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National Security State as 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 Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Neofascism Nation under attack meme
Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative  Inverted Totalitarism The Deep State Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Reconciling Human Rights With Total Surveillance Operation Gladio - Wikipedia
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 Mystery of Building 7 Collapse Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo
Total Surveillance Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Grand Chessboard 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 Systematic Breach of Vienna Convention Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The Iron Law of Oligarchy
American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Machiavellism   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


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 more more then 1% of population. 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. 

In economic sphere deregulation (economic liberalism or neoliberalism) produce 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. 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 "nomenklatura" was more aligned with the interests of the society then financial oligarchy. Later it became detached form 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 leoliberalism, 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 political decisions favoring neoliberal elite at the expence of common sitizents. To hide this requires constant brainwashing of the population and instilling fear using external threat. that's where intelligence agancies 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 nationa 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 a ne Big Brother and   the war 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 what can be called  "permanent war for permanent peace".  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]

Paradoxially 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 be viewed as the Presidential Candidate of Pentagon.  After coming to power Trump introduced several new measures which represent the idea of "national neoliberalism". He explicitly wants to use the power of the US to bully all nations. Those who behave against the USA wishes have sanction imposed and are threatened with war.

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 againces 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").

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. 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. 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 Supreme Court. But the reverse is not true. In a way they now strive to serve as a surrogate king.  In other words, instead of the servant of the state intelligence agencies became the master. Tail wags the dog.  This phenomenon is not limited to the USA. 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, who switched side and decided to privatize the country, that was the key factor tthat 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.

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 -

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 on Obama'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, Veterans Today, Lew, 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…

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).”

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...

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National Security State

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

[Jan 14, 2019] Something about MIC gargantuan appetites: the cost of running Texas Railroad Commsion (RRC) for year are less that one half of the cost of (mostly useless) F35 not including fuel

Jan 14, 2019 |

GuyM x Ignored says: 01/13/2019 at 8:26 pm

In support of RRC, I looked up their agency expenses, and found they are less than $50 million. That's to pay for keeping up with almost a half million oil and gas wells, thousands of operators, and multiple other duties, including taking care of a significant amount of State income. There is a grand total of about 725 employees. Hats off!
Longtimber x Ignored says: 01/14/2019 at 8:24 pm
Could have 1/2 of a F35 not including Fuel.

[Jan 14, 2019] Its official: was of terrorism was replaced by war on populism

Jan 14, 2019 |

Like that scene in Orwell's 1984 where the Party switches official enemies right in the middle of the Hate Week rally, the War on Terror was officially canceled and replaced by the War on Populism. Or all right, it wasn't quite that abrupt. But seriously, go back and scan the news. Note how the "Islamic terrorist threat" we had been conditioned to live in fear of on a daily basis since 2001 seemed to just vanish into thin air. Suddenly, the "existential threat" we were facing was "neo-nationalism," "illiberalism," or the pejorative designator du jour, "populism."

[Jan 13, 2019] More Americans fleeing high-tax states

Jan 13, 2019 |

Last year, these were the ten highest income tax states, according to TurboTax (*These rates do not include local taxes.):

[Jan 13, 2019] Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists by Doug Bandow

Notable quotes:
"... Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists Newly-inaugurated Senator has been promoted to standard-bearer for the bipartisan War Party, filling in for John McCain. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of ..."
Jan 10, 2019 |
Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists Newly-inaugurated Senator has been promoted to standard-bearer for the bipartisan War Party, filling in for John McCain.

No surprise: Senator Mitt Romney does not like President Donald Trump, as he recently explained in The Washington Post . But what, one wonders, was the former GOP presidential candidate thinking two years ago when he supped with the man he now claims to deplore while seeking an appointment as secretary of state?

Much of Romney's complaint is over manners. Yes, the president is a boor. Most people, including many of Trump's supporters, recognize that. Trump won not because of his etiquette but because of what he stood for -- and against.

Romney also defended The Blob, Washington's bipartisan foreign policy establishment. In his article attacking the president, he offered the usual vacuous bromides that characterize the interventionist consensus, which poses as internationalism but with plenty of bombing raids, illegal occupations, and nation-building. Most importantly, this perspective presumes permanent American domination, irrespective of cost.

Romney wrote: "America has long been looked to for leadership. Our economic and military strength was part of that, of course, but our enduring commitment to principled conduct in foreign relations, and to the rights of all people to freedom and equal justice, was even more esteemed." Indeed, "The world needs American leadership, and it is in America's interest to provide it. A world led by authoritarian regimes is a world -- and an America -- with less prosperity, less freedom, less peace."

In fact, Romney appears more committed to dependence on allies than American leadership. For him, these are two sides of the same coin. The only alternative he sees to Washington in control is the bad guys leading.

Related is Romney's apparent belief that foreign policy is fixed, irrespective of circumstance: the very same U.S.-dominated alliances created in 1950 are needed today. Although America's friends have raced ahead economically, politically, even militarily, Washington must forever treat them as helpless derelicts. For instance, Russia, a weakened declining power, faces the U.S. and Europe -- which together have more than 20 times its GDP. Yet Romney sees Moscow as the greatest threat facing America. It is 1945 all over again.

Romney's most important omission is Iraq. After the war there turned bad, he remained silent about his support for it. The Iraq disaster is an important reason why Trump won and other Republicans, including Romney, lost. In 2008, Americans rejected John McCain, the very symbol of promiscuous war-making. Four years later, Romney criticized President Barack Obama for leaving Iraq too soon, by which the Republican nominee probably meant leaving at any time. In saying he would keep more troops in Iraq, he ignored the fact that the Iraqis had refused to negotiate a status of forces agreement with the Bush administration.

Romney also failed to mention Afghanistan, both as a presidential candidate in 2012 and senator in 2019. After all, what good can be said for entering the 18th year of nation-building in a region of little strategic interest? As for Syria, last November, Romney predictably denounced as "recklessness in the extreme" exiting a multi-sided civil war in a country never important to America.

Whose Side is Mitt Romney On? Robert Kagan's Jungle Book of Forever War

Now Romney is being touted as the new standard-bearer for the bipartisan War Party, filling in for John McCain. Bloomberg columnist Hal Brands theorized that Romney was attempting to "position himself as heir to John McCain as the congressional conscience of U.S. diplomacy" (defined as advocating policies designed to prolifically kill and destroy).

Towards this effort, Romney is articulating "a renewed Republican internationalism based on opposition to aggressive authoritarian regimes." Brands celebrates Romney's Russophobia, saying he "deserves credit for being anti-Russia before being anti-Russia was cool." No hint that the U.S. might have contributed to Moscow's hostility through the aggressive "internationalism" of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama -- violating commitments not to expand NATO, dismantling Moscow's Slavic friend Serbia, and encouraging violent regime change against an elected government that neighbored Russia. After all, equivalent Russian intervention in Mexico would have triggered an extremely hostile reaction in Washington.

Neoconservative Max Boot lauded Romney for throwing "down the gauntlet to President Trump." Indeed, argued Boot, "it now falls upon Romney to champion the cause of principled conservatism in Washington." Boot hoped the freshman senator would lead a general opposition and seemed especially pleased at Romney's support for the interventionist status quo.

Yet the passion-less Romney is a poor substitute for the perennially angry McCain. It is difficult to imagine Romney leading Lindsey Graham and Joseph Lieberman on another apocalyptic ride, demanding that death and destruction be visited upon an enemy du jour. Indeed, Romney admitted as much, complained The New York Times , which noted that he said he "would only speak out against Mr. Trump on issues of 'great significance,' which means not much."

Worse, Romney is a typical denizen of Washington and lacks any connection to the disastrous consequences of his policies. Give McCain credit: he and his sons served in the military. Not Romney. He received four deferments during the Vietnam War, explaining that he "had other plans." This sounds eerily like Dick Cheney, who said his five deferments reflected "other priorities."

Moreover, none of Romney's five sons served. That is, of course, their prerogative. But their decision further insulated Romney from any consequences of his policies. His response to questions about their lack of service: "One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president." Did Romney believe working for him was as dangerous as fighting Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah? Or that his personal interest in winning the election was as important as the nation winning a war?

My friend William Smith at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at Catholic University argued that Romney's article "is another clear sign that the bipartisan political establishment is largely oblivious to the terrible tragedy of wartime casualties disproportionately inflicted on certain communities." Candidate Trump did particularly well in states that so suffered. Complained Smith: "What is astonishing is that, after all this tragedy, Romney offers only cliched neoconservative bromides to the many heartbroken communities across the nation."

However, The Blob, which dominates foreign policy under both parties, poses an even larger problem. These policymakers consider permanent war to be America's natural condition. They seek to suppress dissident views to ensure united support for permanent war. Anyone who hesitates to back every proposed new intervention is demonized and marginalized.

The favorite technique, recently employed by Frederick Kagan in The Hill, is to call opponents, irrespective of their actual positions, "isolationists." Thus did Kagan urge left and right "internationalists" -- meaning military interventionists -- to work together to defend "the principle that the United States must remain actively engaged in the world," by which he meant warring without end on multiple countries.

Exclaimed Kagan: "The isolationists who have condemned the United States involvement in the Middle East and the rest of the world for decades are about to get their wish. We will witness what the world looks like when left to its own devices."

Egads. Imagine what might have happened had the U.S. not intervened in the Lebanese Civil War, armed Turkey to kill tens of thousands of Kurds and destroy thousands of Kurdish villages, invaded Iraq and triggered sectarian conflict, fostered civil war in Libya and the chaos that followed, supported decades of violent occupation over millions of Palestinians by Israel, backed murderous Saudi Arabia in Bahrain and Yemen, supported a coup against Iran's democratically elected government and a brutal invasion backed by chemical weapons against Iran's Islamist regime, actively underwritten tyranny across the Middle East, and tried to sort out the Syrian Civil War. Something bad might have happened.


In Syria, Kagan views as "isolationist" the withdrawal of an illegal military deployment that risks violent confrontation with Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Russia over minor stakes. In contrast, "internationalism" means war everywhere all the time, especially in a country like Syria.

Trump, complained Kagan, is leaving "Afghanistan for no clear reason whatsoever." No reason other than Washington long ago having achieved its objective of degrading and displacing al-Qaeda and punishing the Taliban for hosting al-Qaeda. And eventually having recognized, after more than 17 years passed, trillions of dollars were spent, and thousands of lives were lost, that using force to create a liberal democracy in Central Asia is a fool's errand. Why leave, indeed?

It has oft been recognized that Donald Trump is a flawed vehicle to achieve almost any foreign policy end. However, he still possesses far more common sense than Mitt Romney. It is time to rescue "internationalism" from those who love humanity so much that they would destroy the world in order to save it.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire . MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Attack of the Pork Hawks Does It Really Matter If North Korea Denuclearizes? Hide 20 comments 20 Responses to Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists

EliteCommInc. January 9, 2019 at 11:01 pm

"No reason other than Washington long ago having achieved its objective of degrading and displacing al-Qaeda and punishing the Taliban for hosting al-Qaeda."

One should avoid the back pedal here. the Taliban did not host Al Quaeda in the manner your reference suggests.

John_M , , January 9, 2019 at 11:06 pm
I truly voted against Romney when he ran for president because of his omnidirectional belligerence. I also didn't like his vulture capitalism style (and I did technical due diligence for venture capital activities as a side line).

I don't see that he has gotten any wiser.

Own Goal , , January 10, 2019 at 2:22 am
Romney just guaranteed that he won't get the nomination. Amazing, really, stupid and gratuitous.

He could at the least have shown a little "growth" in the direction of populist disgust with the wasteful, reckless, failed wars, not to mention concerns about the growth of government and corporate mass surveillance of the public, and the continuing unholy collaboration between Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Washington in ripping off taxpayers and importing cheap labor to take American jobs.

Not Mitt. He seems to think he's running for president of our utterly discredited, pseudo-meritocratic "Establishment".

steve mckinney , , January 10, 2019 at 2:48 am
Let's all thank the knuckle-headed Utahns for delivering another unimaginative empty suit to the Nation's State House. Sure, Trump is often a boor, and unmistakably human, but give me a man-child with conviction and Devil-may-care determination over a dapper dolt whose ideas are contrived platitudes and whose passion is a Macbeth-like obsession with stature and power any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Well written Mr. Bandow! Keep fighting the good fight.
polistra , , January 10, 2019 at 4:10 am
I get the sense that the "isolationist" line doesn't work any more. It was a commonly used rhetorical weapon 10 years ago, and it effectively silenced opposition. Now it's not used much, and it seems to be ignored or derided when it is used. Most Americans understand now that maintaining and expanding an empire is destroying us.
Aunt Lila , , January 10, 2019 at 7:44 am
You really don't get Romney, do you. Who are you to decided what anyone sees or feels. Do you think you could use the word seems like a professional journalist. I don't construe
Romney that way. You SEEM to put words in his mouth and thought in his head. Please be professional.
Dan Green , , January 10, 2019 at 8:12 am
My take is Mitt see's himself as a Gerald Ford calming effect, for this 4 year disruption, the Swamp battles with. The Deep state needs an impeachment win and soon. With that said it will be ever difficult for the Beltway to change Americans perception , they don't trust the government.
Kolya Krassotkin , , January 10, 2019 at 10:23 am
For someone so smart Romney should realize that Americans will reject him (again), when he takes up the mantle of McCain (again) as quickly as they did the last time. But that he fails to realize that substance trumps form, which is why 67 million Americans voted for the President, demonstrates what a shallow narcisst and sociopath he is. I mean, it's okay to rob your neighbor so long as you say "please" and "thank you," isn't it?
Stephen J. , , January 10, 2019 at 11:31 am
The writer states: "Now Romney is being touted as the new standard-bearer for the bipartisan War Party, filling in for John McCain."

I believe The "War Party" are:
"The Maniacs of Militarism"

The maniacs of militarism are creating wars
Countries are bombed by warmongering whores
Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and other countries too
Are hell holes of the earth, "The work," of this insane crew

Enabled by politicians in positions of power
These well dressed war criminals hide and cower
The generals salute their political masters
Then the brainwashed obey these bemedaled disasters

Cities are destroyed and reduced to rubble
Where are the perpetrators that created all this trouble?
They are residing in luxury and given fancy titles
War crimes trials are needed, and are so vital

But this is not happening: the system is corrupted
And these evil beings, by some are worshiped
Blood-soaked villains that never do the fighting
They are the "experts" that do the inciting

They are the producers of death and destruction
Others are profiteers of all the bloody actions
Missiles, bombs and horrendous weapons
There is no end to the endless aggression

Millions are dead, and millions are homeless
Millions are refugees, and all this is atrocious
Once they had jobs, families, and homes as well
Then their countries were bombed by the agents from hell

Setting the world on fire is what these war arsonists do
The money for their depredations comes from me and you
They have made us all accessories to their criminal acts
Our Taxes are the blood money and that is a fact

Will the people ever say: "We have had enough"?
And put all these villains in secure handcuffs
Then lock them up in maximum security prisons
Then, we can say "goodbye" to the maniacs of militarism
[more info at link below]
-- --
"More War "

More war is needed to keep armies trained and employed
More wars are needed so that countries can be destroyed
More killing, bombing, destruction and death
More of this is needed until the victims have nothing left
[read more at link below]

prodigalson , , January 10, 2019 at 1:21 pm
Romney is such an empty suit i'm not sure if he isn't weakening his position just by virtue that, he Romney, supports it.

Does this guy inspire anyone to any emotion other than revulsion? Along with Hillary, they both strike me both as elites who want to become president, not from any actual passions or desires, but because they've run out of other things to add to their C.V.

The only thing I can say with certainty that Mitt Romney believes in, is Mitt Romney. So I'm intensely skeptical that ANYONE in America, aside from the most firebrand resistance types, are going to take anything coming out of this corporate drone's mouth with any seriousness. And even for the resistance types the support would equally follow a labrador retriever, just so long as it opposed Trump, so Mitt doesn't even have that thin thread of loyatly going for him.

I guess that leaves him with the neocons as BFFs. They're welcome to each other.

One Guy , , January 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm
Why are we ragging on Romney? Is it because he had the audacity to criticize Trump? Shouldn't we wait until he actually does something bad before ragging on him? Has he lied 6,000 times in the last few years, for example? Did he refuse to rake the forests?
Mike Clements , , January 10, 2019 at 2:54 pm
Such trashing of Romney becomes a real challenge for me.

I can't decide if it's the fevered imaginings or the straw man arguments that disappoint me the most.

Tim , , January 10, 2019 at 3:34 pm
I think Romney is simply miffed that the boorish Trump became president and he did not and sadly, he may be running for president again. I think someone used the word revulsion about Romney. I approve. It's ironic the boorish Trump isn't nearly as revolting as the urbane Mitt.
Jeeves , , January 10, 2019 at 4:09 pm
@Mike Clements
For me it's the straw man arguments that are most egregious. As an Arizonan, I knew John McCain, and Romney is no McCain (whose like we will never see again, if we're lucky).

Just to single out one objection to Mr. Bandow's argument: Romney didn't refer to the SOFA, which supposedly required Obama to abandon Iraq, for the very good reason that Leon Panetta, who should know, has said that Obama, with plenty of time to do it, made no effort whatsoever to re-negotiate the SOFA 2011 deadline. Panetta regrets this and so do I.

fabian , , January 10, 2019 at 4:34 pm
Romney is the epitome of the decay of the USA. Further, he shows the complete inability of the Republican party to choose the correct casting. After Bush and Iraq they propose McPain. After the Great Financial Crisis they propose Mittens. It's akin to cast Dany de Vito to play Casanova. When Trump is gone, this party is finished.
Kolya Krassotkin , , January 10, 2019 at 5:06 pm
I approve. It's ironic the boorish Trump isn't nearly as revolting as the urbane Mitt.

That Americans are revolted more by Romney than by Trump, in fact, speaks well for them. All morally mature folk should be repelled more by a polite, urbane, well-scrubbed pirate, who made his fortune destroying people's lives and wealth than by a loud-talking, crude womanizer, who creates wealth and, in fact, shows his concern for the people below him more than the polite, charming, well-bred pirate.

Bacon , , January 10, 2019 at 10:11 pm
As I understand it, Romney's saying we need more Middle East wars, more Wall Street bailouts, and more immigrants.

I think we already knew that Romney wants those things. It's why we don't want Romney.

Also, it's its unnecessary to counter Kagan's arguments. He's not taken seriously any more. Too many bad and wrong judgments about important things.

rta , , January 11, 2019 at 10:09 am
@Jeeves, Obama would have stayed in Iraq if the Iraqi's had allowed us to continue to kill with impunity. Thankfully, they said no. And why on earth would you regret us not negotiating a new SOFA?
kswc , , January 11, 2019 at 11:24 am
Mitt Romney is the Republican's answer to the Democrat's John Kerry.
WorkingClass , , January 11, 2019 at 5:06 pm
If Utah has a problem with Trump they could have elected a Democrat.

Romney is obsolete. Never Trump Republicans are sinking in a tar pit. Romney cannot be nominated much less elected even if Trump does not run. He can help with the impeachment of Trump if it comes to that. But again, a Democrat would be more useful.

[Jan 13, 2019] Those Porky Pentagon Earmarks Never Really Went Away

Notable quotes:
"... What's 5 billion dollars for a largely useless wall compared to this. The mind boggles. ..."
"... "People say the Pentagon does not have a strategy. They are wrong. The Pentagon does have a strategy; it is 'Don't interrupt the money flow, add to it.'" -Col. John R. Boyd (USAF Ret.) John Boyd (Fighter Pilot, Tactician, Strategist, Conceptual Designer, Reformer) died in 1997. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 |


Those Porky Pentagon Earmarks Never Really Went Away In fact, the new scheme is even more venal, underhanded, and wasteful. By Winslow T. Wheeler January 11, 2019

Michael Hogue In past years, Congress has become notorious for adding dubious items we call "pork" to spending bills. That way, senators and House members can advertise themselves to their constituents as bringing home the bacon, while picking up a few campaign contributions from thankful contractors along the way.

This practice was particularly notorious in defense bills, especially, and only became worse during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After they were exposed spending billions of taxpayer dollars for earmarked projects like museums, artificial lungs, and VIP air transports for senior generals, bureaucrats, and lawmakers, Congress supposedly reformed the practice of earmarking -- first in 2007 by the Democrats in the majority, and again in 2011 by the Republicans in the majority, who claimed to have banned them altogether.

In truth, both parties in Congress have simply swapped the pork system for a scheme that is even more venal and underhanded. They've circumvented their own rules and are putting even more pork in defense bills than before. They hypocritically proclaim that their bills are earmark-free, while simultaneously boasting about the pork to constituents. They deceptively pay for the hidden earmarks by raiding essential accounts for soldiers' pay and military readiness, and they readily accept hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions from the very contractors who received huge chunks of the billions of dollars that Congress added.

The new pork system is deceptive and complex. It took all of my 31 years of experience on Capitol Hill to fully unravel it, with the help of some excellent research from two outstanding watchdog groups, Taxpayers for Common Sense and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.


To explain, let's start with one of the more brazen acts of hypocrisy.

On October 22, Niels Lesniewski reported in Roll Call that 10 senators from both parties announced in a letter to the House and Senate leadership that they wanted to strengthen the existing ban on earmarks and make it impossible for anyone to "bring back earmarks" as President Donald Trump and others have suggested . Their new bill , they said, would impose even more serious procedural blocks on any earmark in any bill. But the bill, the senators' press release, and their letter are a sham. Another Roll Call reporter pointed out that gimmicks and various porky items in a new Department of Defense appropriations bill gave the lie to the idea that contemporary bills were free of earmarks. And Taxpayers for Common Sense and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance noted at the same time that the new DoD appropriations bill, just signed into law, was already stuffed with hundreds of earmarks costing billions of dollars.

The explanation of Congress's new, more deceptive and expensive pork system starts with Trump declaring that "America is being respected again" on September 28, while signing an appropriations bill into law that provided $675 billion to the Pentagon. The bill was passed in the House of Representatives with the vote of four of every five House members and in the Senate with almost nine of every 10 senators.

Speech after speech credited the bill with solving the problem of planes that cannot fly, ships with repairs delayed for years, and pay increases for soldiers who deserve more for their service.

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Notably, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the top-ranking Democrat on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, praised the bill he helped to write, saying , "The priority of this defense bill is supporting our troops . This bill shows what Democrats and Republicans can accomplish when we work across the aisle to solve problems." The chairman of the subcommittee, Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, who had an even larger hand in shaping the bill, said , "I am proud to present this legislation to my colleagues and urge their strong support."

The issues they didn't talk about

Despite numerous speeches in the congressional record praising the defense spending bill, important details attracted not one word of discussion. The bill was riddled with earmarks, and the very pay and military readiness accounts that member after member praised were being raided to pay for it. This is hardly new. In my three decades on Capitol Hill, this behavior was typical -- and even self-styled "pork busters" including, I regret to say, the recently passed Senator John McCain, were known to participate. Despite the rule changes in 2007 and 2011, nothing ultimately changed for the better. Today, the money flow for earmarks has greatly increased, and the process that was once evident with a little inspection has been almost totally obscured.

What earmarks? The legislation has none; it says so. The joint explanatory statement (JES) for the defense spending bill, which purports to clarify the statutory text, contains the following on page two : "The conference agreement does not contain any congressional earmarks as defined by clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives."

That rule defines an earmark as spending specifically requested by a member of Congress for "an entity, or targeted to a specific State, locality or congressional district ." But simply fuzz up the authorship, recipient, or location of an added spending item, and it transforms from an earmark to a "congressional special interest item." There are hundreds of those, most of them buried in sparsely worded tables in the JES.

But these congressional special interest items are important: the conference committee that wrote the JES went to some length to cite them to the Pentagon for special treatment; they made the congressional special interest items subject to special rules to prevent DoD from reducing the amount to be spent. That conference committee, appointed to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill, consisted of senior members of the same House and Senate defense appropriations subcommittees who wrote the original bills, such as Senators Durbin and Shelby.

Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) reported that 68 procurement programs in this defense bill received $7.5 billion in new, unrequested spending, a large portion going to the Lockheed Corporation. These are blatant earmarks, as explained by TCS, which also pointed out that the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee added $5.6 billion to the procurement account for these items, while its Senate counterpart added a more generous $6.2 billion. The bill was "compromised" by the conference committee at a level above both: $7.5 billion.

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) tabulated all the add-ons in the bill -- not just the 68 in Procurement -- above the Pentagon's request. Again, the Senate Defense Subcommittee proved more generous than the House, and again the final conference was higher than either subcommittee's recommendation. TPA found 679 earmarks costing $19.3 billion.

Pigs in a poke

Are these earmarks all pork, that is, poorly justified spending slipped into bills to enable a member to boast that he or she can "bring home the bacon" for jobs back home or to appease defense corporations?

The authors of this bill don't want you to know. In the past, earmarks would specify things like "Intrepid Naval Museum," "Fort Richardson Running Trail," or "Fort Huachuca Readiness Center" as the recipient, and for a short period, committee reports identified them and their House or Senate sponsors.

Now, none of that is done. Instead, sparsely worded tables contain vague entries like "Program Increase." Many add a hint such as designating the increase for "modernization" or "silicon fiber research." But there is nothing to indicate the state or district, the contractor, or any other specifics. Hence, they do not technically qualify as "earmarks." However, after the bill is law, congressional staff contact the Pentagon to make sure it knows where the money is to go -- and what will happen if it doesn't.

The rules meant to reform earmarking have made the practice worse. It is now more opaque, and it gobbles up more money than ever. The $19.3 billion TPA found in 2019 absolutely dwarfs the amounts that I and others, such as the Congressional Research Service and the Committee Against Government Waste , found in these bills before the so-called reforms took hold.

Perhaps the biggest joke is the recent debate on whether it would be a good idea to "bring back earmarks." They never went away. The hypocrisy of the members who opine on this is only exceeded by the cluelessness of the press and the president, who raised it as something to ponder. Then there's the mendacity of those 10 senators who designed their phony legislation to pretend earmarks are gone and must not be allowed to come back. The last section of their bill reads as follows : "(e) APPLICATION. -- This section shall not apply to any authorization of appropriations to a Federal entity if such authorization is not specifically targeted to a State, locality, or congressional district."

Yes, you are reading that right: the bill exempts any earmark that fuzzes up the targeted location, and under the existing system that would be all of them. The 10 authors of this fraud are the following: Senators Claire McCaskill, Jeff Flake, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee, Ben Sasse, Rob Portman, Joni Ernst, James Lankford, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz.

Too big to be hidden

Despite the carefully applied opacity, some of the biggest giveaways and their authors are clear. The House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee chairwoman, Texas Republican Kay Granger, was widely identified as behind $726 million added for six additional F-35Cs to be built by Lockheed in her Fort Worth congressional district.

But is this an example of pork? Granger and official Pentagon witnesses would surely testify that more F-35Cs are urgently needed. Others, including myself and colleagues at the Project on Government Oversight, will tell you that the F-35 is an ineffective boondoggle and is not ready for initial operational testing, let alone expanded production. However, despite many critical Government Accountability Office evaluations and embarrassing official and leaked reports from the Pentagon, the majority of Congress rejects such advice and welcomes more F-35 spending. Pork is in the eye of the beholder.

However, such easily identified earmarks are few and far between.

Trump requested $676 billion for the defense bill; the final Conference Report reduced that by $1.1 billion to $674.9 billion. How was the additional $19.3 billion found by TPA for 679 earmarks stuffed into a bill that cut spending?

While publicly touting the "largest pay raise for troops in nearly a decade" and claiming the bill "improves military readiness," Defense Subcommittee Chairman Shelby, Ranking Member Durbin, and other authors actually cut the budget for both.

They reduced the Pentagon's request for military pay, the Military Personnel account, by $2.1 billion. That's right: while praising themselves for supporting higher pay, they actually cut the budget for it. The request was $148.2 billion; the bill provided $146.1 billion.

Praising their handiwork on supporting military readiness, they cut the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) request from the Pentagon by $5.8 billion. O&M is a huge diverse account, but it is also the heart and core of spending for training, maintenance, spare parts, military depots, and everything else that means "readiness." The Pentagon requested $199.5 billion; it got $193.7 billion.

The way they cut both the Military Personnel and O&M accounts was notably duplicitous. A veteran journalist, John M. Donnelly, reported in Roll Call that most cuts were obtusely justified with explanations such as "Revised Estimate," "Historical Unobligated Balances," and "Not Properly Accounted."

My own research shows $809 million of cuts in those "Revised Estimates." They are completely unexplained in any text and neither committee report from the House or Senate appropriations committees mentions any such reduction. They appear to have been an invention of the conference committee.

When I worked for a Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee member (Republican Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico), I observed staffers being instructed to phony up reductions with just such a ruse. In one case, to make room for all senators' earmarks, the subcommittee chairman, Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, directed the staff to use the earmark dollar total to determine the cuts to be announced. I suspect this crude offset technique underlies the "revised estimates" that appeared out of nowhere.

In both R&D and Procurement, they cut $1.5 billion using "Historical Unobligated Balances" or "Historical Unobligations" as a reason. An unobligated balance is money that DoD has planned but not yet spent: the program may be behind schedule, or it may be on schedule, but the timetable for sending out the money has not occurred yet. Here, some unidentified actor took the money away without a word of explanation as to what parts of the program were being lost or why.

The "Not Properly Accounted" justification meant $706 million in unexplained cuts.

Another term in the bill is "Rate Adjustments"; they cut $124 million. How is this different from "Revised Estimate" or "Historical Unobligated Balances?" The House Defense Subcommittee contains not a word of explanation. The Senate Defense Subcommittee report contains assertions of "Improving funds management: Rate adjustments," but that is all the explanation you get.

Further indecipherable cuts included "Unjustified Growth," another $1.1 billion; "Excess Growth," $468 million; "Underexecution," $134 million; and "Insufficient Justification," $35 million.

Yet another ruse was to transfer $2 billion out of the O&M budget to Title IX of the bill that funds the "Global War on Terrorism." But there, only $1.4 billion of the transferred $2 billion is actually retained. The transfer is a shell game.

There are other ruses in other parts of the bill; the details are mind-bending, but you get the point.

They were cutting military pay and readiness accounts so they could add to the DoD Research and Development (R&D) and the Procurement accounts. That's where the vast majority of the earmarks -- rather, congressional special interest items -- are.

In R&D they added $3.9 billion to the Pentagon's request. The account went from $91 billion to $94.9 billion. In Procurement, they added $4.8 billion to the Pentagon's request of $130.6 billion. Some of the earmarks in these accounts were huge. The controversial F-35 got over $2 billion in several earmarks, the notorious Littoral Combat Ship got $950 million, unrequested C-130s got $640 million, and so on.

Other unspoken consequences

While money over the years was being redirected to earmarks, something very different was happening at the other end of the world -- among our operating military forces.

On January 8, 2014, 29-year-old Liuetenant Wes Van Dorn died when his MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter, beset with maintenance problems the Navy had deferred, caught fire due to frayed wires and a leaking fuel line. He had been battling for three years to get adequate spare parts and much-needed refurbishment work to bring these old and unreliable helicopters up to minimally safe flying condition. His was only one of several lethal accidents involving the MH-53E resulting from inadequate maintenance, as reported by Mike Hixenbaugh and others in the The Virginian-Pilot and in a new documentary by investigative reporter Zachary Stauffer.

Such accidents resulted from raiding O&M money, such as in 2010 when, for example, Democratic Defense Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha of Pennsylvania cut O&M by a net $2.3 billion to stuff money into earmarks.

Advertising the earmarks they said didn't exist

Though their legislation proclaims earmarks banned, the authors of the defense bill changed their tune when they self-advertised to constituents.

In a press release from his personal office, Senator Dick Durbin declared , "From Rock Island Arsenal to Scott Airforce Base and Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois [t]his bill safeguards Illinois defense jobs by continuing investments in our state's defense installations and initiatives." Durbin took credit for funding nine programs in Illinois, costing $2.8 billion, most of it for Boeing -- headquartered in Chicago and the producer of the Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet and MQ-25 Stingray refueling drone.

Subcommittee Chairman Shelby claimed he helped acquire $8.3 billion for 25 projects in Alabama.

Granger claimed she helped win over $12.3 billion for Fort Worth -- including $9.4 billion for Lockheed's F-35, $1.8 billion for Lockheed's C-130J, and $1.1 billion for the Bell Boeing V-22.

Note that they each claimed credit not just for their add-ons but for the entire program expense, including both the Pentagon-requested money and money spent outside their states or districts. For example, the C-130 is assembled in Marietta, Georgia, not Durbin's Illinois, and the F-18's engines are contracted by General Electric in Ohio. In fact, the entire F-18 is fabricated in Missouri; Durbin is advertising himself not to workers but to the Boeing headquarters.

The ranking member on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Pete J. Visclosky of Indiana, did not participate in these overblown claims. His website shows no press release listing defense budget goodies for his Indiana district.

The under the table incentives

On the other hand, Visclosky was no shrinking violet when it came to accepting campaign contributions from the corporations benefiting from the legislation's earmarks., a project of the Center for Responsive Politics that documents federal campaign contributions, shows that for his 2018 reelection campaign, Visclosky accepted $347,933 from defense-related donors, $59,800 of it from Lockheed . The $347,933 constituted 27 percent of Visclosky's total campaign contributions , reported as of November 2018. For these and other efforts, Visclosky is getting a promotion: with the Democrats taking over the House next year, he is slated to be defense subcommittee chairman.

Chairwoman Granger accepted $397,560 from defense aerospace and electronics donors, constituting 17 percent of her larger total of $2,371,044 in reported contributions. Granger's contributions from Lockheed were more than twice Visclosky's: $136,360 .

The Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee ranking member, Senator Durbin, does not run for reelection until 2020. The data on his last election in 2014 show that Durbin accepted $236,549 from defense aerospace donors, making him the Senate's top beneficiary of such donations at the time. Adding other defense contribution categories, he took in $455,799 .

Senator Shelby's total reported defense-related contributions for his reelection in 2016, before he became defense subcommittee chairman, were $334,800. Commensurate with his elevation to chairman in 2018, he received $1,048,000 , nearly tripling his defense-related total, and he is four years away from his next campaign in 2022.

Granger, Durbin, and the others will resent any implication that their actions are influenced by the generosity of Lockheed or other defense contractors, lobbyists, and PACs. Indeed, campaign finance laws, as written by Congress, make it hard to conclude that contributions illegally influence congressional decision-making, and a recent Supreme Court ruling makes it even more difficult.

The bottom line

All this adds up to a Pentagon budget process in Congress that is:

Dishonest : The bill and its authors proclaim it is free of earmarks, but it has 679 of them costing $19.3 billion according to research from an independent group. Deceptive : The bill's authors, with huge support from the rest of Congress, proclaim their dedication to better pay for the troops and military readiness, and yet cut those very accounts by almost $8 billion. The reductions are arbitrary and vague, and are used to offset those 679 earmarks. The senators and representatives circumvent their own rules on earmarks by fuzzing up sponsors, recipients, and locations, making the entire process opaque. Hypocritical : Imagine the gall of nine Republicans and one Democrat with their bill to profess earmarks gone and making sure they don't "come back." There is nothing new about members of Congress posing as pork reformers and actually being pork enablers; however, these 10 assume an unprecedented level of cluelessness among the press; in some but not all corners, they were right to do so. Mercenary : $19.3 billion in earmarks makes rich material for senators and representatives to advertise themselves, with considerable exaggeration, as successful porkers for their states and districts. They also accept hundreds of thousands of dollars from the contractors, lobbyists, and PACs that benefit from the millions, if not billions, of dollars that the Pentagon never requested.

All this is not illegal, but according to common English, it is venal.

Winslow T. Wheeler worked in the U.S. Senate for Republican and Democratic senators and in the Government Accountability Office on national security issues for 31 years. After he left the Senate in 2002, he ran the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information, which moved to the Project on Government Oversight in 2012. He retired in 2016.


HenionJD January 11, 2019 at 4:43 pm

What's 5 billion dollars for a largely useless wall compared to this. The mind boggles.
Minnesota Mary , , January 11, 2019 at 5:13 pm
This is a rather long article but well worth reading. I am sick of the Washington 2-Step dance.
Ed Lindgren , , January 11, 2019 at 7:48 pm
"People say the Pentagon does not have a strategy. They are wrong. The Pentagon does have a strategy; it is 'Don't interrupt the money flow, add to it.'" -Col. John R. Boyd (USAF Ret.) John Boyd (Fighter Pilot, Tactician, Strategist, Conceptual Designer, Reformer) died in 1997.
Taras 77 , , January 11, 2019 at 11:16 pm
This is a solid article by a very respected critic of the obscene defense spending and weapons programs. I believe Mr Wheeler early on was on this F-35 debacle, labeling it the flying swiss army knife. (aplogies to the manufacturer of the knife and its fans.) Notable of recent are a series of feel good reports that the F-35 is combat ready, etc. Hopefully, the pilots of the F-35's will never have to face the real test.

Thank you, Mr Wheeler, for the continuation of exposing this fraud.

EliteCommInc. , , January 12, 2019 at 1:26 am
Deeply appreciated this article.
Brendan Sexton , , January 13, 2019 at 1:56 pm
Now that we are well into this new era of draining the swamp, we are all over our heads in muck and democracy AND prosperity are in danger of drowning. Venal is awfully polite.

[Jan 13, 2019] Goldman Sachs Says Markets Indicate a 50% Chance of a Recession

Notable quotes:
"... However, despite the signs, Goldman Sachs assumes the indicators are wrong and that "recession risk remains fairly low, in the neighborhood of 15% over the next year." The bank has predicted that the S&P 500 will finish 2019 at 3,000, up from the current value just below 2,600. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 |

Confidence in continued economic growth has been waning. A huge majority of chief financial officers around the world say a recession will happen by the end of 2020. Most voters think one will hit by the end of this year.

Now the Goldman Sachs economic research team says that the market shows a roughly 50% chance of a recession over the next year, according to Axios.

Goldman Sachs looked at two different measures: the yield curve slope and credit spreads. The former refers to a graph of government bond interest rates versus the years attaining maturity requires. In a growing economy, interest rates are higher the longer the investment because investors have confidence in the future. A frequent sign of a recession is the inversion of the slope, when investors are uncertain about the future, so are less willing to bet on it.

Credit spreads compare the interest paid by government bonds, which are considered the safest. Corporate bonds, which are riskier, of the same maturity have to offer higher interest rates. As a recession approaches, credit spreads tend to expand, as investors are more worried about companies defaulting on their debt.

However, despite the signs, Goldman Sachs assumes the indicators are wrong and that "recession risk remains fairly low, in the neighborhood of 15% over the next year." The bank has predicted that the S&P 500 will finish 2019 at 3,000, up from the current value just below 2,600.

[Jan 13, 2019] UAE energy minister says average oil price in 2018 was $70 a barrel

Jan 13, 2019 |

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Saturday the average oil price in 2018 was $70 a barrel.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other leading global oil producers led by Russia agreed in December to cut their combined oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day to balance the oil market starting from January.

"Today we look at an average year of around $70 for Brent," Mazrouei told an industry news conference in Abu Dhabi, adding that this level would help encourage global oil investments. An energy ministry spokesman said the minister was referring to the average oil price in 2018.

[Jan 13, 2019] Canada's Crude Oil Production Cuts Are Unsustainable by Haley Zaremba

I especially like the phase "This directive was particularly surprising in the context of Canada's free market economy" That's really deep understanding of the situation ;-) . It is so difficult to understand that Canada as a large oil producer, needs higher oil prices and it does not make sense from the point of market economy to pollute the environment and at the same time lose money in the process ?
Notable quotes:
"... Alberta's oil production has been cut 8.7 percent according to the mandate set by the province's government under Rachel Notley with the objective of cutting out around 325,000 barrels per day from the Canadian market. ..."
"... So far, the government-imposed productive caps have been extremely successful. In October Canadian oil prices were so depressed that the Canadian benchmark oil Western Canadian Select (WCS) was trading at a whopping $50 per barrel less than United States benchmark oil West Texas Intermediate (WTI). now, in the wake of production cuts, the price gap between WCS and WTI has diminished by a dramatic margin to a difference of just under $13 per barrel. ..."
"... The current production caps in Canada are only intended to last through the middle of this year, at which point Canadian oil companies will be permitted to decrease their cutbacks to just 95,000 barrels per day fewer than the numbers from November 2018's production rates. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 |

In an attempt to combat a ballooning oil glut and dramatically plummeting prices, the premier of Alberta Rachel Notley introduced an unprecedented measure at the beginning of December when she is mandating that oil companies in her province cut production. This directive was particularly surprising in the context of Canada's free market economy, where oil production is rarely so directly regulated.

Canada's recent oil glut woes are not due to a lack of demand, but rather a severe lack of pipeline infrastructure. There is plenty of demand, and more than enough supply, but no way to get the oil flowing where it needs to go. Canada's pipelines are running at maximum capacity, storage facilities are filled to bursting, and the pipeline bottleneck has only continued to worsen . Now, in an effort to alleviate the struggling industry, Alberta's oil production has been cut 8.7 percent according to the mandate set by the province's government under Rachel Notley with the objective of cutting out around 325,000 barrels per day from the Canadian market.

Even before the government stepped in, some private oil companies had already self-imposed production caps in order to combat the ever-expanding glut and bottomed-out oil prices. Cenovus Energy, Canadian Natural Resource, Devon Energy, Athabasca Oil, and others announced curtailments that totaled around 140,000 barrels a day and Cenovus Energy, one of Canada's major producers, even went so far as to plead with the government to impose production caps late last year.

So far, the government-imposed productive caps have been extremely successful. In October Canadian oil prices were so depressed that the Canadian benchmark oil Western Canadian Select (WCS) was trading at a whopping $50 per barrel less than United States benchmark oil West Texas Intermediate (WTI). now, in the wake of production cuts, the price gap between WCS and WTI has diminished by a dramatic margin to a difference of just under $13 per barrel.

Related: The Natural Gas Crash Isn't Over

While on the surface this would seem to be a roundly glowing review of the production caps in Alberta, production cuts are not a long-term solution for Canada's oil glut woes. The current production caps in Canada are only intended to last through the middle of this year, at which point Canadian oil companies will be permitted to decrease their cutbacks to just 95,000 barrels per day fewer than the numbers from November 2018's production rates. The cuts are a just a treatment, not a cure, for oversupply in Alberta. The problem needs to be addressed at its source--the pipelines.

Unfortunately, the pipeline shortage in Alberta has no quick and easy fix. While there are multiple major pipeline projects underway, the two largest, the Keystone XL pipeline and the Trans Mountain pipeline, are stalled indefinitely thanks to legal woes and seemingly endless litigation. The Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, intended to replace one of the region's already existing pipelines, is currently under construction and projected to be up and running by the end of the year, but will not go a long way toward fixing the bottleneck.

Even if the Albertan government re-evaluates the present mid-2019 expiration date for the current stricter production cuts, extending the production caps could have enduring negative consequences in the region's oil industry. Keeping a long-term cap on production in Alberta would potentially discourage investment in future production as well as in the infrastructure the local industry so sorely needs. According to some reporting , the cuts will not be able to control the gap between Canadian and U.S. oil for much longer anyway, just another downside to drawing out what should be a short-term solution. The government will need to weigh the possible outcomes very carefully as the expiration date approaches, when the and the pipeline shortage is still a long way from being solved and the price of oil remains dangerously variable.

By Haley Zaremba for

[Jan 13, 2019] Ask your Senators if they've heard/read Browder's 2015 deposition in the Prevezon case

Jan 13, 2019 |

RobinG , says: July 24, 2018 at 4:59 am GMT

@exiled off mainstreet #BROWDERGATE

A perfectly good article, I'm sure, but why diffuse ourselves [and engender feelings of fear and hopelessness as you express] when a strategic pressure point has presented? Johnstone makes no mention of Bill Browder. Nor do the [100, so far] commenters.

BILL BROWDER is a key figure in the anti-Trump, anti-Russia hysteria. The notorious Trump Tower meeting was about the Magnitsky Act, a fabrication by Browder to hide his financial crimes. Browder "testified" in the Senate expressly to demonize Putin. Browder's contacts in the IC, the Jewish Lobby, and the fawning media have enabled his propaganda assault this week. He's appeared -- unchallenged, virtually unquestioned -- on countless talk shows. But he's been running scared at the mention of interrogation by Russians. There are huge holes in his story, made clear in his deposition in the Prevezon case. The truth will bring him down! And perhaps his Deep State supporters, along with him.

Ask your Senators if they've heard/read Browder's 2015 deposition in the Prevezon case. (See comment 161 under The Untouchable Mr. Browder? by Israel Shamir for links.)

Research links to primary sources on #Browdergate --

RobinG , says: July 24, 2018 at 5:02 pm GMT
@yurivku How about Idiot AND Troll.

BTW, have you seen "THE MAGNITSKY ACT – BEHIND THE SCENES" that Phil Giraldi posted today? Debunking anti-Russian criminal sociopaths like Bill Browder will go a long way to improving relations. Not to mention easing pressure on the unfortunate Trump.

Full research primary links available here, including Browder's 2015 deposition in the U.S. vs. Prevezon Holdings case. Every Senator who voted to support Browder should see this. [Any who already have, double shame!]

Yurivku , says: July 24, 2018 at 5:26 pm GMT
@RobinG UWell, we here in Russia know all this (about Browder) for quite a time. What new did you find? It's just one story in long list of those written and spoken for western idiots like Scripals
, MH17, chemicals in Syria and WMD in Iraq, Russian meddling in f-n US elections and so on. Eat it all dummies.

[Jan 13, 2019] RFK knew how it works. RFK junior explained the reason for RFK's focus on organized-crime until CIA whacked him. That's why his book was made to sink without a ripple.

Jan 13, 2019 |

MK-DELTABURKE , says: July 23, 2018 at 12:40 pm GMT

@Cagey Beast Yup. Furthermore, CIA is organized crime and organized crime is CIA. CIA recruits and runs agents in favored criminal syndicates in every illicit trade: drugs, child sexual trafficking, arms, fraud, bustouts, extortion, money laundering. Their purpose is not to interdict the trade but to control it.

CIA manages transnational organized crime to top up their budget for unauthorized clandestine operations, like killing JFK.

CIA protects its criminal proteges with their chartered impunity. They call off law enforcement with the magic words national security or 'sources and methods.' If the plan gets exposed, CIA's criminal cutouts insulate the agency from exposure.

RFK knew how it works. RFK junior explained the reason for RFK's focus on organized-crime until CIA whacked him. That's why his book was made to sink without a ripple.

Evenfurthermore, CIA is the government and the government is CIA. Decades ago Fletcher Prouty showed that CIA's deepest-cover illegal moles are embedded in our own government. Every agency with repressive capacity is infiltrated with focal points, who report to CIA handlers without the other agency's knowledge.

Of course Israel is trying to infiltrate it -- they understand the levers of power.

Assange has got some mighty stinkers in his insurance file. All we can do is hope they're enough to destabilize the CIA Reich that has ruled America since 1949.

[Jan 13, 2019] CIA is boosting the volume of its anti-Russian vilification because more and more CIA assets are getting flushed out. Stephan Halper is an obvious spook. Page is the corniest traitor since Lee Harvey Oswald

Notable quotes:
"... CIA is boosting the volume of its anti-Russian vilification because more and more CIA assets are getting flushed out. Stephan Halper is an obvious spook. Page is the corniest traitor since Lee Harvey Oswald ..."
"... Strzok has clearly got a dotted-line report to his real boss in CIA ..."
"... Publius Tacitus is incorrect, though, in making a distinction between the Obama administration and the intelligence community. Obama is a third-generation CIA spook he's a CIA spokesmodel, not a head of state (see Andrew Krieg's Presidential Puppetry.) ..."
"... To add to the list of things that the Russians had on Hillary . IIRC, she was Sec of State at the time the US election-meddling-and-color-revolution brigade tried to rig the Russian elections against Putin. ..."
"... Putin does not seem to be the sort to let emotion be more important than policy, but I've always wondered that to the small extent the Russians did take a pop at Hillary's campaign, if it didn't bring a bit of a smile to Putin's face to know he was just giving back the hits he'd already taken from her. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 |

Halper , says: July 23, 2018 at 6:52 pm GMT

CIA is boosting the volume of its anti-Russian vilification because more and more CIA assets are getting flushed out. Stephan Halper is an obvious spook. Page is the corniest traitor since Lee Harvey Oswald .

Strzok has clearly got a dotted-line report to his real boss in CIA :

Publius Tacitus is incorrect, though, in making a distinction between the Obama administration and the intelligence community. Obama is a third-generation CIA spook he's a CIA spokesmodel, not a head of state (see Andrew Krieg's Presidential Puppetry.)

Daniel Rich , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:35 pm GMT
@peterAUS It's impossible to asses [correctly] who's influenced by what, but it seems that telling lies doesn't work that well any longer. You can find some numbers in the following article: Democracy Dies in Debt? US News Outlets Slashing Staff Left and Right -- Link to Sputnik.

Excerpt : "A Pew Research analysis on Monday found that more than a third of the US' largest newspapers and more than a fifth of its largest digital outlets experienced layoffs between January 2017 and April 2018."

Bill the Cat , says: July 24, 2018 at 12:06 am GMT
To add to the list of things that the Russians had on Hillary . IIRC, she was Sec of State at the time the US election-meddling-and-color-revolution brigade tried to rig the Russian elections against Putin.

Putin does not seem to be the sort to let emotion be more important than policy, but I've always wondered that to the small extent the Russians did take a pop at Hillary's campaign, if it didn't bring a bit of a smile to Putin's face to know he was just giving back the hits he'd already taken from her.

Hillary of course was incompetent in having America interfere in Russian elections. That campaign never had a chance as Putin is a lot more popular in Russia than Hillary is in America. So, she took a pot shot at a rival world leader knowing (or at least some smart people did) that it would have no effect and that Putin would win that election anyways. And of course Hillary the Arrrogant could never imagine that another player in the game would get to take a turn, and that others might interfere in her election, and she knew she'd run and she knew she'd rig the Dem party to get the nod, in the same way the NED and the Soros NGO's tried to interfere in Russia.

skrik , says: July 24, 2018 at 1:59 pm GMT

'ruling class', 'elites'

I share your sentiments [in a slightly different vernacular]; of course they, the usurping 'rulers' are neither a class nor in any way 'elite,' but who/what ever they are [jews, oligarchs, 'simply' psychopaths or 'true' spawn of Satan], they do seem to be 'in control.' Proof of that is the coordinated criminal actions of 'the West.'

Find "CIA is the government and the government is CIA" above; it's the obvious place to expect a ccc = covert criminal cabal to establish itself. Add to that the truly weird concept of having spies a) out of all control and b) with apparently unlimited power. We 'shall know them by their deeds' which is almost unrelievedly a 'bad look.' Odd is that the 1st mention of any conspiracy that I heard of was that of 'jewish banksters ruling the world.' We since know that such was pilloried by the CIA, but it seems to me to be a case of the tar-baby: The more they [CIA, jews] howl/deny, the guiltier they prove themselves to be. rgds

Mulegino1 , says: July 24, 2018 at 9:55 pm GMT
I would say that what is affecting the western establishment elites at this juncture is not mere dementia but the madness which arises from acts of pure, hellish evil. These people are the Gadarine swine of the contemporary era; a good portion of them appear to be Satanic perverts and pedophiles, if we are to judge from recent revelations. I am not being hyperbolic when I write that Antichrist's reign has been postponed. They had imagined it would be installed by November of 2016 and this is driving them to despair. They hate Trump because his election blocked their lord and master's ascent and they hate Putin because he represents the great restraining power.
Cagey Beast , says: July 24, 2018 at 10:16 pm GMT
@yurivku He's of course is a bone in DC's throat, but his level of intelligence and real power seem to be extremely low.

Yes, he's a golden chandelier stuck in the belly of the Beast. I think he's quite smart, in his own way, but can only do so much on his own. He also has some bad ideas and makes enemies when it isn't necessary but he's still the only hope for change at the centre of the American empire.

Jeff Stryker , says: July 25, 2018 at 4:12 am GMT
@skrik Be that as it may, Romper Stomper took place 30 years after the Vietnam War began. The reverberations of the war were felt in Australia long afterwards.
Jeff Stryker , says: July 25, 2018 at 4:27 am GMT
@peterAUS That's an armchair rugby referee for you, encouraging a Civil War in a country he's probably never set foot. What do you believe would change its policy towards Oz.

If you remember when Reagan broke the air-traffic control union strikes and 30,000 of them immigrated to Oz in 1981, what would happen would be that many qualified Americans would come to Australia and take Australian jobs.

That's how such unrest would affect you.

At any rate, the US would still have the same grip on popular culture (If not financial markets) and Vegemite would not suddenly replace McDonald's everywhere.

Also, though the Asians seem to slowly taking over your economy anyhow, if the US military was busy suppressing a civil war and Asian countries might get aggressive towards you militarily.

Jeff Stryker , says: July 25, 2018 at 4:31 am GMT
@peterAUS The Asians might get more aggressive if the US military suddenly found itself preoccupied with a Civil War.

Asia is taking over your country economically anyhow but they might get a bit anti-social if suddenly the US were to lose all capacity to maintain its presence in your hemisphere.

peterAUS , says: July 25, 2018 at 5:12 am GMT
@Jeff Stryker O.K.

Good luck.

skrik , says: July 25, 2018 at 6:15 am GMT

I know, for your types. Feels comfortable

Aw, don't go all wussy -- you're acting like a wounded suitor. I suppose it was my rejection of your

I'd need to trust you and then we'd have a long chat somewhere in open public place

Similr to which you you offered Backstay

Have a quiet chat somewhere in a park, for example. Just two of us. Two

Try this google ; that the sort of place you had in mind? It's also reputedly a secret entrance to an ASIO bunker but I suppose you know that; I call attempted entrapment.

RobinG , says: July 25, 2018 at 6:18 am GMT
@skrik . ? ccc = 'great financial consortiums' ?

"As a matter of fact, the composition of the governments is predetermined, and their actions are controlled by great financial consortiums."

J. V. Stalin, Questions & Answers to American Trade Unionists: Stalin's Interview With the First American Trade Union Delegation to Soviet Russia
Pravda September 15, 1927 ___________(h/t, J.S.)

yurivku , says: July 25, 2018 at 6:52 am GMT
@Cagey Beast

think he's quite smart, in his own way, but can only do so much on his own

But I think he's stupid, ignorant, spineless (as well as most of POTUSes), the only difference is -- he's not completely belongs to DC. Probably it's better than if Clinton was on his place, but who knows, Trump can make any stupid thing

standall , says: July 25, 2018 at 7:39 am GMT
@exiled off mainstreet I agree.
skrik , says: July 25, 2018 at 9:31 am GMT

ccc = 'great financial consortiums' ?

G'day, q.possibly and glad you responded. Yeah sure, Stalin is 'close;' it's why some suggest oligarchs, but it demonstrably falls a bit short. My ccc = covert criminal cabal, each word of the highest significance; let's examine each one:

[COED:] covert = not openly acknowledged or displayed -- this is 100% true, since they operate from 'behind a curtain' of deliberate secrecy. Not declaring who they are is a lie of omission, then see after cabal below. Before moving on, let's consult Cicero:

mendaci neque quum vera dicit, creditor

= A liar is not to be believed, even when speaking the truth. That's never a 'good look,' and leads to the next:

criminal -- self-evident, then:

[COED:] cabal = a secret political clique or faction. Øarchaic a secret intrigue .

C16 (denoting the Kabbalah): from French cabale, from medieval Latin cabala (see Kabbalah).

Finally [COED:] Kabbalah (also Kabbala, Cabbala, Cabala, or Qabalah = the ancient Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible .

I allow myself to propose an exactly apposite example of the latter: 'Xxx promised it to us!' -- Where Xxx comes directly from some "mystical interpretation of the Bible." 'Nuff said?

More? IF it were only "great financial consortiums" THEN one would need to explain the criminality, since I'm pretty sure oligarchs *could* work legally. Then, the 'normal' consortiums' business is to 'make money' [and cheating and/or theft may be sort of 'normal'], but the ccc goes *far* past that into [mass-]murdering for spoil, quite/most often for oil and/or *soil* . The latter is within Nuremberg class = supreme international criminality. That may complete the loop and explain why covert in the 1st place.

I wrote above that I would 'revisit' lies; here's a partial quote:

But it remained for the yyy, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood,

Feel free to 'guess' at the yyy, then I assert QED rgds

Anon [243] Disclaimer , says: July 25, 2018 at 2:30 pm GMT
Great article. Good to read someone not suffering from dementia!
Jeff Stryker , says: July 25, 2018 at 3:00 pm GMT
@peterAUS Good luck?
EugeneGur , says: July 25, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT

Or who are the guys, in Ukrainian Armed Forces, presently engaged against Donbass?

Besides those in "volunteer battalions", which tend to be nationalistic with distinct Nazi overtones, people in the regular Armed Forces are there for the money. There are very few paying jobs in today's Ukraine, so men enlist and hope for the best.

the ratio hate/don't care shall shift, hard and fast. Not in Russian favor, I suspect.

That could've been the case in 2014. Today I very much doubt it. Even the Right Sector people are fed up with the current power in Kiev, and even the dumbest nationalists are beginning to realize what a deep hole the country is in. Normal people all over the South-East are hoping and praying for the Russians to come. The problem is the Russians aren't coming.

Poupon Marx , says: July 25, 2018 at 5:05 pm GMT
The moniker "journalist" should immediately by banished by replacement of "reporter", as in report the facts and observations, not interpretations or personal opinions.
Eagle Eye , says: July 25, 2018 at 5:18 pm GMT

I am not a Scientologist, but I consider [L. Ron Hubbard] to be one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century

Interesting point. Serious question -- in your view, what else (other than psychotropic medication) was Hubbard "brilliant" about?

Authenticjazzman , says: July 25, 2018 at 6:51 pm GMT
@Eagle Eye " In your view what else was Hubbard brilliant about?"

Well for example his bizarre sounding concepts regarding the sources of mankind, and the history of this insane planet, which are repeatedly ridiculed and labeled as absurd by the PTB, who of course have their own turf to defend, and their own concepts which they do not want to be brought into question.


peterAUS , says: July 25, 2018 at 6:53 pm GMT
@EugeneGur Well can't say I disagree with the comment.
Or, better, can't provide any concrete evidence to the contrary, especially re the second paragraph.

The thing is, nationalism is a peculiar feeling.
So, while this

Normal people all over the South-East are hoping and praying for the Russians to come.

could be true, the rest of Ukraine could get into quite the opposite.

But, as you say

The problem is the Russians aren't coming.

so it's all academic.

Now, speaking of

people are fed up with the current power .

one could feel, probably, the same in Donbass.
Things aren't great there either.

In any case the conflict is there, frozen for the moment (not for the people along the front line) and can erupt, again, when the US Deep State wants it.

Interesting times.

Cratylus , says: July 26, 2018 at 5:49 am GMT
@Michael Kenny If one wants a clear example of the Russophobic or Putinophobic hysteria infecting the West, one need go no further than this demented fellow. And to that he adds a conspiracy theory about the gangsters ruling over it all.
Uncle Bee , says: July 26, 2018 at 12:06 pm GMT
@Cyrano Imagine if the WMDs get you attacked rule applied to Israel?
Jeff Davis , says: July 26, 2018 at 3:17 pm GMT
@seeing-thru You got it 100% Right my friend. That's the best reality-connected assessment of the Donald's performance that I've read. I'm going to swipe it for reuse elsewhere. Thank you, and may the force be with you.
seeing-thru , says: July 26, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Jeff Davis Glad you liked it. Yeah, go ahead use it any which way. BTW, my fear is that the Donald may not be able to succeed because of the massive line-up of forces against him. The whole lunatic asylum is out of their cages, snarling and clawing and planning all sorts of stuff to bring him down. Let us wish him success.
Apolonius , says: July 26, 2018 at 9:54 pm GMT
@Vojkan Bravo Vojkane!
Jeff Davis , says: July 27, 2018 at 6:24 pm GMT
@Lauri Törni

So standing up for American citizens is considered a "mentally insane" thing?

You are utterly and completely out of your mind, virtually from another planet, another reality. A textbook example of insanity. The fact that you don't recognize it, simply confirms the fact.

The Deep state is not, repeat not , the American people.

Regarding the Intel community: There are the guys in the trenches. these are honorable guys. Then there is the leadership. The current leadership is on notice to behave itself, on account of the new "Sheriff" in town. The corrupt politicized leadership from the Clinton/Bush/Obama regimes however, now out of power, are attempting to overthrow the legitimately elected president of the United States. In so doing, they are pursuing treason-lite.

Clapper, Brennan, and Hayden are already full-on war criminals: Iraq & torture. Now, in their attempt to destroy the Trump presidency, they are adding betrayal of democracy and betrayal of the Constitution of the United States to their criminal resume. These are evil men who think it is their job to run the United States from behind a malleable (gutless?) figurehead who does what they tell him to do.

As I said in my original post, it is fascinating to observe people like you, utterly dominated -- brain-raped really -- by a neocon/neoliberal narrative that has reduced them to robotic -- even willing -- slaves of the 1%. Good for you. Enjoy. The others, who prefer self-mastery to self-enslavement, will benefit from your choice of enslavement.

That is what all of this boils down to; Trump treating Americans like s*hit in front of the whole world, while praising Russia and Russians.

The IC war criminals/traitors should not be equated with or allowed to hide anonymous behind the majority population of decent Americans. Which is what simpletons like you enable and then fall for.

I fully understood all the concerns for what the Left is doing to people and to the society.

Trump praises Israel and says that, "Securing Israel's safety is our most important task" not a peep comes from the Trump-supporters?!

Some Trump supporters do object. Others however grasp the political reality of Jewish political influence in the US. Politically incompetent simpletons like yourself think Trump should commit political suicide by taking on the Jews.

The Jews/Israel will be dealt with -- or not -- later, when Trump has secured his presidency. And then, the rebalancing of the US-Israeli relationship will not be grounded in hostility to the Jews, but will be more along the lines of America First.

Never ever did I expect, that it would be the Trump-supporters surfacing as the fifth column, giving the "finishing touch" to the destruction of American citizens.

The above is pure paranoid, "the sky is falling", TDS whackadoodle.

The Liberals seem to have woken up,

The country is in the throes of a cultural war between the bubble-wrapped snowflakes and "real" people. Thankfully, the "real" people will win, precisely because they have the advantage of being reality-connected. The snowflakes will benefit as well -- you will benefit -- by the resulting opportunity to reconnect with reality.

Good luck, best wishes, Trump is rapidly changing the world for the better.

And let me add: The Soviet Union is a quarter century gone, and with it Soviet Communism. Putin is the preeminent statesman of our times. Go to YouTube and listen to what he says. He and Trump, aligned, are a force for good in the world. Peace with Russia is coming, and with it a new era of peace and prosperity in the world.

Which leaves me to echo your closing comment:

Are you ever going to be able to comprehend this?

(Answer: Probably not for another six years, if ever.)

Malcontent , says: July 29, 2018 at 8:59 pm GMT
@Cyrano Are you joking? Russia is the second largest nuclear arsenal in the world.
Malcontent , says: July 29, 2018 at 9:01 pm GMT
@Jeff Davis Bravo! Exactly my thoughts!
peterAUS , says: July 29, 2018 at 9:27 pm GMT
@Jeff Davis

Thankfully, the "real" people will win, precisely because they have the advantage of being reality-connected.

Ah, good.

The last time when "real" people won against the US "Deep State" was let me see .well shame on me, can't think of it.

Let's see after the fall of the Wall:
Yugoslavia, then Serbia proper .no
Afghanistan .no .
Ah Iraq .no ..
Lybia no .
Syria well not so sure.

Ah, yes, those weren't Americans. Yeah.

I got concerned for a bit; all good now.
No need to think about M.A.D. anymore. (Re)focus on fishing. Snapper, preferably.

Jeff Stryker , says: July 30, 2018 at 8:09 am GMT
@peterAUS Australia's problem is going to be an Asian economic overclass you Australians always obsess about country's located halfway around the world first the UK now the US.

you're worried about blacks in the US in the ghetto's wealth inequality while Chinese business elite reduce you to paupers IN Australia and eventually you go the way of the black aborigines.

But you cannot see that because you're focused on US cultural colonization or things you have seen in Hollywood films.

Jeff Stryker , says: July 30, 2018 at 8:15 am GMT
@peterAUS Sorry, countries not country's.

Point is that in the sixties you were still obsessed with the British Empire though you are a bit of a lost colony now you are obsessed with the United States, another waning Empire.

Pretty soon the Chinese will have you sleeping in your cars and you will still be focused on the state of blacks in the US ghetto and inequality in America.

But see, the US won't be the problem in Australia. China will.

You compare yourself to the United States because it is a similar former British colony and white settler nation but it is Asia that will stomp you.

James Bacque , says: Website July 31, 2018 at 7:16 pm GMT
She is most likely onto something important. My solution is that most people are double-minded because it suits us to lazily allow our leaders to control us while we (somewhat) hypocritically condemn them for faults and errors which profit us.

St Paul, Shakespeare and Montaigne all complained of their own double-mindedness.

I hope that a column of mine on this topic will appear soon in The U.R.

James Bacque Penetanguishene ON

peterAUS , says: July 31, 2018 at 8:18 pm GMT
@James Bacque

most people are double-minded because it suits us to lazily allow our leaders to control us while we (somewhat) hypocritically condemn them for faults and errors which profit us ..

I guess you are onto something here.

It could go a bit deeper, though, as:

. most people are double-minded because it suits us to allow our betters to lead us while we (somewhat) hypocritically condemn them for their and our faults and errors which profit us.

skrik , says: August 1, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT
@Jeff Stryker

But you cannot see that because you're focused on US cultural colonization or things you have seen in Hollywood films You compare yourself to the United States because it is a similar former British colony and white settler nation

If I may intercede, no, and that twice.

1. peterAUS, if my interpretation is correct, sees the world through 'military blinkers,' is assumed not to notice China et al. except as one 'enemy' among many, and probably thinks that ~100 F35s, xxx new warships, yyy new submarines and zzz new 'armoured cars,' costing the Aus-taxpayer nose-bleeding squillions will 'save his/their bacon.' As such, peterAUS cannot be addressed as any valid representative of 'the great Aus-unwashed.'

2. That great Aus-unwashed, hoovering up the trash err, sorry for the US-speak; hoovering up the horrendous rubbish 'presented' to them via their '1984-style telescreens' err, one-finger flat-screen distraction devices [when not actual television sets], is largely unconscious of any 'real world.'

Since the CIA-sponsored coup of 1975, the country has been 'going to the dogs' at an increasing rate. The sheople glory under their 'Lucky Country' delusion, not even knowing its full import: Lucky not to be even partly aware. Yeah sure, the corrupt&venal MSM+PFBCs [= publicly financed broadcasters] try to revive 'the yellow peril' scare, but that's just standard 'Bernays haze' scare mongering, to keep the proles from thinking: Der, they [as peterAUS] didn't think. rgds

PS The great Aus-unwashed, as any 'Western' citizen, has zero choice; so-called 'Western democracy' allows for as good as zero 'citizen input.' The 'choice' of Trump should be put down to an aberration -- some 'clever-clogs' manipulators -- *not* Russians -- pulled off a coup. But as they used to say: "Better red than dead;" better Trump than HRC.

Johnj , says: August 2, 2018 at 11:48 pm GMT
Do we have a democracy? Or even representative government? So what happened to our jobs off-shored. Who approved that? Who approved 100 million legal immigrants in the last 50 years?

Why does anyone accept our stilted self-image, especially Diana?

Johnj , says: August 3, 2018 at 12:10 am GMT
@Lauri Törni Good God, this Lauri reads the NYT and has the gall to post it as proof of her opinions. So that means she is nuts and brainwashed.
Ace , says: September 15, 2018 at 5:55 pm GMT
Outstanding article.

On the point about the "world's greatest prison population" note that some one-third of the federal prison population consists of illegal alien criminals and the large U.S. black criminal underclass commits crimes at a higher rate than everyone else, so there are more blacks in our prisons. Oh, the horror.

If other nations enjoyed large illegal immigrant populations and a large black criminal underclass we would see similar inflated prison populations.

Spare us the silliness on this score as well as the "regular massacres of school children" garbage. No doubt you'll enlighten us with your anti-gun views on American gun nuts at a later time. I wait with bated breath.

Still, you almost got a lock on insightful commentary these days.

Ace , says: September 15, 2018 at 7:59 pm GMT
@Lauri Törni Liberals fight for the existence of Americans?

Amazing. Do you intend to live on our planet or are you just visiting?

james bacque , says: Website October 24, 2018 at 6:51 pm GMT
Ron Unz

This is a very good blog, column, whatever, because it illuminates with the light of reason the mass madness of the Washington crowd, and probably much of the American population. See the New Yorker article in the current issue about the utility of caregivers lying to and/or deceiving demented patients to keep them content. That is what is happening now in the USA and your failure to understand my explanation for it, in my essay on double-mindedness, which I sent you last summer, I mind very much. You could lead the way out of the mess if you would re-read that essay and try to understand it.

I am a very ordinary guy and I understand it. Please try again. The world needs this.

Jim Bacque

[Jan 13, 2019] Potencial of having a nuclear cataclysm out of civil war in Ukraine is firtneing perspecitve

Jan 13, 2019 |

EugeneGur , says: July 23, 2018 at 9:30 pm GMT

@Peter Akuleyev

who has spent time in Ukraine knows how deep hatred of Russia goes

I don't know where is Ukraine you spent your time and in what company, but this is complete BS. The South-Eastern Ukraine hates the Western Ukrainian "banderovtsi" as much as the Russians do if not more -- after all, the followers of Bandera operated mostly on the Ukrainian soil. There are deranged individuals in every country, of course, and Ukraine has been subjected lately to intense hate propaganda as well as repressions, but there is no hatred of Russia. This is contradicted by both sociology and everyday behavior of Ukrainian, which move to Russia in droves, spend time in Russia, support Russian sport teams, etc.

we are supposed to dismiss the actual wishes of Ukrainians, Estonians, Poles, Georgians and other peoples who hate Russia (and love the US)

Nobody is asking about what the real Ukrainians, Estonians, Georgians or even Poles actually think, least of all the US. There are almost as many Georgians living in Russia as there are in Georgia, and they show no desire to move back. In 2008 during the conflict, their biggest fear was that they'd be deported.

The Ukraine's Maidan was a violent coup, where a few thousand militants armed and trained abroad overthrew a government elected by the entire country. Protests that immediately started all over the country were suppressed with force -- the one in Donbass still is.

How could anyone with an access to Internet remain unaware of these facts is beyond me.

Vojkan , says: July 24, 2018 at 8:25 am GMT
@Peter Akuleyev Why should anyone freaking care and put his ass in the line of fire because you bunch of primitives hate Russia? Between having a nuclear cataclysm because you pathetic dwarfs of nations are frustrated to have a neighbour you can't bully and Russia obliterating you, I say let Russia obliterate you, thus we won't have to suffer the ear-hurting dissonnance of your incessant whining any more. Though I doubt Russia would stomp on you. When you see shit, you don't stomp on it, you don't want you don't want your shoes to stink, you just walk around it.

[Jan 13, 2019] Who are the people populating Ukrainian Armed Forces?

Jan 13, 2019 |

peterAUS , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:25 pm GMT

@EugeneGur That's an interesting point. Even if true, doesn't matter. One could wonder ..who are the people populating Ukrainian Armed Forces?

Or who are the guys, in Ukrainian Armed Forces, presently engaged against Donbass? All of them. Including those is logistics/maintenance depots far away from the (current) line of separation?

The will to fight against "Russia" ranges from a deep hate to simply not wishing to go against the (current) Ukrainian government. The former are in those "shock" battalions. The later are manning the logistics train. And everything in between.

Now .if/when a real shooting starts, as soon as Russia, as expected (and desired) by the most of readers here, starts delivering ordnance into operational depth of Donbass enemy, the ratio hate/don't care shall shift, hard and fast. Not in Russian favor, I suspect.

[Jan 13, 2019] Hypocrisy Without Bounds US Army Major Slams The Tragedy Of [Neo]Liberal Foreign Policy

Jan 13, 2019 |

Authored by Maj. Danny Sjrusen via,

The president says he will bring the troops home from Syria and Afghanistan. Now, because of their pathological hatred of Trump, mainstream Democrats are hysterical in their opposition.

If anyone else were president, the "liberals" would be celebrating. After all, pulling American soldiers out of a couple of failing, endless wars seems like a "win" for progressives. Heck, if Obama did it there might be a ticker-tape parade down Broadway. And there should be. The intervention in Syria is increasingly aimless, dangerous and lacks an end state. Afghanistan is an unwinnable war – America's longest – and about to end in outright military defeat . Getting out now and salvaging so much national blood and treasure ought to be a progressive dream. There's only one problem: Donald Trump. Specifically, that it was Trump who gave the order to begin the troop withdrawals.

Lost in the haze of their pathological hatred of President Trump, the majority of mainstream liberal pundits and politicians can't, for the life of them, see the good sense in extracting the troops from a couple Mideast quagmires. That or they can see the positives, but, in their obsessive compulsion to smear the president, choose politics over country. It's probably a bit of both. That's how tribally partisan American political discourse has become. And, how reflexively hawkish and interventionist today's mainstream Democrats now are. Whither the left-wing antiwar movement? Well, except for a few diehards out there, the movement seems to have been buried long ago with George McGovern .

Make no mistake, the Democrats have been tacking to the right on foreign policy and burgeoning their tough-guy-interventionist credentials for decades now. Terrified of being painted as soft or dovish on martial matters, just about all the "serious" baby-boomer Dems proudly co-opted the militarist line and gladly accepted campaign cash from the corporate arms dealers. Think about it, any Democrat with serious future presidential aspirations back in 2002 voted for the Iraq War – Hillary, Joe Biden, even former peace activist John Kerry! And, in spite of the party base now moving to the left, all these big name hawks – along with current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer – are still Democratic stalwarts. Heck, some polls list Biden as the party's 2020 presidential frontrunner.

More disturbing than the inconsistency of these political hacks is the vacuousness of the supposedly liberal media. After Trump's announcement of troop withdrawals, just about every MSNBC host slammed the president and suddenly sounded more hawkish than the clowns over at Fox News. Take Rachel Maddow. Whatever you think of her politics, she is – undoubtedly – a brilliant woman. Furthermore, unlike most pundits, she knows a little something about foreign policy. Her 2012 book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power was a serious and well-researched critique of executive power and the ongoing failure of the wars on terror. Drift was well reviewed by regular readers and scholars alike.

Enter Donald Trump. Ever since the man won the 2016 election, Maddow's nightly show has been dominated the hopeless dream of Russia-collusion and a desire for Trump's subsequent impeachment. Admittedly, Maddow's anti-Trump rhetoric isn't completely unfounded – this author, after all, has spent the better part of two years criticizing most of his policies – but her zealousness has clouded her judgment, or worse. Indeed, that Maddow, and her fellow "liberals" at MSNBC have now criticized the troop withdrawals and even paraded a slew of disgraced neoconservatives – like Bill Kristol – on their shows seems final proof of their descent into opportunistic hawkishness.

One of the most disturbing aspects of this new "liberal" hawkishness is the pundits' regular canonization of Jim Mattis and the other supposed "adults" in the room . For mainstream, Trump-loathing, liberals the only saving grace for this administration was its inclusion of a few trusted, "grown-up" generals in the cabinet. Yet it is a dangerous day, indeed, when the supposedly progressive journalists deify only the military men in the room. Besides, Mattis was no friend to the liberals. Their beloved President Obama previously canned "mad-dog" for his excessive bellicosity towards Iran. Furthermore, Mattis – so praised for both his judgment and ethics – chose an interesting issue for which to finally fall-on-his-sword and resign. U.S. support for the Saudi-led starvation of 85,000 kids in Yemen: Mattis could deal with that. But a modest disengagement from even one endless war in the Middle East: well, the former SECDEF just couldn't countenance that. Thus, he seems a strange figure for a "progressive" network to deify.

Personally, I'd like to debate a few of the new "Cold Warriors" over at MSNBC or CNN and ask a simple series of questions: what on the ground changed in Syria or Afghanistan that has suddenly convinced you the US must stay put? And, what positivist steps should the military take in those locales, in order to achieve what purpose exactly? Oh, by the way, I'd ask my debate opponents to attempt their answers without uttering the word Trump. The safe money says they couldn't do it – not by a long shot. Because, you see, these pundits live and die by their hatred of all things Trump and the more times they utter his name the higher go the ratings and the faster the cash piles up. It's a business model not any sort of display of honest journalism.

There's a tragic irony here. By the looks of things, so long as Mr. Trump is president, it seems that any real movement for less interventionism in the Greater Middle East may come from a part of the political right – libertarians like Rand Paul along with the president's die hard base, which is willing to follow him on any policy pronouncement. Paradoxically, these folks may find some common cause with the far left likes of Bernie Sanders and the Ocasio-Cortez crowd, but it seems unlikely that the mainstream left is prepared to lead a new antiwar charge. What with Schumer/Pelosi still in charge, you can forget about it. Given the once powerful left-led Vietnam-era protest movement, today's Dems seem deficient indeed on foreign policy substance. Odds are they'll cede this territory, once again, to the GOP.

By taking a stronger interventionist, even militarist, stand than Trump on Syria and Afghanistan, the Democrats are wading into dangerous waters. Maybe, as some say, this president shoots from the hip and has no core policy process or beliefs. Perhaps. Then again, Trump did crush fifteen Republican mainstays in 2015 and shock Hillary – and the world – in 2016. Indeed, he may know just what he's doing. While the Beltway, congressional-military-industrial complex continues to support ever more fighting and dying around the world, for the most part the American people do not . Trump, in fact, ran on a generally anti -interventionist platform, calling the Iraq War "dumb" and not to be repeated. The president's sometimes earthy – if coarse – commonsense resonated with a lot of voters, and Hillary's hawkish establishment record (including her vote for that very same Iraq War) didn't win her many new supporters.

Liberals have long believed, at least since McGovern's 1972 trouncing by Richard Nixon, that they could out-hawk the Republican hawks and win over some conservatives. It rarely worked. In fact, Dems have been playing right into bellicose Republican hands for decades. And, if they run a baby-boomer-era hawk in 2020 – say Joe Biden – they'll be headed for another shocking defeat. The combination of a (mostly, so far) strong economy and practical policy of returning US troops from unpopular wars, could, once again, out weigh this president's other liabilities.

Foreign policy won't, by itself, tip a national election. But make no mistake, if the clowns at MSNBC and "liberal" hacks on Capitol Hill keep touting their newfound militarism, they're likely to emerge from 2020 with not only smeared consciences, but four more years in the opposition.

* * *

Danny Sjursen is a US Army officer and regular contributor to He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet .

[ Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.]

turkey george palmer , 43 minutes ago link

A the politicians carry their recordsike a ball and chain. Trump had no legislative baggage so in comparison he looked ok. There may be a chance that some plan to allow e wrything to sink to near chaos is happening, with that risk of a slip up being total collapse. It would appear total collapse is likely absent some very well thought out plan by a lot of people who appear to be morons

RussianSniper , 46 minutes ago link

The neowackjobs of the bush clinton bush bozo crime sprees must answer for their war crimes!

Put these monsters before a world court in Syria, Libya, Iraq, or Yemen.

Burn them alive on pay per view.

Zero-Hegemon , 53 minutes ago link

In the US the neocons switch between parties like changing underwear. Now that the republicans are soiled they'll wear democrats instead, lobby for more war until they're good and soiled, and switch when republican populism is back on the rise (like during the Bush years, and then Obama).

dogismycopilot , 53 minutes ago link

Lost me at calling Maddow a brilliant woman

halcyon , 1 hour ago link

Danny boy got sucked into the liberel-conservative-democrat fallacy. It is all one big party called the war party. The opposition is always theatrics.

AI Agent , 1 hour ago link

Lost me when you said Rachel MadCow was a brilliant woman.

Brilliant people have ethics. If she's brilliant, she wouldn't be lying. If she's stupid, then she's not smart enough to know she's lying.

quesnay , 53 minutes ago link

I don't watch her so can't comment on that, but brilliance and ethics have nothing to do with each other.

Got The Wrong No , 31 minutes ago link

Madcow is diabolical. A brilliant unethical he/she.

Debt Slave , 1 hour ago link

We all know it. If libtards didn't hate America, they wouldn't be trying so hard to change it.

Remember the happy white culture middle class America of 1955? Libtards hate it with a passion that can only be an obsession. The first thing libtards started whining about in the 1950's was the the poor 'oppressed' negroes weren't allowed to burp and fart at the same lunch counter as the evil white man. We foolishly caved in to that first step of liberal stupidity and look where we are today. Mall shootings in Chicongo and New Jersey.

Everytime the (((media))) shows you these violent examples, just remember how we got here.

Compromising with liberals is nothing more than a highway to hell, paved with compromise and liberal 'good intentions'.

Now we have Donald Trump who is willing to tell the liberal idiots to shove their fake altruism and egalitarianism up their collective asses. This chance of a lifetime for our children may never come again.

i know who I am voting for in 2020 ...

lincolnsteffens , 1 hour ago link

I voted for McGovern. I think that was the first time I voted. Now I can't stand either political Parties. I saw the games the Republicans pulled with the Massachusetts Caucus and Convention when I was an alternate delegate for Ron Paul. There is no trick dirty enough for either Party to pull. They are without a moral compass.

Escrava Isaura , 1 hour ago link

Bring 'some' troops home is just a political maneuver not a policy change. How can you tell?

Trump is an imperialist. That's why he fired Bannon.

And that's why Trump moved drones attacks operations from the military to the CIA.

There's no evidence that Trump is ending US intervention anywhere.

Now check this out when the President is Democrat.

52% of Republicans disprove withdrawing troops: Americans widely support President Obama's recent decision to withdraw nearly all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year, with 75% approving. That includes the vast majority of Democrats and independents. Republicans, however, are slightly more likely to disapprove than approve.

AI Agent , 1 hour ago link

How does firing Bannon mean Trump is an imperialist? That doesn't follow, it's a non-sequitur.

quesnay , 57 minutes ago link

I would argue that the Republicans are slightly more principled, although not necessarily in a good way. As your poll shows, when Obama was in power, 96% of Democrats were in favor of removing Troops. 96%!! And now only around 28% of Democrats support withdrawal - . This is almost a complete reversal.

The Republican position went from 50% supporting withdrawal with Obama to 70% under Trump. A change for sure, but not nearly as dramatic as the Democrats which have completely changed their positions i.e. their position has nothing to do with principles what-so-ever.

desertboy , 24 minutes ago link

So, I can interpret the deeper meaning of statements made by others, through your displayed intellectual acumen?

Really quite remarkable -- how utterly foreign is just a little introspection for some.

smacker , 11 minutes ago link

@Escrava Isaura: " Trump is an imperialist. That's why he fired Bannon. "

Not so sure of the connection there.

But America is an imperial nation (both major parties have supported this for years) and the problem now is that its imperialism is on an irreversible trajectory which will bring it to an end. As one might expect, they are trying to keep it alive but that will only delay the inevitable. What we don't know is whether it will end with a whimper or a big bang.

[Jan 13, 2019] Parkinson disease and Russians

Jan 13, 2019 |

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:46 am GMT

Hillary lost the election when she could not walk. she lost a shoe, she was shown in the van, and shoe was thrown after her. And that was arranged by Russians.

[Jan 13, 2019] The only reason the evil bastards who control our society can get away with their treachery is because most of the American people are out to lunch on the most important issues of our time.

Notable quotes:
"... This screaming comes not only from the US mainstream, but also from that European elite which has been housebroken for seventy years as obedient poodles, dachshunds or corgis in the American menagerie, via intense vetting by US trans-Atlantic "cooperation" associations. ..."
"... They are CIA assets who do what they're told. ..."
"... There is an unrecognized plague in our society called antidepressants. More than ten per cent of the people in the industrialized world take drugs which interfere with self doubt. They don't ask themselves whether an idea in their minds is true, fair or kind. They only ask if they believe it. And since the chemical they ingest prevents them from assessing the idea from all sides they always believe that if they think something it must be true. ..."
"... Other symptoms of antidepressant use include high levels of free floating anxiety (because useful anxiety is suppressed) and restlessness. ..."
"... I am still asking myself what motivated a veteran politician like Hillary Clinton to violate a cardinal rule of politics by attacking not her opponent but his supporters with the "basket of deplorable" comment in the closing days of the 2016 campaign except chemically induced madness. ..."
"... If history has recorded that the Roman Empire collapsed due to lead poisoning from the water pipes a future time may also conclude the US Empire was destroyed due to antidepressants. ..."
"... The psychology of the mass of Americans with it's self-righteousness and self-centerdness is really amazing. Just in the last seventeen years the US has invaded or otherwise attacked numerous countries and has caused millions of people to die, become miserable refugees, become orphans and all other manner of evil. ..."
"... Not least of all has been it's creation and patronage of ISIS, one of the most heinous groups in history. Yet Americans have this massive blind spot to the war criminality of all this that their country has committed against the peace of the world. Instead they're being stampeded into some irrational Russia-phobia. It's the US that's been on the march everywhere, labeling those countries that resist it's aggression as being aggressors for being willing to defend themselves. It's all upside-down. ..."
"... "I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics." ..."
"... I'd really like to know who wrote that line for the Prez. (Since I think it unlikely that he wrote that, or any of his "prepared remarks".) Stephen Miller? Whoever. But it was a genius comment. ..."
"... "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad" obviously the Gods want to destroy the so called western man ..."
Jan 13, 2019 |

lavoisier , says: Website July 23, 2018 at 11:47 am GMT


Anyone with an average intelligence can, in two hours trawling of Internet, get how false all that is. And, yet, here we are.
The same people who can spend hours on social media, shopping and entertainment online can't, for SOME reason, figure all that out.

Easy to blame "them" and media/academia/whatever. Maybe it's time to start passing a bit of blame to people in general. Not holding my breath.

I fully agree with this sentiment. The only reason the evil bastards who control our society can get away with their treachery is because most of the American people are out to lunch on the most important issues of our time. If the sheeple were to take responsibility to inform themselves of what is happening today they would be able to see the lies they are being constantly exposed to as just that -- lies. And then, they could put down the beer and turn off the damn sports channel and get angry at what has happened to their country.

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for ignorant people to remain ignorant.

Giuseppe , says: July 23, 2018 at 1:01 pm GMT

This screaming comes not only from the US mainstream, but also from that European elite which has been housebroken for seventy years as obedient poodles, dachshunds or corgis in the American menagerie, via intense vetting by US trans-Atlantic "cooperation" associations.

They are CIA assets who do what they're told.

Gordon Pratt , says: July 23, 2018 at 2:49 pm GMT
There is an unrecognized plague in our society called antidepressants. More than ten per cent of the people in the industrialized world take drugs which interfere with self doubt. They don't ask themselves whether an idea in their minds is true, fair or kind. They only ask if they believe it. And since the chemical they ingest prevents them from assessing the idea from all sides they always believe that if they think something it must be true.

This is the perfect environment for the virus of groupthink to spread.

And since our leaders, both on the left and the right, may be ahead of the curve on drug usage the neocons and the politically correct may use antidepressants at greater levels than 10 per cent.

Other symptoms of antidepressant use include high levels of free floating anxiety (because useful anxiety is suppressed) and restlessness.

I am still asking myself what motivated a veteran politician like Hillary Clinton to violate a cardinal rule of politics by attacking not her opponent but his supporters with the "basket of deplorable" comment in the closing days of the 2016 campaign except chemically induced madness.

If history has recorded that the Roman Empire collapsed due to lead poisoning from the water pipes a future time may also conclude the US Empire was destroyed due to antidepressants.

AnonFromTN , says: July 23, 2018 at 3:09 pm GMT
@Gordon Pratt I think you are mistaken trying to rationalize the behavior of the political class and their puppet masters. I believe the real driver are not antidepressants, but an obscene greed, which is so blinding that it made MIC profiteers forget that to enjoy the fruits of their thievery they have to be alive.
anonymous [339] Disclaimer , says: July 23, 2018 at 3:49 pm GMT
The psychology of the mass of Americans with it's self-righteousness and self-centerdness is really amazing. Just in the last seventeen years the US has invaded or otherwise attacked numerous countries and has caused millions of people to die, become miserable refugees, become orphans and all other manner of evil.

Not least of all has been it's creation and patronage of ISIS, one of the most heinous groups in history. Yet Americans have this massive blind spot to the war criminality of all this that their country has committed against the peace of the world. Instead they're being stampeded into some irrational Russia-phobia. It's the US that's been on the march everywhere, labeling those countries that resist it's aggression as being aggressors for being willing to defend themselves. It's all upside-down.

Jeff Davis , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:01 pm GMT

"I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics."

I'd really like to know who wrote that line for the Prez. (Since I think it unlikely that he wrote that, or any of his "prepared remarks".) Stephen Miller? Whoever. But it was a genius comment.

Respect , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:10 pm GMT

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad" obviously the Gods want to destroy the so called western man

Jeff Davis , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:28 pm GMT
@Lauri Törni

Feel free to attack me.

TDS is a convenient shorthand for this form of disconnect from reality. That said it is absolutely fascinating to see and puzzle over this geopolitical tectonic event. The old narrative is crumbling, with the result that people like Lauri are fighting desperately to preserve their "sanity", dependent as it is on their tribal submission to the old order and its old narrative (its timeworn lies).

"Science advances one funeral at a time."
Max Planck

By which he means that people persist in believing in those "truths" (their belief system) they have held for a lifetime. Only when they die out will a new, revised belief system replaced the old. The same in geopolitics as in science.

Jeff Davis , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:34 pm GMT
@Tulips "Malefactors of great wealth."
Simple Pseudonym , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
American dementia is not new. It is current but after the false flags of almost all of our (US) wars going back as far as the Barbary Pirates, Americans have thrived on being the good guys in an evil world. We are SO GOOD, and the world thinks we are perfect and want to be part of US so much, that any other thought is treasonous.

The fact that getting along with Russia is necessary to NOT create armageddon, is irrelevant to the typical citizen because no matter how wrong, we are blessed and perfect in the eyes of the gawd we pretend to believe in.

So, same old same old

[Jan 13, 2019] They don't want popular support. They want agents in complete control

Notable quotes:
"... Their fundamental problem is, Aspen Institute is CIA. Their first and only instinct is to use people like toilet paper. They don't want popular support. They want agents in complete control. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 |

MK-DELTABURKE , says: July 22, 2018 at 8:25 pm GMT

@Cagey Beast Aspen Institute does make attempts at outreach, but they invariably cock it up by eliciting, recruiting, or suborning every single person they bring in. The shitheads even tried to do it to me. You would think they'd have a dossier saying I hate those cobags.

Their fundamental problem is, Aspen Institute is CIA. Their first and only instinct is to use people like toilet paper. They don't want popular support. They want agents in complete control.

Cagey Beast , says: July 22, 2018 at 10:58 pm GMT

Aspen Institute is CIA.

Yes, the Aspen Institute is the CIA and the CIA is the Aspen Institute. Or, to be more precise, the CIA is the armed wing of Washington's permanently governing technocratic party, in the same way the KGB was the armed wing of the Soviet Communist Party.

Poor Julian Assange is likely going to be in their hands not too long from now. The citizen of one Five Eyes country will be arrested by another and then sent off to the imperial metropole, to be kicked around like a political football. The rest of us Anglosphericals are expected to cheer or remain silent. Either is acceptable.

skrik , says: July 23, 2018 at 8:59 am GMT

there is nothing at all mindless or demented about them

Me: Oh yes there is; by *them* I don't mean "Zuckerberg, others" but the actual rulers of 'the West,' then see this:

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Consider also:

Aspen Institute is CIA

and [perhaps most critically] this:

may depend on support for Trump from Israel and the Pentagon!

Now, I term the actual rulers of 'the West' the ccc = covert criminal cabal. Of course they are in hiding -- acting from 'behind the curtain,' as some have it -- it has to be that *dishonest* way -- for them. Among their most notable 'fruits' are the JFK murder, USS Liberty outrage, inside-job 9/11 psyop and the utterly wicked destruction of Libya/Gaddafi, just 4 of many. The extended list is looong, and note that the 1st 3 in my list demonstrate the ccc 'murdering their own' -- except that to the ccc, anybody not actually in the ccc itself is not 'their own' but only exploitable/disposable objects. Of course the ccc causes lies to be promulgated, hence the Lügenpresse . Neoliberalism/austerity must also come from the ccc, causing misery wherever it's forced upon us, we the people. One of the spivs in suits who 'sold' neoliberalism to the Aus people called it 'economic rationalism' and jeered: 'What would you rather -- irrational economics?' Another ccc modus operandi item is coercion as demonstrated by the downstream effects of Downer's "Get a briefing!" -- which shows us that the CIA et al. is a 'command conduit' if not a command originator. What I'm trying to illustrate here is that the ccc does not merely operate like a mafia, it *is* a mafia, and one of the author's "may depend on" items suggests a name for this mafia, namely: Khazar. That's our miserable world, deliberately made that way by that mafia; if that's not 'mindless and demented' what is? rgds

Pancho Perico , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:27 pm GMT
@MK-DELTABURKE The Aspen Institute is CIA, but the CIA is an organization created and controlled by the globalist conspirators at the Council on Foreign Relations, mostly the Rockefellers and other banksters.

[Jan 13, 2019] The USA repeats the history of the later Roman empire, with the army and intelligence agencies firmly in control

Intelligence agencies are a new Praetorian Guard
Jan 13, 2019 |

jilles dykstra , says: July 23, 2018 at 7:30 am GMT

In my opinion, no dementia. Too many careers and institutions are built on continuing hostility towards Russia. First ECB President Duisenberg's ph d thesis had as title 'The economic consequences of peace', something like that, his conclusion was that demilitarization was possible economically, when controlled sensibly.

Did anyone read 'The Iron Mountain Report', I never quite knew what to make of it, but it also is about if demilitarization is possible. Barbara Hinckley Sheldon Goldman, American Politics and Government, Glenview Ill.,1990 describes how the USA weapons industry skillfully prevents that spending on useless weapons diminishes. The history of the later Roman empire, the army in control.

[Jan 13, 2019] Whether kabuki theater or real gamesmanship but the threshold of decency has been crossed by Trump and uncrossing it is going to be very tricky

Jan 13, 2019 |

EliteCommInc. , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:04 am GMT

In my view, at the moment the deed is done. The president signed onto the report acknowledged the he accepts the report has even gone as far to say, he blames Pres. Putin

Another backtrack, just muddies the waters, and mat be acceptable because no one wants to accept the real consequences of a president who has repudiated the one state president he most desired to make a deal with -- the jig is up.

Whether kabuki theater or real gamesmanship --

A threshold has been crossed and uncrossing it is going to be tricky and in my further humiliation for the wh. The analysis here mattered before the president agreed with the report. But when he did, this analysis, becomes moot. Having a chit chat about de-escalating nuclear tensions is quaint in light of the president acknowledging that russia has in fact undermined the US democratic process. This is a serious charge and no amount of changing the subject, crying foul, or pretending it was all a big misunderstanding is going to change that.

I think it would have been prudent for the president to hold fire in Helsinki and read the report and then responded . He did make any of those choices. It matters not how exposed the establishment in wanton eagerness to have their way, wh has embraced the matter. it is on record and . . . oh well. I see merit in maintaining his original position of disbelief -- however, the president did a complete about face -- and there is no question of that or the implications.

[Jan 13, 2019] The American public naively assumes that their Imperial Project is so god-like in its powers and prowess that no other great power should be able to meddle in our domestic affairs and elections

Notable quotes:
"... This link, I believe, points into a very interesting direction. I don't think that "naivete" is a correct word there. ..."
"... the American public naively assumes that their Imperial Project is so god-like in its powers and prowess that no other great power should be able to meddle in our domestic affairs and elections. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 |

peterAUS , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:35 pm GMT

Back to topic. This link, I believe, points into a very interesting direction. I don't think that "naivete" is a correct word there. Some, perhaps, interesting excerpts:

.a public lulled into a warm and fuzzy sense of moral superiority based on the notion that we only go to war to save the good and punish the evil, and if we meddle in other nations' domestic affairs and elections, we're only doing so for their own good.

If we weren't a kindly, generous Empire, we'd let them go down the drain without trying to set them straight.

Key expression " moral superiority "

There is more:

. the American public naively assumes that their Imperial Project is so god-like in its powers and prowess that no other great power should be able to meddle in our domestic affairs and elections.

I don't think it's "naive" though. It's something else like, again:

there are no limits on our execution of power because we're morally superior

That is the key. That is what, deep in their hearts, Americans believe. We .are .better than .anybody .else. So, blaming "them", media, whatever no no that's a copout. Weak one. The crux is simple, eternal, hard wired: "I am better than you". "I can be homeless punk here, but, I am better than YOU." Feels good. That's all.

Blasphemy, a?

[Jan 12, 2019] Gundlach Warns U.S. Economy Is Floating on 'an Ocean of Debt'

Jan 12, 2019 |

(Bloomberg) -- Jeffrey Gundlach said yet again that the U.S. economy is gorging on debt.

Echoing many of the themes from his annual "Just Markets" webcast on Tuesday, Gundlach took part in a round-table of 10 of Wall Street's smartest investors for Barron's. He highlighted the dangers especially posed by the U.S. corporate bond market.

Prolific sales of junk bonds and significant growth in investment grade corporate debt, coupled with the Federal Reserve weaning the market off quantitative easing, have resulted in what the DoubleLine Capital LP boss called "an ocean of debt."

The investment manager countered President Donald Trump's claim that he's presiding over the strongest economy ever. The growth is debt-based, he said.

Gundlach's forecast for real GDP expansion this year is just 0.5 percent. Citing numbers spinning out of the website, he pointed out that the U.S.'s unfunded liabilities are $122 trillion -- or six times GDP.

"I'm not looking for a terrible economy, but an artificially strong one, due to stimulus spending," Gundlach told the panel. "We have floated incremental debt when we should be doing the opposite if the economy is so strong."

Stock Bear

Gundlach is coming off another year in which his Total Return Bond Fund outperformed its fixed-income peers. It returned 1.8 percent in 2018, the best performance among the 10 largest actively managed U.S. bond funds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Gundlach expects further declines in the U.S. stock market, which recently have steadied after reeling for most of December since the Great Depression. Equities will be weak early in the year and strengthen later in 2019, effectively a reversal of what happened last year, he said.

"So now we are in a bear market, which isn't defined by me as stocks being down 20 percent. A bear market is determined by the way stocks are acting," he said.

Rupal Bhansali, chief investment officer of International & Global Equities at Ariel Investments, picked up on Gundlach's debt theme in the Barron's cover story. Citing General Electric's woes, she urged investors to focus more on balance-sheet risk rather than whether a company could beat or miss earnings. Companies with net cash are worth looking at, she said.

To contact the reporters on this story: James Ludden in New York at;Hailey Waller in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Matthew G. Miller at, Ros Krasny

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