Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

National Security State as Protection Racket on the Danger of Terrorism: Review of Literature

“Plunderers of the world, when nothing remains on the lands to which they have laid waste by wanton thievery, they search out across the seas. The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”

Tacitus, Agricola
 

News Corporatism Recommended Links Skripal poisoning Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Neofascism Nation under attack meme
Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies History of American False Flag Operations False flag operations as an important part of demonization of the enemy strategy False flag operations in cyberspace FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Vault 7 scandal
Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Operation Gladio - Wikipedia The Deep State Litvinenko poisoning Inverted Totalitarism Reconciling Human Rights With Total Surveillance To whom Euromaydan Sharp-shooters belong?
Mystery of Building 7 Collapse Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Douma gas attack: Yet another false flag poisoning? Khan Sheikhoun gas attack Idlib false flag chemical attack
Demonization of Putin White Helmets as a tool for false flag poisonings Total Surveillance Media-Military-Industrial Complex Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Two Party System as Polyarchy Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few
Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Facebook as Giant Database about Users Social Sites as intelligence collection tools DNC and Podesta emails leak and  subsequent false flag operation to  blame Vladimir Putin Systematic Breach of Vienna Convention Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The Iron Law of Oligarchy
American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Machiavellism Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite The Grand Chessboard Humor Etc

"The greatest threat is that we shall become like those who seek to destroy us"

the legendary US diplomat George Kennan warned in 1947

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”


Ronal Reagan about a different crisis

Books have been written about President Eisenhower’s famous farewell warning in 1961 about the “military-industrial complex,” and what he described as its “unwarranted influence.” But an even greater leviathan today, one that the public knows little about, is the “intelligence-industrial complex.”

Michael Hirsh in

How America's Top Tech Companies
Created the Surveillance State )

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

- James Madison


Introduction

The National Security State is an ideology and practice of the USA elite, closely connected with the idea of the rule of the Media-Military-Industrial Complex, and especially three-letter agencies ("Trumanites" because of our 33rd president's role in founding the CIA, the modern Defense Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Agency).  It is somewhat different from national socialist idea as it is married to neoliberalism and does not included the decisive influence of the state in economic sphere.

Under neoliberalism society has become increasingly militarized, meaning that as most aspects of the social-democratic state (New Deal state) are eliminated, a police state is rising in its place. All problems that in the past were seen as social problems, and hence required social solutions, now acquire police solutions.

Moreover intelligence services became Praetorian Guard of  neoliberal elite that is in power and that completely changed the nature of governance in the USA. Now 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 almost 2% of total population and much higher percentage of the adult population  of working  age (around 200 millions). And now it become a formidable political force that strives to become a kingmaker. much like Praetorian Guard in ancient Role it is clearly out of control of elected government and has its own, sometimes nefarious agenda.  All-in-all this is the fastest growing part of media-military-industrial complex and connected to it influential caste of Imperial Servants -- people well being of which is dependent on the existence and expansion of the US global neoliberal empire. This is probably no less then 10 million people if we count defense contractors, Pentagon brass, Intelligence agencies staff, State Department employees, top layers from Wall-Street and Silicon Valley,  and the Staff of the Congress.)  

In economic sphere deregulation (economic liberalism or neoliberalism) produces social conflict, which at some point can not be masked by neoliberal demagogy ("shareholder value", "stakeholder participation" and other neoliberal crap).  At some point it requires police methods of suppression of dissent like was the case with "Occupy Wall Street" movement suppression). As the state now represents interest only of the top 0.1% population, economic and political spheres became merged under authoritarian rule of financial oligarchy, not unlike the USSR under Bolshevism with the only difference that until 1970th the USSR "Nomenklatura" was more aligned with the interests of the society then financial oligarchy. Later it became detached from that interest of lower 80% of population, adopted neoliberal ideology, became turncoats and facilitated dissolution of the USSR privatizing its wealth in the process. 

The neoliberal state now represents interest only of the top 0.1% population, economic and political spheres became merged under authoritarian rule of financial oligarchy, not unlike the USSR under Bolshevism with the only difference that until 1970th the USSR "Nomenklatura" was more aligned with the interests of the society then financial oligarchy. Later it became detached from that interest of lower 80% of population, adopted neoliberal ideology, became turncoats and facilitated dissolution of the USSR privatizing its wealth in the process. 

Under neoliberalism, which established itself in the USA since late 70th, tax laws, inheritance rules, status to trade unions, "revolving door" regulations (which highly correlates with the degree of corruption of the society) became the result of political decisions favoring neoliberal elite at the expense of common citizens. So it was a typical revolution from above. To hide this requires constant brainwashing of the population and instilling fear using external threat (with Russia as preferred object). That's where intelligence agencies come handy as they by-and-large control key journalists and key MSM. For example Washington Post for a long time was called "voice of CIA" even in the US establishment. 

Since 9/11 terrorism is used as a smoke screen to hide the warts of neoliberalism and facilitate the transition of state into national security state. Adoption of Patriot Act and resulting hypertrophied growth of intelligence agencies in the USA are just a tip of the iceberg. In reality the situation became pretty much Orwellian with Intelligence agencies as the new incarnation of the "Big Brother" as well as the "permanent war for permanent peace" between Oceania (USA and NATO vassals) and Eurasia (Russia and China) in the Orwell's famous  novel 1984.  It is clear that the war with terrorism launched also can be called  "permanent war for permanent peace" and the enemy is illusive and can be  really easily faked with minimal propaganda efforts.  The level of rampant militarism in the USA now is close to what we observe in typical neo-fascist movements, especially under Trump (Fascism - Wikipedia ):

Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe, influenced by national syndicalism. Fascism originated in Italy during World War I and spread to other European countries. Fascism opposes liberalism, Marxism and anarchism and is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.[3][4]

Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes in the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war.[5][6] The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.[5][6]

Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.[7] Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[7] Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[8][9][10][11] Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.[12]

Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th century fascist movements.[13]

Paradoxically intelligence agencies  and Pentagon can't live peacefully with each other and struggle for power. That why intelligence  agencies launched a color revolution against Trump, who can in some ways be viewed as the Presidential Candidate of Pentagon (especially if we view neocons as Pentagon lobbysts and Israel as a state-lobbyst for Pentagon).

After coming to power Trump introduced several new measures which in some way signify a new stage of the development of neoliberalism and can be  "national neoliberalism". He explicitly rejects globalization on the base of multinational treaties (which was neoliberalism Modus operandi since its inception)  and wants to use the power of the US to bully all nations  "one-to-one" basis. Those who behave against the USA wishes have sanctions imposed, cut from US dominated financial system and are threatened with war.  Iran is the latest example here. 

In this mutation of  neoliberalism as a social system US intelligence apparatus and military establishment are raised to the level above and beyond civilian control and become a somewhat autonomous system, a hidden government of the USA. The Deep state as it is now called. For example, intelligence agencies now strive and de facto achieved the role of king maker for the most top positions in the USA government. And, if necessary, can act as a king remover (JFK assassination is a nice example here; CIA fingerprints are all over the place, but nobody from CIA went to jail for this: "mission accomplished"; Nixon removal is another although less visible one).

The colossal budget with  juicy cost-plus contracts of affiliated private companies gives intelligence agencies and Pentagon not only tremendous power, but also create vested ideological and financial interests of the whole caste of "imperial servants", the well being of which depends of their continuation.  Wars became necessary for maintaining the level of those budgets. Existence of the "country-scapegoat" is important too for projecting on it all evil that happens within the USA under neoliberalism and blowbacks from neoliberal foreign policy.

Existence of the "country-scapegoat" is important too for projecting on it all evil that happens within the USA under neoliberalism and blowbacks from neoliberal foreign policy.

It is important to understand that the USA intelligence agencies are probably closer connected to Wall Street and military contractors then the federal government and often serve as enforcers of specific interests. They are able to work against particular administration officially proclaimed policies, for example in organizing the foreign coup d'état.  For example, for the moment of its creation, due to Allen Dulles background CIA was aligned with the interests of Wall Street.

There no real overseeing of three letter agencies from neither executive branch, not from the Congress, nor from the Justice Department. But the reverse is not true: the intelligence agencies have appointees in all mentioned above branches of government. The natural line of development of intelligence agencies  since its inception and toward acquiring more power and securing higher budget. With time, the tail start wagging the dog.  This phenomenon is not limited to the USA. Actually the term the "Deep State" originated in Turkey.  The same hijacking of executive, parliamentarian and judicial braches of govern happened in other countries. A very interesting example provides the USSR: it was actually betrayal of KGB brass (under Andropov, who was instrumental in installing Gorbachov into power), who switched side and decided to privatize the country, that was the key factor that led to the dissolution of the USSR.

The key "three letter agencies" (CIA, DOD, NSA, FBI) were established by the National Security Act of 1947, signed in September 18, 1947 by President Harry S. Truman. This year can be considered as the year when National Security State was born and probably should be celebrated accordingly instead of old-fashioned Independence Day.  Very little was preserved from the "old republic" after this transformation of the USA. 

It is prudent to view National Security State as a modern form of corporatism, closely related to concepts of neo-fascism and Inverted Totalitarism. As ellatynemouth noted in the comment to the Guardian article Internet privacy as important as human rights, says UN's Navi Pillay (Dec 26, 2013):

The surveillance state is the ruling class's key hole through which they monitor us and our potential dissent. It's now an integral part of capitalism and can't be removed.

The game has changed. It's now about convincing us as much as possible that they will stop snooping on us. They won't though. It will just become more heavily hidden.

Surveillance state was made possible with the advent of computers, Internet and wireless communication. In some features it is close to neo-fascism and Latin-American far right authoritarian regimes, but there are important difference. Instead of organized violence against opponents it achieved its goals without relentless physical repression/elimination of opponents. It's key feature is mass surveillance, discreditation and blackmailing of opponents (like in German Democratic Republic there are dossier for every member of society and skeletons from the closet can be revealed for any politician or activist)  as well as control and manipulation of media, not mass repression of opponents. Like neofascist regimes of the past (such as Pinochet regime in Chile) and authoritarian "communist" regimes of the past and present, it make organized opposition to the government virtually impossible. Of the 20 characteristic traits of neo-fascist regimes probably around a half are applicable to the national security state.

After 9/11, Bush government's behavior and especially appeals to public clearly resonate with the proto-fascist "... uber alles" ideas ("America is an exceptional nation"). As an amazing example of doublespeak Bushists managed to integrate American exceptionalism into the framework of globalist neoliberal regime (as the command-and-control center for neoliberal world empire, no less).

Bush government inspired post-9/11 paranoia doesn’t come cheaply, though. Costs were staggering: the military ($682 billion), Homeland Security (about $60 billion), and 15 intelligence agencies (official figure of combined budget is perhaps $75 billion; but in reality more then that). The total is probably over a trillion.  Add to this several trillion dollars wasted on war in Afghanistan and occupation of Iraq. The Congressional Research Service estimate for 2001-2016 is 1.6 trillion; Brown university estimate is 3.6 trillion; some estimates are as high as six trillions (PolitiFact).  Only future medical care and disability benefits for veterans of these war is near $1 trillion (Center for Strategic and International Studies )

Nothing changed under President Obama, which suggests that he is just a figurehead and the  "deep state" is actually in charge. In most areas the Obama administration was more like Bush II administration, with "change we can believe in" as a smokescreen for nefarious actions. Obama launched more wars then Bush II too.  In this sense this was the most blatant and the most successful  "bait and switch" in the recent  political history of the USA.  Later is lightly different form repeated with Trump, who  also during election campaign proposed reasonable steps of improving standard of living of the US population and finishing forign wars, but instance switched sides after election pushing neoliberal policies at home, and continuing all Bush-Obama wars foreign wars abroad.  He also appointed open war hawks into his administration. The list of neocons in Trumps administration is as long as in Bush II administration and includes people in key positions such as Haley, Bolton, and Pompeo.

This is the view of Professor Michel Greenon, who in his book advocated the view that tradition troika of powers in the USA became by and large ceremonial and that real actors, at least in area of national security are not non-elected executives of super-powerful and well financed three-letter agencies. Here is a brief overview taken from review published by Reason (National Security State - Reason.com):

Though Glennon doesn't describe his thesis in terms of public choice theory, it echoes that discipline's insight that institutions are run for the benefit of the people who run the institutions. For the Trumanites, Glennon explains, "benefits take the form of enlarged budgets, personnel, missions; costs take the form of retrenchments in each." Witness the vast archipelago of intelligence facilities-nearly three Pentagons' worth of office space-that have been erected in greater Washington, D.C., since 9/11.

The national security state is becoming an autonomous, self-perpetuating entity, Glennon warns. It sets the table for elected officials' choices and increasingly dictates terms to them. The permanent bureaucracy basks in the "glow" of Madisonian institutions, drawing legitimacy from the illusion that elected officials are in charge. But while the buck may stop with the president, the real power resides with the Trumanites.

This explanation is strongest in the realm of state surveillance, which serves as Glennon's central case study. Recall the embarrassing revelation, in the summer of 2013, that the NSA was tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. What did the president know, and when did he know it? If you believe top administration officials, Obama was almost as surprised as Merkel. Glennon quotes Secretary of State John Kerry to the effect that the Merkel wiretap, like a lot of NSA programs, occurred "on autopilot."

On one hand, that's what you'd expect them to say. On the other hand, the claim is entirely plausible, and it is consistent with the earlier history of NSA abuses uncovered by the Church Committee in the 1970s. Under Project SHAMROCK, for example, the NSA collected the content of virtually all cable traffic entering or leaving the United States for three decades-150,000 messages a month at its height. It was, the committee's final report concluded, "probably the largest governmental interception program affecting Americans ever undertaken." And yet it's not clear that any president ordered, approved, or was even aware of SHAMROCK. When the program's existence was exposed in the mid-'70s, Louis Tordella, longtime deputy director of the NSA, admitted that he didn't know whether any president or attorney general had ever been briefed on it.

The picture grows somewhat more complicated when we look at the modern practice of presidential war making. From the Truman administration onward, the president has accumulated enormous unchecked authority, despite James Madison's conviction that, since the executive department was "most distinguished by its propensity to war," it is "the practice of all states, in proportion as they are free, to disarm this propensity of its influence."

When it comes to picking the wars we wage, it's not clear that the Trumanites are fully in charge. Take four major war-powers decisions during the Obama administration: the Afghan surge, the escalation of drone attacks, the Libya intervention, and the current war against ISIS. I put the Trumanite win-loss record at roughly .500 here. The military and national security bureaucracy fought hard for the surge and the drone escalation, and got them. They generally opposed the Libyan action, and some prominent Trumanites-such as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs -appear to have been reluctant to endorse our latest war in the Middle East.

In the case of this most recent war, domestic politics seems a better explanation: The president yielded to the near-irresistible demand that he "do something" about the beheading of Americans and the implosion of the Iraqi state. Bombing ISIS is something, so we're doing it.

The Obama experience suggests we get the wars the Trumanites want -- and also some they don't. But this is hardly fatal to Glennon's thesis. He stresses that "a good theory of institutional behavior can predict, at best, only tendency over time"; his "predicts only that national security policy will change little from one administration to the next." So far, that theory is holding up rather well.

Even so, I've always been partial to one version of the "government politics" explanation. A few years ago, I wrote a book arguing that "Americans' unconfined conception of presidential responsibility is the source of much of our political woe and some of the gravest threats to our liberties." If the political reality is such that the president will be held personally accountable for any domestic terror attack, don't be surprised when he seeks powers nearly as vast as the expectations put upon him.

Glennon acknowledges it's not either-or; "explanations overlap," he writes. Dumb wars and security-state overreach are the result of political choices and the bureaucratic imperative. Policy continuity is depressingly overdetermined.

Real-time histories of key national security decisions in the Obama years tend to underscore this point. In Kill or Capture, reporter Daniel Klaidman describes the enormous political pressure the Obama administration was under after the failed "underwear bomber" attack on December 25, 2009. "For the White House," Klaidman writes, "the psychic toll of Christmas Day was profound. Obama realized that if a failed terror attempt could suck up so much political oxygen, a successful attack would absolutely devastate his presidency. And much as he liked to talk about returning to first principles, Obama also had a powerful instinct for self-correction-as well as self-preservation."

The psychic aftershock of Christmas 2009 helped shape a lot of what followed: from body scanners at airports to ramped-up drone strikes to the lethal targeting of an American citizen.

But to Glennon's point, the administration was under pressure from the Trumanites well before that. In the 2012 book, The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power, James Mann describes a concerted effort by then-CIA director Michael Hayden and other senior intelligence officials to preserve business as usual by scaring the hell out of the incoming Obama team. Their private name for this scheme was the "Aw, Shit! Campaign."

The scare tactics worked. Klaidman reports that both Harold Koh, legal advisor at the State Department, and Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon's general counsel, used the same metaphor to describe the military pressure for more targeted killings: a runaway train. It was like "a massive freight train hurling down the tracks" Koh said. "You would have to throw yourself on the tracks to try to stop it," said Johnson.

All this helps shed light

 
e border="2" width="90%" bgcolor="#FFFF00">   ;s strange and disorienting May 2013 "drone speech" at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., in which the president seemed to be speaking not as commander in chief, but as his own loyal opposition.

In the speech, Obama said things like "Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don't need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers." And: "The very precision of drone strikes can also lead a president and his team to view [them] as a cure-all for terrorism." I remember thinking: "A president"? Which one? Anyone in particular? Who's in charge here, anyway?

National Security and Double Government suggests that the answer to that last question isn't quite so obvious, that the "most powerful man in the world" isn't nearly as powerful as he might appear.

It remains the case that Obama had the formal authority to say no to mass surveillance and perpetual war. But saying no would require resisting enormous bureaucratic and political pressure. And anybody willing to do what it takes to become president is unlikely to transform himself into a self-denying Cincinnatus once in office. Political survivors don't jump in front of trains.

While US government spent around $3.67 trillion in 2013, the revenue was just $2.77 trillion. Of that amount over one trillion went to three-letter agencies and DOD. Now you understand to whom real power belongs.  Moreover the government has to borrow about $900 billion in order to maintain national security state programs intact. And there are 5 million (yes million) people in the USA with security clearance and around 3 million with top security clearance. In other words "Welcome to the USSR." or even Third Reich (actually republican senators opposed Truman initiative due to fear that he replicated institution of the Third Reich in the USA and only support of powerful Democrats allowed the president to push the act through the Congress.

But even if it was close to the Third Reich in political effects and its essence, this type of political structure is different, because it does not rely on mass mobilization. Instead it relied on the power of "deep state" and mass surveillance as well as passivity of most electorate. 

As Paxton describes it (Tracking Fascism) fascism as just hypertrophied and misguided nationalism, a specific flavor of far right nationalism. The central emotions in fascism and nationalism are identical. In other words at the core of fascist emotional mobilization always lies far right nationalism and that is important distinction with national security state and neoliberalism which are globalist and  "imperial" and does not stress particular nationality as long of the person/group serves empire interests:

...Feelings propel fascism more than thought does. We might call them mobilizing passions, since they function in fascist movements to recruit followers and in fascist regimes to "weld" the fascist "tribe" to its leader. The following mobilizing passions are present in fascisms, though they may sometimes be articulated only implicitly:
  1. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
  2. The belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group's enemies, internal as well as external.
  3. Dread of the group's decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan liberalism.
  4. Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
  5. An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
  6. Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
  7. The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle.

Post 9/11  "passions" in the USA were definitely skillfully used by Bush administration to push the nation into the Iraq war and the attacks on dissenters that occurred during it were pretty vicious, really in traditions of Third Reich ("you are either with us, or with our enemies"). 

But public was not really central in this whole issue. Americans were extras at best, patsies at worst,  Essentially all major decisions were made "behind the curtain" by deep state structures and public was just brainwashed into approval of those action. That's an important different between national security state and classical fascist regimes. In classic fascist state the leading fascist party would be central to unleashing such a war.  Here it was bust a bunch of highly placed bureaucrats in Bush II administration (so called neocons, which is an ideological group allied with the military industrial complex, but not an organized party as such).

Here is a more extended treatment of this issue (cited from Rush, Newspeak and Fascism An exegesis IV Tracking Fascism):

1. [Group primacy]: See, again, the Bush Doctrine. An extension of this sentiment is at play among those jingoes who argue that Americans may need to sacrifice some of their civil rights -- say, free speech -- during wartime.
2. [Victim mentality]: This meme is clearly present in all the appeals to the victims of Sept. 11 as justifications for the war. It is present at nearly all levels of the debate: from the White House, from the media, even from the jingoist entertainment industry (see, e.g., the lyric of Darryl Worley's extraordinarily popular country-western hit, "Have You Forgotten?": "Some say this country's just out looking for a fight / Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right.").
3. [Dread of liberal decadence]: This meme has been stock in trade of the talk-radio crowd since at least 1994 -- at one time it focused primarily on the person of Bill Clinton -- and has reached ferocious levels during the runup to the war and after it, during which antiwar leftists have regularly and remorselessly been accused of treason.
4. [Group integration] and 5. [Group identity as personal validation] are, of course, among the primary purposes of the campaign to demonize liberals -- to simultaneously build a cohesive brotherhood of like-minded "conservatives" who might not agree on the details but are united in their loathing of all things liberal. It plays out in such localized manifestations as the KVI Radio 570th On-Air Cavalry, which has made a habit of deliberately invading antiwar protests with the express purpose of disrupting them and breaking them up. Sometimes, as they did recently in Bellingham, this is done with caravans of big trucks blaring their horns; and they are also accompanied by threatening rhetoric and acts of physical intimidation. They haven't yet bonded in violence -- someone did phone in a threat to sniper-shoot protesters -- but they are rapidly headed in that direction.
6. [Authority of leaders]: This needs hardly any further explanation, except to note that George W. Bush is actually surprisingly uncharismatic for someone who inspires as much rabid loyalty as he does. But then, that is part of the purpose of Bush's PR campaign stressing that he receives "divine guidance" -- it assures in his supporters' mind the notion that he is carrying out God's destiny for the nation, and for the conservative movement in particular.
7. [An aesthetic of violence]: One again needs only turn to the voluminous jingoes of Fox News or the jubilant warbloggers to find abundant examples of celebrations of the virtues -- many of them evidently aesthetic -- of the evidently just-completed war.

I would like to stress that similar processes occurred in different states after WWII as well (Latin America military dictatorships are one example). And with new force and on the new level after the dissolution of the USSR in Russia.  Of course the USSR was a National Security Surveillance State even before WWII, being one of the "pioneers" of this form of state along with Italy and Germany. But it was a rather "primitive" form of national security state  in a sense that it did not rely on computers, collecting "envelope" of all Internet communication, emails headers and other "meta-data" as well as systematic interception of SMS-based communications as well interception of wireless communication and financial operations via computerized banking (especially credit card transactions)  for surveillance.

Rule of Trumanites as the essence of the US National security state -- Boston Globe review of Michael Glennon book

Mickey Edwards, who served in Congress from 1977 to 1993, and is the author of “The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans.” published a very penetrating review of the book in  The Boston Globe. In which he stated:

It has long been the province of conspiracy theorists to claim that the real power of government is not wielded by the obvious practitioners of statecraft — presidents, members of Congress, the judiciary — but by secret or semi-secret entities, real wizards whose hidden machinations send us to war, sell us out to enemies, siphon public treasure into private hands. Depending on your talk show or paranoia of choice, these are the bankers, oil barons, one-worlders, war profiteers, Bilderbergers, Masons, Catholics, Jews, or Trilateralists. Our formal institutions, in this scenario, are stage sets, Potemkin villages; our officials are puppets; we are an unsuspecting audience.

Michael Glennon, a respected academic (Tufts’s FLETCHER SCHOOL) and author of a book brought to us by an equally respected publisher (Oxford University Press), is hardly the sort to indulge in such fantasies. And that makes the picture he paints in “National Security and Double Government” all the more arresting. Considering Barack Obama’s harsh pre-election criticisms of his predecessor’s surveillance policies, for example, Glennon notes that many of those same policies — and more of the same kind — were continued after Obama took office. “Why,” he asks, “does national security policy remain constant even when one President is replaced by another, who as a candidate repeatedly, forcefully, and eloquently promised fundamental changes in that policy?”

The answer Glennon places before us is not reassuring: “a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of US national security policy.” The result, he writes, is a system of dual institutions that have evolved “toward greater centralization, less accountability, and emergent autocracy.”

If this were a movie, it would soon become clear that some evil force, bent on consolidating power and undermining democratic governance, has surreptitiously tunneled into the under-structure of the nation. Not so. In fact, Glennon observes, this hyper-secret and difficult-to-control network arose in part as an attempt to head off just such an outcome. In the aftermath of World War II, with the Soviet Union a serious threat from abroad and a growing domestic concern about weakened civilian control over the military (in 1949, the Hoover Commission had warned that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had become “virtually a law unto themselves”), President Truman set out to create a separate national security structure.

By 2011, according to The Washington Post, there were 46 separate federal departments and agencies and 2,000 private companies engaged in classified national security operations with millions of employees and spending of roughly a trillion dollars a year. As Glennon points out, presidents get to name fewer than 250 political appointees among the Defense Department’s nearly 700,000 civilian employees, with hundreds more drawn from a national security bureaucracy that comprise “America’s Trumanite network” — in effect, on matters of national security, a second government.

Glennon’s book is not a breezy read: It’s thick with fact and not unappreciative of conundrum (“The government is seen increasingly by elements of the public as hiding what they ought to know, criminalizing what they ought to be able to do, and spying upon what ought to be private. The people are seen increasingly by the government as unable to comprehend the gravity of security threats.”). Nor is he glib with proposed solutions: to adequately respond to the threats posed by a below-the-radar second government will require “a general public possessed of civic virtue,” which prompts Glennon to cite retired Supreme Court justice David Souter’s bemoaning of a “pervasive civic ignorance.” Not all of the problem can be laid at Truman’s feet. And if we ourselves are part of the zeitgeist that allows invisible governments to flourish, repair will be difficult. As Glennon puts it, “the term Orwellian will have little meaning to a people who have never known anything different, who have scant knowledge of history, civics, or public affairs, and who in any event have never heard of George Orwell.”

This is no secret conspiracy nor a plot to deprive Americans of their civil liberties. It is the unintended consequence of a thoughtful attempt to head off the very threats that those attempts have inadvertently created. But if Glennon’s book is enlightening it is also scary. And it’s not fiction.

Why National Security State needs provocations -- pseudo terrorist attacks (false flag attacks)

There are multiple reasons such as to instill fear, and to demonstrate competence (Big Brother’s Liberal Friends — Crooked Timber)

Dr. Hilarius, 10.27.14 at 11:44 pm
An excellent analysis and summation.

Any defense of the national security state requires the proponent to show, at a minimum, that the present apparatus is competent at its task. Having lived through Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention many smaller governmental adventures) I see no evidence of competence. Instead, it’s repetitive failures of analysis and imagination no matter how much raw intelligence is gathered.

Nor is there any evidence that existing oversight mechanisms function as intended. Recent revelations about the CIA spying on the Senate should be enough to dispel the idea that leakers have no role to play.

Kinsley is particularly loathsome. His position is little more than “your betters know best” and that the state’s critics are guttersnipes needing to be kicked to the curb. Kinsley doesn’t need a coherent position, his goal is to be a spokesman for the better sorts, nothing more...

Tremendous push (or acceleration of pre-existing tendencies) toward National Security State occurred after 9/11 under the banner of fighting terrorism. At the point technological capabilities of mass surveillance using computers and the ability to have a dossier for everybody were in place, while mass deployment of PC, credit cards and cell phones provides constant stream of information to those dossiers, not that different from "gum shoes" reports. On November, 2001 the phone records of most Americans begin flowing to the N.S.A. After 9/11, President Bush authorizes the N.S.A. to collect phone and Internet content and metadata without a warrant. Within weeks, under the so-called President’s Surveillance Program (P.S.P.), the major telephone companies voluntarily hand over the data. The N.S.A. creates a twenty-four-hour “Metadata Analysis Center” (MAC) to search the phone records. In October 26, 2001: The Patriot Act is passed. Section 215 allows the government to seize “any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

At this point the process started with adoption of Truman doctrine came to a logical end: national surveillance state became a reality. Formally Truman Doctrine was created "to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." but in reality their function was more questionable and after 9/11 (some people date this event as early as 1963 -- JFK assassination) those activities created what is called "The State Within a State" similar to the USSR KGB role (see The State Within a State by Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick). Here is one review of the book:

A Customer

passionate albeit muddled, August 24, 1999

I have problems with the author's obvious hatred of the Russian Revolution and Stalin and the way she claims there is an unbroken chain of horror going all the way back to 1917. Obviously things are better today -- hence her book! She says 66.7 million people died under "Chekist" rule since the Russian Revolution -- and then cites the Guiness Book of Records as her source!? No one could ever prove such a figure, I think its one of things that's repeated 'til it becomes fact.

I also find the author's lack of knowledge about our own CIA kind of disheartening. This fine organization has spread as much death and terror in the Third World (Indonesia, Guatemala,Chile, Argentina, Brazil etc. etc. ) as the KGB ever did anywhere, yet she seems to make them out to be benevolent compared to the KGB (which if you read this book are responsible for everything wrong with the world today).

After reading this book I still don't understand why she thinks the KGB or its incarnations are as bad today as they were at the height of the Terror in 1937. Its not really explained in the book. I still am not convinced that the KGB was the NKVD, and definitely convinced that either was the SS. Research I have done casually has never come up with hard, convincing figures for a Nazi style genocide in the USSR, and this anecdotal, unconvincing book didn't change my historical views.

See Michael J. Hogan, A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998; which "explains the transformative process that ended in the ultimate demise of the New Deal state with its emphasis on social spending and ushered in the militarist National Security State." From Amazon review:

Hogan, a specialist in American diplomatic and national security studies, has written a complex but interesting work on the emergence of the national security state. To create this state, it was necessary to merge the armed forces, the Defense Department, and scientists into a single unit to enhance the military's capabilities. To a large extent, this unification was accomplished in the 1950s. The driving forces were James Forrestal, Dean Acheson, and powerful members of Congress such as Carl Vinson (D-GA), who chaired the Committee on Naval Affairs, along with presidents Truman and Eisenhower.

Hogan presents a compelling case but overemphasizes the importance of Truman and Eisenhower while downplaying the role of Vinson and others in the security state's creation. In fact, both Truman and Eisenhower often seemed opposed to it but succumbed to pressure from Congress and key figures like Acheson. This extremely complex study, which deals with a subject few other books handle, is designed for scholars and informed lay readers interested in the creation of the "military-industrial complex." by Richard P. Hedlund, Ashland Community Coll., KY

Former CIA officer Victor Marchetti in his book "Propaganda and Disinformation: How the CIA Manufactures History" noted:

"As I pointed out in the preface to The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence in 1974, democratic governments fighting totalitarian enemies run the risk of imitating their methods and thereby destroying democracy. By suppressing historical fact, and by manufacturing historical fiction, the CIA, with its obsessive secrecy and its vast resources, has posed a particular threat to the right of Americans to be informed for the present and future by an objective knowledge of the past.

As long as the CIA continues to manipulate history, historians of its activities must be Revisionist if we are to know the truth about the agency's activities, past and present."

Attempts to curtain the surveillance proved to by fruitless.  Church Committee was probably the most important "after JFK assassination" attempt to somewhat tame three latter agencies and especially CIA, but it ended in nothing.

Later NSA overtook CIA in many areas of intelligence gathering activities. Which create internal frictions between two agencies. State Department also "infringed" in CIA role in foreign countries and, for example, in organization of neoliberal color revolutions in oil rich or strategically important countries it is difficult to tell when clandestine actions of State Department ends and clandestine actions of CIA stars and vice versa. 

In is interesting to note that even Senators feel threatened by this total surveillance system. In December 14, 2005 Senators Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, John Kerry, Richard Durbin, and several colleagues sign a letter warning that Section 215 “would allow the government to obtain library, medical and gun records and other sensitive personal information” that “would allow government fishing expeditions targeting innocent Americans.” They demand that the records requested should “have some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy,” a requirement that would

protect innocent Americans from unnecessary surveillance and ensure that government scrutiny is based on individualized suspicion, a fundamental principle of our legal system.

In March, 2006, the Patriot Act is reauthorized without the changes sought by Obama and others.

In his October 19, 2012 review of the book Saman Mohammadi (The Excavator) wrote:

The case could be made that the creation of the CIA and the National Security State in 1947 was necessary. But after sixty years of human rights abuses, systematic attacks on the constitution, false flag terror events, assassinations of political reformers, and other horrible crimes against humanity, should not the CIA be reformed?

Let's put the question of morality aside. What are the "national security" reasons that legitimize the existence of the CIA? Once you learn that Al-Qaeda is a CIA creation and proxy insurgent army and that 9/11 was a massive false flag operation, you come to the natural conclusion that the CIA does not perform a national security role.

The CIA plays a much dirtier role: engineering the American mind. It is not denied that the shadow CIA has major influence in the mainstream media, especially amongst top newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Michael S. Rozeff speculates that the New York Times is entirely run by the CIA.

We can't know for certain if that is true because of the lack of historical documentation in the public domain, but there is a mountain of observable evidence that proves the CIA has many of its spooks working for the New York Times. Go here for just one example.

Until the American people demand that the U.S. government commit to radical transparency and the principles enshrined in the U.S. constitution, the shadow CIA and the mainstream media can twist history and manage public perceptions of reality as much as they like.

The shadow CIA's greatest power comes from its command of the American public mind as well as its ability to create a fictional version of history. The false flag September 11 events was the shadow CIA's biggest media operation to date. It was their Mona Lisa. They painted the canvas of reality with the brush of myth, and worked day and night to shape the collective memory of the American people while the horror of the tragic attacks was still fresh in the nation's mind.

Although the shadow CIA doesn't have a total command of the American mind and of history, as proven by the rise of the global 9/11 truth and justice movement, it possesses enough media power to mold world public opinion and dictate government policy for the United States with ease. There is no question that its power is totalitarian in nature and its aims are evil. It does not serve the interests of the American people; that much is clear.

How can there be freedom when CIA officials in television studios, newspaper offices, and publishing companies drive the public conversation and form the national narrative on every issue of significance. The global alternative media is the only global civil society actor that is putting limits on the CIA's power to make up history and suppress the truth about historical events like 9/11 and the occult sacrifice of JFK.

In the past, the shadow CIA was presented with roadblocks in the Congress. But 9/11 fixed that problem. The laws and the politics changed. In "The Big Chill," author Dan Froomkin says the absence of Congressional leadership in the post-9/11 political universe has strengthened executive power. Here is an excerpt his article:

After past periods of executive excess, the Fourth Estate was certainly more robust and arguably more persistent, but it also found natural allies in the other branches of government—particularly Congress. By contrast, over the summer of 2012, the publication of a minimal amount of new information regarding drones, cyberwarfare and targeted killings incited bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill—not to conduct hearings into what had been revealed, but to demand criminal investigations into the leaking.

That's how Congress has been ever since the terrorist attacks 11 years ago. "We never got our post 9/11 Church Committee," said Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists's Project on Government Secrecy, referring to a special investigative Senate committee that held hearings on widespread intelligence abuses after the Watergate scandal. "What we've got instead is the intelligence oversight committee drafting legislation to penalize leaks."

Since the Congress is not willing to stand up for the rights of the American people, the truth, human rights, and the U.S. Constitution, then the American people and global civil society must stand up. Congress has no real power. According to a recent Rasmussen survey, Congress only has an eight percent approval rating. There are underground, neo-Nazi groups in Europe that are more popular than the Congress.

The mainstream media is no better. It is content with its role as a propaganda arm of the shadow CIA, and that is a tragedy. American newspapers have the power to improve their nation and change the world for the better, but instead they choose to cover up independent investigations of shady events like 9/11 that shed light on how the U.S. government really operates.

Alternative media outlets like Infowars.com, Veterans Today, Lew Rockwell.com, Washington's Blog, The Corbett Report, and countless others are doing the best they can to educate the American people and wake up humanity.

The last thing the shadow CIA wants to see is an informed and awakened America. It is waging a silent war on human consciousness because it is scared of an enlightened world. A world that is awake and aware of its crimes against humanity is its greatest nightmare.

If the shadow CIA has its way, it will continue inventing stories and passing it off as history with total immunity. But the global alternative media is telling the shadow CIA: Enough is enough, stop lying to the American people and the world.

The CIA's reckless disregard of U.S. traditions and laws made former President Harry Truman rethink his decision to create the CIA in the first place. On December 22, 1963, Truman wrote in The Washington Post:

For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas. I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations.

On August 17, 1975 Senator Frank Church stated on NBC's Meet the Press without mentioning the name of the NSA about this agency (Wikipedia):

In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.[11]

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer list of features of National security state

In his book "Brave New World Order" (Orbis Books, 1992, paper), Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer argues that the Bush I war in Iraq (as well as Bush II invasion and occupation of the country) was an action of the military industrial complex usurping the "peace dividend". Iraq was attractive target as it has oil and far enough away to prove a good vehicle for eating up contract cash. He views the rise of the National Security Defense State as a consequence of "the threat of peace" for military industrial complex and identifies seven characteristics of a such a state:

  1. The military is the highest authority. In a National Security State the military not only guarantees the security of the state against all internal and external enemies, it has enough power to determine the overall direction of the society. In a National Security State the military exerts important influence over political, economic, as well as military affairs.
  2. Political democracy and democratic elections are viewed with suspicion, contempt, or in terms of political expediency. National Security States often maintain an appearance of democracy. However, ultimate power rests with the military or within a broader National Security Establishment.
  3. The military and related sectors wield substantial political and economic power. They do so in the context of an ideology which stresses that 'freedom" and "development" are possible only when capital is concentrated in the hands of elites.
  4. Obsession with enemies. There are enemies of the state everywhere. Defending against external and/or internal enemies becomes a leading preoccupation of the state, a distorting factor in the economy, and a major source of national identity and purpose.
  5. The working assumption is that the enemies of the state are cunning and ruthless. Therefore, any means used to destroy or control these enemies is justified.
  6. It restricts public debate and limits popular participation through secrecy or intimidation. Authentic democracy depends on participation of the people. National Security States limit such participation in a number of ways: They sow fear and thereby narrow the range of public debate; they restrict and distort information; and they define policies in secret and implement those policies through covert channels and clandestine activities. The state justifies such actions through rhetorical pleas of "higher purpose" and vague appeals to "national security."
  7. The church is expected to mobilize its financial, ideological, and theological resources in service to the National Security State.
Now we can add one additional feature
  1. Total surveillance

Compare that definition of the National Security State with the definition of Inverted Totalitarism. Most countries now have features of both.

The debate about National Security State reemerged in June 2008 due to revelations make about existence of the Prism program and similar program by British security services. For example, Jacob Augstein used the term "Obama's Soft Totalitarianism" in his article Europe Must Stand Up to American Cyber-Snooping published by SPIEGEL.

Here is an interesting comment of user MelFarrellSr in The Guardian discussion of the article NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits (August 24, 2013):

Here's the thing about the NSA, the GCHQ, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, et al...

We all have to stop commenting as if the NSA and the GCHQ are in this thing on their own; the reality is that no one was supposed to know one iota about any of these programs; the NSA and the GCHQ began and put in place the structure that would allow all internet service providers, and indeed all corporations using the net, the ability to track and profile each and every user on the planet, whether they be using the net, texting, cell, and landline.

We all now know that Google, Yahoo, and the rest, likely including major retailers, and perhaps not so major retailers, are all getting paid by the United States government, hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, our money, to profile 24/7 each and every one of us..., they know how we think, our desires, our sexual preferences, our religious persuasion, what we spend, etc.; make no mistake about it, they know it all, and what they don’t currently have, they will very soon…

These agencies and indeed all those who are paid by them, will be engaged over the next few weeks in a unified program of "perception management" meaning that they will together come up with an all-encompassing plan that will include the release of all manner of statements attesting to the enforcement of several different disciplinary actions against whomever for "illegal" breaches of policy...

They may even bring criminal actions against a few poor unfortunate souls who had no idea they would be sacrificed as one part of the "perception management" game.

Has anyone wondered why, to date, no one in power has really come out and suggested that the program must be curtailed to limit its application to terrorism and terrorist types?

Here’s why; I was fortunate recently to have given an education on how networks such as Prism, really work, aside from the rudimentary details given in many publications. They cannot, and will not, stop monitoring even one individuals activity, because to do so will eventually cause loss of the ability to effectively monitor as many as 2.5 Million individuals.

Remember the “Two to Three Hop” scenario, which the idiot in one of the hearings inadvertently spoke of; therein lies the answer. If the average person called 40 unique people, three-hop analysis would allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans Do the math; Internet usage in the United States as of June 30, 2012 reached a total of over 245,000,000 million…

The following link shows how connected the world is… http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm

We should never forget how the Internet began, and who developed it, the United States Armed Forces; initially it was known as Arpanet, see excerpt and link below…

"The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation." - Supreme Court Judge statement on considering first amendment rights for Internet users.

"On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet, grandfather to the Internet. Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol).”

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa091598.htm

There is no government anywhere on the planet that will give up any part of the program…, not without one hell of a fight...

Incidentally, they do hope and believe that everyone will come to the same conclusion; they will keep all of us at bay for however long it takes; they have the money, they have the time, and they economically control all of us...

Pretty good bet they win...

Whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it ?

The book American Exceptionalism and Human Rights (edited by Ignatieff) raised an important and probably the most controversial question in world politics: whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it.

Following are based on the article by Laurence W. Britt published in Free Inquiry magazine

To a secular humanist, the principles of international law seems logical, right, and crucial. Yet, there is one archetypal political philosophy that is anathema to almost all of these principles. It is fascism. And fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.

We are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.

Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi. This, of course, is not a revelation to the informed political observer, but it is sometimes useful in the interests of perspective to restate obvious facts and in so doing shed needed light on current circumstances.

The following regimes can be studies in this respect: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. They constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible. Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.

One can wonder how many of those are applicable to Bush/McCain. What do you think ?
  1. Propaganda of nationalism and Exceptionalism ("shining city on the hill", beckon of democracy, etc). Prominent displays of flags and ubiquitous lapel pins. The fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy. Pride in the military, and demands for unity are way of expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a level of suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia (French fries - Freedom fries).

  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. Despite "freedom rhetorics" the party views human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious and truth about gulags is out, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the parties would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, such as Muslims, communists/socialists/liberals, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Opponents of these party were inevitably labeled as terrorists stooges and dealt with accordingly.

  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites identified closely with the military. A disproportionate share of national budget is allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an ultimate expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

  5. Sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, the party covertly views women as second-class citizens. Often are both anti-abortion and homophobic with the cover of religious values. For propaganda reasons those attitudes were masterfully blended into strong support of the fundamentalist religious sects, thus lending the party some legitimacy to cover for its abuses.

  6. A controlled mass media. The mass media could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Control can be indirect and subtle with formal adoption of slogan about "free media". Methods included the control of licensing, access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders and owners of the mass media are part of the power elite. The result is rampant brainwashing, which usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the party's excesses.

  7. Obsession with national security. A national security apparatus is bend to come under direct control of the ruling elite. It is used to bypass laws as a direct instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

  8. Abuse of religion. The party attaches itself to the dominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of religious values. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with those values is swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents are “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the party is tantamount to an attack on religion.

  9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

  10. Power of organized labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Being poor was considered akin to a vice.

  11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these party. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities professors come under close scrutiny; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or scientific theories, especially economic, are strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed.

  12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police is often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. Criminal charges sometimes are used against political opponents. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

  13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

  14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of two candidates representing the same power elite are usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, suppressing responsibilities for legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not.

Edward Snowden quotes about National Security State

The most recent debate about the legitimacy of national security state as exists in the USA was sparked by Edward Snowden revelations. The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about National Security State modus operandi  might send a chill up your spine...


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

National Security State

National Security State Bulletin, 2017 National Security State Bulletin, 2016 National Security State Bulletin, 2015

[Jul 22, 2019] The press of the United States? It is a parasitic growth that battens on the capitalist class

Jul 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"The press of the United States? It is a parasitic growth that battens on the capitalist class. Its function is to serve the established by moulding public opinion, and right well it serves it.

I know nothing that I may say can influence you. You have no souls to be influenced. You are spineless, flaccid things. You pompously call yourselves Republicans and Democrats. There is no Republican Party. There is no Democratic Party.

There are no Republicans nor Democrats in this House. You are lick-spittlers and panderers, the creatures of the Plutocracy.

You talk verbosely in antiquated terminology of your love of liberty, and all the while you wear the scarlet livery of the Iron Heel."

Jack London, The Iron Heel

[Jul 22, 2019] Wehret den Anf ngen

Jul 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"To reduce a complex argument to its bare bones, since the Depression, the twin forces of managed democracy and Superpower have opened the way for something new under the sun: 'inverted totalitarianism,' a form every bit as totalistic as the classical version but one based on internalized co-optation, the appearance of freedom, political disengagement rather than mass mobilization, and relying more on "private media" than on public agencies to disseminate propaganda that reinforces the official version of events.

It is inverted because it does not require the use of coercion, police power and a messianic ideology as in the Nazi, Fascist and Stalinist versions (although note that the United States has the highest percentage of its citizens in prison -- 751 per 100,000 people -- of any nation on Earth). According to Wolin, inverted totalitarianism has 'emerged imperceptibly, unpremeditatedly, and in seeming unbroken continuity with the nation's political traditions.'

The main objectives of managed democracy are to increase the profits of large corporations, dismantle the institutions of social democracy (Social Security, unions, welfare, public health services, public housing and so forth), and roll back the social and political ideals of the New Deal. Its primary tool is privatization [and deregulation].

Chalmers Johnson, Inverted Totalitarianism: A New Way of Understanding How the U.S. Is Controlled

"Thus the elements are in place: a weak legislative body, a legal system that is both compliant and repressive, a party system in which one (I would in 2019 now say either) party, whether in opposition or in the majority, is bent upon reconstituting the existing system so as to permanently favor a ruling class of the wealthy, the well-connected and the corporate, while leaving the poorer citizens with a sense of helplessness and political despair, and, at the same time, keeping the middle classes dangling between fear of unemployment and expectations of fantastic rewards once the new economy recovers.

That scheme is abetted by a sycophantic and increasingly concentrated media; by the integration of universities with their corporate benefactors; by a propaganda machine institutionalized in well-funded think tanks and conservative foundations; by the increasingly closer cooperation between local police and national law enforcement agencies aimed at identifying terrorists, suspicious aliens and domestic dissidents."

Sheldon Wolin, Inverted Totalitarianism

"The truth is that we were so spiritually and morally bankrupt that we could not even see some of those lines: we stepped over them blindly. Other times we saw the lines alright, but we wanted to cross them... It wasn't God who was dead. We were."

Ray A., Practice These Principles

"Oh where is the noble face of modesty, or the strength of virtue, now that blasphemy is in power and men have put justice behind them, and there is no law but lawlessness, and none act with fear of the gods?"

Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis

"Religion used to be the opium of the people. To those suffering humiliation, pain, illness, and serfdom, religion promised the reward of an after life.
But now we are witnessing a transformation: a true opium of the people is the belief in nothingness after death, the huge solace, the huge comfort of thinking that for our betrayals, our greed, our cowardice, our murders, that we are not going to be judged."

Czeslaw Milosz, The Discreet Charm of Nihilism

[Jul 22, 2019] War Profiteers And The Demise Of The US Military-Industrial Complex

Jul 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Dmitry Orlov via Club Orlov blog,

Within the vast bureaucratic sprawl of the Pentagon there is a group in charge of monitoring the general state of the military-industrial complex and its continued ability to fulfill the requirements of the national defense strategy. Office for acquisition and sustainment and office for industrial policy spends some $100,000 a year producing an Annual Report to Congress. It is available to the general public. It is even available to the general public in Russia, and Russian experts had a really good time poring over it.

In fact, it filled them with optimism. You see, Russia wants peace but the US seems to want war and keeps making threatening gestures against a longish list of countries that refuse to do its bidding or simply don't share its "universal values." But now it turns out that threats (and the increasingly toothless economic sanctions) are pretty much all that the US is still capable of dishing out -- this in spite of absolutely astronomical levels of defense spending.

Let's see what the US military-industrial complex looks like through a Russian lens.

It is important to note that the report's authors were not aiming to force legislators to finance some specific project. This makes it more valuable than numerous other sources, whose authors' main objective was to belly up to the federal feeding trough, and which therefore tend to be light on facts and heavy on hype. No doubt, politics still played a part in how various details are portrayed, but there seems to be a limit to the number of problems its authors can airbrush out of the picture and still do a reasonable job in analyzing the situation and in formulating their recommendations.

What knocked Russian analysis over with a feather is the fact that these INDPOL experts (who, like the rest of the US DOD, love acronyms) evaluate the US military-industrial complex from a market-based perspective! You see, the Russian military-industrial complex is fully owned by the Russian government and works exclusively in its interests; anything else would be considered treason. But the US military-industrial complex is evaluated based on its profitability! According to INDPOL, it must not only produce products for the military but also acquire market share in the global weapons trade and, perhaps most importantly, maximize profitability for private investors. By this standard, it is doing well: for 2017 the gross margin (EBITDA) for US defense contractors ranged from 15 to 17%, and some subcontractors - Transdigm, for example - managed to deliver no less than 42-45%. "Ah!" cry the Russian experts, "We've found the problem! The Americans have legalized war profiteering !" (This, by the way, is but one of many instances of something called systemic corruption, which is rife in the US.)

It would be one thing if each defense contractor simply took its cut off the top, but instead there is an entire food chain of defense contractors, all of which are legally required, no less, to maximize profits for their shareholders. More than 28,000 companies are involved, but the actual first-tier defense contractors with which the Pentagon places 2/3 of all defense contracts are just the Big Six: Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynmics, BAE Systems and Boeing. All the other companies are organized into a pyramid of subcontractors with five levels of hierarchy, and at each level they do their best to milk the tier above them.

The insistence on market-based methods and the requirement of maximizing profitability turns out to be incompatible with defense spending on a very basic level: defense spending is intermittent and cyclical, with long fallow intervals between major orders. This has forced even the Big Six to make cuts to their defense-directed departments in favor of expanding civilian production. Also, in spite of the huge size of the US defense budget, it is of finite size (there being just one planet to blow up), as is the global weapons market. Since, in a market economy, every company faces the choice of grow or get bought out, this has precipitated scores of mergers and acquisitions, resulting in a highly consolidated marketplace with a few major players in each space.

As a result, in most spaces, of which the report's authors discuss 17, including the Navy, land forces, air force, electronics, nuclear weapons, space technology and so on, at least a third of the time the Pentagon has a choice of exactly one contractor for any given contract, causing quality and timeliness to suffer and driving up prices.

In a number of cases, in spite of its industrial and financial might, the Pentagon has encountered insoluble problems. Specifically, it turns out that the US has only one shipyard left that is capable of building nuclear aircraft carriers (at all, that is; the USS Gerald Ford is not exactly a success). That is Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport, Virginia. In theory, it could work on three ships in parallel, but two of the slips are permanently occupied by existing aircraft carriers that require maintenance. This is not a unique case: the number of shipyards capable of building nuclear submarines, destroyers and other types of vessels is also exactly one. Thus, in case of a protracted conflict with a serious adversary in which a significant portion of the US Navy has been sunk, ships will be impossible to replace within any reasonable amount of time.

The situation is somewhat better with regard to aircraft manufacturing. The plants that exist can produce 40 planes a month and could produce 130 a month if pressed. On the other hand, the situation with tanks and artillery is absolutely dismal. According to this report, the US has completely lost the competency for building the new generation of tanks. It is no longer even a question of missing plant and equipment; in the US, a second generation of engineers who have never designed a tank is currently going into retirement. Their replacements have no one to learn from and only know about modern tanks from movies and video games. As far as artillery, there is just one remaining production line in the US that can produce barrels larger than 40mm; it is fully booked up and would be unable to ramp up production in case of war. The contractor is unwilling to expand production without the Pentagon guaranteeing at least 45% utilization, since that would be unprofitable.

The situation is similar for the entire list of areas; it is better for dual-use technologies that can be sourced from civilian companies and significantly worse for highly specialized ones. Unit cost for every type of military equipment goes up year after year while the volumes being acquired continuously trend lower -- sometimes all the way to zero. Over the past 15 years the US hasn't acquired a single new tank. They keep modernizing the old ones, but at a rate that's no higher than 100 a year.

Because of all these tendencies and trends, the defense industry continues to lose not only qualified personnel but also the very ability to perform the work. INDPOL experts estimate that the deficit in machine tools has reached 27%. Over the past quarter-century the US has stopped manufacturing a wide variety of manufacturing equipment. Only half of these tools can be imported from allies or friendly nations; for the rest, there is just one source: China. They analyzed the supply chains for 600 of the most important types of weapons and found that a third of them have breaks in them while another third have completely broken down. In the Pentagon's five-tier subcontractor pyramid, component manufacturers are almost always relegated to the bottommost tier, and the notices they issue when they terminate production or shut down completely tend to drown in the Pentagon's bureaucratic swamp.

The end result of all this is that theoretically the Pentagon is still capable of doing small production runs of weapons to compensate for ongoing losses in localized, low-intensity conflicts during a general time of peace, but even today this is at the extreme end of its capabilities. In case of a serious conflict with any well-armed nation, all it will be able to rely on is the existing stockpile of ordnance and spare parts, which will be quickly depleted.

A similar situation prevails in the area of rare earth elements and other materials for producing electronics. At the moment, the accumulated stockpile of these supplies needed for producing missiles and space technology -- most importantly, satellites -- is sufficient for five years at the current rate of use.

The report specifically calls out the dire situation in the area of strategic nuclear weapons. Almost all the technology for communications, targeting, trajectory calculations and arming of the ICBM warheads was developed in the 1960s and 70s. To this day, data is loaded from 5-inch floppy diskettes, which were last mass-produced 15 years ago. There are no replacements for them and the people who designed them are busy pushing up daisies. The choice is between buying tiny production runs of all the consumables at an extravagant expense and developing from scratch the entire land-based strategic triad component at the cost of three annual Pentagon budgets.

There are lots of specific problems in each area described in the report, but the main one is loss of competence among technical and engineering staff caused by a low level of orders for replacements or for new product development. The situation is such that promising new theoretical developments coming out of research centers such as DARPA cannot be realized given the present set of technical competencies. For a number of key specializations there are fewer than three dozen trained, experienced specialists.

This situation is expected to continue to deteriorate, with the number of personnel employed in the defense sector declining 11-16% over the next decade, mainly due to a shortage of young candidates qualified to replace those who are retiring. A specific example: development work on the F-35 is nearing completion and there won't be a need to develop a new jet fighter until 2035-2040; in the meantime, the personnel who were involved in its development will be idled and their level of competence will deteriorate.

Although at the moment the US still leads the world in defense spending ($610 billion of $1.7 trillion in 2017, which is roughly 36% of all the military spending on the planet) the US economy is no longer able to support the entire technology pyramid even in a time of relative peace and prosperity. On paper the US still looks like a leader in military technology, but the foundations of its military supremacy have eroded. Results of this are plainly visible:

All of this points to the fact that the US is no longer much a military power at all. This is good news for at least the following four reasons.

First, the US is by far the most belligerent country on Earth, having invaded scores of nations and continuing to occupy many of them. The fact that it can't fight any more means that opportunities for peace are bound to increase.

Second, once the news sinks in that the Pentagon is nothing more than a flush toilet for public funds its funding will be cut off and the population of the US might see the money that is currently fattening up war profiteers being spent on some roads and bridges, although it's looking far more likely that it will all go into paying interest expense on federal debt (while supplies last).

Third, US politicians will lose the ability to keep the populace in a state of permanent anxiety about "national security." In fact, the US has "natural security" -- two oceans -- and doesn't need much national defense at all (provided it keeps to itself and doesn't try to make trouble for others). The Canadians aren't going to invade, and while the southern border does need some guarding, that can be taken care of at the state/county level by some good ol' boys using weapons and ammo they already happen to have on hand. Once this $1.7 trillion "national defense" monkey is off their backs, ordinary American citizens will be able to work less, play more and feel less aggressive, anxious, depressed and paranoid.

Last but not least, it will be wonderful to see the war profiteers reduced to scraping under sofa cushions for loose change. All that the US military has been able to produce for a long time now is misery, the technical term for which is "humanitarian disaster." Look at the aftermath of US military involvement in Serbia/Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, and what do you see? You see misery -- both for the locals and for US citizens who lost their family members, had their limbs blown off, or are now suffering from PTSD or brain injury. It would be only fair if that misery were to circle back to those who had profited from it.

Tags War Conflict

[Jul 21, 2019] Merchants of Death business uber alles" as the new interpretation of "Drain the Swamp" election time slogan by Trump administration

"Drain the swamp" now means good times for Raytheon.
Jul 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

rwe2late , 1 hour ago link

Draining the swamp means hiring the lobbyists

- Orwell

...err, I meant Trump.

War is Peace

- well, now that's Orwell

(and many others in government and elsewhere)

Klassenfeind , 2 hours ago link

The Donald Trump Administration is looking more and more like George W. Bush's Administration: a dumb clueless idiot surrounded by neocons.

Remember Donald Rumsfeld , Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, John Bolton , George Tenet, Henry Paulson, Paul Wolfowitz , and **** Cheney from the George W Bush Administration?

Tell me Trumptards, what's so "different this time" about Donald Trump hiring Bolton, Pompeo, Mattis/Shanahan/Esper, Haley, Haspel and Mnuchin?

[Jul 20, 2019] New US Pentagon Chief Vested Interest in War Conflict

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "President Trump's Cabinet is already rife with corruption, stocked full of former lobbyists and other private industry power players who don't seem to mind leveraging their government positions to enrich themselves personally. Esper should fit right in," ..."
"... The linkage between officials in US government, the Pentagon and private manufacturers is a notorious example of "revolving door". It is not unusual, or even remarkable, that individuals go from one sector to another and vice versa. That crony relationship is fundamental to the functioning of the "military-industrial complex" which dominates the entire American economy and the fiscal budget ($730 billion annually – half the total discretionary public spend by federal government). ..."
"... Raytheon is a $25 billion company whose business is all about selling missile-defense systems. Its products have been deployed in dozens of countries, including in the Middle East, as well as Japan, Romania and, as of next year, Poland. It is in Raytheon's vital vested interest to capitalize on alleged security threats from Iran, Russia, China and North Korea in order to sell "defense" systems to nations that then perceive a "threat" and need to be "protected". ..."
"... It is a certainty that Esper shares the same worldview, not just for engrained ideological reasons, but also because of his own personal motives for self-aggrandizement as a former employee of Raytheon and quite possibly as a future board member when he retires from the Pentagon. ..."
"... It is also about how US foreign policy and military decisions are formulated and executed, including decisions on matters of conflict and ultimately war. The insidiousness is almost farcical, if the implications weren't so disturbing, worthy of satire from the genre of Dr Strangelove or Catch 22. ..."
"... During senate hearings this week, Esper openly revealed his dubious quality of thinking and the kind of policies he will pursue as Pentagon chief. He told credulous senators that Russia was to blame for the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. That equates to more Raytheon profits from selling defense systems in Europe. ..."
"... It is ludicrous how blatant a so-called democratic nation (the self-declared "leader of the free world") is in actuality an oligarchic corporate state whose international relations are conducted on the basis of making obscene profits from conflict and war. ..."
Jul 20, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Mark Esper is expected to be confirmed in coming days as the new US Secretary of Defense. His appointment is awaiting final Congressional approval after customary hearings this week before senators. The 55-year-old nominee put forward by President Trump was previously a decorated Lieutenant Colonel and has served in government office during the GW Bush administration.

But what stands out as his most conspicuous past occupation is working for seven years as a senior lobbyist for Raytheon, the US' third biggest military manufacturing company. The firm specializes in missile-defense systems, including the Patriot, Iron Dome and the Aegis Ashore system (the latter in partnership with Lockheed Martin).

As Defense Secretary, Esper will be the most senior civilian executive member of the US government, next to the president, on overseeing military policy, including decisions about declaring war and deployment of American armed forces around the globe. His military counterpart at the Pentagon is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, currently held by Marine General Joseph Dunford who is expected to be replaced soon by General Mark Milley (also in the process of senate hearings).

Esper's confirmation hearings this week were pretty much a rubber-stamp procedure, receiving lame questioning from senators about his credentials and viewpoints. The only exception was Senator Elizabeth Warren, who slammed the potential "conflict of interest" due to his past lobbying service for Raytheon. She said it "smacks of corruption". Other than her solitary objection, Esper was treated with kid gloves by other senators and his appointment is expected to be whistled through by next week. During hearings, the former lobbyist even pointedly refused to recuse himself of any matters involving Raytheon if he becomes the defense boss.

As Rolling Stone magazine quipped on Esper's nomination, "it is as swampy as you'd expect".

"President Trump's Cabinet is already rife with corruption, stocked full of former lobbyists and other private industry power players who don't seem to mind leveraging their government positions to enrich themselves personally. Esper should fit right in," wrote Rolling Stone.

The linkage between officials in US government, the Pentagon and private manufacturers is a notorious example of "revolving door". It is not unusual, or even remarkable, that individuals go from one sector to another and vice versa. That crony relationship is fundamental to the functioning of the "military-industrial complex" which dominates the entire American economy and the fiscal budget ($730 billion annually – half the total discretionary public spend by federal government).

Nevertheless, Esper is a particularly brazen embodiment of the revolving-door's seamless connection.

Raytheon is a $25 billion company whose business is all about selling missile-defense systems. Its products have been deployed in dozens of countries, including in the Middle East, as well as Japan, Romania and, as of next year, Poland. It is in Raytheon's vital vested interest to capitalize on alleged security threats from Iran, Russia, China and North Korea in order to sell "defense" systems to nations that then perceive a "threat" and need to be "protected".

It is a certainty that Esper shares the same worldview, not just for engrained ideological reasons, but also because of his own personal motives for self-aggrandizement as a former employee of Raytheon and quite possibly as a future board member when he retires from the Pentagon. The issue is not just merely about corruption and ethics, huge that those concerns are.

It is also about how US foreign policy and military decisions are formulated and executed, including decisions on matters of conflict and ultimately war. The insidiousness is almost farcical, if the implications weren't so disturbing, worthy of satire from the genre of Dr Strangelove or Catch 22.

How is Esper's advice to the president about tensions with Russia, Iran, China or North Korea, or any other alleged adversary, supposed to be independent, credible or objective? Esper is a de facto lobbyist for the military-industrial complex sitting in the Oval Office and Situation Room. Tensions, conflict and war are meat and potatoes to this person.

During senate hearings this week, Esper openly revealed his dubious quality of thinking and the kind of policies he will pursue as Pentagon chief. He told credulous senators that Russia was to blame for the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. That equates to more Raytheon profits from selling defense systems in Europe. Also, in a clumsy inadvertent admission he advised that the US needs to get out of the INF in order to develop medium-range missiles to "counter China". The latter admission explains the cynical purpose for why the Trump administration unilaterally ditched the INF earlier this year. It is not about alleged Russian breaches of the treaty; the real reason is for the US to obtain a freer hand to confront China.

It is ludicrous how blatant a so-called democratic nation (the self-declared "leader of the free world") is in actuality an oligarchic corporate state whose international relations are conducted on the basis of making obscene profits from conflict and war.

Little wonder then than bilateral relations between the US and Russia are in such dire condition. Trump's soon-to-be top military advisor Mark Esper is not going to make bilateral relations any better, that's for sure.

Also at a precarious time of possible war with Iran, the last person Trump should consult is someone whose corporate cronies are craving for more weapons sales. The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Tags: Esper INF Treaty Pentagon US

[Jul 20, 2019] The Decline of Our Nation's Generals by Andrew Bacevich

Jul 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

... ... ...

The clichés poured forth from Milley's lips with all the practiced smarminess of a car salesman promoting a new line of pickup trucks. But what does this mean in practice, Senator James Inhofe, Senate Armed Services Committee chair, wanted to know? What is General Milley's top priority?

"The very number one for me," Milley replied, "is the modernization, recapitalization of the nation's nuclear triad."

Now pause here for a moment. The triad -- the claim that the safety and security of the United States requires a nuclear strike force consisting of long-range bombers and long-range land-based missiles and missile-firing submarines -- represented fresh thinking some 60 years ago. That was when ICBMs and Polaris submarines were entering service to complement Strategic Air Command's fleet of B47s and B52s. If indeed "the fundamental character of war is changing rapidly," how can it be that Milley's conception of originality is to field glitzier versions of weapons dating back to when he was born? To make such a claim is on a par with arguing that what the U.S. Army needed in 1940 was more horses and the U.S. Navy more battleships.

It is small wonder that so few observers pay serious attention to what senior military officers have to say. What they say is mostly drivel.

Andrew Bacevich is TAC 's writer-at-large and a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.


TomG 17 hours ago

"What they say is mostly drivel."

Pathetic, expensive, immoral, divisive, destructive drivel with no end in sight...

JohnT 17 hours ago
Wow! Finally! No retreat to the comfort of broad generalization like "the eilites" but rather a well considered, on target consideration of one of the individuals in a position of power and responsibility sufficient to make the absolutely necessary changes our remarkable nation's health demands. Thank you!
And, if the general can't make use of well a intended and considered constructive critique he is not the experienced, compassionate adult the task requires.
SteveM 15 hours ago
It is small wonder that so few observers pay serious attention to what senior military officers have to say. What they say is mostly drivel.


Professor Bacevich has this one exactly backwards. Notice that when the sanctified Pentagon Generals make their fear-monger saturated pronouncements there is zero pushback from either the Politicos or the lapdog MSM. It is not that they are not listening. It's that they fully concur because they are intimidated by anyone wearing Stars on their shoulders.

They accept the "drivel" of the Pentagon Brass by default. BTW, which also includes the includes the updated National Defense Strategy which has the U.S. playing belligerent Global Cop in perpetuity and wasting taxpayer dollars out the wazoo.

If anything, the Congress and MSM should be paying more serious attention to the obsolete and unaffordable pronouncements of the Generals and start questioning their own instinctive deference to Pentagon authority which permits the warped, fully militarized and largely failed U.S. foreign policy to continue as is.

interguru 15 hours ago
I am not the first person to note that the US is displaying more and more symptoms of a dying empire. To name a few; a broken political system, crony capitalism, a bloated military, use of mercenaries, and unpayable debt.

The other day, while watching some general being interviewed, I noticed another symptom. He, and other contemporary generals, have so many ribbons and metals on their chest that they could be melted down for ore. I found a site that lets me compare our beribboned commanders with those of yesteryear.

Civil War generals had few or no ribbons. World War I's General of the Armies Pershing displays two rows of narrow ribbons. By World War II General Eisenhower showed three ribbon rows. In 1950 General Bradley showed 6 rows ( you can see a detailed picture here ).

The pictures of today's generals and officers are bedazzling. Just one example, The page describing William J. Gainey, USA, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, JCS ( not even a general ), shows a picture with at least 8 rows of ribbons, with a list 24 lines long describing 56 awards after accounting for multiple awards.

As our military officers watch the country fall apart, at least they can fondle their decorations.

baldwin 15 hours ago
The role of the generals and admirals is to advise. They can not make the politicians listen.
Sid Finster 14 hours ago
The absolute last thing this country needs is celebrity generals, or even generals who hold power in the shadows as a sort of eminence grise.
Kent 14 hours ago
Andrew J Bacevich does more for the long-term military strength and international standing of the USA than much of the military and political leadership of this country. A true patriot.
bbkingfish 14 hours ago
Wow. That photograph of Gen. Milley illustrates the author's case beautifully. Worth a thousand words.
marku52 13 hours ago
That was amazing. "War is changing rapidly" coupled with "Most important: updating a 60 year old weapon system"

Not a single world about figuring out why every war since Gulf 1 has been an abject failure? Or the threat of our defense manufacturing infrastructure being sold by Wall Street to China? Not a word?

The man can really talk out of both sides of his mouth, can't he? Should do great on Capitol Hill...

Taras77 13 hours ago
Not sure how we got to this pathetic stage but my guess is that some of the pomposity is directly related to the armies of press following the generals around in Iraq, e.g. petraeus, et al
As a snarky comment, what in the world is with all of these "impressive" ribbons to the top of these generals' shoulders-from what I understand, about 70-80% of them are meaningless, only a few are for combat, valor, some are for merit, but are more or less automatic. Talk about grade creep, how about ribbon creep.
Ike had about one or two rows, all meaningful awards. Marshall had maybe one row, meaningful awards to a very competent general.

Those generals that came out of Iraq and Afghan were mostly mouth pieces for the press and the politicians, i.e. drivel. None of them could win a meaningful engagement without bombing the heck out of civilians and associated cities. In a word, pathetic.

Thomas Cass 12 hours ago
Unless politicians feel pressure to act on military matters in a way that honors their or their constituents' lived experiences, how are they to be incentivized to ask the right questions? Some flavor of draft to increase stakeholders among the citizenry, or a service requirement for government office, might realize the serious attention for which Mr. Bacevich protests here, and drive the selection of better leaders.
James B 11 hours ago
To me for, both the nation and the military, we need to have an update of the high tech weapon systems that the General talks about but we also need to have a reassessment of how we fight wars. The wars the US won are (in my mind) the Revolution and WWII. I think the Civil war was "lost" because although the US defeated the Confederacy it did not reunite the nation. WWI was said to be the war to end all wars - - that didn't happen. No question that both Korea and Vietnam were not won, despite the heroism of those fighting there - - those wars were handled by Washington politics. MacAuthor could have won Korea but was fired. The whole Vietnam was was managed by politics. Now to the middle east. Afghanistan is another example of political warfare as is Iraq and potentially Iran. I believe that a war can be partly won by high tech missiles, bombs, etc. but cannot be actually won except by occupying the ground. We did this in Europe with the troops giving out cigarettes and candy as they patrolled. That made them human to the previous "enemy". Our professional volunteer army doesn't have the manpower to do this. I believe we need to have a secondary low-tech army of drafted men and women who can be trained quickly to be able to follow commands, to use a rifle with accuracy, and to be able to reduce civilian conflict without violent response. The high tech folk require extended training, the low tech force is able to move in and actually win the war. How would this help the nation? It would force people to live and work with a diverse population and realize that we can be a single nation of people of different backgrounds and ethnicity. The "fly over land" people really aren't a bunch of idiot racist red-necks. The coastals are not (all) anxious to destroy America.
Kent James B 11 hours ago
The US didn't just win in WWII because we occupied the ground. We won because we showed the German people that we were happy to fire bomb entire ancient cities and indiscriminately kill their women and children without a second thought.

And we were the good ones to surrender to. The Russians were happy to kill them all, with the exception of a few pretty blonds who would henceforth bear strong Russian boys.

You can't win a war without utterly defeating an entire population. Which is why we can't win our wars. None of these people have done anything to really harm us. And the American people still have enough dignity to not just slaughter these people for no reason. We're not entirely evil, yet.

Steve Naidamast 10 hours ago
I have always wondered what such people mean when they say that the character of warfare is changing and the US has to adopt to such changes.

War is about 2 things; killing and destruction. That in a nutshell is the character of war. Anything else may describe the complexities of tactics and strategies or the causes of such conflicts but the actual features of any conflict are always the same.

The only thing that does change is the types of weapon systems used. The stupidity that has led militaries to use them hasn't changed since the dawn of time...

[Jul 20, 2019] House orders Pentagon to say if it weaponized ticks and released them by John M. Donnelly

Notable quotes:
"... If the answer is yes, then the IG must provide the House and Senate Armed Services committees with a report on the experiments' scope and "whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design." The amendment is an attempt to confirm or deny reports that Pentagon researchers -- at places such as Fort Detrick in Maryland and Plum Island in New York -- implanted diseases into insects to learn about the effects of biological weapons and also looked into using such insects to disseminate biological agents. ..."
"... A book called "Bitten," published this year, makes the case that the Defense Department research occurred and hints at a possible connection between the experiments and the spread of maladies such as Lyme disease, which is borne by ticks. ..."
"... Between 300,000 and 427,000 new cases of Lyme disease occur each year, with further growth expected in the years ahead, said Smith, a founding co-chairman of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, which advocates for greater awareness of the disease and for more funding for research into a cure. ..."
"... Pat Smith, president of the Lyme Disease Association, said in an interview Monday that she is hopeful the IG report could provide information that could save lives. ..."
"... "We need to find out: is there anything in this research that was supposedly done that can help us to find information that is germane to patient health and combating the spread of the disease," she said. ..."
Jul 15, 2019 | www.rollcall.com

The House quietly voted last week to require the Pentagon inspector general to tell Congress whether the department experimented with weaponizing disease-carrying insects and whether they were released into the public realm -- either accidentally or on purpose.

The unusual proposal took the form of an amendment that was adopted by voice vote July 11 during House debate on the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill, which lawmakers passed the following day.

The amendment, by New Jersey Republican Christopher H. Smith , says the inspector general "shall conduct a review of whether the Department of Defense experimented with ticks and other insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975."

If the answer is yes, then the IG must provide the House and Senate Armed Services committees with a report on the experiments' scope and "whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design." The amendment is an attempt to confirm or deny reports that Pentagon researchers -- at places such as Fort Detrick in Maryland and Plum Island in New York -- implanted diseases into insects to learn about the effects of biological weapons and also looked into using such insects to disseminate biological agents.

President Richard Nixon banned U.S. government research into biological weapons in 1969, but research into protecting U.S. military personnel from such agents may have continued, Smith said in an interview Monday.

A book called "Bitten," published this year, makes the case that the Defense Department research occurred and hints at a possible connection between the experiments and the spread of maladies such as Lyme disease, which is borne by ticks.

To Smith and other advocates of the Pentagon IG report, studying the past may provide data that can help stem the spread of Lyme disease in the future.

Between 300,000 and 427,000 new cases of Lyme disease occur each year, with further growth expected in the years ahead, said Smith, a founding co-chairman of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, which advocates for greater awareness of the disease and for more funding for research into a cure.

"We need answers and we need them now," Smith said.

Smith's amendment was co-sponsored by Minnesota Democrat Collin C. Peterson , who is the House caucus's other leader, and by Maryland Republican Andy Harris .

Pat Smith, president of the Lyme Disease Association, said in an interview Monday that she is hopeful the IG report could provide information that could save lives.

"We need to find out: is there anything in this research that was supposedly done that can help us to find information that is germane to patient health and combating the spread of the disease," she said.

It remains to be seen whether Congress will send President Donald Trump a defense authorization bill with the weaponized ticks amendment. The Senate has passed its version without any similar provision, and now House and Senate negotiators must reconcile the two bills.

[Jul 20, 2019] the lyme disease bio-weapon mess has got coverage in Le Monde a couple of days ago

Jul 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mina , Jul 19 2019 14:01 utc | 118

speaking of bugs the lyme disease bio-weapon mess has got coverage in Le Monde a couple of days ago
https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/neaxdq/the-conspiracy-theory-thats-got-a-congressman-demanding-a-probe-into-weaponized-ticks
https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/07/17/maladie-de-lyme-les-deputes-americains-veulent-savoir-si-l-armee-a-utilise-des-tiques-comme-armes-biologiques_5490385_3210.html

[Jul 20, 2019] The US Police-State Is Now Undeniable... by Eric Zuesse

Jul 20, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
It's not just that the United States has a higher percentage of its people in prison than does any other nation on the planet . (El Salvador -- the land that was largely made what it today is, by its US trained-and-equipped death squads -- is now number 2 on that measure. In another country the US controls, Honduras, protesters tried to burn down the US Embassy on 31 May 2019 .)

This police-state operates also in far subtler ways. Here is one of those subtler ways, which has global importance:

The US Constitution has become thoroughly removed from the functioning US Government -- no restraint whatsoever upon governmental powers. For a prominent example of this: What is left of the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech (freedom to communicate to the public) and freedom of the press (freedom to transmit to the public) if even online publication (and increasingly not only printed and broadcast publication) is being censored by the government, and/or by the billionaires (such as the neoconservative Democrat Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter), the 607 individuals whose political donations collectively, and very effectively, control the US Government ?

If the public do not possess the means to communicate freely with one-another, then do they possess any meaningful freedom, at all? Or would such a nation instead be a dictatorship, no democracy, at all (except on paper , such as the now-irrelevant US Constitution)?

... ... ...

Billionaires' control over the US Government is so total, that they now are so brazen as to impose their censorship even directly, by the companies and 'nonprofits' (think tanks etc., such as Dorsey's friend and fellow-Democrat, the liberal neocon billionaire Nicholas Berggruen 's Berggruen Institute , which is tied to the liberal Huffington Post , which such wealthy people control even more directly than they control the USGovernment). This is how these people pretend to be 'progressive', even while they actually are peddling their international corporate empire, by means of hiding the corruption that stands behind and underneath this empire. Even liberal billionaires, such as these, are neoconservatives (US imperialists), because neoconservatism is US imperialism; and, for example, the progressive independent Julian Assange is the world's leading investigative journalist and publisher against imperialism itself -- against any imperialism. To him, there is no decent imperialism: it's always international dictatorship, never international democracy; and he (just as any progressive) is committed to democracy, not just nationally, but internationally. Democracy is his ideological commitment. Americans call American imperialism "regime change" operations, but it's always just raw imperialism -- the grabbing of other countries, and WikiLeaks is against that; he's against international dictatorship. So: how can the public vote in a truthfully-informed way, when the chief corruptors run the entire 'news' show, and thus can freely censor-out whatever they do not like ? It's simply not possible.

How can Dempsey do this, while also being a huge supporter of liberal 'causes', such as the ACLU ? Here is how: The ACLU and the other 'causes' that liberal billionaires contribute to, avoid the issue of imperialism , and avoid any other economic-class-focussed issue, and focus instead on other types of cases (including Black versus White, Jew versus Christian, male versus female, gay versus straight, etc.), which (whatever their own importance) pose no real threat to billionaires' personal wealth. The ACLU wouldn't be able to get the huge amounts of donations that they get from liberal billionaires and their corporations, unless it excluded the basic political issue, of the super-rich versus everyone else, and so it does this: it avoids this issue -- which is what makes it be a liberal organization, instead of a progressive organization (which, by its very nature, focuses on precisely issues of economic class, such as imperialism).

Imperialism has always been practiced by the aristocracy, never by the public -- never by the people who aren't agents of the aristocracy. Many billionaires are liberal. Virtually, if not entirely, none of them are progressive, because progressivism is the opposite of conservatism, whereas liberalism is a mixture of both. Every billionaire is conservative, though some of them (such as Dorsey) are liberal (mixed) conservatives. Not all of them are pure conservatives, such as the Koch brothers are. Every billionaire benefits from imperialism, because international corporations (which are the main thing that billionaires control) benefit from imperialism. Imperialism benefits only the super-rich, because the super-rich have become, and remain, super-rich only because of the military might that enforces their will when international diplomacy (the cheaper alternative) has failed. The entire taxpaying public -- 99+% of which are NOT billionaires -- pays the tab for this enormously expensive global military ( half of which is American). (America has emerged to become today's Sparta .) But the beneficiaries from imperialism are exclusively the super-rich -- it's an enormous public subsidy to international corporations, and to their investors. It's the biggest welfare-program that exists, and it is welfare for only the super-rich, at everybody else's expense. And especially at the expense of the publics in the lands that American billionaires want to grab -- such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, Ukraine, Venezuela, China, and Russia. It enormously transfers wealth from the rest of the world, to the world's billionaires.

All of the world's millionaires, put together, are only 0.8% of the world's total population, but they own 44.8% of all of the world's privately owned wealth. The world's poorest 63.9% own just 1.9%. (Those facts are documented on page 20 there.) Thus, the entire poorest 63.9%, which are 3.211 billion people, own around 4% as much as do the few richest 0.8%, which are 42 million people. And, of course, according to Forbes , there are only 2,153 billionaires. So, there's 1 billionaire for every 19,531 millionaires. Billionaires are the rarest of the rare, and they control virtually all international corporations.

Those percentages -- the enormous inequality -- are about the same within the US as they are globally. How is it possible for democracy to exist in such conditions? It's not. Money is power. Corruption runs the world. And America's billionaires are the global masters of it.

...

Billionaires are disunited on lots of things -- for examples: fossil fuels, immigration, feminism -- but they are united in favor of imperialism. And, all throughout history, the aristocracy has been that way: imperialistic.

And America's imprisonment-rate, and the Assange case, are hardly the only indications that the US is no democracy but only a dictatorship. Here are some other such indications.

NOTE: Although in terms of per-capita military expenditure the US is higher than any other country (shown by MSN as being second-highest after Saudi Arabia, but this was only because the US systematically under-reports its actual annual military expenditures), the US is nowhere near the top for the percentage of its population who are employed in the military: it's #75 out of 170 countries , with North Korea being #1 on that. What this demonstrates is the extraordinarily high percentage of America's military expenditures that go to paying not soldiers but the military contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics, the giant weapons-making firms. Those are the firms whose markets are virtually 100% the US Government and its allied regimes or vassal nations (such as NATO), America's allies. The controlling investors in those corporations are the chief beneficiaries of America's police-state. However, extractive corporations such as ExxonMobil are close behind, because only by means of this enormous military are they enabled to offer foreign regimes "an offer they can't refuse." Thus, the arms contractors, and the extractors, control US foreign policies, under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Neoconservatism is America's bipartisan foreign policy.

[Jul 20, 2019] Orwell, Inc. How Your Employer Spies On You From When You Wake Up Until You Go To Bed

There are a lot of exaggerations here.
While email and web activity of employees is definitely monitored, all other monitoring usually is pretty fragmentary. Often on a corporate smartphone there are two zones -- secure zone where you access corporate network and email and private zone where you have access to the internet via you provider and traffic is not monitored other then for the volume.
Keeping track of all those details (and some of them will be wrong) is just too expensive and few corporation outside FIRE sector so that.
In short anything that opens company to a lawsuit will be monitored, but outside of that companies actually are not interested in the information collection as it opens them to additional liability in save of suicides and such.
Mining data from social media is a different complex topic and requires a separate article.
Notable quotes:
"... From there, the company even sees as Chet logs onto the guest Wi-Fi connections at places like the coffee shop in the morning. Many companies require additional authentication when they try to access company information from unsecure Wi-Fi networks. ..."
"... Then, as Chet gets to his desk, his web browsing is tracked along with his email. New software breaks down how workers interact with email and how quickly colleagues reply in an attempt to see which employees are most influential . Some software on company computers even snaps screenshots every 30 seconds to evaluate productivity and hours worked. ..."
"... Even Chet's phone conversations can be recorded, transcribed and monitored. Companies use this information to find subject matter experts and measure productivity. Even conference room discussions and meetings can now be recorded and analyzed by software. ..."
Jul 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Orwell, Inc.: How Your Employer Spies On You From When You Wake Up Until You Go To Bed

An increasing number of large companies are using data from employees' electronic devices to track such personal details like when you they wake up, where they go for coffee in the morning, their whereabouts throughout the entire day, and what time they go to bed according to a new Wall Street Journal article. What's the company explanation for this type of spying?

"An increasing number of companies are keeping track of such information to flag potentially suspicious activity and measure work-life balance," the article claims.

The article walks through the day in the life of a fictional worker, Chet. It starts by noting that his employer logs the time and his location when he first wakes up to check his e-mail in the morning.

From there, the company even sees as Chet logs onto the guest Wi-Fi connections at places like the coffee shop in the morning. Many companies require additional authentication when they try to access company information from unsecure Wi-Fi networks.

Then, a Bluetooth device and his ID badge mark what time he arrives at the office while tracking his movement around the building. These technologies are supposedly used to see what teams collaborate frequently and to make sure that employees aren't accessing unauthorized areas.

Then, as Chet gets to his desk, his web browsing is tracked along with his email. New software breaks down how workers interact with email and how quickly colleagues reply in an attempt to see which employees are most influential . Some software on company computers even snaps screenshots every 30 seconds to evaluate productivity and hours worked.

Even Chet's phone conversations can be recorded, transcribed and monitored. Companies use this information to find subject matter experts and measure productivity. Even conference room discussions and meetings can now be recorded and analyzed by software.

At the end of the day, if Chet goes to the gym or for a run, the company will know that too and just how many calories he has burned: his fitness tracker logs how many steps he takes and what exercise, if any, he is doing. Companies then use that information to determine how frequently employees are exercising and whether or not they should be paying for health and fitness services.

You can view the WSJ's full animated panel here .


Xena fobe , 4 minutes ago link

They retain firms that track us on our social media accounts. Supposedly to defend against workplace violence threats. And then there are the cameras. We never really know. Just do my job and keep personal use of company resources to a minimum.

misgivings , 10 minutes ago link

Just NO. This is pretty much slavery. There should be a right to privacy, human rights. the insidious nature of ever more control must be reversed.

misgivings , 13 minutes ago link

we really ARE just cattle.

Ms No , 15 minutes ago link

Shortly Im going to start leaving my phone at home and just carrying a book with me. Screw these Bolshevik bitches.

Kefeer , 47 minutes ago link

The operation known as "LifeLog" was replaced the very day that Face Book came into being?

Life Log : The objective of the LifeLog concept was "to be able to trace the 'threads' of an individual's life in terms of events, states, and relationships", and it has the ability to "take in all of a subject's experience, from phone numbers dialed and e-mail messages viewed to every breath taken, step made and place gone". [1]

" CIA Can Selectively Disclose Information, Court Affirms " Bookmark this website Anons

My takeaway from all this is that many, perhaps most, human institutions are corrupt and that there is no basis from which most people are able to discern truth from lies or right from wrong. This explains the ability of the Power Elite to easily divide people against each other. For example, you cannot debate a Liberal because they have their basis for truth on their personal feeling or emotions. Many conservatives do as well, but they are closer in their thingking to the foundation from which truth sits upon.

PKKA , 48 minutes ago link

How to avoid electronic surveillance

Edward Snowden, former NSA employee. Snowden is an absolute supporter of encryption of all stored and transmitted content. Now there are many applications that have encryption features. And among them there are common and well-known messengers, such as, for example, WhatsApp, Telegram and others.

The former NSA agent also advises to secure his computer, in particular, the hard drive. On the Internet you can find instructions on how to do this. Usually used special software. For example, for Windows, there is a program preinstalled in advanced versions of the OS -- BitLocker, for Mac -- FileVault. Thus, if the computer is stolen, the attacker will not be able to read your data.

Password Managers A useful thing that most people do not even think about. Such programs allow you to keep your passwords in order - to create unique keys and store them. According to Snowden, one of the most common problems with online privacy is leaks.

Tor. The former NSA official calls the anonymous Tor network "the most important technological project to ensure the confidentiality of those currently used." He stated that he uses it on a daily basis. Tor allows you to "cover up traces" on the Internet, that is, it provides anonymity, making it difficult to determine the person's IP address and location.

Also, Snowden told how to avoid total surveillance. For example, special services that can remotely turn on a microphone or camera on a smartphone and start listening. The answer is simple - pull out the microphone and camera modules from the device. Instead, it is proposed to use an external accessory and disconnect from the selfie and never use it.

Kefeer , 33 minutes ago link

The only safe way is to abstain as much as possible, which is now next to impossible. Security is only as protected as the weakest link. Consider a person who uses their smart phone giving Google or Apple the permissions needed to use their OS's and apps; we do not even know exactly how much info we agreed to give away. Consider all the contact info that your friends, relatives, work or other organizations you associate with have on their devices and how vulnerable they make it; they are not as cautious as you and some people using these things do not even think about security; it never occurs to them.. .. just some musing on my part.

Cardinal Fang , 50 minutes ago link

Jeez, I used to sign a quarterly affirmation that I complied with all of the companies electronic communication monitoring policies...and they made us sign that we understood that they had climbed up our *** and pitched a tent.

One of the reasons they had to find a replacement for me when I quit.

Quia Possum , 57 minutes ago link

If you're using your employer's devices, facilities, or networks, you should assume they are tracking what you're doing, and they have every right to do so. When I buy your company's products or services, I don't want to have to pay for your time spent messing around at work.

I can't read the article since it's behind a paywall, but I don't see how your waking and sleeping time and "work life balance" could be tracked unless you are using your employer's devices or networks outside of work. Which is friggin stupid if you do it.

fezline , 56 minutes ago link

Actually it doesnt work like that... Chet isn't informed of this happening. The fact that the company does this is buried in vague language in the 500 page employee handbook that Chet has to sign when he is hired. Chet is just like anyone else with a company provided electronic device. All companies monitor and track everything they can with the electronic devices they provide. If you have one and th think your company doesnt do it... you are naive.

Wild Bill Steamcock , 12 minutes ago link

Chet has the ability to determine when and where he uses the work-provided devices. And why does work have access to his fitness tracker? Supplied by his employer too? Really, Chet had options

fezline , 1 hour ago link

Not with me... I have a personal phone and when I am not at work I keep my work phone at home turned off. My emails are forwarded to my personal device and any voicemail I get also gets forwarded to my personal device. I never place personal calls with my work phone and I turn it off the second I leave work to go home.

Steele Hammorhands , 1 hour ago link

What a waste of resources. If you want to see what I do, just ask. I'll show you how I accomplish my work-related duties. How I manage my time at work. Where I go to cry and regret my life choices.

[Jul 17, 2019] The only real difference between China and the US is that the Chinese have no expectation of liberty

The amount of data collected by various companies is just staggering. Any person in the USA is really like a bug under the microscope. The question arise why we still have organized crime unless this is a branch of CIA.
Notable quotes:
"... Not to mention the legally required auto and homeowner's insurance, which can only be obtained through private corporations. Both of which maintain histories on your driving and lifestyle habits to determine how much of your wage to pocket. ..."
"... Even basic healthcare is only provided through private insurance that you are legally required to pay. And these insurance companies desperately try to charge you extra or cancel you for pre-existing conditions. ..."
"... The liberty of Americans has to be redefined. Where liberty is no longer to live a life of freedom from coercion, but to only live a life of coercion from government, except when the coercion involves a private corporation, then it is perfectly acceptable. And Americans have readily given up their liberty. ..."
Jul 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Kent 11 hours ago

The government actually has little influence in our lives. But it doesn't need to. Life's necessities are all controlled by private corporations. The key to the control is the removal of liberty. If housing costs so much that I have to obtain a mortgage to buy basic shelter, then my credit score determines my ability to obtain adequate shelter. The same works with rent. And I can't pay for either of those things without a wage based job. And I can't be hired into one of those without the proper credentials being bestowed upon me by some school, and I cannot have any felony arrests in my background. And transportation to my job generally requires a car and another loan with the associated credit score.

Not to mention the legally required auto and homeowner's insurance, which can only be obtained through private corporations. Both of which maintain histories on your driving and lifestyle habits to determine how much of your wage to pocket.

Even basic healthcare is only provided through private insurance that you are legally required to pay. And these insurance companies desperately try to charge you extra or cancel you for pre-existing conditions.

The government actually doesn't have to control you. They've turned over the destruction of your liberty to private corporations who are all working hard to nudge you to accept their rules through various subtle systems.

And unless you have enough money to own your own house and cars, and not actually have to work, you have no choice but to be obedient.

The only real difference between China and the US is that the Chinese have no expectation of liberty. They understand from birth that they must be obedient.

The liberty of Americans has to be redefined. Where liberty is no longer to live a life of freedom from coercion, but to only live a life of coercion from government, except when the coercion involves a private corporation, then it is perfectly acceptable. And Americans have readily given up their liberty.

They have had no choice in the matter.

[Jul 13, 2019] Mueller Does Not Have Evidence That The IRA Was Part of Russian Government Meddling by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Looks like Mueller and his team were extremely sloppy and just milked the US government and try to feed rumors to the media.
Mueller emerged as a stooge of Clinton mafia.
Notable quotes:
"... In short, the US Government cannot come out and declare that Concord Management, for example, was acting on behalf or or in collaboration with the Russian Government without presenting actual evidence. A prosecutor cannot simply claim that Concord is a Putin Stooge. ..."
"... The lawyers for Concord Management read the Mueller report and noted significant discrepancies between what was alleged in the original complaint and what was asserted as "fact" in the Mueller report. ..."
"... On April 25, 2019, Concord filed the instant motion in which it argues that the Attorney General and Special Counsel violated Local Rule 57.7 by releasing information to the public that was not contained in the indictment. Concord's main contention is that the Special Counsel's Report, as released to the public, and the Attorney General's related public statements improperly suggested a link between the defendants and the Russian government and expressed an opinion about the defendants' guilt and the evidence against them. ..."
"... Concord's lawyers wanted Judge Friedrich to find Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr in contempt for violating rule 57.7. ..."
"... the Court has entered an order limiting public statements about this case moving forward and cautions the government that any future violations of that order will trigger a range of potential sanctions. ..."
"... But the Judge did not stop there. She pointed out some glaring discrepancies between the Mueller Report and the actual indictment: ..."
"... By attributing IRA's conduct to "Russia" -- as opposed to Russian individuals or entities -- the Report suggests that the activities alleged in the indictment were undertaken on behalf of, if not at the direction of, the Russian government. ..."
"... But the activities of the IRA and Concord Management are not established. In fact, Mueller's own report undermines his claims, as noted in a recent article by Nation's Aaron Mate. ..."
"... Mate's article, as I mentioned in a previous piece, does an excellent job of showing that the Mueller Report is based on heartfelt beliefs but devoid of corroborating evidence. ..."
"... I think Mueller, Weissman, et al did not expect Concord to contest their indictment. They believed they could continue their PR effort that Russia changed the outcome of the election by sending out tweets and Facebook posts without anyone calling them out. ..."
"... The national security surveillance state is only going to get bigger and more powerful. I suppose that is the real competition between the CCP & the USA who can get more totalitarian sooner. ..."
"... a very valuable recent piece in the 'Epoch Times' about the questions that need to be put to Mueller, Jeff Carlson discusses some of the problems relating both to Christopher Steele's involvement with Oleg Deripaska, and the involvement of Fusion GPS with Natalia Veseltnitskaya which led to the Trump Tower meeting. (See https://www.theepochtimes.com/33-key-questions-for-robert-mueller_2988876.html .) ..."
"... Andrew McCarthy, in the 'National Review', picks up one of the most interesting, and puzzling, moments in the fascinating notes by Kathy Kavalec of the conversation she had with Steele when Jonathan Winer brought him to see on her in October 2016. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/oleg-deripaska-fbi-russia-collusion-theory/ ) ..."
"... 'Moreover, by January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele's main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The New York Times and three people familiar with the events. After questioning him, F.B.I. officials came to suspect that the man might have added his own interpretations to reports from his own sources that he passed on to Mr. Steele, calling into question the reliability of the information.' ..."
"... Without wanting to prejudge things, it seems to me quite likely that what Horowitz has been contemplating is a kind of 'limited hangout'. So, the idea could be to suggest that Steele did have sources, that however these were not as reliable as he thought they were, but everything was done in good faith etc etc. In the light of information coming out, including that in the Friedrich ruling, he may however have decided to 'hold his horses.' ..."
"... It is important that the general pattern of assuming that Putin is some kind of omnipotent Sauron-figure, which has clearly left Mueller open to a counter-attack by Concord, was given a classic expression in the testimony which Glenn Simpson gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017. ..."
"... Litvinenko himself, as well as having been a key member of the late Boris Berezovsky's 'information operations team', was an agent, as distinct from an informant, of MI6: accounts differ as to whether Steele was his personal 'handler' (John Sipher), or had never met him (Luke Harding). ..."
"... Also relevant is the fact that Shvets, a fanatical Ukrainian nationalist, and an important figure in the original 'Orange Revolution', was also a key member of Berezovsky's 'information operations' team. ..."
"... The account of his career by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier in his 2016 study 'Missing Man' is a tissue of sleazy evasions, not least in relation to the role of Levinson in 'investigating' the notorious mobster Semion Mogilevich, a key figure in 'information operations' against both Putin and Trump, and also the opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko. ..."
"... A large question involved is how co-operation between not simply elements in MI6 and the CIA, but also in the FBI, with the oligarchs who refused to accept Putin's terms goes back a very long way. ..."
Jul 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Mueller Does Not Have Evidence That The IRA Was Part of Russian Government Meddling by Larry C Johnson

In the criminal case against alleged Russian operatives--Internet Research Agency and Concord Management and Consulting LLC--a Federal judge has declared that Robert Mueller has not offered one piece of solid evidence that these defendants were involved in any way with the Government of Russia. I think this is a potential game changer.

The world of law as opposed to the world of intelligence is as different as Mercury and Mars. The intelligence community aka IC can traffic in rumor and speculation. IC "solid" intelligence may be nothing more than the strident assertion of a source who lacks actual first hand knowledge of an event. The legal world does not enjoy that kind of sloppiness. If a prosecutor makes a claim, i.e., Jack shot Jill, then said prosecutor must show that Jack owned a firearm that matches the bullets recovered from Jill's body. Then the prosecutor needs to show that Jack was with Jill when the shooting took place and that forensic evidence recovered from Jack showed he had fired a firearm. Keep this distinction in mind as you consider what has transpired in the case against the Internet Research Agency and Concord Management and Consulting.

To understand why Judge Friedrich ruled as she did you must understand Local Rule 57.7. That rule: restricts public dissemination of information by attorneys involved in criminal cases where

"there is a reasonable likelihood that such dissemination will interfere with a fair trial or otherwise prejudice the administration of justice." It also authorizes the court "[i]n a widely publicized or sensational criminal case" to issue a special order governing extrajudicial statements and other matters designed to limit publicity that might interfere with the conduct of a fair trial. . . .

The rule prohibits lawyers associated with the prosecution or defense from publishing, between the time of the indictment and the commencement of trial, "[a]ny opinion as to the accused's guilt or innocence or as to the merits of the case or the evidence in the case."

In short, the US Government cannot come out and declare that Concord Management, for example, was acting on behalf or or in collaboration with the Russian Government without presenting actual evidence. A prosecutor cannot simply claim that Concord is a Putin Stooge.

The lawyers for Concord Management read the Mueller report and noted significant discrepancies between what was alleged in the original complaint and what was asserted as "fact" in the Mueller report.

On April 25, 2019, Concord filed the instant motion in which it argues that the Attorney General and Special Counsel violated Local Rule 57.7 by releasing information to the public that was not contained in the indictment. Concord's main contention is that the Special Counsel's Report, as released to the public, and the Attorney General's related public statements improperly suggested a link between the defendants and the Russian government and expressed an opinion about the defendants' guilt and the evidence against them.

Concord's lawyers wanted Judge Friedrich to find Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr in contempt for violating rule 57.7.

Judge Friedrich gave Concord a partial victory:

Although the Court agrees that the government violated Rule 57.7 , it disagrees that contempt proceedings are an appropriate response to that violation. Instead, the Court has entered an order limiting public statements about this case moving forward and cautions the government that any future violations of that order will trigger a range of potential sanctions.

But the Judge did not stop there. She pointed out some glaring discrepancies between the Mueller Report and the actual indictment:

The Special Counsel Report describes efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. . . . But the indictment . . . does not link the defendants to the Russian government. Save for a single allegation that Concord and Concord Catering had several "government contracts" (with no further elaboration), id. ¶ 11, the indictment alleges only private conduct by private actors.

. . . the concluding paragraph of the section of the [Mueller] Report related to Concord states that the Special Counsel's "investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by" Concord's co-defendant, the Internet Research Agency (IRA). By attributing IRA's conduct to "Russia" -- as opposed to Russian individuals or entities -- the Report suggests that the activities alleged in the indictment were undertaken on behalf of, if not at the direction of, the Russian government.

Similarly, the Attorney General drew a link between the Russian government and this case during a press conference in which he stated that "[t]he Special Counsel's report outlines two main efforts by the Russian government to influence the 2016 election." . . . The "[f]irst" involved "efforts by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government, to sow social discord among American voters through disinformation and social media operations." Id. The "[s]econd" involved "efforts by Russian military officials associated with the GRU," a Russian intelligence agency, to hack and leak private documents and emails from the Democratic Party and the Clinton Campaign.

The Report explains that it used the term "established" whenever "substantial, credible evidence enabled the Office to reach a conclusion with confidence." . . . It then states in its conclusion that the Special Counsel's "investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by the IRA." In context, this statement characterizes the evidence against the defendants as "substantial" and "credible," and it provides the Special Counsel's Office's "conclusion" about what actually occurred.

But the activities of the IRA and Concord Management are not established. In fact, Mueller's own report undermines his claims, as noted in a recent article by Nation's Aaron Mate. Although Mueller claims that it was "established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by" Concord's co-defendant, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), he provided no such evidence.

According to Mate :

After two years and $35 million, Mueller apparently failed to uncover any direct evidence linking the Prigozhin-controlled IRA's activities to the Kremlin. His best evidence is that "[n]umerous media sources have reported on Prigozhin's ties to Putin, and the two have appeared together in public photographs."

Mate's article, as I mentioned in a previous piece, does an excellent job of showing that the Mueller Report is based on heartfelt beliefs but devoid of corroborating evidence.

Some readers will insist that Mueller and his team have actual intelligence but cannot put that in an indictment. Well boys and girls, here is a simple truth--if you cannot produce evidence that can be presented in court then you do not have a case. There is that part of the Constitution that allows those accused of a crime to confront their accusers.

Posted at 11:09 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Sonal Chawhan , 12 July 2019 at 05:38 AM

Impressive!Thanks for the post
SAS Base and Advance

Peter VE , 12 July 2019 at 09:14 AM

Minor quibble: Judge Friedrich is a woman. I expect that this will get no play from the MSM, since Judge Friedrich was appointed by Trump, and "everyone" knows she's just covering up for him.

Larry Johnson -> Peter VE... , 12 July 2019 at 11:37 AM

Thanks. Never heard of a chick named, "Dabney." I was thinking Dabney Coleman. Dating myself.

Peter VE -> Larry Johnson ... , 12 July 2019 at 02:17 PM

Maybe her name is misspelled reference to Dagney Taggart...

Flavius , 12 July 2019 at 10:33 AM

Under the conditions and in the environment that it was returned, this indictment was Mueller and his partisan team throwing raw meat fo the media so as to prolong their mission, nothing more. Once filed, no one involved ever expected to appear in a courtroom to prosecute anyone, or defend any part of it. It was an abuse of process, pure and simple.

Consider it as a count against Mueller, his competence or his integrity, maybe both. He let himself become a tool.

pretzelattack -> Flavius... , 12 July 2019 at 07:27 PM

Johnson refers to "heartfelt beliefs" but i doubt Mueller believes his own bs. in this i guess he distinguishes himself from earlier witch-hunters, who apparently sincerely believed their targets were minions of satan.

blue peacock , 12 July 2019 at 11:33 AM

I think Mueller, Weissman, et al did not expect Concord to contest their indictment. They believed they could continue their PR effort that Russia changed the outcome of the election by sending out tweets and Facebook posts without anyone calling them out.

It seems on the current trajectory both the Trump colluded with Russia and our law enforcement & IC attempted a soft-coup will die on the vine. The latter because Trump is unwilling to declassify. It seems for him it was all just another reality TV show and him tweeting "witch hunt" constantly was what the script called for.

The next time the IC & law enforcement who now must believe that they are the real power behind the throne decide to exercise that power it will be a doozie.

The national security surveillance state is only going to get bigger and more powerful. I suppose that is the real competition between the CCP & the USA who can get more totalitarian sooner.

https://theintercept.com/2019/07/11/china-surveillance-google-ibm-semptian/

David Habakkuk , 12 July 2019 at 12:39 PM

Larry,

A fine piece.

I think a large question is raised as to how far the kind of sloppiness in the handling of evidence which Judge Friedrich identified in the Mueller report may have characterised a great deal of the treatment of matters to do with the post-Soviet space by the FBI and others – including almost all MSM journalists – for a very long time.

Unfortunately, one also finds this among some of the most useful critics of 'Russiagate'. So, for example, in a very valuable recent piece in the 'Epoch Times' about the questions that need to be put to Mueller, Jeff Carlson discusses some of the problems relating both to Christopher Steele's involvement with Oleg Deripaska, and the involvement of Fusion GPS with Natalia Veseltnitskaya which led to the Trump Tower meeting. (See https://www.theepochtimes.com/33-key-questions-for-robert-mueller_2988876.html .)

He then however goes on to write: 'In other words, not only was the firm that hired Steele, Fusion GPS, hired by the Russians, but Steele himself was hired directly by the Russians.'

And Andrew McCarthy, in the 'National Review', picks up one of the most interesting, and puzzling, moments in the fascinating notes by Kathy Kavalec of the conversation she had with Steele when Jonathan Winer brought him to see on her in October 2016. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/oleg-deripaska-fbi-russia-collusion-theory/ )

Commenting on the fact that, in her scribbled notes, beside the names of Vladislav Surkov and Vyacheslav Trubnikov, who are indeed a top Putin adviser and a former SVR chief respectively, Kavalec writes 'source', McCarthy simply concludes that she meant that he had said that these were his – indirect – sources, and that this was accurate. And he goes on to write:

'Deripaska, Surkov, and Trubnikov were not informing on the Kremlin. These are Putin's guys. They were peddling what the Kremlin wanted the world to believe, and what the Kremlin shrewdly calculated would sow division in the American body politic. So, the question is: Did they find the perfect patsy in Christopher Steele?'

If you look at Kavalec's typing up of the notes, among a good deal of what looks to me like pure 'horse manure' – including the claim that 'Manafort has been the go-between with the campaign' – the single reference to Surkov and Trubnikov is that they are said to be 'also involved.'

As it happens, Surkov is a very complex figure indeed. His talents as a 'political technologist' were first identified by Khodorkovsky, before he subsequently played that role for Putin. It would obviously be possible that he and Steele still had common contacts.

The suggestion in Kavalec's notes that Sergei Millian 'may be involved in some way,' and also that, 'Per Steele, Millian is connected Simon Kukes (who took over management of Yukos when Khodorkovsky was arrested)' is interesting, but would seem to suggest that he would not have been cited to Kavalec as an intermediary.

All this is obviously worth putting together with claims made in the 'New York Times' follow-up on 9 July to the Reuters report on the same day breaking the story of the interviews carried out with Steele by the Inspector General's team in early June.

(See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/09/us/politics/ig-russia-investigation-steele.html?module=inline .)

According to this:

'Moreover, by January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele's main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The New York Times and three people familiar with the events. After questioning him, F.B.I. officials came to suspect that the man might have added his own interpretations to reports from his own sources that he passed on to Mr. Steele, calling into question the reliability of the information.'

Some observations prompted by all this.

Without wanting to prejudge things, it seems to me quite likely that what Horowitz has been contemplating is a kind of 'limited hangout'. So, the idea could be to suggest that Steele did have sources, that however these were not as reliable as he thought they were, but everything was done in good faith etc etc. In the light of information coming out, including that in the Friedrich ruling, he may however have decided to 'hold his horses.'

In trying to put together the accumulating evidence, it is necessary to realise, as so many people seem to find it difficult to do, that in matters like these people commonly play double games – often for very good reasons.

To say as Carlson does that Fusion and Steele were hired by 'the Russians' implies that these are some kind of collective entity – and then, one is one step away from the assumption that Veselnitskaya and Deripaska, as well as 'Putin's Cook', are simply puppets controlled by the master manipulator in the Kremlin. (The fact that Friedrich applies serious standards for assessing evidence to Mueller's version of this is one of the reasons why her judgement is so important.)

As regards what McCarthy says, to lump Surkov and Deripaska together as 'Putin's guys' is unhelpful. Actually, it seems to me very unlikely, although perhaps not absolutely impossible, that, had he been implicated in any conspiracy to intervene in an American election, Surkov would have been talking candidly about his role to anyone liable to relay the information to Steele.

Likewise, however, the notion of a Machiachiavellian Surkov, feeding disinformation about a non-existent plot through an intermediary to Steele, who swallows it hook, line and sinker, does not seem particularly plausible.

A rather more obvious possibility is that the intermediaries who were supposed to have conveyed a whole lot of 'smoking gun' evidence to Steele were either 1. fabrications, 2. people whom without their knowledge he cast in this role, or 3. co-conspirators. It would, obviously, be possible that Millian, although one can say no more than that at this stage, was involved in either or both of roles 2. and 3.

It is important that the general pattern of assuming that Putin is some kind of omnipotent Sauron-figure, which has clearly left Mueller open to a counter-attack by Concord, was given a classic expression in the testimony which Glenn Simpson gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017.

(See https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/House_Intelligence_Committee_Interview_of_Glenn_Simpson )

Providing his version of what was going on following his move from the Washington office of the 'Wall Street Journal' to its European headquarters in January 2005, Simpson told the Committee:

'And the oligarchs, during this period of consolidation of power by Vladimir Putin, when I was living in Brussels and doing all this work, was about him essentially taking control over both the oligarchs and the mafia groups. And so basically everyone in Russia works for Putin now. And that's true of the diaspora as well. So the Russian mafia in the United States is believed bylaw enforcement criminologists to have – to be under the influence of the Russian security services. And this is convenient for the security services because it gives them a level of deniability.'

A bit less than two years after Simpson's move to Brussels, a similar account featured in what appears to have been the first attempt by Christopher Steele and his confederates to provide a 'narrative' in terms of which could situate the supposed assassination by polonium poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko.

This came in a BBC Radio 4 programme, entitled 'The Litvinenko Mystery', in which a veteran presenter with the Corporation, Tom Mangold, produced an account by the former KGB Major Yuri Shvets, supported by the former FBI Agent Robert Levinson, and an 'Unidentified Informer', who is told by Mangold that he cannot be identified 'reasons of your own personal security'.

(A full transcript is on the 'Evidence' archived website of the Litvinenko Inquiry – one needs to search for the reference HMG000513 – at https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

This figure, whose credentials we have no means of assessing, explains:

'Well it's not well known to Western leaders or Western people but it is pretty well known in Russia. Because essentially it is common knowledge in Russia that by the end of Nineties the so called Russian organised crime had been destroyed by the Government and then the Russian security agencies, primarily the law enforcement and primarily the FSB, essentially assumes the functions and methods of Russian organised crime. And they became one of the most dangerous organised crime group because they are protected by law. They're protected by all power of the State. They have essentially the free hand in the country and this shadow establishment essentially includes the entire structure of the FSB from the very top people in Moscow going down to the low offices.'

The story Mangold told was a pathetic tale of how Litvinenko and Shvets, trying to turn an honest penny from 'due diligence' work, identified damning evidence about the links of a figure close to Putin to organised crime, who in return sent Andrei Lugovoi to poison the former with polonium.

A few problems with this version have, however, subsequently, emerged. Among them is the fact that, at the time, Litvinenko himself, as well as having been a key member of the late Boris Berezovsky's 'information operations team', was an agent, as distinct from an informant, of MI6: accounts differ as to whether Steele was his personal 'handler' (John Sipher), or had never met him (Luke Harding).

Also relevant is the fact that Shvets, a fanatical Ukrainian nationalist, and an important figure in the original 'Orange Revolution', was also a key member of Berezovsky's 'information operations' team.

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the disappearance of Levinson, on the Iranian island of Kish, the following March, was not as was claimed for years related to his private sector work. His entrapment and imprisonment – from which we now know Deripaska was later involved in attempting to rescue him – related to an undercover mission on behalf of elements in the CIA.

The account of his career by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier in his 2016 study 'Missing Man' is a tissue of sleazy evasions, not least in relation to the role of Levinson in 'investigating' the notorious mobster Semion Mogilevich, a key figure in 'information operations' against both Putin and Trump, and also the opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko.

A large question involved is how co-operation between not simply elements in MI6 and the CIA, but also in the FBI, with the oligarchs who refused to accept Putin's terms goes back a very long way.

And, among other things, that raises a whole range of questions about Mueller.

Dan -> David Habakkuk ... , 12 July 2019 at 04:36 PM

Great info, thanks. I admittedly don't watch the skeptics' comments closely enough, and can be susceptible to twisted observations from guys like Carlson and Solomon.

[Jul 11, 2019] As Acosta told his interviewers in the Trump transitiotion team "I was told Epstein 'belonged to intelligence' and to leave it alone"

Notable quotes:
"... Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?" Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he'd had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He'd cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein's attorneys because he had "been told" to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. ..."
"... "I was told Epstein 'belonged to intelligence' and to leave it alone," he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.) ..."
Jul 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

It seems necessary to give some room to the discussion of the Epstein case. Vicky Ward, who wrote a 2002 portrait of Epstein for Vanity Fair , has a short recap of the case at the Daily Beast : Jeffrey Epstein's Sick Story Played Out for Years in Plain Sight .

This bit from it is quite interesting:

Epstein's name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who'd infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary. The plea deal put a hard stop to a separate federal investigation of alleged sex crimes with minors and trafficking.

" Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?" Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he'd had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He'd cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein's attorneys because he had "been told" to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade.

"I was told Epstein 'belonged to intelligence' and to leave it alone," he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)

'Belongs to intelligence' makes a lot of sense. The question is to which one. A lot of people will says "Mossad" but I don't believe that to be the (full) truth.

[Jul 11, 2019] Epstein, Trump and CIA

Jul 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Alexander P , Jul 10 2019 19:46 utc | 20

We do not know why Epstein resurfaced, there was no need to re-open the case unless 'they' wanted it to be reopened. Thus, there is definitely a deeper political purpose behind this. As I know the higher ups in both Democrat and Republican Party are in one way or another involved in this (both Clinton and Trump visited his island and I am sure many more prominent high ranking US career politicians), this could indeed be equally dangerous for either political party.

However, I don't think Trump needs convincing with regard to Iran he has been all in on that from day 1 of his presidency and never hesitated a moment to tear up the JCPOA. Bibi was right when he said there was never a US president as friendly towards Israel than Donald Trump. His actions have spoken louder than words. So for this case, we will just have to wait and see what pieces of information they allow the MSM to publish and we will know who they are after or what bigger political goal is at play.


jared , Jul 10 2019 20:03 utc | 27

Something does not smell right about this.
It's not like Epstein was some obscure issue or that Trump was uninformed about the case.
Who would allow a person with such baggage on the team?
And the issue was raised so no possibility it was over-looked.
Congress (including the now concerned repubs) had their shot at him, where was the indignation?
Looks like people were told to disregard the issue, until now.
Now like good soldiers they are all barking alert.
Looks like this guy was a plant, an insurance policy maybe.
Now that policy has been triggered - has Trump failed in playing his role?

Pft , Jul 10 2019 21:22 utc | 51

Trumps ex-pal Epstein linked to intelligence. Makes sense given he has Robert Maxwell's daughter doing the procuring. His was likely a black mail operation run by the intelligence agency

Trumps other ex-pal (partner) was also linked to intelligence. Bayrocks Felix Sater. I imagine some of their business practices could have landed Trump in jail unless like Felix he cooperated

Could Trump himself be a an intelligent asset? Perhaps under duress through his activities with Jeffrey and Felix.

If so, indeed the question is if its Israels or the US agency, or is there any difference now.

I don't pretend to know the answers.

Whats the end game?. Comeys daughter is one of the NY prosecutors.Dershowitz is an Israeli puppet and was behind getting the sealed files opened. Is Clinton and the Dems the target or is it meant to pressure Trump to go hard on Iran or risk something coming out? Something else?

I cant help but wonder why nobody choses to remind us about the case filed against Trump in 2016, where a woman claimed rape at age 13 at Epstein's apartment. Is wasn't covered much at the time either. Apparently silently withdrawn. Curious no? Not even the so called Deep State Media that everyone believes was against Trump. Theydon't seem to want to touch it now either. Maybe its just BS.

Of course, maybe just more distraction as they continue fleecing the bottom 90%

Mr. Lucky , Jul 10 2019 21:28 utc | 53

Epstein was/is Mossad. He ran honey traps for Israel.

This is one of the primary ways the Tribe controls US politicians.

This is how Deep State controls Trump, and why Trump betrayed every campaign promise, except the one to Israel.

Acosta was told to give Epstein a sweetheart deal and to stop the Federal investigation.

For his compliance, he was awarded the job of Labor Secretary in the Trump administration.

fastfreddy , Jul 10 2019 21:30 utc | 54

Billionaire, $6 B, Les Wexner, L Brands, Victoria's Secret.

from Wiki

Wexner had a close relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, who managed Wexner's financial assets. Wexner and Epstein parted when Epstein went to prison.[25] Wexner was believed to be the primary source of Epstein's wealth. [26]

fastfreddy , Jul 10 2019 21:45 utc | 62

I am trying to link Wexner with the Bronfman's (Seagrams Liquor Family) via a source other than the Mega Group (which may not be credible, IDK).Clare Bronfman and NEXIVM.

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/

seagram-heiress-clare-bronfman-pleads-guilty-in-nxivm-sex-slave-case-825103/

https://www.wexnerfoundation.org/about-us/our-offices--staff


Looks like Epstein was running a high powered honey trap to ensnare Politicians, Lawyers, Government employees for the express purpose of promoting the "Greater Israel Project".

KC , Jul 10 2019 21:51 utc | 63

@fastfreddy - While I hesitate to engage in the ubiquitous Israel is at the root of all debacles conjecture, I think you might be onto something there. Sure would be interesting (now or when whatever shakes out of this) to compare the record on votes of importance to Israeli interests of any politician who gets implicated or indicted with who doesn't.

Alaric , Jul 10 2019 21:52 utc | 64

Protecting Epstein and his clients is secondary. The main goal is to protect his billionaire, Jewish, sponsors and whatever state sponsored him. The pleabs cannot know that their gov is corrupt but the bigger secret that must be kept is who is pulling the strings and how they are doing it.

Andrew Kreig , Jul 10 2019 22:02 utc | 68

Am enjoying the insights here and can share a few responses after years of reporting on Epstein, Clinton, Obama, Trump and Barr.

In response to lysias at #34 on Barr's intelligence and corruption cover-up background, here's a full history with links: "Trump Found His Roy Cohn In Deep State Fixer Bill Barr," May 27, 2019. https://www.justice-integrity.org/1659-trump-found-his-roy-cohn-in-deep-state-fixer-bill-barr

Regarding questions on Acosta by Jared at #27, here's a 2017 article showing that the facts were out about Acosta when the Senate confirmed him: "Did Trump Labor Pick Protect Trump, Rich Rapists, Tax Cheats, Crooked Bankers? Do We Find Out Wednesday?" March 14, 2017. http://ow.ly/hk8b309Uerm

Regarding MSM reluctance to mention rape of 12 and 13 year olds by Trump, as several commentators noted, here's a January 2017 wrap up of those matters with leading to other links: "Welcome To Waterbury: The city that holds secrets that could bring down Trump," Jan. 9, 2018. http://www.justice-integrity.org/1445-welcome-to-waterbury-the-city-that-holds-secrets-that-could-bring-down-trump. My colleague Wayne Madsen and I filed a FOIA action today at the U.S. Justice Department seeking further records.

Our view is that this is an intelligence / foreign policy operation and it's likely that Epstein's time has run out, an occupational hazard in that field. Further, Madsen and I have written separate books years ago documenting that all U.S. presidents after Carter -- but not yet Trump as proven -- have been covert assets of the CIA or FBI before -- stress that -- they entered politics. That's the way it is, and helps explain a lot of the complaints in comments above. Trump is in his own category of a corrupt stooge -- that's not necessarily better.

Can recommend excellent 2008 book "Flat Earth News" by longtime UK journalist Nick Davies that describes the deeply flawed nature of MSM from his perspective as a Guardian and other UK journalist, who aptly describes why lies and quarter-truths get printed. That's a longer story but the gist is what many here are suggesting.

last day of grace , Jul 10 2019 23:04 utc | 79

After years of study and many many books I believe the Mossad and CIA are one and the same. The Mossad is very useful when leaving sovereign footprints is verboten--and vice versa.

Jen , Jul 10 2019 23:06 utc | 80

"...'Belongs to intelligence' makes a lot of sense. The question is to which one. A lot of people will says "Mossad" but I don't believe that to be the (full) truth ..."

At the level that Jeffrey Epstein is operating, he is loyal primarily to himself but happily takes his reward from whichever intel agency at any time offers him the most or whose interests might prove the most lucrative for him.

And the interests of American, British, Israeli and other nations' intelligence agencies are surely so entwined that picking them apart is impossible. One thing for sure though: none of them serve the interests of the nations they supposedly work for.

last day of grace , Jul 10 2019 23:09 utc | 81

The function of the CIA/Mossad is to make sure the agenda and the narrative of the Deep State gets served. In that case one could truly blame Epstein's actions on individuals, or groups of individuals who dictate orders to the Mossad/CIA.

Really? , Jul 10 2019 23:31 utc | 85
@29

Epstein is CFR???
What???
HOw can that be?

Mr.Lucky , Jul 10 2019 23:37 utc | 86
Lozion:

I am not implying, I am stating that they absolutely have the goods on Trump.

His supporters knew he was a scum bag when they voted for him, but he promised to stop the invasion and they fell for it.

Why do you think that Trump did a 180 on every campaign promise once elected, except the promise to Israel?

Why do you think that Trump gave Acosta a job after the sweetheart deal?

Ask yourself another question: Why is happening as the election cycle is beginning?

Anyone who says Clinton is in trouble is delusional. Clinton is invincible.

They are going after Trump.

Really? , Jul 10 2019 23:39 utc | 89

"Something does not smell right about this."

Re timing, could it be connected to Mueller soon to be under oath and testifying?

could Mueller be a target of some kind?

jared , Jul 10 2019 23:50 utc | 93

Epstein reminds me of the Bill Browder affair. And the statement: To know who are the rulers not which are the ones you are not permitted to criticize. Or somethinh like that.

Alexander P. , Jul 11 2019 0:09 utc | 99
If indeed they are after Trump as he failed them on 'Iran', then it makes absolute sense that Dershowitz and Cernovich had the records unsealed as both are strong, strong Zionists and supporters of Israel. Getting a judge do the thing they need is just a formality. I agree with some writer above who asked, why the publicity if pressure can be applied in secret without the media being involved? But this may be the stated goal to bring Trump either completely in line now or publicly topple his presidency.

I get why @94 Really? and others would be sceptical at this stage but I know strong powers in the Zionist/Neo-con deep state want a direct confrontation with Iran for myriad number of reasons (stop the BRI, deal a blow to Syria and Hizbollah, take out Israel's No 1 enemy etc, shore up the Petrodollar), and Trump was still the most likely candidate to follow through with this, given his proximity to Zionism. So far he also has dully followed through with everything imaginable, except for actually attacking Iran.

Interesting development indeed. B. Clinton could be collateral damage, at this stage their power is overestimated in my opinion.

karlof1 , Jul 11 2019 0:11 utc | 100
Andrew Kreig @68--

Okay, An "intelligence op," but which one? The Epstein/Mueller link was made several months ago. I don't see any irregularities in the court judgement to order the unsealing as it's been ongoing for almost 2.5 years and involves odd bedfellows. Was Mueller even aware of the attempt to unseal Epstein's case? So many questions!

ekerbacker , Jul 11 2019 0:16 utc | 103

Arnon Milchan? He was Israeli. Should he be punished, absolutely. But you know who should be hung? Robert DeNiro. He knew Arnon Milchan was a spy and kept his mouth shut for decades. He is a POS of epic proportions.

Insofar as Epstein is concerned. It is all about timing. Mueller is set to testify and probably has skeletons in his closet with regards to Epstein's case. He is likely being told implicitly via the Epstein arrest to be on his best behavior by Barr, and Barr at this age probably can care less that Epstein is being sacrificed so he can make his point, particularly since Barr is probably the 2nd most powerful person in the USA right now.

Epstein was extremely likely an Israeli asset. The Israelis have through political power and force convinced many in the US IC that their ship is sailing in the same direction, and that they should be allowed to serve as the US's dog on a leash, and once in a while be unleashed to do what the US won't. So while he was an Israeli asset, his resources (that is compromising material) was often made available to the CIA, and thus Acosta was told that he is an intelligence asset.

The fireworks will start to fly if and when Epstein realizes he is being hung out to dry and won't be saved. But like almost every other case involving such rich and powerful people, don't hold your breath for justice to be served in the US.

Alexander P , Jul 11 2019 0:29 utc | 104
@96 and 33

What does protecting adolescent teenagers from predatory adults have to do with puritanism? Am I understanding this correctly that you advocate sex with minors as long as they have reached biological puberty? Never mind their mental maturity? So sexual relations involving young women is ok what about sexual relations with young men? This has nothing to do with a false pretentious morality but with the fact that teenagers have not yet reached the level of mental maturity that protects them from sexual exploitation that will haunt them for the rest of their lives, never mind their biological functions and ability to conceive or sire children. It is really puzzling that I even need to make these elaborations in here!

Debsisdead , Jul 11 2019 0:35 utc | 105
In many ways this thread is as sickening as the subject it discusses. All sorts of types left and right competing to show that they have the most insight into the forces behind the anal rape of a 12 year old girl See Andrew Kreig's excellent piece which does consider the horror of the acts, rather than just whether or not it plays into the particular vision of 'power politics' each poster invokes). In no instance does anyone express disgust at the actions of these low life scum other than for the corruption of the pols such as Acosta.
The glee which so many have displayed jumping into this horror story because it can be twisted and forced into their own particular theory about "how the world really works" while totally ignoring that these humans who were abducted at age eleven or twelve & then sold like cattle, now inhabit the netherworld of 'the great society' living in the fringes of prosperous cities in a ramshackle 'double wide', reveals a psychic corruption not a million miles away from that of the rapists.

This story is those young boys & girls, anyone who claims to want to use it to force the greedy rapists and warmongering grubs to face justice, will not succeed as long as they waste time speculating who works for who and who is really in control.

Prince Andrew still bludges off taxpayers despite being photographed with his arm around one of his victims, if you're english & really care about stopping this scum, instead of speculating on which shadowy 'palace spokesman suggested that the Daily Mail include the line "There is no suggestion that the duke had any sexual contact at the house, or knew what was allegedly going on there" you will find out how the at the time 17 y.o. Virginia Roberts feels about her public destruction now (A child the Mail described as an erotic masseuse - presumably to reduce the horror a normal human reacts to that pic whilst ensuring the victim is so humiliated she causes no further problem for "the royal family's" number one arms salesman). This victim first hung out with the andrew sleaze when she was 17 at the pimp's Florida hell hole where the age of consent is 18.

Concentrating on the effect on victims while protecting them from further harm will bring the creeps undone - nothing else will. It was only once people began to see past the priests claims that "the victims led me on" and considered the huge power imbalance that the catholic church came unstuck.
Most of all without humanity, there is no difference between any of us and the scum we criticise.

William Gruff , Jul 11 2019 0:55 utc | 106

Woohoo! Debsisdead isn't dead!

Now, to be on topic, why the insistence that Epstein finally getting outed for real is some mysterious intel op? The CIA has been screwing up left, right and center for years, so is it any surprise that one of their major kompromat operations is getting exposed? Their foolproof plan to install their tool Clinton in the White House in 2016 failed spectacularly and blew up in their faces, so tell me again how great they are at running covert ops? The CIA's own version of James Bond gets snuffed by the CIA's own death squads in Benghazi, but people still think the CIA has a clue what they're doing? The CIA's operatives in multiple embassies are being incapacitated by freakin' crickets and people think these clowns still somehow maintain some vestigial link to reality?

No, this is simply another massive screw-up by the establishment. This blind-sided the Deep State and so much took them by surprise that they were too late to get it clamped down in the mass media. If Epstein dies before the real dirt starts getting exposed then it proves me right and proves wrong all those who worship at the alter of the omnipotent Deep State.

[Jul 10, 2019] RAY MCGOVERN

Notable quotes:
"... As Congress arrives back into town and the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees prepare to question ex-Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on July 17, partisan lines are being drawn even more sharply, as Russias-gate blossoms into Deep-State-gate. On Sunday, a top Republican legislator, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took the gloves off in an unusually acerbic public attack on former leaders of the FBI and CIA. ..."
"... "The media went along with this – actually, keeping this farcical, ridiculous thought going that the President of the United States was somehow involved in a conspiracy with Russia against his own country." ..."
"... Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. No fan of the current President, Ray has been trained to follow and analyze the facts, wherever they may lead. He spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, and prepared the President's Daily Brief for three presidents. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). ..."
"... Mr. McGovern you are right in your analysis. Obama is in this up to his neck, however there will be a limited investigation at best because the Jews and Israel don't want this. They are involved and a real investigation would show what control they have over the FBI and CIA. ..."
"... The world is controlled by the Corporate Fascist Military-Intelligence Police State in which governments are nothing more than Proxies with Intelligence Agencies who work against the average citizen and for the Corporations. Politicians like Trump are nothing more than figureheads who must "Toe the Line" or else. ..."
Jul 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

JULY 8, 2019 1,500 WORDS 2 COMMENTS REPLY

As Congress arrives back into town and the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees prepare to question ex-Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on July 17, partisan lines are being drawn even more sharply, as Russias-gate blossoms into Deep-State-gate. On Sunday, a top Republican legislator, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took the gloves off in an unusually acerbic public attack on former leaders of the FBI and CIA.

King told a radio audience:

"There is no doubt to me there was severe, serious abuses that were carried out in the FBI and, I believe, top levels of the CIA against the President of the United States or, at that time, presidential candidate Donald Trump," according to The Hill.

King (image on the right), a senior congressman specializing in national security, twice chaired the House Homeland Security Committee and currently heads its Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He also served for several years on the House Intelligence Committee.

He asserted:

"There was no legal basis at all for them to begin this investigation of his campaign – and the way they carried it forward, and the way information was leaked. All of this is going to come out. It's going to show the bias. It's going to show the baselessness of the investigation and I would say the same thing if this were done to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders It's just wrong."

The Long Island Republican added a well aimed swipe at what passes for the media today:

"The media went along with this – actually, keeping this farcical, ridiculous thought going that the President of the United States was somehow involved in a conspiracy with Russia against his own country."

According to King, the Justice Department's review, ordered by Attorney General William Barr , would prove that former officials acted improperly. He was alluding to the investigation led by John Durham , U.S. Attorney in Connecticut. Sounds nice. But waiting for Durham to complete his investigation at a typically lawyerly pace would, I fear, be much like the experience of waiting for Mueller to finish his; that is, like waiting for Godot. What about now?

So Where is the IG Report on FISA?

That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan , former FBI Director James Comey , former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe , former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein , and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!).

The DOJ inspector General's investigation, launched in March 2018, has centered on whether the FBI and DOJ filing of four FISA applications and renewals beginning in October 2016 to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page amounted to abuse of the FISA process. (Fortunately for the IG, Obama's top intelligence and law enforcement officials were so sure that Hillary Clinton would win that they did not do much to hide their tracks.)

The Washington Examiner reported last Tuesday, "The Justice Department inspector general's investigation of potential abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is complete, a Republican congressman said, though a report on its findings might not be released for a month." The report continued:

"House Judiciary Committee member John Ratcliffe (R, Texas) said Monday he'd met with DOJ watchdog Michael Horowitz last week about his FISA abuse report. In a media interview, Ratcliffe said they'd discussed the timing, but not the content of his report and Horowitz 'related that his team's investigative work is complete and they're now in the process of drafting that report. Ratcliffe said he was doubtful that Horowitz's report would be made available to the public or the Congress anytime soon. 'He [Horowitz] did relay that as much as 20% of his report is going to include classified information, so that draft report will have to undergo a classification review at the FBI and at the Department of Justice,' Ratcliffe said. 'So, while I'm hopeful that we members of Congress might see it before the August recess, I'm not too certain about that.'"

Earlier, Horowitz had predicted that his report would be ready in May or June but there may, in fact, be good reason for some delay. Fox News reported Friday that "key witnesses sought for questioning by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz (image on the left) early in his investigation into alleged government surveillance abuse have come forward at the 11th hour." According to Fox's sources, at least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI has started cooperating -- a breakthrough that came after Durham was assigned to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia case that led to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

"Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge.

Judging by past precedent, Deep State intelligence and law enforcement officials will do all they can to use the "but-it's-classified" excuse to avoid putting themselves and their former colleagues in legal jeopardy. (Though this would violate Obama's executive order 13526 , prohibiting classification of embarrassing or criminal information).

It is far from clear that DOJ IG Horowitz and Attorney General Barr will prevail in the end, even though President Trump has given Barr nominal authority to declassify as necessary. Why are the the stakes so extraordinarily high?

What Did Obama Know, and When Did He Know It?

Recall that in a Sept. 2, 2016 text message to the FBI's then-deputy chief of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, his girlfriend and then-top legal adviser to Deputy FBI Director McCabe, Lisa Page , wrote that she was preparing talking points because the president "wants to know everything we're doing." [Emphasis added.] It does not seem likely that the Director of National Intelligence, DOJ, FBI, and CIA all kept President Obama in the dark about their FISA and other machinations -- although it is possible they did so out of a desire to provide him with "plausible denial."

It seems more likely that Obama's closest intelligence confidant, Brennan, told him about the shenanigans with FISA, that Obama gave him approval (perhaps just tacit approval), and that Brennan used that to harness top intelligence and law enforcement officials behind the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him.

Moreover, one should not rule out seeing in the coming months an "Obama-made-us-do-it" defense -- whether grounded in fact or not -- by Brennan and perhaps the rest of the gang. Brennan may even have a piece of paper recording the President's "approval" for this or that -- or could readily have his former subordinates prepare one that appears authentic.

Reining in Devin Nunes

That the Deep State retains formidable power can be seen in the repeated Lucy-holding-then-withdrawing-the-football-for-Charlie Brown treatment experienced by House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member, Devin Nunes (R-CA, image on the right). On April 5, 2019, in the apparent belief he had a green light to go on the offensive, Nunes wrote that committee Republicans "will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in the abuse of intelligence for political purposes. These people must be held to account to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future."

On April 7, Nunes was even more specific, telling Fox News that he was preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice "this week," concerning alleged misconduct during the Trump-Russia investigation, including leaks of "highly classified material" and conspiracies to lie to Congress and the FISA court. It seemed to be no-holds-barred for Nunes, who had begun to talk publicly about prison time for those who might be brought to trial.

Except for Fox, the corporate media ignored Nunes's explosive comments. The media seemed smugly convinced that Nunes's talk of "referrals" could be safely ignored -- even though a new sheriff, Barr, had come to town. And sure enough, now, three months later, where are the criminal referrals?

There is ample evidence that President Trump is afraid to run afoul of the Deep State functionaries he inherited. And the Deep State almost always wins. But if Attorney General Barr leans hard on the president to unfetter Nunes, IG Horowitz, Durham and like-minded investigators, all hell may break lose, because the evidence against those who took serious liberties with the law is staring them all in the face.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. No fan of the current President, Ray has been trained to follow and analyze the facts, wherever they may lead. He spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, and prepared the President's Daily Brief for three presidents. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

niteranger , says: July 9, 2019 at 11:30 pm GMT

Mr. McGovern you are right in your analysis. Obama is in this up to his neck, however there will be a limited investigation at best because the Jews and Israel don't want this. They are involved and a real investigation would show what control they have over the FBI and CIA.

Trump by now realizes these agencies can make anything up and the Jewish owned and controlled media will do their bidding. I have to assume that Trump has come to the conclusion that he wasn't suppose to win and that the NWO wasn't happy with that because he stands in their way especially on World Trade and Immigration.

The world is controlled by the Corporate Fascist Military-Intelligence Police State in which governments are nothing more than Proxies with Intelligence Agencies who work against the average citizen and for the Corporations. Politicians like Trump are nothing more than figureheads who must "Toe the Line" or else.

I believe Trump knows he could be assassinated at any time. Obama the "God King" did his part for NWO and that's why he gets a King's Ransom for his speeches for reading a teleprompter and banging on his chest and saying, "I did that." What he is really saying is I did that for you -- now where's my check!

Fran Macadam , says: July 10, 2019 at 12:24 am GMT

When they frog-marched you out of that Clinton event, Ray, they had no idea what they were unleashing.

[Jul 10, 2019] Neoliberal elite suicide rate might increases dramatically over the next six months.

Notable quotes:
"... US gives Israel billions each year. Israel gives some of that money to Epstein for a hedge fund front. Epstein buys island, planes, mansions, power and influence. Hires attractive under age girls for sexual acts with elites. Tapes the sexual acts. Sends tapes back to Mossad. Blackmails elites for money and favors. Sends money and favors back to Mossad. Epstein keeps the vig. Elites just **** their pants. Elites suicide rate increases dramatically over the next six months. ..."
"... Yes, the blackmailing would not just be for money but foreign policy actions too. And it isn't just the US, it's the UK too. Hence both suckers are trying to start a war with Iran. ..."
"... CCI has the goods on a third of congress and the whole msm. ..."
"... I am not holding my breath for your prediction xbkrisback. Appointing Comey's daughter as the chief prosecutor tells a sorry tale. And Comey and Mueller are best buds. ..."
"... Epstein will not give up the big names. Bubba took 26 trips to Pedo Island on the Lolita Express to refresh his tan. ..."
"... The power structure runs on pedophilia. And the horror of it is that pedophilia is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the abuse of children. Where is Carlos Danger's laptop with Huma's huge "life insurance" file on it? You know, the one that made grizzled NYPD detectives puke when they opened it. ..."
"... Epstein outdoes Berlusconi ..."
"... Have another look at Tony Podesta's art collection. http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2016/11/26/sick-lets-revisit-the-podesta-penchant-for-pedophilic-cannibalistic-and-satanic-art/#sthash.6jj0GpQo.dpbs ..."
"... I never understood why people claimed Podesta had child abuse links until I read that article. It is enough to make even a hardened Podesta supporter cringe. ..."
"... Coulter's take on this sounds very plausible, because there certainly was evidence gathering by Epstein. ..."
"... By the way, that was the favorite tactic of the old pervert that ran the FBI ... J. Edgar Hoover. He would gather evidence, then have a couple of his agents pay the offender a visit, warning them to be careful, while delivering the clear message that the Director has the goods on you. ..."
"... If Epstein goes to prison (a real prison) for any length of time, that would negate the idea of state sponsorship, would it not? Conversely, if he gets another sweetheart deal, that would confirm it. ..."
Jul 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

xbkrisback , 1 hour ago

I think I figured this scam out. US gives Israel billions each year. Israel gives some of that money to Epstein for a hedge fund front. Epstein buys island, planes, mansions, power and influence. Hires attractive under age girls for sexual acts with elites. Tapes the sexual acts. Sends tapes back to Mossad. Blackmails elites for money and favors. Sends money and favors back to Mossad. Epstein keeps the vig. Elites just **** their pants. Elites suicide rate increases dramatically over the next six months.

smacker , 1 hour ago

Yes, the blackmailing would not just be for money but foreign policy actions too. And it isn't just the US, it's the UK too. Hence both suckers are trying to start a war with Iran.

cayman , 46 minutes ago

CCI has the goods on a third of congress and the whole msm. It's why elections haven't mattered in decades. It's why congress can have a 9% approval rating and yet nothing changes. CIA has so many offshore sources of revenue now, it is sovereign now.

RoyalDraco , 17 minutes ago

I am not holding my breath for your prediction xbkrisback. Appointing Comey's daughter as the chief prosecutor tells a sorry tale. And Comey and Mueller are best buds.

Epstein will not give up the big names. Bubba took 26 trips to Pedo Island on the Lolita Express to refresh his tan.

5 years at Club Fed and a list of names no one ever heard of. The power structure runs on pedophilia. And the horror of it is that pedophilia is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the abuse of children. Where is Carlos Danger's laptop with Huma's huge "life insurance" file on it? You know, the one that made grizzled NYPD detectives puke when they opened it.

HideTheWeenie , 1 hour ago

Epstein outdoes Berlusconi ... Takes bunga bunga parties to the next level - and on the road - in the air - island hopping

Coulter is right ... Nobody in financial circles ever bumped into Epstein. Nobody, nobody knows the guy outside of the teenage ***** connection.

johnwburns , 1 hour ago

Have another look at Tony Podesta's art collection. http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2016/11/26/sick-lets-revisit-the-podesta-penchant-for-pedophilic-cannibalistic-and-satanic-art/#sthash.6jj0GpQo.dpbs

cat2005 , 21 minutes ago

I never understood why people claimed Podesta had child abuse links until I read that article. It is enough to make even a hardened Podesta supporter cringe.

I need some mind bleach after reading that.

RayUSA , 1 hour ago

Obviously, the more powerful people that are involved, the less chance this has of going anywhere.

Coulter's take on this sounds very plausible, because there certainly was evidence gathering by Epstein.

There would be no reason for that unless it was going to be used in the future for black mail.

By the way, that was the favorite tactic of the old pervert that ran the FBI ... J. Edgar Hoover. He would gather evidence, then have a couple of his agents pay the offender a visit, warning them to be careful, while delivering the clear message that the Director has the goods on you.

herbivore , 2 hours ago

If Epstein goes to prison (a real prison) for any length of time, that would negate the idea of state sponsorship, would it not? Conversely, if he gets another sweetheart deal, that would confirm it.

[Jul 09, 2019] Epstein and the conversion of politicians into "corrupt and vulnerable" brand

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Epstein case has all the earmarks of CIA protection of an asset. ..."
"... Successful entry into politics requires candidates to first "tag themselves" with a "corrupted and venerable" "CAV" badge? ..."
"... Is the CAV Badge the weapon that has corrupted the intelligence services and stable of politicians in nearly every nation in the world? Did Colin Powell flash a CAV badge as he spoke to UN focus about the most likely presence of non existent WMDs that led to w__ in Iraq? ..."
Jul 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

lysias , Jul 9 2019 0:53 utc | 91

The Epstein case has all the earmarks of CIA protection of an asset.

snake , Jul 9 2019 4:03 utc | 99

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/07/08/trumpsteingate-the-coverup-of-donalds-little-girl-fetish-hits-high-gear/

Journalism. =>has disclosed the tunnel, and a few of its investigators are exploring its contents, expecting to find at the end of this tunnel Successful entry into politics requires candidates to first "tag themselves" with a "corrupted and venerable" "CAV" badge?

Wonder if this has traction in the persons involved in Grace I, the failure of JCPOA.

Is the CAV badge the weapon that has corrupted nearly every nation state in the western world?

Politicians make promises, and then within hours for unexplained reasons, reverse them..Hmmm?

Is the CAV Badge the weapon that has corrupted the intelligence services and stable of politicians in nearly every nation in the world? Did Colin Powell flash a CAV badge as he spoke to UN focus about the most likely presence of non existent WMDs that led to w__ in Iraq?

How can CAV badge victims be identified and isolated from politics?
The CAV badge could explain so many USA positive, American negative events?

[Jul 09, 2019] So what does a cybersecurity company that is hemorrhaging money and can't protect it's clients do? It does an IPO

Notable quotes:
"... So in the past three years Crowdstrike: ..."
"... a) detected the DNC server hack, but failed to stop it b) falsely accused the Russians of hacking Ukrainian artillery c) failed to prevent the NRCC from being hacked, even though that was why they were hired ..."
"... In other words, Crowdstrike is really bad at their job. In addition, Crowdstrike is really bad at business too. CrowdStrike recorded a net loss last year of $140 million on revenue of $249.8 million, and negative free cash flow of roughly $59 million. ..."
Jul 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

So in the past three years Crowdstrike:

a) detected the DNC server hack, but failed to stop it
b) falsely accused the Russians of hacking Ukrainian artillery
c) failed to prevent the NRCC from being hacked, even though that was why they were hired

In other words, Crowdstrike is really bad at their job. In addition, Crowdstrike is really bad at business too. CrowdStrike recorded a net loss last year of $140 million on revenue of $249.8 million, and negative free cash flow of roughly $59 million.

So what does a cybersecurity company that is hemorrhaging money and can't protect it's clients do? It does an IPO .

It just goes to show that "getting it right" is not the same thing as "doing a good job." If you tell the right people what they want to hear, the money will take care of itself.

[Jul 09, 2019] Crowdstrike mode of operation:

Jul 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Whoops, you got hacked? Gee, nothing we could have done. More money please!

I think this is most of the IT biz right here

It just goes to show that "getting it right" is not the same thing as "doing a good job."

If you tell the right people what they want to hear, the money will take care of itself.

It's all about making the people at the top feel smart for having hired you and assuring them they don't need to waste their beautiful minds trying to understand what it is you do.

Whoops, you got hacked? Gee, nothing we could have done. More money please!

[Jul 09, 2019] Ex-FBI, CIA Officials Draw Withering Fire on Russiagate by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge. ..."
"... Judging by past precedent, Deep State intelligence and law enforcement officials will do all they can to use the "but-it's-classified" excuse to avoid putting themselves and their former colleagues in legal jeopardy. (Though this would violate Obama's executive order 13526 , prohibiting classification of embarrassing or criminal information). ..."
"... Recall that in a Sept. 2, 2016 text message to the FBI's then-deputy chief of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, his girlfriend and then-top legal adviser to Deputy FBI Director McCabe, Lisa Page, wrote that she was preparing talking points because the president "wants to know everything we're doing." [Emphasis added.] It does not seem likely that the Director of National Intelligence, DOJ, FBI, and CIA all kept President Obama in the dark about their FISA and other machinations -- although it is possible they did so out of a desire to provide him with "plausible denial." ..."
"... It seems more likely that Obama's closest intelligence confidant, Brennan, told him about the shenanigans with FISA, that Obama gave him approval (perhaps just tacit approval), and that Brennan used that to harness top intelligence and law enforcement officials behind the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him. ..."
"... "That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein, and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!)." ..."
"... It will be a very interesting 2020 campaign if the Democratic candidate has to run with the ripe stinking dead albatross of Russiagate around her neck. ..."
"... The only outcome that could be more bizarre than the last go-round would be to see Trump favored by all the smart money and then lose to the latest corporate Democrat to shamelessly sell out the middle class in broad daylight. ..."
"... The Grabber in Chief vs Willie Brown's mistress – wonderful. ..."
"... Forgive my cynicism but the US government is so corrupt, has wielded illegitimate power for so long, and has covered the tracks of countless functionaries who have not upheld the constitution that I doubt this will go anywhere. I have been quoting Ben Franklin for some time "you have a republic, if you can keep it." I don't think we can. A reading of "A History of Venice" by John J. Norris would be appropriate here. The most serene republic lasted for essentially 1,000 years from roughly 800 to not quite 1800, first as a democracy, later as an oligarchy. Much like us, including having the most feared secret service in Europe at the time, Venice kept its power through trade but at least we don't hoist the new president up on a chair so that he can throw golden Ducats to the crowd on Wall Street the way that a new Doge would. ..."
"... I don't suppose anything will happen to anybody important about this. After all, nothing happened to anybody when they were caught mass spying on any and all american citizens, even before they made it legal. ..."
"... Unfortunately Webb and Parry exposed much of these gangster criminal "intel" savages for running guns and drugs to Central American pseudo fascist mercenary sadists throughout much of the late 1970s through the '80s. I say unfortunately b/c nothing much ever came along by way of true justice, by way of the criminal players rotting in maximum security jail cells for years on end, not unlike the crack or heroin addict who steals a $400 television. ..."
"... This has been one long crime against the American people. King should read what he knows into the Congressional Record. I have no sympathy for Trump's fear of the deep state. He has sent people to die knowing full well that his actions were based on lies, lies that would result in the deaths of civilians as well as our own military. If he is going to do that, then he should have the courage to face the deep state. That's partial penance for all the deaths he has caused. ..."
"... I also don't care about Trump's personal issue about being surveilled. He personally supports that against everyone else. That is why I feel this is a crime against our people as a whole. Our constitution has been stripped bare. We don't have the rule of law. Mass surveillance covering the globe is current reality. It is dangerous. It is wrong. It is lawless. It is a disaster. ..."
"... Further, Russiagate was used to keep real opposition away from Trump. His supporters doubled down on "liking" Trump because he appeared to be a victim of these lies. Democrats meanwhile learned to further worship the IC. They ignored Trump's actual unlawful behavior, and, in the case of war crimes, still support Trump on every war/regime change action etc. recommended to them by their IC "resistance" "leaders". ..."
"... This has been one of the most effective propaganda tools I have ever seen against our populace. It has created a divided, unthinking populace who is ripe for the picking by evil men and women. I am truly hoping that once this is exposed people will stop this madness and pull together for a common good. But I'm quite worried that, like most cults, when the leader is shown to be wrong, people cling to them even more. ..."
"... there have always been nefarious agents in one government or another for one gangster interest or another, whether was Milner's roundtable or Dulles's Gladio werewolves, these are nefarious individuals there is no gray area in that, however they may conduct themselves and their personal lives, it is not sloppy journalism, is to call something what it is, a this shadow government working in many instances against the direct interest of the American people ..."
"... It's the propaganda, the United States is one of the most heavily propagandize societies in the world, we make the Soviets look like children. No one wants you to have sympathy for Donald Trump, you do not have to agree or like a person to see that the cartel seeking to damage him is also simultaneously against your interests and they are against your interests whether you're from the left or the right because they do not have an ideology just it will to power. ..."
"... So reminiscent of the darker days of the Cold War. A stark education has just played out to this point. ..."
Jul 08, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

The Deep State almost always wins. But if Attorney General Barr leans hard on Trump to unfetter investigators, all hell may break lose, says Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

A s Congress arrives back into town and the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees prepare to question ex-Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on July 17, partisan lines are being drawn even more sharply, as Russias-gate blossoms into Deep-State-gate. On Sunday, a top Republican legislator, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took the gloves off in an unusually acerbic public attack on former leaders of the FBI and CIA.

King told a radio audience: "There is no doubt to me there was severe, serious abuses that were carried out in the FBI and, I believe, top levels of the CIA against the President of the United States or, at that time, presidential candidate Donald Trump," according to The Hill.

King, a senior congressman specializing in national security, twice chaired the House Homeland Security Committee and currently heads its Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He also served for several years on the House Intelligence Committee.

He asserted:

"There was no legal basis at all for them to begin this investigation of his campaign – and the way they carried it forward, and the way information was leaked. All of this is going to come out. It's going to show the bias. It's going to show the baselessness of the investigation and I would say the same thing if this were done to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders It's just wrong."

The Long Island Republican added a well aimed swipe at what passes for the media today: "The media went along with this – actually, keeping this farcical, ridiculous thought going that the President of the United States was somehow involved in a conspiracy with Russia against his own country."

King: Lashes out.

According to King, the Justice Department's review, ordered by Attorney General William Barr, would prove that former officials acted improperly. He was alluding to the investigation led by John Durham, U.S. Attorney in Connecticut. Sounds nice. But waiting for Durham to complete his investigation at a typically lawyerly pace would, I fear, be much like the experience of waiting for Mueller to finish his; that is, like waiting for Godot. What about now?

So Where is the IG Report on FISA?

That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein, and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!).

The DOJ inspector General's investigation, launched in March 2018, has centered on whether the FBI and DOJ filing of four FISA applications and renewals beginning in October 2016 to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page amounted to abuse of the FISA process. (Fortunately for the IG, Obama's top intelligence and law enforcement officials were so sure that Hillary Clinton would win that they did not do much to hide their tracks.)

The Washington Examiner reported last Tuesday, "The Justice Department inspector general's investigation of potential abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is complete, a Republican congressman said, though a report on its findings might not be released for a month." The report continued:

"House Judiciary Committee member John Ratcliffe (R, Texas) said Monday he'd met with DOJ watchdog Michael Horowitz last week about his FISA abuse report. In a media interview, Ratcliffe said they'd discussed the timing, but not the content of his report and Horowitz 'related that his team's investigative work is complete and they're now in the process of drafting that report. Ratcliffe said he was doubtful that Horowitz's report would be made available to the public or the Congress anytime soon. 'He [Horowitz] did relay that as much as 20% of his report is going to include classified information, so that draft report will have to undergo a classification review at the FBI and at the Department of Justice,' Ratcliffe said. 'So, while I'm hopeful that we members of Congress might see it before the August recess, I'm not too certain about that.'"

Horowitz: Still waiting for his report

Earlier, Horowitz had predicted that his report would be ready in May or June but there may, in fact, be good reason for some delay. Fox News reported Friday that "key witnesses sought for questioning by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz early in his investigation into alleged government surveillance abuse have come forward at the 11th hour." According to Fox's sources, at least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI has started cooperating -- a breakthrough that came after Durham was assigned to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia case that led to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

"Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge.

Judging by past precedent, Deep State intelligence and law enforcement officials will do all they can to use the "but-it's-classified" excuse to avoid putting themselves and their former colleagues in legal jeopardy. (Though this would violate Obama's executive order 13526 , prohibiting classification of embarrassing or criminal information).

It is far from clear that DOJ IG Horowitz and Attorney General Barr will prevail in the end, even though President Trump has given Barr nominal authority to declassify as necessary. Why are the the stakes so extraordinarily high?

What Did Obama Know, and When Did He Know It?

Recall that in a Sept. 2, 2016 text message to the FBI's then-deputy chief of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, his girlfriend and then-top legal adviser to Deputy FBI Director McCabe, Lisa Page, wrote that she was preparing talking points because the president "wants to know everything we're doing." [Emphasis added.] It does not seem likely that the Director of National Intelligence, DOJ, FBI, and CIA all kept President Obama in the dark about their FISA and other machinations -- although it is possible they did so out of a desire to provide him with "plausible denial."

It seems more likely that Obama's closest intelligence confidant, Brennan, told him about the shenanigans with FISA, that Obama gave him approval (perhaps just tacit approval), and that Brennan used that to harness top intelligence and law enforcement officials behind the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him.

Moreover, one should not rule out seeing in the coming months an "Obama-made-us-do-it" defense -- whether grounded in fact or not -- by Brennan and perhaps the rest of the gang. Brennan may even have a piece of paper recording the President's "approval" for this or that -- or could readily have his former subordinates prepare one that appears authentic.

Reining in Devin Nunes

That the Deep State retains formidable power can be seen in the repeated Lucy-holding-then-withdrawing-the-football-for-Charlie Brown treatment experienced by House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member, Devin Nunes (R-CA). On April 5, 2019, in the apparent belief he had a green light to go on the offensive, Nunes wrote that committee Republicans "will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in the abuse of intelligence for political purposes. These people must be held to account to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future."

On April 7, Nunes was even more specific, telling Fox News that he was preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice "this week," concerning alleged misconduct during the Trump-Russia investigation, including leaks of "highly classified material" and conspiracies to lie to Congress and the FISA court. It seemed to be no-holds-barred for Nunes, who had begun to talk publicly about prison time for those who might be brought to trial.

Except for Fox, the corporate media ignored Nunes's explosive comments. The media seemed smugly convinced that Nunes's talk of "referrals" could be safely ignored -- even though a new sheriff, Barr, had come to town. And sure enough, now, three months later, where are the criminal referrals?

There is ample evidence that President Trump is afraid to run afoul of the Deep State functionaries he inherited. And the Deep State almost always wins. But if Attorney General Barr leans hard on the president to unfetter Nunes, IG Horowitz, Durham and like-minded investigators, all hell may break lose, because the evidence against those who took serious liberties with the law is staring them all in the face.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. No fan of the current President, Ray has been trained to follow and analyze the facts, wherever they may lead. He spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, and prepared the President's Daily Brief for three presidents. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

If you enjoyed this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.


Joe T Wallace , July 8, 2019 at 20:24

I'm a great admirer of Ray McGovern's reporting. He exposes much that is never revealed by the mainstream media. That said, I do have one quibble about this article. In the seventh paragraph, just below the heading "So Where is the IG Report on FISA?" he writes:

"That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein, and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!)."

My immediate reaction was: Who is Horowitz? It was confusing not to know. Further down in the article, I learned that Ray was referring to Michael Horowitz, a DOJ watchdog who is preparing an IG report about FISA abuse, but readers should have been informed who he was earlier in the article.

John , July 8, 2019 at 17:10

Peter King? Devin Nunes?

At one point the article says little effort was made to cover tracks because of certainty that HRC would win but later that the FBI et al were planting land mines to either defeat Trump or blow up his presidency. Seemed contradictory to me.

Perhaps you have the skinny on these machinations, if indeed there were machinations by one person or group or another for this purpose or that.

But Peter King and Devin Nunes? If either ever was credible, their track record condemns them to be received, if at all, with extreme skepticism.

Realist , July 8, 2019 at 16:59

It will be a very interesting 2020 campaign if the Democratic candidate has to run with the ripe stinking dead albatross of Russiagate around her neck. Or will she be expected to repudiate the Hitlery-run DNC? Where does the money and the ground game originate if the latter?

The only outcome that could be more bizarre than the last go-round would be to see Trump favored by all the smart money and then lose to the latest corporate Democrat to shamelessly sell out the middle class in broad daylight. I won't like it, but I can see Trump Derangement Syndrome pulling out the chestnuts for the Dems, what with all their celebrity spokespeople constantly running and ranting like their hair is on fire underneath those pussy hats. My poor gullible sister from Cali embraces that whole ball of wax as revealed truth holier than the total dry weight of all the Abrahamic scriptures rolled into one big bale for the recycling center. Kamala Harris seems to be emerging as the new messiah anointed to lead this country back to Obamian gridlock and more prestidigitation like mandated insurance to ensure the health of the insurance companies. Again, it will only be the illusion of "free stuff."

The only way such a scenario won't cause four more years of turmoil for this country (rinse and repeat in 2024) is if the victor is Gabbard and she ends all the illegal and unconstitutional wars by edict, telling all the sure-to-be pissing and moaning Deep State functionaries to pick up their severance pay and go pound sand. Then shut the world-wide spider web of military bases and bring home the troops while we can still afford the carfare. That would be "morning in America," and Gabbard would be the most heroic chief exec since Lincoln and FDR made their marks in the history books, though such fantasies never play out in the real world. More likely all the criminal evidence of treason remains classified, most Americans pop the blue pill, the actual rabbit hole continues to grow ever deeper but the masses are contentedly oblivious to it all, satisfied to blame select scapegoats from Russia, China and other "malign" countries for our viewing entertainment.

Deniz , July 8, 2019 at 17:50

The Grabber in Chief vs Willie Brown's mistress – wonderful.

ML , July 8, 2019 at 20:12

You are really something, Realist. I love the way you flourish that pen of yours. Thank you.

Rob Roy , July 8, 2019 at 20:13

Realist, well said, per usual. To add a bit the Dems probably gave Trump the gift of a lifetime the next election. Wasting three years on Russiagate instead of hammering out a decent platform for the party was beyond dumb. That reminds me. the Dems's next dumbest idea choosing Joe Biden as their next candidate. Just like Hillary, he can't beat Trump. The duopoly is dead, they just don't know it.

As for Tulsi, she's got my vote.

John Earls , July 8, 2019 at 16:55

Looks like Barry Eisler's John Rain (expert in "death by natural causes") will have a lot of work in front of him if the investigation builds and a whole lot of "material witnesses" begin to testify.

ricardo2000 , July 8, 2019 at 16:33

I'm supposed to feel sorry for the surveillance of a right-wing creep? OH PLEASE.
No one in government, or the right wing ReThugs, has ever suffered the intrusive, lying, speculative 'investigations' that social justice, environmental, or human rights activists have over the past 70 years.

When these buttheads suffer what MLK and Malcolm X have suffered then I might just wipe away a few tears, after I stop roaring with laughter and get off the floor.

Realist , July 8, 2019 at 17:08

You prefer a race to the bottom of the cesspool?

You never win when you adopt the methods you claim to revile. The opponent who introduced the tactics you condemn wins if you embrace them as your own. You didn't beat him, you joined him.

LibertyBonBon , July 8, 2019 at 18:12

Must be nice to think the justice system should revolve around your particular emotions, rather than equality and objectivity. Safe and easy.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 20:41

ricardo2000, nothing personal, I get the revulsion to Trump and entourage not to mention a large portion of the Maga crowd but this right and left thing is really just an illusion, the people doing the persecuting here regardless of how disgusting Trump is are the same ones doing the persecuting to a large degree of everyone else from Assange to the Iranians, that is this government deep state in combination with all of the various American alphabet soup agencies as well as foreign deep states have cornered the market in State power, hate Trump but don't confuse this with a good thing.

O Society , July 8, 2019 at 16:18

Thank you, Ray McGovern. You are a good man, Charlie Brown!

Thing is, all of this was predictable from the beginning. Many of us saw it coming.

No one really wanted an incompetent baboon running things – the song about Monkey and the Engineer comes to mind – so Obama tried to hamstring Trump with this investigation. I mean, Obama couldn't very well have not completed the transfer of power because it is the most valuable thing about democracy. There is no ten year bloody hellified civil war every time the crown changes hands from one inbred to the next.

So Obama did the next best thing on his way out the Oval Office doors, he put Brennan and the boys on it. Seemed like a good idea at the time, I'm sure. But it backfired because he couldn't call the dogs off once he was no longer president. Not Brennan, not anyone could call them off after the snowball really got rolling because the spooks believed their own story and the media made too much money off selling the mythology:

https://osociety.org/2019/07/06/spooks-spooking-themselves/

Only question left to answer now is whether or not Trump the carnival barker can milk his opportunist Armageddon into a second term of fleecing the rubes.

http://osociety.org/2019/07/08/can-donald-trump-delay-an-economic-crash-until-2020

karlof1 , July 8, 2019 at 15:00

This is a very serious Constitutional Law issue and MUST be pursued–and it makes no difference the political party denomination of those breaking the law! The Current Oligarchy–Deep State–is the adversary of the vast majority of US citizens and humanity. With Epstein's arrest and the developments McGovern relates, some progress appears to be happening.

Lydia , July 8, 2019 at 14:51

You summed it up perfectly, Jill.

Pablo Diablo , July 8, 2019 at 14:42

"the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him." says it all. Trump is a loose cannon. The so called "Deep State" has been "controlling" our Presidents since at least the Dulles Brothers. Truman even admitted giving them power was a BIG mistake. Still question the Kennedy Assassination.
In the 70's, the FBI mailed me a box of drugs, which I refused to take from a very incompetent fake Mail Man, and three minutes later they showed up with a search warrant for my house that listed all the drugs in the failed mailed box signed by a Federal Judge. So much for FISA. The bullshit continues. I could reveal more if necessary.

robert e williamson jr , July 8, 2019 at 14:32

Sam F. whether you realize it or not you got it pretty much on the nose. Except for this.

The judiciary has been compromised by the congresses refusal to hold CIA et. al. accountable for their actions. Why? Those in congress remember what happened to JFK.

The number one reason is because the deep state ensures that if anyone goes after CIA officials or designees that the persons career and life are ruined. Which is something else that needs to be investigated. Something that if explored may very well put a stop to CIA's B.S. of lying about everything and getting away with it.

Currently no deterrent exists. None.

Anytime some one or entity gets close the Deep State ends up with their guy as AG. See the Bill Barr story.

Barr may get his chance to prove me right and at the same time prove "Lady Justice" has little to do with the DOJ! I think he is a cowardly blowhard. Justice would be Trump and Barr going to jail .

Justice in this country for the true scoundrels in government or billionaires is non- existent at this point in time. Putting Epstein in prison for life is called for and if he is threatened with that maybe his jaw will loosen up.

Until DOJ can become a deterrent to bad actors in government, all government the country will be controlled by the Deep State. The SWETS, super wealthy elitists.

Keep your eyes on George Soro and the Kochs.

Paul Merrell , July 8, 2019 at 17:28

@ "Justice would be Trump and Barr going to jail ."

Are you suggesting that *any* of their living predecessors don't deserve the same? If so, which do not and why?

Jay , July 8, 2019 at 14:18

Bif:

I agree something very suspect occurred.

And it's very likely the Obama White House knew that either the NSA or the FBI was tapping into the communications of some of Trump's campaign team BEFORE Hillary lost in Nov. 2016.

However the xenophobic, lying, terrorist (IRA) supporting, Peter King is not a credible messenger. (Right, Rep Steve King of Iowa is even worse than King of Long Island.)

Peter Dyer , July 8, 2019 at 14:09

Thanks, Ray.

DH Fabian , July 8, 2019 at 13:59

Actually, that deep split among the masses, and certainly within the Dem voting base, was achieved in the 1990s -- middle class vs. poor, workers vs. those left jobless, further split by race. The Obama years confirmed that this split is permanent. Russia had nothing to do with the Democrats' 2016 defeat, nor will it be the reason for their 2020 defeat. Democrats maintain their resistance against acknowledging the consequences of dividing and conquering their own voting base.

EuGene Miller , July 9, 2019 at 00:24

DH, that's an interesting assessment. However, I doubt that any House or Senate Democrat sought an advantage by "splitting their base". The elected Dems do not control the narrative. So, who benefits by splitting the masses into rival factions?

Perhaps the narrative of social and political discourse is defined by the owners, boards, and foundations that control the main-stream media and pop-culture.

Robert Reich wrote that an oligarchy divides-and-conquers the rest of us. I suspect that controlling the narrative is not simply a propaganda tool; it is the basis of divide-and-conquer strategy.

https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/57499-there-is-no-right-v-left-it-is-trump-and-the-oligarchs-against-the-rest

robert e williamson jr , July 8, 2019 at 13:56

Is it possible that the DOJ, see the Sec. of Labor's problems developing with the Espstein case, is about to have it's gloriously corrupt underbelly rolled over into the sunlight? (you must roll the snake over to see its belly)

Please Ray tell me this is where we might be heading or instead will we end up with the courts truncating investigation because they say it will be best for the country not to have all this filthy laundry dragged out into the sunlight or someones bull shit sources and methods might be exposed. The DOJ has become a really bad joke!

I'm hoping you know something I don't because Barr's past history pretty much speaks for itself I'd say after be made sure he pardoned all of Bush 41 henchmen!

At this point I certainly do not have much faith in the DOJ doing the right thing. What Acosta did in Florida with Epstein was hardly the right thing to do.

They all need to be locked up.

Eric32 , July 8, 2019 at 13:33

Very little "punishment" will occur, and no deep change cleanup will occur.
The US govt. is controlled by money and blackmail – not "voting" or public outrage.

So many high level people have so much dirt on other high level people that nothing major will be done.
A series of very big events, including the JFK murder and the 9/11 charade went unexposed and undealt with – there is no reason to think that this medium size event will wind up making a big difference.

What will happen is that US "democracy" will continue on its downward course, but maybe with a better facade.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 20:59

I personally believe that the empire will crash when it hits maximum overreach it will also simultaneously go broke at the same time, as the money interests at that point Will probably move east, this will partially be due to both the feds tendency to over inflate in order to cover military acquisitions as well as the decline of swift and the ascendancy of China in the rest. I actually think that this is what some American factions desire, it is potentially good for all of us if we can regain a republic but it will mean the end of American hegemony.

Gary Weglarz , July 8, 2019 at 13:22

This is the same "deep state" that assassinated a sitting president, then proceeded to assassinate the next three most important and influential progressive leaders in the country all over a five year period. Problem solved. And just when you thought Allen Dulles didn't know what to do with all those oh so experienced Nazi war criminals he'd recruited to the CIA.

When Congress investigated the CIA in the mid-1970's (before Congress became completely "owned" by the deep state) right on cue witnesses began to "commit suicide" just before they would be scheduled to testify. Problem solved. Hardly a raised eyebrow from the always complicit MSM through all of this. Expecting anything more than a massive coverup of this latest deep state corruption and abuse is beyond my abilities to even effectively fantasize about.

herbert davis , July 8, 2019 at 14:12

Justice in the USA?

John Drake , July 8, 2019 at 13:20

The corporate Democrats strike out again. They run a corrupt, violent(war monger) candidate, who loses to a buffoon-an election which was hers to lose. Meanwhile trying to hedge their bets they play sleazeball with the investigative arm's authority in order to sabotage said buffoon; which as it is revealed gives ammunition and the advantage to their target. i.e. "They were illegally picking on me"
If Trump is smart-a very long stretch, but some advisor might suggest this- he will expose all this slime closer to the election for maximum effect. What a distressing thought. All the more reason to run a progressive Presidential candidate that can disavow the DNC clowns and their corruption.

geeyp , July 8, 2019 at 12:37

It's past time for the Deep State to come up from the deep state of hell in which they reside. At least to purgatory for some fresh air and a wee ray of light. I couldn't let the Schumer warning keep me from giving the go ahead on this. If my coconut is shattered, someone somewhere (not our current media) would have a clue as to what happened to me. Sic 'em, President Trump and A.G. and Devin Nunes!

Sam F , July 8, 2019 at 12:14

The US needs to solve the underlying problem of corruption of secret agencies and judiciary, otherwise the political wrongdoing of one faction will only be matched by that of its opponents, regardless of a few prosecutions. I know from experience the extreme corruption of the Repubs, and little doubt that the Dems do such things at least when desperate.

The solution includes:
1. All secrets meaningfully shared among multiparty committees;
2. All politicians and top officials monitored for corrupt influence;
3. Entire federal judiciary fired, replaced, and monitored like the politicians; and
4. Amendments to protect elections and mass media from control by money power.
Until then all government acts are tribal gangsterism and little more.

Guy , July 8, 2019 at 13:50

You forgot about dual citizenship members of the senate and congress . Elected as a representative for the country of the US should mean just that and not another country . And while we are at it , major reform on monetary contributions to candidates running for re-election . There is something terribly wrong with needing millions if not billions of dollars to run the electoral races.There is much more that needs to be done but this would be a good start .

Sam F , July 8, 2019 at 17:32

Yes, the proposed Amendments would restrict funding of mass media and elections to registered individual contributions (some prefer government funding) limited to the average day's pay annually (for example), with full reporting by candidates and all intermediaries. We all can see the destruction of democracy that was caused by economic power controlling elections, mass media, the judiciary, etc.

But of course we cannot get those amendments because those tools of democracy now belong to the rich, etc. History suggests that we are in for generations of severe decline before the people are hurting enough to turn off the tube and do something, and generations more before they can re-establish democracy.

Herman , July 8, 2019 at 15:20

Ray McGovern writes:"Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge"

On the matter of government reform classification there is a great need of public discussion and radical reform. Why? Because the government is playing with an essential right, the right to know. All the red herrings needed to be thrown in the trash and the burden placed on the classifiers to justify why the public does not have a right to know.

Sam F , July 8, 2019 at 17:24

Yes, the facts and their significance (especially about false flags and scandals) need to be publicly debated, as well as policy goals, and the policies derived from facts and goals. We have far too many government secrets to sustain a democracy.

I suggest limiting secrets to ongoing investigations (with a time limit), defensive military plans and operations (not alleged provocations or aggressive war schemes), and personal IDs of those at risk. Beyond that secrets disguise tyranny.

Ida G Millman , July 8, 2019 at 16:02

Another path towards a solution to government corruption could be term limits for all federal representatives. Limiting the number of terms would curtail the opportunities for forming the uninterrupted years of long coalitions between public servants and government officials that result in the abuses of power that have damaged the interests of ordinary less wealthy citizens, in favor of corporate and military interests.

In the matter of the original intentions of the men who wrote our founding documents, we should consider one of the enormous differences that technology has made between us: that our representatives can travel between DC and their homes with enough ease that they can continue reasonably, or nearly reasonably, satisfactory family lives – something that could not be done in the 18th century. The forefathers did not foresee that being a member of government would become a career for a lifetime. They assumed, I believe, that members of government would always be citizens who would give our country a few years of their lives and then return to private life to share their experience and knowledge with their neighbors.

Such a change would not magically reform government corruption. There will always be those who will find a way – but it could slow things down and it would certainly engage an increasing number of citizens who would participate in governing, as well as the circles of people surrounding each of them whose interest in and understanding of government would increase because everyone would know more of their representatives. Got that, kids? L&B&L

Sam F , July 8, 2019 at 17:37

Term limits are useful and we should enact more. There seems to be a sufficient supply of puppets for the rich/WallSt/Mic/zionists to ensure that all new candidates represent only those interests, unless we go further and control funding of mass media and elections, monitoring of politicians and judges for life, etc.

Rob Roy , July 8, 2019 at 20:28

Ida,
Term limits wouldn't be necessary if money were out of elections and all elections were publicly funded. Next, a law should be passed to prevent retired congress people from lobbying for any private company of any kind. Then people wouldn't have to spend all their time in congress lining up money for the next election, nor would they owe favors to anyone.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 21:19

Sam F, all of those goals seem very nice but it would probably be better if we just dissolved back into 50 states save for an interstate system and a very small navy for common defense, maybe four nuclear submarines total, the American people will be best off without a government completely working it out for themselves, if some of them work it out in completely different ways without hurting each other so be it. Besides even a libertarians would have to acknowledge democracy best works for smaller populations. We may never be able to curb the will to power of evil men but we can diminish their abilities to fleece the public if we are not subject to them.

Jay , July 8, 2019 at 11:42

Peter King?

Really now.

Not a credible source, no matter how invention filled Russia-gate is. And no matter how clear it is that in 2016 the FBI was poking around campaign Trump and likely telling the White House what it found.

Bif Webster , July 8, 2019 at 13:28

I agree that King isn't the best of messengers, but we can also go to others who are not right-wing to see something fishy went on.

Those text messages convinced me something was going on. And that was before all the other stuff came to light.

I think this will be about who has more dirt on the other side you know, leverage?

Jeff Harrison , July 8, 2019 at 11:41

Thank you, Ray. Forgive my cynicism but the US government is so corrupt, has wielded illegitimate power for so long, and has covered the tracks of countless functionaries who have not upheld the constitution that I doubt this will go anywhere. I have been quoting Ben Franklin for some time "you have a republic, if you can keep it." I don't think we can. A reading of "A History of Venice" by John J. Norris would be appropriate here. The most serene republic lasted for essentially 1,000 years from roughly 800 to not quite 1800, first as a democracy, later as an oligarchy. Much like us, including having the most feared secret service in Europe at the time, Venice kept its power through trade but at least we don't hoist the new president up on a chair so that he can throw golden Ducats to the crowd on Wall Street the way that a new Doge would.

I don't see that as necessarily much of a plus.

Steven Berge , July 8, 2019 at 11:40

I don't suppose anything will happen to anybody important about this. After all, nothing happened to anybody when they were caught mass spying on any and all american citizens, even before they made it legal.

Drew Hunkins , July 8, 2019 at 11:32

Unfortunately Webb and Parry exposed much of these gangster criminal "intel" savages for running guns and drugs to Central American pseudo fascist mercenary sadists throughout much of the late 1970s through the '80s. I say unfortunately b/c nothing much ever came along by way of true justice, by way of the criminal players rotting in maximum security jail cells for years on end, not unlike the crack or heroin addict who steals a $400 television.

Jill , July 8, 2019 at 11:15

This has been one long crime against the American people. King should read what he knows into the Congressional Record. I have no sympathy for Trump's fear of the deep state. He has sent people to die knowing full well that his actions were based on lies, lies that would result in the deaths of civilians as well as our own military. If he is going to do that, then he should have the courage to face the deep state. That's partial penance for all the deaths he has caused.

I also don't care about Trump's personal issue about being surveilled. He personally supports that against everyone else. That is why I feel this is a crime against our people as a whole. Our constitution has been stripped bare. We don't have the rule of law. Mass surveillance covering the globe is current reality. It is dangerous. It is wrong. It is lawless. It is a disaster.

Further, Russiagate was used to keep real opposition away from Trump. His supporters doubled down on "liking" Trump because he appeared to be a victim of these lies. Democrats meanwhile learned to further worship the IC. They ignored Trump's actual unlawful behavior, and, in the case of war crimes, still support Trump on every war/regime change action etc. recommended to them by their IC "resistance" "leaders".

People won't speak to one another because of this division, all based on lies. Democrats want Assange put to death because he exposed truthful information about Clinton. Neighbor has turned against neighbor over this. We have stopped talking and stopped thinking about whether claims make sense or have evidence behind them. Political parties have become cults with cult leaders. Meanwhile, many who think it was wrong to use surveillance against Trump, accept mass surveillance against everyone else, including themselves.

This has been one of the most effective propaganda tools I have ever seen against our populace. It has created a divided, unthinking populace who is ripe for the picking by evil men and women. I am truly hoping that once this is exposed people will stop this madness and pull together for a common good. But I'm quite worried that, like most cults, when the leader is shown to be wrong, people cling to them even more.

I cannot believe what Russiagate has done to our own people. I am terrified at the wars it has/may yet cause and the cruelty against others, both foreign and domestic, which it has wrought.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 21:51

What else would you call it, there have always been nefarious agents in one government or another for one gangster interest or another, whether was Milner's roundtable or Dulles's Gladio werewolves, these are nefarious individuals there is no gray area in that, however they may conduct themselves and their personal lives, it is not sloppy journalism, is to call something what it is, a this shadow government working in many instances against the direct interest of the American people, I'm not trying to be you over the head with this but Mr. McGovern was once upon a Time swimming in the same waters and he knows what he is talking about. The deep state maybe several different factions but all of it at least so far is fairly I'm Accountable, this thing must be named.

AnneR , July 8, 2019 at 14:18

First the Disclaimer: I'm not a supporter of either side of the one party two headed monster political machine, not of either HRC or DT, both, and their "parties," making me want to puke.

I am curious about the following: "He [DT] has sent people to die knowing full well that his actions were based on lies, lies that would result in the deaths of civilians as well as our own military. If he is going to do that, then he should have the courage to face the deep state. That's partial penance for all the deaths he has caused."

While I have no doubt that DT has been responsible for civilian deaths (I am far less concerned about military deaths – join the military and you cannot expect not to have to chance it, particularly in a warmongering nation state; if the recruit doesn't recognize this reality, then they need to do some reading), *most* such deaths in those countries we (the US and its vassal states and proxies) have been happily bombing, shelling, destroying one way or another, even since the late 1980s (not therefore including the appalling and illegal warring on Vietnam et al) are down, not to DT, but rather to presidents: BC, GHB, GWB, BO. Pretty evenly divided betwixt the two heads, wouldn't you say?

That's not to excuse DT (and I wouldn't excuse HRC either – think Libya; as bad as MA, if with different forms of warfare; but then they're buddies, like attracting like).

We – the US – need to stop killing other peoples (let's cry for the war-making profiteers), stop destroying other countries (and for our corporate-capitalists who plunder them); need to mind our own "shop" and business. And stop pretending that we're such a wonderful, white-hatted, "good" nation.

Jill , July 8, 2019 at 15:15

AnneR,

We have had war criminal presidents from the legacy parties, period. Barr is a party to war crimes so I share other's doubts that he will do anything about actual justice. He may be in on the current winning side of the IC and they may be purging some enemies at this time. That is the only thing I see Barr being involved in.

Speaking as someone who has done counter-recruitment in schools, I will just give you my experience. Students are tracked from grade school. A file is kept on them with over a thousand data points. These files are taken by recruiters and used to "pitch" the military to young people. I don't know if you were sophisticated at 16. I was a little bit but not much. So here's an example–they told one young woman who had a single mother that if she went in the military she would not be a burden on her mother any longer. They understood the family had few resources and they played on this young woman's "guilt" over being a financial "drain" on her mother. No, recruiters do not tell the truth to those they meet. They lie and they lie very well because they have excellent information to help them tell the correct lies. That girl is dead and I mourn her death.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 22:05

AnneR, you have so much anger, I understand, it is terrible what our nation has done and is continuing to do, it has gone on so long that many of the people currently perpetrating the crimes against foreign populations are themselves of descendents of peoples the US has victimized. It's the propaganda, the United States is one of the most heavily propagandize societies in the world, we make the Soviets look like children. No one wants you to have sympathy for Donald Trump, you do not have to agree or like a person to see that the cartel seeking to damage him is also simultaneously against your interests and they are against your interests whether you're from the left or the right because they do not have an ideology just it will to power.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 22:09

Jill that was an incredibly cogent description of the mess we are currently in, congratulations on such clarity, peace out.

David Otness , July 9, 2019 at 00:18

With you on all that you state, Jill. It's really exposed the U.S. population for what we unfortunately are, if not what we've become. So reminiscent of the darker days of the Cold War. A stark education has just played out to this point. I wonder how many have learned anything at all from it?

[Jul 07, 2019] Provoking World War III with Iran and a U.S. History of false flag operations by J.P. LINSTROTH

Notable quotes:
"... Let us examine U.S. interventionism past more closely. I know of four clear international instances where the United States intervened under dubious circumstances, initiating war. ..."
Jul 07, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

U.S. History of Provocation by J.P. LINSTROTH Facebook Twitter Reddit Email

In the history of the United States and its history of interventionism, the recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman seem to be foreboding and ominous signs of what may come -- an inevitable war with the Islamic Republic of Iran? To many who are watching the region closely, it is still unclear if Iran is behind such attacks. Moreover, and, thankfully, President Donald J. Trump backed away from bombing Iran after the Iranians allegedly and recently shot down a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz.

Even so, the bellicose rhetoric between President Trump (threatening Iran's "obliteration") and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (calling Trump "mentally retarded") have continued. Watching from the sidelines, everyone hopes diplomacy will prevail.

Let us examine U.S. interventionism past more closely. I know of four clear international instances where the United States intervened under dubious circumstances, initiating war.

The first happened just before the beginning of the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). President James K. Polk sent American troops to the Rio Grande River under the command of Zachary Taylor. The Mexicans had believed that the border had been at the Nueces River, not the Rio Grande, the Nueces being significantly north of the Rio Grande. This move was provocative and incited Mexican forces to attack the U.S. Army at its fortifications on the Rio Grande in 1846. As the attacks on U.S. soldiers were reported by Taylor to Polk, the U.S. Congress promptly declared war on Mexico.

Yet, in understanding these incidents, we have to likewise understand the motivations of the historical actors. Polk strongly believed in the Manifest Destiny of the United States to conquer the territories west of the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Indeed, Polk initially sent U.S. Congressman John Slidell as U.S. envoy to Mexico to negotiate buying the territories of California and New Mexico from Mexico for about $30 million. (The California and New Mexico territories included present-day California and New Mexico plus Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and parts of Colorado.) But Mexican legislators balked at the offer and Mexican newspapers printed the offer as an insult to Mexican pride. The rejected buy simply became war of territorial conquest.

At the end of the 19thcentury was the Spanish-American War of 1898, when the United States made its debut as an imperialistic world power, seeking its own colonies despite rejecting empire with the American Revolution. Congress declared war on Spain after the U.S.S. Maine was blown up in Havana Harbor. With no evidence, the U.S. blamed Spain and the war was on -- not just for Cuba, but for other Spanish colonies, and the U.S. thus acquired Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico.

However, in all likelihood, the ship exploded because of an accident, possibly, a spark from the furnace setting off munitions nearby. Or, a mine in Havana Harbor planted by Cuban rebels detonated the hull of the vessel. In total, 261 sailors lost their lives from the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine. Yet, the causes of the war had more to do with the sensationalism of newspapers at the time owned by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, called "Yellow Journalism" -- what we call today, "fake news." Hearst and Pulitzer newspapers were publishing stories about Spanish atrocities in Cuba. Moreover, there was the supposed "de Lôme letter" allegedly a critical letter of President William McKinley, written by the Spanish Foreign Minister Enrique Dupuy de Lôme. All of these events "justified" war with Spain.

There was also the "Gulf of Tonkin incident" which began and escalated the Vietnam War under President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. The incident was allegedly a series of attacks by Northern Vietnamese naval torpedo vessels on American ships in the Gulf of Tonkin, especially involving a destroyer, the U.S.S. Maddox. These skirmishes were said to have occurred on August 2 and August 4, 1964, with the second clash now believed to be entirely imaginary. The falsity of the Gulf of Tonkin incidents was allegedly substantiated by former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and the former Vietnam People's Army General Võ Nguyên Giáp. The Gulf of Tonkin skirmishes with the U.S. Navy and the Northern Vietnamese Navy led to the U.S. Congress passing the "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution." It gave President Johnson: " all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression."

And lastly, there is the Iraq War (2003-2011). The United States invaded Iraq on the false pretext that Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein, was actively developing a program for obtaining alleged WMDs. The United Nations Security Council had earlier passed two resolutions (678 and 687) which allowed the United States to force Iraq into complying with its international agreements, concerning biochemical and nuclear disarmament; both the UN head of inspections and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iraq had no more weapons of mass destruction, yet the U.S. invaded. What is more, the intelligence community tried linking the Hussein government with Al-Qaeda, patently false. As a result of the George W. Bush Administration's War in Iraq, there were nearly 4,500 U.S. soldier deaths and almost 32,000 U.S. soldiers wounded in action.

So, this brings us to today with our military escalation with Iran under the Donald J. Trump Administration. Currently, we have deployed an aircraft carrier to the Arabian Sea as well as sending a Patriot missile defense system and four B-52 bombers to the region along with ordering the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad with the exception of essential personnel. According to Middle East expert Ilan Goldenberg Iran does not want a war with the United States. The question is whether we are forcing the situation, or unnecessarily exaggerating the threats from Iran. Certainly, it may depend upon how much National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo advocate for war. As Goldenberg states: "The bad news is that a war could still happen. Even if neither side wants to fight, miscalculation, missed signals, and the logic of escalation could conspire to turn even a minor clash into a regional conflagration -- with devastating effects for Iran, the United States, and the Middle East."

My worry, along with many other observers, is that such a conflict may snowball into a worse conflagration bringing in other international actors, maybe Russia. Neither the attack on these oil tankers nor the alleged shoot-down of an unmanned US drone so far has not led to any Gulf of Tonkin resolution. However, if another incident occurred causing Americans casualties and Iran was the claimed culprit, then the situation may get out of control.

For now, we can only hope from a distance that cooler heads in Washington, D.C. will prevail. We can certainly listen to diplomatic efforts of the likes of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Iran does not want war with the United States and its coalition partners. We can examine the U.S. history of interventionism and learn from our past military mistakes.

If you are concerned about this pattern of provoking war by making claims that cannot be proven, please participate in your democracy:

Here is a petition against this possible war that you can sign online: https://www.change.org/p/stop-war-with-iran

Write a quick note to your US Senators: https://www.senate.gov/senators/How_to_correspond_senators.htm

Send your thoughts to your member of Congress: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

[Jul 06, 2019] Many critics will blame Putin for betraying Assad, but I think he is merely showing that he is a master negotiator who recognizes the importance of 'good' relations with Turkey, and knows he will not get everything he wants in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Buying S400 and losing F35 is a win win. ..."
"... Trump administration currently sees Turkey is essentially as a lever in relation to Iran. He suspects Erdo & Trump have a deal since the G20 whereby S-400 sanctions may be held in abeyance, in return for Turkey's acquiescence to, or even assistance with the maximum pressure campaign. ..."
"... Erdogan is still in the regime-changers' sights, under siege in all areas and consequently in a very weak position. I think those forecasting a full-scale defection into Russia's orbit misunderstand the realities of the maximum pressure campaign on Turkey itself and much further it can be pushed if need be. IMO it is more likely NATO will eventually welcome the reluctant black sheep back into the fold. ..."
"... Turkey is going to get their $4.3 billion dollars back at about the same time that Iran gets all of its money back, and Venezuela gets its gold back from the Bank of England - that is to say, never. As soon as Turkey asks for its money back, the US govt will impose sanctions on Turkey and that will be that. ..."
"... Any energy corridor that goes from the Persian Gulf to Europe has to pass through Turkey and also has to pass through either Syria or Iraq. The fact that Syria and Iraq are now effectively in Russia's sphere of influence makes a Turkish-Russian alliance make all the more sense. ..."
"... Reports from several months ago indicate the S-400 was cheaper than the Patriot, more mobile, and Russia was willing to share the technology and the US wasn't. Could be the S-400 being a better deal value factored in there somewhere. Putin? He's a businessman too. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

plantman , 06 July 2019 at 11:30 AM

What is most interesting to me, is that the Russian air force is actually pounding Turkey's militant allies on the ground in Idlib, but both men (Erdogan and Putin) are still strengthening their ties thru Turkstream, Russian tourism and building of a nuclear power plant. Diplomacy seems to have surpassed conditions on the ground in Syria.

Also, Iran's leaders feel slightly betrayed by Putin's deference to Erdogan. They must believe (as I do) that Putin has agreed to allow Turkey to occupy parts of Syria following the war.

Turkey has been very consistent on this issue from the very beginning...and it has plans to resettle parts of N Syria with the nearly 3 million refugees it is housing in S Turkey.

Many critics will blame Putin for betraying Assad, but I think he is merely showing that he is a master negotiator who recognizes the importance of 'good' relations with Turkey, and knows he will not get everything he wants in Syria. Compromise with Turkey opens up a path to ending the war and for pressuring US-Turkey relations which continue to worsen as Washington continues to support a de facto Kurdistan in E Syria.

Sbin , 06 July 2019 at 12:50 PM

Buying S400 and losing F35 is a win win.

Letting a committee design an aicraft instead of aerospace engineers is a bad idea. Pentagon should cut their loss much like with the Zumwalt program.

Barbara Ann , 06 July 2019 at 12:50 PM

M K Bhadrakumar is a great source for following the frenetic pace of developments in Eurasian geopolitics and he covered this very topic yesterday (see link).

His view of where the Trump administration currently sees Turkey is essentially as a lever in relation to Iran. He suspects Erdo & Trump have a deal since the G20 whereby S-400 sanctions may be held in abeyance, in return for Turkey's acquiescence to, or even assistance with the maximum pressure campaign.

Whilst S-400 delivery is contrary to US/NATO wishes/policy, it makes sense to me that it gets treated as a second order issue in this context. Turkey also wants Iran out of Syria, but if pushed even further into a corner Turkey could make life difficult for the US on Iran and therefore even potentially endanger Trump's re-election chances.

Erdogan is still in the regime-changers' sights, under siege in all areas and consequently in a very weak position. I think those forecasting a full-scale defection into Russia's orbit misunderstand the realities of the maximum pressure campaign on Turkey itself and much further it can be pushed if need be. IMO it is more likely NATO will eventually welcome the reluctant black sheep back into the fold.

The slippery Sultan has pushed it to the limit, but the anti-Iran coalition now needs him - at least in the short term. My guess is he gets to keep his shiny new AD system.

Where Turkey chooses to put it is a very interesting question; facing its ancient enemy in the West, or perhaps sited to cover the Cyprus EEZ and its oil?

https://indianpunchline.com/trump-outflanks-iran-to-the-west-and-east/

JJackson , 06 July 2019 at 12:53 PM

Re. 2 and possibly 5.

Does anyone understand the F35 deal between the participating partner nations.
Wikipedia say Turkey is a level 3 partner which cost it $4.3 billion and that sales are handled via the Pentagon.

Who decides if a partner in the project can be denied the right to buy their product? What I did not see is what F35 components were produced in Turkey and if they stopped exports what redundancy their was in the system.

Can Turkey say fine I will take my $4.3 billion back as the Russians and Chinese have both made me very attractive offers?

JamesT -> JJackson... , 06 July 2019 at 05:03 PM

Turkey is going to get their $4.3 billion dollars back at about the same time that Iran gets all of its money back, and Venezuela gets its gold back from the Bank of England - that is to say, never. As soon as Turkey asks for its money back, the US govt will impose sanctions on Turkey and that will be that.

Eugene Owens , 06 July 2019 at 01:14 PM

Regarding #1 and #2: S-400 is already in Algeria. And it will be in India by next year.

Reuters claims that Trump's good buddy King Salman signed a deal with Russia to buy S-400s.

Reuters also reported that Qatar was considering an S-400 purchase. So why is Pom-Pom only jumping on Turkey's back and not castigating the Saudis, Qataris, Algeriens, and Indians about the S-400? Keeping F-35 stealth capability from snooping by S-400s is the stated reason we don't want Turkey to have the S-400.

But when carrier based F35s are flying in the eastern Med, that stealth capability could be snooped on by the Algerien systems (or by Russian "field service reps" in Algeria with those systems). Ditto for the F35s in Italy. Could Israeli F35 stealth already be jeopardized by Russian system at Khmeimim AB in Syria?

#3 Idiots. But they are being used by Trump. He puts them up to it, so that he can pull back at the last minute and be Mr World Peace.

#4: State owned Rossiya TV lampooned Trump's Fourth of July celebration. Called it фигня (pronounced as 'fignya' and translates as bullshit). They mocked the tanks on display, said "the paint on these vehicles is peeling off. They have no cannons, and the optics were pasted on with adhesive tape" . Host Yevgeny Popov called the President "our Donald Trump" . Co-host Olga Skabeeva calls the parade "Putin's America" .

#5: See #3

#6 & 7: I was hoping #6 would stall #7, but I have serious doubts.

JamesT -> Eugene Owens... , 06 July 2019 at 04:44 PM

Eugene,

Is the S-400 in Algeria already? I have found reports that it was scheduled to be delivered in 2015 - but I can't find any reports on it actually being delivered. I don't think the Russians would have sold it to anyone other than Belarus and China until they had the S-500 ready to go.

Eugene Owens -> JamesT ... , 06 July 2019 at 09:48 PM

James -

Wiki says yes but their references to it are speculative.

Besides those there is a Business Insider article, German Edition, which claims Algeria has the S-400. It was dated last November.

Plus there is a report on Sputnik re S-400 in Algeria. But that is based on a MENAdefense.net article, which has photos (irrefutable they claim??) of several S-400 launchers in Algeria. Plus BAZ-64022 truck-tractors which are used with the S-400 and NOT the S-300. So maybe they do and are trying to hide the fact in order to avoid sanctions? Or maybe they have upgraded their S-300 PMU-2s to the PMU-3, which is a close match to the S-400. Or perhaps it is all propaganda?

Walrus , 06 July 2019 at 01:33 PM

Regarding the F35 and the S400, the obvious thing to do is to let them have both and swap information. We get S400 info and Russia gets F35 data.......except erdo will try and screw both of us.

The Twisted Genius , 06 July 2019 at 03:58 PM

I believe Putin's goal is to transform Turkey from a NATO state into an integral part of Russia's near abroad to eventually secure a guaranteed access to the Mediterranean and beyond and have a reliable buffer between Russia and Middle East. It's ensuring peace of mind, not rebuilding an empire.

JamesT -> The Twisted Genius ... , 06 July 2019 at 04:58 PM

TTG,

I think Putin's goal is more about forming a partnership with Turkey to build an energy corridor through Turkey to Europe. Control of this corridor, or at least membership in the alliance that controls this corridor, is a big deal from a geopolitical standpoint.

Thus Russia and Turkey can form something along the lines of an "OPEC on steroids" - Turkey can control who gets to pipe hydrocarbons to Europe and Russia can provide protection to those who wish to join their alliance (as they have already done for Syria).

Any energy corridor that goes from the Persian Gulf to Europe has to pass through Turkey and also has to pass through either Syria or Iraq. The fact that Syria and Iraq are now effectively in Russia's sphere of influence makes a Turkish-Russian alliance make all the more sense.

What Turkey has to gain from such an arrangement is not only transit fees for the hydrocarbons, but also a chance to develop their economy - if Turkey is at the head of the line for receipt of hydrocarbons to Europe, they are at the head of the line for building industry and businesses which use those hydrocarbons as inputs (eg refineries, plastics, aluminum, chemical production).

CK -> The Twisted Genius ... , 06 July 2019 at 05:09 PM

Access to the Med is already guaranteed by treaty just as is access to the Black Sea. Access beyond the Med is controlled at the Suez and the pillars of Hercules.

Eugene Owens -> CK... , 06 July 2019 at 10:01 PM

CK -

Guaranteed during peacetime. During any hostilities you can throw that treaty out the window.

Which is why TTG is correct that Putin's goal is to get Turkey out of NATO. And he may doublecross Assad by blessing Turkey's permanent occupation (or annexation) of those four districts of northern Aleppo Province (i.e. Afrin, Azaz, al-Bab, & Jarabulus). As payment for getting out of NATO.

Lars , 06 July 2019 at 05:52 PM

Until you fix the problem with, according to a poll, 56% of American parents not wanting Arabic numerals taught to their children. I suspect that an equal number would not be able to find any of the mentioned places on a map.

Where those with crystal balls find certainty, I find something much less. We do know that containment polices can work very well, but any involvement in the world's longest contested area is not worth the cost, nor the risk. The US has already spent a fortune, with very little to show for it.

Maybe it is all about learning?

Mark Logan , 06 July 2019 at 05:52 PM

Reports from several months ago indicate the S-400 was cheaper than the Patriot, more mobile, and Russia was willing to share the technology and the US wasn't. Could be the S-400 being a better deal value factored in there somewhere. Putin? He's a businessman too.

Yosemite Sam Bolton is probably being told to go out there and do his thing, and suffering from whip-lash when Trump yanks the carpet out from under them without apology. The poor dear must be like...

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

[Jul 06, 2019] US is a Classic Empire and Is Becoming a Repressive Police State at Home by DAVE LINDORFF

Notable quotes:
"... The US today is a global empire. Our country's military, ballooning to some 2.1 million in uniform at a time that there is really no significant war underway. US military spending, greater in constant dollars than at any time since WWII, represents 34% of all global military spending, and the US military budget, depending on how one counts it, is larger than the next largest eight-to-ten countries' military budgets combined. ..."
"... And remember -- US empire and militarism is and has always been supported by both political parties. ..."
"... only 32% of Americans say they are "proud" (forget "extremely proud"!) of America's vaunted political system. In a close second for popular disgust, only 37% said they are "proud" of the US health care system. ..."
"... In my view, my country has become the world's leading "rogue" nation, dismissive of all international laws and codes of conduct, actively attacking many countries on its own authority, without the support of UN Security Council resolutions, exonerating war crimes committed by its soldiers, and committed to the first use of nuclear weapons, both as a first strike against major power rivals like Russia and China, and against non-nuclear nations like Iran, and equally dismissive of all efforts, large and small, to respond to the crisis of catastrophic global heating. ..."
Jul 05, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

... ... ...

The US today is a global empire. Our country's military, ballooning to some 2.1 million in uniform at a time that there is really no significant war underway. US military spending, greater in constant dollars than at any time since WWII, represents 34% of all global military spending, and the US military budget, depending on how one counts it, is larger than the next largest eight-to-ten countries' military budgets combined.

To show how ridiculously huge the US military is, consider that at $220 billion for fiscal year 2020, the US budget for Veterans Affairs alone (that's the agency that provides assistance of all kinds, including medical, to those who served in the military, not counting career soldiers who receive a pension that is counted separately) this one military budget line item is larger than the entire military budget of China, and is more than three times as large as the entire military budget of Russia, considered by many to be our primary "adversary"!

And remember -- US empire and militarism is and has always been supported by both political parties.

... ... ...

I read that a recent Gallup Organization poll shows a significant drop in the percentage of US Americans who are "extremely proud" of their country. True, 45% still say they are "proud" of America, but normally that is how many say they are "extremely proud" to be Americans. That's a significant fall-off. Even among normally super-patriotic Republicans the percentage of those saying they are "extremely proud" this July 4 of this country was down to 76%, a 10% drop from 2003, and close to the 68% low point reached at one point during the Obama administration.

The main cause of the loss of patriotic ardor appears to be dismay or disgust with the US political system. According to the poll, only 32% of Americans say they are "proud" (forget "extremely proud"!) of America's vaunted political system. In a close second for popular disgust, only 37% said they are "proud" of the US health care system.

So I guess I'm in pretty good company. I won't be oohing and aaahing at the local fireworks display this year. It's basically a glorification of US war-making anyhow, and there's nothing at all to be proud of in that regard, particularly with the US in the midst of a $1.5-trillion upgrade of its nuclear arsenal, threatening war with Iran, pulling out of a Reagan-era treaty banning intermediate-range nuclear missiles, and embarking in a new arms race both in space and in virtually unstoppable hypersonic cruise missiles.

In my view, my country has become the world's leading "rogue" nation, dismissive of all international laws and codes of conduct, actively attacking many countries on its own authority, without the support of UN Security Council resolutions, exonerating war crimes committed by its soldiers, and committed to the first use of nuclear weapons, both as a first strike against major power rivals like Russia and China, and against non-nuclear nations like Iran, and equally dismissive of all efforts, large and small, to respond to the crisis of catastrophic global heating. [

At home, the US legal system has become a supine supporter of virtually unlimited executive power, of unchecked police power, and of repressive actions against the supposedly constitutionally protected free press.

It's tempting to hope that the decline noted by Gallup in the percent of Americans expressing "extreme pride" and even of "pride" in the US, but support for the US among the country's citizens still remains shamefully high in the face of all these negatives.

Anyhow, count me among those who won't be celebrating today's July 4 national holiday.

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: DAVE LINDORFF

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening! , an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Jul 06, 2019] Peace though procurement malpractice

Notable quotes:
"... The current batch of military hardware is so much garbage that when the President wants to use the "superb" pieces of crap (F35 and the new boats are prime examples) a general will have to become the sacrificial lamb and give the president the news that this stuff is for show only. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

cnchal, July 5, 2019 at 5:38 am

Peace though procurement malpractice. The current batch of military hardware is so much garbage that when the President wants to use the "superb" pieces of crap (F35 and the new boats are prime examples) a general will have to become the sacrificial lamb and give the president the news that this stuff is for show only.

[Jul 04, 2019] The armed forces are just a bunch of heavily entrenched welfare recipients who get uniforms, guns, bombs etc. , and are always angling for more money

Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

onebornfree says: Website July 2, 2019 at 3:49 pm GMT 100 Words @Your connection is not secure

Your connection is not secure says: "Wake up people. The military works for the evil masters. They don't really want war of course, they want peace – particularly between your ears."

It's all about welfare- welfare specifically for the military industrial complex , that is.

The armed forces are just a bunch of heavily entrenched welfare recipients who get uniforms, guns, bombs etc. , and are always angling for more money so that they to get more uniforms, guns, bombs etc., to be happily provided by the "private" inc. sycophants, otherwise collectively known as "weapons manufacturers".

Welfare/warfare, don't you just love it?

Regards, onebornfree

Pancho Perico , says: July 2, 2019 at 4:12 pm GMT

Council on Foreign Relations Tulsi Gabbard U.S. President? You have to be very gullible, to say the least, to believe that she is going to end America's endless wars.

Jacques Sheete , says: July 2, 2019 at 4:12 pm GMT
@Realist

Yes, indeed. The Deep State will only be beaten by force.

I vote for rotting from within. Not as dramatic as force, but more effective and long lasting. I'll enjoy the show when they start, Cronus-like, knocking one another off though.

[Jul 04, 2019] Bush Sr. and his CIA drug dealing

Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

J. Gutierrez says: July 2, 2019 at 9:36 pm GMT 500 Words @Harold Smith

With all due respect Mr. Smith things have really gone down hill after Bush Sr. I'm talking about direct attacks on the rights of American citizens. Bush Sr. (R) with his CIA drug dealing with the help of Noriega. He purchased weapons with the proceeds to arm terrorist guerrilla groups in Nicaragua. Bill Clinton (D) helped Bush Sr. as governor of Arkansas by covering up any investigation targeting the operation and laundering their money through a state owned bank. Bush Jr. (R) secured lands in Afghanistan in order to restart athe heroine trade by growing poppy fields to process and ship back to the US. Obama (R) made sure the Mexican drug cartels were well armed in order to launch a drug war that supported the Merida Initiative, which allowed armed DEA, CIA and Mercenaries into Mexican territory. Trump (R) will be the clean up hitter that will usher in the dollar collapse.

Mr. Smith do you really believe it is a coincidence that Rep 8 yrs, Dem 8yrs, Rep 8yrs, Dem 8yrs, Rep 3 yrs are voted in? Please sir, don't fool yourself because in the next election I will bet money the orange fool will be president for another 4 years unless the owners don't want him there. But we can safely say that history tells us he will. All I'm saying that people like you, waiting for someone to throw you a rope because you've fallen into deep water are waiting on a rescue boat that doesn't care if you drown.

Your best bet for change was thrown away when Dr. Ron Paul failed to be nominated. Us dumb asses in Mexico didn't need another election fraud this time around! The people started YouTube channels that reported the "real" news (Chapucero – Quesadillas de Verdades – Charro Politico – Sin Censura, etc.). Those channels made a big difference, countering the negative reporting by Mexican and US MSM that the Presidential Candidate for MORENA as "Leftist", "Communist", "Socialist", "Like Hugo Chavez", "Dangerous", etc.

With all of the US propaganda, Mexican propaganda, the negative MSM and Elite financing, Mexicans knew they had to get out and vote in record numbers and they did! Otherwise a close election was seen as another loss and the end of Mexico as a country. People were ready to fight and die if necessary. They had seen the Energy Reforms forced down our throat by the corrupt PRI/PAN parties (Mex version o DEM/REP), with the help of Hillary Clinton and the US State Department. They drafting the changes needed to the Mexican Constitution to allow a vote. Totally against the Law in Mexico and I'm sure the laws of the US.

There is a saying that goes something like, "If you're not ready to die for Freedom, take it out of your Vocabulary"!

We were!!!

[Jul 04, 2019] any and all individuals who conspired to defraud the United States into illegal war of aggression should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law

Wars are necessary for the maintaining and expanding the US controlled neoliberal empire. Wars is the health of military industrial complex.
The Deep State will bury any candidate who will try to change the USA forign policy. Looks what happened to Trump. He got Russiagate just for vey modest proposal of detente with Russia (of course not only for that, but still...)
Notable quotes:
"... The first is "The War Fraud Accountability Act of 2020″ Retroactive to 2002, it states that any and all individuals who conspired to defraud the United States into illegal war of aggression should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Moreover, any and all assets owned by these individuals shall be made forfeit . to pay down the cost of the wars they lied us into. ..."
Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

alexander says: July 2, 2019 at 8:57 pm GMT 400 Words

Those are interesting proposals but wishful thinking: wars are necessary for Electing Tulsi Gabbard as our next Commander in Chief will not solve our biggest problems alone.

Her candidacy, I believe , must be augmented by two new laws which should be demanded by the taxpayer and enforced by her administration on "day one".

The first is "The War Fraud Accountability Act of 2020″ Retroactive to 2002, it states that any and all individuals who conspired to defraud the United States into illegal war of aggression should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Moreover, any and all assets owned by these individuals shall be made forfeit . to pay down the cost of the wars they lied us into.

If they lied us into war .they pay for it NOT the US taxpayer.

The second is " The Terror Fraud Accountability Act of 2020″ also retroactive to 2001, it states that any and all individuals found to have engaged in plotting, planning, or staging "false terror events" will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Moreover, any and all of the assets owned by these individuals shall be made forfeit to pay down the cost of our War on Terror.

Americans should not have to sacrifice one cent of their tax dollars to pay for their own defrauding by "staged" or "phony" terror events.

I believe that were Tulsi to be elected, she should set up two new task forces designed especially for these reasons, Try to think of them as the " Office of Special Plans" IN REVERSO.!.

Moreover she should hold weekly press briefings to notify the taxpayer of her progress, and also how much of our 23 trillion in losses , FROM THEIR LIES, she has been able to recoup.

Getting these two initiatives up and running is the most potent force the taxpayers have in cleaning out the fraud and larceny in DC, .ending our illegal wars overseas .. and (finally)holding our "establishment elite " accountable for "LYING US INTO THEM"

It is way overdue for the American Taxpayer to take back control of our government from those who ALMOST BANKRUPTED OUR ENTIRE NATION BY LYING US INTO ILLEGAL WARS.

It is not enough any more just to complain or "kvetch" about our problems .put on your thinking caps .and start coming up with solutions and initiatives .start fighting for your freedom, your finances and your future.

Elect the leaders YOU WANT and tell them exactly what you want them to do!

Tulsi has promised us all "SERVICE OVER SELF"

There you go !

I say that means not only ENDING our ILLEGAL, CRIMINAL WARS .but GETTING AS MUCH OF OUR MONEY BACK from those who lied us into them !

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR WAR FRAUD it is $23,000,000,000,000.00. in "heinous debt" .overdue!

OORAH !

[Jul 04, 2019] The role of having world reserve currency in the unleashing the USA militarism

Jul 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

J. Gutierrez, July 2, 2019 at 5:49 pm GMT 600 Words @Commentator Mike

Hey Mike,

There is an article on here by Michael Hudson, an economist who wrote about U.S. control of the World Bank and IMF since 1948. He claims that the U.S. wages war because it gets other countries to unwittingly finance them and the trade deficit. After WWII the U.S. forced European countries to pay their war debt, by selling corporate assets, reducing barriers and reduce their social programs. They had 3/4 of the world gold reserves because of those loans during the war. Korea and Vietnam reduced their gold reserves to 10 billion by the late 60's and were forced to get out off the Gold Standard. The French Banks that had a big presense in Indochina sending their dollars to the French Central Bank and they were trading dollars for gold. Nixon stopped it.

The dollar gave U.S. the means to have other countries finance their trade deficit, all their wars and the military buildup. By ending the Gold backed dollar they forced the countries that had U.S. debt dollars to purchase U.S. Treasury Bonds. As the U.S. debt grew so did the dollars being held by those countries and the purchase of Treasury Bonds. The U.S. does not allow countries holding those dollars to buy US property or buy Corporations and risk being acused of commiting an act of war. So they are forced to buy U.S. debt while the US uses its dollars to buy other countries resources with those worthless dollars.

The U.S. forces countries that default on their loans to pay penalties and huge interest payments while the U.S. debt goes un checked and growing without the threat of being in default...

[Jul 01, 2019] NYT is totally subservant to MIC and intelligence agencies and it shows

Notable quotes:
"... Somehow, I think Kevin's being too generous saying NY Times is moderate when it comes to political views. IMO, reactionary is more appropriate given its editorial stances and what it's championed over its history. ..."
Jul 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 30, 2019 6:33:24 PM | 54

Interesting observation of NY Times attitude after first D-Party debate noted by Kevin Gosztola:

"'Moderates' seems to be the New York Times media company's euphemism for itself. Liberals at the Democratic presidential debate made the Times company 'anxious.'"

Somehow, I think Kevin's being too generous saying NY Times is moderate when it comes to political views. IMO, reactionary is more appropriate given its editorial stances and what it's championed over its history.

[Jun 30, 2019] First Democratic debate Demagogy on social issues, silence on war by Patrick Martin

This is WSWS with their outdated dreams of "working class dictatorship" but some points and observation are very apt and to the point.
Notable quotes:
"... The fraud of a "progressive" Democratic Party and presidential candidate was summed up in the near-universal declaration of the media that Senator Kamala Harris had emerged as the clear winner, part of a coordinated effort to promote her candidacy ..."
"... Harris climbed to the Senate by serving for years in the Bay Area of California as a law-and-order district attorney and state attorney general, defending police killers and bankers engaged in foreclosure fraud, including Trump's current treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin. A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she has been among the most rabid of Democrats in attacking Trump as a stooge of Russian President Putin. In Thursday's debate, her main foray into foreign policy was to denounce Trump for being soft on Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. ..."
"... She is being promoted most enthusiastically by those sections of the ruling class, whose views are promoted by the New York Times ..."
"... The Obama administration also deported more immigrants than any other, a fact that was raised in a question to Vice President Biden, who confined himself to empty declarations of sympathy for the victims of Trump's persecution, while denying any comparison between Trump and Obama. ..."
"... If these ladies and gentlemen decide not to engage on foreign policy, the reason is clear: the Democrats know that the American people are adamantly opposed to new military interventions. They therefore seek to conceal the preparations of American imperialism for major wars, whether regional conflicts with Iran, North Korea or Venezuela, or conflicts with nuclear-armed global rivals like China and Russia. ..."
"... On the first night, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, asked to name the greatest global security threat, replied, "The greatest threat that we face is the fact we are at a greater risk of nuclear war today than ever before in history." This remarkable declaration was passed over in silence by the moderators and the other candidates, and the subject was not raised on the second night at all, including by Bernie Sanders. ..."
Jun 29, 2019 | www.wsws.org

Four hours of nationally televised debates Wednesday and Thursday among 20 Democratic presidential candidates demonstrated the gigantic disconnect between the claims of this pro-war, pro-corporate party to be driven by concerns for the well-being of working people and the reality of poverty and oppression in America, for which the Democratic Party is no less responsible than the Republicans.

The stage-managed spectacle mounted by NBC marked the formal beginning of an electoral process dominated by big money and thoroughly manipulated by the corporate-controlled media.

The attempt to contain the growing left-wing opposition in the working class and channel it behind the second oldest capitalist party in the world necessarily assumed the form of lies and demagogy. For the most part, the vying politicians, all of them in the top 10 percent on the income ladder, made promises to provide healthcare, jobs, decent schools, tuition-free college and a clean environment for all, knowing full well they had no intention of carrying them out.

No one -- neither the millionaire media talking heads asking the questions nor the candidates -- dared to mention the fact that that Democratic Party has just voted to give Trump an additional $4.9 billion to round up, detain and torture hundreds of thousands of immigrants, including children, in the growing network of concentration camps being set up within the US. Facts, as they say, are stubborn things, and this one demonstrates the complicity of the Democratic Party in the fascistic policies of the Trump administration.

The second night of the debate featured the front-runners, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Biden has a long record of reactionary politics, including in the Obama administration. Sanders is continuing in this election his role in 2016 of channeling growing support for socialism into the framework of a right-wing party.

The fraud of a "progressive" Democratic Party and presidential candidate was summed up in the near-universal declaration of the media that Senator Kamala Harris had emerged as the clear winner, part of a coordinated effort to promote her candidacy. The African-American senator was lauded for attacking Biden for statements boasting of his ability in the past to collaborate with segregationist senators and his past opposition to busing for school integration.

It was Harris who adopted the most transparently bogus posture of left-radicalism in Thursday night's debate, repeatedly declaring her agreement with Bernie Sanders and raising her hand, along with Sanders, to support the abolition of private health insurance in favor of a single-payer system. By Friday morning, however, she had reversed that stand, claiming she had "misheard" the question and declaring her support for the continuation of private insurance.

Harris climbed to the Senate by serving for years in the Bay Area of California as a law-and-order district attorney and state attorney general, defending police killers and bankers engaged in foreclosure fraud, including Trump's current treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin. A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she has been among the most rabid of Democrats in attacking Trump as a stooge of Russian President Putin. In Thursday's debate, her main foray into foreign policy was to denounce Trump for being soft on Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

She is being promoted most enthusiastically by those sections of the ruling class, whose views are promoted by the New York Times , who want the Democratic campaign to be dominated by racial and gender politics so as to mobilize the party's wealthy upper-middle class base and divert and divide the mass working class anger over social inequality.

Many of the candidates fondly recalled the Obama administration. But those eight years saw the greatest transfer of wealth from working people to the super-rich in American history. The pace was set by the initial $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, which was expanded to uncounted trillions in the course of 2009, combined with the bailout of the auto companies at the expense of the autoworkers, who suffered massive cuts in benefits and a 50 percent cut in pay for new hires, rubber-stamped by the United Auto Workers.

The Obama administration also deported more immigrants than any other, a fact that was raised in a question to Vice President Biden, who confined himself to empty declarations of sympathy for the victims of Trump's persecution, while denying any comparison between Trump and Obama.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado attacked Biden for claiming credit for a bipartisan budget deal in 2011 with Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell. Far from a genuine compromise, he said, the deal "was a complete victory for the Tea Party. It extended the Bush tax cuts permanently," as well as putting in place major cuts in social spending which continue to this day. Bennet neglected to mention that he had voted for the deal himself when it passed the Senate by a huge majority.

It was remarkable, under conditions where President Trump himself declared that the United States was only 10 minutes away from launching a major assault on Iran earlier this month, that the 20 Democratic candidates spent almost no time discussing foreign policy.

In the course of four hours, there were only a few minutes devoted to the world outside the United States. The silence on the rest of the world cannot be dismissed as mere parochialism.

Many of the Democratic presidential candidates are deeply implicated in either the policy-making or combat operations of US imperialism. The 20 candidates include two who were deployed as military officers to Iraq and Afghanistan, Buttigieg and Tulsi Gabbard; Biden, vice president for eight years and the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and five senators who are members of high-profile national security committees: Harris and Bennet on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand on the Armed Services Committee, and Cory Booker on the Foreign Relations Committee.

If these ladies and gentlemen decide not to engage on foreign policy, the reason is clear: the Democrats know that the American people are adamantly opposed to new military interventions. They therefore seek to conceal the preparations of American imperialism for major wars, whether regional conflicts with Iran, North Korea or Venezuela, or conflicts with nuclear-armed global rivals like China and Russia.

In the handful of comments that were made on foreign policy, the Democratic candidates struck a belligerent note. On Wednesday, four of the ten candidates declared the main global threat to the United States to be China, while New York Mayor Bill de Blasio opted for Russia. Many candidates referred to the need to combat Russian interference in the US election -- recycling the phony claims that Russian "meddling" helped Trump into the White House in 2016.

On the first night, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, asked to name the greatest global security threat, replied, "The greatest threat that we face is the fact we are at a greater risk of nuclear war today than ever before in history." This remarkable declaration was passed over in silence by the moderators and the other candidates, and the subject was not raised on the second night at all, including by Bernie Sanders.

[Jun 30, 2019] Orwell s 1984 No Longer Reads Like Fiction It s The Reality Of Our Times by Robert Bridge

Highly recommended!
1984, Brave New World, and Idiocracy look more and more like Documentaries now.
Notable quotes:
"... Describing the protagonist Winston Smith's frugal London flat, he mentions an instrument called a 'telescreen', which sounds strikingly similar to the handheld 'smartphone' that is enthusiastically used by billions of people around the world today. ..."
"... At the same time, the denizens of 1984 were never allowed to forget they were living in a totalitarian surveillance state, under the control of the much-feared Thought Police. Massive posters with the slogan 'Big Brother is Watching You' were as prevalent as our modern-day advertising billboards. Today, however, such polite warnings about surveillance would seem redundant, as reports of unauthorized spying still gets the occasional lazy nod in the media now and then. ..."
"... In fact, just in time for 1984's anniversary, it has been reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) has once again been illicitly collecting records on telephone calls and text messages placed by US citizens. ..."
"... Another method of control alluded to in 1984 fell under a system of speech known as 'Newspeak', which attempted to reduce the language to 'doublethink', with the ulterior motive of controlling ideas and thoughts. ..."
"... Another Newspeak term, known as 'facecrime', provides yet another striking parallel to our modern situation. Defined as "to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense." It would be difficult for the modern reader to hear the term 'facecrime' and not connect it with 'Facebook', the social media platform that regularly censors content creators for expressing thoughts it finds 'hateful' or inappropriate. ..."
"... 'Hate speech' is precisely one of those delightfully vague, subjective terms with no real meaning that one would expect to find in the Newspeak style guide. Short of threatening the life of a person or persons, individuals should be free to criticize others without fear of reprisal, least of all from the state, which should be in the business of protecting free speech at all cost. ..."
"... Another modern phenomenon that would be right at home in Orwell's Oceania is the obsession with political correctness, which is defined as "the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against." But since so many people today identify with some marginalized group, this has made the intelligent discussion of controversial ideas – not least of all on US college campuses , of all places – exceedingly difficult, if not downright dangerous. Orwell must be looking down on all of this madness with much surprise, since he provided the world with the best possible warning to prevent it. ..."
Jun 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Robert Bridge, op-ed via RT.com,

70 years ago, the British writer George Orwell captured the essence of technology in its ability to shape our destinies in his seminal work, 1984. The tragedy of our times is that we have failed to heed his warning.

No matter how many times I read 1984, the feeling of total helplessness and despair that weaves itself throughout Orwell's masterpiece never fails to take me by surprise. Although usually referred to as a 'dystopian futuristic novel', it is actually a horror story on a scale far greater than anything that has emerged from the minds of prolific writers like Stephen King or Dean Koontz. The reason is simple. The nightmare world that the protagonist Winston Smith inhabits, a place called Oceania, is all too easily imaginable. Man, as opposed to some imaginary clown or demon, is the evil monster.

In the very first pages of the book, Orwell demonstrates an uncanny ability to foresee future trends in technology. Describing the protagonist Winston Smith's frugal London flat, he mentions an instrument called a 'telescreen', which sounds strikingly similar to the handheld 'smartphone' that is enthusiastically used by billions of people around the world today.

Orwell describes the ubiquitous device as an "oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror" affixed to the wall that "could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely." Sound familiar?

It is through this gadget that the rulers of Oceania are able to monitor the actions of its citizens every minute of every day.

At the same time, the denizens of 1984 were never allowed to forget they were living in a totalitarian surveillance state, under the control of the much-feared Thought Police. Massive posters with the slogan 'Big Brother is Watching You' were as prevalent as our modern-day advertising billboards. Today, however, such polite warnings about surveillance would seem redundant, as reports of unauthorized spying still gets the occasional lazy nod in the media now and then.

In fact, just in time for 1984's anniversary, it has been reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) has once again been illicitly collecting records on telephone calls and text messages placed by US citizens. This latest invasion of privacy has been casually dismissed as an "error" after an unnamed telecommunications firm handed over call records the NSA allegedly "hadn't requested" and "weren't approved" by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In 2013, former CIA employee Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA's intrusive surveillance operations, yet somehow the government agency is able to continue – with the help of the corporate sector – vacuuming up the private information of regular citizens.

Another method of control alluded to in 1984 fell under a system of speech known as 'Newspeak', which attempted to reduce the language to 'doublethink', with the ulterior motive of controlling ideas and thoughts. For example, the term 'joycamp', a truncated term every bit as euphemistic as the 'PATRIOT Act', was used to describe a forced labor camp, whereas a 'doubleplusgood duckspeaker' was used to praise an orator who 'quacked' correctly with regards to the political situation.

Another Newspeak term, known as 'facecrime', provides yet another striking parallel to our modern situation. Defined as "to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense." It would be difficult for the modern reader to hear the term 'facecrime' and not connect it with 'Facebook', the social media platform that regularly censors content creators for expressing thoughts it finds 'hateful' or inappropriate. What social media users need is an Orwellian lesson in 'crimestop', which Orwell defined as "the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought." Those so-called unacceptable 'dangerous thoughts' were determined not by the will of the people, of course, but by their rulers.

And yes, it gets worse. Just this week, Mark Zuckerberg's 'private company' agreed to give French authorities the "identification data" of Facebook users suspected of spreading 'hate speech' on the platform, in what would be an unprecedented move on the part of Silicon Valley.

'Hate speech' is precisely one of those delightfully vague, subjective terms with no real meaning that one would expect to find in the Newspeak style guide. Short of threatening the life of a person or persons, individuals should be free to criticize others without fear of reprisal, least of all from the state, which should be in the business of protecting free speech at all cost.

Another modern phenomenon that would be right at home in Orwell's Oceania is the obsession with political correctness, which is defined as "the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against." But since so many people today identify with some marginalized group, this has made the intelligent discussion of controversial ideas – not least of all on US college campuses , of all places – exceedingly difficult, if not downright dangerous. Orwell must be looking down on all of this madness with much surprise, since he provided the world with the best possible warning to prevent it.

For anyone who entertains expectations for a happy ending in 1984, be prepared for serious disappointment (spoiler alert, for the few who have somehow not read this book). Although Winston Smith manages to finally experience love, the brief romance – like a delicate flower that was able to take root amid a field of asphalt – is crushed by the authorities with shocking brutality. Not satisfied with merely destroying the relationship, however, Smith is forced to betray his 'Julia' after undergoing the worst imaginable torture at the 'Ministry of Love'.

The book ends with the words, "He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother." Will we too declare, like Winston Smith, our love for 'Big Brother' above all else, or will we emerge victorious against the forces of a technological tyranny that appears to be just over the horizon? Or is Orwell's 1984 just really good fiction and not the instruction manual for tyrants many have come to fear it is?

An awful lot is riding on our answers to those questions, and time is running out.

[Jun 30, 2019] Eisenhower called it the 'military-industrial complex.' It's vastly bigger now.

Notable quotes:
"... Daniel Wirls is professor of politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz and author of several books, including " Irrational Security: The Politics of Defense from Reagan to Obama " (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010) . https://outline.com/DGG3zD Read & annotate articles ..."
Jun 26, 2019 | Washington Post

When two giant Pentagon contractors -- Raytheon and United Technologies -- proposed to merge into Raytheon Technologies, it hit the headlines. President Trump said he was "a little bit concerned" that the merger would dampen competition in the defense industry. Coincidentally, Congress was at the same time debating the administration's request for substantial increases in military spending -- particularly in weapons procurement and research and development.

We used to call the nexus of private interests and national defense the "military-industrial complex." But that Cold War term no longer fits. "Industrial" does not capture the breadth of the activities involved. And "military" fails to describe the range of government policies and interests implicated. Over the past two decades we've seen transformations that include new government reliance on private security firms, revolutions in digital technology, a post-9/11 surge in the number of veterans, and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). What we have now could be called a "National Security Corporate Complex."

Here are four things you need to know about this transformation.

1. President Dwight Eisenhower coined the term, and it stuck

In the heyday of the Cold War, with corporate giants bending metal for the Pentagon in its titanic competition with the Soviet Union, President Dwight Eisenhower coined the phrase as part of a famous warning about the unprecedented "conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry."

Eisenhower was concerned about the potential influence of industry over government policy and budgets. Since then, analysts and pundits have used the term to suggest that arms manufacturers unduly influence lawmakers in voting on the size and nature of military spending, including decisions about war and peace.

2. 9/11 changed the business of national security

Before September 11, 2001 and the resulting military actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, the Department of Energy (DOE) was the only executive branch department other than the Pentagon with major military contracts. DOE was involved because it built and dismantled nuclear warheads.

We can see how, post-9/11, more agencies got involved in national security contracting. I used federal contracting data to measure the changes from 1981 to 2018.

As you can see, much of the jump in post-9/11 spending comes from the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in late 2002 and early 2003 . Before DHS was created, some of that contracting was already being done by the agencies brought together to form the new department, particularly the Coast Guard. But the scope and amount of DHS contracting increased dramatically -- averaging nearly $14 billion a year from 2005 onward.

But two other departments also expanded their contracting substantially after 9/11. In the 1990s, the State Department had an average of under $700 million in contracts per year in national security related matters. From 2009 onward, that average jumped to $8.4 billion a year.

But the most stunning increases in both overall budgets and contracting came from VA. Few Americans would guess that from 2001 to 2011, VA budget grew faster than the Pentagon's -- 271 percent compared to 240 percent -- even if the Pentagon includes its extra spending for the wars. Part of VA's growth came in contracting. In the 1990s, VA had contracted out under $2.4 billion in work per year in the 1990s. From 2009 onward, VA contracted out nearly $20 billion of work each year.

3. Defense contracting extends far beyond the purchase of weapons

As national security contracting has ramped up across government agencies, we've also seen a change in the focus of these contracts. During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a great deal of media attention focused on contracts with private security firms like Blackwater and logistics firms like Halliburton. Such "privatization" of military force continues, but it is only part of the story.

The government also expanded its outsourcing of military and veterans' health care. Three of the top 15 Pentagon contractors were health care corporations, including two that were in the top five for VA.

National security departments further expanded their contracting in information technology, for tasks ranging from the prosaic, like bookkeeping, to the exotic, including cyberwarfare and artificial intelligence. That work went both to traditional arms-making giants such as Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, and also enterprises such as Booz Allen Hamilton and SAIC that specialize in such work.

[ The Senate and the intelligence community rebuked Trump on national security. Here's why that matters -- a lot. ]

4. A web of bigger contractors with broader reach

As a result of the government's expanded spending on national security, many corporations now have sizable contracts with more than one federal agency. Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics -- and perhaps the new Raytheon Technologies -- have become diversified "Walmarts of war," as some researchers call them, delivering a wide range of goods and services to various parts of the federal government. The Pentagon's top contractor, Lockheed Martin, has been a major contractor for VA and DHS. General Dynamics was fourth among Pentagon contractors, second for DHS, and third for the Department of State.

Large IT specialists also contract across departments. Booz Allen Hamilton, for example, was the government's 14th largest contractor in 2018, ranking 19th for the Pentagon, 7th for VA, and 32nd for DHS. Engineering giant Fluor Corporation was in the top 15 for Defense, DOE, and DHS. Other examples include CACI, Jacobs Engineering, and Leidos Holdings. And of course, several health care companies do business with VA and Pentagon.

What does all this mean?

Some observers argue that the general decline in overall military spending and weapons procurement after the peak of the recent wars -- before the Trump administration increased that spending -- meant the U.S. no longer had to worry about the influence of a military-industrial complex.

But focusing narrowly on weapons procurement misses the bigger picture. Since 9/11, an increasingly diverse array of firms have a significant stake in federal national security spending. Those funds now flow from a large portion of the federal government and into many sectors of the U.S. economy. If anything, Eisenhower's complex has become more complex and potentially influential.

Don't miss anything! Sign up to get TMC's smart analysis in your inbox, three days a week.

Daniel Wirls is professor of politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz and author of several books, including " Irrational Security: The Politics of Defense from Reagan to Obama " (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010) .

https://outline.com/DGG3zD Read & annotate articles

[Jun 30, 2019] What if the entire youth culture of the 1960s was created not as a grass-roots challenge to the status quo, but as a cynical exercise in discrediting and marginalizing the budding anti-war movement

Jun 30, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

The banal, 1967 hit song, "San Francisco" (Be sure to wear flowers in your hair), which was influential in enticing young people to come to San Francisco for the Summer of Love, was written by "Papa" John Philips, who attended the US Naval Academy at Annapolis and whose father was a Marine Corps Captain. "Papa" John's wife had worked at the Pentagon and her father was involved in covert intelligence work in Vietnam. His neighbor and Laurel Canyon (Los Angeles) buddy was Jim Morrison of Doors fame, whose father US Navy Admiral George Morrison commanded U.S. warships in Vietnam's Tonkin Gulf during the "Tonkin Gulf Incident."

Frank Zappa, the father figure of Laurel Canyon's many musicians who just happened to converge in one place at the same time where a covert military film studio operated, had a father who was a chemical warfare specialist at Edgewood Arsenal.

Stephen Stills, David Crosby and many other soon to be famous musicians all came from military and intelligence backgrounds and frolicked in Laurel Canyon. Although they were draft age, none of them was drafted as they played music, dropped acid, and created the folk-rock movement whose music was catchy but innocuous and posed no threat to the establishment. But "shit happens."

In his disturbing book, Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon , David McGowan raises the question: "what if the musicians themselves (and various other leaders and founders of the 'movement') were every bit as much a part of the intelligence community as the people who were supposedly harassing them?

What if, in other words, the entire youth culture of the 1960s was created not as a grass-roots challenge to the status quo, but as a cynical exercise in discrediting and marginalizing the budding anti-war movement and creating a fake opposition that could be easily controlled and led astray . What if, in reality, they were pretty much all playing on the same team?"

[Jun 30, 2019] Aggressive US Lies and Misleads to Justify War on Iran by William Boardman

Notable quotes:
"... The secretary of state delivered this appallingly Orwellian official assessment of the US government within hours of the five explosions on two tankers, well before any credible investigation establishing more than minimal facts could be carried out. As is his habit, Mike Pompeo flatly lied about whatever might be real in the Gulf of Oman, and most American media ran with the lies as if they were or might be true. There is almost no chance that Mike Pompeo and the US government are telling the truth about this event, as widespread domestic and international skepticism attests. ..."
"... Pompeo's official assessment was false even in its staging. For most of his four-minute appearance, Pompeo stood framed by two pictures behind him, each showing a tanker with a fire amidships. This was a deliberate visual lie. The two pictures showed the same tanker, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair , from different angles. The other tanker, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous , did not catch fire and was not shown. ..."
"... Pompeo did not identify the unnamed intelligence entities, if any, within the government who made this assessment. He offered no evidence to support the assessment. He did offer something of an argument that began: ..."
"... He didn't say what intelligence. He didn't say whose intelligence. American intelligence assets and technology are all over the region generating reams of intelligence day in, day out. Then there are the intelligence agencies of the Arab police states bordering the Persian Gulf. They, too, are busy collecting intelligence 24/7, although they are sometimes loath to share. Pompeo didn't mention it, but according to CNN an unnamed US official admitted that the US had a Reaper Drone in the air near the two tankers before they were attacked. He also claimed that Iran had fired a missile at the drone, but missed. As CNN inanely spins it, "it is the first claim that the US has information of Iranian movements prior to the attack." As if the US doesn't have information on Iranian movements all the time . More accurately, this is the first admission that the US had operational weaponry in the area prior to the attack. ..."
"... Pompeo did not name a single weapon used. Early reporting claimed the attackers used torpedoes or mines, a claim that became inoperative as it became clear that all the damage to the tankers was well above the waterline. There is little reason to believe Pompeo had any actual knowledge of what weapons were used, unless one was a Reaper Drone. ..."
"... There are NO confirmed "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," and even if there were, they would prove nothing. Pompeo's embarrassingly irrelevant list that follows includes six examples, only one of which involved a shipping attack ..."
"... Instead of "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," Pompeo offers Iran's decades-old threat to close the Strait of Hormuz (which it's never done), together with three attacks by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia, an unattributed rocket attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad, and an unattributed car bomb in Afghanistan. Seriously, if that's all he's got, he's got nothing. But he's not done with the disinformation exercise: ..."
"... The US is stumbling down a path toward war with no justification ..."
Jun 26, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

It is the assessment of the United States Government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today. This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.

This is only the latest in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests, and they should be understood in the context of 40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations.

-- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcement , June 13, 2013

The secretary of state delivered this appallingly Orwellian official assessment of the US government within hours of the five explosions on two tankers, well before any credible investigation establishing more than minimal facts could be carried out. As is his habit, Mike Pompeo flatly lied about whatever might be real in the Gulf of Oman, and most American media ran with the lies as if they were or might be true. There is almost no chance that Mike Pompeo and the US government are telling the truth about this event, as widespread domestic and international skepticism attests.

Pompeo's official assessment was false even in its staging. For most of his four-minute appearance, Pompeo stood framed by two pictures behind him, each showing a tanker with a fire amidships. This was a deliberate visual lie. The two pictures showed the same tanker, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair , from different angles. The other tanker, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous , did not catch fire and was not shown.

First, what actually happened, as best we can tell five days later? In the early morning of June 13, two unrelated tankers were heading south out of the Strait of Hormuz, sailing in open water in the Gulf of Oman, roughly 20 miles off the south coast of Iran. The tankers were most likely outside Iran's territorial waters, but within Iran's contiguous zone as defined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea . At different times, some 30 miles apart, the two tankers were attacked by weapons unknown, launched by parties unknown, for reasons unknown. The first reported distress call was 6:12 a.m. local time. No one has yet claimed responsibility for either attack. The crew of each tanker abandoned ship soon after the explosions and were rescued by ships in the area, including Iranian naval vessels, who took the Front Altair crew to an Iranian port.

Even this much was not certain in the early afternoon of June 13 when Mike Pompeo came to the lectern at the State Department to deliver his verdict:

It is the assessment of the United States Government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today.

Pompeo did not identify the unnamed intelligence entities, if any, within the government who made this assessment. He offered no evidence to support the assessment. He did offer something of an argument that began:

This assessment is based on intelligence .

He didn't say what intelligence. He didn't say whose intelligence. American intelligence assets and technology are all over the region generating reams of intelligence day in, day out. Then there are the intelligence agencies of the Arab police states bordering the Persian Gulf. They, too, are busy collecting intelligence 24/7, although they are sometimes loath to share. Pompeo didn't mention it, but according to CNN an unnamed US official admitted that the US had a Reaper Drone in the air near the two tankers before they were attacked. He also claimed that Iran had fired a missile at the drone, but missed. As CNN inanely spins it, "it is the first claim that the US has information of Iranian movements prior to the attack." As if the US doesn't have information on Iranian movements all the time . More accurately, this is the first admission that the US had operational weaponry in the area prior to the attack. After intelligence, Pompeo continued:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used .

Pompeo did not name a single weapon used. Early reporting claimed the attackers used torpedoes or mines, a claim that became inoperative as it became clear that all the damage to the tankers was well above the waterline. There is little reason to believe Pompeo had any actual knowledge of what weapons were used, unless one was a Reaper Drone. He went on:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation

The "level of expertise needed" to carry out these attacks on a pair of sitting duck tankers does not appear to be that great. Yes, the Iranian military probably has the expertise, as do the militaries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Israel, or others with a stake in provoking a crisis in the region. And those who lack the expertise still have the money with which to hire expert surrogates. The number of credible suspects, known and unknown, with an interest in doing harm to Iran is easily in double figures. Leading any serious list should be the US. That's perfectly logical, so Pompeo tried to divert attention from the obvious:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping .

There are NO confirmed "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," and even if there were, they would prove nothing. Pompeo's embarrassingly irrelevant list that follows includes six examples, only one of which involved a shipping attack. The one example was the May 12, 2019, attack on four ships at anchor in the deep water port of Fujairah. Even the multinational investigation organized by the UAE could not determine who did it. The UAE reported to the UN Security Council that the perpetrator was likely some unnamed "state actor." The logical suspects and their surrogates are the same as those for the most recent attack.

Instead of "recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping," Pompeo offers Iran's decades-old threat to close the Strait of Hormuz (which it's never done), together with three attacks by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia, an unattributed rocket attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad, and an unattributed car bomb in Afghanistan. Seriously, if that's all he's got, he's got nothing. But he's not done with the disinformation exercise:

This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.

The whole proxy group thing is redundant, covered by "the level of expertise needed" mentioned earlier. Pompeo doesn't name any proxy group here, he doesn't explain how he could know there's no proxy group that could carry out such an attack, and he just throws word garbage at the wall and hopes something sticks that will make you believe – no evidence necessary – that Iran is evil beyond redemption:

Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran.

The attacks in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan have all been provoked by the US and its allies. The US has long been a clear threat to international peace and security, except when the US was actually trashing peace and security, as it did in Iraq, as it seems to want to do in Iran. There is, indeed, "an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension," but it's a campaign by the US. The current phase began when the Trump administration pulled out of the multinational nuclear deal with Iran. The US wages economic warfare on Iran even though Iran continues to abide by the Trump-trashed treaty. All the other signatories and inspectors confirm that Iran has abided by the agreement. But Iran is approaching a point of violation, which it has been warning about for some time. The other signatories allow the US to bully them into enforcing US sanctions at their own cost against a country in compliance with its promises. China, Russia, France, GB, Germany, and the EU are all craven in the face of US threats. That's what the US wants from Iran.

Lately, Trump and Pompeo and their ilk have been whining about not wanting war and claiming they want to negotiate, while doing nothing to make negotiation more possible. Iran has observed US actions and has rejected negotiating with an imperial power with a decades-long record of bad faith. Lacking any serious act of good faith by the US, does Iran have any other rational choice? Pompeo makes absolutely clear just how irrational, how dishonest, how implacable and untrustworthy the US is when he accuses Iran of:

40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations.

This is Big Lie country. Forty years ago, the Iranians committed their original sin – they overthrew one of the world's most brutal dictatorships, imposed on them by the US. Then they took Americans hostage, and the US has been playing the victim ever since, out of all proportion to reality or justice. But the Pompeos of this world still milk it for all it's worth. What about "unprovoked aggression," who does that? The US list is long and criminal, including its support of Saddam Hussein's war of aggression against Iran. Iran's list of "unprovoked aggressions" is pretty much zero, unless you go back to the Persian Empire. No wonder Pompeo took no question on his statement. The Big Lie is supposed to be enough.

The US is stumbling down a path toward war with no justification. Democrats should have objected forcefully and continuously long since. Democrats in the House should have put peace with Iran on the table as soon as they came into the majority. They should do it now. Democratic presidential candidates should join Tulsi Gabbard and Elizabeth Warren in forthrightly opposing war with Iran. Leading a huge public outcry may not keep the president from lying us into war with Iran any more than it kept the president from lying us into war with Iraq. But an absence of outcry will just make it easier for this rogue nation to commit a whole new set of war crimes.

Intellectually, the case for normal relations with Iran is easy. There is literally no good reason to maintain hostility, not even the possibility, remote as it is, of an Iranian nuclear weapon (especially now that Trump is helping the Saudis go nuclear). But politically, the case for normal relations with Iran is hard, especially because forty years of propaganda demonizing Iran has deep roots. To make a sane case on Iran takes real courage: one has to speak truth to a nation that believes its lies to itself.

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This article was first published in Reader Supported News . Read other articles by William .

[Jun 29, 2019] The Forever War Is So Normalized That Opposing It Is Isolationism by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... More importantly, Ryan's campaign using the word "isolationism" to describe the simple common sense impulse to withdraw from a costly, deadly military occupation which isn't accomplishing anything highlights an increasingly common tactic of tarring anything other than endless military expansionism as strange and aberrant instead of normal and good. ..."
"... Under our current Orwellian doublespeak paradigm where forever war is the new normal, the opposite of war is no longer peace, but isolationism. This removal of a desirable opposite of war from the establishment-authorised lexicon causes war to always be the desirable option. ..."
"... A few months after Bush's address, Antiwar 's Rich Rubino wrote an article titled " Non-Interventionism is Not Isolationism ", explaining the difference between a nation which withdraws entirely from the world and a nation which simply resists the temptation to use military aggression except in self defense. ..."
"... "Isolationism dictates that a country should have no relations with the rest of the world," Rubino explained. "In its purest form this would mean that ambassadors would not be shared with other nations, communications with foreign governments would be mainly perfunctory, and commercial relations would be non-existent." ..."
"... "A non-interventionist supports commercial relations," Rubino contrasted. "In fact, in terms of trade, many non-interventionists share libertarian proclivities and would unilaterally obliterate all tariffs and custom duties, and would be open to trade with all willing nations. In addition, non-interventionists welcome cultural exchanges and the exchange of ambassadors with all willing nations." ..."
"... "A non-interventionist believes that the U.S. should not intercede in conflicts between other nations or conflicts within nations," wrote Rubino. "In recent history, non-interventionists have proved prophetic in warning of the dangers of the U.S. entangling itself in alliances. The U.S. has suffered deleterious effects and effectuated enmity among other governments, citizenries, and non-state actors as a result of its overseas interventions. The U.S. interventions in both Iran and Iraq have led to cataclysmic consequences." ..."
"... Calling an aversion to endless military violence "isolationism" is the same as calling an aversion to mugging people "agoraphobia". ..."
"... Another dishonest label you'll get thrown at you when debating the forever war is "pacifism". "Some wars are bad, but I'm not a pacifist; sometimes war is necessary," supporters of a given interventionist military action will tell you. They'll say this while defending Trump's potentially catastrophic Iran warmongering or promoting a moronic regime change invasion of Syria, or defending disastrous US military interventions in the past like Iraq. ..."
"... All Wars Are Evil. Period. "Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy." – Henry Kissinger ..."
"... Can you imagine Jesus firing a machine gun at a group of people? Can you picture Jesus in an F-16 lobbing missiles at innocents? ..."
"... instead of getting us out of Syria, Trump got us further in. Trump is driving us to ww3. ..."
"... funny how people, fresh from the broken promises "build that wall" etc, quickly forget all that and begin IMMEDIATELY projecting trustworthiness on yet ANOTHER candidate. I'Il vote for Tulsi when she says no more Israeli wars for America. ..."
"... if there's even a small chance Tulsi can get us out of the forever wars i will be compelled to vote for her, as Trump clearly has no intention on doing so. yes, it is that important ..."
"... As for this next election? Is Ron Paul running as an independent? No? Well then, 'fool me once...' Don't get me wrong: I hope Gabbard is genuine and she's absolutely right to push non-interventionism...but the rest of her platform sucks. There's also the fact that she's a CFR member ..."
"... Just as they did with Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, and Pat Buchanan, the MSM and the swamp have already effectively buried Gabbard. It's unlikely that she'll make the next debate cut as the DNC and MSM will toss her out. ..."
"... All the MSM is talking about post-debates, even on Faux Noise, is Harris's race-baiting of old senile Biden. ..."
Jun 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

After getting curb stomped on the debate stage by Tulsi Gabbard, the campaign for Tim "Who the fuck is Tim Ryan?" Ryan posted a statement decrying the Hawaii congresswoman's desire to end a pointless 18-year military occupation as "isolationism".

"While making a point as to why America can't cede its international leadership and retreat from around the world, Tim was interrupted by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard," the statement reads.

"When he tried to answer her, she contorted a factual point Tim was making  --  about the Taliban being complicit in the 9/11 attacks by providing training, bases and refuge for Al Qaeda and its leaders. The characterization that Tim Ryan doesn't know who is responsible for the attacks on 9/11 is simply unfair reporting. Further, we continue to reject Gabbard's isolationism and her misguided beliefs on foreign policy . We refuse to be lectured by someone who thinks it's ok to dine with murderous dictators like Syria's Bashar Al-Assad who used chemical weapons on his own people."

Ryan's campaign is lying. During an exchange that was explicitly about the Taliban in Afghanistan, Ryan plainly said "When we weren't in there, they started flying planes into our buildings." At best, Ryan can argue that when he said "they" he had suddenly shifted from talking about the Taliban to talking about Al Qaeda without bothering to say so, in which case he obviously can't legitimately claim that Gabbard "contorted" anything he had said. At worst, he was simply unaware at the time of the very clear distinction between the Afghan military and political body called the Taliban and the multinational extremist organization called Al Qaeda.

More importantly, Ryan's campaign using the word "isolationism" to describe the simple common sense impulse to withdraw from a costly, deadly military occupation which isn't accomplishing anything highlights an increasingly common tactic of tarring anything other than endless military expansionism as strange and aberrant instead of normal and good.

Under our current Orwellian doublespeak paradigm where forever war is the new normal, the opposite of war is no longer peace, but isolationism. This removal of a desirable opposite of war from the establishment-authorised lexicon causes war to always be the desirable option.

This is entirely by design. This bit of word magic has been employed for a long time to tar any idea which deviates from the neoconservative agenda of total global unipolarity via violent imperialism as something freakish and dangerous. In his farewell address to the nation , war criminal George W Bush said the following:

"In the face of threats from abroad, it can be tempting to seek comfort by turning inward. But we must reject isolationism and its companion, protectionism. Retreating behind our borders would only invite danger. In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led."

A few months after Bush's address, Antiwar 's Rich Rubino wrote an article titled " Non-Interventionism is Not Isolationism ", explaining the difference between a nation which withdraws entirely from the world and a nation which simply resists the temptation to use military aggression except in self defense.

"Isolationism dictates that a country should have no relations with the rest of the world," Rubino explained. "In its purest form this would mean that ambassadors would not be shared with other nations, communications with foreign governments would be mainly perfunctory, and commercial relations would be non-existent."

"A non-interventionist supports commercial relations," Rubino contrasted. "In fact, in terms of trade, many non-interventionists share libertarian proclivities and would unilaterally obliterate all tariffs and custom duties, and would be open to trade with all willing nations. In addition, non-interventionists welcome cultural exchanges and the exchange of ambassadors with all willing nations."

"A non-interventionist believes that the U.S. should not intercede in conflicts between other nations or conflicts within nations," wrote Rubino. "In recent history, non-interventionists have proved prophetic in warning of the dangers of the U.S. entangling itself in alliances. The U.S. has suffered deleterious effects and effectuated enmity among other governments, citizenries, and non-state actors as a result of its overseas interventions. The U.S. interventions in both Iran and Iraq have led to cataclysmic consequences."

Calling an aversion to endless military violence "isolationism" is the same as calling an aversion to mugging people "agoraphobia". Yet you'll see this ridiculous label applied to both Gabbard and Trump, neither of whom are isolationists by any stretch of the imagination, or even proper non-interventionists. Gabbard supports most US military alliances and continues to voice full support for the bogus "war on terror" implemented by the Bush administration which serves no purpose other than to facilitate endless military expansionism; Trump is openly pushing regime change interventionism in both Venezuela and Iran while declining to make good on his promises to withdraw the US military from Syria and Afghanistan.

Another dishonest label you'll get thrown at you when debating the forever war is "pacifism". "Some wars are bad, but I'm not a pacifist; sometimes war is necessary," supporters of a given interventionist military action will tell you. They'll say this while defending Trump's potentially catastrophic Iran warmongering or promoting a moronic regime change invasion of Syria, or defending disastrous US military interventions in the past like Iraq.

This is bullshit for a couple of reasons. Firstly, virtually no one is a pure pacifist who opposes war under any and all possible circumstances; anyone who claims that they can't imagine any possible scenario in which they'd support using some kind of coordinated violence either hasn't imagined very hard or is fooling themselves. If your loved ones were going to be raped, tortured and killed by hostile forces unless an opposing group took up arms to defend them, for example, you would support that. Hell, you would probably join in. Secondly, equating opposition to US-led regime change interventionism, which is literally always disastrous and literally never helpful, is not even a tiny bit remotely like opposing all war under any possible circumstance.

Another common distortion you'll see is the specious argument that a given opponent of US interventionism "isn't anti-war" because they don't oppose all war under any and all circumstances. This tweet by The Intercept 's Mehdi Hasan is a perfect example, claiming that Gabbard is not anti-war because she supports Syria's sovereign right to defend itself with the help of its allies from the violent extremist factions which overran the country with western backing. Again, virtually no one is opposed to all war under any and all circumstances; if a coalition of foreign governments had helped flood Hasan's own country of Britain with extremist militias who'd been murdering their way across the UK with the ultimate goal of toppling London, both Tulsi Gabbard and Hasan would support fighting back against those militias.

The label "anti-war" can for these reasons be a little misleading. The term anti-interventionist or non-interventionist comes closest to describing the value system of most people who oppose the warmongering of the western empire, because they understand that calls for military interventionism which go mainstream in today's environment are almost universally based on imperialist agendas grabbing at power, profit, and global hegemony. The label "isolationist" comes nowhere close.

It all comes down to sovereignty. An anti-interventionist believes that a country has the right to defend itself, but it doesn't have the right to conquer, capture, infiltrate or overthrow other nations whether covertly or overtly. At the "end" of colonialism we all agreed we were done with that, except that the nationless manipulators have found far trickier ways to seize a country's will and resources without actually planting a flag there. We need to get clearer on these distinctions and get louder about defending them as the only sane, coherent way to run foreign policy.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Vitor , 31 minutes ago link

It's like someone being labeled anti-social for stopping to bully and pick up fights.

Aussiekiwi , 49 minutes ago link

"If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led."

Fascinating belief, has he been to Libya lately, perhaps attended an open air slave Market in a country that was very developed before the US decided to 'free' it.

Quivering Lip , 57 minutes ago link

Until Tulsi pimp slapped that Ryan guy I never heard of him. I would imagine I'll never here about him in another 2 months.

Toshie , 1 hour ago link

yeah , keep at it US Govt ;- keep fighting those wars overseas on behalf the 5th foreign column.

Keep wasting precious lives ,and the country's wealth while foreign rising powers like China are laughing all the way to the bank.

may you live in interesting times !

onasip123 , 1 hour ago link

War forever and ever, Amen.

Dr Anon , 1 hour ago link

When we weren't there, they flew planes into our buildings?

Excuse me mutant, but I believe we paid Israel our jewtax that year like all the others and they still flew planes into our buildings. And then danced in the streets about it. Sick people.

thisguyoverhere , 1 hour ago link

All Wars Are Evil. Period. "Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy." – Henry Kissinger

Picture if you will Jesus. Seriously? Can you imagine Jesus firing a machine gun at a group of people? Can you picture Jesus in an F-16 lobbing missiles at innocents?

Do you see Jesus piloting a drone and killing Muslims, other non-believers, or anyone for that matter? Can you picture Jesus as a sniper?

Impossible.

Dougs Decks , 2 hours ago link

Soooo,,, If my favorite evening activity, is to sit on the front porch steps, while the dog and the cats run around, with my shotgun leaning up next to me,,, Is that Isolationist, or Protectionist,,,

Brazen Heist II , 2 hours ago link

You know the system is completely broken when they want to silence/kill/smear anybody talking sense and peace.

vienna_proxy , 2 hours ago link

and isis are referred to as freedom fighters

Herdee , 2 hours ago link

The CIA and MI6 staged all the fake chemical incidents in Syria as well as the recent one in England. False Flags.

ardent , 2 hours ago link

What America needs is to get rid of all those Jewish Zionist Neocons leading us into those forever wars.

ALL MidEast terrorism and warmongering are for APARTHEID Israhell.

vienna_proxy , 2 hours ago link

instead of getting us out of Syria, Trump got us further in. Trump is driving us to ww3. we can't do **** if we're glazed over in a nuclear holocaust. maybe Tulsi is lying through her teeth, but i am so pissed Trump went full neocon

Wild Bill Steamcock , 2 hours ago link

"Won't Get Fooled Again"- The Who

JD Rock , 2 hours ago link

funny how people, fresh from the broken promises "build that wall" etc, quickly forget all that and begin IMMEDIATELY projecting trustworthiness on yet ANOTHER candidate. I'Il vote for Tulsi when she says no more Israeli wars for America.

vienna_proxy , 2 hours ago link

she did slam Netanyahu

WillyGroper , 2 hours ago link

saying & doing are different animals. she's powerless. more hope n chains.

KnightsofNee , 2 hours ago link

www.tulsigabbard.org

If you read her positions on various issues, a quick survey shows that she supports the New Green Deal, more gun control (ban on assault rifles, etc.), Medicare for all. Stopped reading at that point.

White Nat , 2 hours ago link

We refuse to be lectured by someone who thinks it's ok to dine with murderous dictators like Syria's Bashar Al-Assad who used chemical weapons on his own people.

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

New_Meat , 2 hours ago link

- Edward Bernays, relative of Sigmund Fraud, propagandist for Woodrow Wilson.

Back then, being a "propagandist" held no stigma nor antipathy.

fify

Debt Slave , 1 hour ago link

The better educated among us know exactly as to who Goebblels was referring to. Even a dullard should be able to figure out who benefits from all of our Middle East adventures.

LOL123 , 3 hours ago link

"Under our current Orwellian doublespeak paradigm where forever war is the new normal, the opposite of war is no longer peace, but isolationism. "

Under military might WAS the old world order... Under the new world order the strength is in cyber warfare .

If under technology the profiteers can control the masses through crowd control ( which they can-" Department of Defense has developed a non-lethal crowd control device called the Active Denial System (ADS) . The ADS works by firing a high-powered beam of 95 GHz waves at a target that is, millimeter wavelengths. Anyone caught in the beam will feel like their skin is burning.) your spending power ( they can through e- commetce and digital banking) and isolation cells called homes ( they can through directed microwaves from GWEN stations).... We already are isolated and exposed at the same time.

That war is an exceptable means of engagement as a solution to world power is a confirmation of the psychological warfare imposed on us since the creation of our Nation.

Either we reel it in and back now or we destroy ourselves from within.

"

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Abraham Lincoln

vienna_proxy , 2 hours ago link

if there's even a small chance Tulsi can get us out of the forever wars i will be compelled to vote for her, as Trump clearly has no intention on doing so. yes, it is that important

metachron , 2 hours ago link

Idiot, Tulsi is a sovereign nationalist on the left. You have just never seen one before. If you were truly anti-globalist you'd would realize left and right are invented to divide us. The politics are global and national, so wake the **** up

Hurricane Baby , 3 hours ago link

Actually, I don't see where a few decades of US isolationism would be all that bad.

Fred box , 3 hours ago link

""War Is the U.S. Racket!"" They are not good at it, there "great at it". My entire life 63yrs,they been fighting someone or something. When times where rough in the 1800s,Hell! they fought themselves(Civil War. As I said b4 No one seems to ask, Where does the gold go of the vanquished foe? Truly Is A Well Practiced Racket.

Malleus Maleficarum , 3 hours ago link

Good article with several salient points, thought I would ask "what's wrong with a little isolationism?" Peace through internal strength is desirable, but good fences make good neighbors and charity begins at home!

The gradual twisting of language really is one of most insidious tactics employed by the NWO Luciferians. I think we'd all like to see the traitorous Neocons gone for good. Better yet, strip them of their American citizenship and ill-gotten wealth and banish them to Israel. Let them earn their citizenship serving in a front-line IDF rifle company.

As for this next election? Is Ron Paul running as an independent? No? Well then, 'fool me once...' Don't get me wrong: I hope Gabbard is genuine and she's absolutely right to push non-interventionism...but the rest of her platform sucks. There's also the fact that she's a CFR member and avowed gun-grabber, to boot. Two HUGE red flags!

She almost strikes me as a half-assed 'Manchurian Candidate.' So, if she's elected (a big 'if' at this point) I ask myself 'what happens after the next (probably nuclear) false flag?' How quickly will she disavow her present stance on non-interventionism? How quickly and viciously will the 2nd Amendment be raped? Besides, I'm not foolish enough to believe that one person can turn the SS Deep State away from it's final disastrous course.

dunlin , 2 hours ago link

What's cfr? Duck duck gives lots of law firms.

tardpill , 2 hours ago link

council on foreign relations

tardpill , 2 hours ago link

the whos who of globalist satanists..

Sinophile , 32 minutes ago link

Mal, she is NOT a CFR member. You are misinformed.

Justapleb , 3 hours ago link

These word games were already in use looong ago. Tulsi Gabbard is using Obama's line about fighting the wrong war. She would have taken out Al Qaeda, captured Bin Laden, and put a dog leash on him. So that she could make a green economy, a new century of virtue signalling tyranny. No thanks.

Smi1ey , 3 hours ago link

Great article.

Go Tusli!

Go Caitlin!

I am Groot , 3 hours ago link

You beat me to that. Thanks for saving my breath.

Rule #1 All politcians lie

Rule #2 See Rule #1

Boogity , 3 hours ago link

Just as they did with Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, and Pat Buchanan, the MSM and the swamp have already effectively buried Gabbard. It's unlikely that she'll make the next debate cut as the DNC and MSM will toss her out.

All the MSM is talking about post-debates, even on Faux Noise, is Harris's race-baiting of old senile Biden.

I went to some of the so-called liberal websites and blogs and the only mention of Gabbard is in the context of her being a Putin stooge. This combined with the fact that virtually all establishment Republicans are eager to fight any war for Israel clearly shows that it will take something other than the ballot box to end Uncle Scam's endless wars.

[Jun 29, 2019] Everyone's Got A Surveillance Score And It Can Cost You Big Money

Jun 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Companies are using Secret Surveillance Scores to evaluate you.

The opening paragraphs of the 38-page complaint are chilling:

Major American corporations, including online and retail businesses, employers and landlords are using Secret Surveillance Scores to charge some people higher prices for the same product than others, to provide some people with better customer services than others, to deny some consumers the right to purchase services or buy or return products while allowing others to do so and even to deny people housing and jobs.

The Secret Surveillance Scores are generated by a shadowy group of privacy-busting firms that operate in dark recesses of the American marketplace. They collect thousands or even tens of thousands of intimate details of each person's life – enough information, it is thought, to literally predetermine a person's behavior – either directly or through data brokers. Then, in what is euphemistically referred to as "data analytics," the firms' engineers write software algorithms that instruct computers to parse a person's data trail and develop a digital "mug shot." Eventually, that individual profile is reduced to a number – the score – and transmitted to corporate clients looking for ways to take advantage of, or even avoid, the consumer. The scoring system is automatic and instantaneous. None of this is disclosed to the consumer: the existence of the algorithm, the application of the Surveillance Score or even that they have become the victim of a technological scheme that just a few years ago would appear only in a dystopian science fiction novel. ( source )

These scores are used to discriminate based on income.

Written by lawyers Laura Antonini, the policy director of the Consumer Education Foundation, and Harvey Rosenfield, who leads the foundation, the complaint highlights four areas in which companies are using surveillance scoring: pricing, customer service, fraud prevention, and housing and employment.

"This is a way for companies to discriminate against users based on income and wealth," Antonini told The Hill .

"It can range from monetary harm or basic necessities of life that you're not getting."

Antonini and Rosenfield argue that the practices outlined in the complaint are illegal – and that consumers are largely unaware that they're being secretly evaluated in ways that can influence how much they pay online.

"The ability of corporations to target, manipulate and discriminate against Americans is unprecedented and inconsistent with the principles of competition and free markets," the complaint reads . "Surveillance scoring promotes inequality by empowering companies to decide which consumers they want to do business with and on what terms, weeding out the people who they deem less valuable. Such discrimination is as much a threat to democracy as it is to a free market."

Stores are using this scoring system to charge you higher prices.

Here's more detail, from The Hill :

The filing points to a 2014 Northeastern University study exploring the ways that companies like Home Depot and Walmart use consumer data to customize prices for different customers. Rosenfield and Antonini replicated the study using an online tool that compares prices that they're charged on their own computers with their own data profiles versus the prices charged to a user browsing sites through an anonymized computer server with no data history.

What they found was that Walmart and Home Depot were offering lower prices on a number of products to the anonymous computer. In the search results for "white paint" on Home Depot's website, Rosenfield and Antonini were seeing higher prices for six of the first 24 items that popped up.

In one example, a five-gallon tub of Glidden premium exterior paint would have cost them $119 compared with $101 for the anonymous computer.

A similar pattern emerged on Walmart's website. The two lawyers found the site was charging them more on a variety of items compared with the anonymous web tool, including paper towels, highlighters, pens and paint.

One paper towel holder cost $10 less for the blank web user. ( source )

To see screenshots of different "personalized" prices shown for items from Home Depot and Walmart, please see pages 12-16 of the complaint. The examples presented demonstrate just how much these inflated prices for common household goods can really add up.

The travel industry is particularly sneaky.

A few days ago, we reported on hidden fees that could be costing you big bucks . The travel industry is a particularly large offender when it comes to sneaky fees, and they are also implicated in this scheme:

Travelocity. Software developer Christian Bennefeld, founder of etracker.com and eBlocker.com, did a sample search for hotel rooms in Paris on Travelocity in 2017 using his eBlocker device, which "allows him to act as if he were searching from two different" computers. Bennefeld found that when he performed the two searches at the same time, there was a $23 difference in Travelocity's prices for the Hotel Le Six in Paris.

CheapTickets. The Northeastern Price Discrimination Study found that the online bargain travel site CheapTickets offers reduced prices on hotels to consumers who are logged into an account with CheapTickets, compared to those who proceed as "guests." We performed our own search of airfares on CheapTickets without being logged in. We searched for flights from LAX to Las Vegas for April 5 through April 8, 2019. Our searches produced identical flight results in the same order, but Mr. Rosenfield's prices were all quoted at three dollars higher than Ms. Antonini's.

Other travel websites. The Northeastern Price Discrimination Study found that Orbitz also offers reduced prices on hotels to consumers who were logged into an account (Orbitz has been accused of quoting higher prices to Mac users versus PC users because Mac users have a higher household income); Expedia and Hotels.com steer a subset of users toward more expensive hotels; and Priceline acknowledges it "personalizes search results based on a user's history of clicks and purchases. ( source )

There is an industry that exists to evaluate you and sell your data to companies.

The complaint also describes an industry that offers retailers evaluations of their customers' "trustworthiness" to determine whether they are a potential risk for fraudulent returns. One such firm – called Sift – offers these evaluations to major companies like Starbucks and Airbnb. Sift boasts on its website that it can tailor "user experiences based on 16,000+ real-time signals – putting good customers in the express lane and stopping bad customers from reaching the checkout."

The Hill contacted Sift for comment, and the company was not able to respond. But, back in April, a Sift spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that it rates customers on a scale of 0 to 100, likening it to a credit score for trustworthiness.

While credit scores can wreak havoc on a person's ability to make big purchases (and sometimes, gain employment), they at least are transparent. Surveillance scoring is not. There is NO transparency for consumers, and Rosenfield and Antonini argue that companies are using them to engage in illegal discrimination while users have little recourse to correct false information about them or challenge their ratings.

We are being spied on and scored on a wide variety of factors.

"In the World Privacy Forum's landmark study "The Scoring of America: How Secret Consumer Scores Threaten Your Privacy and Future," authors Pam Dixon and Bob Gellman identified approximately 44 scores currently used to predict the actions of consumers," the complaint explains:

These include:

The Medication Adherence Score, which predicts whether a consumer is likely to follow a medication regimen;

The Health Risk Score, which predicts how much a specific patient will cost an insurance company;

The Consumer Profitability Score, which predicts which households may be profitable for a company and hence desirable customers;

The Job Security score, which predicts a person's future income and ability to pay for things;

The Churn Score, which predicts whether a consumer is likely to move her business to another company;

The Discretionary Spending Index, which scores how much extra cash a particular consumer might be able to spend on non-necessities;

The Invitation to Apply Score, which predicts how likely a consumer is to respond to a sales offer;

The Charitable Donor Score, which predicts how likely a household is to make significant charitable donations;

The Pregnancy Predictor Score, which predicts the likelihood of someone getting pregnant. ( source )

The government isn't doing anything to stop these practices.

Back in 2014, the Federal Trade Commission held a workshop on a practice they call "predictive scoring" but the agency has done little since to reign in the practice. Antonini said that their complaint is pushing the agency to reexamine the industry and investigate whether it violates laws against unfair and deceptive business practices, according to The Hill :

"It's far, far worse than when they looked at it in 2014," she said. "There's an exponentially larger amount of data that's being collected about the American public that's in the hands of data brokers and companies. Their ability to process that data and write algorithms have also improved exponentially. " ( source )

We seem to be past the point of expecting our data to remain private, The Introduction to the complaint begins with a passage that sums up reality for us now:

This Petition does not ask the Commission to investigate the collection of Americans' personal information. The battle over whether Americans' personal data can be collected is over, and, as of this moment at least, consumers have lost. Consumers are now victims of an unavoidable corporate surveillance capitalism.

Rather, this Petition highlights a disturbing evolution in how consumers' data is deployed against them. ( source )

We can't go anywhere without being surveilled now.

It is now impossible to shop in any large chain stores without being spied on. Stores are starting to use "smart coolers", which are refrigerators equipped with cameras that scan shoppers' faces and make inferences on their age and gender. And, a recent article from Futurism describes how security cameras are no longer being used solely to reduce theft:

"Instead of just keeping track of who's in a store, surveillance systems could use facial recognition to determine peoples' identities and gathering even more information about them. That data would then be out there, with no opportunity to opt out. ( source )

A new ACLU report titled "The Dawn of Robot Surveillance" describes how emerging AI technology enables security companies to constantly monitor and collect data about people.

"Growth in the use and effectiveness of artificial intelligence techniques has been so rapid that people haven't had time to assimilate a new understanding of what is being done, and what the consequences of data collection and privacy invasions can be," the report concludes.

[Jun 29, 2019] Have You Heard Of The CIA s Iran Mission Center by Vijay Prashad

Notable quotes:
"... To head the Iran Mission Center, the CIA appointed Michael D'Andrea. D'Andrea was central to the post-9/11 interrogation program, and he ran the CIA's Counterterrorism Center. Assassinations and torture were central to his approach. ..."
"... What is germane to his post at the Iran Mission Center is that D'Andrea is close to the Gulf Arabs, a former CIA analyst told me. The Gulf Arabs have been pushing hard for action against Iran, a view shared by D'Andrea and parts of his team. For his hard-nosed attitude toward Iran, D'Andrea is known -- ironically -- as "Ayatollah Mike." ..."
"... D'Andrea and people like Bolton are part of an ecosystem of men who have a visceral hatred for Iran and who are close to the worldview of the Saudi royal family . These are men who are reckless with violence, willing to do anything if it means provoking a war against Iran. Nothing should be put past them. ..."
"... D'Andrea's twin outside the White House is Thomas Kaplan, the billionaire who set up two groups that are blindingly for regime change in Iran. The two groups are United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and Counter Extremism Project. There is nothing subtle here. These groups -- and Kaplan himself -- promote an agenda of great disparagement of Muslims in general and of Iran in particular. ..."
"... It is fitting that Kaplan's anti-Iran groups bring together the CIA and money. The head of UANI is Mark Wallace, who is the chief executive of Kaplan's Tigris Financial Group, a financial firm with investments -- which it admits -- would benefit from "instability in the Middle East." Working with UANI and the Counter Extremism Project is Norman Roule, a former national intelligence manager for Iran in the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. ..."
"... These men -- Kaplan and Bolton, D'Andrea and Shihabi -- are eager to use the full force of the U.S. military to further the dangerous goals of the Gulf Arab royals (of both Saudi Arabia and of the UAE). When Pompeo walked before cameras, he carried their water for them. These are men on a mission. They want war against Iran. ..."
Jun 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Vijay Prashad via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

In 2017, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) created a special unit -- the Iran Mission Center -- to focus attention on the U.S. plans against Iran . The initiative for this unit came from CIA director John Brennan, who left his post as the Trump administration came into office. Brennan believed that the CIA needed to focus attention on what the United States sees as problem areas -- North Korea and Iran, for instance. This predated the Trump administration.

Brennan's successor -- Mike Pompeo, who was CIA director for just over a year (until he was appointed U.S. Secretary of State) -- continued this policy. The CIA's Iran-related activity had been conducted in the Iran Operations Division (Persia House). This was a section with Iran specialists who built up knowledge about political and economic developments inside Iran and in the Iranian diaspora.

It bothered the hawks in Washington -- as one official told me -- that Persia House was filled with Iran specialists who had no special focus on regime change in Iran. Some of them, due to their long concentration on Iran, had developed sensitivity to the country.

Trump's people wanted a much more focused and belligerent group that would provide the kind of intelligence that tickled the fancy of his National Security Adviser John Bolton .

To head the Iran Mission Center, the CIA appointed Michael D'Andrea. D'Andrea was central to the post-9/11 interrogation program, and he ran the CIA's Counterterrorism Center. Assassinations and torture were central to his approach.

It was D'Andrea who expanded the CIA's drone strike program, in particular the signature strike. The signature strike is a particularly controversial instrument. The CIA was given the allowance to kill anyone who fit a certain profile -- a man of a certain age, for instance, with a phone that had been used to call someone on a list. The dark arts of the CIA are precisely those of D'Andrea.

What is germane to his post at the Iran Mission Center is that D'Andrea is close to the Gulf Arabs, a former CIA analyst told me. The Gulf Arabs have been pushing hard for action against Iran, a view shared by D'Andrea and parts of his team. For his hard-nosed attitude toward Iran, D'Andrea is known -- ironically -- as "Ayatollah Mike."

D'Andrea and people like Bolton are part of an ecosystem of men who have a visceral hatred for Iran and who are close to the worldview of the Saudi royal family . These are men who are reckless with violence, willing to do anything if it means provoking a war against Iran. Nothing should be put past them.

The initiative for this unit came from CIA director John Brennan, who left his post as the Trump administration came into office. Getty Image.

D'Andrea and the hawks edged out several Iran experts from the Iran Mission Center, people like Margaret Stromecki -- who had been head of analysis. Others who want to offer an alternative to the Pompeo-Bolton view of things either have also moved on or remain silent. There is no space in the Trump administration, a former official told me, for dissent on the Iran policy.

Saudi Arabia's War

D'Andrea's twin outside the White House is Thomas Kaplan, the billionaire who set up two groups that are blindingly for regime change in Iran. The two groups are United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and Counter Extremism Project. There is nothing subtle here. These groups -- and Kaplan himself -- promote an agenda of great disparagement of Muslims in general and of Iran in particular.

Kaplan blamed Iran for the creation of ISIS, for it was Iran -- Kaplan said -- that "used a terrible Sunni movement" to expand its reach from "Persia to the Mediterranean." Such absurdity followed from a fundamental misreading of Shia concepts such as taqiya, which means prudence and not -- as Kaplan and others argue -- deceit. Kaplan, bizarrely, shares more with ISIS than Iran does with that group -- since both Kaplan and ISIS are driven by their hatred of those who follow the Shia traditions of Islam.

It is fitting that Kaplan's anti-Iran groups bring together the CIA and money. The head of UANI is Mark Wallace, who is the chief executive of Kaplan's Tigris Financial Group, a financial firm with investments -- which it admits -- would benefit from "instability in the Middle East." Working with UANI and the Counter Extremism Project is Norman Roule, a former national intelligence manager for Iran in the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Roule has offered his support to the efforts of the Arabia Foundation, run by Ali Shihabi -- a man with close links to the Saudi monarchy. The Arabia Foundation was set up to do more effective public relations work for the Saudis than the Saudi diplomats are capable of doing. Shihabi is the son of one of Saudi Arabia's most well-regarded diplomats, Samir al-Shihabi, who played an important role as Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Pakistan during the war that created al-Qaeda.

These men -- Kaplan and Bolton, D'Andrea and Shihabi -- are eager to use the full force of the U.S. military to further the dangerous goals of the Gulf Arab royals (of both Saudi Arabia and of the UAE). When Pompeo walked before cameras, he carried their water for them. These are men on a mission. They want war against Iran.

Evidence, reason. None of this is important to them. They will not stop until the U.S. bombers deposit their deadly payload on Tehran and Qom, Isfahan and Shiraz. They will do anything to make that our terrible reality.

This article was produced by Globetrotter , a project of the Independent Media Institute.

[Jun 28, 2019] Bolton Gets Ready to Kill New START by Daniel Larison

Jun 27, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
If Bolton gets his way, New START is not long for this world :

At the same time, the administration has signaled in recent days that it plans to let the New Start treaty, negotiated by Barack Obama, expire in February 2021 rather than renew it for another five years. John R. Bolton, the president's national security adviser, who met with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, in Jerusalem this week, said before leaving Washington that "there's no decision, but I think it's unlikely" the treaty would be renewed.

Mr. Bolton, a longtime skeptic of arms control agreements, said that New Start was flawed because it did not cover short-range tactical nuclear weapons or new Russian delivery systems. "So to extend for five years and not take these new delivery system threats into account would be malpractice," he told The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative outlet.

Like all of his complaints about arms control agreements, Bolton's criticisms of New START are made in bad faith. Opponents of New START have long pretended that they oppose the treaty because it did not cover everything imaginable, including tactical nuclear weapons, but this has always been an excuse for them to reject a treaty that they have never wanted ratified in the first place. If the concern about negotiating a treaty that covered tactical nuclear weapons were genuine, the smart thing to do would be to extend New START and then begin negotiations for a more comprehensive arms control agreement. Faulting New START for failing to include things that are by definition not going to be included in a strategic arms reduction treaty gives the game away. This is what die-hard opponents of the treaty have been doing for almost ten years, and they do it because they want to dismantle the last vestiges of arms control. The proposal to include China as part of a new treaty is another tell that the Trump administration just wants the treaty to die.

The article concludes:

Some experts suspect talk of a three-way accord is merely a feint to get rid of the New Start treaty. "If a trilateral deal is meant as a substitute or prerequisite for extending New Start, it is a poison pill, no ifs, ands or buts," said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. "If the president is seeking a trilateral deal as a follow-on to New Start, that's a different thing."

Knowing Bolton, it has to be a poison pill. Just as Bolton is ideologically opposed to making any deal with Iran, he is ideologically opposed to any arms control agreement that places limits on the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The "flaws" he identifies aren't really flaws that he wants to fix (and they may not be flaws at all), but excuses for trashing the agreement. He will make noises about how the current deal or treaty doesn't go far enough, but the truth is that he doesn't want any agreements to exist. In Bolton's worldview, nonproliferation and arms control agreements either give the other government too much or hamper the U.S. too much, and so he wants to destroy them all. He has had a lot of success at killing agreements and treaties that have been in the U.S. interest. Bolton has had a hand in blowing up the Agreed Framework with North Korea, abandoning the ABM Treaty, killing the INF Treaty, and reneging on the JCPOA. Unless the president can be persuaded to ignore or fire Bolton, New START will be his next victim.

If New START dies, it will be a loss for both the U.S. and Russia, it will make the world less secure, and it will make U.S.-Russian relations even worse. The stability that these treaties have provided has been important for U.S. security for almost fifty years. New START is the last of the treaties that constrain the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, and when it is gone there will be nothing to replace it for a long time. The collapse of arms control almost certainly means that the top two nuclear weapons states will expand their arsenals and put us back on the path of an insane and unwinnable arms race. Killing New START is irrational and purely destructive, and it needs to be opposed.


Taras77 a day ago

bolton is opposed to any treaty, to any agreement, whereby the other side can expect to obtain equally favorable terms-he wants the other side on their knees permanently without any expectation of compromise by the empire.
Sid Finster a day ago
I wonder how long it will take for Trump to finally figure out that Bolton and Pompeo regard him as expendable.

Whether Trump wins or loses in 2020 will not matter, as long as the neocons get what they want.

Tony 9 hours ago
John Bolton will not be satisfied until he has got us all killed.
He is an extremely dangerous man.

[Jun 28, 2019] What we should be talking about is not how to make North Korea disarm, but how to ensure the unconditional security of North Korea and how to make any country, including North Korea feel safe and protected by international law that is strictly honoured by all members of the international community

Jun 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 28, 2019 1:50:32 PM | 190

I'm about halfway through Putin's financial Times interview and suggest it be read by all. There is much to be gleaned from it with a view to the 2020 Election Cycle and candidate's positions. Just consider the following very small excerpt and its implications for policy formulation by candidates:

"What we should be talking about is not how to make North Korea disarm, but how to ensure the unconditional security of North Korea and how to make any country, including North Korea feel safe and protected by international law that is strictly honoured by all members of the international community . This is what we should be thinking about." [My Emphasis]

Putin's insights into Trump's 2016 election strategy, IMO, is very enlightening and essential reading as the conditions that contributed to Trump's victory have worsened under his tenure and can be used against him if wisely pursued.

[Jun 28, 2019] CIA role from the Dulles Brothers onwardst is to protect and support all members of the Oligarchy of Money from the 1% to Big Oil to Big Finance from that pesky Democratic Government and the troublesome Rule of Law.

Jun 28, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Chris , June 27, 2019 at 8:49 pm

I don't know either. But it's been the main stream party line for a while now. "Bernie should drop out because he's old, white, male, and his opinions are not unique. He's not even a real Democrat. And he doesn't support the party. So why is he running for president as a Democrat and picking fights with Biden/Warren/Beto?"

The one that gets me is Bernie the Bomber. Somehow when the pundit class talks about Bernie and Tulsi, it's only to mention how they coddle dictators.

Geo , June 27, 2019 at 9:02 pm

Coddle (the wrong) dictators. Real Dems coddle our CIA approved dictators. Bernie and Tulsi coddle those filthy democratically elected "dictators" that want to retain natural resources for the benefit of their own nations and not for the enrichment of multinationals. They're monsters!

Seriously though, only the Dems would have a superstar like Bernie and put all their efforts into sabotaging him. Even the RNC and right wing media was willing to suck it up and get behind Trump when it was clear he was going to win and had a huge base of support. But, as is said often now, "the Dems would rather lose to a Republican than win with a progressive".

rowlf , June 27, 2019 at 9:49 pm

Is the CIA's purpose to protect national security or financial security? They seem confused at times on their purpose and if they were disbanded would the country notice? Doesn't the Defense Intelligence Agency do most of the heavy security lifting?

Notes2sean@hotmail.com , June 27, 2019 at 10:32 pm

Protecting Big Finance is only the latest thing.

Looking at the CIA actions from the Dulles Brothers onwards, I would say that it is to protect and support all members of the Oligarchy of Money from the 1% to Big Oil to Big Finance from that pesky Democratic Government and the troublesome Rule of Law.

Actually protecting the United States and never mind Americans themselves is like #47 on its to-do list.

Bill Carson , June 27, 2019 at 11:52 pm

Did you notice the shift in Bernie's message tonight? He said they needed to have the guts to take on Wall Street, the Military Industrial Complex, and Big Pharma. I didn't hear him complain about big banks. I think he's been compromised!

EricT , June 28, 2019 at 6:00 am

He said Wall Street too. I think banks fit under that umbrella.

[Jun 27, 2019] Did the USA Planted Malware In Russia's Power Grid or it was NYT provocation coordinated with the US intelligence againces?

Notable quotes:
"... The real story is how and who leaked this to the NYT. ..."
"... This story was a threat sent by the US government to the Russian government, not to release the information the Russian government gained in South America of criminal US espionage operations in South America. When that fuckwit Bolton was busy trying to hack Venezuela and did not bother to secure operations in his typical corrupt incompetent way, a empty headed bullshittter. ..."
"... The telegraph story about the Soviet pipeline is a canard. The Soviets had no digital controls for their pipelines. ..."
"... This is nothing new and has been going on for decades [telegraph.co.uk] ..."
"... The real story is how and who leaked this to the NYT. ..."
"... "The US has the BEST malware folks! So many malwares... only the best. Trust me. But we didn't tell the Russian about this, 'cause NO COLLUSION. They were totally in the dark, like Argentina is in the Southwest of Africa." ..."
"... Good Luck to them. It is the same idiotism as Y2K fear of nuclear power stations meltdown. They have no computers to break in. They have no computer clocks or Intel based processors to break in. ..."
Jun 27, 2019 | hardware.slashdot.org

DanDD ( 1857066 ) writes: on Sunday June 16, 2019 @01:43PM ( #58772030 )

Nothing new ( Score: 4 , Insightful)

This is nothing new and has been going on for decades [telegraph.co.uk]

The real story is how and who leaked this to the NYT.

rtb61 ( 674572 ) writes: on Monday June 17, 2019 @01:22AM ( #58774154 ) Homepage
Re:Nothing new ( Score: 2 )

This story was a threat sent by the US government to the Russian government, not to release the information the Russian government gained in South America of criminal US espionage operations in South America. When that fuckwit Bolton was busy trying to hack Venezuela and did not bother to secure operations in his typical corrupt incompetent way, a empty headed bullshittter.

So the US government is threatening the Russian government to try to prevent the Russia government from releasing evidence about US criminal espionage activities in South America to the American public. They don't care about the lost information, they only care if the American public get it, evidence of the criminal activity of the US government, this ain't even the first time.

The US government apparently does not care what Russian espionage services know, they only care if the American public get that information and the criminals in the US government end up the ones behind bars. ›

dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) writes: on Monday June 17, 2019 @01:48AM ( #58774210 )
Re:Nothing new ( Score: 3 )

The telegraph story about the Soviet pipeline is a canard. The Soviets had no digital controls for their pipelines.

Re:Nothing new ( Score: 5 , Informative) by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) writes: on Sunday June 16, 2019 @02:05PM ( #58772130 )
This is nothing new and has been going on for decades [telegraph.co.uk]

The real story is how and who leaked this to the NYT.

Probably some guy [wikipedia.org] -- like John Barron, John Miller, Carolin Gallego or David Dennison -- who just can't keep his mouth shut.

"The US has the BEST malware folks! So many malwares... only the best. Trust me. But we didn't tell the Russian about this, 'cause NO COLLUSION. They were totally in the dark, like Argentina is in the Southwest of Africa."

So (from TFA) of course they didn't tell Trump. :-)

Anonymous Coward writes: on Sunday June 16, 2019 @01:46PM ( #58772036 )
NYT believes that Russian power grid has computers ( Score: 3 , Funny)

Good Luck to them. It is the same idiotism as Y2K fear of nuclear power stations meltdown. They have no computers to break in. They have no computer clocks or Intel based processors to break in.

[Jun 27, 2019] 2020 Democrats Must Address Our Addiction to Military Spending by Katrina vanden Heuvel

Notable quotes:
"... This month, the House Armed Services Committee advanced a $733 billion defense budget on a mostly party-line vote ..."
Jun 25, 2019 | www.thenation.com
As they take the stage for the first Democratic debates of the 2020 presidential campaign, the 20 participating candidates should be ready for one frequently asked question: How will you pay for it? Democrats often pledge to finance their most ambitious plans -- Medicare for All, debt-free college, a Green New Deal -- with tax increases on the wealthy and corporations. That is both sensible and fair. But candidates hoping to distinguish themselves in the limited time they will be allotted should also consider taking a stand against the United States' bloated defense budget.

This month, the House Armed Services Committee advanced a $733 billion defense budget on a mostly party-line vote. According to Defense News , the lack of Republican support for the bill illustrated "the stark divide in defense policy between the two parties." Yet that divide is far narrower than you might think. The bill's price tag is just $17 billion less than the $750 billion that President Trump requested ; it still was, as Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) boasted, the "largest" defense budget in history. There remains a near-universal commitment in both parties to massive defense spending -- a case of Washington bipartisanship that the country would be better off without.

A timely new report from the Center for International Policy's Sustainable Defense Task Force offers an alternative path forward. In the report, "A Sustainable Defense: More Security, Less Spending," the nonpartisan group of military and budget experts outlines a strategy that it says would save $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years without harming national-security interests. In fact, through a sober reassessment of the biggest threats to the United States in the 21st century, including climate change and cyberattacks, the proposal would keep the country safer than an outdated approach that relies on perpetual spending increases.

Read the full text of Katrina's column here .

[Jun 27, 2019] Trump has filled his White House with CFR Neocon chickenhawks

And probably, if we just impeach the Walrus of Death nothing will change . Its a freight train to war. It moves slowly at first but its hell to try and stop.
Jun 27, 2019 | www.unz.com

This awesome demonstration of American resolve was meant to be punishment for the vicious slaughter of an expensive U.S. military drone, which was peacefully invading Iranian airspace, and not at all attempting to provoke the Iranians into blowing it out of the sky with a missile so the U.S. military could "retaliate."

The military-industrial complex would never dream of doing anything like that, not even to further the destabilization and restructuring of the Greater Middle East that they've been systematically carrying out the since the collapse of the former Soviet Union, which more on that in just a moment.

[Jun 27, 2019] Western News Agencies Mistranslate Iran's President Speech - It Is Not The First Time Such 'Error' Happens

Highly recommended!
Jun 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Western News Agencies Mistranslate Iran's President Speech - It Is Not The First Time Such 'Error' Happens JOHN CHUCKMAN , Jun 26, 2019 2:10:12 PM | 23

Yesterday the news agencies Associated Press and Reuters mistranslated a speech by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. They made it sound as if Rouhani insulted U.S. President Donald Trump as 'mentally retarded'. Rouhani never said that.

The agencies previously made a similar 'mistake'.

A 2005 speech by then President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was famously misquoted. Israel should be wiped off map, says Iran's president headlined the Guardian at that time. Others used similar headlines. The New York Times wrote :

Iran's conservative new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said Wednesday that Israel must be "wiped off the map" and that attacks by Palestinians would destroy it, the ISNA press agency reported.
...
Referring to comments by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution, Ahmadinejad said, "As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."

The statement was used by the G.W. Bush administration and others to whip up hostility against Iran :

Ever since he spoke at an anti-Zionism conference in Tehran last October, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has been known for one statement above all. As translated by news agencies at the time, it was that Israel "should be wiped off the map." Iran's nuclear program and sponsorship of militant Muslim groups are rarely mentioned without reference to the infamous map remark.

Here, for example, is R. Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, recently: "Given the radical nature of Iran under Ahmadinejad and its stated wish to wipe Israel off the map of the world, it is entirely unconvincing that we could or should live with a nuclear Iran."

However Ahmedinejad never used those words :

"Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to wipe Israel off the map because no such idiom exists in Persian," remarked Juan Cole, a Middle East specialist at the University of Michigan and critic of American policy who has argued that the Iranian president was misquoted. "He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse." Since Iran has not "attacked another country aggressively for over a century," he said in an e-mail exchange, "I smell the whiff of war propaganda."

Jonathan Steele, a columnist for the left-leaning Guardian newspaper in London, recently laid out the case this way: "The Iranian president was quoting an ancient statement by Iran's first Islamist leader, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, that 'this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time,' just as the Shah's regime in Iran had vanished. He was not making a military threat. He was calling for an end to the occupation of Jerusalem at some point in the future. The 'page of time' phrase suggests he did not expect it to happen soon."

Despite the above and other explanations the false "wipe Israel off the map" translation never died. Years later it still reappeared in Guardian pieces which required it to issue multiple corrections and clarifications.

Now, as the Trump administration is pushing for war on Iran, a similar mistranslation miraculously happened. It were again 'western' news agencies who lightened the fire:

The Associated Press @AP - 7:52 utc - 25 Jun 2019

BREAKING: Iran's President Rouhani mocks President Trump, says the White House is "afflicted by mental retardation."

Farsi speakers pointed out that the Rouhani never used the Farsi word for "retarded":

Sina Toossi @SinaToossi - 13:49 utc - 25 Jun 2019

A lot of Western media is reporting that Iranian President Rouhani called Trump "mentally retarded." This is inaccurate.
Regarding Trump, he just said "no wise person would take such an action [the new sanctions imposed]."

Reza H. Akbari @rezahakbari - 15:58 utc - 25 Jun 2019

Absolutely incorrect. There is a word for "retarded" in Persian & Rouhani didn't use it. Prior to him saying "mental disability" he even prefaced his comment by saying "mental weakness." Those who speak Persian can listen & judge for themselves. Here is a video clip of Rouhani's comment: link

But the damage was already done:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 14:42 utc - 25 Jun 2019

Iran leadership doesn't understand the words "nice" or "compassion," they never have. Sadly, the thing they do understand is Strength and Power, and the USA is by far the most powerful Military Force in the world, with 1.5 Trillion Dollars invested over the last two years alone..

....The wonderful Iranian people are suffering, and for no reason at all. Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else. The U.S. has not forgotten Iran's use of IED's & EFP's (bombs), which killed 2000 Americans, and wounded many more...

.... Iran's very ignorant and insulting statement , put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!

Reuters , which also peddled the mistranslation, gleefully connected the dots :

Cont. reading: Western News Agencies Mistranslate Iran's President Speech - It Is Not The First Time Such 'Error' Happens

Excellent summary of how malevolence works in many subtle ways.

Jonathan Gillispie , Jun 26, 2019 1:11:48 PM | 4

Trump was right more than he realizes that the press is the enemy of the people. They goad nations into unnecessary and bloody war.

Don Wiscacho , Jun 26, 2019 1:32:54 PM | 13
This follows in the footsteps of a rich history of mistranslating and obfuscating which is rarely, if ever, corrected by our Guardians of Truth. I will not hold my breath for AP to pull its tweet out issue any sort of correction. The war machine is revving up, truth be damned.

To add a few obfuscations to the list of mistranslations: the Palestinian intifada. Sounds scary, no? Violence against the benevolent Israelis. Because what does intifada actually mean? Uprising, which by its nature suggests oppression, something which just 'can't' be happening in Palestine, hence the need for intifada.
Or take jihad, 'a pillor' of Islam. Again, very scary, as jihad 'means' suicide bombs and killing infidels. What the Guardians of Truth never mention is that jihad in Islam is a very, very broad term that includes such things as helping the poor or less fortunate, educating oneself, quiet reflection, and prayer. Jihad as meaning 'holy war' was a sense meaning derived much later than the founding of the religion, as a reaction to very real threats to believers of the time, the Crusades and Mongol invasions. That this specific sense meaning was essentially confined to history afterward, only to be revived by Wahhabists and takfiris, and one not believed in by the vast majority of Muslims, is never explained. 'Cause all them crazy Muslims believe in jihad!

In all cases where the boogeyman of the day needs concocting, rest assured the 'mainstream' press, with AP in the lead, will be there to build a gleaming edifice mistruths, omissions, and lies.

Uncle Jon , Jun 26, 2019 1:36:27 PM | 14
Ahmadinejad's true and correct translation reads: "Zionism should be wiped from the pages of history."

Now who can argue with that.

jared , Jun 26, 2019 1:43:18 PM | 17
In approximately 17 months, the american public can make strides to fix this mess.
I guess that is a long time for the iranians, but still maybe best option.
dh , Jun 26, 2019 1:51:03 PM | 18
Just in case there is any doubt in American minds here is the Israeli Ambassador to the UN. He thinks the sanctions are working well. Iran is panicking.

Good job guys. Keep squeezing.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/israeli-ambassador-iran-panicking-increased-us-sanctions

wagelaborer , Jun 26, 2019 2:43:01 PM | 31
They mistranslate Trump all the time, or they spin what he says. It is amazing to watch.

For instance, at the Helsinki meeting, where he met with Putin and they discussed multiple topics, but the press ignored any topic but demanding that Trump denounce Putin and "admit" that Putin helped him steal the election, and that he was therefore not the legitimate president.

Obviously, Trump was not going to say that, so he said that he was the legitimate president, and the mockingbird media spun that into "the president is a traitor to America because he said that 17 national intelligence agencies are lying".

michaelj72 , Jun 26, 2019 4:02:36 PM | 40
.....The ministers lie, the professors lie, the television lies,
the priests lie .
These lies mean that the country wants to die.
Lie after lie starts out into the prairie grass,
like enormous caravans of Conestoga wagons .

And a long desire for death flows out, guiding the
enormous caravans from beneath,
stringing together the vague and foolish words.
It is a desire to eat death,
to gobble it down,
to rush on it like a cobra with mouth open
It's a desire to take death inside,
to feel it burning inside, pushing out velvety hairs,
like a clothes brush in the intestines --
This is the thrill that leads the President on to lie....


Robert Bly, The Teeth Mother Naked at Last, originally published by City Lights books 1970

Virgile , Jun 26, 2019 5:10:59 PM | 48
Maybe the translation is inacurate but the message had the expected reaction from Trump: Tweet furor.
It is good that Trump realizes that he does not have the monopole of insulting leaders.
The USA is a country that since WWII has never won any war. How could it give a lesson to Iran who won a 8 years war against Iraq despite the support that the USA, the Gulf countries and Western countries gave to Iraq.
Loud noise and indecisive actions: The disaster of the USA foreign policy
Abx , Jun 26, 2019 5:20:42 PM | 49
I remember watching CNN translate Khamenei's "Nuclear Power" to "Nuclear Weapons" right on live TV in 2013. This is not new.
/div> Virgile "The USA is a country that since WWII has never won any war". The US won a war against Grenada [population 95,000] I would go so far as to say they whupped ass. True there were only 64 Cuban soldiers there [security guards] All members of the US armed forces were involved and 5,000 medals were given out. Ra Ra USA.

Posted by: Harry Law , Jun 26, 2019 5:29:37 PM | 50

Virgile "The USA is a country that since WWII has never won any war". The US won a war against Grenada [population 95,000] I would go so far as to say they whupped ass. True there were only 64 Cuban soldiers there [security guards] All members of the US armed forces were involved and 5,000 medals were given out. Ra Ra USA.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 26, 2019 5:29:37 PM | 50

Kooshy , Jun 26, 2019 5:45:20 PM | 53
b-
I am a Persian speaker and is true that president Rouhani never said Trump is retarded, we now have way passed the point that insults can matte. Nevertheless it was better if President Rouhani would have called Trump and the rest of the ruling US regime like what the whole world has now come to understand, a true and unique collection of retards on a shining hill.
0use4msm , Jun 26, 2019 6:24:08 PM | 57
Reminds me of when Nikita Khruschev attempted to explain in 1956 his view that that capitalism would destroy itself from within by quoting Marx: "What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers." This was notoriously mistranslated into English as "We will bury you", as if the Soviets were out to kill all westerners themselves. Of course this mistranslated was quoted time and time again in western media, fueling Cold War paranoia for years to come.
juandonjuan , Jun 26, 2019 6:31:20 PM | 59
blue @ 19 The news media are wedded to the state which is wedded to the banking system which are all subsidiaries of global capitalism. They don't need to correct themselves. They may have the occasional family feud, but they're all on the same team. They will admit to "mistakes" being made, but only long after it makes no difference.
We have a FREE PRESS in America-Pravda on the Potomac, Izvestia on the Hudson.
Have a look sometime at the Venn Diagrams that portray the overlapping/interlocking memberships of the regulatory/financial/corporate leadership class.
But more than that, whatever the idea of a free press once meant, with the rise of digital corporate networking "platforms", not subject to any accountability, the barriers to entry of any competing narratives to the mainstream discourse are nearly insurmountable. Except maybe through subversion?
What is missing is a true public 'Marketplace of Ideas'
ADKC , Jun 26, 2019 7:00:39 PM | 63
The deliberate mis-translations of non-english speaking "adversaries" of the US is common in the msm. Putin is frequently and deliberately mis-translated to make him appear dictatorial and aggressive.
pj , Jun 26, 2019 7:11:03 PM | 65
I listened to Rohani's speech. He said that if JCPOA is bad, it is bad for all parties; and if it is good, it is good for all parties. They cannot expect for JCPOA to be bad for them and good for us. They withdrew from the JCPOA and expect us to stay with the agreement. This is what he meant when he said: White house has been affected by mental inability and mental disability.
Peter AU 1 , Jun 26, 2019 7:26:38 PM | 72
ADKC
Iran is at war. US and gang are trying to destroy Iran as a nation. The biggest asset in times of war is deception. Used by both the attacker and the attacked.
karlof1 , Jun 26, 2019 7:39:51 PM | 75
Khamenei has Tweeted a series of tweets, and his scribe has posted what he tweeted along with other words at his website in English so there's no mistranslation. Here's one of the series of 6:

"The graceful Iranian nation has been accused & insulted by world's most vicious regime, the U.S., which is a source of wars, conflicts & plunder. Iranian nation won't give up over such insults. Iranians have been wronged by oppressive sanctions but not weakened & remain powerful."

They were made 14+ hours ago, yet I'm the first to post notice of them here?!

goldhoarder , Jun 26, 2019 8:39:33 PM | 80
The USA government excels at propaganda. It always has. Doesn't matter if it babies and incubators, mistranslated leaders of targeted countries, or supposed mass graves. BTW... what ever happened to all those mass graves in Iraq? HRW was going to dig them all up and document them. Hundreds of thousands. Most Americans I talk to still believe in this. Was it true? Saddam himself had claimed it wasn't true. That it was Kurdish propaganda to gain sympathy. He claimed the Anfal campaign was only to push the Kurds off the border so he could control arms smuggling and that casualties were minimal. Looking into the search. They are graves with a few hundred here and there but where are the rest of the bodies? If you google Iraq mass graves there are more articles about ISIS mass graves than the Anfal campaign. There were people killed in the South during the Shia uprising after the first gulf war than there was for the Anfal campaign. Was that a lie too? Nearly every American believes it still.

PM admits graves claim 'untrue'
Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor

Sat 17 Jul 2004 19.35 EDT First published on Sat 17 Jul 2004 19.35 EDT
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2004/jul/18/iraq.iraq1

Downing Street has admitted to The Observer that repeated claims by Tony Blair that '400,000 bodies had been found in Iraqi mass graves' is untrue, and only about 5,000 corpses have so far been uncovered.
The claims by Blair in November and December of last year, were given widespread credence, quoted by MPs and widely published, including in the introduction to a US government pamphlet on Iraq's mass graves.

In that publication - Iraq's Legacy of Terror: Mass Graves produced by USAID, the US government aid distribution agency, Blair is quoted from 20 November last year: 'We've already discovered, just so far, the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves.'

Arata , Jun 26, 2019 10:40:53 PM | 98
Anyone who can undestand Farsi ( Persian language) can litsen Rouhani's speech. He did not name "Trump", he said " White House".
I have been watching CNN news channel who said that Rouhani made a personal attack on Trump! That was not true.

There was no personal attack on Rouhani's speech.
Importantly, the context of the speech and conclusion is diffent from western media reports and western translations.

I would like give few links of some Iranian news agencies, reporting Rouhani's speech for International use, as reference here:

1) FrasNews Agency

Rouhani said:

"These days, we see the White House in confusion and we are witnessing undue and ridiculous words and adoption of a scandalous policy,"

..."The US sanctions are crime against humanity. The US recent measures indicate their ultimate failure. The new US measures are the result of their frustration and confusion over Iran. The White House has mental disability,"


http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980405000859

2) ISNA English

"They are having mental problems and today, the White House has become mentally paralysed and don't know what to do".
https://en.isna.ir/news/98040402431/Sanctioning-Supreme-leader-of-Iran-ridiculous-President-Rouhani

ISAN French

Le président iranien, affirmant que les États-Unis, malgré de nombreuses tentatives de pression exercées par divers leviers sur l'Iran, ont échoué dans leurs objectifs, a poursuivi : "Une étrange frustration et une grande confusion règnent au sein du Corps dirigeant de la Maison Blanche. Ils se sentent déçus car ils n'ont obtenu aucun résultat, ils s'attendaient à voir l'Iran brisé dans l'espace de quelques mois, mais ils ont fini par constater que les Iraniens agissent de plus en plus fermement, de manière plus créative que jamais ".

https://fr.isna.ir/news/98040402385/Les-actions-américaines-sont-inhumaines-Rohani

3) TasnimNews

The president also decried the new US sanctions against Iran, saying the White House has been thrown into confusion as its officials are making "inappropriate and ridiculous" comments and adopting the policy of disgrace.

https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2019/06/26/2041386/iran-urges-us-europe-to-return-to-jcpoa

Paora , Jun 26, 2019 11:18:41 PM | 101
0use4msm @54

Wow that's amazing! Probably the best known Khrushchev 'quote', presented as evidence of his boorish nature, is an intentional mistranslation. And the Marx quote is not exactly obscure, it's from Chapter 1 of the Communist Manifesto for eff sake! At least it makes a change from the 'lets just make things up' cottage industry of Lenin & Stalin 'quotes'.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 26, 2019 11:23:51 PM | 102
"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes."
Mark Twain (or some other student of wisdom)
...
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/26/books/famous-misquotations.html
Apr 26, 2017 - Mark Twain is one of many who gets credit for famous quotations he never wrote or said. ... credited with saying "a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes" ... Proverbial wisdom, in which a quotation is elevated to the status of a proverb because its source is unknown;.
Circe , Jun 27, 2019 10:19:52 AM | 136 Noirette , Jun 27, 2019 10:50:17 AM | 137
Mistranslations are a classical cheap n easy way to sway opinion.

Interesting that the examples b quotes, and most of those promoted currently by the US-uk-eu, afaik, understand, are intended to project into the voice of Iranians, Russians, Syrians, utterances, declarations, to be labelled insults, slander, threats, impropriety, even rage, coming from these parties, as

there is nothing much else to display!

(Spanish is too comprehensible > does not apply to Mexico, Cuba, S. America.)

Often cultural matters play a role, but are ignored. Ahmadinejad was endlessly vilified and mocked by the W-MSM for saying what was translated as there are no homosexuals in Iran (no idea what the original formulation was) - which 'obviously' can't be 'true.'

Besides homosexuality being unacceptable in conservative rule-books, Iran is, or was (to 2010) above (or with) Thailand the no. 1. practitioner / destination for sex change operations. Iran had super educated docs, great hospitals, etc.

Ahmadinejad was relying on a kind of fundamentalist principle where the 'soul' or the 'essential quality' of a person is what is tantamount, what counts above all. The physical manifestation, here the human body, can be transformed to be in harmony with the deep-felt or 'innately' ascribed orientation or 'spirit.' So, no homosexuals in Iran, or only a few who are in 'transition.' (Not denying real suffering of gays in Iran, other story.)

The W, in first place the US, is doing precisely the same with its 'gender change' promotion, as applied to children and young teens. Here too, 'feelings' and 'identity' override 'nature' : the physical can be overturned, overcome, fixed.

Such cultural issues play a role in mis-translations, deliberate or not. It may appear that I wandered far off topic, I just picked a topical comprehensible ex. Sharia law is more complex..

[Jun 27, 2019] Thirty years of endless war have created a veritable cult of militarism within the American ruling elite, whose guiding assumption seems to be that wars can be waged without drastic global consequences, including for the United States itself."

Notable quotes:
"... A significant military attack against Iran will NOT go unanswered and if the Iranian Military destroys a US warship and kills hundreds of sailors it would unleash another major war in the Middle East igniting the entire region and possibly leading to a world war. ..."
"... "While Trump's foreign policy team -- headed by National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- 'unanimously' supported the attack, General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 'cautioned about the possible repercussions of a strike, warning that it could endanger American forces,' the Times wrote." ..."
Jun 27, 2019 | www.wsws.org

Charlotte Ruse3 days ago

"Thirty years of endless war have created a veritable cult of militarism within the American ruling elite, whose guiding assumption seems to be that wars can be waged without drastic global consequences, including for the United States itself."

The military/security surveillance state is a trillion dollar enterprise that instigates conflicts to expand its profits. Militarism works hand-in-hand with the neoliberal corporatists who deploy the military to secure natural resources, wage slaves, and geostrategic hegemony. It should be noted, that the US imperialist agenda left unhindered after the dissolution of the Soviet Union only intensified.

However, in order for the US ruling class to achieve the "ultimate goal" of unilateral hegemony in the Middle East the military must confront Iran a powerful sizable country with economic and political ties to China and Russia. This is the dilemma confronting the warmongering psychopaths
who are influenced by Israel and Saudi Arabia.

A significant military attack against Iran will NOT go unanswered and if the Iranian Military destroys a US warship and kills hundreds of sailors it would unleash another major war in the Middle East igniting the entire region and possibly leading to a world war.

What should traumatize the US population and awaken them from their hypnotic warmongering stupur created by propaganda proliferated on FOX, MSNBC, and CNN is that the United States came within minutes of launching a war whose military consequences it had NOT seriously examined.

erroll -> jet16853 days ago • edited
Some people have speculated that if the U.S. does attack Iran then Iran will launch missiles at Saudi Arabia's oil fields which will then send oil prices skyrocketing to $130 dollars a barrel. The article also notes that:

"While Trump's foreign policy team -- headed by National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- 'unanimously' supported the attack, General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 'cautioned about the possible repercussions of a strike, warning that it could endanger American forces,' the Times wrote."

Apparently the good general cannot get too worked up at the sight of thousands and thousands of Iranian children, women, and old men who would be slaughtered and grievously wounded by U.S. bombs and the water supply which would be contaminated when those bombs would land at a nuclear power plant. But these horrific actions by the United States are of no consequence because, as Madeline Albright observed on a television a few decades ago, the deaths of a half million Iraqi children by the U.S. was worth it. It would appear that the lives of foreigners are of little consequence to those who are in power. Threatening to start a war against another country for the most specious of reasons is simply another reason why a malignant narcissist like Trump needs to be removed from office as quickly as possible. Or perhaps Trump believes that the best way to improve his low poll numbers is to start dropping 500 lb. bombs on a country which does not in any remote way pose a threat to the United States.

"Almost all propaganda is designed to create fear. Heads of governments and their officials know that a frightened people is easier to govern, will forfeit rights it would otherwise defend, is less likely to demand a better life, and will agree to millions and millions being spent on 'Defense'."-John Boynton Priestly [1894-1984], English writer

"Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god."-Jean Rostand [1894-1977], French philosopher and biologist

[Jun 27, 2019] Crisis of neoliberalism hits the US military industrial complex by Matt Stoller and Lucas Kunce

Notable quotes:
"... This story of lost American leadership and production is not unique. In fact, the destruction of America's once vibrant military and commercial industrial capacity in many sectors has become the single biggest unacknowledged threat to our national security. Because of public policies focused on finance instead of production, the United States increasingly cannot produce or maintain vital systems upon which our economy, our military, and our allies rely. Huawei is just a particularly prominent example. ..."
"... Higher budgets would seem to make sense. According to the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the United States is shifting away from armed conflicts in the Middle East to "great power" competition with China and Russia, which have technological parity in many areas with the United States. As part of his case for higher budgets, Mattis told Congress that "our military remains capable, but our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare -- air, land, sea, space, and cyber." ..."
"... And yet, the U.S. military budget, even at stalled levels, is still larger than the next nine countries' budgets combined. So there's a second natural follow-up question: is the defense budget the primary reason our military advantage is slipping away, or is it something deeper? ..."
"... The loss of manufacturing capacity has been devastating for American research capacity. "Innovation doesn't just hover above the Great Plains," Mottl said. "It is built on steady incremental changes and knowledge learned out of basic manufacturing." Telecommunications equipment is dual use, meaning it can be used for both commercial and military purposes. The loss of an industrial base in telecom equipment meant that the American national security apparatus lost military capacity. ..."
"... "The middle-class Americans who did the manufacturing work, all that capability, machine tools, knowledge, it just became worthless, driven by the stock price," he said. "The national ability to produce is a national treasure. If you can't produce you won't consume, and you can't defend yourself." ..."
"... In the commercial sector, rebuilding the industrial base will require an aggressive national mobilization strategy. This means aggressive investment by government to rebuild manufacturing capacity, selective tariffs to protect against Chinese or foreign predation, regulation to stop financial predation by Wall Street, and anti-monopoly enforcement to block the exploitation of market power. ..."
Jun 27, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Wall Street's short-term incentives have decimated our defense industrial base and undermined our national security.

Early this year, U.S. authorities filed criminal charges -- including bank fraud, obstruction of justice, and theft of technology -- against the largest maker of telecommunications equipment in the world, a Chinese giant named Huawei. Chinese dominance in telecom equipment has created a crisis among Western espionage agencies, who, fearful of Chinese spying, are attempting to prevent the spread of Huawei equipment worldwide, especially
in the critical 5G next-generation mobile networking space.

In response to the campaign to block the purchase of Huawei equipment, the company has engaged in a public relations offensive. The company's CEO, Ren Zhengfei, portrayed Western fears as an advertisement for its products, which are, he said, "so good that the U.S. government is scared." There's little question the Chinese government is interested in using equipment to spy. What is surprising is Zhengfei is right about the products. Huawei, a relatively new company in the telecom equipment space, has amassed top market share because its equipment -- espionage vulnerabilities aside -- is the best value on the market.

In historical terms, this is a shocking turnaround. Americans invented the telephone business and until recently dominated production and research. But in the last 20 years, every single American producer of key telecommunication equipment sectors is gone. Today, only two European makers -- Ericsson and Nokia -- are left to compete with Huawei and another Chinese competitor, ZTE.

This story of lost American leadership and production is not unique. In fact, the destruction of America's once vibrant military and commercial industrial capacity in many sectors has become the single biggest unacknowledged threat to our national security. Because of public policies focused on finance instead of production, the United States increasingly cannot produce or maintain vital systems upon which our economy, our military, and our allies rely. Huawei is just a particularly prominent example.

When national security specialists consider preparedness, they usually think in terms of the amount of money spent on the Pentagon. One of President Donald Trump's key campaign promises was to aggressively raise the military budget, which he, along with Congress, started doing in 2017. The reaction was instant. "I'm heartened that Congress recognizes the sobering effect of budgetary uncertainty on America's military and on the men and women who provide for our nation's defense," then-defense secretary Jim Mattis said. Budgets have gone up every year since.

Higher budgets would seem to make sense. According to the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the United States is shifting away from armed conflicts in the Middle East to "great power" competition with China and Russia, which have technological parity in many areas with the United States. As part of his case for higher budgets, Mattis told Congress that "our military remains capable, but our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare -- air, land, sea, space, and cyber."

In some cases, our competitive edge has not just been eroded, but is at risk of being -- or already is -- surpassed. The Chinese surge in 5G telecom equipment, which has dual civilian and military uses, is one example. China is making key investments in artificial intelligence, another area of competition. They even seem to be able to mount a rail gun on a naval ship , an important next generation weapons technology that the U.S. Navy has yet to incorporate.

And yet, the U.S. military budget, even at stalled levels, is still larger than the next nine countries' budgets combined. So there's a second natural follow-up question: is the defense budget the primary reason our military advantage is slipping away, or is it something deeper?

Why the Regulators Went Soft on Monopolies The Conservative Case for Antitrust

The story of Huawei, and many others, suggests the latter.

♦♦♦

For over a century, America led the world in producing telecommunications equipment. The American telecom industry, according to Zach Mottl of Atlas Tool Works, a subcontractor in the industry, used to be a "crown jewel of American manufacturing." Mottl's company had been a manufacturing supplier to AT&T and its Bell Labs from the early 1900s until the early 2000s. "The radar system was invented here. The transistor came out of Bell Labs. The laser. I mean all of these high-tech inventions that have both commercial and military applications were funded out of the research," Mottl told TAC . More than just the sexy inventions, there was a domestic industrial sector which could make the equipment. Now, in a strategic coup for our adversaries, that capability is gone.

Yet it wasn't one of those adversaries that killed our telecommunications capacity, but one of our own institutions, Wall Street, and its pressure on executives to make decisions designed to impress financial markets, rather than for the long-term health of their companies. In 1996, AT&T spun off Bell Labs into a telecom equipment company, Lucent Technologies, to take advantage of investors' appetite for an independent player selling high-tech telecom gear after Congress deregulated the telecommuncations space. At the time, it was the biggest initial public offering in history, and became the foundation of a relationship with financial markets that led to its eventual collapse.

The focus on stock price at Lucent was systematic. The stock price was posted daily to encourage everyone to focus on the company's relationship with short-term oriented financial markets. All employees got a small number of "Founder's Grant Share Options," with executives offered much larger slugs of stock to solidify the connection. When Richard McGinn became CEO in 1997, he focused on financial markets.

Lucent began to buy up companies. According to two scholars , "The perceived need to compete for acquisitions became a 'strategic' justification for keeping stock prices high. This in turn demanded meeting or exceeding quarterly revenue and earnings targets, objectives with which Lucent top executives, led by the hard-driving McGinn, became obsessed."

Lucent got even more aggressive. McGinn's subordinate, an executive named Carly Fiorina, juiced returns with a strategy based on lending money to risky startups who would then turn around and buy Lucent equipment. Fiorina collected $65 million in compensation as the stock soared. And then, when the dot-com boom turned to bust, the company, beset by accounting scandals designed to impress shareholders and the financial markets, embarked on massive layoffs. CEO McGinn was among those laid off, but with a $12.5 million severance package -- royal compensation for taking one of America's strategic industrial assets down the road toward total destruction.

In the early 2000s, the telecom equipment market began to recover from the recession. Lucent's new strategy, as Mottl put it, was to seek "margin" by offshoring production to China, continuing layoffs of American workers and hiring abroad. At first, it was the simpler parts of the telecom equipment, the boxes and assembly, but soon contract manufacturers in China were making virtually all of it. American telecom capacity would never return.

Lucent didn't recover its former position. Chinese entrants, subsidized heavily by the Chinese state and using Western technology, underpriced Western companies. American policymakers, unconcerned with industrial capacity, allowed Chinese companies to capture market share despite the predatory subsidies and stolen technology. In 2006, French telecom equipment maker Alcatel bought Lucent, signifying the end of American control of Bell Labs. Today, Huawei, with state backing, dominates the market.

The erosion of much of the American industrial and defense industrial base proceeded like Lucent. First, in the 1980s and 1990s, Wall Street financiers focused on short-term profits, market power, and executive pay-outs over core competencies like research and production, often rolling an industry up into a monopoly producer. Then, in the 2000s, they offshored production to the lowest cost producer. This finance-centric approach opened the door to the Chinese government's ability to strategically pick off industrial capacity by subsidizing its producers. Hand over cash to Wall Street, and China could get the American crown jewels.

The loss of manufacturing capacity has been devastating for American research capacity. "Innovation doesn't just hover above the Great Plains," Mottl said. "It is built on steady incremental changes and knowledge learned out of basic manufacturing." Telecommunications equipment is dual use, meaning it can be used for both commercial and military purposes. The loss of an industrial base in telecom equipment meant that the American national security apparatus lost military capacity.

This loss goes well beyond telecom equipment. Talking to small manufacturers and distributors who operate in the guts of our industrial systems offers a perspective on the danger of this process of financial predation and offshoring. Bill Hickey, who headed his family's metal distributor, processor, and fabricator, has been watching the collapse for decades. Hickey sells to "everyone who uses steel," from truck, car, and agricultural equipment manufacturers to stadiums and the military.

Hickey, like many manufacturers, has watched the rise of China with alarm for decades. "Everyone's upset about the China 2025 plan," he told TAC , referencing the current Chinese plan causing alarm among national security thinkers in Washington. "Well there was a China 2020 plan, 2016 plan, 2012 plan." The United States has, for instance, lost much of its fasteners and casting industries, which are key inputs to virtually every industrial product. It has lost much of its capacity in grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel, a specialized metal required for highly efficient electrical motors. Aluminum that goes into American aircraft carriers now often comes from China.

Hickey told a story of how the United States is even losing its submarine fleet. He had a conversation with an admiral in charge of the U.S. sub fleet at the commissioning of the USS Illinois , a Virginia-class attack submarine, who complained that the United States was retiring three worn-out boats a year, but could only build one and a half in that time. The Trump military budget has boosted funding to build two a year, but the United States no longer has the capacity to do high quality castings to build any more than that. The supply chain that could support such surge production should be in the commercial world, but it has been offshored to China. "You can't run a really high-end casting business on making three submarines a year," Hickey said. "You just can't do it." This shift happened because Wall Street, or "the LBO (leveraged buy-out) guys" as Hickey put it, bought up manufacturing facilities in the 1990s and moved them to China.

"The middle-class Americans who did the manufacturing work, all that capability, machine tools, knowledge, it just became worthless, driven by the stock price," he said. "The national ability to produce is a national treasure. If you can't produce you won't consume, and you can't defend yourself."

The Loss of the Defense Industrial Base

But it's not just the dual-use commercial manufacturing base that is collapsing. Our policy empowering Wall Street and offshoring has also damaged the more specialized defense base, which directly produces weaponry and equipment for the military.

How pervasive is the loss of such capacity? In September 2018, the Department of Defense released findings of its analysis into its supply chain. The results highlighted how fragile our ability to supply our own military has become.

The report listed dozens of militarily significant items and inputs with only one or two domestic producers, or even none at all. Many production facilities are owned by companies that are financially vulnerable and at high risk of being shut down. Some of the risk comes from limited production capability. Mortar tubes, for example, are made on just one production line, and some Marine aircraft parts are made by just one company -- one which recently filed for bankruptcy.

At risk is everything from chaff to flares to high voltage cable, fittings for ships, valves, key inputs for satellites and missiles, and even material for tents. As Americans no longer work in key industrial fields, the engineering and production skills evaporate as the legacy workforce retires.

Even more unsettling is the reliance on foreign, and often adversarial, manufacturing and supplies. The report found that "China is the single or sole supplier for a number of specialty chemicals used in munitions and missiles . A sudden and catastrophic loss of supply would disrupt DoD missile, satellite, space launch, and other defense manufacturing programs. In many cases, there are no substitutes readily available." Other examples of foreign reliance included circuit boards, night vision systems, batteries, and space sensors.

The story here is similar. When Wall Street targeted the commercial industrial base in the 1990s, the same financial trends shifted the defense industry. Well before any of the more recent conflicts, financial pressure led to a change in focus for many in the defense industry -- from technological engineering to balance sheet engineering. The result is that some of the biggest names in the industry have never created any defense product. Instead of innovating new technology to support our national security, they innovate new ways of creating monopolies to take advantage of it.

A good example is a company called TransDigm. While TransDigm presents itself as a designer and producer of aerospace products, it can more accurately be described as a designer of monopolies. TransDigm began as a private equity firm, a type of investment business, in 1993. Its mission, per its earnings call , is to give "private equity-like returns" to shareholders, returns that are much higher than the stock market or other standard investment vehicles.

It achieves these returns for its shareholders by buying up companies that are sole or single-source suppliers of obscure airplane parts that the government needs, and then increasing prices by as much as eight times the original amount . If the government balks at paying, TransDigm has no qualms daring the military to risk its mission and its crew by not buying the parts. The military, held hostage, often pays the ransom. TransDigm's gross profit margins using this model to gouge the U.S. government are a robust 54.5 percent. To put that into perspective, Boeing and Lockheed's profit margins are listed at 13.6 percent and 10.91 percent. In many ways, TransDigm is like the pharmaceutical company run by Martin Shkreli, which bought rare treatments and then price gouged those who could not do without the product. Earlier this year, TransDigm recently bought the remaining supplier of chaff and one of two suppliers of flares, products identified in the Defense Department's supply chain fragility report.

TransDigm was caught manipulating the parts market by the Department of Defense Inspector General in 2006 , again in 2008 , and finally again this year. It is currently facing yet another investigation by the Government Accountability Office .

Yet, Trandigm's stock price thrives because Wall Street loves monopolies, regardless of who they are taking advantage of. Take this analysis from TheStreet from March 2019, published after the latest Inspector General report and directly citing many of the concerning facts from the report as pure positives for the investor:

The company is now the sole supplier for 80% of the end markets it serves. And 90% of the items in the supply chain are proprietary to TransDigm. In other words, the company is operating a monopoly for parts needed to operate aircraft that will typically be in service for 30 years . Managers are uniquely motivated to increase shareholder value and they have an enviable record, with shares up 2,503% since 2009.

Fleecing the Defense Department is big business. Its executive chairman W. Nicholas Howley, skewered by Democrats and Republicans alike in a May 2019 House Oversight hearing for making up to 4,000 percent excess profit on some parts and stealing from the American taxpayer, received total compensation of over $64 million in 2013 , the fifth most among all CEOs, and over $13 million in 2018 , making him one of the most highly compensated CEOs no one has ever heard of . Shortly after May's hearing, the company agreed to voluntarily return $16 million in overcharges to the Pentagon, but the share price is at near record highs.

L3 Technologies, created in 1997, has taken a different, but also damaging, approach to monopolizing Defense Department contracts. Originally, it sought to become "the Home Depot of the defense industry" by going on an acquisition binge, according to its former CEO Frank Lanza. Today, L3 uses its size, its connections within the government, and its willingness to offer federal employees good-paying jobs at L3, to muscle out competitors and win contracts, even if the competitor has more innovative and better priced products . This practice attracted the ire of two Republican congressmen from North Carolina, Ted Budd and the late Walter Jones, who found in 2017 that L3 succeeds, in part, due to "blatant corruption and obvious disregard of American foreign interest in the name of personal economic profit."

Like TransDigm, this isn't L3's first brush with trouble. It was temporarily suspended from U.S. government contracting for using "extremely sensitive and classified information" from a government system to help its international business interests. It was the subject of a scathing Senate Armed Services Committee investigation for failing to notify the Defense Department that it supplied faulty Chinese counterfeit parts for some of its aircraft displays. And it agreed to pay a $25.6 million settlement to the U.S. government for knowingly providing defective weapon sights for years to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet, also like TransDigm, L3 has thrived despite its troubles. When the company was granted an open-ended contract to update the Air Force's electronics jamming airplane in 2017, Lieutenant General Arnold Bunch outlined the Air Force's logic at a House Armed Services Subcommittee meeting. L3, he said, is the only company that can do the job. "They have all the tooling, they have all the existing knowledge, and they have the modeling and all the information to do that work," he said.

In other words, because L3 has a monopoly, there was no one else to pick. The system -- a system designed by the financial industry that rewards monopoly and consolidation at the expense of innovation and national security -- essentially made the pick for him. It is no wonder our military capacities are ebbing, despite the large budget outlays -- the money isn't going to defense.

♦♦♦

In fact, in some ways, our own defense budgets are being used against us when potential adversaries use Wall Street to take control of our own Pentagon-developed technologies.

There's no better example than China's takeover of the rare earth metal industry, which is key to both defense and electronics. The issue has frequently made the front page during the recent trade war, but the seldom-discussed background to our dependence on China for rare earths is that, just like with telecom equipment, the United States used to be the world leader in the industry until the financial sector shipped the whole thing to China.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Defense Department invested in the development of a technology to use what are known as rare-earth magnets. The investment was so successful that General Motors engineers, using Pentagon grants, succeeded in creating a rare earth magnet that is now essential for nearly every high-tech piece of military equipment in the U.S. inventory, from smart bombs and fighter jets to lasers and communications devices. The benefit of DARPA's investment wasn't restricted to the military. The magnets make cell phones and modern commercial electronics possible.

China recognized the value of these magnets early on. Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping famously said in 1992 that "The Middle East has oil, China has rare earth," to underscore the importance of a rare earth strategy he adopted for China. Part of that strategy was to take control of the industry by manipulating the motivations of Wall Street.

Two of Xiaoping's sons-in-law approached investment banker Archibald Cox, Jr. in the mid-1990s to use his hedge fund as a front for their companies to buy the U.S. rare-earth magnet enterprise. They were successful, purchasing and then moving the factory, the Indiana jobs, the patents, and the expertise to China. This was not the only big move, as Cox later moved into a $12 million luxury New York residence . The result is remarkably similar to Huawei: the United States has entirely divested of a technology and market it created and dominated just 30 years ago. China has a near-complete monopoly on rare earth elements, and the U.S. military, according to U.S. government studies, is now 100 percent reliant upon China for the resources to produce its advanced weapon systems.

Wall Street's outsized control over defense contracting and industry means that every place a foreign adversary can insert itself into American financial institutions, it can insert itself into our defense industry.

At an Armed Services Committee hearing in 2018, Representative Carol Shea-Porter talked about how constant the conflict between financial concentration and patriotism had been in her six years on the committee. She recounted a CEO once telling her, in response to her concern about the outsourcing of defense industry parts, that he "[has] to answer to stockholders."

Who are these stockholders that CEOs are so compelled to answer to? Oftentimes, China. Jennifer M. Harris , an expert in global markets with experience at the U.S. State Department and the U.S. National Intelligence Council, researched a recent explosion of Chinese strategic investment in American technology companies. She found that China has systematically targeted U.S. greenfield investments, "technology goods (especially semiconductors), R&D networks, and advanced manufacturing."

The trend accelerated, until the recent flare-up of tensions between the United States and China. "China's foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in the U.S. increased some 800% between 2009 and 2015," she wrote. Then, from 2015 to 2017, "Chinese FDI in the U.S. climbed nearly four-fold, reaching roughly $45.6 billion in 2016 , up from just $12.8 billion in 2014."

This investment runs right through Wall Street, the key lobbying group trying to ratchet down Trump's tough negotiating posture with the Chinese. Rather than showing concern about the increasing influence of a foreign power in our commerce and industry, Wall Street banks have repeatedly followed Archie Cox down the path of easy returns.

In 2016, J.P. Morgan Chase agreed to pay a $264 million bribery settlement to the U.S. government for creating a program, called "Sons and Daughters," to gain access to Chinese money by selectively hiring the unqualified offspring of high-ranking Communist Party officials and other Chinese elites. Several other banks are under investigation for similar practices, including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, who, not coincidentally, hired the son of China's commerce minister. It appears to have worked out for them. In 2017, Goldman Sachs partnered with the Chinese government's sovereign wealth fund to invest $5 billion Chinese government dollars in American industry.

In short, China is becoming a significant shareholder in U.S. industries, and is selectively targeting those with strategic implications. Congresswoman Shea-Porter's discovery that defense industry CEOs aren't able to worry about national security because they "[have] to answer to shareholders" was disturbing enough. But the fact that it potentially translates as CEOs not being able to worry about national security because they have to answer to the Chinese should elevate the issue to the top of our national security discussion. This nexus of China, Wall Street, and our defense industrial base may be the answer to why our military advantage is ebbing. Even when American ingenuity can thrive, too often the fruits go to the Chinese.

In short, the financial industry, with its emphasis on short-term profit and monopoly , and its willingness to ignore national security for profit, has warped our very ability to defend ourselves.

How Did We Get Here?

Believe it or not, America has been here before. In the 1920s and 1930s, the American defense industrial base was being similarly manipulated by domestic financiers for their own purposes, retarding innovation and damaging the nation's ability to defend itself. And American military readiness was ebbing in the midst of an increasingly dangerous world full of rising autocracies.

Today it might be artificial intelligence or drones, but in the 1930s the key military technology was the airplane. And as with much digital technology today, while Americans invented the airplane, many of the fruits went elsewhere. The reason was similar to the problem of Wall Street today. The American aerospace industry in the 1930s was undermined by fights among bankers over who got to profit from associated patent rights.

In 1935, Brigadier General William Mitchell told Congress that the United States didn't have a single plane that could go against a "first-class power." "It is a disgraceful situation and is due," he said, "for one thing, to this pool of patents." The lack of aerospace capacity reflected a broader industrial problem. Monopolists refused to invest in factories to produce enough steel, aluminum, and magnesium for adequate military readiness, for fear of losing control over prices.

New Dealers investigated, and by the time war broke out, the Roosevelt administration was in the midst of a sustained anti-monopoly campaign. The Nazi war machine, like China today, gave added impetus to the problem of monopoly in key technology-heavy industries. In 1941, an assistant attorney general for the antitrust division, Norman Littell, gave a speech to the Indiana State Bar Association about what he called "The German Invasion of American Business."

The Nazis, he argued, used legal techniques, like patent laws, stock ownership, dummy corporations, and cartel arrangements, to extend their power into the United States. "The distinction between bombing a vital plant out of existence from an airplane and preventing that plant from coming into existence in the first place [through cartel arrangements]," he said, "is largely a difference in the amount of noise involved."

Nazis used their American subsidiary corporations to spy on U.S. industrial capacity and steal technology, such as walkie-talkies, intertank and ground-air radio communication systems, and shortwave sets developed by the U.S. Army and Navy. They used patents or cartel arrangements to restrict the production of stainless steel, tungsten-carbide, and fuel injection equipment. According to the U.S. military after the war, I.G. Farben, the Nazi chemical monopoly, had influence over American production of "synthetic gas and oils, dyestuffs, explosives, synthetic rubber ('Buna'), menthol, cellophane, and other products," and sought to keep the United States "entirely dependent" on Germany for certain types of electrical equipment.

The Nazis took advantage of an industrial system that was, like the current one, organized along short-term objectives. But seeing the danger, New Dealers attacked the power of financiers through direct financing of factories, excess profits taxes, and the breaking of the power of the Rockefeller, Dupont, and Mellon empires through bank regulation and antitrust suits. They separated the makers of airplanes from airlines, a sort of Glass Steagall for aerospace. During the war itself, antitrust chief Thurman Arnold, and those he influenced, sought to end international cartels and loosen patent rules in part because they allowed control over American industry by the Nazis.

After the war, the link between global cartels and national security vulnerabilities was a key driver of American trade and military strategy. America pursued globalization, but with two differences from the form we have today. First, strategists sought to prevent the recurrence of global cartels and monopolies. Second, they sought to become industrially intertwined with allies, not rivals. While multinational corporations stretched across the West, they did not locate production or technology development in Moscow or among strategic rivals, as we do today in China.

Domestically, anti-profiteering institutions and rules protected against corruption, especially important when the defense budget comprised a large chunk of overall American research and development. The Defense Department's procurement agency -- the Defense Logistics Agency -- was enormously powerful and oversaw procurement and supply challenges. The Pentagon had the power to force suppliers of sole source products -- contractors that had monopolies -- to reveal cost information to the government. The financial health of defense contractors mattered, but so did value to the taxpayer, a skilled defense industrial workforce, and the ability to deliver quality products to aid in national defense.

A fragmented base of contractors and subcontractors ensured redundancy and competition, and a powerful federal apparatus with thousands of employees with expertise in pricing and negotiation kept prices reasonable. The Defense Department could even take ownership of specialized tooling rights to create competition in monopolistic markets with specialized spare part needs -- which is precisely where TransDigm specializes. This authority and expertise had been carefully cultivated over decades to provide the material necessary to equip American soldiers for World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars, and the first Gulf war.

In the 1980s, while Ronald Reagan allowed Wall Street free rein elsewhere in the economy, he mostly kept Wall Street from going after the defense base. But scholars began debating whether it made sense to have such a large and expensive negotiating apparatus to deal with contractors, or if a more "cooperative" approach should be taken. Business consultants argued that the Pentagon could save money if it would simply be "a better customer, by being less adversarial and more trusting" of defense contractors.

With the end of the Cold War, these arguments found new resonance. Bill Clinton took the philosophical change that Reagan had pushed on the civilian economy, and moved it into the defense base. In 1993, Defense Department official William Perry gathered CEOs of top defense contractors and told them that they would have to merge into larger entities because of reduced Cold War spending. "Consolidate or evaporate," he said at what became known as "The Last Supper" in military lore. Former secretary of the Navy John Lehman noted, "industry leaders took the warning to heart." They reduced the number of prime contractors from 16 to six; subcontractor mergers quadrupled from 1990 to 1998. They also loosened rules on sole source -- i.e. monopoly -- contracts, and slashed the Defense Logistics Agency, resulting in thousands of employees with deep knowledge of defense contracting leaving the public sector.

Contractors increasingly dictated procurement rules. The Clinton administration approved laws changing procurement, which, as the Los Angeles Times put it, got rid of the government's traditional goals of ensuring "fair competition and low prices." They reversed what the New Dealers had done to insulate American military power from financiers.

The administration also pushed Congress to allow foreign imports into American weapons through waivers of the Buy America Act, and demanded procurement officers stop asking for cost data. Mass offshoring took place, and businesses could increase prices radically.

This environment attracted private-equity shops, and swaths of the defense industry shifted their focus from aerospace engineering to balance sheet engineering. From 1993 to 2000, despite dramatic declines in Cold War military spending and declines in the number of workers in the defense industrial base and within the military, defense stocks outperformed the S&P.

Today, the American defense establishment quietly finds itself in the same predicament it did in the 1930s. Despite spending large amounts of money on weapons systems, it often gets substandard equipment. It is dependent for key sources of supply on business arrangements with potentially hostile powers. The problem is so big, so toxic, and so difficult that few lawmakers even want to take it on. But the increasingly obvious danger of Chinese power means we can no longer ignore it.

The Fix

Fortunately, this is fixable. Huawei's predatory pricing success has shown policymakers all over the world what happens when we don't protect our vital industrial capacity. Last year, Congress strengthened the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the committee that reviews foreign investment and mergers. The Trump tariffs have begun forcing a long-overdue conversation across the globe about Chinese steel and aluminum overcapacity, and Democrats like Representative Dan Lipinski are focused on reconstituting domestic manufacturing ability.

Within the defense base itself, every example -- from TransDigm to L3 to Chinese infiltration of American business -- has drawn the attention of members of Congress. Representatives Ted Budd and Paul Cook are Republicans and Representatives Jackie Speier and Ro Khanna are Democrats. They are not alone. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Tim Ryan have joined Khanna's demand for a TransDigm investigation.

Moreover, focus on production is bipartisan. One of the most ardent opponents of consolidation in the 1990s is current presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who in 1996 passed an amendment to block Pentagon subsidies for defense mergers, or what he called "Payoffs for Layoffs." On the other end of the spectrum, Trump has refocused national security and trade officials on the importance of domestic manufacturing.

Defense officials have also become acutely aware of the problem. In a 2015 briefing at the Pentagon, in response to questions about Lockheed's acquisition of Sikorsky, then secretary of defense Ash Carter emphasized the importance of not having "excessive consolidation," including so-called vertical integration, in the defense industry because it is "[not] good for the defense marketplace, and therefore, for the taxpayer and warfighter in the long run." Carter's acquisition chief, Frank Kendall, also noted the "significant policy concerns" posed by the "continuing march toward greater consolidation in the defense industry at the prime contractor level" and the effect it has on innovation.

American policymakers in the 1990s lost the ability to recognize the value of production capacity. Today, many of the problems highlighted here are still seen in isolation, perhaps as instances of corruption or reduced capacity. But the problems -- diminished innovation, marginal quality, higher prices, less redundancy, dependence on overseas supply chains, a lack of defense industry competition, and reduced investment in research and development -- are not independent. They are the result of the financialization of industry and of monopoly. It's time for a new strategic posture, one that puts a premium not just on spending the right amount on military budgets, but also on ensuring that financial actors don't capture what we do spend. We must begin once again to recognize that private industrial capacity is a vital national security asset that we can no longer allow Wall Street to pillage. By seeing the problem in its totality, we can attack the power of finance within the commercial and defense base and restore our national security capacity once again.

There are many levers we can use to reorder our national priorities. The Defense Department, along with its new higher budgets, should have more authority to promote competition, break up defense conglomerates, restrict excess defense contractor profits, empower contracting officers to get cost information, and block private equity takeovers of suppliers. Congress could reinstate the authority of the Defense Department to simply take ownership of specialized tooling rights to create competition in monopolistic markets with specialized spare part needs, a power it once had.

In the commercial sector, rebuilding the industrial base will require an aggressive national mobilization strategy. This means aggressive investment by government to rebuild manufacturing capacity, selective tariffs to protect against Chinese or foreign predation, regulation to stop financial predation by Wall Street, and anti-monopoly enforcement to block the exploitation of market power.

Policymakers must recognize that industrial capacity is a public good and short-term actors on Wall Street have become a serious national security vulnerability. While private businesses are essential to our common defense, the public sector must once again structure how we organize our national defense and protect our defense industrial base from predatory finance. For several decades, Wall Street has been organizing not just the financing of defense contractors, but the capabilities of our very defense posture. That experiment has been a failure. It is time to wake up, before it's too late.

Matt Stoller is a fellow at the Open Markets Institute. His book, Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy, is due out this fall from Simon & Schuster. Lucas Kunce spent 12 years in the United States Marine Corps, and is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The views presented are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Defense or its components. This article was supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors.


polistra24 13 hours ago

Best article of the century. Gets everything right, in full detail.

But I doubt that the problem is fixable. It could have been fixable if we turned around in 1980, but all the factories and SKILLS are gone now.

kouroi 15 hours ago
Sobering read. However, it is likely that only a major war will spur legislators and administrators into action. Until then Wall Street will reign and the US administrations will keep threatening countries with sanctions if they buy equipment that prevents the US to conduct an easy bombing campaign on them.
chris chuba kouroi 8 hours ago
I've heard similar stories about the imminent collapse of the Russian Defense sector, they can't make their own parts, they lack diversity of suppliers, there is a huge brain drain, no customers (somewhat true since we practice extortion).

I'm not dismissing the author, actually quite the opposite and I am agreeing with you. The secret ingredient is an actual sense of danger. The Russians are terrified, we pretend to be terrified but know it's all threat inflation. If we had honest people in Congress proposing targeted budgets for real needs rather than 'freedom of navigation' when we know it's power projection then the fear of God might return to our habits. The author brought up the 20/30's I bet WW2 gave us that fear again.

MontDLaw 6 hours ago
Dude, your government stopped being able to do anything this complicated somewhere around 1995. Your infrastructure is in shambles and diabetics are dying because of an insulin monopoly that forces them to ration medication. The rope remark resembles you.
soliton 7 hours ago
No need to worry about L3. They were acquired by Harris, making another monster.
vpurto 12 hours ago • edited
This is the longest litany about demise of American prowess in technology that I've ever read in TAC so far. The story of destruction of Bell Labs, described in details by Matt Stoller is very accurate: I have been eyewitness to it from 1983 and up to its gruesome end. Carly Fiorina, one of the runners for President in 2016, delivered American icon coup-the-grace. She even justified her claim on presidency on business experience: destruction of another icon of American high-tech – Hewlett-Packard. Alas, there is the most fundamental reason for the current situation in the 21-st century USA, was formulated 100+ years ago by Vladimir Lenin: "For profit capitalists will be eager to sell us rope, with which we'll hung them" .

Would anybody protest today that profit IS the Nature of capitalism ? And more: those who substitute Reality with their wet dreams might be cured by watching Democratic 2020 debates.

soliton vpurto 6 hours ago
CF pretty much destroyed the best test equipment house in the world to make printers PCs.
Steve Smith 16 hours ago
Great piece. There are lots of good articles here but not that many that tell something I really didn't already know. Great perspective on the whole China issue. Amazing how sick our financialized economy really is when you look under the hood.

This is excellent information. Hope folks on the Hill are reading this.

Kessler 11 hours ago
The Wall Street and finance industry depend on US military, long-term this is a disaster, but they care only for short-term profits. Whoever thought that principles of free market apply internationally, where other goverments are free to influence "free trade" in any way they wish, while US goverment will do nothing is an idiot.

[Jun 26, 2019] Arms Dealers and Lobbyists Get Rich as Yemen Burns by Barbara Boland

Jun 25, 2019 | theamericanconservative.com

Arms Dealers and Lobbyists Get Rich as Yemen Burns See the Top 4 U.S. contractors' profits explode, all while their weapons have been used against civilian targets for years. June 25, 2019

And make no mistake: U.S. defense contractors and their lobbyists and supporters in government are getting rich in the process. "Our role is not to make policy, our role is to comply with it," John Harris, CEO of defense contractor Raytheon International, said to CNBC in February. But his statement vastly understates the role that defense contractors and lobbyists play in Washington's halls of power, where their influence on policy directly impacts their bottom lines. Since 2015, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have waged war against Yemen, killing and injuring thousands of Yemeni civilians. An estimated 90,000 people have been killed, according to one international tracker.

By December 2017, the number of cholera cases in Yemen had surged past one million , the largest such outbreak in modern history. An estimated 113,000 children have died since April 2018 from war-related starvation and disease. The United Nations calls the situation in Yemen the largest humanitarian crisis on earth, as over 14 million face starvation. The majority of the 6,872 Yemeni civilians killed and 10,768 wounded have been victims of Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) .

Nearly 90 coalition airstrikes have hit homes , schools, markets, hospitals, and mosques since 2015, according to Human Rights Watch. In 2018, the coalition bombed a wedding, killing 22 people, including eight children. Another strike hit a bus , killing at least 26 children.

American-origin munitions produced by companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, and Raytheon were identified at the site of over two dozen attacks throughout Yemen. Indeed, the United States is the single largest arms supplier to the Middle East and has been for decades, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service. From 2014 to 2018, the United States supplied 68 percent of Saudi Arabia's arms imports, 64 percent of the UAE's imports, and 65 percent of Qatar's imports. Some of this weaponry was subsequently stolen or sold to al-Qaeda linked groups in the Arabian Peninsula , where they could be used against the U.S. military, according to reports . The Saudi use of U.S.-made jets, bombs, and missiles against Yemeni civilian centers constitutes a war crime. It was an American laser-guided MK-82 bomb that killed the children on the bus; Raytheon's technology killed the 22 people attending the wedding in 2018 as well as a family traveling in their car; and another American-made MK-82 bomb ended the lives of at least 80 men, women, and children in a Yemeni marketplace in March 2016. Yet American defense contractors continue to spend millions of dollars to lobby Washington to maintain the flow of arms to these countries.