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Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ?

There is a country within the country in the USA with around 5 million citizens. It can be called "Classified America."

News Corporatism Recommended Links The Deep State Do the US intelligence agencies  influence the US Presidential elections ? The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Nation under attack meme Steele dossier FBI Mayberry Machiavellians
Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative JFK assassination as a turning event in US history 9/11 as Reichstag fire Inverted Totalitarism Reconciling Human Rights With Total Surveillance Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State The woulr as the Grand Chessboard of American Empire and its intelligence services Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections
CIA hacking and false flag cyber operations How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Machiavellism US and British media are servants of security apparatus Facebook as Giant Database about Users FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and DNC leak saga Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition
Total Surveillance Media-Military-Industrial Complex Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war MSM as fake news industry NeoMcCartyism Luke Harding: a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book History of American False Flag Operations
Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few The attempt to secure global hegemony Frustrated underachievers NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
US and British media are servants of security apparatus Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism The Real War on Reality Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy National Security State Color revolutions Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

There is a country within the country in the USA. It can be called "Classified America".  It has population of around 5 million people and controls the other 320 million. Almost 5 million people is more more then 1% of population.

After creation such powerful agencies as FBI adn CIA inevitable try to to extent and enhance there position and influnece4 and this process logically leads that at some point they start to control bigger and bigger  chunk of the US political life and the institution of Presidency become mostly a decoration, a Potemkin village to provide legitimacy for the ruling elite represented by the "deep state" with the intelligence agencies in the driving seat.   It took CIA less then 20 years to reach this point from its creation by President Truman and 1963.  John Edgar Hoover was the first FBI director who dies in his position in 1972 at the age of 77 with no previous President able to depose him, because of dirt he collected on them.

A January 2016 report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says more than 4.9 million people in the USA have some sort of government security clearance. About 1.4 million of those have "top secret" clearance.... Most security clearances are held by government workers. They hold 2,757,333 "confidential/secret" clearances and 791,200 clearances designated as "top secret." Contractors claim 582,524 "confidential" clearances and 483,263 "top-secret" ones. There is another general category of people who hold 167,925 "confidential/secret" clearances and 135,506 top-secret. See Security clearances held by millions of Americans for more details.

This "inner state" represented by holders of security clearance controls such areas of US public life as two most important newspapers (NYT, WaPo) several TV channels (MSNBC, CNN) as well as (if we believe recent stories about ) elections. That might well be a sign that  the "national security state" has  gone rogue and the tail is wagging the dog. 

Hierarchy

A security clearance is granted to an individual and generally recognizes a maximum level of clearance. Exceptions include levels above compartmentalized access or when an individual is cleared for a certain type of data. The President of the United States may be given access to any government or military information that they request if there is a proper "need to know", even if they would not otherwise be able to normally obtain a security clearance were they not the President. Having obtained a certain level security clearance does not mean that one automatically has access to or is given access to information cleared for that clearance level in the absence of a demonstrated "need to know".[12] The "need-to-know" determination is made by a 'disclosure officer,' who may work in the office of origin of the information. The specified "need to know" must be connected to the prospective user's mission, or of necessity for the integrity of a specified security apparatus. the system is pretty Bisantium and include multiple levels tha tparciallyh intersect

  1. Controlled Unclassified: "Controlled Unclassified" does not represent a clearance designation, but rather a clearance level at which information distribution is controlled. Controlled Unclassified designates information that may be illegal to distribute. This information is available when needed by government employees, such as the USA's Department of Defense (DoD) employees, but the designation signifies that the information should not be redistributed to users not designated to use it on an operational basis. For example, the organization and processes of an information-technology system may be designated Controlled Unclassified to users for whom the operational details of the system are non-critical.
  2. Public Trust Position: Despite common misconception, this designation is not a security clearance, and is not the same as the confidential designation. Certain positions which require access to sensitive information, but not information which is classified, must obtain this designation through a background check. In the USA, Public Trust Positions can either be moderate-risk or high-risk.[13][14]
  3. Confidential: This is hierarchically the first security clearance to get, typically requiring a few weeks to a few months of investigation. A Confidential clearance requires a NACLC investigation which dates back 7 years on the subject's record and must be renewed (with another investigation) every 15 years.
  4. Secret: A Secret clearance, also known as Collateral Secret or Ordinary Secret, requires a few months to a year to investigate, depending on the individual's background. Some instances wherein individuals would take longer than normal to be investigated are many past residences, having residences in foreign countries, having relatives outside the United States, or significant ties with non-US citizens. Unpaid bills as well as criminal charges will more than likely disqualify an applicant for approval. However, a bankruptcy will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and is not an automatic disqualifier. Poor financial history is the number-one cause of rejection, and foreign activities and criminal record are also common causes for disqualification. A Secret clearance requires a NACLC, and a Credit investigation; it must also be re-investigated every 10 years.[15] Investigative requirements for DoD clearances, which apply to most civilian contractor situations, are contained in the Personnel Security Program issuance known as DoD Regulation 5200.2-R, at part C3.4.2
  5. Top Secret: Top Secret is a more stringent clearance. A Top Secret, or "TS", clearance, is often given as the result of a Single Scope Background Investigation, or SSBI. Top Secret clearances, in general, afford one access to data that affects national security, counterterrorism/counterintelligence, or other highly sensitive data. There are far fewer individuals with TS clearances than Secret clearances.[16] A TS clearance can take as few as 3 to 6 months to obtain, but often it takes 6 to 18 months. The SSBI must be reinvestigated every 5 years.[15] In order to receive TS clearance, all candidates must participate in an oral SF86 review that will later be adjudicated.[citation needed]
  6. Compartmented: As with TS clearances, Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) clearances are assigned only after one has been through the rigors of a Single Scope Background Investigation and a special adjudication process for evaluating the investigation. SCI access, however, is assigned only in "compartments". These compartments are necessarily separated from each other with respect to organization, so that an individual with access to one compartment will not necessarily have access to another. Each compartment may include its own additional special requirements and clearance process. An individual may be granted access to, or read into, a compartment for any period of time.

Among other things Top secret clearance required to access:

Such compartmentalized clearances may be expressed as "John has a TS/SCI", whereby all clearance descriptors are spelled out verbally. For example, the US National Security Agency once used specialized terms such as "Umbra",[17][18][19] This classification is reported to be a compartment within the "Special Intelligence" compartment of SCI.[20] The various NSA compartments have been simplified; all but the most sensitive compartments are marked "CCO", meaning "handle through COMINT channels only".

The US Department of Defense establishes, separately from intelligence compartments, special access programs (SAP) when the vulnerability of specific information is considered exceptional and the normal criteria for determining eligibility for access applicable to information classified at the same level are not deemed sufficient to protect the information from unauthorized disclosure. The number of people cleared for access to such programs is typically kept low. Information about stealth technology, for example, often requires such access.

Area-specific clearances include:


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Old News ;-)

[Apr 21, 2018] On the Criminal Referral of Comey, Clinton et al by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Putting aside his partisan motivations, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) was unusually blunt two months ago in warning of legal consequences for officials who misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and his associates. Nunes's words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of those with lots to hide: "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said ."The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created." ..."
"... The media will be key to whether this Constitutional issue is resolved. Largely because of Trump's own well earned reputation for lying, most Americans are susceptible to slanted headlines like this recent one -- "Trump escalates attacks on FBI " -- from an article in The Washington Post , commiserating with the treatment accorded fired-before-retired prevaricator McCabe and the FBI he ( dis)served . ..."
"... What motivated the characters now criminally "referred" is clear enough from a wide variety of sources, including the text messages exchange between Strzok and Page. Many, however, have been unable to understand how these law enforcement officials thought they could get away with taking such major liberties with the law. ..."
"... None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, "opposition research," or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison. The activities were hardly considered high-risk, because candidate Clinton was sure to win. ..."
"... Comey admits, "It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls." ..."
"... The key point is not Comey's tortured reasoning, but rather that Clinton was "sure to be the next president." This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on those now criminally referred to the Department of Justice. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men -- even very tall men. One wag claimed that the "Higher" in "A Higher Loyalty" refers simply to the very tall body that houses an outsized ego. ..."
"... "Hope springs eternal" would be the cynical folk wisdom. FYI we haven't had a functioning constitution since the National Security Act of 1947 brought this nation under color of law, but the IC types wouldn't have you know that. Too tough to square the idea you'd never have had your CIA career in a world where the FISA court couldn't exist either. ..."
"... there is concrete evidence that the Democratic party/Clinton manipulated the primaries to destroy Clinton's challanger. That the DOJ, FBI & other alphabet agencies conspired with Clinton to equally, destroy Trump's campaign. ..."
"... We saw the same nonsense with Obama, the "peace president". Obama a man who never saw a Muslim he did not want to bomb or a Jew he did not want to bail out ..."
"... The best thing about this referral is that it also demands deputy AG Rod Rosenstein the weasel to recluse himself from this case. Rosenstein is the pinnacle of corruption by the deep state. ..."
"... Former CIA Director John Brennan is the prime mover behind the ongoing coup attempt against Trump. He gathered his deep state allies at DOJ and the FBI to join him in this endeavor. Brennan's allies -- McCabe, Lynch, Strzok, Yates, ect., may or may not be aware of Brennan's true motive behind creating all the noise and distraction since the 2016 election. It could be they're just partisan hacks; or they're on board with Brennan to keep secret what was revealed in the hack of the Podesta emails. ..."
"... Assange had 'physical proof' Russians didn't hack DNC, Rohrabacher says https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/19/julian-assange-has-physical-proof-russians-didnt-h/ ..."
"... I noticed Comey tried to pull a J Edgar-style subtle blackmail on Trump by the way he brought up the so-called "dossier" ..."
"... Bill Clinton got recruited into CIA by Cord Meyer, who bragged of it himself in his cups. ..."
"... Hillary cut her teeth on CIA's Watergate purge of Nixon. (If it's news to anyone that the Watergate cast of characters was straight out of CIA central casting, Russ Baker has conclusively tied the elaborate ratfeck to the intelligence community.) ..."
"... Obama was son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased in to Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

Wednesday's criminal referral by 11 House Republicans of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as several former and serving top FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials is a giant step toward a Constitutional crisis.

Named in the referral to the DOJ for possible violations of federal law are: Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey; former Attorney General Loretta Lynch; former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe; FBI Agent Peter Strzok; FBI Counsel Lisa Page; and those DOJ and FBI personnel "connected to" work on the "Steele Dossier," including former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente.

With no attention from corporate media, the referral was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber. Sessions appointed Huber months ago to assist DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz. By most accounts, Horowitz is doing a thoroughly professional job. As IG, however, Horowitz lacks the authority to prosecute; he needs a U.S. Attorney for that. And this has to be disturbing to the alleged perps.

This is no law-school case-study exercise, no arcane disputation over the fine points of this or that law. Rather, as we say in the inner-city, "It has now hit the fan." Criminal referrals can lead to serious jail time. Granted, the upper-crust luminaries criminally "referred" enjoy very powerful support. And that will come especially from the mainstream media, which will find it hard to retool and switch from Russia-gate to the much more delicate and much less welcome "FBI-gate."

As of this writing, a full day has gone by since the letter/referral was reported, with total silence so far from T he New York Times and The Washington Post and other big media as they grapple with how to spin this major development. News of the criminal referral also slipped by Amy Goodman's non-mainstream DemocracyNow!, as well as many alternative websites.

The 11 House members chose to include the following egalitarian observation in the first paragraph of the letter conveying the criminal referral: "Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately." If this uncommon attitude is allowed to prevail at DOJ, it would, in effect, revoke the de facto "David Petraeus exemption" for the be-riboned, be-medaled, and well-heeled.

Stonewalling

Meanwhile, the patience of the chairmen of House committees investigating abuses at DOJ and the FBI is wearing thin at the slow-rolling they are encountering in response to requests for key documents from the FBI. This in-your-face intransigence is all the more odd, since several committee members have already had access to the documents in question, and are hardly likely to forget the content of those they know about. (Moreover, there seems to be a good chance that a patriotic whistleblower or two will tip them off to key documents being withheld.)

The DOJ IG, whose purview includes the FBI, has been cooperative in responding to committee requests for information, but those requests can hardly include documents of which the committees are unaware.

Putting aside his partisan motivations, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) was unusually blunt two months ago in warning of legal consequences for officials who misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and his associates. Nunes's words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of those with lots to hide: "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said ."The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

Whether the House will succeed in overcoming the resistance of those criminally referred and their many accomplices and will prove able to exercise its Constitutional prerogative of oversight is, of course, another matter -- a matter that matters.

And Nothing Matters More Than the Media

The media will be key to whether this Constitutional issue is resolved. Largely because of Trump's own well earned reputation for lying, most Americans are susceptible to slanted headlines like this recent one -- "Trump escalates attacks on FBI " -- from an article in The Washington Post , commiserating with the treatment accorded fired-before-retired prevaricator McCabe and the FBI he ( dis)served .

Nor is the Post above issuing transparently clever warnings -- like this one in a lead article on March 17: "Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. 'This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI's going to win,' said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. 'You can't fight the FBI. They're going to torch him.'" [sic]

Mind-Boggling Criminal Activity

What motivated the characters now criminally "referred" is clear enough from a wide variety of sources, including the text messages exchange between Strzok and Page. Many, however, have been unable to understand how these law enforcement officials thought they could get away with taking such major liberties with the law.

None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, "opposition research," or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison. The activities were hardly considered high-risk, because candidate Clinton was sure to win.

But she lost.

Comey himself gives this away in the embarrassingly puerile book he has been hawking, "A Higher Loyalty" -- which

amounts to a pre-emptive move motivated mostly by loyalty-to-self, in order to obtain a Stay-Out-of-Jail card. Hat tip to Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone for a key observation, in his recent article , "James Comey, the Would-Be J. Edgar Hoover," about what Taibbi deems the book's most damning passage, where Comey discusses his decision to make public the re-opening of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Comey admits, "It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls."

The key point is not Comey's tortured reasoning, but rather that Clinton was "sure to be the next president." This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on those now criminally referred to the Department of Justice. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men -- even very tall men. One wag claimed that the "Higher" in "A Higher Loyalty" refers simply to the very tall body that houses an outsized ego.

I think it can be said that readers of Consortiumnews.com may be unusually well equipped to understand the anatomy of FBI-gate as well as Russia-gate. Listed below chronologically are several links that might be viewed as a kind of "whiteboard" to refresh memories. You may wish to refer them to any friends who may still be confused.

2017

2018

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).


Mike Whitney , April 20, 2018 at 4:15 am GMT

This story appears to be developing very fast. Interested readers might want to look at this short video on the Tucker Carlson show last night: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5773524495001/?playlist_id=5198073478001#sp=show-clips

Will McCabe wind up in jail? Will Comey? Will Hillary face justice? Fingers crossed!

jilles dykstra , April 20, 2018 at 6:05 am GMT
A weird country, the USA. Reading the article I'm reminded of the 1946 Senate investigation into Pearl Harbour, where, in my opinion, the truth was unearthed. At the same time, this truth hardly ever reached the wider public, no articles, the book, ed. Harry Elmer Barnes, never reviewed.
Greg Bacon , Website April 20, 2018 at 6:54 am GMT

Will McCabe wind up in jail? Will Comey? Will Hillary face justice? Fingers crossed!

The short answer is NO. McCabe might, but not Comey and the Killer Queen, they've both served Satan, uh I mean the Deep State too long and too well.Satan and the banksters–who really run the show–take care of their own and apex predators like Hillary won't go to jail. But it does keep the rubes entertained while the banksters continue to loot, pillage and plunder and Israel keeps getting Congress to fight their wars.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 20, 2018 at 7:23 am GMT
"Hope springs eternal" would be the cynical folk wisdom. FYI we haven't had a functioning constitution since the National Security Act of 1947 brought this nation under color of law, but the IC types wouldn't have you know that. Too tough to square the idea you'd never have had your CIA career in a world where the FISA court couldn't exist either.

Consortium News many sops tossed to 'realpolitik' where false narrative is attacked with alternative false narrative, example given, drunk Ukrainian soldiers supposedly downing MH 17 with a BUK as opposed to Kiev's Interior Ministry behind the Ukrainian combat jet that actually brought down MH 17, poisons everything (trust issues) spewed from that news service.

The realpolitik 'face saving' exit/offer implied in the Consortium News narrative where Russia doesn't have to confront the West with Ukraine's (and by implication the western intelligence agencies) premeditated murder of 300 innocents does truth no favors.

Time to grow up and face reality. Realpolitik is dead; the caliber of 'statesman' required for these finessed geopolitical lies to function no longer exist on the Western side, and the Russians (I believe) are beginning to understand there is no agreement can be made behind closed doors that will hold up; as opposed to experiencing a backstabbing (like NATO not moving east.)

Back on topic; the National Security Act of 1947 and the USA's constitution are mutually exclusive concepts, where you have a Chief Justice appoints members of our FISA Court, er, nix that, let's call a spade a spade, it's a Star Chamber. There is no constitution to uphold, no matter well intended self deceits. There will be no constitutional crisis, only a workaround to pretend a constitution still exists:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/12/01/the-oath-and-the-trash-bin/

For those who prefer the satire:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2016/01/07/moot-court/^

animalogic , April 20, 2018 at 8:00 am GMT
To comprehend the internal machinations s of US politics one needs a mind capable of high level yoga or of squaring a circle. On the one hand there is a multimillion, full throttle investigation into – at best – nebulus, inconsequential links between trump/ his campaign & Russia.
On the other there is concrete evidence that the Democratic party/Clinton manipulated the primaries to destroy Clinton's challanger. That the DOJ, FBI & other alphabet agencies conspired with Clinton to equally, destroy Trump's campaign.

Naturally, its this 2nd conspiracy which is retarded. Imagine, a mere agency of a dept, the FBI, is widely considered untouchable by The President ! Indeed, they will "torch" him. AND the "the third estate" ie: the msm will support them the whole way! As a script the "The Twilight Zone" would have rejected all this as too ludicrous, too psychotic for even its broad minded viewers.

Jake , April 20, 2018 at 11:29 am GMT
The Deep State will make certain none of its most important functionaries get anything close to what they deserve.
redmudhooch , April 20, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
Just a show, nothing will happen. Anything to keep you talking about anything other than 9/11, fake economy, fake war on terror, or Zionists..
jacques sheete , April 20, 2018 at 11:49 am GMT

And that will come especially from the mainstream media

I quit reading right there. Use of that term indicates mental laziness at best. What's mainstream about it? Please refer to corporate media in proper terms, such as PCR's "presstitute" media. Speaking of PCR, it's too bad he doesn't allow comments.

DESERT FOX , April 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm GMT
The MSM is controlled by Zionists as is the U.S. gov and the banks, so it is no surprise that the MSM protects the ones destroying America, this is what they do. Nothing of consequence will be done to any of the ones involved, it will all be covered up, as usual.
tjm , April 20, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
What utter nonsense. These people are ALL actors, no one will go to jail, because everything they do is contrived, no consequence for doing as your Zionist owners command.

There is no there there. This is nothing but another distraction, something o feed the dual narratives, that Clinton and her ilk are out to get Trump, and the "liberal media" will cover it up. This narrative feeds very nicely into the primary goal of driving Republicans/conservatives to support Trump, even as Trump does everything they elected him NOT TO DO!

We saw the same nonsense with Obama, the "peace president". Obama a man who never saw a Muslim he did not want to bomb or a Jew he did not want to bail out

Yet even while Obama did the work of the Zionist money machine, the media played up the fake battle between those who thought he was not born in America, "birthers" and his blind supporters.

Nothing came of any of it, just like Monica Lewinsky, nothing but theater, fill the air waves, divide the people, while America is driven insane.

anon [321] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
The best thing about this referral is that it also demands deputy AG Rod Rosenstein the weasel to recluse himself from this case. Rosenstein is the pinnacle of corruption by the deep state. It's seriously way pass time for Jeff Sessions to grow a pair, put on his big boy pants, unrecuse himself from the Russian collusion bullshit case, fire Rosenstein and Mueller and end the case once and for all. These two traitors are in danger of completely derailing the Trump agenda and toppling the Republican majority in November, yet Jeff Sessions is still busy arresting people for marijuana, talk about missing the forest for the trees.

As far as where this referral will go from here, my guess is, nowhere. Not as long as Jeff Sessions the pussy is the AG. It's good to hear that Giuliani has now been recruited by Trump to be on his legal team. What Trump really needs to do is replace Jeff Sessions with Giuliani, or even Chris Christie, and let them do what a real AG should be doing, which is clean house in the DOJ, and prosecute the Clintons for their pay-to-play scheme with their foundation. Not only is the Clinton corruption case the biggest corruption case in US history, but this might be the only way to save the GOP from losing their majority in November.

anon [321] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

But it does keep the rubes entertained while the banksters continue to loot, pillage and plunder and Israel keeps getting Congress to fight their wars.

Sadly I think you're right. Things might be different if we had a real AG, but Jeff Sessions is not the man I thought he was. He's been swallowed by the deep state just like Trump. At least Trump is putting up a fight, Sessions just threw in the towel and recused himself from Day 1. Truly pathetic. Some patriot he is.

Twodees Partain , April 20, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
@Nick Granite

" He's ferreted out more than a few and probably has a lot better idea who his friends are he certainly knows the enemies by now."

He failed to ferret out Haley, Pompeo, or Sessions and he just recently appointed John Bolton, so I don't agree with your assessment. If his friends include those three, that says enough about Trump to make any of his earlier supporters drop him.

Anyway, not having a ready made team, or at least a solid short list of key appointees shows that he was just too clueless to have even been a serious candidate. It looks more as though Trump is doing now what he intended to do all along. That means he was bullshitting everybody during his campaign.

So, maybe the neocons really have been his friends all along.

Twodees Partain , April 20, 2018 at 2:46 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

It's also telling that Ray didn't mention what was included in the referral regarding an enforced recusal of Rosenstein going forward.

https://desantis.house.gov/_cache/files/8/0/8002ca75-52fc-4995-b87e-43584da268db/472EBC7D8F55C0F9E830D37CF96376A2.final-criminal-referral.pdf

Authenticjazzman , April 20, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT
@Renoman

" America is a very crooked country, nothing suprises me".

Every country on this insane planet is "crooked" to a greater or lesser degree, when to a lesser degree, this is simply because they, the PTB, have not yet figured out how to accelerate, how to increase their corruption and thereby how to increase their unearned monetary holdings.

Money is the most potent singular factor which causes humans to lose their minds, and all of their ethics and decency.
And within the confines of a "socialist" system, "money" is replaced by rubber-stamps, which then wield, exactly in the manner of "wealth", the power of life or death, over the unwashed masses.

Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro jazz musician.

anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

BTW Jeff Sessions is a fraternal brother of Pence (a member of the same club, same [recently deceased] guru) and is no friend of Trump.

That would explain why Sessions reclused himself from the start, and refused to appoint a special council to investigate the Clintons. He's in on this with Pence.

anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm GMT
Just as it looks like the Comey memos will further exonerate Trump, we now have this farce extended by the DNC with this latest lawsuit on the "Trump campaign". The Democrats are now the most pathetic sore losers in history, they are hell bent on dragging the whole country down the pit of hell just because they can't handle a loss.
anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:34 pm GMT
Wishful thinking that anything will come of this, just like when the Nunes memo was released. Nothing will happen as long as Jeff Sessions is AG. Trump needs to fire either Sessions or Rosenstein ASAP, before he gets dragged down by this whole Russian collusion bullshit case.
SunBakedSuburb , April 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm GMT
Former CIA Director John Brennan is the prime mover behind the ongoing coup attempt against Trump. He gathered his deep state allies at DOJ and the FBI to join him in this endeavor. Brennan's allies -- McCabe, Lynch, Strzok, Yates, ect., may or may not be aware of Brennan's true motive behind creating all the noise and distraction since the 2016 election. It could be they're just partisan hacks; or they're on board with Brennan to keep secret what was revealed in the hack of the Podesta emails.

John Podesta, in addition to being a top Democrat/DC lobbyist and a criminal deviant, is also a long-time CIA asset running a blackmail/influence operation that utilized his deviancy: the sexual exploitation of children.

Haxo Angmark , Website April 20, 2018 at 10:38 pm GMT
Seth Rich is still dead...
utu , April 20, 2018 at 11:33 pm GMT
Assange had 'physical proof' Russians didn't hack DNC, Rohrabacher says https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/19/julian-assange-has-physical-proof-russians-didnt-h/
UrbaneFrancoOntarian , April 21, 2018 at 12:18 am GMT
@anon

His cowardice is shocking. I wonder what they have on him? Probably some Roy Moore shit. Some shady stuff happened in the old South.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 21, 2018 at 12:56 am GMT
@utu

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/09/16/incompetent-espionage-wikileaks-iii/

Yeah, and General Kelly won't let Rohrabacher meet with Trump. What do you suppose is up with that (rhetorical question)

RobinG , April 21, 2018 at 1:02 am GMT
@utu

What kind of "physical proof" could Assange have? A thumb drive that was provably American, or something? Rohrabacher only got Red Pilled on Russia because he had one very determined (and well heeled) constituent. But he did cosponsor one of Tulsi Gabbard's "Stop Funding Terrorists" bills, which he figured out on his own. Nevertheless, a bit of a loose cannon and an eff'd up hawk on Iran He's probably an 'ISIS now, Assad later' on Syria.

anonymous [185] Disclaimer , April 21, 2018 at 2:36 am GMT
I noticed Comey tried to pull a J Edgar-style subtle blackmail on Trump by the way he brought up the so-called "dossier". Anyone could see it was absurd but he played his hand with it, pretending it was being looked at. I would say Trump could see through this sleazy game Comey was trying to play and sized him up. Comey is about as slimy as they get even as he parades around trying to look noble. What a corrupt bunch.
Culloden , April 21, 2018 at 2:45 am GMT
"The culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain "

[What follows is excerpted from an article headlined Robert Mueller's Questionable Past that appeared yesterday on the American Free Press website:]

During his tenure with the Justice Department under President George H W Bush, Mueller supervised the prosecutions of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, the Lockerbie bombing (Pan Am Flight 103) case, and Gambino crime boss John Gotti. In the Noriega case, Mueller ignored the ties to the Bush family that Victor Thorn illustrated in Hillary (and Bill): The Drugs Volume: Part Two of the Clinton Trilogy. Noriega had long been associated with CIA operations that involved drug smuggling, money laundering, and arms running. Thorn significantly links Noriega to Bush family involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Regarding Pan Am Flight 103, the culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain. Pro-Palestinian activists, Libyans, and Iranians have all officially been blamed when US intelligence and the mainstream mass media needed to paint each as the antagonist to American freedom. Mueller toed the line, publicly ignoring rumors that agents onboard were said to have learned that a CIA drug-smuggling operation was afoot in conjunction with Pan Am flights. According to the theory, the agents were going to take their questions to Congress upon landing. The flight blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland.

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/

"We were in Libya for oil" (only). Who said that:

http://www.firmmagazine.com

Bennis Mardens , April 21, 2018 at 2:47 am GMT
Without exception, leftists are degenerate filth.

But they won't be going to jail.

It's kabuki theater.

Art , April 21, 2018 at 5:21 am GMT
My god – who believes this woman?

Hillary says "they would never let me be president" – she is serious. She has gone bonkers with self-pity.

This is no longer laughable – it boarders on the pathological.

Art

WhiteWolf , April 21, 2018 at 5:39 am GMT
@Bennis Mardens

There has been some former high flyers going to jail recently. Sarkozy is facing a hard time at the moment. If it can happen to a former president of France it can happen to Hillary.

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 6:20 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

I still read ZH articles, but the commentariat has devolved to lockeroom towel-snapping, barely above YouTube chattering.

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 6:42 am GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

Ronald, thank-you for posting this Doug Coe sermon; l have never heard of him. BTW are you a Christian?

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 7:56 am GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

Ronald, thank-you for posting this Doug Coe sermon; l have never heard of him. BTW are you a Christian?

Twodees Partain , April 21, 2018 at 10:11 am GMT
@Culloden

Here's another about Mueller's involvement with the FBI's Whitey Bulger scandal.

https://saraacarter.com/questions-still-surround-robert-muellers-boston-past/

Mueller's past is so laden with misfeasance and malfeasance that he should have been disbarred a few decades ago.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 21, 2018 at 1:14 pm GMT
@Stonehands

Am I a Christian? Well, no. I had some exposure to Christianity but it never took hold. On the other hand, I do believe there was a historical Jesus that was a remarkable man, but there is a world (or universe) of difference between the man and the mythology. Here's some of my thoughts on the matter:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2013/04/11/celebrating-the-anti-christ/

^ It doesn't necessarily go where the title might suggest (for many)

CIA in Charge , April 21, 2018 at 1:58 pm GMT
@Authenticjazzman

Nothing uncanny about it. There's a frenetic Democratic cottage industry inferring magical emotional charisma powers that explain the outsized influence of those three. The fact is very simple. All three are CIA nomenklatura.

(1.) Bill Clinton got recruited into CIA by Cord Meyer, who bragged of it himself in his cups.

(2.) Hillary cut her teeth on CIA's Watergate purge of Nixon. (If it's news to anyone that the Watergate cast of characters was straight out of CIA central casting, Russ Baker has conclusively tied the elaborate ratfeck to the intelligence community.)

(3.) Obama was son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased in to Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman. While he was vocationally wet behind the ears he not only got into Pakistan, no mean feat at the time, but he went to a falconry outing with the future acting president of Pakistan. And is there anyone alive who wasn't flabbergasted at the instant universal acclaim for some empty suit who made a speech at the convention? Like Bill Clinton, successor to DCI Bush, Obama was blatantly, derisively installed in the president slot of the CIA org chart.

Authenticjazzman , April 21, 2018 at 6:06 pm GMT
@CIA in Charge

Excellent post and quite accurate information, however my point being that the irrational fear harbored by the individuals who could actually begin to rope these scumbags in, is just that : Irrational, as they seem to think or have been lead/brainwashed to believe that these dissolute turds are somehow endowed with supernatural, otherworldy powers and options, and that they are capable of unholy , merciless vengeance : VF, SR, etc.

And the truth is as soon as they finally start to go after them they, they will fall apart at the seams, such as with all cowards, and this is the bottom line : They, the BC/HC/BO clique, they are nothing more than consumate cowards, who can only operate in such perfidious manners when left unchallenged.

Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz artist.

[Apr 19, 2018] They never planned to let "Harvey" survive to see an actual trial, because of the lack of evidence against him, and therefore the evidence of a high-level conspiracy would then be so obvious.

Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

Paul Jolliffe , April 19, 2018 at 12:12 am GMT

@jilles dykstra

"Harvey" Oswald didn't shoot anyone -- his denial was perfectly plausible, and his murder at Ruby's hands was a desperate stopgap measure to shut him up before he started naming his handlers who had framed him. Badly.

They never planned to let "Harvey" survive to see an actual trial, because of the lack of evidence against him, and therefore the evidence of a high-level conspiracy would then be so obvious.

No trial, no test of the evidence against him.

"Harvey" was exactly what he claimed to be -- he was the patsy.

[Apr 18, 2018] Ever heard of the British Army s 77th Brigade?

Notable quotes:
"... It turns out that news reports citing UOSSM tend *also* to cite or refer to "French intelligence," especially if the report has to do with local conditions or events within Syria. So perhaps the "partnership" between the UOSSM and the White Helmets in Syria represents, in large part, the coordination of British and French military propaganda/intelligence services ..."
"... I had already heard that French intelligence was using Doctors Without Borders (MSF) as cover in Syria, but was not aware that UOSSM in Syria is likely--at least in part--another French intelligence front. ..."
"... My own impression is that the NGO-ification of military and state intelligence of the degree and sophistication we see in Syria is a relatively recent phenomenon, predicated in part on the disseminating capacities of social media platforms. Is this right? ..."
"... My wife and I stopped donating to MSF a few months ago, based on their evident lack of neutrality in Syria. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Pat Lang Mod -> Wj , a day ago

Ever heard of the British Army's 77th Brigade?
Wj -> Pat Lang , a day ago
PLang,

No, but you just sent me down a fascinating rabbit hole. From what I can tell, there is the already established link between White Helmets and Mayday Rescue, which seems to be an extension of or front for the 77th.

It turns out that news reports citing UOSSM tend *also* to cite or refer to "French intelligence," especially if the report has to do with local conditions or events within Syria. So perhaps the "partnership" between the UOSSM and the White Helmets in Syria represents, in large part, the coordination of British and French military propaganda/intelligence services.

I had already heard that French intelligence was using Doctors Without Borders (MSF) as cover in Syria, but was not aware that UOSSM in Syria is likely--at least in part--another French intelligence front. How common is this kind of multinational coordination of intelligence/propaganda front groups, if that is what this is?

My own impression is that the NGO-ification of military and state intelligence of the degree and sophistication we see in Syria is a relatively recent phenomenon, predicated in part on the disseminating capacities of social media platforms. Is this right?

TTG -> Wj , a day ago
Wj,

"How common is this kind of multinational coordination of intelligence/propaganda front groups, if that is what this is?"

The coordination and interoperability among these special operations units is intense and has grown rapidly over the last decade. Even in the 80s this joint combined exchange training was the norm. Now it extends into live operations.

This 77th Brigade is an odd mashup linking civil affairs and PSYOP capabilities, but kept within the Tier 1 special operations community. I never heard of it before, but it's a logical progression. We probably have a similar military capability, but i have no idea what it is.

JJackson -> TTG , a day ago
I note it also has close links to the close ties with the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade.
Peter C. -> Wj , 7 hours ago
My wife and I stopped donating to MSF a few months ago, based on their evident lack of neutrality in Syria. The reply from their Donor Relations office did nothing to dispel that impression. In it, MSF admitted that "extreme insecurity has forced us to remove our medical teams from the front lines of the conflict. As a result, in order to do what we can to help alleviate the suffering of Syrians, we have partnered with several hospitals and medical clinics to provide support, with medical supplies and expertise from a distance...Though our teams may not be physically present on the front lines, we receive regular reports..."

I think we can guess who those "reports" are from.

[Apr 17, 2018] False flags are real US has a long history of lying to start wars -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... indulging an addiction ..."
"... in all probability ..."
"... casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation ..."
"... repeated acts of violence ..."
"... could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installations or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack US or friendly installations to provide an excuse for US intervention. ..."
Apr 17, 2018 | www.rt.com

Danielle Ryan is an Irish freelance journalist. Having lived and worked in the US, Germany and Russia, she is currently based in Budapest, Hungary. Her work has been featured by Salon, The Nation, Rethinking Russia, Russia Direct, teleSUR, The BRICS Post and others. Follow her on Twitter @DanielleRyanJ, check out her Facebook page, or visit her website: danielle-ryan.com Published time: 16 Apr, 2018 15:49 Get short URL False flags are real – US has a long history of lying to start wars FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell holds up a vial that he described as one that could contain anthrax © Ray Stubblebine / Reuters Use of the term 'false flag' is often met with raised eyebrows and accusations of conspiracism. But false flags are a very real and very present feature of geopolitics -- and denying that is simply denying reality. Last week, the United States, along with the United Kingdom and France, bombed Syrian government targets, ostensibly in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack which was carried out one week before in the city of Douma.

The story we're told is simple: Syrian President Bashar Assad is an evil maniac who uses poison gas on his citizens for the sheer entertainment value. As neocon think tank the Atlantic Council put it last week, when Assad gasses people, he is simply " indulging an addiction " -- an addiction which he seems to have only recently acquired, given the fact that before Syria's war began, American journalists were busy praising the " educated " and " informed " Assad and marveling at the " phenomenal " levels of peace and religious diversity within Syria.

In 2006 Diane Sawyer praised Assad during a trip to Syria for the "phenomenal" levels of religious tolerance and peace in Syria. Funny how he turned into a monster at the exact moment Washington decided it was time for regime change. https://t.co/24qy6UtFez

-- Danielle Ryan (@DanielleRyanJ) April 14, 2018

Anyway, so intense is Assad's newfound desire for watching Syrian babies foaming at the mouth, that he is willing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by deciding to use these weapons despite knowing it would provoke worldwide outrage and potentially a major US military effort to oust him. So, that's the story. Assad is a monster and the world must unite to stop him.

There are plenty of people who are less than convinced by this narrative, however. One of them is Peter Ford, the former British ambassador to Syria. Ford told BBC Radio Scotland that " in all probability " the alleged chemical attack never happened and that the video and image evidence used as proof by the US and its allies was falsified. There are others who believe that the attack could have been real, but that the perpetrators were anti-Assad rebels trying to provoke fresh military action from the US -- in other words, it was very possibly a false flag event which served its purpose perfectly.

One of the best questions to ask when something like this happens, is: Who benefits? Very clearly in this case, Assad has not benefited at all, but the rebel groups fighting against him have.

Whatever the truth about this alleged chemical attack, the notion of false flag events being used to prompt military action should not be met with such skepticism. The US has a long history of using lies (or 'fake news' you might call it) as a pretext for war. It is important to look at recent events in Syria within that context.

Nayirah testimony

Perhaps the most famous of all examples was the heart-wrenching testimony to Congress of a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, identified only as Nayirah, which was used to sell the first Gulf War to the American people in October 1990. An emotional Nayirah told the Congressional Human Rights Caucus that she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers taking babies out of incubators and leaving them on the floor to die.

What Americans did not know, was that Nayirah was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US and she had been coached by the American PR firm Hill and Knowlton. But before the details of the stunt and false testimony became widely known, it had already been used to sell America's war against Iraq in 1991.

In 1990 young Nayirah told of seeing Iraqi soldiers pull Kuwaiti babies out of incubators. Today our delivery of atrocity propaganda is more sophisticated, yet public credulity remains about the same. pic.twitter.com/l7UYmByl5D

-- U.S. Dept. of Fear (@FearDept) April 8, 2018
Operation Northwoods

In the 1960s, American military leaders devised plans to bomb US cities and blame Cuban leader Fidel Castro in order to manufacture public and international support for a war.

The plan was codenamed Operation Northwoods and what it advocated was nothing short of horrendous. The American military suggested sinking boatloads of Cuban refugees, hijacking planes and bombing Miami. The goal was to convince Americans that Castro had unleashed a reign of terror upon them.

The top brass were even willing to cause US military casualties by blowing up an American boat in Guantanamo Bay and blaming Cuba. Why? Because, as they put it, " casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation " and help manufacture support for war. The plans were quashed by President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated one year later, leading some to speculate on a link between those events.

Gulf of Tonkin

Top US officials also distorted the facts in the lead-up to the Vietnam War and the media dutifully reported the official narrative as absolute fact, helping launch perhaps the most disastrous war in America's history.

On August 2, 1964, North Vietnamese torpedo boats attack the USS 'Maddox' while it was on " routine patrol " in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin. Two days later, the US Navy reported a second " unprovoked " attack on the 'Maddox' and the USS 'Turner Joy' -- a second destroyer which had been sent in after the first attack. President Lyndon B. Johnson told the American people on TV that " repeated acts of violence " against the US ships must be met with a strong response. Soon after Johnson appeared on TV, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which pre-approved any military action that he would take from that moment on.

The only problem was, there was no second attack on the US ships at all -- and the allegation that the first attack had been " unprovoked " was also a lie. In reality, the USS 'Maddox' had been gathering intelligence and providing it to South Vietnamese boats which were attacking North Vietnam. As for the second attack, the US boats had misinterpreted radio signals and radar images and spent two hours firing at nothing. Nonetheless, the " attack " was used to convince the American people to support war.

3. Given the folly of the British government over Iraq and Libya, and its undoubted misleading of the public over Iraq, it is perfectly reasonable to suspect it of doing the same thing again. Some of us also do not forget the blatant lying over Suez, and indeed the Gulf of Tonkin https://t.co/GLzyoPWaDG

-- Peter Hitchens (@ClarkeMicah) April 12, 2018
Soviet aircraft false flags

Recently declassified documents show yet more American false flag plotting, this time against the Soviet Union. A three-page memo , written by members of the National Security Council, suggested that the US government should acquire Soviet aircraft which would be used to stage attacks and provide the pretext for war.

Such aircraft, the memo said, " could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installations or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack US or friendly installations to provide an excuse for US intervention. "

The government even considered producing the soviet planes domestically in a massive covert operation. They went so far as to acquire estimates from the Air Force on the cost and length of time such an operation would take.

In a memo of undisclosed date, the US National Security Council suggested the government should either buy or covertly produce Soviet aircraft and use them to launch fake attacks, providing pretext for war https://t.co/d7fPLW6Fxw pic.twitter.com/tVnqbValPP

-- Danielle Ryan (@DanielleRyanJ) April 15, 2018

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Is there even any need to rehash the lies which were told in the lead-up to the Iraq war? The media here again swallowed the government's lies, one by one -- and 15 years later, the region is still suffering the consequences and very few lessons appear to have been learned.

These are not conspiracy theories. They are cold, hard evidence that the US has no qualms whatsoever about using false flag events and fake evidence to provide pretext for military action.

Continued lack of critical inquiry from the media, given the severe potential consequences of escalating the conflict in Syria, is tantamount to a crime.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Apr 11, 2018] Another step closer to the totalitarian state

Apr 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

Bill Jones , April 10, 2018 at 9:57 pm GMT

Another step closer to the totalitarian state

https://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/homeland-security-to-compile-database-of-journalists-and-media-influencers/

The Department of Homeland Security wants to track the comings and goings of journalists, bloggers and other "media influencers" through a database.

[Apr 10, 2018] The "Russian" Poisoning of the Skirpals In Context

Notable quotes:
"... U.S. government documents declassified in October 2017 admitted that a very high-level 1962 meeting of U.S. government officials – separate from the Joint Chiefs of Staff – also discussed: The possibility of U.S. manufacture or acquisition of Soviet aircraft . There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installations or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack U.S. or friendly installations in order to provide an excuse for U.S. intervention. ..."
Apr 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Unless you've been living under a rock, by now you know that the British government falsely claimed that irrefutable evidence proved that the Russian government was behind the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter using a "Novichok" nerve agent.

In response, the UK and US carried out the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in history.

Now that the wheels have come off this farce, it is interesting to note previous examples of the West falsely blaming Russia for bad acts.

Official German intelligence service documents show that, in 1994, the German intelligence services planted (original German ) plutonium on an airplane coming from Russia, as a way to frame Russia for exporting dangerous radioactive materials which could end up in the hands of terrorists and criminals.

This frame-up job was so successful at whipping up fear that it got German Chancellor Kohl re-elected, and the U.S. used it as an excuse to "help" secure Russia's nuclear facilities, as a way to get access to Russian nuclear secrets.

While everyone "knows" that the Kremlin poisoned Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko with radioactive polonium, a very high-level French counterterrorism official, Paul Barril, alleges that French, US and UK intelligence worked together to kill Litvinenko and to frame Russia: And see this .

U.S. government documents declassified in October 2017 admitted that a very high-level 1962 meeting of U.S. government officials – separate from the Joint Chiefs of Staff – also discussed: The possibility of U.S. manufacture or acquisition of Soviet aircraft . There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installations or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack U.S. or friendly installations in order to provide an excuse for U.S. intervention.

Newsweek ran an article headlined (all caps in original Newsweek title):

U.S. GOVERNMENT PLANNED FALSE FLAG ATTACKS TO START WAR WITH SOVIET UNION, JFK DOCUMENTS SHOW

The article notes:

The U.S. government once wanted to plan false flag attacks with Soviet aircraft to justify war with the USSR or its allies, newly declassified documents surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy show.

***

False flag attacks are covert operations that make it look like an attack was carried out by another group than the group that actually carried them out.

Indeed, falsely blaming other countries for terrorism or violence is the oldest way to create a "justification" for war.

Update: Why the Russian Double-Agent Skripal Could Not Have Been Poisoned with "Novichok"

Umh Sun, 04/08/2018 - 08:58 Permalink

The governments have certainly learned how to mess with the thinking gear of people. I spent most of my life working with inanimate objects not spending much time figuring out how people think. Most of the people that I did try to figure out were personally known to me. It was only in the last few years of my career that I paid any real attention to how people are manipulated. I knew people were easily manipulate for years, just think about how the war in Iraq in 2003 was so popular amoung most people.

are we there yet -> DuneCreature Sun, 04/08/2018 - 17:56 Permalink

Hi, I am from the government. I am here to lie to you. I have so many lies on top of other lies that sometimes they are true. Even the government has lost track. I am not sure if even MIC or Israel knows anymore.

[Apr 09, 2018] Ghouta is Arabic for Reichstag Fire by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The White Helmets' leadership is driven by a pro-interventionist agenda conceived by the Western governments and public relations groups that back them. Anyone who visits the group's website -- which is operated by an opposition-funded PR company known as the Syria Campaign -- will be immediately directed to a request to sign a petition for a no-fly zone to "stop the bombs" in Syria. These sorts of communiques highlight the dual role the White Helmets play as a civil defense organization saving lives while lobbying for a US military campaign that will almost inevitably result in the collapse of Syria's government. ..."
"... While members of the White Helmets have been implicated in atrocities carried out by jihadist rebel groups, the names of many of the firms that supposedly monitor and evaluate their work have been kept secret by USAID on unspecified security grounds. ..."
"... That "Russia will "never be America's friend" is not disputed. What is missing is that "US and Russia cannot afford to be enemies". Nixon understood all of that 30 years ago. ..."
"... I agree that the uncritical and unwavering acceptance of the notion of Assad's chemical attacks on his people is ignorant and dangerous. It shows a true lack of imagination among the jihadis and their supporters. Not one of these attacks have been convincingly attributed to Assad's forces. To the contrary, the propaganda put out by the jihadis appears blatantly staged and bogus. The sooner we're out of Syria, the better. And the sooner Trump realizes unwavering support of the current Israeli regime is a cost center, the better. ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The dominant propaganda meme of the day, as already noted by Colonel Lang, is that Bashar al Assad unleashed chemical weapons on "innocent women and children" in rebel held territory and that Russia and Iran, along with Syria, are responsible. We MUST take action (or so we are told emphatically by morons pretending to be news anchors on the various cable outlets). Few media outlets are willing to report that this information is not only uncorroborated but originates with established liars and rebel partisans--i .e., the White Helmets. Oh, and did you know that the White Helmets are funded largely by the Governments of the UK and the United States?

It is critical to keep the source of funds in mind if you are to understand the true nature of these Islamic scam artists. Ironically, Max Blumenthal, son of the infamous Sid, has been a leader in exposing these fraudsters. Blumenthal wrote, more than three years ago, that :

The White Helmets' leadership is driven by a pro-interventionist agenda conceived by the Western governments and public relations groups that back them. Anyone who visits the group's website -- which is operated by an opposition-funded PR company known as the Syria Campaign -- will be immediately directed to a request to sign a petition for a no-fly zone to "stop the bombs" in Syria. These sorts of communiques highlight the dual role the White Helmets play as a civil defense organization saving lives while lobbying for a US military campaign that will almost inevitably result in the collapse of Syria's government. . . .

The White Helmets were founded in collaboration with USAID's Office of Transitional Initiatives -- the wing that has promoted regime change around the world -- and have been provided with $23 million in funding from the department. USAID supplies the White Helmets through Chemonics, a for-profit contractor based in Washington DC that has become notorious for wasteful aid imbroglios from Haiti to Afghanistan.

While members of the White Helmets have been implicated in atrocities carried out by jihadist rebel groups, the names of many of the firms that supposedly monitor and evaluate their work have been kept secret by USAID on unspecified security grounds.


Anna , 12 hours ago

Nikki Haley: "Russia will "never be America's friend." Moscow can try to behave "like a regular country," but the US will "slap them when we need to," Haley said." ... "Everybody likes to listen to the words. I'm going to tell you – look at the actions," Haley urged. "We expelled 60 Russian diplomats/spies, we have armed Ukraine so that they can defend themselves..." https://www.rt.com/usa/423422-us-russia-stalemate-haley/

The UK has the pottery-boy Gavin Williamson as a Sec. of Defence and the US has a waste-management Nikki Haley as an US envoy to the United Nations. They both are ignoramuses and the eager ziocon tools.

Again, Israel's special relationships with anti-Assad forces and Israel's refusal to ratify the Chemical Arms Treaty make Israel the major suspect in the chemical attacks in Syria: https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-russia-links-syria-chemwar-to-israel-1.5333503

Babak Makkinejad Anna , 6 hours ago
That "Russia will "never be America's friend" is not disputed. What is missing is that "US and Russia cannot afford to be enemies". Nixon understood all of that 30 years ago.
Anna , a day ago
Yes. Has not Israel given orders? - https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/urgent-syria-under-attack/
Sid Finster , 2 hours ago
Sociopaths care nothing for logic or morality of they stabs in the way of something they want. Like the Reichstag fire.

I don't understand why people refuse to see that we are run by sociopaths, or, at a minimum, by people indistinguishable from sociopaths.

Kooshy , 9 hours ago
I think Colonel is absolutely right, all signs are, that everybody on both sides are getting ready for a war, how big, and who will participate, nobody knows yet would it be 2 oceans and 3 continents war or just concentrated on Eurasia? Unfortunately, I think DJT' canoe has sunken in the swamp he said he will drain, or IMO he didn't even know what he is talking about, or is dealing with.
TTG , 9 hours ago
I agree that the uncritical and unwavering acceptance of the notion of Assad's chemical attacks on his people is ignorant and dangerous. It shows a true lack of imagination among the jihadis and their supporters. Not one of these attacks have been convincingly attributed to Assad's forces. To the contrary, the propaganda put out by the jihadis appears blatantly staged and bogus. The sooner we're out of Syria, the better. And the sooner Trump realizes unwavering support of the current Israeli regime is a cost center, the better.
Terry , 11 hours ago
Thank you for reopening comments. I missed my tribe of non-conformists thinkers and all the various viewpoints. :-)

The insanity and distortion of reality and facts is getting extreme. Unfortunately tribalism with it's baggage of historical grievances, partisan loyalties, and mob mentalities are growing as our society returns to default human social behaviour while loyalty to the binding myths and ideas of the constitution and the founding of our republic fade. Truth is a casualty. Facts don't matter. Conformity to whatever tribal identity selected is the norm. Science show that there is a real decline in the higher brain functions when mobs form.

A good article on our decline into tribalism -

https://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/09/can-democracy-survive-tribalism.html

SmoothieX12 , 11 hours ago
If the Russians don't respond in some discrete but substantive way, their presence, efforts and international prestige will have vanished by tomorrow morning.

Your "grasp" of air-defense issues, including suggestion of shooting down aircraft in Lebanon's (international) airspace, among many other things clearly shows an armchair "strategist" (no offense, I am one myself) who played, unlike me--I don't play video games, too much video-games and thinks that he knows better than say Russian General Staff. Indeed, what do they know, really--what a bunch of amateurs who do not follow your highly professional suggestion.

robt willmann , 12 hours ago
The Russian Defense Ministry is now saying that 8 missiles were fired at the Syrian T4 airfield and airbase from Israeli airplanes flying inside Lebanon. The report says that 5 of the missiles were knocked down by antiaircraft / missile defense systems and that 3 of them hit the area of the airfield--

https://apnews.com/d965ed6a364f46fd9888acb9001de501/Israel-blamed-for-missile-strike-in-Syria;-14-reported-dead

https://www.rt.com/news/423545-israel-planes-syria-strike/

Anna , 12 hours ago
Agree.
The theater of absurd: Israelis "are shooting with live ammunition at people without guns:" Play Hide
james , 18 hours ago
israel to the rescue... they have to protect isis! and where would they be without regular support from the usa / uk.... white helmets are a pale imitation of israel at this point..
Hood Canal Gardner , 20 hours ago
PT .. thanks for the "outing" of Chemonics .. add Pakistan/HCG got a brick through his Islamabad bedroom window in the early1990s..tucked tail.

"Chemonics, a for-profit contractor based in Washington DC that has become notorious for wasteful aid imbroglios from Haiti to Afghanistan."

Karl Kolchak , 20 hours ago
"...a large number of supposedly intelligent Republicans and Democrats..."

There's no such thing any more. Both parties chased their intelligent leaders out a long time ago. Indeed, this is a repeat of the Cuban Missile Crisis with a bunch of emotional ten-year-olds in charge.

Kathy , 20 hours ago
Slightly OT, but in poking around the SCL/Cambridge Analytica web of intrigue, I found this tantalizing Wikipedia account of Vincent Tchenguiz, the largest shareholder in CA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Tchenguiz

Some people are truly not fit to walk on this earth.

blue peacock , 20 hours ago
PT

This is getting more and more ridiculous. From the ludicrous novichok caper that May and Boris have made into a Monty Python skit to the yet another theatrical chemical attack performance starring the perennial Syrian villain, Animal Assad and the increasingly heated rhetoric emanating from DC, London, Beijing and Moscow. Of course with all the bugles and trumpets blowing from the hysterical media with the Borg agenda trying to cajole a highly skeptical public.

What do you make of all this? Is the Borg getting really desperate that their gig may be up? That their deceit and duplicity will be uncovered.

We have Brennan, Holder, Yates busy tweeting along with Trump. There is McCabe and his GoFundMe. We have Comey's book tour and even Loretta Lynch is to hit the airwaves. All to spin tales that less people believe unless of course you are a card carrying partisan. Then there is Sessions making announcements of US Attorneys investigating and possibly convening grand juries and supervising document production to Congress around the conspiracy at the highest levels of law enforcement & intelligence in the Obama administration. Is this Reality TV at it's best putting Jerry Springer to shame??

What does your spidy sense tell you?

wisedupearly Ceo , 21 hours ago
I trust the Pentagon warned Israel not to launch cruise missiles from their submarines close to US surface fleet units.
Anna , 21 hours ago
"If the Russians don't respond... their international prestige will have vanished..."
-- What are you implying -- that only deception, perfidy, and bullying deserve "prestige?" Would not it be great if the decent people have finally explained the "prestigious" Nikki Haley that she is an ignoramus and warmonger? And how about sending Gavin Williamson to his familiar proper place where he could resume selling the fine pottery and ceramic countertops instead of being a mockery to his current post of Sec of Defence?

What is so prestigious about the opportunistic Theresa May and Boris Johnson, whose incompetent actions have been highly damaging to the UK reputation? And guess that the criminal (but very pious) Tony Blair fits the definition of "prestige."

There are people whose response is indeed important from the perspective of decency and competence and patriotism – these people are the US brass in the highest echelons of the US military. Do they serve the interests of the US or the interests of Israel? The question is very simple. The answer is yes or no.

Saker asks for patience: http://thesaker.is/missile-strikes-on-syria-tonight-do-not-rush-to-conclusions-please-post-here-what-you-hear/
Comment section: "The Lord Has Risen, and the forces of evil are rabid for more Death and Destruction."

Peter in Toronto , a day ago
Salvos underway.

If the Russians don't respond in some discrete but substantive way, their presence, efforts and international prestige will have vanished by tomorrow morning.

The Beaver , a day ago
T4 -East Homs being hit . Looks like the ISRAELIS are sending missiles
Anna , a day ago
"His master's voice (or how an obedient dog goes to war)": http://thesaker.is/his-masters-voice-or-how-an-obedient-dog-goes-to-war/
"Israeli officials: the "U.S. must strike in Syria" because "Assad is the angel of death, and the world would be better without him."
Ziomedia is willing to report the Skripal nonsense with a straight face After all, if the Russians could use "Novichok and buckwheat" in the UK, why would they not use chemical weapons in Syria? And, no, the fact that neither the Russians nor the Syrians actually have any chemical weapons (both were fully disarmed and certified as such) makes absolutely no difference! "
And what country does not want to declare her chemical weapon? – http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/175032
"The head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Tuesday called on Israel to renounce chemical weapons and join the convention banning them just like Syria did."
Not In Istanbul , a day ago
Cruise missile strikes are currently underway...
Anna , a day ago
"...Owen Matthews' article at The Spectator betrays the kind of factual sloppiness that is typical of the pundit-political-business classes in the West today."
-- In this case it is more than sloppiness: Owen Matthews is an opportunist loaded with the tribal grievances against Russia:
http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/11/02/re-visiting-russian-counter-propaganda-methods/
"... in his book "Stalin's Children" Matthews clearly takes sides with, endorses and, possibly, even covers up for his Trotskyist Commissar grandfather and that makes him a fair target for criticism"
jjc , a day ago
The constant repetitive referral to "Obama's red line" has been effective in shaping a preferred response to these alleged attacks. Contrary to today's conventional wisdom, Obama did not "fail" to enforce his own line - the administration through its own State Department was quite prepared to rain bombs down on Damascus, but faced political opposition from Congress (as did Cameron's UK government fail to achieve support for the bombing in its Parliament). Congressional opposition was sparked by robust opposition from citizens/ constituents in the form of communications directed to their Congressional offices. This was all reported by the mainstream media at the time, yet a false recounting is predominant today. The "unrelenting information operation" is not possible without the witting collaboration of the supposed "free" media. The ownership and editorial staff of such are as fully responsible for this frightening state of affairs as anyone else.
blowback , a day ago
The SOHR has some pretty solid reporting on what is going on in Douma. They make no mention of any use of chemical weapons in Douma, but instead attribute the deaths to suffocation resulting from the destruction of cellars containing civilians:
And with the death of more citizens, it has increased to 96 at least including 27 children and 16 woman, the number of persons who have been killed since Friday, and the death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical situation, where reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that some of the casualties and wounded suffocated as a result of the demolition of home basements due to the heavy and intense shelling on Douma city, and the trusted sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory of Rights that the number of injuries today has exceeds 500, including tens of children and tens of women, where more than 70 of them have suffered suffocation as a result of the demolition of home basements over them due to the heavy and intense shelling on the last area beyond the regime forces' control in the Eastern Ghouta , which is the stronghold of Jaysh al-Islam, and the Syrian Observatory published hours ago that 11 people at least including 5 children had suffocated, after bombardment by a warplane on an area near the old cemetery at the northern outskirts of Douma city in the Eastern Ghouta, also the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published that violent clashes taking place between the regime forces and their allied militiamen of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities against Jaish Al-Islam in areas in the vicinity of Douma area, where the regime forces continue their attempts to achieve more advancement in the area after they managed today morning to advance in the farms of Douma from the direction of Al-Raihan area. The regime forces managed to advance in 50 farms in the area following series of ongoing ground and aerial shelling of the regime forces and their warplanes and helicopters, which target the city and its vicinity.


http://www.syriahr.com/en/?p=88817
Recent articles from SOHR can be found here:
http://www.syriahr.com/en/?cat=26&paged=2
and here:
http://www.syriahr.com/en/?cat=26

Jaish al-Islam asked for quarter as the SAA appears to have broken Jaish al-Islam's defensive lines making their position in Douma untenable.

Imagine , a day ago
"Murder in the Sun Morgue" by Dr. Denis O'Brien (neuropharmacology expert):

"The primary conclusion of this study, based on a pharmacological analysis of the video and photographic evidence, is that the Ghouta Massacre near Damascus on Aug 21.2013 was not a sarin rocket attack carried out by Assad or his supporters. It was a false-flag stunt carried out by the insurgents using carbon monoxide or cyanide to murder children and use their corpses as bait to lure the Americans into attacking Assad."

288 pp. analysis. Also, some had slit throats:
https://www.scribd.com/document/230748990/Murder-in-the-SunMorgue

Swamp Yankee , a day ago
Thank you for this, Publius Tacitus -- and to you, Colonel Lang, re-opening the comments section here at SST.

I think it's notable that Owen Matthews' article at The Spectator betrays the kind of factual sloppiness that is typical of the pundit-political-business classes in the West today. For of course, "Arsenal of Democracy" is a phrase associated not with Truman but with Franklin Roosevelt.

I was the working-class scholarship kid at one of the elite educational institutions that forms a feeder-conduit to these echelons of media, political, and economic power, and one thing I have remarked is the utter mediocrity and laziness of so many members of our ruling class. As Corey Robin found out when he had an exchange with Chelsea Clinton over Hannah Arendt, and I discovered as an undergrad and in grad school, many of them simply never did the reading. They relied then, and still do today, on group-think and sheep-like intellectual conformity, which, of course, is then magnificently (and munificently!) rewarded. I also discovered that even when they did read something, it made no impression on them, not in any real way, they failed to keep the lessons taught thereby in their head once it was no longer needed for an exam or a paper.

To be led by fools such as these into a world war -- and why? -- is lunacy. That's why I'm grateful for places like this Committee to keep the home-fires of sanity burning. Thanks again, and let's hope that peace prevails, against the devoutly-hoped wishes of the Borg.

Patrick Armstrong , 10 hours ago
An excellent summary, I posted it on FB and VK.

[Apr 09, 2018] There is no doubt that Trump is an elite "false flag". Someone who was intended to be simply PORTRAYED as being anti-establishment, but in reality, one who carried out and amplified everything the establishment wanted. But neoliberal elite overplayed its hand by encouraging hateful anti-Trump rhetoric so much that now everything that Trump will do will garner massive opposition.

Trump as a "false flag operation," That's rich ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... So the paradox is this: how are the elites herding people towards a new war, while at the same time encouraging thoughts and movements which will be a solid opposition block against military action? ..."
"... Concur. Clinton is sociopathic. Trump is narcissistic. The Deep State uses both. The former willing tool, she cares nothing for anyone but herself. The latter, the psychologists in CIA have his profile and manipulate him like a woman with a velvet glove. His inadequacies are easily stroked. ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | thesaker.is

therealestg9 on April 08, 2018 , · at 11:21 pm UTC

There is no doubt that Trump is an elite "false flag". Someone who was intended to be simply PORTRAYED as being anti-establishment, but in reality, one who carried out and amplified everything the establishment wanted. That much is clear and solidified now.

But here is the real strangeness in the situation:

A quick scan of Twitter and Facebook commentary on this new Syria situation shows that a clear majority of Americans are opposed to anything that Trump touches. And this includes military action in Syria, as evidenced from the social media postings. What was once a simple matter of anti-war opposition has turned into a magnified anti-war plus anti-Trump opposition.

So the paradox is this: how are the elites herding people towards a new war, while at the same time encouraging thoughts and movements which will be a solid opposition block against military action?

I think a rational explanation is that the elites simply got overconfident. They overplayed their hand. It will indeed come back to bite them. The American people, whether pro-Trump or anti-Trump, will resist any military action in Syria no matter what. The elites will have to stop this movement and come up with a new strategy towards war.

vot tak on April 09, 2018 , · at 12:37 am UTC
T9

"There is no doubt that Trump is an elite "false flag". Someone who was intended to be simply PORTRAYED as being anti-establishment, but in reality, one who carried out and amplified everything the establishment wanted. That much is clear and solidified now."

Exactly. The main reason trump is better than Clinton, in my opinion, is all that opposition to Trump we see, would not be there against a Clinton regime. Both in the u.s. and international in the west.

Larchmonter445 on April 09, 2018 , · at 7:35 am UTC
Concur. Clinton is sociopathic. Trump is narcissistic. The Deep State uses both. The former willing tool, she cares nothing for anyone but herself. The latter, the psychologists in CIA have his profile and manipulate him like a woman with a velvet glove. His inadequacies are easily stroked.
Ahmed on April 09, 2018 , · at 11:05 am UTC
Larchmonter – "His inadequacies are easily stroked." lol I think Stormy Daniels would concur.

[Apr 02, 2018] Steal This Book The Publishing Misadventures of a CIA Whistleblower

Notable quotes:
"... The Secret Team ..."
"... is an ex-geek turned writer and editor. He hails from Boston and writes about whatever distortions of reality strike his fancy. Currently, he's pedaling a novel chronicling the lives and times of members of a cell of terrorists in Europe, completing a collection of essays on high technology delusions, and can be found barking at progressivepilgrim.review. ..."
Apr 02, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

by Geoff Dutton

The decorated cold-warrior Air Force Colonel Leroy Fletcher Prouty would have turned 100 last June. Today few remember him, but those who do may recall him as an arch military intelligence insider who alerted the nation to the capture of reins of government by the intelligence establishment, from the Korean Conflict forward to this day. He served his country under five presidents, first as an Army Air officer who saw service in Africa, South Asia, and Japan in WWII, ending up an Air Force Major assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [1] As Chief of Special Operations there, he coordinated CIA and military activities between JCS, directorates of the CIA, the National Security Council, and teams in the field. A key player, Prouty was privy to top-secret planning and policy documents and lists of CIA plants in civilian and military organizations, including CIA front companies. There was little he didn't know about how the agency operated its clandestine operations and little anyone around him knew more about. His Rolodex must have been amazing.

But then, having retired with accolades in 1964 to work as a banker and now and then a bit of a fixer, he wrote a book exposing it all that ruffled a lot of institutional feathers. In almost unbearable detail, The Secret Team (Prentice-Hall 1973) detailed how from the get-go, Allen Dulles' CIA insinuated itself into national institutions to become a driver of policies and armed interventions that few officials would or could resist. Both John F. and Robert F. Kennedy tried to rein in the agency and tragically failed. Prouty's 1993 book, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy , served as grist for Oliver Stone's film JFK by methodically piecing together evidence for an inside job that brought the president down. [2]

That book's Epilog (inexplicably missing from the paperback version) contains some fairly juicy tidbits, assuming they weren't fake news. In it, Prouty describes a meeting at a "Businessmen's Club in Manhattan at which unnamed bankers and defense contractors were in an uproar over the rumor that JFK would decamp US forces from Vietnam:

An elderly member, who used to visit the Dulles family in their summer home on Henderson Bay, leaned over toward the center of that small group and almost in a whisper said that his boys had just completed a ten-year war in Vietnam. The total was in the thousands, and the cost ran into the billions of dollars. Then he looked around the group of old cronies and snarled, "That goddamn Kennedy bastard has been working all summer with some of Old Joe's Irish Mafia and his favorite generals and they are planning every which way to get us out of Vietnam. This can't happen. He's got to go. Right now he's a sure thing for reelection and then there is Bobby and after him Teddy. I tell you that Kennedy has got to go."

But it was The Secret Team that most occasioned the ire of the intelligence establishment, especially for its workaday descriptions of the methods by which the CIA usurped power and leveraged authority to become a self-selected branch of the Executive and the military, using techniques borrowed from Machiavelli to J. Edgar Hoover's FBI to get its way. Ineffectual attempts were immediately made to suppress the book, which was twice reprinted. More successful was the campaign to deep-six the second edition, a paperback put out in 1979 by Ballantine Books. Of the 100,000 printed, few remain available today, selling on Amazon for $342 and up . (Amazon sells used copies of the original hardback and a Kindle version of it for more reasonable amounts.)

That notwithstanding, thanks to the efforts of Prouty's widow and acolyte Len Osanic (who runs The Col. L Fletcher Prouty Reference Site , from which part of this article was taken), the paperback was reissued in 2011 via SkyHorse Publishing , with a Foreword by Jesse Ventura. And, if the most recent version of TST you crave, eager reader, you needn't bother to buy it.

Go straightaway to a convenient, complete, and free Web edition that ratical.org, has cached for your inspection.

* * *

Prouty lived in Arlington Virginia, where he died at 84 and continues to occupy from Arlington National Cemetery. He was writing articles and giving interviews up until the end. Somehow I doubt he could have made it much past retirement without some protection from the inside, out of concern for his files and Rolodex if nothing else. His texts continue to exert influence despite concerted efforts to suppress them. In the Author's Note from what would have been TST's third edition (taken from ratical.org ) he explains how he came to publish his book and how the suppression manifested itself:

After I had given the manuscript of the original draft of this book to my editor at Prentice- Hall, in 1972; and had received the galley proof of the first edition back from him, he called me to suggest that I keep it in a safe place at all times. He told me that his home had been broken into the night before, and he suspected it was an attempt to steal his copy of that galley proof. He said, "They didn't get it. It was under the seat of the Volkswagon."

A few days later a nationwide release by the well-known Washington columnist, Jack Anderson, appeared across the country, "Book Bares CIA's Dirty Tricks". In that column, Anderson reported that the CIA had contacted a well-known bookstore in Washington and asked one of the employees to see if he could get a copy of the galley from me, and agreed to pay him $500, if he did. I agreed to meet him at my home that evening.

I suspected his call, but invited him anyway. In the meantime I set up a tape recorder in the umbrella stand near my front door and arranged for it to turn on when I switched on the overhead on the front porch. With that arrangement, I recorded the whole visit including his final burst, "They promised me $500.00, if I got that galley proof." I took that tape to Anderson, and it was the basis of his March 6, 1973 column. The underground attack didn't quit there.

After excellent early sales of The Secret Team during which Prentice ­Hall printed three editions of the book, and it had received more than 100 favorable reviews, I was invited to meet Ian Ballantine, the founder of Ballantine Books. He told me that he liked the book and would publish 100,000 copies in paperback as soon as he could complete the deal with Prentice-Hall. Soon there were 100,000 paperbacks in bookstores all around the country.

Then one day a business associate in Seattle called to tell me that the bookstore next to his office building had had a window full of books the day before, and none the day of his call. They claimed they had never had the book. I called other associates around the country. I got the same story from all over the country. The paperback had vanished. At the same time I learned that Mr. Ballantine had sold his company. I travelled to New York to visit the new "Ballantine Books" president. He professed to know nothing about me, and my book. That was the end of that surge of publication. For some unknown reason Prentice-Hall was out of my book also. It became an extinct species.

Coincidental to that, I received a letter from a Member of Parliament in Canberra, Australia, who wrote that he had been in England recently visiting in the home of a friend who was a Member of the British Parliament. While there, he discovered The Secret Team on a coffee table and during odd hours had begun to read it.

Upon return to Canberra he sent his clerk to get him a copy of the book. Not finding it in the stores, the clerk had gone to the Customs Office where he learned that 3,500 copies of The Secret Team had arrived, and on that same date had been purchased by a Colonel from the Royal Australian Army. The book was dead everywhere.

The campaign to kill the book was nationwide and world-wide. It was removed from the Library of Congress and from College libraries as letters I received attested all too frequently.

That was twenty years ago. Today I have been asked to rewrite the book and bring it up to date. Those who have the book speak highly of it, and those who do not have it have been asking for it. With that incentive, I have begun from page one to bring it up to date and to provide information that I have learned since my first manuscript.

In the beginning, this book was based upon my unusual experience in the Pentagon during 1955-1964 and the concept of the book jtself was the outgrowth of a series of luncheon conversations, 1969-1970, with my friends Bob Myers, Publisher of the New Republic, Charlie Peters, founder of The Washington Monthly, and Ben Schemmer, editor and publisher of the Armed Forces Journal, and Derek Shearer. They were all experienced in the ways and games played in Washington, and they tagged my stories those of a "Secret Team." This idea grew and was polished during many subsequent luncheons.

After my retirement from the Air Force, 1964, I moved from an office in the Joint Chiefs of Staff area of the Pentagon to become Manager of the Branch Bank on the Concourse of that great building. This was an interesting move for many reasons, not the least of which was that it kept me in business and social contact with many of the men I had met and worked with during my nine years of Air Force duties in that building. It kept me up-to-date with the old "fun-and-games" gang.

After graduating from the Graduate School of Banking, University of Wisconsin, I transfered to a bank in Washington where in the course of business I met Ben Schemmer. He needed a loan that would enable him to acquire the old Armed Forces Journal. During that business process I met two of Ben's friends Bob Myers and Charlie Peters. We spent many most enjoyable business luncheons together. This is where "The Secret Team" emerged from a pattern of ideas to a manuscript.

As they heard my stories about my work with the CIA, and especially about the role of the military in support of the world-wide, clandestine operations of the CIA, they urged me to write about those fascinating nine years of a 23-year military career. During the Spring of 1970 I put an article together that we agreed to call "The Secret Team", and Charlie Peters published it in the May 1970 issue of The Washington Monthly.

Before I had seen the published article myself, two editors of major publishers in New York called me and asked for appointments. I met with both, and agreed to accept the offer to write a book of the same name, and same concept of The Secret Team from Bram Cavin, Senior Editor with Prentice-Hall.

After all but finishing the manuscript, with my inexperienced typing of some 440 pages, I sat down to a Sunday breakfast on June 13, 1971 and saw the headlines of the New York Times with its publication of the "purloined" Pentagon Papers. [Any reader of the "Pentagon Papers" should be warned that although they were commissioned on June 17, 1967, by the Secretary of Defense as "the history of United States involvement in Vietnam from World War II [Sept 2, 1945] to the present" [1968], they are unreliable, inaccurate and marred by serious omissions. They are a contrived history, at best, even though they were written by a selected Task Force under Pentagon leadership.]

One of the first excerpts from those papers was a TOP SECRET document that I had worked on in late 1963. Then I found more of the same. With that, I knew that I could vastly improve what I had been writing by making use of that hoard of classified material that "Daniel Ellsberg had left on the doorstep of the Times," and other papers. Up until that time I had deliberately avoided the use of some of my old records and copies of highly classified documents. The publication of the Pentagon Papers changed all that. They were now in the public domain. I decided to call my editor and tell him what we had with the "Pentagon Papers" and to ask for more time to re-write my manuscript. He agreed without hesitation. From that time on I began my "Doctorate" course in, a) book publishing and, b) book annihilation.

As we see, by some time in 1975 The Secret Team was extinct; but unlike the dinosaur and others, it did not even leave its footprints in the sands of time. There may be some forty to fifty thousand copies on private book shelves. A letter from a professor informed me that his department had ordered more than forty of the books to be kept on the shelves of his university library for assignment purposes. At the start of the new school year his students reported that the books were not on the shelves and the registry cards were not in the master file. The librarians informed them that the book did not exist.

With that letter in mind, I dropped into the Library of Congress to see if The Secret Team was on the shelves where I had seen it earlier. It was not, and it was not even in that library's master file. It is now an official non-book.

I was a writer whose book had been cancelled by a major publisher and a major paperback publisher under the persuasive hand of the CIA. Now, after more than twenty years the flames of censorship still sweep across the land. Despite that, here we go again with a new revised edition of The Secret Team.

One last caveat. Don't expect to learn anything new on Wikipedia . His page has been repeatedly doctored to remove any reference to prouty.org and cast him as an unreliable source. Even in his serviceman's grave, the longwinded Leroy Fletcher Prouty continues to be cashiered, but still heard.

Notes.

[1] Leroy Fletcher Prouty (January 24, 1917 – June 5, 2001) was Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President John F. Kennedy in 1962-63. Prouty earned the position after nearly ten years in the Pentagon providing military support to CIA clandestine operations. Prouty was awarded the Legion of Merit for his efforts, and after his retirement in 1964 was further awarded a Joint Chiefs of Staff Commendation Medal by General Maxwell Taylor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the 1970s, Prouty became a writer and historical commentator, focusing on Cold War history, the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Kennedy assassination. The character "X" in Oliver Stone's 1991 movie JFK was based largely on Prouty, who acted as a consultant on the film. (From proutypedia .)

[2] Conservative Marquette University Associate Professor of Political Science John McAdams (currently suspended for criticizing a graduate assistant on his blog for abridging a homophobic student's First Amendment rights by preventing him from speaking in class) vociferously disagrees with Prouty and other JFK assassination conspiracy theorists on his (Marquette) site Kennedy Assassination Home Page . See its subpage labeling Prouty as an "All-Purpose Conspiracy Expert." Yet, McAdams takes the assessment of Prouty (that he has a "wacky imagination") by General and regime-change expert Edward Lansdale at face value. Prouty asserts that Lansdale was present at Dealy Plaza at the moment JFK was killed and had unaccountably billeted Prouty to Antarctica at the time to chaperone a party of VIPs. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Geoff Dutton

Geoff Dutton is an ex-geek turned writer and editor. He hails from Boston and writes about whatever distortions of reality strike his fancy. Currently, he's pedaling a novel chronicling the lives and times of members of a cell of terrorists in Europe, completing a collection of essays on high technology delusions, and can be found barking at progressivepilgrim.review.

[Mar 31, 2018] Finally, Kennedy had enough, and in a personal letter dated May 18, 1963, the president warned that unless American inspectors were allowed into Dimona (meaning the end of any military activities), Israel would find itself totally isolated. Rather than answering, Ben-Gurion abruptly resigned

Notable quotes:
"... Kennedy, the Lobby and the Bomb: http://www.voltairenet.org/article178401.html ..."
"... Michael Collins Piper – Final Judgement -The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy: http://americanfreepress.net/PDF/Final_Judgment.pdf ..."
"... Muammar Al-Gaddafi – Ben Gurion ordered JFK's death over Israeli Nuke Plant at Dimona: This may have angered them a bit too: http://time.com/4711687/john-f-kennedy-diary-hitler/ ..."
Mar 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

El Dato says: March 23, 2018 at 9:22 am GMT

@redmudhooch Trump should call for a real 9/11 investigation, that would drain the swamp, the American people would all be behind him, what better way to win over America than 9/11 justice that is way past due?

If this is democracy we need something else, if what we done to Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Latin American countries is democracy, we need to rid ourselves of democracy

The entire system is 100% corrupt, including Judges, prosecutors, lawyers, the whole swamp. Big money rules.

The media is with the deep state, they clearly have an agenda, and it doesn't seem to be an American one, something has to be done to shut them up.
Hell yes they're spying on us, They use the IRS and state revenue agencies to get back at dissenters, I have experienced it...

Not only are they spying on us, they're spying on the politicians, judges, literally everyone, and blackmailing the snot out of them. Using extortion to get their way. The corruption needs to be punished, all of it, not just who deep state chooses to get back at. They're all corrupt.

Look at the electoral map for 2016 election, it is nearly completely red, and all that red is very well armed and very pissed off. If Trump does the things he got elected on, stops kissing Netanyahus ass he'll be fine. All he would have to do is get on twitter and make the announcement, tell the people to help him drain the swamp, shut it down, we can protest and yell just as loud as the well funded made for tv protesters. People have had enough, we can't go on this way, people feel threatened now, and they will do what needs to be done to protect their families. We just need an organizer (Trump) to give the word. But if he keeps up the war mongering and giving in to the establishment on all the issues that won him the election, hes done.

Look at what happend to Jim Traficant when he got out of line, who goes to jail in DC? People who do the right thing..
Heres another example of how they get their way:
Atlanta Jewish Times featured a column by its owner-publisher suggesting that U.S.-based Israeli Mossad agents might someday need to "order a hit" on the president of the United States.

http://original.antiwar.com/alison-weir/2012/01/24/israeli-assassinations-and-american-presidents/
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/284979-ajt.html

On Jan. 13 the Atlanta Jewish Times featured a column by its owner-publisher suggesting that Israel might someday need to "order a hit" on the president of the United States.

In the column, publisher Andrew Adler describes a scenario in which Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu would need to "give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel."
The purpose? So that the vice president could then take office and dictate U.S. policies that would help the Jewish state "obliterate its enemies."
Adler wrote that it is highly likely that the idea "has been discussed in Israel's most inner circles."

I think this is what happened to JFK when he tried shutting down CIA, cracking down on the Israeli lobby, inspecting Israeli Dimona nuclear facility. END the Fed scam, take away the blank check.

I think this is what happened to JFK when he tried shutting down CIA, cracking down on the Israeli lobby, inspecting Israeli Dimona nuclear facility. END the Fed scam, take away the blank check.

I can't remember JFK wanting to do any of this.

utu , March 24, 2018 at 6:50 pm GMT

@El Dato

No wonder you do not remember because it was not in media. Many documents were declassified since.

John F. Kennedy Administration: Letter to Israeli PM Ben-Gurion Regarding Visit to Dimona (May 18, 1963)

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/kennedy-letter-to-ben-gurion-regarding-visit-to-dimona

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/When-Ben-Gurion-said-no-to-JFK

Finally, Kennedy had enough, and in a personal letter dated May 18, 1963, the president warned that unless American inspectors were allowed into Dimona (meaning the end of any military activities), Israel would find itself totally isolated. Rather than answering, Ben-Gurion abruptly resigned.

John F. Kennedy Administration: Summary of Eshkol Reply To Kennedy Letter (November 9, 1963)

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/summary-of-eshkol-reply-to-kennedy-letter-november-1963

In the November 12 talks we hope through open and frank responses to convince the Israeli representatives of our sympathetic interest in their security concerns and of our genuine desire to help Israel to the best of our ability. We will press the view that U.S. ability to deter aggression against Israel makes less imperative the need for Israel to maintain clear military superiority over the U.A.R. in all fields and underlines the futility of large expenditures of time, effort and money on a spiralling arms race. We will stress that Israel's acquisition of missiles could result in a Soviet supply of missiles to the U.A.R. and that a missile race increases the chance of a missile exchange in which Israel as a small, compact target would inevitably suffer most.

https://pulsemedia.org/2009/08/28/the-kennedys-vs-israels-lobby/

Details of the JFK-RFK duo's effort to register the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) parent organization, the American Zionist Council (AZC) as an Israeli foreign agent were shrouded in mystery until declassified in mid-2008.

redmudhooch , March 23, 2018 at 3:50 pm GMT
@El Dato

"I can't remember JFK wanting to do any of this."

Try harder. Do a little research.. not hard.

Kennedy, the Lobby and the Bomb: http://www.voltairenet.org/article178401.html

Michael Collins Piper – Final Judgement -The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy: http://americanfreepress.net/PDF/Final_Judgment.pdf

Muammar Al-Gaddafi – Ben Gurion ordered JFK's death over Israeli Nuke Plant at Dimona: This may have angered them a bit too: http://time.com/4711687/john-f-kennedy-diary-hitler/

The diary reveals that during his time in Berlin, Kennedy wrote about visiting Hitler's bunker only months after Germany surrendered in the Second World War.

"You can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived," Kennedy wrote in his diary in 1945.

"He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him," he added. "He had in him the stuff of which legends are made."

[Mar 31, 2018] RFK and Nixon immediately understood the assassination was a CIA-led wet-works operation since they chaired the assassination committees themselves in the past

Highly recommended!
This hypothesis about JFK preserves currency for along time: "When JFK started dismantling the CIA Deep State and ending the Cold War with the USSR, Dulles dispatched a CIA hit-squad to gun down the President. (RFK and Nixon immediately understood the assassination was a CIA-led wet-works operation since they chaired the assassination committees themselves in the past). "
Notable quotes:
"... The liberal order aka the New British Empire, was born 70 years ago by firebombing and nuking undefended civilian targets. It proceeded to launch serial genocidal rampages in the Koreas, SE Asia, Latin America until finally burning down a large portion of the Middle East. ..."
"... The liberal order is dying because it is led by criminally depraved Predators who have pauperized the labor force and created political strife, though the populists don't pose much threat to the liberal-order Predators. ..."
"... However by shipping the productive Western economies overseas to Asia, the US in particular cannot finance and physically support a military empire or the required R&D to stay competitive on the commercial and military front. ..."
Mar 31, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Posa Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:10 Permalink

The usual self-serving swill from the Best and the Brightest of the Predator Class out of the CFR via Haas.

The liberal order aka the New British Empire, was born 70 years ago by firebombing and nuking undefended civilian targets. It proceeded to launch serial genocidal rampages in the Koreas, SE Asia, Latin America until finally burning down a large portion of the Middle East.

The fact that there has not been a catastrophic nuclear war is pure dumb luck. The Deep State came within seconds of engineering a nuclear cataclysm off the waters of Cuba in 1962. When JFK started dismantling the CIA Deep State and ending the Cold War with the USSR, Dulles dispatched a CIA hit-squad to gun down the President. (RFK and Nixon immediately understood the assassination was a CIA-led wet-works operation since they chaired the assassination committees themselves in the past).

The liberal order is dying because it is led by criminally depraved Predators who have pauperized the labor force and created political strife, though the populists don't pose much threat to the liberal-order Predators.

However by shipping the productive Western economies overseas to Asia, the US in particular cannot finance and physically support a military empire or the required R&D to stay competitive on the commercial and military front.

So the US Imperialists are being eclipsed by the Sino-Russo Alliance and wants us to believe this is a great tragedy. Meanwhile the same crew of Liberal -neoCon Deep Staters presses on with wars and tensions that are slipping out of control.

[Mar 31, 2018] RFK and Nixon immediately understood the assassination was a CIA-led wet-works operation since they chaired the assassination committees themselves in the past

Notable quotes:
"... The liberal order aka the New British Empire, was born 70 years ago by firebombing and nuking undefended civilian targets. It proceeded to launch serial genocidal rampages in the Koreas, SE Asia, Latin America until finally burning down a large portion of the Middle East. ..."
"... The liberal order is dying because it is led by criminally depraved Predators who have pauperized the labor force and created political strife, though the populists don't pose much threat to the liberal-order Predators. ..."
"... However by shipping the productive Western economies overseas to Asia, the US in particular cannot finance and physically support a military empire or the required R&D to stay competitive on the commercial and military front. ..."
Mar 31, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Posa Fri, 03/30/2018 - 23:10 Permalink

The usual self-serving swill from the Best and the Brightest of the Predator Class out of the CFR via Haas.

The liberal order aka the New British Empire, was born 70 years ago by firebombing and nuking undefended civilian targets. It proceeded to launch serial genocidal rampages in the Koreas, SE Asia, Latin America until finally burning down a large portion of the Middle East.

The fact that there has not been a catastrophic nuclear war is pure dumb luck. The Deep State came within seconds of engineering a nuclear cataclysm off the waters of Cuba in 1962. When JFK started dismantling the CIA Deep State and ending the Cold War with the USSR, Dulles dispatched a CIA hit-squad to gun down the President. (RFK and Nixon immediately understood the assassination was a CIA-led wet-works operation since they chaired the assassination committees themselves in the past).

The liberal order is dying because it is led by criminally depraved Predators who have pauperized the labor force and created political strife, though the populists don't pose much threat to the liberal-order Predators.

However by shipping the productive Western economies overseas to Asia, the US in particular cannot finance and physically support a military empire or the required R&D to stay competitive on the commercial and military front.

So the US Imperialists are being eclipsed by the Sino-Russo Alliance and wants us to believe this is a great tragedy. Meanwhile the same crew of Liberal -neoCon Deep Staters presses on with wars and tensions that are slipping out of control.

[Mar 28, 2018] Deep State and False Flag Attacks

Highly recommended!
Pretty interesting presentation; almost two hours long.
Mar 28, 2018 | www.unz.com

wayfarer , March 24, 2018 at 4:05 am GMT

"Deep State – False Flag Attacks"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNA4f45F5II

[Mar 27, 2018] FBI Paid Geek Squad Repair Staff As Informants

Mar 27, 2018 | yro.slashdot.org

(zdnet.com) BeauHD on Tuesday March 06, 2018 @08:20PM from the plot-twist dept. According to newly released documents by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, federal agents would pay Geek Squad employees to flag illegal materials on devices sent in by customers for repairs. "The relationship goes back at least ten years, according to documents released as a result of the lawsuit [ filed last year ]," reports ZDNet. "The agency's Louisville division aim was to maintain a 'close liaison' with Geek Squad management to 'glean case initiations and to support the division's Computer Intrusion and Cyber Crime programs.'" From the report: According to the EFF's analysis of the documents, FBI agents would "show up, review the images or video and determine whether they believe they are illegal content" and seize the device so an additional analysis could be carried out at a local FBI field office. That's when, in some cases, agents would try to obtain a search warrant to justify the access. The EFF's lawsuit was filed in response to a report that a Geek Squad employee was used as an informant by the FBI in the prosecution of child pornography case. The documents show that the FBI would regularly use Geek Squad employees as confidential human sources -- the agency's term for informants -- by taking calls from employees when they found something suspect.

[Mar 27, 2018] Leaked Files Show How the NSA Tracks Other Countries' Hackers

Mar 27, 2018 | yro.slashdot.org

(theintercept.com) it could also help the cybersecurity community discover previously unknown threats . The Intercept: When the mysterious entity known as the " Shadow Brokers " released a tranche of stolen NSA hacking tools to the internet a year ago, most experts who studied the material honed in on the most potent tools, so-called zero-day exploits that could be used to install malware and take over machines. But a group of Hungarian security researchers spotted something else in the data, a collection of scripts and scanning tools the National Security Agency uses to detect other nation-state hackers on the machines it infects. It turns out those scripts and tools are just as interesting as the exploits. They show that in 2013 -- the year the NSA tools were believed to have been stolen by the Shadow Brokers -- the agency was tracking at least 45 different nation-state operations, known in the security community as Advanced Persistent Threats, or APTs. Some of these appear to be operations known by the broader security community -- but some may be threat actors and operations currently unknown to researchers.

The scripts and scanning tools dumped by Shadow Brokers and studied by the Hungarians were created by an NSA team known as Territorial Dispute, or TeDi. Intelligence sources told The Intercept the NSA established the team after hackers, believed to be from China, stole designs for the military's Joint Strike Fighter plane, along with other sensitive data, from U.S. defense contractors in 2007; the team was supposed to detect and counter sophisticated nation-state attackers more quickly, when they first began to emerge online. "As opposed to the U.S. only finding out in five years that everything was stolen, their goal was to try to figure out when it was being stolen in real time," one intelligence source told The Intercept. But their mission evolved to also provide situational awareness for NSA hackers to help them know when other nation-state actors are in machines they're trying to hack.

[Mar 22, 2018] The Israelis I believe needed JFK dead so they made sure he became deceased. He was in the way and with so many others hating him and his brother after he challenged the CIA, his days were numbered. Then it was Bobbies turn.

Mar 22, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

robert e williamson jr , March 20, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Ray good stuff. Let us talk about the Israelis and the problems they have created in this country. I'm 69 drafted in May 1968 no Vietnam, I was a spook attached to the 592nd Signal Co of the Berlin Brigade. I got hooked and I haven't really been a "TRUE BELIEVER" since. I mean that in the sense that I have suspected the activities of the state ever since.

I'm no genius and you may already gather that , no matter, but I know B.S. from Shinola which was a famous shoe polish.

I have been anti-Israeli Government since I realized who they were. The Israelis compromised J.J. Angleton and our country has been adversely affected ever since. They have compromised our sovereignty ever since.

Shapiro spirited SNM-fissile out of the country. The Israelis I believe needed JFK dead so they made sure he became deceased. He was in the way and with so many others hating him and his brother after he challenged the CIA, his days were numbered. Then it was Bobbies turn. The damned guy just wouldn't quit, so when it became obvious he was likely to be elected president in 68 he had to go also. Nice Irish Catholic boy scout like him wasn't about to let those who murdered his brother get away with it. But it much more involved than simply him getting his brothers killers. RFK had front row knowledge of his brother battles with the Israelis over their nuclear weapons program.

Sometime during 1967 John Hadden learned that Portsmouth Ohio HEU-235 was present in Isreal. In April or May Helms contacted the attorney general about this and then the FBI contacted him, Ramsey Clark, in May about opening an investigation in Zalmon Shaprio of NUMEC fame. At that point in time I can see that RFK must go. If RFK had learned of the Portsmouth Ohio U-235 in Israel he would have known immediately who had what to hide and why. His friggin' security detail should have been beefed up. Nothing of the sort happened. So depending on how you count the days from the time that CIA and FBI contacted the AG R Clark about the U-235 in Israel and FBI contacted the AG was a matter or 30 or so days. RFK died on June 6, 1968 and it was no Dogdamned coincident.

I have done limited research on the CIA machinations and FBI investigations connected with the NUMEC saga. The pursuit of the investigation was hampered because "The Fix" was in and I think you know this.

The present time is the best time I've seen in my life to expose this bullshit for what it is. Keep up the great work.

[Mar 21, 2018] The NUMEC Affair: Did Highly Enriched Uranium from the U.S. Aid Israel's Nuclear Weapons Program?

Mar 21, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , March 21, 2018 at 2:47 pm

The NUMEC Affair: Did Highly Enriched Uranium from the U.S. Aid Israel's Nuclear Weapons Program?
https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/nuclear-vault/2016-11-02/numec-affair-did-highly-enriched-uranium-us-aid-israels

Abe , March 21, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Concerned About Nuclear Weapons Potential, John F. Kennedy Pushed for Inspection of Israel Nuclear Facilities
https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/nuclear-vault/2016-04-21/concerned-about-nuclear-weapons-potential-john-f-kennedy

robert e williamson jr , March 20, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Damn it, " in April or May of 1968!!!!!! Helms contacted the AG . . . . .

[Mar 21, 2018] Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It is an open secret that the CIA has been leaking like the proverbial sieve over the last two years or so to its favorite stenographers at the New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post. ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... On April 6, 2017 I attended a panel discussion on "Russia's interference in our democracy" at the Clinton/Podesta Center for American Progress Fund. In my subsequent write-up I noted that panelist Palmieri had inadvertently dropped tidbits of evidence that I suggested "could get some former officials in deep kimchi -- if a serious investigation of leaking, for example, were to be conducted." ..."
"... Palmieri was asked to comment on "what was actually going on in late summer/early fall [2016]." She answered: "It was a surreal experience so I did appreciate that for the press to absorb the idea that behind the stage that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton was too fantastic for people to, um, for the press to process, to absorb . ..."
"... But she lost. And a month ago, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) threw down the gauntlet, indicating that there could be legal consequences, for example, for officials who misled the FISA court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and associates. ..."
"... John Brennan is widely reported to be Nunes's next target. Does one collect a full pension in jail? ..."
"... Unmasking: Senior national security officials are permitted to ask the National Security Agency to unmask the names of Americans in intercepted communications for national security reasons -- not for domestic political purposes. ..."
"... Brennan's words and attitude are a not-so-subtle reminder of the heavy influence and confidence of the deep state, including the media -- exercised to a fare-thee-well over the past two years. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Washington Post ..."
"... The Post, incidentally, waited until paragraph 41 of 44 to inform readers that it was the FBI's own Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General of the Department of Justice that found McCabe guilty, and that the charge was against McCabe, not the FBI. A quite different impression was conveyed by the large headline "Trump escalates attacks on FBI" as well as the first 40 paragraphs of Sunday's lead article. ..."
"... "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you," Schumer told Maddow. "So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this." Did Maddow ask Schumer if he was saying President of the United States should be afraid of the intelligence community? No, she let Schumer's theorem stand. ..."
Mar 19, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

With former CIA Director John Brennan accusing President Donald Trump of "moral turpitude" for his "scapegoating" of Andy McCabe, it remains to be seen whether a constitutional crisis will be averted, writes Ray McGovern.

What prompted former CIA Director John Brennan on Saturday to accuse President Donald Trump of "moral turpitude" and to predict, with an alliterative flourish, that Trump will end up "as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history"? The answer shines through the next sentence in Brennan's threatening tweet : "You may scapegoat Andy McCabe [former FBI Deputy Director fired Friday night] but you will not destroy America America will triumph over you."

It is easy to see why Brennan lost it. The Attorney General fired McCabe, denying him full retirement benefits, because McCabe "had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor -- including under oath -- on multiple occasions." There but for the grace of God go I, Brennan must have thought, whose stock in trade has been unauthorized disclosures.

In fact, Brennan can take but small, short-lived consolation in the fact that he succeeded in leaving with a full government pension. His own unauthorized disclosures and leaks probably dwarf in number, importance, and sensitivity those of McCabe. And many of those leaks appear to have been based on sensitive intercepted conversations from which the names of American citizens were unmasked for political purposes. Not to mention the leaks of faux intelligence like that contained in the dubious "dossier" cobbled together for the Democrats by British ex-spy Christopher Steele.

It is an open secret that the CIA has been leaking like the proverbial sieve over the last two years or so to its favorite stenographers at the New York Times and Washington Post. (At one point, the obvious whispering reached the point that the Wall Street Journal saw fit to complain that it was being neglected.) The leaking can be traced way back -- at least as far as the Clinton campaign's decision to blame the Russians for the publication of very damning DNC emails by WikiLeaks just three days before the Democratic National Convention.

This blame game turned out to be a hugely successful effort to divert attention from the content of the emails, which showed in bas relief the dirty tricks the DNC played on Bernie Sanders. The media readily fell in line, and all attention was deflected from the substance of the DNC emails to the question as to why the Russians supposedly "hacked into the DNC and gave the emails to WikiLeaks."

This media operation worked like a charm, but even Secretary Clinton's PR person, Jennifer Palmieri, conceded later that at first it strained credulity that the Russians would be doing what they were being accused of doing.

Magnificent Diversion

On April 6, 2017 I attended a panel discussion on "Russia's interference in our democracy" at the Clinton/Podesta Center for American Progress Fund. In my subsequent write-up I noted that panelist Palmieri had inadvertently dropped tidbits of evidence that I suggested "could get some former officials in deep kimchi -- if a serious investigation of leaking, for example, were to be conducted." (That time seems to be coming soon.)

Palmieri was asked to comment on "what was actually going on in late summer/early fall [2016]." She answered: "It was a surreal experience so I did appreciate that for the press to absorb the idea that behind the stage that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton was too fantastic for people to, um, for the press to process, to absorb .

"But then we go back to Brooklyn [Clinton headquarters] and heard from the -- mostly our sources were other intelligence, with the press who work in the intelligence sphere, and that's where we heard things and that's where we learned about the dossier and the other story lines that were swirling about; and how to process And along the way the administration started confirming various pieces of what they were concerned about what Russia was doing. So I do think that the answer for the Democrats now in both the House and the Senate is to talk about it more and make it more real."

So the leaking had an early start, and went on steroids during the months following the Democratic Convention up to the election -- and beyond.

As a Reminder

None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison.

But she lost. And a month ago, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) threw down the gauntlet, indicating that there could be legal consequences, for example, for officials who misled the FISA court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and associates. His words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of yet other miscreants. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said. "The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

John Brennan is widely reported to be Nunes's next target. Does one collect a full pension in jail?

Unmasking: Senior national security officials are permitted to ask the National Security Agency to unmask the names of Americans in intercepted communications for national security reasons -- not for domestic political purposes. Congressional committees have questioned why Obama's UN ambassador Samantha Power (as well as his national security adviser Susan Rice) made so many unmasking requests. Power is reported to have requested the unmasking of more than 260 Americans, most of them in the final days of the administration, including the names of Trump associates.

Deep State Intimidation

Back to John Brennan's bizarre tweet Saturday telling the President, "You may scapegoat Andy McCabe but you will not destroy America America will triumph over you." Unmasking the word "America," so to speak, one can readily discern the name "Brennan" underneath. Brennan's words and attitude are a not-so-subtle reminder of the heavy influence and confidence of the deep state, including the media -- exercised to a fare-thee-well over the past two years.

Later on Saturday, Samantha Power, with similar equities at stake, put an exclamation point behind what Brennan had tweeted earlier in the day. Power also saw fit to remind Trump where the power lies, so to speak. She warned him publicly that it is "not a good idea to piss off John Brennan."

Meanwhile, the Washington Post is dutifully playing its part in the deep-state game of intimidation. The following excerpt from Sunday's lead article conveys the intended message: "Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. 'This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI's going to win,' said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. 'You can't fight the FBI. They're going to torch him.'" [sic]

The Post, incidentally, waited until paragraph 41 of 44 to inform readers that it was the FBI's own Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General of the Department of Justice that found McCabe guilty, and that the charge was against McCabe, not the FBI. A quite different impression was conveyed by the large headline "Trump escalates attacks on FBI" as well as the first 40 paragraphs of Sunday's lead article.

Putting Down a Marker

It isn't as though Donald Trump wasn't warned, as are all incoming presidents, of the power of the Deep State that he needs to play ball with -- or else. Recall that just three days before President-elect Trump was visited by National Intelligence Director James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Michael Rogers, Trump was put on notice by none other than the Minority Leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer. Schumer has been around and knows the ropes; he is a veteran of 18 years in the House, and is in his 20th year in the Senate.

On Jan. 3, 2017 Schumer said it all, when he told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, that President-elect Trump is "being really dumb" by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia's cyber activities:

"Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you," Schumer told Maddow. "So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this." Did Maddow ask Schumer if he was saying President of the United States should be afraid of the intelligence community? No, she let Schumer's theorem stand.

With gauntlets now thrown down by both sides, we may not have to wait very long to see if Schumer is correct in his blithe prediction as to how the present constitutional crisis will be resolved.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as a CIA analyst under seven Presidents and nine CIA directors and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

[Mar 21, 2018] NSA Has Been Tracking Bitcoin Users Since 2013, New Snowden Documents Reveal

Mar 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

As it turns out, Ulbricht's lawyers were on to something.

In a blockbuster report published Tuesday in the Intercept, reporter Sam Biddle cited several documents included in the massive cache of stolen NSA documents that showed that the agency has been tracking bitcoin users since 2013, and has potentially been funneling some of this information to other federal agencies. Or, as Biddle puts it, maybe the conspiracy theorists were right.

It turns out the conspiracy theorists were onto something. Classified documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the National Security Agency indeed worked urgently to target Bitcoin users around the world - and wielded at least one mysterious source of information to "help track down senders and receivers of Bitcoins," according to a top-secret passage in an internal NSA report dating to March 2013. The data source appears to have leveraged the NSA's ability to harvest and analyze raw, global internet traffic while also exploiting an unnamed software program that purported to offer anonymity to users, according to other documents.

Using its ability to siphon data directly from the fiber-optic cables, the NSA managed to develop a system for tracing transactions that went well beyond simple blockchain analysis. The agency relied on a program called MONKEYROCKET , a sham Internet-anonymizing service that, according to the documents, was primarily deployed in Asia, Africa and South America with the intention of thwarting terrorists.

The documents indicate that "tracking down" Bitcoin users went well beyond closely examining Bitcoin's public transaction ledger, known as the Blockchain, where users are typically referred to through anonymous identifiers; the tracking may also have involved gathering intimate details of these users' computers.

The NSA collected some Bitcoin users' password information, internet activity, and a type of unique device identification number known as a MAC address, a March 29, 2013 NSA memo suggested. In the same document, analysts also discussed tracking internet users' internet addresses, network ports, and timestamps to identify "BITCOIN Targets."

...

The NSA's budding Bitcoin spy operation looks to have been enabled by its unparalleled ability to siphon traffic from the physical cable connections that form the internet and ferry its traffic around the planet. As of 2013, the NSA's Bitcoin tracking was achieved through program code-named OAKSTAR, a collection of covert corporate partnerships enabling the agency to monitor communications, including by harvesting internet data as it traveled along fiber optic cables that undergird the internet.

...

Specifically, the NSA targeted Bitcoin through MONKEYROCKET, a sub-program of OAKSTAR, which tapped network equipment to gather data from the Middle East, Europe, South America, and Asia, according to classified descriptions. As of spring 2013, MONKEYROCKET was "the sole source of SIGDEV for the BITCOIN Targets," the March 29, 2013 NSA report stated, using the term for signals intelligence development, "SIGDEV," to indicate the agency had no other way to surveil Bitcoin users. The data obtained through MONKEYROCKET is described in the documents as "full take" surveillance, meaning the entirety of data passing through a network was examined and at least some entire data sessions were stored for later analysis.

Naturally, once the NSA got involved, the notion of anonymity - whether with bitcoin, or even some of the privacy-oriented coins like Zcash - was completely crushed.

Emin Gun Sirer, associate professor and co-director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts at Cornell University, told The Intercept that financial privacy "is something that matters incredibly" to the Bitcoin community, and expects that "people who are privacy conscious will switch to privacy-oriented coins" after learning of the NSA's work here. Despite Bitcoin's reputation for privacy, Sirer added, "when the adversary model involves the NSA, the pseudonymity disappears. You should really lower your expectations of privacy on this network."

Green, who co-founded and currently advises a privacy-focused Bitcoin competitor named Zcash, echoed those sentiments, saying that the NSA's techniques make privacy features in any digital currencies like Ethereum or Ripple "totally worthless" for those targeted.

While bitcoin appeared to be the NSA's top target, it wasn't the agency's only priority. The NSA also used its unparalleled surveillance powers to take down Liberty Reserve - a kind of proto-ICO that was involved in money laundering. Though the company was based in Costa Rica, the Department of Justice partnered with the IRS and Department of Homeland Security to arrest its founder and hand him a 20-year prison sentence.

The March 15, 2013 NSA report detailed progress on MONKEYROCKET's Bitcoin surveillance and noted that American spies were also working to crack Liberty Reserve, a far seedier predecessor. Unlike Bitcoin, for which facilitating drug deals and money laundering was incidental to bigger goals, Liberty Reserve was more or less designed with criminality in mind. Despite being headquartered in Costa Rica, the site was charged with running a $6 billion "laundering scheme" and triple-teamed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Homeland Security, and the IRS, resulting in a 20-year conviction for its Ukrainian founder. As of March 2013 -- just two months before the Liberty Reserve takedown and indictment -- the NSA considered the currency exchange its No. 2 target, second only to Bitcoin. The indictment and prosecution of Liberty Reserve and its staff made no mention of help from the NSA.

Of course, several of the agency's defenders argued that the notion that the NSA would use these programs to spy on innocuous bitcoin users is "pernicious", according to one expert source.

The hypothesis that the NSA would "launch an entire operation overseas under false pretenses" just to track targets is "pernicious," said Matthew Green, assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute. Such a practice could spread distrust of privacy software in general, particularly in areas like Iran where such tools are desperately needed by dissidents. This "feeds a narrative that the U.S. is untrustworthy," said Green. "That worries me."

But forget bitcoin: the notion that the NSA has been illegally feeding intelligence to other federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies has been a watershed issue for civil libertarians, with implications far beyond cryptocurrency money laundering . The process, known as "parallel construction", would, if definitive proof could ever be obtained by a defense attorney, render an entire case as inadmissible.

Civil libertarians and security researchers have long been concerned that otherwise inadmissible intelligence from the agency is used to build cases against Americans though a process known as "parallel construction": building a criminal case using admissible evidence obtained by first consulting other evidence, which is kept secret, out of courtrooms and the public eye. An earlier investigation by The Intercept, drawing on court records and documents from Snowden, found evidence the NSA's most controversial forms of surveillance, which involve warrantless bulk monitoring of emails and fiber optic cables, may have been used in court via parallel construction.

The timing of the Intercept's report is also interesting. We reported last year that a Russian national named Alexander Vinnick, the alleged mastermind of a $4 billion bitcoin-based money laundering operation, had been arrested following an indictment that levied 21 counts of money laundering and other crimes that could land him in a US prison for up to 55 years.

And given the justice system's treatment of other cryptocurrency-related criminals, the notion that Vinnick might spend multiple decades in prison is not beyond the realm of possibility. Of course, if the case against him is built on illegally obtained evidence, one would think his defense team would want to know.

Heavily redacted versions of the Snowden documents are available on the Intercept's website.


wee-weed up -> J S Bach Tue, 03/20/2018 - 19:05 Permalink

"NSA Has Been Tracking Bitcoin Users Since 2013, New Snowden Documents Reveal"

Yep, I knew it! I've been trying to tell the crypto-enthusiasts that the gov't is on their trail, but they are in utter denial. They think their tech is superior. Sad mistake.

So again I ask... can you say... "Poof it's gone!"

Baron von Bud -> Coinista Tue, 03/20/2018 - 20:25 Permalink

I don't believe the NSA knows the content of crypto transactions due to packet data encryption. They do likely know the identities of frequent Bitcoin users via traffic tracking. Infrequent users very unlikely. That's what the IT programmer in me says. But we're talking Ed Snowden who knows a lot about networks and encryption. This suggests that NSA has a man-in-the-middle attack.

Baron von Bud -> lookslikecraptome Tue, 03/20/2018 - 22:41 Permalink

Nobody cracked TOR and the code is open source. Identities were determined via the host site communications not in TOR transit. The govt does have https keys - isp told me. But software encrypted data in packets - no they don't. TOR and OpenPGP are very good to have with govts and social media getting more abusive collecting/selling any data that will bring a buck.

NiggaPleeze -> Coinista Tue, 03/20/2018 - 21:50 Permalink

Well, NSA developed TOR. Then they developed bitcoin to work on TOR. How much you want to bet they have infiltrated every single exchange?

They are watching you. Five eyes.

[Mar 13, 2018] The CIA takeover of the Democratic Party by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
"... If on November 6 the Democratic Party makes the net gain of 24 seats needed to win control of the House of Representatives, former CIA agents, military commanders, and State Department officials will provide the margin of victory and hold the balance of power in Congress. ..."
"... Since its establishment in 1947 -- under the administration of Democratic President Harry Truman -- the CIA has been legally barred from carrying out within the United States the activities which were its mission overseas: spying, infiltration, political provocation, assassination. These prohibitions were given official lip service but ignored in practice. ..."
"... The Church Committee in particular featured the exposure of CIA assassination plots against foreign leaders like Fidel Castro, Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, General Rene Schneider in Chile, and many others. More horrors were uncovered: MK-Ultra, in which the CIA secretly subjected unwitting victims to experimentation with drugs like LSD; ..."
"... Operation Mockingbird, in which the CIA recruited journalists to plant stories and smear opponents; Operation Chaos, an effort to spy on the antiwar movement and sow disruption; Operation Shamrock, under which the telecommunications companies shared traffic with the NSA for more than a quarter century. ..."
"... The Church and Pike committee exposures, despite their limitations, had a devastating political effect. The CIA and its allied intelligence organizations in the Pentagon and NSA became political lepers, reviled as the enemies of democratic rights. The CIA in particular was widely viewed as "Murder Incorporated." ..."
"... The last 15 years have seen a massive expansion of the CIA and other intelligence agencies, backed by an avalanche of media propaganda, with endless television programs and movies glorifying American spies and assassins ..."
"... Zero Dark Thirty ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The media campaign alleging Russian intervention in the 2016 US elections has been based entirely on handouts from the CIA, NSA and FBI, transmitted by reporters who are either unwitting stooges or conscious agents of the military-intelligence apparatus. This has been accompanied by the recruitment of a cadre of top CIA and military officials to serve as highly paid "experts" and "analysts" for the television networks . ..."
"... This process was well under way in the administration of Barack Obama, which endorsed and expanded the various operations of the intelligence agencies abroad and within the United States. Obama's endorsed successor, Hillary Clinton, ran openly as the chosen candidate of the Pentagon and CIA, touting her toughness as a future commander-in-chief and pledging to escalate the confrontation with Russia, both in Syria and Ukraine. ..."
"... The CIA has spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign against Trump in large part because of resentment over the disruption of its operations in Syria, and it has successfully used the campaign to force a shift in the policy of the Trump administration on that score. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The 2018 election campaign marks a new stage: for the first time, military-intelligence operatives are moving in large numbers to take over a political party and seize a major role in Congress. The dozens of CIA and military veterans running in the Democratic Party primaries are "former" agents of the military-intelligence apparatus. This "retired" status is, however, purely nominal. Joining the CIA or the Army Rangers or the Navy SEALs is like joining the Mafia: no one ever actually leaves; they just move on to new assignments. ..."
"... The author also recommends: ..."
Mar 13, 2018 | www.wsws.org

In a three-part series published last week, the World Socialist Web Site documented an unprecedented influx of intelligence and military operatives into the Democratic Party. More than 50 such military-intelligence candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination in the 102 districts identified by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as its targets for 2018. These include both vacant seats and those with Republican incumbents considered vulnerable in the event of a significant swing to the Democrats.

If on November 6 the Democratic Party makes the net gain of 24 seats needed to win control of the House of Representatives, former CIA agents, military commanders, and State Department officials will provide the margin of victory and hold the balance of power in Congress. The presence of so many representatives of the military-intelligence apparatus in the legislature is a situation without precedent in the history of the United States.

Since its establishment in 1947 -- under the administration of Democratic President Harry Truman -- the CIA has been legally barred from carrying out within the United States the activities which were its mission overseas: spying, infiltration, political provocation, assassination. These prohibitions were given official lip service but ignored in practice.

In the wake of the Watergate crisis and the forced resignation of President Richard Nixon, reporter Seymour Hersh published the first devastating exposure of the CIA domestic spying, in an investigative report for the New York Times on December 22, 1974. This report triggered the establishment of the Rockefeller Commission, a White House effort at damage control, and Senate and House select committees, named after their chairmen, Senator Frank Church and Representative Otis Pike, which conducted hearings and made serious attempts to investigate and expose the crimes of the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

The Church Committee in particular featured the exposure of CIA assassination plots against foreign leaders like Fidel Castro, Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, General Rene Schneider in Chile, and many others. More horrors were uncovered: MK-Ultra, in which the CIA secretly subjected unwitting victims to experimentation with drugs like LSD;

Operation Mockingbird, in which the CIA recruited journalists to plant stories and smear opponents; Operation Chaos, an effort to spy on the antiwar movement and sow disruption; Operation Shamrock, under which the telecommunications companies shared traffic with the NSA for more than a quarter century.

The Church and Pike committee exposures, despite their limitations, had a devastating political effect. The CIA and its allied intelligence organizations in the Pentagon and NSA became political lepers, reviled as the enemies of democratic rights. The CIA in particular was widely viewed as "Murder Incorporated."

In that period, it would have been unthinkable either for dozens of "former" military-intelligence operatives to participate openly in electoral politics, or for them to be welcomed and even recruited by the two corporate-controlled parties. The Democrats and Republicans sought to distance themselves, at least for public relations purposes, from the spy apparatus, while the CIA publicly declared that it would no longer recruit or pay American journalists to publish material originating in Langley, Virginia. Even in the 1980s, the Iran-Contra scandal involved the exposure of the illegal operations of the Reagan administration's CIA director, William Casey.

How times have changed. One of the main functions of the "war on terror," launched in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, has been to rehabilitate the US spy apparatus and give it a public relations makeover as the supposed protector of the American people against terrorism.

This meant disregarding the well-known connections between Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders and the CIA, which recruited them for the anti-Soviet guerrilla war in Afghanistan, waged from 1979 to 1989, as well as the still unexplained role of the US intelligence agencies in facilitating the 9/11 attacks themselves.

The last 15 years have seen a massive expansion of the CIA and other intelligence agencies, backed by an avalanche of media propaganda, with endless television programs and movies glorifying American spies and assassins ( 24 , Homeland , Zero Dark Thirty , etc.)

The American media has been directly recruited to this effort. Judith Miller of the New York Times , with her reports on "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, is only the most notorious of the stable of "plugged-in" intelligence-connected journalists at the Times , the Washington Post , and the major television networks. More recently, the Times has installed as its editorial page editor James Bennet, brother of a Democratic senator and son of the former administrator of the Agency for International Development, which has been accused of working as a front for the operations of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The media campaign alleging Russian intervention in the 2016 US elections has been based entirely on handouts from the CIA, NSA and FBI, transmitted by reporters who are either unwitting stooges or conscious agents of the military-intelligence apparatus. This has been accompanied by the recruitment of a cadre of top CIA and military officials to serve as highly paid "experts" and "analysts" for the television networks .

In centering its opposition to Trump on the bogus allegations of Russian interference, while essentially ignoring Trump's attacks on immigrants and democratic rights, his alignment with ultra-right and white supremacist groups, his attacks on social programs like Medicaid and food stamps, and his militarism and threats of nuclear war, the Democratic Party has embraced the agenda of the military-intelligence apparatus and sought to become its main political voice.

This process was well under way in the administration of Barack Obama, which endorsed and expanded the various operations of the intelligence agencies abroad and within the United States. Obama's endorsed successor, Hillary Clinton, ran openly as the chosen candidate of the Pentagon and CIA, touting her toughness as a future commander-in-chief and pledging to escalate the confrontation with Russia, both in Syria and Ukraine.

The CIA has spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign against Trump in large part because of resentment over the disruption of its operations in Syria, and it has successfully used the campaign to force a shift in the policy of the Trump administration on that score. A chorus of media backers -- Nicholas Kristof and Roger Cohen of the New York Times , the entire editorial board of the Washington Post , most of the television networks -- are part of the campaign to pollute public opinion and whip up support on alleged "human rights" grounds for an expansion of the US war in Syria.

The 2018 election campaign marks a new stage: for the first time, military-intelligence operatives are moving in large numbers to take over a political party and seize a major role in Congress. The dozens of CIA and military veterans running in the Democratic Party primaries are "former" agents of the military-intelligence apparatus. This "retired" status is, however, purely nominal. Joining the CIA or the Army Rangers or the Navy SEALs is like joining the Mafia: no one ever actually leaves; they just move on to new assignments.

The CIA operation in 2018 is unlike its overseas activities in one major respect: it is not covert. On the contrary, the military-intelligence operatives running in the Democratic primaries boast of their careers as spies and special ops warriors. Those with combat experience invariably feature photographs of themselves in desert fatigues or other uniforms on their websites. And they are welcomed and given preferred positions, with Democratic Party officials frequently clearing the field for their candidacies.

The working class is confronted with an extraordinary political situation. On the one hand, the Republican Trump administration has more military generals in top posts than any other previous government. On the other hand, the Democratic Party has opened its doors to a "friendly takeover" by the intelligence agencies.

The incredible power of the military-intelligence agencies over the entire government is an expression of the breakdown of American democracy. The central cause of this breakdown is the extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny elite, whose interests the state apparatus and its "bodies of armed men" serve. Confronted by an angry and hostile working class, the ruling class is resorting to ever more overt forms of authoritarian rule.

Millions of working people want to fight the Trump administration and its ultra-right policies. But it is impossible to carry out this fight through the "axis of evil" that connects the Democratic Party, the bulk of the corporate media, and the CIA. The influx of military-intelligence candidates puts paid to the longstanding myth, peddled by the trade unions and pseudo-left groups, that the Democrats represent a "lesser evil." On the contrary, working people must confront the fact that within the framework of the corporate-controlled two-party system, they face two equally reactionary evils.

Patrick Martin

The author also recommends:

Palace coup or class struggle: The political crisis in Washington and the strategy of the working class

[Mar 10, 2018] Habakkuk on 'longtime' sources

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... it seems to me the usa and uk have been tied at the hip for a very long time... when it comes to foreign affairs policy and wars - the one will always vouch for the other without hesitation... it tells me the relationship is really deep.. ..."
"... I and my friends consider it a given that most, if not all, anglo-zionist moves in the ME are to "provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area. " It is an open secret that the izzies are the reason why a few Russians, some Turks, lots of Kurds and countless Arabs are dying in the Syrian battlefields. Another open secret: the takfiris and kurds have been, and are, supported by the West. That the "masters of the universe™" have been conceiving and doubling down on such disastrous policies give lie to their much-vaunted "intelligence". ..."
"... It is the very FACT of Trump even getting elected at ALL which outrages and terrifies them so much. They are used to seeing themselves as successful manipulators and engineers of every major event. They were engineering the whole electoral battlespace to get Clinton elected. The mere fact of Trump's victory in the teeth of their Electoral Engineering for Clinton is an act of defiance which they will not tolerate. ..."
"... And if they fail to bring Trump down at all, they will stand revealed as being defeatable. And this is their big fear. That if people see they have defeated the Borg once on keeping Trump in the teeth of Borg's efforts, that people might try to defeat and smash down the Borg on another issue. And then another. And then another after that. ..."
"... Because it is not possible to do on fundamental level yet, especially with US foreign policy establishment and so called consensus being built almost entirely, in ideological and, most importantly, cadres senses, on the ultimate exceptionalist agenda in which Russia is the ultimate obstacle and enemy. Establishment in saturated with neocons and likes. They are the swamp. ..."
"... They act and believe that they are Olympians. You have to wait for them to age and die before any substantive change in Fortress West's posture; say 2040 ..."
"... In 1977 Zbigniew Brzezinski, as President Carter's National Security Adviser, forms the Nationalities Working Group (NWG) dedicated to the idea of weakening the Soviet Union by inflaming its ethnic tensions. ..."
"... State Department official Henry Precht will later recall that Brzezinski had the idea "that Islamic forces could be used against the Soviet Union. The theory was, there was an arc of crisis, and so an arc of Islam could be mobilized to contain the Soviets." [Scott, 2007, pp. 67] In November 1978, President Carter appointed George Ball head of a special White House Iran task force under Brzezinski. Ball recommends the US should drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the radical Islamist opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. This idea is based on ideas from British Islamic expert Dr. Bernard Lewis, who advocates the balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. The chaos would spread in what he also calls an "arc of crisis" and ultimately destabilize the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union ..."
"... About relation Steele-MI6, well, you never leave your IS. Or to put it in another way, you are never out of the scope of your past IS ..."
"... No, three years at tops and could be much sooner if dimes starting dropping by exposed people that don't want to take the fall for their superiors whom they always detested. One possible thing to get the process started sooner is if the recent Russian Intelligence delegation to DC that Smoothie mentions on another thread gave the current administration, as a diplomatic courtesy of course, the audio recordings of Madame Sectary Nuland's infamous mental meltdown at Kaliningrad. No telling what beans were spilled in her moment of panic, but I am willing to bet key names were dropped. Either way the time is coming. ..."
"... Especially, once American policy-makers who saw and experienced war (Ike, George Marshall's generation) departed things started to roll down hill with Reagan bringing on board a whole collection of neocons. ..."
"... Unawareness is always dangerous, a complete blackout in relations between two nuclear powers is more than dangerous--it is completely reckless. Again, the way CW 1.0 is perceived in the current US "elites" it becomes extremely tempting to repeat it. Electing Hillary was another step in unleashing CW 2.0 by people who have no understanding of what they were doing. ..."
"... Obama started crushing US-Russian relations before any campaigns were launched and before Trump was even seriously considered a GOP nominee, let alone a real contender. New confrontation hinged on HRC being elected. In fact, she was one of the major driving forces behind a serious of geopolitical anti-Russian moves. Visceral Russo-phobia became a feature in HRC campaign long before any Steele's Dossier. This was a program. ..."
"... IMO, the bigger problem for American not shying away from wars, or being silent about them , is when your home, your mom and dad' home, the town you grew up in, are immune and away from the war. ..."
"... The security and safety of the two oceans, encourages or at least, in an all volunteer military makes it a secondary problem for regular people, to worry about. ..."
"... A particular interesting feature of those on the British side – in which we now know Christopher Steele must have played a leading role – were the bizarre gyrations those responsible were going through trying to explain away the extraordinary fact that when he had broken the story of his poisoning, Litvinenko had pointed the finger of suspicion at his Italian associate Mario Scaramella. ..."
"... Of course later reports in the Steele Dossier go hand in hand with a larger public relations campaign. Creating reality? Irony alert: as informer/source I would by then know what the other side wants to hear. ..."
Mar 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Steele, Shvets, Levinson, Litvinenko and the 'Billion Dollar Don.'

In the light of the suggestion in the Nunes memo that Steele was 'a longtime FBI source' it seems worth sketching out some background, which may also make it easier to see some possible reasons why he 'was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.'

There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. It also seems clear that influential journalists, such as Glenn Simpson was before founding Fusion GPS, along with his wife Mary Jacoby, have been strongly involved in this.

This agenda has involved hopes for 'régime change' in Russia, whether as the result of an oligarchic coup, a popular revolt, or some combination of both. Also central have been hopes for a further 'rollback' of Russia influence in the post-Soviet space, both in areas now independent, such as Ukraine, and also ones still part of the Russian Federation, notably Chechnya.

And, crucially, it involved exploiting the retreat of Russian power from the Middle East for 'régime change' projects which it was hoped would provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area.

Important support for these strategies was provided by the 'StratCom' network centred around the late Boris Berezovsky, which clearly collaborated closely with MI6. As was apparent from the witness list at Sir Robert Owen's Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, which produced a report based essentially on a recycling of claims made by the network's members, key players were on your side of the Atlantic – notably Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, and Yuri Felshtinsky.

The question of what links these had, or did not have, with elements in U.S. intelligence agencies is thus a critical one.

In making some sense of it, the fact that one key figure we know to have been involved in this network was missing at the Inquiry – the former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared on the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007 – is important.

Unfortunately, I only recently came across a book on Levinson published in 2016 by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier, which is now hopefully winging its way across the Atlantic. From the accounts of the book I have seen, such as one by Jeff Stein in 'Newsweek', it seems likely that its author did not look at any of the evidence presented at Owen's Inquiry.

(See http://www.newsweek.com/2016/05/20/what-really-happened-robert-levinson-cia-iran-454803.html .)

Had he done so, Meier might have discovered that his subject had been, as it were, 'top supporting actor' in the first fumbling attempt by Christopher Steele et al to produce a plausible-sounding scenario as to the background to Litvinenko's death. A Radio 4 programme on 16 December 2006, presented by the veteran BBC presenter Tom Mangold, had been wholly devoted to an account by Shvets, backed up by Levinson. Both of these were, like Litvinenko, supposed to be impartial 'due diligence' operatives.

The notion that any of them might have connections with Western intelligence agencies was not considered. The – publicly available – evidence of the involvement of Shvets, whose surname means 'cobbler' or 'shoemaker' in Ukrainian, in the processing of the tapes of conversations involving the former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma supposedly recorded by Major Melnychenko, which had played a crucial role in the 2004-5 'Orange Revolution' was not mentioned.

Still less was it mentioned that claims that the – very dangerous – late Soviet Kolchuga system, which made it possible the kind of identification of incoming aircraft which radar had traditionally done, without sending out signals which made the destruction of the facilities doing it possible, had been sold by Kuchma to Iraq had proven spurious.

What Shvets had done had been to take – genuine – audio in which Kuchma had discussed a possible sale, and edit it to suggest a sale had been completed.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

As a former television current affairs producer, I can talk to you of the marvels which London audio editors can produce, very happily. Unfortunately, the days when not all BBC and 'Guardian' journalists were corrupt stenographers for corrupt and incompetent spooks, as Mangold and his like have been for Steele and Levinson, are long gone.

All this has become particularly relevant now, given that Simpson has placed the notorious Jewish Ukrainian mobster Semyon Mogilevich and the 'Solntsevskaya Bratva' mafia group centre stage in his accounts not simply of Trump and Manafort, but also of William Browder. For most of the 'Nineties, Levinson had been a, if not the, lead FBI investigator on Mogilevich.

(On this, see the 1999 BBC 'Panorama' programme 'The Billion Dollar Don', also presented by Tom Mangold, which has extensive interviews both with Mogilevich and Levinson at

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/events/panorama/transcripts/transcript_06_12_99.txt )

In the months leading up to Levinson's disappearance, a key priority for the advocates of the strategy I have described was to prevent it being totally derailed by the patently catastrophic outcome of the Iraqi adventure.

Compounding the problem was the fact that this had created the 'Shia Crescent', which in turn exacerbated the potential 'existential threat' to Israel posed by the steadily increasing range, accuracy and numbers of missiles available to Hizbullah in hardened positions north of the Litani.

These, obviously, provided both a 'deterrent' for that organisation and Iran, and also a radical threat to the whole notion that somehow Israel could ever be a 'safe haven' for Jews, against the supposedly ineradicable disposition of the 'goyim' sooner or later to, as it were, revert to type. The dreadful thought that Israel might not be necessary had to be resisted at all costs.

What followed from the disaster unleashed by the – Anglo-American – 'own goal' in toppling Saddam was, ironically, a need on the part of key players to 'double down.' Above all, it was necessary for many of those involved to counter suggestions from the Russian side that going around smashing up 'régimes' that one might not like sometimes blew up in one's face.

Even more threatening were suggestions from the Russian side that it was foolish to think one could use jihadists without risking 'blowback', and that there might be an overwhelming common interest in combating Islamic extremism.

Another priority was to counter the pushback in the American 'intelligence community' and military, which was to produce the drastic downgrading of the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear programme in the November 2007 NIE and then the resignation of Admiral William Fallon as head of 'Centcom' the following March.

So in 2005 Shvets came to London. He and his audio editors had another 'bite at the cherry' of the Melnychenko tapes, so that material that did in fact establish that both the SBU and FSB had collaborated with Mogilevich could be employed to make it seem that Putin had a close personal relationship with the mobster.

All kinds of supposedly respectable American and British academics, like Professors Karen Dawisha and Robert Service, have fallen for this, hook, line and sinker. It gives a new meaning to the term 'useful idiot.'

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

In a letter sent in December that year by Litvinenko to the 'Mitrokhin Commission', for which his Italian associate Mario Scaramella was a consultant, this was used in an attempt to demonstrate that Mogilevich, while acting as an agent for the FSB and under Putin's personal 'krysha', had attempted to supply a 'mini atomic bomb' – aka 'suitcase nuke' – to Al Qaeda. Shortly after the letter was sent Scaramella departed on a trip to Washington, where he appears to have got access to Aldrich Ames.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

At precisely this time, as Meier explains, Levinson was in the process of being recruited by a lady called Anne Jablonski who then worked as a CIA analyst. It appears that she was furious at the failure of the operational side at the Agency to produce evidence which would have established that Iran did indeed have an ongoing nuclear programme, and she may well have hoped would implicate Russia in supplying materials.

There are grounds to suspect that one of the things that Berezovsky and Shvets were doing was fabricating such 'evidence.' Whether Levinson was involved in such attempts, or genuinely looking for evidence he was convinced must be there, I cannot say. It appears that he fell for a rather elementary entrapment operation – which could well have been organised with the collaboration of Russian intelligence. (People do get fed up with being framed, particular if 'régime change' is the goal.)

It also seems likely that, quite possibly in a different but related entrapment operation, related to propaganda wars in which claims and counter claims about a polonium-beryllium 'initiator' as the crucial missing part which might make a 'suitcase nuke' functional, Litvinenko accidentally ingested fatal quantities of polonium. A good deal of evidence suggests that this may have been at Berezovsky's offices on the night before he was supposedly assassinated.

It was, obviously, important for Steele et al to ensure that nobody looked at the 'StratCom' wars about 'suitcase nukes.' Here, a figure who has played a key role in such wars in relation to Syria plays an interesting minor one in the story.

Some time following the destruction of the case for an immediate war by the November 2007 NIE, a chemical weapons specialist called Dan Kaszeta, who had worked in the White House for twelve years, moved to London.

In 2011, in addition to founding a consultancy called 'Strongpoint Security', he began a writing career with articles in 'CBRNe World.' Later, he would become the conduit through which the notorious 'hexamine hypothesis', supposedly clinching proof that the Syrian government was responsible for the sarin incidents at Khan Sheikhoun, Ghouta, Saraqeb, and Khan Al-Asal, was disseminated.

Having been forced by the threat of a case being opened against them under human rights law into resuming the inquest into Litvinenko's death, in August 2012 the British authorities appointed Sir Robert Owen to conduct it. (There are many honest judges in Britain, but obviously, if one sets out to find someone who will 'cover up' for the incompetence and corruption of people like Steele, as Lord Hutton did before him, you can find them.)

That same month, a piece appeared in 'CBRNe World' with the the strapline: 'Dan Kaszeta looks into the ultimate press story: Suitcase nukes', and the main title 'Carry on or checked bags?' Among the grounds he gives for playing down the scare:

'Some components rely on materials with shelf life. Tritium, for example, is used in many nuclear weapon designs and has a twelve year half-life. Polonium, used in neutron initiators in some earlier types of weapon designs, has a very short halflife. US documents state that every nuclear weapon has "limited life components" that require periodic replacement (do an internet search for nuclear limited life components and you can read for weeks).'

(For this and other articles by Kaszeta, as also his bio, see http://strongpointsecurity.co.uk ')

What Kaszeta has actually described are the reasons why polonium is a perfect 'StratCom' instrument. In terms of scientific plausibility, in fact there were no 'suitcase nukes', and in any case 'initiators' using polonium had been abandoned very early on, in favour of ones which lasted longer.

For 'StratCom' scenarios, as experience with the 'hexamine hypothesis' has proved, scientific plausibility can be irrelevant.

What polonium provides is a means of suggesting that Al Qaeda have in fact got hold of a nuclear device which they could easily smuggle into, say, Rome or New York, or indeed Moscow, but there is a crucial missing component which the FSB is trying to provide to them. By the same token, of course, that missing component could be depicted as one that Berezovsky and Litvinenko are conspiring to suppl to the Chechen insurgents.

In addition, the sole known source of global supply is the Avangard plant at Sarov in Russia, so the substance is naturally suited for 'StratCom' directed against that country, which its intelligence services would – rather naturally – try to make 'boomerang.'

According to Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele is a 'boy scout.' This seems to me quite wrong – but, even if it were true, would you want to unleash a 'boy scout' into these kinds of intrigue?

As it is not clear why Kaszeta introduced his – accurate but irrelevant – point about polonium into an article which was concerned with scientific plausibility, one is left with an interesting question as to whether he cut his teeth on 'StratCom' attempting to ensure that nobody seriously interested in CBRN science followed an obvious lead.

In relation to the question of whether current FBI personnel had been involved in the kind of 'StratCom' exercises, I have been describing, a critical issue is the involvement of Shvets and Levinson in the Alexander Khonanykhine affair back in the 'Nineties, and the latter's use of claims about the Solntsevskaya to prevent the key figure's extradition. But that is a matter for another day.

A corollary of all this is that we cannot – yet at least – be absolutely confident that the account in the Nunes memo, according to which Steele was suspended and then dismissed as an FBI source for what the organisation is reported to define as 'the most serious of violations' – the unauthorised disclosure of a relationship with the organisation – is necessarily wholly accurate.

Who did and did not authorise which disclosures to the media, up to and including the extraordinary decision to have the full dossier, including claims about Aleksej Gubarev and the Alfa oligarchs, in flagrant disregard of the obvious risks of defamation suits, and who may be trying to pass the buck to others, remains I think less than totally clear.

Posted at 03:42 PM in As The Borg Turns , Habakkuk , Russia , Russiagate | Permalink


james , 03 February 2018 at 04:33 PM

thanks david... fascinating overview and conjecture..

it seems to me the usa and uk have been tied at the hip for a very long time... when it comes to foreign affairs policy and wars - the one will always vouch for the other without hesitation... it tells me the relationship is really deep..

JohnB , 03 February 2018 at 05:17 PM
David,

Thank you very. As ever you have illuminated a few more things for me. Kaszeta's involvement is interesting. He is someone I am in the middle of researching in relation to Higgins and Bellingcat.

turcopolier , 03 February 2018 at 06:02 PM
james

It is the closest of all international intelligence relationships. It started in WW2. Before that the Brits were though of as a potential enemy. pl

Babak Makkinejad -> turcopolier ... , 03 February 2018 at 06:10 PM
I think the English are using you, they are unsentimental empirical people that only do these that benefit the Number One.
The chief beneficiary of the Coup in Iran was England and not US.
catherine , 03 February 2018 at 06:22 PM
That Newsweek piece about Levinson is very superficial to me.

Re: Levinson

# Who suggested to who 'first' the Iran caper...Anne Jablonski to Levinson or Levinson to Jablonski? It was reported earlier by Meier that in December 2005, when Levinson was pitching Jablonski on projects he might take on when his CIA contract was approved he sent her a lengthy memo about Dawud's potential as an informant.

# Ira Silverman, the Iran hating NBC guy, pitched a Iraq caper to Levinson with Dawud Salahuddin, as his Iran contact and Levinson went to Jablonski with it.

# And what was with Boris Birshstein, a Russian organized crime figure who had fled to Israel and Oleg Deripaska, the "aluminum czar" of Russia whose organized crime contacts have kept him from entering the United States jumping in to help find Levinson? The FBI allowed Deripaska in for two visits in 2009 in exchange for his alleged help in locating Levinson but obviously nothing came of it.

I think there were more little agents/agendas in this than Levinson and Jablonski and US CIA.

Ishmael Zechariah , 03 February 2018 at 06:54 PM
DH,

As usual a wonderful analysis. I admire your insight, integrity and courage. I wish you could write more on why the Borg is so much against Trump, even though they have Kushner, Adelson and Co. running interference for them.

I and my friends consider it a given that most, if not all, anglo-zionist moves in the ME are to "provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area. " It is an open secret that the izzies are the reason why a few Russians, some Turks, lots of Kurds and countless Arabs are dying in the Syrian battlefields. Another open secret: the takfiris and kurds have been, and are, supported by the West. That the "masters of the universe™" have been conceiving and doubling down on such disastrous policies give lie to their much-vaunted "intelligence".

Be safe.

Ishmael Zechariah

Rd , 03 February 2018 at 07:31 PM
Babak Makkinejad said in reply to turcopolier...

The chief beneficiary of the Coup in Iran was England and not US.
..and US is the one who has been paying for it since 1979!!!

kooshy said in reply to Ishmael Zechariah... , 03 February 2018 at 08:21 PM
IZ
My guess is, that he is unpredictable, instantaneous and therefore can't be consistent and reliable, useful idiot needs to be predictable.
kooshy , 03 February 2018 at 08:43 PM
"There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. "

David as usual fascinating work connecting the dots. One question that comes to my mind is about the above point you are making. Is it your understanding or believe that these IC individuals on both side of Atlantic, are pursuing/forcing their (on behalf of the Borg) foreign policy agenda outside of their respected seating governments? If not, why is it that incoming administration cannot stop them? So far I can't see any strategic changes on US foreign policy toward ME or Russia, at tactical level yes but not fundamentally.

different clue , 03 February 2018 at 08:49 PM
Ishmael Zechariah,

( reply to comment 6),

I am not David Habakkuk, obviously. But I will venture a little opinion anyway. It is not enough that the Borgists get their policy preferences. If it were, then Kushner, Adelson and Co. running interference would be enough for them.

It is the very FACT of Trump even getting elected at ALL which outrages and terrifies them so much. They are used to seeing themselves as successful manipulators and engineers of every major event. They were engineering the whole electoral battlespace to get Clinton elected. The mere fact of Trump's victory in the teeth of their Electoral Engineering for Clinton is an act of defiance which they will not tolerate.

And if they fail to bring Trump down at all, they will stand revealed as being defeatable. And this is their big fear. That if people see they have defeated the Borg once on keeping Trump in the teeth of Borg's efforts, that people might try to defeat and smash down the Borg on another issue. And then another. And then another after that.

So that is why the Borg cares so much. They view the Trump election as an insurgency, and they view themselves as waging a counterinsurgency, which they dare not lose.

Jack , 03 February 2018 at 08:54 PM
David,

Thanks for your analysis. I always enjoy and learn from your posts. I wish you would post more often.

In my non-expert opinion, the Borg and the media were all in for Hillary. They were convinced that she was gonna win. To curry favor with the Empress who would be certainly crowned after the election they were eager and convinced that their lawlessness would become a badge for promotion and plum positions in her administration. In their conceit, they believed they could kill two birds with one stroke. They could vilify Putin and create the mass hysteria to checkmate him, while at the same time disparage and frame Trump as The Manchurian Candidate to seal their certain electoral victory.

Unfortunately for them voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin didn't buy their sales pitch despite the overwhelming media barrage from all corners. Even news publications who have only endorsed Republican candidates for President for over a century endorsed her.

Trump's election win caused panic among the political establishment, the media and the Deep State. They were already all-in. Their only choice was to double down and get Trump impeached. Now their conspiracy is beginning to unravel. They are doing everything possible to forestall their Armageddon. Of course they have many allies. This battle is gonna be interesting to watch. Trump is clearly getting many Congressional Republicans on side as his base of Deplorables remains solidly behind him. That is what's befuddling the Borg pundits.

SmoothieX12 -> kooshy... , 03 February 2018 at 09:51 PM
So far I can't see any strategic changes on US foreign policy toward ME or Russia, at tactical level yes but not fundamentally.

Because it is not possible to do on fundamental level yet, especially with US foreign policy establishment and so called consensus being built almost entirely, in ideological and, most importantly, cadres senses, on the ultimate exceptionalist agenda in which Russia is the ultimate obstacle and enemy. Establishment in saturated with neocons and likes. They are the swamp. This swamp (Borg, deep state, etc.) still thinks that it can use Cold War 1.0 Playbook and address very real and dangerous American economic issues. They are wrong, since most of them didn't read the playbook correctly to start with.

Babak Makkinejad -> SmoothieX12 ... , 03 February 2018 at 10:10 PM
They act and believe that they are Olympians. You have to wait for them to age and die before any substantive change in Fortress West's posture; say 2040.
kooshy said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 03 February 2018 at 10:24 PM
You are right CWII is very much desired and on agenda, but i am not sure of setup, the setup/board has been changed tremendously and IMO benefits the Asian side of Bosphorus, for one thing technology is no longer exclusive, and financial burden is heavier on atlantic side.
catherine said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 12:21 AM
''Establishment in saturated with neocons and likes. They are the swamp. ''

The locust keep trying and trying, destruction is their life's work.

'1977-1981: Nationalities Working Group Advocates Using Militant Islam Against Soviet Union'

In 1977 Zbigniew Brzezinski, as President Carter's National Security Adviser, forms the Nationalities Working Group (NWG) dedicated to the idea of weakening the Soviet Union by inflaming its ethnic tensions. The Islamic populations are regarded as prime targets. Richard Pipes, the father of Daniel Pipes, takes over the leadership of the NWG in 1981. Pipes predicts that with the right encouragement Soviet Muslims will "explode into genocidal fury" against Moscow. According to Richard Cottam, a former CIA official who advised the Carter administration at the time, after the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1978, Brzezinski favored a "de facto alliance with the forces of Islamic resurgence, and with the Republic of Iran." [Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 241, 251 - 256]

'November 1978-February 1979: Some US Officials Want to Support Radical Muslims to Contain Soviet Union'

State Department official Henry Precht will later recall that Brzezinski had the idea "that Islamic forces could be used against the Soviet Union. The theory was, there was an arc of crisis, and so an arc of Islam could be mobilized to contain the Soviets." [Scott, 2007, pp. 67] In November 1978, President Carter appointed George Ball head of a special White House Iran task force under Brzezinski. Ball recommends the US should drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the radical Islamist opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. This idea is based on ideas from British Islamic expert Dr. Bernard Lewis, who advocates the balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. The chaos would spread in what he also calls an "arc of crisis" and ultimately destabilize the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union

aleksandar , 04 February 2018 at 04:41 AM
David,

About relation Steele-MI6, well, you never leave your IS. Or to put it in another way, you are never out of the scope of your past IS.

Fred said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 04 February 2018 at 08:40 AM
Babak,

"they got US to bail them out during WWII" And how would things have worked out had we not done so?

Fred , 04 February 2018 at 08:46 AM
David,

"There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time."

Yes, that is what appears to be just what is coming to light. I wonder just what position Trey Gowdy is going to have since he won't be running for re-election. The rage from the left is palpable. I'm sure the next outraged guy on the left will know how to shoot straighter than the ones who shot up Congressman Scalise or the concert goers at Mandalay Bay.

Anna said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 08:48 AM
"They are wrong, since most of them didn't read the playbook correctly to start with."
-- If they have read the important books at all... The ongoing scandal has been revealing a stunning incompetence of the "deciders." Too often they look comical, ridiculous, undignified. This is dangerous, considering their power.
turcopolier , 04 February 2018 at 08:54 AM
Anna

The powerful are often remarkably ignorant. pl

Babak Makkinejad -> Fred... , 04 February 2018 at 10:08 AM
England preferred NAZI Germany to USSR, this is well known. As to what would have happened, the outcome of the war, in my opinion, did not depend on US participation in the European Theatre. All of Europe would have become USSR satellite or joined USSR.
jonst said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 04 February 2018 at 11:53 AM
"unsentimental empirical people"? Absolutely disagree with you. Now the Iranians, they strike me as a singularity unsentimental people. Just general impressions, mind you.
Kooshy said in reply to catherine... , 04 February 2018 at 12:06 PM
Yes, US was the first country to proudly deliver Manpads to be used by "rebels" (Mojahadin later Taleban) against USSR in Afghanistan back in 80s. And, as per the architect of support for the rebels (Zbigniew Brzezinski) very proud of it with no regret. With that in mind, I don't see how western politicians, the western governments and their related proxy war planers, will be regretting, even sadden, once god forbid we see passenger planes with loved ones are shot down taking off or landing at various western airports and other places around the word. Just like how superficialy with crocodile tears in their eyes they acted in aftermath of the terrorist events in various western cities in this past 16 years. Gods knows what will happens to us if the opposite side start to supply his own proxies with lethal anti air weapons. "Proudly", I don't think anybody in west cares or will regret of such an escalation.
Phodges said in reply to turcopolier ... , 04 February 2018 at 12:23 PM
Sir

It seems we are being defeated by Cicero's enemy within. Zion is achieving what no one could hope to achieve by force of arms.

David Habakkuk -> catherine... , 04 February 2018 at 01:17 PM
catherine,

In response to comment 5.

I think it likely that what Meier produces is only a 'limited hangout', and am hoping that when the book arrives it will contain more pointers.

It is important to be clear that one is often dealing with people playing very complicated double games.

An interesting document is the 'Petition for Writ of Habeus Corpus' made on behalf of Khodorkovsky's close associate Alexander Konanykhin back in 1997,when the Immigration and Naturalization Service were – apparently at least – cooperating with Russian attempts to get hold of him. An extract:

'During the immigration hearing FBI SA Robert Levinson, an INS witness, confirmed that in 1992 Petitioner was kidnapped and afterwards pursued by assassins of the Solntsevskaya organized criminal group. This organized criminal group is reportedly the largest and the most influential organized criminal group in Russia, and operates internationally.'

(See http://defiancethebook.com/legal/habeas/petition.htm .)

Note the similarities between the 'StratCom' that Khonanykin and his associates were producing in the 'Nineties, and that which Simpson and his associates have been producing two decades later.

Another useful example is provided by a 2004 item in the 'New American Magazine', reproduced on Konanykhin's website:

'One of those who testified on behalf of Konanykhine was KGB defector Yuri Shvets, who declared: "I have a firsthand knowledge on similar operations conducted by the KGB." Konanykhine had brought trouble on himself, Shvets continued, when he "started bringing charges against people who were involved with him in setting up and running commercial enterprises. They were KGB people secretly smuggling from Russia hundreds of millions of dollars . This is [a] serious case, and I know that KGB ... desperately wants to win this case, and everybody who won't step to their side would face problems."'

(See http://konanykhin.com/news/the-konanykhine-case.html .)

So – 'first hand knowledge', from a Ukrainian nationalist – look at what the Chalupas have been doing, it seems not much has changed.

For a rather different perspective on what Konanykhin had actually been up to, from someone in whose honesty – if not always judgement – I have complete confidence, see the testimony of Karon von Gerhke-Thompson to the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services hearings on Russian Money Laundering. In this, she described how she had been approached by him in 1993:

'"Konanykhine alleged that Menatep Bank controlled $1.7bn [£1bn] in assets and investment portfolios of Russia's most prominent political and social elite," she recalled. She said he wanted to move the bank's assets off shore and asked her to help buy foreign passports for its "very, very special clients".

'In her testimony to the committee Ms Von Gerhke-Thompson said she informed the CIA of the deal, and the agency told her that it believed Mr Konanykhine and Mr Khodorkovsky "were engaged in an elaborate money laundering scheme to launder billions of dollars stolen by members of the KGB and high-level government officials".

(For a 'Guardian report, see https://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/sep/23/julianborger ; for the actual testimony, see http://archives-financialservices.house.gov/banking/92299ger.pdf .)

Coming back to Steele's 'StratCom', in July 2008, an item appeared on the 'Newnight' programme of the BBC – which some of us think should by then have been rechristened the 'Berezovsky Broadcasting Corporation' – in which the introduction by the presenter, Jeremy Paxman, read as follows:

'Good evening. The New Russian President, Dmitri Medvedev, was all smiles and warm words when he met Gordon Brown today. He said he was keen to resolve all outstanding difficulties between the two countries. Yada yada yada. Gordon Brown smiled, but he must know what Newsnight can now reveal: that MI5 believes the Russian state was involved in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko by radioactive poisoning. They also believe that without their intervention another London-based Russian, Boris Berezovsky, would have been murdered. Our diplomatic editor, Mark Urban, has this exclusive report.'

(For the transcript presented in evidence to Owen's Inquiry, see http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/ ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/ )

When Urban repeated the claims on his blog, there was a positive eruption from someone using the name 'timelythoughts', about the activities of someone she referred to as 'Berezovsky's disinformation specialist' – when I came across this later, it was immediately clear to me that she was Karon von Gerhke, and he was Shvets.

(For the first part of the exchanges of comments, the second apparently having become unavailable, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/markurban/2008/07/litvinenko_killing_had_state_i.html )

She then described a visit by Scaramella to Washington, details of which had already been unearthed by my Italian collaborator, David Loepp. Her claim to have e-mails from Shvets, from the time immediately prior to Litvinenko's death, directly contradicting the testimony he had given, fitted with other evidence I had already unearthed.

Later, we exchanged e-mails over a quite protracted period, and a large amount of material that came into my possession as a result was submitted by me to the Inquest team, with some of it being used in posts on the 'European Tribune' site.

What I never used publicly, because I could only partially corroborate it from the material she provided, was an extraordinary claim about Shvets:

'He was responsible for bringing in a Kremlin initiative that was walked Vice President Cheney's office on a US government quid pro quo with the Kremlin FSB SVR involving the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky – a cease and desist on allegations of a politically motivated arrest of Khodorkovsky, violations of rules of law and calls from Russia's expulsion from the G 8 in exchange for favorable posturing of U.S. oil companies on Gazprom's Shtokman project and intelligence on weapon sales during the Yeltsin era to Iraq, Iran and Syria, all documented in reports I submitted to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and MI6.

'Berezovsky's DS could not be on both sides on that isle. His Kremlin FSB SVR sources had been vetted by the CIA and by the National Security Council. They proved to be as represented. As we would later learn, however, he was on Berezovsky's payroll at same time. The FSB SVR general he was coordinating the Kremlin initiative through was S. R. Subbotin, the same FSB SVR general who was investigating Berezovsky's money laundering operations in Switzerland during the same timeframe. His FSB SVR sources surrounding Putin were higher than any Lugovoy could have ever hoped to affiliate with.

'R. James Woolsey (former CIA DCI), Marshall Miller (former law partner of the late CIA DCI William Colby), who I coordinated the Kremlin initiative through that Berezovsky's DS had brought in were shocked to learn that he was affiliated with Berezovsky and Litvinenko. He was in Berezovsky's inner circle and engaged in vetting Russian business with Litvinenko. He operated Berezovsky's Ukraine website, editing and dubbing the now infamous Kuchma tapes throughout the lead up to the elections in the Ukraine. Berezovsky contributed $41 million to Viktor Yushchenko's campaign, which he used in an attempt to force Yushchenko to reunite with Julia Tymoschenko. It failed but would succeed later after Berezovsky orchestrated a public relations initiative through Alan Goldfarb in the U.S. on behalf of Tymoschenko.'

Having got to know Karon von Gerhke quite well, and also been able to corroborate a great deal of what she told me about many things, and discussed these matters with her, it is absolutely clear to me that she was neither fabricating nor fantasising. What later became apparent, both to her and to me, was that in the 'double game' that Shvets was playing, he had succeeded in fooling her as to the side for which he was working.

It seems likely however that the reason Shvets could do what he did was that quite precisely that many high-up people in the Kremlin and elsewhere were playing a 'double game.' In this, Karon von Gerhke's propensity for indiscretion – of which I, like others, was both beneficiary and victim – could be useful.

An exercise in 'positioning', which could be used to disguise the fact that Shvets was indeed 'Berezovsky's disinformation specialist', could be used to make it appear that 'intelligence on weapon sales during the Yeltsin era to Iraq, Iran and Syria' was actually credible.

This could have been used to try to rescue Cheney, Bush and their associates from the mess they had got into as a result of the failure of the invasion to provide any evidence whatsoever supporting the case which had been made for it. It could also have been used to provide the kind of materials justifying military action against Iran for which Levinson and Jablonski were looking, and for similar action against Syria.

Among reasons for bringing this up now is that we need to make sense of the paradox that Simpson – clearly in collusion with Steele – was using Mogilevich and the 'Solnsetskaya Bratva' both against Manafort and Trump and against Browder.

There are various possible explanations for this. I do not want to succumb to my instinctive prejudice that this may have been another piece of 'positioning', similar to what I think was being done with Shvets, but the hypothesis needs to be considered.

A more general point is that people in Washington and London need to 'wise up' to the kind of world with which they are dealing. This could be done quite enjoyably: reading some of Dashiell Hammett's fictions of the United States in the Prohibition era, or indeed buying DVDs of some of the classics of 'film noir', like 'Out of the Past' (in its British release, 'Build My Gallows High') might be a start.

Very much of the coverage of affairs in the post-Soviet space since 1991 has read rather as though a Dashiell Hammett story had been rewritten by someone specialising in sentimental children's, or romantic, fiction (although, come to think of it, that is really what Brigid O'Shaughnessy does in 'The Maltese Falcon.')

The testimony of Glenn Simpson seems a case in point. The sickly sentimentality of these people does, rather often, make one feel as though one wanted to throw up.

Thomas , 04 February 2018 at 01:24 PM
"They act and believe that they are Olympians. You have to wait for them to age and die before any substantive change in Fortress West's posture; say 2040.}

No, three years at tops and could be much sooner if dimes starting dropping by exposed people that don't want to take the fall for their superiors whom they always detested. One possible thing to get the process started sooner is if the recent Russian Intelligence delegation to DC that Smoothie mentions on another thread gave the current administration, as a diplomatic courtesy of course, the audio recordings of Madame Sectary Nuland's infamous mental meltdown at Kaliningrad. No telling what beans were spilled in her moment of panic, but I am willing to bet key names were dropped. Either way the time is coming.

SmoothieX12 -> Anna... , 04 February 2018 at 01:39 PM
- If they have read the important books at all... The ongoing scandal has been revealing a stunning incompetence of the "deciders." Too often they look comical, ridiculous, undignified. This is dangerous, considering their power.

My coming book is precisely about that. Especially, once American policy-makers who saw and experienced war (Ike, George Marshall's generation) departed things started to roll down hill with Reagan bringing on board a whole collection of neocons.

Unawareness is always dangerous, a complete blackout in relations between two nuclear powers is more than dangerous--it is completely reckless. Again, the way CW 1.0 is perceived in the current US "elites" it becomes extremely tempting to repeat it. Electing Hillary was another step in unleashing CW 2.0 by people who have no understanding of what they were doing.

Obama started crushing US-Russian relations before any campaigns were launched and before Trump was even seriously considered a GOP nominee, let alone a real contender. New confrontation hinged on HRC being elected. In fact, she was one of the major driving forces behind a serious of geopolitical anti-Russian moves. Visceral Russo-phobia became a feature in HRC campaign long before any Steele's Dossier. This was a program.

james said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 04 February 2018 at 03:01 PM
there seems to be no shortage of money for these blatant propaganda exercises..
Babak Makkinejad -> SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 04:14 PM
I think the failure of Deciders is nothing new - Fath Ali Shah attacking Russia, or the abject failure of the Deciders in 1914. Europe is still not where she was in 1890.
begob , 04 February 2018 at 05:20 PM
I read the post and responses early on, so forgive me if this point has been addressed in the meantime. If the memo information on non-disclosure of material evidence to the warrant issuing court is accurate, as soon as that information came to the attention of the authorities (clearly some time ago) there was a duty on them (including the judge(s) who issued the warrants) to have the matter brought back before the court toot sweet. If that had happened it would surely be in the public domain, so on the assumption the prosecutors and maybe even the judge didn't see the need to review the matter, even purely on a contempt/ethics basis, the memo information only seems convincing if the FISA system is a total sham. I really doubt that.
kooshy said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 06:20 PM
IMO, the bigger problem for American not shying away from wars, or being silent about them , is when your home, your mom and dad' home, the town you grew up in, are immune and away from the war.

The security and safety of the two oceans, encourages or at least, in an all volunteer military makes it a secondary problem for regular people, to worry about. As I remember that wasn't the case at the end of VN war when i first landed here. At that time even though the war was on the other side of the planet and away from homeland, still people, especially young ones in colleges were paying more attention to the cost of war.

spy killer , 04 February 2018 at 06:55 PM
Diana West has uncovered some interesting "Red Threads" (6 part article at dianawest-dot-net) on all the Fusion GPS folks. Seems ole Russian speaking Nellie Ohr got herself a ham radio license recently. Wonder why she would suddenly need one of those? They are all Marxists with potential connections back to Russia.
English Outsider -> Fatima Manoubia... , 05 February 2018 at 07:23 AM
Been there. I am also a latecomer to SST. You have to read the back numbers. How? My IT expertise dates from the dawn of the internet and was lamentable then but I find Wayback sometimes allows easier searches than the SST search engine. A straight search on google also allows searches with more than one term. This link -

https://twitter.com/pat_lang

- gets you to a chronological list and for recent material is sometimes quicker than fiddling around with search engines. "Categories" on the RH side is useful but then you don't get some very informative comments that cross-refer.

If those sadly elementary procedures fail resort to the nearest infant. There's a blur of fingers on the keyboard and what you want then usually appears. Never ask them how they did it. They get so fed up when you ask them to explain it again.

"Who is David Habakkuk?" That's a quantum computer sited, from internal evidence you pick up from time to time, somewhere in the Greater London area. Cross references like you wouldn't believe and over several fields, so maybe he's two quantum computers.

The "Borg"?. Try Wittgenstein. Likely a prog but you can't be choosy these days. Early on in "Philosophical Investigations" (hope I get this right) he discusses the problem of how you can view as an entity something that has ill-defined or overlapping boundaries. The "Borg" is that "you know it when you see it" sort of thing. A great merit of this site is that the owner and many of the contributors know it from inside.

In general you may regard your new found site as a microcosm of the great battle that is raging in the West. It's a battle between the (probably apocryphal but adequately stated) Roveian view of reality that regards truth as an adjunct to or as a by-product of ideology and Realpolitik and the objective view of reality as something that is damned difficult to get at, and sometimes impossible, but that has a truth in it somewhere that is independent of the views and convictions of the observer. It's a battle that's never going to be won but unless it tilts back closer to common sense it can certainly be lost and the West with it.

jonst said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 05 February 2018 at 08:11 AM
Clearly the Labor Party in the UK preferred the USSR to Nazi Germany. (cepting that short interlude where the Soviets signed the Agreement with Hitler, and the Left Organized Leadership all across Europe, for the most part, lined up with Hitler). But for the most part, Labor was Left.
Elements (the ones that won out in the end) of the Conservative Party loathed both Hitler and Stalin. An element of the Conservative Party was sympathetic, but only up to a certain point, with the Nazis. This ended in 1939, sept.

So I don't think it fair, or accurate, to say 'England prefered the Nazis....and even if it not those things, it certainly not "well known", except to the people who have used the false premise to butter their wounds from supporting Stalin in his Pact with Hitler. Or are inclined to bash the British in general.

Babak Makkinejad -> jonst... , 05 February 2018 at 08:29 AM
All right, perhaps I should have said "The English Government". Google "Litvinov", you may discover how the English Government pushed Stalin to make a deal with Hitler to buy USSR time.
Sid Finster said in reply to Jack... , 05 February 2018 at 10:26 AM
Witness the infamous State Department protest memo calling for more war on Syria.

The State Department employees that signed that memo were sure that HRC would win and that their diligent work in pushing the Deep State agenda would sure be rewarded.

Since entering office, Trump appears to have taken the line that if he gives the Deep State everything it demands, he will be allowed to remain in office, even if he is not allowed to remain in power.

Sid Finster said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 05 February 2018 at 10:31 AM
Explain Marshall Miller's role in this, please. He is someone I know quite well. I also know one of the Chalupas.
begob said in reply to jonst... , 05 February 2018 at 10:56 AM
jonst That's broadly accurate, but specifically Attlee brought the motion of no confidence in Chamberlain, which the conservative appeasers won but which led to Churchill's opportunity. Attlee was essential in cabinet to Churchill's resistance after the retreat of the BEF.
turcopolier , 05 February 2018 at 11:18 AM
FM
What are you doing here? You said you dislike the military. Are you really in the Spanish Basque country? Bilbao maybe? break - David Habakkuk is a private scholar of the Litvinenko murder and Soviet/Russian politics and intelligence affairs. His surname comes from Wales where in the 18th (?) Century the ancestral village were all "chapel" and changed their surnames to Old Testament names. His father was master of one of the Cambridge colleges and David is himself a graduate of Cambridge. pl
Babak Makkinejad -> Fatima Manoubia... , 05 February 2018 at 11:19 AM
Yes, I am Iranian. All "Babak"s are Iranians - except some obscure ones that are Rus - Babakov.
Anna , 05 February 2018 at 02:07 PM
The hard, blinding truth: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/05/will-conspiracy-trump-american-democracy-go-unpunished/
"In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations." – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
Thomas said in reply to turcopolier ... , 05 February 2018 at 02:08 PM
Colonel,

This troll showed up recently at b's place doing the same accusations. There is group that is running sacred and pulling out all the stops in "info ops" side of the spectrum. The damn fools don't or, most probably, won't get thru their thick heads and even thicker hearts that it is a failed strategy that turns bystanders into their opponents.

Richardstevenhack , 05 February 2018 at 02:36 PM
Here for your edification is the definitive analysis of the GOP memo by Alexander Mercouris over at The Duran.

And it is a masterpriece - and quite long, possibly his longest analysis of anything so far. He buries the counterarguments being passed around by the Democratic opposition and the anti-Trump media.

Mercouris writes on legal affairs alongside his foreign policy stuff and he writes with a lawyer's precision. And in this article he points out that the GOP memo is writter as a legal document - probably by Trey Gowdy - with additional political insertions by Nunes. So it should properly be referred to as the "GOP memo" or the "Gowdy memo", not the Nunes memo."

Why this is important is that the GOP memo is basically written as a defense lawyer would in contesting a case -- this case being the FISA warrant application. Which means its orientation is proving failure to disclose relevant and material information to the FISA court and in some cases rising to the point of contempt of court.

Seriously, read this! The whole thing!

Rampant abuse and possible contempt of Court: what you need to know about the GOP memo
http://theduran.com/rampant-abuse-contempt-court-analysis-gop-memorandum/

blue peacock , 05 February 2018 at 03:25 PM
Sen Grassley releases memo heavily redacted by DOJ/FBI.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-05/grassley-graham-blast-fbi-censoring-memo-calling-criminal-probe-trump-dossier

"Seeking transparency and cooperation should not be this challenging," Grassley said in a statement after posting a heavily redacted version of the criminal referral that he and GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina sent to the Justice Department last month. " The government should not be blotting out information that it admits isn't secret. "

I suppose DOJ/FBI believe that by obstructing, stalling and obfuscating they can buy time and that the Republicans in Congress will get tired of the games and go home. This seems like a pretty straightforward memo, highlighting the discrepancy between Steele's court filings and the FBI's version of Steele's discussions with them. Grassley is pointing out that either Steele or the FBI is lying.

What is interesting is the difference in process and ability between the House & Senate. The House can release their memos on its own, even if not declassified by the Executive, whereas the Senate requires the Executive to declassify it's memos that are based on classified documents.

turcopolier , 05 February 2018 at 04:38 PM
FM

We have not had a self declared communist on SST before although LeaNder in her youth may have come close to that exalted status. You might want to read the wiki on me and the CV I have posted on the blog to avoid tedious accusations of this or that. I am thought by some to have some knowledge of the ME so please do not try to lecture me about how much you love the Arabs. I speak their language and have lived with them for a long time. There are people who write to SST who are pro-Trump and some who are anti-Trump. I seek a mixture of views so long as personal insult and invective are eschewed. Personally, I do not belong to a political party and would describe myself as an original intent, strict constructionist.

Trump is the constitutionally and legally elected president of the United States. Your descriptors with regard to him are, in my opinion, only plausible if seen from the point of view of various kinds of leftist including Marxist-Leninists like you. You sound very smug and self-satisfied but we will see if you can have an open mind at all. pl

Kooshy said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 05 February 2018 at 04:46 PM
Found him, Ali Babacan XVPM, XFM and M of finance. Yes god forbid, if he is a decendent of Ardisher Babakan and another claimant to Iranian throne, which CIA and Soros can jump on.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Babacan MBA from Northeestern
blue peacock , 05 February 2018 at 04:55 PM
...would describe myself as an original intent, strict constructionist.

Aye. Aye. Sir!

+1

That is why some of us believe the Patriot Act and FISA are both unpatriotic and unconstitutional. SCOTUS disagrees with the few of us.

Babak Makkinejad -> Fatima Manoubia... , 05 February 2018 at 05:03 PM
I do not believe Trump is a misogynists - he stated publicly that he likes beautiful women. I also do not think he is a racist. I think he is the first US leader in many decades who has been willing to publicly talk about US problems. For most other US politicians - they largely live in "the best of all possible worlds".
English Outsider , 05 February 2018 at 06:31 PM
Colonel - sincere apologies if my comment above disrupted the discussion on a fascinating article.

David Habakkuk - I should say that "Quantum Computer" referred solely to the ability to gather and collate great amounts of material. It's an ability I admire. On Steele, you are among other things setting out something that is unfamiliar to me though not to most others here, I imagine, and that is the milieu in which he is or was working as a UK Intelligence operative. That you have also done in previous articles; it doesn't seem to be a particularly savoury milieu. As far as Steele's US activities are concerned, from you I'm not getting the picture of a lone operative, all ties with MI6 neatly severed, working solo in the States on some chance assignment in 2016. I'm getting the picture of someone still very much in the swim and selected because of that.

The only problem with that second picture is the dossier, or the 30% or so of it - what Comey, I think it was, described as "salacious and unverified". Surely that's got to be amateur night. Not something that a practised professional working with other professionals would put his hand to. Does that not support the picture of an ex-operative who's gone off the rails and is fumbling around unsupervised?

The Steele affair touched a nerve. One is always I suppose aware that IC professionals are getting up to all sorts and it doesn't seem improbable that "all sorts" includes political stuff and smear campaigns. But it's not heaps of corpses in Syria or farm boys being sent to certain death in the Ukraine. And even within the UK Intelligence Community and their contractors or whatever they're called, compared with what our IC people have done in the ME or compared with what one fears Hamish de Bretton Gordon might have got himself involved in, Christopher Steele's just a choirboy. Nevertheless there's something deeply repellent about what he did. Whatever your view of Trump there he was, newly elected, obviously wanting to make a go of it, and already faced with difficulties. Then some chancer throws "Golden Showers" in his face and makes his position, not maybe for the insiders but for the general public, that bit more untenable.

So from a UK perspective the question of whether Steele was acting in concert with others in the UK becomes important. If he was truly working solo then that from a UK point of view is regrettable but one of those things. In that case MI6 would just have to tighten up its controls on what ex-operatives get up to, put out the appropriate disclaimers, and that's the end of it as far as the UK is concerned. But if Golden Showers and the rest of it was a "Welcome Mr President" from UK IC professionals as a group then those professionals should be hung drawn and quartered together with whoever set them on.

I've read your article several times now and apart from the fact that much of what you pull together isn't material I'm up on, it doesn't seem to me that you're definitely coming to one conclusion or the other. There are many more facts to come out so perhaps this question is premature, but do you think Steele was acting in concert with others in the UK or was he, at least as far as the UK is concerned, working solo?

kooshy , 05 February 2018 at 07:49 PM
Most Iranian females Named Fatima/ Fatimah after prophet' daughter, call themselves Fati, and if they are of aristocrat type, they are called Bibi Fati Khanam, which is honorable lady Fati and if they are westernized they become Fay or Fifi.
turcopolier , 05 February 2018 at 07:59 PM
EO

Much of your commentary seems directed to David Habakkuk and PT rather than I. I don't think the FBI would have started to pay him until he left UK service. pl

English Outsider , 06 February 2018 at 05:10 AM
Colonel - Further apologies - I should have submitted comment 79 as two items.

Yes, the question about Steele was in response to DH's article. The UK side of the affair is I suppose only a small part of the question you and your Committee are examining but it's a dubious part however one looks at it. Although it's early days yet I was hoping DH, with his encyclopaedic knowledge of the UK intelligence scene, might feel able to cast more light on that UK side.

English Outsider -> Cortes... , 06 February 2018 at 05:53 AM
Cortes - " ... where, exactly, do you expect the great public to look beyond the initial scabrously defamatory storytelling about the "golden showers"? "

I don't think one can expect the public, at least in the UK, to look very far beyond the initial scandal. The investigations and enquiries presently under way in the US are complex and are taking place in a different system. This member of the UK public wouldn't be able to give you a coherent account of those enquiries and I doubt many of my fellows could.

So we have to take on trust, most of us, what we're told. As far as I can tell the underlying theme from the BBC and the media is generally that Trump is subverting the American Justice system in order to ensure his own misdemeanours aren't investigated.

Some of us take that as gospel. Others of us assume that the politicians and the media are untrustworthy and ignore them. I doubt many of us go into much more detail than that. Therefore the original story will stick in our minds.

But for some in the UK there are questions in there as well. How come the UK got mixed up in all this? How much did the UK get mixed up in it?

David Habakkuk -> Sid Finster... , 06 February 2018 at 06:19 AM
Sid Finster,

In response to comment 53.

When I belatedly started looking at the Litvinenko mystery, as a result of a strange email provoked by comments of mine on SST which arrived in my inbox in March 2007 from someone who turned out to be a key protagonist, it was rather obvious that improvised and chaotic 'StratCom' operations had been put into place on both the Russian and British sides to cover up what had happened.

A particular interesting feature of those on the British side – in which we now know Christopher Steele must have played a leading role – were the bizarre gyrations those responsible were going through trying to explain away the extraordinary fact that when he had broken the story of his poisoning, Litvinenko had pointed the finger of suspicion at his Italian associate Mario Scaramella.

When I started delving, I came across some very interesting pieces on Scaramella and related matters posted on the 'European Tribune' website by a Rome-based blogger using the name 'de Gondi' in the period after the story broke.

His actual name is David Loepp, by profession he is an artisan jeweller specialising in ancient and traditional goldsmith techniques, and I already knew and respected his work from his contributions to the transnational internet investigation into the Niger uranium forgeries – an earlier MI6 clusterf**ck.

So in May 2008 I posted a longish piece on that site, setting out the problems with the evidence about the Litvinenko case as I saw them, in the hope of reactivating his interest. This paid off in spades, when he linked to, and translated a key extract from, the request from Italian prosecutors to use wiretaps of conversations with Senator Paolo Guzzanti in connection with their prosecution of Scaramella for 'aggravated calumny.'

The request, which up to not so long ago was freely available on the website of the Italian Senate, was denied, but the extensive summaries of the transcripts provided a lot of material.

(This initial post by me, and later posts by me on that site, are at http://www.eurotrib.com/user/uid:1857/diary. Three posts David Loepp and I produced jointly in December 2012, which have a lot on Scaramella and Shvets, are on his page there, at http://www.eurotrib.com/user/de%20Gondi/diary .)

The extract from the wiretap request which David Loepp posted, which like Litvinenko's letter containing the claims he and Yuri Shvets had concocted about Putin using Mogilevich to attempt to supply Al Qaeda with a 'mini nuclear bomb' is dated 1 December 2005, contains key pointers to the conspiracy. It concludes:

'A passage on Simon Moghilevic and an agreement between the camorra to search for nuclear weapons lost during the Cold War to be consigned to Bin Laden, a revelation made by the Israeli. According to Scaramella the circle closes: camorra, Moghilevic- Russian mafia- services- nuclear bombs in Naples.'

Subsequent conversations make clear that Scaramella left on 6 December 2005 for Washington, on a trip where he was to meet Shvets. The summary of a report on this to Guzzanti reads:

'12) conversation that took place on number [omissis] on December 18, 2005, at 9:41:51 n. 1426, containing explicit references to the authenticity of the declarations of Alexander Litvinenko acquired by Scaramella, to the trustworthiness of the affirmations made by Scaramella in his reports to the commission and to the meetings Scaramella had with Talik after having denounced them [presumably Talik and his alleged accomplices]. (They can talk with HEIMS thanks to the help of MILLER. SHVEZ says that he had been a companion of CARLOS at the academy; SHVEZ has already made declarations and is willing to continue collaboration. Guzzanti warns that a document in Russian arrived in commission in which the name of SCARAMELLA appears several times, these [sic] say that directives to the contrary had been given to Litvinenko. Scaramella says that he went to the meeting with TALIK in the company of two treasury [police] and a cop, Talik spoke of a person from the Ukrainian GRU who would be willing to talk and a strange Chechen ring in Naples. Assassination attempt against the pope, CASAROLI was a Soviet agent.)'

The summary of a later conversation also refers to 'MILLER':

'conversation that took place on number [omissis] on January 13, 2006, at 11:22:11 n. 2287, containing references to Scaramella's sources in relation to facts referred in the Commission, the means by which they were obtained by Scaramella from declarations made abroad, the role of Litvinenko, also on the occasion of declarations made by third parties and the credibility of the news and theses given by Scaramella to the commission (Scaramella reads a text in English on the relation between the KGB and PRODI. Guzzanti asks if its credibility can be confirmed and if the taped declarations can be backed up; Scaramella answers that there were two testimonies, Lou Palumbo and Alexander (Litvinenko), and that the registration made in London at the beginning of the assignment [Scaramella's?] had been authenticated by a certain BAKER of the FBI. As he translates the text from English, Scaramella notes that the person testifying does not say he knows Prodi but only that he thinks that Prodi ...; all those who worked for the person testifying in Scandinavia said that Prodi was "theirs." The affair in Rimini, Bielli is preparing the battle in Rimini. Meetings with MILLER for the three things that are needed. Polemic about Pollari over the pressure exerted on Gordievski.)'

In the exchanges on my May 2008 post, I mentioned and linked to some extraordinary comments on a crucial article by Edward Jay Epstein, in which Karon von Gerhke claimed that his sceptical account fitted with what her contacts in the British investigation had told her. When that July I came across her equally extraordinary claims in response to the BBC's Mark Urban piece of stenography – which Steele may also have had a hand in organising – I found she was referring to precisely that visit to Washington by Scaramella which had been described in the wiretap request.

As you can perhaps imagine, the fact that 'Miller' had featured in the conversations with Guzzanti both as a key contact, who could introduce Scaramella to Aldrich Ames (which is who 'Heims' clearly is), and with whom there had been meetings about 'the three things that are needed' made me inclined to take seriously what Karon von Gerhke said about his role.

In December 2008, I put up another post on 'European Tribune', putting together the material from David Loepp and that from Karon von Gerhke – but not discussing the references to 'Miller.' As I had hoped, this led to her getting in touch.

Among the material with which she supplied me, which I in turn supplied to the Solicitor to the Inquest, were covers of faxes to John Rizzo, then Acting General Counsel of the CIA. From a fax dated 23 October 2005.

'John: See attached email to Chuck Patrizia. Berezovsky alleges he is in possession of a copy of a classified file given to the CIA by Russia's FSB, which he further alleges the CIA disseminated to British, French, Italian and Israeli intelligence agencies implicating him in business associations with the Mafia and to ties with terrorist organizations. Yuri Shvets was authorised/directed by Berezovsky to raise the issue with Bud McFarlane scheduled for Thursday. McFarlane is unaware the issue will be raised with him.'

From a fax dated 7 November 2005:

'John: I am attaching an email exchange between Yuri Shvets and me re: 1) article he published on his Ukraine website on alleged sale of nuclear choke to Iran, which I reproached him on as having been planted by Berezovsky and 2 the alleged FSB/CIA document file that Berezovsky obtained from Scaramella, which Yuri acknowledges in his e-mail to me. Like extracting wisdom teeth to get him to put anything on paper, especially in an e-mail! [NAME REDACTED BY ME – DH] is the source McFarlane referred Yuri to re: Berezovsky's visa issue. She proposed meeting Berezovsky in London. Alleged it would take a year to clear up USG issues and even then could not guarantee him a visa. She too has access to USG intelligence on Berezovsky. Open book.'

From a fax dated 5 December 2005:

'John. From Mario Scaramella to Yuri Shvets to my ears, the DOJ has authorised Mario Scaramella to interview Aldrich Ames with regard to members of the Italian Intelligence Service agent recruited by Ames for the KGB. Scaramella, as you may recall, is who gave Boris Berezovsky's aide, a former FSB Colonel [LITVINENKO – DH], that alleged document number to the FSB file that the CIA disseminated on Berezovsky – a file that Bud McFarlane's "Madam Visa" [NAME REDACTED BY ME – DH] is alleged is totting off to London for a meeting with Berezovsky, who has agreed to retain her re: his visa issue. Quid pro quo's with Berezovsky and Scaramella on the CIA agent currently facing kidnapping charges for the rendition of the Muslim cleric? Scott Armstrong has a most telling file on Scaramella. Not a single redeeming quality.'

In the course of very extensive exchanges with Karon von Gerhke subsequently, we had some rather acute disagreements. It was unfortunate that her filing was a shambles – a crucial hard disk failed without a backup, and the 'hard copies' appeared to be in a chaotic state.

However, the only occasion when I can recall having reason to believe that was deliberately lying to me was when David Loepp unearthed a cache of documentation including the full Italian text of the letter from Litvinenko containing the 'StratCom' designed to suggest that Putin had attempted to supply a 'mini nuclear bomb' to Al Qaeda. Having been asked to keep this between ourselves for the time being, Karon insisted on immediately sending it to her contacts in Counter Terrorism Command, and then produced bogus justifications.

Time and again, moreover, I found that I could confirm statements that she made – see for example the two posts I put up on the legal battles following the death in February 2008 of Berezovsky's long-term partner Arkadi 'Badri' Patarkatsishvili in June and July 2009, which were based on careful corroboration of what she told me.

(I should also say that I acquired the greatest respect for her courage.)

And while Owen and his team suppressed all the evidence from her, and almost all of that from David Loepp, which I had I provided to them, the dossier about Berezovsky is described in a statement made by Litvinenko in Tel Aviv in April 2006, presented in evidence in the Inquiry.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

Other evidence, moreover, strongly inclines me to believe that there were overtures for a 'quid pro quo', purporting to come from Putin, but that this was a ruse orchestrated by Berezovsky.

Part of the purpose of this would almost certainly have been to supply probably bogus 'evidence' about arms sales in the Yeltsin years to Iraq, Iran and Syria. Moreover, I think there was an article on the second 'Fifth Element' site run by Shvets about the supposed sale of a nuclear 'choke' – whatever that is – to Iran.

The likelihood of the involvement of elements in the FBI in these shenanigans seems to quite high, given what has already emerged about the activities of Levinson. Also relevant may be the fact that the 'declaration' which was part of the attempt to frame Romano Prodi was authenticated, in London, by 'a certain BAKER of the FBI.')

Babak Makkinejad -> David Habakkuk ... , 06 February 2018 at 09:40 AM
Thank you David Habakkuk. Truly sordid and deplorable. WWIII to be initiated on basis of lies.
Jack , 06 February 2018 at 12:06 PM
David

You may already know this but Steele was a no show in a UK court for a deposition on the libel suit.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/05/christopher-steele-is-no-show-in-london-court-in-civil-case-over-dossier.amp.html

Babak Makkinejad -> David Habakkuk ... , 06 February 2018 at 01:18 PM
I know something of spectroscopy.

The critical issue here is the provenance of the samples and not the sophistication of the techniques used in the analysis itself or its instrumentation.

The paragraph that you have quoted:

"To figure out signatures based on various synthetic routes and conditions, Chipuk says that the synthetic chemists on his team will make the same chemical threat agent as many as 2,000 times in an ..." reeks of intellectual intimidation - trying to brow-beat any skeptic by the size of one's instrument - as it were."

And then there is a little matter of confidence level in any of the analysis - such things are normally based on prior statistics - which did not and could not exist in this situation.

LeaNder , 07 February 2018 at 09:16 AM
David, it's no doubt interesting to watch how attention on Victor Ivanov in another deficient inquiry on the British Isles, was managed in that inquiry. If I may, since he pops up again in the Steele dossier. You take what's available? Is that all there is to know?

I know its hard to communicate basics if you are deeply into matters. Usually people prefer to opt out. It's getting way too complicated for them to follow. You made me understand this experience. But isn't this (fake) intelligence continuity "via" Yuri Svets what connects your, no harm meant I do understand your obsession with the case, with what we deal with now in the Steele Dossier? Again, one of the most central figures is Ivanov.

Of course later reports in the Steele Dossier go hand in hand with a larger public relations campaign. Creating reality? Irony alert: as informer/source I would by then know what the other side wants to hear.

By the way, babbling mode, I found your Tom Mangold transcription. It felt it wasn't there on the link you gave. I used the date, and other search terms. Maybe I am wrong. Haven't looked at what the judge ruled out of the collection. Yes, cozy session/setting.

According to Google search there are no other links then your articles here:
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613093555/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613093555/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf

**********

JAN RICHARD BÆRUG
The Collapsing Wall. Hybrid Journalism.
A Comparative Study of Newspapers and
Magazines in Eight Countries in Europe

Available online. Haven't read it yet, but journalism as hidden public relations transfer belt would be one of my minor obsessions. ...

Babak Makkinejad -> turcopolier ... , 07 February 2018 at 11:23 AM
I wonder too; their command of the English idiom is very au currant - noticed "opt in/opt out" reference? Too American.

They clearly are not native speakers of German.

LeaNder said in reply to kooshy... , 07 February 2018 at 12:30 PM
why California, Kooshy #18? California among other things left this verbal trace, since I once upon time thought a luggage storage in SF might be free/available now: this is my home, lady.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kish_Island#Economy

Tourists from many -- but not all -- foreign nations wishing to enter Kish Free Zone from legal ports are not required to obtain any visa prior to travel. For those travelers, upon-arrival travel permits are stamped valid for 14 days by Kish officials.

Who are the not all? Can we assume Britain is not one of those?

The German link is different. How about the Iranian?

or isn't this the Kish we are talking about?

LeaNder said in reply to LeaNder... , 07 February 2018 at 01:14 PM
correcting myself #94:

another Ivanov. I struggled with names (...) in Russian crime novels, admittedly. But that's long ago from times Russian crime and Russian money flows and rogues getting hold of its nuclear material surfaced more often in Europe. 90s

I see Sergei seems to share my interest in the literary genre:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Ivanov#Personal

[Mar 10, 2018] The frankly farcical nature of the 'Joint Investigative Mechanism' report into Khan Sheikhoun

Mar 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk -> JohnB... , 04 February 2018 at 10:35 AM

JohnB,

In response to comment 2.

If you are interested in Higgins and 'Bellingcat', you might want be interested in a 'Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media' which has recently been set up by a group of British academics.

(See http://syriapropagandamedia.org .)

At the moment, work which has already been done is being prepared for publication on the site. However, some of it has already appeared on the blog of one of the members, Tim Hayward.

This includes a detailed discussion of the report of the 'Joint Investigative Mechanism' on the Khan Sheikhoun attack by Paul McKeigue.
His professorship, at Edinburgh, is in Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics. This means that, unlike most of us interested in these matters, with the obvious exception of Theodore Postol, he has a grasp of a lot of relevant science.

(See https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/khan-sheikhoun-chemical-attack-guest-blog-featuring-paul-mckeigues-reassessment/ .)

A basic tool of his trade is a technique called 'Bayesian analysis', one of whose many applications is to separate out genetic factors in disease from others. His use of it in the piece may make bits of it somewhat hard going for those of us whose scientific education stopped at school.

But if you are interested in a demonstration of the way that the kind of pure charlatanry propagated by Higgins and Kaszeta has come to be accepted uncritically by supposed impartial international bodies, you should read the piece.

Also on Hayward's blog is an article which was submitted to the Guardian's 'Comment is Free' page, in response to a piece by Olivia Solon smearing those who have had the temerity to suggest that the 'White Helmets' may be something less than a band of disinterested charity workers, and an account of the attempts of the 'Working Group' to get a response from the paper.

(See https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/the-guardian-white-helmets-and-silenced-comment/ .)

This has links to material on that organisation already published. A lot more work will be appearing on the 'Working Group' site.

David Habakkuk -> blowback... , 06 February 2018 at 11:42 AM

blowback,

In response to 36.

Thanks for the link. But what Mattis has said relates to the latest accusations, not early ones. Key paragraphs:

'A deadly sarin attack on another rebel-held area in April 2017 prompted President Donald Trump to order a U.S. missile strike on the Shayrat airbase, from which the Syrian operation is said to have been launched.

'"We are on the record and you all have seen how we reacted to that, so they would be ill-advised to go back to violating the chemical (weapons) convention," Mattis said.'

So he is not repudiating the conventional wisdom according to which sarin was used at Khan Sheikhoun, and the possibility of a military response to a fresh 'false flag' is left open. Unless he is basing his accusation on credible evidence, this to be blunt, comes close to inciting jihadists to atrocity.

The extent -- and unscrupulousness -- of the mounting propaganda campaign in relation to the recently claims is well brought out in a piece by Rick Sterling in 'Consortium News' on Sunday. Whether those involved are still hoping to precipitate a serious American military intervention, and whether those hopes might be realistic, I cannot say.

(See https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/04/wmd-claims-in-syria-raise-concerns-over-u-s-escalation/ .)

This makes the detailed demonstration by Professor McKeigue of the frankly farcical nature of the 'Joint Investigative Mechanism' report into Khan Sheikhoun, to which I linked, all the more important. In addition to exposing the total dependence of its analysis on a completely incredible claim about the aircraft which is supposed to have delivered the chemical weapon, and discussing much other evidence, he brings out a key point about developments in 'chemical forensics' over the past years.

As well as the 1995 sarin attacks, the 2001 anthrax letter attacks led to an enormous investment of money and intellectual energy in the development of analytical techniques making it possible to identify perpetrators of chemical weapons incidents. A fascinating article entitled 'Tracing a Threat' by Bethany Halford in 'Chemistry & Engineering News World' in February 2012 provides a good picture of what the state of play was at that time.

(See https://cen.acs.org/articles/90/i6/Tracing-Threat.html .)

She quotes an expert called Joseph Chipuk, from a consultancy called 'Signature Science' in Austin, explaining how the 'spectra' -- different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation associated with different 'impurities' in samples, including 'environmental' ones, such as soil, fragments of weapons, and clothing -- can be matched with reconstructions of possible 'synthetic pathways'.

The levels of sophistication of which this kind of analysis was already capable, he made clear, are close to breathtaking:

'To figure out signatures based on various synthetic routes and conditions, Chipuk says that the synthetic chemists on his team will make the same chemical threat agent as many as 2,000 times in an "almost robotic manner," following a database that tells them exactly what conditions to use. They then hand off the product to the analytical chemists, who look at all the tiny impurities that turn up along with the toxic chemical -- "the stuff that's down in the weeds," as Chipuk describes it. From there, the hundreds or, in some cases, thousands of spectra that are collected go to statisticians and computer scientists who work their magic to tease out the unique attribution signatures.'

At the end of the article, Halford quotes Chipuk again making clear that improvement is continuous in a way that is making it quite extraordinarily difficult to fool analysts who are genuinely looking for the truth -- as not only Dan Kaszeta but, very regrettably, key figures at the OPCW and some of its 'Designated Laboratories' do not appear to be:

'"The fact is that technology continues to improve, instrumentation continues to improve, and computers continue to improve. The chances of someone being able to slip by undetected are getting smaller and smaller," says Signature Science's Chipuk. "If you were to choose to do something like this, the science is going to catch up to you."'

In relation to the claims now being made, what is initially at issue is simply the question of whether the 'impurities' identified by the 'spectra' in samples from the incidents at Khan Sheikhoun, Ghouta, Saraqeb, and Khan Al-Asal match.

What characterised the 'hexamine hypothesis' as put forward by Kaszeta was the -- close to surreal -- suggestion that a single substance, hexamine, was a 'smoking gun'. To anyone who had taken the trouble to read easily accessible discussions of the methodology, such as Halford's piece, it would be apparent that it is simply ludicrous to base a claim on a single substance -- particularly given that hexamine is also used in explosives.

In the 'Reuters' report on 30 January, we were told:

'Two compounds in the Ghouta sample matched those also found in Khan Sheikhoun, one formed from sarin and the stabilizer hexamine and another specific fluorophosphate that appears during sarin production, the tests showed.'

(See https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-crisis-chemicalweapons-exclusiv/exclusive-tests-link-syrian-government-stockpile-to-largest-sarin-attack-sources-idUSKBN1FJ0MG .)

So we have an -- unidentified -- compound which supposedly establishes that the hexamine did indeed form part of the sarin production process, rather than of the explosive charge. And we are then told of the presence of another compound, which are told is 'another specific fluorophosphate': why not tell us which?

To anyone interested in actually making sense of the evidence, to have a mere two compounds mentioned, and those not adequately identified, suggests an alternative possibility: that people who knew details of the 'synthetic pathway' by which Syrian government sarin had been synthesised leaked them to those who were producing the substance for a 'false flag.' It would have been beyond the capabilities of a relatively primitive operation to produce any kind of close fit -- to get a couple of compounds to match would probably not have been difficult at all.

If this suspicious interpretation if false, there is a very simple way to refute it -- and General Mattis is in a perfect position to do this.

The close links between the American and British 'intelligence communities' have been stressed in comments on this thread. It is clear that in relation to Syrian chemical weapons, there was a division of labour.

Analysis of 'environmental' samples was concentrated at the British OPCW-certified facility, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down in Wiltshire. Meanwhile, preparations for the dismantling of the Syrian chemical arsenal were the made at one of the two American OPCW-certified laboratories, the U.S. Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland.

The destruction of the 581 tonnes of the sarin precursor methylphosphonyl difluoride, or DF, aboard the specially kitted out vessel 'M.V. Cape Ray' in the Mediterranean was announced in August 2014. In the extensive reporting on the preparations for this, it was made absolutely clear that -- as one would expect -- the vessel was equipped with a proper analytical laboratory, with OPCW scientists involved as well as those from the Edgewood Center.

(See https://www.chemistryworld.com/feature/eliminating-syrias-chemical-weapons/7390.article .)

In a post entitled 'Sentence First -- Verdict Afterwards?' shortly after the Khan Sheikhoun attack, and then in two 'open letters' to the members of our Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees, I pointed to the mass of evidence suggesting that the test results from different incidents did not match each other or those from the stocks destroyed on the 'Cape Ray.'

(See http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/habakkuk/ .)

The publicly available evidence, I argued, provided strong reason to believe that results from Porton Down and the OPCW confirmed the claim made by the Russians, supposedly on the basis of tests from their own OPCW-certified laboratory, that the sarin used at Khan Al-Asal and Ghouta was a 'cottage industry' product. This was also what Seymour Hersh claimed that tests carried out at Porton Down had revealed about the sarin used at Ghouta - he used the term 'kitchen sarin.'

What the Reuters report has -- perhaps inadvertently -- confirmed is that Porton Down had in fact tested 'environmental' samples from the Khan Al-Asal incident on 19 March 2013, the first where sarin was used in Syria, by suggesting that tests from that incident as well as those at Ghouta and Khan Sheikhoun matched the results from the stocks on the 'Cape Ray':

'Laboratories working for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons compared samples taken by a U.N. mission in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta after the Aug. 21, 2013 attack, when hundreds of civilians died of sarin gas poisoning, to chemicals handed over by Damascus for destruction in 2014.

'The tests found "markers" in samples taken at Ghouta and at the sites of two other nerve agent attacks, in the towns of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib governorate on April 4, 2017 and Khan al-Assal, Aleppo, in March 2013, two people involved in the process said.

'"We compared Khan Sheikhoun, Khan al-Assal, Ghouta," said one source who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the findings. "There were signatures in all three of them that matched."'

Can anyone seriously believe that if the tests we know to have been done on at Porton Down had established what this 'source' who does not have the guts to the identify himself claims, this fact would not have been trumpeted to the skies -- first when the results from Ghouta matched those from Khan Al-Asal, and then when both matched those from the 'Cape Ray'?

Allright -- sometimes the practically incredible turns out to be true. But if he has any evidence on which to base his claims, General Mattis should have the courage of his convictions, and order the disclosure of the relevant 'spectra.'

David Habakkuk -> Babak Makkinejad... , 07 February 2018 at 09:28 AM
Babak Makkinejad,

You are wrong about this. That the 'chain of custody' principle has been flagrantly violated in the reports of the 'Fact-Finding Mission' and the 'Joint Investigative Mechanism' is patently the case, and in itself reason why the almost unanimous acceptance of these in the MSM is scandalous. But that is a separate issue.

(See http://russiaun.ru/en/news/opcwun -- the whole document is well worth reading.)

The reasons why the test results from the various laboratories were critical were set out last April in my '"Sentence First -- Verdict Afterwards"?' piece, and the two 'open letters' to the members of the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees pointing out the need for clarification as to what was being claimed about the test results.

Let me recap, and update.

An example of the kind of 'chemical forensics' one needs in incidents like this was provided by the analysis of test results on 'shell and soil' samples purporting to derive from the Khan Al-Asal incident on 19 March 2013 which formed part of the document from the Russian OPCW-certified laboratory which was submitted to the UN Secretary-General on 9 July that year.

On 4 September, as part of the attempt to stop the visible attempt to use Ghouta to create an unstoppable momentum towards the destruction of the Syrian government, more details of what looks like an expanded version of the original document were made public by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In it they claimed that:

'shell and soil samples contained nerve agents -- sarin gas and diisopropylfluorophosphate -- not synthesized in an industrial environment, which was used by Western states for producing chemical weapons during World War II.'

It was also made clear that the conclusions rested upon precisely the kind of very complex analysis Bethany Halford is describing:

'We highlight that the Russian report is extremely specific. It is a scientific and technical document containing about 100 pages with many tables and diagrams of spectral analysis of the samples. We expect that it will significantly assist in the investigation into this incident by the UN. Unfortunately, it has in fact not started yet.'

(See https://www.rusemb.org.uk/fnapr/3169 .)

Unfortunately, the detailed 'spectra' have not been released, but they have certainly been analysed by experts at the OPCW and that organisation's 'Designated Laboratories' in the West, including Porton Down. We know that the results from the materials tested on the 'Cape Ray' will show a sarin precursor 'manufactured in an industrial environment.'

To prove what Mattis and others want to claim it is necessary that the 'spectra' from none of the other tests match those in the Russian report, and the 'markers' from the 'Cape Ray' materials are the same as those from Khan Sheikhoun, Ghouta, and Khan Al-Asal. If there are serious 'chain of custody' problems, the 'markers' from the four sets of tests might not be sufficient to establish Syrian government culpability -- a lack of a match would be quite sufficient to establish that the indictment cannot be accepted as it stands.

As I brought out in my post last April, the publicly available evidence -- of which Hersh's 'Red Line and Rat Line' article and subsequent interviews form an important part -- strongly suggests the Russian claims that the toxin used in both Khan Al-Asal and also Ghouta was 'cottage industry', as they put it, or 'kitchen sarin', as he put it, are correct.

It is simply not a refutation of these claims to treat one compound supposed to validate the 'hexamine hypothesis', and an unspecified fluorophosphate, which could be the diisopropylfluorophosphate reported by the Russians, or hexafluorophosphate, as conclusive evidence. (The implications, or lack of them, would be quite different, depending on which compound it was.)

And all this hush-hush whisper-whisper from 'diplomats and scientists' who are not prepared to be identified, as well as assurances from that supposedly 'independent' expert Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, only add to the grounds for scepticism. As I brought out in my post, he is under the strongest possible suspicion of having been involved in covering up, and quite possibly colluding in, the 'false flags.'

If they have evidence to support the case, then let Western governments produce the 'spectra' -- as also should the Russians. We do not need complete reports, which may need to be kept secret for perfectly good reasons -- simply the 'many tables and diagrams' which must exist. Once these were out in the open, then it would be much easier to have an informed argument.

Most of this ground I covered last April. However, there is some crucial new context. Part of this is provided by a report in 'The Intercept' last October, entitled 'NSA Document Says Saudi Prince Directly Ordered Coordinated Attack By Syrian Rebels On Damascus.' As it explains:

'According to a top-secret National Security Agency document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the March 2013 rocket attacks were directly ordered by a member of the Saudi royal family, Prince Salman bin Sultan, to help mark the second anniversary of the Syrian revolution. Salman had provided 120 tons of explosives and other weaponry to opposition forces, giving them instructions to "light up Damascus" and "flatten" the airport, the document, produced by U.S. government surveillance on Syrian opposition factions, shows.'

(See https://theintercept.com/2017/10/24/syria-rebels-nsa-saudi-prince-assad/ .)

This was on 18 March -- the day before Khan Al-Asal. Further relevant context is provided by a piece in February 2017 on the 'Monitor on Massacre Marketing' site by Adam Larson, entitled 'What happened on March 19, 2013?' which is subtitled 'The First Bodies Tossed Across Obama's "Red Line" in Syria.'

(See http://libyancivilwar.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/what-happened-on-march-19-2013.html .)

This starts by reviewing the -- ample -- evidence that the Khan Al-Asal attack came at a point where there was very visible enthusiasm on the part of a lot of people in the United States and Western Europe for intervention in support of the 'Assad must go' agenda, so that he had every incentive to avoid chemical weapons use, and the insurgents every incentive to produce a 'false flag.'

And Larson goes on to note that 'Ironically, the first solid news of the feared chemical attack came in the form of a Syrian government announcement on March 19 that their forces had been gassed by "terrorists" in a town just west of Aleppo" -- that is, the Shi'ite town of Khan Al-Asal.

There follow detailed reviews of the evidence of another incident on the same day, in which the victims appeared to be insurgents, at the Damascus suburb variously transliterated as Otaybah and Uteibah, and more fragmentary and puzzling evidence about events at Homs.

And Larson goes on to suggest that a three-pronged 'false flag' was planned for 19 March, in Aleppo, Damascus and Homs -- the country's three largest cities. This would obviously fit very well with the NSA intercept, in that it would suggest that the intent was to portray these as Assad's savage response to the attacks in Damascus, thus, hopefully, generating unstoppable momentum for American military intervention.

This seems to me eminently plausible, but it leaves open two possible interpretations of Khan Al-Asal. When insurgents who are difficult to control are given access to weapons like sarin, there is an obvious possibility of matters developing in unexpected directions, either as the result of their bungling an attack, or succumbing to the temptation to use it against government forces.

However, a different set of unintended consequences is also possible. It could be that Syrian intelligence, perhaps with the assistance of Russian and/or Iranian, and with a combination of 'SIGINT' and 'HUMINT' methods quite possibly being deployed, knew precisely what was going on -- and had double agents inside the groups preparing the 'false flags.'

Rather than wait until the inevitable chorus calling for all-out air strikes began, it could well have made sense to turn one of the incidents into a 'false flag' within a 'false flag.'

The anti-Assad camp would then have been effectively 'snookered.' They would have faced a situation where they would know that, if they acceded to the calls from the Syrians and Russians for a proper UN/OPCW investigation, making a rigorous use of 'chemical forensics', these would implicate the insurgents. And if the evidence suggested that it was these who had crossed Obama's 'red line', it would have been game and set, and probably match, to the Syrian and Russian governments.

Irrespective of people's views on what interpretation is plausible in relation to Khan Al-Asal, the important point is that strategies which rely strongly on convert action -- as the 'régime change' projects I outlined in the current post do -- are inherently liable to run out of control. The uncontrollability of their instruments, and the possibility of covert action meeting covert action in return, are always liable to generate unintended consequences which can escalate.

As soon as the possible that an impartial investigation would implicate the insurgents was real, in relation to Khan Al-Asal, irrespective of whether the imputation would have been justified, the alternative to facing a complete collapse of their projects in Syria, for Western governments, was inherently likely to be at best covering up, at worst colluding in, further 'false flags.' Moreover, intense pressure had to be mounted, to ensure that what were supposed to be sources of independent expertise supported their cover-ups.

This pattern, I am suggesting is common both to history of the 'StratCom' in which Christopher Steele has been involved, and that relating to chemical weapons use in Syria. Particularly when the 'Fourth Estate' ceases to do its job, a likely result is the progressive systematic corruption of institutions.

blowback , 04 February 2018 at 03:20 PM
David,

You have read one of the articles on what James Mattis said on Friday about sarin? He quite clearly states that the United States has no evidence that the Syrian government has used sarin. Given the way, the French, British, German, etc. intelligence services share information, that suggests that if James Mattis is speaking the truth then no one in NATO, except perhaps for Turkey given Erdogan's recent behavior, has any evidence either. This means that both incidents, East Ghouta and Khan Shaykhoun, and any other incidents that are alleged by the terrorists to have involved sarin are not what they are claimed to be in western msm and most western politicians. Bellingcat and all the other NGOs who have made similar claims about sarin are all wrong.

Mattis does claim that Syria has used chlorine.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-usa/u-s-mattis-says-concerned-about-syrias-potential-use-of-sarin-gas-idUSKBN1FM1VJ

[Mar 09, 2018] Yahoo scanned emails for US intelligence

Notable quotes:
"... The custom software program was secretly built last year to comply with a classified US government directive. The program scanned hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts, according to revelations first reported by Reuters. ..."
"... Surveillance experts told Reuters this is the first case to surface of an US internet company agreeing to a spy agency's demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to requests for stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time. ..."
www.defenddemocracy.press

The custom software program was secretly built last year to comply with a classified US government directive. The program scanned hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts, according to revelations first reported by Reuters.

It is not known whether the directive, which was sent to the company's legal team, came from the National Security Agency or the FBI, according to the two former Yahoo employees. It is also not known what the intelligence officials were seeking, except wanting the company to search for a set of characters, which could mean a phrase in an email or an attachment.

The former employees said Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to follow the directive angered some senior executive and led to the departure of Alex Stamos, the company's chief information officer.

When Stamos discovered Mayer had authorized the program, he told his subordinates that he had been left out of a decision that hurt users' security, the sources said. Due to a programming flaw, he told them, hackers could have accessed the stored emails.

Yahoo said in a statement issued to Reuters about the intelligence demand that it "is a law abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United States."

Surveillance experts told Reuters this is the first case to surface of an US internet company agreeing to a spy agency's demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to requests for stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time.

[Mar 09, 2018] US Spying the UN Security Council Defend Democracy Press by Norman Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... by Norman Solomon Posted on March 09, 2018 ..."
"... "If you have information that bears on deception or illegality in pursuing wrongful policies or an aggressive war," he said in a statement released last week, "don't wait to put that out and think about it, consider acting in a timely way at whatever cost to yourself . Do what Katharine Gun did." ..."
"... That's the kind of reality George Orwell was referring to when he wrote: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." ..."
"... What Ellsberg read in the newspaper story "was a cable from the NSA asking GCHQ to help in the intercepting of communications, and that implied both office and home communications, of every member of the Security Council of the UN. ..."
"... Now, why would NSA need GCHQ to do that? Because a condition of having the UN headquarters and the Security Council in the US in New York was that the US intelligence agencies promised or were required not to conduct intelligence on members of the UN. Well, of course they want that. So, they rely on their allies, their buddies in the British GCHQ, to commit these criminal acts for them. And with this clearly I thought someone very high in access in Britain intelligence services must dissent from what was already clear the path to an illegal war. ..."
Mar 09, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press
Those Who Controlled the Past Should Not Control the Future

by Norman Solomon
Posted on
March 09, 2018

Daniel Ellsberg has a message that managers of the warfare state don't want people to hear.

"If you have information that bears on deception or illegality in pursuing wrongful policies or an aggressive war," he said in a statement released last week, "don't wait to put that out and think about it, consider acting in a timely way at whatever cost to yourself . Do what Katharine Gun did."

If you don't know what Katharine Gun did, chalk that up to the media power of the war system.

Ellsberg's video statement went public as this month began, just before the 15th anniversary of when a British newspaper, the Observer , revealed a secret NSA memo – thanks to Katharine Gun. At the UK's intelligence agency GCHQ, about 100 people received the same email memo from the National Security Agency on the last day of January 2003, seven weeks before the invasion of Iraq got underway. Only Katharine Gun, at great personal risk, decided to leak the document.

If more people had taken such risks in early 2003, the Iraq War might have been prevented. If more people were willing to take such risks in 2018, the current military slaughter in several nations, mainly funded by U.S. taxpayers, might be curtailed if not stopped. Blockage of information about past whistleblowing deprives the public of inspiring role models.

That's the kind of reality George Orwell was referring to when he wrote: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past."

Fifteen years ago, "I find myself reading on my computer from the Observer the most extraordinary leak, or unauthorized disclosure, of classified information that I'd ever seen," Ellsberg recalled, "and that definitely included and surpassed my own disclosure of top-secret information, a history of US decision-making in Vietnam years earlier." The Pentagon Papers whistleblower instantly recognized that, in the Observer article, "I was looking at something that was clearly classified much higher than top secret . It was an operational cable having to do with how to conduct communications intelligence."

What Ellsberg read in the newspaper story "was a cable from the NSA asking GCHQ to help in the intercepting of communications, and that implied both office and home communications, of every member of the Security Council of the UN.

Now, why would NSA need GCHQ to do that? Because a condition of having the UN headquarters and the Security Council in the US in New York was that the US intelligence agencies promised or were required not to conduct intelligence on members of the UN. Well, of course they want that. So, they rely on their allies, their buddies in the British GCHQ, to commit these criminal acts for them. And with this clearly I thought someone very high in access in Britain intelligence services must dissent from what was already clear the path to an illegal war. "

... ... ...

* Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy . His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death .

[Mar 08, 2018] Cue bono question in Scripal case?

Highly recommended!
This case looks more and more like Litvinenko II -- another false flag designed to implicate Russia a fuel anti-russian hysteria. British MI6 are masters in such provocations.
Along with sabotaging Moscow soccer tournament this also can also be an attempt to distract from MI6 role is creation of Steele dossier too.
Notable quotes:
"... Having worked for Russia's Military Intelligence Directorate (GRU) since the Soviet era, Sergey Skripal was recruited in 1995 by the British agent Pablo Miller, who at the time was posing as Antonio Alvarez de Hidalgo and working in Britain's embassy in Tallinn. Russia's Federal Security Service says Miller was actually an undercover MI6 agent tasked with recruiting Russians. ..."
"... The first reports about Miller's work in Russia emerged in the early 2000s, after multiple Russians arrested for spying fingered Miller as their recruiter. For example, former tax police Major Vyacheslav Zharko says it was Miller who recruited him. He says it was Boris Berezovsky and former Federal Security Service (FSB) agent Alexander Litvinenko who introduced him to British intelligence agents. Zharko surrendered himself to Russian officials when he learned about the British authorities' suspicions that another former FSB officer, Andrey Lugovoi, had poisoned Litvinenko with polonium. ..."
"... Litvinenko also worked for MI6 ..."
"... Skripal, however, never turned himself in. For nine years, according to the FSB, he collaborated actively with British intelligence, transmitting information about Russian agents. ..."
"... Who/what paid Skripal a $472,000 house and a pension? That is way more than the reported $100,000 he earlier got. What did he do to earn the higher pay? ..."
"... Seems Skripal was a British spy at the end. If he required killing, it would have happened long ago as b asserts. Clearly, he knew something dangerously compromising to make himself a target. ..."
"... If b is too moral to consider killing injuring unrelated, innocent people for propaganda as it was 9/11 whoever did it, he must wake up. These days, days of phony YT,FB Twitter reality, the only value is propaganda value nothing else, anybody will be thrown under the bus if this fits aims of ruling elite even some oligarchs who are rich only because their submit to rape of ruling elite as high paid prostitute while the rest are raped for free ..."
"... If fact they will supress details of that crime just to obfuscate obvious perpetrators in a cloud of conspiracy theories in fact mining people's brains busy them up like little ants like Bitcoin miners waste electricity and computer power for delusional quest of riches ..."
"... Sources close to Orbis, the business intelligence firm run by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who was behind a dossier of compromising allegations against Donald Trump, said Mr Skripal did not contribute to the file. But they could not say whether Mr Skripal was involved in different investigations into the US President for other interested parties. ..."
"... It's interesting how quickly the denial from steele comes out... Is skripal dead yet, or still alive? i wonder if he comes back, what he says? i guess we will never know either way... ..."
"... Media management and playing the old "backs to the wall boys & girls, its the blitz all over again" is what the 'counter-terror' mob do. ..."
"... The initial cops played the whole thing really low key, it seemed as though they wanted to get to the bottom of whatever happened, but their replacements 'counter-terror' appear to devote more time and energy to seducing credulous journos than they do trying to find out what actually did occur. ..."
"... Over in the states there have been reports about carfentanil poisoning responders to overdoses because of trace amounts. It is reported as 100 x as powerful as fentanyl. So maybe a chemical cousin is a possible consideration. ..."
"... B's suggestion that Skripal might be longing to return to and die in Russia, and that he was offering a "gift" to Moscow via his daughter (or maybe even a letter apologising for his treachery and begging for forgiveness, Berezovsky-style) is a stroke of genius. Makes me think that Boris Berezovsky's death merits more attention and cannot be brushed off as a suicide. ..."
"... On a park bench, they were discovered. I'll bet my best fishing lure that location's covered by a CCTV whose footage will provide all the answers--unless we aren't to be shown, due to national security or some such. ..."
"... Meanwhile The Guardian is spewing its usual bilge : Russian spy attack inquiry widens after medics treat 21 people ..."
"... The longer Skripal and his daughter stay alive, the more propaganda can be rung out of his death. Be worth watching to see how many sanctions and laws the UK can push through before he finally snuffs it. ..."
Mar 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Spy Poisons Spy And The Anti-Trump Campaign

On Sunday a former British-Russian double agent and his daughter were seriously injured in a mysterious incident in Salisbury, England. The British government says that both were hurt due to "exposure to a nerve agent". Speculative media reports talk of Sarin and VX, two deadly nerve-agents used in military chemical weapons. Anonymous officials strongly hint that 'Russia did it'.

New reports though point to a deep connection between the case and the anti-Trump/anti-Russia propaganda drive run by the Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton election campaign.

Sergei Skripal once was a colonel in a Russian military intelligence service. In the early 1990s he was recruited by the MI6 agent Pablo Miller. He continued to spy for the Brits after his 1999 retirement. The Russian FSB claims that the British MI6 paid him $100,000 for his service. At that time a Russian officer would only make a few hundred bucks per month. Skripal was finally uncovered in 2004 and two years later convicted for spying for Britain. He was sentenced to 18 years and in 2010 he and other agents ware exchanged in a large spy swap between the United States and Russia. Skripal was granted refuge in Britain and has since lived openly under his own name in Salisbury. His wife and his son died over the last years of natural causes. The only near relative he has left is his daughter who continued to live in Russia.

Last week his daughter flew to Britain and met him in Salisbury. On Sunday they went to a pub and a restaurant. At some point they were poisoned or poisoned themselves. They collapsed on a public bench. They are now in intensive care. A policeman one the scene was also seriously effected.

Authorities have declined to name the substance to which the pair is suspected to have been exposed, but :

Local media had on Monday reported the substance found at the scene to be similar to fentanyl: a lethally strong opioid available even on Salisbury's soporific streets.

The British government is hinting at Russian involvement :


Whorin Piece , Mar 8, 2018 4:30:36 PM | 1

Seth Rich.

Awesome, thank you b,

I think this event is a ramp to offing Knesia Sobchak prior to or just after the national poll. She is a pawn of the West. She has been directed to consolidate the disparate liberal opposition campaigns by the use of primaries...which would just happen to result in her primacy. The idea is to have her win enough vote it can be alleged that she has embarrassed Putin...and then they six her using VX. Her father was close go Putin during Putin's early years in St Pete. The BBC has been running chaff out the foot saying Putin killed his mentor Anatoly Sobchak. Knesia has been moved into position. She will be offed to harm Putin's reputation but also to place e a complex wound in him. The West are monsters

yoffa , Mar 8, 2018 4:35:34 PM | 2
The Orbis consultant / analyst living in Salisbury is identified as Pablo Miller. He had recruited Skripal in 1995 ( https://meduza.io/en/feature/2018/03/06/a-hundred-grand-and-hundreds-of-betrayed-agents).
notheonly1 , Mar 8, 2018 4:40:39 PM | 3
Ms Rudd told MPs it was an "outrageous crime", adding that the government would "act without hesitation as the facts become clearer".

Yeah, right.

Like the illegal invasion of a sovereign foreign country based on the lies by the same 'government', with a million+ casualties among the middle eastern population.

That kind of outrageous crime , correct?

One day the pendulum will swing back hard and merciless at these criminal warmongers and war profiteers. Disgusting how low what goes for 'homo sapiens' can sink.

Christian Chuba , Mar 8, 2018 4:43:02 PM | 4
I was wondering if Grigory Rodchenkov was in danger of meeting the same fate by some of the more unsavory elements of U.S. Intelligence Agencies. He would become a poster boy for Russian assassinations on U.S. soil.

One thing about Rodchenkov, if the doping was not state sponsored, what motive would have have for doing it on his own, is there enough money in the Olympics that individual athletes would bribe him or would it make him look better if his athletes did better? I don't buy that it was state sponsored, or at least there is no evidence to that affect.

Oyyo , Mar 8, 2018 4:51:46 PM | 6
21 people were affected.

https://news.sky.com/story/live-poisoned-salisbury-cop-talking-and-engaging-11280674

xLemming , Mar 8, 2018 5:05:53 PM | 7
Sadly @3 we may have to wait for Judgement Day for that to happen. But if it comes about sooner, and in our lifetime, it will be a day of rejoicing!
b , Mar 8, 2018 5:07:11 PM | 8
@yoffa @2 - thank you. Your link does not work, here is a good one: A hundred grand and hundreds of betrayed agents What was former GRU Colonel Sergey Skripal's treason against Russia?
Having worked for Russia's Military Intelligence Directorate (GRU) since the Soviet era, Sergey Skripal was recruited in 1995 by the British agent Pablo Miller, who at the time was posing as Antonio Alvarez de Hidalgo and working in Britain's embassy in Tallinn. Russia's Federal Security Service says Miller was actually an undercover MI6 agent tasked with recruiting Russians.

The first reports about Miller's work in Russia emerged in the early 2000s, after multiple Russians arrested for spying fingered Miller as their recruiter. For example, former tax police Major Vyacheslav Zharko says it was Miller who recruited him. He says it was Boris Berezovsky and former Federal Security Service (FSB) agent Alexander Litvinenko who introduced him to British intelligence agents. Zharko surrendered himself to Russian officials when he learned about the British authorities' suspicions that another former FSB officer, Andrey Lugovoi, had poisoned Litvinenko with polonium.

Litvinenko also worked for MI6 ..
Skripal, however, never turned himself in. For nine years, according to the FSB, he collaborated actively with British intelligence, transmitting information about Russian agents.

Nikolai Luzan, who calls himself a colonel and a veteran of Russia's security agencies, wrote a detailed book about how the British recruited Sergey Skripal. Luzan says his book, "A Devil's Counterintelligence Dozen," is an "artistic-documentary production."

If we assume that Luzan's account is generally accurate, then Skripal was recruited during a long-term assignment in Malta and Spain, where he "got greedy."
...

Further on:
Skripal led a quiet life in Salisbury, where he reportedly bought an average house for 340,000 British pounds (about $472,000). His neighbors describe him as an ordinary, reasonably friendly pensioner. When he moved to the area, he even invited the whole street over for a housewarming party.

It's unclear why Skripal decided to resettle specifically in Salisbury, but LinkedIn indicates that Pablo Miller -- the MI6 agent who recruited him -- lives in the same town. In 2015, the year he retired, Miller received the Order of the British Empire for services to Her Majesty's Government.

Skripal's wife, Lyudmila, lived with him in Salisbury until her death a few years ago. His son died from liver failure in 2017 in St. Petersburg.

It must be Pablo Miller who worked with Steele ...

Who/what paid Skripal a $472,000 house and a pension? That is way more than the reported $100,000 he earlier got. What did he do to earn the higher pay?

karlof1 , Mar 8, 2018 5:12:03 PM | 9
Seems Skripal was a British spy at the end. If he required killing, it would have happened long ago as b asserts. Clearly, he knew something dangerously compromising to make himself a target. The UK's fairly well covered by CCTV; I'd be very interested in what those in Salisbury observed. The incident has La Carre written all over it.
Kalen , Mar 8, 2018 5:21:30 PM | 10
If someone like MI6 for FSB wanted him dead they would be instantly in a car accident of robbery attempt, they whoever they are, wanted this to thing to prolong in time to feed the press Russia gate and wanted people like b to follow the trap since most of the info here can be found just after few clicks, will be picked up by rational people.

If b is too moral to consider killing injuring unrelated, innocent people for propaganda as it was 9/11 whoever did it, he must wake up. These days, days of phony YT,FB Twitter reality, the only value is propaganda value nothing else, anybody will be thrown under the bus if this fits aims of ruling elite even some oligarchs who are rich only because their submit to rape of ruling elite as high paid prostitute while the rest are raped for free .

If fact they will supress details of that crime just to obfuscate obvious perpetrators in a cloud of conspiracy theories in fact mining people's brains busy them up like little ants like Bitcoin miners waste electricity and computer power for delusional quest of riches .

In the society of control ruling elite controls everything it needs to control and hence is responsible for this. Case closed.

b , Mar 8, 2018 5:39:21 PM | 12
The Independent: Sergei Skripal: Former double agent may have been poisoned with nerve agent over 'freelance' spying, sources say
The Russian double agent poisoned in Salisbury may have become a target after using his contacts in the intelligence community to work for private security firms, investigators believe.

Sergei Skripal could have come to the attention of certain people in Russia by attempting to "freelance" for companies run by former MI5, MI6 and GCHQ spies, security sources say.
...
Sources close to Orbis, the business intelligence firm run by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who was behind a dossier of compromising allegations against Donald Trump, said Mr Skripal did not contribute to the file. But they could not say whether Mr Skripal was involved in different investigations into the US President for other interested parties.

A very believable denial by Steele. Not.
james , Mar 8, 2018 5:56:08 PM | 13
It's interesting how quickly the denial from steele comes out... Is skripal dead yet, or still alive? i wonder if he comes back, what he says? i guess we will never know either way...
Debsisdead , Mar 8, 2018 6:02:23 PM | 14
For me it was particularly suss when the Leceister Police who are the coppers on the ground in Salisbury were heavied by Scotland Yuk ( or 'the met' as englander papers call that gang of proven torturers & murderers) to turn the Skripsky investigation over to the 'counter-terror squad' - the mob of thugs whose skillful manipulation of england's media combined with evidence falsification made their indicted murder of Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes seem like an heroic act by playing the old honest whitefella card - "all those brownfellas look the same, who can tell the difference?" . No copper, not the killers or the idiot in charge suffered any disciplinary actiion, much less a criminal one. IIRC the policeperson in charge who claimed to be 'in the bathroom' at the time of de Menzeses murder, one Cressida Dick, is now chief commissioner, the boss of Scotland Yuk.

The local coppers know the area and will have a rapport with witnesses that a mob of arseholes in sharp suits backed by balaclava wearing armed heavies is unlikely to enjoy, so why grab the gig especially since it is certain to remain unsolved?

Well partly that, to make sure it remains unsolved, but also because counter-terror plays the press release regurgitators who are englander 'journos' like a fine old violin. Questions about fentanyl being a nerve agent get tricky? Spin the chooks a yarn about evil a-rabs you have met.

Uncoy , Mar 8, 2018 6:21:20 PM | 15
Kalen is right. Such a flamboyant killing is not how modern intelligence agencies dispose of problems. Unless they want to draw attention to their work.

Maybe there's a bunch of people around the Christopher Steele dossier thinking of talking. What better way to shut them up than to knock off a Steele source.

Peter , Mar 8, 2018 6:33:27 PM | 16
Very good work, B. Thanks for your website, best on the web.
sadness , Mar 8, 2018 6:41:55 PM | 17
It could always be a simple & rather human explanation - The daughter was struggling for cash at home, dad was old but refused to die & had a stash of cash from his past, she knocked him off to get an earlier inheritance but being an amateur at this she did herself in too, which would be poetic justice...?
sadness , Mar 8, 2018 6:49:11 PM | 18
....oh i forgot to add....or it was a sad suicide pact between them when all else was lost & over
ToivoS , Mar 8, 2018 7:08:41 PM | 19
It is highly unlikely that fentanyl was the toxin that poisoned Skribal and his daughter. That hypothesis should be excluded at this point.

The main reason for this is that the patrol man who discovered them also came down with similar symptoms. Fentanyl is extremely toxic when injected intravenously. But not to any one coming into contact with them, touching them or even performing mouth to mouth resusication.

There are numerous acetyl choline inhibitors (e.g. sarin, vx, and many other similar compounds that have never been approved for chemical warfare) that can cause symptoms if someone comes into contact with an intoxicated patient especially one has be exposed externally.

Also the Portland Down lab has identified an ACE inhibitor (of course, that is part of the British military and they could very easily be lying.)

In any case, this looks like a nerve toxin poison, fentanyl is not in that class.

Fatima Manoubia , Mar 8, 2018 7:08:44 PM | 20
Fentanyl patchs are used to control intense chronic pain...If he resigned from GRU because of health issues, as the "Meduzas" affirm, it might be related to this chronic pain and so he could well be a patient using this drug for pain control.....

Thus, fentanyl is not a nerve agent, but an anesthesic in any case....All could well be a performance...to blame the Russians and contribute to scare the population about them previous to some machination to be mounted at......Do not forget that that factory of mannequin challenges broadcasts, the White Helmets, is also a British "enterprise", creation of "former" MI6 LeMesurier....

Debsisdead , Mar 8, 2018 7:40:41 PM | 21
Yesterday when questions about fentanyl were raised, the sick policeman was identified, up until that point all that had been said was that the bill first on the scene were admitted to be checked out by medics. Today the close to death's door copper is in fine fettle once again. I leave it up to others to decide whether he was crook (sick - an Oz term) or the imported police were crooks (lying).

Media management and playing the old "backs to the wall boys & girls, its the blitz all over again" is what the 'counter-terror' mob do. If they were really opposed to scaring the bejeezuz outta englanders which is what their name implies they would A) be better at preventing actions which they hadn't cranked up themselves for entrapment and B) not imagine it was on the up and up to terrify the burghers of Salisbury with yarns about possible 'nerve agent' on the loose that were placing the town's population at risk.

The initial cops played the whole thing really low key, it seemed as though they wanted to get to the bottom of whatever happened, but their replacements 'counter-terror' appear to devote more time and energy to seducing credulous journos than they do trying to find out what actually did occur. The form of this gang of sleek deceitful killers means that just because they claim this local woodentop was poisoned, it doesn't mean that is what actually befell him.

Duck1 , Mar 8, 2018 7:49:18 PM | 22
Over in the states there have been reports about carfentanil poisoning responders to overdoses because of trace amounts. It is reported as 100 x as powerful as fentanyl. So maybe a chemical cousin is a possible consideration.
Jen , Mar 8, 2018 7:54:30 PM | 23
It seems that MI6 was keeping Sergei Skripal on a tight leash by having him live in Salisbury close to Pablo Miller who must be the old fellow's minder as well as recruiter. One way of keeping Skripal on this leash must be to supply him with an addictive painkiller, for whatever pain he is suffering (physical, perhaps psychological?), and fentanyl fits the bill.

Fentanyl also fits the bill for a poisoning agent that also affected the police officer who attended the Skripals. The fentanyl epidemic is apparently forcing emergency and first-response personnel to re-evaluate procedures in handling patients so that they themselves are not affected by sniffing fentanyl accidentally.

B's suggestion that Skripal might be longing to return to and die in Russia, and that he was offering a "gift" to Moscow via his daughter (or maybe even a letter apologising for his treachery and begging for forgiveness, Berezovsky-style) is a stroke of genius. Makes me think that Boris Berezovsky's death merits more attention and cannot be brushed off as a suicide.

karlof1 , Mar 8, 2018 7:59:42 PM | 24
sadness @17 & 18--

Nobody died. Only 3 remain in hospital and are not endangered.

On a park bench, they were discovered. I'll bet my best fishing lure that location's covered by a CCTV whose footage will provide all the answers--unless we aren't to be shown, due to national security or some such.

Briar Patch , Mar 8, 2018 8:05:32 PM | 25
The question raised by the link offered by Oyyo at 6 (at least 21 affected by the "neurotoxin"), the comments offered by Debisdead at 21, and the note from Craig Murry about the nearby chemical site: Was this an attack targeting Skripal at all, or some other kind of "misadventure"? There are so many opportunities to use this kind of incident, by entities capable of spinning it this way and that, that it doesn't give to us individuals reading the news much hope of ever learning the truth.
Ghost Ship , Mar 8, 2018 8:16:50 PM | 26
>>>>> ToivoS | Mar 8, 2018 7:08:41 PM | 19

Fentanyl can enter the body through the skin :

A police officer in East Liverpool, Ohio, collapsed and was rushed to the hospital after he brushed fentanyl residue off his uniform, allowing the drug to enter his system through his hands. The officer had apparently encountered the opioid earlier in the day while making a drug bust.
Fenatanyl acts on the nervous system so could be described as a "nerve agent", particularly by a British politician or civil servant.
WorldBLee , Mar 8, 2018 8:49:38 PM | 30
I love it when the UK media call it a "professional hit job." No, it's not. In a professional hit job the person ends up dead.
Ghost Ship , Mar 8, 2018 9:02:37 PM | 31
Meanwhile The Guardian is spewing its usual bilge: Russian spy attack inquiry widens after medics treat 21 people

Statement from Wiltshire Police :

In addition to the three inpatients**** who are currently receiving treatment in relation to the incident, in line with Public Health England guidance, which asked anyone who was in the area and is concerned because they feel unwell to come forward, the Trust has seen and assessed a number of people who did not need treatment.

**** - These are Sgt Nick Bailey & the two original victims.

Peter AU 1 , Mar 8, 2018 9:04:33 PM | 32
The longer Skripal and his daughter stay alive, the more propaganda can be rung out of his death. Be worth watching to see how many sanctions and laws the UK can push through before he finally snuffs it.

[Mar 08, 2018] I dunno I think the whole air of ineptitude around The Company is just a cover. Why else would GHW Bush have been in Dallas at the time and then rocket just a few years later to its top job? Yeah, I know, it could have been KBR pulling all the strings, but I would still assert The Company was used as the vehicle to pre-position all the other necessary elements

Mar 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

The Alarmist , March 8, 2018 at 1:30 pm GMT

@Anon

I dunno I think the whole air of ineptitude around The Company is just a cover. Why else would GHW Bush have been in Dallas at the time and then rocket just a few years later to its top job? Yeah, I know, it could have been KBR pulling all the strings, but I would still assert The Company was used as the vehicle to pre-position all the other necessary elements, like Papa Cruz, a former anti-Batista foot soldier, showing up a few years to UT just in time to radicalise LHO and set him up as the fall guy. And at the centre of all this, though I'm not sure how except that he ran against Jeb! and Ted, is Donald J Trump.

[Feb 24, 2018] Russian Espionage, or Clickbait (1-2)

The reality of Russiagate is that the corrupt neoliberal system and its institutions were laid bare in an unprecedented way. The Democratic Party is toast. The Republican Party is a vile sham. And the MSM has exposed itself as attack dogs of intelligence agencies like never before. People are waking up to the corrupt and useless system in place. The reality of the system was exposed in magnifying Russiagate lens. That's probably the only good thing about it
Notable quotes:
"... John Sipher (ha ha) starts out by re-asserting the lie that Russians "hacked" the DNC ..."
"... Why are the people who work for this guy trying to sell opinions being called trolls? This is just another way to give credence to the FBI narrative that trolls tried to sway the election. If anyone was a troll, ..."
"... And Rachel? Quit lying to yourself and others. My gawd! You have come a long way from your time at Air America that I don't even recognize you anymore. You are creating hysteria and you have become a raving lunatic. Enjoy your $30,000/day, $7 million a month salary for selling out to the people who you used to despise. I despise you! ..."
"... He retorts that 'there's enough hot spots -- Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, China' -- but fails to acknowledge that for example, the Iraq invasion and subsequent insurgency/civil war/rise-of-ISIS is all about what Aaron pointed to, the ginning up intelligence to create the Iraq invasion - which then spilled over into Syria. The role that the US is playing in all the other place he mentions, they have constantly resorted to lethal force and refused negotiation. ..."
"... The establishment media leaves out the essential context: The US is on a single superpower, Pax Americana global empire gambit; with everyone else playing for time while building their defences. ..."
"... And 'Russian Doctrine' is just recycled Soviet Doctrine - but the US always lead arms escalations during the old cold war - the so called soviet doctrine was in fact defence against US pressure and aggression. ..."
"... The Democratic Party is toast. The Republican Party is a vile sham. And the main stream media has exposed itself like never before. People are waking up to the corrupt and useless system in place. The reality of the system is being laid bare in an unprecedented way. As bad as things seem, this is a good thing, if we can keep those in power from destroying the earth before we can recover it. ..."
"... Unless something more comes of this, the Dems and their media cohorts will do a repeat of the Repubs and that same media when the WMD failed to materialize in Iraq. The wonderful thing about The Homeland, though, is that being wrong, all the time, in no way disqualifies you for remaining an important and serious person. ..."
"... Black Lives Matter ..."
"... Bernie Sanders ..."
"... Yeah, I think the point of this is not to change opinions, the point was to try to either suppress voters on one side, or to get people to hardened opinions, and get people to come out to vote, and we've even seen the same troll farm, looks like they're doing this now around the Parkland shooting in Florida. They were going around Black Lives Matter, they're trying to spin up divisions to get us working against each other, as much as electing Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders. ..."
Feb 24, 2018 | therealnews.com

AARON MATÉ: Now, Maddow makes at least one error here. The indictment does say that the operation had a monthly budget of $1.25 million dollars, but that was for its entire global operations, of which the U.S. was only a part. And more importantly, can we say conclusively that this was the work of Russian intelligence? Well, joining me is John Sipher, national security analyst with Cipher Brief, and a former member of the CIA's clandestine service.

John Sipher (@john_sipher) is a former Chief of Station for the C.I.A. He worked for over 27 years in Russia, Europe and Asia and now writes for various publications and works as a consultant with CrossLead and New Media Frontier.


Nixak*77*, February 24, 2018 2:04 AM

Here's what Mr CIA guy 'Sipher' is selling: The indicted 13 Russian trollers interfered w the 2016 POTUS election- NOT by hacking US voting machines & flipping votes to Repug Trump, but by sowing discord among the US electorate which even 'Sipher' admits already existed. Most of the Face-Book posts by these alleged Russian trollers were either posted AFTER Nov 8, 2016 &/or were seen by virtually NO-One, thus 'Sipher' effectively admits he now ilk in the US intel biz can even assess how much alleged impact these alleged Russian trollers had on the 2016 POTUS election -But- I can: Virtually ZERO!!

Now compare that to the US' notorious track-record of nefariously 'meddling' in other countries' political processes- Mainly by Mr CIA guy 'Sipher's' so-called 'ex' employer:

- In 1996 the US actively & blatantly interfered in Russia's presidential election to get Slick Willy's pal & chum(p) that drunk Boris Yeltsin guy elected, & even openly bragged about it. And then orchestrated a fire-sale of Russia's resources, that resulted in great hardship to the Russian people.

In 2014 while Putin's attention was on the Winter-Olympics in Sochi, Killary Clinton's protege' Vikky Nuland actively stoked a Neo-NAZI coup vs Ukraine's democratically elected president -- In an blatant attempt to push NATO right up into Russia's face / west-flank & to try to grab Russia's naval base in Crimea [which up till the 1950s was actually officially Russian territory].

And oh let's NOT forget the US' & it allies [UK, the Saudis, the Turks, the IAF, etc] actively involvement in the on-going Syrian disaster- In yet another Neo-CONian / Neo-Liberal nefarious regime-change scheme!! And how Mr CIA guy Sipher's CIA & other intel' agencies have been trying to bait first Dim OBomber & now Repug Trump into an all out attack on Syria to accomplish it, using dubious 'intel' ala 'WMD redux'!!

I mean seriously Mr CIA guy 'Sipher' & all you other Russia-Gaters [IE: Rachael Mad-cow & even Bernie]?? All this BS hype over 13 Russians trolling click-bait on Face-Book, vs all that I've outlined above [just a short-list] that the CIA & even so-called 'liberal' Dims have actively supported, w DISASTROUS results- Literally destroying MILLIONS of lives in the process!! PLEASE!!

gregorylkruse , February 23, 2018 5:27 PM

"I tend to believe them". That's the problem.

Robert Johnson , February 23, 2018 1:08 PM

John Sipher (ha ha) starts out by re-asserting the lie that Russians "hacked" the DNC. Everything that follows is just blah, blah,blah....Why is TRN interviewing this buffoon?

Robert Johnson gregorylkruse , February 23, 2018 11:37 PM

No, sorry. I have great respect for Aaron, but TRN is not doing us any favors by helping spread this noxious propaganda. They legitimize it by acknowledging it. Meanwhile, there is other news they could be giving us.Check this out: http://bit.ly/2EMOl4S Sad we have to depend upon comedians to give us the news....

Robert Johnson , February 23, 2018 1:06 PM

Rachel Maddow is American "intelligence" at its least ambitious....

Richard Burt Robert Johnson , February 23, 2018 5:50 PM

LOL

beaglebailey , February 23, 2018 1:28 AM

BTW. Why are the people who work for this guy trying to sell opinions being called trolls? This is just another way to give credence to the FBI narrative that trolls tried to sway the election. If anyone was a troll,

I'd say it was the Correct the Record folks who were the trolls. Hillary's campaign paid over a million dollars for people to go into websites and if anyone was being critical of Hillary, they tried to get them to change their minds. How is that not election interference? And was that even legal? It was unethical if not against campaign finance laws.

Jay Hansen beaglebailey , February 23, 2018 1:47 AM

It arose inside the country, though Hillary is, without a doubt, scum. Hillbots were actual 'Murkins, a lot of them still suffering from Hillbotulism. Elections featuring two absolutely unacceptable candidates are a real drag, and, unfortunately, probably the OFFICIAL end of the United States (though in reality, the US died in March 2003).

beaglebailey , February 23, 2018 1:19 AM

Unbelievable. Aaron: I don't believe that the Mueller investigation has delivered solid proof that Russia did anything against the country.

Sipher:

Well I think that he and the FBI are reputable sources and I'm going to believe them and what they tell me. Even if they haven't proven anything, we know that Putin is a bad man and he wants to sow divisions here and besides he's using chemical weapons in Syria (even though that's so totally off topic) and when I go to bed at night I see Putin in my dreams and yackity, yack, yack! So there. I'm a poopy head and you're not.

Good grief, how can people believe anything by this time? And Rachel? Quit lying to yourself and others. My gawd! You have come a long way from your time at Air America that I don't even recognize you anymore. You are creating hysteria and you have become a raving lunatic. Enjoy your $30,000/day, $7 million a month salary for selling out to the people who you used to despise. I despise you!

Michael Holloway , February 22, 2018 10:37 PM

This guys arguments are so weak he must be interacting the very ignorant audience most of the time (I think the great majority of Americans don't pay attention to what their own foreign policy is -- and MSM the vast majority of the time offers nothing but safe softball foreign policy questions).

He retorts that 'there's enough hot spots -- Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, China' -- but fails to acknowledge that for example, the Iraq invasion and subsequent insurgency/civil war/rise-of-ISIS is all about what Aaron pointed to, the ginning up intelligence to create the Iraq invasion - which then spilled over into Syria. The role that the US is playing in all the other place he mentions, they have constantly resorted to lethal force and refused negotiation.

The establishment media leaves out the essential context: The US is on a single superpower, Pax Americana global empire gambit; with everyone else playing for time while building their defences.

And 'Russian Doctrine' is just recycled Soviet Doctrine - but the US always lead arms escalations during the old cold war - the so called soviet doctrine was in fact defence against US pressure and aggression.

Vincent Berg , February 22, 2018 6:50 PM

MoonofAlabama gives a good analysis of the marketing scheme aspect of these "meddlings". Max Blumenthal mentions it in his discussion with Mate from earlier in the week, but this is a very detailed look into the matter: http://www.moonofalabama.or...

Bill Conklin , February 22, 2018 6:40 PM

I suppose it is ok for Aaron to interview guys like this CIA agent but the agent clearly doesn't understand the validity of an indictment. An indictment doesn't prove anything; If it did, we wouldn't need trial courts.

The Department of Justice could indict a ham sandwich if they wanted.

The DOJ knows that this case will never go to trial and they will never have to prove anything. It is depressing that the Democrats and MSNBC have lost all credibility. We are very lucky to have Aaron and Max looking at this sutff.

beaglebailey Bill Conklin , February 23, 2018 1:20 AM

Not according to Rachel. She's seeing Russian bots in her dreams. Just like Sipher.

Sillyputta , February 22, 2018 4:25 PM

The Democratic Party is toast. The Republican Party is a vile sham. And the main stream media has exposed itself like never before. People are waking up to the corrupt and useless system in place. The reality of the system is being laid bare in an unprecedented way. As bad as things seem, this is a good thing, if we can keep those in power from destroying the earth before we can recover it.

michael nola Sillyputta , February 22, 2018 5:47 PM

I just got done reading the Mueller indictment. For the MSM and the Dems to continue their pathetic witch hunt is a true indictment of the corruption at the heart of this country's political and media elites. No doubt there was an attempt, weak as it was, to influence Americans, but for anyone to think this is the smoking gun that proves it was decisive in determining the 2016 election, or that the Russian government definitely orchestrated it, or that Trump, whom I despise as much as anyone else, colluded with them, reveals a startling lack of intellectual honesty.

The effort put forth by the Russians involved seemed to have two objectives; first to take advantage of the tribalization of American society to advance the Trump campaign, and secondly, to make money off it.

Worst of all, if nothing more comes out of this, then the Dems, as corrupt as they are incompetent, will have added more fuel to the Trump charges of fake news and will have served only to weaken any resistance they claim to represent as this clown leads this country on an ever accelerating demise.

Saint Jimmy (Russian American) michael nola , February 22, 2018 6:15 PM

I take issue with advancing the Trump campaign as an objective. Some ads, etc., were anti-Trump and some were about kittens. I haven't seen any predominant political message, at all, in that "effort". Also, it was so paltry that they had to know that it would have no effect, at all, and never could have any effect. Implying otherwise is part of what makes the whole story look like a bumbling, comedic farce to most thinking people.

michael nola Saint Jimmy (Russian American) , February 22, 2018 7:52 PM

If you read the Mueller indictment, it's clearly stated that they did contact various American groups working for Trump, locally, that is, and arranged events, paid for various materials, even someone to dress up as HRC and be in a jail, and also travel to the states to do some first hand research, but as you say, the effort was minor, at best, and was no factor in Trump winning, especially compared to the billions of $ of free air time he got when running in the Repub primary, he was a cash cow for the networks, after all, and the DNC advancing his cause during those same primaries, thinking he was an easier opponent than Cruz or Rubio.

Unless something more comes of this, the Dems and their media cohorts will do a repeat of the Repubs and that same media when the WMD failed to materialize in Iraq. The wonderful thing about The Homeland, though, is that being wrong, all the time, in no way disqualifies you for remaining an important and serious person.

Saint Jimmy (Russian American) michael nola , February 22, 2018 8:16 PM

I haven't seen ANY evidence of traveling to the US for "first hand research". WHERE does this crap come from? It comes from people desperate to keep the war budget higher than any war budget in the history of planet earth. I still see nothing in that "indictment" that serves as any real evidence that Trump colluded with any Russians, much less any Russians definitively working for the Government of Russia, or any evidence that the campaign was affected or that Russians were trying to create "discord" in the US.

If they bothered to look at the same types of activities and even direct money given to candidates by Israeli, Saudi, UK, and other nationals, I think it would dwarf anything Russian citizens used to fund or further any campaign. They won't look elsewhere, though, because nothing perpetrates the fraud on the American people that is the Defense budget like the word "Russians" and most of the "defense" (i.e., war) budget is completely unnecessary. They should be cut by a third right now, with further cuts pending.

michael nola Saint Jimmy (Russian American) , February 23, 2018 6:28 PM

The indictment gives the names and dates of two Russians who made it here for a few days; a third was unable to secure a visa. There are dates and places named in the indictment, but nothing that could of had any influence on the election. If the Dems are so worked up over having lost two elections this century even though their candidate had more popular votes, you'd think they'd be screaming for a change in determining the presidential election. We all know the Repubs would.

We are in total agreement as to what really mattered and matters regarding this issue and the reasons behind the Dems sudden embrace of McCarthyism and their overall need to point to Russia or anyone else to maintain the unmaintainable American empire. If you haven't read the indictment, it's not that long, 37 short pages, several of which can be skipped because they simply list names or laws broken.

Saint Jimmy (Russian American) michael nola , February 23, 2018 6:41 PM

If the dems really cared, they would be calling for publicly funded elections, cuts of a quarter or more of the war budget (i.e., "defense"), and public health care and education, and jobs programs with benefits. They care about nothing but their own butts.

Sillyputta , February 22, 2018 4:21 PM

Aaron Mate is an excellent, intelligent, sincere, and questioning journalist--in short, what everything one would expect from a real journalist. So, what is it the naysayers don't like about him? Is it because he does not support their narrative. Is it his laid back style? What in particular?

Vern La Vernon Sillyputta , February 23, 2018 1:49 AM

this site is controlled by quitiplas.

Saint Jimmy (Russian American) , February 22, 2018 3:28 PM

This guy gets it. As a Russian American, it looks as though I'll have company in the coming American political gulags.

https://blackagendareport.c...

bacvlvs Saint Jimmy (Russian American) , February 23, 2018 10:09 PM

Yes, Glen Ford is outstanding.

michael nola Saint Jimmy (Russian American) , February 22, 2018 6:03 PM

Glen Ford penetrates all the BS and gets right down to the real agenda, Black or otherwise. He called out Obama back in 2007, when nearly everyone else on the so called left were coming in their pants over that fake.

bacvlvs michael nola , February 23, 2018 10:08 PM

"The more effective evil."

Saint Jimmy (Russian American) michael nola , February 22, 2018 6:07 PM

Yeah. I noticed.

Palimpsestuous , February 22, 2018 2:19 PM

CIA staff exhibit two qualities in abundance: 1) Suspicious incredulity regarding all apparent statements, actions and motivations of subjects in the field, and 2) Studied, refined, and highly purposeful public mendacity regarding their and their government's apparent statements, actions and motivations.

Mr Sipher is lying and the tell is his amazing degree of credulity regarding numerous US entities paired with across the board mistrust and outright defamation of numerous non-US entities. Virtually every accusation Sipher made against Russia, Putin and the indicted, is a menu item on standard CIA operational plans for disrupting the elections of foreign nations and has been practiced continuously for several decades, technology permitting.

As a companion to this interview it might be nice to solicit an interview with a CIA antagonist who knows how to expose--point by point, in policy, practice and tradition--one of the most destructive covert entities in world history.

p.munkey Palimpsestuous , February 22, 2018 9:57 PM

Hi Palimpsestuous, your assessment is spot on!

Mr. Sipher is throwing everything at the wall to see what might stick, attempting to conflate what he laughably refers to as the "Russian Black Arts" with the Parkland shooting. He talks in circles; on one hand acknowledging pre-existing social "hyperpartisan", "tribal", divisions", while on the other hand dismissing genuine political movements Black Lives Matter , Democratic Socialism ( Bernie Sanders ), and the Environmental Movement ( Jill Stein ) as products of Russian propaganda that is at once both sophisticated and simple.

JOHN SIPHER: Yeah, I think the point of this is not to change opinions, the point was to try to either suppress voters on one side, or to get people to hardened opinions, and get people to come out to vote, and we've even seen the same troll farm, looks like they're doing this now around the Parkland shooting in Florida. They were going around Black Lives Matter, they're trying to spin up divisions to get us working against each other, as much as electing Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders.

His assessment lacks any measure of self/social-awareness or self/social-consciousness that should be a pre-requisite before laying out criticism of another. It seems to me Mr. Sipher might be protecting his CIA pension.

Palimpsestuous p.munkey , February 22, 2018 10:35 PM

Hey there Munk! True believers will lay down their lives for their preferred criminal syndicate because they are of one body; pensions are just icing. Your observations among others are exactly why I said Sipher is lying.

Vincent Berg Palimpsestuous , February 22, 2018 6:03 PM

Bill Binney, Ray McGovern and John Kiriakou are the first three that come to mind as potential contrarians, although I am sure there are others as well. Perhaps the Clapper lyings will come up in part two?

Saint Jimmy (Russian American) Palimpsestuous , February 22, 2018 3:11 PM

He even looks like a square headed, red neck Nazi.

Pacemaker4 Palimpsestuous , February 22, 2018 2:34 PM

Shouldve asked him about Clapper lying to congress. That wouldve been a lot of fun.

michael nola Pacemaker4 , February 22, 2018 6:04 PM

That 's not called lying anymore; just being parsimonious with the truth, a very precious commodity, not to be over used.

Pacemaker4 michael nola , February 22, 2018 6:23 PM

hehe I hope youre being facetious, But In case youre not]
Lying James Clapper
https://www.youtube.com/wat...

michael nola Pacemaker4 , February 22, 2018 7:54 PM

A few months ago, while waiting for wifey to come out of Target, I saw a preteen kid wearing a T shirt that said, "I speak fluent sarcasm." I want one of those.

Seedee Vee , February 22, 2018 2:16 PM

I am glad you gave John Sipher enough rope.

Southern , February 22, 2018 2:11 PM

It's a sad day for TRRN now that it's been confirmed that Aaron Mate takes this cue from the CIA.

gustave courbet Southern , February 22, 2018 3:51 PM

Takes a cue by prosecuting a hostile interview? I'd rather say the opposite.

Southern gustave courbet , February 23, 2018 2:44 AM

Russians are being accused of involvement in activity that Israel engages in openly.

https://disqus.com/home/dis...

Parvin , February 22, 2018 1:59 PM

This guy is full of it. Come on Real News, please don't waste our time with this nonsense. We, the people are intelligent unlike our media.

Pacemaker4 Parvin , February 22, 2018 2:06 PM

disagree...I like to see schills like Sipher go on the record, and lose the debate, and lose their credibility.

Basle , February 22, 2018 1:45 PM

Whose idea what is to invite this nut on the show?

stan van houcke , February 22, 2018 1:41 PM

is this 'interview' a joke? if not, what is it?

Southern stan van houcke , February 22, 2018 2:15 PM

Propaganda.

Aaron Mate appears to be another gekaufte Journalist.

michael nola Southern , February 22, 2018 7:57 PM

Muhammad Ali used rope a dope to defeat George Foreman; Mate let's these idiots expose themselves with their own words; nothing is more effective than letting a fool speak.

[Feb 24, 2018] State Insecurity Why Are Top NSA Personnel Leaving in Droves by Kate Harveston

Feb 24, 2018 | www.truth-out.org

US intelligence bodies haven't particularly enjoyed their time in the spotlight these last few years. The National Security Agency, or NSA, occupies a particularly complicated and frustrating place in the collective unconscious: It's an institution we must trust with our wellbeing on a daily basis, but it is also fundamentally unaccountable and untrustworthy. When was the last time you voted for an NSA director?

Beginning with the Edward Snowden leaks in summer 2013, we've watched this formerly hidden bureaucratic appendage grow more and more visible to the public -- and what we've seen isn't encouraging. We now know that the NSA regularly colludes with domestic internet service providers and spies indiscriminately on the heads of foreign governments , usually without justification. We also know that low morale within the agency has resulted in the leak of sensitive state secrets. Some of those secrets involve the way the NSA holds basic freedoms like privacy in contempt .

So it might feel like schadenfreude to watch this feared and reviled agency fall into disarray over the past half decade. But the truth is that the NSA still serves a vital purpose, now more than ever, yet it is barely any longer able to do its job (ie. monitoring malign foreign actors, anticipating the future moves of national governments, and keeping America's intel safe from prying eyes). The latest crisis: the NSA's hemorrhaging of talent.

Hey, Where's Everyone Going?

Of the country's 17 intelligence-gathering apparatuses, the NSA is the most prolific. The agency's headquarters, located in Fort Meade, Md., staffs some 21,000 individuals. But their heavy workload is now imperiled by a chronic flight of talent from the agency, described from within as an "epidemic". It's hard to know exactly how bad of a situation we're talking about because, of course, the NSA won't tell us details. But we do have some rough numbers:

• The NSA's current attrition rate for science, math and technology specialists is 5.6 percent.

• The attrition rate for hackers and cyberattack specialists is as high as 9 percent.

• And some teams within the NSA have lost as much as half their staff .

Interestingly, between 2016 and 2017, the agency made the conspicuous decision to remove all references to "openness," "honor" and "trust" from its core values and mission statements. Which begs the question: Is it any wonder nobody wants to work there?

... ... ...

Kate Harveston is a journalist and a member of the CODEPINK communications team.

[Feb 23, 2018] Deep State and the FBI Federal Blackmail Investigation

Intelligence agencies, once created, has their own development dynamics and tend to escape from the control of civilians and in turn control them. Such an interesting dynamics. In any case, the intelligence agencies and first of all top brass of those agencies constitute the the core of the "deep state". Unlike civiliant emplorres they are protected by the veil of secrecy and has access to large funds. Bush the elder was probably the first deep state creature who became the president of the USA, but "special relationship" of Obama and Brennan is also not a secret.
Another problem is that secrecy and access to surveillance, Which gives intelligence agencies the ability to blackmail politicians.
Availability of unaccounted financial resources make them real kingmakers. In a sense, as soon as such agencies were created the tail started waging the dog.
Notable quotes:
"... Serving under nine presidents, from Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, the FBI was turned into a "Gestapo by Hoover whose modus operandi was blackmail". That's how President Harry Truman (1943-53) reportedly characterized Hoover's bureau. How else do you think he survived for so long – five decades – as the nation's top law enforcer? ..."
"... One of Hoover's mainstay sources is strongly believed to be Mafia crime bosses who had lots of dirt on politicians, from bribe-taking to vote-rigging, to illicit sexual affairs. It is suspected that the Mafia had their own dossier of images on Hoover in a compromising homosexual tryst which, in turn, kept him under their thumb. ..."
"... JFK was particularly wide open to blackmail owing to his rampant promiscuity and extra-marital liaisons, including with screen idol Marilyn Monroe. Kennedy more than once confided to his aides that "the bastards" had him nailed. It was for this reason that he made the thuggish Texan Senator Lyndon B Johnson his vice president even though he detested LBJ. Hoover and Johnson were longtime associates and the former no doubt pulled a favor to get LBJ into the White House. ..."
"... However, Hoover's blackmail on JFK was not enough to curtail his defiance of rabidly anti-communist Cold War politics. Against the hostility of the Pentagon, CIA and FBI, Kennedy pursued a courageous policy of detente with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Such a policy no doubt led to his assassination by the Deep State in Dallas on November 22, 1963. There is ample evidence that Hoover and Johnson, who became the new president, then colluded with the Deep State assassins to cover up the assassination as the act of lone nut Lee Harvey Oswald – a cover-up that persists to this day. ..."
"... But Hoover and Johnson got their revenge by subsequently letting Nixon know that there was classified information on him – thanks to FBI wiretaps. The specter of incrimination is possibly a factor in Nixon becoming increasingly paranoid during this presidency, culminating in the ignominy of the Watergate scandal that ended his career. ..."
"... Hoover certainly was the devious architect of a malign Deep State machine. But he was not alone. He instilled a culture and legacy that pervades the top echelons of the bureau. And not just the FBI. The early Cold War years saw the formation of the CIA and the NSA under the Machiavellian guidance of men like Allen Dulles and Richard Helms and a host of others ..."
Feb 23, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

No other individual in modern US history has a more sinister legacy than John Edgar Hoover, the founder and lifetime director of the FBI. He founded the bureau in 1924 and was its director until his death in 1972 at the age of 77.

Serving under nine presidents, from Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, the FBI was turned into a "Gestapo by Hoover whose modus operandi was blackmail". That's how President Harry Truman (1943-53) reportedly characterized Hoover's bureau. How else do you think he survived for so long – five decades – as the nation's top law enforcer?

J Edgar Hoover and his henchmen kept files on thousands of politicians, judges, journalists and other public figures, according to biographer Anthony Summers. Hoover ruthlessly used those files on the secret and often sordid private lives of senior public figures to control their career conduct and official decisions so as to serve his interests.

And Hoover's interests were of a rightwing, anti-communist, racist bigot.

Ironically, his own suppressed homosexuality also manifested in witch-hunts against homosexuals in public life.

It was Hoover's secret files that largely informed the McCarthyite anti-communist inquisitions of the 1950s, whose baleful legacy on American democracy, foreign policy and freedom of expression continues to this day.

One of Hoover's mainstay sources is strongly believed to be Mafia crime bosses who had lots of dirt on politicians, from bribe-taking to vote-rigging, to illicit sexual affairs. It is suspected that the Mafia had their own dossier of images on Hoover in a compromising homosexual tryst which, in turn, kept him under their thumb.

Absurdly, the FBI chief maintained that there was "no such thing as the Mafia" in public statements.

Two notorious cases of how FBI wiretapping worked under Hoover can be seen in the presidencies of John F Kennedy (1961-63) and Richard Nixon (1969-74).

As recounted by Laurent Guyénot in his 2013 book , 'JFK to 9/11: 50 Years of Deep State', Hoover made a point of letting each new president know of compromising information he had on them. It wouldn't be brandished overtly as blackmail; the president would be briefed subtly, "Sir, if someone were to have copies of this it would be damaging to your career". Enough said.

JFK was particularly wide open to blackmail owing to his rampant promiscuity and extra-marital liaisons, including with screen idol Marilyn Monroe. Kennedy more than once confided to his aides that "the bastards" had him nailed. It was for this reason that he made the thuggish Texan Senator Lyndon B Johnson his vice president even though he detested LBJ. Hoover and Johnson were longtime associates and the former no doubt pulled a favor to get LBJ into the White House.

However, Hoover's blackmail on JFK was not enough to curtail his defiance of rabidly anti-communist Cold War politics. Against the hostility of the Pentagon, CIA and FBI, Kennedy pursued a courageous policy of detente with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Such a policy no doubt led to his assassination by the Deep State in Dallas on November 22, 1963. There is ample evidence that Hoover and Johnson, who became the new president, then colluded with the Deep State assassins to cover up the assassination as the act of lone nut Lee Harvey Oswald – a cover-up that persists to this day.

As for Richard Nixon, it is believed that "Tricky Dicky" engaged in secret communications with the US-backed South Vietnamese regime on the cusp of the presidential elections in 1968. Nixon promised the South Vietnamese stronger military support if they held off entering peace talks with communist North Vietnam, which incumbent President Johnson was trying to organize. LBJ wanted to claim a peace process was underway in order to boost the election chances of his vice president Hubert Humphrey.

Nixon's scheming prevailed. The Vietnam peace gambit was scuttled, the Vietnam war raged on, and so the Democrat candidate lost. Nixon finally got into the White House, which he had long coveted from the time he lost out to JFK back in 1960.

But Hoover and Johnson got their revenge by subsequently letting Nixon know that there was classified information on him – thanks to FBI wiretaps. The specter of incrimination is possibly a factor in Nixon becoming increasingly paranoid during this presidency, culminating in the ignominy of the Watergate scandal that ended his career.

These are but only two examples of how Deep State politics works in controlling and subverting American democracy. The notion that lawmakers and presidents are free to serve the people is a quaintly naive one. For the US media to pretend otherwise, and to hail the FBI as some kind of benign bastion of justice, while also deprecating claims of "Deep State" intrusion as "conspiracy theory", is either impossibly ignorant of history – or a sign of the media's own compromised complicity.

Nonetheless, to blame this culture of institutionalized blackmail and corruption on one individual – J Edgar Hoover – is not fair either.

Hoover certainly was the devious architect of a malign Deep State machine. But he was not alone. He instilled a culture and legacy that pervades the top echelons of the bureau. And not just the FBI. The early Cold War years saw the formation of the CIA and the NSA under the Machiavellian guidance of men like Allen Dulles and Richard Helms and a host of others.

Once formed, the Deep State – as an alternate, unaccountable, unelected government – does not surrender its immense power willingly. It has learnt to hold on to its power through blackmail, media control, incitement of wars, and, even ultimately, assassination of American dissenters.

The illegal tapping of private communications is an oxygen supply for the depredations of the American Deep State.

Thinking that such agencies are not actively warping and working the electoral system to fix the figurehead in the White House is a dangerous delusion.

So too are claims that American democracy is being "influenced" by malign Russian enemies, as the US intelligence chiefs once again chorused in front of the Senate this past week. The consummate irony of it!

The real "influence campaigns" corrupting American democracy are those of the "All-American" agencies who claim to be law enforcers and defenders of national security.

US citizens would do well to refresh on the untold history of their country to appreciate how they are being manipulated.

We might even surmise that a good number of citizens are already aware, if only vaguely, of the elite corruption – and that is why Washington DC is viewed with increasing contempt by the people.

[Feb 22, 2018] Ray McGovern's First Day as CIA Director

Notable quotes:
"... The low-calorie Jan. 6 ICA was clumsily cobbled together: "We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks." ..."
"... Binney and other highly experienced NSA alumni, as well as other members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), drawing on their intimate familiarity with how the technical systems and hacking work, have been saying for a year and a half that this CIA/FBI/NSA conclusion is a red herring , so to speak. Last summer, the results of forensic investigation enabled VIPs to apply the principles of physics and the known capacity of the internet to confirm that conclusion. ..."
"... Oddly, the FBI chose not to do forensics on the so-called "Russian hack" of the Democratic National Committee computers and, by all appearances, neither did the drafters of the ICA. ..."
"... What troubles me greatly is that the NYT and other mainstream print and TV media seem to be bloated with the thin gruel-cum-Kool Aid they have been slurping at our CIA trough for a year and a half; and then treating the meager fare consumed as some sort of holy sacrament. That goes in spades for media handling of the celebrated ICA of Jan. 6, 2017 cobbled together by those "handpicked" analysts from CIA, FBI, and NSA. It is, in all candor, an embarrassment to the profession of intelligence analysis and yet, for political reasons, it has attained the status of Holy Writ. ..."
"... And Democrats like Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, were kicking the ball hard down the streets of Washington. On Jan. 25, 2017, I had a chance to confront Schiff personally about the lack of evidence -- something that even Obama had acknowledged just before slipping out the door. I think our two-minute conversation speaks volumes. ..."
"... Now I absolutely look forward to dealing with Adam Schiff from my new position as CIA director. I will ask him to show me the evidence of "Russian hacking" that he said he could not show me on Jan. 25, 2017 – on the chance his evidence includes more than reports from the New York Times ..."
"... Intelligence analysts put great weight, of course, on sources. The authors of the lede, banner-headlined NYT article of Jan. 7, 2017 were Michael D. Shear and David E. Sanger; Sanger has had a particularly checkered career, while always landing on his feet. Despite his record of parroting CIA handouts (or perhaps partly because of it), Sanger is now the NYT's chief Washington correspondent. ..."
"... More instructive still, in May 2005, when firsthand documentary evidence from the now-famous "Downing Street Memorandum" showed that President George W. Bush had decided by early summer 2002 to attack Iraq, the NYT ignored it for six weeks until David Sanger rose to the occasion with a tortured report claiming just the opposite. The title given his article of June 13 2005 was "Prewar British Memo Says War Decision Wasn't Made." ..."
"... Against this peculiar reporting record, I was not inclined to take at face value the Jan. 7, 2017 report he co-authored with Michael D. Shear – "Putin Led a Complex Cyberattack Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Finds." ..."
"... Nor am I inclined to take seriously former National Intelligence Director James Clapper's stated views on the proclivity of Russians to be, well, just really bad people – like it's in their genes. I plan to avail myself of the opportunity to discover whether intelligence analysts who labored under his "aegis" were infected by his quaint view of the Russians. ..."
"... I shall ask any of the "handpicked" analysts who specialize in analysis of Russia (and, hopefully, there are at least a few): Do you share Clapper's view, as he explained it to NBC's Meet the Press on May 30, 2017, that Russians are "typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever"? I truly do not know what to expect by way of reply. ..."
"... In sum, my priority for Day One is to hear both sides of the story regarding "Russian hacking" with all cards on the table. All cards. That means no questions are out of order, including what, if any, role the "Steele dossier" may have played in the preparation of the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment. ..."
Feb 22, 2018 | www.antiwar.com

Now that I have been nominated again – this time by author Paul Craig Roberts – to be CIA director, I am preparing to hit the ground running.

Last time my name was offered in nomination for the position – by The Nation publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel – I did not hold my breath waiting for a call from the White House. Her nomination came in the afterglow of my fortuitous, four-minute debate with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when I confronted him on his lies about the attack on Iraq , on May 4, 2006 on national TV. Since it was abundantly clear that Rumsfeld and I would not get along, I felt confident I had royally disqualified myself.

This time around, on the off-chance I do get the nod, I have taken the time to prepare the agenda for my first few days as CIA director. Here's how Day One looks so far:

Get former National Security Agency Technical Director William Binney back to CIA to join me and the "handpicked" CIA analysts who, with other "handpicked" analysts (as described by former National Intelligence Director James Clapper on May 8, 2017) from the FBI and NSA, prepared the so-called Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of Jan. 6, 2017. That evidence-impoverished assessment argued the case that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his minions "to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton."

When my predecessor, CIA Director Mike Pompeo invited Binney to his office on Oct. 24, 2017 to discuss cyber-attacks, he told Pompeo that he had been fed a pack of lies on "Russian hacking" and that he could prove it. Why Pompeo left that hanging is puzzling, but I believe this is the kind of low-hanging fruit we should pick pronto.

The low-calorie Jan. 6 ICA was clumsily cobbled together: "We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks."

Binney and other highly experienced NSA alumni, as well as other members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), drawing on their intimate familiarity with how the technical systems and hacking work, have been saying for a year and a half that this CIA/FBI/NSA conclusion is a red herring , so to speak. Last summer, the results of forensic investigation enabled VIPs to apply the principles of physics and the known capacity of the internet to confirm that conclusion.

Oddly, the FBI chose not to do forensics on the so-called "Russian hack" of the Democratic National Committee computers and, by all appearances, neither did the drafters of the ICA.

Again, Binney says that the main conclusions he and his VIPs colleagues reached are based largely on principles of physics – simple ones like fluid dynamics. I want to hear what that's all about, how that applies to the "Russian hack," and hear what my own CIA analysts have to say about that.

I will have Binney's clearances updated to remove any unnecessary barriers to a no-holds-barred discussion at a highly classified level. After which I shall have a transcript prepared, sanitized to protect sources and methods, and promptly released to the media.

Like Sisyphus Up the Media Mountain

At that point things are bound to get very interesting. Far too few people realize that they get a very warped view on such issues from the New York Times . And, no doubt, it would take some time, for the Times and other outlets to get used to some candor from the CIA, instead of the far more common tendentious leaks. In any event, we will try to speak truth to the media – as well as to power.

I happen to share the view of the handful of my predecessor directors who believed we have an important secondary obligation to do what we possibly can to inform/educate the public as well as the rest of the government – especially on such volatile and contentious issues like "Russian hacking."

What troubles me greatly is that the NYT and other mainstream print and TV media seem to be bloated with the thin gruel-cum-Kool Aid they have been slurping at our CIA trough for a year and a half; and then treating the meager fare consumed as some sort of holy sacrament. That goes in spades for media handling of the celebrated ICA of Jan. 6, 2017 cobbled together by those "handpicked" analysts from CIA, FBI, and NSA. It is, in all candor, an embarrassment to the profession of intelligence analysis and yet, for political reasons, it has attained the status of Holy Writ.

The Paper of (Dubious) Record

I recall the banner headline spanning the top of the entire front page of the NYT on Jan. 7, 2017: "Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says;" and the electronic version headed "Putin Led a Complex Cyberattack Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Finds." I said to myself sarcastically, "Well there you go! That's exactly what Mrs. Clinton – not to mention the NY Times, the Washington Post and The Establishment – have been saying for many months."

Buried in that same edition of the Times was a short paragraph by Scott Shane: "What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. That is a significant omission."

Omission? No hard evidence? No problem. The publication of the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment got the ball rolling. And Democrats like Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, were kicking the ball hard down the streets of Washington. On Jan. 25, 2017, I had a chance to confront Schiff personally about the lack of evidence -- something that even Obama had acknowledged just before slipping out the door. I think our two-minute conversation speaks volumes.

Now I absolutely look forward to dealing with Adam Schiff from my new position as CIA director. I will ask him to show me the evidence of "Russian hacking" that he said he could not show me on Jan. 25, 2017 – on the chance his evidence includes more than reports from the New York Times .

Sources

Intelligence analysts put great weight, of course, on sources. The authors of the lede, banner-headlined NYT article of Jan. 7, 2017 were Michael D. Shear and David E. Sanger; Sanger has had a particularly checkered career, while always landing on his feet. Despite his record of parroting CIA handouts (or perhaps partly because of it), Sanger is now the NYT's chief Washington correspondent.

Those whose memories go back more than 15 years may recall his promoting weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as flat fact. In a July 29, 2002 article co-written with Them Shanker, for example, Iraq's (nonexistent) "weapons of mass destruction" appear no fewer than seven times as flat fact.

More instructive still, in May 2005, when firsthand documentary evidence from the now-famous "Downing Street Memorandum" showed that President George W. Bush had decided by early summer 2002 to attack Iraq, the NYT ignored it for six weeks until David Sanger rose to the occasion with a tortured report claiming just the opposite. The title given his article of June 13 2005 was "Prewar British Memo Says War Decision Wasn't Made."

Against this peculiar reporting record, I was not inclined to take at face value the Jan. 7, 2017 report he co-authored with Michael D. Shear – "Putin Led a Complex Cyberattack Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Finds."

Nor am I inclined to take seriously former National Intelligence Director James Clapper's stated views on the proclivity of Russians to be, well, just really bad people – like it's in their genes. I plan to avail myself of the opportunity to discover whether intelligence analysts who labored under his "aegis" were infected by his quaint view of the Russians.

I shall ask any of the "handpicked" analysts who specialize in analysis of Russia (and, hopefully, there are at least a few): Do you share Clapper's view, as he explained it to NBC's Meet the Press on May 30, 2017, that Russians are "typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever"? I truly do not know what to expect by way of reply.

End of Day One

In sum, my priority for Day One is to hear both sides of the story regarding "Russian hacking" with all cards on the table. All cards. That means no questions are out of order, including what, if any, role the "Steele dossier" may have played in the preparation of the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment.

I may decide to seek some independent, disinterested technical input, as well. But it should not take me very long to figure out which of the two interpretations of alleged "Russian hacking" is more straight-up fact-based and unbiased. That done, in the following days I shall brief both the Chair, Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and ranking member Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the Chair and ranking member of its counterpart in the Senate. I will then personally brief the NYT's David Sanger and follow closely what he and his masters decide to do with the facts I present.

On the chance that the Times and other media might decide to play it straight, and that the "straight" diverges from the prevailing, Clapperesque narrative of Russian perfidy, the various mainstream outlets will face a formidable problem of their own making. Mark Twain put it this way: "It is easier to fool people than it is to convince them they have been fooled."

And that will probably be enough for Day One.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and now servers on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Reprinted with permission from Consortium News .

[Feb 19, 2018] Fearless Adversarial Journalism Doesn't Work When You Are Funded By A Billionaire

Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Disobedient Media

Disobedient Media previously opined on the dagger-in-the-back publication of a hit piece against Wikileaks' Julian Assange just one day after a UK magistrate, with blatant conflict of interest in the matter, shot down his legal representatives' attempt to finally free him from the confines of the Ecuadorian embassy.

What that article did not address was the patently obvious terminal illness suffered by The Intercept. That is, the outlet claims to publish "fearless, adversarial" reporting, while it is funded by a billionaire. Ken Silverstein , formerly employed at The Intercept and by Omidyar's First Look Media, has described endemic problems at the outlet that have risen directly out of Omidyar's leadership or lack thereof.

The fundamental problem facing The Intercept is not ultimately about how or why the outlet published a smear specifically timed to cut support away from Assange, even though that is in and of itself despicable. It's that doing so acts in support of the very deep state and moneyed, military interests that The Intercept purports to critique "fearlessly."

Adding to a sense of betrayal of The Intercept's principals in the wake of the outlet's hit-piece is the fact that a number of writers at the publication are by all accounts on good terms with Assange, and have worked with mutual supporters including the superb Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi. Maurizi collaborated with Wikileaks on the verification of documents for many years, and worked with Glenn Greenwald on preparation for the disclosure of the Snowden files.

Adding to the years of support Greenwald has shown Assange, the Wikileaks co-founder also sent Wikileaks' own Sarah Harrison to the aid of Snowden after he was marooned in Hong Kong in 2013, an act which Stefania Maurizi revealed very likely cost the publisher his freedom.

After the publication of the Snowden files, the UK ceased any attempt to create a legal process by which Assange might have been safely freed , and in the same year pressured Sweden to continue its investigation after the country's authorities expressed their intent to drop the matter. Likewise, in the wake of Assange's actions towards Snowden, the Obama White House changed its stance from a reluctant acceptance that prosecution of WikiLeaks for publishing might not be possible given that US publishers had also published the same material.

Snowden's revelations also provided much of the impetus for the launch of The Intercept as an outlet, after Glenn Greenwald departed from The Guardian . In this way, Assange's story and his fate in the Ecuadorian embassy is inextricably linked with the origin of The Intercept's rise on the back of the Snowden revelations.

Only a few months later, in October 2013 while Snowden was still stuck in a Moscow airport and out of reach of US authorities and The Intercept was gearing up for launch, the UK made it clear to the Swedish prosecutor that she should not drop her investigation and European Arrest Warrant for Assange, even though Sweden's law on proportionality required her to do so.

In the wake of Snowden's escape to Russia, Assange remained trapped in 30 square meters of an embassy and lost any hope that had existed earlier in 2013 that he would soon be released from that space, where we now know he cannot receive even the most basic medical care. Meanwhile, The Intercept has become what it set out to destroy.

The relationship between Assange and The intercept makes it impossible to see the organization's publication of an intrinsically flawed smear piece aimed at Assange as anything other than a deep betrayal.

Which brings us inevitably to Pierre Omidyar . That the multi-billionaire Ebay founder despises Trump and would have preferred former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to assume the mantle of the Presidency is an understatement, but to focus only on his political outlook also misses the point of the larger issue facing The Intercept.

The billionaire's incoherent vision of the First Amendment (disturbing for someone who funds journalistic endeavors) aside, the nature of The Intercept's fatal catch-22 would remain if Omidyar woke up tomorrow to become a MAGA-hat wearing, NRA-supporting conservative. That is, a media outlet cannot perform as an 'independent and adversarial' entity when it is birthed within and nurtured by the very establishment it must confront.

When USA Today reported that Omidyar would contribute $250 million to pursue "independent journalism," a genetic malfunction was written into the Intercept's DNA. One cannot operate in an adversarial manner when one is supported directly by the same moneyed interests that require the most scrutiny and transparency of all.

That the magnate's influence would seep, tide-like, into the reporting and editorial decisions of The Intercept seems difficult to ignore, but it is that inevitable creep itself and not the flavor of his beliefs which makes the situation so damning for The Intercept.

I've previously written at length in an effort to describe the chilling uniformity that ultimately pervades the plutocratic class. Being a billionaire makes Pierre Omidyar much more like one of the Koch Brothers than any liberal without access to the same magnitude of wealth and influence in the US political sphere. The fact that wealth translates to political influence was described in a Princeton University study, indicating that the United States operates as a plutocracy. In that light, it is the wealth that binds Omidyar, the Kochs and their ilk, as opposed to political outlook.

When Omidyar made use of Citizens' United to supply an anti-Trump super PAC with $100,000 in 2016, it's not the flavor of the political activism that he bought – it's that he bought it at all. Omidyar is a power-player within the same corrupt establishment that WikiLeaks and The Intercept – in principle – aim to critique regularly.

Omidyar has also provided funds to the Clinton Foundation. As indicated by Wikileaks via Twitter , the Freedom Of The Press Foundation recently made the controversial decision to terminate processing of Wikileaks donations. The move represented an end to the role that was a central cause for the Foundation's creation, according to a statement by Assange.

Ironically, the initial financial blockade that made the Freedom Of The Press necessary was in part initiated by Paypal, which was a spin-off from Ebay, a company that Omidyar founded. Omidyar served on the board of the company until last year.

Sarah Harisson expressed the conflict of interest that Omidyar's involvement with The Intercept represents to German Press , saying: " How can you take something seriously when the person behind this platform went along with the financial boycott against WikiLeaks?"

Here lies the gulf between an adversarial organization like WikiLeaks and a news outlet that purports to be fearless while subsisting on the payroll of a member of the plutocratic elite.

The issue here goes beyond Omidyar's politics and the petty, obsessively personal derangement of The Intercept's Micah Lee towards Julian Assange. The crux of the terminal illness suffered by The Intercept is that it cannot stand as an outlet that wishes to both participate in adversarial, anti-establishment reporting while it also relies on the funds of a billionaire – any billionaire.

The rough beast born of the marriage between Omidyar's funds and the yearning for freedom that surrounded the release of the Snowden Files cannot help but spiral towards its inevitable fate.

At The Intercept, the center cannot hold in the widening gyre between its best journalists and its worst impulses.

[Feb 18, 2018] Opinion Fearless Adversarial Journalism Doesn't Work When You Are Funded By A Billionaire Zero Hedge Zero Hedge

Feb 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Disobedient Media

Disobedient Media previously opined on the dagger-in-the-back publication of a hit piece against Wikileaks' Julian Assange just one day after a UK magistrate, with blatant conflict of interest in the matter, shot down his legal representatives' attempt to finally free him from the confines of the Ecuadorian embassy.

What that article did not address was the patently obvious terminal illness suffered by The Intercept. That is, the outlet claims to publish "fearless, adversarial" reporting, while it is funded by a billionaire. Ken Silverstein , formerly employed at The Intercept and by Omidyar's First Look Media, has described endemic problems at the outlet that have risen directly out of Omidyar's leadership or lack thereof.

The fundamental problem facing The Intercept is not ultimately about how or why the outlet published a smear specifically timed to cut support away from Assange, even though that is in and of itself despicable. It's that doing so acts in support of the very deep state and moneyed, military interests that The Intercept purports to critique "fearlessly."

Adding to a sense of betrayal of The Intercept's principals in the wake of the outlet's hit-piece is the fact that a number of writers at the publication are by all accounts on good terms with Assange, and have worked with mutual supporters including the superb Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi. Maurizi collaborated with Wikileaks on the verification of documents for many years, and worked with Glenn Greenwald on preparation for the disclosure of the Snowden files.

Adding to the years of support Greenwald has shown Assange, the Wikileaks co-founder also sent Wikileaks' own Sarah Harrison to the aid of Snowden after he was marooned in Hong Kong in 2013, an act which Stefania Maurizi revealed very likely cost the publisher his freedom.

After the publication of the Snowden files, the UK ceased any attempt to create a legal process by which Assange might have been safely freed , and in the same year pressured Sweden to continue its investigation after the country's authorities expressed their intent to drop the matter. Likewise, in the wake of Assange's actions towards Snowden, the Obama White House changed its stance from a reluctant acceptance that prosecution of WikiLeaks for publishing might not be possible given that US publishers had also published the same material.

Snowden's revelations also provided much of the impetus for the launch of The Intercept as an outlet, after Glenn Greenwald departed from The Guardian . In this way, Assange's story and his fate in the Ecuadorian embassy is inextricably linked with the origin of The Intercept's rise on the back of the Snowden revelations.

Only a few months later, in October 2013 while Snowden was still stuck in a Moscow airport and out of reach of US authorities and The Intercept was gearing up for launch, the UK made it clear to the Swedish prosecutor that she should not drop her investigation and European Arrest Warrant for Assange, even though Sweden's law on proportionality required her to do so.

In the wake of Snowden's escape to Russia, Assange remained trapped in 30 square meters of an embassy and lost any hope that had existed earlier in 2013 that he would soon be released from that space, where we now know he cannot receive even the most basic medical care. Meanwhile, The Intercept has become what it set out to destroy.

The relationship between Assange and The intercept makes it impossible to see the organization's publication of an intrinsically flawed smear piece aimed at Assange as anything other than a deep betrayal.

Which brings us inevitably to Pierre Omidyar . That the multi-billionaire Ebay founder despises Trump and would have preferred former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to assume the mantle of the Presidency is an understatement, but to focus only on his political outlook also misses the point of the larger issue facing The Intercept.

The billionaire's incoherent vision of the First Amendment (disturbing for someone who funds journalistic endeavors) aside, the nature of The Intercept's fatal catch-22 would remain if Omidyar woke up tomorrow to become a MAGA-hat wearing, NRA-supporting conservative. That is, a media outlet cannot perform as an 'independent and adversarial' entity when it is birthed within and nurtured by the very establishment it must confront.

When USA Today reported that Omidyar would contribute $250 million to pursue "independent journalism," a genetic malfunction was written into the Intercept's DNA. One cannot operate in an adversarial manner when one is supported directly by the same moneyed interests that require the most scrutiny and transparency of all.

That the magnate's influence would seep, tide-like, into the reporting and editorial decisions of The Intercept seems difficult to ignore, but it is that inevitable creep itself and not the flavor of his beliefs which makes the situation so damning for The Intercept.

I've previously written at length in an effort to describe the chilling uniformity that ultimately pervades the plutocratic class. Being a billionaire makes Pierre Omidyar much more like one of the Koch Brothers than any liberal without access to the same magnitude of wealth and influence in the US political sphere. The fact that wealth translates to political influence was described in a Princeton University study, indicating that the United States operates as a plutocracy. In that light, it is the wealth that binds Omidyar, the Kochs and their ilk, as opposed to political outlook.

When Omidyar made use of Citizens' United to supply an anti-Trump super PAC with $100,000 in 2016, it's not the flavor of the political activism that he bought – it's that he bought it at all. Omidyar is a power-player within the same corrupt establishment that WikiLeaks and The Intercept – in principle – aim to critique regularly.

Omidyar has also provided funds to the Clinton Foundation. As indicated by Wikileaks via Twitter , the Freedom Of The Press Foundation recently made the controversial decision to terminate processing of Wikileaks donations. The move represented an end to the role that was a central cause for the Foundation's creation, according to a statement by Assange.

Ironically, the initial financial blockade that made the Freedom Of The Press necessary was in part initiated by Paypal, which was a spin-off from Ebay, a company that Omidyar founded. Omidyar served on the board of the company until last year.

Sarah Harisson expressed the conflict of interest that Omidyar's involvement with The Intercept represents to German Press , saying: " How can you take something seriously when the person behind this platform went along with the financial boycott against WikiLeaks?"

Here lies the gulf between an adversarial organization like WikiLeaks and a news outlet that purports to be fearless while subsisting on the payroll of a member of the plutocratic elite.

The issue here goes beyond Omidyar's politics and the petty, obsessively personal derangement of The Intercept's Micah Lee towards Julian Assange. The crux of the terminal illness suffered by The Intercept is that it cannot stand as an outlet that wishes to both participate in adversarial, anti-establishment reporting while it also relies on the funds of a billionaire – any billionaire.

The rough beast born of the marriage between Omidyar's funds and the yearning for freedom that surrounded the release of the Snowden Files cannot help but spiral towards its inevitable fate.

At The Intercept, the center cannot hold in the widening gyre between its best journalists and its worst impulses.

[Feb 14, 2018] BuzzFeed Suing DNC For Proof They Were Hacked Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... As part of their defense, BuzzFeed issued a subpoena to the DNC for information which might help them defend against Gubarev's lawsuit by verifying claims in the dossier - including "digital remnants left by the Russian state operatives," as well as a full version of the hacking report prepared by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike. ..."
"... Since the DNC wouldn't let the FBI look at the server and instead relied on the report prepared by CrowdStrike (founded by Russian expat Dimitri Alperovitch - who sits on the very Anti-Russian Atlantic Council along with Evelyn " oops! " Farkas. The AC is funded by the US State Department, NATO, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukranian Oligarch Victor Pinchuk, who apparently owns the Ukrainian gas company Joe Biden's son is on the board of). ..."
"... If the DNC is compelled to turn over the full CrowdStrike report and "digital remnants," perhaps Gubarev would then present a counter-analysis by researcher Forensicator which CrowdStrike apparently "missed" - revealing that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - all but confirming that the files had to have been copied locally by an inside source. Many have speculated that DNC IT staffer Seth Rich, whose murder is still unsolved, was the source of the emails provided to WikiLeaks. ..."
"... Word of BuzzFeed's suit against the DNC comes on the heels of a Monday revelation that the news outlet hired a former top FBI and White House cybersecurity official to fly around the globe on a secret mission to corroborate various claims in the dossier. ..."
"... The probe is being conducted by Anthony Ferrante - formerly the FBI's top official in charge of "cyber incident response" at the U.S. National Security Council under the Obama administration. Ferrante is leading the investigation from his new employer, D.C.-based business advisory firm, Forensic Technologies International (FTI) consulting reports Foreign Policy ..."
"... Wouldn't it be funny if BuzzFeed proves the DNC wasn't hacked? ..."
Feb 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

BuzzFeed is suing the cash-strapped Democratic National Committee (DNC) to force them to hand over information related to the "Steele Dossier" that might help the news outlet defend itself against a lawsuit lodged by a Russian businessman who was named in the document. Three separate lawsuits have been launched against BuzzFeed in connection to the January 11, 2017 publication of the dossier, which states that Russian tech executive Aleksej Gubarev used his web hosting companies to hack into the DNC's computer systems.

The dossier, without substantiation, said Gubarev's U.S.-based global web-hosting companies, XBT and Webzilla, planted digital bugs, transmitted viruses and conducted altering operations against the Democratic Party leadership.

While one key name in the dossier was blackened out by BuzzFeed, Gubarev's was not. He alleges that he was never contacted for comment, suffering reputational harm in the process. - Foreign Policy

As part of their defense, BuzzFeed issued a subpoena to the DNC for information which might help them defend against Gubarev's lawsuit by verifying claims in the dossier - including "digital remnants left by the Russian state operatives," as well as a full version of the hacking report prepared by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.

Since the DNC wouldn't let the FBI look at the server and instead relied on the report prepared by CrowdStrike (founded by Russian expat Dimitri Alperovitch - who sits on the very Anti-Russian Atlantic Council along with Evelyn " oops! " Farkas. The AC is funded by the US State Department, NATO, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukranian Oligarch Victor Pinchuk, who apparently owns the Ukrainian gas company Joe Biden's son is on the board of).

"As part of the discovery process, BuzzFeed is attempting to verify claims in the dossier that relate to the hacking of the DNC," said BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenhal in a statement. "We're asking a federal court to force the DNC to follow the law and allow BuzzFeed to fully defend its First Amendment rights."

Last month, the DNC claimed that providing the requested information would expose the DNC's internal operations and harm the party politically (it's always someone else's fault, no?).

"If these documents were disclosed, the DNC's internal operations, as well as its ability to effectively achieve its political goals, would be harmed ," said DNC lawyers.

If the DNC is compelled to turn over the full CrowdStrike report and "digital remnants," perhaps Gubarev would then present a counter-analysis by researcher Forensicator which CrowdStrike apparently "missed" - revealing that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - all but confirming that the files had to have been copied locally by an inside source. Many have speculated that DNC IT staffer Seth Rich, whose murder is still unsolved, was the source of the emails provided to WikiLeaks.

Word of BuzzFeed's suit against the DNC comes on the heels of a Monday revelation that the news outlet hired a former top FBI and White House cybersecurity official to fly around the globe on a secret mission to corroborate various claims in the dossier.

The probe is being conducted by Anthony Ferrante - formerly the FBI's top official in charge of "cyber incident response" at the U.S. National Security Council under the Obama administration. Ferrante is leading the investigation from his new employer, D.C.-based business advisory firm, Forensic Technologies International (FTI) consulting reports Foreign Policy .

At FTI, Ferrante launched what's now been a months-long stealth effort chasing down documents and conducting interviews on the ground in various countries around the world. His team directed BuzzFeed lawyers to subpoena specific data and testimony from dozens of agencies or companies across the country and assembled a cyber ops war room to analyze that dat a, according to sources familiar with the work.

Considering that much of the Steele dossier came from a collaboration with high level Kremlin officials (a collusion if you will), one has to wonder exactly what channels Ferrante and FTI have tapped in order to access such information.

Wouldn't it be funny if BuzzFeed proves the DNC wasn't hacked?

[Feb 12, 2018] The Age of Lunacy: The Doomsday Machine

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The world had a great opportunity in March of 1953 to reverse course rather than this insane military spending that was beginning. On March 5th, 1953, Stalin died. The Soviet leaders reached out to the United States. They offered the Americans an olive branch. They talked about changing the direction of our relations. They talked about, basically, ending the Cold War. We could've ended the Cold War as early as March 5, 1953, taken a different route. Eisenhower and the others in his administration debate what to do, how to respond. Churchill, who was now re-elected and back in office in England, begged the United States to hold a summit with the Soviet leaders and move toward peace, rather than belligerence and hostility. Eisenhower doesn't say anything publicly in response for six weeks. Then he makes a speech. It's a visionary speech. It's the kind of vision that Eisenhower represented at his best, and he says there ..."
"... PRESIDENT EISENHOWER: Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. ..."
"... two days later, John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, makes a speech reversing the whole thing. Instead of an olive branch, he gives the Soviets a middle finger and he accuses the Soviet Union of trying to overthrow every Democratic government in the world. The exact wrong message. ..."
"... Did Eisenhower speak for it or did Dulles speak for it? Was Eisenhower the militarist or was Dulles the militarist? In many ways, the '50s was a very, very dangerous time. And there were so many harebrained schemes that were going on. ..."
"... The great independent journalist I.F. Stone mentioned that the word for lunar, for moon, in Latin is Luna. And he said, we should have a new department in the cabinet and call it the Department of Lunacy because of the crazy ideas that were being promulgated at the time. ..."
"... Well, the Cuban Missile Crisis is very important because now we're going through the Korean Missile Crisis, and if Trump has his way, we'll also go through the Iranian Missile Crisis. And the last time we were this close to nuclear war was during the Cuban Missile Crisis. What happens there is that Khrushchev, in order to try to accomplish two things, or three things, really. ..."
"... And so, we were planning, we had the plans in place to overthrow the Cuban government, number one. Number two, Khrushchev wanted a credible deterrent. The Americans learned, Kennedy says, "Let's find out what the reality of the Missile Gap is." And he has McNamara do the study. We find out that there is a Missile Gap. By October of '61, we find out that there is a Missile Gap, and it's in our favor. The United States is ahead between 10 to 1 and 100 to 1 over the Soviet Union in every important category. ..."
"... He said, "We would've definitely destroyed Cuba and probably wiped out the Soviet Union as well." So, that's how close we came at this time. Which is again, as Robert Gates, another hawk, warns, "The United States should not invade Syria," he said. "Or should not bomb Syria because haven't we learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya, that whenever these things happen, you never know what the consequences are going to be. It's always the unintended consequences that are going to get you." ..."
"... It takes two to tango. The idea that the US is solely to blame for the continuation of the Cold War, or that the US is solely to blame for a revival is Soviet/Russian propaganda. Great powers are aggressive, and rarely circumspect. ..."
"... And given Churchill's anathema toward Communism in general, and the Soviet Union in particular, and given that he was the architect of the Cold War from the West I find the idea of him being a peacenik to be bizarre. ..."
"... They do not appreciate that there are different manifestations of both economic models. (Neoliberalism is eating us alive.) They do not appreciate that communism was probably the salvation of both post-war Russia and China. They conflate socialism with communism, view high taxes as communistic, and ignore that the countries with the highest standard of living are quite socialist. ..."
"... Ike was so right about the Military-Industrial complex, and yet we have only enabled it to grow to the point that it dominates every political decision – every law – every regulation in ways that ensure weapons are expended so more can take their place; and more weapons need to be developed because the boogeyman out there (pick a regime) probably, maybe, could be building an even nastier weapon. Make no mistake, Sputnik was viewed as evidence that the Russians already had better weapons and that they would take over "outer space" and we would thus be at their mercy. Back in the 60s the US did worry that communism was working better than capitalism, and that fear enabled a lot of foreign policy (gunboat diplomacy). ..."
"... Capitalism has fatal flaws, but we should all thank Communism died the way it did. ..."
"... not like capitalism didn't murder a few proletarians if murder is the standard, both are condemned ..."
"... the vast bulk of provocations and exacerbations in that now-reprised Cold War were a pas de deluxe, not mostly driven by our own insane US leaders, like the ones discussed in small detail in the post. Conveniently ignoring the whole escalation process of the Exceptional Empire doing the "policies" of the Dulleses and their clan, the craziness of stuff like the John Birchers and the McCarthy thing, and the madness of MAD (which I believe was a notion coined by that nest of vipers called RAND, that "we have to be understood to be insane enough to commit suicide, to kill the whole planet, for the 'deterrent effect' of Massive Retaliation (forget that the US policy and military structure very seriously intended a first strike on the Evil Soviets for quite a long time, and are now building "small nukes" for 'battlespace use' as if there are no knock-on consequences.) ..."
"... Russia suffered 20 million dead in WW II, pretty much won that war against fascism, and the leaders there get dang little decrepit for being (so far) so much more the "grownups in the room" in the Great Game Of RISK! ™ that our idiot rulers are playing. Go look up how many times, however, beyond that vast set of slapstick plays that led to the "Cuban Missile Crisis", the human part of the world skated up, by combinations of accident and error, to getting its death wish. And the main impetus for the nuclear "standoff" has been the US and the "policies" forwarded by "our" insane rulers and militarists. ..."
"... Guys, I generally treasure the NC comments section, and I am not singling anyone out, but some of the rhetoric here is starting to remind me of ZeroHedge doomp&rn. Let's please recover some perspective. ..."
"... Every year of human history since the expulsion from Eden will let us cherry pick overwhelming evidence that the lunatics were running the asylum. Or that every generation of our forebears gleefully built our civilization atop heaps of skulls of [insert oppressed groups here]. ..."
"... Such faith we have in ourselves, and such little evidence other than maybe a couple of world wars and long histories of the loonies playing stupid with whole populations, that we don't need to worry about the concentrated efforts of the sociopathic lunatics to rise to positions of great power and do stupid stuff. ..."
"... "It's the kind of vision that Eisenhower represented at his best, and he says there" Was he subsequently co-opted, or BSing? ..."
"... But that doesn't help the millions who would die on the peninsula. Further, whats known as a Nuclear Famine could still occur, which would be pretty damn devastating for civilization, even if mankind itself manages to survive. ..."
"... Science is about doubt and skepticism. That's what the scientific process is. Doubt a nuclear winter: Ok, I'll bite. We have examples – Large Volcanic eruptions, and we have the year without a summer sometime in the 1830s I believe – that is in recorded History. The we searched to archeological record for more evidence, and found large die-offs following a layer of volcanic dust. Again and again, I believe. Quoting scientists who "doubt nuclear winter" requires more examination: ..."
"... Humanity might survive as a species but not as an idea. Am about halfway through the Ellsberg book and, yes, it does make Dr. Strangelove look like a documentary. Current thinking does not seem much changed. ..."
"... Something missing from the sequence of events here is that the main reason that the Kremlin put nuclear missiles in Cuba was the fact that more than 100 Jupiter intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles were deployed in Italy and Turkey in 1961 by the US, thus cutting down any reaction time by Moscow to minutes in case of a US attack. ..."
"... The main – unacknowledged – part of the climb down from the Cuba missile crisis was that as Russia pulled its nuclear missiles out of Cuba, the US would do the same in Europe. It cooled things down again until Reagan was electe ..."
"... I had forgotten that the 50s had just as many crazies as present times – the Dulles brothers, Curtis LeMay, Edward Teller, J. Edgar Hoover – really scary people and probably founding members of the deep state. ..."
"... The Jupiter missile agreement was a secret at the time. Kennedy wanted to minimize the appearance of a quid-pro-quo. The subsequent presence of Pershings and Tomahawks in Europe (but not Turkey) was a reaction to the mobile IRBMs deployed by the Soviet Union. Which they still have. France and Britain have their own independent deterrents. Which is just as well, since the Pershings and Tomahawks were traded away as part of START/SALT. ..."
"... The more recent escalation of NATO into E Europe, the Baltics and the Ukraine are a definite violation of the spirit of the Cuban Missile Crisis agreement, and are pure aggression against a Russia that was seen as too weak to do anything about it until they did do something about it in 2014. ..."
"... An aggressive NATO is something I view with horror. One does not poke the bear. But Kissinger (the German) and Berzhinski (the Pole) are fanatically anti-Russian. They made up for the passing of Churchill. ..."
"... LeMay had suggested that we should perhaps wipe out the Soviet Union before they had the chance to catch up to us in nukes. It was an era ruled by fear of nuclear war–a fear that was unleashed by the use of the bomb in Japan. Truman and Byrnes (the latter in a meeting in his hometown–my hometown) rejected calls by some of the Los Alamos scientists to share the nuclear secrets with the Russians and forestall this arms race or so they hoped. ..."
"... This isn't accurate. Stalin tried repeatedly and even towards the end, desperately, to sign a treaty with the Britain and France. They rebuffed him because [he was a] Commie. He signed up with Hitler only after those efforts had clearly failed. It was a self-preservation move. It probably did buy him less time than he thought. But let's not kid ourselves: Hitler's first move otherwise would have been to the East. What were later the Allies would have been delighted to see him take over the USSR. This was why British aristos were so keen on Hitler, that he was seen as an answer to Communism and therefore "our kind of man". ..."
"... General LeMay was responsible for the death of a fifth (some say a third) of the North Korean population by saturation bombing with napalm, was he not? A third? Isn't that one in three? ..."
"... Additional books that shed light on both leaving the new deal behind and the Cuban missile crisis are (1) "The Devil's Chessboard" by Talbot and (2) "JFK and The Unspeakable" by Douglass. The first is mostly about Allen Dulles but has interesting chapters on McCarthy, Eisenhower, Nixon, etc. It is reasonably well foot-noted. The second is about the assassination and has loads of detail about the missile crisis and its power players. It is meticulously foot-noted. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on February 11, 2018 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield

Jerri-Lynn here: Lest anyone be deluded into thinking that the current lunacy of Trump foreign policy is unprededented and ahistoric, part eight of an excellent Real News Network series on Undoing the New Deal reminds us this simply isn't so.

That series more generally discuses who helped unravel the New Deal and why. That was no accident, either. In this installment, historian Peter Kuznick says Eisenhower called for decreased militarization, then Dulles reversed the policy; the Soviets tried to end the cold war after the death of Stalin; crazy schemes involving nuclear weapons and the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba put the world of the eve of destruction.

Three things I've seen recently made me think readers might appreciate this interview. First, I recently finished reading Stephen Kinzer's The Brothers , about the baleful consequences of the control over US foreign policy by Dulles brothers– John Foster and Alan. These continue to reverberate to today. Well worth your time.

Over the hols, I watched Dr. Strangelove again. And I wondered, and this not for the first time: why has the world managed to survive to this day? Seems to me just matter of time before something spirals out of control– and then, that's a wrap.

Queued up on my beside table is Daniel Ellsberg's The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner . Haven't cracked the spine of that yet, so I'll eschew further commentary, except to say that I understand Ellsberg's provides vivid detail about just how close we've already come to annihilation.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3ejpFDjks9M

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network, I'm Paul Jay. We're continuing our series of discussions on the Undoing of the New deal, and we're joined again by Professor Peter Kuznick, who joins us from Washington. Peter is a Professor of History, and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University. Thanks for joining us again Peter.

PETER KUZNICK: My pleasure, Paul.

PAUL JAY: So, before we move on to Kennedy, and then we're going to get to Johnson, you wanted to make a comment about Eisenhower, who made a couple of great sounding speeches about reducing military expenditure but I'm not sure how much that actually ever got implemented. But talk about this speech in, I guess, it's 1953, is it?

PETER KUZNICK: Yes. The world had a great opportunity in March of 1953 to reverse course rather than this insane military spending that was beginning. On March 5th, 1953, Stalin died. The Soviet leaders reached out to the United States. They offered the Americans an olive branch. They talked about changing the direction of our relations. They talked about, basically, ending the Cold War. We could've ended the Cold War as early as March 5, 1953, taken a different route. Eisenhower and the others in his administration debate what to do, how to respond. Churchill, who was now re-elected and back in office in England, begged the United States to hold a summit with the Soviet leaders and move toward peace, rather than belligerence and hostility. Eisenhower doesn't say anything publicly in response for six weeks. Then he makes a speech. It's a visionary speech. It's the kind of vision that Eisenhower represented at his best, and he says there

PRESIDENT EISENHOWER: Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

PETER KUZNICK: This is not a way of life at all. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.� What a great speech and the Soviets were thrilled. They republished this. They reprinted it. They broadcast it over and over, and then two days later, John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, makes a speech reversing the whole thing. Instead of an olive branch, he gives the Soviets a middle finger and he accuses the Soviet Union of trying to overthrow every Democratic government in the world. The exact wrong message.

And so, it's sort of like Trump, where Tillerson says something sane and then Trump will undermine it two days later when it comes to North Korea. The same thing happened in 1953 with Eisenhower and Dulles. We're really much more on the same page, but if you look at the third world response, you've got the Bandung Conference in Indonesia in 1955, and the third world leaders are all saying, "We have to be independent. We have to be neutral." They say, "It is insane to spend all these dollars and all these rubles on the military when we need money for development."

PAUL JAY: So, what went on with Eisenhower, making that kind of speech? He's not known for any big increase in social spending domestically. He helps build, as you said, the military industrial complex, especially the nuclear side of it. So, what was that speech about, and then how does he allow Dulles to contradict him two days later?

PETER KUZNICK: That's one of the mysteries. That's why writing books on the debate, what was going on in that administration. Did Eisenhower speak for it or did Dulles speak for it? Was Eisenhower the militarist or was Dulles the militarist? In many ways, the '50s was a very, very dangerous time. And there were so many harebrained schemes that were going on.

We talked a little bit about Sputnik but one of the proposals after that was to blast a hydrogen bomb on the surface of the moon to show the world that we really are the strongest. And they talked about putting missile bases on the moon, and then the idea was to have the Soviets respond by putting their own missile bases on the moon. We could put ours on distant planets, so that we could then hit the Soviet bases on the moon. The great independent journalist I.F. Stone mentioned that the word for lunar, for moon, in Latin is Luna. And he said, we should have a new department in the cabinet and call it the Department of Lunacy because of the crazy ideas that were being promulgated at the time.

This comes across, really, with the nuclear policies. So, when McGeorge Bundy asks Dan Ellsberg in 1961 to find out from the Joint Chiefs what would be, how many people would die as a result of America's nuclear launch in the event of a war with the Soviet Union, the Pentagon comes back with the idea that between 600 and 650 million people would die from America's weapons alone in our first PSYOP. And that doesn't even account for nuclear winter, which would have killed us all, or the numbers who would be killed by the Soviet weapons. That includes at least 100 million of our own allies in Western Europe.

We are talking about a period the lunacy and insanity was captured best by Stanley Kubrick in Dr. Strangelove in 1964. That policy was so close to what was actually occurring at the time. Did Eisenhower speak for this? When Eisenhower wanted to, one of his visions was for planetary excavation using hydrogen bombs. People should study the lunacy of Project Plowshare.

PAUL JAY: They used to have tourism to go look at nuclear tests outside of Las Vegas and people would sit just a few miles away with sunglasses on.

PETER KUZNICK: And we sent American soldiers into the blast area, knowing that they were going to be irradiated. Yeah, the irrationality in these times. People are going to look back at the Trump administration and if we're here later, maybe they'll laugh at us. If we survive this period, they'll laugh. They'll look back and say, "Look at the craziness of this period." Well, if you look at the history of the '50s and early '60s, you see a lot of that same kind of craziness in terms of the policies that were actually implemented at the time, and the ones, for example, one of the ideas was to melt the polar ice caps using hydrogen bombs. We wanted to increase polar melting. We wanted to increase the temperature on the planet by exploding nuclear bombs.

PAUL JAY: And this was to do, to what end?

PETER KUZNICK: For what end? I'm not sure. I mean, one-

PAUL JAY: Well, they may get their way, the way things are heading right now. They may get that.

PETER KUZNICK: And one of the things from Trump's National Security speech was to not talk about, or to say that global warming is not a National Security concern as Obama and others had believed it was. But they wanted to actually redirect hurricanes by setting off hydrogen bombs in the atmosphere in the path of the hurricane, so they could redirect hurricanes. They wanted to build new harbors by setting off hydrogen bombs. They wanted to have a new canal across the, instead of the Panama canal, with hydrogen bombs and reroute rivers in the United States.

I mean, crazy, crazy ideas that was considered American policy. And actually, it was the Soviets who saved us because Eisenhower wanted to begin to do these programs, but the Soviets would not allow, would not give the United States the right to do that because there was a temporary test ban in the late 1950s. And Eisenhower would have had to abrogate that in order to begin these projects.

PAUL JAY: Okay. Let's catch up. So, we had just, the last part dealt with some of Kennedy. We get into the 1960s. Kennedy is as preoccupied with the Cold War, the beginning of the Vietnam War, Cuba, the Missile Crisis. And we had left off right at the moment of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Give us a really quick recap because I think on this issue of militarization and former policy, we kind of have to do a whole nother series that focuses more on that. We're trying to get more into this issue of the New Deal and what happened to domestic social reforms in the context of this massive military expenditure. But talk a bit about that moment of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

PETER KUZNICK: Well, the Cuban Missile Crisis is very important because now we're going through the Korean Missile Crisis, and if Trump has his way, we'll also go through the Iranian Missile Crisis. And the last time we were this close to nuclear war was during the Cuban Missile Crisis. What happens there is that Khrushchev, in order to try to accomplish two things, or three things, really.

One is to, he knows the United States is planning an invasion of Cuba. The United States had been carrying out war games, massive war games, 40,000 people participating in these war games. Like now, we're carrying out war games off the Korean coast. And the war game that was planned for October of '62 was called Operation Ortsac. Anybody who doesn't get it? Certainly the Soviets did. Ortsac is Castro spelled backwards.

And so, we were planning, we had the plans in place to overthrow the Cuban government, number one. Number two, Khrushchev wanted a credible deterrent. The Americans learned, Kennedy says, "Let's find out what the reality of the Missile Gap is." And he has McNamara do the study. We find out that there is a Missile Gap. By October of '61, we find out that there is a Missile Gap, and it's in our favor. The United States is ahead between 10 to 1 and 100 to 1 over the Soviet Union in every important category.

Still, the pressure was to increase America's missiles and so, the Strategic Air Command in the Air Force wanted to increase our missiles by 3,000. McNamara figures that the least number he can get away with is to increase our intercontinental ballistic missiles by 1,000 even though we're ahead 10 to 1 already at that point. The Kremlin interpreted that, and said, "Why is the US increasing its missiles when it's so far ahead of us?" They said, "Obviously, the United States is preparing for a first strike against the Soviet Union." That was the Kremlin interpretation. It needed a credible deterrent.

They knew that, initially they thought, "Well, the fact that we can take out Berlin will be a credible enough deterrent. The Americans will never attack." Then they realized that that wouldn't be a sufficient deterrent to some of the hawks in the American military, the Curtis LeMays, who had a lot of influence at the time. Or before that, the Lemnitzers. And so, they decide, "Well, we've got to put missiles in Cuba, which is a more credible deterrent."

And the third is that Khrushchev wanted to appease his hawks. Khrushchev's strategy was to build up Soviet consumer economy. He said, "The Soviet people want washing machines. They want cars. They want houses. That's what we need." And so, he wanted to decrease defense spending and one of the cheap ways to do that was to put the missiles in Cuba. So, they do that foolishly. It's a crazy policy because they don't announce it. It's very much like the movie Strangelove, where Khrushchev was planning to announce that the missiles were in Cuba on the anniversary of the Soviet Revolution. That was coming up in a couple-

PAUL JAY: You mean Dr. Strangelove, meaning what's the point of a doomsday machine if you don't tell people you've got it?

PETER KUZNICK: As Strangelove says, "Well what's the point of the doomsday machine if you don't announce that you have it?" And then, the Americans didn't, the Soviets didn't announce that they had the, if they had announced that the missiles were there, then the United States could not have invaded Cuba the way the military wanted. They could not have bombed Cuba. It would've been an effective deterrent, especially if they announced that also, that the missiles were there, that the warheads were there and that they also had put 100 battlefield nuclear weapons inside Cuba.

That would have meant that there was no possibility of the United States invading and that the deterrent would've actually worked. But they didn't announce it. And so, the United States plans for an invasion and we got very close to doing so. But again, the intelligence was abysmal. We knew where 33 of the 42 missiles were. We didn't find the other missiles. We didn't know that the battlefield nuclear weapons were there. We didn't know that the missiles were ready to be armed.

And so, the United States was operating blind. We thought that there were 10,000 armed Soviets in Cuba. Turns out, there were 42,000 armed Soviets. We thought that there were 100,000 armed Cubans. Turns out, there were 270,000 armed Cubans. Based on the initial intelligence, McNamara said, "If we had invaded, we figured we'd suffer 18,000 casualties, 4,500 dead." When he later finds out how many troops there actually were there, he says, "Well, that would've been 25,000 Americans dead." When he finds out that there were 100 battlefield nuclear weapons as well, he doesn't find that out until 30 years later, and then he turns white, and he says, "Well that would've meant we would've lost 100,000 American Troops." Twice as many, almost, as we lost in Vietnam.

He said, "We would've definitely destroyed Cuba and probably wiped out the Soviet Union as well." So, that's how close we came at this time. Which is again, as Robert Gates, another hawk, warns, "The United States should not invade Syria," he said. "Or should not bomb Syria because haven't we learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya, that whenever these things happen, you never know what the consequences are going to be. It's always the unintended consequences that are going to get you."

Which we learned in Cuba. We learned in Iraq and Afghanistan or we should've learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Obviously, Trump hasn't learned it and we had better learn before we do something crazy now in Korea.

PAUL JAY: All right, thanks, Peter. And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.


Disturbed Voter , February 11, 2018 at 5:28 am

It takes two to tango. The idea that the US is solely to blame for the continuation of the Cold War, or that the US is solely to blame for a revival is Soviet/Russian propaganda. Great powers are aggressive, and rarely circumspect. The existence of nuclear weapons, was what prevented either the US or the Soviet Union/Russia from attacking each other. Otherwise the sport of kings would have continued as usual.

And given Churchill's anathema toward Communism in general, and the Soviet Union in particular, and given that he was the architect of the Cold War from the West I find the idea of him being a peacenik to be bizarre.

Chris , February 11, 2018 at 9:49 am

It's always that word, "communism", isn't it? As long as that word is used, everything is justifiable. If you look at it closely, it would seem that the Russians have discovered that communism is every bit as susceptible to corruption as capitalism. Communism has been, in fact, MORE discredited than capitalism (for now.) With Russia on the other side of the planet, what would be the harm in letting whatever failed ideologies they have fail like Kansas failed? As Jesus might say, "Ah Ye of little faith."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2017/06/07/the-great-kansas-tax-cut-experiment-crashes-and-burns/

Tomonthebeach , February 11, 2018 at 1:03 pm

The vast majority of Americans today have no idea what communism is. Most cannot even thing about communism in terms of it being just another economic system different from capitalism. (No, it is slavery!) They do not appreciate that there are different manifestations of both economic models. (Neoliberalism is eating us alive.) They do not appreciate that communism was probably the salvation of both post-war Russia and China. They conflate socialism with communism, view high taxes as communistic, and ignore that the countries with the highest standard of living are quite socialist.

In many cases, Americans vote against their own interests just because some pol labels a new social program as communist so he can give his new bill and edge.

Ike was so right about the Military-Industrial complex, and yet we have only enabled it to grow to the point that it dominates every political decision – every law – every regulation in ways that ensure weapons are expended so more can take their place; and more weapons need to be developed because the boogeyman out there (pick a regime) probably, maybe, could be building an even nastier weapon. Make no mistake, Sputnik was viewed as evidence that the Russians already had better weapons and that they would take over "outer space" and we would thus be at their mercy. Back in the 60s the US did worry that communism was working better than capitalism, and that fear enabled a lot of foreign policy (gunboat diplomacy).

Trump is anything if he is not politically and strategically a dim wit. Thus he probably buys into the communist boogeyman scenario common in our culture. He is likely attracted to the economic stimulus that more guns and less butter offer in the short run. Our problems seems to hinge on leaders who limit their action to the short run, and the long run (ensuring survival of the human species?), well, they never get around to that.

Moocao , February 11, 2018 at 8:09 pm

I would not be so loving over the "communistic ideals". My great grandparents were murdered for the fact that one was a postal office manager, another was a sock factory owner. Believe what you want, but communism is far from just an economic theory.

Communism, once you force the politics into the economic theory, is this: equality of all men, regardless of abilities, and damn if you started off well because everything will be taken from you. Your life is not your own, your family is not your own, your work is not your own: it belongs to the state.

Capitalism has fatal flaws, but we should all thank Communism died the way it did.

Duck1 , February 11, 2018 at 11:10 pm

not like capitalism didn't murder a few proletarians if murder is the standard, both are condemned

JTMcPhee , February 11, 2018 at 9:55 am

Yaas, it's just Putin friendly propaganda, that's all. Let us persuade ourselves that the vast bulk of provocations and exacerbations in that now-reprised Cold War were a pas de deluxe, not mostly driven by our own insane US leaders, like the ones discussed in small detail in the post. Conveniently ignoring the whole escalation process of the Exceptional Empire doing the "policies" of the Dulleses and their clan, the craziness of stuff like the John Birchers and the McCarthy thing, and the madness of MAD (which I believe was a notion coined by that nest of vipers called RAND, that "we have to be understood to be insane enough to commit suicide, to kill the whole planet, for the 'deterrent effect' of Massive Retaliation (forget that the US policy and military structure very seriously intended a first strike on the Evil Soviets for quite a long time, and are now building "small nukes" for 'battlespace use' as if there are no knock-on consequences.)

How does one break the cycle of ever-increasing vulnerability and eventual destruction, that includes the extraction and combustion and all the other decimations of a livable planet? how to do that when the Imperial Rulers are insane, by any sensible definition of insanity? And the Russians sure seem to be wiser and more restrained (barring some provocation that trips one of their own Doomsday Devices that they have instituted to try to counter the ridiculous insane provocations and adventures of the Empire?

Maybe revert to "Duck and cover?" Or that Civil Defense posture by one of the Reaganauts, one T.K. Jones, who wanted Congress to appropriate $252 million (1980 dollars) for Civil Defense, mostly for SHOVELS: in the firmly held belief that "we can fight and win a nuclear war with the Soviet Union:"

Three times Mr. Jones – or someone speaking in his name – agreed to testify. Three times he failed to appear. The Pentagon finally sent a pinch-hitter, Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle. But the Senate wants Mr. Jones. It wants an authoritative explanation of his plan to spend $252 million on civil defense. Evidently, most of that money will go for shovels.

For this is how the alleged Mr. Jones describes the alleged civil defense strategy: "Dig a hole, cover it with a couple of doors and then throw three feet of dirt on top. It's the dirt that does it."

Mr. Jones seems to believe that the United States could recover fully, in two to four years, from an all-out nuclear attack. As he was quoted in The Los Angeles Times: "Everybody's going to make it if there are enough shovels to go around."

Dig on, Senator Pressler. We're all curious.

Russia suffered 20 million dead in WW II, pretty much won that war against fascism, and the leaders there get dang little decrepit for being (so far) so much more the "grownups in the room" in the Great Game Of RISK! ™ that our idiot rulers are playing. Go look up how many times, however, beyond that vast set of slapstick plays that led to the "Cuban Missile Crisis", the human part of the world skated up, by combinations of accident and error, to getting its death wish. And the main impetus for the nuclear "standoff" has been the US and the "policies" forwarded by "our" insane rulers and militarists.

"Tu Quoque" is an especially weak and inapposite and insupportable argument in this context.

Chris , February 11, 2018 at 10:28 am

SPOT ON! IF Robby Mook and the gang can stir up a Russian frenzy from hell based on nothing more than sour grapes, and IF what we know about the deep state is only the tip of the iceberg, and IF the media is largely under the control of the 'Gov, THEN a logical human must at least be open to the possibility that there is also such a thing as American propaganda, must (s)he not?

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2018/01/08/hillarys-campaign-manager-the-russia-investigation-is-not-a-winning-strategy-n2429189

Summer , February 11, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Indeed, WWII was never a war against fascism, just particular fascists that ventured off the establishment reservation.

rd , February 11, 2018 at 2:51 pm

Yes. Nobody invaded Argentina when Juan Peron et al took over. Hitler and Mussolini could have died as dictators decades later if they had simply kept their armies home.

ObjectiveFunction , February 11, 2018 at 11:20 am

Guys, I generally treasure the NC comments section, and I am not singling anyone out, but some of the rhetoric here is starting to remind me of ZeroHedge doomp&rn. Let's please recover some perspective.

Every year of human history since the expulsion from Eden will let us cherry pick overwhelming evidence that the lunatics were running the asylum. Or that every generation of our forebears gleefully built our civilization atop heaps of skulls of [insert oppressed groups here].

Yet during the Cold War, there were plenty of prominent people calling out the McCarthys and Lemays of the world as loons (and behind the Curtain, even Stalin was removed from key posts before his death). Guess what, sane generally wins out over the mad king. The arc of history indeed bends toward justice, though never without sacrifice and diligent truthseeking. The ones to worry about are the snake oil merchants, who pee on our shoes and tell us it's raining.
g.

Here endeth my catechism.

JTMcPhee , February 11, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Keep whistling past the graveyard: http://nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/issues/accidents/20-mishaps-maybe-caused-nuclear-war.htm

Such faith we have in ourselves, and such little evidence other than maybe a couple of world wars and long histories of the loonies playing stupid with whole populations, that we don't need to worry about the concentrated efforts of the sociopathic lunatics to rise to positions of great power and do stupid stuff.

Summer , February 11, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Yes, this is what the world gets when technological advancement is combined with a socio-economic system that rewards sociopathic tendencies. A system advanced by propaganda (disguised as entertainment and education) backed up with the barrell of a gun and cameras everywhere.

bob , February 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm

"The arc of history indeed bends toward justice"

You're going to need some proof for that wild, completely baseless claim.

oaf , February 11, 2018 at 6:57 am

"It's the kind of vision that Eisenhower represented at his best, and he says there" Was he subsequently co-opted, or BSing?

Don Midwest , February 11, 2018 at 6:58 am

This article is not scary enough. Find out that in 1983 there was almost a nuclear war. Both sides have a first strike strategy and a Russian general thought that actions of Reagan were getting ready for the first strike and he was going to strike first. And during the Cuban missile crisis, Russian subs had nuclear weapons on them and we dropped low level depth charges on them and we didn't know that they were armed.

This is a very long interview of Daniel Ellsberg in Seattle on Jan 9, 2018.

Daniel Ellsberg with Daniel Bessner:
The Doomsday Machine

Now that everyone, except many in the USA, knows that when the USA changes a government that the country is ruined, this may have forced North and South Korea to get together.

Ellsberg says that any nukes used in the Korean Peninsula would result in at least 1 million dead and while 60 million in WWII were killed during the course of the war, with nukes that many cold be killed in a week. And then, nuclear winter would finish off the rest of us.

I am scared.

Massinissa , February 11, 2018 at 10:13 am

To be fair, there are now doubts among scientists that Nuclear Winter as classically described would even be a thing.

But that doesn't help the millions who would die on the peninsula. Further, whats known as a Nuclear Famine could still occur, which would be pretty damn devastating for civilization, even if mankind itself manages to survive.

JTMcPhee , February 11, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Some scientists doubt global warming too. Got support for your assertion? https://www.popsci.com/article/science/computer-models-show-what-exactly-would-happen-earth-after-nuclear-war

Synoia , February 11, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Science is about doubt and skepticism. That's what the scientific process is. Doubt a nuclear winter: Ok, I'll bite. We have examples – Large Volcanic eruptions, and we have the year without a summer sometime in the 1830s I believe – that is in recorded History. The we searched to archeological record for more evidence, and found large die-offs following a layer of volcanic dust. Again and again, I believe. Quoting scientists who "doubt nuclear winter" requires more examination:

List them, together with their credentials and "donor$."

Donald , February 11, 2018 at 3:07 pm

You can google nuclear winter early enough. And yes, there are scientists who are skeptical for various reasons. The only group that has written a paper on it in recent years is composed of some of the same scientists who originally proposed it and they think it is real.

Reasons for skepticism include doubt about the amount of smoke that would be produced. And the volcano and asteroid comparisons are imperfect because the details are different. People used to talk about volcanic dust, and now it is mostly sulfuric acid droplets. With asteroids the initial thought was the KT boundary layer represented trillions of tons of submicron size dust and then Melosh proposed ejects blasted around the world heated the upper atmosphere and ignited global fires and created soot and then his grad student Tamara Goldin wrote her dissertation saying the heat might not be quite enough to do that and then people suggested it was ( I won't go into why) and others suggested the bolide hit sulfur layers .

The point is that there is not a consensus about the detailed atmospheric effects of either large asteroid impacts or of super volcanoes like Toba and yet we do have some evidence because these things happened. We don't have an example to study in tge geologic record where hundreds of cities were hit simultaneously with nuclear weapons.

I could go on, but I don't want to give the impression I have a strong opinion either way, because I don't. But I think the case for global warming is overwhelming because vastly more people are working on it and it is happening in front of us. It is not just computer models.

Sy Krass , February 11, 2018 at 5:18 pm

Forget possible nuclear winter, the economic effects alone would be worth 10 Lehman brothers (2008 meltdowns). And then the knock on effects would cause other knock on effects like other wars. Even without a nuclear winter, civilization would probably collapse within 18 months anyway.

JBird , February 11, 2018 at 5:32 pm

All this, while true, only change the details not the results. The Chicxulub impact almost certainly exterminated the majority of then living species, and the Toba Supervolcano probably almost caused our extinction. That suggest throwing massive amounts of anything into the atmosphere is not good.

As a student I would like to know the details, but in practice, it's like arguing whether a snow storm or a blizzard killed someone. Humanity as a species would probably survive a nuclear war okay, but many(most?) individuals as well as our planetary civilization would be just as dead. The numbers dying would be slightly different is all.

rfdawn , February 11, 2018 at 6:53 pm

Humanity might survive as a species but not as an idea. Am about halfway through the Ellsberg book and, yes, it does make Dr. Strangelove look like a documentary. Current thinking does not seem much changed.

Jer Bear , February 11, 2018 at 7:07 am

Trump, like everyone before him, will do what Kissinger advises him to do.

The Rev Kev , February 11, 2018 at 8:11 am

Something missing from the sequence of events here is that the main reason that the Kremlin put nuclear missiles in Cuba was the fact that more than 100 Jupiter intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles were deployed in Italy and Turkey in 1961 by the US, thus cutting down any reaction time by Moscow to minutes in case of a US attack.

The main – unacknowledged – part of the climb down from the Cuba missile crisis was that as Russia pulled its nuclear missiles out of Cuba, the US would do the same in Europe. It cooled things down again until Reagan was elected.

I had forgotten that the 50s had just as many crazies as present times – the Dulles brothers, Curtis LeMay, Edward Teller, J. Edgar Hoover – really scary people and probably founding members of the deep state.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author , February 11, 2018 at 8:26 am

Excellent point about the missiles deployed in Turkey and Italy– and one I might have mentioned if I had remembered it, absent your prod.

Disturbed Voter , February 11, 2018 at 9:02 am

The Jupiter missile agreement was a secret at the time. Kennedy wanted to minimize the appearance of a quid-pro-quo. The subsequent presence of Pershings and Tomahawks in Europe (but not Turkey) was a reaction to the mobile IRBMs deployed by the Soviet Union. Which they still have. France and Britain have their own independent deterrents. Which is just as well, since the Pershings and Tomahawks were traded away as part of START/SALT.

The more recent escalation of NATO into E Europe, the Baltics and the Ukraine are a definite violation of the spirit of the Cuban Missile Crisis agreement, and are pure aggression against a Russia that was seen as too weak to do anything about it until they did do something about it in 2014.

An aggressive NATO is something I view with horror. One does not poke the bear. But Kissinger (the German) and Berzhinski (the Pole) are fanatically anti-Russian. They made up for the passing of Churchill.

The Rev Kev , February 11, 2018 at 5:55 pm

Just recently Russia deployed more nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to the Kaliningrad enclave between Poland and Lithuania. Maybe something to do with all those special forces NATO keeps stationing on the Russian border?

JTMcPhee , February 11, 2018 at 9:14 pm

And all the a -- -oles who Command and Rule, and most of the commentariat and punditry, all treat these affairs as if they are playing some Brobdingnagian Game of Risk ™, where as with Monopoly (which was originally intended to teach a very different lesson) the object of the game is all about TAKING OVER THE WHOLE WORLD, WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA an idiotic froth on top of an ever more dangerous brew of exponentially increasing,and largely ignored, mutual if often asymmetric, deadly vulnerability.

Stupid effing humans and their vast stupid monkey tricks

Carolinian , February 11, 2018 at 9:14 am

LeMay had suggested that we should perhaps wipe out the Soviet Union before they had the chance to catch up to us in nukes. It was an era ruled by fear of nuclear war–a fear that was unleashed by the use of the bomb in Japan. Truman and Byrnes (the latter in a meeting in his hometown–my hometown) rejected calls by some of the Los Alamos scientists to share the nuclear secrets with the Russians and forestall this arms race or so they hoped.

So no the crazy didn't start with Trump and Trump had even advocated we make nice with the Russians until the Dems, their remnants at State and Defense and the press forced him to change course (on threat of impeachment). The elites who have gained more or less permanent power over the direction of this country are a threat to us all.

Anyhow, thanks for the above post. Those who forget history ..

polecat , February 11, 2018 at 11:51 am

Let's not forget the little country that could with it's aggregated threat of 300+ undeclared
They're 'in-the-mix' too !

Disturbed Voter , February 11, 2018 at 12:02 pm

In so far as the US has moved away from the JFK view of nuclear deterrence to the LeMay view of nuclear first strike we are dead.

David , February 11, 2018 at 11:07 am

Different world. The first generation of nuclear weapons had yields (around 20-30Kt) that were comprehensible in terms of conventional bombing, which of course would have required many more aircraft but was also much more efficient per tonne of explosives. For the formative years after 1945, therefore, people thought of nuclear weapons as weapons in the classic sense and, at that time, nobody really knew that much about the effects of radiation and fallout. This all changed with the advent of the hydrogen bomb, but even then it took a long time for the likely catastrophic effects of the use of such weapons in large numbers to sink in. Nuclear technology, and both delivery and guidance systems, evolved far more quickly than rationales for their use could be found. Indeed, you can say that the Cold War was a period when nuclear powers found themselves acquiring weapons with technologies that couldn't actually be used, but couldn't be un-invented either. Enormous intellectual effort went into trying to provide post-hoc rationales for having these weapons, some of it very ingenious, most of it wasted.

Don't forget the role of paranoia either. NSC-68, the report that formalized US strategy during the Cold War, reads today like the ravings of a group of lunatics, seeing, almost literally, Reds under the beds. And if Stalin was dead, the Soviet leadership had just gone through a war which had cost them almost 30 million dead, and any, literally any, sacrifice was worth it to make sure that they prevented another war, or at least won it quickly.

rd , February 11, 2018 at 11:56 am

Dr. Strangelove has moved from the archive boxes of historical artifacts to being a "must see" movie again.

Baby Gerald , February 11, 2018 at 2:12 pm

It never left the 'must see' list. Its just moved higher up the rankings in recent months, what with all this 'collaboration' conspiracy drivel.

From wikipedia :

US military casualties in WW2: 407,300
US civilian casualties in WW2: 12,100

USSR military casualties in WW2: estimated by various sources [see the footnotes] between 8,668,000 to 11,400,000.
USSR civilian casualties in WW2: 10,000,000 [plus another 6-7 million deaths from famine, a line in the table that is completely blank for the US]

Simply put, for every American that died, somewhere between a thousand to two thousand of their Russian counterparts were killed. And somehow people in the US were convinced and worried that Russia wanted to start yet another war when they still hadn't finished burying the dead from the last one.

rd , February 11, 2018 at 3:06 pm

1. Stalin made his pact with the devil that gave Hitler free rein to invade Poland and France. Hitler then invaded Russia from Poland as the jumping off point. Stalin miscalculated big-time.

2. Invaded countries always have many more civilian countries than un-invaded ones.

3. Germany started WW II only 20 years after the end of WW I that also slaughtered 2 million German soldiers. Past losses generally does not appear to impact the decision-making of dictators regarding new wars. So it would have been irrational for the West to think that the USSR had no intent to expand its borders. That was the blunder that France and Britain made in 1938-39. However, the paranoia did get extreme in the Cold War.

Yves Smith , February 11, 2018 at 6:03 pm

This isn't accurate. Stalin tried repeatedly and even towards the end, desperately, to sign a treaty with the Britain and France. They rebuffed him because [he was a] Commie. He signed up with Hitler only after those efforts had clearly failed. It was a self-preservation move. It probably did buy him less time than he thought. But let's not kid ourselves: Hitler's first move otherwise would have been to the East. What were later the Allies would have been delighted to see him take over the USSR. This was why British aristos were so keen on Hitler, that he was seen as an answer to Communism and therefore "our kind of man".

JBird , February 11, 2018 at 8:34 pm

The Poles have been the Germans and Russians chewtoy ever since it was completely partitioned. All the countries immediately around Russia have been horribly abused by Russia. Putin is doing his country no favors by reminding everyone of that. He can cow them into submission, but like the American government is finding, just because they are doesn't mean they cannot cause trouble. Heck, the current Great Game could be said to have started with the Soviet-Afghanistan War.

Going into the war every country was unprepared and unwilling to fight and had difficulty choices. The German military itself was not prepared. It was Hitler's choice to start when and where and by 1938 everyone knew it. Hitler was surprised that France and Great Britain honored their guarantee to Poland.

As evil as Stalin's regime was, and his invasion of Poland was just as bad as Hitler's at first, I don't think most people really understood just how evil the Nazis were and what they were planning on doing for Germany's living space. It was worse than anything that Stalin did and between the Ukrainian famine, the Great Purges, the takeover of the Baltic States, the invasion of Finland, etc he did serious evil.

Harold , February 11, 2018 at 3:17 pm

General LeMay was responsible for the death of a fifth (some say a third) of the North Korean population by saturation bombing with napalm, was he not? A third? Isn't that one in three?

xformbykr , February 11, 2018 at 12:34 pm

Additional books that shed light on both leaving the new deal behind and the Cuban missile crisis are (1) "The Devil's Chessboard" by Talbot and (2) "JFK and The Unspeakable" by Douglass. The first is mostly about Allen Dulles but has interesting chapters on McCarthy, Eisenhower, Nixon, etc. It is reasonably well foot-noted. The second is about the assassination and has loads of detail about the missile crisis and its power players. It is meticulously foot-noted.

JTMcPhee , February 11, 2018 at 1:09 pm

For those with a shred of remaining optimism who want to be rid of it, might I suggest a book titled "With Enough Shovels" by Robert Scheer. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/robert-scheer-4/with-enough-shovels-reagan-bush-and-nuclear-war/

I was going to post the text of the short review, but all I got at the moment is this blankety iPhone and its limits with cut and paste.

Not many read books anyway these days, and what sufficient moiety of them will form the groundswell that tips over the Juggernaut we are all pushing and pulling and riding toward the cliff?

I read this stuff mostly to sense which hand holds the knife and not to go down asking "What happened? What did it all mean?"

John k , February 11, 2018 at 1:13 pm

Trump has been bellicose re NK and Iran, but I see him as resisting the Syrian adventure, while cia plus military hawks pushing forward.
Dems today are real hawks, itching to confront Russia in both Syria and Ukraine the latter another place trump may be resisting hawks, the area has been quiet since the election, I.e. since dems were in charge.
It's an odd thought that in some theaters trump may be the sane one

JTMcPhee , February 11, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Yaas, nothing is happening in Ukraine, all is quiet on the Eastern Front of NATO: http://ukraine.csis.org/ Nuland has gone on to other conquests, and all that. The CIA and War Department have lost interest in that Conflict Zone. Nothing is happening. You are getting sleepy. Sleepy.

Yaas, nothing is happening. https://www.reuters.com/places/ukraine All is well. Safely rest. God is nigh.

marku52 , February 11, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Yeah, the title of this post would lead one to believe that their is something uniquely horrible about Trump's foreign policy. From anything I can detect, her bellicose statement about a no-fly zone in Syria and her abject destruction of Libya, HRC's FP would have been even worse.

If she had been elected, we might already be in a ground war with the Russians in Syria. The only hopeful sign is that while Trump spends his day watching TeeVee, State, DOD, and CIA are all working at cross purposes and getting in each other's way.

Foreign policy? We have a foreign policy? If anybody finds it, will they please explain it to me?

William Beyer , February 11, 2018 at 1:20 pm

I almost never comment, although I rely on NC for most of my news and blood pressure control. You are a treasure.

May I recommend another book – "All Honorable Men" – by James Stewart Martin. Published in 1950 and shortly thereafter all bookstore copies were hoovered-up and burned by the CIA. It might have been referenced in one of the RNN segments, but I haven't slogged through all of them yet.

You can get a hardback at Amazon for a mere $298. An i-book is cheaper.

After reading "The Brothers," and "The Devil's Chessboard," I considered starting a non-profit using GPS technology – Piss-on-their-Graves.org.

J.Fever , February 11, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Forbidden bookshelf series $11.49 Barnes & Noble

JBird , February 11, 2018 at 2:47 pm

The Forbidden Bookshelf series by Open Media is fantastic. Sadly for dinosaurs like me, it is mostly ebooks, but they do the occasional hard copy reprints, and since much in the series would be out of print without Open Media, even the ebooks are great to have.

And it is interesting to see how many bothersome books just go away even without any "censorship" even with the First Amendment being the one right courts have consistently, and strongly, enforced.

JTMcPhee , February 11, 2018 at 9:17 pm

Especially the right of corporate persons to one dollar, one vote speech..,

JBird , February 11, 2018 at 9:43 pm

I will take what I can get, even if as a college student, I don't have much "Free Speech."

:-)

shinola , February 11, 2018 at 4:07 pm

This article reminded me of an interesting/disturbing thing I saw on tv last night – a local news show had a bit on what to do in case of nuclear attack!

Boomers & older probably remember the drill: go to the basement or innermost room of the house, have 72 hours of food & water stashed & don't go outside for at least 3 days, etc. (yeah, that's the ticket).
Thought I was having a flashback to the 60's

Of course the best advice I ever heard on the subject was "Squat down, put your head between your knees & kiss your sweet [rear end] goodbye."

JBird , February 11, 2018 at 5:45 pm

Well, as I recall they were trying to give us the illusion of control so that we would not go all nihilistic or into a drunken fatalistic stupor. I don't know if telling people, like little JBird, that the bombs might start dropping anytime in which case you're just f@@@@d would have done any good.

The Rev Kev , February 11, 2018 at 6:04 pm

Maybe they could digitally colourise and re-issue this old film again, you know, as a public service-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_1jkLxhh20

Of course, it took a long time till we learned that a nuclear attack would be more like this-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VG2aJyIFrA

Oregoncharles , February 11, 2018 at 4:41 pm

One interpretation of the Cold War, that I found revealing, was that the two "opposing" militaries colluded to magnify the threat so as to pump up their respective budgets. So both were essentially conning their own governments – and putting the whole world at risk in the process.

Of course, another big factor, equally obvious at the time, was (and is) that world "leaders," elected or not, can't resist the temptation to play chess with live pieces. They don't seem to care that people wind up dead, or that occasionally they put the whole world in danger.

Waking Up , February 11, 2018 at 5:05 pm

FYI: The first link to the Real News Network ends up at outlook.live.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author , February 11, 2018 at 11:45 pm

Fixed it. Thanks.

rkka , February 11, 2018 at 5:13 pm

It's SIOP, not PSYOP. SIOP stands for Single Integrated Operating Plan, which was what the first nuclear war plan was called. PSYOPS are Psychological Operations.

VietnamVet , February 11, 2018 at 7:17 pm

Having served in the first Cold War, it simply is beyond my comprehension that the Democrats restarted it all over again. Even weirder are the neo-con proponents of a First Strike. If the USA wins, at least one or two major cities (if not all) will be destroyed. New Zealand becomes the sequel to "On the Beach". We are in the same position as Germany in the 1930s except we know that the world war will destroy us. Tell me, how in the hell, did a few thousand U.S. soldiers and contractors ended up in the middle of Eastern Syria surrounded by Russians, the Syrian Arab Army and Shiite militias at risk of attack by Turkey?

JBird , February 11, 2018 at 7:59 pm

Tell me, how in the hell, did a few thousand U.S. soldiers and contractors ended up in the middle of Eastern Syria surrounded by Russians, the Syrian Arab Army and Shiite militias at risk of attack by Turkey?

Why they are needed to fight the evil-doers of course! Anything to protect our Freedom and the American Way. Now, ifyou keep asking these inconvenient questions, then "they" might start asking if you support the terrorists.

It's like when my half blind aged mother, and her possibly weaponized cane, is scrutinized as a possible al-Qaeda terrorist with a super hidden weapon, and I ask why it's 9/11 and the very bad people might hurt us.

Max4241 , February 11, 2018 at 8:10 pm

Nuclear winter. How quaint. Soot and dust. Rapid cooling. Crop failures. Starvation. Billions -perhaps- dead.

But life, certainly, will find a way!

Not in my world. All-out thermonuclear war means 250 nuclear reactors melt down simultaneously and several hundred thousand tons of loosely stored nuclear waste becomes aerosoled.

The resulting radiation blast burns the atmosphere off and the earth becomes a dead planet.

We can never look the thing straight in the eye. Take North Korea. We have been told, repeatedly, endlessly, that they have 20,000 artillery pieces trained on Seoul!

Again, how quaint. How SCARY! What we should be reading about, are the priority targets, the game changers:

http://res.heraldm.com/content/image/2012/03/23/20120323001281_0.jpg

Light those five softies up and you can say good-bye to South Korea forever.

Bobby Gladd , February 11, 2018 at 8:19 pm

"People should study the lunacy of Project Plowshare."
__

Yeah. In 1992 my wife was serving as the QA Mgr for the Nevada Test Site (NTS) nuke remediation project contractor. In 1993 a successful FOIA filing unearthed the Alaskan "Project Chariot." One of the brilliant Project Plowshare ideas was the potential utility of nuke detonations to carve out deep water harbors (they now deny it), so they took a bunch of irradiated soil from NTS and and spread it around on the tundra 130 miles N of the Arctic circle on the coast of the Chukchi Sea to "study potential environmental impacts."

The nuke "dredging" idea went nowhere, so they just plowed the irradiated crap under the surface, where it remained secret until the FOIA revelation decades later. DOE told my wife's company "go clean this shit up" (Eskimo tribes were freaking after finding out), so off goes my wife and her crew to spend the summer and fall living in tents guarded by armed polar bear guards (they had to first plow out a dirt & gravel runway, and flew everyone and all supplies in on STOL aircraft). They dug the test bed area all up (near Cape Thompson), assayed samples in an onsite radlab, put some 30 tons of "contaminated" Arctic soil in large sealed containers, barged it all down to Seattle, loaded it on trucks and drove it all back down to be buried at NTS.

Your tax dollars.

She looked so cute with her clipboard, and her orange vest, steel toed boots and hardhat.

JTMcPhee, February 11, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Did she get stuck dealing with any of the impossibly intractable problems at the Hanford Reservation? Anyone who doubts the massive stupidity of humans, read this: http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2008/06/a_tour_of_the_hanford_reveals.html

Disaster tourism. "Buffy, can we do Fukushima next?"

The Rev Kev, February 11, 2018 at 9:50 pm

As a teenager I read in a newspaper a proposal to use nuclear blasts to form a canal that would bring the sea to the middle of Australia and form an inland sea from which water could be drawn. We already had nuclear weapon being tested here ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapons_tests_in_Australia ) so there was no appetite for ideas like this.

[Feb 11, 2018] Fletcher Prouty's suspicions re Kennedy's assassination were later confirmed by Chauncey Holt before he died (there are several versions online). His recorded testimony proves the CIA/MAFIA connection(without knowing who gave the order).

Notable quotes:
"... the MSM deification of Mueller reminds me much of their similar glorification of J Edgar Hoover at that time. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Bob Van Noy , February 9, 2018 at 1:48 pm

For those unfamiliar with Fletcher Prouty, here is the link that I was reading

https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/GoD.html

BobH , February 9, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Fletcher Prouty's suspicions re Kennedy's assassination were later confirmed by Chauncey Holt before he died (there are several versions online). His recorded testimony proves the CIA/MAFIA connection(without knowing who gave the order). Historically the 9/11 Commission seems to mirror the same CIA infiltration as the Warren Commission did.

More on topic the MSM deification of Mueller reminds me much of their similar glorification of J Edgar Hoover at that time.

[Feb 10, 2018] CIA Paid $100,000 To Shadowy Russian For Dirt on Trump, Including Sex Video

Notable quotes:
"... CIA killed Kennedy. This pretty much removes all doubt. They are willing to do anything. ..."
"... It IS remarkable the stuff people believe when all logic goes against it. Like Oswald firing magic bullets from an old Italian Carcano...and jet fuel melting steel beams...and a building collapsing through the path of greatest resistance into its own footprint after NOT being hit by an airplane...and Kennedy being shot from behind, but his head snapping backwards from the impact...and Oswald picking the worst possible shooting location, but in front of Kennedy were two intersecting highways going in any direction...and terrorist passports floating gently down from the sky. ..."
"... What was Oswald's reason to kill JFK? And yeah, he picked the very building he worked at to commit the crime. He wasn't THAT stupid!... ..."
"... RFK and Nixon knew immediately the assassination of JFK was a CIA hit job because they had CHAIRED those hit squad operations themselves for Cuban Operations. They saw the CIA- Cuban hit squad fingerprints all over the kill. RFK had personally fired Wm Harvey, Dulles' chief of assassinations. However, RFK was silenced because he and Jack had been tag-teaming Marilyn Monroe. ..."
"... The reason JFK was killed was a) his openly stated determination to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces so they could no longer operate as a dangerous, renegade private army; and b) in the Spring of '63 JFK delivered his famous American U address calling for the end of the Cold War... ..."
"... Oswald was always a patsie... the WC documents how his rifle was inoperable... scope needed parts just to be be sited and take aim... even after parts installed the rifle attributed to Oswald remained highly inaccurate... Military sharpshooters couldn't even hit stationary targets reliably. ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

DownWithYogaPants -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

CIA killed Kennedy. This pretty much removes all doubt. They are willing to do anything.

Killtruck -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 12:51 PM Permalink

"Oswald killed Kennedy. That's it."

It IS remarkable the stuff people believe when all logic goes against it. Like Oswald firing magic bullets from an old Italian Carcano...and jet fuel melting steel beams...and a building collapsing through the path of greatest resistance into its own footprint after NOT being hit by an airplane...and Kennedy being shot from behind, but his head snapping backwards from the impact...and Oswald picking the worst possible shooting location, but in front of Kennedy were two intersecting highways going in any direction...and terrorist passports floating gently down from the sky.

It sure is remarkable. #letsroll

possible band name OswaldandtheMagicBullets

Able Ape -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 12:57 PM Permalink

What was Oswald's reason to kill JFK? And yeah, he picked the very building he worked at to commit the crime. He wasn't THAT stupid!...

Posa -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

RFK and Nixon knew immediately the assassination of JFK was a CIA hit job because they had CHAIRED those hit squad operations themselves for Cuban Operations. They saw the CIA- Cuban hit squad fingerprints all over the kill. RFK had personally fired Wm Harvey, Dulles' chief of assassinations. However, RFK was silenced because he and Jack had been tag-teaming Marilyn Monroe.

The reason JFK was killed was a) his openly stated determination to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces so they could no longer operate as a dangerous, renegade private army; and b) in the Spring of '63 JFK delivered his famous American U address calling for the end of the Cold War...

Oswald was always a patsie... the WC documents how his rifle was inoperable... scope needed parts just to be be sited and take aim... even after parts installed the rifle attributed to Oswald remained highly inaccurate... Military sharpshooters couldn't even hit stationary targets reliably.

[Feb 09, 2018] Sic Semper Tyrannis Syria Notes - 5 February 2018

Notable quotes:
"... Amazing how no on in the echelons of U.S. leadership ever questions why Assad always launches his WMD attacks as soon as his forces have Syria's Al Qaeda affiliate on the run. ..."
"... I am hearing that Russia has temporarily banned Turkish aircraft from flying in Syrian airspace, including Afrin. Plus there are reports that the Syrian Armed Forces are stationing AAA and SAM systems in the north. Erdogan may have outlived his usefulness to Putin. ..."
"... My SWAG is that Haley knows she is lying and does not care. Right now the Deep State wants its war on Syria as a prelude to a war on Iran, so Haley is for war as long as that will advance her career. ..."
"... If tomorrow the Deep State were to declare for the Khmer Rouge, she would scream for the death of Lon Nol Imperialists and Enemies of the People(R) with the most touching sincerity. ..."
"... 'Between May and June, 2016, Sheldon Adelson contributed $250,000 to Haley's 527 political organization, A Great Day, funds that she used to target four Republican state senate rivals in primaries. Adelson was the largest contributor to her group, which raised a total of $915,000.' ..."
"... I don't understand why we think Nikki Haley shouldn't be who she is, and should pursue policies other than what she does. IMO, she is no different than Samantha Power. They both are/were equally anti-Russia, anti-Iran, anti-Syria, and pro-Israel pro KSA, and have same position with regard to NK or China, so what is the difference, what has changed. ..."
"... It would have been either the "F* Europe" Tonia Nuland or the rapporteur social worker to Israel Wendy Sherman who is stilllearning all the dirty tricks from Madeleine. ..."
"... I agree with the good Colonel's assessment, except on one point. I don't think Mattis is being biased; to put it in less kinder terms, I think he's being a willing political hack. ..."
Feb 09, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

1. Nikki Haley is either completely gullible or is in thrall to some collection of Borgists at State. Someone remarked of a previous US Secretary of State that "if only he were still alive this would not happen." Unfortunately he was still alive and in office. Much the same could be said of Rex Tillerson. Haley is now tub thumping for US air attacks on Syria. This a reprise of several previous US assertions of Syrian Arab Government (SAG) use of chemical weapons including the East Ghouta and Khan Sheikhoun fiascos. After Khan Sheikhoun the SAG invited US and UN investigations of the air base but somehow this was not accepted. Now James Mattis is asserting that the SAG is manufacturing chemical munitions although the US has no evidence of this as yet. I believe this is called "confirmation bias?"

2. As shown above , the SAA is committed to elimination of the East Idlib pocket. The jihadis are without re-supply and will progressively be running out of the means of resistance. This should not take too long and is actually a good idea before proceeding further into Idlib Province to the west. I believe I expressed an opinion as to the wisdom of such a move.

3. The SAA has begun shelling the Turkish strong point (observation post) at Al-Eis. The Turks have been attempting tricky cleverness by claiming that they are occupying the hill at Al--Eis un accord with a Russian/Iranian/Turkish de-escalation igreement. In fact IMO they are seeking to position themselves so as to impede SAG liberation of Idlib Province. pl


Christian Chuba,

Amazing how no on in the echelons of U.S. leadership ever questions why Assad always launches his WMD attacks as soon as his forces have Syria's Al Qaeda affiliate on the run.
kooshy,
Colonel Lang, did you see this news on AMN, "Syrian Army allows massive YPG convoy to travel to Afrin from their lines' God only knows what is going on in Syria? it's a mess, was that to stop the Turks going to Al Eis.
james said in reply to kooshy... ,
and further to that - this also from AMN -

"BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:53 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army or allied paramilitary groups or both have reportedly started shelling the freshly established positions of Turkish forces in the southern countryside of Aleppo province according to both opposition and pro-government sources.

Opposition sources says that Syrian Army and allied Iranian-linked paramilitary groups have unleashed artillery fire onto recently established positions of the Turkish Army in the strategic Al-Eis area of southern Aleppo province."

confusedponderer , 06 February 2018 at 01:43 AM
Re Haley & in thrall of Borgists.

It seems she is attracted by John Bolton, her destructive, cunning and IMO rather malicious hard core neocon predecessor. She twittered this insight in July 2017:

"Great to see @AmbJohnBolton back @USUN. Thanks to his years of public service to our country, he continues to share great advice & wisdom."

His great advice and great wisdom? Ah yes ...

I had the pleasure that an indian senior (20+ years of service) UN guy back then did explain me what he did when US ambassador at the UN, and how and why it was cunning what he did, and how and why it was destructive and what he was after. It turned my stomach to get it explained to clearly.

So, unlike Haley, I always thought Bolton was a ruthless, destructive, nutty, if cunning, nasty man. I never seen his "wisdom". Rather I saw an arsonist who likes to play with fire.

For Haley he, with all his "wisdom", is an inspiration. He was also inspirational for Trump, but not inspirational enough.

Bolton didn't make it to Secretary of State ... because of his moustache. See? How very maverick-ish to make a difficult decision on so simple grounds.

Ah well, perhaps Trump is daily being too savaged by his hair thing on his head. I assume that having to face mirrors likely can be a terror.

Whatever about that moustache, and assuming that the story is correct - I for my part don't see the problem in what is over Bolton's mouth but that what comes out of it.

Donald Trump passed over a potential candidate for Secretary of State because of bushy moustache, according to insiders close to the incoming US President.

Several of Mr Trump's associates said they thought that John Bolton's brush-like moustache was one of the factors that handicapped the bombastic former United Nations ambassador in the sweepstakes for the role.

"Donald was not going to like that moustache," said one, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I can't think of anyone that's really close to Donald that has a beard that he likes."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-secretary-of-state-reject-john-bolton-moustache-transition-president-elect-cabinet-a7489576.html

JW said in reply to kooshy... , 06 February 2018 at 06:36 AM
Whats going on ? Iran wants influence and bases as far as the sea, to enable it to convince the Israelis to emigrate en masse. The West want to stop them now, everyone except Hezbollah will want to stop them when the last FSA / AQ /etc have almost died off, and Erdogan want to continue mugging people as a form of foreign policy.

Run those actions simultaneously and you have the current outcome.

A. Pols , 06 February 2018 at 08:14 AM
"1. Nikki Haley is either completely gullible or is in thrall to some collection of Borgists at State."

Both

JPB , 06 February 2018 at 10:18 AM
I am hearing that Russia has temporarily banned Turkish aircraft from flying in Syrian airspace, including Afrin. Plus there are reports that the Syrian Armed Forces are stationing AAA and SAM systems in the north. Erdogan may have outlived his usefulness to Putin.
JPB said in reply to Stonevendor ... , 06 February 2018 at 10:43 AM
Stonevendor -

A small number of US and troops from other coalition countries have been in the Manbij area since August 2016 when it was liberated from the headchoppers. More were sent in 2017 when TFSA from the Euphrates Shield enclave started threatening Manbij. No secret there, it has been previously announced publicly.

Barbara Ann -> ToivoS... , 06 February 2018 at 10:46 AM
I have happily discovered an analyst who has consistently been right on many aspects of the way the Syrian conflict has played out, despite its manifold complexities. If you find one that claims to be able to "see" ahead, I'd suggest he/she may better be described as a clairvoyant.

As to things being "fixed" - I guess an expectation that such a state is attainable, or indeed desirable - betrays something of one's ontological preferences. In any case, Syria appears to me to be an object lesson in the futility of such expectations.

Balint Somkuti, PhD , 06 February 2018 at 11:02 AM
Even though I have my own reservations about US benevolence about Syria, what happens if primus enter pares goes running amok?
Sid Finster , 06 February 2018 at 12:00 PM
My SWAG is that Haley knows she is lying and does not care. Right now the Deep State wants its war on Syria as a prelude to a war on Iran, so Haley is for war as long as that will advance her career.

If tomorrow the Deep State were to declare for the Khmer Rouge, she would scream for the death of Lon Nol Imperialists and Enemies of the People(R) with the most touching sincerity.

In fact, most of our elected and unelected career politicians exhibit similar levels of mendacity, on a level that is indistinguishable from sociopathy. Just that in Haley it's more shameless and obvious. Maybe she is not as good an actress as some, I don't know.

John_Frank , 06 February 2018 at 01:37 PM
With respect to the allegations surrounding the usage of chemical weapons, yesterday the UN Security Council had an open meeting to discuss the situation in Syria.

The meeting was held to consider a letter submitted by the Secretary General to the Council on February 1 concerning the latest report from the Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

http://undocs.org/S/2018/84

At the beginning of the meeting Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs presented her briefing.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/unoda-web/documents/Remarks+of+the+High+Representative+to+Security+Council+on+Syria+-+5+Feb+2018.pdf

In turn, after the meeting the UN press office published the following news release

Proof of chemical weapons use in Syria should be met with 'meaningful response,' UN disarmament chief http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=58533#.WnnRx65Kupo

During the meeting Ambassador Haley spoke. Her remarks have been posted on the US mission to the UN website:

Ambassador Haley Delivers Remarks at a UN Security Council Meeting on Chemical Weapons Use in Syria https://usun.state.gov/highlights/8286

The UN has posted a video of the entire meeting:

The Situation in the Middle East (Syria) - Security Council, 8174th meeting
http://webtv.un.org/watch/the-situation-in-the-middle-east-syria-security-council-8174th-meeting/5726590308001/

The member states were seeking to have the Security Council President issue a statement condemning the recent reports of the usage of chemical weapons in Syria, but they were unable to achieve the needed consensus.

Russia submitted a resolution that would replace the OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism which had been shut down. However the proposal is not acceptable to the United States in its current form for the reasons stated.

Follows is a summary of the meeting as prepared by the UN secretariat:

Amid New Reports of Chemical Weapons Use in Syria, United Nations Top Disarmament Official Says International Community Obliged to Enact Meaningful Response
http://www.un.org/press/en/2018/sc13196.doc.htm

Although not posted yet, ultimately people will be able to read the entire meeting record at https://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/PV.8174

Ambassador Haley may be pushing for US military action in response to the most recent claims of chemical weapons usage in other forums, but she did not call for such action during the UN Security Council meeting.

As to Defense Secretary Mattis, he spoke to the Press on February 2 at which time he issued a warning and expressed concerns about the usage of Sarin gas.

Media Availability by Secretary Mattis at the Pentagon
https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/1431844/media-availability-by-secretary-mattis-at-the-pentagon/

Q: Can you talk a little bit about the chemical weapons that were -- the State Department was talking about just a little bit yesterday, that mentioned chlorine gas? Is this something you're seeing that's been weaponized or – just give us a sense.

SEC. MATTIS: It has.

Q: It has. Okay.

SEC. MATTIS: It has. We are more -- even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use, the likelihood of sarin use, and we're looking for the evidence. And so that's about all the more I can say about it right now, but we are on the record, and you all have seen how we reacted to that, so they'd be ill-advised to go back to violating the chemical convention.

Then later on during the same press briefing:

"Q: Can I ask a quick follow up, just a clarification on what you'd said earlier about Syria and sarin gas?

SEC. MATTIS: Yeah.

Q: Just make sure I heard you correctly, you're saying you think it's likely they have used it and you're looking for the evidence? Is that what you said?

SEC. MATTIS: That's -- we think that they did not carry out what they said they would do back when -- in the previous administration, when they were caught using it. Obviously they didn't, cause they used it again during our administration.

And that gives us a lot of reason to suspect them. And now we have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it's been used.

We do not have evidence of it. But we're not refuting them; we're looking for evidence of it. Since clearly we are using -- we are dealing with the Assad regime that has used denial and deceit to hide their outlaw actions, okay?

Q: So the likelihood was not what your -- you're not characterizing it as a likelihood? I thought I used -- you used that word; I guess I misunderstood you.

SEC. MATTIS: Well, there's certainly groups that say they've used it. And so they think there's a likelihood, so we're looking for the evidence.

Q: Is there evidence of chlorine gas weapons used -- evidence of chlorine gas weapons?

SEC. MATTIS: I think that's, yes --

Q: No, I know, I heard you.

SEC. MATTIS: I think it's been used repeatedly. And that's, as you know, a somewhat separate category, which is why I broke out the sarin as another -- yeah.

Q: So there's credible evidence out there that both sarin and chlorine --

SEC. MATTIS: No, I have not got the evidence, not specifically. I don't have the evidence.

What I'm saying is that other -- that groups on the ground, NGOs, fighters on the ground have said that sarin has been used. So we are looking for evidence. I don't have evidence, credible or uncredible."

In that regard three reports from Reuters:

January 30 Exclusive: Tests link Syrian government stockpile to largest sarin attack - sources
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-crisis-chemicalweapons-exclusiv/exclusive-tests-link-syrian-government-stockpile-to-largest-sarin-attack-sources-idUSKBN1FJ0MG

"The Syrian government's chemical weapons stockpile has been linked for the first time by laboratory tests to the largest sarin nerve agent attack of the civil war, diplomats and scientists told Reuters, supporting Western claims that government forces under President Bashar al-Assad were behind the atrocity."

February 1 - U.S. says Syria may be developing new types of chemical weapons https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-syria-usa/u-s-says-syria-may-be-developing-new-types-of-chemical-weapons-idUSKBN1FL65L

"The Syrian government may be developing new types of chemical weapons, and U.S. President Donald Trump is prepared to consider further military action if necessary to deter chemical attacks, senior U.S. officials said on Thursday."

As to the Friday media briefing by Secretary Mattis on February 2, Reuters reported:

U.S.' Mattis says concerned about Syria's potential use of sarin gas
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-usa/u-s-mattis-says-concerned-about-syrias-potential-use-of-sarin-gas-idUSKBN1FM1VJ

On Monday, February 5, the Bild, a German outlet published a report alleging that Iran was supplying Syria with missiles to deliver chemical weapons and that some of the materials in the weapons came from Germany. The report analyses missiles with gas canisters allegedly used in a chemical weapons attack in Douma, Damascus on January 22, 2018.

Deutsche Bauteile in Assads Giftgas-Raketen
https://www.bild.de/politik/ausland/headlines/gas-deutsche-teile-54697308.bild.html

The Bild article relies on work carried out by an entity known as Syrians for Truth and Justice and the online investigative journalist website Bellingcat operated by Eliot Higgins.

Also read the following reports posted on the Bellingcat website:

January 23 - Despite Trump's Threats, Chemical Attacks Continue in Syria
https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/01/23/despite-trumps-threats-chemical-attacks-continue-syria/

February 1 - For the Third Time This Year, Chlorine is Used as a Chemical Weapon in Douma, Damascus https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/02/01/third-time-year-chlorine-used-chemical-weapon-douma-damascus/

February 5 - Images from the January 22nd 2018 Chlorine Attack in Douma, Damascus
https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/02/05/images-january-22nd-2018-chlorine-attack-douma-damascus/

February 5 - More Details of the January 22nd 2018 Chlorine Attack in Douma, Damascus https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/02/05/details-january-22nd-2018-chlorine-attack-douma-damascus/

Also read the following reports posted by Syrians for Truth and Justice:

August 21, 2017 - Non-Stop Using Chlorine Gas as a Weapon in Syrian Conflict https://stj-sy.com/en/view/185

December 2, 2017 - New Attack by Toxic Gases on a Battlefront in Harasta- Damascus Countryside "Testimonies Confirm Using "Organophosphorus Compounds" https://www.stj-sy.com/en/view/344

January 21, 2018 - Exposure of Six Civilians to Poisonous Substances in Eastern Ghouta- Damascus Countryside https://www.stj-sy.com/en/view/391

February 5, 2018 - Syrian Forces Use Chemical Weapons in Duma for a Second Time in a Month. Joint Report: Bellingcat & Syrians for Truth and Justice https://www.stj-sy.com/en/view/413

(Do not shoot the messenger. As to the Bild report, the summary relies on Google translate, the original article being in German. Since the Bild report relies on work done by Bellingcat and Syrians For Truth and Justice, I have linked to various reports providing details of alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria since July, 2017 produced by these entities for your reference.)

catherine , 06 February 2018 at 02:43 PM

Re: Nikki Haley

This is all you need to know about Haley and why Trump (or rather Adelson) appointed her to the UN.

'Between May and June, 2016, Sheldon Adelson contributed $250,000 to Haley's 527 political organization, A Great Day, funds that she used to target four Republican state senate rivals in primaries. Adelson was the largest contributor to her group, which raised a total of $915,000.'

(Not coincidentally, however, Sheldon Adelson was the GOP's and Trump's single biggest donor)

"Perhaps Adelson gained an unusual interest in South Carolina's state senate, but it seems more likely the investment was a show of support for Haley's hawkish pro-Israel positions. Adelson, who is also the largest donor to the extreme right-wing Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), has long pushed stridently anti-Iran positions, suggesting in late 2013 that Washington detonate a nuclear weapon in Iran's territory unless Tehran complied with demands that it completely abandon its nuclear program.
And, as Weiss wrote, Haley had come through for Adelson already in 2015, when she signed without any reservation the first law against boycotts of Israel -- about the same time as Adelson convened an anti-BDS summit in Las Vegas.''
https://lobelog.com/nikki-haley-neocon-heartthrob/

DianaLC , 06 February 2018 at 03:00 PM
Thank you. I hear "chemical attack" now and know I need to get away from the Tee Vee and come here instead.
The Beaver , 06 February 2018 at 03:23 PM
Colonel,
Today at House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing :
Former Ambassador Ford:
-If purpose to deter Iran from attacking Israel, perhaps we should have troops in Israel instead of eastern Syria.
-US forces in eastern Syria. Iranians in western Syria. Our forces about 350 miles from Iranians. Not likely Iranians going to leave Syria. Mistake to think Russians will push them out. Hi-level consultations btw us, Israel Jordan to develop menu of options about how to deter.
-when I was US ambassador in Syria in 2007, Iranians were there. Iranians long been there. They don't need a road/land bridge. They fly things into Damascus airport.

Thought he has learnt his lessons, but I must be hoping for too much !

Richardstevenhack , 06 February 2018 at 04:25 PM
Two points:

That the reports of SAA shelling of the Turks comes from "opposition resources" needs no caveat.

That there is also a report claiming that the shelling of the Turks comes from Iranian militia also needs no caveat. Clearly someone wants to blame both the SAA and Iran, which dovetails neatly with the US/Israel desire to "roll back Iran" out of Syria as well as get a full-scale US/NATO/Israel war on Syria started, which has been the goal from Day One of the Syria crisis.

The new rise of "chemical WMD" charges against Syria clearly also feed into the now-confirmed continued desire of the US/Israel for a full-scale air campaign against Syria.

As I believe I've mentioned before, it ain't over until it's over. The US clearly has not given up a desire to go to war with Syria as a precursor to Israel and the US taking out Hizballah (to the degree that is possible) which is also a precursor to starting a war with Iran.

Also, read a report the other day that John Bolton is still considered a candidate for Secretary of State should Tillerson be forced out at some point, which I still think is quite likely. Such an appointment would signal the absolute end of any notion of Trump being interested in rapprochement with Russia and would also guarantee war with Iran.

Because John Bolton is a raving neocon lunatic - which is what the moustache tells you.

kooshy said in reply to catherine... , 06 February 2018 at 05:36 PM
I don't understand why we think Nikki Haley shouldn't be who she is, and should pursue policies other than what she does. IMO, she is no different than Samantha Power. They both are/were equally anti-Russia, anti-Iran, anti-Syria, and pro-Israel pro KSA, and have same position with regard to NK or China, so what is the difference, what has changed.

IMO, they are not selected to pursue US foreign policy, they are only there as Israel'gate keepers, they are just there to make sure nothing against the interests of Israel passes, just like, what just happened in UNSC on Jerusalem. IMO, US for her own policies, doesn't give a damn about UN or UNSC, she does what she wants, and when she wants, and are not shy saying it like it is.

She is there as the Israel' veto power over the rest of the word, in case something not kosher comes up to UNSC. IMO, US' UN ambassadors only job is to protect Israel at UN, they are a retribution from the elected president of US (of either political party0 to Israel lobby for helping them getting elected. If Nikki is a gift for Adelson' money, whoever Hillary would have appointed to UN, would have been a gift to Haim Saban or another billionaire Israeli first SOB. This country' sovereignty has been successfully hijacked in almost 50 years.

Nevertheless, I believe WE the People are the sole responsible party for loss of control, as well as what Nikki does and who she does it for.

John_Frank , 06 February 2018 at 07:00 PM
Earlier today, jihadists backed by Turkey in the Afrin conflict claimed the YPG had used chemical weapons.

https://t.co/vDos2chHTr

In response to these claims, the YPG has issued a statement denying the claim, saying the Turkish military fired artillery shells containing a chemical weapon, which harmed their forces, so they moved to the high ground, while the jihadists remained in the low lying areas, so suffering the consequences.

http://bit.ly/2GQkIgl

Have the Turkish military and the Turkish backed jihadists used chemical weapons in the past in Syria?

Three tweets by @EndiZentarmi

https://twitter.com/EndiZentarmi/status/961005969336688640

Also

https://twitter.com/EndiZentarmi/status/961012542645600256

As well as

https://twitter.com/EndiZentarmi/status/850651337733943297

Along with one tweet by @AzadiRojava:

https://twitter.com/AzadiRojava/status/960962329448976384

In addition, as to the current claim:

https://twitter.com/4rj1n/status/960962657020010497

(The writer is unable to verify the competing claims and is simply posting them for information purposes.)

james said in reply to John_Frank ... , 06 February 2018 at 07:40 PM
john - with respect.. do you understand what a false flag operation is and how often they have been used in the war on syria?
JamesT -> JW... , 06 February 2018 at 11:43 PM
JW

You wrote "everyone except Hezbollah will want to stop [Iran from spreading its influence and bases] ...".

You sir, are wrong. There are a lot of people in the world, and certainly in the Arab world (including Sunnis) who see Iran's influence as a welcome counterweight to the US/UK/Israel. They remember what happened in 1953 and don't buy into what CNN is pushing. I say this based on face to face discussions I have had with Arabs.

John_Frank -> james... , 07 February 2018 at 12:21 PM
Yes and earlier today the OPCW issued the following statement:

OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria Continues Investigations into Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-fact-finding-mission-in-syria-continues-investigations-into-allegations-of-chemical-weapons-use/

The portion relevant for our purposes reads:

"THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 7 February 2018 – Recent allegations about the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Aran Republic continue to be of grave concern to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), whose mandate is "to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic", is investigating all credible allegations and provides regular reports for consideration by States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). A rigorous methodology is employed for conducting an investigation of alleged use of chemical weapons. The FFM report will take into account corroboration between interviewee testimonies; open-source research; medical reports and other relevant documentation as well as the characteristics of any samples obtained by the FFM. The FFM works closely with States Parties including the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic.

The FFM's mandate is to determine whether chemical weapons or toxic chemicals as weapons have been used in Syria; it does not include identifying who is responsible for alleged attacks.

OPCW Director General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü reiterated: "Any use of chemical weapons is a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the hard won international norm prohibiting these weapons. Those responsible for their use must be held accountable. These abhorrent weapons have no place in the world today."

In turn, in my view, the UN Security Council needs to reach an understanding on the re-establishment of a OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism so that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons are brought to account.

The Beaver said in reply to kooshy... , 07 February 2018 at 01:35 PM
whoever Hillary would have appointed to UN, would have been a gift to Haim Saban or another billionaire Israeli first SOB.

It would have been either the "F* Europe" Tonia Nuland or the rapporteur social worker to Israel Wendy Sherman who is stilllearning all the dirty tricks from Madeleine.

james said in reply to John_Frank ... , 07 February 2018 at 01:36 PM
sure... but tell me john, how does the opcw offer any credibility to itself, if it is relying on eyewitnesses in the jihadi held area of Khan Shaykhun???
it is fine for the same countries that have been pushing for regime change in syria to say ''they believe''' syria is responsible, but that is not proof and it really sullies there reputation and the opcw's further as i see it.. al nusra were in control of the area at the time... these are the friendly headchopper crew that turkey seems to have in their backpocket at present and who they are using to further there exercise in afrin.. now, maybe al nusra has had a name change again, so forgive me if i don't have the up to date name for them... for all i know, they are now called the 'syrian democratic forces' or turkish free syrian army - 2 other names that sound straight out of a hollywood script.. if i sound cynical - you are reading me correctly.. the western gov'ts - usa, uk, or even israel, saudi arabia, turkey and france need to stop using international organizations for there own political ends and start being honest brokers in finding peace, as opposed to dividing up sovereign countries like syria.. thanks..
james said in reply to John_Frank ... , 07 February 2018 at 02:00 PM
john - for another example of the blame game that the usa has gotten so in the habit of doing with regard to these chemical weapon attacks - i call them false flags, as that is just what they are to me, take a look at the stupidity coming via the daily press briefing from yesterday... all bluster and bullshit with nothing to substantiate any of it.. is this all the usa is capable of nowadays? see down towards the bottom of the link for the relevant comments on this topic..
https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2018/02/278014.htm
Greco said in reply to JW... , 07 February 2018 at 02:00 PM
JW, that sounds about right.

I agree with the good Colonel's assessment, except on one point. I don't think Mattis is being biased; to put it in less kinder terms, I think he's being a willing political hack.

[Feb 02, 2018] Lying, Spying and Hiding by Andrew Napolitano

Notable quotes:
"... The abuse summarized in the Republican memo apparently spans the last year of the Obama administration and the first year of the Trump administration. If it comes through as advertised, it will show the deep state using the government's powers for petty or political or ideological reasons. ..."
"... The use of raw intelligence data by the NSA or the FBI for political purposes or to manipulate those in government is as serious a threat to popular government -- to personal liberty in a free society -- as has ever occurred in America since Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, which punished speech critical of the government. ..."
"... No politician gives a hoot about what the people who vote for them think. I am sure, even if any house member or a senator knew of this memo, the bill would still have passed. ..."
"... It appears that the judge doesn't understand how the US government is run these days. ..."
"... Among other Establishment officials, "Robert Mueller, the no-nonsense special counsel investigating whether any Americans aided the Russian government in its now well-known interference in the 2016 American presidential election" (Andrew Napolitano, 12/7/17) helped conduct unlawful, mass surveillance in his FBI gig, and thus violated his "oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution." Right, "Judge"? ..."
"... Senator Wyden knew when Mr. Clapper was lying about governmental spying on every American in a public hearing years ago, Mr. Snowden pulled back the curtain for all to see, and Congress has since flopped. Right, "Judge"? ..."
Feb 01, 2018 | www.unz.com

I have argued for a few weeks now that House Intelligence Committee members have committed misconduct in office by concealing evidence of spying abuses by the National Security Agency and the FBI. They did this by sitting on a four-page memo that summarizes the abuse of raw intelligence data while Congress was debating a massive expansion of FISA.

FISA is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which was written to enable the federal government to spy on foreign agents here and abroad. Using absurd and paranoid logic, the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which only hears the government's lawyers, has morphed "foreign intelligence surveillance" into undifferentiated bulk surveillance of all Americans.

Undifferentiated bulk surveillance is the governmental acquisition of fiber-optic data stored and transmitted by nearly everyone in America. This includes all telephone conversations, text messages and emails, as well as all medical, legal and financial records.

Ignorant of the hot potato on which the House Intelligence Committee had been sitting, Congress recently passed and President Donald Trump signed a vast expansion of spying authorities -- an expansion that authorizes legislatively the domestic spying that judges were authorizing on everyone in the U.S. without individual suspicion of wrongdoing or probable cause of crime; an expansion that passed in the Senate with no votes to spare; an expansion that evades and avoids the Fourth Amendment; an expansion that the president signed into law the day before we all learned of the House Intelligence Committee memo.

The FISA expansion would never have passed the Senate had the House Intelligence Committee memo and the data on which it is based come to light seven days sooner than it did. Why should 22 members of a House committee keep their 500-plus congressional colleagues in the dark about domestic spying abuses while those colleagues were debating the very subject matter of domestic spying and voting to expand the power of those who have abused it?

The answer to this lies in the nature of the intelligence community today and the influence it has on elected officials in the government. By the judicious, personalized and secret revelation of data, both good and bad -- here is what we know about your enemies, and here is what we know about you -- the NSA shows its might to the legislators who supposedly regulate it. In reality, the NSA regulates them.

This is but one facet of the deep state -- the unseen parts of the government that are not authorized by the Constitution and that never change, no matter which party controls the legislative or executive branch. This time, they almost blew it. If just one conscientious senator had changed her or his vote on the FISA expansion -- had that senator known of the NSA and FBI abuses of FISA concealed by the House Intelligence Committee -- the expansion would have failed.

Nevertheless, the evidence on which the committee members sat is essentially a Republican-written summary of raw intelligence data. Earlier this week, the Democrats on the committee authored their version -- based, they say, on the same raw intelligence data as was used in writing the Republican version. But the House Intelligence Committee, made up of 13 Republicans and nine Democrats, voted to release only the Republican-written memo.

Late last week, when it became apparent that the Republican memo would soon be released, the Department of Justice publicly contradicted President Trump by advising the leadership of the House Intelligence Committee in very strong terms that the memo should not be released to the public.

It soon became apparent that, notwithstanding the DOJ admonition, no one in the DOJ had actually seen the memo. So FBI Director Chris Wray made a secret, hurried trip to the House Intelligence Committee's vault last Sunday afternoon to view the memo. When asked by the folks who showed it to him whether it contains secret or top-secret material, he couldn't or wouldn't say. But he apparently saw in the memo the name of the No. 2 person at the FBI, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, as one of the abusers of spying authority. That triggered McCabe's summary departure from the FBI the next day, after a career of 30 years.

The abuse summarized in the Republican memo apparently spans the last year of the Obama administration and the first year of the Trump administration. If it comes through as advertised, it will show the deep state using the government's powers for petty or political or ideological reasons.

The use of raw intelligence data by the NSA or the FBI for political purposes or to manipulate those in government is as serious a threat to popular government -- to personal liberty in a free society -- as has ever occurred in America since Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, which punished speech critical of the government.

The government works for us; we should not tolerate its treating us as children. When raw intelligence data is capable of differing interpretations and is relevant to a public dispute -- about, for example, whether the NSA and the FBI are trustworthy, whether FISA should even exist, whether spying on everyone all the time keeps us safe and whether the Constitution even permits this -- the raw data should be released to the American public.

Where is the personal courage on the House Intelligence Committee? Where is the patriotism? Where is the fidelity to the Constitution? The government exists by our consent. It derives its powers from us. We have a right to know what it has done in our names, who broke our trust, who knew about it, who looked the other way and why and by whom all this was intentionally hidden until after Congress voted to expand FISA.

Everyone in government takes an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. How many take it meaningfully and seriously?

Copyright 2018 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by Creators.com.


MEexpert , February 1, 2018 at 8:02 am GMT

Where is the personal courage on the House Intelligence Committee? Where is the patriotism? Where is the fidelity to the Constitution? The government exists by our consent. It derives its powers from us. We have a right to know what it has done in our names, who broke our trust, who knew about it, who looked the other way and why and by whom all this was intentionally hidden until after Congress voted to expand FISA.

The Judge is wrong. The government exists by Israel's/AIPAC's consent. The fidelity is to the state of Israel. No politician gives a hoot about what the people who vote for them think. I am sure, even if any house member or a senator knew of this memo, the bill would still have passed.

Everyone in government takes an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution ( State of Israel ). How many take it meaningfully and seriously?

The additions and bolds are mine. It appears that the judge doesn't understand how the US government is run these days. The US government is for Israel, of Israel, and by Israel . Every dishonorable house member and every dishonorable senator knows that. Pure and simple.

Let us see how the Judge's own FOX channel reports on this story.

anonymous Disclaimer , February 1, 2018 at 10:16 am GMT
He'll soon get back to his Russophobia, but Mr. Napolitano's chore today is to create cover for as much Establishment backside as possible by blaming the recent, further statutory enshrinement of our police state on the members of a single committee within the House of Representatives. (He leaves himself room to point his finger at unnamed others who knew about what has now been summarized in a memorandum supposedly soon to be released.) But he fails to address the flaws in this narrative.

1. Among other Establishment officials, "Robert Mueller, the no-nonsense special counsel investigating whether any Americans aided the Russian government in its now well-known interference in the 2016 American presidential election" (Andrew Napolitano, 12/7/17) helped conduct unlawful, mass surveillance in his FBI gig, and thus violated his "oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution." Right, "Judge"?

2. This article, foreshadowed in his published here last week, pounds on the farcical notion that only members of a single House committee have known, and have known only recently, about "[t]he abuse summarized in the Republican memo," that if "just one conscientious senator had changed her or his vote on the FISA expansion -- had that senator known of the NSA and FBI abuses of FISA concealed by the House Intelligence Committee -- the expansion would have failed." But Senator Wyden knew when Mr. Clapper was lying about governmental spying on every American in a public hearing years ago, Mr. Snowden pulled back the curtain for all to see, and Congress has since flopped. Right, "Judge"?

3. Building on his article of last week, Mr. Napolitano wants his readers to think that, daggum it, there's nothing to be done about this now, as though the tablets have been carved and sent back up the mountain for several years. But "one conscientious senator" could take the floor today to introduce a bill to repeal any of these previous or new FISA provisions. Right, "Judge"?

4. None of this law matters because all these people are above it. Right, "Judge"?

Michelle , February 2, 2018 at 7:29 pm GMT
I used to think that the 2 Parties just traded off every few elections and that the President, being only a figure head, was predetermined. Julian Assange, before the election, stated, very firmly, that the powers that be would never let Trump become President. I believed him. I still can't figure out how Trump slipped in under the radar.

[Feb 01, 2018] FISA Frivolity FBI Warns Memo Could Undermine Faith In Massive, Unaccountable Secret Agencies

Feb 01, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

With the moment of truth - over-hyped dud or Democratic-establishment-crushing dream - looming in less than 24 hours, the headlines, finger-pointing, pettiness, and back-stabbing has reached 11 on the Spinal Tap amplifier of debacle... to the point where some humor in this FISA farce may help everyone get through the weekend.

The following is the latest to cross the wires...

Stressing that such an action would be highly reckless, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Thursday that releasing the "Nunes Memo" could potentially undermine faith in the massive, unaccountable government secret agencies of the United States.

"Making this memo public will almost certainly impede our ability to conduct clandestine activities operating outside any legal or judicial system on an international scale," said Wray, noting that it was essential that mutual trust exist between the American people and the vast, mysterious cabal given free rein to use any tactics necessary to conduct surveillance on U.S. citizens or subvert religious and political groups.

"If we take away the people's faith in this shadowy monolith exempt from any consequences, all that's left is an extensive network of rogue, unelected intelligence officers carrying out extrajudicial missions for a variety of subjective, and occasionally personal, reasons."

At press time, Wray confirmed the massive, unaccountable government secret agencies were unaware of any wrongdoing for violating constitutional rights.

...Yes, The Onion.

[Jan 30, 2018] One of the mysteries of the Snowden affair was why none (almost none) of the 40,000 employees of the disgusting 4th Amendment-trampling NSA blew the whistle on what they likely would have known was massive illegal spying.

Jan 30, 2018 | off-guardian.org

George Cornell says January 24, 2018

One of the mysteries of the Snowden affair was why none (almost none) of the 40,000 employees of the disgusting 4th Amendment-trampling NSA blew the whistle on what they likely would have known was massive illegal spying. It seems logical to assume they used their own technology to screen applicants and I have it third hand that they screened each applicant or nomination, for any left wing activity, any boat-rocking history, any standing up to authority, emerging with a Stepford culture of fartcatching milquetoasts, who meekly and submissively did what they were told and nothing else.

I now ask the same question of the disgraceful Guardian, which is nearly unrecognizably distant from the aims of the family trust establishing it in the wake of Peterloo. Why have none of their columnist railed publicly against the perverse mutilation of a grand old establishment gad fly and formerly a beacon of integrity?

To read the Fraudian now, you have to discount nearly everything they say and decipher the tiresome code for what they really think. Unless you can be sustained by mindless gender-counting and lifestyle advice preceded by the things you 'must' do , delivered by yapping non-experts, bulwarked by doctrinaire moderatrices.

This was a paper to which a whistleblower, not long ago might choose to go. They would be mad to go there now after the Fraudian threw Snowden under the bus in their uninhibited headlong fanatical drum eating for the dreaded Hillary. The pant-suited one wants him home "to face the music". Nice. There were many lessons from Hillary's defeat and they have learned none of them.

We live in an era where lying to Congress can be done with impunity cf. Alexander, Clapper, Brennan et al. There was no consequence for them There could be a consequence for the Fraudian.

[Jan 28, 2018] The not-so-secret life of Mathilde Krim

Notable quotes:
"... As president, Kennedy maintained some distance from the Israeli government. He supported the right of return of Palestinian refugees and vigorously opposed Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons. The CIA had obtained evidence of the Israeli nuclear project in the desert at Dimona– claimed to be a fabric factory, Brod says– and in the year before he was assassinated, Kennedy had pushed Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and his successor, Levi Eshkol, to account for the activities. ..."
"... Johnson ultimately suppressed intelligence reports that Israel was becoming a nuclear power. "By 1968, the President had no intention of doing anything to stop the Israeli bomb," Hersh writes. ..."
Jan 28, 2018 | mondoweiss.net

Brod believes that Mathilde Krim was strategic in forming the friendship.

From the day they first met which was at the party for JFK at the Krim residence in the city– from that day forward she speaks proudly of having nurtured a relationship with Johnson because Johnson was not part of the JFK inner circle. I don't think it was an accident that she approached Johnson and developed this ongoing relationship. I have a feeling that from her entry into the United States if not before there was a plan of how she could best serve Israel and she began serving them when she was living in Switzerland in her first marriage and her work with the Stern gang. She had a strong stomach to involve herself with that kind of terror, and she certainly lived up to it here.

The transition from Kennedy to Johnson in 1963 was an important moment in the history of the special relationship.

Kennedy had bridled at the pro-Israel influence. In 1960, his campaign was in trouble when a group of Jewish leaders gave him $500,000 at the Pierre Hotel in New York, and then "interrogated Kennedy stringently on matters affecting Jews and Israel," (as Abba Eban later related ). "As an American citizen [Kennedy] was outraged" by the effort to take "control" of JFK's Middle East policy, his friend the newspaperman Charles Bartlett told Seymour Hersh.

As president, Kennedy maintained some distance from the Israeli government. He supported the right of return of Palestinian refugees and vigorously opposed Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons. The CIA had obtained evidence of the Israeli nuclear project in the desert at Dimona– claimed to be a fabric factory, Brod says– and in the year before he was assassinated, Kennedy had pushed Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and his successor, Levi Eshkol, to account for the activities.

His successor had fewer scruples about backing Israel. Johnson's political career was interwoven with Jews, as his wife later reflected, and he saw that nuclear nonproliferation "made for bad politics," as Hersh says in The Samson Option, because it alienated the Jewish community. Johnson ultimately suppressed intelligence reports that Israel was becoming a nuclear power. "By 1968, the President had no intention of doing anything to stop the Israeli bomb," Hersh writes.

Mathilde Krim was undoubtedly a factor in that policymaking. Throughout his presidency, the Krims were among Johnson's very closest friends. They had a room in the White House and built a house on Lake Lyndon B. Johnson in the Texas hill country so as to be near his ranch in Stonewall when he was on vacation there. Johnson stayed at their house in New York.

It has been suggested that Mathilde Krim was LBJ's lover. "It was a barely hidden secret in leading government circles in Israel and the United States at the time that Mrs. Krim was extremely close to Lyndon Johnson," Helena Cobban wrote in her blogpost on Krim last week. While Brod points out that Johnson was a "competitive womanizer," according to his aide Bill Moyers, and certainly the president had social opportunities alone with Mathilde Krim.

... ... ...

They are missing a fascinating story about the ability of a charismatic intelligent zealot to gain the audience of the most powerful man in the world as history was unfolding.

"One of the things that made Israel's miracle come true was Israel's ability to use people like Abe Fortas and Arthur Goldberg," Brod says. "They had a huge Rolodex of influential people, whether mass media or fundraisers, that they could contact and effectively use depending on the situation, and there was no one more needed during the Six Day War than Mathilde Krim."

When Abba Eban told a disapproving Johnson in Texas that Israel could no longer hold off its attack, it was Johnson and Mathilde who flew back to the White House, leaving Lady Bird behind at the ranch. It was Johnson who awakened Krim in her White House bedroom to tell her the news of the war beginning. It was Mathilde Krim who who even as she was forced to get back to work in New York left Johnson a pro-Israel speech to quiet a pending Jewish demonstration.

As for Johnson's willingness to turn a blind eye to the Israeli nuclear program, or its attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, we can only guess at Mathilde Krim's advice to him. As she later advised others, anyone can have an influence over policy– you just have to throw yourself into it.

"Lyndon Johnson was so willing to be Mathilde Krim's hero that he would do almost anything he could get away with," Brod concludes. "And that was quite a lot."

[Jan 24, 2018] The FBI Hand Behind Russia-gate by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
This is really a "soft coup", a color revolution against Trump
Notable quotes:
"... It would have been unfortunate enough for Strzok and Page to have their adolescent-sounding texts merely exposed, revealing the reckless abandon of star-crossed lovers hiding (they thought) secrets from cuckolded spouses, office colleagues, and the rest of us. However, for the never-Trump plotters in the FBI, the official release of just a fraction (375) of almost 10,000 messages does incalculably more damage than that. ..."
"... We suddenly have documentary proof that key elements of the U.S. intelligence community were trying to short-circuit the U.S. democratic process. And that puts in a new and dark context the year-long promotion of Russia-gate. It now appears that it was not the Russians trying to rig the outcome of the U.S. election, but leading officials of the U.S. intelligence community, shadowy characters sometimes called the Deep State. ..."
"... More of the Strzok-Page texting dialogue is expected to be released. And the Department of Justice Inspector General reportedly has additional damaging texts from others on the team that Special Counsel Robert Mueller selected to help him investigate Russia-gate. ..."
"... But the main casualty is the FBI's 18-month campaign to sabotage candidate-and-now-President Donald Trump by using the Obama administration's Russia-gate intelligence "assessment," electronic surveillance of dubious legality, and a salacious dossier that could never pass the smell test, while at the same time using equally dubious techniques to immunize Hillary Clinton and her closest advisers from crimes that include lying to the FBI and endangering secrets ..."
"... Ironically, the Strzok-Page texts provide something that the Russia-gate investigation has been sorely lacking: first-hand evidence of both corrupt intent and action. After months of breathless searching for "evidence" of Russian-Trump collusion designed to put Trump in the White House, what now exists is actual evidence that senior officials of the Obama administration colluded to keep Trump out of the White House – proof of what old-time gumshoes used to call "means, motive and opportunity ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Besides this wildly improbable storyline, there were flat denials from WikiLeaks, which distributed the supposedly "hacked" Democratic emails, that the information came from Russia – and there was the curious inability of the National Security Agency to use its immense powers to supply any technical evidence to support the Russia-hack scenario. ..."
"... on Jan. 6, 2017, President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released an evidence-free report that he said was compiled by "hand-picked" analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA, offering an "assessment" that Russia and President Putin were behind the release of the Democratic emails in a plot to help Trump win the presidency. ..."
"... Despite the extraordinary gravity of the charge, even New York Times correspondent Scott Shane noted that proof was lacking. He wrote at the time: "What is missing from the [the Jan. 6] public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to 'trust us.'" ..."
"... Virtually all skepticism about the evidence-free "assessment" was banned. For months, the Times and other newspapers of record repeated the lie that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had concurred in the conclusion about the Russian "hack." Even when that falsehood was belatedly acknowledged , the major news outlets just shifted the phrasing slightly to say that U.S. intelligence agencies had reached the Russian "hack" conclusion. Shane's blunt initial recognition about the lack of proof disappeared from the mainstream media's approved narrative of Russia-gate. ..."
"... Doubts about the Russian "hack" or dissident suggestions that what we were witnessing was a "soft coup" were scoffed at by leading media commentators. Other warnings from veteran U.S. intelligence professionals about the weaknesses of the Russia-gate narrative and the danger of letting politicized intelligence overturn a constitutional election were also brushed aside in pursuit of the goal of removing Trump from the White House. ..."
"... Justified or not, Trump's feeling of vindication could hardly be more dangerous -- particularly at a time when the most urgent need is to drain some testosterone from the self-styled Stable-Genius-in-Chief and his martinet generals. ..."
"... On the home front, Trump, his wealthy friends, and like-thinkers in Congress may now feel they have an even wider carte blanche to visit untold misery on the poor, the widow, the stranger and other vulnerable humans. That was always an underlying danger of the Resistance's strategy to seize on whatever weapons were available – no matter how reckless or unfair – to "get Trump." ..."
"... Beyond that, Russia-gate has become so central to the Washington establishment's storyline that there appears to be no room for second-thoughts or turning back. The momentum is such that some Democrats and the media never-Trumpers can't stop stoking the smoke of Russia-gate and holding out hope against hope that it will somehow justify Trump's impeachment. ..."
"... Yet, the sordid process of using legal/investigative means to settle political scores further compromises the principle of the "rule of law" and integrity of journalism in the eyes of many Americans. After a year of Russia-gate, the "rule of law" and "pursuit of truth" appear to have been reduced to high-falutin' phrases for political score-setttling, a process besmirched by Republicans in earlier pursuits of Democrats and now appearing to be a bipartisan method for punishing political rivals regardless of the lack of evidence. ..."
"... In June and July 2017 Strzok was the top FBI official working on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia, but was taken off that job when the Justice Department IG learned of the Strzok-Page text-message exchange and told Mueller ..."
"... At this point, the $64 question is whether the various congressional oversight committees will remain ensconced in their customarily cozy role as "overlook" committees, or whether they will have the courage to attempt to carry out their Constitutional duty. The latter course would mean confronting a powerful Deep State and its large toolbox of well-practiced retaliatory techniques, including J. Edgar Hoover-style blackmail on steroids, enabled by electronic surveillance of just about everything and everyone. Yes, today's technology permits blanket collection, and "Collect Everything" has become the motto. ..."
"... Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, with almost four decades of membership in the House and Senate, openly warned incoming President Trump in January 2017 against criticizing the U.S. intelligence community because U.S. intelligence officials have "six ways from Sunday to get back at you" if you are "dumb" enough to take them on. ..."
"... If congressional investigators have been paying attention, they already know what former weapons inspector Scott Ritter shared with Veteran intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) colleagues this week; namely, that Fusion GPS's Glenn Simpson, who commissioned the Russia dossier using Democratic Party money, said he reached out to Steele after June 17, just three days before Steele's first report was published , drawing on seven sources. ..."
"... How, you might ask, could Strzok and associates undertake these extra-legal steps with such blithe disregard for the possible consequences should they be caught? The answer is easy; Mrs. Clinton was a shoo-in, remember? This was just extra insurance with no expectation of any "death benefit" ever coming into play -- save for Trump's electoral demise in November 2016. The attitude seemed to be that, if abuse of the FISA law should eventually be discovered -- there would be little interest in a serious investigation by the editors of The New York Times and other anti-Trump publications and whatever troubles remained could be handled by President Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... As you know Mr. McGovern the police state seldom loses. ..."
"... Compared to the criminal and corrupt US political system, the mafia is an honor society oriented on values. More and more evidence appears that the whole Russian Gate was precooked by the Obama and Clinton mafia together with crooks like Clapper, Brennan, Comey. Lynch and many of the top brass in the FBI and the DoJ. The installment of Bob Mueller who is hugely biased and a Comey body hired only Clinton supporters as his lawyers. But such a team shows how corrupt the US justice system has already become. ..."
"... Considering all the experience gleaned from 7+ decades of subverting and overthrowing governments around the world, the Deep State thugs must of thought securing the WH for their Killer Queen was a 'slam dunk.' ..."
"... The FBI answers to the CIA. This essay is absurd. ..."
Jan 24, 2018 | www.unz.com

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the third presidential debate in 2016, during which Clinton called Trump Vladimir Putin's "puppet.

Special Report: In the Watergate era, liberals warned about U.S. intelligence agencies manipulating U.S. politics, but now Trump-hatred has blinded many of them to this danger becoming real, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.

Russia-gate is becoming FBI-gate, thanks to the official release of unguarded text messages between loose-lipped FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and his garrulous girlfriend, FBI lawyer Lisa Page. (Ten illustrative texts from their exchange appear at the end of this article.)

Despite his former job as chief of the FBI's counterintelligence section, Strzok had the naive notion that texting on FBI phones could not be traced. Strzok must have slept through "Surity 101." Or perhaps he was busy texting during that class. Girlfriend Page cannot be happy at being misled by his assurance that using office phones would be a secure way to conduct their affair(s).

It would have been unfortunate enough for Strzok and Page to have their adolescent-sounding texts merely exposed, revealing the reckless abandon of star-crossed lovers hiding (they thought) secrets from cuckolded spouses, office colleagues, and the rest of us. However, for the never-Trump plotters in the FBI, the official release of just a fraction (375) of almost 10,000 messages does incalculably more damage than that.

We suddenly have documentary proof that key elements of the U.S. intelligence community were trying to short-circuit the U.S. democratic process. And that puts in a new and dark context the year-long promotion of Russia-gate. It now appears that it was not the Russians trying to rig the outcome of the U.S. election, but leading officials of the U.S. intelligence community, shadowy characters sometimes called the Deep State.

More of the Strzok-Page texting dialogue is expected to be released. And the Department of Justice Inspector General reportedly has additional damaging texts from others on the team that Special Counsel Robert Mueller selected to help him investigate Russia-gate.

Besides forcing the removal of Strzok and Page, the text exposures also sounded the death knell for the career of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, in whose office some of the plotting took place and who has already announced his plans to retire soon.

But the main casualty is the FBI's 18-month campaign to sabotage candidate-and-now-President Donald Trump by using the Obama administration's Russia-gate intelligence "assessment," electronic surveillance of dubious legality, and a salacious dossier that could never pass the smell test, while at the same time using equally dubious techniques to immunize Hillary Clinton and her closest advisers from crimes that include lying to the FBI and endangering secrets.

Ironically, the Strzok-Page texts provide something that the Russia-gate investigation has been sorely lacking: first-hand evidence of both corrupt intent and action. After months of breathless searching for "evidence" of Russian-Trump collusion designed to put Trump in the White House, what now exists is actual evidence that senior officials of the Obama administration colluded to keep Trump out of the White House – proof of what old-time gumshoes used to call "means, motive and opportunity."

Even more unfortunately for Russia-gate enthusiasts, the FBI lovers' correspondence provides factual evidence exposing much of the made-up "Resistance" narrative – the contrived storyline that The New York Times and much of the rest of the U.S. mainstream media deemed fit to print with little skepticism and few if any caveats, a scenario about brilliantly devious Russians that not only lacks actual evidence – relying on unverified hearsay and rumor – but doesn't make sense on its face.

The Russia-gate narrative always hinged on the preposterous notion that Russian President Vladimir Putin foresaw years ago what no American political analyst considered even possible, the political ascendancy of Donald Trump. According to the narrative, the fortune-telling Putin then risked creating even worse tensions with a nuclear-armed America that would – by all odds – have been led by a vengeful President Hillary Clinton.

Besides this wildly improbable storyline, there were flat denials from WikiLeaks, which distributed the supposedly "hacked" Democratic emails, that the information came from Russia – and there was the curious inability of the National Security Agency to use its immense powers to supply any technical evidence to support the Russia-hack scenario.

The Trump Shock

But the shock of Trump's election and the decision of many never-Trumpers to cast their lot with the Resistance led to a situation in which any prudent skepticism or demand for evidence was swept aside.

So, on Jan. 6, 2017, President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released an evidence-free report that he said was compiled by "hand-picked" analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA, offering an "assessment" that Russia and President Putin were behind the release of the Democratic emails in a plot to help Trump win the presidency.

Despite the extraordinary gravity of the charge, even New York Times correspondent Scott Shane noted that proof was lacking. He wrote at the time: "What is missing from the [the Jan. 6] public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to 'trust us.'"

But the "assessment" served a useful purpose for the never-Trumpers: it applied an official imprimatur on the case for delegitimizing Trump's election and even raised the long-shot hope that the Electoral College might reverse the outcome and possibly install a compromise candidate, such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, in the White House. Though the Powell ploy fizzled, the hope of somehow removing Trump from office continued to bubble, fueled by the growing hysteria around Russia-gate.

Virtually all skepticism about the evidence-free "assessment" was banned. For months, the Times and other newspapers of record repeated the lie that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had concurred in the conclusion about the Russian "hack." Even when that falsehood was belatedly acknowledged , the major news outlets just shifted the phrasing slightly to say that U.S. intelligence agencies had reached the Russian "hack" conclusion. Shane's blunt initial recognition about the lack of proof disappeared from the mainstream media's approved narrative of Russia-gate.

Doubts about the Russian "hack" or dissident suggestions that what we were witnessing was a "soft coup" were scoffed at by leading media commentators. Other warnings from veteran U.S. intelligence professionals about the weaknesses of the Russia-gate narrative and the danger of letting politicized intelligence overturn a constitutional election were also brushed aside in pursuit of the goal of removing Trump from the White House.

It didn't even seem to matter when new Russia-gate disclosures conflicted with the original narrative that Putin had somehow set Trump up as a Manchurian candidate. All normal journalistic skepticism was jettisoned. It was as if the Russia-gate advocates started with the conclusion that Trump must go and then made the facts fit into that mold, but anyone who noted the violations of normal investigative procedures was dismissed as a "Trump enabler" or a "Moscow stooge."

The Text Evidence

But then came the FBI text messages, providing documentary evidence that key FBI officials involved in the Russia-gate investigation were indeed deeply biased and out to get Trump, adding hard proof to Trump's longstanding lament that he was the subject of a "witch hunt ."

Peter Strzok, who served as a Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, second in command of counterintelligence.

Justified or not, Trump's feeling of vindication could hardly be more dangerous -- particularly at a time when the most urgent need is to drain some testosterone from the self-styled Stable-Genius-in-Chief and his martinet generals.

On the home front, Trump, his wealthy friends, and like-thinkers in Congress may now feel they have an even wider carte blanche to visit untold misery on the poor, the widow, the stranger and other vulnerable humans. That was always an underlying danger of the Resistance's strategy to seize on whatever weapons were available – no matter how reckless or unfair – to "get Trump."

Beyond that, Russia-gate has become so central to the Washington establishment's storyline that there appears to be no room for second-thoughts or turning back. The momentum is such that some Democrats and the media never-Trumpers can't stop stoking the smoke of Russia-gate and holding out hope against hope that it will somehow justify Trump's impeachment.

Yet, the sordid process of using legal/investigative means to settle political scores further compromises the principle of the "rule of law" and integrity of journalism in the eyes of many Americans. After a year of Russia-gate, the "rule of law" and "pursuit of truth" appear to have been reduced to high-falutin' phrases for political score-setttling, a process besmirched by Republicans in earlier pursuits of Democrats and now appearing to be a bipartisan method for punishing political rivals regardless of the lack of evidence.

Strzok and Page

Peter Strzok (pronounced "struck") has an interesting pedigree with multiple tasks regarding both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump. As the FBI's chief of counterespionage during the investigation into then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's unauthorized use of a personal email server for classified information, Strzok reportedly changed the words "grossly negligent" (which could have triggered legal prosecution) to the far less serious "extremely careless" in FBI Director James Comey's depiction of Clinton's actions. This semantic shift cleared the way for Comey to conclude just 20 days before the Democratic National Convention began in July 2016, that "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring charges against Mrs. Clinton.

Then, as Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, Strzok led the FBI's investigation into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election of 2016. It is a safe bet that he took a strong hand in hand-picking the FBI contingent of analysts that joined "hand-picked" counterparts from CIA and NSA in preparing the evidence-free, Jan. 6, 2017 assessment accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of interfering in the election of 2016. (Although accepted in Establishment groupthink as revealed truth, that poor excuse for analysis reflected the apogee of intelligence politicization -- rivaled only by the fraudulent intelligence on "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq 15 years ago.)

In June and July 2017 Strzok was the top FBI official working on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia, but was taken off that job when the Justice Department IG learned of the Strzok-Page text-message exchange and told Mueller.

There is no little irony in the fact that what did in the FBI sweathearts was their visceral disdain for Mr. Trump, their cheerleading-cum-kid-gloves treatment of Mrs. Clinton and her associates, their 1950-ish, James Clapperesque attitude toward Russians as "almost genetically driven" to evil, and their (Strzok/Page) elitist conviction that they know far better what is good for the country than regular American citizens, including those "deplorables" whom Clinton said made up half of Trump's supporters.

But Strzok/Page had no idea that their hubris, elitism and scheming would be revealed in so tangible a way. Worst of all for them, the very thing that Strzok, in particular, worked so hard to achieve -- the sabotaging of Trump and immunization of Mrs. Clinton and her closest advisers is now coming apart at the seams.

Congress: Oversee? or Overlook?

At this point, the $64 question is whether the various congressional oversight committees will remain ensconced in their customarily cozy role as "overlook" committees, or whether they will have the courage to attempt to carry out their Constitutional duty. The latter course would mean confronting a powerful Deep State and its large toolbox of well-practiced retaliatory techniques, including J. Edgar Hoover-style blackmail on steroids, enabled by electronic surveillance of just about everything and everyone. Yes, today's technology permits blanket collection, and "Collect Everything" has become the motto.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, with almost four decades of membership in the House and Senate, openly warned incoming President Trump in January 2017 against criticizing the U.S. intelligence community because U.S. intelligence officials have "six ways from Sunday to get back at you" if you are "dumb" enough to take them on.

Thanks to the almost 10,000 text messages between Strzok and Page, only a small fraction of which were given to Congress four weeks ago, there is now real evidentiary meat on the bones of the suspicions that there indeed was a "deep-state coup" to "correct" the outcome of the 2016 election. We now know that the supposedly apolitical FBI officials had huge political axes to grind. The Strzok-Page exchanges drip with disdain for Trump and those deemed his smelly deplorable supporters. In one text message, Strzok expressed visceral contempt for those working-class Trump voters, writing on Aug. 26, 2016, "Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support. it's scary real down here."

The texts even show Strzok warning of the need for an "insurance policy" to thwart Trump on the off-chance that his poll numbers closed in on those of Mrs. Clinton.

An Aug. 6, 2016 text message, for example, shows Page giving her knight in shining armor strong affirmation: "Maybe you're meant to stay where you are because you're meant to protect the country from that menace [Trump]." That text to Strzok includes a link to a David Brooks column in The New York Times, in which Brooks concludes with the clarion call: "There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you're not in revolt, you're in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame."

Another text message shows that other senior government officials – alarmed at the possibility of a Trump presidency – joined the discussion. In an apparent reference to an August 2016 meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok wrote to Page on Aug. 15, 2016, "I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he [Trump] gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk." Strzok added, "It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event that you die before you're 40."

Insurance Policy?

Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says he will ask Strzok to explain the "insurance policy" when he calls him to testify. What seems already clear is that the celebrated "Steele Dossier" was part of the "insurance," as was the evidence-less legend that Russia hacked the DNC's and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's emails and gave them to WikiLeaks .

If congressional investigators have been paying attention, they already know what former weapons inspector Scott Ritter shared with Veteran intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) colleagues this week; namely, that Fusion GPS's Glenn Simpson, who commissioned the Russia dossier using Democratic Party money, said he reached out to Steele after June 17, just three days before Steele's first report was published , drawing on seven sources.

"There is a snowball's chance in hell that this is raw intelligence gathered by Steele; rather he seems to have drawn on a single 'trusted intermediary' to gather unsubstantiated rumor already in existence."

Another VIPS colleague, Phil Giraldi, writing out of his own experience in private sector consulting, added: "The fact that you do not control your sources frequently means that they will feed you what they think you want to hear. Since they are only doing it for money, the more lurid the details the better, as it increases the apparent value of the information. The private security firm in turn, which is also doing it for the money, will pass on the stories and even embroider them to keep the client happy and to encourage him to come back for more. When I read the Steele dossier it looked awfully familiar to me, like the scores of similar reports I had seen which combined bullshit with enough credible information to make the whole product look respectable."

It is now widely known that the Democrats ponied up the "insurance premiums," so to speak, for former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele's "dossier" of lurid -- but largely unproven -- "intelligence" on Trump and the Russians. If, as many have concluded, the dossier was used to help justify a FISA warrant to snoop on the Trump campaign, those involved will be in deep kimchi, if congressional overseers do their job.

How, you might ask, could Strzok and associates undertake these extra-legal steps with such blithe disregard for the possible consequences should they be caught? The answer is easy; Mrs. Clinton was a shoo-in, remember? This was just extra insurance with no expectation of any "death benefit" ever coming into play -- save for Trump's electoral demise in November 2016. The attitude seemed to be that, if abuse of the FISA law should eventually be discovered -- there would be little interest in a serious investigation by the editors of The New York Times and other anti-Trump publications and whatever troubles remained could be handled by President Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, who chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee of Judiciary on Crime and Terrorism, joined Sen. Grassley in signing the letter referring Christopher Steele to the Justice Department to investigate what appear to be false statements about the dossier. In signing, Graham noted the "many stop signs the Department of Justice ignored in its use of the dossier." The signature of committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, however, was missing -- an early sign that a highly partisan battle royale is in the offing. On Tuesday, Feinstein unilaterally released a voluminous transcript of Glenn Simpson's earlier testimony and, as though on cue, Establishment pundits portrayed Steele as a good source and Fusion GPS's Glenn Simpson as a victim.

The Donnybrook is now underway; the outcome uncertain.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army and CIA intelligence analyst for 30 years; prepared and briefed the President's Daily Brief for Nixon, Ford, and Reagan; and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

... ... ...

SunBakedSuburb , January 15, 2018 at 9:30 pm GMT

Thanks for the article, Mr. McGovern. I sure wish this could be published where some liberal eyeballs could get a look at it. I would also be interested in your opinion on the strange stuff found in some of the John Podesta emails. Although I can understand why you may not want to swim in those murky waters.
niteranger , January 24, 2018 at 5:28 am GMT
The world is controlled by Corporate Fascist Military Industrial Intelligence Police States. They will pick the leaders of the world and no one will tell the differently. This FBI scandal goes through all the intelligence agencies and begins with Obama who basically runs the government in his "third term." This entire election was rigged by Dems starting with the exclusion of Sanders. Unfortunately, for the Dems their plan failed because Hillary was such a terrible candidate. If this is not brought out in the open we will never have a chance of getting a legitimate candidate again.

As you know Mr. McGovern the police state seldom loses.

anonymous Disclaimer , January 24, 2018 at 6:05 am GMT
An excellent, factual summary. (And, in light of the last two weeks, prescient.) This is true journalism, long gone from the rotten husks of what used to be known as the Press.

But the passages about Mr. Strzok helping to alter Mr. Comey's letter picked a scab: Why is there such widespread acceptance of the notion that Mrs. Clinton can not now be charged? I don't believe that Mr. McGovern shares that notion, other than seeing how immunizing people, etc., makes her prosecution more difficult. But many Americans on each "side" seem to see Mr. Comey's exercise of what was Mrs. Lynch's discretion to begin with as the equivalent of a Presidential pardon. In the meantime, applicable statutes of limitation run

The more sunlight, the better. But before getting your hopes up about any of this hullabaloo, or expecting any change in how the USG functions, go back and look for those pictures of Mr. Trump golfing with Mr. Clinton, the Clintons at his wedding(s), etc.

Ludwig Watzal , Website January 24, 2018 at 7:19 am GMT

Compared to the criminal and corrupt US political system, the mafia is an honor society oriented on values. More and more evidence appears that the whole Russian Gate was precooked by the Obama and Clinton mafia together with crooks like Clapper, Brennan, Comey. Lynch and many of the top brass in the FBI and the DoJ. The installment of Bob Mueller who is hugely biased and a Comey body hired only Clinton supporters as his lawyers. But such a team shows how corrupt the US justice system has already become.

The mainstream media are involved in this witch hunt against Trump from the very beginning. Perhaps some of its bog shots were even paid for fabricated political reporting. The NYT, the Post, CNN, MSNBC and all the other so-called opinion leaders spread fake news and kept the legend of "Russian collusion" going over a year, despite presenting not a single piece of evidence. Their task was to manipulate and brainwash the American public.

Just listen to this interview. One understands what was and still is going on in this crooked US political system.

The Alarmist , January 24, 2018 at 11:11 am GMT

" thanks to the official release of unguarded text messages between loose-lipped FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and his garrulous girlfriend, FBI lawyer Lisa Page."

Despite the efforts to destroy a significant part of the data trail. You know, in the good old days, evidence of the affair would be enough for their clearances to be revoked, and use of Government telecomms for such purposes would be grounds for firing. Don't know what Sessions is waiting for, but this bubba would like some red meat already. For that matter, he should have told Mueller where to put his subpeona. Sessions really is an empty suit.

bluedog , January 24, 2018 at 12:29 pm GMT
@niteranger

Well in reality it began with Bush the Stupid and his remark that the Constitution was only a GD piece of paper and promptly tore it up,and as long as we continue to have the best government "money can buy" nothing will change,anymore than it will change under Trump, as he switches from the war on terror to the war on competitors (Russia and China)and world domination and its resources..

Greg Bacon , Website January 24, 2018 at 12:32 pm GMT

We suddenly have documentary proof that key elements of the U.S. intelligence community were trying to short-circuit the U.S. democratic process.

Considering all the experience gleaned from 7+ decades of subverting and overthrowing governments around the world, the Deep State thugs must of thought securing the WH for their Killer Queen was a 'slam dunk.' My believe is that Trump actually got around 70% of the vote, a number that overwhelmed their computerized vote fixing.

All the grief, misery and destruction we've visited upon nations around the world is now coming back to haunt Americans. Only part missing is the violent overthrow or assassination of a leader and don't put the Deep State thugs beyond that.

fnn , January 24, 2018 at 12:43 pm GMT

On the home front, Trump, his wealthy friends, and like-thinkers in Congress may now feel they have an even wider carte blanche to visit untold misery on the poor, the widow, the stranger and other vulnerable humans.

This looks like a disingenuous conflation of Trump (and his handful of presumably more or less dependable allies/minions) with the Ryan-Koch- US Chamber of Commerce GOP establishment. Despite what Jeff Flake says, he's not a dictator, so he has to make concessions to the donor class-controlled wing of the party. This stuff is so obvious I'm embarrassed as I type it out.

bluedog , January 24, 2018 at 12:43 pm GMT
@Wally

Keep right on sucking up that kool-aid,the economy has an up-tick because of government spending, which of course will add another $1.7 trillion (per David Stockman Reagan's budget directer) to the debt that you just wished onto your children,g children and their children (ain't you proud/) and lol if you believe those government figures on the unemployment stats than you must believe in the tooth fairy,and of course along with those bonuses comes the lay-offs, a thousand here a thousand there (on the Lay-off list) as the work is out sourced to other countries,meanwhile a few more billion goes to the military/industrial group.Ah yes utopia at last,well while it last that is .

n230099 , January 24, 2018 at 1:11 pm GMT

"It would have been unfortunate enough for Strzok and Page to have their adolescent-sounding texts merely exposed, revealing the reckless abandon of star-crossed lovers hiding (they thought) secrets from cuckolded spouses, office colleagues, and the rest of us."

True One of the first thoughts I had was that these were, at most, highschool level communications. To think this is 'high level' government in action is, at once, amusing and disturbing.

Jim Christian , January 24, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
@RobinG

Now, many companies are cutting corners by using "contract workers" on a temporary basis.

Concur all, but this especially. In the DC area starting with the internet boom and dot.com busts of the late 90s, Indians started coming in and all of a sudden, everyone in IT and computer technologies was being replaced with a contract. After spending years getting certs and continuously upgrading skills and certs, people were ruined with imported contractors. It started at FannyMae and Freddie Mac, the entire board and hierarchy there read like the New Delhi phone book for twenty years now. Between the Chins and Indians, there's been an enormous overclass installed and it's not going anywhere. Someone here recently wrote an article about it but it isn't recent. With the handwriting on the wall so long ago, I gave up chasing Microsoft certs and contracts and went back to analog phone systems and infrastructure and electrical, but I saw a lot of people that tried to follow the professional IT path ruined. Throw in the racial and sexual politics in the offices and the environment is pretty miserable anyway..

Pretty bad as is, but with AI coming about, whole classes of Democrat folks unconcerned with immigration will be replaced by Bots of all sorts, making the immigration hardships look like Disney World.

The Alarmist , January 24, 2018 at 2:29 pm GMT

"Strzok reportedly changed the words "grossly negligent" (which could have triggered legal prosecution) to the far less serious "extremely careless" in FBI Director James Comey's depiction of Clinton's actions. This semantic shift cleared the way for Comey to conclude just 20 days before the Democratic National Convention began in July 2016, that "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring charges against Mrs. Clinton."

It's a thin line between "gross negligence" and "extreme carelessness." While "gross negligence" usually involves unintentional acts, they can border on intentional conduct by the very recklessness of the activity. A senior government moving vast amounts of classified data on unsecured networks can't begin to assert she didn't know the risks she was taking. Semantics here are irrelevant: The substance of the law is that HRC was grossly negligent.

As a seasoned lawyer, Comey would know that a prosecutor could very reasonably equate the two and charge on a violation of 18 USC 793 (Gathering, transmitting, or losing defense information) There are a couple paragraphs that could be applied, but (f) looks most likely. The mere act of storing classified data on a personal server could also be a violation of 18 USC 798 (Disclosure of classified information). Destroying the same data might also be charged as violations of the 2009 Federal Records Act, and there is plenty of reason to pursue the limb of Obstruction of Justice in light of the other serious charges that could reasonably be made.

In order to be credible, justice must be seen to be done. The longer Sessions and Trump let this charade go uninvestigated for fear that investigating it looks overtly political, the more political it actually becomes, and the less credible the rule of law in America becomes ("Laws and regulations are for the little people!)

Anonymous Disclaimer , January 24, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT
The deep state coup was the appointment of Trump or it could have been Clinton. You have no choice when you vote. The work of retired spooks like McGovern is to convince you that you live in a Democracy where voting matters. There's no evidence that voting serves anyone other than appearances for the ruling elite.

The FBI is an inherently political organization. I would expect the FBI to tweet things like " that motherfucker is goin' down" or "fuck her" or "Orange son of a bitch, let's make some noise" or more racist "those nigger motherfuckers in the city" or "think you're anonymous on the internet lil'boy?" Those would be the tweets of the FBI that we all know and love.

anonymous Disclaimer , January 24, 2018 at 3:34 pm GMT
This interference into a presidential election by an agency such as the FBI raises the question of whether there's been manipulation of other previous elections. Were some of our previous presidents installed through machinations of an intelligence agency?
bluedog , January 24, 2018 at 4:26 pm GMT
@Wally

Sure they are these companies and corporations are saving millions upon millions due to Trump and the republicans, while throwing a few crumbs to the workers who are suppose to lick their hands, many who only make $10-$11 dollars per hour, and seeing they are bonuses the government will take more than their share, and down the road these same workers will be paying it back in spades ,after all someone has to fund the military/industrial racket

Anonymous Disclaimer , Website January 24, 2018 at 5:16 pm GMT
Trump needs to be impeached. The entire Government is a bad bit of fiction, why not use the symbolic figure head of empire to generate excitement in the mass of American sheep? To that end, throw up any accusation that will stick, make it sound like a Constitutional crisis but simple enough for the average begrudged redneck to understand. The FBI has an agenda, what part of the Government doesn't? The whole point of elections is to have different groups employ every tactic under the sun to manipulate said sheep. Let's get the impeachment show started.
Altai , January 24, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT
This whole affair also totally destroys the G-Man mythos. From the outside Strzok looks the part. Yet both he and Page write texts like they're particularly dim 20 year old girls.

Strzok – God Hillary should win. 100,000,000-0.

Page– I don't know. But we'll get it back. We're America. We rock.

Page – He's not ever going to become president, right? Right?!

Strzok – OMG did you hear what Trump just said?

Page – Yep. Out to lunch with (redacted) We both hate everyone and everything.

Page – Just riffing on the hot mess that is our country.

Strzok– Donald just said "bad hombres"

This is the level of discourse (Of course this could just be a biased sample to humiliate Strzok but leave the really bad conspiring out of frame) he has with his mistress on an FBI phone as he plans dirty tricks on his own country?

chris , January 24, 2018 at 8:42 pm GMT
The sad part will be to see how they will all, one after the other, get away with everything they've done.

If any of them will even go to trial for anything other than some procedural point, they'll all make a deal with DC-Democratic prosecutors, Hollywood will make a film casting them as heroes and they'll all get a slap on the wrist, a la Petraeus.

The politicians will claim that they have to hide the truth so that the public will not loose their 'trust' in these institutions, they'll name some RINO as the 'compromise' candidate to lead these institutions and it'll be back to business as usual in the heart of the empire, as in all previous times, see James Bovard's article:

http://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/370122-another-software-upgrade-suppressing-evidence-is-fbi-standard-procedure

chris , January 24, 2018 at 9:01 pm GMT
my favoriete quote:

Page– I don't know. But we'll get it back. We're America. We rock.

Such vacuous shallowness, imagining themselves to be the heroes of some cheap Hollywood movie, not even suspecting how 2 dimensional, delusional, and sophomoric it all sounds (of course, it only sound moronic because we found out about it before the plan reach its planned conclusion).

After 14 years of non-stop wars and mass murder, we find out the empire is run by the cheerleading squad, motivating each other with high fives while trying to take 'democracy' down. Still, I suspect there were adults at table also who mad sure to say one step out of the spotlight.

Maple Curtain , January 24, 2018 at 9:12 pm GMT
"Page– I don't know. But we'll get it back. We're America. We rock."

"We're America. We Rock."

And there we have it folks, the type of REAL SERIOUS mature human beings with oodles of gravitas who infest the highest echelons of our bureaucracies.

They rock.

We're deplorable.

That little girl, Page, is stuck emotionally, in junior high. Trump is just not one of the cool kids and he needs to be ostracized.

... ... ...

Twodees Partain , January 24, 2018 at 9:37 pm GMT
@The Alarmist

"It's a thin line between "gross negligence" and "extreme carelessness." "

Not in the context of legal language. In fact, it's a great divide. "Extremely careless" is not a federal criminal charge, while "gross negligence" actually is. Never mind about the difference in degree when speaking of the two terms, one is a crime, and the other is merely grounds for an investigation.

Frankie P , January 24, 2018 at 10:16 pm GMT
@Ludwig Watzal

Excellent video, fantastic, in-depth analysis. Thank you.

Frankie P

'Quit digging'.

Anonymous Disclaimer , January 25, 2018 at 1:50 am GMT
The FBI answers to the CIA. This essay is absurd.

[Jan 24, 2018] I remember the day like it was yesterday

Jan 24, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Betrayed -> holdbuysell Jan 24, 2018 4:13 PM Permalink

Watch this and you will understand why ((((They)))) blew off his head in the streets of Dallas. Kennedy would not give David Ben - Gurion any nuclear technology and was threatening the pigs regarding Dimona. Jack Rubenstein AKA Jack Ruby was ordered by Giancanna who was ordered by Lansky to be a foot soldger in the operation. CIA and Mob did their part But the bottom line is Kennedy stepped on the Jew Fed's Usury game with EO 11110 Which put legal Constitutional money backed by silver into circulation. This would put the Fed out of business over time.

John Kennedy understood very well who the true enemy of his country was and I believe was determined to destroy them. He foolishly did not protect himself even though he was well aware he was in ((((Their)))) crossfire.

And here we sit today with the Nation ripped apart. Americans at each other throats and blaming each other never perceiving the iron fist of the Zionists ruling above them.

Divide and conquer is their main tool to destroy us.

dcohn -> Betrayed Jan 24, 2018 4:33 PM Permalink

I remember the day like it was yesterday.

I was home sick from school. In those days a TV gets rolled into your room if you are sick. Otherwise only Mom and Dad had a TV in the bedroom. We had two TVs in 1963.

I was watching the only thing on TV the president in DALLAS and WHAM The President has been SHOT comes over .

I run Mommy Mommy President Kennedy has been shot.

SHE WHACKED me across the face. How can you say such a thing. I don't recall the exact words but the whack hurt. That was common in 1963 when you did something "wrong" or whatever.

Obviously 5 minutes later she was crying and flipping out.

It sure seems like he was a good man but what the fuck was he smoking to get in an open fucking car?

Seems he liked it. Great Article about that day.

https://news.utexas.edu/2013/11/18/why-jfk-died-in-dallas

[Jan 24, 2018] Congress is treating Americans like children over FISA memo Judge Napolitano - YouTube

Jan 22, 2018 | www.youtube.com

FOX News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano on how damaging the four-page FISA memo could really be to the U.S. government.


SusanBailey AmazingEstate , 1 day ago

They're not treating us like children. They're treating us like chumps. I don't think I'm the only American citizen who's tired of it. Impanel a grand jury and get to the bottom of the massive corruption going on in our country.

WhoToBelieve , 1 day ago

They're not protecting us, they're protecting themselves. They all have dirt that is threatened to be revealed.

TheWisendorf , 1 day ago

Next week we will be mad when we get the memo and find it blacked out every other sentence... That's why they need 19 days to go over 4 lousy pages, To make sure the people don't see anything that might make any sense.

Tonic Taz , 1 day ago

#ReleaseTheMemo #FisaMemo

TheWisendorf , 1 day ago

The memo is just a summary. The actual set of doc are up in the thousands, so no, Nunes or any of the Dems there can fake the memo.

mike dar , 1 day ago

treating Americans like children - more like treating Americans like subjects, vote cows without them having any authority. Americans don't have to give up their authority as employers of Congressmen, the Americans chose to be treated 'like children'.

DucksDeLucks , 1 day ago

The correct argument is not that universal spying on the public doesn't work, but that it's inconsistent with our way of life. Freedom isn't free and one of the costs is not having some of the options a dictator has to deal with adversaries.

[Jan 22, 2018] US Intelligence Could Well Have Wiretapped Trump by Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... Unable to come to terms with losing the 2016 election, Democrats are still pushing the 'Russiagate' probe and blocking the release of a memo describing surveillance abuses by the FBI, former Congressman Ron Paul told RT. ..."
"... I don't think anybody is seeking justice or seeking truth as much as they're seeking to get political advantage ..."
"... "I would be surprised if they haven't spied on him. They spy on everybody else. And they have spied on other members of the executive branch and other presidents." ..."
"... "The other day when they voted to get FISA even more power to spy on American people, the president couldn't be influenced by the fact that they used it against him. And I believe they did, and he believes that." ..."
"... "I've always maintained that government ought to be open and the people ought to have their privacy. But right now the people have no privacy and all our government does is work on secrecy and then it becomes competitive between the two parties, who get stuck with the worst deal by arguing, who's guilty of some crime," the politician explained. ..."
"... Paul also blasted the infamous 'Russian Dossier' compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, and which the Democrats used in their attack on Trump, saying it ..."
"... "has no legitimacy being revealing [in terms of] of Trump being associated with Russia. From the people I know The story has been all made up, essentially." ..."
"... "I'm no fan of Trump. I'm not a supporter of his, but I think that has been carried way overboard. I think the Democrats can't stand the fact that they've lost the election, and they can't stand the fact that Trump is a little bit more independent minded than they like," he said. ..."
Jan 20, 2018 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

Unable to come to terms with losing the 2016 election, Democrats are still pushing the 'Russiagate' probe and blocking the release of a memo describing surveillance abuses by the FBI, former Congressman Ron Paul told RT.

A top-secret intelligence memo, believed to reveal political bias at the highest levels of the FBI and the DOJ towards President Trump, may well be as significant as the Republicans say, Ron Paul told RT. But, he added, "there's still to many unknowns, especially, from my view point."

"Trump connection to the Russians, I think, has been way overblown, and I'd like to just get to the bottom of this the new information that's coming out, maybe this will reveal things and help us out," he said.

"Right now it's just a political fight," the former US Congressman said. "I think they're dealing with things a lot less important than the issue they ought to be talking about Right now, I don't think anybody is seeking justice or seeking truth as much as they're seeking to get political advantage."

Trump's claims that he was wiretapped by US intelligence agencies on the orders of the Obama administration may well turn out to be true, Paul said.

"I would be surprised if they haven't spied on him. They spy on everybody else. And they have spied on other members of the executive branch and other presidents."

However, he criticized Trump for doing nothing to prevent the Senate from voting in the expansion of warrantless surveillance of US citizens under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) earlier this week.

"The other day when they voted to get FISA even more power to spy on American people, the president couldn't be influenced by the fact that they used it against him. And I believe they did, and he believes that."

"I've always maintained that government ought to be open and the people ought to have their privacy. But right now the people have no privacy and all our government does is work on secrecy and then it becomes competitive between the two parties, who get stuck with the worst deal by arguing, who's guilty of some crime," the politician explained.

The fact that Democrats on the relevant committees have all voted against releasing the memo "might mean that Trump is probably right; there's probably a lot of stuff there that would exonerate him from any accusation they've been making," he said.

Paul also blasted the infamous 'Russian Dossier' compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, and which the Democrats used in their attack on Trump, saying it

"has no legitimacy being revealing [in terms of] of Trump being associated with Russia. From the people I know The story has been all made up, essentially."

"I'm no fan of Trump. I'm not a supporter of his, but I think that has been carried way overboard. I think the Democrats can't stand the fact that they've lost the election, and they can't stand the fact that Trump is a little bit more independent minded than they like," he said.

This article was originally published by RT -

[Jan 22, 2018] Trump Jr. on FISA memo Media, Democrats working together to deceive Americans

Jan 22, 2018 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

Donald Trump Jr. called for the release of a memo that allegedly contains information about Obama administration surveillance abuses and suggested that Democrats are complicit with the media in misleading the public.

"It's the double standard that the people are fed by the Democrats in complicity with the media, that's why neither have any trust from the American people anymore," Trump said on Fox News Friday.

[Jan 22, 2018] If Trump is an authoritarian, why don t Democrats treat him like one? by Corey Robin

Highly recommended!
The is a single party of neoliberal oligarchy with two wings. Both are afraid of citizens and would like to sly on them.
Notable quotes:
"... Despite being in the minority, Democrats last week had enough Republican votes on their side to curb the president's ability, enhanced since 9/11, to spy on citizens and non-citizens alike. ..."
"... In the House, a majority of Democrats were willing to join a small minority of Republicans to do just that. But 55 Democrats – including the minority leader, Nancy Pelosi; the minority whip, Steny Hoyer; and other Democratic leaders of the opposition to Trump – refused. ..."
"... After the House voted for an extension of the president's power to spy, a group of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans attempted to filibuster the bill. The critical 60th vote to shut down the filibuster was a Democrat. ..."
"... This is despite the fact that the surveillance bill gives precisely the sorts of powers viewers of an Academy Award-winning film about the Stasi from not long so ago ..."
"... Pelosi: 'We Must Fight Even Harder Against Trump's Authoritarian Impulses Now That We've Voted to Enable Them' ..."
"... But in the same way that discourse of authoritarianism misses the democratic forest for the anti-democratic tweets, so does it focus more on the rhetoric of an abusive man than the infrastructure of an oppressive state, more on the erosion of norms than the material instruments of repression. ..."
Jan 20, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

You'd think that Democrats in Congress would jump at the opportunity to impose a constraint on Donald Trump's presidency – one that liberals and Democrats alike have characterized as authoritarian. Apparently, that's not the case.

Despite being in the minority, Democrats last week had enough Republican votes on their side to curb the president's ability, enhanced since 9/11, to spy on citizens and non-citizens alike.

In the House, a majority of Democrats were willing to join a small minority of Republicans to do just that. But 55 Democrats – including the minority leader, Nancy Pelosi; the minority whip, Steny Hoyer; and other Democratic leaders of the opposition to Trump – refused.

After the House voted for an extension of the president's power to spy, a group of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans attempted to filibuster the bill. The critical 60th vote to shut down the filibuster was a Democrat.

With the exception of Glenn Greenwald at the Intercept, a press that normally expresses great alarm over Trump's amassing and abuse of power has had relatively little to say about this vote (or this vote or this vote).

This is despite the fact that the surveillance bill gives precisely the sorts of powers viewers of an Academy Award-winning film about the Stasi from not long so ago would instantly recognize to a president whose view of the media a leading Republican recently compared to Stalin.

It was left to the Onion to offer the best (and near only) comment:

Pelosi: 'We Must Fight Even Harder Against Trump's Authoritarian Impulses Now That We've Voted to Enable Them'

Last week, I wrote in these pages how the discourse of Trump's authoritarianism ignores or minimizes the ways in which democratic citizens and institutions – the media, the courts, the opposition party, social movements – are opposing Trump, with seemingly little fear of intimidation.

But in the same way that discourse of authoritarianism misses the democratic forest for the anti-democratic tweets, so does it focus more on the rhetoric of an abusive man than the infrastructure of an oppressive state, more on the erosion of norms than the material instruments of repression.

[Jan 19, 2018] Our Potemkin Village - Antiwar.com Original

Jan 19, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

Our Potemkin Village

The empire is getting a bit tattered around the edges

by Justin Raimondo Posted on January 17, 2018 January 16, 2018 While the population of Hawaii dove under manhole covers, and #TheResistance screeched that The Orange Monster had finally done it and forced Kim Jong Un to nuke the island paradise, it took Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the levelheaded, and quite personable representative from that state, to issue a statement countermanding the "take cover" message sent out by the military earlier.

Rep. Gabbard did this within minutes, thus avoiding a major panic with potentially dangerous consequences, while the Authorities took nearly an hour to issue a retraction.

How did this happen? The Official Story is that "someone pushed the wrong button." As to the identity of this Someone, or the consequences that have befallen him or her, we hear nary a word.

This bizarre incident underscores the utter absurdity and darkness of the permanent state of emergency which we live under. For it turns out that there was no system in place capable of countermanding the emergency alert once it went out. A tacit understanding of the reality behind our military strategy: it's a suicide pact.

It also underscores the Potemkin Village aura of what is routinely referred to as our National Security Establishment: in this case, it amounted to some guy in Hawaii wearing flip flops and all too eager to go off duty and get back in the water after going through the unending drill he'd complete hundreds, probably thousands of times before.

So who was the culprit, and what happened to him? The Hawaii authorities refuse to identify him – because "he would be a pariah." Which is a military disciplinary system that has to be unique in all the world. The administrator in chief of the system, a Mr. Miyagi, explained it this way :

"Looking at the nature and cause of the error that led to those events, the deeper problem is not that someone made a mistake; it is that we made it too easy for a simple mistake to have very serious consequences. The system should have been more robust, and I will not let an individual pay for a systemic problem."

What about the individual architects of the system? You can be your bottom dollar none of them will bear any consequences for almost starting World War III. Gee, I recall an incident that occurred on September 11, 2001, in which the "defenses" we'd spent billions on simply did not function and thousands dies as a result – and not a single person was fired.

Inefficiency and outright incompetence are built into structures as large, unwieldy, and unresponsive as the American Empire, and this is what the concept of decadence really entails: the slipshod slips in, the shiny surfaces get to looking a little ramshackle, overconfidence and complacency infiltrate both leaders and led, and pretty soon you're the Austro-Hungarian Empire: big, garish, unsustainable, and basically ready to fall to pieces.

Which is not to say that the Empire is really on its last legs and will fall of its own weight – although that's entirely possible. Look at what happened to the Soviets. Yet the rulers – and inhabitants – of such empires always overestimate their strength and endurance: they live inside the bubble of their own hubris.

That popping sound you hear may augur more than anybody bargained for

A SPECIAL NOTE : My apologies for the abbreviated column, but this is being written on the fly as I get ready to travel to San Francisco to receive my fifth infusion of the anti-cancer drugs Keytruda and Alimta. I have to say I'm feeling a lot better since the treatments started, but I still have a ways to go: I'll keep you posted.

[Jan 16, 2018] The Russia Explainer

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Historians will come to view Aug. 8, 2008, as a turning point no less significant than Nov. 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell. Russia's attack on sovereign Georgian territory marked the official return of history, indeed to an almost 19th-century style of great-power competition , complete with virulent nationalisms, battles for resources, struggles over spheres of influence and territory, and even -- though it shocks our 21st-century sensibilities -- the use of military power to obtain geopolitical objectives. ..."
"... Administration officials said Mr. Putin had miscalculated and would pay a cost regardless of what the United States did, pointing to the impact on Russia's currency and markets. "What we see here are distinctly 19th- and 20th-century decisions made by President Putin to address problems," one of the officials said. "What he needs to understand is that in terms of his economy, he lives in the 21st-century world, an interdependent world." ..."
"... The dossier's claim that Putin talked about the "ideals-based international order" also rings false. Putin only ever refers to Western ideals when saying that Western countries' leaders are hypocrites for not adhering to them. ..."
"... The more straightforward explanation is that, knowing that this is opposition research, Steele and his sources provided information that rang true with what the client already believed and would want to hear. This is the first report in the series–in effect, a teaser trailer–and no consultant working on a monthly retainer is going to tell you in the first memo that his services aren't needed. If Steele had indicated that there was no dirt to investigate, the $15,000/mo. (as estimated by Vanity Fair ) contract wouldn't have lasted longer than a month or two. ..."
"... The dossier's use of the phraseology "Trump and his team" and "Trump team" and the like is confusing in reference to the pre-2016 campaign period. Other than his lawyer Michael Cohen, there's nothing I've seen to indicate that the other Trump campaign people mentioned by name in the dossier (Paul Manafort and Carter Page) knew Trump before 2016. By all appearances, the key members of Trump's team before 2016 were his children, and maybe his talent agent. ..."
"... It also seems out of character for Trump to have the foresight and planning that it would take to seek out intelligence on Hillary Clinton several years back. Several years ago, Trump and the Clintons were friends , and the Clintons attended Trump's wedding and Bill and Donald played golf together. ..."
"... Russians are very cautious about what they talk about, even amongst each other. Therefore, with the story about [sexual acts] in the Moscow Ritz Carlton, the idea you have managed to triple source it via an employee at the hotel, a serving FSB [Russian security service] officer, and the security officer at the hotel, who inevitably will be at least a former FSB or GRU [Russian intelligence agency] officer It just doesn't make sense. If such a thing had taken place, it would be a Russian state secret. ..."
"... Seems more likely that it's just a piece of "scuttlebutt" that Steele's sources, pressed to find anything juicy on Trump, saw in the newspaper or in a news search on Google or on Russian search engine Yandex . ..."
"... Whatever the truth of the matter, Page is clearly someone who was very keen to network with powerful Russians in 2016 and was not shy about leveraging his affiliation with the Trump campaign to do it. ..."
"... But at the same time, this would also mean Page was a loose cannon and a huge potential liability to the Trump campaign. Igor Sechin is, and was in July 2016, on the Specially Designated Nationals list of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. This means that it's a crime for any US citizen to do any business with Sechin personally (though not with Rosneft as a corporate entity). ..."
"... Page, by all appearances, is reckless and kind of an idiot . He had to have known that his activities (even if they were limited to just non-treasonous networking with Russians) carried a huge risk of blowback for Trump. He didn't care. Carter Page's willingness to toe the Russian line on foreign policy, publicly and on the record, goes beyond even what the most Russophile Western expats in Moscow say in private conversations. I think it's a perfectly valid question to ask why and how Carter Page came to be affiliated with the Trump campaign, why he visited Russia alone at least twice in 2016, and what contacts he's had with Russian officials (he definitely met with some of them, at least at the New Economic School graduation reception on Jul. 8, at which there were several senior Russian officials present and Carter Page was commencement speaker and an honored foreign guest). ..."
"... And why send him to give a public university commencement speech in which he rails against US foreign policy, ensuring wide media coverage? ..."
"... A meeting with a Trump adviser on the sidelines of such a noisy, high-profile trip–with both the Russian and foreign press speculating in real-time what the hell Page was doing in Moscow–seems like an extremely incautious setting for a meeting to discuss the most scandalous quid pro quo since the secret protocols to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. ..."
"... To sum up, I have serious doubts that a meeting took place as described. But I also think that Carter Page was–at the very least–trying to leverage his connection to Trump in Russia for personal gain at the very earliest opportunity he got. ..."
"... *This report doesn't have a date. However, the July 19 report is numbered "2016/94" and the July 26 report is numbered "2016/097" so it seems like this is where the report should go. ..."
"... This is the central allegation against the Trump campaign – that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to take actions aimed at defeating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. The one thing that I'd add (or, rather, remind) is that by late July, the story of allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election was in full swing . Manafort's history in the former Soviet Union was being widely reported . Carter Page, as mentioned above, had traveled to Moscow for unknown purposes a few weeks before, a trip that was covered in the Russian and US media. ..."
"... What I'd like to point out here -- in terms of the timing of the information in this report -- is that the DNC hacked e-mail dumps on WikiLeaks that led to Debbie Wassermann Schultz resigning as head of the DNC happened on July 22, 2016 , and even before the WikiLeaks dumps the DNC had been attributing the hack to Russia. ..."
"... Since this report refers to the WikiLeaks dump of DNC e-mails that happened on July 22, even though it's undated we know that the report must have been made after that, as well as after the Republican National Convention that happened on July 18, as well as after reports had emerged that the Trump team had been behind a change in the Republican Party platform to remove a reference to providing lethal arms to Ukraine. The allegation made here closely tracks what was being reported in the media at the time. ..."
"... FBI director James Comey made a point of saying that US intelligence services were struck by how unusually noisy the Russians had been in their election interference, as if they wanted to be discovered. ..."
"... *The actual date on the report is "26 July 201 5 " (in the British style), but since it refers to events that happened as recently as June 2016, and based on the news reports that said that Steele was hired in June 2016, I assume this is just a typo. ..."
"... This strains credulity. So there's a single Russian emigre who not only knows the internal mood of the Trump team, but also knows what the Russian leadership is thinking (about a matter that, remember, according to the dossier is top-top secret)? And I know what you're thinking – well, if they were in collusion, of course there's such a person. But who is it? You'd think that there couldn't be too many people who fit this description – being a Russian emigre, close to the Trump campaign, and also with top-level Kremlin access. ..."
"... This is described as someone's opinion so it's hard to argue against or fact-check. I will note that the e-mails from John Podesta's Gmail account started being published by WikiLeaks in October 2016, and since the e-mails run only through March 2016, and given that WikiLeaks usually takes time to prepare for a dump, whoever broke into Podesta's Gmail account was likely very active at the time when this report was dated. If you believe that it was the Russians who broke into Podesta's Gmail account, then this intelligence report is precisely wrong. Eleven days after this report, on August 10, Guccifer 2.0 published the personal contact info of 200 prominent Democrats, so if you believe that Guccifer 2.0 was the alter ego of the Russian government, this intelligence report was precisely wrong. ..."
"... This report is dated precisely one week before Sergei Ivanov was dismissed from his post and moved to a less political role as Putin's special envoy for the environment. If you want to be charitable to the dossier, you could say that this report foreshadows Ivanov's dismissal (later reports say that the dismissal was unexpected). But on the other hand, clearly Ivanov's move to his new position was already in the works on Aug. 5 – it was reported that rumors of the move had been circulating since spring. Why hadn't Steele's "well-placed and established" sources heard those rumors? ..."
"... Peskov is widely considered not to be an independent political player in the Kremlin. He is seen as being a sort of assistant to Putin in addition to his role as spokesman, but someone who likes the spotlight, celebrity and glamour a bit too much. ..."
"... About Turkey: Peskov started his career in the Russian diplomatic corps as a Turkey specialist and worked as the third secretary of the Russian embassy in Ankara in the early '90s. He speaks Turkish. So hearing him mentioned in connection with Turkey makes some sense. ..."
"... Russia was reported to have given advance warning to Erdogan, based on intelligence intercepts, that a coup was being planned. Peskov denied these reports. Just a few weeks earlier, Turkish president Erdogan had apologized to Putin for shooting down a Russian fighter jet on the Turkey-Syria border and Medvedev had announced that Russia would begin lifting the sanctions it had imposed on Turkey in connection with the incident. ..."
"... So in early August 2016 it seemed like Russia-Turkey relations had turned a corner and were being handled quite well – as a matter of fact, over the course of 2016, Turkey went from being the US's partner on Syria to being in a de facto alliance with Russia . The turnaround is stunning – in January 2016 , the US and Turkey were conducting joint operations in Syria, and in January 2017 , Turkey and Russia were conducting joint operations in Syria. Whoever was handling Russia's relationship with Turkey, they did a good job by any objective measure – hard to see how this can be considered "botched." ..."
"... Around this time , there was a lot of speculation in the media about whether Trump would drop out of the race. It's remarkable how the "intelligence" in the dossier follows what was being reported in the news at the time. ..."
"... Ivanov was leading the operation to "hack the US election" literally days before he was fired? That doesn't make sense. ..."
"... This ethnic Russian associate of Trump – who is it? Is it Sergei Millian ? He's supposed to be Source D , a "close associate" of Trump, but he might also be the ethnic Russian (even though Millian is technically from Belarus) associate referred to here and elsewhere. ..."
"... Here we have Carter Page telling the maybe-Millian about his collusion with Russian intelligence on the DNC leaks. Do people really go around confessing crimes willy-nilly? According to this dossier, they do. ..."
"... The big Trump campaign news of August 2016, of course, was that on Aug. 17, Steve Bannon replaced Paul Manafort as head of Trump's campaign. This news was absolutely huge. If Steele's source would have said on Aug. 9 that Bannon would be replacing Manafort, or even that a change of campaign management was being discussed, then in retrospect, you would have to admit that this source was well-informed. But if on Aug. 9, this source was talking about "a rethink and a likely change of tactics," s/he either was not very close to the campaign or was holding back on Steele. ..."
"... So this associate was so close to the campaign that he was privy to all of the team's discussions about collusion with the Russians, but he didn't know that Steve Bannon was about to be named as the new campaign head? ..."
"... But my main beef with this paragraph involves the phrase "kick-back payments to MANAFORT as alleged." Manafort wasn't accused of receiving kickbacks (as I'll explain in a moment, that doesn't make any sense) – he was accused of being paid cash by Yanukovich's political party in an off-the-books scheme, and this was widely covered in the press after the story broke in The New York Times on Aug. 14. ..."
"... That's not a kickback. A kickback is when a government or other organization is offering a contract to an outside contractor, typically in a competitive bid situation, and then when the winner is selected the winner kicks back some of the contract proceeds to the person who manipulated the contract selection process. ..."
"... So if there were kickbacks involved in Manafort's work for Yanukovich, it would've been Manafort kicking back money to Yanukovich, not the other way around. ..."
"... However, what Manafort was actually accused of in the press -- receiving money not properly accounted for under Ukrainian law -- is a crime under American law only if he received income that he didn't report to the IRS, or engaged in money laundering, even if an indisputable "documentary trail" emerges. ..."
"... It is difficult to imagine Putin and his inner circle being fearful of political vulnerability and embarrassment in connection with Manafort. As even Julia Ioffe–a journalist opposed to both Trump and Putin–conceded i n a recent article i n The Atlantic , the political consulting work that Manafort did for Yanukovich and others in the former Soviet Union was hardly unusual. ..."
"... Just to point out – there's a certain implication in the dossier's description of Manafort's work for Yanukovich that this work was "exposed" during the 2016 US election campaign. That's not the case. Manafort just wasn't a household name before 2016, so no one cared. He was just another American political consultant who was more than happy to offer his services to unsavory foreign politicians, like Sandra Bullock's character in "Our Brand is Crisis." ..."
"... Manafort's work for Yanukovich was public knowledge in Ukraine as early as 2005, and was reported actively in the Ukrainian press. By 2016 it was part of Manafort's resume. ..."
"... The report on the Alfa Group (yes, Steele spelled it wrong) is actually the only place in the whole dossier where the dossier was ahead of the mainstream news cycle. The report doesn't give any context for why a special report on the relationship between Putin and Alfa was requested. But on Halloween 2016, the story broke that in Spring and Summer 2016, white-hat hackers had been tracking electronic communications between Trump's e-mail server and an Alfa-Bank (part of Alfa Group) computer in Russia, posting their findings on Reddit – so it was in the public domain but you really had to be paying attention (as apparently a few New York Times journalists and probably the FBI were). I doubt that Steele or his sources were following hacker forums on Reddit. ..."
"... So here's what I think happened: by September, Steele's ultimate client was the Democrats. Someone tipped off the Hillary Clinton campaign (and/or the Clinton-aligned group that was paying Fusion GPS / Orbis) about the electronic link to Alfa, and then Orbis (Steele) got a call asking for an intelligence report on Alfa Group's connections to Putin, without saying why. However, since it was on the phone, the Orbis person heard it as "Alpha Group," and their Russian sources didn't correct the error. ..."
"... Vladimir Putin was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg from 1992 to 1996 . In August 1996 Putin moved from St. Petersburg to Moscow to be Deputy Chief of the Presidential Property Management Directorate (Yeltsin was president at the time, of course). He needed a new job because his boss, St. Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak , lost his re-election bid. ..."
"... Alfa-Bank was a direct competitor to Khodorkovsky's Bank Menatep (a subsidiary of Rosprom) at the time. So there's no way Fridman and Aven used Govorun to deliver cash to Putin when Putin was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg. The dates don't line up. There was an 8-month gap after Putin left St. Petersburg and before Govorun started working at Alfa. ..."
"... How could Steele's sources have made this mistake? Because Govorun's Wikipedia page omits his time at Rosprom, and makes it look like Govorun worked at Alfa-Bank from 1993 to 2000. This is why you don't prepare your report based on Wikipedia, kids! ..."
"... Or if Steele was feeling particularly lazy, he could've gone to Trump's Twitter feed, where Trump proudly told his millions of followers that he'd just spent the weekend with Aras Agalarov and that he wanted to do more business with him. Maybe in Steele's world, being "well-placed" to hear intel about Trump's connections with Russian businesspeople means reading Donald Trump's tweets? ..."
"... There's no other word but "fraud" to describe an "intelligence report" that tries to make it look like the connection between Trump and the Agalarov family is some kind of inside information that you'd need "well-placed sources" to obtain. It took some serious balls for Steele to present it that way, since all anyone would have to do is Google the names mentioned in the report and it would be instantly clear that the intelligence was worthless. ..."
"... Hmm. This is the intelligence that Hillary's people were getting less than one month from Election Day. Intelligence that they paid for. Makes you feel sorry for her; I strongly suspect she was being conned with these reports. ..."
"... In December 2016, Rosneft did indeed sell 19.5% of its shares to two investors using a complicated financing structure. Some have pointed to this as an example where the dossier correctly predicted something would happen. However, the sale of 19.5% of Rosneft to an investor was part of Russia's privatization plan for 2016, which the Russian government announced in December 2015 , and the timeline for the privatization (referring to the 19.5% figure) was updated throughout the year . Anyone who was following Russian business news in 2016 knew that Rosneft was planning to sell 19.5% to an investor that year. ..."
"... Sucks to be Michael Cohen! Unless the dossier is true, he should sue for libel. ..."
"... Sechin is a very big deal in Russia, and a total badass that you don't want to mess with. He is an intimidating guy who is as serious as a heart attack. Carter Page is a dumbass. But the account of this conversation makes it sound like Page was running the meeting like a seasoned pro, leaving Sechin hanging, keeping things vague and noncommittal. I, on the other hand, think that Sechin would never bother meeting with a nobody like Carter Page to discuss something as consequential as billion-dollar oil deals and international relations unless Page had made his bona fides abundantly clear. ..."
"... "Unexpectedly." This looks suspiciously like ass-covering as to why Steele's earlier reports dated mere days before Ivanov's dismissal, containing statements attributed directly to Ivanov, made no mention that these were his last days on the job. ..."
"... Most political observers believed at the time that it was Bernie Sanders, not Russia, who pushed Hillary Clinton away from supporting TPP. This is because Bernie Sanders said openly that he was pressuring Hillary to drop support for TPP. Strangely, the only place where the "veterans' pensions ruse" was ever reported was in the Steele dossier, and the media haven't been tipped off to it to this day. Dodged a bullet! Remember, this is after Putin had supposedly directly ordered all Kremlin insiders, all of whom are tried-and-true Putin loyalists, not to talk about these matters even in private. ..."
"... Steele's team has made the bold decision to misspell Paul Manafort's name as MANNAFORT (Mannafort from heaven?) throughout this report. ..."
"... Gubarev sued BuzzFeed and its editor-in-chief for libel and slander and, lacking any basis other than the dossier itself for these allegations, BuzzFeed blacked out the identifying information. ..."
"... This is quite a cinematic portrayal of hacking. The implication seems to be that there were teams of hackers in a room somewhere and they were ordered to "stand down." Is that how hacking works? Especially in this case, where the hacking that resulted in the 2016 DNC and Podesta leaks had taken place several months before this alleged meeting? This also seems to contradict the declassified US intelligence community findings that said that the hacks were done by Russian government hacker teams called "Cozy Bear" and "Fancy Bear" that were working for the GRU, a Russian intelligence agency that isn't mentioned once in the dossier. The Romanian angle apparently refers t o Guccifer 2.0, who claimed to be Romanian but was also believed to be a Russian intelligence agency alter ego only pretending to be Romanian. If these were Russian government hackers, why would they be ordered to cross international borders and "lay low" in Bulgaria, a member of NATO? ..."
"... Also, given that Russia allegedly had huge wins in their 2016 election meddling, why would they be so stingy as to demand that Trump pay his share for the hacking? Especially if they were so concerned about covering their tracks? This only would implicate the Trump campaign and create a paper trail leading directly to Trump transition team members in the United States, plus they would be involving themselves in a criminal conspiracy to violate US money laundering laws, RICO and the like. ..."
Apr 04, 2017 | russiaexplainer.com

THE DOSSIER

... ... ...

[Jan 16, 2018] Watch A Sitting Congresswoman Shred The MSM Narrative In Under A Minute

Jan 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Watch A Sitting Congresswoman Shred The MSM Narrative In Under A Minute

by Tyler Durden Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:34 155 SHARES

Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard appeared on multiple Sunday news shows a day after her state's false ICBM emergency alert sent the islands into a tense 40 minutes of panic before it was revealed to be a message sent in error, where she slammed the mainstream media's reporting on the North Korean nuclear threat, saying , "We've got to understand that North Korea is holding onto these nuclear weapons because they think it is their only protection from the United States coming in and doing to them what the United States has done to so many countries throughout history."

She further called for Trump to hold direct talks with Kim Jong Un in order to prevent the real thing from ever happening.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) Gabbard is an Army reserve officer who previously served two tours in the Middle East, including in Iraq. Image via the Ron Paul Institute

On Saturday Gabbard had immediately criticized President Trump for mishandling North Korea, taking to MSNBC to proclaim that "our leaders have failed us. Donald Trump is taking too long... he's not taking this [nuclear] threat seriously..." During Sunday interviews she elaborated on a plan of action, advising Trump to enter talks with Pyongyang which should "happen without preconditions" and that Trump should "sit across the table from Kim Jong Un" in order stamp out the climate of fear which contributed to the "unacceptable" alert issued on Saturday.

"We've got to get to the underlying issue here of why are the people of Hawaii and this country facing a nuclear threat coming from North Korea today, and what is this President doing urgently to eliminate that threat?" Gabbard said on CNN's State of the Union. She added that Pyongyang sees its nuclear weapons program as "the only deterrent against the U.S. coming in and overthrowing their regime there " after decades of the US exhibiting a pattern of regime change when dealing with rogue states, which she said makes setting up preconditions for talks a self-defeating step.

And concerning the potential for an "unintentional" nuclear war, Gabbard said, "It's not just the President making a decision to launch a nuclear weapon . It's these kinds of mistakes that we have seen happen in the past that bring us to this brink of nuclear war that could be unintentional."

The Hawaii lawmaker, who has garnered a lot of attention over her non-interventionist stance on Syria while angering establishment pundits for doing things like visiting Damascus last year on a fact-finding mission, left ABC's George Stephanopoulos visibly flustered during an interview on Sunday's "This Week" . She said:

We know that North Korea has these nuclear weapons because they see how the United States in Libya for example guaranteed Gadaffi - 'we're not going to go after you, you should get rid of your nuclear weapons.' He did, then we went and led an attack that toppled Gaddafi, launching Libya into chaos that we are still seeing the results of today. North Korea sees what we did in Iraq with Saddam Hussein, with those false reports of weapons of mass destruction. And now seeing in Iran how President Trump is decertifying a nuclear deal that prevented Iran from developing their nuclear weapons, threatening the very existence and the agreement that was made.

At this point an incredulous Stephanopoulos stopped the Congresswoman and asked, " Was it a mistake for the United States to take out Gaddafi and Hussein ?" Gabbard responded firmly with, "It was, absolutely." Apparently this was enough to end the interview as a presumably shocked Stephanopoulos had no response at that point.

For those unfamiliar, Gabbard is an Army reserve officer who previously served two tours in the Middle East, including in Iraq, and has been an outspoken critic of regime change and Washington's interventionist foreign policy.

[Jan 14, 2018] The US could have had a visionary reformer in JFK but unfortunately he was prematurely decommissioned by the deep state but Trump is light years behind JFK in intellect and articulation.

Notable quotes:
"... I view Trump as a failing would be reformer. I have already stated on this site that Trump's bid to enter the reformers club is pretty much hampered by his reaching power without having a strong third party behind him. He is bound by the diktats of the deep state and the most he can manage is to sabotage the system through guile. His mission is truly impossible. ..."
"... Gorbachov was another failed reformer who nevertheless managed to destroy the old system but his victory was worse than a phyrric one as he moved the situation from a bad system to total chaos of the uncreative destruction type as the Soviet Union morphed into oligarchic Russia. ..."
"... The US could have had a visionary reformer in JFK but unfortunately he was prematurely decommissioned by the deep state but Trump is light years behind JFK in intellect and articulation. Overall I would stick to Gerald Celente's definition of the political establishment as cowards, fools, freaks and liars, a fact that is hard to swallow but true nonetheless. ..."
Jan 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Joe Levantine , January 12, 2018 at 8:07 pm GMT

@peterAUS

I view Trump as a failing would be reformer. I have already stated on this site that Trump's bid to enter the reformers club is pretty much hampered by his reaching power without having a strong third party behind him. He is bound by the diktats of the deep state and the most he can manage is to sabotage the system through guile. His mission is truly impossible.

Gorbachov was another failed reformer who nevertheless managed to destroy the old system but his victory was worse than a phyrric one as he moved the situation from a bad system to total chaos of the uncreative destruction type as the Soviet Union morphed into oligarchic Russia.

Truly, the only 20th century impressive reformer, notwithstanding the controversy surrounding his name, was Adolf Hitler. He was guided by a vision and after he cumulated many successes started to act on intuition bypassing the guidance of his party and state apparatus, both the civil and the military one, which led him to commit some grave strategic errors that proved finally to be his undoing. Here I repeat what I have already stated on this site that Hitler came to power within weeks from FDR's ascendency, but Hitler managed to do in two years what FDR failed to do in six years of the New Deal with German unemployment falling from 25% under the Weimar Republic to 3%. Yet despite his successes, he did fight the recalcitrance of the bureaucracy by relying on the SA and the SS. Trump has nothing of this luxury and will invariably have to kowtow to the power structure to stay in power.

That leaves the one truly successful Western reformer who managed to materialise his vision, the one and only Otto Von Bismarch, who knew how to play the different layers of the German societies against each other and managed to rule unhindered by the establishment guided by a visionary plan that was supported by extremely competent military and civilian officials.

The US could have had a visionary reformer in JFK but unfortunately he was prematurely decommissioned by the deep state but Trump is light years behind JFK in intellect and articulation. Overall I would stick to Gerald Celente's definition of the political establishment as cowards, fools, freaks and liars, a fact that is hard to swallow but true nonetheless.

[Jan 02, 2018] The Still-Missing Evidence of Russia-gate by Dennis J. Bernstein

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The central groupthink around Russia-gate is the still unproven claim that Russia hacked Democratic emails in 2016 and publicized them via WikiLeaks, a crucial issue that NSA experts say should be easy to prove if true, reports Dennis J. Bernstein. ..."
"... Binney: We at Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) published an article on this in July. First of all, if any of the data went anywhere across the fiber optic world, the NSA would know. Just inside the United States, the NSA has over a hundred tap points on the fiber lines, taking in everything. ..."
"... The other data that came out from Guccifer 2.0, a download from the DNC, has been a charade. It was a download and not a transfer across the Web. The Web won't manage such a high speed. It could not have gotten across the Atlantic at that high speed. You would have to have high capacity lines dedicated to that in order to do it. They have been playing games with us. There is no factual evidence to back up any charge of hacking here. ..."
"... Bernstein: Let me come at this from the other side. Has the United States ever tried to hack into and undermine Russian operations in this way? ..."
"... Binney: Oh, sure. We do it as much as anybody else. In the Ukraine, for example, we sponsored regime change. When someone who was pro-Soviet was elected president, we orchestrated a coup to put our man in power. ..."
"... Did the US meddle in the Russian elections that brought Yeltsin to power? ..."
"... I believe they did. We try to leverage our power and influence elections around the world. ..."
"... Binney: Yes, to defend privacy but also to defend the Constitution. Right now, our government is violating the first, fourth and fifth amendments in various ways. Mueller did it, Comey did it, they were all involved in violating the Constitution. ..."
"... Bernstein: There seems to be a new McCarthyite operation around the Russia-gate investigation. It appears that it is an attempt to justify the idea that Clinton lost because the Russians undermined the election. ..."
"... Bernstein: It was initially put out that seventeen intelligence agencies found compelling evidence that the Russians hacked into our election. You're saying it was actually selected individuals from just three agencies. Is there anything to the revelations that FBI agents talked about taking action to prevent Trump from becoming president? ..."
"... Binney: It certainly does seem that it is leaning that way, that is was all a frame-up. It is a sad time in our history, to see the government working against itself internally ..."
"... Bernstein: What concerns do you have regarding the Russia-gate investigation and the McCarthyite tactics that are being employed? ..."
"... Binney: Ultimately, my main concern is that it could lead to actual war with Russia. We should definitely not be going down that path. We need to get out of all these wars. I am also concerned about what we are doing to our own democracy. We are trampling the fundamental principles contained in the Constitution. The only way to reverse all this is to start indicting people who are participating in and managing these activities that are clearly unconstitutional. ..."
Jan 02, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

The central groupthink around Russia-gate is the still unproven claim that Russia hacked Democratic emails in 2016 and publicized them via WikiLeaks, a crucial issue that NSA experts say should be easy to prove if true, reports Dennis J. Bernstein.

A changing-places moment brought about by Russia-gate is that liberals who are usually more skeptical of U.S. intelligence agencies, especially their evidence-free claims, now question the patriotism of Americans who insist that the intelligence community supply proof to support the dangerous claims about Russian 'hacking" of Democratic emails especially when some veteran U.S. government experts say the data would be easily available if the Russians indeed were guilty.

One of those experts is William Binney, a former high-level National Security Agency intelligence official who, after his 2001 retirement, blew the whistle on the extraordinary breadth of NSA surveillance programs. His outspoken criticism of the NSA during the George W. Bush administration made him the subject of FBI investigations that included a raid on his home in 2007.

Even before Edward Snowden's NSA whistleblowing, Binney publicly revealed that NSA had access to telecommunications companies' domestic and international billing records, and that since 9/11 the agency has intercepted some 15 trillion to 20 trillion communications. Snowden has said: "I have tremendous respect for Binney, who did everything he could according to the rules."

I spoke to Binney on Dec. 28 about Russia-gate and a host of topics having to do with spying and America's expanding national security state.

Dennis Bernstein: I would like you to begin by telling us a little about your background at the NSA and how you got there.

William Binney: I was in the United States Army from 1965 to 1969. They put me in the Army Security Agency, an affiliate of the NSA. They liked the work I was doing and they put me on a priority hire in 1970. I was in the NSA for 32 years, mostly working against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. I was solving what were called "wizard puzzles," and the NSA was sometimes referred to as the "Puzzle Palace." I had to solve code systems and work on cyber systems and data systems to be able to predict in advance the "intentions and capabilities of adversaries or potential adversaries."

Bernstein: At a certain point you ran amiss of your supervisors. What did you come to understand and try to tell people that got you in dutch with your higher-ups?

Binney: By 1998-1999, the "digital issue" was basically solved. This created a problem for the upper ranks because at the time they were lobbying Congress for $3.8 billion to continue working on what we had already accomplished. That lobby was started in 1989 for a separate program called Trailblazer, which failed miserably in 2005-2006. We had to brief Congress on how we were progressing and my information ran contrary to the efforts downtown to secure more funding. And so this caused a problem internally.

We learned from some of our staff members in Congress that several of the corporations that were getting contracts from the NSA were downtown lobbying against our program in Congress. This is the military industrial complex in action. That lobby was supported by the NSA management because they just wanted more money to build a bigger empire.

But Dick Cheney, who was behind all of this, wanted it because he grew up under Nixon, who always wanted to know what his political enemies were thinking and doing. This kind of approach of bulk acquisition of everything was possible after you removed certain segments of our software and they used it against the entire digital world. Cheney wanted to know who his political enemies were and get updates about them at any time.

Bernstein: Your expertise was in the Soviet Union and so you must know a lot about bugging. Do you believe that Russia hacked and undermined our last election? Can Trump thank Russia for the result?

Binney: We at Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) published an article on this in July. First of all, if any of the data went anywhere across the fiber optic world, the NSA would know. Just inside the United States, the NSA has over a hundred tap points on the fiber lines, taking in everything. Mark Klein exposed some of this at the AT&T facility in San Francisco.

This is not for foreigners, by the way, this is for targeting US citizens. If they wanted only foreigners, all they would have to do was look at the transatlantic cables where they surface on the coast of the United States. But they are not there, they are distributed among the US population.

Bernstein: So if, in fact, the Russians were tapping into DNC headquarters, the NSA would absolutely know about it.

Binney: Yes, and they would also have trace routes on where they went specifically, in Russia or anywhere else. If you remember, about three or four years ago, the Chinese hacked into somewhere in the United States and our government came out and confirmed that it was the Chinese who did it, and it came from a specific military facility in Shanghai. The NSA had these trace route programs embedded by the hundreds across the US and all around the world.

The other data that came out from Guccifer 2.0, a download from the DNC, has been a charade. It was a download and not a transfer across the Web. The Web won't manage such a high speed. It could not have gotten across the Atlantic at that high speed. You would have to have high capacity lines dedicated to that in order to do it. They have been playing games with us. There is no factual evidence to back up any charge of hacking here.

Bernstein: So was this a leak by somebody at Democratic headquarters?

Binney: We don't know that for sure, either. All we know was that it was a local download. We can likely attribute it to a USB device that was physically passed along.

Bernstein: Let me come at this from the other side. Has the United States ever tried to hack into and undermine Russian operations in this way?

Binney: Oh, sure. We do it as much as anybody else. In the Ukraine, for example, we sponsored regime change. When someone who was pro-Soviet was elected president, we orchestrated a coup to put our man in power.

Then we invited the Ukraine into NATO. One of the agreements we made with the Russians when the Soviet Union fell apart was that the Ukraine would give them their nuclear weapons to manage and that we would not move NATO further east toward Russia. I think they made a big mistake when they asked Ukraine to join NATO. They should have asked Russia to join as well, making it all-inclusive. If you treat people as adversaries, they are going to act that way.

Bernstein: Did the US meddle in the Russian elections that brought Yeltsin to power?

Binney: I believe they did. We try to leverage our power and influence elections around the world.

Bernstein: What has your group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, been up to, and what has been the US government's response?

Binney: We have been discussing privacy and security with the European Union and with a number of European parliaments. Recently the Austrian supreme court ruled that the entire bulk acquisition system was unconstitutional. Everyone but the conservatives in the Austrian parliament voted that bill down, making Austria the first country there to do the right thing.

A slide from material leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden to the Washington Post, showing what happens when an NSA analyst "tasks" the PRISM system for information about a new surveillance target.

Bernstein: Is it your goal to defend people's privacy and their right to communicate privately?

Binney: Yes, to defend privacy but also to defend the Constitution. Right now, our government is violating the first, fourth and fifth amendments in various ways. Mueller did it, Comey did it, they were all involved in violating the Constitution.

Back in the 1990's, the idea was to make our analysts effective so that they could see threats coming before they happened and alert people to take action so that lives would be saved. What happens now is that people go out and kill someone and then the NSA and the FBI go on a forensics mission. Intelligence is supposed to tell you in advance when a crime is coming so that you can do something to avert it. They have lost that perspective.

Bernstein: They now have access to every single one of our electronic conversations, is that right? The human mind has a hard time imagining how you could contain, move and study all that information.

Binney: Basically, it is achievable because most of the processing is done by machine so it doesn't cost human energy.

Bernstein: There seems to be a new McCarthyite operation around the Russia-gate investigation. It appears that it is an attempt to justify the idea that Clinton lost because the Russians undermined the election.

Binney: I have seen no evidence at all from anybody, including the intelligence community. If you look at the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) report, they state on the first page that "We have high confidence that the Russians did this." But when you get toward the end of the report, they basically confess that "our judgment does not imply that we have evidence to back it up."

Bernstein: It was initially put out that seventeen intelligence agencies found compelling evidence that the Russians hacked into our election. You're saying it was actually selected individuals from just three agencies. Is there anything to the revelations that FBI agents talked about taking action to prevent Trump from becoming president?

Binney: It certainly does seem that it is leaning that way, that is was all a frame-up. It is a sad time in our history, to see the government working against itself internally.

Bernstein: I take it you are not a big supporter of Trump.

Binney: Well, I voted for him. I couldn't vote for a warmonger like Clinton. She wanted to see our planes shooting down Russian planes in Syria. She advocated for destabilizing Libya, for getting rid of Assad in Syria, she was a strong backer of the war in Iraq.

Bernstein: What concerns do you have regarding the Russia-gate investigation and the McCarthyite tactics that are being employed?

Binney: Ultimately, my main concern is that it could lead to actual war with Russia. We should definitely not be going down that path. We need to get out of all these wars. I am also concerned about what we are doing to our own democracy. We are trampling the fundamental principles contained in the Constitution. The only way to reverse all this is to start indicting people who are participating in and managing these activities that are clearly unconstitutional.

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of "Flashpoints" on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom . You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net .

[Jan 02, 2018] False flag attacks using sharpshooters as a standard instrument of color revolutions

Notable quotes:
"... Andrew Bacevich needs to study more deeply about Syrian history and politics, since his description of Syrian president Bashar Assad as a brutal dictator fits as a description of Bashar's father Hafez Assad but is inaccurate in relation to Bashar Assad, who seems to have a rather gentle personality and is actually one of the more benign leaders in the Middle East. ..."
"... Under that new constitution, in 2014 he ran in a free election observed by international observers against two other politicians and was reelected president. He has promised that if he loses the next election he will step down. ..."
"... Nevertheless Assad has been systematically demonized by the governments and MSM of the US, UK, and France, as well as by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Demonization is a technique that is often used to prepare the way for regime change, and it is not based on objective analysis. ..."
"... Similar tactics were used in Ukraine in February 2014 by ultranationalist Right Sector sharpshooters, who were seen shooting Maidan demonstrators. The deaths of the demonstrators were then blamed on the police. ..."
"... "'From the start the protest movements were not purely peaceful. From the start I saw armed demonstrators marching along in the protests, who began to shoot at the police first. Very often the violence of the security forces has been a reaction to the brutal violence of the armed rebels.' ..."
"... opposition is armed and frequently employs brutality and violence, only in order then to blame the government. ..."
"... For an objective overview of the context of the events of 2011 in Syria that led to the international war against the elected Syrian government, see Stephen Gowans, "The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn't." ..."
"... Also see Gowans' well-researched 2016 book 'Washington's Long War on Syria.' The US has been demonizing and trying to overthrow the Syrian government for several decades now, above all because it is the only remaining semi-socialist nation in the Middle East and has single-payer national health insurance, support for the elderly, and free college education for all. Assad is no saint, but he is one of the more democratic and forward-looking leaders in the Middle East today. ..."
Jan 02, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Gen Dau , , May 8, 2017 at 7:55 pm

Andrew Bacevich needs to study more deeply about Syrian history and politics, since his description of Syrian president Bashar Assad as a brutal dictator fits as a description of Bashar's father Hafez Assad but is inaccurate in relation to Bashar Assad, who seems to have a rather gentle personality and is actually one of the more benign leaders in the Middle East.

Bashar Assad had planned to be a doctor, and he studied medicine for two years in the UK before being ordered to return to Syria by his father after his elder brother died in an accident. Although there were some excesses by the police in 2011, Bashar Assad quickly relaxed some old security laws and pushed for a new democratic constitution, which was promulgated in 2012. Under that new constitution, in 2014 he ran in a free election observed by international observers against two other politicians and was reelected president. He has promised that if he loses the next election he will step down.

Nevertheless Assad has been systematically demonized by the governments and MSM of the US, UK, and France, as well as by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Demonization is a technique that is often used to prepare the way for regime change, and it is not based on objective analysis. Although Assad is often called a butcher who gasses his own people, experts such as Theodore Postol of MIT and others have shown that not a single allegation of gassing by the Syrian government under Assad has ever been proven. In addition, many of the excesses by the Syrian police against demonstrators in 2011 seem to have been initiated by armed members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda in Syria, who quickly infiltrated the demonstrations.

There have even been allegations that jihadi sharpshooters on rooftops shot demonstrators in false-flag attacks.

Similar tactics were used in Ukraine in February 2014 by ultranationalist Right Sector sharpshooters, who were seen shooting Maidan demonstrators. The deaths of the demonstrators were then blamed on the police. In the case of Syria:

"Syrian-based Father Frans van der Lugt was the Dutch priest murdered by a gunman in Homs . His involvement in reconciliation and peace activities never stopped him from lobbing criticisms at both sides in this conflict. But in the first year of the crisis, he penned some remarkable observations about the violence – this one in January 2012:

"'From the start the protest movements were not purely peaceful. From the start I saw armed demonstrators marching along in the protests, who began to shoot at the police first. Very often the violence of the security forces has been a reaction to the brutal violence of the armed rebels.'

"In September 2011 he wrote: 'From the start there has been the problem of the armed groups, which are also part of the opposition The opposition of the street is much stronger than any other opposition. And this opposition is armed and frequently employs brutality and violence, only in order then to blame the government. '"

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/157412-syria-hidden-massacre-2011/

For an objective overview of the context of the events of 2011 in Syria that led to the international war against the elected Syrian government, see Stephen Gowans, "The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn't."

https://gowans.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/the-revolutionary-distemper-in-syria-that-wasnt/

Also see Gowans' well-researched 2016 book 'Washington's Long War on Syria.' The US has been demonizing and trying to overthrow the Syrian government for several decades now, above all because it is the only remaining semi-socialist nation in the Middle East and has single-payer national health insurance, support for the elderly, and free college education for all. Assad is no saint, but he is one of the more democratic and forward-looking leaders in the Middle East today.