Softpanorama

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

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

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

Tacitus, Agricola
 

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

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

the legendary US diplomat George Kennan warned in 1947

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


Ronal Reagan about a different crisis

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

Michael Hirsh in

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

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

- James Madison


Introduction

The National Security State is an ideology and practice of the USA elite, closely connected with the idea of the rule of the Media-Military-Industrial Complex, and especially three-letter agencies (called "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 itdoes not reuare a single party system and the dominant ideology. Also the state can has less decisive, more flexible role in economic sphere. Formally, the  National Security State is the state, where the institutions of imperial and state security override any elected government.  In other words the state where Intelligence agencies are in change (and please note that CIA can be viewed as armed branch of Wall Street and historical ally top positions were initially staffed with Wall Street lawyers, such as Allen Dulles )

Under neoliberalism society has become increasingly the society of mass surveillance, with increasingly militarized police, 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 it controls the other 320 million. Almost 5 million people is ~ 2% of total USA population but a higher percentage of the adult population  of working  age (around 200 millions). And now it become a formidable political force which in 20176 (and not only in 2016) strived to become a kingmaker.

Much like Praetorian Guard in ancient Role it is clearly out of control of elected government and has its own, sometimes nefarious agenda.  All-in-all this is the fastest growing part of media-military-industrial complex and connected to it influential caste of "Imperial Servants" -- people well being of which is dependent on the existence and expansion of the US global neoliberal empire. This is probably no less then 10 million people if we count defense contractors, Pentagon brass, Intelligence agencies staff, State Department employees, top layers from Wall-Street and Silicon Valley,  and the Staff of the Congress.)  

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

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

 

Both neoliberalism and the national security state are results of the "revolution from above"

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

Since 9/11 terrorism is used as a smoke screen to hide the warts of neoliberalism and facilitate the transition of state into national security state. Adoption of Patriot Act and resulting hypertrophied growth of intelligence agencies in the USA are just a tip of the iceberg. In reality the situation became pretty much Orwellian with Intelligence agencies as the new incarnation of the "Big Brother" as well as the "permanent war for permanent peace" between Oceania (USA and NATO vassals) and Eurasia (Russia and China) in the Orwell's famous  novel 1984. 

It is clear that the war with terrorism launched also can be called  "permanent war for permanent peace" as the enemy is illusive and can be  really easily faked with minimal propaganda efforts by intelligence agencies (who control most "terrorists" anyway).  The level of rampant militarism in the USA now is close to what we observe in typical neo-fascist movements, especially under Trump when American Exeptionalism (or, more correctly, the American version of nationalism) got the features of a regular supremacist ideology  similar to Zionism (Fascism - Wikipedia ):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All this helps shed light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Customer

passionate albeit muddled, August 24, 1999

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer list of features of National security state

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pretty good bet they win...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edward Snowden quotes about National Security State

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


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

National Security State

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

[Nov 09, 2019] We did torture some folks and according to the guy who scanned every page of the torture memos it was much worse than we were led to believe

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984
“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.” -- Arundhati Roy -- Arundhati Roy
Notable quotes:
"... @irishking ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

irishking on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 8:29am

one more time

@Reverend Jane Ignatowski

god bless Harry Shearer

https://youtu.be/hIeTimus0-s

#5.1.1

people are doing things in banks that they shouldn't be doing

Welcome to the We Tortured Some Folks School of Minimization, where you too can learn to master the deceptive art of manipulative psychological abuse!

I see you, Holder, how you're trying to lie people into believing the bankster crimes are the same kind of petty theft as hungry people stealing food. That's some straight up evil shit, man.

This video is most excellent

@irishking

We did torture some folks and according to the guy who scanned every page of the torture memos it was much worse than we were led to believe. There is a video coming out soon about the torture report and it's findings. I don't remember where I read that and saw the trailer, but if I find it again I will post it.

Remember that the CIA broke into congress' computer files to see what was there and no one was held accountable for it. DiFi made a big deal of looking outraged, but.... yeah, we tortured some folks. The thing is that we still are.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

[Nov 08, 2019] More Evidence that The Comey FBI was a Malevolent Clown Show by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... "The "crazies in the basement" is an expression that was coined originally by some unknown member of George W's administration. It used to designate the small clique of Neo-Cons who had found their way into Bush junior's team of advisors, before they rose to dubious fame after the 9/11 attacks. ..."
"... Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, at the time Colin Powell's chief of staff, described their status enhancement from "lunatic fringe" to top executives in the White House with his Southern sense of humor, adding that they had become almost overnight what was henceforth called the Cheney "Gestapo". And what happened over the weekend in the Middle-East – and in D.C. – certainly looked like a distant but distinct reminder of that period in the early 2000s when "crazies" coming right out of a dark basement took over the policy agenda on questions that would require adult supervision." ..."
"... Both in Canada and the States men and women of Eastern European background have risen to positions of influence in the respective administrations. I'd argue that that has not been uniformly beneficial. Not when those men and women enlist under the crazy banner. ..."
"... To a great degree American foreign policy no longer operates in the interests of the broad mass of the American people. It too often plays to the obsessions inherited from Old Europe. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Brent , 06 November 2019 at 03:04 PM

From what I have read, I gather that the FBI in the Mueller / Comey era has made extensive use of "perjury traps". They then threaten charges to get someone to "flip" on someone bigger, in this case Trump. Flynn wouldn't flip even when they threatened to go after Flynn's son. So they decided to "F" him, as stated by Andrew McCabe.

The FBI has been thoroughly disgraced, and Wray is incapable of cleaning it up. He just wants to keep the dirt under the rug. It is too late for that, it is all coming out. US citizens deserve to know how dirty our FBI and CIA are - they are criminal organizations.

Factotum said in reply to Brent ... , 06 November 2019 at 05:45 PM
I am reminded of Susan MacDougall in the Clinton Whitewater case, decades ago -she claimed "they' were trying to make her flip too - can't remember who was on which side, but was it also government prosecutors against a vulnerable individual who they had hope to break to get the goods they decided they wanted? If so, I guess we need generational reminders of the awesome and terrifying powers of an overly powerful "government".
confusedponderer -> Factotum... , 07 November 2019 at 06:35 AM
Factorum,
re: I guess we need generational reminders of the awesome and terrifying powers of an overly powerful "government".

I'd put it more precise - "the awesome and terrifying powers of ANY overly powerful "government".

If it's an Obama FBI crew getting after you or a Trump FBI crew - it must be very bad every time, guilty of anything or not. A classic case of how really bad it can get is Brazil's evangelical Bolsonaro. Iirc a Brazilian TV station had reported that his son was likely deeply involved in the murder of a left politician or reporter in Brazil, a deed done by former Brazilian cops who also happened to call Bolsonaro's house.

Bolsonaro simply freaked out and was not interested at all in any investigation. or the question whether the report was accurate. He simply threatened the TV station that, when reelected, he would nullify their media license. He showed no interest in any reality or facts but was just trying to brutally silence and intimidate the media outlet he doesn't like. He also suggested that his son should become Brazil's ambassador to the US. Probably a perfect job since Trump doesn't have any problems with the Saudi murder prince MbS as well.

A crook by the book ...

Anon said in reply to Factotum... , 07 November 2019 at 01:55 PM
K.T. McFarland (whose name comes up every now and then in this matter) has some pertinent thought to on how the government used its power against Flynn:
"KT McFarland speaks for first time about Michael Flynn" , Fox News interview, 2019-11-05
Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) , 06 November 2019 at 04:07 PM
Is it just me (wink, wink) but I find it completely coincidental that both Strzok (100%) and Pientka (likely) are of Polish origins. Could it be my Russian paranoia. Nah, I am being unreasonable--those people never had a bad feeling towards Trump's attempts to boost Russian-American relations with Michael Flynn spearheading this effort. Jokes aside, however, I can only imagine how SVR and GRU are enjoying the spectacle. I can only imagine how many "free" promotions and awards can be attach to this thing as a free ride.
English Outsider -> Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) ... , 07 November 2019 at 09:19 AM
Your comment brings to mind the outdated Russophobia of many in positions of influence within the American administration. I couldn't remember who coined the term "the crazies in the basement" as applied to the more hawkish elements in US politics. I thought it had been an American Admiral. I had no luck finding a reference so I googled it. Still no joy with the American admiral, but the list thrown up had near the top of it this informative quote from Patrick Bahzad.

"The "crazies in the basement" is an expression that was coined originally by some unknown member of George W's administration. It used to designate the small clique of Neo-Cons who had found their way into Bush junior's team of advisors, before they rose to dubious fame after the 9/11 attacks.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, at the time Colin Powell's chief of staff, described their status enhancement from "lunatic fringe" to top executives in the White House with his Southern sense of humor, adding that they had become almost overnight what was henceforth called the Cheney "Gestapo". And what happened over the weekend in the Middle-East – and in D.C. – certainly looked like a distant but distinct reminder of that period in the early 2000s when "crazies" coming right out of a dark basement took over the policy agenda on questions that would require adult supervision."

Both in Canada and the States men and women of Eastern European background have risen to positions of influence in the respective administrations. I'd argue that that has not been uniformly beneficial. Not when those men and women enlist under the crazy banner. Or, to put it more soberly, form part of the neocon wing of those administrations. Though I, as an outside observer, might be prejudiced here because I happen not to get on very well with Brzezinski and his copious output.

Allowing for that prejudice, which I confess runs very deep, I still think that to an extent American foreign policy has been hijacked by Eastern European emigres who themselves retain some of the prejudices and mindset of another age and place.

Looking at it from afar, the influence of some Eastern European emigres on American foreign policy has been uniformly deleterious. And that from a long way back and no matter whether those emigres are in Washington or Tel Aviv.

It cannot but help be distorting, that influence. It's not merely that unexamined Russophobia is embedded in the DNA of many Eastern Europeans. There's a narrow minded focus on aggressive Machtpolitik, bred from centuries of violent territorial disputes with neighbors.

That, transferred to the world stage as it must be when it infects the foreign policy of the United States - because that is a country that cannot but help be at the centre of the world stage - distorts US foreign policy. To a great degree American foreign policy no longer operates in the interests of the broad mass of the American people. It too often plays to the obsessions inherited from Old Europe.

In the most famous of his speeches Churchill spoke of the time when, as he hoped, "the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

Let the historians dispute as they will, that is what happened. And continued to happen for half a century and more. But there was a price few noticed. The New World might have stepped forward to rescue the old, but it carried back from that old world a most destructive freight.

akaPatience , 07 November 2019 at 03:22 AM
If all of this corruption were carried out to entrap or thwart a liberal Democrat instead of Trump and his associates, we all know the MSM would be banging a drum of utter outrage, 24/7. We'd never hear the end of a story such as this -- that the FBI misidentified the authors of Flynn's interview notes. Unbelievable.

A while back, I recall reading about a sexual discrimination or harassment case involving FBI's Andrew McCabe in which Gen. Flynn intervened on behalf of the female accuser, and it was thought by some that the bogus charge against the general was in part an act of revenge on McCabe's behalf. There are so many dots out there, unconnected, because the MSM is doing its best to suppress the truth.

How long can they continue to hear, see and speak no evil if the you-know-what hits the fan? I guess we're going to find out.

Fred -> akaPatience ... , 07 November 2019 at 09:41 AM
akaPatience,

How do you know the FBI/DOJ and our wonderful allies never did this to a Democratic politician before? Keeping them in office and subject to extortion to get favorable policies in place would be far more effective than removing someone from office. Perhaps we should ask Jeffrey Epstein just what those politicians and businessmen were doing on that island, that manions in NYC or the one in Paris.....

jd hawkins , 07 November 2019 at 04:11 AM
" I can only imagine how SVR and GRU are enjoying the spectacle".

Guess the neo fbi is enjoying it too________ or not so much!!!

JohninMK , 07 November 2019 at 07:49 AM
Is this just a situation where the DoJ are giving the judge an easy way out to throw the case for a technical reason?

This would leave Flynn high and dry without his innocence having been proved having just got off on a technicality. Also the DoJ would not be exposed to having to produce all the damning stuff that the Honey Badger wants out in public.

Very interesting to see which way Judge Sullivan goes now. Wonder if he wants another Powell book.

Fred -> JohninMK... , 07 November 2019 at 09:36 AM
JohninMK,

Which country are you from where people have to prove innocence rather than prosecutors prove guilt? A technicality - do you mean that as a joke since this is obviously criminal misconduct by the FBI/DOJ; or do you really believe they made a mistake that went undiscovered through the entire Mueler probe, congressional testimony and a couple years worth of legal discovery by defense counsel?

Flavius , 07 November 2019 at 10:59 AM
The manner in which Comey and his select team of officials engineered the Flynn 'interview' was contemptible, but not surprising. The group had been steeping in politics from the moment Comey agreed to the Clinton e-mail case under the conditions he did. The special organization he created, an FBI within the FBI operating out of HQ, the administering of 'blood oaths', etc, only made matters worse, or better, depending on one's political point of view. The only thing lacking was secret hand shakes.
In my now outdated experience, the charge of lying to the FBI was viewed as B.S., period; it was never even contemplated as as a stand alone charge. Separated from a substantive charge, it is worse than B.S.
There are several things wrong about the Flynn interview. Among them: if there was indeed a reason for a strategy session to deceive Flynn about his possibly requiring a lawyer, that reason to the fair minded person meant there should have been no need for a strategy session: the interview required telling Flynn that he had the right to a lawyer; he should have been told the purpose of the interview, ie what it was he was suspected of having done wrong and that the import of his answers was sufficiently serious that if he didn't tell the truth he could be charged with lying; if there was uncertainty whether Flynn had told the truth, as apparently there was because the 302 was subjected to editing and reediting, itself highly irregular, the proper way to have resolved any question would have been to reinterview Flynn, not tailor the paperwork to support the charge; if in fact Flynn did lie, what was the harm caused by the lie, or put another way, what would have been the outcome if Flynn had told the truth.
On the subject of recorded interviews, I am of uncertain mind. There is a before interview; there is an after interview. Electronics change the dynamics of the interview itself, and it may be to the advantage of the person interviewed and it may be to his or her disadvantage. If an interview is fairly played, there should be no need to record it; if the interview is intent on something other than fair play, he will find some way to game the electronics. Electronics are no panacea to instilling integrity where integrity is not otherwise to be found.
David Habakkuk , 07 November 2019 at 11:00 AM
Larry,

The 'honey badger' was a species unknown to me, but having looked that animal up, it seems an apt comparison.

Indeed, at the risk of being frivolous, I am tempted to quote the Kipling refrain about the 'female of the species' being 'deadlier than the male.' It seems to me quite likely that people at the FBI, and elsewhere, are still finding it difficult to grasp what has hit them.

Something which interests me greatly is the possible knock-on effects of Ms. Powell's breakthroughs in exposing the conspiracy to frame Michael Flynn on other cases, notably those in which Ty Clevenger and Steven S. Biss are involved.

The pair are representing Ed Butowsky and Devin Nunes, and also, crucially, Svetlana Lokhova, in her case against the 'ratfucker' – the term used in the 'Complaint' – Stefan Halper and some of the MSM organisations who have collaborated in his 'dirty tricks.'

In all of these cases, material freely available on the 'Courtlistener' site is a mine of fascinating information.

Of particular interest at the moment, I think, are the efforts of Clevenger to 'prise open' the cover-up over the role over Seth Rich in leaking the materials from the DNC which the conspirators falsely alleged were hacked by the Russians, and that about the circumstances of his murder.

These efforts have been aided by a remarkable 'hostage to fortune' given by Deborah Sines, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in D.C. who was assigned to the Rich case.

On 8 October, Clevenger produced motions to 'accept supplemental evidence' and 'permit discovery' in the case he has himself brought against the DOJ, FBI and NSA. (His filing is freely available at https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6775665/clevenger-v-us-department-of-justice/ .)

The 'supplemental evidence' in question appeared back in July in Episode 5 of the podcast 'Conspiracyland' which Michael Isikoff produced for 'Yahoo! News'. In this, Ms. Sines recycled the familiar disinformation from Andrew McCabe to the effect that it had been established that there was no connection between Rich and Wikileaks.

She then suggested that the FBI had indeed examined his computer, but solely because someone had been trying to 'invade his Gmail account and set up a separate account after Seth was murdered.' The supposed purpose of this activity, by a 'foreign hacker', was 'so they could dump false information in there.'

As Clevenger pointed out, this claim is rather hard to reconcile with the FBI's insistence that it has no records pertaining to Rich, and makes the Bureau's refusal to search its Computer Analysis Response Team ("CART") for relevant records, and the Washington Field Office for email records, look even more suspicious than it already did.

From the 'Courtlistener' pages it also appeared that, following a telephone conference, Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom ruled that the statement by Ms. Sines did not rise to the 'level of bad faith' required to justify the 'discovery' that Clevenger sought, on the basis of it.

Also freely available on 'Courtlistener', however, is an 'Unopposed motion for stay' which Clevenger filed on 30 November. From this, we learn that Judge Bloom had 'noted that Ms. Sines' statements were not made under oath, further suggesting that the Plaintiff might try to obtain a sworn statement from Ms. Sines.'

In response, Clevenger made clear that he intended to subpoena that lady for a deposition, in the relation to the defamation cases brought against Michael Gottlieb et al, and also David Folkenflik et al, where he is representing Ed Butowsky.

Accordingly, he asked the Court to stay his own case 'until the deposition of Ms. Sines can be arranged and the transcripts can be produced.' Apparently, there was no objection from the DOJ, FBI, and NSA.

In addition, Clevenger asked the court to take 'judicial notice' of the fact that, in her reply dated 24 October to the lawyers for the USG, 'attorney Sidney Powell laid out damning evidence that high-ranking FBI officials systematically tampered with records and hid exculpatory evidence for the purpose of framing the defendant, retired General Mike Flynn.'

So it looks as though what the 'honey badger' has been digging out in relation to Flynn may help in the burrowing efforts of others in related matters – who may be in a position to return the favour.

Increasingly, it seems not entirely unthinkable that the cumulative effect of of the cases in which Powell, Clevenger and Biss are involved may blow open the whole conspiracy against the Constitution, irrespective of whether or not Horowitz, Barr and Durham are prepared to go substantially beyond a 'limited hangout.'

Another important, and neglected, aspect here relates to the cases still ongoing against Steele and Orbis in London – that brought by Aleksej Gubarev, and that by the Alfa oligarchs. It is material that libel laws on this side are noticeably less favourable to defendants than on yours – not least in that the 'fair report privilege' retains its original narrower construction here.

Unfortunately, we do not have here any equivalent to 'PACER' and 'Courtlistener.' The last I heard about the Gubarev case was in the spring, when his American lawyers suggested that it should come to court before Xmas.

It would not at all surprise me if it was postponed. Ironically, however, I now think that it may be quite likely that his British lawyers see delay as being in Gubarev's interests.

A critical point is that Steele is making no attempt to defend the accuracy of the claims about the involvement of Gubarev and his companies in hacking in the final memorandum in the dossier.

It seems quite likely that what is coming to light as the result of the lawsuits on your side may make it materially more difficult to mount any credible case that these were not very seriously defamatory.

There have been repeated attempts to locate the dossier attributed to Steele in another version of a familiar 'Russophobic' narrative, suggesting that he was deliberately fed disinformation by his Russian contacts as part of an 'active measures' campaign.

In my view, these are largely BS. However, a possible partial exception has to do with the claims about Gubarev, which follow on from the those made in Company Report 2016/086, which is dated 26 July 2015.

My suspicion has long been that the sloppy misdating – 2016 is clearly meant – reflected the fact that the document was part of a panic-stricken response to the murder of Rich, which had taken place on 10 July. What I may well have happened is that FBI cybersecurity people, who had been cultivating sources among their FSB counterparts, put out an urgent request, which generated material that went into the dossier.

If that was the case however, it would have been likely that some of their informants were playing a 'double game.' And my suspicion is that, when a further request was put in, following Trump's election victory, those making it were fed a 'baited hook' about Gubarev, very likely cast in the hope of producing something like the outcome that materialised.

I noted with interest that both Devin Nunes and Lee Smith are now expressing scepticism about the notion that Steele's role was in actually authoring the dossier, rather than taking ownership of a compendium essentially produced within Fusion GPS.

Another ground for believing this was put into sharp focus with the publication by 'Judicial Watch' in September of – heavily redacted – versions of reports from Steele circulated in the State Department prior to the dossier.

(See https://www.judicialwatch.org/tag/christopher-steele/ )

These clarify a matter which has long puzzled me about the memoranda. Normally, one would expect the product of a serious business intelligence company to be properly presented, on headed stationery, without elementary errors. And one would not expect a numbering which suggests that the documents made public are part of a much larger series.

A document dated 13 June 2014, headline 'RUSSIA-UKRAINE CRISIS: Kremlin Emboldened to Challenge USG Sanctions and Anti-Russian Leverage On Financial Markets', which is labelled 'Report ID: 2014/130a', suggests that we are actually dealing with a format used in an information service sent out to a large number of clients. Precisely what this would not contain was material attributed to highly sensitive sources.

So the clumsy imitation of this formatting in the dossier gives further reason to believe that it was produced by people other than Steele, who were trying to attribute authorship to him.

A further implication is that Steele may have ended up left facing libel charges in relation to claims for which he was not actually responsible.

In addition to those about Gubarev, the use of the transliteration 'Alpha' instead of 'Alfa' for the Fridman/Aven/Khan group makes me think that the author of the relevant memorandum was not a native English speaker, but someone used to thinking in Russian and/or Ukrainian.

If so, the memorandum may be part of 'Ukrainegate', which, unlike 'Russiagate', looks like being a real story.

And here, of course, the question of what became of Seth Rich's laptop, and what information the FBI is concealing about it, is again critical.

It would not in the least surprise me if the kind of traces described by Ms. Sines are actually really present on some hard drive.

If however they are, a quite likely explanation is that Alperovitch and his Ukrainian 'partners-in-crime' organised a hack, after the leak was discovered, as part of the more general attempt to obfuscate the truth.

Factotum , 07 November 2019 at 12:56 PM
Why does the media and virtually every pundit commenting on the Ukrainian phone call intentionally avoid any mention of Trump's Crowdstrike "favor" request?

[Nov 08, 2019] More Evidence that The Comey FBI was a Malevolent Clown Show by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Nov 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Brent , 06 November 2019 at 03:04 PM

From what I have read, I gather that the FBI in the Mueller / Comey era has made extensive use of "perjury traps". They then threaten charges to get someone to "flip" on someone bigger, in this case Trump. Flynn wouldn't flip even when they threatened to go after Flynn's son. So they decided to "F" him, as stated by Andrew McCabe.

The FBI has been thoroughly disgraced, and Wray is incapable of cleaning it up. He just wants to keep the dirt under the rug. It is too late for that, it is all coming out. US citizens deserve to know how dirty our FBI and CIA are - they are criminal organizations.

Factotum said in reply to Brent ... , 06 November 2019 at 05:45 PM
I am reminded of Susan MacDougall in the Clinton Whitewater case, decades ago -she claimed "they' were trying to make her flip too - can't remember who was on which side, but was it also government prosecutors against a vulnerable individual who they had hope to break to get the goods they decided they wanted? If so, I guess we need generational reminders of the awesome and terrifying powers of an overly powerful "government".
confusedponderer -> Factotum... , 07 November 2019 at 06:35 AM
Factorum,
re: I guess we need generational reminders of the awesome and terrifying powers of an overly powerful "government".

I'd put it more precise - "the awesome and terrifying powers of ANY overly powerful "government".

If it's an Obama FBI crew getting after you or a Trump FBI crew - it must be very bad every time, guilty of anything or not.

A classic case of how really bad it can get is Brazil's evangelical Bolsonaro.

Iirc a brazilian tv station had reported that his son was likely deeply involved in the murder of a left polician or reporter in Brazil, a deed done by former brazilian cops who also happened to call Bolsonaro's house.

Bolsonaro simply freaked out and was not interested at all in any investigation or the question whether the report was accurate. He simply threatened the tv station that, when reelected, he would nullify their media license.

He showed no interrest in any reality or facts but was just trying to brutally silence and intimidate the media outlet he doesn't like.

He also suggested that his son should become Brazil's ambassador to the US. Probably a perfect job since Trump doesn't have any problems with the Saudi murder prince MbS as well.

A crook by the book ...

Fred -> confusedponderer... , 07 November 2019 at 09:37 AM
confusedponderer,

Thank goodness the German government has never done anything like this.

confusedponderer -> Fred ... , 07 November 2019 at 11:47 AM
Fred,
Thank goodness the German government has never done anything like this ?

Please enlighten me, I am curious and must have missed it - and I live in Germany.

If you want to go back to Attila, Genghis Khan, Adolf or Honnecker - please spare me since about all of that happened long before I was born (and two of those are huns or mongols) and is utterly irrelevant here.

Bolsonaro-isms on the other hand "happen right now" and are an example of pretty obvious abuse of power to cover up crimes like political murder and to permanently silence critics and/or inconvenient media.

In context of Factotum's point that is relevant.

Fred -> confusedponderer... , 07 November 2019 at 05:57 PM
Confused,

There has been plenty of abuse of government power and it doesn't all require a bullet in the back or investigators/prosecutors making false claims. I'm on the road but will write something up about that over the weekend.

Anon said in reply to Factotum... , 07 November 2019 at 01:55 PM
K.T. McFarland (whose name comes up every now and then in this matter)
has some pertinent thoughta on how the government used its power against Flynn:
"KT McFarland speaks for first time about Michael Flynn" , Fox News interview, 2019-11-05
Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) , 06 November 2019 at 04:07 PM
Is it just me (wink, wink) but I find it completely coincidental that both Strzok (100%) and Pientka (likely) are of Polish origins. Could it be my Russian paranoia. Nah, I am being unreasonable--those people never had a bad feeling towards Trump's attempts to boost Russian-American relations with Michael Flynn spearheading this effort. Jokes aside, however, I can only imagine how SVR and GRU are enjoying the spectacle. I can only imagine how many "free" promotions and awards can be attach to this thing as a free ride.
English Outsider -> Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) ... , 07 November 2019 at 09:19 AM
Your comment brings to mind the outdated Russophobia of many in positions of influence within the American administration.

I couldn't remember who coined the term "the crazies in the basement" as applied to the more hawkish elements in US politics. I thought it had been an American Admiral. I had no luck finding a reference so I googled it. Still no joy with the American admiral, but the list thrown up had near the top of it this informative quote from Patrick Bahzad.

"The "crazies in the basement" is an expression that was coined originally by some unknown member of George W's administration. It used to designate the small clique of Neo-Cons who had found their way into Bush junior's team of advisors, before they rose to dubious fame after the 9/11 attacks. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, at the time Colin Powell's chief of staff, described their status enhancement from "lunatic fringe" to top executives in the White House with his Southern sense of humour, adding that they had become almost overnight what was henceforth called the Cheney "Gestapo". And what happened over the weekend in the Middle-East – and in D.C. – certainly looked like a distant but distinct reminder of that period in the early 2000s when "crazies" coming right out of a dark basement took over the policy agenda on questions that would require adult supervision."

Both in Canada and the States men and women of Eastern European background have risen to positions of influence in the respective administrations. I'd argue that that has not been uniformly beneficial. Not when those men and women enlist under the crazy banner. Or, to put it more soberly, form part of the neocon wing of those administrations. Though I, as an outside observer, might be prejudiced here because I happen not to get on very well with Brzezinski and his copious output.

Allowing for that prejudice, which I confess runs very deep, I still think that to an extent American foreign policy has been hijacked by Eastern European emigres who themselves retain some of the prejudices and mindset of another age and place.


Looking at it from afar, the influence of some Eastern European emigres on American foreign policy has been uniformly deleterious. And that from a long way back and no matter whether those emigres are in Washington or Tel Aviv.

It cannot but help be distorting, that influence. It's not merely that unexamined Russophobia is embedded in the DNA of many Eastern Europeans. There's a narrow minded focus on aggressive Machtpolitik, bred from centuries of violent territorial disputes with neighbours.

That, transferred to the world stage as it must be when it infects the foreign policy of the United States - because that is a country that cannot but help be at the centre of the world stage - distorts US foreign policy. To a great degree American foreign policy no longer operates in the interests of the broad mass of the American people. It too often plays to the obsessions inherited from Old Europe.

In the most famous of his speeches Churchill spoke of the time when, as he hoped, "the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

Let the historians dispute as they will, that is what happened. And continued to happen for half a century and more. But there was a price few noticed. The New World might have stepped forward to rescue the old, but it carried back from that old world a most destructive freight.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) -> English Outsider ... , 07 November 2019 at 01:04 PM
Very well put. No better example, apart from being utter academic failure, expected from "white board" theorists with zero understanding of power, exists of this than late Zbig. Only blind or sublime to the point of sheer idiocy could fail to see that Brzezinski's loyalties were not with American people, but with Poland and old Polish, both legitimate and false, anti-Russian grievances. He dedicated his life to settling whatever scores he had with historic Russia using the United States merely as a vehicle. So do many, as you correctly stated, Eastern European immigrants to the United States. They bring with them passions, of which Founding Fathers warned, and then infuse them into the American political discourse. It finally reached it peak of absurdity and, as I argue constantly, utter destruction of the remnants of the Republic.
David Habakkuk -> Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) ... , 07 November 2019 at 01:15 PM
Andrei and EO,

I wrote what follows before reading Andrei's response to EO, but do not see much reason to change what I had written.

When in 1988 I ended up working at BBC Radio 'Analysis' programme because it was impossible to interest any of my old television colleagues in the idea that one might go to Moscow and talk to some of the people involved in the Gorbachev 'new thinking', my editor, Caroline Anstey, was an erstwhile aide to Jim Callaghan, the former Labour Prime Minister.

As a result of his involvement with the Trilateral Commission, she had a fascinating anecdote about what one of his fellow members, the former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, said about another, Zbigniew Brzezinski: that he could never work out which of his country's two traditional enemies his Polish colleague hated most.

Almost a generation after hearing her say this, in December 2013, I read an article Brzezinski published in the 'Financial Times, headlined 'Russia, like Ukraine, will become a real democracy.'

(See https://www.ft.com/content/5ac2df1e-6103-11e3-b7f1-00144feabdc0 .)

Unfortunately, it is behind a subscription wall, but it clearly expresses its author's fundamental belief that after all those years of giving Russia the 'spinach' treatment – to use Victoria Nuland's term – it would finally 'knuckle under', and become a quiescent satellite of the West.

An ironic sidelight on this is provided in a recent article by a lady called Anna Mahjar-Barducci on the 'MEMRI' site – which actually has some very useful material on matters to do with Russia for those of us with no knowledge of the language – headlined 'Contemporary Russian Thinkers Series – Part I – Renowned Russian Academic Sergey Karaganov On Russia And Democracy.'

Its subject, who I remember well from the days when he was very much one of the 'new thinkers', linked to it on his own website, clearly pleased at what he saw as an accurate and informed discussion of his ideas.

(See http://karaganov.ru/en/news/534 )

There is an obvious risk of succumbing to facetiousness, but sometimes what one thinks are essential features of an argument can be best brought out at the risk of caricaturing it.

It seems to me that some of the central themes of Karaganov's writing over the past few years – doubly interesting, because his attacks on conventional Western orthodoxies are very far from silly, and because he is a kind of 'panjandrum' of a significant section of the Russian foreign policy élite – may be illuminated in this way.

So, attempting to link his Russian concerns to British and American ones, some central contentions of his writings might be put as follows:

'"Government of the people, by the people, for the people' looked a lovely idea, back in 1989. But if in practice "by the people" means a choice of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn, how can it be "for the people?"

'Moreover, it turned out that our "deplorables" were always right, against us 'intellectuals', in grasping that, with "Russophobes" running Western policy, a "real democracy" would simply guarantee that we remained as impotent and humiliated as people like Brzezinski clearly always wanted us to be.

'Our past, and our future, both in terms of alliances and appropriate social and political systems, are actually "Eurasian": a 'hybrid' state, whose potential greatest advantage actually should be seen as successfully synthesising different inheritances.

'As the need for this kind of synthesis is a normal condition, with which most peoples have to reckon, this gives us a very real potential advantage over people in the West, who, like the communists against whom I rebelled, believe that there is one path along which all of humanity must – and can – go.'

At the risk of over-interpreting, I might add the following conclusion:

'Of course, precisely what this analysis does not mean is that we are anti-European – simply that we cannot simply come to Europe, Europe come some way to meet us.

'Given time, Helmut Schmidt's fellow countrymen, as also de Gaulle's, may very well realise that their future does not lie in an alliance with a coalition of people like Brzezinski and traditional "Russophobes" from the "Anglosphere".

'And likewise, it does not lie with the kind of messianic universalist "liberalism" – and, in relation to some of the SJC and LGBT obsessions, one might say "liberalism gone bonkers" – which Putin criticised in his interview with the "Financial Times" back in June.

(This is also behind a subscription wall, but is available at http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60836 . It is well worth reading in full.)

An obvious possibility implicit in the argument is that, if indeed the continental Europeans see sense, then the coalition of traditional 'Anglophobes' and the 'insulted and injured' or the 'borderlands' may find itself marginalised, and indeed, on the 'dustbin of history' to which Trotsky once referred.

Of course, I have no claims to be a Russianist, and my reading of Karaganov may be quite wrong.

But I do strongly believe that very superficial readings of what was happening when I was working in the 'Analysis' office, back in 1988-9, have done an immense disservice alike to Britain and the United States.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) -> David Habakkuk ... , 07 November 2019 at 01:33 PM
David, Karaganov is an opportunist, granted a smart one. But the events of two days ago with Putin and Lavrov being personally present at the unveiling of the monument to Evgenii Primakov in a front of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs speaks, in fact screams, volumes. You know of Primakov's Doctrine. It is being fully implemented as I type this and it means that the West "lost" (quotation marks are intentional--Russia was not West's to lose) Russia and it can be "thankful" for that to a so called Russia Studies field in the West which was primarily shaped and then turned into the wasteland, in large part thanks to influx of East European "scholars" and some "Russian" dissidents which achieved their objectives by drawing a caricature. They succeeded and Russia had it with the West.
Vig said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 08 November 2019 at 08:45 AM
DH, appreciate your comment. Haven't read the MEMRI paper yet. Scanned the first page though.

Karaganov is an opportunist, granted a smart one. ... You know of Primakov's Doctrine. It is being fully implemented as I type this and it means that the West "lost" (quotation marks are intentional--Russia was not West's to lose)

Well, two things sticked out for me during Tumps reelection campain.
1) on the surface he stated, he wanted closer relations to Russia. Looked at more closely, as should be expected, maybe. They were ambigous. If I may paraphrase it colloguially: I meet them and, believe me, if I don't get that beautiful deal, i'll be out of the door the next second.
2) he promised to be enigmatic, compared to earlier American administrations. In other words, hard to read or to predict. Guess one better is as dealmaker. But in the larger intelligence field? Enigmatic may well be a commonplace. No?

Otherwise, Andrei, I would appreciate your further elaboration on Karaganov as opportunist.

That said, would you please explain why

Petrel said in reply to Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) ... , 07 November 2019 at 11:03 AM
Andrei: Strzok and Pientka come from Galicia -- the westernmost portion of what is now Ukraine -- that was acquired by Empress Maria Theresa in the mid - 18th century.
Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) -> Petrel... , 07 November 2019 at 01:06 PM
Andrei: Strzok and Pientka come from Galicia

Well, that explains a lot. Not all of it, but a lot.

David Habakkuk -> Petrel... , 07 November 2019 at 01:25 PM
Petrel,

I have been curious about precisely where both Srzok and Pientka came from, but have not had time to do any serious searches.

What is the actual evidence that they have Galician origins?

And, if they do, what are these?

I would of course automatically tend to assume that Polish names mean that their origins are Polish.

But then, if this is so, why are they enthusiastically collaborating with 'Banderista' Ukrainians?

It has long been a belief of mine that one of Stalin's great mistakes was to attempt to incorporate Galicia into the empire he was creating.

Had he returned it to Poland, the architects of the Volhynia massacres of Poles – as also of the massacres of Jews in Lviv/Lvov/Lemberg – could have gone back to their old habits of assassinating Polish policemen.

Petrel said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 07 November 2019 at 05:50 PM
Andrei Martyanov & David Habakuk:

I first picked up the Galician connection in an article by Scott Humor: " North America is a land run by Galician zombies " -- published by The Saker on July 4, 2018. It seems that Galicians, especially those that arrived after WWII, migrate into security positions such as ICE / FBI / NSA etc. It may have to do with a family history of work in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Regrettably, I am not from Eastern Europe and cannot help you further about the Bortnicks, the Gathkes, Buchtas, and so on.

akaPatience , 07 November 2019 at 03:22 AM
If all of this corruption were carried out to entrap or thwart a liberal Democrat instead of Trump and his associates, we all know the MSM would be banging a drum of utter outrage, 24/7. We'd never hear the end of a story such as this -- that the FBI misidentified the authors of Flynn's interview notes. Unbelievable.

A while back, I recall reading about a sexual discrimination or harassment case involving FBI's Andrew McCabe in which Gen. Flynn intervened on behalf of the female accuser, and it was thought by some that the bogus charge against the general was in part an act of revenge on McCabe's behalf. There are so many dots out there, unconnected, because the MSM is doing its best to suppress the truth.

How long can they continue to hear, see and speak no evil if the you-know-what hits the fan? I guess we're going to find out.

Fred -> akaPatience ... , 07 November 2019 at 09:41 AM
akaPatience,

How do you know the FBI/DOJ and our wonderful allies never did this to a Democratic politician before? Keeping them in office and subject to extortion to get favorable policies in place would be far more effective than removing someone from office. Perhaps we should ask Jeffrey Epstein just what those politicians and businessmen were doing on that island, that manions in NYC or the one in Paris.....

jd hawkins , 07 November 2019 at 04:11 AM
" I can only imagine how SVR and GRU are enjoying the spectacle".

Guess the neo fbi is enjoying it too________ or not so much!!!

JohninMK , 07 November 2019 at 07:49 AM
Is this just a situation where the DoJ are giving the judge an easy way out to throw the case for a technical reason?

This would leave Flynn high and dry without his innocence having been proved having just got off on a technicality. Also the DoJ would not be exposed to having to produce all the damning stuff that the Honey Badger wants out in public.

Very interesting to see which way Judge Sullivan goes now. Wonder if he wants another Powell book.

Fred -> JohninMK... , 07 November 2019 at 09:36 AM
JohninMK,

Which country are you from where people have to prove innocence rather than prosecutors prove guilt? A technicality - do you mean that as a joke since this is obviously criminal misconduct by the FBI/DOJ; or do you really believe they made a mistake that went undiscovered through the entire Mueler probe, congressional testimony and a couple years worth of legal discovery by defense counsel?

Flavius , 07 November 2019 at 10:59 AM
The manner in which Comey and his select team of officials engineered the Flynn 'interview' was contemptible, but not surprising. The group had been steeping in politics from the moment Comey agreed to the Clinton e-mail case under the conditions he did. The special organization he created, an FBI within the FBI operating out of HQ, the administering of 'blood oaths', etc, only made matters worse, or better, depending on one's political point of view. The only thing lacking was secret hand shakes.
In my now outdated experience, the charge of lying to the FBI was viewed as B.S., period; it was never even contemplated as as a stand alone charge. Separated from a substantive charge, it is worse than B.S.
There are several things wrong about the Flynn interview. Among them: if there was indeed a reason for a strategy session to deceive Flynn about his possibly requiring a lawyer, that reason to the fair minded person meant there should have been no need for a strategy session: the interview required telling Flynn that he had the right to a lawyer; he should have been told the purpose of the interview, ie what it was he was suspected of having done wrong and that the import of his answers was sufficiently serious that if he didn't tell the truth he could be charged with lying; if there was uncertainty whether Flynn had told the truth, as apparently there was because the 302 was subjected to editing and reediting, itself highly irregular, the proper way to have resolved any question would have been to reinterview Flynn, not tailor the paperwork to support the charge; if in fact Flynn did lie, what was the harm caused by the lie, or put another way, what would have been the outcome if Flynn had told the truth.
On the subject of recorded interviews, I am of uncertain mind. There is a before interview; there is an after interview. Electronics change the dynamics of the interview itself, and it may be to the advantage of the person interviewed and it may be to his or her disadvantage. If an interview is fairly played, there should be no need to record it; if the interview is intent on something other than fair play, he will find some way to game the electronics. Electronics are no panacea to instilling integrity where integrity is not otherwise to be found.
David Habakkuk , 07 November 2019 at 11:00 AM
Larry,

The 'honey badger' was a species unknown to me, but having looked that animal up, it seems an apt comparison.

Indeed, at the risk of being frivolous, I am tempted to quote the Kipling refrain about the 'female of the species' being 'deadlier than the male.' It seems to me quite likely that people at the FBI, and elsewhere, are still finding it difficult to grasp what has hit them.

Something which interests me greatly is the possible knock-on effects of Ms. Powell's breakthroughs in exposing the conspiracy to frame Michael Flynn on other cases, notably those in which Ty Clevenger and Steven S. Biss are involved.

The pair are representing Ed Butowsky and Devin Nunes, and also, crucially, Svetlana Lokhova, in her case against the 'ratfucker' – the term used in the 'Complaint' – Stefan Halper and some of the MSM organisations who have collaborated in his 'dirty tricks.'

In all of these cases, material freely available on the 'Courtlistener' site is a mine of fascinating information.

Of particular interest at the moment, I think, are the efforts of Clevenger to 'prise open' the cover-up over the role over Seth Rich in leaking the materials from the DNC which the conspirators falsely alleged were hacked by the Russians, and that about the circumstances of his murder.

These efforts have been aided by a remarkable 'hostage to fortune' given by Deborah Sines, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in D.C. who was assigned to the Rich case.

On 8 October, Clevenger produced motions to 'accept supplemental evidence' and 'permit discovery' in the case he has himself brought against the DOJ, FBI and NSA. (His filing is freely available at https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6775665/clevenger-v-us-department-of-justice/ .)

The 'supplemental evidence' in question appeared back in July in Episode 5 of the podcast 'Conspiracyland' which Michael Isikoff produced for 'Yahoo! News'. In this, Ms. Sines recycled the familiar disinformation from Andrew McCabe to the effect that it had been established that there was no connection between Rich and Wikileaks.

She then suggested that the FBI had indeed examined his computer, but solely because someone had been trying to 'invade his Gmail account and set up a separate account after Seth was murdered.' The supposed purpose of this activity, by a 'foreign hacker', was 'so they could dump false information in there.'

As Clevenger pointed out, this claim is rather hard to reconcile with the FBI's insistence that it has no records pertaining to Rich, and makes the Bureau's refusal to search its Computer Analysis Response Team ("CART") for relevant records, and the Washington Field Office for email records, look even more suspicious than it already did.

From the 'Courtlistener' pages it also appeared that, following a telephone conference, Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom ruled that the statement by Ms. Sines did not rise to the 'level of bad faith' required to justify the 'discovery' that Clevenger sought, on the basis of it.

Also freely available on 'Courtlistener', however, is an 'Unopposed motion for stay' which Clevenger filed on 30 November. From this, we learn that Judge Bloom had 'noted that Ms. Sines' statements were not made under oath, further suggesting that the Plaintiff might try to obtain a sworn statement from Ms. Sines.'

In response, Clevenger made clear that he intended to subpoena that lady for a deposition, in the relation to the defamation cases brought against Michael Gottlieb et al, and also David Folkenflik et al, where he is representing Ed Butowsky.

Accordingly, he asked the Court to stay his own case 'until the deposition of Ms. Sines can be arranged and the transcripts can be produced.' Apparently, there was no objection from the DOJ, FBI, and NSA.

In addition, Clevenger asked the court to take 'judicial notice' of the fact that, in her reply dated 24 October to the lawyers for the USG, 'attorney Sidney Powell laid out damning evidence that high-ranking FBI officials systematically tampered with records and hid exculpatory evidence for the purpose of framing the defendant, retired General Mike Flynn.'

So it looks as though what the 'honey badger' has been digging out in relation to Flynn may help in the burrowing efforts of others in related matters – who may be in a position to return the favour.

Increasingly, it seems not entirely unthinkable that the cumulative effect of of the cases in which Powell, Clevenger and Biss are involved may blow open the whole conspiracy against the Constitution, irrespective of whether or not Horowitz, Barr and Durham are prepared to go substantially beyond a 'limited hangout.'

Another important, and neglected, aspect here relates to the cases still ongoing against Steele and Orbis in London – that brought by Aleksej Gubarev, and that by the Alfa oligarchs. It is material that libel laws on this side are noticeably less favourable to defendants than on yours – not least in that the 'fair report privilege' retains its original narrower construction here.

Unfortunately, we do not have here any equivalent to 'PACER' and 'Courtlistener.' The last I heard about the Gubarev case was in the spring, when his American lawyers suggested that it should come to court before Xmas.

It would not at all surprise me if it was postponed. Ironically, however, I now think that it may be quite likely that his British lawyers see delay as being in Gubarev's interests.

A critical point is that Steele is making no attempt to defend the accuracy of the claims about the involvement of Gubarev and his companies in hacking in the final memorandum in the dossier.

It seems quite likely that what is coming to light as the result of the lawsuits on your side may make it materially more difficult to mount any credible case that these were not very seriously defamatory.

There have been repeated attempts to locate the dossier attributed to Steele in another version of a familiar 'Russophobic' narrative, suggesting that he was deliberately fed disinformation by his Russian contacts as part of an 'active measures' campaign.

In my view, these are largely BS. However, a possible partial exception has to do with the claims about Gubarev, which follow on from the those made in Company Report 2016/086, which is dated 26 July 2015.

My suspicion has long been that the sloppy misdating – 2016 is clearly meant – reflected the fact that the document was part of a panic-stricken response to the murder of Rich, which had taken place on 10 July. What I may well have happened is that FBI cybersecurity people, who had been cultivating sources among their FSB counterparts, put out an urgent request, which generated material that went into the dossier.

If that was the case however, it would have been likely that some of their informants were playing a 'double game.' And my suspicion is that, when a further request was put in, following Trump's election victory, those making it were fed a 'baited hook' about Gubarev, very likely cast in the hope of producing something like the outcome that materialised.

I noted with interest that both Devin Nunes and Lee Smith are now expressing scepticism about the notion that Steele's role was in actually authoring the dossier, rather than taking ownership of a compendium essentially produced within Fusion GPS.

Another ground for believing this was put into sharp focus with the publication by 'Judicial Watch' in September of – heavily redacted – versions of reports from Steele circulated in the State Department prior to the dossier.

(See https://www.judicialwatch.org/tag/christopher-steele/ )

These clarify a matter which has long puzzled me about the memoranda. Normally, one would expect the product of a serious business intelligence company to be properly presented, on headed stationery, without elementary errors. And one would not expect a numbering which suggests that the documents made public are part of a much larger series.

A document dated 13 June 2014, headline 'RUSSIA-UKRAINE CRISIS: Kremlin Emboldened to Challenge USG Sanctions and Anti-Russian Leverage On Financial Markets', which is labelled 'Report ID: 2014/130a', suggests that we are actually dealing with a format used in an information service sent out to a large number of clients. Precisely what this would not contain was material attributed to highly sensitive sources.

So the clumsy imitation of this formatting in the dossier gives further reason to believe that it was produced by people other than Steele, who were trying to attribute authorship to him.

A further implication is that Steele may have ended up left facing libel charges in relation to claims for which he was not actually responsible.

In addition to those about Gubarev, the use of the transliteration 'Alpha' instead of 'Alfa' for the Fridman/Aven/Khan group makes me think that the author of the relevant memorandum was not a native English speaker, but someone used to thinking in Russian and/or Ukrainian.

If so, the memorandum may be part of 'Ukrainegate', which, unlike 'Russiagate', looks like being a real story.

And here, of course, the question of what became of Seth Rich's laptop, and what information the FBI is concealing about it, is again critical.

It would not in the least surprise me if the kind of traces described by Ms. Sines are actually really present on some hard drive.

If however they are, a quite likely explanation is that Alperovitch and his Ukrainian 'partners-in-crime' organised a hack, after the leak was discovered, as part of the more general attempt to obfuscate the truth.

Factotum , 07 November 2019 at 12:56 PM
Why does the media and virtually every pundit commenting on the Ukrainian phone call intentionally avoid any mention of Trump's Crowdstrike "favor" request?

[Nov 08, 2019] Inconvenient Truths by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. ..."
"... We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. ..."
"... We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. ..."
"... Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been. ..."
"... However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump's life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no "attack" in 2016, only, as I have previously explained , ritualistic "meddling" of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other's elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been "attacked by a hostile" entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party's discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising. We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation " Intelgate ," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book . Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain. We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report. And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so. But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the "Putin puppet" and "Kremlin stooge" accusations still being directed at him? Similarly, as I have asked repeatedly, if confronted with a US-Russian Cuban missile–like crisis -- anywhere Washington and Moscow are currently eyeball-to-eyeball militarily, from the Baltic region and Ukraine to Syria -- will Trump be as free politically as was President John F. Kennedy to resolve it without war? Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war. Whether President Trump serves one or two terms, he must be fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation. That requires ridding him and our nation of Russiagate allegations -- and that in turn requires learning how such allegations originated.

Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been.

However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

[Nov 06, 2019] Manufacturing Fear and Loathing, Maximizing Corporate Profits! A Review of Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc. Why Today's Media Makes Us

Notable quotes:
"... "Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). ..."
"... Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic. ..."
"... The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15). ..."
"... our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21). ..."
"... And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid. ..."
"... For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260). ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc . is the most insightful and revelatory book about American politics to appear since the publication of Thomas Frank's Listen, Liberal almost four full years ago, near the beginning of the last presidential election cycle.

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class. In fact, I would strongly recommend that the reader spend some time with Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, Liberal! (2016) as he or she takes up Taibbi's book.

And to really do the book the justice it deserves, I would even more vehemently recommend that the reader immerse him- or herself in Taibbi's favorite book and vade-mecum , Manufacturing Consent (which I found to be a grueling experience: a relentless cataloging of the official lies that hide the brutality of American foreign policy) and, in order to properly appreciate the brilliance of Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the Media Stole from Pro Wrestling," visit some locale in Flyover Country and see some pro wrestling in person (which I found to be unexpectedly uplifting -- more on this soon enough).

Taibbi tells us that he had originally intended for Hate, Inc . to be an updating of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent (1988), which he first read thirty years ago, when he was nineteen. "It blew my mind," Taibbi writes. "[It] taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life .

Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model [italics mine], they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw" (p. 10). For what seemed to be vigorous democratic debate, Taibbi realized, was instead a soul-crushing simulation of debate. The choices voters were given were distinctions without valid differences, and just as hyped, just as trivial, as the choices between a Whopper and a Big Mac, between Froot Loops and Frosted Mini-Wheats, between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, between Marlboro Lites and Camel Filters. It was all profit-making poisonous junk.

"Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). And there's an indisputable logic at work here, because the reality of hideous American war crimes is and always has been, from the point of view of the big media corporations, a "narrative-ruining" buzz-kill. "The uglier truth [brought to light in Manufacturing Consent ], that we committed genocide of a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of the period" (p. 13).

So what has changed in the last thirty years? A lot! As a starting point let's consider the very useful metaphor found in the title of another great media book of 1988: Mark Crispin Miller's Boxed In: The Culture of TV . To say that Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic.

Taibbi summarizes the history of these three decades in terms of three "massive revolutions" in the media plus one actual massive political revolution, all of which, we should note, he discussed with his hero Chomsky (who is now ninety! -- Edward Herman passed away in 2017) even as he wrote his book. And so: the media revolutions which Taibbi describes were, first, the coming of FoxNews along with Rush Limbaugh-style talk radio; second, the coming of CNN, i.e., the Cable News Network, along with twenty-four hour infinite-loop news cycles; third, the coming of the Internet along with the mighty social media giants Facebook and Twitter.

The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15).

For all that, however, the most salient difference between the news media of 1989 and the news media of 2019 is the disappearance of the single type of calm and decorous and slightly boring cis-het white anchorman (who somehow successfully appealed to a nationwide audience) and his replacement by a seemingly wide variety of demographically-engineered news personæ who all rage and scream combatively in each other's direction. "In the old days," Taibbi writes, "the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the frontlines of Pax Americana . The news [was] once designed to be consumed by the whole house . But once we started to be organized into demographic silos [italics mine], the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict" (p. 18).

And in this new media environment of constant conflict, how, Taibbi wondered, could public consent , which would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from conflict, still be manufactured ?? "That wasn't easy for me to see in my first decades in the business," Taibbi writes. "For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model" (p. 19).

But what Taibbi was at length able to understand, and what he is now able to describe for us with both wit and controlled outrage, is that our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21).

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

Or pretty much so. Taibbi is more historically precise. Because of the tweaking of the Herman/Chomsky propaganda model necessitated by the disappearance of the USSR in 1991 ("The Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, / As Russians do ," Jackson Browne presciently prophesied on MTV way back in 1983), one might now want to speak of a Propaganda Model 2.0. For, as Taibbi notes, " the biggest change to Chomsky's model is the discovery of a far superior 'common enemy' in modern media: each other. So long as we remain a bitterly-divided two-party state, we'll never want for TV villains" (pp. 207-208).

To rub his great insight right into our uncomprehending faces, Taibbi has almost sadistically chosen to have dark, shadowy images of a yelling Sean Hannity (in lurid FoxNews Red!) and a screaming Rachel Maddow (in glaring MSNBC Blue!) juxtaposed on the cover of his book. For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260).

And that effect is hate. Impotent hate. For while Rachel's fan demographic is all wrapped up in hating Far-Right Fascists Like Sean, and while Sean's is all wrapped up in despising Libtard Lunatics Like Rachel, the bipartisan consensus in Washington for ever-increasing military budgets, for everlasting wars, for ever-expanding surveillance, for ever-growing bailouts of and tax breaks for and and handouts to the most powerful corporations goes forever unchallenged.

Oh my. And it only gets worse and worse, because the media, in order to make sure that their various siloed demographics stay superglued to their Internet devices, must keep ratcheting up levels of hate: the Fascists Like Sean and the Libtards Like Rachel must be continually presented as more and more deranged, and ultimately as demonic. "There is us and them," Taibbi writes, "and they are Hitler" (p. 64). A vile reductio ad absurdum has come into play: "If all Trump supporters are Hitler, and all liberals are also Hitler," Taibbi writes, " [t]he America vs. America show is now Hitler vs. Hitler! Think of the ratings! " The reader begins to grasp Taibbi's argument that our mainstream corporate media are as bad as -- are worse than -- pro wrestling. It's an ineluctable downward spiral.

Taibbi continues: "The problem is, there's no natural floor to this behavior. Just as cable TV will eventually become seven hundred separate twenty-four-hour porn channels, news and commentary will eventually escalate to boxing-style, expletive-laden, pre-fight tirades, and the open incitement to violence [italics mine]. If the other side is literally Hitler, [w]hat began as America vs. America will eventually move to Traitor vs. Traitor , and the show does not work if those contestants are not eventually offended to the point of wanting to kill one another" (pp. 65-69).

As I read this book, I often wondered about how difficult it was emotionally for Taibbi to write it. I'm just really glad to see that the guy didn't commit suicide along the way. He does describe the "self-loathing" he experienced as he realized his own complicity in the marketing processes which he exposes (p. 2). He also apologizes to the reader for his not being able to follow through on his original aim of writing a continuation of Herman and Chomsky's classic: "[W]hen I sat down to write what I'd hoped would be something with the intellectual gravitas of Manufacturing Consent ," Taibbi confesses, "I found decades of more mundane frustrations pouring out onto the page, obliterating a clinical examination" (p. 2).

I, however, am profoundly grateful to Taibbi for all of his brilliantly observed anecdotes. The subject matter is nauseating enough even in Taibbi's sparkling and darkly tragicomic prose. A more academic treatment of the subject would likely be too depressing to read. So let me conclude with an anecdote of my own -- and an oddly uplifting one at that -- about reading Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the News Media Stole from Pro Wrestling."

On the same day I read this chapter I saw that, on the bulletin board in my gym, a poster had appeared, as if by magic, promoting an upcoming Primal Conflict (!) professional wrestling event. I studied the photos of the wrestlers on the poster carefully, and, as an astute reader of Taibbi, I prided myself on being able to identify which of them seemed be playing the roles of heels , and which of them the roles of babyfaces .

For Taibbi explains that one of the fundamental dynamics of wrestling involves the invention of crowd-pleasing narratives out of the many permutations and combinations of pitting heels against faces . Donald Trump, a natural heel , brings the goofy dynamics of pro wrestling to American politics with real-life professional expertise. (Taibbi points out that in 2007 Trump actually performed before a huge cheering crowd in a Wrestlemania event billed as the "battle of the billionaires." Watch it on YouTube! https://youtu.be/5NsrwH9I9vE -- unbelievable!!)

The mainstream corporate media, on the other hand, their eyes fixed on ever bigger and bigger profits, have drifted into the metaphorical pro wrestling ring in ignorance, and so, when they face off against Trump, they often end up in the role of inept prudish pearl-clutching faces .

Taibbi condemns the mainstream media's failure to understand such a massively popular form of American entertainment as "malpractice" (p. 125), so I felt more than obligated to buy a ticket and see the advertised event in person. To properly educate myself, that is.

... ... ...


Steve Ruis , November 5, 2019 at 8:13 am

I have stopped watching broadcast "news" other than occasional sessions of NPR in the car. I get most of my news from sources such as this and from overseas sources (The Guardian, Reuters, etc.). I used to subscribe to newspapers but have given them up in disgust, even though I was looking forward to leisurely enjoying a morning paper after I retired.

I was brought up in the positive 1950's and, boy, did this turn out poorly.

Dao Gen , November 5, 2019 at 8:59 am

Matt Taibbi is an American treasure, and I love his writing very much, but we also need to ask, Why hasn't another Chomsky (or another Hudson), an analyst with a truly deep and wide-ranging, synthetic mind, appeared on the left to take apart our contemporary media and show us its inner workings? Have all the truly great minds gone to work for Wall Street? I don't have an answer, but to me the pro wrestling metaphor, while intriguing, misses something about the Fourth Estate in America, if it indeed still exists. And that is, except for radio, there is a distinct imbalance between the two sides of the MSM lineup. On the corporate liberal side of the national MSM team you have five wrestlers, but on the conservative/reactionary side you have only the Fox entry. Because of this imbalance, the corruption, laziness, self-indulgence, and generally declining interest in journalistic standards seems greater among the corporate liberal media team, including the NYT and WaPo, than the Fox team.

I'm not a fan of either Maddow (in her current incarnation) or Hannity, but Hannity, perhaps because he thinks he's like David, often hustles to refute the discourse of the corporate liberal Goliath team. Hannity obviously does more research on some topics than Maddow, and, perhaps because he began in radio, he puts more emphasis on semi-rationally structured rants than Maddow, who depends more on primal emotion, body language, and Hollywood-esque fear-inducing atmospherics.

I'd wager that in a single five-minute segment there will often be twice as many rational distinctions made in a Hannity rant than in a Maddow performance. In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong from the very beginning as propaganda industry trend-setter Adam Schiff. So for at least these last three years, the Maddow-Hannity primal match has been a somewhat misleading metaphor. The Blob and the security state have been decisively supporting (and directing?) the corporate liberal global interventionist media, at least regarding Russia and the permanent war establishment, and because the imbalance between the interventionist and the non-interventionist MSM, Russia and Ukraine are being used as a wedge to steadily break down the firewalls between the Dem party, the intel community, and the interventionist MSM. If we had real public debates with both sides at approximately equal strength as we did during the Vietnam War, then even pro wrestling-type matches would be superior to what we have now, which is truthy truth and thoughtsy thought coming to us from the military industrial complex and monopolistic holding companies. If fascism is defined as the fusion of the state and corporations, then the greatest threat of fascism in America may well be coming from the apparent gradual fusion of the corporate liberal MSM, the Dem party elite, and the intel community. Instead of an MSM wrestling match, we may soon be faced with a Japanese-style 'hitori-zumo' match in which a sumo wrestler wrestles with only himself. Once these sumo wrestlers were believed to be wrestling with invisible spirits, but those days are gone . http://kikuko-nagoya.com/html/hitori-zumo.htm

coboarts , November 5, 2019 at 9:59 am

"If we had real public debates" and if they were even debates where issues entered into contest were addressed point by point with evidence

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , November 5, 2019 at 10:03 am

Today's Noam Chomksy? Chomsky was part of the machine who broke ranks with it. His MIT research was generously funded by the Military Industrial Complex. Thankfully, enough of his latent humanity and Trotskyite upbringing shone through so he exposed what he was part of. So I guess today that's Chris Hedges, though he's a preacher at heart and not a semiotician.

neighbor7 , November 5, 2019 at 10:04 am

Thank you, Dao Gen. An excellent analysis, and your final image is usefully haunting.

a different chris , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

> In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong

Eh. Read whats-his-name's (Frankfurter?) book On Bullshit . You are giving Hannity credit for something he doesn't really care about.

jrs , November 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm

I don't believe the media environment as a whole leans corporate Dem/neoliberal.

T.V. maybe, but radio is much more right wing than left (yes there is NPR and Pacifica, the latter with probably only a scattering of listerners but ) and it's still out there and a big influence, radio hasn't gone away. So doesn't the right wing tilt of radio kind of balance out television? (not necessarily in a good way but). And then there is the internet and I have no idea what the overall lean of that is (I mean I prefer left wing sites, but that's purely my own bubble and actually there are much fewer left analysis out there than I'd like)

Self Affine , November 5, 2019 at 9:05 am

Also,

Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism

by Sheldon S. Wolin

Critical deep analysis of not just the media but the whole American political enterprise and
the nature of our "democracy".

DJG , November 5, 2019 at 9:20 am

The whole review is good, but this extract should be quoted extensively:

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class.

In short, stagnation and self-dealing at the top. What could possibly go wrong?

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 11:51 am

Are you serious? Maddow called Trump a traitor and accused him of betrayal in Russiagate, and was caught out when that fell apart. This was pointed out all over the MSM .

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/27/rachel-maddows-deep-delusion-226266

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/17/rachel-maddow-hits-the-panic-button-after-trump-putin-summit-this-is-the-worst-case-scenario/

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 9:52 am

This is great stuff. Thanks.

One quibble: the author says

Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets

and then goes on to spend most of the article talking about television. I'd say television is still the main propaganda instrument even if many webheads like yours truly ignore it (I've never seen Hannity's show or Maddow's–just hear the rumors). Arguably even newspapers like the NYT have been dumbed down because the reporters long to be on TV and join the shouting. And it's surely no coincidence that our president himself is a TV (and WWE) star. Mass media have always been feeders of hysteria but television gave them faces and voices. Watching TV is also a far more passive experience than surfing the web. They are selling us "narratives," bedtime stories, and we like sleepy children merely listen.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield , November 5, 2019 at 9:54 am

This rave review has inspired me to add this to my to-read non-fiction queue. Currently reading William Dalrymple's The Anarchy, on the rise of the East India Company. Next up: Matt Stoller's Goliath. And then I'll get to Taibbi. Probably worth digging up my original copy of Manufacturing Consent as well, which I read many moons ago; time for a re-read.

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm

almost every page of mine is dog-eared and marked along the edge with exclamation points

urblintz , November 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm

May I suggest Stephen Cohen's "War with Russia?" if it's not already on your list? In focusing on the danger emerging from the new cold war, seeded by the Democrats, propagated by corporate media (which he thinks is more dangerous than the first), Cohen clarifies the importance of diplomacy especially with one's nuclear rivals.

Imagine that

shinola , November 5, 2019 at 9:56 am

Support your local book store!

Off The Street , November 5, 2019 at 9:57 am

Us rubes knew decades ago about pro wrestling. There was a regional circuit and the hero in one town would become the villain in another town. The ones to be surprised were like John Stossel, who got a perforated eardrum from a slap upside the head for his efforts at in-your-face journalism with a wrestler who just wouldn't play along with his grandstanding. Somewhere, kids cheered and life went on.

The Historian , November 5, 2019 at 10:01 am

Ah, Ancient Athens, here we come – running back to repeat your mistakes! Our MSM media has decided that when we are not at our neighbor's throats, we should be at each other's throats!

teacup , November 5, 2019 at 10:11 am

I was watching old clips of the 'Fred Friendly Seminars' on YouTube. IMHO any channel that produced a format such as this would be a ratings bonanza. Imagine a round table with various media figures (corporate) left, (corporate) right, and independent being refereed by a host-moderator discussing topics in 'Hate, Inc.'. In wrestling it's called a Battle Royale. The Fourth Estate in a cage match!

@ape , November 5, 2019 at 10:12 am

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

This is important, if people don't want to be naive about what democracy buys. Democracy in the end is a ritual system to determine which members of an elite would win a war without actually having to hold the war. Like how court functions to replace personal revenge by determining (often) who would win in a fight if there were one, and the feudal system replaced the genocidal wars of the axial age with the gentler warfare of the middle ages which were often ritual wars of the elite that avoided the full risk of the earlier wars.

That, I think, is important -- under a democracy, the winner should be normally the winner of the avoided violent conflict to be sustainable. Thus, it's enough to get most people to consent to the solution, using the traditional meaning of consent being "won't put up a fight to avoid it". If the choices on the table are reduced enough, you can get by with most people simply dropping out of the questions.

Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit

It shouldn't be a surprise that we've moved to "faking dissent" -- it's the natural evolution of a system where a lot of the effective power is in the hands of tech, and not just as in the early 20th century, how many workers you have and how many soldiers you can raise.

If you don't like it, change the technology we use to fight one another. We went from tribes to lords when we switch from sticks to advanced forged weapons, and we went from feudalism to democracy when we had factories dropping guns that any 15 year old could use (oversimplifying a bit). Now that the stuff requires expertise, you'd expect a corresponding shift in how we ritualize our conflict avoidance, and thus the organization of how we control communication and how we organize our rituals of power.

Aka, it's the scientists and the engineers who end up determining how everything is organized, and people never seem to bother with that argument, which is especially surprising that even hard-core Marxists waste their time on short-term politics rather than the tech we're building.

I'd be curious whether Taibbi thought about the issue of the nature of the technology and whether there are technological options on the horizon which drive the conflict in other directions. If we had only kept the laws on copyright and patent weaker, so that the implementation of communicative infrastructure would have stayed decentralized

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Tabby's "manufacturing fake consent" was really the whole punchline – the joke's on us. Hunter S. Thompson, another of Taibbi's heroes, is, along with Chomsky, speaking to us through MT. Our media is distracting us from social coherence. Another thing it is doing (just my opinion) is it is overwhelming us to the point of disgust. Nobody likes it. And we protect ourselves by tuning it out. Turning it off. Once the screaming lunatics marginalize themselves by making the whole narrative hysterical, we just act like it's another family fight and we're gonna go do something else. When everyone is screaming, no one is screaming.

Jerry B , November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

I have tried to read Hate Inc. and Taibbi's Griftopia but one of my main issues with Taibbi's writing is his lack of notes, references, or bibliography, etc. in his books. In skimming Hate Inc. it seems like a book I would enjoy reading, however my personal value system is that any book without footnotes, endnotes, citations, or at minimum a bibliography is just an opinion or a story. At least Thomas Frank's Listen Liberal has a section for End Notes/References at the end of the book. Again just my personal values.

Sbbbd , November 5, 2019 at 10:45 am

Another classic in the genre of manufactured consent through media from the age of radio and Adolf Hitler:

"The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", in the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.

Joe Well , November 5, 2019 at 11:04 am

I am from Greater Boston, far, far from flyover country (which I imagine begins in Yonkers NY), but I sure grew up with pro wrestling as part of the schoolyard discourse. I certainly knew it was as much of a family affair as Disney on Ice and have trouble believing he thought otherwise though I will not impugn his honesty. I am very grateful to the author for taking the time to write this, but is it possible for a male who grew up in the US to be as deeply embedded in the MSNBC demo as he claims to be?

Seriously, how is it possible for a male raised in the US to not at least have some working familiarity with pro wrestling? My family along with my community was very close to the national median income–do higher income boys really not learn about WWF and WWE?

Seriously, rich kids, what was childhood like? I know you had music lessons and sports camps, what else? Was it really that different?

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 11:59 am

And it's not just the US. See the British WWE movie: Fighting With My Family.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_with_My_Family

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Sorry, my blue collar, lifetime union member brother says your view is horseshit. All the knows about WWE and WWF is that they are big-budget fakery and that's why they are of no interest.

amfortas the hippie , November 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm

aye. in my blue to white collar( and back to blue to no collar) upbringing, wrestling was never a thing. it was for the morons who couldn't read. seen as patently absurd by just about everyone i knew. and this in klanridden east texas exurbia
wife's mexican extended familia oth luche libre is a big thing that all and sundry talked about at thanksgiving. less so these days possibly due to the hyperindiviualisation of media intake mentioned
(and,btw, in my little world , horseshit is a good thing)

BlueStater , November 5, 2019 at 11:11 am

Even allowing for my lefty-liberal bias, I do not see how it is possible to equate Fox Noise and MSNBC, or Hannity and Maddow, as "both-sides" extremists. Fox violates basic professional canons of fairness and equity on a daily basis. MSNBC occasionally does, but is quick to correct errors of fact. Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar. It is one of the evil successes of the right-wing news cauldron to have successfully equated these two figures and organizations.

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Huh? MSNBC regularly makes errors of omission and commission with respect to Sanders. They are still pushing the Russiagate narrative. That's a massive, two-year, virtually all the time error they have refused to recant.

The blind spots of people on the soi-disant left are truly astonishing.

semiconscious , November 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm

'Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar '

oh, well, then – end of conversation! i mean, god knows, it'd be a cold day in hell before a rhodes scholar, or even someone married to one, would ever lead us astray down the rosy neoliberal path to hell, while, at the same time, under the spell of trump derangement syndrome, actually attempt to revive the mccarthy era, eh?

Summer , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Actual drugs are being used to hinder debate as well as emotional drugs like hate.
They can't trust agency to be removed by words and images alone – the stakes are too high.
Now all of you go take a feel good pill and stop complaining!

McWatt , November 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm

I would like to know if Matt is doing any book signings any where around the states for this new title?

David , November 5, 2019 at 1:15 pm

I've been impressed with Taibbi's work, what I've read of it, but ironically this very article contains a quote from him which exemplifies the problem: his casual assertion that the US committed "genocide" in Indochina. Even the most fervent critics of US policy didn't say this at the time, for the very good reason that there was no evidence that the US tried to destroy a racial, religious, ethnic or nationalist group (the full definition is a lot more complex and demanding than that). He clearly means that the US was responsible for lots of deaths, which is incontestable. But the process of endless escalation of rhetoric, which this book seems to be partly about, means that everything now has to be described in the most extreme, absurd or apocalyptic tones, and at the top of your voice, otherwise nobody takes any notice. So any self-respecting war now has to be qualified as "genocide" or nobody will take any notice.

[Nov 05, 2019] Anti-Russian hysteria and the extensive disinformation campaign probably stems from a 'Five Eyes' strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Notable quotes:
"... Integrity Initiative. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... 'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.' ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative, ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft, ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Open Information Partnership ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Media Diversity Institute ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Integrity Initiative. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... 'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.' ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative, ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft, ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Open Information Partnership ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Media Diversity Institute ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
Nov 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8

james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.


semiconscious , Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9

james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

They're the nuclear rival that don't import many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

chet380 , Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11
#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Joost , Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13
@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.
TEP , Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14
I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.
Trisha , Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Ort , Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19
@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
___________________________________________

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.


/div> " The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64 , Main November 04, 2019 British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns . The Institute of Statecraft suggested to impose anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly , also proposed to synchronously expel a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute . Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.'

OSCR's view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation's activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity's trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees' decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation's activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalist to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

" The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64 | Main November 04, 2019 British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns . The Institute of Statecraft suggested to impose anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly , also proposed to synchronously expel a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute . Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:
  • its purposes were not entirely charitable
  • one of its most significant activities, a project known as Integrity Initiative, did not provide public benefit in furtherance of the charity's purposes
  • private benefit to charity trustees was not incidental to the charity's activities that advance its charitable purpose

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.'

OSCR's view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation's activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity's trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees' decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation's activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

  • the charity has ceased to undertake any activity related to the Integrity initiative, and this is now undertaken by a non-charitable entity having no legal connection to the charity
  • the charity has ceased to remunerate any of its charity trustees
  • the charity is taking external guidance on governance
  • some charity trustees are to stand down as soon as replacement charity trustees can be identified

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalist to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

div
NoOneYouKnow , Nov 4 2019 18:27 utc | 1
Thanks, B. It's a pity the people of the UK have no foreseeable recourse to stop shadow government operations like this that exist to disinform the people of the UK.
div> Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 18:49 utc | 3
At Kit Klarenberg's Twitter , there's a long tweet thread further detailing what b has written above. I can't help be wonder how the Monty Python troop would have portrayed the Institute for Statecraft and its parent the Integrity Initiative. It appears that the governments of the English speaking nations became addicted to lying to their citizens @1900 and are unable to kick the habit and instead have actually deepened their addiction. Elsewhere on the planet, it seems that people are learning it's easier to talk straight and transparently with other people and to pool resources and combine efforts to form a community of nations and humanity to better one and all. Seems simple enough to determine which is functional and which isn't.
james , Nov 4 2019 18:50 utc | 4
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale? i agree with @ 1 - noyk - it is unfortunate the uk people are used as guinea pigs on such a regular basis.. i suspect a similar exercise is in operation in canada and the west, although it seems the msm fulfills this role here...
NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5
Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf
erik , Nov 4 2019 18:54 utc | 6
It seems that often products or organizations, which contain superlatives or anodyne expressions in their names, are generally sketchy...
karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 19:19 utc | 7
The Federalist declares it's published a scoop :

"CIA, FBI Informant Was Washington Post Source For Russiagate Smears."

The article details a segment of Russiagate's overall unraveling and outs WaPost's David Ignatius as part of Operation Mockingbird. And I see no reason to dispute the item's conclusion:

"These close connections between the Washington Post's Ignatius and individuals connected to the American and British intelligence communities, and the false reporting that has taken place over the last three-plus years, raise grave concerns that the warfare of the soft coup aimed at President Trump includes using the media to push propaganda."

The longer the above conclusion's denied, the wider the polarization becomes between those guided by facts and those following media fantasies.

ben , Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8
james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonetization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.

semiconscious , Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9
james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

they're the nuclear rival that don't manufacture many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

David G , Nov 4 2019 20:13 utc | 10
The OSCR report includes the Institute for Statecraft's own description of its purposes, but nothing about its actual operations, other than the ones now being deemed unsatisfactory under the charities law.

So now that the Institute has committed not to run the Integrity Initiative, and not to enrich its trustees, what are its legitimate "charitable" activities that OSCR is kindly allowing it to continue with?

chet380 , Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11
#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

James , Nov 4 2019 20:31 utc | 12
As an Irish citizen, I think the British deep state - the original deep state -have been very successful at demonising the enemies of 'freedom' and 'civilisation', the Irish yes, also the Indians, Africans, Germans, french, Spanish, Muslims and now the Russians. Our enemies are not each other rather the deep state. Let's recognise who our real enemy is
Joost , Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13
@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.
TEP , Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14
I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.
james , Nov 4 2019 21:18 utc | 15
@8 ben / @ 9 semiconscious / @ 11 chet380.. yes, there is that too, but is that it? money as ben says rings true for me mostly... that is mostly how i see this...the agencies seem to be a front for western oligarchs.. the kleptomaniacs want access to all russian resources and have yet to be successful in getting it.. they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine.. the 2014 coop was meant to solidify more of that and poke russia in the eye too..

@ 13 joost... i would watch out for your cat! alas, we all seem to agree it is about wanting to loot russia... we share a similar viewpoint.. it is really sick how so many are ignorant pawns, or worse in all of this.. no wonder i make next to no money working in the music industry... i am in the wrong game and don't share a lack of ethics on such display with all these losers..

Trisha , Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Jen , Nov 4 2019 21:34 utc | 17
Reading through the OCSR's document at the PDF link in B's post, I am surprised (should I be?) that during the entire decade-long period when the Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity, the OCSR did not see fit at any time to remind the organisation of its responsibilities to keep proper records of its activities and decision-making, to provide a proper formal and transparent structure for its activities that could be shown to demonstrate a public benefit, and to have proper formal structures generally for its day-to-day running and governance activities. The Scottish public have every right to hold the OCSR to much higher standards of being a regulatory organisation making sure that charities are run properly as charities and not simply accept those charities' word that they will improve their operations when they have spent 10 long years taking money (some of it taxpayers' money) and misusing it.
Jackrabbit , Nov 4 2019 21:46 utc | 18
james @15:
they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine..

Ukraine is an economic disaster. Donbas and Crimea were the most valuable parts.

Ort , Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19
@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
___________________________________________

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.


Jackrabbit , Nov 4 2019 22:31 utc | 20
james @4

You ask too many questions... isn't it clear?

We hate THEM 'cause THEY hate US.

/snarc

Seriously, we've seen the movie and read the book. This is how "Red Scare" McCarthyism works.

!!

james , Nov 5 2019 0:10 utc | 21
@18 jr... disaster capitalism at its finest!!

@ 20..lol.. that is true... can't ver ask too many questions! and, it has been a repeat of mccarthyism.. it's bizarre to see so many otherwise intelligent people swallow this crap.. i think of emptywheel and how i used to think she was smart.. she is so busy looking at the trees, she's incapable of seeing the forest..

james , Nov 5 2019 0:21 utc | 22
@16 trisha... thanks... as i have mentioned here at moa numerous times, the book 'paris 1918' by Margaret Macmillan is an excellent book that gives an overview and discusses exactly what you are talking about.. i can't recommend the book enough..
https://www.bookbrowse.com/reviews/index.cfm/book_number/1135/Paris-1919
Ash Naz , Nov 5 2019 0:55 utc | 23
I ploughed through the Kit Klarenberg piece on Sputnik that b linked to and would have wept at the Orwellian inversions of truth in the OIP's 'mission statment' if I'd had any tears left after enduring the recent decades of lies and projection of the Empire's propaganda machine. The Mighty Wurlitzer at corporate-speak indeed. In fact all I could do was laugh like Group Captain Mandrake in Dr Strangelove when confronted with the madness of General Ripper.

Tragically, the opening paragraph of their statement sounded like something Caitlin Johnstone might pen, urging our side to be wary and vigilant of the propaganda of them .

"Democracy cannot thrive without honest, accurate and freely available information about the world around us We need to know where our information is coming from, we need to know the motives (good, bad or neither) of those providing the information, and be in the habit of thinking critically about everything we read and hear. Every one of us has the right to be properly informed – that knowledge gives us strength. Every one of us shares responsibility for informed engagement and critical thinking, to challenge the powerful and uncover the truth An engaged population, equipped with clarity and the truth, is the foundation for a world where we can all enjoy greater equality and greater peace."

"critical thinking"
"challenge the powerful"
"uncover the truth"

They are taking the tools that we need to deal with their perfidy, and pretending that they need to use them to "challenge the powerful and uncover the truth". I found this Orwellian inversion of the truth so chilling that I could only laugh.

In all seriousness, I can only presume that they actually believe their own lies.

vk , Nov 5 2019 3:10 utc | 26
The Wolfowitz Doctrine (1992) states that Russia should remain America's main enemy for the forseeable future because it inherited the USSR's nuclear arsenal. At least this is the official rationale.

But there may be another reason. Courtesy from Pepe Escobar's facebook page:

Francis Fukuyama interview: "Socialism ought to come back"

Trisha , Nov 5 2019 4:08 utc | 29
@22 James ... thanks for the "Paris 1919" book reference, luckily it's available at my local library. For a detailed history of (sadly) another in a long list of America's criminal acts of aggressive war, I highly recommend Russian Sideshow: America's Undeclared War, 1918-1920 by Robert L. Willett.
nietzsche1510 , Nov 5 2019 7:15 utc | 33
they are attacking Russia because they know that only military force can stop the collapse the fake Dollar & all the Jewish printed wealth which goes with it. "yes, the Dollar is our money, but, it is your problem" sort of imposed doctrine of the last half-century is coming to an end & no naval carriers could stop its fall.

[Nov 05, 2019] Close connections between the Washington Post's Ignatius and individuals connected to the American and British intelligence communities

Nov 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 19:19 utc | 7

The Federalist declares it's published a scoop :

"CIA, FBI Informant Was Washington Post Source For Russiagate Smears."

The article details a segment of Russiagate's overall unraveling and outs WaPost's David Ignatius as part of Operation Mockingbird. And I see no reason to dispute the item's conclusion:

"These close connections between the Washington Post's Ignatius and individuals connected to the American and British intelligence communities, and the false reporting that has taken place over the last three-plus years, raise grave concerns that the warfare of the soft coup aimed at President Trump includes using the media to push propaganda."

The longer the above conclusion's denied, the wider the polarization becomes between those guided by facts and those following media fantasies.

[Nov 05, 2019] American Conspiracies Cover-Ups

Nov 05, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

American Conspiracies & Cover-Ups by Tyler Durden Tue, 11/05/2019 - 00:10 0 SHARES Authored by Douglas Citignano via Off-Guardian.org,

In today's world, the phrase "conspiracy theory" is pejorative and has a negative connotation. To many people, a conspiracy theory is an irrational, over-imaginative idea endorsed by people looking for attention and not supported by the mainstream media or government.

History shows, though, that there have been many times when governments or individuals have participated in conspiracies. It would be naïve to think that intelligence agencies, militaries, government officials, and politicians don't sometimes cooperate in covert, secretive ways.

Following are five instances when it's been proven that the government engaged in a conspiracy.

THE GULF OF TONKIN RESOLUTION

On August 4, 1964, Captain John J. Herrick, the commander of the USS Maddox, a US Navy vessel that was on an intelligence-gathering mission in the Gulf of Tonkin, reported to the White House and Pentagon that North Vietnamese patrol boats had fired torpedoes at his ship, and, so, the Maddox had fired back.

Two days later, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara testified to the Congress that he was certain that the Maddox had been attacked. On August 7, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed, the Congressional act that allowed President Johnson free reign to commence war; Johnson immediately ordered air strikes on North Vietnam and the Vietnam War -- which would eventually kill fifty-eight thousand Americans and two million Asians -- was underway.

Since then, it has been shown and proven that no North Vietnamese boats ever fired on the Maddox, and that McNamara had been untruthful when he testified before Congress. According to the official publication of the Naval Institute,

once-classified documents and tapes released in the past several years, combined with previously uncovered facts, make clear that high government officials distorted facts and deceived the American public about events that led to full US involvement in the Vietnam War."

In the weeks prior to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, South Vietnamese ships had been attacking posts in North Vietnam in conjunction with the CIA's Operation 34A. According to many inside sources, the Johnson administration wanted a full-scale war in Vietnam and through Operation 34A was trying to provoke North Vietnam into an attack that would give Johnson an excuse to go to war. But when McNamara was asked by the Congress on August 7 if these South Vietnam attacks had anything to do with the US military and CIA, McNamara lied and said no.

Within hours after reporting that the Maddox had been attacked, Captain Herrick was retracting his statements and reporting to the White House and Pentagon that "in all likelihood" an over-eager sonar man had been mistaken and that the sonar sounds and images that he originally thought were enemy torpedoes were actually just the beat of the Maddox's own propellers.

Herrick reported that there was a good probability that there had been no attack on the Maddox, and suggested "complete reevaluation before any action is taken."

McNamara saw these new, updated reports and discussed them with President Johnson early in the afternoon of August 4. Even though this was so, on the evening of August 4, President Johnson went on national television and announced to the American public that North Vietnam had engaged in "unprovoked aggression" and, so, the US military was retaliating.

A few days after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Johnson remarked, "Hell, those damn stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish."

Recently, new documents related to the Gulf of Tonkin incident have been declassified and according to Robert Hanyok, a historian for the National Security Agency, these documents show that the NSA deliberately "distorted intelligence" andand "altered documents" to make it appear that an attack had occurred on August 4.

When President Lyndon Johnson misrepresented to the American public and said he knew that North Vietnam had attacked a US ship, and when Defense Secretary Robert McNamara lied to the Congress and said he was sure that the Maddox had been attacked and that the CIA had nothing to do with South Vietnam aggression, and when NSA officials falsified information to make it appear that there had been an attack on the Maddox, that was a government conspiracy.

OPERATION NORTHWOODS

In 1962, the most powerful and highest ranking military officials of the US government, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, felt strongly that the communist leader Fidel Castro had to be removed from power and, so, came up with a plan to justify an American invasion of Cuba.

The plan, entitled Operations Northwoods, was presented to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on March 13, 1962, and was signed by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lyman L. Lemnitzer.

Operations Northwoods was a proposal for a false flag operation, a plan in which a military organizes an attack against its own country and then frames and blames the attack on another country for the purpose of the purpose of initiating hostilities and declaring war on that country.

The proposal was originally labeled Top Secret but was made public on November 18, 1997, by the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board. The complete Operation Northwoods paper was published online by the National Security Archive on April 30, 2001, and this once-secret government document can now be read by anyone.

The actions that General Lemnitzer and the other chiefs wanted to d to take under Operations Northwoods are shocking. According to the plan, CIA and military personnel and hired provocateurs would commit various violent acts and these acts would be blamed on Castro to "create the necessary impression of Cuban rashness and irresponsibility" and "put the United States in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances."

One of the most ambitious plans of Operation Northwoods was to blow up a plane in midflight. The strategy was to fill a civilian airplane with CIA and military personnel who were registered under fake ID's; an exact duplicate plane -- an empty military drone aircraft -- would take off at the same exact time.

The plane of fake passengers would land at a military base but the empty drone plane would fly over Cuba and crash in the ocean, supposedly a victim of Cuban missiles. "Casualty lists in US newspapers" and conducting "fake funerals for mock-victims" would cause "a helpful wave of national indignation" in America.

The Operation Northwoods proposal also states: "We could blow up a US ship and blame Cuba." Whether the ship was to be empty or full of US soldiers is unclear. The document also says: "Hijacking attempts against US civil air and surface craft should be encouraged."

Some of the recommendations of Operation Northwoods would have surely led to serious injuries and even deaths of Cuban and American civilians. The plan suggests:

We could sink a boatload of Cubans on route to Florida (real or simulated)."

And:

We could foster attempts on lives of anti-Castro Cubans in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized We could explode a few bombs in carefully chosen spots."

Lemnitzer and the chiefs wanted many of these staged terrorist attacks to be directed at the Guantanamo Bay United States Naval Base in Cuba. The plans were:

When Secretary of Defense McNamara was presented with the Operation Northwoods plan, he either stopped and rejected the plan himself or passed it on to President Kennedy and JFK then rejected it. But if Kennedy and McNamara had agreed with the plan, then the Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to begin enacting Operation Northwoods "right away, within a few months."

Even though Operation Northwoods was never initiated, when the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the other highest-ranking military officials of the United States Government planned to organize violent attacks on Americans and anti-Castro Cuban citizens, knowing those attacks could severely injure and kill those citizens, and when they planned to blame those attacks on Cuba and then use that as an excuse to invade Cuba, that was a government conspiracy.

FBI AND THE MAFIA

In March 1965, the FBI had the house of New England organized crime boss Raymond Patriarca wiretapped and overheard two mobsters, Joseph Barboza and Vincent Flemmi, asking Patriarca for permission to kill another gangster, Edward Deegan. Two days later, Deegan's blood-soaked body was found dead in a Boston alley.

Within days, an official FBI report confirmed that Joseph Barboza and three other mobsters were the murderers. Instead of those men going to prison for murder, though, three years later a man named Joseph Salvati was brought to trial for the murder of Edward Deegan. At that trial Joseph Barboza testified and lied that Salvati was one of the murderers. On the basis of Barboza's testimony, Joseph Salvati was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

At that time, in the mid 1960s, the FBI was being pressured more and more to do something to stop organized crime. The bureau began using members of the mafia -- criminals and murderers -- to inform against fellow mafia members. Joseph Barboza was one of these FBI-protected, paid informants. The FBI didn't want Barboza to go to prison for the murder of Deegan because they wanted him to continue infiltrating the mafia and testifying against other mafia members.

The bureau, apparently, did want a conviction in the Deegan murder case, though, and, so, let Barboza lie under oath and let a man they knew to be innocent, Joseph Salvati, go to prison.

The Witness Protection Program was first created for Joseph Barboza, and Barboza was the first mafia informant to be protected under the program. After helping to convict a number of mobsters, Barboza was sent off to live in California. While under the Witness Protection Program, Barboza committed at least one more murder, and probably more.

On trial for a murder in California, FBI officials showed up for Joseph Barboza's trial and testified on his behalf, helping Barboza to get a light sentence.

Joseph Salvati ended up serving thirty years in prison for a murder that he was innocent of. During that thirty-year period, lawyers for Salvati requested documents from the FBI that would have proved Salvati's innocence, but the bureau refused to release them.

Finally, in 1997, other evidence came forth suggesting Salvati's innocence and the governor of Massachusetts, William Weld, granted Salvati's release. A few years later, the FBI was ordered to release all its reports on the case; hundreds of documents showed the FBI knew that Barboza was a murderer, that he had murdered Edward Deegan, and that Joseph Salvati had had nothing to do with the crime.

Salvati was exonerated in a court of law, and was eventually awarded millions of dollars in a civil lawsuit against the government. (Three other defendants were also exonerated. At the 1968 trial, Joseph Barboza had testified that three other men -- men who were also not guilty -- had participated in Deegan's murder. These three innocent men were, with Salvati, also sent to prison.)

Perhaps the most shocking thing that the FBI documents showed, though, was that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover himself knew Salvati was innocent and that Barboza had killed Deegan.

Hoover was working closely, almost daily, with the agents handling Joseph Barboza, and it was probably Hoover directing the operation. The congressional committee that investigated the case was the House Committee on Government Reform and Congressman Dan Burton was the chairman.

When asked by CBS's 60 Minutes journalist Mike Wallace "Did J. Edgar Hoover know all this? " Burton replied:

"Yes . . . It's one of the greatest failures in the history of American justice J. Edgar Hoover knew Salvati was innocent. He knew it and his name should not be emblazoned on the FBI headquarters. We should change the name of that building."

Congressman Burton claimed there was evidence that there were more cases when the FBI did the same sorts of things they did in the Joseph Salvati case; when Burton and his committee requested the files on these cases, the Attorney General and the White House refused to release them.

When FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and top FBI officials let a known murderer lie and perjure himself in a courtroom, when they let four men they knew to be innocent suffer in the hell of a prison cell for thirty years, and when they deliberately covered that up for decades, that was a government conspiracy.

THE MANHATTAN PROJECT

In 1939, Albert Einstein and two other European physicists sent a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt informing Roosevelt that the German government was working on developing the science that could lead to the creation of a nuclear bomb. FDR immediately formed a committee to look into the idea of the US government making an atomic bomb.

In 1942, the Manhattan Project, the United States program to build a nuclear bomb, headed by General Leslie R. Groves of the US Army Corps of Engineers, was formed.

The program existed from 1942–1946, spent two billion dollars, had plants and factories in thirty cities, and employed 130,000 workers. But virtually no one knew about it. The Manhattan Project is considered the "Greatest Secret Ever Kept."

The US government wanted to keep the Project a secret lest Germany or one of America's other enemies found out about it and built -- more quickly -- a larger, better bomb. In the early 1940s, when American scientists began working on splitting atoms and nuclear fission, US government officials asked the scientists to not publish any reports on the work in scientific journals. The work was kept quiet.

In 1943, when newspapers began reporting on the large Manhattan Project construction going on in a few states, the newly formed United States Government Office of Censorship asked newspapers and broadcasters to avoid discussing "atom smashing, atomic energy, atomic fission . . . the use for military purposes of radium or radioactive materials" or anything else that could expose the project. The press kept mum. The government didn't talk about the Manhattan Project, the press didn't report on it, and the public knew nothing about it.

Not even the 130,000 Manhattan Project laborers knew they were building an atom bomb.

In 1945, a Life magazine article wrote that before Japan was attacked with a-bombs, "probably no more than a few dozen men in the entire country knew the full meaning of the Manhattan Project, and perhaps only a thousand others even were aware that work on atoms was involved."

The workers were told they were doing an important job for the government, but weren't told what the job was, and didn't understand the full import of the mysterious, daily tasks they were doing. The laborers were warned that disclosing the Project's secrets was punishable by ten years in prison, and a hefty financial fine.

Whole towns and cities were built where thousands of Manhattan Project workers lived and worked but these thousands didn't know they were helping to build nuclear bombs.

The Manhattan Project finally became known to the public on August 6, 1945, when President Harry Truman announced that America had dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

Truman, himself, had not been informed of the Manhattan Project until late April 1945.

When the government kept the purpose of the Manhattan Project a secret from the press, from the public, from America's enemies, from Harry Truman, and even from the 130,000 laborers who worked for the Manhattan Project, that was a government conspiracy.

THE CHURCH COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION

In the early 1970s, after the Watergate affair and investigative reports by the New York Times, it became apparent that the CIA and other US intelligence agencies might be engaging in inappropriate and illegal activities. In 1975, the Church Committee, named after the Committee's chairman Senator Frank Church, was formed to investigate abuses by the CIA, NSA, FBI, and IRS.

The Church Committee reports are said to constitute the most extensive investigations of intelligence activities ever made available to the public. Many disturbing facts were revealed. According to the final report of the Committee, US intelligence agencies had been engaging in "unlawful or improper conduct" and "intelligence excesses, at home and abroad" since the administration of President Franklin Roosevelt.

The report added that "intelligence agencies have undermined the Constitutional rights of citizens" and "checks and balances designed by the framers of the Constitution to assure accountability have not been applied."

One of the most well-known revelations of the Committee was the CIA's so-called "Family Jewels," a report that detailed the CIA's misdeeds dating back to Dwight Eisenhower's presidency. The committee also reported on the NSA's SHAMROCK and MINARET programs; under these programs the NSA had been intercepting, opening, and reading the telegrams and mail of thousands of private citizens.

The Church Committee also discovered and exposed the FBI's COINTELPRO program, the bureau's program to covertly destroy and disrupt any groups or individuals that J. Edgar Hoover felt were bad for America. Some of the movements and groups that the FBI tried to discredit and destroy were the Civil Rights movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr.

The most alarming thing that the Church Committee found, though, was that the CIA had an assassination program. It was revealed that the CIA assassinated or had tried to assassinate Dinh Diem of Vietnam, Raphael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, General Rene Schneider of Chile, Fidel Castro, Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, and other political leaders throughout the world.

The Committee learned about the different ways the CIA had developed to kill and assassinate people: inflicting cancer, inflicting heart attacks, making murders look like suicides, car accidents, boating accidents, and shootings. At one point, CIA Director William Colby presented to the Committee a special "heart attack gun" that the CIA had created. The gun was able to shoot a small poison-laden dart into its victim. The dart was so small as to be undetectable; the victim's death from the poison would appear to be a heart attack, so no foul play would be suspected.

In response to the Church Committee report, in 1976 President Gerald Ford signed Executive Order 11,905, which forbade employees of the US government from engaging in or conspiring to engage in political assassinations.

In that same year, the Senate approved Senate Resolution 400, which established the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the committee responsible for providing vigilant oversight over the intelligence agencies.

Many former CIA employee-whistleblowers and other people, though, claim that US intelligence agencies are still acting in improper ways. In 2008, it was revealed that the CIA had hired Blackwater, a private company made up of ex-Navy Seals, to track down and assassinate suspected terrorists.

Later in the 2000s, when the Congress formed a committee to investigate if CIA waterboarding and other methods of interrogation constituted torture, congressmen complained that they couldn't get to the bottom of the matter because CIA officials and the CIA director were lying to the congressional committee.

Forty-five years after the revelations of the Church Committee, it seems US intelligence agencies are still engaging in covert and improper conduct.

When US intelligence agencies and the CIA plot to influence the affairs of foreign nations, when the CIA plots assassinations and assassinates foreign leaders and political dissidents, when the CIA develops new ways to kill and assassinate and interrogate and torture, and when the CIA keeps all that from Congress, the press, and the public, that's a government conspiracy.

* * *

If these five instances of government engaging in conspiracies have been proven to be true -- and they have been -- isn't it logical to assume that government agencies may have engaged in other conspiracies? It is the very nature of intelligence agencies and militaries to act in secretive, conspiratorial ways.

The phrase "conspiracy theory" shouldn't have a negative connotation. Politics always plays out with backroom handshakes. It is the suggestion of American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups that government agencies and officials and the special interests that influence them are often engaging in conspiratorial actions, and that conspiracies have been behind some of the most iconic and important events of American history.

A conspiracy theorist was regaling a friend with one conspiracy theory after another. Finally, the friend interrupted and said, "I bet I know what would happen if God Himself appeared out of the sky right now, looked down at us, and said, 'There is no conspiracy.' I bet you would look up and say, 'So the conspiracy goes higher than we thought.'"

Perhaps if the Almighty appeared to inform us that politicians and governments and government officials don't act in secretive, covert, conspiratorial ways, then we could accept that.

But when the evidence indicates otherwise .

Theories questioning if multiple people might have shot at JFK, or if interior bombs brought down the World Trade Center, or if somebody was able to rig the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections can make for dramatic, sensational storytelling.

But it is not the purpose of American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups to be sensational; the purpose of this book is to talk about "conspiracy realities" that can hopefully give us a deeper and more meaningful understanding of politics.

If elements in the intelligence agencies participated in assassinating President Kennedy, then how can the intelligence agencies be better controlled? If elements in the government allowed or caused 9/11 to happen to give us an excuse to go to war in the Middle East, then how much of the War on Terror is disinformation and propaganda?

If presidential elections can be rigged, then how can we have fairer, uncorrupted elections? If secretive influences behind the scenes, a Deep State, are controlling our social, political, and financial systems for their own selfish purposes, then it would benefit us to expose who and what these secretive influences are.

American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups may give us a glimpse into the way that government and politics work.

Or don't work.

* * *

This is an extract from American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups , by Douglas Cirignano published by Simon&Schuster . It can be purchased in hard copy, digital and audio-book form through Amazon and other booksellers.

[Nov 03, 2019] No true war is bad

Nov 03, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

by John Quiggin on October 13, 2019 On Facebook, my frined Timothy Scriven pointed to an opinion piece by classics professor Ian Morris headlined In the long run, wars make us safer and richer It's pushing a book with the clickbaity title War! What is it Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots .". Timothy correctly guessed that I wouldn't like it.

Based on the headline, I was expecting a claim along the lines "wars stimulate technological progress" which I refuted (to my own satisfaction at any rate) in Economics in Two Lessons" . But the argument is much stranger than this. The claim is that war, despite its brutality created big states, like the Roman empire, which then delivered peace and prosperity.

For the classical world at 100 CE or so, the era on which Morris is an expert, that argument seemed pretty convincing. As the famous Life of Brian sketch suggests, Roman rule delivered a lot of benefits to its conquered provinces.

The next 1900 years or so present a bit of a problem, though. There have been countless wars in that time, and no trend towards bigger states. On the contrary two or three dozen states (depending on how you count them) now occupy the territory of the former Roman Empire.

You could cut the number down a bit by treating the European Union as a new empire, but then you have an even bigger problem. The EU was not formed through war, but through a determination to avoid it. Whatever you think about the EU in other respects, this goal has been achieved.

Morris avoids the problem by a "no true Scotsman" argument. He admits in passing that the 1000 years of war following the high point of Rome had the effect of breaking down larger, safer societies into smaller, more dangerous ones, but returns with relief to the era of true wars, in which big states always win. That story works, roughly, until 1914, when the empires he admires destroyed themselves, killing millions in the process.

After that, the argument descends into Pinker-style nonsense. While repeating the usual stats about the decline in violent deaths, Morris mentions in passing that a nuclear war could cause billions of deaths. He doesn't consider the obvious anthropic fallacy problem – if such a war had happened, there would not be any op-eds in the Washington Post discussing the implications for life expectancy.

I haven't read the book, and don't intend to. If someone can't present a 700 word summary of their argument without looking silly, they shouldn't write opinion pieces. But, for what its worth, FB friends who have read it agree that it's not very good.


William Meyer 10.13.19 at 12:31 pm (no link)

I have not read the book in question, so I don't know if the author made this point: "Since violence or implicit violence is how we overcome essentially all collective action problems as humans, war probably does belong in the human toolkit." Obviously it would be better if we could find more and better alternatives to war, and remove the obvious glitches in the alternatives (e.g., representative democracy, single-party states, etc.) we have tried in the past. So I find it odd as I get old that so little energy/research/academic effort is devoted by the human race to finding better means of collective decision making. Clearly our current abilities in this field are completely inadequate. I ponder if this is because we are incapable of doing better by some inherent flaw in our makeup or if it is because, as in some many areas of life, the wicked work tirelessly to maintain the systems that enrich and empower them. I suspect I'll never find out.
Omega Centauri 10.13.19 at 4:33 pm (no link)
There might be a case to be made for empire building conquest advancing human society. I think it was primarily by forcing the mixing of cultures which otherwise would have been relatively isolated from each other. Also empires tended to create safe internal trade routes, the Silk Road was made possible by the Mongol empire.

At least the authors of books about such empires like to state that over a timespan of centuries that empire creation was a net positive.

Orange Watch 10.13.19 at 7:07 pm (no link)
Tim Worstall and Dipper's suggestion that the EU is borne of war is mostly just a failure to take Morris's claim on its unsophisticated face and instead assume it contains subtle complexity that is obviously missing if you read the article itself:

This happened because about 10,000 years ago, the winners of wars began incorporating the losers into larger societies. The victors found that the only way to make these larger societies work was by developing stronger governments; and one of the first things these governments had to do, if they wanted to stay in power, was suppress violence among their subjects.

For the EU to have been a result of war in the sense that Morris means, it would have to have been forcibly formed in 1945 by the US/UK/Russia forcibly incorporating Europe into it. When Morris states "wars make us stronger and richer" he very simply means wars of conquest are long-term net positives. He doesn't mean something subtle about nations banding together to forestall further war; he bluntly means conquerors gluing together their conquests into empires and then liberally applying boot leather to necks.

Mark Brady 10.13.19 at 7:56 pm (no link)
John Quiggin is, of course, well aware of this quotation, but some of you may not.

"Though some of them would disdain to say that there are net benefits in small acts of destruction, they see almost endless benefits in enormous acts of destruction. They tell us how much better off economically we all are in war than in peace. They see "miracles of production" which it requires a war to achieve. And they see a postwar world made certainly prosperous by an enormous "accumulated" or "backed up" demand. In Europe they joyously count the houses, the whole cities that have been leveled to the ground and that "will have to be replaced." In America they count the houses that could not be built during the war, the nylon stockings that could not be supplied, the worn-out automobiles and tires, the obsolescent radios and refrigerators. They bring together formidable totals.

"It is merely our old friend, the broken-window fallacy, in new clothing, and grown fat beyond recognition. This time it is supported by a whole bundle of related fallacies. It confuses need with demand."

Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson, Chapter 3, "The Blessings of Destruction."

Alex SL 10.13.19 at 8:37 pm (no link)
On one side, AFAIK the last few centuries of war in Europe have indeed seen a reduction of the number of states. Yes, the trend was partly reversed since 1914, but never to the degree of splintering that existed in the middle ages.

On the other side, even the widely accepted cases of supposedly 'beneficial' empires such as the Romans bringing the Pax Romana and the Mongols allowing far-reaching trade and travel need to be seen against the devastation they caused to make their victories possible. The Romans, for example, committed genocide in Gaul and Carthage, and they enslaved millions.

Best case argument in my eyes is that a very successful war is beneficial because it stops continuous smaller wars, which is still not exactly the same as a general "war is beneficial". Why not just create institutional arrangements that avoid wars between small nations in the first place?

fran6 10.13.19 at 9:26 pm (no link)
Here's another personality who's also unfazed by the evils of war (although, she does wish more folks were "kind" to each other):

https://www.youtube.com/embed/EsWSh8kPMfg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Barry 10.13.19 at 10:40 pm ( 18 )
Tim Worstall: "The EU came into existence in 1992, neatly coinciding with the Yugoslav unpleasantnesses."

You might want to look at the time between then and WWII.

You also might want to check the membership in the EU in 1992, and see which state(s) were not in it (hint – Yugoslavia).

John Quiggin 10.13.19 at 11:36 pm ( 19 )
Stephen @11 Say what? Are you suggesting that the Soviet bloc was part of the EU? As both your comment and Tim Worstall's unwittingly illustrate, the fact that the EU has been entirely peaceful since its creation (by contrast with non-EU Europe) is not because Europeans suddenly became pacifists.
Salazar 10.14.19 at 12:39 am ( 20 )
Sorry if I have a hard time getting Morris' argument, but: towards the end, be seems to be saying the world requires a "Globocop" like the US to ensure its prosperity. But how does that relate to his wider point about the benefits of war? Does Morris believe the hegemon owes it to itself, and to the rest of the world, to wage permanent war?
Tabasco 10.14.19 at 1:23 am ( 21 )
"the EU has been entirely peaceful since its creation"

Spain and Portugal are still arguing the 200+ year border dispute over Olivenza/Olivença, but it hasn't reached Kashmir levels (yet).

Ed 10.14.19 at 2:34 am ( 22 )
Morris sold out. This was evident in his book comparing the progress of China and Europe, though that book made excellent points in between the fluff and is well worth reading. But he is well versed enough in Chinese history to be aware of the ultimate example of armies conquering and bringing peace to a large area, which happens repeatedly in Chinese history.

Actually, Chinese history itself shows that the opposite argument has more support, that instead of war being valuable because one powerful country will conquer a large area and bring peace to it, its valuable because competition between states who are worried about other states getting a jump on them turns out to be valuable to progress. Large continental empires, including the Roman one as well, tended to stagnate in terms of culture and technology and become correct.

MFB 10.15.19 at 7:18 am (no link)
Well, the opinion-piece was published on Jeff Bezos' blog. Oligarchs are naturally in favour of centralised power and therefore of empires (so long as they are at the apex thereof, which they usually are). The best way to build an empire is through war.

Of course, the author has to say "despite Hitler, Stalin and Mao", for ideological reasons. Actually, Hitler built his empire largely through the threat of war rather than through war itself; once he had actually started the war, he antagonised three more powerful empires than his own and his empire was then crushed. As for Stalin, he actually did various double-back-somersaults to avoid getting into wars, and the "empire" which he built in Eastern Europe as a result of winning a war he didn't want did not sustain itself. And of course Mao didn't start any wars at all -- his name just had to be thrown in for reactionary reasons.

It is true that the Spanish, Portuguese, French and British empires were built upon war. But where are they now? The United States fought a lot of wars against its indigenous people, but frankly it would still have been a global superpower if it had simply sidestepped most of them, at least from about 1865 onward.

An interesting question: can it be that a professor of Classics doesn't actually have to understand the concept of evidence-based argument in any case, because everything has already been said on the subject and all you have to do is cherry-pick other people's statements? Because that seems to be how that silly article reads.

And yes, the whole thing reeks of the better angels propaganda. Let's not forget, by the way, that various members of the EU -- Britain, France, Italy et al -- have launched brutally murderous wars elsewhere, and the fact that they don't fight among themselves doesn't make them peaceful or moral entities.

Neville Morley 10.15.19 at 9:47 am (no link)
@TheSophist #25: that was mentioned as a joke rather than self-publicity, but if you're really interested: The Roman Empire: roots of imperialism (Pluto Press, 2020). Obviously books about the Roman Empire are ten a penny; my main claim for this one, besides its being less apologetic and/or gung-ho than most, is that I try to integrate the historical reality with its reception, i.e. how people have subsequently deployed Rome as an example or model.
Bill Benzon 10.15.19 at 12:44 pm (no link)
Maybe the Roman Empire delivered on peace, but prosperity is a bit more complicated. Some years ago David Hays wrote a book on the history of technology. One of the things he did was make a back-of-the-envelope estimate of material welfare at different levels of development. He concluded that, while civilization has always been a good deal for the elite, it's been rather iffy for peasants and workers. It's only during the Industrial Evolution that the standard of living at the lower end of society rose above that of hunter-gatherers. So, the prosperity delivered by the Roman Empire went mostly to the elite, not the peasantry.

I've excerpted the relevant section of Hays's book .

steven t johnson 10.16.19 at 8:06 pm (no link)
Peter Erwin@43 wanted the Nazis to roll right up to the eastern border of Poland, etc. etc. So did Hitler. And although I'm quite reluctant to read minds, especially dead one, I will nevertheless guarantee the move into the Baltics was seen as a blow to his plans, even if accepted for temporary advantage. You must always see who hates Stalin for beating Hitler, and those rare few who object to his real crimes.

And, Erwin thinks Chinese troops being in Korea with permission is an aggression, while US troops closing on Chinese borders is not. The US still isn't out of Korea, but China is, but he can't figure out who the aggressor is.

Really, Peter Erwin really says it all. The maddest ant-Communist propaganda is now official.

MFB 10.17.19 at 9:02 am (no link)
I don't want to unnecessarily dump on Peter Erwin, because I don't believe in kicking disadvantaged children, but if he reads the original post he will notice that it was talking about international wars, not civil wars. I'll admit the invasion of Finland (and of the Baltic states and Poland) but those were fairly obviously ways of strengthening the USSR's position in order to discourage a German invasion, and all took place within the boundaries of the former Russian Empire which Stalin undoubtedly saw as the default position.

As to Mao, he didn't start the Korean war (as Erwin unwillingly admits) and all the other wars except for the invasion of Vietnam were civil wars since they entailed moving into Chinese-controlled territory which had broken away during the main civil war. I'll admit that Vietnam was a problem, but then, since Mao had been dead for some time by then, it's would be hard for Erwin to blame him except for the fact that Erwin clearly lives on Planet Bizarro.

Z 10.17.19 at 9:05 am (no link)
@John Quiggin The claim is that war, despite its brutality created big states, like the Roman empire, which then delivered peace and prosperity

I don't think this is an intellectually generous summary of the arguments, as presented in the article.

The author himself summarizes it as "war made states, and states made peace", and if it is indeed true that the author often speaks of "larger, more organized societies" there is a strong implication that for a society to be "large" in the sense discussed in the article, it is not really necessary that it be territorially very wide (the most clear cut indication of that is that the author refers to the European states of the 1600s as "big, settled states" while they all were geographically tiny at the time). So the point of the author, if interpreted with intellectual honesty, seems to me to be twofold: 1) that war has been a crucial factor in the formation of complex, organized states and societies and 2) that these complex, organized states and societies brought with them so many positive things that the wars required to form them were worth it.

The second point is pure Pinker. I consider it logically meaningless, myself (it ultimately relies on the concept that History proceeds like an individual who is choosing a pair of shoes) and morally repugnant (it is not hard to see who will be pleased to have a rhetorical tool that can justify any atrocity by the long term gains it will provide humanity – indeed, it is instructive in that respect to read SS internal papers on when and why children should be executed with their parents, and how to select people for that task: contrary to what could be guessed, the manual recommends the soldiers who appear to have a strong sense of empathy and morality, with the idea that they will those who will most strongly endorse the "by doing this abominable act, we are sacrificing ourselves on behalf of future generations" thesis).

The first point, however, appears to me to be broadly correct descriptively. Extracting an interesting thesis out of it requires much more work than is indicated by the article, however (I consider Ertman's Birth of the Levianthan an example of that kind of extra work done successfully).

Z 10.17.19 at 9:30 am ( 52 )
@John Quiggin Lots of people predicted, along the lines of your post, that with the external threat of the USSR gone, and the US pulling back, the old warlike Europe would reassert itself.

I think what we may call the "wide military context thesis" runs rather like this: because of the experience of WWII and the Cold War, modern industrial states have amassed enormous military power while at the same time knowing that they can experience total destruction if they enter into a military conflict with a state of comparable military might. As a consequence, peace dominates between them. So France is not at war with the United Kingdom or Germany, certainly in part because they are all (for now) members of the EU but also in part for the same reason Japan is not at war with South Korea and Russia not at war with China.

Personally, I think it would be absurd to claim that the EU has played no role in the pacification of Western Europe in the second half of the twentieth century, but I think it would be equally absurd to deny the role of other factors that plainly play a major role in the equally remarkable pacification of other regional areas in the absence of an economical and political unification process (rise in prosperity, rise in education, aging populations, increased military power ).

otpup 10.19.19 at 10:51 pm ( 68 )
@7, Omega
Not really wanting to get into the "do empires benefit civilization by promoting trade" argument, but having just read Lost Enlightenment, nothing in that lengthy tome suggests the Silk Road city states gain any special advantage from the Mongol invasion. In fact, quite the opposite. After the Mongols (in part for reasons preceeding the conquest), Central Asia never regained its pre-eminence (it had actually not just been a facilitator of trade but also a center of manufacture, culture, scientific progress). Maybe the trade routes hobbled along as trade routes but the civilization that was both built by and facilitated trade did not rebound. Most empires seem to get that there is wealth to be had from involvement in trade, they don't always know how to keep the gold goose alive.
LFC 10.20.19 at 9:10 pm (no link)
"War made states and states made peace" is a riff on Charles Tilly's line "war made the state and the state made war."

[Nov 02, 2019] WATCH Udo Ulfkotte – Bought Journalists by Terje Maloy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... We drove for hours through the desert, towards the Iraqi border. Approx. 20-30 kilometers from the border, there really was nothing. First of all no war. There were armored vehicles and tanks, burned-out long ago. The journalist left the bus, splashed the contents of the cans on the vehicles. We had Iraqi soldiers with us as an escort, with machine guns, in uniform. You have to imagine: tanks in a desert, burned out long ago, now put on fire. Clouds of smoke. And there the journalists assemble their cameras. ..."
"... So I gathered courage and asked one of the reporters: 'I understand one thing, they are great pictures, but why are they ducking all the time? ' ..."
"... I'll finish, because I am not here to make satire today. I just want to say that this was my first experience with truth in journalism and war reporting. ..."
"... Then a certain type of reporting is expected. Which one? Forget my newspaper, this applies in general. At the start of the trip, the journalist gets a memo – today it is electronic – in his hand. If you are traveling abroad, it is info about the country, or the speeches that will be held. This file contains roughly what will happen during this trip. In addition there are short conversations, briefings with the politician's press manager. He then explains to you how one views this trip. Naturally, you should see it the same way. No one says it in that way. But is is approximately what one would have reported. ..."
"... He explained that a recruitment board from the intelligence services had participated. But I had no idea that the seminar Introduction to Conflict Studies was arranged by the defense forces and run by the foreign intelligence service BND, to have a closer look at potential candidates among the students, not to commit them. They only asked if they, after four such seminars, possibly could contact me later, in my occupation. ..."
"... Two persons from BND came regularly to the paper, to a visiting room. And there were occasions when the report not only was given, but also that BND had written articles, largely ready to go, that were published in the newspaper under my byline. ..."
"... But a couple of journalists were there, they told about it. Therefore I repeat: Merkel invited the chief editors several times, and told them she didn't want the population to be truthfully and openly informed about the problems out there. For example, the background for the financial crisis. If the citizens knew how things were, they would run to the bank and withdraw their money. So beautifying everything; everything is under control; your savings are safe; just smile and hold hands – everything will be fine. ..."
"... From one hour 18 minutes onwards, Ulfkotte details EU-Inter-State Terror Co-operation, with returning IS Operatives on a Free Pass, fully armed and even Viktor Orban had to give in to the commands of letting Terrorists through Hungary into Germany & Austria. ..."
"... Everybody who works in the MSM, without exception, are bought and paid for whores peddling lies on behalf of globalist corporate interests. ..."
"... Udo's voice (in the form of his book) was silenced for a reason – that being that he spoke the truth about our utterly and completely corrupt Western fantasy world in which we in the West proclaim our – "respect international law" and "respect for human rights." His work, such as this interview and others he has done, pulled the curtain back on the big lie and exposed our oligarchs, politicians and the "journalists" they hire as simply a cadre of professional criminals whose carefully crafted lies are used to soak up the blood and to cover the bodies of the dead, all in order to hide all that mayhem from our eyes, to insure justice is an impossibility and to make sure we Western citizens sleep well at night, oblivious to our connection to the actual realities that are this daily regime of pillage and plunder that is our vaunted "neoliberal order." ..."
"... "The philosopher Diogenes (of Sinope) was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.' To which Diogenes replied, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king"." ..."
"... So Roosevelt pushed Hitler to attack Stalin? Hitler didn't want to go East? Revisionism at it most motive free. ..."
"... Pushing' is synonymous for a variety of ways to instigate a desired outcome. Financing is just one way. And Roosevelt was in no way the benevolent knight history twisters like to present him. You are outing yourself again as an easliy duped sheep. ..."
"... Lebensraum was first popularized in 1901 in Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum Hitler's "Mein Kampf" ( 1925) build on that: he had no need for any American or other push, it was intended from the get go. ..."
"... This excellent article demonstrates how the Controlling Elite manipulates the Media and the Message for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objective of securing Global Ownership (aka New World Order). ..."
"... Corporate Journalism is all about corporatism and the continuation of it. If the Intelligence Community needs greater fools for staffing purposes in the corporate hierarchy they look for anyone that can be compromised via inducements of whatever the greater fools want. ..."
"... Bought & paid for corporate Journalists are controlled by the Intelligence Agencies and always have been since at least the Second World War. The CIA typically runs bribery & blackmail at the state & federal level so that when necessary they have instant useless eaters to offer up as political sacrifice when required via state run propaganda, & impression management. ..."
"... Assuming that journalism is an ethical occupation is naïve and a fools' game even in the alternative news domain as all writers write from bias & a lack of real knowledge. Few writers are intellectually honest or even aware of their own limits as writers. The writer is a failure and not a hero borne in myth. Writers struggle to write & publish. Bought and paid for writers don't have a struggle in terms of writing because they are told what to write before they write as automatons for the Intelligence Community knowing that they sold their collective souls to the Prince of Darkness for whatever trinkets, bobbles, or bling they could get their greedy hands on at the time. ..."
"... Once pond scum always pond scum. ..."
"... It is a longer process in which one is gradually introduced to ever more expensive rewards/bribes. Never too big to overwhelm – always just about what one would accept as 'motivation' to omit aspects of any issue. Of course, omission is a lie by any other name, but I can attest to the life style of a journalist that socializes with the leaders of all segments of society. ..."
"... Professional whoring is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. Being ethical is difficult stuff especially when money is involved. Money is always a prime motivator but vanity works wonders too. Corporatists will offer whatever inducements they can to get what they want. ..."
"... All mainstream media voices are selling a media package that is a corporatist lie in and of itself. Truth is less marketable than lies. Embellished news & journalistic hype is the norm ..."
Oct 06, 2019 | off-guardian.org

WATCH: Udo Ulfkotte – Bought Journalists Terje Maloy

Subtitled and transcribed by Terje Maloy

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3ZLgW3hgRBY

In 2014, the German journalist and writer Udo Ulfkotte published a book that created a big stir, describing how the journalistic profession is thoroughly corrupt and infiltrated by intelligence services.

Although eagerly anticipated by many, the English translation of the book, Bought Journalists , does not seem to be forthcoming anytime soon.

[We covered that story at the time – Ed.]

So I have made English subtitles and transcribed this still very relevant 2015-lecture for those that are curious about Ulfkotte's work. It covers many of the subjects described in the book.

Udo Ulfkotte died of a heart attack in January 2017, in all likelihood part of the severe medical complications he got from his exposure to German-made chemical weapons supplied to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.

Transcription

[Only the first 49 minutes are translated; the second half of the lecture deals mostly with more local issues]

Introducer Oliver: I am very proud to have such a brave man amongst us: Udo Ulfkotte

Udo Ulfkotte: Thanks Thanks for the invitation Thanks to Oliver. I heard to my great surprise from Oliver that he didn't know someone from the intelligence services (VVS) would be present. I wish him a warm welcome. I don't mean that as a joke, I heard this in advance, and got to know that Oliver didn't know. If he wants – if it is a man – he can wave. If not? no? [laughter from the audience]

I'm fine with that. You can write down everything, or record it; no problem.

To the lecture. We are talking about media. we are talking about truth. I don't want to sell you books or such things. Each one of us asks himself: Why do things develop like they do, even though the majority, or a lot of people shake their heads.

The majority of people in Germany don't want nuclear weapons on our territory. But we have nuclear weapons here. The majority don't want foreign interventions by German soldiers. But we do.

What media narrates and the politicians say, and what the majority of the population believes – seems often obviously to be two different things.

I can tell you this myself, from many years experience. I will start with very personal judgments, to tell you what my experiences with 'The Lying Media' were – I mean exactly that with the word 'lying'.

I was born in a fairly poor family. I am a single child. I grew up on the eastern edge of the Ruhr-area. I studied Law, Political Science and Islamic Studies. Already in my student years, I had contact with the German Foreign Intelligence, BND. We will get back to that later.

From 1986 to 2003, I worked for a major German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), amongst other things as a war reporter. I spent a lot of time in Eastern and African countries.

Now to the subject of lying media. When I was sent to the Iran-Iraq war for the first time, the first time was from 1980 to July 1986, I was sent to this war to report for FAZ. The Iraqis were then 'the good guys'.

I was bit afraid. I didn't have any experience as a war reporter. Then I arrived in Baghdad. I was fairly quickly sent along in a bus by the Iraqi army, the bus was full of loud, experienced war reporters, from such prestigious media as the BBC, several foreign TV-stations and newspapers, and me, poor newbie, who was sent to the front for the first time without any kind of preparation. The first thing I saw was that they all carried along cans of petrol. And I at once got bad consciousness, because I thought: "oops, if the bus gets stuck far from a petrol station, then everyone chips in with a bit of diesel'. I decided to in the future also carry a can before I went anywhere, because it obviously was part of it.

We drove for hours through the desert, towards the Iraqi border. Approx. 20-30 kilometers from the border, there really was nothing. First of all no war. There were armored vehicles and tanks, burned-out long ago. The journalist left the bus, splashed the contents of the cans on the vehicles. We had Iraqi soldiers with us as an escort, with machine guns, in uniform. You have to imagine: tanks in a desert, burned out long ago, now put on fire. Clouds of smoke. And there the journalists assemble their cameras.

It was my first experience with media, truth in reporting.

While I was wondering what the hell I was going to report for my newspaper, they all lined up and started: Behind them were flames and plumes of smoke, and all the time the Iraqis were running in front of camera with their machine guns, casually, but with war in their gaze. And the reporters were ducking all the time while talking.

So I gathered courage and asked one of the reporters: 'I understand one thing, they are great pictures, but why are they ducking all the time? '

'Quite simply because there are machine guns on the audio track, and it looks very good at home.'

That was several decades ago. It was in the beginning of my contact with war. I was thinking, the whole way back:'Young man, you didn't see a war. You were in a place with a campfire. What are you going to tell?'

I returned to Baghdad. There weren't any mobile phones then. We waited in Hotel Rashid and other hotels where foreigners stayed, sometimes for hours for an international telephone line. I first contacted my mother, not my newspaper. I was in despair, didn't know what to do, and wanted to get advice from an elder person.

Then my mother shouted over the phone: 'My boy, you are alive!' I thought: 'How so? Is everything OK?'

'My boy, we thought ' 'What's the matter, mother?' 'We saw on TV what happened around you' TV had already sent lurid stories, and I tried to calm my mother down, it didn't happen like that. She thought I had lost my mind from all the things that had happened in the war – she saw it with her own eyes!

I'll finish, because I am not here to make satire today. I just want to say that this was my first experience with truth in journalism and war reporting.

That is, I was very shocked by the first contact, it was entirely different from what I had experienced. But it wasn't an exceptional case.

In the beginning, I mentioned that I am from a fairly poor family. I had to work hard for everything. I was a single child, my father died when I was young. It didn't matter further on. But, I had a job, I had a degree, a goal in life.

I now had the choice: Should I declare that the whole thing was nonsense, these reports? I was nothing, a newbie straight out of uni, in my first job. Or if I wanted to make money, to continue, look further. I chose the second option. I continued, and that for many years.

Over these years, I gained lots of experience. When one comes from university to a big German newspaper – everything I say doesn't only apply to FAZ, you can take other German or European media. I had contact with other European journalists, from reputable media outlets. I later worked in other media. I can tell you: What I am about to tell you, I really discovered everywhere.

What did I experience? If you, as a reporter, work either in state media financed by forced license fees, or in the big private media companies, then you can't write what you want yourself, what you feel like. There are certain guidelines.

Roughly speaking: everyone knows that you won't, for example in the Springer-newspapers – Bild, die Welt – get published articles extremely critical of Israel. They stand no chance there, because one has to sign a statement that one is pro-Israel, that one won't question the existence of the state of Israel or Israeli points of view, etc.

There are some sort of guidelines in all the big media companies. But that isn't all: I learned very fast that if one doesn't – I don't mean this negatively – want to be stuck in the lower rungs of editors, if one wants to rise; for me this rise was that I was allowed to travel with the Chancellor, ministers, the president and politicians, in planes owned by the state; then one has to keep to certain subjects. I learned that fast.

That is, if one gets to follow a politician – and this hasn't changed to this day – I soon realized that when I followed the president or Chancellor Helmut Kohl etc, one of course isn't invited because your name is Udo Ulfkotte, but because you belong to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine.

Then a certain type of reporting is expected. Which one? Forget my newspaper, this applies in general. At the start of the trip, the journalist gets a memo – today it is electronic – in his hand. If you are traveling abroad, it is info about the country, or the speeches that will be held. This file contains roughly what will happen during this trip. In addition there are short conversations, briefings with the politician's press manager. He then explains to you how one views this trip. Naturally, you should see it the same way. No one says it in that way. But is is approximately what one would have reported.

All the time you no one tells you to write it this or that way but you know quite exactly that if you DON'T write it this or that way,then you won't get invited next time. Your media outlet will be invited, but they say 'we don't want him along'. Then you are out.

Naturally you want to be invited. Of course it is wonderful to travel abroad and you can behave like a pig, no one cares. You can buy what you want, because you know that when you return, you won't be checked. You can bring what you want. I had colleagues who went along on a trip to the US.

They brought with them – it was an air force plane – a Harley Davidson, in parts. They sold it when they were back in Germany, and of course earned on it. Anyway, just like the carpet-affair with that development minister, this is of course not a single instance. No one talks about it.

You get invited if you have a certain way of seeing things. Which way to see things? Where and how is this view of the world formed? I very often get asked: 'Where are these people behind the curtain who pulls the wires, so that everything gets told in a fairly similar way?'

In the big media in Germany – just look yourself – who sit in the large transatlantic think-tanks and foundations,the foundation The Atlantic Bridge, all these organizations, and how is one influenced there? I can tell from my own experience.

We mustn't talk only theoretically. I was invited by the think-tank The German Marshall Fund of the United States as a fellow. I was to visit the United States for six weeks. It was fully paid. During these six weeks I could this think-tank has very close connections to the CIA to this day, they acquired contacts in the CIA for me and they got me access to American politicians, to everyone I wanted. Above all, they showered me with gifts.

Already before the journey with German Marshall Fund, I experienced plenty of bought journalism. This hasn't to do with a particular media outlet. You see, I was invited and didn't particularly reflect over it, by billionaires, for example sultan Quabboos of Oman on the Arabian peninsula.

When sultan Qabboos invited, and a poor boy like me could travel to a country with few inhabitants but immense wealth, where the head of state had the largest yachts in the world, his own symphony orchestra which plays for him when he wants – by the way he bought a pub close to Garmisch-Patenkirchen, because he is a Muslim believer, and someone might see him if he drank in his own country, so he rather travels there. The place he bought every day fly in fresh lamb from Ireland and Scotland with his private jet. He is also the head of an environmental foundation.

But this is a digression. If such a person, who is so incredibly rich, invites someone like me, then I arrive first class. I had never traveled first class before. We arrive, and a driver is waiting for me. He carries your suitcase or backpack. You have a suite in the hotel. And from the very start, you are showered with gifts. You get a platinum or gold coin. A hand-weaved carpet or whatever.

I interviewed the sultan, several times. He asked me what I wanted. I answered among other things a diving course. I wanted to learn how to dive. He flew in a PADI-approved instructor from Greece. I was there for two weeks and got my first diving certificate. On later occasions, the sultan flew me in several times, and the diving instructor. I got a certificate as rescue diver, all paid for by the sultan. You see, when one is attended to in such a way, then you know that you are bought. For a certain type of journalism. In the sultan's country, there is no freedom of the press.

There are no human rights. It is illegal to import many writings, because the sultan does not wish so. There are reports about human rights violations, but my eyes are blind. I reported, like all German media when they report about the Sultanate of Oman, to this day, only positive things. The great sultan, who is wonderful. The fantastic country of the fairy tale prince, overshadowing everything else – because I was bought.

Apart from Oman, many others have bought me. They also bought colleagues. I got many invitations through the travel section in my big newspaper. 5-star. The reportage never mentioned that I was bought, by country A or B or C. Yemenia, the Yemeni state airline, invited me to such a trip.

I didn't report about the dirt and dilapidation in the country, because I was influenced by this treatment, I only reported positively, because I wanted to come back. The Yemenis asked me when I had returned to Frankfurt what I wished In jest, I said "your large prawns, from the Red Sea, from the Indian Ocean, they were spectacular.", from the seaport of Mocha (Mocha-coffee is named after it). Two days later, Yemenia flew in a buffet for the editorial office, with prawns and more.

Of course we were bought. We were bought in several ways. In your situation: when you buy a car or something else, you trust consumer tests. Look closer. How well is the car tested? I know of no colleagues, no journalists, who do testing of cars, that aren't bribed – maybe they do exist.

They get unlimited access to a car from the big car manufacturers, with free petrol and everything else. I had a work car in my newspaper, if not, I might have exploited this. I had a BMW or Mercedes in the newspaper. But there are, outside the paper, many colleagues who only have this kind of vehicle all year round. They are invited to South Africa, Malaysia, USA, to the grandest travels, when a new car is presented.

Why? So that they will write positively about the car. But it doesn't say in these reports "Advertisement from bought journalists".

But that is the reality. You should also know – since we are on the subjects of tests – who owns which test magazines? Who owns the magazine Eco-test? It is owned by the Social Democrats. More than a hundred magazines belong to the Social Democrats. It isn't about only one party, but many editorial rooms have political allegiance. Behind them are party political interests.

I mentioned the sultan of Oman and the diving course, and I have mentioned German Marshall Fund. Back to the US and the German Marshall Fund. There one told me, they knew exactly, 'hello, you were on a diving course in Oman ' The CIA knew very precisely. And the CIA also gave me something: The diving gear. I received the diving gear in the United States, and I received in the US, during my 6-week stay there, an invitation from the state of Oklahoma, from the governor. I went there. It was a small ceremony, and I received an honorary citizenship.

I am now honorary citizen of an American state. And in this certificate, it is written that I will only cover the US positively. I accepted this honorary citizenship and was quite proud of it. I proudly told about it to a colleague who worked in the US. He said 'ha, I already have 31 of these honorary citizenships!'

I don't tell about this to be witty, today I am ashamed, really.

I was greedy. I accepted many advantages that a regular citizen at my age in my occupation doesn't have, and shouldn't have. But I perceived it – and that is no excuse – as entirely normal, because my colleagues around me all did the same. But this isn't normal. When journalists are invited to think-tanks in the US, like German Marshall Fund, Atlantic Bridge, it is to 'bring them in line', for in a friendly way to make them complicit, naturally to buy them, to grease them with money.

This has quite a few aspects that one normally doesn't talk about. When I for the first time was in Southern Africa, in the 80s, Apartheid still existed in South Africa, segregated areas for blacks and whites. We didn't have any problems with this in my newspaper, we received fully paid journeys from the Apartheid regime to do propaganda work.

I was invited by the South-African gold industry, coal industry, tourist board. In the first invitation, this trip was to Namibia – I arrived tired to the hotel room in Windhoek and a dark woman lay in my bed. I at once left the room, went down to the reception and said 'excuse me, but the room is already occupied' [laughter from the audience]

Without any fuss I got another room.

Next day at the breakfast table, this was a journalist trip, my colleagues asked me 'how was yours?' Only then I understood what had happened. Until then, I had believed it was a silly coincidence.

With this I want to describe which methods are used, maybe to film journalists in such situations, buy, make dependent. Quite simply to win them over to your side with the most brutal methods, so that they are 'brought in line'.

This doesn't happen to every journalist. It would be a conspiracy theory if I said that behind every journalist, someone pulls the wires.

No. Not everyone has influence over the masses. When you – I don't mean this negatively – write about folk costume societies or if you work with agriculture or politics, why should anyone from the upper political spheres have an interest in controlling the reporting? As far as I know, this doesn't happen at all.

But if you work in one of the big media, and want up in this world, if you want to travel with politicians, heads of state, with CEOs, who also travel on these planes, then it happens. Then you are regularly bought, you are regularly observed.

I said earlier that I already during my study days had contact with the intelligence services.

I will quickly explain this to you, because it is very important for this lecture.

I studied law, Political Science and Islamology, among other places in Freiburg. At the very beginning of my study, just before end of the term, a professor approached me. Professors were then still authority figures.

He came with a brochure, and asked me: 'Mr. Ulfkotte, what are your plans for this vacation?'

I couldn't very well say that I first planned to work a bit at a building site, for then to grab my backpack and see the ocean for the first time in my life, to Italy, 'la dolce vita', flirting with girls, lie on the beach and be a young person.

I wondered how I would break it to him. He then came with a brochure [Ulfkotte imitating professor]: 'I have something for you a seminar, Introduction to Conflict Studies, two weeks in Bonn I am sure you would want to participate!'

I wondered how I would tell this elderly gentleman that I wanted to flirt with girls on the beach. Then he said 'you will get 20 Marks per day as support, paid train journey, money for books 150 Marks You will naturally get board and lodging.' He didn't stop telling me what I would receive.

It buzzed around in my head that I had to achieve everything myself, work hard. I thought 'You have always wanted to participate in a seminar on Introduction to Conflict Studies!'

So I went to Bonn from Freiburg, and I saw other students who had this urge to participate in this seminar. There were also girls one could flirt with, about twenty people. The whole thing was very strange, because we sat in a room like this one, there were desks and a lectern, and there sat some older men and a woman, they always wrote something down. They asked us about things; What we thought of East Germany, we had to do role play.

The whole thing was a bit strange, but it was well paid. We didn't reflect any further. It was very strange that in this house, in Ubierstraße 88 in Bonn, we weren't allowed to go to the second floor. There was a chain over the stairs, it was taboo.

We were allowed to go to the basement, there were constantly replenished supplies of new books that we were allowed to get for free. Ebay didn't exist then, but we could still sell them used. Anyway, it was curious, but at the end of the fortnight, we were allowed to go up these stairs, where we got an invitation to a continuation course in Conflict Studies.

After four such seminars, that is, after two years, someone asked me 'you have probably wondered what we are doing here'.

He explained that a recruitment board from the intelligence services had participated. But I had no idea that the seminar Introduction to Conflict Studies was arranged by the defense forces and run by the foreign intelligence service BND, to have a closer look at potential candidates among the students, not to commit them. They only asked if they, after four such seminars, possibly could contact me later, in my occupation.

They gave me a lot of money. My mother has always taught me to be polite. So I said 'please do', and they came to me. I was then working in the newspaper FAZ from 1986, straight after my studies.

Then the intelligence services came fairly soon to me. Why am I telling you this? The newspaper knew very soon. It is also written in my reference, therefore I can say it loud and clear. I had very close contact with the intelligence service BND.

Two persons from BND came regularly to the paper, to a visiting room. And there were occasions when the report not only was given, but also that BND had written articles, largely ready to go, that were published in the newspaper under my byline.

I highlight certain things to explain them. But if I had said here: 'There are media that are influenced by BND', you could rightly say that 'these are conspiracy theories, can you document it?'

I CAN document it. I can say, this and that article, with my byline in the paper, is written by the intelligence services, because what is written there, I couldn't have known. I couldn't have known what existed in some cave or other in Libya, what secret thing were there, what was being built there. This was all things that BND wanted published. It wasn't like this only in FAZ.

It was like this also in other media. I told about it. If we had rule of law, there would now be an investigation commission. Because the political parties would stand up, regardless of if they are on the left, in the center or right, and say: What this Ulfkotte fella says and claims he can document, this should be investigated. Did this occur in other places? Or is it still ongoing?'

I can tell you: Yes it still exists. I know colleagues who still have this close contact. One can probably show this fairly well until a few years ago. But I would find it wonderful if this investigation commission existed.

But it will obviously not happen, because no one has an interest in doing so. Because then the public would realize how closely integrated politics, media, and the secret services are in this country.

That is, one often sees in reporting, whether it is from the local paper, regional papers, TV-channels, national tabloids and so-called serious papers.

Put them side by side, and you will discover that more than 90% looks almost identical. A lot of subjects and news, that are not being reported at all, or they are – I claim reported very one-sided. One can only explain this if one knows the structures in the background, how media is surrounded, bought and 'brought onboard' by politics and the intelligence services; Where politics and intelligence services form a single unity. There is an intelligence coordinator by the Chancellor.

I can tell you, that under the former coordinator Bernd Schmidbauer, under Kohl, I walked in and out of the Chancellery and received stacks of secret and confidential documents, which I shouldn't have received.

They were so many that we in the newspaper had own archive cabinets for them. Not only did I receive these documents,but Schmidbauer should have been in jail if we had rule of law. Or there should have been a parliamentary commission or an investigation, because he wasn't allowed

For example if I couldn't bring along the documents if the case was too hot, there was another trick. They locked me in a room. In this room were the documents, which I could look through. I could record it all on tape, photograph them or write them down. When I was done, I could call on the intercom, so they could lock me out. There were thousands of these tricks. Anonymous documents that I and my colleagues needed could be placed in my mail box.

These are of course illegal things. BUT, you ONLY get them if you 'toe the line' with politics.

If I had written that Chancellor Helmut Kohl is stupid, a big idiot, or about what Schmidbauer did, I would of course not have received more. That is, if you today, in newspapers, read about 'soon to be revealed exposures, we will publish a big story based on material based on intelligence', then none of these media have dug a tunnel under the security services and somehow got hold of something secret. It is rather that they work so well with intelligence services, with the military counterespionage, the foreign intelligence, police intelligence etc, that if they have got hold of internal documents, it is because they cooperate so well that they received them as a reward for well performed service.

You see, in this way one is in the end bought. One is bought to such a degree that at one point one can't exit this system anymore.

If I describe how you are supplied with prostitutes, bribed with cars, money; I tried to write down everything I received in gifts, everything I was bribed with. I stopped doing so several years ago, more than a decade ago.

It doesn't make it any better, but today I regret everything. But I know that it goes this way with many journalists.

It would make me very happy if journalists stood up and said they won't participate in this any longer, and that they think this is wrong.

But I see no possibility, because media corporations in any case are doing badly. Where should a journalist find work the next day? It isn't so that tens of thousands of employers are waiting for you. It is the other way round. Tens of thousands of journalists are looking for work or commissions.

That is, from pure desperation one is happy to be bribed. If a newsroom stands behind or not an article that in reality is advertising, doesn't matter, one goes along. I know some, even respected journalists, who want to leave this system.

But imagine if you are working in one of the state channels, that you stand up and tell what you have received. How will that be received by your colleagues? That you have political ulterior motives etc.

September 30 [2015], a few days ago, Chancellor Merkel invited all the directors in the state channels to her in the Chancellery. I will claim that she talked with them about how one should report the Chancellors politics. Who of you [in the audience] heard about this incident? 3-4-5? So a small minority. But this is reality. Merkel started already 6 years ago, at the beginning of the financial crisis, to invite chief editors ..she invited chief editors in the large media corporations, with the express wish that media should embellish reality, in a political way. This could have been only claims, one could believe me or not.

But a couple of journalists were there, they told about it. Therefore I repeat: Merkel invited the chief editors several times, and told them she didn't want the population to be truthfully and openly informed about the problems out there. For example, the background for the financial crisis. If the citizens knew how things were, they would run to the bank and withdraw their money. So beautifying everything; everything is under control; your savings are safe; just smile and hold hands – everything will be fine.

In such a way it should be reported. Ladies and gentlemen, what I just said can be documented. These are facts, not a conspiracy theory.

I formulated it a bit satirically, but I ask myself when I see how things are in this country: Is this the democracy described in the Constitution? Freedom of speech? Freedom of the press?

Where one has to be afraid if one doesn't agree with the ruling political correctness, if one doesn't want to get in trouble. Is this the republic our parents and grandparents fought for, that they built?

I claim that we more and more – as citizens – are cowards 'toeing the line', who don't open our mouths.

It is so nice to have plurality and diversity of opinions.

But it is at once clamped down on, today fairly openly.

Of my experiences with journalism, I can in general say that I have quit all media I have to pay for, for the reasons mentioned. Then the question arises, 'but which pay-media can I trust?'

Naturally there are ones I support. They are definitely political, I'll add. But they are all fairly small. And they won't be big anytime soon. But I have quit all big media that I used to subscribe to, Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine, etc. I would like to not having to pay the TV-license fee, without being arrested because I won't pay fines. But maybe someone here in the audience can tell me how to do so without all these problems?

Either way, I don't want to financially support this kind of journalism. I can only give you the advice to get information from alternative, independent media and all the forums that exist.

I'm not advertising for any of them. Some of you probably know that I write for the publishing house Kopp. But there are so many portals. Every person is different in political viewpoint, culturally etc. The only thing uniting us, whether we are black or white, religious or non-religious, right or left, or whatever; we all want to know the truth. We want to know what really happens out there, and exactly in the burning political questions: asylum seekers, refugees, the financial crisis, bad infrastructure, one doesn't know how it will continue. Precisely with this background, is it even more important that people get to know the truth.

And it is to my great surprise that I conclude that we in media, as well as in politics, have a guiding line.

To throw more and more dust in the citizens' eyes to calm them down. What is the sense in this? One can have totally different opinions on the subject of refugees with good reasoning.

But facts are important for you as citizens to decide the future. That is, how many people will arrive? How will it affect my personal affluence? Or will it affect my affluence at all? Will the pensions shrink? etc. Then you can talk with people about this, quite openly. But to say that we should open all borders, and that this won't have any negative consequences, is very strange. What I now say isn't a plug for my books. I know that some of them are on the table in front.

I'm not saying this so that you will buy books. I am saying this for another reason that soon will be clear. I started to write books on certain subjects 18 years ago. They have sold millions. It is no longer about you buying my books. It is important that you hear the titles, then you will see a certain line throughout the last ten years. One can have different opinions about this line, but I have always tried to describe, based on my subjective experiences, formed over many years in the Middle East and Africa.

That there will be migration flows, from people from culture areas that are like; if one could compare a cultural area with an engine, that one fills petrol in a diesel engine then everyone knows what will happen, the engine is great, diesel is great, but if there too much petrol, then the engine starts to splutter and stop.

I have tried to make you aware of this, with drastic and less drastic words. What we can expect, and ever faster. The book titles are SOS Occident; Warning Civil War; No Black,Red, Yellow [the colors in the German flag], Holy War in Europe; Mecca Germany.

I just want to say, when politicians and media today claim no one could have predicted it, everything is a complete surprise; Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not at all surprising. The migration flows, for years warnings have been coming from international organizations, politicians, experts, exactly about what happened and it is predictable, if we had a map over North Africa and the Middle East..

If the West continues to destabilize countries like Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, country by country, Iraq when we toppled Saddam Hussein, Afghanistan. We as Europeans and Germans have spent tens of billions on a war where we allegedly defend peace and liberty, at the mountain range Hindu Kush [in Afghanistan]. And here, in front of our own door, we soon have Hindu Kush.

We have no stabilization in Afghanistan. Dozens of German soldiers have lost their lives for nothing. We have a more unstable situation than ever.

You can have your own opinions. I am only saying that these refugee flows didn't fall from the sky. It is predicable, that if I bomb and destabilize a country, that people – it is always so in history – it hasn't anything to do with the Middle East or North Africa. I have seen enough wars in Africa. Naturally they created refugee flows.

But all of us didn't want to see this. We haven't prepared. And now one is reacting in full panic, and what is most disconcerting with this, is when media and politicians, allegedly from deepest inner conviction, say: 'this was all a complete surprise!'

Are they drunk? What are they smoking? What sort of pills are they eating? That they behave this way?

End transcription

The transcription has been edited for clarity, and may differ from the spoken word. The subtitles and transcription are for the first 49 minutes of the lecture only. Subtitled and transcribed by Terje Maloy. This article is Creative Commons 4.0 for non-commercial purposes.
Terje Maloy ( Website ) is a Norwegian citizen, with roots north of the Arctic Circle. Nowadays, he spends a lot of time in Australia, working in the family business. He has particular interests in liberty, global justice, imperialism, history, media analysis and what Western governments really are up to. He runs a blog , mostly in Norwegian, but occasionally in English. He likes to write about general geopolitical matters, and Northern Europe in particular, presenting perspectives that otherwise barely are mentioned in the dominant media (i.e. most things that actually matter).
Tim Jenkins
From 1:18 minutes, Ulfkotte reveals without question, that the EU Political 'elite's' combined intelligence services work with & propagate . . .

Terror, Terrorists & Terrorism / a conscious organised Politics of FEAR ! / Freedom of Movement, of fully armed IS Agents Provocateurs & with a Secret Services get out of jail free card, 'Hände Weg Nicht anfassen', it's 'Hammertime', "U Can't Touch this", we're armed state operatives travelling to Germany & Austria, " don't mess with my operation !" & all journalists' hands tied, too.

The suggestions & offers below to translate fully, what Ulfkotte declares publicly, make much sense. It is important to understand that even an 'Orban' must bow occasionally, to deep state Security State Dictators and the pressures they can exert in so many ways. Logic . . . or else one's life is made into hell, alive or an 'accidental' death: – and may I add, it is a curiously depressing feeling when you have so many court cases on the go, that when a Gemeinde/Municipality Clerk is smiling, celebrating and telling you, (representing yourself in court, with only independent translator & recorder), "You Won the Case, a superior judge has over-ruled " and the only reply possible is,

"Which case number ?"

life gets tedious & time consuming, demanding extreme patience. Given his illness, surely Ulfkotte and his wife, deserve/d extra credit & 'hot chocolate'. Makes a change to see & read some real journalism: congrats.@OffG

Excellent Professional Journalism on "Pseudo-Journalist State Actors & Terrorists". If you see a terrorist, guys, at best just reason with him or her :- better than calling

INTERPOL or Secret Services @theguardian, because you wouldn't want a member of the public, grassing you up to your boss, would you now ? ! Just tell the terrorist who he really works for . . . Those he resents ! Rather like Ulfkotte had to conclude, with final resignation. My condolences to his good wife.

Wilmers31
Very good of you to not forget Ulfkotte. If I did not have sickness in the house, I would translate it. Maybe I can do one chapter and someone else can do another one? What's the publisher saying?
jgiam
It's just a long unedited speech.
Tim Jenkins
You wouldn't say that if you could speak German, my friend ! ?

From one hour 18 minutes onwards, Ulfkotte details EU-Inter-State Terror Co-operation, with returning IS Operatives on a Free Pass, fully armed and even Viktor Orban had to give in to the commands of letting Terrorists through Hungary into Germany & Austria.

But, don't let that revelation bother you, living under a Deep State 'Politic of Fear' in the West and long unedited speeches gets kinda' boring now, I know a bit like believing in some kinda' dumbfuk new pearl harbour, war on terror &&& all phoney propaganda fairy story telling, just like on the 11/9/2001, when the real target was WTC 7, to hide elitist immoral endeavours, corruption & the missing $$$TRILLIONS$$$ of tax payers money, 'mislaid' by the D.o.D. announced directly the day before by Rumsfeld, forgotten ? Before ramping the Surveillance States abilities in placing & employing "Parallel Platforms" on steroids, so that our secret services can now employ terror & deploy terrorists at will .., against us, see ?

Plus ca change....
I remember on a similar note a 60 Minutes piece just prior to Clinton's humanitarian bombing of Serbian civilian infrastructure (and long ago deleted, I'm sure) on a German free-lancer staging Kosovo atrocities in a Munich suburb, and having the German MSM eating it up and asking for more. (WWII guilt assuagement at work, no doubt).
mark
Everybody who works in the MSM, without exception, are bought and paid for whores peddling lies on behalf of globalist corporate interests.
That is their job.
That is what they do.
They have long since forfeited all credibility and integrity.
They have lied to us endlessly for decades and generations, from the Bayonetted Belgian Babies and Human Bodies Turned Into Soap of WW1 to the Iraq Incubator Babies and Syrian Gas Attacks of more recent times.

You can no longer take anything at face value.
The default position has to be that every single word they print and every single word that comes out of their lying mouths is untrue.
If they say it's snowing at the North Pole, you can't accept that without first going there and checking it out for yourself.
You can't accept anything that has not been independently verified.

This applies across the board.
All of the accepted historical narrative, including things like the holocaust.
And current Global Warming "science."
We know we have been lied to again and again and again.
So what else have we been lied to without us realising it?

mark
Come to think of it, I need to apologise to sex workers.
I have known quite a few of them who have quite high ethical and moral standards, certainly compared to the MSM.
And they certainly do less damage.
Vert few working girls have blood on their hands like the MSM.
Compared to them, working girls are the salt of the earth and pillars of the community.
Seamus Padraig

Compared to them, working girls are the salt of the earth and pillars of the community.

I heartily agree. Even if one disapproves morally of prostitution, how can it possibly be worse to sell your body than to sell your soul?

Oliver
Quite. Checking things out for yourself is the way to go. Forget 'Peer Reviews', just as bent as the journalism Ulfkotte described. DIY.
Mortgage
So natural, all it seems

Part II:
Bought Science

Part III:
Bought Health Services

mapquest directions
The video you shared with great info. I really like the information you share. boxnovel
Gary Weglarz
I knew we were in dangerous new territory regarding government censorship when after waiting several years for Ulfkotte's best selling book to finally be available in English – it suddenly, magically, disappeared completely – a vanishing act – and I couldn't get so much as a response from, much less an explanation from, the would be publisher. Udo's book came at a time when it could have made a difference countering the fact-free complete and total "fabrication of reality" by the U.S. and Western powers as they have waged a brutal and ongoing neocolonial war on the world's poor under the guise of "fighting terrorism."

Udo's voice (in the form of his book) was silenced for a reason – that being that he spoke the truth about our utterly and completely corrupt Western fantasy world in which we in the West proclaim our – "respect international law" and "respect for human rights." His work, such as this interview and others he has done, pulled the curtain back on the big lie and exposed our oligarchs, politicians and the "journalists" they hire as simply a cadre of professional criminals whose carefully crafted lies are used to soak up the blood and to cover the bodies of the dead, all in order to hide all that mayhem from our eyes, to insure justice is an impossibility and to make sure we Western citizens sleep well at night, oblivious to our connection to the actual realities that are this daily regime of pillage and plunder that is our vaunted "neoliberal order."

Ramdan
After watching the first 20 min I couldn't help but remembering this tale:

"The philosopher Diogenes (of Sinope) was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.' To which Diogenes replied, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king"."

which is also the reason why such a large part of humanity lives in voluntary servitude to power structures, living the dream, the illusion of being free..

Ramdan
"English Translation of Udo Ulfkotte's "Bought Journalists" Suppressed?" at Global Research 2017!!

https://www.globalresearch.ca/english-translation-of-udo-ulfkottes-bought-journalists-suppressed/5601857

Francis Lee
Just rechecked Amazon. Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News by Udo Ulfkotte PH.D. The tag line reads.

Hard cover – currently unavailable; paperback cover – currently unavailable; Kindle edition – ?

Book burning anyone?

nottheonly1
No translation exists for this interview with Udo Ulfkotte on KenFM, the web site of Ken Jebsen. Ken Jebsen has been in the cross hairs of the CIA and German agencies for his reporting of the truth. He was smeared and defamed by the same people that Dr. Ulfkotte had written extensively about in his book 'Gekaufte Journalisten' ('Bought Journalists').

The reason why I add this link to the interview lies in the fact that Udo Ulfkotte speaks about an important part of Middle Eastern and German history – a history that has been scrubbed from the U.S. and German populations. In the Iraq war against Iran – that the U.S. regime had pushed for in the same fashion the way they had pushed Nazi Germany to invade the U.S.S.R. – German chemical weapons were used under the supervision of the U.S. regime. The extend of the chemical weapons campaign was enormous and to the present day, Iranians are born with birth defects stemming from the used of German weapons of mass destruction.

Dr. Ulfkotte rightfully bemoans, that every year German heads of state are kneeling for the Jewish victims of National socialism – but not for the victims of German WMD's that were used against Iran. He stresses that the act of visual asking for forgiveness in the case of the Jewish victims becomes hypocrisy, when 40 years after the Nazis reigned, German WMD's were used against Iran. The German regime was in on the WMD attack on Iran. It was not something that happened because they had lost a couple of thousand containers with WMDs. They delivered the WMD's to Iraq under U.S. supervision.

Ponder that. And there has never been an apology towards Iran, or compensations. Nada. Nothing. Instead, the vile rhetoric and demagogery of every U.S. regime since has continued to paint Iran in the worst possible ways, most notably via incessant psychological projection – accusing Iran of the war crimes and crimes against humanity the U.S. and its Western vassal regimes are guilty of.

Here is the interview that was recorded shortly before Udo Ulfkotte's death:

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

If enough people support the effort, I am willing to contact KenFM for the authorization to translate the interview and use it for subtitles to the video. However, I can't do that on my own.

nottheonly1
Correction: the interview was recorded two years before his passing.
Antonym
the U.S. regime had pushed for in the same fashion the way they had pushed Nazi Germany to invade the U.S.S.R.

So Roosevelt pushed Hitler to attack Stalin? Hitler didn't want to go East? Revisionism at it most motive free.

nottheonly1
It would help if you would use your brain just once. 'Pushing' is synonymous for a variety of ways to instigate a desired outcome. Financing is just one way. And Roosevelt was in no way the benevolent knight history twisters like to present him. You are outing yourself again as an easliy duped sheep.

But then, with all the assaults by the unintelligence agencies, it does not come as a surprise when facts are twisted.

Antonym
Lebensraum was first popularized in 1901 in Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum Hitler's "Mein Kampf" ( 1925) build on that: he had no need for any American or other push, it was intended from the get go. The timing of operation Barbarossa was brilliant though: it shocked Stalin into a temporary limbo as he had his own aggressive plans.
Casandra2
This excellent article demonstrates how the Controlling Elite manipulates the Media and the Message for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objective of securing Global Ownership (aka New World Order).

This approach has been assiduously applied, across the board, over many years, to the point were they now own and run everything required to subjugate the 'human race' to the horrors of their psychopathic inclinations. They are presently holding the global economy on hold until their AI population (social credit) control system/grid is in place before bringing the house down.

Needless to say, when this happens a disunited and frightened Global Population will be at their mercy.

If you wish to gain a full insight of what the Controlling Elite is about, and capable of, I recommend David Icke's latest publication 'Trigger'. I know he's been tagged a 'nutter' over the past thirty years, but I reckon this book represents the 'gold standard' in terms of generating awareness as a basis for launching a united global population counter-attack (given a great strategy) against forces that can only be defined as pure 'EVIL'.

MASTER OF UNIVE
Corporate Journalism is all about corporatism and the continuation of it. If the Intelligence Community needs greater fools for staffing purposes in the corporate hierarchy they look for anyone that can be compromised via inducements of whatever the greater fools want. Engaging in compromise allows both parties to have complicit & explicit understanding that corruption and falsehood are the tools of the trade. To all-of-a-sudden develop a conscience after decades of playing the part of a willing participant is understandable in light of the guilt complex one must develop after screwing everyone in the world out of the critical assessment we all need to obtain in order to make decisions regarding our futures.

Bought & paid for corporate Journalists are controlled by the Intelligence Agencies and always have been since at least the Second World War. The CIA typically runs bribery & blackmail at the state & federal level so that when necessary they have instant useless eaters to offer up as political sacrifice when required via state run propaganda, & impression management.

Assuming that journalism is an ethical occupation is naïve and a fools' game even in the alternative news domain as all writers write from bias & a lack of real knowledge. Few writers are intellectually honest or even aware of their own limits as writers. The writer is a failure and not a hero borne in myth. Writers struggle to write & publish. Bought and paid for writers don't have a struggle in terms of writing because they are told what to write before they write as automatons for the Intelligence Community knowing that they sold their collective souls to the Prince of Darkness for whatever trinkets, bobbles, or bling they could get their greedy hands on at the time.

Developing a conscience late in life is too late.

May all that sell their souls to the Intel agencies understand that pond scum never had a conscience to begin with.

Once pond scum always pond scum.

MOU

nottheonly1
What is not addressed in this talk is the addictive nature of this sort of public relation writing. Journalism is something different altogether. I know that, because I consider myself to be a journalist at heart – one that stopped doing it when the chalice was offered to me. The problem is that one is not part of the cabal one day to another.

It is a longer process in which one is gradually introduced to ever more expensive rewards/bribes. Never too big to overwhelm – always just about what one would accept as 'motivation' to omit aspects of any issue. Of course, omission is a lie by any other name, but I can attest to the life style of a journalist that socializes with the leaders of all segments of society.

And I would also write a critique about a great restaurant – never paying a dime for a fantastic dinner. The point though is that I would not write a good critique for a nasty place for money. I have never written anything but the truth – for which I received sometimes as much as a bag full of the best rolls in the country.

Twisting the truth for any form of bribes is disgusting and attests of the lowest of any character.

MASTER OF UNIVE
Professional whoring is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. Being ethical is difficult stuff especially when money is involved. Money is always a prime motivator but vanity works wonders too. Corporatists will offer whatever inducements they can to get what they want.

All mainstream media voices are selling a media package that is a corporatist lie in and of itself. Truth is less marketable than lies. Embellished news & journalistic hype is the norm.

If the devil offers inducements be sure to up the ante to outsmart the drunken sot.

MOU

[Nov 02, 2019] CIA Circles Wagons Dispatches Media Narrative Engineers to Defend Interests

Nov 02, 2019 | theconservativetreehouse.com

October 22, 2019 by sundance

After the DOJ/FBI advanced their defensive efforts last weekend via the New York Times and NBC, now the CIA/ODNI faction step forth with the same intents and purposes.

CIA defending journalist Natasha Bertrand has been participating in the multi-year PR effort which helped frame the CIA/ODNI talking points against President Trump, and she is deployed again in the latest effort within Politico . The timing here is predictable.

( Via Politico ) President Donald Trump's obsession with former CIA director John Brennan could be on a collision course with an ongoing Justice Department probe as Attorney General Bill Barr takes a more hands-on approach to examining the intelligence community's actions in 2016.

[ ] Durham's report is likely to land well after the results of an inquiry by the Justice Department's Inspector General, who is examining the FBI's applications to a secret court in 2016 and 2017 to obtain surveillance warrants on a Trump campaign aide.

[ ] "Is the IG report going to say we made mistakes? Yes," said one of the former officials. "But it won't say we did so for some nefarious purpose. So the report will be a dry hole for Trump and his supporters. Which is why [Barr and Durham] have now gone to this other theory, positing that the CIA was engaged in some rogue operation to overthrow Trump and therefore feeding the FBI bullshit," he said. "It's complete nonsense."

"Haven't you heard?" said another former FBI official, sarcastically. "Brennan was a puppet-master and we were just his puppets."

Unfortunately, Ms. Bertrand gets too far over her defensive skis when she scribes defense and obfuscation that is laughable to anyone who followed the activity of CIA Director John Brennan when she writes:

[ ] Asked for comment, White House deputy press Secretary Hogan Gidley said: " John Brennan lied before Congress when he got caught spying on American citizens and lied about having Russian collusion evidence that never existed. The only way I've ever heard anyone in the White House mention him is as a punchline."

It's not clear what Gidley was referring to -- Brennan has not been accused of lying to Congress. ( read full article )

Obviously Ms. Bertrand is counting on people not knowing that John Brennan was caught lying about his instructions to CIA operatives to spy on the networks of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Brennan later apologized to the Senate for that effort; but hey, what's a little forgetfulness amid professional narrative engineering.

Additionally, in directly related matters; while remembering the 'gossip-blower' stems from the same CIA institution headed by Brennan while a member of the National Security Council; and while remembering the Washington Post is the primary outlet for the PR efforts of the CIA resistance du jour; the mysterious "white house insider" who penned an op-ed in the New York Times last year has now signed an anonymous book deal expand on the anti-Trump intelligence community narrative.

( WaPo ) The author of an anonymous column in the New York Times in 2018, who was identified as a senior Trump administration official acting as part of the "resistance" inside the government, has written a tell-all book to be published next month.

The book, titled "A Warning," is being promoted as "an unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of the Trump presidency" that expands upon the Times column, which ricocheted around the world and stoked the president's rage because of its devastating portrayal of Trump in office. ( read more )

When CTH originally penned the term "The Big Ugly" we were directly describing a looming confrontation that would happen between President Donald Trump and the aligned interests of the deepest part of the Deep State. Those interests are not along party lines, they are ideological interests directly related to the construct of the institutions of government and how those interests tied financially back to the Administrative State.

The DOJ, FBI, CIA, ODNI and State Department do not oppose the deconstruction efforts of Donald Trump as an outcome of bland institutional opposition. Rather the institutions themselves are subsidiaries of a larger network that exists for the purposes of Washington DC as a business and financial enterprise.

The reason the DC system -writ large- is going bananas is because selling the influence of political office for financial gain is the custom and currency of DC affluence.

Selling influence and manipulating government action – both foreign and domestic – to enhance the financial interests of other participants, is a purposeful part of DC as a way to gain financial affluence. In essence the U.S. government is used as a tool to accumulate wealth. This process is at the heart of all Trump's opposition.

Confronting this process is "The Big Ugly".

Advertisements Report this ad Report this ad Share this: Email Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest 3 Reddit Tumblr More LinkedIn Print Pocket Skype Telegram Like this: Like Loading...

[Nov 02, 2019] The Last Refuge

Nov 02, 2019 | theconservativetreehouse.com

Durham Looking At Brennan – A Reminder of "The Crown Material" Conflict Posted on October 22, 2019 by sundance

The Christopher Steele dossier was called " Crown Material " by FBI agents within the small group during their 2016 political surveillance operation. The "Crown" description reflects the unofficial British intelligence aspect to the dossier as provided by Steele.

In May 2019 former House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy stated there are emails from former FBI Director James Comey that outline instructions from CIA Director John Brennan to include the "Crown Material" within the highly political Intelligence Community Assessment .

Specifically outlined by Gowdy, the wording of the Comey email is reported to say :

"Brennan is insisting the Crown Material be included in the intel assessment."

However, on May 23rd, 2017, in testimony -under oath- to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) John Brennan stated [ @01:54:28 ]:

GOWDY: Director Brennan, do you know who commissioned the Steele dossier?

BRENNAN: I don't.

GOWDY: Do you know if the bureau [FBI] ever relied on the Steele dossier as part of any court filing, applications?

BRENNAN: I have no awareness.

GOWDY: Did the CIA rely on it?

BRENNAN: No.

GOWDY: Why not?

BRENNAN: Because we didn't. It wasn't part of the corpus of intelligence information that we had. It was not in any way used as a basis for the Intelligence Community Assessment that was done. Uh it was not.

.

Video of the exchange [ prompted 01:54:28 just hit play ]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/sGg8gpGqr-w?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&start=6868&wmode=transparent

.

As Victor Davis Hanson wrote at the time :

[ ] James Clapper, John Brennan, and James Comey are now all accusing one another of being culpable for inserting the unverified dossier, the font of the effort to destroy Trump, into a presidential intelligence assessment -- as if suddenly and mysteriously the prior seeding of the Steele dossier is now seen as a bad thing. And how did the dossier transmogrify from being passed around the Obama Administration as a supposedly top-secret and devastating condemnation of candidate and then president-elect Trump to a rank embarrassment of ridiculous stories and fibs?

Given the narratives of the last three years, and the protestations that the dossier was accurate or at least was not proven to be unproven, why are these former officials arguing at all? Did not implanting the dossier into the presidential briefing give it the necessary imprimatur that allowed the serial leaks to the press at least to be passed on to the public and thereby apprise the people of the existential danger that they faced? ( read more )

Fox News Maria Bartiromo has more knowledge of the details within the 2016 political surveillance scandal than any other MSM host. Bartiromo has followed the events very closely and now she is the go-to person for those who are trying to bring the truth behind the scandal to light.

On the morning of May 20th, 2019, on her Fox Business Network show Ms. Bartiromo outlined the current issues between Comey and Brennan. WATCH:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PQLweblVdoo?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

.

It certainly looks like former CIA Director John Brennan has exposed himself to perjury. However, beyond that and even more disturbing, what does this say about the political intents of a weaponized intelligence apparatus?

CTH has previously outlined how the December 29th, 2016, Joint Analysis Report (JAR) on Russia Cyber Activity was a quickly compiled bunch of nonsense about Russian hacking.

The JAR was followed a week later by the January 7th, 2017, Intelligence Community Assessment . The ICA took the ridiculous construct of the JAR and then overlaid a political narrative that Russia was trying to help Donald Trump.

The ICA was the brain-trust of John Brennan, James Clapper and James Comey. While the majority of content was from the CIA, some of the content within the ICA was written by FBI Agent Peter Strzok who held a unique "insurance policy" interest in how the report could be utilized in 2017. NSA Director Mike Rogers would not sign up to the "high confidence" claims, likely because he saw through the political motives of the report.

( JUNE 2019 – New York Times ) [ ] Mr. Barr wants to know more about the C.I.A. sources who helped inform its understanding of the details of the Russian interference campaign, an official has said. He also wants to better understand the intelligence that flowed from the C.I.A. to the F.B.I. in the summer of 2016.

During the final weeks of the Obama administration, the intelligence community released a declassified assessment that concluded that Mr. Putin ordered an influence campaign that "aspired to help" Mr. Trump's electoral chances by damaging Mrs. Clinton's. The C.I.A. and the F.B.I. reported they had high confidence in the conclusion. The National Security Agency, which conducts electronic surveillance, had a moderate degree of confidence. ( read more )

Questioning the construct of the ICA is a smart direction to take for a review or investigation. By looking at the intelligence community work-product, it's likely Durham will cut through a lot of the chatter and get to the heart of the intelligence motives.

Apparently John Durham is looking into just this aspect: Was the ICA document a politically engineered report stemming from within a corrupt intelligence network?

The importance of that question is rather large. All of the downstream claims about Russian activity, including the Russian indictments promoted by Rosenstein and the Mueller team, are centered around origination claims of illicit Russian activity outlined in the ICA .

If the ICA is a false political document . then guess what?

Yep, the entire narrative from the JAR and ICA is part of a big fraud. [Which it is]

[Nov 02, 2019] Maria Bartiromo Outlines The Architect of "Spygate" and "Crossfire Hurricane", CIA Director John Brennan

Nov 02, 2019 | theconservativetreehouse.com

August 18, 2019 by sundance

Among all media personalities Maria Bartiromo easily has the most comprehensive grasp of the 2016 operation against President Trump. During two interviews today Bartiromo outlines the evidence that leads directly to the person at the origination point, former CIA Director John Brennan.

First, here's a mash-up of the two interviews (Senator Graham and John Solomon) where Bartiromo asks the same question. [ hat tip Michael Sheridan for the video]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A2woaIAGZ4s?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

.

Former CIA Director John Brennan lies at the heart of the intelligence community decision to weaponize against Donald Trump. In this outline I will provide supporting evidence for Bartiromo's assertion, which I suspect has already led to a criminal referral to U.S. Attorney John Durham by HPSCI Ranking Member Devin Nunes.

Suspicious Cat ate canary

The FBI's formal origination of the counterintelligence investigation into candidate Donald Trump known as "Operation Crossfire Hurricane", begins with a two-page memo submitted by former CIA Director John Brennan to former FBI Director James Comey.

The two page origination memo is known as an "EC" or "electronic communication". This classified origination memo is one of the key documents requested by congress for declassification by President Trump, to be shared with the American people.

According to House Intelligence Committee member Devin Nunes; who is also a member of the intelligence oversight 'Gang-of-Eight'; that EC contains intelligence material that did not come through "official intelligence channels" into the U.S. intelligence apparatus.

On April 22nd, 2018, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes appeared on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo to discuss the origin of the July 2016 counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign.

WATCH the first two minutes:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/W54KbYPfkcw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

.

The origin of the 2016 counterintelligence operation was the Electronic Communication document, a 'raw intelligence product' delivered by CIA Director John Brennan to the FBI.

The EC was not an official product of the U.S. intelligence community. Additionally, Brennan was NOT using official partnerships with intelligence agencies of our Five-Eyes partner nations; and he did not provide raw intelligence – as an outcome of those relationships – to the FBI.

When we first watched this interview the initial questions were: if the EC is not based on official intelligence from U.S. intelligence apparatus or any of the 'five-eyes' partners, then what is the origin, source and purpose therein, of the unofficial raw intelligence? Who created it? And why?

Now we know many of the answers to those questions.

All research indicates CIA Director John Brennan enlisted the help of U.S. and foreign intelligence assets to run operations against the Trump campaign early in 2016. The objective was to give the false and manufactured appearance of compromise. Once the CIA established the possibility of compromise, that activity created the EC which opened the door for an FBI investigation.

The operation run by Brennan targeting Papadopoulos is at the center of the two-page "EC" ( electronic communication ); given to FBI Director James Comey to start the counterintelligence operation (Crossfire Hurricane) against the Trump campaign.

Two of the intelligence assets Brennan organized were Joseph Mifsud and Stefan Halper .

Yes, the primary intelligence sources of John Brennan's "EC" is were operations run by FBI and CIA operative Stefan Halper, and western intelligence asset Joseph Mifsud. A great background on Halper is HERE .

In March 2018 Chuck Ross of The Daily Caller took a deep dive on how Stefan Halper interacted with George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. Halper is sketchy, and he was trying to initiate contacts with low-level Trump campaign aides. [ SEE HERE ]

DAILY CALLER – Two months before the 2016 election, George Papadopoulos received a strange request for a meeting in London, one of several the young Trump adviser would be offered -- and he would accept -- during the presidential campaign.

The meeting request, which has not been reported until now, came from Stefan Halper, a foreign policy expert and Cambridge professor with connections to the CIA and its British counterpart, MI6.

Halper's September 2016 outreach to Papadopoulos wasn't his only contact with Trump campaign members. The 73-year-old professor, a veteran of three Republican administrations, met with two other campaign advisers, The Daily Caller News Foundation learned. ( Please Keep Reading )

We now know Brennan's originating structure involved Stefan Halper the foreign policy expert and Cambridge professor deeply connected to the CIA and willing to run the operation to benefit the political objective for CIA Director Brennan. This is how John Brennan originates the "EC" through non-traditional intelligence channels. The EC is then given to James Comey, who starts Operation Crossfire Hurricane on July 31st, 2016.

[ NOTE : •On July 31st, 2016 the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign. They did not inform congress until March 2017. •At the beginning of August (1st-3rd) 2016 FBI Agent Peter Strzok traveled to London, England for interviews with UK intelligence officials. •On August 15th , 2016 Peter Strzok sends a text message to DOJ Lawyer Lisa Page describing the " insurance policy ", needed in case Hillary Clinton were to lose the election. That's where Carter Page comes in.]

However, CIA Director John Brennan didn't stop with simply originating the FBI investigation, he went on to promote additional material from his knowledge of the Christopher Steele Dossier.

This is the part that John Brennan has denied ; however, the evidence proving his lies is overwhelming.

We start by remembering the sworn testimony of John Brennan to congress on May 23rd, 2017. Listen carefully to the opening statement from former CIA Director John Brennan and pay close attention to the segment at 13:35 of this video [transcribed below]:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/fdJ3OZS928Q?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Brennan: [13:35] "Third, through the so-called Gang-of-Eight process we kept congress apprised of these issues as we identified them."

"Again, in consultation with the White House , I PERSONALLY briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership; specifically: Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr; and to representatives Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff between 11th August and 6th September [2016], I provided the same briefing to each of the gang of eight members."

"Given the highly sensitive nature of what was an active counter-intelligence case [that means the FBI], involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of congress; each of whom was accompanied by one senior staff member."

Notice a few things from this testimony. First, where Brennan says " in consultation with the White House ". This is a direct connection between Brennan's activity and President Obama, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Chief-of-Staff Denis McDonough, each of whom would have held knowledge of what Brennan was briefing to the Go8.

Secondly, Brennan is describing raw intelligence (obviously gathered prior to the Carter Page FISA Application/Warrant – October 21st, 2016) that he went on to brief the Gang-of-Eight (pictured below). Notice Brennan said he did briefings "individually".

Brennan also says in his testimony that he began the briefings on August 11th, 2016. This is a key point because former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sent a letter to James Comey on August 27th, 2016, as an outcome of his briefing by John Brennan. But it is the content of Reid's letter that really matters.

In the last paragraph of Reid's letter to Comey he notes something that is only cited within the Christopher Steele Dossier [ full letter pdf here ]:

This letter is August 27th, 2016. The Trump advisor in the letter is Carter Page. The source of the information is Christopher Steele in his dossier. Two months later (October 21st, 2016) the FBI filed a FISA application against Carter Page using the Steele Dossier.

So what we are seeing here is CIA Director John Brennan briefing Harry Reid on the Steele dossier in August 2016, even before the dossier reached the FBI. However, John Brennan has denied seeing the dossier until December of 2016. A transparent lie.

Brennan goes on to testify the main substance of those 2016 Go8 briefings was the same as the main judgements of the January 2017 classified and unclassified intelligence assessments published by the CIA, FBI, DNI and NSA, ie. "The Intelligence Community Assessment" (ICA).

However, we know Brennan put material from the Dossier into the ICA.

We also know from Paul Sperry: "[ ] A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok . "Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA," according to the source." (link)

♦ Summary so far : During a period early in 2016 CIA Director John Brennan manufactured the material needed to start the FBI investigation on July 31st, 2016. John Brennan also received information from within the Steele Dossier which he put into President Obama's Daily Briefing and shared with the Gang of Eight.

Here's where it gets even more interesting .

On December 15, 2016, Strzok and Page texted each other about a sister organization leaking to the mainstream media . The next day, December 16, Strzok texted Page again , this time to discuss an article in The Washington Post : "FBI in agreement with CIA that Russia aimed to help Trump win White House" , where Strzok argued that the Central Intelligence Agency is more capable of manipulating the press and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had the initial position, not the Central Intelligence Agency

So it would seem that Brennan was leaking to the media and pushing hard on this same Russia narrative during the transition period. It's almost bizarre to see Brennan now saying "perhaps he had bad information" BRENNAN IS THE INFORMATION !!

Fucking Brennan.

Additionally, if you want to throw on an even more stunning layer upon this manipulation matrix, consider that Nellie Ohr was likely working for the CIA.

"I read an article in the paper that mentioned Glenn Simpson. And I remembered because he had been a Wall Street Journal reporter working on things like Russian crime and corruption, so I recognized the name. I was underemployed at that time and I was looking for opportunities. "

~ Nellie Ohr via congressional testimony

If Nellie Ohr, a known CIA open source contractor, sought out Glenn Simpson at Fusion GPS for the job in 2015, not vice-versa, then it would appear a sting operation from within the CIA (John Brennan) was underway and long planned. The evidence of this likelihood surfaces later from Brennan's knowledge of the specific intelligence within the Steele Dossier as shared with Obama and briefed to Harry Reid in August 2016.

So let us recap:

♦In the first phase of this operation the CIA, likely Brennan, seeded Fusion GPS with information via Nellie Ohr. After it became clear that Donald Trump would be the 2016 GOP candidate, that information was then piped-into another Fusion GPS contractor and former FBI Source, Chris Steele. Steele then "laundered", and returned the Ohr research material into an official intelligence product to the FBI. [The tool was Carter Page.]

♦Concurrently timed with the start of this first phase, Brennan was running an operation using Stephan Halper and Joseph Mifsud to generate the "EC" and initiate the FBI to begin a counterintelligence operation named Crossfire Hurricane. [The tool was George Papadopoulos]

This is why the media got/get somewhat confused with the origins of everything: Papadopoulous (Crossfire Hurricane) -vs- Carter Page (dossier into FISA); an origination confusion which still exists through today.

In essence we can see that John Brennan was the initiator manipulating everything, somewhat behind the scenes, for all of the activity (tangentially noted by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page in their text messages about the CIA leaks). After the 2016 election, Brennan continued pushing the Steele Dossier into the media bloodstream as it carried the Russian Conspiracy virus he created.

During the time James Comey's FBI was running operation Crossfire Hurricane, Comey admitted he intentionally never informed congressional oversight: " because of the sensitivity of the matter ". I suspect he knew there was manipulation behind the events that initiated the construct; he was, however, willfully blind to it.

When Brennan now says in hindsight he might have received " bad information ", it's laughable – because the information is his creation.

Now with all of that hindsight in mind, watch the first four minutes of this interview and pay attention to the duping delight:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/45IEzp2uTCo?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

.

Lastly, unlike other DOJ and FBI officials connected to the fraudulent exploitation of the FISA court, John Brennan is not attached to the ongoing DOJ Inspector General investigation being conducted by IG Horowitz.

Presumably Inspector General Michael Horowitz is only looking at the process, procedures and people who were involved in submitting an unverified and likely fraudulent FISA application. Though his investigation would mean reviewing the underlying evidence for the FISA warrant, ie. the Steele Dossier, the list of IG targets does not necessarily include anyone outside the DOJ and FBI process.

This could mean former CIA Director John Brennan, or any other Obama-era official outside the DOJ and FBI, could be referred for criminal investigation to John Durham; and investigation or review of that referral should not impede any ongoing investigation by IG Michael Horowitz.

That's why it is possible for Devin Nunes to have submitted a ¹criminal referral for John Brennan; which would be one of the primary aspects of review by Durham (noted by Solomon), and only tangentially connected to the IG Horowitz investigation.

¹Or, NSA Advisor Susan Rice, ODNI James Clapper, or former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power (unmasking); or any other administration official who may have engaged in leaking and/or disseminating classified intelligence information.

Advertisements Report this ad Report this ad Share this:

[Nov 01, 2019] The US, as far as I know, is the only country on the world that publishes an annual human rights report (State Dept) and which regularly comments on what it sees as poor human rights in other countries. This is despite the fact, as indicated above, that the US has a poor record of human rights throughout its history, and still does with definite underclasses separated geographically from the general public and in prison.

Nov 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Oct 31 2019 19:25 utc | 38

re: human rights
The US, as far as I know, is the only country on the world that publishes an annual human rights report (State Dept) and which regularly comments on what it sees as poor human rights in other countries. This is despite the fact, as indicated above, that the US has a poor record of human rights throughout its history, and still does with definite underclasses separated geographically from the general public and in prison.

Regarding China, quite a few Chinese people were instrumental in building the railroads that greatly contributed to the settling of the West. Then, after they had been used and abused, and the tracks laid, Chinese were evicted from the country under the Chinese Exclusion Act which technically only prohibited immigration, but was also used for eviction. There are many Chinese descendants currently in Mexicali Mexico as a result. Also the US Border Patrol (now used against Hispanics mostly) was originally formed to keep Chinese people out. . .China is probably too polite to bring this up.

[Nov 01, 2019] The Piece of Presstitute Excrement known as the NYTimes Has Had to Admit that Yes there Is a Deep State at War with President Trump by Paul Craig Roberts

Nov 01, 2019 | www.unz.com

This is a surprisingly good report from Robert Merry. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52461.htm

The only mistake Merry makes is his erroneous statement that Trump held up aid to Ukraine to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate the Ukrainian firm that made $1,750,000 payments to the corrupt Biden and his corrupt son. The transcript of the telephone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president shows no Quid Pro Quo, and the Ukrainian president says there was none. The Quid Pro Quo was entirely on Biden's part when he told the president of Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating the firm that was paying him and his son seven figures in protection money or forfeit $1 billion in US aid. You can watch it here: https://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-joe-biden-forced-ukraine-to-fire-prosecutor-for-aid-money/C1C51BB8-3988-4070-869F-CAD3CA0E81D8.html

Moreover, even it Trump did threaten to withhold aid from a country that was covering up corruption by a US vice president and his son, that is the US president's right. There is no reason whatsoever that a president should permit US taxpayers' money to be given to a government that covers up corruption by a vice president of the United States.

We know for a fact that there was corruption by Vice President Biden. He bragged about it before the Council on Foreign Relations. You can watch him doing so here: https://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-joe-biden-forced-ukraine-to-fire-prosecutor-for-aid-money/C1C51BB8-3988-4070-869F-CAD3CA0E81D8.html

Biden's son has admitted that he used poor judgment taking money from a firm in order to protect it from prosecution.

Even if Trump did what the Democrats allege, which he did not, there is nothing illegal or unethical about it whatsoever. Compared to the tactics US prosecutors use to convict the innocent, Trump's conversation with the president of Ukraine is far above the highest ethics known to US prosecutors.

Why aren't the Democrats complaining about the criminally illegal treatment of Julian Assange and Manning? The reason is that the Democrats, the most utterly corrupt political organization on the face of the Earth, are bought and paid for by the Deep State. The Democrats are dog excrement to the core. They are traitors to America and to our Constitutional order. The entire party should be arrested and put on trial for sedition to overthrow the government of the United States.

[Nov 01, 2019] Corporatism does not know any party by Saagar Enjeti Saagar Enjeti

Notable quotes:
"... Monday, that same company which was saved by the United States government was thrown a birthday party in the halls of the United States Congress committee which dispersed those funds? It literally doesn't get more corrupt than that. These people are so shameless they bragged about this party. They allowed it to be reported in Politico because that's just business as usual in our capital city ..."
"... So many on the right lecture the millennial generation and the working class as lazy. They give no credence to why exactly these people are angry. They watched the middle class get decimated, money get sent to Wall Street while our student debt exploded and any surplus cash that happened to be laying around was spent trying to turn the Middle East into a democratic paradise. America voted twice for change-agent Barack Obama to try and clean up the system, but he mostly just lectured corporations with an upturned chin and wagging finger, while letting them continue shipping jobs to China and Mexico. ..."
"... Institutionalized corruption has yielded disastrous results. ..."
Nov 01, 2019 | thehill.com

The House Ways and Means Committee threw a bipartisan "birthday bash" for insurance company AIG, that was widely attended by staffers across the aisle. The chairman of the committee, Richard Neal , who is a Democrat, gave remarks at the party. It included snacks, and an open bar serving a "centennial smash" signature cocktail, all while an acapella group serenaded the group to the tune of Pharrell's "Happy."

This is Versailles 1790's level stuff. It is a repulsive illustration of the bipartisan corruption that has seeped into our system. Don't forget this is the company received 190 billion dollars in bailout funds while the rest of the American middle class plummeted to destruction. It's also the same company which paid out $165 million in bonuses to its executives after receiving bailout money and facing zero repercussions from the Obama administration.

Monday, that same company which was saved by the United States government was thrown a birthday party in the halls of the United States Congress committee which dispersed those funds? It literally doesn't get more corrupt than that. These people are so shameless they bragged about this party. They allowed it to be reported in Politico because that's just business as usual in our capital city

Corporatism does not know any party. It has wormed its way into the highest levels of the United States government. It has ruled us to our detriment now for almost 40 years now. The left has responded to this moment with democratic socialism. The right looking at this movement is learning all of the wrong reasons; they're flying socialism sucks banners all across America without responding to the underlying structure of the American system as extraordinarily flawed

So many on the right lecture the millennial generation and the working class as lazy. They give no credence to why exactly these people are angry. They watched the middle class get decimated, money get sent to Wall Street while our student debt exploded and any surplus cash that happened to be laying around was spent trying to turn the Middle East into a democratic paradise. America voted twice for change-agent Barack Obama to try and clean up the system, but he mostly just lectured corporations with an upturned chin and wagging finger, while letting them continue shipping jobs to China and Mexico.

Institutionalized corruption has yielded disastrous results. A new survey from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation finds that more than 70% of millennials say they are likely to vote socialist, and that 1 in 5 think that America would be better off if private property was abolished. This makes perfect sense to me, because this generation sees the AIG bailout and the party 10 years later and goes, well if that's capitalism, then this crap is not for me

I know some of the people watching this probably are actual socialists. I don't think most of you are though. You're just fed up and you've been told that if you're against our current system then you're a socialist. So you shrug and go, sure, I guess. It is incumbent upon the right to restore and equitable and fair playing field within our system if we, correctly in my view, believe that capitalism is intrinsic to the strength of the United States

The libertarian streak of the Republican Party will be the electoral and moral death of it. Libertarianism was founded upon the idea that the greatest threat to you and your life is institutionalized power in the form of the government. It's time they understood that the government isn't the only institution which can hold power in our society. It's time to reign in that power wherever it reigns.

[Oct 31, 2019] The Militarization Of Everything

Notable quotes:
"... But militarism is more than thuggish dictators, predatory weaponry, and steely-eyed troops. There are softer forms of it that are no less significant than the "hard" ones. In fact, in a self-avowed democracy like the United States, such softer forms are often more effective because they seem so much less insidious, so much less dangerous. ..."
"... But who can object to celebrating " hometown heroes " in uniform, as happens regularly at sports events of every sort in twenty-first-century America? Or polite and smiling military recruiters in schools ? Or gung-ho war movies like the latest version of Midway , timed for Veterans Day weekend 2019 and marking America's 1942 naval victory over Japan, when we were not only the good guys but the underdogs? ..."
"... Roughly two-thirds of the federal government's discretionary budget for 2020 will, unbelievably enough, be devoted to the Pentagon and related military functions, with each year's "defense" budget coming ever closer to a trillion dollars ..."
"... The U.S. military remains the most trusted institution in our society, so say 74% of Americans surveyed in a Gallup poll. ..."
"... A state of permanent war is considered America's new normal. ..."
"... America's generals continue to be treated, without the slightest irony, as "the adults in the room." ..."
"... The media routinely embraces retired U.S. military officers and uses them as talking heads to explain and promote military action to the American people. ..."
"... America's foreign aid is increasingly military aid. ..."
"... In that context, consider the militarization of the weaponry in those very hands, from .50 caliber sniper rifles to various military-style assault rifles. ..."
"... Paradoxically, even as Americans slaughter each other and themselves in large numbers via mass shootings and suicides (nearly 40,000 gun deaths in 2017 alone), they largely ignore Washington's overseas wars and the continued bombing of numerous countries. ..."
"... 9. Even as Americans "support our troops" and celebrate them as "heroes," the military itself has taken on a new " warrior ethos " that would once -- in the age of a draft army -- have been contrary to this country's citizen-soldier tradition , especially as articulated and exhibited by the "greatest generation" during World War II. ..."
"... Democracy shouldn't be about celebrating overlords in uniform. A now-widely accepted belief is that America is more divided, more partisan than ever, approaching perhaps a new civil war , as echoed in the rhetoric of our current president. Small wonder that inflammatory rhetoric is thriving and the list of this country's enemies lengthening when Americans themselves have so softly yet fervently embraced militarism. ..."
Oct 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Militarization Of Everything by Tyler Durden Wed, 10/30/2019 - 23:10 0 SHARES

Authored by William Astore via TomDispatch.com,

Killing Me Softly with Militarism - The Decay of Democracy in America

When Americans think of militarism , they may imagine jackbooted soldiers goose-stepping through the streets as flag-waving crowds exult ; or, like our president , they may think of enormous parades featuring troops and missiles and tanks, with warplanes soaring overhead. Or nationalist dictators wearing military uniforms encrusted with medals, ribbons, and badges like so many barnacles on a sinking ship of state. (Was Donald Trump only joking recently when he said he'd like to award himself a Medal of Honor?) And what they may also think is: that's not us. That's not America. After all, Lady Liberty used to welcome newcomers with a torch, not an AR-15 . We don't wall ourselves in while bombing others in distant parts of the world, right?

But militarism is more than thuggish dictators, predatory weaponry, and steely-eyed troops. There are softer forms of it that are no less significant than the "hard" ones. In fact, in a self-avowed democracy like the United States, such softer forms are often more effective because they seem so much less insidious, so much less dangerous. Even in the heartland of Trump's famed base, most Americans continue to reject nakedly bellicose displays like phalanxes of tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue.

But who can object to celebrating " hometown heroes " in uniform, as happens regularly at sports events of every sort in twenty-first-century America? Or polite and smiling military recruiters in schools ? Or gung-ho war movies like the latest version of Midway , timed for Veterans Day weekend 2019 and marking America's 1942 naval victory over Japan, when we were not only the good guys but the underdogs?

What do I mean by softer forms of militarism? I'm a football fan, so one recent Sunday afternoon found me watching an NFL game on CBS. People deplore violence in such games, and rightly so, given the number of injuries among the players, notably concussions that debilitate lives. But what about violent commercials during the game? In that one afternoon, I noted repetitive commercials for SEAL Team , SWAT , and FBI , all CBS shows from this quietly militarized American moment of ours. In other words, I was exposed to lots of guns, explosions, fisticuffs, and the like, but more than anything I was given glimpses of hard men (and a woman or two) in uniform who have the very answers we need and, like the Pentagon-supplied police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, are armed to the teeth. ("Models with guns," my wife calls them.)

Got a situation in Nowhere-stan? Send in the Navy SEALs. Got a murderer on the loose? Send in the SWAT team. With their superior weaponry and can-do spirit, Special Forces of every sort are sure to win the day (except, of course, when they don't, as in America's current series of never-ending wars in distant lands).

And it hardly ends with those three shows. Consider, for example, this century's update of Magnum P.I. , a CBS show featuring a kickass private investigator. In the original Magnum P.I. that I watched as a teenager, Tom Selleck played the character with an easy charm. Magnum's military background in Vietnam was acknowledged but not hyped. Unsurprisingly, today's Magnum is proudly billed as an ex-Navy SEAL.

Cop and military shows are nothing new on American TV, but never have I seen so many of them, new and old, and so well-armed. On CBS alone you can add to the mix Hawaii Five-O (yet more models with guns updated and up-armed from my youthful years), the three NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) shows, and Blue Bloods (ironically starring a more grizzled and less charming Tom Selleck) -- and who knows what I haven't noticed? While today's cop/military shows feature far more diversity with respect to gender, ethnicity, and race compared to hoary classics like Dragnet , they also feature far more gunplay and other forms of bloody violence.

Look, as a veteran, I have nothing against realistic shows on the military. Coming from a family of first responders -- I count four firefighters and two police officers in my immediate family -- I loved shows like Adam-12 and Emergency! in my youth. What I'm against is the strange militarization of everything, including, for instance, the idea, distinctly of our moment, that first responders need their very own version of the American flag to mark their service. Perhaps you've seen those thin blue line flags, sometimes augmented with a red line for firefighters. As a military veteran, my gut tells me that there should only be one American flag and it should be good enough for all Americans. Think of the proliferation of flags as another soft type of up-armoring (this time of patriotism).

Speaking of which, whatever happened to Dragnet 's Sergeant Joe Friday, on the beat, serving his fellow citizens, and pursuing law enforcement as a calling? He didn't need a thin blue line battle flag. And in the rare times when he wielded a gun, it was .38 Special. Today's version of Joe looks a lot more like G.I. Joe, decked out in body armor and carrying an assault rifle as he exits a tank-like vehicle, maybe even a surplus MRAP from America's failed imperial wars.

Militarism in the USA

Besides TV shows, movies, and commercials, there are many signs of the increasing embrace of militarized values and attitudes in this country. The result: the acceptance of a military in places where it shouldn't be , one that's over-celebrated, over-hyped , and given far too much money and cultural authority, while becoming virtually immune to serious criticism.

Let me offer just nine signs of this that would have been so much less conceivable when I was a young boy watching reruns of Dragnet :

1. Roughly two-thirds of the federal government's discretionary budget for 2020 will, unbelievably enough, be devoted to the Pentagon and related military functions, with each year's "defense" budget coming ever closer to a trillion dollars . Such colossal sums are rarely debated in Congress; indeed, they enjoy wide bipartisan support.

2. The U.S. military remains the most trusted institution in our society, so say 74% of Americans surveyed in a Gallup poll. No other institution even comes close, certainly not the presidency (37%) or Congress (which recently rose to a monumental 25% on an impeachment high). Yet that same military has produced disasters or quagmires in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and elsewhere. Various "surges" have repeatedly failed. The Pentagon itself can't even pass an audit . Why so much trust?

3. A state of permanent war is considered America's new normal. Wars are now automatically treated as multi-generational with little concern for how permawar might degrade our democracy. Anti-war protesters are rare enough to be lone voices crying in the wilderness.

4. America's generals continue to be treated, without the slightest irony, as "the adults in the room." Sages like former Secretary of Defense James Mattis ( cited glowingly in the recent debate among 12 Democratic presidential hopefuls) will save America from unskilled and tempestuous politicians like one Donald J. Trump. In the 2016 presidential race, it seemed that neither candidate could run without being endorsed by a screaming general ( Michael Flynn for Trump; John Allen for Clinton).

5. The media routinely embraces retired U.S. military officers and uses them as talking heads to explain and promote military action to the American people. Simultaneously, when the military goes to war, civilian journalists are "embedded" within those forces and so are dependent on them in every way. The result tends to be a cheerleading media that supports the military in the name of patriotism -- as well as higher ratings and corporate profits.

6. America's foreign aid is increasingly military aid. Consider, for instance, the current controversy over the aid to Ukraine that President Trump blocked before his infamous phone call, which was, of course, partially about weaponry . This should serve to remind us that the United States has become the world's foremost merchant of death, selling far more weapons globally than any other country. Again, there is no real debate here about the morality of profiting from such massive sales, whether abroad ($55.4 billion in arms sales for this fiscal year alone, says the Defense Security Cooperation Agency) or at home (a staggering 150 million new guns produced in the USA since 1986, the vast majority remaining in American hands).

7. In that context, consider the militarization of the weaponry in those very hands, from .50 caliber sniper rifles to various military-style assault rifles. Roughly 15 million AR-15s are currently owned by ordinary Americans. We're talking about a gun designed for battlefield-style rapid shooting and maximum damage against humans. In the 1970s, when I was a teenager, the hunters in my family had bolt-action rifles for deer hunting, shotguns for birds, and pistols for home defense and plinking. No one had a military-style assault rifle because no one needed one or even wanted one. Now, worried suburbanites buy them, thinking they're getting their " man card " back by toting such a weapon of mass destruction.

8. Paradoxically, even as Americans slaughter each other and themselves in large numbers via mass shootings and suicides (nearly 40,000 gun deaths in 2017 alone), they largely ignore Washington's overseas wars and the continued bombing of numerous countries. But ignorance is not bliss. By tacitly giving the military a blank check, issued in the name of securing the homeland, Americans embrace that military, however loosely, and its misuse of violence across significant parts of the planet. Should it be any surprise that a country that kills so wantonly overseas over such a prolonged period would also experience mass shootings and other forms of violence at home?

9. Even as Americans "support our troops" and celebrate them as "heroes," the military itself has taken on a new " warrior ethos " that would once -- in the age of a draft army -- have been contrary to this country's citizen-soldier tradition , especially as articulated and exhibited by the "greatest generation" during World War II.

What these nine items add up to is a paradigm shift as well as a change in the zeitgeist. The U.S. military is no longer a tool that a democracy funds and uses reluctantly. It's become an alleged force for good, a virtuous entity, a band of brothers (and sisters), America's foremost missionaries overseas and most lovable and admired heroes at home. This embrace of the military is precisely what I would call soft militarism. Jackbooted troops may not be marching in our streets, but they increasingly seem to be marching unopposed through -- and occupying -- our minds.

The Decay of Democracy

As Americans embrace the military, less violent policy options are downplayed or disregarded. Consider the State Department, America's diplomatic corps, now a tiny , increasingly defunded branch of the Pentagon led by Mike Pompeo (celebrated by Donald Trump as a tremendous leader because he did well at West Point). Consider President Trump as well, who's been labeled an isolationist, and his stunning inability to truly withdraw troops or end wars. In Syria, U.S. troops were recently redeployed, not withdrawn, not from the region anyway, even as more troops are being sent to Saudi Arabia. In Afghanistan, Trump sent a few thousand more troops in 2017, his own modest version of a mini-surge and they're still there, even as peace negotiations with the Taliban have been abandoned. That decision, in turn, led to a new surge (a " near record high ") in U.S. bombing in that country in September, naturally in the name of advancing peace. The result: yet higher levels of civilian deaths .

How did the U.S. increasingly come to reject diplomacy and democracy for militarism and proto-autocracy? Partly, I think, because of the absence of a military draft. Precisely because military service is voluntary, it can be valorized. It can be elevated as a calling that's uniquely heroic and sacrificial. Even though most troops are drawn from the working class and volunteer for diverse reasons, their motivations and their imperfections can be ignored as politicians praise them to the rooftops. Related to this is the Rambo-like cult of the warrior and warrior ethos , now celebrated as something desirable in America. Such an ethos fits seamlessly with America's generational wars. Unlike conflicted draftees, warriors exist solely to wage war. They are less likely to have the questioning attitude of the citizen-soldier.

Don't get me wrong: reviving the draft isn't the solution; reviving democracy is. We need the active involvement of informed citizens, especially resistance to endless wars and budget-busting spending on American weapons of mass destruction. The true cost of our previously soft (now possibly hardening) militarism isn't seen only in this country's quickening march toward a militarized authoritarianism. It can also be measured in the dead and wounded from our wars, including the dead, wounded , and displaced in distant lands. It can be seen as well in the rise of increasingly well-armed, self-avowed nationalists domestically who promise solutions via walls and weapons and "good guys" with guns. ("Shoot them in the legs," Trump is alleged to have said about immigrants crossing America's southern border illegally.)

Democracy shouldn't be about celebrating overlords in uniform. A now-widely accepted belief is that America is more divided, more partisan than ever, approaching perhaps a new civil war , as echoed in the rhetoric of our current president. Small wonder that inflammatory rhetoric is thriving and the list of this country's enemies lengthening when Americans themselves have so softly yet fervently embraced militarism.

With apologies to the great Roberta Flack , America is killing itself softly with war songs.

hoytmonger , 12 minutes ago link

"Police who deployed explosives and armored vehicles to flush out a man –who'd stolen two belts and a shirt from a Greenwood Village Walmart– from the house of Leo and Alfonsia Lech, are not required to compensate the couple for destroying their home, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday."

https://www.rt.com/usa/472224-police-explode-house-zero-compensation/

charlie_don't_surf , 3 minutes ago link

Those police destroyed a house worth well over 200K since it's in metro Denver...and all to apprehend a punk that shoplifted less than $100 of merchandise...something terribly wrong, all the govt units, local on up are high on the arrogance of power with impunity.

[Oct 31, 2019] Uncovering Russiagate's Origins Could Prevent Future Scandals

This is not a scandal, this is color revolution, a putsch supported by a large part of the USA intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of the Democratic Party.
Notable quotes:
"... And given the intrusion of the nation's intelligence's services into domestic politics, a failure to learn lessons and enact safeguards could leave future candidates, especially on the left, vulnerable to similar investigations . ..."
Oct 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

[Aaron Maté, The Nation ].

"There is no doubt that Donald Trump would like to exact political revenge on those behind the Russia probe, and it is fair to be skeptical of his Department of Justice. But it would be a mistake to reflexively dismiss the inquiry, which is led by US Attorney John Durham and overseen by Attorney General William Barr. The public deserves an accounting of what occurred.

And given the intrusion of the nation's intelligence's services into domestic politics, a failure to learn lessons and enact safeguards could leave future candidates, especially on the left, vulnerable to similar investigations .

And even with this all-consuming investigation now over, we still do not have a firm understanding of how it began." • A lonely voice of reason.

[Oct 30, 2019] It's Not All About the Bidens Why Trump Has Ukraine on the Brain by Lee Smith

Oct 07, 2019 | www.realclearinvestigations.com

The impeachment inquiry Democrats launched last month may ultimately hinge on a simple question: Did President Trump try to force a foreign power (or powers) to help him take down a political opponent, Joe Biden?

But the backdrop of their effort is far more complex and convoluted, connected not just to Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine and related evidence but the three-year war of attrition the Democrats have waged against the president. Their main instrument was the Trump-Russia collusion story that roiled the capital until Special Counsel Robert Mueller pronounced it unfounded. Now they have moved on to one or more "whistleblower" complaints from within the intelligence community .

Given all the focus on nefarious Russia, you could be forgiven for missing the fact that Ukraine was always at the center of the Trump-Russia affair.

Viewed in this light, the Trump-Ukraine quid pro quo bribery narrative must compete with another explanation: Trump's determination to get to the bottom of an underhanded years-long campaign arrayed against him. One of the first things he did after the Mueller report debunked the collusion narrative was to call the Ukranian president and ask him to help do just that.

The impeachment battle is not just about congressional probes and alleged presidential strong-arming, but about the Russiagate narrative. Anti-Trump forces in the government and media are working to vindicate their previous efforts and discredit a forthcoming Justice Department inquiry into the origins of Russiagate by again connecting Trump and a foreign power to a U.S. election.

I've covered the Trump-Russia story for three years. Even before these operations emerged publicly after Trump's 2016 victory, I doubted the pre-election whisper campaign circulating throughout the Washington press corps that held Trump was clandestinely cooperating with Moscow.

First, the idea that Trump had for many years been a Russian ally, even an agent, was hard to believe given that there had been no mention of this during a long career lived entirely in the spotlight. I was especially skeptical of this claim because Trump's business concerns were based largely in the most media-saturated city in the world, and because they involved industries – especially real estate and casinos – that attract the attention of legal authorities.

Family matters: Joe Biden, right, and his son Hunter at a commemoraton for the Vice President's late son late Beau. AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu

Second, candidate Trump's proposed policies toward Russia were similar to those of the Obama administration – and would prove tougher after he was elected – making it hard to see how he was secretly beholden to Moscow.

I was not surprised when the special counsel concluded the story was false. Neither was it surprising, given the amount of money, time, and prestige spent on pushing collusion, to see Russiagate rebooted two weeks ago in the form of a whistleblower's complaint.

So far the basic facts are these: An active, and unnamed, CIA officer alleged that Trump had sought information from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky regarding Biden's involvement in a Ukrainian prosecution possibly involving his son Hunter. In exchange for information that, according to the CIA officer, would assist Trump's 2020 re-election, the president would release military aid to Ukraine.

Although the details are different – no mention this time of hookers and golden showers – the whistleblower's central claim closely resembles the thesis laid out in the anti-Trump dossier compiled by the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, which the FBI used as its roadmap to collusion: That Trump took or solicited dirt on his Democratic opponent from a foreign power in exchange for favors to that country's government.

Once again, much of the media seem to be treating every allegation against Trump as probable fact, while dismissing any questions and concerns as conspiracy theories.

Attorney General William Barr and President Trump: "Our country has been through a lot," Trump told President Zelensky. "They say a lot of it started with Ukraine." AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Although the whistleblower complaint seems to have emerged quickly, it must be viewed in context of the long war against Trump and its numerous elements tied to Ukraine.

Recent interviews with senior sources on Capitol Hill and newly acquired documents show that Ukraine was and continues to be central to the effort to take down Trump.

That's why Trump's most urgent request of the Ukrainian president was to assist Attorney General William Barr in his investigation of the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia probe.

"Our country has been through a lot," Trump told President Zelensky. "They say a lot of it started with Ukraine."

This assertion was not wrong. And yet for all of the foreigners, including Ukrainians, who played roles in Russiagate, this is a story about Americans with the sort of scruples, ambitions, and labyrinthine connections found in a Dostoevsky novel.

Origins of Clinton-Tied Ukraine Dirt-Digging

It is significant, in this time of separate left and right media echo chambers, that an early account of Hillary Clinton campaign efforts to dig up dirt on Team Trump using Ukraine didn't originate on the right: It was a Politico report by Kenneth P. Vogel and David Stern. (A repeat seems unlikely now: Vogel's current employer, the New York Times, has dismissed Trump's claims about Ukraine's role in Russiagate as part of a right-wing conspiracy theory.)

YouTube screen grab/Fox News

The Ukraine story starts no later than March 2016, when Democratic Party operative and Ukrainian-American activist Alexandra Chalupa approached the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington for information on the Trump campaign.

As John Solomon of The Hill newspaper wrote in May, Chalupa asked Ukrainian diplomats for "evidence that Trump, his organization and [campaign manager Paul] Manafort were Russian assets, working to hurt the U.S. and working with Putin against the U.S. interests."

Chalupa emailed Democratic National Committee officials that she was briefing U.S. media on Manafort's work in Ukraine. One of the journalists was Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News, who would later publish one of the key stories advancing the collusion narrative.

Ukraine's ambassador to Washington told Solomon that Chalupa wanted to approach a member of Congress to initiate hearings on Manafort or arrange for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to comment on Manafort's alleged Kremlin ties during a visit to Washington.

Keep that in mind when Democrats and their media allies routinely suggest it is treasonous to seek foreign aid during an election.

Viktor Yanukovych: close to Paul Manafort. Also, to Joe Biden. Also, to an ally whose energy firm hired Hunter Biden. AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File

As Chalupa was pursuing these channels, the Clinton campaign stepped up its efforts to find foreign dirt on Trump by hiring the Washington, D.C., firm Fusion GPS that March to compile and distribute opposition research on Trump. One of the company's co-founders, Glenn Simpson, was a former Wall Street Journal reporter who had written several articles about Manafort's work for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

In a 2007 article, Simpson wrote that Yanukovych "favors closer ties with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's administration."

That view would inform much of the operation to come. It would use Manafort's close ties to Yanukovych as the kernel of truth from which grew the vast Russiagate conspiracy.

Fusion GPS's most infamous work product was the Steele dossier. But, as I report in my forthcoming book, "The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History," Simpson's organization compiled at least two separate opposition research documents on Manafort and his Ukraine business, which it shared with journalists starting in spring 2016.

From one of at least two dossiers on Paul Manafort and Ukraine circulated by Fusion GPS.

One is an eight-page document titled "Paul Manafort – Ukraine and Lichtenstein," the other is nine pages, titled "UPDATE – Paul Manafort." Links to Ukrainian- and Russian-language Internet portals show that the research was compiled by someone who knew the languages. In October 2015, Fusion GPS had brought on former Russian history professor Nellie Ohr for Trump-Russia research. Ohr's husband, top Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, would later help spread Clinton-financed opposition research to the federal government, helping prompt the Trump/Russia collusion probe.

The documents reference flight records, travel documents, and business agreements while noting Manafort's relationships with several Ukrainian officials, including Yanukovych's chief of staff, and oligarchs such as Clinton Foundation donor Victor Pinchuk, described as a "Yanukovych booster."

Without evidence, one of the dossiers alleges that "the Russian government played a leading role in promoting the Yanukovych presidency and Manafort worked closely with several Russians during his time in Ukraine."

The other makes the speculative, if ominious-sounding, claim that "Manafort's newfound role as campaign manager to Trump could offer Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin a new way to exert influence on Trump."

Driving the Manafort-Yanukovych Narrative

Even as Clinton operatives sought the help of Ukrainian officials, they and their allies in the press routinely mischaracterized Yanukovych as pro-Putin, advancing the Russia collusion narrative.

Biden at a Kyiv memorial to protesters, 2014: Later his son Hunter was hired by an ally of the just-exiled President, questionably tarred by Clinton operatives as a Putin stooge. AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Ukraine is a buffer state, caught between European neighbors to the west and Russia to the east. Its challenge is to balance the two against each other. Failure to do so is apt to lead to conflict, such as the present war between the Kyiv government and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

After Yanukovych became president in 2010, Manafort recommended that he draw closer to the European Union with a trade deal. Putin saw that as a threat, and gave Yanukovych a choice between crippling economic measures and a $15 billion aid package.

Ultimately, Yanukovych rejected Manafort's advice, bowing to Putin in late 2013, touching off protests in the Ukrainian capital that led to deadly violence.

That turmoil started a new chapter in U.S.-Ukraine relations as the Obama White House made then Vice President Joe Biden the point man on the issue.

Biden had known Yanukovych since 2009 and spoke with him frequently during the crisis.

The Obama administration, however, had little confidence in Yanukovych. State Department officials on the ground the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, including Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland scrambled to piece together a coalition government. Yanukovych fled his country for sanctuary in Russia in February 2014, just days after his final phone call with Biden, when government snipers killed at least 88 protesters in the capital.

In April 2014, Biden traveled to Kyiv with a small economic aid package, and warned the Ukrainians to rein in corruption. A month later, his son Hunter was named to the board of Burisma, one of Ukraine's largest independent energy companies. Although he had no experience in the energy sector, Hunter was paid as much as $50,000 a month for his services.

Here's where the politics get even more interesting. Burisma's owner was not a reformer, but an ally of the just-exiled Yanukovych, having served as his minister of natural resources. Despite the Biden family's financial relationship with the Yanukovych circle, Clinton operatives painted Manafort's association with Yanukovych as evidence of the Trump campaign's pro-Putin sentiments.

In a three-day period at the end of April 2016, for instance, Slate, the Washington Post and Guardian all published articles alleging that Manafort's work for Yanukovych showed the Trump team was close to Russia.

This is another reminder of the double-standard that has driven so much media coverage: the eagerness to buy Clinton's spin on Manafort and then connect Trump to it all while dismissing Biden's clear conflicts.

Clinton Operative Alleges a Ukrainian-Related Quid Pro Quo

Indeed, Manafort's relationship with Yanukovych became a keystone of the Trump-Russia narrative. A July 18, 2016 Washington Post article , for example, cited it before reporting new "evidence" that the campaign was cozying up to Putin.

Paul Manafort, right, behind Ivanka Trump during a rehearsal at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Next to the future President is Manafort's chief deputy, Rick Gates, later indicted along with his boss. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Trump staffers, according to the article, "stripped out" the Republican National Convention platform's call for giving Ukraine "lethal defensive weapons."

That was inaccurate . One GOP delegate proposed an amendment calling for giving lethal aid to Ukraine. The amendment was toned down by a Trump adviser, changing it to "appropriate assistance." The result was that the amendment was softened but the platform's position on Ukraine was strengthened. In office, the Trump administration, unlike Obama's, sent weapons to Kyiv.

That Post story illustrates the success of the Clinton operation in convincing many media outlets and government agencies to interpret – and misinterpret – the Trump campaign through the lens of Russian collusion. This, in turn, erased skepticism they should have had in assessing the charges leveled for Clinton through Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS.

In a July memo written after the DNC emails had been leaked during the Democrats' convention, Steele alleged that the operation – the hack and the release of the emails – had been orchestrated by the Russians. Then he claimed Moscow had done it with the full knowledge of the Trump campaign. Manafort, Steele falsely claimed, was managing the "well-developed conspiracy" for the Trump side.

Further, Steele claimed, in exchange for the DNC hack and subsequent publication of the emails by WikiLeaks, the Trump team had agreed to sideline Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a campaign issue. This was the Clinton campaign's first allegation of a Ukraine-related quid pro quo. This was also false.

New York Times, Aug. 19, 2016

As Clinton operatives used Ukraine to falsely smear Trump, Manafort's ties to that country threw the Trump campaign into disarray. On Aug. 19, 2016, Manafort resigned as campaign manager following what the New York Times and others described as a wave of stories about his "dealings with Russia-aligned leaders." The Times pushed the larger collusion narrative being spun by Clinton, reporting that the Manafort dismissal "threw a spotlight on a glaring vulnerability for Mr. Trump: his admiration for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia."

The Times story also referenced its earlier article reporting that Manafort received illegal cash payments for his Ukraine work. Manafort denied it.

One source for the Times story was former Ukrainian parliamentarian Serhiy Leshchenko, also referred to in the whistleblower complaint. According to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr , Leshchenko was a source for Fusion GPS as well.

Two years later, in August 2018, Manafort pleaded guilty to tax and bank fraud connected to his work in the Ukraine undertaken years before he joined the Trump campaign.

The Steele-Isikoff Nexus

With Manafort driven from the campaign just two months before the election, Clinton operatives and the FBI zeroed in on another Trump adviser, Carter Page. Once again an alleged Ukraine quid pro quo was at the center of it.

In July, Steele had alleged that Page was one of Manafort's "intermediaries" in the "well-developed conspiracy" between Trump and Russia. The former British spy's second-hand sources claimed that Page had met secretly with a Russian energy executive.

The executive, according to Steele, raised with Page the prospect of U.S.-Russia energy cooperation in exchange for dropping sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014 for invading Ukraine.

Yahoo News

This second Ukraine-related quid pro quo was the subject of Michael Isikoff's Sept. 23 Yahoo News article, based on information from Steele, whom Isikoff describes as an anonymous "Western intelligence source."

A few weeks later, Steele revised his reporting on Page's meeting for a memo dated Oct. 18. The British spy's unnamed sources changed their story, contending that the Trump adviser had been offered a bribe if he convinced Trump to drop Ukraine-related sanctions. In a sign of how deeply the media and FBI had accepted the Russiagate hoax, no one seemed to question that laughably large amount of this alleged bribe – a brokerage fee on a sale of 19% of the Russian oil giant Rosneft, which would have been worth at least tens of millions of dollars.

On Oct. 21, the FBI obtained a warrant to spy on Page. The still heavily redacted warrant shows that Steele's account of Page's meeting with the Russian energy executive to discuss Ukraine sanctions was a key piece of evidence.

As supporting evidence, the bureau used Isikoff's article and two other Ukraine-related news reports. One was the July Washington Post story alleging that the Trump campaign had weakened the party's convention platform. The second article claimed that Trump had softened his support for Ukraine after Page and Manafort joined the campaign.

This is one reason many consider the Steele dossier to be one of the least credible and most successful pieces of opposition research in U.S. history.

Allegations Tie Up Incoming Trump Team

John Brennan: "High confidence" Putin had developed a preference for Trump because of his "Russia-friendly positions" on Ukraine. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Even as Clinton tied Trump to Russia and blamed both for hacks of the DNC servers, the Obama administration downplayed Russian interference in the 2016 election so as not to taint Clinton's widely expected victory. After Trump won, Obama retaliated. In late December, he expelled Russian diplomats, closed their diplomatic facilities, and sanctioned Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) and four of its senior officers.

A document released the following week showed why the administration had targeted the GRU. According to the January 2017 intelligence community assessment of Russia's interference in the 2016 elections, the GRU was behind the DNC hack.

Further, then-CIA director John Brennan's handpicked teams of analysts assessed with "high confidence" that Putin had developed a preference for Trump because of his "Russia-friendly positions" on Ukraine.

Days later, Steele's reports were made public. According to his sources, the DNC hack was part of a quid pro quo regarding Ukraine.

Now the connections between Trump and the Russians were lit up like a string of holiday lights -- Obama had sanctioned the GRU because of the DNC hack, which the Russians engineered on behalf of the Trump campaign in exchange for sidelining Ukraine as a campaign issue.

Robert Mueller, testifying. His report made no mention of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, or Alexandra Chalupa. It discussed Ukraine only in relation to Manafort and Gates. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The operation continued to unfold as the FBI and DoJ pursued their counterintelligence probe of Trump and associates, eventually leading to Mueller's appointment as special counsel.

Mueller's probe focused almost entirely on Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 election and its possible connections to Trump. He and his team displayed no interest in exploring how Clinton operatives had worked with foreign interests to sway the same election.

Still, Mueller's report found no evidence of collusion between the Trump circle and Russian officials. The report makes no mention of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, or Alexandra Chalupa. Leshschenko appears only in a footnote. The report discusses Ukraine only in relation to Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates.

Now, the Ukraine Chapter

But Ukraine's new starring role was still to come. The Intelligence Community's Inspector General relayed the newly disclosed "whistleblower" complaint from the CIA analyst to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during a transitional period. Both DNI Dan Coats and Deputy Director Sue Gordon had just resigned when the whistleblower's complaint reached Acting DNI Joseph Maguire on Aug. 16, his first day on the job.

Previously, the ICIG's whistleblower's form required first-hand knowledge of the reported concern to file a complaint. The updated form , which was "revised after press inquiries" regarding the whistleblower's complaint, eliminated the requirement of first-hand knowledge. The CIA officer's complaint appears to provide only hearsay.

Adam Schiff: Apparently knew of whistleblower complaint before he subpoenaed it. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

In September, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff issued a subpoena to Maguire to produce the complaint. Yet Schiff apparently already knew its contents. More than two weeks earlier, he'd written on Twitter , "Trump is withholding vital military aid to Ukraine, while his personal lawyer seeks help from the Ukraine government to investigate his political opponent." A New York Times story last week reported that Schiff was briefed by an aide on the substance of the whistleblower's complaint before it was filed with the ICIG.

In driving the whistleblower chapter of the Russiagate operation, Schiff reprised the part he played in its earlier chapters. For nearly two years the California congressman filled the media with claims there was more than circumstantial evidence of collusion that would bring down the president.

On Sept. 13, ODNI's general counsel wrote Schiff and other leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees that since the whistleblower's complaint did not deal with intelligence activities or the conduct a member of the intelligence community (i.e., the president is not a member of the IC), it did not find it a matter of urgent concern.

Greg Miller, Washington Post: Whistleblower news was leaked to him and other journalists who earlier shared a Pulitzer Prize relying on similar leaks against Trump about a Russia conspiracy, which proved unfounded. Washington Post

Regardless, the subject matter, Trump's "promise" to a foreign official, was leaked for a Sept. 18 Washington Post story including the bylines of Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima, two of the reporters who in February 2017 received a seminal leak in the Trump-Russia case, regarding a conversation between Trump's erstwhile national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The same political operatives and journalists appear throughout the anti-Trump operation, as do the same themes and even the same language.

The main charge in the whistleblower's complaint – that Trump solicited "interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election" – echoes the title of the Mueller report, "Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election . " The whistleblower's thesis is identical to the dossier's: Trump sought dirt on a political rival regarding Ukraine-related issues on a quid pro quo basis.

The nature of the call to Zelensky so alarmed Trump officials seeking to protect the president, according to the unnamed CIA officer, that they stored the transcript in a secure system usually reserved for programs like covert action. It was a detail contrived to further smear Trump as deceptive, but Trump deputies had begun using the system after his conversations with world leaders were leaked to the press early during the administration.

In February 2017, the Washington Post's Miller had the lead byline on a story based on leaks of Trump's conversations with Australia's prime minister and Mexico's president. Six months later, the Post published the entire transcripts of both conversations in another Miller story.

It was through such national security correspondents that anti-Trump sources -- intelligence officials -- pushed leaks of classified information and other tidbits intended to damage Trump into the media. There it merged with other anti-Trump currents in nearly every corner of the press, where it blossomed into Russiagate.

After a nearly two-year investigation, the special counsel found no evidence of collusion. But given the scale of the damage done to the public sphere, clearly something had happened. Among other things, the FBI had put a presidential campaign under surveillance.

It was logical that Trump, and millions of other Americans, wanted to know the origins of the Russia probe and that the investigative work would be taken up by the Department of Justice. Since DoJ and FBI officials at the highest levels were implicated, it was natural that the attorney general himself would have a hand in the investigation.

Thus the panicked clamor coursing through the press at present is not about Joe Biden or his son or Trump's alleged commerce with foreign powers. Rather, it is the fear that the Russiagate bubble is likely to burst. And the fear that none of the reporters, intelligence officials, and political operatives responsible for pushing the largest and most destructive conspiracy theory in American history will escape the ruin.

[Oct 30, 2019] Mittens, the Deep State, and the Ongoing Coup Against POTUS

Oct 30, 2019 | www.redstate.com

Recently, one of my email pals sent me an incredible opinion piece from Howell Woltz at The International Centre for Justice, in Warsaw, Poland. He is the author of " Justice Denied: The United States vs. the People," a very interesting book about the US justice system and federal prisons and the need for some serious reform. Occasionally, an opinion piece is so profound that it simply MUST be disseminated to a much wider audience than a simple blog post. This is one of such article. In this commentary, he opines on the DoJ/FBI cabal's ongoing coup against POTUS while explaining some key connections among John Brennan , Mitt Romney, Cofer Black, Burisma Holdings (Ukraine), Bararck Obama, Hillary Clinton, and all the rest. It fills in a lot of gaps and explains much about what is going on with respect to the Ukraine kerfuffle.

While I can't vouch for the veracity of all the claims here, this just rings true to me and connects a lot of very interesting dots. As usual, I caution you to "trust but verify." If nothing else, it serves as a departure point for your own dot-connecting activities. The more independent analysis is conducted by all, the clearer picture becomes over time. These are some extended excerpts from Woltz's opinion piece. More than a few light bulbs may be turned on for you after reading this. Note: this article was published on 8 October, so keep this in mind as you read it.

Donald J. Trump is not a RINO or DC insider. He's a tough-guy billionaire from Queens, New York and a street-fighter. When the Democrats realised last week that Trump was actually heading up his own investigation rather than leaving it to their Deep State apparatchiks -- and doing so directly with the leaders of Ukraine, Australia, and Italy (and perhaps the U.K.) -- they did the political equivalent of starting a fire in a theatre. House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, announced impeachment proceedings against the president just three hours after stating in a speech that she would not. Speaker Pelosi had zero evidence, cause, stated reason and lacked the required vote of the House of Representatives to do so, but announced it anyway.

Strangely enough and what caught my attention Mitt Romney jumped on the "Impeach Trump" train that same day. How did Nancy go from "There will be no impeachment proceedings," that morning in New York to announcing impeachment proceedings that afternoon when she got back to Washington, DC? Meet the Grand Master of the Deep State in America. Admitted Communist, John Brennan, who has some serious explaining to do now that his attempted coup of U.S. President Donald Trump has been exposed and continues! So why did Romney want to shut down any investigation of Ukraine's role as well? That's the question that got this investigation started and it's shocking.

Romney's National Security Advisor, Joseph Cofer Black, sits on the Board of the same Burisma Holdings that was being investigated for corruption back in 2014, and the Vice President and Obama Administration demanded be shut down. Why? Because Burisma was/is their vehicle for corrupt practices in Eastern Europe. And CIA Director, John Brennan's 9/11 Deep State partner, Cofer Black, is still the link to all that goes on there. In fact, I can state unequivocally that Burisma is the centre of Ukraine corruption and the Democrats' shadow organisation for corrupt activities. I live in Eastern Europe (Poland) and my sources are first-hand. And I know this matters greatly to Mitt Romney as he is not yet done with politics. If Black is busted, it will reflect on Romney, and it only makes sense that Cofer Black is the Deep State 'plant' in case Romney ever rises above polishing knobs in the U.S. Senate. Romney wants to run for President again in 2024 and if he wins, Cofer Black will be back with his fingers on the strings either as DNI or CIA Chief of Corruption. Burisma Holdings is the hub of U.S. Democrat activities to corrupt both Ukraine and American politics and there is proof. Ukraine President Zelenskyy's win surprised both Brennan and Black's Deep State ops as much as Trump's did in 2016 in America.

So who is this Cofer Black guy? Joseph Cofer Black, joined the CIA in 1974 and rose to be Director of The National Counterterrorism Center, before joining Mitt Romney. If it were not for researching this article, I admit, he was unknown to me as well. What a revelation. Black was also the Head of Counterintelligence who somehow missed the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, though according to The Economist , 16 foreign leaders and heads of intelligence agencies warned him it was not only going to happen but when. Oh well. And nothing was done about Cofer Black for this, indicating this is what the Deep State wanted. But it goes deeper. John Brennan and this guy, Cofer Black, are how 19 terrorists got into the U.S.A. to attack the U.S. on 9/11.

Editor Harry will jump on me or make Nurse Ratched give me a dose of Castor Oil if I say something I can't prove, so I'm just going to quote the CIA whistleblower at the Jeddah, Saudi Arabia CIA staff hearing, who is the source: "According to Freedom Outpost, Brennan was the CIA station chief in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, when the 9/11 hijackers were given visas to travel to the United States. In September 2014, a whistleblower named Greg Ford, a former military intelligence officer, told Ground Zero Radio's Clyde Lewis that the CIA had objections to the approval of those visas but Brennan actually overrode them."

Trending Meghan McCain Asks Confiscatin' Cory Booker: How are You Going to Take Americans' Guns from Them? Good Lord, He Won't Answer Alex Parker

The second in command of the CIA station was directly quoted by the whistleblower as saying, 'No way, absolutely we are not going to stamp those visas.' But CIA Saudi station chief, John Brennan, overrode the officer in charge and ordered the visas to be stamped and issued. They came, they learned to 'take off' an airplane but said they were not interested in 'how to land.' Cofer Black ignored the reports about this strange behaviour, though it was made, I know as a fact, from the people who made it. I was also a Florida-based pilot in 2001.

You know the rest of the story. America lost over 3,000 citizens that day, and I sat for an hour trying to get past the terrorist pilots' apartment in Coral Springs, Florida. Freedom Outpost concluded, "If it weren't for John Brennan, 9/11 may never have happened." I'd add to that, if Cofer Black weren't the head of Counterterrorism, Brennan could not have gotten his men in to do the job. It took (these) two to tango. That's an opinion, not news, but I'll bet money I don't have, that I'm right as it's a no risk bet. These are partners in crime.

"Joseph Cofer Black – the former Director of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center (1999-2002) and Ambassador at Large for counter-terrorism (2002-2004)."

"Mr. Black is an internationally recognized authority on counterterrorism, cyber security, national security, and foreign affairs." (these are quotes from Burisma's website)

Brennan definitely had help in this. These terrorists had to have someone at the highest level in U.S. Counterintelligence to let their mission come to pass and succeed by ignoring all the warnings. They even took their flight training near my home, and I remember being locked down in Coral Springs, FL after 9/11 where they lived for three days while the FBI went through their apartment just a few blocks away. And this is where Romney's man, Joseph Cofer Black, comes in. He was the partner in crime of John Brennan, (the Deep State Master), as well as being Mitt Romney's National Security Advisor. Bad news for Mittens. And Cofer Black is the reason Romney is desperate to have President Trump's real investigation shut down. As Obama's CIA Director, John Brennan was also in charge of the dirty tricks campaign against then-candidate, Donald Trump. All of that has now been uncovered by investigative reporters Gregg Jarrett ( The Russia Hoax) and Peter Schweizer ( Secret Empires) with enough references to satisfy Editor Harry and Nurse Ratched.

Amazingly, the plot was actually laid by the Deep State in 2014 before they even knew Trump would be Hillary's foil in 2016. I found that part pretty amazing. The Ukraine/Russia story was created for whomever was the candidate to run against Hillary Clinton.

For John Brennan, it really didn't matter to him who ran on the Republican side. He just cared that whomever it was, lost to the Deep State's choice – Hillary Clinton. Brennan, Black, James Clapper, James Comey and a host of others were prepared to make sure of it. It was exposed just last week that Brennan flew under a fake passport to avoid detection on his trip to set this up in Eastern Europe as early as 2015. There is no explanation for a CIA Director to do this unless what he was doing was illegal.

Now let's go back to Joseph Cofer Black. He is Romney's Ukraine man, and Brennan's long-time associate who is still covering here in Eastern Europe (from where I am reporting) for the Deep State in America. Brennan came back Stateside from the Saudi Arabian CIA office the year after arranging for the 9/11 attackers to get into America. So what did he do? He took over CIA Counterintelligence from his partner, Cofer Black. Convenient, eh? The Counterintelligence guy who 'missed' the 16 warnings on 9/11, and the guy who granted the attackers visas to get into the U.S. to take pilot training and do it, swap jobs, perhaps to prevent detection? Well it worked until now.

And history repeats. The tag team is back at it. Barack Obama chose (or was told) to make John Brennan his CIA Director. Brennan then sets up the Russian hoax through the Ukraine government and intel operatives covertly in 2015 to target any candidate who might face Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Once Trump became the Republican candidate, President Obama authorised illegal spying on Trump's campaign, we now know, because it was labeled a 'counterintelligence operation' which can only be authorised by a President.

The script for the Ukraine/Russia hoax was actually written back in 2007 to use against Republican candidate, John McCain. It was temporarily deployed but then shut down and recycled when it was clear RINO McCain would get his ass handed to him by Obama in 2008 without CIA involvement.. So, Brennan decided to use the script in 2016. The Republican's candidate would be targeted using the same plan, according to one of Obama's own secret service agents, now author, Dan Bongino, in his new book, Exonerated (just out last week).

The original script was written by Fusion GPS owner, Glenn Simpson. That's the same man and company who would be paid $12 million by the Clinton Campaign, The Democrat National Committee and the FBI in 2016 for "the Steele dossier" that caused the Russia Hoax against Trump -- though actually written years earlier. Glenn Simpson simply changed the names.

Unfortunately, there was a problem. Socialist Bernie Sanders was leading the Democrats side over the Chosen, Hillary, and had to be eliminated. To achieve this, the Clintons literally did a forced takeover of The Democrat National Committee and its funds. They immediately cut off Hillary's rival, Bernie Sander's campaign (as admitted by former DNC Director, Donna Brazille, on television) eliminating Bernie from the race.

John Brennan then began leaking the 'dossier' to Congressional Democrats, including then-[Senate Minority Leader], Harry Reid and their media co-conspirators to begin the take down of the Republican candidate, Donald J. Trump. Ironically, Brennan also leaked the fake dossier to Sen. John McCain, it's original target, and McCain leaked it back to its original source -- the FBI -- to apply for warrants to spy on Trump using their own laundered information. The FBI literally paid for the fabricated information, leaked it to the media and politicians who hated Trump, then used their reports and that dossier when fed back to them, to get warrants to spy on Trump. But then the kimchee hits the fan for real. Trump gets elected! So, who jumps over to Ukraine to protect the conspiracy from being found out? Brennan's 9/11 partner, Joseph Cofer Black

Within days of Trump's inauguration was immediately put in place in Ukraine to prevent anyone from talking. The Board of Burisma Holdings -- the same centre of Ukraine corruption used by Joe Biden in 2014 to enrich his kid -- was the base from which to shield the Democrat origins of the Russia Hoax and its intel roots from any real investigation.

By February of 2017, Cofer Black was a voting member of the Board of Burisma. You'll hear the screams around the world this week as the democrats realise that Trump has taken this investigation on personally rather than leaving it to the deep state vermin. It's all starting to fit together now, isn't it? So, here's what to expect.

Yes. There will be wailing a-plenty and gnashing of teeth over coming days, and this is the point where the president's security needs to be at an all-time high, cause The Deep State is spinning out of control and desperate. If the new leaders of the nations that aided Brennan, Black and the Dems -- all of whom are admirers of POTUS -- have investigated the crimes of their predecessors as Trump asked, he likely has the evidence on his desk rather than having it hidden by the Deep State criminals.

This past Friday, it became known that President Trump had not only launched his own investigation with foreign leaders into the 2016 Election tampering, but that it was almost complete. As soon as that happened, the freak-out began. At 65 years of age, I've not seen one quite like it. The Deep State was and is in paroxysms of unmitigated fear and psychosis. They ramped up an immediate media assault using the usual outlets -- CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and Washington Post -- and the same exact leak specialists who put America through The Russia Hoax.

The media spectacle on Friday past was immediately followed with a sua sponte announcement by Speaker Pelosi that she was impeaching the President -- a power she does not possess no matter how many cocktails she's had. A completely false narrative was spun of what was said in President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, knowing Trump would never allow them to have a copy of the classified transcript to disprove their lies. But guess what? Within 24 hours, in another act of unprecedented transparency The Donald did just that. He released the full, unredacted transcript of the call, publicly proving them all to be Pinocchios. And I just watched his Attorney, Rudy Giuliani, announce that he is drafting a lawsuit to file against those who lied about his client, Donald Trump -- another unprecedented event to my knowledge.

[Oct 29, 2019] Asia Times China's financial threat to the 2020 US election Article

Oct 29, 2019 | www.asiatimes.com
Henry 4 days ago ,

The author seems to be writing an interesting fiction, reminds one of a Hollywood movie about a Russian oligarch at the behest of a senior Russian government official, attempting to engineer wall street crash.

Taking out a newspaper advertisement with proper representation to state one's case can't be compared with the US funded National Endowment for Democracy's funding of Hong Kong's increasingly violent rioting.

tinhatter Henry 4 days ago ,

Is the NED something like the China's interference in the NBA ?

Henry tinhatter 4 days ago ,

This is like apple and orange, not comparable. China did not interfere in NBA's affairs, just reacting to her citizens uproar against the infamous now deleted tweet. Thus many Chinese Chinese sponsors pulled out. This is no different to sponsors pulling out of US athletes endorsements from time to time when there are scandals.
Whereas NED is US intelligence cover for interference in targeted countries like Ukraine, Venezuela, Iran and many Islamic countries around the world, to advance US political agenda.

tinhatter daggo77 4 days ago ,

And in breaking news. 39 Britons have been found dead in a container trying to be smuggled fromt eh failed UK state to the successful state run by the CCP.
Did I get that the right-way round ?

Mustafa 4 days ago ,

Who is this guy? Does he think this is CNN?

Is he smoking a heretofore unheard of narcotic?

Let me set the stage.

This is a paper or news site about asia. It is written in English? What does this tell you? The audience ostensibly consists of westerners (or educated people from asia or elsewhere) who want to read an alternative to the drivel and rubbish that's propagated in copious quantities by the scat factories of the west and their zionist-oligarch dominated news conglomerates...

Who is interfering in elections? Does china name some loser guaido as president of venezuela or support terrorists in syria? Is china sanctioning (with financial warfare)the whole world including their own allies? You must have no modicum of shame to come up with this absolute smorgasbord of rancid festering bollocks that you think is befitting of "reporting." You are bettet off taking a sabbatical and never coming back... i would tell you all of this to your face with the utmost respect that i could muster before i vomited...

Presidents come and go... the empire, deep state bureaucrats, and their slavish dual-state minions such as yourself will march on no matter what until your rotten seed perpetuate the corruption and degeneracy passed down through your genes. That xyz is president makes zero difference in deterring the momentum of evil that lurks within the diseased sociopaths such as yourself.

You are an unmitigated disgrace to true journalism and do a grave disservice to this site's reputation.

pooi-hoong chan Mustafa 4 days ago ,

Bill Gertz is not a journalist. He is a bullshitter. He constantly spews out lies, fake news, propaganda and BS against China.

M Henri Day pooi-hoong chan 2 days ago ,

"Bill Gertz is not a journalist. He is a bullshitter." Alas, pooi-hong chan, these two professions are in many cases equivalent....

Henri

AsianInvestor Mustafa 4 days ago • edited ,

CIA uses fake identities for the propaganda articles. If a nation is building close ties with China, automatically an author with a name from that nation appears. They also have groups posting propaganda under a single fake name. There are only a few genuine Asian CIA hacks making a living off the CIA.

USA is heading for multiple recessions possibly a depression unless they change their current anti China policies.

Bianca AsianInvestor 4 days ago ,

In fact, in military, fake identities for information warfare are assigned to one person, so that it multiplies the effect. To keep track of these "personas" per each real person, and their postings -- a "persona" data bases are needed to keep track of their activities. And unfortunately , there are always some technicians who are more then happy to talk about it.

Deuxieme Bianca 4 days ago ,

Yes. just google Operation Earnest Voice. It's a project by Pentagon that let one person control several of these "personas"

Mustafa AsianInvestor 4 days ago ,

It would not surprise me if he worked for the CIA... this organization is, by its mission, embedded into all public spheres...

What is worrisome is that the cia has no accountability to anyone. It is one great example of deep state operator. Also, cia is heavily infiltrated by mossad. In other words, cia is a parallel drug traffickers organization that dabbles in news, democracy promotion, torture, coups, blackmail, assasibation, rendition...

It is accountable to no one ... their actions are conducted in secrecy and cannot be scrutinized... the president can't control them... these organizations are a manifest example of why this article is a huge fallacy dressed up in cured excrement.

Huashen 4 days ago • edited ,

These people are outrageously shameless in their assertion that they can openly interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, like the recent bills passed by the US House of Representatives in support of the Blackshirts of HK, but they would not brook any interference from China in their election, not that it's true at all.
This is a good example of how the US apply its Orwellian ideology of "American Exceptionalism" - "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" - George Orwell's "Animal Farm."

Lee Sky 4 days ago ,

Another guy cashing in on the evil China fad, pathetic. It is the US who conducts financial warfare by imposing illegal sanctions and restrictions on other countries using the dominance of the dollar in international trade.

Bianca 4 days ago ,

If it is so easy to have a country's financial system snd stock markets manipulated -- how do know that our own financial sharks are not already manipulating market to enrich them selves , while making it appear that everything is fine? Or that they are not crashing markets in order to profit?
There is something not right about a country with financial and market systems living off the fumes of news cycle?

Look at how many times West attacked Russian financial systems
and markets, blocking whole companies and financial institutions -- yet nothing crashed. Currency lost some value helping exports, while those earning in dollars simply had more money to spend domestically. And by placing sanctions kn European food products -- they shot up to the first place globally in wheat production.

I am wondering if the difference is Russia's large currency and gold reserves. As opposed US economy that sits atop a large debt bubble? Than anything can spook it.

Deuxieme 4 days ago • edited ,

Bill Gertz is running out of stuff to bad mouth China. He is eager to make some money now that he's been fired by Washington Free Beacon for having some shady deals with the Chinese billionaire fugitive Guo who is the subject covered in his reporting.
Maybe Gertz can tell us who China wants to be elected by staging these financial influence campaign? Gertz is sounding utterly ridiculous now.

Bapa aku 4 days ago ,

american are losers, foreign influence here and there, well thanks to your own foreign policies bombing here and there and regime change everywhere, you sow what you get. if you don't want foreign influence. just build a great wall and extend it to these. not only no 5G, ditch all comunications including mail

Bobserver 4 days ago • edited ,

This is a nonsense article. Lots of hypotheticals with no proof presented of China's intention or cases of actually trying to influence any American election.

This is more how Western countries behave with their Machivellian modus operandi overthrowing governments in Eastern Europe, Latin America, etc. This author and American officials are merely voicing what the USA is already capable of doing rather than what China has in place.

In fact there is a debate among Chinese officials and think tanks that they might want Trump to have a second term because as the USA p@sses off many countries including those allied with the USA that might help China down the line.

Bianca 4 days ago ,

Wait a minute -- Russia wants Trump to be reelected, and China wants him to lose?

With US creating legislation for the whole world -- our sanctions whose enforcement is imposed in others -- means that other people must have the right to elect the president? How can the world accept such financial burden on others with no right to vote.

Remember America next time you vote for sanctions, tariffs etc. -- no taxation without representation. Global presidents must be elected globally!

MD6888 4 days ago ,

Bill Gertz is a Washington-based national security journalist and author of Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China's Drive for Global Supremacy

007's imaginary script writer. LOL!

Alex 4 days ago ,

There's no need for the Chinese to rely on 'covert' operation to influence the election's outcome. For instance, if China just cancels the buying of the agricultural goods from the US that it has dealt with Trump in what is being called the partial deal from the trade war, it would be already enough to influence in the election. Lol!

[Oct 29, 2019] The New York Times itself is part of the Deep State it initially denied and now wholeheartedly supports

Notable quotes:
"... Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA. ..."
"... The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both ..."
"... It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies. ..."
"... They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people. ..."
"... They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer. ..."
Oct 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Oct 28 2019 21:51 utc | 75

I'm sure I'm not the only person here who sees the headlines B has linked to and other NYT headlines (and some of the actual articles themselves, if I have the time and patience to read them) and realised that The New York Times itself is part of the Deep State it initially denied and now wholeheartedly supports. Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA.
Arthur , Oct 28 2019 17:22 utc | 14
The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both.

It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies.

They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people.

They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer.

[Oct 28, 2019] Expert Panel Finds Gaping Plot-Holes In OPCW Report On Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
This implicates State Department in the attempt to run a false flag operation. If we add that the State Department is the key organization behind for color revolution against Trump that picture becomes even more disturbing. This is really a neocon vipers nest.
Notable quotes:
"... This was because the public had already been shown that highly suspicious chemical attacks tended to happen when the Trump administration begins pushing for a reversal of standing US Syria policy, as I noted in April 2017 immediately following the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun. ..."
"... "I was able to predict Douma in 2018 because it happened already almost exactly 1 year prior, at Khan Shaykhun, April 4, 2017," Cox told me on Twitter earlier today. ..."
"... And, like clockwork, on April 7 2018 dozens of civilians in Douma were killed in an incident which was quickly reported as a Syrian government chemical attack by all the usual establishment narrative managers on Syria , with everyone from the White Helmets to Charles Lister to Eliot Higgins to Julian Röpcke loudly flagging it on social media to draw the attention of mainstream news outlets who were slower to pick up the story. ..."
"... Long before any investigation into this suspicious incident could even be begun, much less completed, the US State Department declared it to have been a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government, saying "the Assad regime must be held accountable", and that Russia "ultimately bears responsibility" for the attack. Which was of course mighty convenient for US geostrategic interests. ..."
"... On the 14th of April 2018, the US, UK and France launched an airstrike on the Syrian government as punishment for using chemical weapons, citing secret "intelligence" which the US government claimed gave them "very high confidence that Syria was responsible." The public has to this day never been permitted to see this intelligence. This all happened before any formal international investigation could take place. ..."
"... The OPCW conducted their investigation, and in July 2018 published an interim report saying that "no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties." This ruled out sarin gas, invalidating earlier reports by Syria war pundits like Charles Lister who claimed that sarin had been used, but it didn't rule out chlorine gas. In March of this year the OPCW issued its final report saying forensics were consistent with chlorine gas use and advancing a ballistics report which strongly implicated the Assad government by implying it was an aerial drop (Syrian opposition militias have no air force). The official Twitter account for the UK Delegation to the OPCW tweeted at the time that the report "confirms chemical weapons used, demonstrating the vital importance of OPCW's work. This confirmed chlorine attack was only the latest example of Asad regime's CW attacks on its own population." ..."
"... In May of this year, a leaked internal document from the OPCW investigation was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which completely contradicts the findings of the official report published in March. The leaked Engineering Assessment said that "observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest there is a higher probability both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft," which would implicate the forces on the ground in the incident rather than the Assad government. ..."
"... The OPCW indirectly confirmed the document's authenticity by telling the press that its release had been "unauthorised". Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre published an excellent thread breaking down how the document invalidates the OPCW's claims which you can read by clicking here . Establishment narrative managers had a very difficult time spinning the fact that the OPCW had taken it upon itself to hide findings from the public which dissented from its official report on an incident which preceded an international act of war upon a sovereign nation, and all the implications that necessarily has for the legitimacy of the organization's other work. ..."
"... "Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion ." ..."
"... "The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing. " ..."
"... "The interpretation of the environmental analysis results is equally questionable. Many, if not all, of the so-called 'smoking gun' chlorinated organic chemicals claimed to be not naturally present in the environment' (para 2.6) are in fact ubiquitous in the background, either naturally or anthropogenically (wood preservatives, chlorinated water supplies etc). The report, in fact, acknowledges this in Annex 4 para 7, even stating the importance of gathering control samples to measure the background for such chlorinated organic derivatives. Yet, no analysis results for these same control samples (Annex 5), which inspectors on the ground would have gone to great lengths to gather, were reported." ..."
"... "One alternative ascribing the origin of the crater to an explosive device was considered briefly but, despite an almost identical crater (understood to have resulted from a mortar penetrating the roof) being observed on an adjacent rooftop, was dismissed because of ' the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristics'. In contrast, explosive fragmentation characteristics were noted in the leaked study ." ..."
"... "Contrary to what has been publicly stated by the Director General of the OPCW it was evident to the panel that many of the inspectors in the Douma investigation were not involved or consulted in the post-deployment phase or had any contribution to, or knowledge of the content of the final report until it was made public . The panel is particularly troubled by organisational efforts to obfuscate and prevent inspectors from raising legitimate concerns about possible malpractices surrounding the Douma investigation." ..."
Oct 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The Courage Foundation , an international protection and advocacy group for whistleblowers, has published the findings of a panel it convened last week on the extremely suspicious behavior of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in its investigation of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria last year. After hearing an extensive presentation from a member of the OPCW's Douma investigation team, the panel's members (including a world-renowned former OPCW Director General) report that they are "unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018."

I'll get to the panel and its findings in a moment, but first I should provide some historical background so that readers who aren't intimately familiar with this ongoing scandal can fully appreciate the significance of this new development.

In late March of last year, President Trump publicly stated that the US military would soon be withdrawing troops from Syria, causing some with an ear to the ground like independent US congressional candidate Steve Cox to predict that there would shortly be a false flag chemical weapons attack in that nation. This was because the public had already been shown that highly suspicious chemical attacks tended to happen when the Trump administration begins pushing for a reversal of standing US Syria policy, as I noted in April 2017 immediately following the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun.

"I was able to predict Douma in 2018 because it happened already almost exactly 1 year prior, at Khan Shaykhun, April 4, 2017," Cox told me on Twitter earlier today.

"Khan Shaykhun also occurred within days of the Trump Admin saying we're leaving Syria."

And, like clockwork, on April 7 2018 dozens of civilians in Douma were killed in an incident which was quickly reported as a Syrian government chemical attack by all the usual establishment narrative managers on Syria , with everyone from the White Helmets to Charles Lister to Eliot Higgins to Julian Röpcke loudly flagging it on social media to draw the attention of mainstream news outlets who were slower to pick up the story.

There was immediate skepticism, partly because acclaimed journalists like Sy Hersh have been highlighting plot holes in the official story about chemical weapons in Syria since 2013, partly because Assad would stand nothing to gain and everything to lose by using a banned yet highly ineffective weapon in a battle he'd already essentially won in that region, and partly because the people controlling things on the ground in Douma were the Al Qaeda-linked extremist group Jaysh-al Islam and the incredibly shady narrative management operation known as the White Helmets. Those groups, unlike the Assad government, most certainly would stand everything to gain by staging a chemical attack in the desperate hope that it would draw NATO powers into attacking the Syrian government and perhaps saving their necks.

Long before any investigation into this suspicious incident could even be begun, much less completed,