos Zeman said in his emergency televised address in connection with the 2014 incident on Sunday.

"I can state that the report of the Security Information Service says and I underline this - that there is neither proof nor evidence [of eyewitnesses] that these two agents [the Russians who were accused of involvement in the incident - TASS] were at the [ammo depot] in Vrbetice. When the premises of the second depot were examined right before the explosion there, no explosive device was found there," Zeman said in his address broadcast by Prima and CNN Prima News TV channels.

The president stressed that the suspicion about the alleged role of two foreign agents in the 2014 ammo depot explosions in Vrbetice came to the surface over the past weeks. "The Security Information Service had never before mentioned the incident in Vrbetice over the past six years," he noted.
…

In the Russian-language version of the same story Zeman also talks about the possibility that the explosives were not properly handled:

Zeman: counterintelligence has no evidence of the involvement of "agents of the Russian Federation" in the explosions in Vrbetica (TASS, April 25, 2021 â€" machine translated from Russian)

…
Zeman also said that careless handling of ammunition is being considered as the cause of the explosions and the possible involvement of foreign intelligence services is being considered. "We are working with two versions - that the explosions [in Vrbetica] occurred as a result of careless handling of ammunition, and the second version - that agents of foreign special services are to blame for this," Zeman said.
…

Zeman also provided an indirect hint as to who might have coordinated the scandal on the Czech side and on whose orders:

Czech President questioned the effectiveness of the CIA (TASS, April 25, 2021 â€" machine translated from Russian, emphasis mine)

PRAGUE, April 25. / TASS /. Czech President Milos Zeman questioned the effectiveness of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in connection with incorrect information, on the basis of which the United States made an erroneous decision on a military operation against Iraq.

"The CIA is the intelligence agency that informed the US government that there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And this [CIA allegation] was not only not confirmed, but was [completely] refuted," Zeman said Sunday in an interview with Prima and CNN. Prima NEWS . - The consequences [of this step by the CIA] were terrible - thousands of lives, enormous material damage, and so on. Is this how a high-quality intelligence service works? "

The head of state made such a statement, answering the question whether he intends to confer the rank of general on the head of the Security and Information Service - counterintelligence of the Czech Republic - Michal Koudelka, who was recently awarded the CIA medal in the United States . Zeman said that he would consider the possibility of his promotion next year and only if the version of the Czech special services about the involvement of foreign agents in the explosions at the ammunition depot in the village of Vrbetice in 2014 is confirmed.

Earlier Zakharova noted that the local authorities didn’t even know who operated the ammo depot:

Zakharova commented on the investigation of the explosions in Vrbetica (RT, April 20, 2021 â€" machine translated from Russian)

…
“Seven years have passed. Did the trial take place? There was no court. Two people died ... Here is the answer to your question, including - who is the beneficiary of all this marasmic parade. There was an investigation, there was an investigation - nothing came of it, " RIA Novosti quotes Zakharova.
…
She said that "the local authorities did not know that since 2006 the ammunition depot has not been used by the army, and the Ministry of Defense is renting out the warehouse premises to private arms companies."

Zakharova added that "the huge amount of weapons that were in the warehouses for eight years were without any control from the authorities."
…

Posted by: S | Apr 25 2021 13:05 utc | 4

[Apr 27, 2021] The Brits are the real pros in disinformation and obfuscation

Apr 27, 2021 | turcopolier.com

English Outsider says: April 17, 2021 at 7:14 am

The BBC take on the position in the Ukraine –

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-56776463

The art of omission at its most effective. Reply

[Apr 27, 2021] These days evidence no longer has to be presented for a claim because the accusation of Russia is a loyalty test for the Amerikastani Empire and vassal citizens.

Apr 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 25 2021 14:20 utc | 10

These days evidence no longer has to be presented for a claim because the accusation is a loyalty test for the Amerikastani Empire and vassal citizens. The more outlandish the claim the more they have to rush to prove their loyalty so outlandish evidence free claims are far from as insane as they seem to be. They have a very definite purpose.

I do not want to talk about Covid though I'm Indian and my former teacher died today of it. I am convinced that discussions about it inevitably work to split the anti Imperialist resistance.

jared , Apr 25 2021 14:48 utc | 13

@ Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Apr 25 2021 14:20 utc | 10

"I am convinced that discussions about it inevitably work to split the anti Imperialist resistance."

That is an interesting take - world view.

My view is that:

The world is essentially run by and for and as it pleases wealthy and influential persons and organizations. They can do this because they have money and power and are thereby able to control access to money and power. These persons and organizations are the owners and the effect of their influence where it is somewhat constructive is neoliberalism and where it is less constructive is destabilization (surely there is a better term).

Beneath them are the operatives which serve them and thereby climb the ladder of wealth and influence. These are the politicians and beauracrats and media and the military. The beauracrats are particularly problematic because they are unelected, unaccountable, operate unmonitored and collaborate.

In this system, the only means for yourselves and family to survive is to serve the owners - via the structures created to enrich the beauracrats.

Please describe your view.

[Apr 27, 2021] Bounties- What Bounties

Notable quotes:
"... When truth is marginalized, the fringe is the only place where it’s to be found. ..."
Apr 27, 2021 | www.strategic-culture.org

When truth is marginalized, the fringe is the only place where it’s to be found.

So it looks like Russia didn’t pay the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers after all.

Last summer, the New York Times announced in a front-page story that “American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants killing coalition forces in Afghanistan â€" including targeting American troops.â€

The article rang with certainty. “Some officials have theorized that the Russians may be seeking revenge on NATO forces for a 2018 battle in Syria in which the American military killed several hundred pro-Syrian forces, including numerous Russian mercenaries,†it said. The operation, it went on, appears to be “the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s military intelligence agency, known widely as the GRU. … Western intelligence officials say the unit, which has operated for more than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with carrying out a campaign to destabilize the West through subversion, sabotage and assassination.â€

This was red meat for congressional Democrats eager to tar Trump with whatever brush was at hand. Nancy Pelosi issued a call to arms, declaring: “Congress and the country need answers now.†Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer adopted a tone of mock disbelief: “Russia gives bounties to kill Americans and the administration does nothing? Nothing? Donald Trump, you’re not being a very strong president here as usual.†Joe Biden called the report “horrifying†and said “there is no bottom to the depth of Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s depravity if it’s true.â€

Except that it isn’t true now that we know that U.S. intelligence agencies, according to the White House, view the report with only “low to moderate confidence†â€" which, in layman’s language, either means that it could be true â€" kind of, sort of, maybe â€" or that it’s pure baloney. In any event, it’s hardly reason to accus a sitting president of “a betrayal of every single American family with a loved one serving in Afghanistan or anywhere overseas,†as Biden did the day after the story broke.

Charlie Savage, whose byline appears on a number of last summer’s pieces, offered a series of mealy-mouthed excuses for how he and his fellow Times reporters managed to get it so wrong. “Former intelligence officials … have noted that it is rare in the murky world of intelligence to have courtroom levels of proof beyond a reasonable doubt about what an adversary is covertly doing,†he said . He described the original intelligence findings as “muddied†because a key figure in the alleged plot “had fled to Russia â€" possibly while using a passport linked to a Russian spy agency.â€

So it isn’t the Times’s or the CIA’s fault, you see â€" it’s merely a hazard of the trade. But isn’t it’s curious how words like “murky†and “muddied†never cropped up last summer when the Times was busily egging Democrats on with stories charging that the bounties had led to “at least one U.S. troop death†or maybe even three ? “Father of Slain Marine Finds Heartbreak Anew in Possible Russian Bounty,†a Times headline declared. “American officials intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account,†another claimed .

All of which was nonsense, as is now clear. Yet not only has the Times failed to apologize but White House spokesman Jen Psaki managed to spin the story last week so that it’s still Moscow’s fault and “there are [still] questions to be answered by the Russian government.â€

Although the corporate media dutifully echoed the Times, a few skeptics did get it right. Ray McGovern, an ex-CIA official who now heads a group calling itself Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, called the story “dubious†right off the bat. Scott Ritter, the ex-UN weapons inspector who blew the cover off charges that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was bristling with weapons of mass destruction, wrote that “there is no corroboration, nothing that would allow this raw ‘intelligence’ to be turned into a product worthy of the name.†Caitlin Johnstone, who covers U.S. politics from Australia yet still does a better job of it than most stateside reporters, denounced the entire affair as a “malignant psyop,†adding: “It really is funny how the most influential news outlets in the western world will uncritically parrot whatever they’re told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, and then turn around and tell you without a hint of self-awareness that Russia and China are bad because they have state media.â€

Then there’s someone named Dan Lazare who had pointed out a few obvious facts in Strategic Culture a few days after the supposed Times scoop came out:

“But the report doesn’t even make sense. Not only have the Taliban been at war with the United States since 2001, they’re winning. So why should Russia pay them to do what they’ve been happily doing on their own for close to two decades? Contrary to what the Times wants us to believe, there’s no evidence that Russia backs the Taliban or wants the U.S. to leave with its tail between its legs. Quite the opposite as a quick glance at a map will attest. Given that Afghanistan abuts the former Soviet republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan and is less than a thousand miles from Chechnya, where Russia fought a brutal war against Sunni Islamist separatists in 1999-2000, the last thing it wants is a Muslim fundamentalist republic in the heart of Central Asia.â€

The fact that the New York doesn’t even consider†the broad geopolitical backdrop, the article added, “makes its reporting seem all the more dubious†â€" words that are as appropriate now as they were then.

None of this matters, however, because Strategic Culture, it turns out, is “controlled by Russian intelligence†and publishes “fringe voices and conspiracy theories.†Yes, that’s what the Times says , and its source, as usual, is nothing more than unnamed U.S. government sources whispering in its ear. But if Strategic Culture is so marginal, how is it that it got the story right while the Times’s own conspiracy tales turned out to be false?

When truth is marginalized, the fringe is the only place where it’s to be found.

[Apr 27, 2021] The CIA Used to Infiltrate the Media " Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... CaitlinJohnstone.com ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Daily Beast ..."
"... The Daily Beast ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix ..."
"... Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone ..."
"... Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ..."
"... This article was re-published with permission. ..."
"... The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of ..."
"... Consortium News. ..."
Apr 27, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

The CIA Used to Infiltrate the Media April 20, 2021 Save

Now the CIA is the media. This isn’t Operation Mockingbird, writes Caitlin Johnstone. It’s much worse.

(Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

B ack in the good old days, when things were more innocent and simple, the psychopathic Central Intelligence Agency had to covertly infiltrate the news media to manipulate the information Americans were consuming about their nation and the world. Nowadays, there is no meaningful separation between the news media and the CIA at all.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald just highlighted an interesting point about the reporting by The New York Times on the so-called Bountygate story the outlet broke in June of last year about the Russian government trying to pay Taliban-linked fighters to attack U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

“One of the NYT reporters who originally broke the Russia bounty story (originally attributed to unnamed ‘intelligence officials’) say today that it was a CIA claim,†Greenwald tweeted . “So media outlets â€" again â€" repeated CIA stories with no questioning: congrats to all.â€

Indeed, the NYT’s original story made no mention of CIA involvement in the narrative, citing only “officials,†yet this latest article speaks as though it had been informing its readers of the story’s roots in the lying, torturing , drug-running , warmongering Central Intelligence Agency from the very beginning. The author even writes “The New York Times first reported last summer the existence of the C.I.A.’s assessment,†with the hyperlink leading to the initial article which made no mention of the CIA. It wasn’t until later that The New York Times began reporting that the CIA was looking into the Russian bounties allegations at all.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382793565714153472&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F04%2F20%2Fthe-cia-used-to-infiltrate-the-media%2F&sessionId=f9f124f1ca8fb3f8d08d8c9bb0916072822c047d&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

This would be the same “Russian bounties†narrative which was discredited all the way back in September when the top U.S. military official in Afghanistan said no satisfactory evidence had surfaced for the allegations, which was further discredited today with a new article by The Daily Beast titled “ U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops .“

The Daily Beast , which has itself uncritically published many articles promoting the CIA “Bountygate†narrative, reports the following:

“It was a blockbuster story about Russia’s return to the imperial “Great Game†in Afghanistan. The Kremlin had spread money around the longtime central Asian battlefield for militants to kill remaining U.S. forces. It sparked a massive outcry from Democrats and their #resistance amplifiers about the treasonous Russian puppet in the White House whose admiration for Vladimir Putin had endangered American troops.

But on Thursday, the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate†confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unprovenâ€"and possibly untrue.â€

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382769897420296194&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F04%2F20%2Fthe-cia-used-to-infiltrate-the-media%2F&sessionId=f9f124f1ca8fb3f8d08d8c9bb0916072822c047d&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

So the mass media aggressively promoted a CIA narrative that none of them ever saw proof of, because there was no proof, because it was an entirely unfounded claim from the very beginning. They quite literally ran a CIA press release and disguised it as a news story.

This allowed the CIA to throw shade and inertia on Trump’s proposed troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Germany, and to continue ramping up anti-Russia sentiments on the world stage , and may well have contributed to the fact that the agency will officially be among those who are exempt from Biden’s performative Afghanistan “withdrawal.â€

In totalitarian dictatorships, the government spy agency tells the news media what stories to run, and the news media unquestioningly publish it. In free democracies, the government spy agency says “Hoo buddy, have I got a scoop for you!†and the news media unquestioningly publish it.

In 1977 Carl Bernstein published an article titled “ The CIA and the Media †reporting that the CIA had covertly infiltrated America’s most influential news outlets and had over 400 reporters who it considered assets in a program known as Operation Mockingbird . It was a major scandal, and rightly so. The news media is meant to report truthfully about what happens in the world, not manipulate public perception to suit the agendas of spooks and warmongers.

Nowadays the CIA collaboration happens right out in the open, and people are too propagandized to even recognize this as scandalous. Immensely influential outlets like The New York Times uncritically pass on CIA disinfo which is then spun as fact by cable news pundits . The sole owner of The Washington Post is a CIA contractor , and WaPo has never once disclosed this conflict of interest when reporting on U.S. intelligence agencies per standard journalistic protocol.

Mass media outlets now openly employ intelligence agency veterans such as John Brennan, James Clapper, Chuck Rosenberg, Michael Hayden, Frank Figliuzzi, Fran Townsend, Stephen Hall, Samantha Vinograd, Andrew McCabe, Josh Campbell, Asha Rangappa, Phil Mudd, James Gagliano, Jeremy Bash, Susan Hennessey, Ned Price and Rick Francona, as are known CIA assets like NBC’s Ken Dilanian, as are CIA interns like Anderson Cooper and CIA applicants like Tucker Carlson.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382777804014641152&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F04%2F20%2Fthe-cia-used-to-infiltrate-the-media%2F&sessionId=f9f124f1ca8fb3f8d08d8c9bb0916072822c047d&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

This isn’t Operation Mockingbird. It’s so much worse. Operation Mockingbird was the CIA doing something to the media. What we are seeing now is the CIA openly acting as the media. Any separation between the CIA and the news media, indeed even any pretence of separation, has been dropped.

This is bad. This is very, very bad. Democracy has no meaningful existence if people’s votes are cast without a clear understanding of what’s happening in their nation and their world. When their understanding is being shaped to suit the agendas of the very government they’re meant to be influencing with their votes, what you have is the most powerful military and economic force in the history of civilization with no accountability to the electorate whatsoever. It’s just an immense globe-spanning power structure, doing whatever it wants to whoever it wants. A totalitarian dictatorship in disguise.

And the CIA is the very worst institution that could possibly be spearheading the movements of that dictatorship. A little research into the many, many horrific things the CIA has done over the years will quickly show you that this is true; hell, just a glance at what the CIA was up to with the Phoenix Program in Vietnam will.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-3&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1382856410443186179&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F04%2F20%2Fthe-cia-used-to-infiltrate-the-media%2F&sessionId=f9f124f1ca8fb3f8d08d8c9bb0916072822c047d&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

There’s a common delusion in our society that depraved government agencies who are known to have done evil things in the past have simply stopped doing evil things for some reason. This belief is backed by zero evidence, and is contradicted by mountains of evidence to the contrary. It’s believed because it is comfortable, and for literally no other reason.

The CIA should not exist at all, let alone control the news media, much less the movements of the US empire. May we one day know a humanity that is entirely free from the rule of psychopaths, from our total planetary behavior as a collective, all the way down to the thoughts we think in our own heads.

May we extract their horrible fingers from every aspect of our being.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Her work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook , following her antics on Twitter , checking out her podcast on either Youtube , soundcloud , Apple podcasts or Spotify , following her on Steemit , throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of her sweet merchandise , buying her new book, Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix , and her other books: Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Wiffle , April 22, 2021 at 17:36

Go to any platform and 98% of commentators’ “opinions†are exact duplicates of what the unholy intel/press partnership has trained them to say.


Hot Dog
, April 21, 2021 at 19:00

Douglas Adams, brilliant author of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, invented the Infinite Improbability Drive to cross vast intersteller distances in a mere nothingth of a second without all that tedious mucking about in hyperspace. Following in his footsteps I adopted the Infinite Improbability Filter, which I use to parse every statement from governments. I recommend it. Afghans have to be paid by Russians to shoot the invaders and occupiers of their country ?? Infinitely improbable. Saddam Hussein had nuclear bombs in aluminum tubes that he could fly over US cities ?? ?? Infinitely improbable. A bunch of guys in a cave can knock down a skyscraper in Manhattan ?? Infinitely improbable. Joe Biden will put an end to war ?? ?? Infinitely improbable. The USA is spreading democracy in oil producing nations ??? Infinitely improbable. Russia won the 2016 election ??? Infinitely improbable. The CIA are the good guys ??? Infinitely improbable. Believe the corporate media ??? ??? Infinitely improbable. (hXXp://www.earthstar.co.uk/drive.htm). RIP Adams.

Rex Williams , April 21, 2021 at 18:52

“Drug-running�

Well done, Caitlin.First time I have seen any indication of that in the media and even I have known about it for a decade. Not just drug-running, but the world control of heroin. Australian soldiers filling in the role of protector of the crops in Afghanistan and also killing innocent civilians, a matter now under investigation but proven already.

Thankfully, when you list the past members of that infamous group and the controlling role they enjoy in today’s media, one should not forget the contributions made by many ex-CIA personnel seen on the pages of Consortium News and what a valuable contribution they have made to this publication. Many thanks to them.

I am sure that there will be many comments on this subject today.

rosemerry , April 21, 2021 at 15:22

Using the word “intelligence†for the nonsense that the USA collects and tries to get us to believe is pathetic!! Use your brains, US people and do not assume that because YOUR leaders want to attack and destroy designated enemies all over the globe,that other people are just like you. You are NOT in existential danger from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea- YOU are the ones doing the threatening, the attacking, the lying, the sanctions, the offensive descriptions of leaders with no attempt to be diplomatic and certainly no effort to understand the points of view of anyone outside your little circle of “élite†elected or appointed or bought rich men and women living in the Cold War years and educated into violent hatred of anyone different.


robert e williamson jr
, April 22, 2021 at 12:54

Hot Dog, I could not agree more, but Hot Damn there is more so much more. Is it possible that the revelations in this book I discuss might free Julian? The book proves miss use of secrecy classifications that were used to cover up an act of executive action with extreme prejudice

The pivotal events that allow the re-opening of the JFK murder case are exposed in Josiah Thompson’s “LAST SECOND IN DALLASâ€.

Like I have stated already please don’t take my word for this. Read the book thanks to the Zapruder film and the rec