May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous
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.”
"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
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
The National Security State is an ideology and practice of the USA elite, closely connected
with the idea of the rule of the
Complex, and especially three-letter agencies ("Trumanites" because of our 33rd president's
role in founding the CIA, the modern Defense Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National
Security Agency). It is somewhat different from national socialist idea as it is married to neoliberalism
and does not included the decisive influence of the state in economic sphere.
Under neoliberalism society has become increasingly militarized, meaning that as most aspects
of the social-democratic state (New Deal state) are eliminated, a police state is rising in its place.
All problems that in the past were seen as social problems, and hence required social solutions, now
acquire police solutions.
Moreover intelligence services became Praetorian Guard of neoliberal elite that is in power and that
completely changed the nature of governance in the USA.
Now there is a country within the country in the USA. It can be called "Classified America". It has population of around 5
million people and controls the other 320 million. Almost 5 million people is more more then 1% of population. And now it become a
formidable political force that strives to become a kingmaker. much like Praetorian Guard in ancient Role it is clearly out of
control of elected government and has its own, sometimes nefarious agenda. All-in-all this is the fastest growing part of
In economic sphere deregulation (economic liberalism or neoliberalism) produce social conflict, which
at some point can not be masked by neoliberal demagogy ("shareholder value", "stakeholder participation"
and other neoliberal crap). At some point it requires police methods of suppression of dissent. As the state now represents interest only of the top 0.1% population,
economic and political spheres became merged under authoritarian rule of financial oligarchy, not unlike
the USSR under bolshevism with the only difference that until 1970th "nomenklatura" was more aligned with the interests
of the society then financial oligarchy. Later it became detached form that interest of lower 80% of population, adopted neoliberal
ideology, became turncoats and facilitated dissolution of the USSR privatizing its wealth in the process.
Under leoliberalism, which established itself in the USA since late 70th, tax laws, inheritance rules, status to trade unions,
door" regulations (which highly correlates with the degree of corruption of the society)
became political decisions favoring neoliberal elite at the expence of common sitizents. To hide this requires constant brainwashing of the population and instilling
fear using external threat. that's where intelligence agancies come handy as they by-and-large control key journalists and key MSM.
For example Washington Post for a long time was called "voice of CIA" even in the US establishment.
Since 9/11 terrorism is used as a smoke screen to hide the warts of neoliberalism and facilitate the transition of state into
nationa security state. Adoption of Patriot Act and resulting hypertrophied growth of intelligence agencies in the USA are just a
tip of the iceberg. In reality the situation became pretty much Orwellian with Intelligence agencies as a ne Big Brother and
the war between Oceania
(USA and NATO vassals) and Eurasia (Russia and China) in the Orwell's famous novel 1984, It is clear that the war with terrorism
launched what can be called "permanent war for permanent peace". The level of rampant militarism
in the USA now is close to what we observe in typical neo-fascist movements, especially under Trump (Fascism
- Wikipedia ):
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
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.
Fascists believe that
is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a
as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.
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.Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political
violence, war, and imperialism
as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.
Fascists advocate a mixed
economy, with the principal goal of achieving
interventionist economic policies.
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
by political opponents. The descriptions
are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far right with ideologies similar
to, or rooted in, 20th century fascist movements.
Paradoxially intelligence agencies and Pentagon can't live peacefully with each other and struggle for power. That why
intelligence agencies launched a
color revolution against Trump, who can be viewed as the Presidential Candidate of Pentagon. After coming to power Trump
introduced several new measures which represent the idea of "national neoliberalism". He explicitly wants to use the power of the US
to bully all nations. Those who behave against the USA wishes have sanction imposed and are threatened with war.
In this mutation of neoliberalism as a social system US intelligence apparatus and military establishment are raised to the level
above and beyond civilian control and become a somewhat autonomous system, a hidden government of the
USA. The Deep state as it is now called. For example intelligence againces now
strive and de facto achieved the role of king maker for the most top positions in the USA government. And, if necessary, can
act as a king remover (JFK assassination is a nice example here; CIA fingerprints are all over the place,
but nobody from CIA went to jail for this: "mission accomplished").
The colossal budget with juicy cost-plus contracts of affiliated private companies gives intelligence agencies and Pentagon not only tremendous power, but also
create vested ideological and financial interests. Wars became necessary for maintaining the level of those budgets. Existence of
the "country-scapegoat" is important too for projecting on it all evil that happens within the USA under neoliberalism and blowbacks
from neoliberal foreign policy. For example,
for the moment of its creation, due to Allen Dulles background CIA was aligned with the interests of
There no real overseeing of three letter agencies from neither executive branch, not from
the Congress, nor from the Supreme Court. But the reverse is not true. In a way they now strive to serve as a surrogate king. In other words,
instead of the servant of the state intelligence agencies became the master. Tail wags the dog. This phenomenon is not
limited to the USA. The same hijacking of executive, parliamentarian and judicial braches of govern
happened in other countries. A very interesting example provides the USSR: it was actually betrayal
of KGB brass, who switched side and decided to privatize the country, that was the key factor tthat led to the dissolution of the USSR.
The key "three letter agencies" (CIA,
DOD, NSA, FBI) were established by the National Security Act of 1947, signed in September 18,
1947 by President Harry S. Truman. This year can be considered as the year when National Security State
was born and probably should be celebrated accordingly instead of old-fashioned Independence Day.
Very little was preserved from the "old republic" after this transformation of the USA.
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
traits of neo-fascist regimes probably around a half are applicable to the national security state.
After 9/11, Bush government's behavior and especially appeals to public clearly resonate with the
proto-fascist "... uber alles" ideas ("America is an exceptional nation"). As an amazing example of doublespeak Bushists
managed to integrate American exceptionalism into the framework of globalist neoliberal regime (as the
command-and-control center for neoliberal world empire, no less).
Bush government inspired post-9/11
paranoia doesn’t come cheaply, though. Costs were staggering: the military ($682 billion), Homeland
Security (about $60 billion), and 15 intelligence agencies (official figure of combined budget is perhaps
$75 billion; but in reality more then that). The total is probably over a trillion.
Nothing changed under President Obama, which suggests that he is just a figurehead and the
"deep state" is actually in charge. In most
areas the Obama administration was more like Bush II administration, with "change we can believe in" as a smokescreen for
nefarious actions. Obama launched more wars then Bush II too.
In this sense this was the most blatant and the most successful "bait and switch" in the recent political history of the
USA. Later is lightly different form repeated with Trump, who also during election campaign proposed reasonable steps of
improving standard of living of the US population and finishing forign wars, but instance switched sides after election pushing
neoliberal policies at home, and continuing all Bush-Obama wars foreign wars abroad. He also appointed open war hawks into his
administration. The list of neocons in Trumps administration is as long as in Bush II administration and includes people in key
positions such as Haley,
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
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
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
All this helps shed light on Obama's strange and disorienting May 2013 "drone speech" at the National
Defense University in Washington, D.C., in which the president seemed to be speaking not as commander
in chief, but as his own loyal opposition.
In the speech, Obama said things like "Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions,
our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don't need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents
unbound powers." And: "The very precision of drone strikes can also lead a president and his team
to view [them] as a cure-all for terrorism." I remember thinking: "A president"? Which one? Anyone
in particular? Who's in charge here, anyway?
National Security and Double Government suggests that the answer to that last question isn't quite
so obvious, that the "most powerful man in the world" isn't nearly as powerful as he might appear.
It remains the case that Obama had the formal authority to say no to mass surveillance and perpetual
war. But saying no would require resisting enormous bureaucratic and political pressure. And anybody
willing to do what it takes to become president is unlikely to transform himself into a self-denying
Cincinnatus once in office. Political survivors don't jump in front of trains.
While US government spent around $3.67 trillion in 2013, the revenue was just $2.77 trillion. Of
that amount over one trillion went to three-letter agencies and DOD. Now you understand to whom real
power belongs. Moreover the government has to borrow about $900 billion in order to maintain national
security state programs intact. And there are 5 million (yes million) people in the USA with security
clearance and around 3 million with top security clearance. In other words "Welcome to the USSR." or
even Third Reich (actually republican senators opposed Truman initiative due to fear that he replicated
institution of the Third Reich in the USA and only support of powerful Democrats allowed the president
to push the act through the Congress.
But even if it was close to the Third Reich in political effects and its essence, this type of political
structure is different, because it does not rely on mass mobilization. Instead it relied on the power
of "deep state" and mass surveillance as well as passivity of most electorate.
As Paxton describes it (Tracking
Fascism) fascism as just hypertrophied and misguided nationalism, a specific flavor of far right
nationalism. The central emotions in fascism and nationalism are identical. In other words
at the core of fascist emotional mobilization always lies far right nationalism and that is important
distinction with national security state and neoliberalism which are globalist and "imperial"
and does not stress particular nationality as long of the person/group serves empire interests:
...Feelings propel fascism more than thought does. We might call them mobilizing passions, since
they function in fascist movements to recruit followers and in fascist regimes to "weld" the fascist
"tribe" to its leader. The following mobilizing passions are present in fascisms, though they
may sometimes be articulated only implicitly:
The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether
universal or individual.
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.
Dread of the group's decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan
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.
An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces
Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national
chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
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).
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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.
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
proxyinsurgent 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
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
That's how Congress has been ever since the terrorist attacks 11 years ago. "We never got our
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
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
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
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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'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).”
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...
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
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
One can wonder how many of those are applicable to Bush/McCain. What do you think ?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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...
#1 "The majority of people
in developed countries spend at least some time interacting with the Internet, and Governments are
abusing that necessity in secret to extend their powers beyond what is necessary and appropriate."
#2 "...I believe that at
this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable
fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents."
#3 "The government has
granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is
people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to."
#4 "...I can't in good
conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people
around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."
#5 "The NSA has built
an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything."
#6 "With this capability,
the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I
wanted to see your e-mails or your wife's phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your
e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards."
#7 "Any analyst at any
time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere... I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities
to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President..."
#8 "To do that, the NSA
specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them
in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for
periods of time simply because that's the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve
these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government,
or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they are collecting YOUR communications to do so."
#9 "I believe that when
[senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it
did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people
have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from
#10 "...they are intent
on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them."
#11 "Even if you're not
doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded. ...it's getting to the point where you don't
have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody,
even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision
you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis,
to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life."
#12 "Allowing the
U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is
contrary to the public interest."
#13 "Everyone everywhere
now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to
decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state."
#14 "I do not want to
live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to
support or live under."
#15 "I don't want to live
in a world where there's no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."
#16 "I have no intention
of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong."
#17 "I had been looking
for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act."
#18 "There are more important
things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number
of countries and gotten very rich."
#19 "The great fear that
I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People]
won't be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things... And in the
months ahead, the years ahead, it's only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that... because of
the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more
authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose
it. And it will be turnkey tyranny."
#20 "I will be satisfied
if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world
that I love are revealed even for an instant."
#21 "You can't come up
against the world's most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk."
#22 "I know the media
likes to personalize political debates, and I know the government will demonize me."
#23 "We have got a CIA
station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy
for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that
happens to be."
#24 "I understand that
I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks
20190116 : Corporatism is the control of government by big business. This is what we have in the USA today. The main difference between corporatism and fascism is the level of repressions against opposition. Corporatism now tales forma of inverted totalitarism and use ostracism instead of phycal repressions ( Jan 16, 2019 , profile.theguardian.com )
"The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone
associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016
U.S. presidential election. As the report states: `[T]he investigation did not establish that
members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its
election interference activities.' |"
From page one of the Barr letter to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and
Senate Judiciary Committees.
Some call this merely the "end of the beginning." Further revelations will be emerging,
including from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. " J ustice Department
Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed Thursday his office is still investigating
possible abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the DOJ and FBI in their
investigation into President Trump and associates of his 2016 campaign," reported the
Washington Examiner this week.
However, AG Barr's letter retells the tale of Russian Interference in our elections,
according to Mr. Mueller and his team's investigation and indictments. So, the anti-Trump
camp will undoubtedly continue to question the 2016 election results, and blame the defeat of
HRC on the "Reds." One could wish that DOJ IG Horowitz could investigate and sanction British
Intelligence for its use of official and non-official officials in starting this debacle.
"... "After reading several articles, it seemed clear that key difficulties for Russians communicating in English include: definite and indefinite articles, the use of presuppositions and correct usage of say/tell and said/told. Throughout 2017, I constructed a corpus of Guccifer 2.0's communications and analyzed the frequency of different types of mistakes. The results of this work corroborate Professor Connolly's assessment. ..."
"... Overall, it appears Guccifer 2.0 could communicate in English quite well but chose to use inconsistently broken English at times in order to give the impression that it wasn't his primary language. The manner in which Guccifer 2.0's English was broken, did not follow the typical errors one would expect if Guccifer 2.0's first language was Russian. ..."
"... Access and motive . . .here are two who had both: Seth Rich and Imran Awan. That our fake news organizations have no interest in either, that should tell you something. ..."
"I didn't really address the case that Russia hacked the DNC, content to stipulate it for
now." - exce
The State Department paused its investigation of the Secretary's emails so as not to
interfere with the Mueller investigation. Here we see Taibbi writes an exhaustive
condemnation of the Western press while leaving out the very crux of the story, the very
source of the stolen DNC emails was Clapper and Brennan pretending to be Guccifer 2.0.
Pitiful attempt at redemption there Matt. Seriously, go **** your self.
"After reading several articles, it seemed clear that key difficulties for Russians
communicating in English include: definite and indefinite articles, the use of
presuppositions and correct usage of say/tell and said/told. Throughout 2017, I constructed a corpus of Guccifer
2.0's communications and analyzed the frequency of different types of mistakes. The
results of this work
Professor Connolly's assessment.
Overall, it appears Guccifer 2.0 could communicate in English quite well but chose to use
inconsistently broken English at times in order to give the impression that it wasn't his
primary language. The manner in which Guccifer 2.0's English was broken, did not follow the
typical errors one would expect if Guccifer 2.0's first language was Russian.
To date, Connolly's language study has not drawn any significant objections or
If Nietzsche was right, and what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger, we can thank the
global capitalist ruling classes, the Democratic Party, and the corporate media for four more
years of Donald Trump. The long-awaited Mueller report is due any day now, or so they keep
telling us. Once it is delivered, and does not prove that Trump is a Russian intelligence
asset, or that he personally conspired with Vladimir Putin to steal the presidency from Hillary
Clinton, well, things are liable to get a bit awkward. Given the amount of goalpost-moving and
focus-shifting that has been going on, clearly, this is what everyone's expecting.
Honestly, I'm a bit surprised. I was sure they were going to go ahead and fabricate some
kind of "smoking gun" evidence (like the pee-stained sheets from that Moscow hotel), or coerce
one of his sleazy minions into testifying that he personally saw Trump down on his knees
"colluding" Putin in the back room of a Russian sauna. After all, if you're going to accuse a
sitting president of being a Russian intelligence asset, you kind of need to be able to prove
it, or (a) you defeat the whole purpose of the exercise, (b) you destroy your own credibility,
and (c) you present that sitting president with a powerful weapon he can use to bury you.
This is not exactly rocket science. As any seasoned badass will tell you, when you're
resolving a conflict with another seasoned badass, you don't take out a gun unless you're going
to use it. Taking a gun out, waving it around, and not shooting the other badass with it, is
generally not a winning strategy. What often happens, if you're dumb enough to do that, is that
the other badass will take your gun from you and either shoot you or beat you senseless with
This is what Trump is about to do with Russiagate. When the Mueller report fails to present
any evidence that he "colluded" with Russia to steal the election, Trump is going to reach
over, grab that report, roll it up tightly into a makeshift cudgel, and then beat the snot out
of his opponents with it. He is going to explain to the American people that the Democrats, the
corporate media, Hollywood, the liberal intelligentsia, and elements of the intelligence
agencies conspired to try to force him out of office with an unprecedented propaganda campaign
and a groundless special investigation. He is going to explain to the American people that
Russiagate, from start to finish, was, in his words, a ridiculous "witch hunt," a childish
story based on nothing. Then he's going to tell them a different story.
That story goes a little something like this
Back in November of 2016, the American people were so fed up with the neoliberal oligarchy
that everyone knows really runs the country that they actually elected Donald Trump president.
They did this fully aware that Trump was a repulsive, narcissistic ass clown who bragged about
"grabbing women by the pussy" and jabbered about building "a big, beautiful wall" and making
the Mexican government pay for it. They did this fully aware of the fact that Donald Trump had
zero experience in any political office whatsoever, and was a loudmouth bigot, and was possibly
out of his gourd on amphetamines half the time. The American people did not care. They were so
disgusted with being conned by arrogant, two-faced, establishment stooges like the Clintons,
the Bushes, and Barack Obama that they chose to put Donald Trump in office, because, fuck it,
what did they have to lose?
The oligarchy that runs the country responded to the American people's decision by inventing
a completely cock-and-bull story about Donald Trump being a Russian agent who the American
people were tricked into voting for by nefarious Russian mind-control operatives, getting every
organ of the liberal corporate media to disseminate and relentlessly promote this story on a
daily basis for nearly three years, and appointing a special prosecutor to conduct an official
investigation in order to lend it the appearance of legitimacy. Every component of the ruling
establishment (i.e., the government, the media, the intelligence agencies, the liberal
intelligentsia, et al.) collaborated in an unprecedented effort to remove an American president
from office based on a bunch of made-up horseshit which kind of amounts to an attempted soft
This is the story Donald Trump is going to tell the American people.
A minority of ideological heretics on what passes for the American Left are going to help
him tell this story, not because we support Donald Trump, but because we believe that the mass
hysteria and authoritarian fanaticism that has been manufactured over the course of Russiagate
represents a danger greater than Trump. It has reached some neo-Riefenstahlian level, this
bug-eyed, spittle-flecked, cult-like behavior worse even than the mass hysteria that gripped
most Americans back in 2003, when they cheered on the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the murder,
rape, and torture of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children based on a bunch of
We are going to be vilified, we leftist heretics, for helping Trump tell Americans this
story. We are going to be denounced as Trumpenleft traitors ,
Putin-sympathizers, and Nazi-adjacents (as we were denounced as terrorist-sympathizers and
Saddam-loving traitors back in 2003). We are going to be denounced as all these things by
liberals, and by other leftists. We are going to be warned that pointing out how the
government, the media, and the intelligence agencies all worked together to sell people
Russiagate will only get Trump reelected, and, if that happens, it will be the End of
It will not be the End of Everything.
What might, however, be the End of Everything, or might lead us down the road to the End of
Everything, is if otherwise intelligent human beings continue to allow themselves to be whipped
into fits of mass hysteria and run around behaving like a mindless herd of
propaganda-regurgitating zombies whenever the global capitalist ruling classes tell them that
"the Russians are coming!" or that "the Nazis are coming!" or that "the Terrorists are
The Russo-Nazi Terrorists are not coming. The global capitalist ruling classes are putting
populist insurgency , delegitimizing any and all forms of dissent from their global
capitalist ideology and resistance to the hegemony of global capitalism. In the process, they
are conditioning people to completely abandon their critical faculties and behave like
twitching Pavlovian idiots who will obediently respond to whatever stimuli or blatantly
fabricated propaganda the corporate media bombards them with.
If you want a glimpse of the dystopian future it isn't an Orwellian boot in your face. It's
Invasion of the Body Snatchers . Study the Russiagate believers' reactions to the
Mueller report when it is finally delivered. Observe the bizarre intellectual contortions their
minds perform to rationalize their behavior over the last three years. Trust me, it will not be
pretty. Cognitive dissonance never is.
Or, who knows, maybe the Russiagate gang will pull a fast one at the eleventh hour, and
accuse Robert Mueller of Putinist sympathies (or appearing in that FSB video of Trump's
notorious Moscow pee-party), and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the special
prosecutor. That should get them through to 2020!
C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist
based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play
Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is
published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .
This month marks the 20th anniversary of Operation Allied Force, NATO's 78-day air war against Yugoslavia. It was a war waged
as much against Serbian civilians – hundreds of whom perished – as it was against Slobodan Milošević's forces, and it was a campaign
of breathtaking hypocrisy and selective outrage. More than anything, it was a war that by President Bill Clinton's own admission
was fought for the sake of NATO's credibility.
One Man's Terrorist
Our story begins not in the war-torn Balkans of the 1990s but rather in the howling wilderness of Afghanistan at the end of the
1980s as defeated Soviet invaders withdrew from a decade of guerrilla warfare into the twilight of a once-mighty empire. The United
States, which had provided arms, funding and training for the mujahideen fighters who had so bravely resisted the Soviet occupation,
stopped supporting the jihadis as soon as the last Red Army units rolled across the Hairatan Bridge and back into the USSR. Afghanistan
descended deeper into civil war.
The popular narrative posits that Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network, Washington's former mujahideen allies, turned on the
West after the US stationed hundreds of thousands of infidel troops in Saudi Arabia – home to two out of three of Sunni Islam's holiest
sites – during Operation Desert Shield in 1990. Since then, the story goes, the relationship between the jihadists and their former
benefactors has been one of enmity, characterized by sporadic terror attacks and fierce US retribution. The real story, however,
is something altogether different.
From 1992 to 1995, the Pentagon flew
thousands of al-Qaeda mujahideen, often accompanied by US Special Forces, from Central Asia to Europe to reinforce Bosnian Muslims
as they fought Serbs to gain their independence from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Clinton administration
armed and trained these fighters in
flagrant violation of United Nations accords; weapons purchased by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran were secretly shipped to the jihadists
via Croatia, which netted a hefty profit from each transaction. The official Dutch inquiry into the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in
which thousands of Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb and Serbian paramilitary forces, concluded
that the United States was "very closely involved" in these arms transfers.
When the Bosnian war ended in 1995 the United States was faced with the problem of thousands of Islamist warriors on European
soil. Many of them joined the burgeoning Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which mainly consisted of ethnic Albanian Kosovars from what
was still southwestern Yugoslavia. Emboldened by the success of the Slovenes, Croats, Macedonians and Bosnians who had won their
independence from Belgrade as Yugoslavia literally balkanized, KLA fighters began to violently expel as many non-Albanians from Kosovo
as they could. Roma, Jews, Turks and, above all, Serbs were all victims of Albanian ethnic cleansing.
The United States was initially very honest in its assessment of the KLA. Robert Gelbard, the US special envoy to Bosnia,
called it "without any question a terrorist
group." KLA backers allegedly included Osama bin Laden
and other Islamic radicals; the group largely bankrolled its activities by trafficking heroin and sex slaves. The State Department
accordingly added the KLA to its list of terrorist organizations in 1998.
However, despite all its nastiness the KLA endeared itself to Washington by fighting the defiant Yugoslavian President Slobodan
Milošević. By this time Yugoslavia, once composed of eight nominally autonomous republics, had been reduced by years of bloody civil
war to a rump of Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. To Serbs, the dominant ethnic group in what remained of the country, Kosovo is regarded
as the very birthplace of their nation. Belgrade wasn't about to let it go without a fight and everyone knew it, especially the Clinton
administration. Clinton's hypocrisy was immediately evident; when Chechnya fought for its independence from Moscow and Russian forces
committed horrific atrocities in response, the American president
called the war an internal Russian affair
and barely criticized Russian President Boris Yeltsin. But when Milošević resorted to brute force in an attempt to prevent Yugoslavia
from further fracturing, he soon found himself a marked man.
the KLA "the main initiator of the violence" in Kosovo and blasted "what appears to be a deliberate campaign of provocation" against
the Serbs, the Clinton administration was nevertheless determined to attack the Milošević regime. US intelligence confirmed that
the KLA was indeed provoking harsh retaliatory strikes by Serb forces in a bid to draw the United States and NATO into the conflict.
President Clinton, however, apparently wasn't listening. The NATO powers, led by the United States, issued Milošević an ultimatum
they knew he could never accept: allow NATO to occupy all of Kosovo and have free reign in Serbia as well. Assistant US Secretary
of State James Rubin later
admitted that "publicly we had to make clear we were seeking an agreement but privately we knew the chances of the Serbs agreeing
were quite small."
Wagging the Dog?
In 1997 the film Wag the Dog debuted to rave reviews. The dark comedy concerns a Washington, DC spin doctor and a Hollywood
producer who fabricate a fictional war in Albania to distract American voters from a presidential sex scandal. Many observers couldn't
help but draw parallels between the film and the real-life events of 1998-99, which included the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton's
impeachment and a very real war brewing in the Balkans. As in Wag the Dog , there were exaggerated or completely fabricated
tales of atrocities, and as in the film the US and NATO powers tried to sell their war as a humanitarian intervention. An attack
on Yugoslavia, we were told, was needed to avert Serb ethnic cleansing of Albanians.
There were two main problems with this. First, there was no Serb ethnic cleansing of Albanian Kosovars until after NATO
began mercilessly bombing Yugoslavia. The German government
issued several reports confirming this. One, from October 1998, reads, in part:
The violent actions of the Yugoslav military and police since February 1998 were aimed at separatist activities and are no
proof of a persecution of the whole Albanian ethnic group in Kosovo or a part of it. What was involved in the Yugoslav violent actions
and excesses since February 1998 was a selective forcible action against the military underground movement (especially the KLA) A
state program or persecution aimed at the whole ethnic group of Albanians exists neither now nor earlier.
Subsequent German government reports issued through the winter of 1999 tell a similar story. "Events since February and March
1998 do not evidence a persecution program based on Albanian ethnicity," stated one report released exactly one month before the
NATO bombing started. "The measures taken by the armed Serbian forces are in the first instance directed toward combating the KLA
and its supposed adherents and supporters."
While Serbs certainly did commit atrocities (especially after the ferocious NATO air campaign began), these were often greatly
exaggerated by the Clinton administration and the US corporate mainstream media. Clinton claimed – and the media dutifully parroted
– that 600,000 Albanians were "trapped within Kosovo lacking shelter, short of food, afraid to go home or buried in mass graves."
This was completely false . US diplomat David
Scheffer claimed that "225,000 ethnic Albanian men are missing, presumed dead." Again, a
total fabrication . The FBI, International War Crimes
Tribunal and global forensics experts flocked to Kosovo in droves after the NATO bombs stopped falling; the total number of victims
they found was around 1 percent of the figure claimed by the United States.
However, once NATO attacked, the Serb response was predictably furious. Shockingly, NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark declared
that the ensuing Serbian atrocities against the Albanian Kosovar population had been
"fully anticipated" and were apparently of little concern to Washington.
Not only did NATO and the KLA provoke a war with Yugoslavia, they did so knowing that many innocent civilians would be killed, maimed
or displaced by the certain and severe reprisals carried out by enraged Serb forces. Michael McGwire, a former top NATO planner,
acknowledged that "to describe the bombing as a humanitarian intervention is really grotesque."
The other big problem with the US claiming it was attacking Yugoslavia on humanitarian grounds was that the Clinton administration
had recently allowed – and was at the time allowing – far worse humanitarian catastrophes to rage without American intervention.
More than 800,000 men, women and children were slaughtered while Clinton and other world leaders stood idly by during the 1994 Rwandan
genocide. The US also courted the medievally brutal
Taliban regime in hopes of achieving stability in Afghanistan and with an eye toward building a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through
Afghanistan to Pakistan. Clinton also did nothing to stop Russian forces from viciously crushing nationalist uprisings in the Caucuses,
where Chechen rebels were fighting for their independence much the same as Albanian Kosovars were fighting the Serbs.
Colombia, the Western Hemisphere's leading recipient of US military and economic aid, was waging a fierce, decades-long campaign
of terror against leftist insurgents and long-suffering indigenous peoples. Despite
horrific brutality and pervasive human rights violations, US aid to Bogotá increased year after year. In Turkey, not only did
Clinton do nothing to prevent government forces from committing widespread atrocities against Kurdish separatists, the administration
positively encouraged its NATO ally with billions of dollars in loans and arms sales. Saudi Arabia, home to the most repressive fundamentalist
regime this side of Afghanistan, was – and remains – a favored US ally despite having one of the
world's worst human rights
records. The list goes on and on.
Much closer to the conflict at hand, the United States tacitly approved the largest ethnic cleansing campaign in Europe since
the Holocaust when as many as 200,000 Serbs were
forcibly expelled from the Krajina region of Croatia by that country's US-trained military during Operation Storm in August 1995.
Krajina Serbs had purged the region of its Croat minority four years earlier in their own ethnic cleansing campaign; now it was the
Serbs' turn to be on the receiving end of the horror. Croatian forces stormed through Krajina, shelling towns and slaughtering innocent
civilians. The sick and the elderly who couldn't escape were executed or burned alive in their homes as Croatian soldiers machine-gunned
convoys of fleeing refugees.
"Painful for the Serbs"
Washington's selective indignation at Serb crimes both real and imagined is utterly inexcusable when held up to the horrific and
seemingly indiscriminate atrocities committed during the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia. The prominent Australian journalist
John Pilger noted that "in the attack on Serbia, 2 percent of NATO's missiles hit military targets, the rest hit hospitals, schools,
factories, churches and broadcast studios." There is little doubt that US and allied warplanes and missiles were targeting the Serbian
people as much as, or even more than, Serb forces. The bombing knocked out electricity in 70 percent of the country as well as much
of its water supply.
NATO warplanes also deliberately bombed a building containing the headquarters of Serbian state television and radio in the middle
of densely populated central Belgrade. The April 23, 1999 attack occurred without warning while 200 employees were at work in the
building. Among the 16 people killed were a makeup artist, a cameraman, a program director, an editor and three security guards.
There is no doubt that the attack was meant to demoralize the Serbian people. There is also no doubt that those who ordered the bombing
knew exactly what outcome to expect: a NATO planning document viewed by Bill Clinton, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President
Jacques Chirac forecast as
many as 350 deaths in the event of such an attack, with as many as 250 of the victims expected to be innocent civilians living in
Allied commanders wanted to fight a "zero casualty war" in Yugoslavia. As in zero casualties for NATO forces, not the people they
were bombing. "This will be painful for the Serbs," Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon sadistically predicted. It sure was. NATO warplanes
flew sorties at 15,000 feet (4,500 meters), a safe height for the pilots. But this decreased accuracy and increased civilian casualties
on the ground. One attack on central Belgrade mistakenly
hit Dragiša Mišović hospital with a laser-guided "precision" bomb, obliterating an intensive care unit and destroying a children's
ward while wounding several pregnant women who had the misfortune of being in labor at the time of the attack. Dragana Krstić, age
23, was recovering from cancer surgery – she just had a 10-pound (4.5 kg) tumor removed from her stomach – when the bombs blew jagged
shards of glass into her neck and shoulders. "I don't know which hurts more," she lamented, "my stomach, my shoulder or my heart."
Dragiša Mišović wasn't the only hospital bombed by NATO. Cluster bombs dropped by fighter jets of the Royal Netherlands Air Force
struck a hospital and a market in the city of Niš on May 7,
killing 15 people and wounding 60 more. An emergency clinic
and medical dispensary were also bombed in the
mining town of Aleksinac on April 6, killing at least five people and wounding dozens more.
Bridges were favorite targets of NATO bombing. An international passenger train traveling from Belgrade to Thessaloniki, Greece
blown apart by two missiles as it crossed over Grdelica gorge on April 12. Children and a pregnant woman were among the 15 people
killed in the attack; 16 other passengers were wounded. Allied commander Gen. Wesley Clark claimed the train, which had been damaged
by the first missile, had been traveling too rapidly for the pilot to abort the second strike on the bridge. He then offered up a
doctored video that was sped up more than three times so that the pilot's behavior would appear acceptable.
On May 1, at least 24 civilians, many of them children, were killed when NATO warplanes
bombed a bridge in Lužane just as a bus was crossing.
An ambulance rushing to the scene of the carnage was struck by a second bomb. On the sunny spring afternoon of May 30, a bridge over
the Velika Morava River in the small town of Vavarin was
bombed by low-flying German Air Force F-16 fighters while hundreds of local residents gathered nearby to celebrate an Orthodox
Christian holiday. Eleven people died, most of them when the warplanes returned and bombed the people who rushed to the bridge to
help those wounded in the first strike.
No One Is Safe
The horrors suffered by the villagers of Surdulica shows that no one in Serbia was safe from NATO's fury. They endured some 175
bombardments during one three-week period alone, with 50 houses destroyed and 600 others damaged in a town with only around 10,000
residents. On April 27, 20 civilians, including 12 children,
died when bombs meant to
destroy an army barracks slammed into a residential neighborhood. As many as 100 others were wounded in the incident. Tragedy
befell the tiny town again on May 31 when NATO
warplanes returned to bomb an ammunition depot but instead hit an old people's home; 23 civilians, most of them helpless elderly
men and women, were blown to pieces. Dozens more were wounded. The US military initially said "there were no errant weapons" in the
attack. However, Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre later testified before Congress that it "was a case of the pilot getting confused."
The CIA was also apparently confused when it relied on what it claimed was an outdated map to approve a Stealth Bomber strike
on what turned out to be the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. Three Chinese journalists were killed and 27 other people were wounded.
Some people aren't so sure the attack was an accident – Britain's Observer later
reported that the US deliberately bombed the
embassy after discovering it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications.
There were plenty of other accidents, some of them horrifically tragic and others just downright bizarre. Two separate attacks
on the very Albanians NATO was claiming to help killed 160 people, many of them women and children. On April 14, NATO warplanes bombed
refugees along a 12-mile (19-km) stretch of road between the towns of Gjakova and Deçan in western Kosovo, killing 73 people including
16 children and wounding 36 more. Journalists reported
a grisly scene of "bodies charred or blown to pieces, tractors reduced to twisted wreckage and houses in ruins." Exactly one month
later, another column of refugees was
bombed near Koriša, killing
87 – mostly women, children and the elderly – and wounding 60 others. In the downright bizarre category, a wildly errant NATO missile
struck a residential neighborhood in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, some 40 miles (64 km) outside of Serbia. The American AGM-88 HARM
missile blew the roof off
of a man's house while he was shaving in his bathroom.
NATO's "Murderous Thugs"
As the people of Yugoslavia were being terrorized by NATO's air war, the terrorists of the Kosovo Liberation Army stepped up their
atrocities against Serbs and Roma in Kosovo. NATO troops deployed there to keep the peace often failed to protect these people from
the KLA's brutal campaign. More than 164,000 Serbs fled or
were forcibly driven from the Albanian-dominated province and by the summer of 2001 KLA ethnic cleansing had rendered Kosovo almost
entirely Albanian, with just a few die-hard Serb holdouts living in fear and surrounded by barbed wire.
The KLA soon expanded its war into neighboring Macedonia. Although NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson called the terror group
"murderous thugs," the United States – now with George W. Bush as president – continued to offer its invaluable support. National
Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice personally
intervened in an attempt to persuade Ukraine to halt arms sales to the Macedonian army and when a group of 400 KLA fighters were
surrounded at Aracinovo in June 2001, NATO ordered Macedonian forces to hold off their attack while a convoy of US Army vehicles
rescued the besieged militants. It later
emerged that 17 American military advisers were embedded with the KLA at Aracinovo.
The bombing of Yugoslavia was really about preserving the credibility of the United States and NATO. The alliance's saber rattling
toward Belgrade had painted it into a corner from which the only way out was with guns blazing. Failure to follow threats with deadly
action, said President Clinton, "would discredit NATO." Clinton
that "our mission is clear, to demonstrate the seriousness of NATO's purpose." The president seemed willfully ignorant of NATO's
real purpose, which is to defend member states from outside attack. British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed with Clinton,
declaring on the eve of the war that
"to walk away now would destroy NATO's credibility." Gary Dempsey, a foreign policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute,
wrote that the Clinton administration
"transformed a conflict that posed no threat to the territorial integrity, national sovereignty or general welfare of the United
States into a major test of American resolve."
Waging or prolonging war for credibility's sake is always dangerous and seems always to yield disastrous results. Tens of thousands
of US troops and many times as many Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian soldiers and civilians died while Richard Nixon sought an "honorable"
way out of Vietnam. Ronald Reagan's dogged defense of US credibility cost the lives of 299 American and French troops killed in Hezbollah's
1983 Beirut barracks bombing. This time, ensuring American credibility meant backing the vicious KLA – some of whose fighters had
trained at Osama bin Laden's terror camps in Afghanistan. This, despite the fact that al-Qaeda had already been responsible for deadly
attacks against the United States, including the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
It is highly questionable whether bombing Yugoslavia affirmed NATO's credibility in the short term. In the long term, it certainly
did not. The war marked the first and only time NATO had ever attacked a sovereign state. It did so unilaterally, absent any threat
to any member nation, and without the approval of the United Nations Security Council. "If NATO can go for military action without
international blessing, it calls into question the reliability of NATO as a security partner," Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak,
then Moscow's ambassador to NATO, told me at a San Francisco reception.
Twenty years later, Operation Allied force has been all but forgotten in the United States. In a country that has been waging
nonstop war on terrorism for almost the entire 21st century, the 1999 NATO air war is but a footnote in modern American history.
Serbs, however, still seethe at the injustice and hypocrisy of it all. The bombed-out ruins of the old Yugoslav Ministry of Defense,
Radio Television of Serbia headquarters and other buildings serve as constant, painful reminders of the horrors endured by the Serbian
people in service of NATO's credibility.
Brett Wilkins is a San Francisco-based author and activist. His work, which focuses on issues of war and peace and human rights,
is archived atwww.brettwilkins.com
W e are still trying to fathom the apparent but transient palace-coup attempts of Rod
Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe. No one has gotten to the bottom of the serial lying by McCabe and
James Comey, much less their systematic and illegal leaking to pet reporters.
We do not know all the ways in which James Clapper and John Brennan seeded the dossier and
its related gossip among the press and liberal politicians -- only that both were prior
admitted fabricators who respectively while under oath misled congressional representatives on
a host of issues.
The central role of Hillary Clinton in funding the anti-Trump, Russian-"collusion,"
Fusion/GPS/Christopher Steele dossier is still not fully disclosed. Did the deluded FISA court
know it was being used by Obama-administration DOJ and FBI officials, who withheld from it
evidence to ensure permission to spy on American citizens? Could any justice knowingly be so
Do we remember at all that Devin Nunes came to national prominence when he uncovered
information that members of the Obama administration's national-security team, along with
others, had systematically unmasked surveilled Americans, whose names then were leaked
illegally to the press?
One day historians will have the full story of how Robert Mueller stocked his legal team
inordinately with partisans. He certainly did not promptly disclose the chronology of, or the
interconnected reasons for, the firings of Lisa Page and Peter Strozk. And his team has largely
used process-crime allegations to leverage mostly minor figures to divulge some sort of
incriminating evidence about the president -- none of it pertaining to the original mandated
rationale of collusion.
These are the central issues and key players of this entire sordid attempt to remove a
But we should remember there were dozens of other minor players who did their own parts in
acting unethically, and in some cases illegally, to destroy a presidency. We have mostly
forgotten them. But they reflect what can happen when Washington becomes unhinged, the media go
berserk, and a reign of terror ensues in which any means necessary is redefined as what James
Comey recently monetized as a "Higher Loyalty" to destroy an elected president.
Here are just a few of the foot soldiers we have forgotten.
On September 5, 2018 (a date seemingly picked roughly to coincide with the publication of Bob
Woodward's sensational tell-all book about the inside of the Trump White House), the New
York Times printed a credo from a supposed anonymous Republican official deep within the
Trump administration. In a supposed fit of ethical conviction, he (or she) warned the nation of
the dangers it faced under his boss, President Trump, and admitted to a systematic effort to
subvert his presidency:
The dilemma -- which he does not fully grasp -- is that many of the senior officials in
his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda
and his worst inclinations. I would know. I am one of them.
Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of
invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president.
But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer
the administration in the right direction until -- one way or another -- it's over.
We do not know whether Anonymous was describing the coup attempt as described by Andrew
McCabe that apparently entailed Rod Rosenstein at the Justice Department informally polling
cabinet officials, or marked a wider effort among Never Trump Republicans and deep-state
functionaries to ensure that Trump failed -- whether marked by earlier efforts to leak
confidential calls with foreign officials or to serve up unsubstantiated rumors to muckrakers
or simply slow-walk or ignore presidential directives.
In any case, Anonymous's efforts largely explain why almost daily we hear yet another mostly
unsubstantiated account that a paranoid, deranged, and dangerous Trump is holed up in his
bedroom with his Big Macs as he plans unconstitutional measures to wreck the United States --
and then, by accident, achieves near-record-low peacetime unemployment, near-record-low
minority unemployment, annualized 3 percent GDP growth, record natural-gas and oil production,
record deregulation, comprehensive tax reform and reduction, and foreign-policy breakthroughs
from the destruction of ISIS to cancellation of the flawed Iran deal.
In the course of congressional testimony, it was learned that the FBI general counsel, James
Baker, for a time had been under investigation for leaking classified information to the press.
Among the leaks were rumored scraps from the Steele dossier passed to Mother Jones
reporter David Corn (who has denied any such connection) that may have fueled his sensational
pre-election accusation of Trump–Russian collusion.
Nonetheless, about a week before the 2016 election, Corn of Mother Jones was writing
lurid exposés, such as the following, to spread gossip likely inspired from the
Christopher Steele dossier (italics inserted):
Does this mean the FBI is investigating whether Russian intelligence has attempted to
develop a secret relationship with Trump or cultivate him as an asset? Was the former
intelligence officer and his material deemed credible or not?
An FBI spokeswoman says, "Normally, we don't talk about whether we are investigating
anything." But a senior US government official not involved in this case but familiar with
the former spy tells Mother Jones that he has been a credible source with a proven record of
providing reliable, sensitive, and important information to the US government. In June,
the former Western intelligence officer -- who spent almost two decades on Russian
intelligence matters and who now works with a US firm that gathers information on Russia for
corporate clients -- was assigned the task of researching Trump's dealings in Russia and
elsewhere, according to the former spy and his associates in this American firm.
What does "assigned" mean, and by whom? That Fusion/GPS (which, in fact, is a generic
opposition-research firm with no particular expertise in Russia) hired with disguised Clinton
campaign funds a has-been foreign-national spy to buy dirt from Russian sources to subvert a
Those leaks of Christopher Steele's dirt also did their small part in planting doubt in
voters' minds right that electing Trump was tantamount to implanting a Russian asset in the
White House. Baker has been the alleged center of a number of reported leaks, even though the
FBI's general counsel should have been the last person to disclose any government communication
to the press during a heated presidential campaign. And there is still no accurate information
concerning what role, if any, Baker played in Andrew McCabe's efforts to discuss removing the
president following the Comey firing.
On March 1, 2017, just weeks after Trump took office, the New York Times revealed that.
in a last-minute order, outgoing president Obama had vastly expanded the number of government
officials with access to top-secret intelligence data. The Obama administration apparently
sought to ensure a narrative spread that Trump may have colluded with the Russians. The day
following the disclosure, a former Pentagon official, Evelyn Farkas (who might have been a
source for the strange disclosure of a day earlier), explained Obama's desperate eleventh-hour
effort in an MSNBC interview:
I was urging my former colleagues, and, and frankly speaking the people on the Hill . . .
it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can,
get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration.
Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior people
who left so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy, um, that the [stutters] Trump folks
-- if they found out how we knew what we knew about their [the] Trump staff, dealing
with Russians -- that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no
longer have access to that intelligence.
So I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open and I knew that
there was more. We have very good intelligence on Russia, so then I had talked to some of my
former colleagues and I knew that they were also trying to help get information to the
Despite media efforts to spin Farkas's disclosure, she was essentially contextualizing how
outgoing Obama officials were worried that the incoming administration would discover their own
past efforts ("sources and methods") to monitor and surveil Trump-campaign officials, and would
seek an accounting. Her worry was not just that the dossier-inspired dirt would not spread
after Trump took office, but that the Obama administration's methods used to thwart Trump might
be disclosed (e.g., " if they found out how we knew what we knew about their [the] Trump
staff, dealing with Russians -- that they would try to compromise those sources and methods,
meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence" ).
So Farkas et al. desperately sought to change the law so that their rumors and narratives
would be so deeply seeded within the administrative state that the collusion narrative would
inevitably lead to Congress and the press, and thereby overshadow any shock at the improper or
illegal methods the Obama-administration officials had authorized to monitor the Trump
And Farkas was correct. Even today, urination in a Russian hotel room has overshadowed
perjury traps, warping the FISA courts, illegal leaking, inserting a spy into the Trump
campaign, and Russian collusion with Clinton hireling and foreign agent Christopher Steele.
We now forget that for some reason, in her last year in office, but especially during and after
the 2016 election, Power, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, reportedly asked
to unmask the names of over 260 Americans picked up in government surveillance. She offered no
real explanations of such requests.
Even stranger than a U.N. ambassador suddenly playing the role of a counterintelligence
officer, Power continued her requests literally until the moments before Trump took office in
January 2017. And, strangest of all, after Power testified before the House Oversight and
Government Reform Committee, Representative Trey Gowdy reported that "her testimony is 'they
[the unmasking requests] may be under my name, but I did not make those requests.'"
Who, in the world, then, did make those requests and why and, if true, did she know she was
so being used?
And were some of those unmasking requests leaked, thus helping to fuel media rumors in late
2016 and early 2017 that Trump officials were veritable traitors in league with Russia? And why
were John Brennan, James Clapper, Susan Rice, and Sally Yates reportedly in the last days (or,
in some cases, the last hours) requesting that the names of Americans swept up in surveillance
of others be unmasked? What was the point of it all?
In sum, did a U.N. ambassador let her name be used by aides or associates to spread rumors
throughout the administrative state, and thereby brand them with classified government
authenticity, and then all but ensure they were leaked to the press?
We the public most certainly wondered why the moment Trump was elected, the very name Carter
Page became synonymous with collusion, and soon Michael Flynn went from a respected
high-ranking military official to a near traitor, as both were announced as emblematic of their
erstwhile complicit boss.
Ali Watkins and James Wolf
Watkins was the young reporter for Buzzfeed (which initially leaked the largely fake
Steele dossier and erroneously reported that Michael Cohen would implicate Trump in suborning
perjury) who conducted an affair with James Wolf, a staffer, 30 years her senior, on the Senate
Wolf, remember, systematically and illegally began leaking information to her that found its
way into sensationalized stories about collusion. But as Margot Cleveland of the
Federalist pointed out, Watkins was also identified by Buzzfeed "in court filings
as one of the individuals who 'conducted newsgathering in connection with the Dossier before
Buzzfeed published the Article' on the dossier. This fact raises the question of whether
Watkins received information from Wolfe concerning the dossier and, if so, what he leaked."
In other words, the dossier was probably planted among U.S. senators and deliberately leaked
through a senior Senate aide, who made sure that the unverified dirt was published by the press
to damage Donald Trump.
And it did all that and more.
The list of these bit players could be easily expanded. These satellites were not
coordinated in some tight-knit vast conspiracy, but rather took their cue from their superiors
and the media to freelance with assumed impunity, as their part in either preventing or ending
a Trump presidency. And no doubt the Left would argue that the sheer number of federal
bureaucrats and political appointees, in a variety of cabinets and agencies, throughout the
legislative and the executive branches, all proves that Trump is culpable of something.
Perhaps. But the most likely explanation is that a progressive administrative state, a
liberal media, and an increasingly radicalized liberal order were terrified by the thought of
an outsider Trump presidency. Therefore, they did what they could, often both unethically and
illegally, to stop his election, and then to subvert his presidency.
In their arrogance, they assumed that their noble professions of higher loyalties and duties
gave them exemption to do what they deemed necessary and patriotic. And others like them will
continue to do so, thereby setting the precedent that unelected federal officials can break the
law or violate any ethical protocols they please -- if they disagree with the ideology of the
commander in chief. We ridicule Trump for going ballistic at each one of these periodically
leaked and planted new stories that raised some new charge about his stupidity, insanity,
incompetence, etc. But no one has before witnessed any president subjected to such a
comprehensive effort of the media, the deep state, political opponents, and his own party
establishment to destroy him.
Subversion is the new political opposition. The nation -- and the Left especially -- will
come to regret the legacy of the foot soldiers of the Resistance in the decades to come.
The three-day visit to Washington by the president of Brazil brought together two of the
most right-wing figures in the world: Jair Bolsonaro, a former military officer and fervent
admirer of the blood-soaked military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985, and
Donald Trump, who has become the pole of attraction for authoritarians and fascists the world
over, including the gunman who slaughtered 50 Muslims at two New Zealand mosques last week.
During their joint press conference at the White House Tuesday afternoon, Trump repeated his
declaration, delivered to an audience of right-wing Cuban and Venezuelan exiles in Florida,
that "The twilight hour of socialism has arrived in our hemisphere." He emphasized, as he did
in his State of the Union speech, that this also involved putting an end to the threat of
socialism within the United States itself.
Both Trump and Bolsonaro have made the extirpation of socialism -- the political core of
fascist movements -- the central goal of their governments. At their joint press conference,
they railed against socialism only days after the massacre in New Zealand, carried out by
Brenton Tarrant. Tarrant posted a manifesto hailing Trump as a "symbol of renewed white
identity" and declaring his desire to put his boot on the neck of every "Marxist."
The mutual embrace of Trump and Bolsonaro at the White House is symbolic of the elevation of
far-right parties and cultivation of fascistic forces by capitalist governments and established
bourgeois parties all over the world. It underscores the fact that the growth of fascism in
Europe, Asia, Latin America and the US is the result not of a groundswell of mass support from
below, but rather the sponsorship and encouragement of so-called "democratic" governments that
are, in fact, controlled top to bottom by corporate oligarchs.
The global promotion of extreme right politics was embodied by the presence of right-wing
ideologue Steve Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs vice president and Navy officer, as a guest of
honor at a dinner with Jair Bolsonaro Monday night. Bannon has close ties with Bolsonaro's son,
Eduardo, who is a member of the Brazilian Parliament and a Latin American representative of the
political consortium set up by Bannon, known as the Movement, whose aim is to promote extreme
right-wing political parties throughout the world. "Some of the Bolsonaro team on the right see
themselves as disciples of the Bannon movement and representatives of Bannon for Brazil and
Latin America," one former Trump administration official told McClatchy.
At the press conference, both Jair Bolsonaro and Trump pledged their support to a fascistic
litany of "god, family and nation," as Trump put it. Bolsonaro declared, "Brazil and the United
States stand side-by-side in their efforts to share liberties and respect to traditional and
family lifestyles, respect to God, our creator, against the gender ideology of the politically
correct attitudes, and fake news."
Both presidents threatened the use of military force against Venezuela, demonizing President
Nicolas Maduro as a socialist dictator. (He heads a capitalist regime, but one whose foreign
policy tilts toward China and Russia rather than US imperialism).
Trump reiterated the mantra that "all options are on the table" against Venezuela. Bolsonaro
was asked if he would permit US soldiers to use Brazilian soil as a base for military
operations against Venezuela. Rather than dismissing that prospect as a violation of both
Brazilian and Venezuelan sovereignty, he declined to answer, citing the need for maintaining
operational secrecy and the element of surprise.
One of the bilateral agreements that Trump and Bolsonaro signed would allow the United
States to use Brazil's Alcantara Aerospace Launch Base for its satellites. Brazil also
announced an end to visa requirements for US visitors...
Before visiting the White House, Bolsonaro made an unannounced visit to the headquarters
of the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia, an extraordinary move for the
president of a country that was subjected to 21 years of unrestrained torture and murder by a
military dictatorship installed in a CIA-backed coup.
The dire implications for the working class of the global rise of the far right are
indicated by Bolsonaro's glorification of the Brazilian military dictatorship. Trump hailed the
"shared values" between his government and that of a former military officer who praises a
regime that jailed, tortured and murdered tens of thousands of workers and students. Twenty
years ago, Bolsonaro told an interviewer that the Brazilian Congress should be shut down and
that the country could be changed only by a civil war that completed "the job that the military
regime didn't do, killing 30,000 people."
The capitalist ruling classes are turning once again to dictatorship and fascism in response
to the intensification of the world economic crisis, the disintegration of the postwar
international order and growth of trade war and geostrategic conflicts, and, above all, the
resurgence of the class struggle on a world scale...
The Pentagon's inspector general has formally opened an investigation into a watchdog
group's allegations that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has used his office to
promote his former employer, Boeing Co.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed an ethics complaint with the
Pentagon's inspector general a week ago, alleging that Shanahan has appeared to make statements
promoting Boeing and disparaging competitors, such as Lockheed Martin.
Shanahan, who was traveling with President Donald Trump to Ohio on Wednesday, spent more
than 30 years at Boeing, leading programs for commercial planes and missile defense systems. He
has been serving as acting Pentagon chief since the beginning of the year, after James Mattis
The probe comes as Boeing struggles to deal with a public firestorm over two deadly crashes
of the Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner within the last five months. And it focuses attention on
whether Trump will nominate Shanahan as his formal pick for defense chief, rather than letting
him languish as an acting leader of a major federal agency.
Dwrena Allen, spokeswoman for the inspector general, said Shanahan has been informed of the
investigation. And, in a statement, Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson said Shanahan welcomes the
"Acting Secretary Shanahan has at all times remained committed to upholding his ethics
agreement filed with the DoD," said Crosson. "This agreement ensures any matters pertaining to
Boeing are handled by appropriate officials within the Pentagon to eliminate any perceived or
actual conflict of interest issue(s) with Boeing."
During a Senate hearing last week, Shanahan was asked by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal,
D-Conn., about the 737 Max issue. Shanahan said he had not spoken to anyone in the
administration about it and had not been briefed on it. Asked whether he favored an
investigation into the matter, Shanahan said it was for regulators to investigate.
On Wednesday, Blumenthal said that scrutiny of Shanahan's Boeing ties is necessary. "In
fact, it's overdue. Boeing is a behemoth 800-pound gorilla -- raising possible questions of
undue influence at DOD, FAA and elsewhere," said Blumenthal.
Shanahan signed an ethics agreement in June 2017, when he was being nominated for the job of
deputy defense secretary, a job he held during Mattis' tenure. It outlined the steps he would
take to avoid "any actual or apparent conflict of interest," and said he would not participate
in any matter involving Boeing.
The CREW ethics complaint, based to a large part on published reports, including one by
Politico in January, said Shanahan has made comments praising Boeing in meetings about
government contracts, raising concerns about "whether Shanahan, intentionally or not, is
putting his finger on the scale when it comes to Pentagon priorities."
One example raised by the complaint is the Pentagon's decision to request funding for
Boeing 15EX fighter jets in the 2020 proposed budget. The Pentagon is requesting about $1
billion to buy eight of the aircraft.
Shanahan, 56, joined Boeing in 1986, rose through its ranks and is credited with rescuing
a troubled Dreamliner 787 program. He also led the company's missile defense and military
Trump has seemed attracted to Shanahan partially for his work on one of the president's
pet projects -- creating a Space Force. He also has publicly lauded Shanahan's former employer,
Boeing, builder of many of the military's most prominent aircraft, including the Apache and
Chinook helicopters, the C-17 cargo plane and the B-52 bomber, as well as the iconic
presidential aircraft, Air Force One.
This is only the third time in history that the Pentagon has been led by an acting chief,
and Shanahan has served in that capacity for longer than any of the others.
Presidents typically take pains to ensure the Pentagon is being run by a Senate-confirmed
official, given the grave responsibilities that include sending young Americans into battle,
ensuring the military is ready for extreme emergencies like nuclear war and managing overseas
alliances that are central to U.S. security.
3 hours ago Why did Trump
appoint a former Boeing executive and industry lobbyist to the the Secretary of Defense to
replace General Mattis? What in Shananhan's background makes him qualified to lead our nation's
military forces? 3 hours ago WITHOUT A DOUBT HE DID., ALSO INVESTIGATE NIKKI HALEY'S APPOINTED
ON BOEING'S BOARD TO REPLACE SHANAHAN. FOLLOW THE HOEING KICKBACKS(MONEY), TO DONALD TRUMP'S
FAMILY. 3 hours ago
Shanahan probably helped Boeing on the promise of a later payback just like Ms. Nikki Haley did
while Gov of SC where Boeing built a new plant on her watch. She helped big time to keep the
Unions out of the new Boeing plant and now Boeing is going to put her on their board of
directors. Nothing like a bit of an obvious payoff. 2 hours ago Reminds me of the Bush Jr days in
the White House. During the Gulf War (#2) Vice President #$%$ Cheney awarded oil company
Halliburton (Cheney was CEO before accepting the VP job) to deliver meals for the troops. The
contract was ?No Bid.? Why was an oil company delivering food to troops with a no bid contract?
After Cheney?s Job was over being VP he went back to being CEO at Halliburton and moved
Halliburton?s headquarters to Dubai. What an American! 2 hours ago Now we understand why Boeing
& the FAA hesitated to ground those planes for few days despite many countries who did
grounded those plane which is a precedent for a country to ground & NOT wait for the
manufacturer. ONLY after Canada grounded those planes Boeing & the FAA & that's because
Canada IS a the #1 flight partner of the US ! 4 hours ago Years ago there was a Boeing
procurement scandal and Trump does love the swamp he claims to hate.
"President typically take pains to ensure the Pentagon is being
run by Senate confirmed official" .Presidents typically don't put incompetent people in cabinet positions or give his kids top security
level clearances when they have no need and no experience that requires one...well, no one has accused trump of being presidential
or typical - ever
Dianna 4 hours ago
The swamp is now the " Trump Cesspool."
Nonconservative 3 hours ago
Hey deplorables....hows that swamp draining going?...ANYWORD on that great big beautiful health plan with lower premiums and keeping my own doctor?....what about infrastructure?...any
idea when the roads in every city will be driveable again...or did we spend all the money from the US govt. paying Trump to stay
at his own hotels?........hello?......hello deplorables?......anybody home????
Pierre Escargot 1 hour ago
Pentagon to probe if Shanahan used office
to help Boeing. Why not? Robert Mueller's and James Comey turned government service into self-service.
David Kramer, a long-time advisor to late Senator John McCain, revealed that he met with two Obama administration officials
to inquire about whether the anti-Trump dossier authored by former British spy Christopher Steele was being taken seriously.
In one case, Kramer said that he personally provided a copy of the dossier to Obama National Security Council official Celeste
In a deposition on Dec. 13, 2017 that was recently posted online, Kramer said that McCain specifically asked him in early December
2016 to meet about the dossier with Wallander and Victoria Nuland, a senior official in John Kerry's State Department. Senator McCain
asked me to meet with both of them to see if this was being taken seriously in the government," Kramer said.
"And Senator McCain asked you to meet with them?" Kramer was asked to clarify.
"Yes, just to see if this was being taken seriously. I think he wanted to do -- this was his kind of due diligence before he went
to Director Comey."
Kramer testified that in his conversations with Nuland and Wallander he was told by both of them that each were aware of the dossier
and that Nuland "thought Steele was a serious person."
Kramer revealed that he gave a copy of the dossier to Wallander, who was familiar with the contents but did not have a copy.
"I had a subsequent conversation with Ms. Wallander in which I gave her a copy of the document. That was probably around New Year's,"
"She had not seen it herself until I had shown it to her," Kramer added. "She had heard about it. And she didn't know the status
In the same testimony, the McCain associate revealed that he held a meeting about the dossier with a reporter from BuzzFeed News
who he says snapped photos of the controversial document without Kramer's permission when he left the room to go to the bathroom.
That meeting was held at the McCain Institute office in Washington, Kramer stated.
published Steele's full dossier on January 10, 2017 setting off a firestorm of news media coverage about the document.
Prior to his death, McCain admitted to personally handing the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey but he refused repeated
requests for comment about whether he had a role in providing the dossier to BuzzFeed, including numerous inquiries sent to his office
by this reporter.
book published last year, McCain maintained he had an "obligation" to pass the dossier charges against Trump to Comey and he
would even do it again. "Anyone who doesn't like it can go to hell," McCain exclaimed.
Kramer, meanwhile, also said that he briefed others reporters on the dossier contents, including CNN's Carl Bernstein, in an effort
to have the anti-Trump charges verified.
The same day BuzzFeed released the full dossier, CNN first
the leaked information that the controversial contents of the dossier were presented during classified briefings inside classified
documents presented one week earlier to then-President Obama and President-elect Trump.
Kramer said that he believed McCain was sought out in order to provide credibility to the dossier claims.
"I think they felt a senior Republican was better to be the recipient of this rather than a Democrat because if it were a Democrat,
I think that the view was that it would have been dismissed as a political attack," Kramer stated.
The controversial Fusion GPS firm hired Steele to do the anti-Trump work that resulted in the compilation of the dossier. Fusion
GPS was paid for its anti-Trump work by Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee via the Perkins Coie
Kramer's testimony sheds a new light on the role of the Obama administration in disseminating the largely-discredited dossier
that was reportedly involved in the FBI's initial investigation into the Trump campaign and unsubstantiated claims of Russian collusion.
cited the dossier as evidence in a successful FISA application to obtain a warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, a
former adviser to President Trump's 2016 campaign. The testimony also revealed how McCain was utilized to give the wild dossier charges
a credibility boost.
Nuland and dossier
Nuland's specific role in the dossier episode has been the subject of some controversy for her.
book , "Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump," authors and reporters
by Michael Isikoff and David Corn write that Nuland gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with Steele regarding his dossier's
claims. It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.
Steele sought out Rome-based FBI Special Agent Michael Gaeta, with whom he had worked on a previous case. Before Gaeta met with
Steele on July 5, 2016, the book relates that the FBI first secured the support of Nuland, who at the time was assistant Secretary
of State for European and Eurasian Affairs specializing in Russia.
Regarding the arrangements for Steele's initial meeting with the FBI about the dossier claims, Isikoff and Corn report:
There were a few hoops Gaeta had to jump through. He was assigned to the U.S. embassy in Rome. The FBI checked with Victoria
Nuland's office at the State Department : Do you support this meeting ? Nuland, having found Steele's reports on Ukraine to have
been generally credible, gave the green light.
Within a few days, on July 5, Gaeta arrived and headed to Steele's office near Victoria station . Steele handed him a copy
of the report. Gaeta, a seasoned FBI agent, started to read . He turned white. For a while, Gaeta said nothing . Then he remarked,
"I have to report this to headquarters."
The book documents that Nuland previously received Steele's reports on the Ukrainian crisis and had been familiar with Steele's
Nuland faced confirmation
prior to her appointment as assistant secretary of state over her reported role in revising controversial Obama administration
talking points about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. Her
reported changes sought to protect
Clinton's State Department from accusations that it failed to adequately secure the woefully unprotected U.S. Special Mission in
Nuland's name surfaced in a flurry of news media reports last year about the dossier and Kerry's State Department.
An extensive New Yorker profile
of Steele named another former official from Kerry's State Department for alleged involvement in circulating the dossier. The
magazine reported that Kerry's chief of staff at the State Department, John Finer, obtained the contents of a two-page summary of
the dossier and eventually decided to share the questionable document with Kerry.
Finer received the dossier summary from Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing
and exchanging information with Steele, according to the report. Winer previously conceded that he shared the dossier summary with
After his name surfaced in news media reports related to probes by House Republicans into the dossier, Winer authored a Washington
oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with Steele.
Winer further acknowledged that while at the State Department, he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by longtime
Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an "old friend." Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which
Winer in turn gave to Steele – originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.
Nuland, Winer Give Conflicting Accounts
There are seeming discrepancies between Winer and Nuland about actions taken involving the dossier.
Nuland described in a Politico podcast
what she claimed was her reaction when she was presented with Steele's dossier information at the State Department.
She said that she offered advice to "those who were interfacing with" Steele, immediately telling the intermediary or intermediaries
that Steele "should get this information to the FBI." She further explained that a career employee at the State Department could
not get involved with the dossier charges since such actions could violate the Hatch Act, which prevents employees in the executive
branch of the federal government from engaging in certain kinds of political activities.
In a second interview, this one with CBS's Face The Nation, Nuland also stated that her "immediate" reaction was to refer Steele
to the FBI.
Here is a transcript of the
section of her February 5 interview with Susan B. Glasser, who described Nuland as "my friend" and referred to her by her nickname
Glasser: When did you first hear about his dossier?
Nuland: I first heard -- and I didn't know who his client was until much later, until 2017, I think, when it came out. I first
heard that he had done work for a client asserting these linkages -- I think it was late July, something like that.
Glasser: That's very interesting. And you would have taken him seriously just because you knew that he knew what he was talking
about on Russia?
Nuland: What I did was say that this is about U.S. politics, and not the work of -- not the business of the State Department,
and certainly not the business of a career employee who is subject to the Hatch Act, which requires that you stay out of politics.
So, my advice to those who were interfacing with him was that he should get this information to the FBI, and that they could evaluate
whether they thought it was credible.
Glasser: Did you ever talk about it with anyone else higher up at the department? With Secretary Kerry or anybody else?
Nuland: Secretary Kerry was also aware. I think he's on the record and he had the same advice.
Nuland stated that Kerry "was also aware" of the dossier, but she did not describe how he was made aware. She made clear that
she told "those who were interfacing" with Steele to go to the FBI since any State Department involvement could violate the Hatch
Her Politico podcast interview was not the only time she claimed that her reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI.
On Face The Nation on February 4, Nuland engaged in the following
exchange in which she stated her "immediate" reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI (emphasis added):
MARGARET BRENNAN: The dossier.
VICTORIA NULAND: The dossier, he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding, and our immediate reaction
to that was, "This is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI, if there is any concern here that one candidate or the
election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian federation. That's something for the FBI to investigate."
And that was our reaction when we saw this. It's not our -- we can't evaluate this. And frankly, if every member of the campaign
who the Russians tried to approach and tried to influence had gone to the FBI as well in real time, we might not be in the mess
we're in today.
Nuland gave the two interviews after her name started surfacing in news media reports involving Kerry's State Department and the
dossier. Her name also came up in relation to a criminal referral of Steele to the Justice Department in the form of a letter authored
last year by Sen. Chuck Grassley, who at the time chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
The Grassley-Graham criminal referral
contains redacted information that Steele received information from someone in the State Department, who in turn had been in
contact with a "foreign sub-source" who was in touch with a redacted name described as a "friend of the Clintons."
Numerous media reports have since stated that the source of information provided to the State Department that was in turn passed
on to Steele was Cody Shearer, a controversial figure tied to the Clintons who is also an associate of longtime Clinton friend Sidney
Blumenthal. According to sources who
to CNN, Shearer's information was passed from Blumenthal to Winer, who at the time was a special State Department envoy for Libya
working under Kerry. Winer
says that Kerry personally recruited him to work at the State Department.
It is Winer's version of events that seems to conflict with Nuland's.
oped published in the Washington Post, Winer identified Nuland as the State Department official with whom he shared Steele's
information. Winer writes that Nuland's reaction was that "she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material."
He does not relate any further reaction from Nuland.
Winer wrote in the Washington Post (emphasis added):
In the summer of 2016, Steele told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald
Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials. He did not provide details but made clear the information involved "active measures,"
a Soviet intelligence term for propaganda and related activities to influence events in other countries.
In September 2016, Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the "dossier." Steele's sources
suggested that the Kremlin not only had been behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign
but also had compromised Trump and developed ties with his associates and campaign.
I was allowed to review, but not to keep, a copy of these reports to enable me to alert the State Department. I prepared a
two-page summary and shared it with Nuland, who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made
aware of this material.
That was the extent of Winer's description of Nuland's reaction upon being presented with Steele's dossier claims. Nuland's public
claim that her "immediate" response was to refer Steele to the FBI since State involvement could violate the Hatch Act seems to conflict
with the only reaction that Winer relates from Nuland – that she felt Kerry should be made aware of the dossier information.
In Winer's Washington Post oped, he writes that Steele had a larger relationship with the State Department, passing over
100 reports relating to Russia to the U.S. government agency through Winer. Winer wrote that Nuland found Steele's reports to be
"useful" and asked Winer to "continue to send them."
In 2013, I returned to the State Department at the request of Secretary of State John F. Kerry, whom I had previously served
as Senate counsel. Over the years, Steele and I had discussed many matters relating to Russia. He asked me whether the State Department
would like copies of new information as he developed it. I contacted Victoria Nuland, a career diplomat who was then assistant
secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and shared with her several of Steele's reports. She told me they were useful
and asked me to continue to send them. Over the next two years, I shared more than 100 of Steele's reports with the Russia experts
at the State Department, who continued to find them useful. None of the reports related to U.S. politics or domestic U.S. matters,
and the reports constituted a very small portion of the data set reviewed by State Department experts trying to make sense of
events in Russia.
Kramer and the dossier
In his book, "The Restless Wave," McCain provided an inside account of how he says he came across the dossier.
He wrote that he was told about the claims in the document at a security conference in Canada in November 2016, where he was approached
by Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Moscow and friend of ex-British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier.
McCain wrote that Wood told him Steele "had been commissioned to investigate connections between the Trump campaign and Russian
agents as well as potentially compromising information about the President-elect that Putin allegedly possessed."
McCain, however, did not address the obvious question of whether he was told exactly who "commissioned" Steele to "investigate"
the alleged Russian ties. The dossier was paid for by Clinton's campaign and the DNC.
McCain goes on to describe Wood as telling him Steele's work "was mostly raw, unverified intelligence, but that the author strongly
believed merited a thorough examination by counterintelligence experts."
The politician says the dossier claims described to him were "too strange a scenario to believe, something out of a le Carré novel,
not the kind of thing anyone has ever actually had to worry about with a new President, no matter what other concerns."
Still, McCain says he reasoned that "even a remote risk that the President of the United States might be vulnerable to Russian
extortion had to be investigated."
McCain concedes Wood told him he had not actually read the dossier himself, and writes that he wasn't sure if he ever met Wood
before and couldn't recall previously having a conversation with Wood. Still, McCain took Wood's word for it when Wood vouched for
Steele's credibility. "Steele was a respected professional, Wood assured us, who had good Russian contacts and long experience collecting
and analyzing intelligence on the Kremlin," McCain wrote.
Present at the meeting with Wood and McCain was Kramer, who McCain writes agreed to "go to London to meet Steele, confirm his
credibility and report back to me."
McCain doesn't detail Kramer's visit to London beyond simply writing, "When David returned, and shared his impression that the
former spy was, as Sir Andrew had vouched, a respected professional, and not to outward appearances given to hyperbole or hysteria,
I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as 'the dossier.'''
McCain leaves out exactly where Kramer obtained his dossier copy.