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Deep State

News Media-Military-Industrial Complex Recommended Books Recommended Links National Security State / Surveillance State Big Uncle is Watching You  US and British media are servants of security apparatus
 Nation under attack meme Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Trump vs. Deep State Anti Trump Hysteria Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Neoconservatism New American Militarism
Jingoism of the US neoliberal elite American Exceptionalism Corporatism Neo-fascism Inverted Totalitarism Bureaucracies Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism  The Pareto Law Amorality of neoliberal elite Casino Capitalism Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult Pluralism as a myth What's the Matter with Kansas
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment The importance of controlling the narrative  Patterns of Propaganda Corruption of Regulators Two Party System as polyarchy Audacious Oligarchy and Loss of Trust
Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton - unsuccessful deep state candidate for presidency US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention Obama: a yet another Neocon Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Robert Kagan Paul Wolfowitz
Wrecking Crew: Notes on Republican Economic Policy Libertarian Philosophy In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers Groupthink Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Introduction


DEEP STATE n. A hard-to-perceive level of government or super-control that exists regardless of elections and that may thwart popular movements or radical change. Some have said that Egypt is being manipulated by its deep state.

A Wordnado of Words in 2013 - NYTimes.com , Dec 21, 2013

"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.... I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations."

President Harry Truman

"For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence - on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day.

It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed."

President John_F._Kennedy, speech on April 27, 1961

In a way, the concept of  Corporatism and the concept of  "deep state" are very close. Corporatism presuppose the merger of government and corporations. It can be done openly as was the case in Mussolini Italy, or via back door including the "revolving door" mechanism as it was done in the USA. In the latter case part of power of 'surface state" is preserved.  Deep state just adds another component to corporatism power structure -- intelligence agencies.  With this addition elections became simply device to legitimize the governance of the current elite, with undesirable candidates filtered before they can compete in election by various means, including radical as was the cans with JFK assassination.

We can say that Deep state was created simultaneously with powerful intelligence agencies. In case of the USA it was Truman who created added CIA to the roster of intelligence agencies and as such he can be called a godfather of the US deep state. This concept became more well known recently in view of color revolution against Trump launched by Clinton wing of Democratic party (so called "soft neoliberal" wing)  in association the supporting them elements of intelligence agencies such as State Department, CIA and FBI. 

The concept of the  deep state is related to the answer the another fundamental question: Can democracy exists in a state with powerful intelligence agencies like NSA, CIA, FBI (which plays the role of counterintelligence agency in the USA; look at Russiagate) and the State Department (which has functions,  which duplicate those of CIA).  Thus  the concept of the "deep state" can be viewed as a reformulation of the iron law of oligarchy  on a new level (state level), explaining the role of intelligence agencies as an immanent part of the ruling elite.  For example, the neoliberals elite which rules the USA since late 70th (Carter not Reagan was the first neoliberal president of the USA).

Intelligence agencies  acquired a special status under corporatism. They became the backbone and intellectual center of the Media-Military-Industrial Complex which now is extended to major Wall Street banks (which historically have a very close ties with CIA; CIA was formed by lawyers which served their interests such  as Allen Dulles).   Under neoliberalism the financial oligarchy became the most important part of this complex (especially oligarchy of such banks as Goldman Sachs  and Citibank). Recently Silicon Valley mega corporations also joined it and all of them are closely connected to NSA and CIA (especially Amazon, Google and Facebook).  In a way military-industrial complex mutated into Media-Military-Financial-Industrial-Silicon Valley complex.

This is a new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources. Member of this  clan stands above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions (on intelligence agencies level, J. Edgar Hoover   who managed to die in his official position, much like the USSR members of Politburo, is an excellent example here).  They now are a new incarnation of  the "royal court", or in more modern term Nomenklatura, which can, like in old times,  to depose a monarch or even kill him.

So in a way the concept of "deep state"  implies and emphasizes the hypertrophied role of three letter agencies among unelected government bureaucracy. They are  joined at the heap with financial oligarchy, MIC and Silicon Valley in national politics. Especially in formulating foreign policy. Influence of MIC on  the US foreign policy is nothing new and power of neocon, who are, in essence, lobbyists of MIC attests that. They dominate the USA foreign policy since then end of WWII.  After all one of the most plausible hypotheses of why JFK was killed is that his policies were directed against and curtain power of intelligences agencies (especially CIA which he hated) and MIC.

But devil is always in details and some features of the USA deep state are unique and different the deep state in other neoliberal countries such as EU, GB, Turkey, or Russia. BTW the term "deep state" originated in Turkey. 

The "deep state" victory over voters and political dominance is always "incomplete."  The "surface state" is still keeping some positions and even try to counterattack deep state in certain areas. Second, the merger of interests of three letter agencies like CIA/NSA (politically active factions at FBI and State Department can be views as subsidiary of CIA, see Strzogate for details ) and Wall Street can never be absolute. They have somewhat different worldviews on both the USA foreign policy priorities and methods of achieving them. Also there is a fierce competition between intelligence  agencies for state resources, which pitch, for example, CIA against NSA and both of then against DIA (just look at Sacrifice of Michael Flynn to neocons story). As we can see from Syria war such differences can lead to essentially supporting hostile to each other  groups of insurgent while trying to achieve the same color revolution based "regime change" in the country.

The statement that relations between three letter agencies are far from harmonious are supported by leaked story about how CIA ('humint") was very concerned about recent rise of status and capabilities of NSA ("sigint") and tried to duplicate its capabilities ( Vault 7 scandal)  They lie to each other and try to poach  funds from the other agencies. Vault 7 scandal is a strong confirmation that CIA brass is very concerted about increased role and influence of NSA in the era on Internet communications and trying to counterattack and undermine it.

Add to this a special, more independent, status and role of military intelligence which also in now in best relations with both CIA and NSA. Destiny of General Flynn, who served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency,  and in 2017 was entrapped by FBI with the help of NSA and CIA is a strong sign there not much love left between DIA and other agencies (with DIA probably being the most competent of them all). So in certain areas they are more like spiders in the cage with CIA perfectly capable attacking NSA and vise versa. That gives us some hope. 

The rise of intelligence  agenizes inevitably lead to conversion of the state into national security state and we can talk about "election democracy" in such state only with great reservations. Yes some freedom to chose candidatures still exist (as Sanders and, possibly, Trump emergence in 2016 elections attests), but the  final choice is more often then not is determined by intelligence agencies, not so much by voters (which derailing of Sanders in favor of establishment candidate -- Hillary Clinton -- also quite vividly attests; not that Sanders fought a good fight in this respect serving more like a sheep dog in the elections).

Two party system invented by elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for inverted totalitarism type of regimes, including the US neoliberalism.  But there is second trend here which increase the elite control of the county:  this is dramatic transfer of power to institutions of "deep state", which in certain sense now like TBTF are beyond civil  control. As well as a secret alliance between Wall Street and CIA and other three letter agencies.

All those factors essentially make Presidential and Congress election in the USA truly optional, serving mostly ceremonial, decorative function. Yes elections still continue to exist and sometime provide good theater, within the strict rules of an emasculated "two parties, winner takes all" system, which if you think about it is not that different from one party elections in the USSR.

They still have a role in legitimizing the current rulers, although actual rules are not the same as those who were elected. This is especially true about the two recent US Presidents: George W Bush and Barack Obama.  And that explains why Barack Obama foreign policy is essentially a continuation of policy of George W Bush with minor tweaks.  Just the fact that neocon Victoria Nuland who worked for Cheney was promoted to the key role of the  Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs  tells that Obama controls very little in foreign policy area and that 'deep state" is functioning autonomously and without control of "surface state".

The USA political system does not have a single government. It actually has two distinct governments. They are called "surface state" or Madisonians and "deep state" or Trumanites (national security establishment in alliance with selected members of financial oligarchy, media owners and technocrats). The latter term emerged because it was Harry Truman who signed National Security Act of 1947  which created major three letter agencies (CIA, DOD, FBI and NSA).

Simplifying the complex relation between those two US governments (sometimes Madisonians fight back and have Trumanites to make a temporary retreat) we can say that:

In other words, the "Deep state" represent the actual government of the society by unelected elite, which is composed of high-level officials within the intelligence services, military, law enforcement, judiciary and, often, organized crime. It should be viewed as an extended and more realistic variant of military industrial complex dominance (see Media-Military-Industrial Complex) as it includes selected members of financial oligarchy along with industrialists, Internet moguls,  and media owners.  In British author John le Carré’s latest novel, A Delicate Truth, a character describes the Deep State as

“… the ever-expanding circle of non-governmental insiders from banking, industry and commerce who were cleared for highly classified information denied to large swathes of Whitehall and Westminster.”

Conversion of system of governance to "deep state" which happened in the USA almost immediately after 1947 essentially made large part of federal elections including Presidential elections optional, but they still continue to exist as a ceremonial function for the sake of providing the legitimacy of the government in an emasculated "two parties system" form.  While relationship is more complex then simple dominance, in essence "deep state" is the tail that wags the dog. And JFK assassination (Nov 22, 1963)  meant first of all the triumph of "deep state" over "surface state". In this sense 9/11 was just the last nail in the coffin of democracy.

The term “Deep State” was coined in Turkey (and actually Wikipedia discusses only it) but it is widespread modern phenomenon which is a typical model of governance in all major neoliberal states, including the USA, GB and France. For example, it able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process. That's why elected candidates swiftly perform "bat and switch" maneuver and conduct polices radically different from those for which they were elected. As any elite dominance project it is deeply anti-democratic although it uses fig leaf of democracy for foreign expansion via color revolutions and wars. 

Like in Third Reich, this dominance is supported by relentless propaganda and brainwashing with mechanisms polished since Reagan to perfection. There is now no problem to create an "enemy of the people" when the elite wants and it does not matter which country or individual is selected as an enemy. The essence of elite politics in this area was best formulated by Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

In other words this is a hidden set of political actors and powerful institutions that are concealed within the wider, “visible” state which, essentially, took over the functions of traditional state, leaving such organization of Executive branch, President, congress and courts mainly ceremonial role. Such transformation is well explained by the Iron Law of Oligarchy and in various forms happened in Third Reich, the USSR, Turkey, China and many other countries.

Mike Lofgren: the “deep state” is the Washington-Wall-Street-Silicon-Valley Establishment

Here is how The American Conservative covers this topic:

Steve Sailer links to this unsettling essay by former career Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren, who says the “deep state” — the Washington-Wall-Street-Silicon-Valley Establishment — is a far greater threat to liberty than you think. The partisan rancor and gridlock in Washington conceals a more fundamental and pervasive agreement.

Excerpts:

These are not isolated instances of a contradiction; they have been so pervasive that they tend to be disregarded as background noise. During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there. At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country’s intelligence. Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.

Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.” All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude.
 

More:

Washington is the most important node of the Deep State that has taken over America, but it is not the only one. Invisible threads of money and ambition connect the town to other nodes. One is Wall Street, which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater. Should the politicians forget their lines and threaten the status quo, Wall Street floods the town with cash and lawyers to help the hired hands remember their own best interests. The executives of the financial giants even have de facto criminal immunity. On March 6, 2013, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder stated the following: “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.” This, from the chief law enforcement officer of a justice system that has practically abolished the constitutional right to trial for poorer defendants charged with certain crimes. It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice — certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee. [3]

The corridor between Manhattan and Washington is a well trodden highway for the personalities we have all gotten to know in the period since the massive deregulation of Wall Street: Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner and many others. Not all the traffic involves persons connected with the purely financial operations of the government: In 2013, General David Petraeus joined KKR (formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) of 9 West 57th Street, New York, a private equity firm with $62.3 billion in assets. KKR specializes in management buyouts and leveraged finance. General Petraeus’ expertise in these areas is unclear. His ability to peddle influence, however, is a known and valued commodity. Unlike Cincinnatus, the military commanders of the Deep State do not take up the plow once they lay down the sword. Petraeus also obtained a sinecure as a non-resident senior fellow at theBelfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. The Ivy League is, of course, the preferred bleaching tub and charm school of the American oligarchy.

Lofgren goes on to say that Silicon Valley is a node of the Deep State too, and that despite the protestations of its chieftains against NSA spying, it’s a vital part of the Deep State’s apparatus. More:

The Deep State is the big story of our time. It is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction. Washington is the headquarters of the Deep State, and its time in the sun as a rival to Rome, Constantinople or London may be term-limited by its overweening sense of self-importance and its habit, as Winwood Reade said of Rome, to “live upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.”

Read the whole thing.  Steve Sailer says that the Shallow State is a complement to the Deep State. The Shallow State is, I think, another name for what the Neoreactionaries call “The Cathedral,” defined thus:

The Cathedral — The self-organizing consensus of Progressives and Progressive ideology represented by the universities, the media, and the civil service. A term coined by blogger Mencius Moldbug. The Cathedral has no central administrator, but represents a consensus acting as a coherent group that condemns other ideologies as evil. Community writers have enumerated the platform of Progressivism as women’s suffrage, prohibition, abolition, federal income tax, democratic election of senators, labor laws, desegregation, popularization of drugs, destruction of traditional sexual norms, ethnic studies courses in colleges, decolonization, and gay marriage. A defining feature of Progressivism is that “you believe that morality has been essentially solved, and all that’s left is to work out the details.” Reactionaries see Republicans as Progressives, just lagging 10-20 years behind Democrats in their adoption of Progressive norms.

You don’t have to agree with the Neoreactionaries on what they condemn — women’s suffrage? desegregation? labor laws? really?? — to acknowledge that they’re onto something about the sacred consensus that all Right-Thinking People share. I would love to see a study comparing the press coverage from 9/11 leading up to the Iraq War with press coverage of the gay marriage issue from about 2006 till today. Specifically, I’d be curious to know about how thoroughly the media covered the cases against the policies that the Deep State and the Shallow State decided should prevail. I’m not suggesting a conspiracy here, not at all. I’m only thinking back to how it seemed so obvious to me in 2002 that we should go to war with Iraq, so perfectly clear that the only people who opposed it were fools or villains. The same consensus has emerged around same-sex marriage. I know how overwhelmingly the news media have believed this for some time, such that many American journalists simply cannot conceive that anyone against same-sex marriage is anything other than a fool or a villain. Again, this isn’t a conspiracy; it’s in the nature of the thing. Lofgren:

Cultural assimilation is partly a matter of what psychologist Irving L. Janis called “groupthink,” the chameleon-like ability of people to adopt the views of their superiors and peers. This syndrome is endemic to Washington: The town is characterized by sudden fads, be it negotiating biennial budgeting, making grand bargains or invading countries. Then, after a while, all the town’s cool kids drop those ideas as if they were radioactive. As in the military, everybody has to get on board with the mission, and questioning it is not a career-enhancing move. The universe of people who will critically examine the goings-on at the institutions they work for is always going to be a small one. As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

A more elusive aspect of cultural assimilation is the sheer dead weight of the ordinariness of it all once you have planted yourself in your office chair for the 10,000th time. Government life is typically not some vignette from an Allen Drury novel about intrigue under the Capitol dome. Sitting and staring at the clock on the off-white office wall when it’s 11:00 in the evening and you are vowing never, ever to eat another piece of takeout pizza in your life is not an experience that summons the higher literary instincts of a would-be memoirist. After a while, a functionary of the state begins to hear things that, in another context, would be quite remarkable, or at least noteworthy, and yet that simply bounce off one’s consciousness like pebbles off steel plate: “You mean the number of terrorist groups we are fighting is classified?” No wonder so few people are whistle-blowers, quite apart from the vicious retaliation whistle-blowing often provokes: Unless one is blessed with imagination and a fine sense of irony, growing immune to the curiousness of one’s surroundings is easy. To paraphrase the inimitable Donald Rumsfeld, I didn’t know all that I knew, at least until I had had a couple of years away from the government to reflect upon it.

When all you know is the people who surround you in your professional class bubble and your social circles, you can think the whole world agrees with you, or should. It’s probably not a coincidence that the American media elite live, work, and socialize in New York and Washington, the two cities that were attacked on 9/11, and whose elites — political, military, financial — were so genuinely traumatized by the events.

Anyway, that’s just a small part of it, about how the elite media manufacture consent. Here’s a final quote, one from the Moyers interview with Lofgren:

BILL MOYERS: If, as you write, the ideology of the Deep State is not democrat or republican, not left or right, what is it?

MIKE LOFGREN: It’s an ideology. I just don’t think we’ve named it. It’s a kind of corporatism. Now, the actors in this drama tend to steer clear of social issues. They pretend to be merrily neutral servants of the state, giving the best advice possible on national security or financial matters. But they hold a very deep ideology of the Washington consensus at home, which is deregulation, outsourcing, de-industrialization and financialization. And they believe in American exceptionalism abroad, which is boots on the ground everywhere, it’s our right to meddle everywhere in the world. And the result of that is perpetual war.

This can’t last. We’d better hope it can’t last. And we’d better hope it unwinds peacefully.

I, for one, remain glad that so many of us Americans are armed. When the Deep State collapses — and it will one day — it’s not going to be a happy time.

Questions to the room: Is a Gorbachev for the Deep State conceivable? That is, could you foresee a political leader emerging who could unwind the ideology and apparatus of the Deep State, and not only survive, but succeed? Or is it impossible for the Deep State to allow such a figure to thrive? Or is the Deep State, like the Soviet system Gorbachev failed to reform, too entrenched and too far gone to reform itself? If so, what then?

Professor Michael J. Glennon   book “National Security and Double Government.”

The second important thinker in this area is  Professor Michael J. Glennon who wrote the book  “National Security and Double Government.”. The strong point of his views on the subject is that he assumes that there is an internal struggle between those two forms of government, not just passive submission one to another, but in most cases deep state prevails. This move led the USA "beyond a mere imperial presidency to a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy."

The "deep state" (call by Professor Michael J. Glennon) The Trumanites, exercise their power due to alliance with Wall Street, almost unlimited funding (with many hidden sources belong US budget),  higher efficiency, abuse of secrecy, exaggerated threats, peer pressure to conform, and corruption of  the key decision-makers.

Here is how Amazon reviewer Mal Warwick summarized the book in his review written on December 22, 2014

Who makes national security decisions? Not who you think!

Why does Barack Obama's performance on national security issues in the White House contrast so strongly with his announced intentions as a candidate in 2008? After all, not only has Obama continued most of the Bush policies he decried when he ran for the presidency, he has doubled down on government surveillance, drone strikes, and other critical programs.

Michael J. Glennon set out to answer this question in his unsettling new book, National Security and Double Government. And he clearly dislikes what he found.

The answer, Glennon discovered, is that the US government is divided between the three official branches of the government, on the one hand — the "Madisonian" institutions incorporated into the Constitution — and the several hundred unelected officials who do the real work of a constellation of military and intelligence agencies, on the other hand. These officials, called "Trumanites" in Glennon's parlance for having grown out of the national security infrastructure established under Harry Truman, make the real decisions in the area of national security. (To wage the Cold War, Truman created the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Department of Defense, the CIA, the NSA, and the National Security Council.) "The United States has, in short," Glennon writes, "moved beyond a mere imperial presidency to a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy. . . . The perception of threat, crisis, and emergency has been the seminal phenomenon that has created and nurtures America's double government." If Al Qaeda hadn't existed, the Trumanite network would have had to create it — and, Glennon seems to imply, might well have done so.

The Trumanites wield their power with practiced efficiency, using secrecy, exaggerated threats, peer pressure to conform, and the ability to mask the identity of the key decision-maker as their principal tools.

Michael J. Glennon comes to this task with unexcelled credentials. A professor of international law at Tufts and former legal counsel for the Senate Armed Services Committee, he came face to face on a daily basis with the "Trumanites" he writes about. National Security and Double Government is exhaustively researched and documented: notes constitute two-thirds of this deeply disturbing little book.

The more I learn about how politics and government actually work — and I've learned a fair amount in my 73 years — the more pessimistic I become about the prospects for democracy in America. In some ways, this book is the most worrisome I've read over the years, because it implies that there is no reason whatsoever to think that things can ever get better. In other words, to borrow a phrase from the Borg on Star Trek, "resistance is futile." That's a helluva takeaway, isn't it?

On reflection, what comes most vividly to mind is a comment from the late Chalmers Johnson on a conference call in which I participated several years ago. Johnson, formerly a consultant to the CIA and a professor at two campuses of the University of California (Berkeley and later San Diego), was the author of many books, including three that awakened me to many of the issues Michael Glennon examines: Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis. Johnson, who was then nearly 80 and in declining health, was asked by a student what he would recommend for young Americans who want to combat the menace of the military-industrial complex. "Move to Vancouver," he said.

Another good summary of the book can be found is review by Bruce Morgan (Shadow Government )

October 28, 2014 | Tufts Now

Elected officials are no longer in charge of our national security—and that is undermining our democracy, says the Fletcher School's Michael Glennon

Michael Glennon in his office

"We are clearly on the path to autocracy," says Michael Glennon. "There's no question that if we continue on that path, [the] Congress, the courts and the presidency will ultimately end up . . . as institutional museum pieces." Photo: Kelvin Ma

Michael Glennon knew of the book, and had cited it in his classes many times, but he had never gotten around to reading the thing from cover to cover. Last year he did, jolted page after page with its illuminating message for our time.

The book was The English Constitution, an analysis by 19th-century journalist Walter Bagehot that laid bare the dual nature of British governance. It suggested that one part of government was for popular consumption, and another more hidden part was for real, consumed with getting things done in the world. As he read, Glennon, a professor of international law at the Fletcher School, where he also teaches constitutional law, saw distinct parallels with the current American political scene.

He decided to explore the similarities in a 30-page paper that he sent around to a number of his friends, asking them to validate or refute his argument. As it happens, Glennon's friends were an extraordinarily well-informed bunch, mostly seasoned operatives in the CIA, the U.S. State Department and the military. "Look," he told them. "I'm thinking of writing a book. Tell me if this is wrong." Every single one responded, "What you have here is exactly right."

Expanded from that original brief paper, Glennon's book National Security and Double Government (Oxford University Press) takes our political system to task, arguing that the people running our government are not our visible elected officials but high-level—and unaccountable—bureaucrats nestled atop government agencies.

Glennon's informed critique of the American political system comes from a place of deep regard. Glennon says he can remember driving into Washington, D.C., in the late spring of 1973, at the time of the Senate Watergate hearings, straight from law school at the University of Minnesota, to take his first job as assistant legislative counsel to the U.S. Senate. Throughout his 20s, he worked in government, culminating in his position as legal counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Sen. Frank Church from 1977 to 1980. Since entering academic life in the early 1980s, Glennon has been a frequent consultant to government agencies of all stripes, as well as a regular commentator on media outlets such as NPR's All Things Considered, the Today show and Nightline.

In his new book, an inescapable sadness underlies the narrative. "I feel a great sense of loss," Glennon admits. "I devoted my life to these [democratic] institutions, and it's not easy to see how to throw the current trends into reverse." Tufts Now spoke with Glennon recently to learn more of his perspective.

Tufts Now: You've been both an insider and an outsider with regard to government affairs. What led you to write this book?

Michael Glennon: I was struck by the strange continuity in national security policy between the Bush administration and the Obama administration. Obama, as a candidate, had been eloquent and forceful in criticizing many aspects of the Bush administration's national security policies, from drone strikes to Guantanamo to surveillance by the National Security Agency—the NSA—to covert operations. Yet as president, it turned out that he made very, very few changes in these policies. So I thought it was useful to explain the reason for that.

Were you surprised by the continuity?

I was surprised by the extent of it. I knew fundamentally from my own experience that changing national policies is like trying to change the course of an aircraft carrier. These policies in many ways were set long ago, and the national security bureaucracy tends to favor the status quo. Still, I thought that a president like Obama would, with the political wind in his sails and with so much public and congressional support for what he was criticizing, be more successful in fulfilling his promises.

You use the phrase "double government," coined by Walter Bagehot in the 1860s. What did he mean by that?

Walter Bagehot was one of the founders of the Economist magazine. He developed the theory of "double government," which in a nutshell is this. He said Britain had developed two sets of institutions. First came "dignified" institutions, the monarchy and the House of Lords, which were for show and which the public believed ran the government. But in fact, he suggested, this was an illusion.

These dignified institutions generate legitimacy, but it was a second set of institutions, which he called Britain's "efficient" institutions, that actually ran the government behind the scenes. These institutions were the House of Commons, the Cabinet and the prime minister. This split allowed Britain to move quietly from a monarchy to what Bagehot called a "concealed republic."

The thesis of my book is that the United States has also drifted into a form of double government, and that we have our own set of "dignified" institutions—Congress, the presidency and the courts. But when it comes to national security policy, these entities have become largely for show. National security policy is now formulated primarily by a second group of officials, namely the several hundred individuals who manage the agencies of the military, intelligence and law enforcement bureaucracy responsible for protecting the nation's security.

What are some components of this arrangement?

The NSA, the FBI, the Pentagon and elements of the State Department, certainly; generally speaking, law enforcement, intelligence and the military entities of the government. It's a diverse group, an amorphous group, with no leader and no formal structure, that has come to dominate the formation of American national security policy to the point that Congress, the presidency and the courts all defer to it.

You call this group the "Trumanite network" in your book. What's the link to Harry Truman?

It was in Truman's administration that the National Security Act of 1947 was enacted. This established the CIA and the National Security Council and centralized the command of the U.S. military. It was during the Truman administration as well that the National Security Agency [NSA] was set up, in 1952, although that was a secret and didn't come to light for many years thereafter.

In contrast to the Trumanites you set the "Madisonians." How would you describe them?

The Madisonian institutions are the three constitutionally established branches of the federal government: Congress, the judiciary and the president. They are perceived by the public as the entities responsible for the formulation of national security policy, but that belief is largely mistaken.

The idea is driven by regular exceptions. You can always point to specific instances in which, say, the president personally ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden or Congress enacted the War Powers Resolution. But these are exceptions. The norm is that as a general matter, these three branches defer to the Trumanite network, and that's truer all the time.

So the trend is toward increased power on the Trumanite side of the ledger.

Correct.

If that's true, why has there not been a greater outcry from the public, the media—all the observers we have?

I think the principal reason is that even sophisticated students of government operate under a very serious misunderstanding. They believe that the political system is self-correcting. They believe the framers set up a system of government setting power against power, and ambition against ambition, and that an equilibrium would be reached, and that any abuse of power would be checked, and arbitrary power would be prevented.

That is correct as far as it goes, but the reality is that's only half the picture. The other half is that Madison and his colleagues believed that for equilibrium to occur, we would have an informed and engaged citizenry. Lacking that, the entire system corrupts, because individuals are elected to office who do not resist encroachments on the power of their branches of government, and the whole equilibrium breaks down.

What role, if any, have the media played?

The media have pretty much been enablers. Although there are a handful of investigative journalists who have done a heroic job of uncovering many of the abuses, they are the exception, for a number of reasons. Number one, the media are a business and have a bottom line. It takes a huge amount of money to fund an investigative journalist who goes about finding sources over a period of years. Very few newspapers or television concerns have those sorts of deep pockets.

Second, access for the press is everything. There is huge incentive to pull punches, and you don't get interviews with top-ranking officials at the NSA or CIA if you're going to offer hard-hitting questions. Look, for example, at the infamous 60 Minutes puff piece on the NSA, a really tragic example of how an otherwise respectable institution can sell its soul and act like an annex of the NSA in order to get some people it wants on the TV screen.

What is the role of terror in this environment?

The whole transfer of power from the Madisonian institutions to the Trumanite network has been fueled by a sense of emergency deriving from crisis, deriving from fear. It's fear of terrorism more than anything else that causes the American people to increasingly be willing to dispense with constitutional safeguards to ensure their safety.

Madison believed that government has two great objects. One object of a constitution is to enable the government to protect the people, specifically from external attacks. The other great object of a constitution is to protect the people from the government. The better able the government is to protect the people from external threats, the greater the threat posed by the government to the people.

You've been involved with the U.S. government for 40 years. How has your view of government changed?

Double government was certainly a factor in the 1970s, but it was challenged for the first time thanks to the activism stemming from the civil rights movement, Vietnam and Watergate. As a result, there were individuals in Congress—Democrats and Republicans like William Fulbright, Frank Church, Jacob Javits, Charles Mathias and many others—who were willing to stand up and insist upon adherence to constitutionally ordained principles. That led to a wave of activism and to the enactment of a number of pieces of reform legislation.

But there is no final victory in Washington. Those reforms have gradually been eaten away and turned aside. I think today we are in many ways right back where we were in the early 1970s. NSA surveillance is an example of that. The Church Committee uncovered something called Operation Shamrock, in which the NSA had assembled a watch list of antiwar and civil rights activists based upon domestic surveillance. Church warned at the time that NSA capabilities were so awesome that if they were ever turned inward on the American people, this nation would cross an abyss from which there is no return. The question is whether we have recently crossed that abyss.

To what degree are we still a functioning democracy? I'm sure you know that President Jimmy Carter told a German reporter last year that he thought we no longer qualified as a democracy because of our domestic surveillance.

We are clearly on the path to autocracy, and you can argue about how far we are down that path. But there's no question that if we continue on that path, America's constitutionally established institutions—Congress, the courts and the presidency—will ultimately end up like Britain's House of Lords and monarchy, namely as institutional museum pieces.

Bruce Morgan can be reached at bruce.morgan@tufts.ed

Here is how Christopher Bellavita in Homeland Security Watch summarize an interesting discussion at Cato think tank which I highly recommend to watch:

Why has American national security policy changed so little from the Bush administration to the Obama

That’s the question Michael J. Glennon asks in his book “National Security and Double Government.”

His answer: national security policy is determined largely by “the several hundred managers of the military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement agencies who are responsible for protecting the nation and who have come to operate largely immune from constitutional and electoral restraints.” The president, congress and the courts play largely a symbolic role in national security policy, Glennon claims.

You can read a Harvard National Security Journal article that outlines Glennon’s argument at this link: http://harvardnsj.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Glennon-Final.pdf.  The paper is not an especially easy read, but I found it to be well researched and – for  me – persuasive.

His book adds more analysis to the argument, using (from Graham Allison’s Essence of Decision) the rational actor model, the government politics model, and the organizational behavior model. Glennon extends that framework by discussing culture, networks, and the myth of alternative competing hypotheses.  The book is richer, in my opinion.  But the core of Glennon’s position is in the paper.

This link takes you to a video of Glennon talking about his book at the Cato Institute: http://www.cato.org/events/national-security-double-government (the talk starts at the 5:20 mark).

From the Cato site:

In National Security and Double Government, Michael Glennon examines the continuity in U.S. national security policy from the Bush administration to the Obama administration. Glennon explains the lack of change by pointing to the enervation of America’s “Madisonian institutions,” namely, the Congress, the presidency, and the courts. In Glennon’s view, these institutions have been supplanted by a “Trumanite network” of bureaucrats who make up the permanent national security state. National security policymaking has been removed from public view and largely insulated from law and politics. Glennon warns that leaving security policy in the hands of the Trumanite network threatens Americans’ liberties and the republican form of government.

Some blurb reviews:

I’ve spoken to three people I consider to be members of the “shadow national security state.”   One person said Glennon’s argument is nothing new.  The second told me he’s got it exactly right.  The third said it’s even worse.

Professor Peter Dale Scott book and articles

If Michael Glennon conceded defeat, but still has some hope, here we enter perfect Dante hell picture along the lines "Leave all hopes those who dare to enter"

Professor Peter Dale Scott book and article represent probably the most comprehensive coverage, especially his book. But the article in the Asia-Pacific journal represents fair summary of his views on the subject (The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld (Updated March 13, 2014):

In the last decade it has become more and more obvious that we have in America today what the journalists Dana Priest and William Arkin have called

two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre – and its entirety…visible only to God.1

And in 2013, particularly after the military return to power in Egypt, more and more authors referred to this second level as America’s “deep state.”2 Here for example is the Republican analyst Mike Lofgren:

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.3

At the end of 2013 a New York Times Op-Ed noted this trend, and even offered a definition of the term that will work for the purposes of this essay:

DEEP STATE n. A hard-to-perceive level of government or super-control that exists regardless of elections and that may thwart popular movements or radical change. Some have said that Egypt is being manipulated by its deep state.4

The political activities of the deep state are the chief source and milieu of what I have elsewhere called “deep politics:” “all those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, which are usually repressed rather than acknowledged.”5

Others, like Tom Hayden, call the deep state a “state within the state,” and suggest it may be responsible for the failure of the Obama administration to follow the policy guidelines of the president’s speeches:

We have seen evidence of a "state within the state" before, going back as far as the CIA's operations against Cuba. In Obama's time, the president correctly named the 2009 coup in Honduras a "coup", and then seemed powerless to prevent it.6

This development of a two-level or dual state has been paralleled by two other dualities: the increasing resolution of American society into two classes – the “one percent” and the “ninety-nine percent” – and the bifurcation of the U.S. economy into two aspects: the domestic, still subject to some governmental regulation and taxation, and the international, relatively free from governmental controls.7 All three developments have affected and intensified each other – particularly since the Reagan Revolution of 1980, which saw American inequality of wealth cease to diminish and begin to increase.8 Thus for example we shall see how Wall Street – the incarnation of the “one percent” – played a significant role in increasing the deep state after World War Two, and how three decades later the deep state played a significant role in realigning America for the Reagan Revolution.

In earlier books I have given versions of this America-centered account of America’s shift into empire and a deep state. But another factor to be mentioned is the shift of global history towards an increasingly global society dominated by a few emergent superpowers. This trend was accelerated after the Industrial Revolution by new technologies of transport, from the railroad in the 19th century to the jet plane and space travel in the 20th.9

In the fallout from this rearrangement we must include two world wars, as a result of which Britain ceased to act as the dominant superpower it had been since Napoleon. Not surprisingly, the Soviet Union and the United States subsequently competed in a Cold War to fill the gap. It  was not however predetermined that the Cold War would be as thuggish and covertly violent as for decades it continued to be. For that we should look to more contingent causes on both sides of the Iron Curtain – starting with the character of Stalin and his party but also including the partly responsive development of the American deep state.

The Deep State, The Shadow Government and the Wall Street Overworld

The “deep state” was defined by the UK newsletter On Religion as “the embedded anti-democratic power structures within a government, something very few democracies can claim to be free from.”10 The term originated in Turkey in 1996, to refer to U.S.-backed elements, primarily in the intelligence services and military, who had repeatedly used violence to interfere with and realign Turkey’s democratic political process. Sometimes the definition is restricted to elements within the government (or “a state-within-the state”), but more often in Turkey the term is expanded, for historical reasons, to include “members of the Turkish underworld.”11 In this essay I shall use “deep state” in the larger sense, to include both the second level of secret government inside Washington and those outsiders powerful enough, in either the underworld or overworld, to give it direction. In short I shall equate the term “deep state” with what in 1993 I termed a “deep political system:” “ one which habitually resorts to decision-making and enforcement procedures outside as well as inside those publicly sanctioned by law and society.”12

Like myself, Lofgren suggests an ambiguous symbiosis between two aspects of the American deep state:

1)  the Beltway agencies of the shadow government, like the CIA and NSA, which have been instituted by the public state and now overshadow it, and

2)  the much older power of Wall Street, referring to the powerful banks and law firms located there.

In his words,

It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice - certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee.13

I shall argue that in the 1950s Wall Street was a dominating complex. It included not just banks and oil firms but also the oil majors whose cartel arrangements were successfully defended against the U.S. Government by the Wall Street law firm Sullivan and Cromwell, home to the Dulles brothers. This larger complex is what I mean by the Wall Street overworld.

The Long History of the Wall Street Overworld

Lofgren’s inclusion of Wall Street is in keeping with Franklin Roosevelt’s observation in 1933 to his friend Col. E.M. House that “The real truth … is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”14

FDR’s insight is well illustrated by the efficiency with which a group of Wall Street bankers (including Nelson Rockefeller’s grandfather Nelson Aldrich and Paul Warburg) were able in a highly secret meeting in 1910 to establish the Federal Reserve System – a system which in effect reserved oversight of the nation’s currency supply and of all America’s banks in the not impartial hands of its largest.15 The political clout of the quasi-governmental Federal Reserve Board (where the federal Treasury is represented but does not dominate) was clearly demonstrated in 2008, when Fed leadership secured instant support from the successive administrations of a Texan Republican president, followed by a Midwest Democratic one, for public money to rescue the reckless management of Wall Street banks: banks Too Big To Fail, and of course far Too Big To Jail, but not Too Big To Bail.16

Wall Street and the Launching of the CIA

Top-level Treasury officials, CIA officers, and Wall Street bankers and lawyers think alike because of the “revolving door” by which they pass easily from private to public service and back. In 1946 General Vandenberg, as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), recruited Allen Dulles, then a Republican lawyer at Sullivan and Cromwell in New York, "to draft proposals for the shape and organization of what was to become the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947." Dulles promptly formed an advisory group of six men, all but one of whom were Wall Street investment bankers or lawyers.17 Dulles and two of the six (William H. Jackson and Frank Wisner) later joined the agency, where Dulles proceeded to orchestrate policies, such as the overthrow of the Arbenz regime in Guatemala, that he had previously discussed in New York at the Council on Foreign Relations.18

There seems to be little difference in Allen Dulles’s influence whether he was a Wall Street lawyer or a CIA director. Although he did not formally join the CIA until November 1950, he was in Berlin before the start of the 1948 Berlin Blockade, “supervising the unleashing of anti-Soviet propaganda across Europe.”19 In the early summer of 1948 he set up the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), support of what became by the early 1950s “the largest CIA operation in Western Europe.”20

The Deep State and Funds for CIA Covert Operations

Wall Street was also the inspiration for what eventually became the CIA’s first covert operation: the use of “over $10 million in captured Axis funds to influence the [Italian] election [of 1948].”21 (The fundraising had begun at the wealthy Brook Club in New York; but Allen Dulles, still a Wall Street lawyer, persuaded Washington, which at first had preferred a private funding campaign, to authorize the operation through the National Security Council and the CIA.)22

Dulles’s friend Frank Wisner then left Wall Street to oversee an enlarged covert operations program through the newly created Office of Policy Co-ordination (OPC). Dulles, still a lawyer, campaigned successfully to reconstruct Western Europe through what became known as the Marshall Plan.23 Together with George Kennan and James Forrestal, Dulles also “helped devise a secret codicil [to the Marshall Plan] that gave the CIA the capability to conduct political warfare. It let the agency skim millions of dollars from the plan.”24

This created one of the earlier occasions when the CIA, directly or indirectly, recruited local assets involved in drug trafficking. AFL member Irving Brown, the assistant of AFL official Jay Lovestone (a CIA asset), was implicated in drug smuggling activities in Europe, at the same time that he used funds diverted from the Marshall Plan to establish

a "compatible left" labor union in Marseilles with Pierre Ferri-Pisani. On behalf of Brown and the CIA, Ferri-Pisani (a drug smuggler connected with Marseilles crime lord Antoine Guerini), hired goons to shellack striking Communist dock workers.25

An analogous funding source for the CIA developed in the Far East: the so-called

"M-Fund," a secret fund of money of enormous size that has existed in Japan [in 1991] for more than forty years. The Fund was established by the United States in the immediate postwar era for essentially the same reasons that later gave rise to the Marshall Plan of assistance by the U.S. to Western Europe, including the Federal Republic of Germany….. The M-Fund was used not only for the building of a democratic political system in Japan but, in addition, for all of the purposes for which Marshall Plan funds were used in Europe.26

For at least two decades the CIA lavishly subsidized right-wing parties in countries including Japan and Indonesia, possibly still using captured Axis funds.27 (One frequently encounters the claim that the source of the M-fund was gold looted by Japan during World War Two (“Yamashita’s gold”).28

As a general rule the CIA, rather than assimilating these funds into its own budget, appears to have left them off the books in the hands of cooperative allied powers – ranging from other U.S. agencies like the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA. set up in 1948 to administer the Marshall Plan) to oil companies to powerful drug kingpins.29

The CIA never abandoned its dependency on funds from outside its official budget to conduct its clandestine operations. In Southeast Asia, in particular, its proprietary firm Sea Supply Inc., supplied an infrastructure for a drug traffic supporting a CIA-led paramilitary force, PARU.30 The CIA appears also to have acted in coordination with slush funds from various U.S. government contracts, ranging from the Howard Hughes organization to (as we shall see) the foreign arms sales of U.S. defense corporations like Lockheed and Northrop.31

... ... ....


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[Dec 14, 2018] MI6, along with elements of the CIA, was behind the Steele Dossier. Representatives of John Brennan met in London to discus before the go ahead was given

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... MI6, along with elements of the CIA, was behind the Steele Dossier. Representatives of John Brennan met in London to discus before the go ahead was given. They later put Michael Steele onto the project; he was a guy with credible Russian contacts. Basically, the scam worked like this: ..."
"... They funneled an MI6 intelligence file to Michael Steele (governments routinely keep such files on influential foreigners and what they are up to) so he could use his contacts to launder the information and make it appear that it came from sources within Russia; they then funneled the report back to elements of the FBI so they could use it to justify to the FISA court a spying campaign on Trump ..."
"... the Obama regime purposely mishandled information in regards to the spying program (ex: Michael Steele leaked his document to various news sources before the election and later lied to congress about it), ensuring it would leak to the press; the Obama regime illegally unmasked elements of Trump's personal contacts so they could clandestinely leak suggested targets off the record to the right people ..."
"... They lost the election anyway, so they then planted dirt and negative press to make the document look legit – lies about Manafort meeting Assange (Guardian is funded by the British government to police the left), WaPo lies claiming a vast Russian conspiracy just as Trump came into office (it was an effort to delegitimize him and create calls for Hillary to take his place), leaking bank records, the special counsel .and leaking information on Trump policies to the media using a secret security clearance credentials program enacted by Obama. ..."
"... The government takes CCTV footage of you at a grocery store; in the background there is an attractive woman. The woman then goes missing. The government illegally reads your emails and finds that you like sexual jokes. The government then interviews a friend of yours who claims that you once made a risque rape joke back in college. They also plant a mole in your workplace who befriends you and reports back all of your politically incorrect humor. Then the cops find the woman's body and the government claims that you killed her because you were in the area at the time and you make bad jokes, which has been confirmed by multiple credible people. You look guilty, don't you? The government 1) took information out of context 2) laundered circumstantial evidence through a credible witness when they originally obtained it elsewhere using nefarious sources. That's what they did to Trump, but much much much worse. ..."
"... And don't forget the Skripals' affair and the relationships (via M16) between Mr. Steele and Mr. Skripal: https://thedeepstate.com/steele-skripal/ ..."
Dec 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

anon [178] Disclaimer , says: December 4, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT

"You don't say; British Collusion to influence the 2016 US Presidential elections."

MI6, along with elements of the CIA, was behind the Steele Dossier. Representatives of John Brennan met in London to discus before the go ahead was given. They later put Michael Steele onto the project; he was a guy with credible Russian contacts. Basically, the scam worked like this:

They funneled an MI6 intelligence file to Michael Steele (governments routinely keep such files on influential foreigners and what they are up to) so he could use his contacts to launder the information and make it appear that it came from sources within Russia; they then funneled the report back to elements of the FBI so they could use it to justify to the FISA court a spying campaign on Trump (the FBI illegally withheld the source of the document); they found nothing proving any Russian connection but they kept the spy program going; they tried justifying the spy program with a fake story involving a reliable asset that once passed information from Jimmy Carter's campaign to George H.W. Bush in an effort to help Reagan win the 1980 election; they later paid the asset nearly a quarter million dollars for his efforts using a fake "India-China" grant despite the grant running to 2018, the asset attempted to get a job in the Trump administration so he could act as a mole ; the Obama regime purposely mishandled information in regards to the spying program (ex: Michael Steele leaked his document to various news sources before the election and later lied to congress about it), ensuring it would leak to the press; the Obama regime illegally unmasked elements of Trump's personal contacts so they could clandestinely leak suggested targets off the record to the right people

They lost the election anyway, so they then planted dirt and negative press to make the document look legit – lies about Manafort meeting Assange (Guardian is funded by the British government to police the left), WaPo lies claiming a vast Russian conspiracy just as Trump came into office (it was an effort to delegitimize him and create calls for Hillary to take his place), leaking bank records, the special counsel .and leaking information on Trump policies to the media using a secret security clearance credentials program enacted by Obama. They also ran interference through CIA guys like Mark Warner in an effort to cover up the mole they planted; they falsely asserted this was a national security issue when the man's identity was well-known to the press and he was never an undercover spy like Jarret was, at least not in recent history.

To put this all into perspective, imagine the following scenario:

The government takes CCTV footage of you at a grocery store; in the background there is an attractive woman. The woman then goes missing. The government illegally reads your emails and finds that you like sexual jokes. The government then interviews a friend of yours who claims that you once made a risque rape joke back in college. They also plant a mole in your workplace who befriends you and reports back all of your politically incorrect humor. Then the cops find the woman's body and the government claims that you killed her because you were in the area at the time and you make bad jokes, which has been confirmed by multiple credible people. You look guilty, don't you? The government 1) took information out of context 2) laundered circumstantial evidence through a credible witness when they originally obtained it elsewhere using nefarious sources. That's what they did to Trump, but much much much worse.

annamaria , says: December 7, 2018 at 2:45 pm GMT
@anon

"MI6, along with elements of the CIA, was behind the Steele Dossier. "

And don't forget the Skripals' affair and the relationships (via M16) between Mr. Steele and Mr. Skripal: https://thedeepstate.com/steele-skripal/

[Dec 14, 2018] Less Than Grand Strategy: Zbigniew Brzezinski s Cold War The Nation

The subtitle of this effusively admiring biography of Zbigniew Brzezinski, America's Grand Strategist, does not reflect its true purpose. A more accurate one might be this: "Just as Smart as the Other Guy." The other guy, of course, is Henry Kissinger. The implicit purpose of Justin Vaïsse's book is to argue that in his mastery of strategic thought and practice, Brzezinski ranks as Kissinger's equal.
Notable quotes:
"... That Brzezinski, who died last year at age 89, lived a life that deserves to be recounted and appraised is certainly the case. Born in Warsaw in 1928 to parents with ties to Polish nobility, Brzezinski had a peripatetic childhood. ..."
"... After graduating from McGill, Brzezinski set his sights on Harvard, which at the time was the very archetype of a "Cold War university." Senior faculty and young scholars on the make were volunteering to advise the national-security apparatus just then forming in Washington. For many of them, the Soviet threat appeared to eclipse all other questions and fields of inquiry. In this setting, Brzezinski flourished. Even before becoming an American citizen, he was thoroughly Americanized, imbued with the mind-set that prevailed in circles where members of the power elite mixed and mingled. Partially funded by the CIA, the Russian Research Center, Brzezinski's home at Harvard, was one of those places. ..."
"... From his time in Cambridge, he emerged committed, in his own words, to "nothing less than formulating a coherent strategy for the United States, so that we could eventually dismantle the Soviet bloc" and, not so incidentally, thereby liberate Poland. To this cause, the young Brzezinski devoted himself with single-minded energy. ..."
"... Convinced that the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc were internally fragile, he believed that economic and cultural interaction with the West would ultimately lead to their collapse. The idea was to project strength without provoking confrontation, while patiently exerting indirect influence. ..."
"... This limited academic influence probably did not bother Zbig; he never saw himself as a mere scholar. He was a classic in-and-outer, rotating effortlessly from university campuses to political campaigns, and from government service to plummy think-tank billets. According to Vaïsse, Brzezinski never courted the media. Even so, he demonstrated a pronounced talent for getting himself in front of TV cameras, becoming a frequent guest on programs like Meet the ..."
"... Toward the end of his life, Brzezinski even had a Twitter account. His last tweet, from May 2017, both summarizes the essence of his worldview and expresses his dismay regarding the presidency of Donald Trump: "Sophisticated US leadership is the sine qua non of a stable world order. However, we lack the former while the latter is getting worse." ..."
"... Although not an ideologue, Brzezinski was a liberal Democrat of a consistently hawkish persuasion. Committed to social justice at home, he was also committed to toughness abroad. In the 1960s, he supported US intervention in Vietnam, treated the domino theory as self-evidently true, and argued that, with American credibility on the line, the United States had no alternative but to continue prosecuting the war. Even after the war ended, Vaïsse writes, Brzezinski "did not view Vietnam as a mistake." ..."
"... Yet Vietnam did nudge Brzezinski to reconsider some of his own assumptions. In the early 1970s, with an eye toward forging a new foreign policy that might take into account some of the trauma caused by Vietnam, he organized the Trilateral Commission. Apart from expending copious amounts of Rockefeller money, the organization produced little of substance. For Brzezinski, however, it proved a smashing success. It was there that he became acquainted with Jimmy Carter, a Georgia governor then contemplating a run for the presidency in 1976. ..."
"... When Carter won, he rewarded Brzezinski by appointing him national-security adviser, the job that had vaulted Kissinger to the upper ranks of global celebrity. ..."
"... Because of Brzezinski's limited influence on foreign policy after Carter, Vaïsse's case for installing him in the pantheon of master strategists therefore rests on the claim that on matters related to foreign policy, the Carter presidency was something less than a bust. Vaïsse devotes the core of his book to arguing just that. Although valiant, the effort falls well short of success. ..."
"... From the outset of his administration, Carter accorded his national-security adviser remarkable deference. Brzezinski was not co-equal with the president; yet neither was he a mere subordinate. He was, Vaïsse writes, "the architect of Carter's foreign policy," while also exercising "an exceptional degree of control" over its articulation and implementation. ..."
"... The disintegration of the Soviet bloc and eventually of the Soviet Union itself was, in his view, a nominal goal of American foreign policy, but not an immediate prospect. ..."
"... The Camp David accords did nothing to resolve the Palestinian issue that underlay much of Israeli-Arab enmity; it produced a dead-end peace that left Palestinians without a state and Israel with no end of problems. And the Brzezinski-engineered embrace of China, enhancing Chinese access to American technology and markets, accelerated that country's emergence as a peer competitor. ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Zbigniew Brzezinski: America's Grand Strategist By Justin Vaïsse; Catherine Porter, trans.

Buy this book

Underlying that purpose are at least two implicit assumptions. The first is that, when it comes to statecraft, grand strategy actually exists, not simply as an aspiration but as a discrete and identifiable element. The second is that, in his writings and contributions to US policy, Kissinger himself qualifies as a strategic virtuoso. For all sorts of reasons, we should treat both of these assumptions with considerable skepticism.

That Brzezinski, who died last year at age 89, lived a life that deserves to be recounted and appraised is certainly the case. Born in Warsaw in 1928 to parents with ties to Polish nobility, Brzezinski had a peripatetic childhood. His father was a diplomat whose family accompanied him on postings to France, Germany, and eventually to Canada. The Nazi invasion of 1939, which extinguished Polish independence, also effectively ended his father's diplomatic career. With war engulfing nearly all of Europe, Brzezinski would not set foot on Polish soil again for nearly two decades.

Although the young Brzezinski quickly adapted to life in Canada, the well-being of Poles and Poland remained an abiding preoccupation. After the war, he studied economics and political science at McGill University, focusing in particular on the Soviet Union, which by then had replaced Germany as the power that dominated the country of his birth. Brzezinski was a brilliant student with a particular interest in international affairs, a field increasingly centered on questions related to America's role in presiding over the postwar global order.

After graduating from McGill, Brzezinski set his sights on Harvard, which at the time was the very archetype of a "Cold War university." Senior faculty and young scholars on the make were volunteering to advise the national-security apparatus just then forming in Washington. For many of them, the Soviet threat appeared to eclipse all other questions and fields of inquiry. In this setting, Brzezinski flourished. Even before becoming an American citizen, he was thoroughly Americanized, imbued with the mind-set that prevailed in circles where members of the power elite mixed and mingled. Partially funded by the CIA, the Russian Research Center, Brzezinski's home at Harvard, was one of those places.

From his time in Cambridge, he emerged committed, in his own words, to "nothing less than formulating a coherent strategy for the United States, so that we could eventually dismantle the Soviet bloc" and, not so incidentally, thereby liberate Poland. To this cause, the young Brzezinski devoted himself with single-minded energy.

A s a scholar and author of works intended for a general audience, Zbig, as he was widely known, was nothing if not prolific. Churning out a steady stream of well-regarded books and essays, he demonstrated a particular knack for "summarizing things in a concise and striking way."

Clarity took precedence over nuance.

And with his gift for stylish packaging -- crafting neologisms ("technetronic") and high-sounding phrases ("Histrionics as History in Transition") -- his analyses had the appearance of novelty, even if they often lacked real substance.

Whether writing for his fellow scholars or addressing a wider audience, Brzezinski had one big idea when it came to Cold War strategy: He promoted the concept of "peaceful engagement" as a basis for US policy.

Convinced that the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc were internally fragile, he believed that economic and cultural interaction with the West would ultimately lead to their collapse. The idea was to project strength without provoking confrontation, while patiently exerting indirect influence.

Yet little of the Brzezinski oeuvre has stood the test of time. The American canon of essential readings in international relations and strategy, beginning with George Washington's farewell address and continuing on through works by John Quincy Adams, Alfred Thayer Mahan, Hans Morgenthau, and a handful of others (the list is not especially long), does not include anything penned by Brzezinski. Although Vaïsse, a senior official with the French foreign ministry, appears to have read and pondered just about every word his subject wrote or uttered, he identifies nothing of Brzezinski's that qualifies as must-reading for today's aspiring strategist.

This limited academic influence probably did not bother Zbig; he never saw himself as a mere scholar. He was a classic in-and-outer, rotating effortlessly from university campuses to political campaigns, and from government service to plummy think-tank billets. According to Vaïsse, Brzezinski never courted the media. Even so, he demonstrated a pronounced talent for getting himself in front of TV cameras, becoming a frequent guest on programs like Meet the Press . He knew how to self-promote.

Toward the end of his life, Brzezinski even had a Twitter account. His last tweet, from May 2017, both summarizes the essence of his worldview and expresses his dismay regarding the presidency of Donald Trump: "Sophisticated US leadership is the sine qua non of a stable world order. However, we lack the former while the latter is getting worse."

F rom the time Brzezinski left Harvard in 1960 to accept a tenured position at Columbia, he made it his mission to nurture and facilitate that sophistication. For Zbig, New York offered a specific advantage over Cambridge: It provided a portal into elite political circles. As it had for Kissinger, the then-still-influential Council on Foreign Relations provided a venue that enabled Brzezinski to curry favor with the rich and powerful, and to establish his bona fides as a statesman to watch. Henry's patron was Nelson Rockefeller; Zbig's was Nelson's brother David.

Although not an ideologue, Brzezinski was a liberal Democrat of a consistently hawkish persuasion. Committed to social justice at home, he was also committed to toughness abroad. In the 1960s, he supported US intervention in Vietnam, treated the domino theory as self-evidently true, and argued that, with American credibility on the line, the United States had no alternative but to continue prosecuting the war. Even after the war ended, Vaïsse writes, Brzezinski "did not view Vietnam as a mistake."

Yet Vietnam did nudge Brzezinski to reconsider some of his own assumptions. In the early 1970s, with an eye toward forging a new foreign policy that might take into account some of the trauma caused by Vietnam, he organized the Trilateral Commission. Apart from expending copious amounts of Rockefeller money, the organization produced little of substance. For Brzezinski, however, it proved a smashing success. It was there that he became acquainted with Jimmy Carter, a Georgia governor then contemplating a run for the presidency in 1976.

Zbig and Jimmy hit it off. Soon enough, Brzezinski signed on as the candidate's principal foreign-policy adviser. When Carter won, he rewarded Brzezinski by appointing him national-security adviser, the job that had vaulted Kissinger to the upper ranks of global celebrity.

Zbig held this post throughout Carter's one-term presidency, from 1977 to 1981. It would be his first and last time in government. After 1981, Brzezinski went back to writing, continued to opine, and was occasionally consulted by Carter's successors, both Democratic and Republican. Yet despite having ascended to the rank of elder statesman, never again did Brzezinski occupy a position where he could directly affect US policy.

Because of Brzezinski's limited influence on foreign policy after Carter, Vaïsse's case for installing him in the pantheon of master strategists therefore rests on the claim that on matters related to foreign policy, the Carter presidency was something less than a bust. Vaïsse devotes the core of his book to arguing just that. Although valiant, the effort falls well short of success.

From the outset of his administration, Carter accorded his national-security adviser remarkable deference. Brzezinski was not co-equal with the president; yet neither was he a mere subordinate. He was, Vaïsse writes, "the architect of Carter's foreign policy," while also exercising "an exceptional degree of control" over its articulation and implementation.

In a characteristic display of self-assurance and bureaucratic shrewdness, as the new president took office, Brzezinski gave him a 43-page briefing book prescribing basic administration policy. Under the overarching theme of "constructive global engagement," Brzezinski identified 10 specific goals. The first proposed to "create more active and solid cooperation with Europe and Japan," the 10th to "maintain a defense posture designed to dissuade the Soviet Union from committing hostile acts." In between were less-than-modest aspirations to promote human rights, reduce the size of nuclear arsenals, curb international arms sales, end apartheid in South Africa, normalize Sino-American relations, terminate US control of the Panama Canal, and achieve an "overall solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem."

While Brzezinski's agenda was as bold as it was comprehensive, it nonetheless hewed to the Soviet-centric assumptions that had formed the basis of US policy since the end of World War II. Zbig recognized that the world had changed considerably in the ensuing years, but he also believed that any future changes would still occur in the context of a continuing Soviet-American rivalry. His strategic perspective, therefore, did not include the possibility that the international order might center on something other than the binaries imposed by the Cold War. The disintegration of the Soviet bloc and eventually of the Soviet Union itself was, in his view, a nominal goal of American foreign policy, but not an immediate prospect.

Using Brzezinski's 10 policy objectives as a basis for evaluating his performance, Vaïsse gives the national-security adviser high marks. "Few administrations have known so many tangible successes in only four years," he writes, citing the Panama Canal Treaty, the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement, and improved relations with China. Yet while Panama remains an underappreciated achievement, the other two qualify as ambiguous at best. The Camp David accords did nothing to resolve the Palestinian issue that underlay much of Israeli-Arab enmity; it produced a dead-end peace that left Palestinians without a state and Israel with no end of problems. And the Brzezinski-engineered embrace of China, enhancing Chinese access to American technology and markets, accelerated that country's emergence as a peer competitor.

More troubling still was Brzezinski's failure to anticipate or to grasp the implications of the two developments that all but doomed the Carter presidency: the 1978 Iranian Revolution and the 1979 Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Vaïsse does his best to cast a positive light on Brzezinski's role in these twin embarrassments. But there's no way around it: Brzezinski misread both -- with consequences that still haunt us today.

The Iranian Revolution, which Brzezinski sought to forestall by instigating a military coup in Tehran, offered a warning against imagining that Washington could shape events in the Islamic world. Brzezinski missed that warning entirely, although he would by no means be the last US official to do so. As for the Kremlin's plunge into Afghanistan, widely interpreted as evidence of the Soviet Union's naked aggression, it actually testified to the weakness and fragility of the Soviet empire, already in an advanced state of decay. Again, Brzezinski -- along with many other observers -- misread the issue. When clarity of vision was most needed, he failed to provide it.

Together, these two developments ought to have induced a wily strategist to reassess the premises of US policy. Instead, they resulted in decisions to deepen -- and to overtly militarize -- US involvement in and around the Persian Gulf. While this commitment is commonly referred to as the Carter Doctrine, Vaïsse insists that it "was really a Brzezinski doctrine."

Regardless of who gets the credit, the militarization of US policy across what Brzezinski termed an "arc of crisis" encompassing much of the Islamic world laid the basis for a series of wars and upheavals that continue to this day. If, as national-security adviser, Brzezinski wielded as much influence as Vaïsse contends, then this too forms part of his legacy. When it mattered most, the master strategist failed to understand the implications of the crisis that occurred on his watch.

The most glaring problem anyone faces in trying to assert Brzezinski's mastery of world affairs, however, rests not in Iran or Afghanistan, but in how the Cold War came to an end. Indeed, Brzezinski viewed it as essentially endless. As late as 1987, just two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was still insisting that "the American-Soviet conflict is an historical rivalry that will endure for as long as we live."

B rzezinski was certainly smart, flexible, and pragmatic, but he was also a prisoner of the Cold War paradigm. So too were virtually all other members of the foreign-policy establishment of his day. Indeed, subscribing to that paradigm was a prerequisite of membership. Yet this adherence amounted to donning a pair of strategic blinders: It meant seeing only those things that it was convenient to see.

Which brings us back to Zbig's last tweet, with its paean to American leadership as the sine qua non of global stability. The tweet neatly captures the mind-set that the foreign-policy establishment has embraced with something like unanimity since the Cold War surprised that establishment by coming to an end. This mind-set gets expressed in myriad ways in a thousand speeches and op-eds: The United States must lead. There is no alternative; history itself summons the country to do so. Should it fail in that responsibility, darkness will cover the earth.

This is why Trump so infuriates the foreign-policy elite: He appears oblivious to the providential call that others in Washington take to be self-evident. Yet adhering to this post–Cold War paradigm is also the equivalent of donning blinders. Whatever the issue -- especially when the issue is ourselves -- it means seeing only those things that we find it convenient to see.

The post–Cold War paradigm of American moral and political hegemony prevents us from appreciating the way that the world is actually changing -- rapidly, radically, and right before our very eyes. Today, with the planet continuing to heat up, the nexus of global geopolitics shifting eastward, and Americans pondering security threats for which our pricey and far-flung military establishment is all but useless, the art of strategy as practiced by members of Brzezinski's generation has become irrelevant. So too has Zbig himself.

[Dec 14, 2018] Hackers reveal British government s interference in Spanish politics by Alejandro López

Dec 06, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Documents leaked by internet hackers of Anonymous reveal how a supposedly independent think-tank based in the UK is a government funded and controlled operation of misinformation and fake news.

At the same time that the Western powers were accusing Russia of interference in democracy, the UK government and its intelligence services MI5 and MI6 were busily preventing the nomination of a Spanish official to Director of National Security, one of Spain's top advisory roles.

Details of the operation carried out by the Integrity Initiative (II), a project launched in 2015 by the Institute of Statecraft, have been published by the web site CyberGuerilla.org. It is a trove of documents allegedly hacked from II, showing carefully worked out campaigns, costs and internal guidelines, as well as names of individuals cooperating with the network.

Anonymous shows that the network:

1. Is mainly funded by the UK government through the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

2. Cost £1,961,000 ($2.5 million) this year.

3. Has received £168,000 in funding from HQ NATO Public Diplomacy and £250,000 from the US State Department.

4. Is controlled by figures in the UK who manipulate "clusters" of politicians, high-ranking military officials, academics and journalists.

5. Clusters are said to operate in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Norway, Serbia, and Montenegro.

6. Its activities are carried under absolute secrecy via named intelligence services operatives in British embassies.

The Integrity Initiative poses as "Defending Democracy against Misinformation," but does exactly the opposite, spreading fake news against Russia in order to defend the national interests of the UK and its imperialist allies, influence Russian speakers in Europe and North America and "change attitudes in Russia itself".

An example of II's activities was the operation launched last June against the nomination of Army reserve colonel Pedro Baños as Spain's Director of National Security. Attached to La Moncloa, the official residence and workplace of the prime minister of Spain, the director's role is to advise the PM on existing and potential threats to the country and possible responses.

II's operation started after it was warned that the new Socialist Party (PSOE) government under Pedro Sánchez, which had just been elected in parliament through a no confidence vote, was considering Baños and was about to confirm his appointment on June 7, 2018.

Immediately, newspapers like El Mundo and El País published articles accusing Baños of "sympathy for Russia." Proof of this for El País was his "regular presence" on Russia Today and Sputnik , media outlets funded by the Putin government. Further "evidence" was his tweet in response to a survey showing a domestic popularity rating of 74 percent for Russian President Vladimir Putin: "Wouldn't we love to have a political leader half as popular right here in the European Union!!!"

Baños was also quoted as saying, "Which country has everything that we lack? Russia does. We will not gain anything by provoking Russia. So Russia wants to have its own sphere of influence? Of course it does, just like the United States or China do. It also wants to have its markets and like-minded countries nearby."

Numerous articles also put in doubt Baños' sanity for his participation in the popular offbeat TV show Cuarto Milenio that often investigates topics such as conspiracy theories, ufology and parapsychology.

Baños reflects a minority realpolitik opinion within the Spanish ruling class which opposes provocative military actions and sanctions against Russia. He sees the need to defend Spain's imperialist interests through a European army and closer relations with Russia -- positions also held by sections of the German and French ruling elite.

The UK-sponsored II, however, saw Baños as a threat to British national interests and an obstacle to its anti-Russia campaign. According to the hacked documents, at midday on June 7, 2018, the Spanish Cluster, obviously through informants at the highest levels of the PSOE, "hear that a well-known pro-Kremlin voice, Pedro Baños, is to be appointed at the weekend (09.06.2018) as the Director of the National Security Department (DSN), which works closely with the Spanish PM's office (La Moncloa) and is very influential in shaping policy."

An action plan is drawn up laying out how Institute of Statecraft Fellow and Spain Cluster leader Nicólas de Pedro will alert "the rest of the cluster members and prepare[s] a dossier to inform the main Spanish media. The cluster starts a Twitter campaign... trying to prevent an appointment."

Spanish Cluster members also include Borja Lasheras and Quique Badia-Masoni, writers and journalists well known for their hysterical anti-Russian positions. They are supported by II Team UK members Chris Hernon, Simon Bracey-Lane and Ben Robinson, and StopFake Spanish Desk members Alina Mosendz and Serbian Cluster member Jelena Milic.

At 15:45, "The head of the Spanish cluster urgently contacts the British cluster, which activates the II network in order to create international support for the Twitter campaign. The British Cluster creates a group in the WhatsApp messenger... to coordinate the reaction on Twitter, gets contacts on Twitter to spread concerns and encourage people to 'retweet' the material. He publishes material written by the head of the Spanish cluster Niko de Pedro on the Spanish version of the StopFake website, which is also 'retweeted' by key influential figures."

The Spanish cluster then sends material to El País and El Mundo to publish. On the same day, El País publishes, "Spanish PM taps Russia supporter for National Security Director."

The documents reveal that by 19:45, barely eight hours after the start of the operation, the "campaign [had] raised significant noise on Twitter Contacts in the Socialist Party confirmed that this information reached the Prime Minister. Some Spanish diplomats also expressed their concern. In the end, both the People's Party and the Civil Party (Ciudadanos) asked the Prime Minister to stop the appointment."

The following day, the government drops Baños and nominates general Miguel Ángel Ballesteros instead.

The operation against Baños is a graphic illustration of the inner workings of the intelligence services in collaboration with alleged "independent" journalists and academics. The same forces that accuse Russia of meddling in European nations' internal affairs are themselves meddling to stop elected governments from nominating officials when it conflicts with their interests. They use social media in the same way they accuse the Kremlin of using it.

By showing the real sources of information on which they rely, newspapers like El País or El Mundo are exposed as conduits of the intelligence services to support the suppression of maverick political viewpoints, in this case, Baños' call for closer relations with Russia.

Last year, El País carried out a frenzied and paranoid campaign claiming that the Catalan crisis was not sparked by the Popular Party government's violent repression of the secessionists, but was the result of Moscow and its "fake news." It quoted experts and specialists working for Spanish think tanks like Instituto Elcano and Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB), and the European Council on Foreign Relations.

The leaked documents show that many members of these think tanks are members of the "Spanish Cluster" of the Integrity Initiative. The most notorious is Senior Analyst for Instituto Elcano, Mira Milosevich-Juaristi who testified last year in parliament to claim that Russia was promoting fake news.

The Baños case is just one of the highlighted campaigns of Integrity Initiative, but according to Anonymous, similar operations have been carried out in numerous other EU states.

[Dec 14, 2018] What percentage of CIA budget goes to the support of free press

Notable quotes:
"... Because once we go from "corruption is getting more and more common; something must be done" to "meh," we are crossing from a flawed democratic republic to outright tyranny and oligarchy with little way back. ..."
"... Why would anyone expect anything different from the Times, or any major U.S. Newspaper or media outlet? They are organs of the intelligence community and have been for many years. ..."
"... I think the ridiculous and pathetic explanations by NYT in this case are, in part, due to the fact that they simply don't care enough to produce better answers. In their view, these CIA connections and those with other Govt. agencies are paramount, and must be maintained at all costs. ..."
"... It is likely that the relationship is a little more formal than mere collusion ..."
"... "Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few" [George Bernard Shaw" ..."
"... Has been since Judith Miller told us there were WMD in Iraq in 2003. They don't plan anticipations of crises, but the actual crises themselves. In a moral world, the NYT is as guilty of genocide as Bush and Blair. ..."
Dec 01, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

capatriot , 29 Aug 2012 15:49

Good article. I especially like this:

The more important objection is that the fact that a certain behavior is common does not negate its being corrupt. Indeed, as is true for government abuses generally, those in power rely on the willingness of citizens to be trained to view corrupt acts as so common that they become inured, numb, to its wrongfulness. Once a corrupt practice is sufficiently perceived as commonplace, then it is transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable.

Because once we go from "corruption is getting more and more common; something must be done" to "meh," we are crossing from a flawed democratic republic to outright tyranny and oligarchy with little way back.

Besides, they don't all do it ... there are honorable reporters out there, some few of whom work for the Times and the Post.

BradBenson , 29 Aug 2012 15:48
Another great article Glenn. The Guardian will spread your words further and wider. Salon's loss is the world's gain.

Why would anyone expect anything different from the Times, or any major U.S. Newspaper or media outlet? They are organs of the intelligence community and have been for many years. That these email were allowed to get out under FOIA is indicative of the fact that there are some people on the inside who would like to get the truth out. Either that, or the head of some ES-2's Assistant Deputy for Secret Shenanigans and Heinous Drone Murders will roll.

CautiousOptimist , 29 Aug 2012 15:40
Glenn - Any comments on the recently disclosed emails between the CIA and Kathryn Bigelow?
CasualObs , 29 Aug 2012 15:32
Scott Horton quote on closely related Mazzetti reporting (in this case regarding misleading reporting on how important CIA/Bush torture was in tracking down and getting bin Laden, the focus of this movie):

"I'm quite sure that this is precisely the way the folks who provided this info from the agency [to Mazzetti] wanted them to be understood, but there is certainly more than a measure of ambiguity in them, planted with care by the NYT writers or their editors. This episode shows again how easily the Times can be spun by unnamed government sources, the factual premises of whose statements invariably escape any examination."

http://www.hillmanfoundation.org/blog/winners-sinners-mary-murphy-mark-mazzetti

I think the ridiculous and pathetic explanations by NYT in this case are, in part, due to the fact that they simply don't care enough to produce better answers. In their view, these CIA connections and those with other Govt. agencies are paramount, and must be maintained at all costs.

If you don't like their paper-thin answers, tough. In their view (imo) this will blow over and business will resume, with the all-important friends and connections intact. Thus leaving the machinery intact for future uncritical, biased and manipulative "spin" of NYT by any number of unnamed govt. sources/agencies...

Montecarlo2 , 29 Aug 2012 15:29

In what conceivable way is Mazzetti's collusion with the CIA an "intelligence matter" that prevents the NYT's managing editor from explaining what happened here?

That one is easy, as we learned in the Valerie Plame affair. It is likely that the relationship is a little more formal than mere collusion.

hominoid , 29 Aug 2012 15:27
Just another step down the ladder towards despotism. "Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few" [George Bernard Shaw"
LakerFan , 29 Aug 2012 15:13

The relationship between the New York Times and the US government is, as usual, anything but adversarial. Indeed, these emails read like the interactions between a PR representative and his client as they plan in anticipation of a possible crisis.

Has been since Judith Miller told us there were WMD in Iraq in 2003. They don't plan anticipations of crises, but the actual crises themselves. In a moral world, the NYT is as guilty of genocide as Bush and Blair.

The humor seems to go completely out of the issue when 100,000 people are dead and their families and futures changed forever.

Like I said, in a moral world....

[Dec 14, 2018] Vetting NYT materials by CIA reflects full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the neoliberal MSM

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Having said that, still worrying that the CIA devotes time to finding out what Maureen Dowd might write! ..."
"... It is true that Mazzetti's emails with the CIA do not shock or surprise in the slightest. But that's the point. With some noble journalistic exceptions (at the NYT and elsewhere), these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them." ..."
"... A few years ago the New York Times reported that there had been a successful coup in Venezuela - toppling Chavez. The story turned out to be inaccurate. The NY Times finally revealed their source - US State Dept... who were using NYT to give critical mass and support to their dream end to a thorn in their side. ..."
"... The New York Times-all the news the CIA decided is fit to print. ..."
Dec 01, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
Pouzar99 , 29 Aug 2012 17:36
Great column. The NYT does do some good things, such as give us Paul Krugman three times a week, some important reporting and articulate editorial opposition to the republican nightmare, but they are much, much too close to the government, as evidenced by their asking for permission to print news the White House disapproves of.

They are also devoted to denying their readers an accurate picture of American foreign policy. I frequently comment on threads there and my contributions nearly always get posted, except when I use the word empire. I have never succeeded in getting that word onto their website , nor have I seen it make it into anyone else's comment. It is like the famous episode of Fawlty Towers. "Don't mention the empire.'' Stories and commentaries sometimes describe specific aspects of US policy in negative terms, but connecting the dots is obviously forbidden.

Bill Keller is like a character from The Wire. The perfect example of the kind of authority-revering careerist that butt-kisses his way to the top in institutions.

Burgsmueller -> Fulton , 29 Aug 2012 17:25
Shouldn't it be a bigger surprise that the CIA still needs to ask someone connected to find out what somebody else wrote on any electronic device?

In related news: http://business.financialpost.com/2012/08/29/spyware-can-take-over-iphone-and-blackberry-new-study-reveals/

Fulton , 29 Aug 2012 17:16

most of the story seems to come down to the usual kind of thing we see from Judicial Watch - manufactured outrage over almost nothing

I think part of the outrage here is the extent to which it's almost hard to muster the energy because it's become so much the norm for the NYTimes to be in bed with whoever is in power in Washington at any given time. It's the sort of thing that should be "they did what!!!!?" but instead it's "yeah, well, Judith Miller, Wen Ho Lee, etcetc ... >long drawn-out sigh<." So, perhaps there is some manufacturing of outrage, but not unreasonably so if you take a step back and look at what's going on.

Having said that, still worrying that the CIA devotes time to finding out what Maureen Dowd might write!

JoeFromBrooklyn -> worldcurious , 29 Aug 2012 17:10
Learn to read. From the column:

"This cynicism – oh, don't be naive: this is done all the time – is precisely what enables such destructive behavior to thrive unchallenged.

It is true that Mazzetti's emails with the CIA do not shock or surprise in the slightest. But that's the point. With some noble journalistic exceptions (at the NYT and elsewhere), these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them."

gunnison , 29 Aug 2012 17:05

Once a corrupt practice is sufficiently perceived as commonplace, then it is transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable. Indeed, many people believe it demonstrates their worldly sophistication to express indifference toward bad behavior by powerful actors on the ground that it is so prevalent. This cynicism – oh, don't be naive: this is done all the time – is precisely what enables such destructive behavior to thrive unchallenged.

This is extremely important, and manifestly true. One runs into such people all the time. I haven't read any comments yet, but it would not surprise me to find some of them already here.

Even worse, I've done it myself on occasion, most recently just the other day on a Cif thread. Though I will say this; this kind of bullshit is not so much "transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable ", as grudgingly transformed into something unstoppable , but still toxic and objectionable.

That's mighty thin gruel as an alibi, but the reality for a lot of ordinary working people is they get fucking tired of it, and yes, they do get discouraged, then cynical and hardened to it all. That, of course, is part of the plan.

Keep swinging Glenn. This shit matters.

Anotherevertonian , 29 Aug 2012 16:42
The NYT is as stuffed-full of spook urinals, bottom-feeders and intelligence officers as...The Guardian?

I'm more shocked than I can feign.

Montecarlo2 -> jaytingle , 29 Aug 2012 16:42

"The optics aren't what they look like." Is Dean Baquet related to Yogi Berra?

Yogi Berra anticipated this problem: "You can observe a lot by watching".

Ahzeld , 29 Aug 2012 16:33
I'm unaware of a "source" being a person who requests documents from the reporter for doing damage control on behalf of the boss. (Not that I'd worry about Dowd either.) How exactly is this secret national intel? I'm glad this came out. We are being manipulated by the govt. through its minions in the media. The entire incident, from the glorious movie to this revelation is a fraud.

I found this interesting example of media manipulation at nakedcapitalsim.org: "Pro-marijuana group endorses Obama The Hill. This purported group, which claims 10,000 members, appears to be just one guy with a PO Box and a press list. But don't count on your average reporter digging deeper than the news release.": Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/08/links-82812.html#717LX1oL7dfPsb7I.99

The breadth and depth of propagandizing of citizens is astounding. I wonder what it's like to have so little integrity. What kind of person so readily sells out their fellow citizen with lies? It's scary because people read these things and they have no idea they are lies. People are making decisions based on manufactured "facts". It's very difficult to find actual information and I can tell you from personal experience, Obama supporters cling desperately to "authorities" like the NYTimes to maintain their belief in the goodness of dear leader.

jaytingle , 29 Aug 2012 16:31
"The optics aren't what they look like."
Is Dean Baquet related to Yogi Berra?
paperclipper , 29 Aug 2012 16:15
This weird big-brother relationship goes both ways. A few years ago the New York Times reported that there had been a successful coup in Venezuela - toppling Chavez. The story turned out to be inaccurate. The NY Times finally revealed their source - US State Dept... who were using NYT to give critical mass and support to their dream end to a thorn in their side.

Nice investigative journalism. A couple of years ago the NYTmade a big deal of publicly firing a low level writer for making up articles from his NY apt when he was supposed to be in the field. He was hardly the worst of the bunch.

brianboru1014 , 29 Aug 2012 16:07
Great article and thankfully I do not trust big newspapers in the USA especially the New York Times since it has being caught lying about Weapons of Mass Destructions in Iraq to justify the Iraq War. Judith Millar was the liar then. Read CounterPunch and smaller publications for the truth. The NYT is all about selling ads on a Sunday. It really is a corrupt rag.
GlennGreenwald -> MonaHol , 29 Aug 2012 16:04
MonaHol

Ooh la-la. Snooty! Can Greenwald survive the devastatingly profound criticisms being lobbed in his new venue?

Who will be the first commenter to leave the classic devastating critique:

"The author fails to present a balanced view, showing only one side. The author's argument has no substance and is not really worth anything."

JinTexas , 29 Aug 2012 16:02
"The New York Times-all the news the CIA decided is fit to print."
JinTexas , 29 Aug 2012 16:00
"the optics aren't what they look like" – is one of the most hilariously incoherent utterances seen in some time."

Strategery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOUuKQlGdEs

AhBrightWings , 29 Aug 2012 15:59

"this didn't come from me and please delete after you read." -- Mazzetti

This could serve as the epitaph for our times. This (Shock and Awe, drones, the Apache Massacre, Guantanamo, killing children, etc.) didn't come from US (even though it did) because ...our crimes can be deleted through that magical "we're too big and bad to fail" button.

See, nothing to worry about.

(Except future historians who will not be blindfolded and gagged and who will therefore have some choice things to say about the journalists who were fully complicit in the crimes of this lawless era.)

[Dec 14, 2018] New York Times fraudulent election plot dossier escalates anti-Russia hysteria

Notable quotes:
"... It acknowledges that "police never identified who had hung the banners," but nonetheless goes on to assert that: "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history." ..."
"... The authors, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti, complain about a lack of "public comprehension" of the "Trump-Russia" story. Indeed, despite the two-year campaign of anti-Russian hysteria whipped up in Washington and among the affluent sections of the upper-middle class that constitute the target audience of the Times ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.wsws.org

The New York Times published a fraudulent and provocative "special report" Thursday titled "The plot to subvert an election."

Replete with sinister looking graphics portraying Russian President Vladimir Putin as a villainous cyberage cyclops, the report purports to untangle "the threads of the most effective foreign campaign in history to disrupt and influence an American election."

The report could serve as a textbook example of CIA-directed misinformation posing as "in-depth" journalism. There is no news, few substantiated facts and no significant analysis presented in the 10,000-word report, which sprawls over 11 ad-free pages of a separate section produced by the Times.

The article begins with an ominous-sounding recounting of two incidents in which banners were hung from bridges in New York City and Washington in October and November of 2016, one bearing the likeness of Putin over a Russian flag with the word "peacemaker," and the other that of Obama and the slogan "Goodbye Murderer."

It acknowledges that "police never identified who had hung the banners," but nonetheless goes on to assert that: "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history." The article begins with an ominous-sounding recounting of two incidents in which banners were hung from bridges in New York City and Washington in October and November of 2016, one bearing the likeness of Putin over a Russian flag with the word "peacemaker," and the other that of Obama and the slogan "Goodbye Murderer."

It acknowledges that "police never identified who had hung the banners," but nonetheless goes on to assert that: "The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history."

Why does it "appear" to be the Kremlin? What is the evidence to support this claim? Among the 8.5 million inhabitants of New York City and another 700,000 in Washington, D.C., aren't there enough people who might despise Obama as much as, if not a good deal more than, Vladimir Putin?

This absurd passage with its "appeared" and "may well have" combined with the speculation about the Kremlin extending its evil grip onto "United States soil" sets the tone for the entire piece, which consists of the regurgitation of unsubstantiated allegations made by the US intelligence agencies, Democratic and Republican capitalist politicians and the Times itself.

The authors, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti, complain about a lack of "public comprehension" of the "Trump-Russia" story. Indeed, despite the two-year campaign of anti-Russian hysteria whipped up in Washington and among the affluent sections of the upper-middle class that constitute the target audience of the Times , polls have indicated that the charges of Russian "meddling" in the 2016 presidential election have evoked little popular response among the

[Dec 14, 2018] New York Times aka The Langley Newsletter

"We pledge subservience to the Owners of the United Corporations of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Greed under God, indivisible, with power and wealth for few."
Notable quotes:
"... bin laden gave terror a face. how conveeeenient for warmongers everywhere! ..."
"... CIA in collusion with mainstream newspaper NYT. And you call this news ? ..."
"... collusion between the us media and the us government goes back much, much further. Chomsky has plenty of stuff about this... ..."
"... The NYTimes has its own agenda and bends the news that's fit to print. Journalistic integrity? LOL. No one beat the war drums louder for Bush's Neocons before the Iraq war. Draining our nation's resources, getting young Americans killed (they didn't come from the 1%, you see). The cradle of civilization that's the Iraqi landscape wiped out. Worst, 655,000 Iraqis lost their lives, said British medical journal Lancet, creating 2.5mn each internal & external refugees. ..."
"... The NYT never dwelled on the numbers of Iraqis killed. Up to a few weeks ago, its emphasis on the current Syrian tragedy is to inform us on the hundreds or thousands who've lost their lives. ..."
"... World financial meltdown? When Sanford Weill of Citi pushed for the repeal of Glass-Steagall late 1990's, the FDR era 17-page law separating commercial from investment banks, a measure that's preserved the nation's banking integrity for over half a century, the Nyt added its megaphone to the task, urging Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin to comply, editorializing In 1988: "Few economic historians now find the logic behind Glass-Steagall persuasive" . In 1990, that "banks and stocks were a dangerous mixture" "makes little sense now." ..."
"... just off the top of my head I recall the editor of one of a British major was an MI5 agent; this is in the public domain. ..."
"... We pledge subservience to the Owners of the United Corporations of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Greed under God, indivisible, with power and wealth for few. ..."
"... The NYT has been infiltrated for decades by CIA agents. Just notice their dogged reporting on the completely debunked "lone-gunman" JFK theory---they will always report that Oswald acted alone---this is the standard CIA story, pushed and maintained by the NYT despite overwhelming evidence that there was a conspiracy (likely involving the CIA). ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com

samesamesame , 1 Sep 2012 13:02

bin laden gave terror a face. how conveeeenient for warmongers everywhere!
loftytom , 1 Sep 2012 10:40

I assume we're going to see a NYT expose on the large scale dodgy dealings of the Guardian Unlimited group then?

They could start with the tax dodging hypocrisy first. http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/05/16/has-the-guardian-exploited-tax-loopholes-to-save-millions/

kantarakamara , 1 Sep 2012 10:04
"@smartypants54

29 August 2012 9:44PM
Glenn,

I've often wondered what you think of the journalism of someone like Seymour Hirsch. (sic) He broke some very important stories by cozying up to moles in the MIC.

You'e confusing apples with oranges. Hersh seeks information on issues that outrage him. These do not usually include propaganda for the intelligence agencies, but information they would like to suppress. He's given secret information because he appears to his informers as someone who has a long record of integrity.

Therealguyfaux -> Montecarlo2 , 1 Sep 2012 07:48
It's straight outta that old joke about the husband being caught by his wife in flagrante delicto with the pretty young lady neighbour, who then tells his wife that he and his bit on the side weren't doing anything: "And who do you believe-- me, or your lying eyes?"
Haigin88 , 1 Sep 2012 06:58
New York Times a.k.a. The Langley Newsletter
globalsage , 1 Sep 2012 06:32
CIA in collusion with mainstream newspaper NYT. And you call this news ?
snookie -> LakerFan , 1 Sep 2012 05:46
collusion between the us media and the us government goes back much, much further. Chomsky has plenty of stuff about this...
hlkcna , 1 Sep 2012 02:28
The NYTimes has its own agenda and bends the news that's fit to print. Journalistic integrity? LOL. No one beat the war drums louder for Bush's Neocons before the Iraq war. Draining our nation's resources, getting young Americans killed (they didn't come from the 1%, you see). The cradle of civilization that's the Iraqi landscape wiped out. Worst, 655,000 Iraqis lost their lives, said British medical journal Lancet, creating 2.5mn each internal & external refugees.

Following the pre-Iraq embellishment, NYT covered up its deeds by sacrificing Journalist Judith Miller. As Miller answered a post-war court case, none other than Chairman & CEO Arthur Sulzberger jr. locked arms with her as they entered the courtroom.

The NYT never dwelled on the numbers of Iraqis killed. Up to a few weeks ago, its emphasis on the current Syrian tragedy is to inform us on the hundreds or thousands who've lost their lives.

World financial meltdown? When Sanford Weill of Citi pushed for the repeal of Glass-Steagall late 1990's, the FDR era 17-page law separating commercial from investment banks, a measure that's preserved the nation's banking integrity for over half a century, the Nyt added its megaphone to the task, urging Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin to comply, editorializing In 1988: "Few economic historians now find the logic behind Glass-Steagall persuasive" . In 1990, that "banks and stocks were a dangerous mixture" "makes little sense now."

NYT, a liberal icon? In year 2000, when I lived in NYC, New York Daily News columnist A.M. Rosenthal used to regularly demonize China in language surpassing even Rush Limbaugh. I told myself nah, that's not the Rosenthal-former-editor of the NYT. Only when I read his obituary a few years later did I learn that it was indeed the same one.

Grandfield , 1 Sep 2012 00:56
Well of course. And just off the top of my head I recall the editor of one of a British major was an MI5 agent; this is in the public domain.
weallshineon , 1 Sep 2012 00:42
We pledge subservience to the Owners of the United Corporations of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Greed under God, indivisible, with power and wealth for few.

NOAM CHOMSKY _MANUFACTURING CONSENT haven't read it? read it. read it? read it again.

thought totalitarianism and the ruling class died in 1945? think again. thought you wouldn't have to fight like grandpa's generation to live in a democratic and just society? think again.

You are not the 1 percent.

JET2023 -> MonaHol , 31 Aug 2012 21:53
Would that we could hold these discussions without reference to personal defamations -- "darkened ignorance" and "educate yourself" which sounds like "f___ yourself". Why can't we just say "I respectfully disagree"? Alas, when discussing political issues with leftists, that seems impossible. Why the vitriol?

Greenwald's more lengthy posts make it clear that he believes that people who differ with him are "lying" and basing their viewpoint upon "a single right wing blogger". He chooses this explanation over the obvious and accurate one -- legal rationales developed by the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration. The date of Greenwald's archive is February 19, 2006. Oddly, he bases all of his contentions upon whatever he could glean up to that date. But the legal rationale for warrantless wiretaps was based upon memos written by John Yoo at the OLC that Greenwald did not have access to in 2006. The memos were not released until after Obama took office in 2009.

Obama released them in a highly publicized press conference staged for maximum political impact. Greenwald could not possibly have understood the legal rationale for the program since he had not been privy to them until March 2009 if, indeed, he has bothered to acquaint himself with them since then. Either way, nobody was "lying" except those who could have understood the full dimension and willfully chose to hide or ignore the truth. It's not exactly like I am new to this subject as you seem to imply. I wrote a 700 page book about Obama administration duplicity in this same vein. An entire chapter is devoted to this very topic.

Warrantless wiretaps were undertaken after a legal ruling from OLC. And after Obama took office, warrantless wiretaps were continued. Obviously since they were based upon OLC rulings, since no prosecutions have ever been suggested and since they have continued uninterrupted after Obama took office, the Justice Department under both administrations agrees with me and disagrees with Greenwald. We arrive at this disagreement respectfully. Despite Obama's voluminous denunciations of the Bush anti-terror approach on the campaign trail, he resurrected nearly every plank of it once he took office.

But this is a subsidiary point to a far larger point that some observers on this discussion to their credit were able to understand. Despite all of these pointless considerations, the larger point of my original post was that Greenwald missed the "real" story here, which was that the collusion between NYT and CIA was not due to institutional considerations as Greenwald seems to allege, but due to purely partisan considerations. That, to me, is the story he missed.

I find that people who are losing debates try to shift the focus to subsidiary points hoping that, like a courtroom lawyer, if they can refute a small and inconsequential detail raised in testimony, they will undercut the larger truth offered by the witness. It won't work. Too much is on the record. And neither point, the ankle-biting non-issue about legality of warrantless wiretaps or the larger, salient point about the overt partisan political dimension of NYT's collusion with a political appointee at CIA who serves on the Obama reelection committee, has been refuted.

Joseph Toomey
Author, "Change You Can REALLY Believe In: The Obama Legacy of Broken Promises and Failed Policies"

JoshuaFlynn , 31 Aug 2012 20:15
Conspiracy theorists, have been, of course, telling you this for years (given media's motive is profit and not honesty). I suppose the exact same conspiracy theorists other guardian authors have been too eager to denounce previously?
MonaHol -> JET2023 , 31 Aug 2012 18:50

The NSA wiretap program revealed by Risen was not illegal as Greenwald wrongly asserts. As long as one end of the intercepted conservation originated on foreign soil as it did, it was perfectly legal and required no FISA court authorization.

Mr. Toomey, in 2006 Greenwald published a compendium of legal arguments defending the Bush Admin's warrantless wiretapping and the (sound) rebuttals of them. It is exhaustive, and covers your easily dispensed with argument. By way of introduction to his many links to his aggregated, rigorous analyses of the legal issues, he wrote this:

I didn't just wake up one day and leap to the conclusion that the Administration broke the law deliberately and that there are no reasonable arguments to defend that law-breaking (as many Bush followers leaped to the conclusion that he did nothing wrong and then began their hunt to find rationale or advocates to support this conclusion). I arrived at the conclusion that Bush clearly broke the law only by spending enormous amounts of time researching these issues and reading and responding to the defenses from the Administration's apologists.

He did spend enormous time dealing with people such as yourself, and all of his work remains available for you to educate yourself with, at the link provided above.

JET2023 -> Franklymydear0 , 31 Aug 2012 18:43
Maybe you'd like to explain that to Samuel Loring Morison who was convicted and spent years in the federal system for passing classified information to Janes Defence Weekly. I'm sure he'd be entertained. Larry Franklin would also like to hear it. He's in prison today for violating the Espionage Act.

Courts have recognized no press privilege exists when publishing classified data. In 1971, the Supreme Court vacated a prior restraint against NYT and The Washington Post allowing them to publish the Pentagon Papers. But the court also observed that prosecutions after-the-fact would be permissible and not involve an abridgement of the free speech clause. It was only the prior restraint that gave the justices heartburn. They had no issue with throwing them in the slammer after the deed was done.

Thomas Drake, a former NSA official, was indicted and convicted after revealing information to reporters in 2010. The statute covers mere possession which even NYT recognized could cover reporters as well. There have been numerous other instances of arrests, indictments and prosecutions for disclosure to reporters. It's only been due to political calculations and not constitutional limitations that have kept Risen and others out of prison.

utkarsh356 , 31 Aug 2012 12:39
Manufacturing Consent: The political economy of mass media by Noam Chomsky can perhaps explain most of the media behaviour.
HiggsBoson1984 , 31 Aug 2012 12:26
The NYT has been infiltrated for decades by CIA agents. Just notice their dogged reporting on the completely debunked "lone-gunman" JFK theory---they will always report that Oswald acted alone---this is the standard CIA story, pushed and maintained by the NYT despite overwhelming evidence that there was a conspiracy (likely involving the CIA).
Leviathan212 , 31 Aug 2012 10:54
What outrages me the most is the NYT's condescending attitude towards its readers when caught in this obvious breach of journalistic ethics.

Both Baquet and Abramson, rather than showing some humility or contrition, are acting as if nothing bad has happened, and that we are stupid to even talk about this.

Leviathan212 -> AnnaMc , 31 Aug 2012 10:28

This article misses the elephant in the room. Namely, that the NYT only plays footsies with Democrats in positions of power. With the 'Pubs, it's open season.

Not true. There are many examples of the NYT colluding with the Bush administration, some of which Glenn has mentioned in this article. Take, for example, the fact that the NYT concealed Bush's wire-tapping program for almost a year, at the request of the White House, and didn't release details until after Bush's re-election.

ranroddeb , 31 Aug 2012 10:10
" The optics aren't what they look like " This phrase brings to mind the old Dem catch phrase " Who you gonna believe me or your lying eyes? " .

[Dec 14, 2018] The dirty propaganda games NYT play

Highly recommended!
They are not only presstitutes, they are degenerative presstitutes...
Notable quotes:
"... I love how the NYT mentions how no public evidence has emerged, to skirt around the fact that if there were internal evidence (from some gov agency or private citizen) it would've leaked by now. There is no such thing as evidence which hasn't been leaked in an alleged scandal of this size. ..."
"... Further, the corporate news media gave Trump something like $2 billion dollars worth of advertising in free airtime. That's a much larger impact -- around 20 times Clinton's campaign costs IIRC -- than any alleged hacked e-mails (though the e-mails were leaked not hacked, and that played a role. As well as the FBI's investigation into Clinton's illegal email server which was public fact at the time) or social media interference. ..."
"... Banks, defense contractors and oil companies decide who the President is and what their Cabinet will look like (see Obama's leaked CitiBank memo "recommending" executives to his 2009 Cabinet). Russians and the American people do not. ..."
"... John Pilger's essay: Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing appropriately describes this BigLie media item b dissected, while also observing, "Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years," prior to providing Why this is so. ..."
"... but a journalism self-anointed with a false respectability: a liberal journalism that claims to challenge corrupt state power but, in reality, courts and protects it, and colludes with it. ..."
"... The amorality of the years of Tony Blair, whom the Guardian has failed to rehabilitate, is its echo. [My emphasis] ..."
"... on journalism and it being usurped by social media behemoths google, facebook, twitter and etc - i found this cbc radio) interview last night worth recommending.. ..."
"... That New York Times piece was amazing. Belief anything the US Gov't/anti-Russian lobby and other nut cases tell you, unquestioningly. Investigative journalism at its best! ..."
"... Accept the most stupid evidence with blinking an eye. Even if one believes the collusion argument, try to be a bit critical. And always believe that a GRU hacker will put Felix Dzerzinnsky's name in their program. For heaven's sake he was Cheka, the forerunner of the KGB, not the GRU which was military intelligence. ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

daffyDuct , Sep 20, 2018 8:21:06 PM | link

Woodward, "Fear" pg 82-85

"After the security briefing and everyone cleared out, McCabe shut the door to Priebus's office. This is very weird, thought Priebus, who was standing by his desk.

"You know this story in The New York Times?" Priebus knew it all too well.

McCabe was referring to a recent Times story of February 14 that stated, "Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the elections, according to four current and former American officials."

The story was one of the first bombs to go off about alleged Trump-Russian connections after Flynn's resignation.

"It's total bullshit," McCabe said. "It's not true, and we want you to know that. It's grossly overstated."

Oh my God, thought Priebus. "Andrew," he said to the FBI deputy, "I'm getting killed." The story about Russia and election meddling seemed to be running 24/7 on cable news, driving Trump bananas and therefore driving Priebus bananas. "This is crazy," Trump had told Priebus. "We've got to stop it. We need to end the story." McCabe had just walked in with a big gift, a Valentine's Day present. I'm going to be the hero of this entire West Wing, Priebus thought.

"Can you help me?" Priebus asked. "Could this knockdown of the story be made public?"

"Call me in a couple of hours," McCabe said. "I will ask around and I'll let you know. I'll see what I can do."

Priebus practically ran to report to Trump the good news that the FBI would soon be shooting down the Times story

Two hours passed and no call from McCabe. Priebus called him."I'm sorry, I can't," McCabe said. "There's nothing I can do about it. I tried, but if we start issuing comments on individual stories, we'll be doing statements every three days." The FBI could not become a clearinghouse for the accuracy of news stories. If the FBI tried to debunk certain stories, a failure to comment could be seen as a confirmation.

"Andrew, you're the one that came to my office to tell me this is a BS story, and now you're telling me there's nothing you can do?" McCabe said that was his position.

"This is insanity," Priebus said. "What am I supposed to do? Just suffer, bleed out?" "Give me a couple more hours." Nothing happened. No call from the FBI. Priebus tried to explain to Trump, who was waiting for a recanting. It was another reason for Trump to distrust and hate the FBI, a pernicious tease that left them dangling.

About a week later on February 24 CNN reported an exclusive: "FBI Refused White House Request to Knock Down Recent Trump-Russia Story." Priebus was cast as trying to manipulate the FBI for political purposes.

The White House tried and failed to correct the story and show that McCabe had initiated the matter.

Four months later on June 8, Comey testified under oath publicly that the original New York Times story on the Trump campaign aides' contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials "in the main was not true."


BM , Sep 21, 2018 8:38:36 AM | link

The Mueller Hoax is unraveling.
Posted by: Sid2 | Sep 20, 2018 3:03:44 PM | 3

The Mueller Hoax is unraveling, and concommittently the NYT is digging in; ergo , the NYT is also unravelling! The NYT will permanently damage its reputation with its own readers.

David , Sep 20, 2018 4:37:34 PM | link
I love how the NYT mentions how no public evidence has emerged, to skirt around the fact that if there were internal evidence (from some gov agency or private citizen) it would've leaked by now. There is no such thing as evidence which hasn't been leaked in an alleged scandal of this size.

Further, the corporate news media gave Trump something like $2 billion dollars worth of advertising in free airtime. That's a much larger impact -- around 20 times Clinton's campaign costs IIRC -- than any alleged hacked e-mails (though the e-mails were leaked not hacked, and that played a role. As well as the FBI's investigation into Clinton's illegal email server which was public fact at the time) or social media interference.

Banks, defense contractors and oil companies decide who the President is and what their Cabinet will look like (see Obama's leaked CitiBank memo "recommending" executives to his 2009 Cabinet). Russians and the American people do not.

karlof1 , Sep 20, 2018 4:40:58 PM | link
John Pilger's essay: Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing appropriately describes this BigLie media item b dissected, while also observing, "Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years," prior to providing Why this is so.
karlof1 , Sep 20, 2018 4:59:56 PM | link
15 Cont'd:

Want to highlight this additional bit from Pilger:

"Journalism students should study this [New book from Media Lens Propaganda Blitz ] to understand that the source of "fake news" is not only trollism, or the likes of Fox news, or Donald Trump, but a journalism self-anointed with a false respectability: a liberal journalism that claims to challenge corrupt state power but, in reality, courts and protects it, and colludes with it.

The amorality of the years of Tony Blair, whom the Guardian has failed to rehabilitate, is its echo. [My emphasis]

IMO, the bolded text well describes BigLie Media. I wonder what George Seldes would say differently from Pilger if he were alive. Unfortunately, Pilger failed to include MoA as a source in his short list of sites having journalistic integrity.

karlof1 , Sep 20, 2018 4:59:56 PM | link james , Sep 20, 2018 5:04:45 PM | link
on journalism and it being usurped by social media behemoths google, facebook, twitter and etc - i found this cbc radio) interview last night worth recommending..
jrkrideau , Sep 20, 2018 5:46:02 PM | link
That New York Times piece was amazing. Belief anything the US Gov't/anti-Russian lobby and other nut cases tell you, unquestioningly. Investigative journalism at its best!

Accept the most stupid evidence with blinking an eye. Even if one believes the collusion argument, try to be a bit critical. And always believe that a GRU hacker will put Felix Dzerzinnsky's name in their program. For heaven's sake he was Cheka, the forerunner of the KGB, not the GRU which was military intelligence.

[Dec 14, 2018] Operation Mockingbird has never stopped

Notable quotes:
"... The Government leaks classified material at will for propaganda advantage, but hunts Assange and tortures Private Manning for the same. ..."
"... these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them. ..."
"... The issue under discussion here, however, is the extent to which the media is an eager partner in the message-sending, rather than an unwitiing tool. ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
Chris Harlos , 29 Aug 2012 19:01
The New York Crimes. The seamless web of media, government, business: a totalitarian system. Darkly amusing, perhaps, unless one begins to tally the damage.

USA Inc. Viva Death,

Did you hear the one about the investment banker whose very expensive hooker bite off his crank?

rrheard , 29 Aug 2012 18:36
I'm not sure what's scarier--that the CIA is spending taxpayer dollars spending even a split second worrying about what a two bit hack like Maureen Dowd writes, or that the NY Times principals are so institutionally "captured" that they parrot "CIA speak".

Well what's actually scarier is that Operation Mockingbird has never stopped.

Or maybe that our purported public servants in the legislature are bipartisanly and openly attempting to repeal portions of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987 banning domestic propaganda.

America is becoming a real sick joke. And the last to know will be about 65% of the populace I like to call Sheeple.

024601 -> SanFranDouglas , 29 Aug 2012 18:32
Very depressing. I thought we would get a smart bunch over here. The major trend I've noticed instead? Blind support for the empire and the apparatus that keeps it thriving. Unable to be good little authoritarians and cheer for the now collapsing British Empire, they have to cheer for it's natural predecessor, the American Empire. This includes attacking all those who might question the absolute infallible of The Empire. Folks like.. Glenn. It is fascinating to watch, if not disheartening.
SanFranDouglas -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 18:29

So all cozying up to spooks is not always a bad thing, huh?

Just my point.

I see. I thought your point was that there was some sort of equivalence between Hersh's development of sources to reveal truths that their agencies fervently wished to keep secret and Mazzetti's active assistance in protecting an agency's image from sullying by fellow journalists.

I guess I stand corrected. . .

shenebraskan -> Jpolicoff , 29 Aug 2012 18:12
And that ended his career in government service, as it should have...or not:

From Wikipedia: John O. Brennan is chief counterterrorism advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama; officially his title is Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Assistant to the President.

Jpolicoff , 29 Aug 2012 18:01
Unfortunately this is nothing new for Mazetti or the New York Times, nor is it the first time Glenn Greenwald has called Mazetti out on his cozy relationship with the CIA:

The CIA and its reporter friends: Anatomy of a backlash
The coordinated, successful effort to implant false story lines about John Brennan illustrates the power the intelligence community wields over political debates.
Glenn Greenwald Dec. 08, 2008 |

...Just marvel at how coordinated (and patently inaccurate) their messaging is, and -- more significantly -- how easily they can implant their message into establishment media outlets far and wide, which uncritically publish what they're told from their cherished "intelligence sources" and without even the pretense of verifying whether any of it is true and/or hearing any divergent views:

Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, New York Times, 12/2/2008:

Last week, John O. Brennan, a C.I.A. veteran who was widely seen as Mr. Obama's likeliest choice to head the intelligence agency, withdrew his name from consideration after liberal critics attacked his alleged role in the agency's detention and interrogation program. Mr. Brennan protested that he had been a "strong opponent" within the agency of harsh interrogation tactics, yet Mr. Obama evidently decided that nominating Mr. Brennan was not worth a battle with some of his most ardent supporters on the left.

Mr. Obama's search for someone else and his future relationship with the agency are complicated by the tension between his apparent desire to make a clean break with Bush administration policies he has condemned and concern about alienating an agency with a central role in the campaign against Al Qaeda.

Mark M. Lowenthal, an intelligence veteran who left a senior post at the C.I.A. in 2005, said Mr. Obama's decision to exclude Mr. Brennan from contention for the top job had sent a message that "if you worked in the C.I.A. during the war on terror, you are now tainted," and had created anxiety in the ranks of the agency's clandestine service.

...The story, by Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, noted that John O. Brennan had withdrawn his name from consideration for CIA director after liberal critics attacked his role in the agency's interrogation program, even though Brennan characterized himself as a "strong opponent" within the agency of harsh interrogation techniques. Brennan's characterization was not disputed by anyone else in the story, even though most experts on this subject agree that Brennan acquiesced in everything that the CIA did in this area while he served there.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/12/08/cia/print.html

CitizenTM , 29 Aug 2012 17:52
The Government leaks classified material at will for propaganda advantage, but hunts Assange and tortures Private Manning for the same.
tballou , 29 Aug 2012 17:51
"these emails reflect the standard full-scale cooperation – a virtual merger – between our the government and the establishment media outlets that claim to act as "watchdogs" over them."

Glenn - the only objection I have to your column and all your previous columns on this matter is that I am not sure the establishment media actually claim to be watchdogs, at least not any more, and certainly not since Sept 11. They really are more like PR reps.

SanFranDouglas -> OneWorldGovernment , 29 Aug 2012 17:51

The media is another tool in the [government, in this case] arsenal to help send a message, as are speeches before think tanks and etc.

Yes. The issue under discussion here, however, is the extent to which the media is an eager partner in the message-sending, rather than an unwitiing tool.

OneWorldGovernment , 29 Aug 2012 17:44
Did everyone forget the Judith Miller article? The usage of Twitter and other social media during the Iranian election of 2009? The leaks about the Iranian nuclear program in the Telegraph? ARDA?

The U.S. government, along with every other government in the world, uses the media to influence public opinion and send geopolitical messages to others that understand the message (normally not the masses). The media is another tool in the arsenal to help send a message, as are speeches before think tanks and etc.

We use social media to create social unrest if it aligns with our interests. We use the media to send political messages and influence public opinion. The vast majority of reporting in the N.Y. Times, WSJ, Guardian, Telegraph, and etc. do not reflect this, but every now and then "unnamed sources" help further a geopolitical message.

In this country, it has been that way since before the founding fathers and the Republic. Remember the Federalist, Anti-Federalist, Sam Adams as Vtndex, and etc.? Newspapers used for "propaganda" purposes.

SanFranDouglas -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 17:42

Upthread I asked him for his comments on the reporting of Seymour Hirsh. He is someone who cozied up to all kinds of people - and wound up busting some extremely important stories in the process.

I think a modest amount of review of Sy Hersh's work will demonstrate that his "cozying up" hasn't included running interference for the spooks' official PR flacks.

DuErJournalist , 29 Aug 2012 17:42
The New York Times: Burn after reading!

[Dec 14, 2018] The American Mega-Media has long been in the bag of Corporatism. Long gone are the days of reporters challenging the Military. During the Vietnam War the Military Briefings were Derisively called the Five O Clock Follies.

Notable quotes:
"... For one thing, Marzetti apparently passed a draft of a Maureen Dowd column for vetting by the CIA . Her importance, or not, as a columnist or pundit aside, why would a NYT employee slip material to a gov't agency? That's the skillset of an informant, not a journalist. ..."
"... Today, the Wall Street-Security-Military Industrial Complex is unchallenged. Exaggerated respect is shown to the Military. Many of the Reporters who called in question the Political-Military establishment during Vietnam were muted during the second invasion of Iraq. None of lessons that Vietnam should have taught them about the lengths the Government would go to such as out right lies, and covert deceit were learned. Perhaps they were cowed into cooperation. ..."
"... Unprincipled and disingenuous - both the Obama Administration and the New York Times. Doesn't come as a surprise though ... ..."
"... I'd be worried about anyone going to the CIA for their fact-checking too... ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
Pindi -> LakerFan , 30 Aug 2012 00:46

In a moral world, the NYT is as guilty of genocide as Bush and Blair.

As indeed are most UK newspapers, including the Graun.

Another great article Glen, please keep them coming.

Tujays , 30 Aug 2012 00:40
"The moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history from an administration that has tried to throw more people in jail for leaking classified information than the Bush administration."

-- Maureen Dowd
Downgrade Blues, Aug. 6, 2011, NYT

smartypants54 -> MonaHol , 29 Aug 2012 23:31
I would have answered just as OnYourMarx has done. Most every story Hersh broke was from a series of well-developed relationships within CIA and/or MIC.

In terms of its relevance, it seems to me that any real journalist worth their salt does this. And so rather than deride those who have relationships with government sources, we need to dig a bit deeper and ask ourselves what distinguishes the kind Hersh developed from those that are problematic.

smartypants54 -> TallyHoGazehound , 29 Aug 2012 23:24
Excuse me for thinking that perhaps in the context of a discussion about the relationship between the media and government, it might be helpful to talk about how journalists can actually use their relationships with people in the government to break important stories. So I noted my thoughts about Hersh and asked for his.

Contrary to "gotcha," I thought it might be an opportunity to take the conversation a bit deeper. As with what I said about humor, its no skin off my nose if no one takes me up on it. The only reason I brought it up later is because someone suggested perhaps I should attempt to engage on a more substantive level...which I had done.

I've been completely upfront about the fact that I disagree with Glenn on most things (although I'll just point out that I did comment about how much I agreed with his article on authoritarianism). So please also excuse me while I try to learn all the rules about what is ok and not ok to talk about and how I'm supposed to do that properly in order to satisfy someone like you.

But thanks for ultimately getting back to the point in talking about the difference being what emerges from the "cozy relationship." I actually disagree with that though. I think it depends on the journalist's ability to do critical thinking and questioning. If they're merely stenographers or are simply set on finding something negative - either way they corrupt what the real story might be.

coramnobis -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 23:19

Let's clear up one thing...Maureen Down is not a journalist OR a reporter. She is opinion columnist.

You can suggest that there's a qualitative difference between journalists and reporters, but Dowd is neither one. So to me, the distinction when it comes to her is meaningless.

If that is so, then why would the CIA be so interested in what she wrote? And why would a NYT employee pass an unpublished draft to them without, presumably, checking with an editor? "See, nothing to worry about," indeed.

coramnobis -> BlackHawke , 29 Aug 2012 23:15

Frankly, I don't even understand what your hang up is. Was Marzetti supposed to violate this woman's trust? Is he not supposed to talk to government officials in order to report the news, which is the whole raison d'etre of his career.

For one thing, Marzetti apparently passed a draft of a Maureen Dowd column for vetting by the CIA . Her importance, or not, as a columnist or pundit aside, why would a NYT employee slip material to a gov't agency? That's the skillset of an informant, not a journalist.

I didn't think Ms. Dowd was that important to our nation's security, but that aside, why pass company material to outsiders?

"This song was known to everybody. A book was afterward printed, with a regular license He happened to select and print in his journal this song ... He was seised in his bed that night and has been never since heard of. Our excellent journal de Paris then is suppressed and this bold traitor has been in jail now three weeks Thus you see, madam, the value of energy in government; our feeble republic would in such a case have probably been wrapt in the flames of war and desolation for want of a power lodged in a single hand to punish summarily those who write songs."
-- Thomas Jefferson, in Paris, to Abigail Adams, June 21, 1785

MonaHol -> OnYourMarx , 29 Aug 2012 23:13
Right, and I knew some of that. However I was after the other commenter's notions of what he meant by saying Hersh "cozyd up" to CIA and MIC ppl, with an eye to figuring out why s/he thinks Hersh and his sources have relevance to the article being discussed.
TallyHoGazehound -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 22:58

I've often wondered what you think of the journalism of someone like Seymour Hirsch. He broke some very important stories by cozying up to moles in the MIC.

And I assumed Glenn supported Hirsh's work.

It's been kind of a long day. And, it's possible that I either need another drink, or to simply hit the sack. So, apologies if this comes off sounding less than supportive. While you're busy wondering and assuming , you might better advance your case if you also did a little Googling . And, pro tip, it wouldn't hurt to spell Hersh's name correctly. Lends credibility, methinks.

http://www.salon.com/2011/02/28/seymour_hersh_whowhatwhy/
http://www.salon.com/2012/04/06/report_us_trained_terror_group/
http://www.salon.com/2011/06/02/hersh_8/

I'd suggest that you were ignored because of the gotcha flavor to the way you tried to engage. I would also suggest that if Glenn thought you were asking your question with some sincere intent, he might answer that it depends on how that coziness is conducted, and what emerges from that "cozy relationship." Dan Gillmor's piece - to which Glenn links - on this subject may add some additional insight.

In other words, if you're gonna do gotcha it helps not to show your hand too soon, or be quite so transparent. One could do a little research first and bring their best game.

OnYourMarx , 29 Aug 2012 22:50
@MonaHot: Hersh's New Yorker piece about Bush regime ramping up against Iran in 2008. Robert Baer of the CIA was at least one of his sources for that piece. In fact the film Syriana based Clooney's character on Baer.

Richard Armitage is the other MIC dude that comes to mind when thinking back on Hersh's stories. There must be countless of them, though, including Saudis and Israelis who work to provide info to the MIC.

MonaHol -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 22:25

And I assumed Glenn supported Hirsh's work. That's why I brought him up. He cozys up to MIC folks as well. So its important to make a distinction between cozying up to break important stories and cozying up to get access to power...a distinction that Glenn didn't make.

What do you mean by claiming Hersh "cozys up" to MIC ppl? And what would be a specific example of a story he broke after doing that?

MonotonousLanguor , 29 Aug 2012 22:21
The American Mega-Media has long been in the bag of Corporatism. Long gone are the days of reporters challenging the Military. During the Vietnam War the Military Briefings were Derisively called the Five O' Clock Follies.

Today, the Wall Street-Security-Military Industrial Complex is unchallenged. Exaggerated respect is shown to the Military. Many of the Reporters who called in question the Political-Military establishment during Vietnam were muted during the second invasion of Iraq. None of lessons that Vietnam should have taught them about the lengths the Government would go to such as out right lies, and covert deceit were learned. Perhaps they were cowed into cooperation.

Julian Assange who should be seen as a hero to the free press was vilified by our corporate press. Assange did the work a free press and a real reporter should perform.

RobspierreRules , 29 Aug 2012 22:17
Pravda e Izvestia
smartypants54 -> walkin , 29 Aug 2012 22:10
Let's clear up one thing...Maureen Down is not a journalist OR a reporter. She is opinion columnist.

You can suggest that there's a qualitative difference between journalists and reporters, but Dowd is neither one. So to me, the distinction when it comes to her is meaningless.

And I assumed Glenn supported Hirsh's work. That's why I brought him up. He cozys up to MIC folks as well. So its important to make a distinction between cozying up to break important stories and cozying up to get access to power...a distinction that Glenn didn't make.

Finally, I have no need whatsoever for anyone to laugh with me. I just found the juxtaposition of Dowd and reporting to be funny. Someone said something similar and I added my agreement. If its not funny to you - ignore it. Not sure why you'd think I'd expect anything else.

BlackHawke , 29 Aug 2012 22:07
Mr. Grenwald, let's not make more of this than it's worth. I see nothing wrong with newspapers working with government agencies in order to report their news to their readership. Frankly, I don't even understand what your hang up is. Was Marzetti supposed to violate this woman's trust? Is he not supposed to talk to government officials in order to report the news, which is the whole raison d'etre of his career.
walkin -> Andrew Wood , 29 Aug 2012 22:05
You wrote:

Mr Greenwald, please don't pretend that journalism has only just 'degraded'

If the sub-header had read "Mark Mazzetti's emails with the CIA expose the degradation of journalism that has only just lost the imperative to be a check to power" then you would have a case.

It doesn't, and you don't.

Next time read past the sub-header. You might get more out of it.

shenebraskan -> AhBrightWings , 29 Aug 2012 21:59

About those fabled "handouts" ...where are they?

Exactly. Not coming from the so-called socialistic/communistic Democrat party either. In fact, the only reference I have seen to poverty since John Edwards in 2008 (he who shall not be named!) is on the front page of HuffPo, where there are Shadow Conventions, one of which concerns Poverty in America. There was a book in 1962, The Other America by Michael Harrington. We are well on our way to having that be The Only America , at least for the vast majority of us.

walkin -> smartypants54 , 29 Aug 2012 21:58

I'd agree that the comment Glenn responded to was pretty superficial. I was just laughing with another commenter at the idea of Dowd doing any actual reporting.

What's interesting to me is that's the one Glenn responded to. And yet when I asked what I believe was a pretty substantive question about where the reporting of someone like Seymour Hirsh [sic] fits into his critique of journalism, he ignores it.

Superficial? He responded because, intentionally or not, you misrepresented what he said. While you may not have appreciated the difference, "reporting" and "journalism" are qualitatively (there's that word you don't like) different things.

It takes very little in the way of courage, skill or talent to work as a "reporter" for a major mainstream newspaper like the New York Times. For most pieces that the government has an interest in spinning (like the one under discussion), this is how it works: 1. Type up the words of anonymous officials, 2. Submit your article to those same officials for "fact-checking," censorship and approval, 3. Retire for the day.

Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer, and not a trained journalist, on the other hand, is doing real journalism, and putting most reporters to shame in the process. I can count on a single hand the number of reporters in the U.S. who deserve, like Greenwald, to have the term of art "journalism" applied to their work. Hersh is one of them, and in this context, there isn't any more to say with regards to a "critique."

As far as Glenn's own position goes, you can read any number of articles where he has praised Hersh's work. Just Google it.

That said, by joining the Guardian, Greenwald has graduated to a milieu where he rightly expects higher standards, in both professional practice and in the quality of his readership. That doesn't mean you leave levity at the door, but it does mean that you leave your whiny, self-entitled attitude ("But why won't he answer the question I really want him to answer?").

There are serious issues at stake here. I have a genuine question for you: if you disagree with Greenwald so much, why would you expect him (or most of his readers) to laugh along with what you find funny?

Think about that, and get back to me if you come up with something plausible.

Andrew Wood -> GlennGreenwald , 29 Aug 2012 21:50
Mr Greenwald

Look at the top of the webpage, just underneath the headline.

It says:

Mark Mazzetti's emails with the CIA expose the degradation of journalism that has lost the imperative to be a check to power

Andrew Wood , 29 Aug 2012 21:39
Is it worse for a journalist to help the security forces of his or her own country, or to be an "agent of influence" for your country's enemies?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Gott

basicmeans , 29 Aug 2012 21:23
The USA has become so engrossed in itself that it doesn't even pretend to be a judicial state. Here we have a man called Osama Bin Laden who is innocent of any crime yet the President of the United States of America brags about having him murdered.

This means that a precedent has been set that the President can order the murder of anyone even you.

smartypants54 -> TallyHoGazehound , 29 Aug 2012 21:20
Thanks for the pointers.

The reason I said that perhaps I'd need to leave off the levity is that it was my superficial comment finding some humor in all this that Glenn responded to and suggested that I was a complainer lacking in quality. It wasn't meant as anything but a half-baked half-assed jab at the lightweight known as Maureen Dowd.

But as I said above, when I attempted to engage with some substance, I got ignored. I have no doubt that Glenn has a sense of humor. But I'm afraid I'm not a good enough humorist to combine a laugh with in-depth engagement.

I'm counting on you being right on the idea that Glenn thrives on well reasoned dissent. That's why I'm here.

ElLissitzsky , 29 Aug 2012 21:14
Unprincipled and disingenuous - both the Obama Administration and the New York Times. Doesn't come as a surprise though ...
AhBrightWings -> shenebraskan , 29 Aug 2012 20:37
Indeed. Horse-hooey is a pleasant alternative to this steaming load of self-congratulatory manure.

About those fabled "handouts" ...where are they? Not in evidence when I see the local homeless vets in their wheelchairs...Nowhere to be found when I see children shivering at bus stops without proper coats...can't quite see it in my overcrowded library...one of the hottest tickets in town because it's literally a warm place to go. I'm sure parents who've lost homes because they were craven enough to have a sick child and went bankrupt caring for them would love to find this fabled place where those generous hands, stuffed full of money and goodies, are vying with each other to make things right.

If only we could find it.

-------------

"As of March 2012, 46.4 million Americans were receiving on average $133.14 per month in food stamps. "

According to the Government Accountability Office, at a 2009 count, there was a payment error rate of 4.36% of food stamps benefits down from 9.86% in 1999. A 2003 analysis found that two-thirds of all improper payments were the fault of the caseworker, not the participant. ("Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Payment Errors and Trafficking Have Declined, but Challenges Remain GAO report number GAO-10-956T, " July 28, 2010)

Wow, let's go wild on $33.25 a week! And then be accused of being "lazy," "pigs," "welfare queens," "parasites," "scum," etc.

[Pay no attention to the fat man behind the curtain busy purchasing his third home, or paying his lawyer to find another tax loophole in the Virgin Islands; that pure industrious Republican bloke is too busy to stick his neck out and see the world as he's helped make it for others.]

coramnobis , 29 Aug 2012 20:34
I found this linked off Mazzetti's blog . Seems that USAF drones have been tracking private vehicles on New Mexico highways. Targeting practice. Maybe not news story but an interesting little sidelight.

As if the National Transportation Safety Board didn't have enough to worry about.

Oh, and Glenn, here's a Salon story from 2010 titled The NYT spills key military secrets on its front page . Your lede: "In The New York Times today, Mark Mazzetti and Dexter Filkins expose very sensitive classified government secrets -- and not just routine secrets, but high-level, imminent planning for American covert military action in a foreign country ..."

This didn't come from me, and please delete after you read. See, nothing to worry about. -- Guardian story

RobGehrke -> avelna2001 , 29 Aug 2012 20:00

Was she aware that he was using the CIA to do his fact-checking?

I'd be worried about anyone going to the CIA for their fact-checking too...

[Dec 14, 2018] Hidden neoliberal inner party : US chamber of commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and The Business Roundtable

Notable quotes:
"... The American Chamber of Commerce subsequently expanded its base from around 60,000 firms in 1972 to over a quarter of a million ten years later. Jointly with the National Association of Manufacturers (which moved to Washington in 1972) it amassed an immense campaign chest to lobby Congress and engage in research. The Business Roundtable, an organization of CEOs 'committed to the aggressive pursuit of political power for the corporation', was founded in 1972 and thereafter became the centrepiece of collective pro-business action. ..."
"... Nearly half the financing for the highly respected NBER came from the leading companies in the Fortune 500 list. Closely integrated with the academic community, the NBER was to have a very significant impact on thinking in the economics departments and business schools of the major research universities. ..."
"... In order to realize this goal, businesses needed a political class instrument and a popular base. They therefore actively sought to capture the Republican Party as their own instrument. The formation of powerful political action committees to procure, as the old adage had it, 'the best government that money could buy' was an important step. ..."
"... The Republican Party needed, however, a solid electoral base if it was to colonize power effectively. It was around this time that Republicans sought an alliance with the Christian right. The latter had not been politically active in the past, but the foundation of Jerry Falwell's 'moral majority' as a political movement in 1978 changed all of that. The Republican Party now had its Christian base. ..."
"... It also appealed to the cultural nationalism of the white working classes and their besieged sense of moral righteousness. This political base could be mobilized through the positives of religion and cultural nationalism and negatively through coded, if not blatant, racism, homophobia, and anti feminism. ..."
"... The alliance between big business and conservative Christians backed by the neoconservatives consolidated, not for the first time has a social group been persuaded to vote against its material, economic, and class interests ..."
"... Any political movement that holds individual freedoms to be sacrosanct is vulnerable to incorporation into the neoliberal fold. ..."
"... Neoliberal rhetoric, with its foundational emphasis upon individual freedoms, has the power to split off libertarianism, identity politics, multiculturalism, and eventually narcissistic consumerism from the social forces ranged in pursuit of social justice through the conquest of state power. ..."
"... By capturing ideals of individual freedom and turning them against the interventionist and regulatory practices of the state, capitalist class interests could hope to protect and even restore their position. Neoliberalism was well suited to this ideological task. ..."
"... Neoliberalization required both politically and economically the construction of a neoliberal market-based populist culture of differentiated consumerism and individual libertarianism. As such it proved more than a little compatible with that cultural impulse called 'postmodernism' which had long been lurking in the wings but could now emerge full-blown as both a cultural and an intellectual dominant. This was the challenge that corporations and class elites set out to finesse in the 1980s. ..."
"... Powell argued that individual action was insufficient. 'Strength', he wrote, 'lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations'. The National Chamber of Commerce, he argued, should lead an assault upon the major institutions––universities, schools, the media, publishing, the courts––in order to change how individuals think 'about the corporation, the law, culture, and the individual'. US businesses did not lack resources for such an effort, particularly when they pooled their resources together. ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Themiddlegound -> Themiddlegound , 11 Jun 2013 05:42

The American Chamber of Commerce subsequently expanded its base from around 60,000 firms in 1972 to over a quarter of a million ten years later. Jointly with the National Association of Manufacturers (which moved to Washington in 1972) it amassed an immense campaign chest to lobby Congress and engage in research. The Business Roundtable, an organization of CEOs 'committed to the aggressive pursuit of political power for the corporation', was founded in 1972 and thereafter became the centrepiece of collective pro-business action.

The corporations involved accounted for 'about one half of the GNP of the United States' during the 1970s, and they spent close to $900 million annually (a huge amount at that time) on political matters. Think-tanks, such as the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institute, the Center for the Study of American Business, and the American Enterprise Institute, were formed with corporate backing both to polemicize and, when necessary, as in the case of the National Bureau of Economic Research, to construct serious technical and empirical studies and political-philosophical arguments broadly in support of neoliberal policies.

Nearly half the financing for the highly respected NBER came from the leading companies in the Fortune 500 list. Closely integrated with the academic community, the NBER was to have a very significant impact on thinking in the economics departments and business schools of the major research universities. With abundant finance furnished by wealthy individuals (such as the brewer Joseph Coors, who later became a member of Reagan's 'kitchen cabinet') and their foundations (for example Olin, Scaife, Smith Richardson, Pew Charitable Trust), a flood of tracts and books, with Nozick's Anarchy State and Utopia perhaps the most widely read and appreciated, emerged espousing neoliberal values. A TV version of Milton Friedman's Free to Choose was funded with a grant from Scaife in 1977. 'Business was', Blyth concludes, 'learning to spend as a class.

In singling out the universities for particular attention, Powell pointed up an opportunity as well as an issue, for these were indeed centers of anti-corporate and anti-state sentiment (the students at Santa Barbara had burned down the Bank of America building there and ceremonially buried a car in the sands). But many students were (and still are) affluent and privileged, or at least middle class, and in the US the values of individual freedom have long been celebrated (in music and popular culture) as primary. Neoliberal themes could here find fertile ground for propagation. Powell did not argue for extending state power. But business should 'assiduously cultivate' the state and when necessary use it 'aggressively and with determination'

In order to realize this goal, businesses needed a political class instrument and a popular base. They therefore actively sought to capture the Republican Party as their own instrument. The formation of powerful political action committees to procure, as the old adage had it, 'the best government that money could buy' was an important step. The supposedly 'progressive' campaign finance laws of 1971 in effect legalized the financial corruption of politics.

A crucial set of Supreme Court decisions began in 1976 when it was first established that the right of a corporation to make unlimited money contributions to political parties and political action committees was protected under the First Amendment guaranteeing the rights of individuals (in this instance corporations) to freedom of speech.15 Political action committees could thereafter ensure the financial domination of both political parties by corporate, moneyed, and professional association interests. Corporate PACs, which numbered eighty-nine in 1974, had burgeoned to 1,467 by 1982.

The Republican Party needed, however, a solid electoral base if it was to colonize power effectively. It was around this time that Republicans sought an alliance with the Christian right. The latter had not been politically active in the past, but the foundation of Jerry Falwell's 'moral majority' as a political movement in 1978 changed all of that. The Republican Party now had its Christian base.

It also appealed to the cultural nationalism of the white working classes and their besieged sense of moral righteousness. This political base could be mobilized through the positives of religion and cultural nationalism and negatively through coded, if not blatant, racism, homophobia, and anti feminism.

The alliance between big business and conservative Christians backed by the neoconservatives consolidated, not for the first time has a social group been persuaded to vote against its material, economic, and class interests the evangelical Christians eagerly embraced the alliance with big business and the Republican Party as a means to further promote their evangelical and moral agenda.

Themiddlegound -> Themiddlegound , 11 Jun 2013 05:23

Any political movement that holds individual freedoms to be sacrosanct is vulnerable to incorporation into the neoliberal fold.

The worldwide political upheavals of 1968, for example, were strongly inflected with the desire for greater personal freedoms. This was certainly true for students, such as those animated by the Berkeley 'free speech' movement of the 1960s or who took to the streets in Paris, Berlin, and Bangkok and were so mercilessly shot down in Mexico City shortly before the 1968 Olympic Games. They demanded freedom from parental, educational, corporate, bureaucratic, and state constraints. But the '68 movement also had social justice as a primary political objective.

Neoliberal rhetoric, with its foundational emphasis upon individual freedoms, has the power to split off libertarianism, identity politics, multiculturalism, and eventually narcissistic consumerism from the social forces ranged in pursuit of social justice through the conquest of state power. It has long proved extremely difficult within the US left, for example, to forge the collective discipline required for political action to achieve social justice without offending the the Construction of Consent desire of political actors for individual freedom and for full recognition and expression of particular identities. Neoliberalism did not create these distinctions, but it could easily exploit, if not foment, them.

In the early 1970s those seeking individual freedoms and social justice could make common cause in the face of what many saw as a common enemy. Powerful corporations in alliance with an interventionist state were seen to be running the world in individually oppressive and socially unjust ways. The Vietnam War was the most obvious catalyst for discontent, but the destructive activities of corporations and the state in relation to the environment, the push towards mindless consumerism, the failure to address social issues and respond adequately to diversity, as well as intense restrictions on individual possibilities and personal behaviors by state-mandated and 'traditional' controls were also widely resented. Civil rights were an issue, and questions of sexuality and of reproductive rights were very much in play.

For almost everyone involved in the movement of '68, the intrusive state was the enemy and it had to be reformed. And on that, the neoliberals could easily agree. But capitalist corporations, business, and the market system were also seen as primary enemies requiring redress if not revolutionary transformation: hence the threat to capitalist class power.

By capturing ideals of individual freedom and turning them against the interventionist and regulatory practices of the state, capitalist class interests could hope to protect and even restore their position. Neoliberalism was well suited to this ideological task. But it had to be backed up by a practical strategy that emphasized the liberty of consumer choice, not only with respect to particular products but also with respect to lifestyles, modes of expression, and a wide range of cultural practices. Neoliberalization required both politically and economically the construction of a neoliberal market-based populist culture of differentiated consumerism and individual libertarianism. As such it proved more than a little compatible with that cultural impulse called 'postmodernism' which had long been lurking in the wings but could now emerge full-blown as both a cultural and an intellectual dominant. This was the challenge that corporations and class elites set out to finesse in the 1980s.

In the US case a confidential memo sent by Lewis Powell to the US Chamber of Commerce in August 1971. Powell, about to be elevated to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon, argued that criticism of and opposition to the US free enterprise system had gone too far and that 'the time had come––indeed it is long overdue––for the wisdom, ingenuity and resources of American business to be marshaled against those who would destroy it'.

Powell argued that individual action was insufficient. 'Strength', he wrote, 'lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations'. The National Chamber of Commerce, he argued, should lead an assault upon the major institutions––universities, schools, the media, publishing, the courts––in order to change how individuals think 'about the corporation, the law, culture, and the individual'. US businesses did not lack resources for such an effort, particularly when they pooled their resources together.

[Dec 13, 2018] Michael Cohen Sentenced To 36 Months In Prison

Dec 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Update 5: Cohen has been sentenced to 36 months in prison for his crimes, far below the guideline of 51 - 63 months laid out by New York prosecutors. The Judge noted that the guidelines aren't binding and had the ability to issue a lesser sentence.

Cohen has also been hit with forfeiture of $500,000, restitution of $1.4 million and a fine of $50,000. He will be allowed to voluntarily surrender on March 6 .

Update 4: Judge Pauley has responded following Cohen's statement, saying "Mr. Cohen's crimes implicate a far more insidious crime to our democratic institutions especially in view of his subsequent plea to making false statements to Congress," adding that Cohen's crimes warrant "specific deterrence."

Update 3: Cohen has spoken, telling the Judge: "Recently the president tweeted a statement calling me weak and it was correct but for a much different reason than he was implying. It was because time and time again i felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds." Judge William Pauley, meanwhile, noted that Cohen pleaded guilty to a " veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct ," which was motivated by "personal greed and ambition."

Update 2: Petrillo, Cohen's attorney, continues to reference Cohen's desire to cooperate further with prosecutors to answer future questions - however Manhattan prosecutors don't appear to care, according to Bloomberg banking reporter Shahien Nasiripour. In a memo last week to the court, they said that Cohen's promise to cooperate further is worthless - especially since there would be nothing requiring him to do so once he's already been sentenced.

Meanwhile, Jeannie Rhee - an attorney with Robert Mueller's office, told the court that while Cohen lied to the special counsel's team during his first interview in July, he has been truthful since.

Manhattan Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos, however, says that any reduction in sentence "should be modest."

Roos added that Cohen "has eroded faith in the electoral process and compromised the rule of law," and that he engaged in " a pattern of deception of brazenness and greed ."

Update: Cohen's attorney, Guy Petrillo, says Cohen thought that President Trump would shut down the Mueller probe, and has argued that his client's cooperation warrants a lenient sentence.

"Mr. Cohen's cooperation promotes respect for law and the courage of the individual to stand up to power and influence," said Petrillo.

"His decision was an importantly different decision from the usual decision to cooperate," added Petrillo. "He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country. He did so not knowing what the result would be, not knowing how the politics would play out and not even knowing that the special counsel's office would survive."

"The special counsel's investigation is of the utmost national significance... Not seen since 40 plus years ago in the days of Watergate." -Guy Petrillo

Petrillo has asked the judge to "consider Cohen's "life of good works" in his decision, adding that Cohen's cooperation stands in "profound contrast" to others who havern't cooperated and who "have continued to double-deal while pretending to cooperate."

***

Michael Cohen, former longtime personal lawyer for President Trump, has shown up to a New York courthouse where he will be sentenced on Wednesday for a laundry list of crimes - some of which implicate Trump in possible wrongdoing, but most of which have nothing to do with the president. Judge William Pauley, meanwhile, noted that Cohen pleaded guilty to a " veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct ," which was motivated by "personal greed and ambition."

Update 2: Petrillo, Cohen's attorney, continues to reference Cohen's desire to cooperate further with prosecutors to answer future questions - however Manhattan prosecutors don't appear to care, according to Bloomberg banking reporter Shahien Nasiripour. In a memo last week to the court, they said that Cohen's promise to cooperate further is worthless - especially since there would be nothing requiring him to do so once he's already been sentenced.

Meanwhile, Jeannie Rhee - an attorney with Robert Mueller's office, told the court that while Cohen lied to the special counsel's team during his first interview in July, he has been truthful since.

Manhattan Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos, however, says that any reduction in sentence "should be modest."

Roos added that Cohen "has eroded faith in the electoral process and compromised the rule of law," and that he engaged in " a pattern of deception of brazenness and greed ."

Update: Cohen's attorney, Guy Petrillo, says Cohen thought that President Trump would shut down the Mueller probe, and has argued that his client's cooperation warrants a lenient sentence.

"Mr. Cohen's cooperation promotes respect for law and the courage of the individual to stand up to power and influence," said Petrillo.

"His decision was an importantly different decision from the usual decision to cooperate," added Petrillo. "He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country. He did so not knowing what the result would be, not knowing how the politics would play out and not even knowing that the special counsel's office would survive."

"The special counsel's investigation is of the utmost national significance... Not seen since 40 plus years ago in the days of Watergate." -Guy Petrillo

Petrillo has asked the judge to "consider Cohen's "life of good works" in his decision, adding that Cohen's cooperation stands in "profound contrast" to others who havern't cooperated and who "have continued to double-deal while pretending to cooperate."

***

Michael Cohen, former longtime personal lawyer for President Trump, has shown up to a New York courthouse where he will be sentenced on Wednesday for a laundry list of crimes - some of which implicate Trump in possible wrongdoing, but most of which have nothing to do with the president.

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Cohen, who went from claiming he would "take a bullet" for President Trump to stabbing his former boss in the back, faces sentencing on nine federal charges , including campaign finance violations based on a hush-money scheme to pay off two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, as well as making false statements to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Prosecutors alleged that Cohen paid off two women at the "direction" of "Individual-1," who is widely assumed to be Trump.

Prosecutors said the payments amounted to illegal campaign contribution s because they were made with the intent to prevent damaging information from surfacing during the 2016 presidential election, which Cohen pleaded guilty to in August.

Legal experts view the filing as an ominous sign for Trump , suggesting prosecutors have evidence beyond Cohen's public admissions implicating the president in the payoff scheme. While the Justice Department has said previously that a sitting president cannot be indicted, that would not stop prosecutors from bringing charges against Trump once he leaves office. - The Hill

New York prosecutors have recommended that Judge William Pauley impose "a substantial term of imprisonment" on Cohen - which may be around five years. Cohen's attorneys, meanwhile, have asked Pauley for a sentence which avoids prison time - citing his cooperation with the Mueller probe and other investigations which began prior to his guilty plea last summer. Mueller said that Cohen had "gone to significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel's investigation," having met with Mueller's team seven times where he reportedly provided information useful to the Russia investigation. The special counsel's office has recommended that any sentence Cohen receives for lying to Congress should run concurrently with the charges brought by the Manhattan federal prosecutors.

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Cohen, 52, pleaded guilty in August to tax evasion, lying to banks and violating campaign finance laws - charges filed by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

The campaign finance charges relate to his facilitation of two hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Both women say they had sex with Trump in the prior decade. The White House has denied Trump had sex with either woman.

Prosecutors say the payments were made "in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump, who is called "Individual-1" in a sentencing recommendation filed last week.

Cohen's crimes were intended "to influence the election from the shadows," prosecutors wrote. - CNBC

In November Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump Organization's ill-fated plans to develop a Trump Tower in Moscow - a project floated by Cohen and longtime FBI asset who had been in Trump's orbit for years, Felix Sater. Cohen claims he understated Trump's knowledge of the project. He also lied to Congress when he said that the Moscow project talks ended in early 2016, when in fact he and the Trump Organization had continued to pursue it as late as June 2016.

On Wednesday, Stormy Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti - who is in attendance at Cohen's sentencing, said in a Wednesday tweet that Cohen "thought we would just go away and he/Trump would get away with it. He thought he was smart and tough. He was neither. Today will prove that in spades."

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We wonder how much Avenatti will pick up of the $293,000 in legal fees Stormy Daniels was ordered to pay Trump?

Tags Law Crime Politics

pedoland , 8 minutes ago link

Did the State of New York REVOKE his license to practice law yet?

Is a felony conviction automatic revocation in NY?

It would be funny if he was still able to practice law in NY, legally as a convicted felon.

I assume criminal fraud is a felony in NY.

jafo2me , 2 hours ago link

Trump's paying around $280,000 in " hush money " .. out of his own pocket is dwarfed into virtual insignificance by Obama's Presidential Campaign in 2008..,.

BEING FOUND "GUILTY" OF ILLEGAL USE OF 2 MILLION IN CAMPAIGN MONEY

barely reported by the media that saw THE OBAMA DOJ decide not to prosecute Obama and instead quietly dispose of this

"REAL CRIME" with a fine of 375 thousand dollars by the US FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISION.

Welcome to the two tier Justice System we all live under..

One for the Deeeep State Globalist Elite and .. the other...

Life In Prison or execution for the rest of us.

[Dec 12, 2018] Freedom and privacy have been eroded by the malicious actions of psychopaths. The tech itself is like a fence. The destruction of liberty is like English kleptocrats forcing peasants off the commons and fencing the land into sheep pens. Don't blame fence technology; don't blame the sheep; blame the kleptocrats.

Dec 12, 2018 | www.ianwelsh.net

[Dec 12, 2018] What the Infotech-Telecom Revolution Has Actually Done Ian Welsh

Dec 12, 2018 | www.ianwelsh.net
  1. Mary Margaret Flynn permalink April 24, 2016

    I am remembering the movie "Other Peoples' Lives", about the Stasi in East Germany before 1989; a terrific and even more terrifying today (than when I first saw it) about surveillance of every one by corporations and governments. the wall has come down, we've had the Middle East "Spring" but nothing is changed.

[Dec 12, 2018] Mueller's Investigation is Missing One Thing A Crime by Peter Van Buren

Notable quotes:
"... Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of ..."
"... Yes, he (and I) read the filings. They are merely the assertions of overzealous Democrat prosecutors in the SDNY that used to work for Preet Bharara and have political/personal axes to grind. Witness past much more egregious instances of what they claim as a felony that have been resolved without charges by fines – most recently, Barak Obama's campaign finance violations. ..."
Dec 12, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

If he had something on Trump, we would have been watching impeachment hearings by now.

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We last looked at what Mueller had publicly -- and what he didn't have -- some 10 months ago, and I remained skeptical that the Trump campaign had in any way colluded with Russia. It's worth another look now, but first let's give away the ending (spoiler alert!): there is still no real evidence of, well, much of anything significant about Russiagate. One thing that is clear is that the investigation seems to be ending. Mueller's office has reportedly even told various defense lawyers that it is "tying up loose ends." The moment to wrap things up is politically right as well: the Democrats will soon take control of the House; time to hand this all off to them.

Ten months ago the big news was Paul Manafort flipped; that seems to have turned out to be mostly a bust, as we know now he lied like a rug to the Feds and cooperated with the Trump defense team as some sort of mole inside Mueller's investigation (a heavily-redacted memo about Manafort's lies, released by Mueller on Friday, adds no significant new details to the Russiagate narrative.)

George Papadopoulos has already been in and out of jail -- all of two weeks -- for his sideshow role. Michael Avenatti is now a woman beater who is just figuring out he's washed up. Stormy Daniels owes Trump over $300,000 in fees after losing to him in court. There still is no pee tape. And if you don't recall how unimportant Carter Page and Richard Gates turned out to be (or even who they are), well, there is your assessment of all the hysterical commentary that accompanied them a few headlines ago.

The big reveal of the Michael Flynn sentencing memo on Tuesday was that he will likely do no prison time. Everything of substance in the memo was redacted, so there is little insight available. If you insist on speculation, try this: it's hard to believe that something really big and bad happened such that Flynn knew about it but still wasn't worth punishing for it, and now, a year after he started cooperating with the government, still nobody has heard anything about whatever the big deal is. So chances are the redactions focus on foreign lobbying in the U.S.

This week's Key to Everything is Michael Cohen, the guy who lied out of self-interest for Trump until last week when we learned he is also willing to lie, er, testify against Trump out of self-interest. If you take his most recent statements at face value, the sum is the failed negotiations to build a Trump hotel in Moscow, which went on a few months longer than was originally stated, and that we all knew about already.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York submitted a sentencing memo Friday for Cohen, recommending 42 months in jail. In a separate filing, Mueller made no term recommendation but praised Cohen for his "significant efforts to assist the special counsel's office." The memos reveal no new information.

Call it sleazy if you want, but looking into a real estate deal is neither a high crime nor a misdemeanor, even if it's in Russia. Conspiracy law requires an agreement to commit a crime, not just the media declaiming that "Cohen was communicating directly with the Kremlin!" Talking about meeting Russian persons is not a crime, nor is meeting with them.

Why John Brennan Doesn't Deserve a Security Clearance Donald Trump is Not the 'Manchurian Candidate'

The takeaway that this was all about influence shopping by the Russkies falls flat. If Putin sought to ensnare Trump, why didn't he find a way for the deal to actually go through? Mueller has to be able to prove actual crimes by the president, not just twist our underclothes into weekly conspiratorial knots . For fun, look here at the creative writing needed to even suggest anything illegal. That doesn't sound like Trump's on thin ice with hot shoes.

Sigh. It is useful at this point of binge-watching the Mueller mini-series to go back to the beginning.

The primordial ooze for all things Russiagate is less-than-complete intelligence alleging that hackers, linked to the Russian government, stole emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2016. The details have never been released, no U.S. law enforcement agency has ever seen the server or scene of the crime, and Mueller's dramatic indictments of said hackers, released as Trump met with Putin in Helsinki, will never be heard of again, or challenged in court, as none of his defendants will ever leave Russia. Meanwhile, despite contemporaneous denials of the same, is it somehow now accepted knowledge that the emails (and Facebook ads!) had some unproven major effect on the election.

The origin story for everything else, that Trump is beholden to Putin for favors granted or via blackmail, is opposition research purchased by the Democrats and carried out by an MI6 operative with complex connections into American intelligence, the salacious Steele Dossier . The FBI, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, then sought warrants to spy on the nominated GOP candidate for president based on evidence paid for by his opponent.

Yet the real spark was the media, inflamed by Democrats, searching for why Trump won (because it can't be anything to do with Hillary, and "all white people and the Electoral College are racists" just doesn't hold up). Their position was and is that Trump must have done something wrong, and Robert Mueller, despite helping squash a Bush-era money-laundering probe, lying about the Iraq War, and flubbing the post-9/11 anthrax investigation, has been resurrected with Jedi superpowers to find it. It might be collusion with Russia or Wikileaks, or a pee tape, or taxes, packaged as hard news but reading like Game of Thrones plot speculation. None of this is journalism to be proud of, and it underlies everything Mueller is supposedly trying to achieve.

As the New York Times said in a rare moment of candor, "From the day the Mueller investigation began, opponents of the president have hungered for that report, or an indictment waiting just around the corner, as the source text for an incantation to whisk Mr. Trump out of office and set everything back to normal again."

The core problem -- at least that we know of -- is that Mueller hasn't found a crime connected with Russiagate that someone working for Trump might have committed. His investigation to date hasn't been a search for the guilty party -- Colonel Mustard in the library -- so much as a search for an actual crime, some crime, any crime. Yet all he's uncovered so far are some old financial misdealings by Manafort and chums, payoffs to Trump's mistresses that are not in themselves illegal (despite what prosecutors simply assert in the Cohen sentencing report , someone will have to prove to a jury the money was from campaign funds and the transactions were "for the purpose of influencing" federal elections, not simply "protecting his family from shame"), and a bunch of people lying about unrelated matters.

And that's the giveaway to Muller's final report. There was no base crime as the starting point of the investigation. With Watergate , there was the break-in at Democratic National Headquarters. With Russiagate you had Trump winning the election. (Remember too that the FBI concluded forever ago that the DNC hack crime was done by the Russians, no Mueller needed.)

Almost everything Mueller has, the perjury and lying cases, are crimes he created through the process of investigating. He's Schrodinger's Box : the infractions only exist when he tries to look at them. Mueller created most of his booked charges by asking questions he already knew the answers to, hoping his witness would lie and commit new crimes literally in front of him. Nobody should be proud of lying, but it seems a helluva way to contest a completed election as Trump enters the third year of his term.

Mueller's end product, his report, will most likely claim that a lot of unsavory things went on. But it seems increasingly unlikely that he'll have any evidence Trump worked with Russia to win the election, let alone that Trump is now under Putin's control. If Mueller had a smoking gun, we'd be watching impeachment hearings by now.

Instead, Mueller will end up concluding that some people may have sort of maybe tried to interfere with an investigation into what turned out to be nothing, another "crime" that exists only because there was an investigation to trigger it. He'll dump that steaming pile of legal ambiguity into the lap of the Democratic House to hold hearings on from now until global warming claims the city of Benghazi and returns it to the sea. That or the 2020 election, whichever comes first.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan .

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Fran Macadam December 10, 2018 at 12:41 am

Pete says it all.

We're watching law as nothing more than a cudgel to be wielded against a political opponent, pre Magna Carta style.

JR , says: December 10, 2018 at 3:02 am
"Mueller's dramatic indictments of said hackers, released as Trump met with Putin in Helsinki, will never be heard of again, or challenged in court, as none of his defendants will ever leave Russia."
And Mueller gets into real problems immediately when he does get challenged in court:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-concord/russian-company-charged-in-mueller-probe-seeks-grand-jury-materials-idUSKCN1IF2YW
Dan Green , says: December 10, 2018 at 5:38 am
As the American people are dragged through the media hysteria, one has to know, millions of Americans have other issues on their minds, and be it right or wrong, don't care about about Mueller's investigation. Simply put, our political system is far from holier than thou, as they say. For numerous reasons, people had to decide, of the two personalities we had to choose from, were a reflection of where our politics is. Clintons or Trumps.
Nick Stuart , says: December 10, 2018 at 7:18 am
Show me the man, and I'll find you the crime.

Lavrentij Beria

Douglas Levene , says: December 10, 2018 at 7:42 am
@Kevin – (1) Most campaign finance violations are treated as minor offenses with fines. Obama's campaign got a fine for a $2 million campaign finance violation. Why is this one, if it is a crime at all, being treated as a felony?
(2) No court has ever held, and no court will ever hold, that paying your mistress for silence is a campaign finance violation. Mixed motive payments can't be campaign finance violations. How about a politician who gets cosmetic surgery before an election? If one of her purposes is to appear younger and appeal to voters, is that a campaign finance violation if she doesn't report to the government her payments to the surgeon? No court is going to accept that theory.
Peter Van Buren , says: December 10, 2018 at 7:45 am
"Good Grief. Did you read the filings? Directing someone to commit a felony?"

Good grief, do you know the difference between a prosecutor trying to make a case in a one-sided filing versus actually bringing a case to a jury and having to prove elements of a crime with evidence?

Nascent22 , says: December 10, 2018 at 7:45 am
You don't give specifics (typical) but you're presumably referring to the payoffs to keep the women quiet right? Thing is, that's not illegal unless it was provably for political reasons. If he was trying to save his marriage, there was no crime. Besides, John Edwards did worse and skated scot-free. You going to condemn him? If not, you're a hack so be quiet.
Cjones1 , says: December 10, 2018 at 8:27 am
Mueller was FBI Director when Hillary was committing national security violations in using her private server and other unauthorized devices. His conflicts of interest in overseeing an investigation originating from a case involving those emails are obvious. He was either incompetent, derelict of duty, and/or complicit in shielding Hillary from prosecution then and and definitely now given the conspiracy surrounding the Steele dossier by her campaign proxies, foreign operatives (including Russians), and corrupt Obama administration officials who engaged in official misconduct to clear her and initiate a campaign to inflence the election, illegally surveil Trump associates, and illegally circulate salacious, unverified innuendos or unmasked names.
Mueller is involved in protecting his own reputation. He has obvious conflicts of interest and was involved in possible official misconduct. He should not be given immunity from examination, accountability, and disciplinary action. No official should be above the law. Is he now the American Sulla or Marius?
There were crimes committed by those Mueller is shielding – officials he worked with in the Obama administration, Clinton and her proxies, and foreign operatives (including Russians.)
Jay Naylor , says: December 10, 2018 at 9:07 am
It's not a "felony" unless you prove it the money came from campaign funds, which it didn't. And Trump only "directed" it according to a known liar trying to get a lighter sentence for his own financial crimes.
Dennis Byron , says: December 10, 2018 at 9:24 am
Yes, I do remember who Carter Page is. He is an American citizen -- a bit of a doofus American citizen I'll admit but still an American citizen -- and he was attacked by the American Gestapo led by Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Obama, Podesta, the women that unmasked other American citizens, and Crapper like no American citizen has ever been attacked before. Carter Page is me and the same can happen to me if it can happen to Carter Page.
Sid Finster , says: December 10, 2018 at 10:20 am
The criminal laws in the United States are broad and far reaching enough that an aggressive prosecutor can always find a crime to charge anyone with. This is especially true for anyone involved in higher level business or politics.

Even if the charges cannot be made to stick (and usually they can), the expense and hassle of fighting the case will ruin most of us who are not very rich or married to a team of criminal defense attorneys with loads of leisure time.

At the same time, even the FBI does not have the resources to charge every crime that it comes across or could bring an indictment for.

This is entirely intentional. There is always a perfectly legal pretext to punish those whom the establishment want to punish, and a means to keep everyone else in line.

This is not to suggest that the 1% hold a secret email vote every month to decide whom to kick off the island. Rather, most prosecutors are glorified politicians, and they know whom to please.

If, for instance, a prosecutor were to bring charges against HRC (and there are numerous bases on which to do so), the howls of establishment outrage would be deafening. So nothing was done. In fact, the FBI was very careful to interview her associates in a group (so that they could get their stories straight) and to avoid interviewing The Queen at all, so as to avoid a perjury trap, or forcing Her Majesty to have to lie, and thus putting the FBI in an embarrassing position as to why it did not prosecute.

By contrast, Trump probably has also committed numerous crimes, even if they don't rise to the breathless speculation of russiagate conspiracy theorists, nor will any crimes charged relate to Trump's real crimes in foreign policy (because those crimes are the DC consensus). However, the establishment didn't want the man in the first place, and it sure wants Trump gone now.

Therefore, Trump will not enjoy the same protection. "Rule Of Law" and all that.

For my part, I will not be sorry to see him go. As I indicated, the man is a criminal, as were his predecessors in office.

Johann , says: December 10, 2018 at 10:32 am
To all the commenters pointing out the Stormy Daniels payoff. What has that to do with Russian collusion? The Mueller investigation went way off track finding unrelated crimes in order to get flip leverage. Its been a "show me da man, I'll find the crime" exercise. In other words, a witch hunt. If Trump is removed by any means other than an election, it will be viewed as a coup, and the destruction of our democratic republic.
David M. , says: December 10, 2018 at 10:57 am
Yes, he (and I) read the filings. They are merely the assertions of overzealous Democrat prosecutors in the SDNY that used to work for Preet Bharara and have political/personal axes to grind. Witness past much more egregious instances of what they claim as a felony that have been resolved without charges by fines – most recently, Barak Obama's campaign finance violations.

As was said in the article, those claims would have to be proven in court – according to the letter of the law – and it is a very high bar for the SDNY to get over to get a conviction. You can indict a ham sandwich, but if it turns out to in fact be a steak or cheese and crackers your case isn't worth anything.

Finally, as pointed out, contracting for a NDA is not illegal. It is, point of fact, a contract that parties willingly enter into. Trump is a business and a brand, so trying to prove that protecting that brand by spending his own money was NOT the purpose of the NDA is pretty darn difficult.

Annnnnnd where is the invented "collusion" again?

Bee Lee Rust , says: December 10, 2018 at 11:02 am
Paying off mistresses isn't a felony. Even if it used campaign dollars and even if someone else involved pleads guilty. Ask John Edwards Kevin.

I also concur that if Mueller could prove that Trump colluded with the Russians, Paul Ryan (who f*cking hates Trump's guts) would have absolutely started impeachment hearings.

[Dec 10, 2018] One thing that has puzzled me about Trump methods is his constant tweeting of witch hunt with respect to Mueller but his unwillingness to actually disclose what Brennan, Clapper, Comey, et al actually did

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... One thing that has puzzled me about Trump methods is his constant tweeting of witch hunt with respect to Mueller but his unwillingness to actually disclose what Brennan, Clapper, Comey, et al actually did by declassifying all the documents and communications among them. In your opinion what is he trying to accomplish with his method here? ..."
Dec 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock , 12 hours ago

Col. Lang

I believe you are spot on in your analysis of the Trump methods. No doubt based on your personal observations up close of similar sole proprietor business hustlers. I think one problem that Trump methods face is that he needs people around him who can make things happen despite the byzantine ways of the vast federal bureaucracy who have their own agenda.

One thing that has puzzled me about Trump methods is his constant tweeting of witch hunt with respect to Mueller but his unwillingness to actually disclose what Brennan, Clapper, Comey, et al actually did by declassifying all the documents and communications among them. In your opinion what is he trying to accomplish with his method here?

[Dec 10, 2018] The American Melting Pot Can Turn Into A Volatile Mixture At The Top by Wayne Madsen

Melania slap of Bolton face might be a good sobering measure. But neocons can't probably recover from their addition
Notable quotes:
"... Ricardel is a longtime friend and associate of national security adviser John Bolton, who brought her into the National Security Council from the Department of Commerce, where she served as Undersecretary for Export Administration. Ricardel reportedly angered Ms. Trump over seating arrangements on a flight by Ms. Trump to Africa two weeks ago. Ricardel, who was to accompany the First Lady, did not make the trip. Ms. Trump, in an interview conducted with ABC News during the trip, said there were people in the White House she did not trust. Apparently, Ricardel was one of them. ..."
"... Perhaps no one in recent memory brought such a degree of ethnic baggage to her job like Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Albright's Czech roots and the Yugoslav warrant issued for the arrest of her professor-diplomat father, Joseph Korbel, for the post-World War II theft of art from Prague, brought forth extreme anti-Serbian policies by the woman who would represent the United States at the United Nations and then serve as America's chief diplomat. Albright's hatred for Serbia was not much different than Zbigniew Brzezinski's Polish heritage evoking an almost-pathological hatred of Russia, while he served as Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser. ..."
"... In 1981, Ronald Reagan appointed Valdas Adamkus as the regional administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency, responsible for the Mid-West states. Retiring from the US government after 29 years of service, Adamkus was elected to two terms as President of Lithuania. ..."
"... One might ask whether Ilves and Adamkus were kept on the US government payroll merely to support them until they could return to their countries in top leadership positions to help lead the Baltic nations into NATO membership. ..."
"... From 1993 to 1997, Army General John Shalikashvili served as Chairman of the Joint Chefs of Staff. Shalikashvili was born in Warsaw, Poland to a Georgian and Polish mother. During World War II, his father served in the Georgian Legion, a special unit incorporated into the Nazi German "SS-Waffengruppe Georgien." General Shalikashvili served as commander of all US military forces during a time of NATO expansion into Eastern Europe. It was no surprise that he was an avid cheerleader for NATO's expansion to the East. ..."
Nov 25, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Wayne Madsen via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

America has always fancied itself as a "melting pot" of ethnicities and religions that form a perfect union. The Latin phrase, E Pluribus Unum, "out of many, one," is even found on the Great Seal of the United States.

However, as seen in a recent blow-up between First Lady Melania Trump and now-former Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel, old feuds from beyond the borders of the United States can result in major rifts at the highest echelons of the US government.

On November 13, Ms. Trump's communications director, Stephanie Grisham, fired off a tweet that read: "it is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she [Ricardel] no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House." The White House announced Ricardel's departure the next day, November 14.

Ricardel is a longtime friend and associate of national security adviser John Bolton, who brought her into the National Security Council from the Department of Commerce, where she served as Undersecretary for Export Administration. Ricardel reportedly angered Ms. Trump over seating arrangements on a flight by Ms. Trump to Africa two weeks ago. Ricardel, who was to accompany the First Lady, did not make the trip. Ms. Trump, in an interview conducted with ABC News during the trip, said there were people in the White House she did not trust. Apparently, Ricardel was one of them.

The bitter feud between Melania Trump and Mira Ricardel likely has its roots in their backgrounds in the former Yugoslavia. Ricardel was born Mira P. Radielović, the daughter of Peter Radielovich, a native of Breza, Bosnia-Herzegovina in the former Yugoslavia. Ricardel speaks fluent Croatian and was a member of the Croatian Catholic Church. Melania Trump was born Melanija Knavs [pronounced Knaus] in Novo Mesto in Slovenia, also in the former Yugoslavia. Villagers in the village of Sevnica, where Ms. Trump was raised, claim she and her Communist Party parents were officially atheists. Ms. Trump later converted to Roman Catholicism. She and her son by Mr. Trump, Barron Trump, speak fluent Slovenian. The Yugoslav Civil War, which began in earnest in 1991, pitted the nation's ethnic groups against one another. There are ample reasons, political, ethnic, and religious, for bad blood between the Slovenian-born First Lady and a first-generation Croatian-American. The "battle royale" between Ms. Trump and Ricardel is but one example of a constant problem in the United States when individuals with foreign ties bring age-old inter-ethnic and inter-religious squabbles to governance.

Perhaps no one in recent memory brought such a degree of ethnic baggage to her job like Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Albright's Czech roots and the Yugoslav warrant issued for the arrest of her professor-diplomat father, Joseph Korbel, for the post-World War II theft of art from Prague, brought forth extreme anti-Serbian policies by the woman who would represent the United States at the United Nations and then serve as America's chief diplomat. Albright's hatred for Serbia was not much different than Zbigniew Brzezinski's Polish heritage evoking an almost-pathological hatred of Russia, while he served as Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser.

Albright's bias against Serbia saw her influence US policy in casting a blind eye toward the terrorism carried out by the Kosovo Liberation Army and its terrorist leader Hashim Thaci. That policy resulted in Washington backing an independent Kosovo, a state beholden to organized criminal syndicates protected by one of the largest US military bases in Europe, Camp Bondsteel.

Ties by US foreign policy officials to their countries of origin continued to plagued administrations after Carter. For example, Kateryna Chumachenko served in the Reagan White House and State and Treasury Departments and later worked for KPMG as "Katherine" Chumachenko. She also worked in the White House Public Liaison Office, where she conducted outreach to various right-wing and anti-communist exile groups in the United States, including the Friends of Afghanistan, on whose board Afghan refugee and later George W. Bush pro-consul in Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, sat. Khalilzad, like Chumachenko, worked in the Reagan State Department. Chumachenko was married to Ukrainian "Orange Revolution" President Viktor Yushchenko, and, thusly, became the First Lady of Ukraine. Khalilzad became the Bush 43 ambassador to the UN, where he often was at loggerheads with Iran, Libya, Syria, and other Muslim states. As was the case with Albright and her anti-Serb underpinnings, it was difficult to ascertain whose agenda Khalilzad was serving.

After being fired from the White House, there were reports that Ricardel was offered the post of ambassador to Estonia. That Baltic country was no stranger to hauling foreign baggage into the US government. Former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, a bow-tie wearing former Estonian language broadcaster for the Central Intelligence Agency-funded Radio Free Europe ; long time resident of Leonia, New Jersey; could have just as easily ended up in a senior State Department position rather than President of Estonia. Such is the nature of divided loyalties among senior US government officials of both major political parties.

In 1981, Ronald Reagan appointed Valdas Adamkus as the regional administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency, responsible for the Mid-West states. Retiring from the US government after 29 years of service, Adamkus was elected to two terms as President of Lithuania.

One might ask whether Ilves and Adamkus were kept on the US government payroll merely to support them until they could return to their countries in top leadership positions to help lead the Baltic nations into NATO membership.

From 1993 to 1997, Army General John Shalikashvili served as Chairman of the Joint Chefs of Staff. Shalikashvili was born in Warsaw, Poland to a Georgian and Polish mother. During World War II, his father served in the Georgian Legion, a special unit incorporated into the Nazi German "SS-Waffengruppe Georgien." General Shalikashvili served as commander of all US military forces during a time of NATO expansion into Eastern Europe. It was no surprise that he was an avid cheerleader for NATO's expansion to the East.

Natalie Jaresko served in positions with the State Department, the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, the US Trade Representative, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). In 2014, she became the Finance Minister for Ukraine. Earlier, she served as a financial adviser to Yushchenko. The United States is not the only "melting pot" in North America that suffers from officials burdened by ethnic dual loyalties. Halyna Chomiak, the Ukrainian-born émigré mother of Canada's Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, weighs heavily on Freeland's ability to advance Canada's interests over those of the nation of her mother's birth.

Trump's entire White House Middle East police team is composed of individuals who place Israel's interests ahead of the United States. Trump takes his Middle East advice from principally his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a contributor to and member of the board of the "Friends of the IDF," an American non-profit that raises funds for the Israeli armed forces. Kushner was named by Trump as a "special envoy" to the Middle East, while Jason Greenblatt, a former attorney with the Trump Organization, was named as special envoy in charge of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Although the two positions appear to overlap, Kushner and Greenblatt, both Orthodox Jews who have little time for Palestinians, are on the same page when it comes to advancing the West Bank land grabbing policies of the Binyamin Netanyahu government in Israel. Trump thoroughly Zionized his administration's Middle East policy with the appointment of another Israel supporter, David M. Friedman, as US ambassador to Israel. Friedman had been a bankruptcy lawyer with the Trump Organization's primary law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman.

Trump has nominated as US ambassador to South Africa, handbag designer Lana Marks, who was born in South Africa. Marks, who is known only to Trump from her membership in his Mar-a-Lago, Florida "billionaires club," left South Africa in 1975, when the country was under the apartheid regime. Marks claims to speak Afrikaans, the language preferred by the apartheid regime, and Xhosa, the ethnic language of the late President Nelson Mandela. Because Marks embellished her professional tennis career by claiming, without proof, participation in the French Open and Wimbledon in the 1970s, her mastery of Xhosa can be taken with a grain of salt. So, too, can her ability to deal with the current African National Congress government led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who had just been released from prison when Marks left the country in 1975. The claims and politics of Marks and every official and would-be US official who failed to shed their biases from their native and ancestral homelands, can all be taken with a metric ton of salt.

Melting pots are fine, so long as they truly blend together. However, that is not the situation in the United States as high government officials have difficulty in consigning the bigotry inherent in family folklore and beliefs to the family scrapbooks.

[Dec 10, 2018] What the Infotech-Telecom Revolution Has Actually Done Ian Welsh

Dec 10, 2018 | www.ianwelsh.net

What the Infotech/Telecom Revolution Has Actually Done 2016 April 23 tags: Infotech revolution , Telecom Revolution by Ian Welsh Globe on Fire There's a great deal of talk about how wonderful modern technology is. The internet, cell phones, and computers are the stars of this firmament. I believe such talk is somewhat overblown; the latest tech revolution is not as significant as many that have come before .

At least not in terms of doing good.

Let us examine what all this infotech really has changed.

Control. Massive control. Surveillance.

Just in time inventory. Not possible 50 years ago.

Second to second tracking of workers without having to have a supervisor physically watching them. Amazon warehouse workers carry devices which allow their workflow to be tracked to the second. And if they aren't making their seconds, the supervisor is right on them. This wasn't possible 30 years ago. If you wanted to have that sort of control, you had to have a supervisor physically watching them, and the cost was prohibitive.

This sort of tracking is used for clerical workers as well.

Outsourcing work that had to be kept domestic before. The massive call centers in Delhi and Ireland were not possible even 30 years ago. The cost was simply prohibitive.

Offshoring work, like manufacturing, was difficult to offshore before. Without real-time, high-density communications, cutting edge manufacturing overseas was very difficult in the past. You could offshore some things, certainly, but those industries tended to be mature industries: shipbuilding, textiles, and so on. Cutting edge industries, no, they had to be located close to the boffins or they were offshored to another, essentially First World country–as when Britain offshored much of their production to the United States in the late 19th century.

Commercial surveillance. Everything you buy is cross referenced. When you buy something at a major retailers, the store takes a picture of you and matches it with your information. All online purchase information is stored and centralized in databases. This information is shared. This includes, but goes far beyond, internet surveillance; witness Google or Facebook serving you ads based on what you've read or searched. Add this data to credit reports, bank accounts, and so on, and it provides a remarkably complete picture of your life, because everything you buy with anything but cash (and even some of that) is tracked. Where you are when you buy it is also tracked.

Government surveillance. Millions of cameras in London and most other First World cities. Millions of cameras in Chinese cities. Some transit systems now have audio surveillance. Because the government can seize any private surveillance as well, you can assume you're being tracked all day in most First World cities. Add this to the commercial surveillance system described above and the picture of your life is startlingly accurate.

As biometric recognition system comes online (face, gait, infrared, and more) this work will be done automatically.

What the telecom and infotech revolution has done is enable wide scale CONTROL and SURVEILLANCE.

These are two sides of the same coin, you can't control people if you don't what they're doing.

This control is most dictatorial, amusingly, in the private sector. The worse a job is, the more this sort of control has been used for super-Taylorization, making humans into little more than remotely controlled flesh robots.

It has made control of international conglomerates far easier; control from the top to the periphery far easier. This is true in the government and the military as well, where central commanders often control details like when bombs drop, rather than leaving it to a plane's crew.

This is a world where only a few people have practical power. It is a world, not of radical decentralization, but of radical centralization.

This is a vast experiment. In the past, there have been surveillance and control societies. But the math on them has always been suspect. Sometimes they work, and work brilliantly–like in Tokugawa Japan, certain periods of Confucian Chinese bureaucratic control, or ancient Egypt.

But often they have been defeated, and fairly easily, by societies which allowed more freedom; less control, less spying, and supervision. Societies which assumed people knew what to do on their own; or just societies that understood that the cost of close supervision and surveillance was too high to support.

The old East German Stasi model, with one-third of the population spying on the other two-thirds was the ludicrous extension of this.

What the telecom and infotech revolutions have actually enabled is a vast experiment in de-skilling, surveillance, and control–beyond the dreams even of the late 19th century Taylorist movement, with their stopwatches and assembly lines. Nothing people do, from what they eat, to what entertainment they consume, to when and how well they sleep; let alone everything they do during their working day, is beyond reach.

This is not to say there are no good results from infotech and computers -- there are plenty. But contrary to the idea that these technologies would increase freedom, they appear, on a daily basis, to have decreased freedom and privacy and promise to radically reduce them even more.

The second set of questions about any technology are how it can be used for violence, how it can be used for control, and how it can be used for ideological production.

(The first question, of course, is what is required to use it. More on that another time.)

Infotech may enable totalitarian societies which make those of the past look like kindergarten. We are already far past the technology used in the novel 1984 (Big Brother could not record, for example). That much of this surveillance is done by private actors as opposed to the government, does not reduce the loss of freedom, autonomy, and privacy.

Combined with making humans obsolete, infotech and the telecom revolution are as vastly important as their boosters say.

But, so far, not in a beneficial way. Yes, they could be used to make human lives better, it seems the real traction of the telecom and infotech revolutions remarkably began/coincided with neo-liberal policies which have hurt vast numbers of people in both the First and Third Worlds–precisely because they helped make those neo-liberal policies work.

Technologies are never neutral and there is no guarantee that "progress" will actually improve people's lives. Even if a technology has the potential to improve people's lives, potential is theoretical; i.e., not the same as practice.

Infotech and telecom tech are primarily control technologies, the same as writing was. They vastly increase the ability to centralize and to control a population's behaviour.

(Read also: The Late Internet Revolution is Not So Big A Deal )

[Dec 10, 2018] Facebook, Whatsup and Brazilian elections

Dec 10, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Over the last few years, the potentially damaging impact of the internet, and particularly social media, on democracy has increasingly come to dominate the news. The recently disclosed internal Facebook emails, which revealed that employees discussed allowing developers to harvest user data for a fee, are but the latest in a long line of scandals surrounding social media platforms. Facebook has also been accused, alongside Twitter, of fuelling the spread of false information. In October, the Brazilian newspaper Folha exposed how Jair Bolsonaro's candidacy benefited from a coordinated disinformation campaign conducted via Whatsapp, which is owned by Facebook. And there are growing concerns that this tactic could be used to skew the Indian general elections in April.

[Dec 09, 2018] NYT and CIA have had relationship with, and was caught having planted CIA workers as NYT writers

Notable quotes:
"... Non-elite members of the Party -- functionaries -- mistake their "secret" knowledge as professional courtesy rather than as perquisite and status marker. (I don't suppose it's a secret to anyone that the US CIA regularly plants stories in the NYTimes and elsewhere... unless you weren't paying attention in the strident disinfo campaign prior to the Iraq invasion.) ..."
Aug 30, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
sanda1scuptorNYC , 30 Aug 2012 07:36
Howard Zinn said, in a speech given shortly after the 2008 Presidential election, "If you don't know history, it's like you were born yesterday. The government can tell you anything." (Speech was played on DemocracyNow www.democracynow.org about Jan. 4, 2009 and is archived, free on the website.)

Being older (18 on my last Leap Year birthday - 72), I recall the NYTimes and CIA have had relationship with, and was caught having "planted CIA workers" as NYTimes writers. Within my adult lifetime, in fact.

sigil , 30 Aug 2012 05:49

This is what the CIA reflexively does: insists that [...] it is an "intelligence matter".

In a sense the CIA is always going to be right on this one - "Central Intelligence Agency" - but only as a matter of nomenclature, rather than of any other dictionary definition of the word "intelligence".

Brusselsexpats , 30 Aug 2012 05:49
Actually the collusion between the CIA and big business is far more damaging. The first US company I worked for in Brussels (it was my first job) was constantly being targeted by the US media for having connections to corrupt South American and Third World regimes. On what seemed like an almost monthly basis our personnel department would send round memos saying that we were strictly forbidden to talk to journalists about the latest exposé.

It was great fun - even the telex operators knew who the spies were.

kcameron , 30 Aug 2012 05:26
The line "'The optics aren't what they look like,' is truly an instant classic. It reminds me of one of my favorite Yogi Berra quotes (which, unlike many attributed to him, is real, I think). Yogi once said about a restaurant in New York "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." Perhaps Yogi should become an editor for the Times.
AmityAmity , 30 Aug 2012 04:55
British readers will no doubt be shocked -- shocked! -- to learn of cozy relations between a major news organization and a national intelligence agency.

... ... ...

MiltonWiltmellow , 30 Aug 2012 02:40

"'I know the circumstances, and if you knew everything that's going on, you'd know it's much ado about nothing,' Baquet said. 'I can't go into in detail. But I'm confident after talking to Mark that it's much ado about nothing.'

"'The optics aren't what they look like,' he went on. 'I've talked to Mark, I know the circumstance, and given what I know, it's much ado about nothing.'"

How can you have a Party if you don't have Party elites?

And how can a self-respecting member of the Party claim their individual status within the Party without secret knowledge designed to identify one another as members of the Party elite?

[Proles are] natural inferiors who must be kept in subjection, like animals ... Life, if you looked about you, bore no resemblance not only to the lies that streamed out of the telescreens, but even to the ideals the Party was trying to achieve. ... The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering -- a world of of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons -- a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting -- 300 million people all with the same face. The reality was decaying, dingy cities, where underfed people shuffled to and fro in leaky shoes... [ 1984 ,pp 73-74]

It makes no difference if an imagined socialist England, a collapsing Roman city-state empire, an actual Soviet Union, or a modern American oligarchy.

Party members thrive while those wretched proles flail in confused and hungry desperation for something authentic (like a George Bush) or even simply reassuring (like a Barack Obama.)

Non-elite members of the Party -- functionaries -- mistake their "secret" knowledge as professional courtesy rather than as perquisite and status marker. (I don't suppose it's a secret to anyone that the US CIA regularly plants stories in the NYTimes and elsewhere... unless you weren't paying attention in the strident disinfo campaign prior to the Iraq invasion.)

Manzetti has "no bad intent" because he is loyal to the Party.

Like all loyal (and very well compensated) Party members, he would never do anything as subversive as reveal Party secrets.

People can be detained for almost any reason these days!

After all, what's the future of a Party that lacks effective enforcement?

[Dec 09, 2018] The Mafia, CIA and Bush Senior - Pete Brewton, Author, Journalist (1992) Part 1 of 2

Dec 09, 2018 | nomadiceveryman.blogspot.com

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Posted by willyloman at No comments: Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest

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George H. W. Bush

[Dec 09, 2018] Wannabe Zionists (Bolton) has been trying hard to show his loyalty to the Jewish State

Notable quotes:
"... Trump won't fire his son-in-law, so if Jared doesn't have the decency to resign on his own, he may well be responsible for Trump's downfall in addition to his own. Trump's silly daughter, Ivanka, needs to go to. ..."
"... Time for Bolton to send for the clairvoyant Theresa May who has managed to accuse Russia, and Mr. Putin personally, in the Skripals' poisoning n the absence of any evidence ..."
Nov 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

annamaria, November 13, 2018 at 6:43 pm GMT

@Z-man The "wannabe Zionists (Bolton)" has been trying hard to show his loyalty to the Jewish State.

The latest tragicomic attempt by the mustached "person of easy morals": "John Bolton Says "No Evidence" Implicating Crown Prince On Khashoggi Kill Tape" https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-13/john-bolton-says-no-evidence-implicating-crown-prince-khashoggi-kill-tape

Comment section (David Wooten): "According to the crown prince himself, Trump's [Jewish] son-in-law gave him a secret list of his enemies -- the ones like Al Aweed who were tortured and shaken down for cash. Khashoggi might even have been on that list.

One or more of the tortured ones likely tipped off Erdogan, which is why Turkey only needed to enter the consulate, retrieve the recorded audio device they planted, and walk out with the evidence. Turkey also has evidence that puts MbS' personal doctor and other staff arriving in Turkey at convenient times to do the job -- and probably more. Khashoggi was anything but a nice person but Trump cannot say that or he'll likely be accused of involvement in his murder.

Dissociation is made far more difficult by the fact that Jared is a long time friend of Netanyahu who, like Jared, has befriended MbS .

Trump won't fire his son-in-law, so if Jared doesn't have the decency to resign on his own, he may well be responsible for Trump's downfall in addition to his own. Trump's silly daughter, Ivanka, needs to go to.

Were it not for the Khashoggi affair, fewer Republican seats would have been lost in the election."

-- Time for Bolton to send for the clairvoyant Theresa May who has managed to accuse Russia, and Mr. Putin personally, in the Skripals' poisoning n the absence of any evidence .

These people -- Bolton, May, Gavin Williamson and likes -- are a cross of the ever-eager whores and petty brainless thieves. To expose themselves as the willing participants in the ZUSA-conducted farce requires a complete lack of integrity.

Of course, there is no way to indict the journalist's murderers since the principal murderer is a personal friend of Netanyahu and Jared.

Jump, Justice, jump, as high as ordered by the "chosen."

By the way, why do we hear nothing about Seth Rich who was murdered in the most surveilled city of the US?

Z-man , says: November 13, 2018 at 7:21 pm GMT
@annamaria A 1st grader can see that MbS was behind the murder of Kashoggi.

Trump won't fire his son-in-law, so if Jared doesn't have the decency to resign on his own, he may well be responsible for Trump's downfall in addition to his own. Trump's silly daughter, Ivanka, needs to go to.

I've been hoping for this since they moved to Washington with 'big daddy'.

annamaria , says: November 14, 2018 at 12:49 pm GMT
@Anon " crappy bedtime reading the woolyheadedness "

Hey, Anon[436], is this how your parents have been treating you? My condolences.

If you feel that you succeeded with your "see, a squirrel" tactics of taking attention from the zionists' dirty and amoral attempts at coverup of the murder of the journalists Khashoggi, which was accomplished on the orders of the clown prince (the dear friend of Bibi & Jared), you are for a disappointment.

One more time for you, Anon[436]: the firm evidence of MbS involvement in the murder of Khashoggi contrasts with no evidence of the alleged poisoning of Skripals by Russian government.

The zionists have been showing an amazing tolerance towards the clown prince the murderer because zionists need the clown prince for the implementation of Oded Yinon Plan for Eretz Israel.

The stinky Skripals' affair involves harsh economic actions imposed on the RF in the absence of any evidence , as compared to no sanctions in response to the actual murder of Khashoggi, which involved MbS according to the available evidence . Thanks to the zionists friendship with the clown prince, the firm evidence of Khashoggi murder is of no importance. What else could be expected from the "most moral" Bibi & Kushner and the treasonous Bolton.

Z-man , says: November 14, 2018 at 1:58 pm GMT
@annamaria

The stinky Skripals' affair involves harsh economic actions imposed on the RF in the absence of any evidence, as compared to no sanctions in response to the actual murder of Khashoggi, which involved MbS according to the available evidence. Thanks to the zionists friendship with the clown prince, the firm evidence of Khashoggi murder is of no importance. What else could be expected from the "most moral" Bibi & Kushner and the treasonous Bolton.

Bears repeating.

[Dec 09, 2018] Showdown Moment -- British Enemy Apparatus Very Exposed, Very Ready for Termination LaRouchePAC

Notable quotes:
"... This is the context in which to see the blatant, dangerous gambits to wreck the Buenos Aires gathering of leaders, and any other such future opportunity, coming from the British Empire crowd, in the form of staged confrontations, lies and subversion. ..."
"... Look at recent destabilizing events: the Nov. 24 chemical weapons attack on Syrians in Aleppo; the stoking of suffering and strife at the Mexico-U.S. border; and on Nov. 25, Ukraine's naval provocation against Russia in the Black Sea. The British government asset, the "Integrity Initiative" is fully deployed to goad the U.S. and Western Europe to launch an offensive against Russia over the Ukraine incident, blaming Russia for "aggression" against Ukraine. The British imperialists are making a habit of exposing their own role in demanding world war! ..."
"... These provocations are not a sign of power, but of desperation, desperation to stop the spreading success of the New Paradigm of collaborative development expressed in the Belt and Road Initiative, and what lies ahead if the U.S. joins up. Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche today emphasized that each time the British Imperialist apparatus steps forward in its own name to sabotage world peace, it works to the detriment of their dying system. The Empire is dangerous, but all the easier to crush. ..."
Nov 28, 2018 | larouchepac.com
We are in a showdown moment. At this week's Group of 20 Summit -- only three days away, in Buenos Aires, there is the potential for Great Power diplomacy in the direction of a New Paradigm of foreign relations, as an outcome of the sideline meetings of heads of state and government of the United States, China, Russia, India and others.

The growing momentum for New Paradigm economic development is seen in high-level events this month in six Western European nations: in Germany, the "Hamburg Summit: China Meets Europe" (Nov. 26-27); in France, the Lyon "Franco-Chinese Forum" (Nov. 26-28); in Spain, President Xi Jinping's state visit (Nov. 27-29); in Portugal, Xi's visit (Dec. 4-5); in Italy, a new Xinhua-associated Italian financial media service will be set up (Nov. 6 agreement); in Norway, the first Polar Route icebreaker delivery of Yamal LNG, for transshipment from the northern port of Honnigsvag.

This is the context in which to see the blatant, dangerous gambits to wreck the Buenos Aires gathering of leaders, and any other such future opportunity, coming from the British Empire crowd, in the form of staged confrontations, lies and subversion.

Look at recent destabilizing events: the Nov. 24 chemical weapons attack on Syrians in Aleppo; the stoking of suffering and strife at the Mexico-U.S. border; and on Nov. 25, Ukraine's naval provocation against Russia in the Black Sea. The British government asset, the "Integrity Initiative" is fully deployed to goad the U.S. and Western Europe to launch an offensive against Russia over the Ukraine incident, blaming Russia for "aggression" against Ukraine. The British imperialists are making a habit of exposing their own role in demanding world war!

These provocations are not a sign of power, but of desperation, desperation to stop the spreading success of the New Paradigm of collaborative development expressed in the Belt and Road Initiative, and what lies ahead if the U.S. joins up. Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche today emphasized that each time the British Imperialist apparatus steps forward in its own name to sabotage world peace, it works to the detriment of their dying system. The Empire is dangerous, but all the easier to crush.

The Nov. 25 Ukrainian naval breach of Russian territorial waters was long pre-planned. As the Italian military journal Difesa Online wrote on Nov. 25, "it was evident to all those who follow local events that for some days already, the Poroshenko government in Ukraine was trying to provoke an armed confrontation with Moscow in the Crimean waters." Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, said the same yesterday, adding a warning. "We are talking about a pre-planned, deliberate, and now realized large-scale provocation.... I think everybody should be careful next time. I think there will be a next time, considering what is happening now."

President Donald Trump's first response to the Ukraine incident, Nov. 26, was to express concern, and hopes for settlement. "We do not like what's happening, either way; ... hopefully, it will get straightened out." President Vladimir Putin will issue his statement on this incident in a few days.

From London, however, comes a raving "script" of what Trump and the West must do against Russia. It is the featured item on the website of the Integrity Initiative, which is a British intelligence black war propaganda operation. Its funding is from the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Its Nov. 26 posting is titled, "West Is Once Again Failing Test Set by Russian Aggression," by Edward Lucas, formerly of The Economist , and a longtime Russia-hater, who wrote such books as Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West (2012) and The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West (2nd ed., 2014). Lucas calls for "kinetic, symbolic, and financial measures" against Russia. This is to include, the West sending military aid to Ukraine, running a NATO flotilla to the Ukrainian port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, putting sanctions on Russian officials and businessmen present in the West, and cutting Russia off from Western finance. Lucas says that the West didn't act against Nazi Germany's 1939 invasion of Poland, but they must act now against Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

Lucas is part of the British "cluster" of Integrity Initiative's operatives, which also includes former British Ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood of Orbis Business Intelligence, the firm of "former" MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who fabricated the infamous anti-Trump dossier. These figures are at the heart of the coup operations against Trump, and before that, the Obama Administration election subversion.

Zepp-LaRouche nailed the Integrity Initiative in a Sputnik interview published yesterday, now being run in media internationally. She said that the group's activity displays the " modus operandi of British intelligence operations, and it very well may turn out, that it is this network, which is deeply involved in 'Russiagate' and the entire coup against President Trump."

It is now urgent for all the documents bearing on these criminal, treasonous operations to be de-classified, and the full story revealed. Every hour counts.

[Dec 09, 2018] Integrity Initiative: C>ountry list of MI6 agents of influence according to the leak

Dec 09, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 2:12:45 PM | link

Country list of agents of influence according to the leak:

Germany
Harold Elletson ,Klaus NaumannWolf-Ruediger Bengs, Ex Amb Killian, Gebhardt v Moltke, Roland Freudenstein, Hubertus Hoffmann, Bertil Wenger, Beate Wedekind, Klaus Wittmann, Florian Schmidt, Norris v Schirach

Sweden, Norway, Finland
Martin Kragh , Jardar Ostbo, Chris Prebensen, Kate Hansen Bundt, Tor Bukkvoll, Henning-Andre Sogaard, Kristen Ven Bruusgard, Henrik O Breitenbauch, Niels Poulsen, Jeppe Plenge, Claus Mathiesen, Katri Pynnoniemi, Ian Robertson, Pauli Jarvenpaa, Andras Racz

Netherlands
Dr Sijbren de Jong, Ida Eklund-Lindwall, Yevhen Fedchenko, Rianne Siebenga, Jerry Sullivan, Hunter B Treseder, Chris Quick

Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 2:13:28 PM | link
Spain
Nico de Pedro, Ricardo Blanco Tarno, Eduardo Serra Rexach, Dionisio Urteaga Todo, Dimitri Barua, Fernando Valenzuela Marzo, Marta Garcia, Abraham Sanz, Fernando Maura, Jose Ignacio Sanchez Amor, Jesus Ramon-Laca Clausen, Frances Ghiles, Carmen Claudin, Nika Prislan, Luis Simon, Charles Powell, Mira Milosevich, Daniel Iriarte, Anna Bosch, Mira Milosevich-Juaristi, Tito, Frances Ghiles, Borja Lasheras, Jordi Bacaria, Alvaro Imbernon-Sainz, Nacho Samor

US, Canada
Mary Ellen Connell, Anders Aslund, Elizabeth Braw, Paul Goble, David Ziegler
Evelyn Farkas, Glen Howard, Stephen Blank, Ian Brzezinski, Thomas Mahnken, John Nevado, Robert Nurick, Jeff McCausland
Todd Leventhal

UK
Chris Donnelly
Amalyah Hart William Browder John Ardis
Roderick Collins, Patrick Mileham Deborah Haynes
Dan Lafayeedney Chris Hernon Mungo Melvin
Rob Dover Julian Moore Agnes Josa David Aaronovitch Stephen Dalziel Raheem Shapi Ben Nimmo
Robert Hall Alexander Hoare Steve Jermy Dominic Kennedy
Victor Madeira Ed Lucas Dr David Ryall
Graham Geale Steve Tatham Natalie Nougayrede
Alan Riley prof.alan.riley@btinternet.com Anne Applebaum Neil Logan Brown James Wilson Primavera Quantrill
Bruce Jones David Clark Charles Dick
Ahmed Dassu Sir Adam Thompson Lorna Fitzsimons Neil Buckley Richard Titley Euan Grant
Alastair Aitken Yusuf Desai Bobo Lo Duncan Allen Chris Bell
Peter Mason John Lough Catherine Crozier
Robin Ashcroft Johanna Moehring Vadim Kleiner David Fields Alistair Wood Ben Robinson Drew Foxall Alex Finnen
Orsyia Lutsevych Charlie Hatton Vladimir Ashurkov
Giles Harris Ben Bradshaw
Chris Scheurweghs James Nixey
Charlie Hornick Baiba Braze J Lindley-French
Craig Oliphant Paul Kitching Nick Childs Celia Szusterman
James Sherr Alan Parfitt Alzbeta Chmelarova Keir Giles
Andy Pryce Zach Harkenrider
Kadri Liik Arron Rahaman David Nicholas Igor Sutyagin Rob Sandford Maya Parmar Andrew Wood Richard Slack Ellie Scarnell
Nick Smith Asta Skaigiryte Ian Bond Joanna Szostek Gintaras Stonys Nina Jancowicz
Nick Washer Ian Williams Joe Green Carl Miller Adrian Bradshaw
Clement Daudy Jeremy Blackham Gabriel Daudy Andrew Lucy Stafford Diane Allen Alexandros Papaioannou
Paddy Nicoll

Jen , Nov 24, 2018 2:25:43 PM | link
I see that the cluster of UK journalists to receive propaganda from the Integrity Initiative includes Guardian writer and former Le Monde chief editor (run out by her senior editors for her "Putinesque" leadership style) Natalie Nougayrede. As if The Guardian needs any more persuasion or encouragement to recede deeper into its labyrinthine network of rabbit-holes. Jonathan Freedland must be jumping up and down in an infantile tantrum that Nugget-head got such privileged access.
Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 2:30:45 PM | link
Agents of influence in Italy according to the leak:

Italy
Fabrizio Luciolli Vittorfranco Pisano Jason Wiseman Beppe Severigni Jacopo Iacoboni Alvise Armellini

erichwwk , Nov 24, 2018 2:32:15 PM | link
@ #2 pretzelattack Thanks for the Robert Mueller Guardian article link.

Am I the only one not to know that "As acting deputy attorney general, he [Robert Mueller] was in charge of the investigation and indictment of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the terrorist attack that brought down Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland just before Christmas 1988.

Seems every new article I read on Robert Mueller, he was carrying out another CIA covert plan.


The Framing of al-Megrahi by Gareth Peirce London Review of Books 24 Sept 2019

Laguerre , Nov 24, 2018 2:32:37 PM | link
Britain has been a US dog for years, most overtly in Blair's time over Iraq and Afghanistan, but things haven't really changed. Britain's military has become more and more dependent on the US. There is no longer an independent nuclear deterrent - the weapons are rented from the US, and I'm certain that they couldn't be used without US approval (sure to be a backdoor somewhere in the electronics which would enable the US to turn them off, if the US disagreed). The F35s they've insisted on buying are probably in the same situation.

They're not slaves, or rather 'vassals' - the current word of sensitivity about the EU. More active collaborators, which implies initiatives also stemming from Britain.

One should also recall Britain's function as US agent in the European Union. They were opposed to many EU proposals, obviously to fit in with US desires. The most recent example is the Galileo GPS system - they were opposed to it for years, but as Ivan Rogers told us (former Brit ambassador to the EU), the opposition he was instructed to make failed.

It's all gone off a bit recently though. Trump is not interested in Britain in the way Obama was. Brexit is a nativist movement, not what America wants. If Brexit goes through finally, the interest of the US will be even less, as we can no longer intervene on the US's behalf in Europe.

Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 2:35:35 PM | link
French agents of inluence according to leak:
France
Francoise Thom Jusin Vaisse Thomas Bertin Caroline Gondaud Guillaume Schlumberger Raphael de Lagarde Roland Galharague
Martin Briens Jean-Christophe Noel Laurent Rucker Alexandre Escorcia Nikola Guljevatej David Behar Claire le Flecher Remy Bouallegue Paul Zajac Nicolas Roche Manuel Lafont Rapnouil Laurent Rucker Patrick Hardouin Etienne de Durand
Janaina Herrera
Bart Hansen , Nov 24, 2018 2:41:35 PM | link
I just knew if I scrolled down far enough the name Anne Applebaum would appear - Queen of the Dual-Loyalists; but Wm. Browder!?

From her Wikipedia page: "She is a visiting Professor of Practice at the London School of Economics, where she runs Arena, a project on propaganda and disinformation." I reckon she "Practices" at the Post.

steve , Nov 24, 2018 2:43:03 PM | link
Of course none of this will be reported in the "real" news outlets.
dh , Nov 24, 2018 2:43:03 PM | link
@7 "...things didn't go as planned for the expropriation of russia after the fall of the soviet union.. it seems the west is still hurting from not being able to exploit russia fully, as they'd intended..."

Crimea is the one that really hurts. NATO was all set to build a shiny new base.

james , Nov 24, 2018 2:50:46 PM | link
@18 russ... yes - that pretty well sums it up... as for putin falling into the neoliberal order - at this point it does look that way.. i am curious how russia could move forward at this moment in some alternative way? what would the alternative way look like?

@zanon... thanks, but the list given for usa/canada has only one person on it that appears to be a canuck - glen howard.. and unless it is a different glen howard, the guy is some curling wiz, but no mention of his anti-russian credentials... his e mail address is given as jamestown.org which is connected to the jamestown foundation.. turns out, he is not a canuck either - "Glen Howard President

Mr. Howard is fluent in Russian and proficient in Azerbaijani and Arabic, and is a regional expert on the Caucasus and Central Asia. He was formerly an Analyst at the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) Strategic Assessment Center. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, and Jane's Defense Weekly. Mr. Howard has served as a consultant to private sector and governmental agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Intelligence Council and major oil companies operating in Central Asia and the Middle East."


one of the people on the usa-can list - john nevado appears to be an equadorian...

bottom line - as a sensitive canuck, i think someone needs to change the list to say usa and remove canada, as no canucks are on the list from the small research i did...

that is the sad thing about canada - it gets lumped in with the usa for good and bad on a regular basis... maybe they could put crystia freelands name on this list... i think she would qualify as a rabid anti-russia canuck...

james , Nov 24, 2018 2:51:44 PM | link
@31 dh.. i think you are right about that.. annie applepants is still aching over that... her and crystia freeland..
frances , Nov 24, 2018 2:55:24 PM | link
reply to Plantman 13
re:
"Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow."
I don't think it was the Republican party that was the source of the deadlock.
I think it may have been Tillerson. He had close ties to Russia and in March 2018, he was forced out of State and Pompeo came in.
"President Donald Trump nominated Pompeo as Secretary of State in March 2018, with Pompeo succeeding Rex Tillerson after his dismissal."
jayc , Nov 24, 2018 3:00:23 PM | link
"The organisation is led by one Chris N. Donnelly who receives (pdf) £8,100 per month ..."

That's a decent salary. He probably can work from home too - like Bellingcat. A fake NGO operating with fake "integrity" to identify "fake news". Everything is rather upside-down these days. Good to have all those names attached. Where's C Summers on the list? - maybe he never realized till now the monthly salaries available.

Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 3:21:34 PM | link
Agents from:

Central Europe
Anne Bader Eduard Abrahayman Mitar Kuyundzic Plamen Pantev Solomon Passy Jaroslav Hajecek Jakub Janda Frantisek Vrabel Peter Kreko Jan Strzelecki Mario Nicolini
Austria
Harold Elletson Susan Stewart

Yul , Nov 24, 2018 3:23:47 PM | link
@ Zanon #28
All the French clique works for the government, especially Foreign affairs @ Quai d'Orsay.
Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 3:25:10 PM | link
Baltic section according to the leak:
Tomas Tauginas Asta Skaisgiryte Saulius Guzevicius Eitvydas BAJARŪNAS Renatas Norkus
Vytautas Bakas Laurynas Kasciunas Dr Povilas Malakauskas Ainis Razma Mantas Martisius Linas Kojala
Major Jane Witt Claire Lawrence James Rogers Andriy Tyushka Viktorija Urbonaviciute
frances , Nov 24, 2018 3:27:18 PM | link
reply to dh 31
"Crimea is the one that really hurts. NATO was all set to build a shiny new base."
True that!
I was blown away by their arrogance when I saw the US had bids out to remodel the existing Russian buildings in the Crimean port to for a school, housing.
It clearly never occurred to them that they could/would lose, nor did they even bother to think that Russia may keep an eye out for such mind blowing acts of stupidity such as these bids?
Jackrabbit , Nov 24, 2018 3:31:44 PM | link
Where's C Summers on the list?

There's only one "Craig" for all countries.

Perhaps Craig Oliphant is our resident troll? He was just talking trash about Russia on the Thanksgiving Open Thread .

ICRA Think tank bio


Craig Oliphant is Senior Advisor, Peaceful Change Initiative (PCI), based in London, and Senior Research Associate at the Foreign Policy Centre. Until the end of 2010, he worked in the diplomatic service and was Head of the Eastern Research Group in the Foreign Office, dealing with Russia and Eastern Europe.

In the first half of the 1990s, Craig held posts in Brussels at NATO as an advisor on Russia/Eastern Europe and was then at the OSCE in The Hague, as a regional advisor to the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. Before that he was at the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), as a senior lecturer at the Conflict Studies Research Centre at RMA Sandhurst; he also worked for several years in the 1980s at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany. Craig has published widely on Russia/FSU affairs. He is a member of IISS; RUSI; a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts; and is a Vice Chairman of the British Georgian Society.


Independent Conflict Research & Analysis (ICRA) was founded in May 2010 as a not-for-profit organisation providing objective conflict analysis and training. It is led by Christopher Langton OBE, who spent 32 years in the British Army. During this time he served in Northern Ireland, Russia, the South Caucasus where he was Deputy Chief of UNOMIG and held defence attaché appointments in Russia, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia. Subsequently he worked at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) for 9 years where he was the focus on Afghanistan. At IISS he held appointments as the Head of Defence Analysis, Editor of "The Military Balance" and Research Fellow for Russia before being appointed Senior Fellow for Conflict & Defence Diplomacy.

He has worked as an independent expert on the international investigation into the Russia-Georgia conflict of August 2008 and on the Kyrgyzstan Inquiry Commission investigating the violence that occurred in Southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010. Christopher was Advisor to the UK-China Conflict Prevention Working Group 2014-2015 under the aegis of Saferworld and supported by DFID.

He is also on the Board of a nonprofit that is active in Russia and other countries .
His photo is there.

Jackrabbit , Nov 24, 2018 3:33:25 PM | link
@craigsummers

Are you Craig Oliphant?

frances , Nov 24, 2018 3:36:33 PM | link
reply to:
This cureemt state of affairs cannot last longer. Right?
Posted by: PacoRepublicano | Nov 24, 2018 3:02:15 PM | 37
That may be why the globalists seem to be a bit off the rails.
I read in an article on the present French fuel tax protests/riots that a recent poll of world millennials found that 50 percent would go along with a change of govt, it was 75 percent in France. Concurrent with these riots the French govt is trying to bring back mandatory military service for those in the 3rd year of high school.
Indoctrination camps ala China is my guess.
craigsummers , Nov 24, 2018 4:01:51 PM | link
No Jackrabbit. That isn't me. I am far less important than you want to make me. Nor do I work for ORB International.
Bob , Nov 24, 2018 4:05:47 PM | link
Can we call 'Craig' Summers 'Anne' Summers?

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

james , Nov 24, 2018 4:10:18 PM | link
i do think it is better to ignore the local shill... they say the same stupid shit on a regular basis.. out of the kindness of b, it is unlikely to stop... quoting jamestown.org is more of the same stupidity that i have come to expect from our resident shill..
Anta , Nov 24, 2018 4:27:51 PM | link
Craigsummers, | 36 |: "According to Bellingcat..."

Craig, you should see a neuropsychologists to check your sensory systems as well as basic cognitive abilities.

bevin , Nov 24, 2018 4:34:08 PM | link
Two more links
https://twitter.com/ShoebridgeC/status/1066080476404822017

https://www.cyberguerrilla.org/blog/operation-integrity-initiative-british-informational-war-against-all/
New I hope, from Murray's blog.
Note that Ben Bradshaw a Labour MP, famous forbeing the first MP who married a man, a fellow BBC reporter, and a Blairite is one of the scum on the UK list. So is 'Prof' Alan Riley, a lawyer with extensive interests in oil.
These people are constantly being wheeled out in the media as independent experts.
Talking of Murray's blog the latest piece laments the death of the Al Nusra spokesman who was killed yesterday, by fellow salafists, as a democrat, secular etc etc.

Jackrabbit , Nov 24, 2018 4:58:18 PM | link
Well Craig, the blatent disinfo that you write @36 is so godawful that I actually believe that you are nobody. Just another pathetic paid jerk-off.

But the embarrassment of Cold Warriors destroying democracy in order to save it is so consistent with your own goofball antics that I had to ask.

Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 4:59:26 PM | link
Check the propaganda organization's twitter account: https://twitter.com/initintegrity
They have been in a retweeting spam mode since they got exposed. Quite hilarious.
Entropy Wins , Nov 24, 2018 5:08:57 PM | link
"The Initiatives Guide to Countering Russian Information (pdf) is a rather funny read. It lists the downing of flight MH 17 by a Ukranian BUK missile, the fake chemical incident in Khan Sheikhoun and the Skripal Affair as examples for "Russian disinformation"."

This following document explicitly states that the Skripal incident is a Dirty Trick operation against Russia. It also mentions the use of aspects of Russian culture to be used as a weapon against it (eg the church)

https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/iihandbookv2/iihandbookv2.pdf

It lists tream members, funding for specificic tasks and this statement:

"Code of Conduct (Greg to commence with internet etiquette)
Anonymity of the team remains paramount. As our activity increases we will, no doubt, attract unwanted attention."

That directly contradicts the official UK government statement to the Russians that the Integrity Initiative is a public domain program.

spike , Nov 24, 2018 5:17:57 PM | link
the secret to all good propaganda: accuse the other side of doing what you're guilty of

so people believe that anonymous collective managed to gain access, via 'hacking'to the FCO computer system? really? seriously? you think that the second, or third most critical/secure UK govt. system can be either 'spearfished' or accessed by some other means?

have a word with yourself

uncle tungsten , Nov 24, 2018 5:29:17 PM | link
Feeding trolls is pointless they are forever ravenous. That is until the willow finds its mark.

Thank you b and zanon and sam @8. You make a magnificent day for our world.

Harry , Nov 24, 2018 5:35:36 PM | link
Do we know this is "genuine"?

I will say this. I had always assumed Ed Lucas was ex -UK intel. He worked at the Moscow embassy for the FCO and has stuck to the "save the baltics from the evil empire" line ever since. There is a surprisingly tight network of folk (Yes Ann Applebaum) who have been together hating the commies and now the non-commie Russians since the 90s. Some of them are very prominent now (Yes Chrystia) despite having backgrounds which might suggest an irrational agenda driven outlook (Nazis?). They meet up at conferences discussing the Soviet/Russian menace and never mention that on raw spend, Nato outspends their hated Russia by 10x or 20x.

Still, for some reason these people are considered angels of light and the rest of us need to follow their barely literate lead (actually Ed Lucas is very literate, as is Peter Pomerantsev). Anders Aslund a lot less so.

Ghost Ship , Nov 24, 2018 5:36:57 PM | link
>>>>: Forthestate | Nov 24, 2018 12:26:09 PM | 10
"A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times and Neil Buckley from the FT." Subcluster. Love it. Just how crap do you have to be to fail to make it to membership of a full cluster of smear merchants?

Luke "The Plagiarist" Harding and the other Guardian hacks must be really pissed off that they weren't considered to be worthy of even a sub-cluster.

Ghost Ship , Nov 24, 2018 5:41:16 PM | link
>>>>: Anya | Nov 24, 2018 11:57:00 AM | 4
For M16 to expose this level of stupidity is stunning.

No, not really. MI6 have demonstrated even greater levels of stupidity in the past. For example, supporting the salafist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and then being surprised at the blowback that was the Manchester Arena suicide bombing by one of its followers

Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 6:23:51 PM | link
Ghost Ship

Now you are being too kind:
Manchester Arena suicide bomber rescued from Libya by Royal Navy
https://www.rt.com/uk/434701-manchester-bomber-royal-navy

-

Greek group according to leak: Despina afentouli ELIAMEP Thanos Dokos Ioannis Armakolas George Tzogopoulos Dimitris Xenakis Katerina Oikonomakou Ioannis Goranitis Tasos Telloglou Katerina Chryssanthopoulou Sissy Alonistiotou

uncle tungsten , Nov 24, 2018 6:30:36 PM | link
I would include Russia Insider on the list of fake news fronts that they support.
simjam , Nov 24, 2018 6:40:48 PM | link
This is the most explosive piece you have ever published. Another indication that the West is in a "panic" stage of its demise.
Willie Wobblestick , Nov 24, 2018 7:06:22 PM | link
Hastily Written Job Application

Dear Department of Integrity
I'd like to apply for a job.
I'm short of work at the moment
And could do with an extra few bob.

I don't have a problem lying
And am prepared to work scruple-free.
I will smear anyone you want
In return for an appropriate fee.

I've established a reputation
As a bit of an internet bard,
So talking some utter bollocks
Wouldn't be particularly hard.

I've studied your regular output
Viz the work of Bellingcat
And know I can do a lot better
Than that useless speccy twat.

Vladimir Putin eats babies
And Lavrov tortures rabbits.
Bashar Assad wears make-up
And Rouhani has disgusting habits

The above is a free sample
Of my slimy slanderous verse,
And as long as the money's right
I know I could a lot worse.

I'm not a very nice person
With terrible self-esteem,
So I'm sure I'll fit in swimmingly
With your personality-disordered team.

I know I'll just be perfect
So why not take the chance?
For a mere eight grand a month
I'll happily dance the Devil's dance.


wendy davis , Nov 24, 2018 7:06:24 PM | link
i remain agnostic for now on the authenticity of the 'integrity initiative, but is has a definite Gladio/NATO feel to it, so it's entirely plausible.

but as i was pasting together a new diary on the ever-increasing increased jeopardy to julian assange by way the Wikileaks account on twitter, they had these tweets up:


https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1066266619863855105

https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1066357360153821189

but the breaking story, two days after this:

'Ecuador's president has signed a decree terminating the ambassador to the United Kingdom, Carlos Abad. All diplomats known to Assange have now been terminated to transferred away from the embassy.'

was this:

https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1066370157826777091

psychohistorian , Nov 24, 2018 7:29:48 PM | link
@ Willie Wobblestick with the righteous poem....very nice, may it go viral with b's piece

@ wendy davis with the status of julian assange...thanks
I think these actions reek of desperation and lack of understanding of what exposure may ensue from julian going down in some way. Julian may be holding old news but I expect that there are depths of it that will be new to many.

The circus tent is starting to burn and the animals are freaking out, ready to stampede.

Can we evolve away from the private finance motivated world soon, please and thank you?

wendy davis , Nov 24, 2018 8:00:42 PM | link
@psychohistorian # 65

the first wikitweet was to the anon 'operation integrity initiative'; the second one says: "We have analyzed these documents and assess that a portion of them show hallmarks of being fabrications."

assange attorney hannah jonnason (@AssangeLegal) had been looking carefully at them, parsing them in belief, but finally had re-tweeted wikileaks take. the 'portion' as i took it by way of the subtweets was 'fabricated emails'. she's gret, plus brilliant, but on one thread i'd posted she'd called marcy wheeler 'fbi informant MW', lol.

karlof1 , Nov 24, 2018 8:17:14 PM | link
Golly gee-whiz! Why am I not surprised? Gotta have complementary sources of disinformation operating in tandem with BigLie Media! Indeed, the synchronicity of so much fairly well proves BigLie Media is part of this system. The Tower of Immorality being built primarily by the Outlaw US Empire and its UK sidekick is like a Ponzi Scheme in that for it not to fall it must have ever more lies continually added where eventually everything said by them will be 100% false.
psychohistorian , Nov 24, 2018 8:18:16 PM | link
It is getting tedious to have to type my personal information in every time I want to comment. B has written that he is working on issues but I may forgo the web site link if this continues....lazy as I am

@ wendy davis with the marcy wheeler as fbi informant claim....marcy seems well intentioned but seems to have some way weird bias blinders in her thinking. I have stopped following her because her signal to noise ratio got too bad. There are lots of folks like her I am sorry to write. Well intentioned but drinking some koolaid that has them mixed up in strategic ways.....almost like it was planned.....maybe more lists will come out now of other organizations that are paying folk to build and/or maintain certain narratives like GWOT, etc.


And yes, we can take the truth. It will set many free.

karlof1 , Nov 24, 2018 8:33:59 PM | link
To further my @67--

The chemical attack on Aleppo earlier today wasn't accompanied by immediate synchronized media and NATO political leader accusations against the terrorists like we've seen associated with the FFs. I've yet to see any, nor have any been reported on Twitter.

james , Nov 24, 2018 8:40:28 PM | link
@ 68 pscychohistorian.. ditto your comments on marcy wheeler... all the folks at emptywheel have gone off the rails, led by lead bozo - bmaz... i used to enjoy reading her, but the hate russia memo they all swallowed is tedious slogging and i am not up for it..
psychohistorian , Nov 24, 2018 8:56:04 PM | link
@ karlof1 with the reference to chemical attack on Aleppo today

I just posted a link from Xinhuanet on the thanksgiving open thread about it.

Roy G , Nov 24, 2018 9:11:53 PM | link
James @70 i'm right there with ya. Watching how the Russian Derangement Syndrome has afflicted otherwise sane and smart people has been disillusioning to say the least.
juliania , Nov 24, 2018 9:15:46 PM | link
Blessings, b and comment support on this - it takes me back to the days when Five Eyes was unravelling, and I can't but think that dastardly plot to surveil and snoop by means of developing technology was going to be a worldwide instrument of torture and oneupmanship that many thought would make that consortium top dog for all time.

So, they smashed the Guardian's computers, and they co-opted or blackmailed where they could, but the genie was out. And out for good. It would make a good spy novel if it weren't for the very real deaths and destruction that have happened in the wake of the revelations. And that will happen before this sorry historical episode is over. I simply believe, however, that thanks to nearly everyone contributing to this forum, such possibilities are diminishing. Thank you,b and everyone.

wendy davis , Nov 24, 2018 9:33:57 PM | link
@ psychohistorian #68

well, never mind.

Uncle $cam , Nov 24, 2018 9:35:33 PM | link

Wikileaks: "British Army creates a 1,500 strong team of Facebook psychological operations warriors...3 years ago."


on a different note... Hope -if he isn't dead,-Assange, makes it through the weekend...

Uncle $cam , Nov 24, 2018 9:41:12 PM | link
Wikileaks: "British Army creates a 1,500 strong team of Facebook psychological operations warriors...3 years ago." grrr. sorry...
V , Nov 24, 2018 10:42:02 PM | link
b's article is a sad, sad, commentary on today's reality.
But in fact, there is nothing shocking or even unexpected; just sad...
Geo , Nov 24, 2018 10:45:06 PM | link
Curious if and how this recent push against Zuckerberg by the UK government plays into this.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/24/mps-seize-cache-facebook-internal-papers?CMP=share_btn_tw

I'm not well versed enough myself but I am baffled by this whole mess. All sides of this are entities I don't trust at all: Intelligence agencies, Facebook, Trump and his crooked playmates... seems there are no sides to trust or root for in this whole game of espionage.

Jen , Nov 24, 2018 10:54:06 PM | link
Ghost Ship @ 58: There is a Guardian writer in that UK journalist sub-cluster list and that is Natalie Nougayrede. No surprise there ... over at Off-Guardian.org, commenters have their own unprintable names for her. And you thought the bar at Integrity Initiative wasn't low enough for Fraudian hacks.
SayLess , Nov 25, 2018 12:16:03 AM | link
It is important to note that Wikileaks questioned the authenticity of these documents. We should be cautious before drawing any conclusions and wait for more information.

"We have analyzed these documents and assess that a portion of them show hallmarks of being fabrications."

https://web.archive.org/web/20181125051405/https:/twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1066357360153821189

iv> Jelena Milić is actually doing very good job of making people sick of NATO and the UKUS governments. She's a laughing stock in Serbia. Idk why are they paying her in the first place. She could easily be Kremlin lobbyist the way how she's doing her job :) If they are all incapable like her I wouldn't be worried too much about this

Posted by: Б , Nov 25, 2018 12:41:26 AM | link

Jelena Milić is actually doing very good job of making people sick of NATO and the UKUS governments. She's a laughing stock in Serbia. Idk why are they paying her in the first place. She could easily be Kremlin lobbyist the way how she's doing her job :) If they are all incapable like her I wouldn't be worried too much about this

Posted by: Б | Nov 25, 2018 12:41:26 AM | link

Brian , Nov 25, 2018 1:06:56 AM | link
So Facebook is s co sponsor ? Social media not just about bringing people together but manipulator and subversion .
If they were targeting Jews this would be called antisemitism , as iybisvtheytecyargetumg russians ,
What role did they play In the novichok hoax ?
Brian , Nov 25, 2018 1:09:15 AM | link
'Making people see we arecinder attack by russia ' !
Could war paranoia . Do the British people want their funds to be used to manipulate them ?
Brian , Nov 25, 2018 1:26:23 AM | link
'Clusters established in each country' reads an awful lot like subversion and treachery
Should this be a matter for country police and national security ?
Quentin , Nov 25, 2018 1:54:01 AM | link
Brian @ 84

Right. Like sleeper cells ready at a moment's notice to spread terrifying disinformation and propaganda.

alain , Nov 25, 2018 2:06:13 AM | link
@Zanon 28
Même pour les Français, l'information est aujourd'hui en anglais... Ceci dit, l'hystérie et l'"activité" anti-russe n'est pas très effective en France... Trop d'Histoire et d'histoires partagées pour adhérer à cette soupe servie pour les peuples anglo-saxons... Mais enfin, pas besoin d'avoir lu Hegel pour comprendre que toute cette agitation-propagande sert in fine l'ennemi désigné, la Russie; et précipite encore un peu plus, si c'est possible, la fin de l'empire.
alain , Nov 25, 2018 2:10:11 AM | link
Oops... And by the way, thanks again b. for being :-)
b , Nov 25, 2018 2:25:31 AM | link
Hmmm -
WikiLeaks @wikileaks - 10:45am · 24 Nov 2018

Purported internal documents, from a UK government "counter-Russia" influence network targeting mostly Europe and US, appear on site often alleged to be used by Russian state hackers. cyberguerrilla.org/blog/operation

We have analyzed these documents and assess that a portion of them show hallmarks of being fabrications.

I have no idea what the Wikileaks folks mean. I did not notice any signs of fakery in the stash. There are some small but explainable inconsistencies (i.e. between budget plan and approved budget?) and the whole stash is likely bigger than the published one. But all the details I could check seem to fit.

b , Nov 25, 2018 3:17:29 AM | link
This seems to confirm that the papers are real:
Jakub Janda @_JakubJanda - 8:58pm · 23 Nov 2018

So the Russians hacked Institute for Statecraft (@InitIntegrity).

I am one of many people mentioned in here, as part of wide movement of folks trying to push hard aganist Kremlin influence operations.

It is a badge of honor to be among people who are together standing up!


Russ , Nov 25, 2018 3:37:33 AM | link
Posted by: b | Nov 25, 2018 2:25:31 AM | 88

"I have no idea what the Wikileaks folks mean. I did not notice any signs of fakery in the stash."

Who's running the show at Wikileaks by now? (I assume Assange can't do so from his hideout.) My memory's hazy, but I recall there being some kind of internal struggle there, and that a pro-Wall Street faction opposed the release of the Bank of America files and destroyed them.

Are they now trying to turn and appease their system enemies? Wouldn't be the first such sell-out. Maybe they're jealous of the prestige, lucre, and system respectability of the Snowden/Greenwald/Intercept industrial complex.

Emmanuel Goldstein , Nov 25, 2018 4:01:51 AM | link
This has everything...right down to FCO email addresses. For FCO read MI6. Either this is colossal disinfo from Anonymous or a significant operation is truly blown. To resort to something like this, on this scale, showa that they are worried about something. Perhaps RT is getting wore viewing and hits in the UK and Europe than their outlets are. Once the internet was invented this was bound to happen. In some societies this would be regarded as espionage and subversion and these shills would be rounded up for a little chat. Great journalism b, stay safe......at least we now know who the provocateurs for the next false flag are....
donkeytale , Nov 25, 2018 4:12:41 AM | link
Zero Hedge also striking similar skeptical notes. They retweet Assange from 2016 stating anonymous to be an FBI cutout organisation. These anti-Russian organisations are real and their aim is to fight Russian propaganda, they will say by publishing truth while Russia says with lies. Of course they are funded. So is Russian propaganda. What the Russians are doing is classic "Spy vs Spy" and Barflies of course lap up the kool-aid just as easily as every kool-aid drinker we deride. The constant state of confirmation bias and psychological projection on the internets isn't even newsworthy but it's interesting sociology. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Same as it ever was. Whatever gets us through the night. It's alright. But is Assange only speaking truth when he confirms our biases? I have more respect for him.


Thanks b for posting Wikileak's skeptical take even as you wish to believe otherwise. That's integrity. And to those who say Assange is only doing so to suck up belatedly to the US as a possible defense strategy I can only SMH. More projection. This is what you might do maybe if you were in his shoes.

Felipe , Nov 25, 2018 4:25:10 AM | link
This is so big of a news but the western media do not say a word about it!
This screams subversion, Gladio from the very top/deep state of western society.
Russ , Nov 25, 2018 4:30:24 AM | link
Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 25, 2018 4:12:41 AM | 92

"And to those who say Assange is only doing so to suck up belatedly to the US as a possible defense strategy I can only SMH. More projection. This is what you might do maybe if you were in his shoes."

Who said that, donkeydumbass? Learn to read. I asked if the post-Assange Wikileaks might be trying to do that. Of course I don't know what Assange himself might or might not do, any more than you do.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 25, 2018 4:32:15 AM | link
b 88

Perhaps a little bit of appeasement.. unless something changes, the brits will be sending Assange off to yankee land soon.

Horse's mouth , Nov 25, 2018 5:57:04 AM | link
https://apnews.com/fc570e4b400f4c7db3b0d739e9dc5d4d

The head of the French government's cyber security agency, which investigated leaks from President Emmanuel Macron's election campaign, says they found no trace of a notorious Russian hacking group behind the attack.

In an interview in his office Thursday with The Associated Press, Guillaume Poupard said the Macron campaign hack "was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone."

He said they found no trace that the Russian hacking group known as APT28, blamed for other attacks including on the U.S. presidential campaign, was responsible.

Poupard is director general of the government cyber-defense agency known in France by its acronym, ANSSI. Its experts were immediately dispatched when documents stolen from the Macron campaign leaked online on May 5 in the closing hours of the presidential race.

Poupard says the attack's simplicity "means that we can imagine that it was a person who did this alone. They could be in any country."

___

b , Nov 25, 2018 5:58:16 AM | link
@all

Some commentators claim that 'Anonymous' is an FBI operations and that lets them doubt this issue.

Actually 'Anonymous' has been used as a cover by various shady agencies and individuals. Everybody can publish whatever they want under the 'Anonymous' moniker. The moniker has no credibility or meaning.

As always one has to distinguish between the source of information and the actual content of the information.
Here the source is obviously shady. But the content, as far as I can tell, seems to be real.
---

Also - don't feed the house troll. Craigsummers is allowed to comment here solely for our amusement. There is no need to discuss whatever he posts.

john stack , Nov 25, 2018 6:12:18 AM | link
I cannot get into the list of agents. Who is listed for Ireland ?
blues , Nov 25, 2018 6:28:41 AM | link
My comments have been getting short of late.

It's crystal clear to me that the so-called "British" anti-Russia project is really sponsored by the CIA. Most everything is. I think. How else are they keep their VERY lucrative racket going?

BM , Nov 25, 2018 6:51:59 AM | link
In countries that may be hostile to this programme (Serbia, Spain, Italy for example), the exposed cluster members should be immediately arrested as foreign spies and tried for treason, and the exposed British Embassy contacts should be immediately expelled.
Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow.

Interesting isn't it, that from March 2018 the Trump Administration is no longer blocking this programme! When was Trump's first meeting with President Putin, wasn't that in March? Immediately afterwards of course he was lambasted. Was he turned at that point?

S , Nov 25, 2018 7:22:21 AM | link
@BM: The meeting was in summer. Early March was when the Skripal saga started.
William Bowles , Nov 25, 2018 7:57:23 AM | link
@15 Re Analytica:

It's owned by a US firm, or at least it was, until they wound it up.

Anya , Nov 25, 2018 8:48:43 AM | link
"Edward Snowden accused an Israeli cybersecurity firm of developing and selling surveillance software to Saudi Arabia, enabling the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=25&v=_LeOt4HCI-M

So humanitarian of Israeli!

Ghost Ship , Nov 25, 2018 8:52:17 AM | link
>>>> blues | Nov 25, 2018 6:28:41 AM | 98
It's crystal clear to me that the so-called "British" anti-Russia project is really sponsored by the CIA. Most everything is. I think. How else are they keep their VERY lucrative racket going?

Nah. like Skripal this is a home grown effort. After backing that loser Clinton with the Steele file, the British Conservative government which likes to have its head even further up Washington's arse than Tony Blair's is scared shitless that Trump will shit on them from a great height for backing his rival. I suspect he will wait for Brexit to go through and then take a dump on them when they turn up with their begging bowl in Washington looking for a "free trade deal". They're hoping that with these attacks on Russia they will ingratiate themselves with the Washington foreign policy establishment (Pat Lang's Borg) enough to reduce the incredible volumes of shit Trump would dump on them. It looks like it's working at the moment, but then Trump is known to be capricious so its anybody's guess what happens later. Bear in mind that if the Conservative government make enough mistakes, it's that socialist Corbyn who replaces it which is its Worst. Nightmare. Evah.

steve , Nov 25, 2018 9:01:14 AM | link
The bottom line as Al Gore said is there is no overriding authority. Sites like Above Top Secrect are obviously run by people who want things kept top secrect. Snopes revealed itself with its take on the White Helmets in Syria. Remember when the Greenpeace guy turned out to be a shill for Nuclear Energy.
alaff , Nov 25, 2018 9:08:00 AM | link
Thank you. Very good covering of the 'event', written in clear accessible language.
I am afraid that what was discovered is only a small part of the ocean of lies in which they are trying to force us to swim.
I am amazed how these people can sleep well. Rotten and lying through and through...

In fact, nothing "surprising" or "unbelievable" was found. Specialists, experts, as well as ordinary people, who have been interested in the topic, have long understood that it is about a targeted propaganda, which operates according to its laws. This propaganda calls truth a lie, and a lie truth, it calls white black and black it calls white. The work of this propaganda is also clearly visible, for example, when, on the eve of some important event, the "world community" suddenly (mean, "suddenly") finds out something "sensational", while MSM all start writing the same thing with a certain bias (often anti-Russian). The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly pointed out the obvious coordination of the work of the Western media when it comes to 'anti-Russian news'. All these info are in briefings and statements of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which are publicly available on the Ministry's website.

Especially clearly a targeted coordinated work of propaganda was visible during the events in Syria, in particular, during the liberation of Aleppo. Remember all these "the last hospitals". Even high-ranking representatives of the UN, many of whom are essentially Western protégés, were also participating in this propaganda. For those who are interested in how this worked during the liberation of Aleppo, I recommend reading this in full. A lot of interesting details.

One thing is good - that such info become publicly known. Maybe more people will wake up and think about what is going on.

Ghost Ship , Nov 25, 2018 9:13:38 AM | link
We have analyzed these documents and assess that a portion of them show hallmarks of being fabrications.

This particular story might originate within MI6. If MI6 knew that the Russians had gathered compromising information on this operation, MI6 would put out a story favourable to them to capture the narrative before the Russians could. Like all black propaganda, they would have to include some of the real truth to make the fake "truth" appear reliable. It also allows the supposedly devious twats at MI6 to demonstrate their steadfastness in "fighting" the Russians.

BTW, it's entirely possible that the Skripal incident was by the Russians but only designed to incapacitate Skripal pere as a warning to him or MI6 to behave themselves and not do stupid things in future but the Conservative government rather stupidly decided to put out a bullshit narrative about what happened. Furthermore, don't forget that Churchill, the hero of the Conservative Party used chemical weapons against the Russians/Soviets. Most Brit's probably never knew or have forgotten but I doubt the Russians have or ever will.

donkeytale , Nov 25, 2018 9:14:41 AM | link
Here is the link to the Zero Hedge commentary , which was posted on Friday, including the Assange tweet from 2016.
WikiLeaks ‏ Verified account @wikileaks

Replying to @MashiRafael
"Anonymous" has been controlled by FBI agent "Sabu" and other agencies, including the CIA. Likely an attempt to manipulate.

6:28 PM - 24 Oct 2016

BM , Nov 25, 2018 9:32:22 AM | link
We have analyzed these documents and assess that a portion of them show hallmarks of being fabrications.

I have no idea what the Wikileaks folks mean. I did not notice any signs of fakery in the stash.
Posted by: b | Nov 25, 2018 2:25:31 AM | 87

The best way the elite can undermine wikileaks is to infiltrate it and undermine it from within, as they did to Amnesty International, and later Human Rights Watch, both of which are completely controlled by US and UK intelligence services. I think it is a given that they will have successfully infiltrated wikileaks - because I think it is impossible that wikileaks could have avoided it completely, but lets hope that wikileaks keep up sufficient defences to isolate the infiltration and limit its damage. With the current threats to Assange that will be a big challenge!

If, as I suspect, this claim that the documents were fake was being pushed by an infiltrator, then that infiltrator is raising flags to himself, so it is a high risk action and emphasises the desperation the elite are in, that they are willing to burn a key asset.

William Bowles , Nov 25, 2018 9:57:25 AM | link
The docs are fakes? I don't think so, there's just too much detail and the names it exposes, Aaronovich, Marcus (BBC), the financing. It's an awful lot of exposing in order to mislead us don't you think? And if it was, it was one, gigantic failure!

The best way is to see how the MSM deal with it, if at all, so today for example, there's been no mention on the BBC's RSS feed and there was none yesterday. I'd say that judging by the nature and structure of the 'Institute of Statecraft', it's straight out of Whitehall.

wendy davis , Nov 25, 2018 10:05:18 AM | link
@ psychohistorian #68

my apologies for my truncated response. what i'd meant to say is that we're talking past one another. my fault entirely, as i never should have brought wheeler into the discussion, and derailed my larger point. but i got in a hurry, and that was that.

but to those wondering why 'assange' would have noted that 'some portions have been fabricated', asange notably has been incommunicado for the past seven months, and any 'visitors' (really just his legal team) are forced to surrender all their communication device before entering the embassy. so who on the Wikileaks team had decided that is unknowable, of course. but on one of the subtweets where b had noted jakub janda's pride in being part of the organization (nice catch, by the way, b) one idiot linked to his home website noting that assange is a Mossad operative.

when i'd been contemplating writing some of up, i will say that my favorite part was the handbook, most especially this great psyop:

"What funding do they have/have access to/need? Caution! This is always a very sensitive issue. NB 1 If asked about money for funding activities of a cluster, always be firmly vague and helpfully uninformative and at all costs avoid making any funding commitments until we have discussed it! NB 2 When talking about the Institute, be sure you can explain clearly what we are and what we do. NB 3 if asked about our funding, be very clear: the Integrity Initiative is funded by the Institute for Statecraft. The IfS gets its funding from multiple sources to ensure its independence. These include: private individuals; charitable foundations; international organisations (EU, NATO); UK Govt (FCO, MOD"

one commenter on the cyber guerilla doc dump page had noted: 'Propagandist Stephen Dalziel is a given a regular platform by Monocle 24 in the UK and rebroadcast around the world. Dalziel shills for the fraud "Bellingcat".'


Anya , Nov 25, 2018 10:13:53 AM | link
And what is the difference between the MbS treatment of "unpleasant" Khashoggi and the US/UK treatment of "unpleasant" Assange?

The absolute majority of the "progressives" and "liberals" in both the US and the UK are sheepishly quiet when the most important journalist of our times, Julian Assange, has been smeared and his life endangered by the kangaroo courts of the western corrupt judiciary.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/11/24/the-fate-of-julian-assange-chris-hedges-interviews-consortium-news-editor-in-chief-joe-lauria/

mike k: "The US Mafia Government kangaroo court gathers it's phony "legal" forces, salivating in anticipation of Assange as a choice morsel for it's evil appetite. Their "logic" goes like this, "if we say you are guilty, then you are guilty".

And where is the zionized MSM? -- With the kangaroo courts, of course, working in a accord with the mega war profiteers and other big-time criminals.

Noirette , Nov 25, 2018 10:27:10 AM | link
In France, last Pres. election, the favored candidate from the right (Républicains) was Alain Juppé. As the F establishment likes to mimic the US in all ways, they instored 'primaires' - primaries, to 'elect' 'the most popular candidate' from the two main parties. As the French don't glom the depth of corruption of the US system and how to do that, and just love - for all kinds of reasons - such gadgets, the vote at the Républicain table (even the name is a tribute) turned out surprise to be for Francois Fillon - who was (is) Catholic, pro-Russia, while your standard right-wing F-flavored stooge.

He was brought down speedily in a corruption scandal, for hiring his wife and children amongst others to do no work or symbolic stuff. One third of F Parliament members do this (off the cuff nos., but attested to ..), it is completely accepted. An allowed 'perk' - a way to spend the budgets > 'favored' 'loyal' ppl.

The effiency and speed of this attack surprised me. Fillon - no fool - 'withdrew' so to speak and made no waves beyond the acceptable i.e. stalwart opposition / defense at first, then went to work for a Financial Co. All the hype about suing the wife, about getting money back, whatever, died pronto.

I have no idea how this was organised. (The left was conveniently split.. between the entrenched "Socialists" and "Mélenchon," France Insoumise ) and so the end-run was between the vilified National Front (renamed now) Marine Le Pen, party which survives only as they play their puppet role to guarantee they collect low-class opposition to then always lose facing either the Socialists or the Républicains.

Piotr Berman , Nov 25, 2018 10:44:22 AM | link
NYT today:

Syria Urges U.N. to Condemn Rebels After Apparent Chemical Attack
Syria accused rebel forces of launching an attack in Aleppo that sent scores of choking victims to hospitals. Medical officials suspected chlorine had been used.

Characteristically, the attack is "apparent", but almost strangely, NYT reported Reuters news providing an inconvenient story rather fast.

lysias , Nov 25, 2018 10:44:25 AM | link
If some at least of the documents are fabrications, the plan of the Western intelligence agencies may be to expose some false details in the documents to discredit the whole story.
donkeytale , Nov 25, 2018 10:49:04 AM | link
So, what several posters here are now stating or at least implying is the @wikileaks account is basically the same as "Anonymous"? That is, it is merely a cover used by shadowy individuals and therefore no longer possesses any credibility unless it posts something with which we can all agree?

And the thoughts it expressed do not necessarily bear any relationship to Julian Assange?

Unless, of course, we agree with those thoughts?

Blooming Barricade , Nov 25, 2018 10:50:38 AM | link
The Integrity Initiative is now trying to smear and attack Seumas Milne, Jeremy Corbyn's communications director and a key voice on the anti-war, anti-capitalist left, tweeting a Times article that appears to have been contributed to by them. They also retweeted Michael Weiss on Milne, who they appear to want to remove from a future Corbyn government in the vein of that Spanish minister This should be a HUGE scandal given that this is funded by the UK government and thus the Tory administration and is thus GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA against the leader of the opposition, paid for by the taxpayer and in line with big business/military Euro-Atlanticist lobby. Thanks to the digital urban guerrilla site for exposing this assault on socialism and the public. https://twitter.com/InitIntegrity/status/1066691553350086656
AntiSpin , Nov 25, 2018 11:21:03 AM | link
Best MoA blockbuster yet!!! Somewhere down there Joseph Goebbels is gazing upward at all this exposed chicanery, eyes shining with delight, and also green with envy.
Ghost Ship , Nov 25, 2018 11:58:48 AM | link
>>>>: AntiSpin | Nov 25, 2018 11:21:03 AM | 117
down there Joseph Goebbels is gazing upward

Goebbels was a rank amateur and grossly overrated - he could do white propaganda when things were going well for the Nazis which wasn't difficult, otherwise he was useless. When things started to go bad for the Nazis, the British, particularly Sefton Delmer, started running rings around him. The Americans really never understood black propaganda but why should they, and the British are still trying to fight World War 11 with their black propaganda and are still losing.

Jackrabbit , Nov 25, 2018 12:20:47 PM | link
donkeytale

Donkeys don't read too good.

Reread b's comment @96.

And 'echo chamber' allegations are laughable coming from a Kool-Aid drinker/pusher.

Trailer Trash , Nov 25, 2018 12:49:07 PM | link
These kind of propaganda campaigns end up as own goals for the establishment. Peons and serfs don't need to know what is going on, but the Dear Leaders' functionaries do need accurate info in order to make correct decisions that further establishment goals. With all the smoke and chaos of conflicting stories, can bureaucrats keep their lies straight? I think not.

As I understand it, glowing but inaccurate fabricated reports submitted to the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) Dear Leaders left them unable to comprehend just how unhappy the GDR citizens actually were, so the collapse came as a surprise. [1] We can see this happening in Afghanistan today. The Pentagon insists they are "winning" while the Taliban-controlled territory continues to increase. When Uncle Sam is finally driven out, it will come as a complete surprise to the DC Dunces who believe their own phony reports.

[1] Fulbrook, Mary; Anatomy of a Dictatorship: Inside the GDR 1949-1989; Oxford University Books; 1995

Zanon , Nov 25, 2018 1:00:36 PM | link
Just imagine the response and publicity if this was a Russian government funded organization, having a network of agents of influence groups of people in western europe...
frances , Nov 25, 2018 2:25:27 PM | link
reply to Russ 89
"Who's running the show at Wikileaks by now?"

Good question. Do you recall when Assange's attorney was killed when pushed in front of a train at the time the Wikileaks founder Gavin Macfadyen died?

The staff roster at Wikileaks then went through an almost total turnover and there were reports that someone was escorted from the building with a bag over their head and there were reports that Assange's deadman switch was activated but stopped. All this occurred back in 2016.
The reason no one who knows Assange is being allowed physical contact may be because someone else is in his place.I have a sad feeling that he is in a Langley basement.

wendy davis , Nov 25, 2018 5:44:38 PM | link
on sept. 26, 2018 julian assange had named Kristinn Hrafnsson of iceland as the new editor-in-chief of wikileaks. at that time julian had been cut off from communicating for six months.

an hour ago wikileaks had tweeted:

@wikileaks: WikiLeaks Retweeted Integrity Initiative 'UK government backed anti-Russian influence network account for "Integrity Initiative" confirms release of documents.'

@InitIntegrity 'Here is our statement on the recent publication by Russian media of hacked Integrity Initiative documents.'

they offered some caveats, among them:

"We have not yet had the chance to analyse all of the documents, so cannot say with confidence whether they are all genuine or whether they include doctored or false material. Although it is clear that much of the material was indeed on the Integrity Initiative or Institute systems, much of it is dated and was never used. In particular, many of the names published were on an internal list of experts in this field who had been considered as potential invitees to future cooperation. In the event, many were never contacted by the Integrity Initiative and did not contribute to it. Nor were these documents therefore included in any funding proposals. Not only did these individuals have nothing to do with the programme – they may not even have heard of us. We are of course trying to contact all named individuals for whom we have contact details to ensure that they are aware of what has happened."

now my guess, fwiw, is that the WL knows chapter and verse how the CIA vault 7 revelations can be used to create false email addresses, etc., so perhaps they'd spotted some.

but assange's attorney jennifer robinson did get to see him on nov. 16.

https://on.msnbc.com/2zm3Eg8

wendy davis , Nov 25, 2018 5:47:36 PM | link
oh, fie; i'd forgotten the Tweet's url:

https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1066804727973855233

arby , Nov 25, 2018 6:25:40 PM | link
Russia seizes Ukraine naval ships


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46338671

Mr Reynard , Nov 25, 2018 10:00:42 PM | link
British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns ??
Secret ??? Is that an OXYMORON ??
Col. B. Bunny , Nov 26, 2018 3:00:33 AM | link
Thus is an extraordinary article. It describes distilled hypocrisy on the part of the U.S. and U.K. who have conniptions over Russian "meddling," that has proved to be thin gruel indeed, but who organize a vast, expensive enterprise of their own to implement disinformation and smear campaigns to influence the internal affairs of other countries and friendly ones at that. Russia purchases a modest message on Twitter (?) and that is an attack on "our democracy."The attack on the now oddly-sequestered Skripals is an epic East Asian fire drill with Theresa May written all over it and it sure as hell has nothing "made in Moscow" about it.

Anne Appelebaum and the other "journalists" have some 'splainin' to do about what independent, unbiased journalists are doing as players in government propaganda organizations.

Brian , Nov 26, 2018 11:42:00 AM | link
Is the Sea of Azov incident a ploy to put off presidential elections in Ukraine ?
https://mobile.twitter.com/I_Katchanovski/status/1067050340623630337
Zanon , Nov 26, 2018 1:07:20 PM | link
'Anti-Russian psy-ops' program confirms UK govt funding, Anonymous denies leak
https://www.rt.com/news/444899-uk-psyop-leak-reaction/
kula , Nov 26, 2018 2:32:19 PM | link
Look y'all, @craigsummers is a paid troll. So all your responses are earning him or her income. Trolling is an art form. b, you could regularly remined new readers to ignore mwn.
Anton from Russia , Nov 27, 2018 5:14:22 AM | link
I am Russian, live in Russia.
This is the most interesting journalistic investigation I've read in the last six months.
Thanks.
Most of all I am surprised, the whole world is in economic crisis, people in developed countries are becoming poorer. Britain has an external debt of 7.5 trillion-314% of GDP. But all useless garbage the money is. And most importantly, Why?
We all (USA, Russia, Britain, EU) are just village losers who fight in a roadside ditch, proving that "I am good, they are bad".
And at this time past us at full speed is a huge Chinese train.
Anton from Russia , Nov 27, 2018 5:42:03 AM | link
And the destruction of the MH-17 Boeing by the Russians is also disinformation.
Do you know what the official version of the investigation is?
"Once upon a time. One air defense "Buk" secretly arrived from Russia, shot once, one rocket, in one civil plane, and left back to Russia" (facepalm). Seriously, I'm not kidding, this nonsense is the official version.
The involvement of several dozen Ukrainian air defense " Buk " located in the area of the disaster, not even considered.
No one knows what they were doing.
All photos of "wandering, mad Russian "Buk" were false.

But sanctions imposed by the EU after the disaster, no one is going to cancel. And to assume aloud "that" new authorities" of Ukraine at which hands on an elbow in blood " can be guilty of accident, it is impossible, taboo.

Emmanuel Goldstein , Nov 27, 2018 5:45:32 AM | link
Neatly observed Anton, neatly observed....;-)
Zanon , Nov 27, 2018 5:51:24 AM | link
Just been some days and this big news is already dead. Really scary how big of a impact the western MSM really have in silencing topics.
Russ , Nov 27, 2018 6:52:49 AM | link
@ 134

I bet if I surveyed my acquaintances (American middle class, NYT-reader types) few if any would even have heard of this potential Sarajevo flashpoint.

b , Dec 2, 2018 10:19:08 AM | link
Derelict Scottish mill is shadowy hub in UK's fight against Putin's propaganda machine

Gateside Mills in rural Fife is the official headquarters of the controversial Institute for Statecraft (IFS) – a "think tank" set up to combat Russian disinformation.

For the tiny number of people aware of its existence, Gateside Mills is a derelict building in rural Fife without any obvious signs of life.

Anyone curious enough to carry out further investigation might find a seemingly small Scottish charity is registered there.

But the Sunday Mail can reveal the crumbling Victorian mill is actually the official headquarters of the controversial Institute for Statecraft (IFS) – a shadowy "think tank" whose Integrity Initiative programme has been set up to combat Russian propaganda.

Leaked documents prove the organisation received hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding from the British Government via the Foreign Office.
...
The manager of the Integrity Initiative appears to be Christopher Donnelly.

A website biography states he is a graduate of Manchester University and reserve officer in the British Army Intelligence Corps who previously headed the British Army's Soviet Studies Research Centre at Sandhurst.

Between 1989 and 2003, he was a special adviser to Nato Secretaries General and was involved in dealing with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and reform of newly emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe.

He left NATO in 2003 to set up and run the UK Defence Academy's Advanced Research and Assessment Group. In 2010, he became a director of IFS.

[Dec 09, 2018] CyberGuerrilla soApboX " Operation 'Integrity Initiative'. British informational war against all

Dec 09, 2018 | www.cyberguerrilla.org
Greetings. We are Anonymous.

We have obtained a large number of documents relating to the activities of the 'Integrity Initiative' project that was launched back in the fall of 2015 and funded by the British government. The declared goal of the project is to counteract Russian propaganda and the hybrid warfare of Moscow. Hiding behind benevolent intentions, Britain has in fact created a large-scale information secret service in Europe, the United States and Canada, which consists of representatives of political, military, academic and journalistic communities with the think tank in London at the head of it.

As part of the project Britain has time and again intervened into domestic affairs of independent European states. A most demonstrative example is operation 'Moncloa' in Spain. Britain set to prevent Pedro Baños from appointment to the post of Director of Spain's Department of Homeland Security. It took the Spanish cluster of the Integrity Initiative only a few hours to accomplish the task.

https://www.scribd.com/document/392195691/Moncloa-Campaign-6-AttTwitter-08-06-18

For now, Britain is capable of conducting such operations in the following states:

Spain https://www.scribd.com/document/392195775/Spain-Cluster

France https://www.scribd.com/document/392195457/France-Cluster

Germany https://www.scribd.com/document/392195486/Germany-Cluster

Italy https://www.scribd.com/document/392195660/Italy-Cluster

Greece https://www.scribd.com/document/392195527/Greece-Cluster

The Netherlands https://www.scribd.com/document/392195718/Netherlands-Cluster

Lithuania https://www.scribd.com/document/392195170/Baltics-Cluster

Norway https://www.scribd.com/document/392195748/Nordic-Clusters

Serbia and Montenegro https://www.scribd.com/document/392195208/Central-Eastern-Cluster

London's near-term plans to create similar clusters include Latvia, Estonia, Portugal, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Armenia, Ukraine, Moldova, Malta, Czechia, countries of the Middle East and North Africa, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary, Cyprus, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and the USA.

https://www.scribd.com/document/392195321/Cluster-Roundup-Jul18

All the work is done under absolute secrecy via concealed contacts in British embassies, which gives rise to more suspicion that Britain uses plausible excuse to create a global system of information influence and political interference into affairs of other countries.

Covert structures for political and financial manipulative activities under control of British secret services are created not only in the EU countries but also on other continents. In point of fact, quiet colonization of both former British neighbors in the EU and NATO allies is taking place.

The government of Great Britain has to come out of the dark and declare straight its intentions and unveil the results of the Integrity Initiative activities! Otherwise, we will do it!

Today, we make public a part of the documents we have available. In case London gives no response to our demands during the following week, we will reveal the rest of the documents that contain many more secrets of the United Kingdom.

Integrity Initiative Handbook. https://www.scribd.com/document/392195560/II-Handbook-v2

Integrity Initiative Guide to Countering Russian Disinformation May 2018. https://www.scribd.com/document/392195802/The-Integrity-Initiative-Guide-to-Countering-Russian-Disinformation-May-2018-v1

Austria Cluster. https://www.scribd.com/document/392194912/Austria-Cluster

Cluster leaders. https://www.scribd.com/document/392195250/Cluster-Leaders

Cluster participants. https://www.scribd.com/document/392195286/Cluster-Participants

UK Cluster. https://www.scribd.com/document/392195849/UK-Cluster

USA and Canada Cluster. https://www.scribd.com/document/392195882/USA-Canada-Cluster

xCountry. https://www.scribd.com/document/392195906/x-Country

xOutreach. https://www.scribd.com/document/392195933/x-Outreach

FCO application form 2017-18. https://www.scribd.com/document/392195350/FCO-Application-Form-2017-18

FCO application form 2018v2. https://www.scribd.com/document/392195390/FCO-Application-Form-2018-v2

FCO proposal Integrity budget 2017-18. https://www.scribd.com/document/392195430/FCO-Proposal-Integrity-Budget-2017-18

Integrity 2018 Activity Budget v3. https://www.scribd.com/document/392195593/Integrity-2018-Activity-Budget-v3

Top 3 deliverables (for FCO). https://www.scribd.com/document/392195825/Top-3-Deliverables-for-FCO

We are Anonymous.

We are Legion.

We do not forgive.

We do not forget.

Expect us.

Backup copies of the documents:

Moncloa campaign https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/moncloa-campaign-6-atttwitter080618/moncloa-campaign-6-atttwitter080618.pdf

Spain https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/spain-cluster/spain-cluster.pdf

France https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/france-cluster/france-cluster.pdf

Germany https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/germany-cluster/germany-cluster.pdf

Italy https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/italy-cluster/italy-cluster.pdf

Greece https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/greece-cluster/greece-cluster.pdf

The Netherlands https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/netherlands-cluster/netherlands-cluster.pdf

Lithuania https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/baltics-cluster/baltics-cluster.pdf

Norway https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/nordic-clusters/nordic-clusters.pdf

Serbia and Montenegro https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/central-eastern-cluster/central-eastern-cluster.pdf

Cluster roundup https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/clusterroundupjul18/clusterroundupjul18.pdf

Integrity Initiative Handbook. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/iihandbookv2/iihandbookv2.pdf

Integrity Initiative Guide to Countering Russian Disinformation May 2018. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/untitled-pdf-document-1/untitled-pdf-document.pdf

Austria Cluster. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/austria-cluster/austria-cluster.pdf

Cluster leaders. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/cluster-leaders/cluster-leaders.pdf

Cluster participants. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/cluster-participants/cluster-participants.pdf

UK Cluster. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/uk-cluster/uk-cluster.pdf

USA and Canada Cluster. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/usacanada-cluster/usacanada-cluster.pdf

xCountry. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/xcountry/xcountry.pdf

xOutreach. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/xoutreach/xoutreach.pdf

FCO application form 2017-18. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/fco-application-form-2017-18/fco-application-form-2017-18.pdf

FCO application form 2018v2. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/fco-application-form-2018-v2/fco-application-form-2018-v2.pdf

FCO proposal Integrity budget 2017-18. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/fco-proposal-integrity-budget-2017-18/fco-proposal-integrity-budget-2017-18.pdf

Integrity 2018 Activity Budget v3. https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/integrity2018activitybudgetv3/integrity2018activitybudgetv3.pdf

Top 3 deliverables (for FCO). https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/11/02/top-3-deliverables-for-fco/top-3-deliverables-for-fco.pdf


[Dec 09, 2018] Psyops oops UK-funded 'anti-Russian' programme outed in leak

Nov 28, 2018 | www.blogger.com
Isn't this interesting? A UK program to propagandize US and European audiences is set up to demonize Russia around the same time GCHQ and MI6 are busy spying on US presidential candidates and then ultimately doing their best to throw an election over here... while trying to frame Russia... for trying to throw an election over here. Cute right?

https://youtu.be/f0PY2M1r6Rc

Integrity Initiative , Russian hacking psyop

[Dec 09, 2018] 'Perpetual confrontation' MI6 chief lures young Brits into espionage with Russia-bashing

Dec 09, 2018 | eptoday.com

The head of MI6, the UK's intelligence service, hopes to recruit a new generation of tech-savvy spies, with a passionate speech urging graduates to protect the homeland against the arch nemesis who subverts the UK way of life.
"The era of the fourth industrial revolution calls for a fourth generation of espionage," Alex Younger will say at St. Andrews University on 3rd December.

To lure young Brits into the spy agency who otherwise might not have seen themselves in MI6, Younger paints an image of a clever arch nemesis –Russia– which can only be stopped with the help of brilliant young minds from all sorts of backgrounds, not just by the snobbish Oxbridge graduates typically associated with the service.

Fresh blood is needed to defend UK web domains against cyber-attacks, the spread of fake news and interference in domestic politics, Alex Younger will say, at the same time praising the old guard for "exposing" Russia in the highly-controversial Salisbury attack.

Russia, or any other UK adversary, better "not underestimate our determination and our capabilities, or those of our allies," Younger's speech warns.

Hardly historic friends and bitter Cold War rivals, the UK and Russia have seen their relations slip to new lows in March, following the poisoning of ex-Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. London immediately pinned the blame for the Salisbury incident directly on the Kremlin, and rejected any idea of an open joint investigation with Russia, insisting its own probe would suffice to make the case and then punishing Moscow with sanctions.

Moscow is also perpetually facing accusations of cyberwarfare against other states and attempts to undermine democracy and to influence the political process within those countries. And despite multiple reassurances that Moscow could not care less about the internal political struggles in foreign states, London and British mass media continue to vilify Russia with bizarre reports, like half of London's Russian community are spies for the Kremlin.

Claims of 'Russian meddling' look particularly hypocritical in the wake of a leak that exposed the Integrity Initiative – a group that claims to be fighting back against 'Russian misinformation' – being a clandestine network of influencers that manipulate European politics with the British government's backing.

The anti-Russia paranoia in the UK arguably reached its peak over the weekend, when military bases across the nation issued security alerts after a Russian TV crew was accused of spying outside the army's secret cyber warfare headquarters.

Credit : https://www.rt.com/uk/445410-mi6-spies-russia-confrontation/

[Dec 09, 2018] Hackers Leak More Details on UK's Info War in Europe

Dec 09, 2018 | sputniknews.com

International hacker group Anonymous went ahead with its efforts to counter what it calls Britain's interference with the domestic affairs of sovereign states. In a second dump of secret documents within two weeks, the hacktivists disclose more details on the ongoing UK-funded, anti-Russia information campaign spreading across Europe. The second batch of documents leaked by Anonymous unravels more information on the activities of the Integrity Initiative (II), a UK-based NGO ostensibly founded to counter disinformation and defend democratic processes from malign influence. According to the first documents leaked by the hacktivist organization last month, the project was in fact a "large-scale information secret service" sponsored and created by London to tackle 'Russian propaganda.'

However, the latest leak suggests that "the British government goes far beyond and exploits the Integrity Initiative to solve its domestic problems inside the United Kingdom by defaming the opposition."

Discrediting UK Opposition

Anonymous refers to a "scorching" article that surfaced in The Times on November 25 and was dedicated to Seumas Milne, director of strategy and communications under Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The Times' official Twitter account promoted the piece three times within 24 hours on social media -- the only case for all of its articles, Anonymous says. The hacktivists add that the Integrity Initiative retweeted the "defamatory" article right after its publication (the post is now unavailable, but Anonymous provided a screengrab of the retweet).

Screenshot © Photo : Screenshot Screenshot

The group announced in November that the II constituted a network of clusters across Europe, which sought to tamper with domestic affairs of several European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Norway, Serbia, Spain, and Montenegro.

Countering Russia on German Soil

Another part of the leak is an interim report on the establishment of a German cluster, which was purportedly written by Hannes Adomeit, a German political expert specialising in Russian foreign policy. According to the uncovered documents, the German cluster is coordinated by suspected MI6 agent Harold Elletson.

The report focuses mainly on research of Germans' attitudes toward Russia. Adomeit says that the so-called "Russian narrative" on the origins of the crisis in Moscow's relations with the West is "widely accepted by German public opinion." He adds that further research would be carried out to examine "the reasons for the great receptivity of the Russia narrative" in Germany.

READ MORE: Switzerland Follows Russophobic Narrative by Pressuring Diplomats -- Scholars

He also addresses the case of Andrei Kovalchuk, a Russian arrested in Germany on suspicion of smuggling cocaine to Moscow from Argentina. Kovalchuk was extradited to Russia in late July -- much to the dissatisfaction of Adomeit, who suggests that German prosecutors could have "made an effort" to question him and dig up some dirt on Russia.

Watching Russia's Reaction to Catalan Events

The activities of the Integrity Initiative's Spanish cluster were partly revealed by Anonymous in the first leak on the project. However, a newly unveiled document titled "Cluster Breakdown" identifies people associated with the Spanish chapter.

The list includes territorial minister Jose Ignacio Sanchez Amor, MEP Fernando Maura, head of Spain's peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic Dionisio Urteaga Todo, European Commission Speaker Dimitri Barua, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Fernando Valenzuela Marzo, head of Spanish delegation to NATO PA Ricardo Blanco Torno, former defence minister Eduardo Serra Rexach. Other affiliates include foreign affairs reporters and pundits from Spanish think tanks: the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, the European Council on Foreign Relations, and the Elcano Royal Institute.

Screenshot © Photo : Screenshot Screenshot

The Spanish cluster was apparently closely watching Russia's reaction to the movement in support of Catalan independence in 2016. According to another leaked interim report , the project's members were disappointed with Russia's moderate position on the situation in Spain. However, they claimed, while Vladimir Putin insisted that the issue of Catalan sovereignty was Spain's internal affair, he was happy to watch Europe "take its own medicine" (a reference to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence).

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov © Sputnik / Vitaly Belousov UK Integrity Initiative Project Aims to Damage Russia's Public Image - Lavrov

This is why, they said, the Russian media took advantage of the 2016 developments in Catalonia to portray the European Union as "declining, undemocratic and troubled". They went on to link the media coverage of the Catalan events in Russia to Russia's alleged disinformation campaign against the West.

The authors contend that given that Catalonia has become part of Russia's "big narrative about the West," Russian meddling has also become part of the debates in Spain. "This represents a clear window of opportunity" for promoting anti-Russia sentiment, they conclude.

Skripal Case Coverage in Greece

The Integrity Initiative's Greek cluster was keeping a close eye on the media coverage of the Salisbury poisoning in local newspapers. They went to considerable lengths, studying 193 articles across six major media outlets. It seems, however, that the result of all the hard work was rather unsatisfactory: the authors confess that the majority of Greek newspapers adopted a neutral stance towards the Skripal case.

They claim that the Greek media were influenced into not taking sides and remaining unbiased. "The strong pro-Russian sentiment in the Greek public opinion seems to have influenced the Greek newspapers not to emphasize Russia's involvement."

The Integrity Initiative has yet to comment on this information dump. Anonymous claimed that it released the second batch of documents after the EU leaders and international organisations had ignored its first disclosure. The group accused the II and its sponsors of failing to "give assurances that the network of clusters will only be used to counter Russia's disinformation policy."

[Dec 09, 2018] Britain on the Leash with the United States but at Which End by James George Jatras

Oct 13, 2018 | off-guardian.org

The "special relationship" between the United States and the United Kingdom is often assumed to be one where the once-great, sophisticated Brits are subordinate to the upstart, uncouth Yanks.

Iconic of this assumption is the mocking of former prime minister Tony Blair as George W. Bush's "poodle" for his riding shotgun on the ill-advised American stagecoach blundering into Iraq in 2003. Blair was in good practice, having served as Bill Clinton's dogsbody in the no less criminal NATO aggression against Serbia over Kosovo in 1999.

On the surface, the UK may seem just one more vassal state on par with Germany, Japan, South Korea, and so many other useless so-called allies . We control their intelligence services, their military commands, their think tanks, and much of their media. We can sink their financial systems and economies at will. Emblematic is German Chancellor Angela Merkel's impotent ire at discovering the Obama administration had listened in on her cell phone, about which she – did precisely nothing. Global hegemony means never having to say you're sorry.

These countries know on which end of the leash they are: the one attached to the collar around their necks. The hand unmistakably is in Washington. These semi-sovereign countries answer to the US with the same servility as member states of the Warsaw Pact once heeded the USSR's Politburo. (Sometimes more. Communist Romania, though then a member of the Warsaw Pact refused to participate in the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia or even allow Soviet or other Pact forces to cross its territory.

By contrast, during NATO's 1999 assault on Serbia, Bucharest allowed NATO military aircraft access to its airspace, even though not yet a member of that alliance and despite most Romanians' opposition to the campaign.)

But the widespread perception of Britain as just another satellite may be misleading.

To start with, there are some relationships where it seems the US is the vassal dancing to the tune of the foreign capital, not the other way around. Israel is the unchallenged champion in this weight class, with Saudi Arabia a runner up. The alliance between Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) – the ultimate Washington "power couple" – to get the Trump administration to destroy Iran for them has American politicos listening for instructions with all the rapt attention of the terrier Nipper on the RCA Victor logo . (Or did, until the recent disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Whether this portends a real shift in American attitudes toward Riyadh remains questionable . Saudi cash still speaks loudly and will continue to do so whether or not MbS stays in charge.)

Specifics of the peculiar US-UK relationship stem from the period of flux at the end of World War II. The United States emerged from the war in a commanding position economically and financially, eclipsing Britannia's declining empire that simply no longer had the resources to play the leading role. That didn't mean, however, that London trusted the Americans' ability to manage things without their astute guidance. As Tony Judt describes in Postwar , the British attitude of " superiority towards the country that had displaced them at the imperial apex " was "nicely captured" in a scribble during negotiations regarding the UK's postwar loan:

In Washington Lord Halifax
Once whispered to Lord Keynes:
"It's true they have the moneybags
But we have all the brains."

Even in its diminished condition London found it could punch well above its weight by exerting its influence on its stronger but (it was confident) dumber cousins across the Pond. It helped that as the Cold War unfolded following former Prime Minister Winston Churchill's 1946 Iron Curtain speech there were very close ties between sister agencies like MI6 (founded 1909) and the newer wartime OSS (1942), then the CIA (1947); likewise the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ, 1919) and the National Security Administration (NSA, 1952). Comparable sister agencies – perhaps more properly termed daughters of their UK mothers – were set up in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This became the so-called "Five Eyes" of the tight Anglosphere spook community, infamous for spying on each others' citizens to avoid pesky legal prohibitions on domestic surveillance .

Despite not having two farthings to rub together, impoverished Britain – where wartime rationing wasn't fully ended until 1954 – had a prime seat at the table fashioning the world's postwar financial structure. The 1944 Bretton Woods conference was largely an Anglo-American affair , of which the aforementioned Lord John Maynard Keynes was a prominent architect along with Harry Dexter White, Special Assistant to the US Secretary of the Treasury and Soviet agent.

American and British agendas also dovetailed in the Middle East. While the US didn't have much of a presence in the region before the 1945 meeting between US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Saudi King ibn Saud, founder of the third and current ( and hopefully last ) Saudi state – and didn't assume a dominant role until the humiliation inflicted on Britain, France, and Israel by President Dwight Eisenhower during the 1956 Suez Crisis – London has long considered much of the region within its sphere of influence. After World War I under the Sykes-Picot agreement with France , the UK had expanded her holdings on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, including taking a decisive role in consolidating Saudi Arabia under ibn Saud. While in the 1950s the US largely stepped into Britain's role managing the "East of Suez," the former suzerain was by no means dealt out. The UK was a founding member with the US of the now-defunct Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) in 1955.

CENTO – like NATO and their one-time eastern counterpart, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) – was designed as a counter to the USSR. But in the case of Britain, the history of hostility to Russia under tsar or commissar alike has much deeper and longer roots, going back at least to the Crimean War in the 1850s . The reasons for the longstanding British vendetta against Russia are not entirely clear and seem to have disparate roots: the desire to ensure that no one power is dominant on the European mainland (directed first against France, then Russia, then Germany, then the USSR and again Russia); maintaining supremacy on the seas by denying Russia warm-waters ports, above all the Dardanelles; and making sure territories of a dissolving Ottoman empire would be taken under the wing of London, not Saint Petersburg. As described by Andrew Lambert , professor of naval history at King's College London, the Crimean War still echoes today :

"In the 1840s, 1850s, Britain and America are not the chief rivals; it's Britain and Russia. Britain and Russia are rivals for world power, and Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, which is much larger than modern Turkey -- it includes modern Romania, Bulgaria, parts of Serbia, and also Egypt and Arabia -- is a declining empire. But it's the bulwark between Russia, which is advancing south and west, and Britain, which is advancing east and is looking to open its connections up through the Mediterranean into its empire in India and the Pacific. And it's really about who is running Turkey. Is it going to be a Russian satellite, a bit like the Eastern Bloc was in the Cold War, or is it going to be a British satellite, really run by British capital, a market for British goods? And the Crimean War is going to be the fulcrum for this cold war to actually go hot for a couple of years, and Sevastopol is going to be the fulcrum for that fighting."

Control of the Middle East – and opposing the Russians – became a British obsession, first to sustain the lifeline to India, the Jewel in the Crown of the empire, then for control of petroleum, the life's blood of modern economies. In the context of the 19th and early 20th century Great Game of empire, that was understandable. Much later, similar considerations might even support Jimmy Carter's taking up much the same position, declaring in 1980 that "outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force." The USSR was then a superpower and we were dependent on energy from the Gulf region.

But what's our reason for maintaining that posture almost four decades later when the Soviet Union is gone and the US doesn't need Middle Eastern oil? There are no reasonable national interests, only corporate interests and those of the Arab monarchies we laughably claim as allies. Add to that the bureaucracies and habits of mind that link the US and UK establishments, including their intelligence and financial components.

In view of all the foregoing, what then would policymakers in the United Kingdom think about an aspirant to the American presidency who not only disparages the value of existing alliances – without which Britain is a bit player – but openly pledges to improve relations with Moscow ? To what lengths would they go to stop him?

Say 'hello' to Russiagate!

One can argue whether or not the phony claim of the Trump campaign's "collusion" with Moscow was hatched in London or whether the British just lent some " hands across the water " to an effort concocted by the Democratic National Committee, the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, the Clinton Foundation, and their collaborators at Fusion GPS and inside the Obama administration. Either way, it's clear that while evidence of Russian connection is nonexistent that of British agencies is unmistakable, as is the UK's hand in a sustained campaign of demonization and isolation to sink any possible rapprochement between the US and Russia .

As for Russiagate itself, just try to find anyone involved who's actually Russian. The only basis for the widespread assumption that any material in the Dirty Dossier that underlies the whole operation originated with Russia is the claim of Christopher Steele , the British "ex" spy who wrote it, evidently in collaboration with people at the US State Department and Fusion GPS. (The notion that Steele, who hadn't been in Russia for years, would have Kremlin personal contacts is absurd. How chummy are the heads of the American section of Chinese or Russian intelligence with White House staff?)

While there are no obvious Russians in Russiagate, there's no shortage of Brits. These include (details at the link) :

Andrew Wood , a former British ambassador to Russia Stefan Halper , a dual US-UK citizen. Ex-MI6 Director Richard Dearlove . Robert Hannigan , former director of GCHQ; there is reason to think surveillance of Trump was conducted by GCHQ as well as by US agencies under FISA warrants. Hannigan abruptly resigned from GCHQ soon after the British government denied the agency had engaged in such spying. Alexander Downer , Australian diplomat (well, not British but remember the Five Eyes!). Joseph Mifsud , Maltese academic and suspected British agent.

At present, the full role played by those listed above is not known. Release of unredacted FISA warrant requests by the Justice Department, which President Trump ordered weeks ago, would shed light on a number of details. Implementation of that order was derailed after a request by – no surprise – British Prime Minister Theresa May . Was she seeking to conceal Russian perfidy, or her own underlings'?

It would be bad enough if Russiagate were the sum of British meddling in American affairs with the aim of torpedoing relations with Moscow. (And to be fair, it wasn't just the UK and Australia. Also implicated are Estonia, Israel, and Ukraine .) But there is also reason to suspect the same motive in false accusations against Russia with respect to the supposed Novichok poisonings in England has a connection to Russiagate via a business associate of Steele's, one Pablo Miller , Sergei Skripal's MI6 recruiter . (So if it turns out there is any Russian connection to the dossier, it could be from Skripal or another dubious expat source, not from the Russian government.) Skripal and his daughter Yulia have disappeared in British custody. Moscow flatly accuses MI6 of poisoning them as a false flag to blame it on Russia.

A similar pattern can be seen with claims of chemical weapons use in Syria : "We have irrefutable evidence that the special services of a state which is in the forefront of the Russophobic campaign had a hand in the staging" of a faked chemical weapons attack in Douma in April 2018. Ambassador Aleksandr Yakovenko pointed to the so-called White Helmets, which is closely associated with al-Qaeda elements and considered by some their PR arm: "I am naming them because they have done things like this before. They are famous for staging attacks in Syria and they receive UK money." Moscow warned for weeks before the now-postponed Syrian government offensive in Idlib that the same ruse was being prepared again with direct British intelligence involvement, even having prepared in advance a video showing victims of an attack that had not yet occurred.

The campaign to demonize Russia shifted into high gear recently with the UK, together with the US and the Netherlands, accusing Russian military intelligence of a smorgasbord of cyberattacks against the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and other sports organizations, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Dutch investigation into the downing of MH-17 over Ukraine, and a Swiss lab involved with the Skripal case, plus assorted election interference. In case anyone didn't get the point, British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson declared : "This is not the actions of a great power. This is the actions of a pariah state, and we will continue working with allies to isolate them."

To the extent that the goal of Williamson and his ilk is to ensure isolation and further threats against Russia, it's been a smashing success. More sanctions are on the way . The UK is sending additional troops to the Arctic to counter Russian "aggression." The US threatens to use naval power to block Russian energy exports and to strike Russian weapons disputed under a treaty governing intermediate range nuclear forces. What could possibly go wrong?

In sum, we are seeing a massive, coordinated hybrid campaign of psy-ops and political warfare conducted not by Russia but against Russia, concocted by the UK and its Deep State collaborators in the United States. But it's not only aimed at Russia, it's an attack on the United States by the government of a foreign country that's supposed to be one of our closest allies, a country with which we share many venerable traditions of language, law, and culture.

But for far too long, largely for reasons of historical inertia and elite corruption, we've allowed that government to exercise undue influence on our global policies in a manner not conducive to our own national interests. Now that government, employing every foul deception that earned it the moniker Perfidious Albion , seeks to embroil us in a quarrel with the only country on the planet that can destroy us if things get out of control.

This must stop. A thorough reappraisal of our "special relationship" with the United Kingdom and exposure of its activities to the detriment of the US is imperative.

James George Jatras is an analyst, former U.S. diplomat and foreign policy adviser to the Senate GOP leadership.

[Dec 09, 2018] British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns

Dec 09, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns

In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream.

We have already seen many consequences of this and similar programs which are designed to smear anyone who does not follow the anti-Russian government lines. The 'Russian collusion' smear campaign against Donald Trump based on the Steele dossier was also a largely British operation but seems to be part of a different project.

The ' Integrity Initiative ' builds 'cluster' or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need.

On June 7 it took the the Spanish cluster only a few hours to derail the appointment of Perto Banos as the Director of the National Security Department in Spain. The cluster determined that he had a too positive view of Russia and launched a coordinated social media smear campaign (pdf) against him.


bigger

The Initiative and its operations were unveiled when someone liberated some of its documents, including its budget applications to the British Foreign Office, and posted them under the 'Anonymous' label at cyberguerrilla.org .
---
Update - The Integrity Initiative confirms the release of its documents. - End Update
---

The Initiative is nominally run under the (government financed) non-government-organisation The Institute For Statecraft . Its internal handbook (pdf) describes its purpose:

The Integrity Initiative was set up in autumn 2015 by The Institute for Statecraft in cooperation with the Free University of Brussels (VUB) to bring to the attention of politicians, policy-makers, opinion leaders and other interested parties the threat posed by Russia to democratic institutions in the United Kingdom, across Europe and North America.

It lists Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council as "partner organisations" and promises that:

Cont. reading: British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns

[Dec 09, 2018] NATO's Clandestine Bureau UK 'Integrity Initiative' Spreading Anti-Russian Propaganda - 21st Century Wire

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John C Carleton 2 days ago ,

"UK 'Integrity "

Thanks!

Needed a good laugh!

Rollo10 3 days ago ,

Russia are the problem along with China, because they both oppose their NWO agenda! This agenda has been getting pushed from UK for decades now. It first started back in 1800's, but now is world wide. The Corporate & Bankers want complete control of all economies & jobs.
This way they control everything, where and who manufactures what and how much, all controlled by Corporations. Governments become non existent, as do the Electorate. This would have been obvious IF all TPP-TTIP-CETA Treaties had been signed. We'd have had one huge Single Market that excluded BRICS, who'd have been forced in by war!
To their end, 'deep state; then attacked Rouseff in Brazil, had her 'impeached' and placed their puppet Temer in charge, as an 'anchor' to BRICS, as well as creating problems in ME, where China's One Belt One Road [New Silk Road] crosses continents.
The more people become aware of their intentions, the harder it becomes for them to win, as they are now losing ground all round the world. The last two, Israel & UK are about to fall. Netinyahoo has been charged with Corruption and May in UK, is on the verge of being brought down, after being the first PM to be charged and found guilty of Contempt for Parliament! Next to fall, the corrupt EU.

verner 3 days ago ,

CIA they are everywhere!

Rollo10 verner 3 days ago ,

I think you'll find it's Secular Zionists!
https://www.ukcolumn.org/ar...

John2o2o2o Rollo10 3 days ago ,

No, no, no! CIA in the US, MI6 in the UK, Secular Zionists in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

imbroglio verner 2 days ago ,

Pro-Israel lobby Influence on US congress. --- http://www.informationclear...

[Dec 09, 2018] Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Notable quotes:
"... Just to say, many people in tech understand the issues go way beyond building smart bombs. Worker surveillance and gamification of work are inhuman disasters, I agree. The anti-military actions have simply been the most visible, and they are good catalysts for organizing because they are so obviously evil. Lots of people feel uncomfortable about building things that kill people. ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Top U.S. general urges Google to work with military Reuters. EM: "Wow, this guy is clueless even by top-brass standards. For example: Google Is Helping the Pentagon Build AI for Drones." Moi: I assume this is intended for the great unwashed masses, to give them the impression that Google and the surveillance state are not joined at the hip.

Livius Drusus , December 8, 2018 at 7:31 am

Re: Top U.S. general urges Google to work with military

I will be more interested when the employees of a tech company revolt over the development of technology used to monitor workers or put them out of work. It is easier to oppose military projects because they smack of something out of The Terminator films while developments like Neo-Taylorism are not as obviously evil but are perhaps just as inhuman and socially destructive.

Molly , December 8, 2018 at 1:21 pm

I'm involved with the Tech Workers Coalition, although I only speak for myself as a member. Some of my fellow members were involved in the Google organizing against project Maven, and also Dragonfly. In the last few months there have also been organized actions at Amazon and Salesforce in opposition to working with ICE. Various TWC members are also involved in partnering with food service and janitorial staff around worker organizing and improving working conditions. One of the efforts I'm starting to get involved with is a more organized network for mutual aid and disaster relief in the Bay Area, in the wake of this year's fire season.

Just to say, many people in tech understand the issues go way beyond building smart bombs. Worker surveillance and gamification of work are inhuman disasters, I agree. The anti-military actions have simply been the most visible, and they are good catalysts for organizing because they are so obviously evil. Lots of people feel uncomfortable about building things that kill people.

Tech culture, especially in Silicon Valley, teaches workers to identify with the company completely. At Google you are a Googler. At Pivotal you are a Pivot. We refer to each other this way, inside and outside of work. We are working against that conditioning when we organize, so starting with "Let's not build things that blow humans into burning bits" is helpful.

[Dec 09, 2018] Large corporation like Facebooka and Google are profoundly undemocratic and have ties with intelligence agencies on multiple level including the level of founders

Notable quotes:
"... A previous version of this article was published at Chatham House . ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

... ... ...

Yet, reality could be bleeker. A handful of private companies control the information that is needed to understand how the online ecosystem works. They manage the key infrastructure, and most experts in the field are running this infrastructure after having signed non-disclosure agreements. Thus, Plato's Allegory of the Cave might be a more fitting metaphor. Control over key data allows these companies to play the role of shadow-masters. They get the chance to reveal only the portions of reality they find convenient, defining how the general public perceives the online space. Information scarcity is therefore not just the natural consequence of the internet's novelty; it is created artificially and for strategic purposes: To shape public opinion.

Should we break up these big companies? Should we allow them to continue growing, but under strict, utility-type rules? Should we do nothing? Whatever we do should be the result of a robust public debate. One that is based on the best available evidence regarding the effects the internet is having on power relations, and is therefore capable of defining the set of actions that would best serve the public interest. In short, at this point, we need key information to be disclosed and available for public scrutiny. But information is power – and it is unlikely to be disclosed voluntarily. It might require regulation.

When food production became industrialized, the US Government created the Food and Drug Administration, which was tasked with monitoring and disclosing information regarding compliance with quality standards. When government became too complex for the average citizen to navigate, ombuds offices sprouted across the globe. As an independent institution of government, ombuds were given the duty and power to investigate how government units work, and report on matters concerning people's rights. The current situation requires exploring a similarly bold institutional reform. One focused on ensuring the data needed to inform public debate is made available by the tech industry.

Most people scoffed at the limited understanding of our digital world members of the US Congress revealed when they grilled Mark Zuckerberg . And yet its likely Facebook is not the only company behaving recklessly, nor the US Senators the only public representatives that are "ignorant".

What we have is a growing gap between where power lies and where the institutions that seek to hold it accountable to the people operate. Such institutions are incapable of allowing democratically elected leaders to deliver their campaign promises. This is what is ultimately triggering social tensions and undermining trust in our democracies. We need our institutions to interpret these tensions as red flags and a call for a new social contract. And we need institutions to react now. This situation goes far beyond the debate around digitalization. Yet the online space is our future, and is therefore where this gap is most visible and urgent.

If our current institutions of government fail to ensure the ongoing technological revolution puts people first, these institutions will sooner or later be rendered irrelevant.

A previous version of this article was published at Chatham House .


James McRitchie , December 8, 2018 at 10:16 am

Facebook is a dictatorship of one. Alphabet is a dictatorship of two. As long as corporate governance is anti-democratic that will have an unfortunately negative impact on civil society. I hope shareholders in these and other companies will vote in favor of proposals by NorthStar and others to phase out multi-class share structures, require that directors get at least a majority vote to take office, do away with supermajority voting requirements, etc.

Michael Fiorillo , December 8, 2018 at 11:00 am

The Internet was "born in sin," developed as it was to maintain communications during a nuclear holocaust against a fundamentally fake threat.

Let's remember that the Soviet Union, however repressive it may have been toward its own people and those in satellite countries, never posed the existential threat to the US that was claimed. Rather, as Senator Arthur Brandenburg of Michigan infamously told Harry Truman at the dawn of the Cold War, it would be necessary "to scare the hell out of the American people" to get them to turn against their former Soviet allies, which the State and compliant media spent the next forty years doing, often/largely producing weapons that don't work against enemies that don't exist.

How has the Internet ever not been a tool of the national security state, and why should we have ever expected otherwise?

Nick Stokes , December 8, 2018 at 3:31 pm

The internet is "mind control" for the elite. By making basic bias of the individual easy to qualify and nuture

...

precariat , December 8, 2018 at 5:45 pm

While the discussion of of the need for new paradigms for regulation and accountability -- lest democratic or civil institutions become irrelevant -- is very much needed, I am bewildered by the framing of the discussion to only the internet. The internet is just one, interactive and immediately visible use of technology that has the potential to undermine a fair society.

Some of the most insidious and destructive uses of data technology is not on the internet; it's tools and processes used by previously trusted corporations, governments, and institutions that is not regulated, not transparent and not accountable. So framing the discussion with the 'internet' seems disengenuous.

[Dec 09, 2018] Proportional representation is definitely the way to go. I am sick to death of the born-to-rule mentality of the major parties, and how they change the rules to benefit themselves and to exclude others

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, its far better than the "first past the post" systems of the UK and the US where the number of votes split between two almost identical candidates can lead to a far different candidate winning with only a little over a third of the total vote. ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

MikeSw , 30 Oct 2018 22:36

Proportional representation is definitely the way to go. I am sick to death of the born-to-rule mentality of the major parties, and how they change the rules to benefit themselves and to exclude others.

Minority government? There is no such thing - there is only 'government', and it is supposed to involve all members of parliament in the decision-making process. 'Majority' governments are an anathema to good governance. Every time I hear the likes of Tony Abbott claim they have a mandate to implement ALL their policies, even though they only receive around 35% of the primary vote, I want to throw something at the TV.

Bugger them! Make them work for a living - and make them consider ALL views, not just the ones from their own party.

Bradtheunveiler -> BrianLC , 30 Oct 2018 22:36
Win the ALP will next election. By a huge majority too. Looking forward to neg gearing and CGT discount reform in particular.
Onesimus_Tim -> StuartJJ , 30 Oct 2018 22:35

Preferences are an extremely good feature of our voting system

Yes, its far better than the "first past the post" systems of the UK and the US where the number of votes split between two almost identical candidates can lead to a far different candidate winning with only a little over a third of the total vote.

Preferential voting also makes it more possible for the major party duopoly being overturned, allowing people to vote for a good independent without taking the risk of helping a despised major party candidate from winning by default.

[Dec 09, 2018] The problem with representative democracy is that it represents the special interest groups far more than it represents the citizenry

Dec 09, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Territorian -> Hoskins50 , 30 Oct 2018 23:49

"The problem with representative democracy is that it represents the special interest groups far more than it represents the citizenry." You are spot on.

Nigel Scullion: Minister for Handing out buckets of money to NT Country Liberal Party supporters. Scullion just happened to be a professional fisher before entering parliament.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/31/indigenous-advancement-funding-redirected-to-cattlemen-and-fishing-groups

Barnaby Joyce: Minister for Agriculture while his Department was too scared to report disgusting conditions in the live sheep export trade.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/31/agriculture-minister-promises-to-fix-live-export-regulation-after-damning-report

DukeofWoyWoy , 30 Oct 2018 23:48
What a logical and stirring argument you put forward Richard Denniss, and a large majority of the electorate would have to agree.
However there is also a large number of people in the electorate that cannot appear to rise from their nightly slumber without wearing their Blue, Red, Green or Orange tinted glasses before facing the new day.
And because of this, and preferential voting, sneaking in the background is a plethora of the wild mindless sub creatures called politicians who demand their rights to sit in the big white building on Canberra;s Capital Hill, just waiting to spoil not only the electorate's party but also known to prostitute the country's governance to their own advantage.
Richard, we desperately need a follow up stirring article on how to overcome this black menace to our country, for the sake of our country.
Hoskins50 , 30 Oct 2018 23:38
If you think the public has an appetite for more bureaucrats, more rules and regulations to micromanage people's lives and even more political wheeling and dealing in Canberra, you should get out more.

That the coalition government is on the slide is of no long term consequence. We'll get a Labor government next year and in a few years another coalition government and so on.

What is of long term significance is the loss of public trust in pretty much all of the institutions - including goverment and the various government agencies that would be more powerful under your scenario.

The problem with representative democracy is that it represents the special interest groups far more than it represents the citizenry. Perhaps the solution lies in more direct democracy.

The same sex marriage plebiscite demonstrated that we commoners can deliberate on a sensitive issue, and in doing so behave far better than our elected representatives in Parliament. And can make a sensible and progressive decision that our elected representatives could not - both coalition and Labor MPs had opposed same sex marriage when it was raised in th e Parliament.

The internet provides a platform for direct decision making by the citizenry. Perhaps we should try that instead of what you are suggesting.

diggerdigger , 30 Oct 2018 22:12
It's been clear for years that proportional representation has progressively meant death to effective government, and that it forces major parties policy development further to the political fringes to appeal to the fruit loops on the periphery of their respective demographics. Time for a return to simple preferential voting (a-la-house of Reps) in the senate, and an overhaul of what's considered a valid ballot - if you want to only rank 1, 2, 3 or all candidates it should be entirely your choice.

Hung parliaments, with diametrically opposed clumps of "independents" jointly holding the balance of power can only ever deliver legislative stasis and constant political turmoil (as we have experienced since 2010 and Europe and the US have suffered for the last decade).

Oh for the good old days when one or the other of the major parties held a working majority in both houses, and policy was targeted at the 'sensible centre" of the Australian electorate. At worst, they only had to deal with a couple of sensible Democrats, and the odd lunatic fringe-ist like Harradine.

[Dec 09, 2018] People who vote but really don't get represented. All those votes just get mopped up by two major parties who represent thatsame neooliberal sharks who want to devour the voters

Notable quotes:
"... I find the Australian electoral system very mediocre. All those people who vote but really don't get represented. All those votes that just get mopped up by the major parties. I really can't understand why Australians have put up with such a poor system for so long. ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

RonGlaeston , 31 Oct 2018 04:56

Yes, yes! MMP!!

Having spent many years in a New Zealand under a First Past the Post system and then Mixed Member Proportional, I am an enthusiastic supporter of proportional systems.

I find the Australian electoral system very mediocre. All those people who vote but really don't get represented. All those votes that just get mopped up by the major parties. I really can't understand why Australians have put up with such a poor system for so long.

Hettie7-> melbournesam 31 Oct 2018 00:45

Proportional representation makes the most sense. Each party gets the same percentage of seats in the parliament as it received votes in the election. That really is fair.

[Dec 09, 2018] Authoritarianism has always existed. But it hasn't always been clearly visible. Technology makes authoritarianism more powerful. Centralization and urbanization have served the purposes of the elite well

Neoliberalism as the new incarnation of the Animal Farm
Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Disturbed Voter , December 8, 2018 at 7:56 am

Authoritarianism has always existed. But it hasn't always been clearly visible. Technology makes authoritarianism more powerful. Centralization and urbanization have served the purposes of the elite well.

People need information and communication. The inverted totalitarianism we live in, doesn't like that. It wants the Internet to implement that inverted totalitarianism (see China). They want everything (in a corporatist way) to be mandatory, except for what is forbidden. What has been revealed, and is being revealed, is that the current political-economic system isn't fit for purpose, human purpose.

So the real answer is like what is happening in France now...

rob , December 8, 2018 at 8:13 am

Attempting to blame the internet for the increasingly authoritarian world we live in is not seeing the forest through the trees. The internet is surely a tool used against humanity,That doesn't make it "bad". I would say the reason people can be fooled by these social media propaganda tactics, is precisely because the fourth estate is practicing such in depth propaganda campaigns, with all propaganda, all the time coverage on every other form of media as well. People have nowhere to turn.
Why do people think some russians posting on facebook and twitter skewed the electorate in this country than say nothing about:fox news,npr,cnn,rush limbaugh,hannity,the new york times, wall st journal,the weekly standard, time magazine,people magazine, etc.All of these organizations and all the others spout disinformation. every day.
And america's trend towards the authoritarian state has been accelerating since at least the national security act of 1947.as a national trend, whereas in the beginning of this countries existence, there have been authoritarian control of local districts by local groups, ie. whites over blacks, or whites over indians, or rich over poor immigrants, etc.
All the internet age and the "information age is doing, is changing the medium. the message is still the same. and there has always been resistance. now that resistance seems more futile, but is it?

Carolinian , December 8, 2018 at 9:35 am

Why do people think some russians posting on facebook and twitter skewed the electorate in this country than say nothing about:fox news,npr,cnn,rush limbaugh,hannity,the new york times, wall st journal,the weekly standard, time magazine,people magazine, etc.All of these organizations and all the others spout disinformation. every day.

Exactly. Our society is mainly shaped by its elites. And other than Twitter they are barely involved with the internet at all but rather get their news and attitudes from the NY Times or (in Trump's case) cable TV. Therefore rather than enhancing the always existing authoritarianism of "manufactured consent," the internet works to undermine it. This of course provokes much fingering of worry beads among the elite who see the mob and their pitchforks as real threats. The situation in France illustrates this phenomenon nicely and there have been calls by some to block Facebook in France so those yellow vests can't communicate with each other.

Diversity of opinion is a good thing, not bad, and some of us scan right leaning websites just to get a different view. The internet is not the problem. Powerful authoritarians are the problem.

Brooklin Bridge , December 8, 2018 at 10:34 am

In my own undoubtedly faulty memory of Animal Farm , Orwell characterized the devolution as "the nature of the beast" through his characters. That is (over and above the allegory of the Russian revolution/devolution), there are strong traits in human character that makes this devolution inevitable. We have the pigs; the aggressors, and the followers, and less savory characters, and the "never quite enough" wise annimal(s) and so on, working unwittingly together against the welfare of the whole making the end result seem precast. Not so much that we did nothing, as that we could do nothing.

1984 never really addressed that issue (or at least I don't remember it doing so), but from the start everything seemed inevitable, there was no discussion of any "might have been," that could have been an alternative to the dystopia of an engineered rivalry between two super-powers that worked off each other to maintain a compliant global society in hopeless mass psychological, never mind physical, irons.

But even assuming this inevitability was Orwell's own belief and intent in his writings (and not simply my misunderstanding of them), I agree with your point that we had plenty of warning, and not just Orwell, and that society as a whole too frequently took the easier road but with a lot of help and insistent guidance (manipulation) from our increasingly corrupt leaders and captains of industry (our own pigs).

Carolinian , December 8, 2018 at 11:52 am

Animal Farm was Orwell's best book IMO because it speaks to universal human tendencies even though the book was also about Stalin and Trotsky. 1984 was far fetched speculation based on, as it turned out, the short lived totalitarianism of figures like Hitler and Stalin. People assume we are living 1984 when it's really Animal Farm.

[Dec 09, 2018] Concentration of wealth drive inverted totalitarism and authoritarian tendencies in the society

Notable quotes:
"... Fear of loss drives the authoritarians. For an example, please consider the treatment of "Occupy." ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Synoia , December 8, 2018 at 3:23 pm

No discussion in the article about concentration of wealth, and the aristocrats, generally authoritarian, who control the money.

For a reason to examine increasing authoritarian look no further than the increasing concentration, historically high, of money,

Fear of loss drives the authoritarians. For an example, please consider the treatment of "Occupy."

Bobby Gladd , December 8, 2018 at 4:17 pm

To your point, I recently watched the EPIX "Panama Papers" documentary. Highly recommended.

And, I just now finished episode 3 of the 4-part Showtime documentary "Enemies: the President, Justice & the FBI." Also recommended.

[Dec 09, 2018] Never forget that fascism is the natural defence mechanism of capital. After it is accrued, it must be defended

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberal doctrine leads to skyrocketing inequality, a swelling in the desperate and forgotten poor who are vulnerable to populist messaging and the idea of a strongman peddling easy answers to keep people safe as civil unrest increases. Fascism seeks power for power's sake and total control over the populace, and always cruelty to the marginalised, the 'others'. How all the right wingers hand-wringing over the idea of 'socialist communisms!!1!' can't see that, I don't know. ..."
"... All over the world, failed neoliberalism is being replaced by right-wing populist nationalism & I don't think "repairing democratic institutions" is at the top of their to-do list. ..."
"... I'm certainly in favour of greater nationalisation, especially of essential services. But around the world, neo-liberalism has morphed into neo-fascism and this is where the next fight must be. ..."
"... In social systems, natural selection favours cooperation. In addition, we are biased toward ethical behaviours, so cooperation and sharing are valued in human societies. ..."
"... The consequences of four decades of financialized neoliberal trade policies were by no means equally shared. Internal and external class relations were made evident through narrowly distributed booms followed by widely distributed busts. ..."
"... No wonder you get fascist right wing insurgence in this climate! ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

CatPerson420 , 30 Oct 2018 23:18

Never forget that fascism is the natural defence mechanism of capital. After it is accrued, it must be defended. The current trend in global politics is not an anomaly but an entirely predictable outcome.

Neoliberal doctrine leads to skyrocketing inequality, a swelling in the desperate and forgotten poor who are vulnerable to populist messaging and the idea of a strongman peddling easy answers to keep people safe as civil unrest increases. Fascism seeks power for power's sake and total control over the populace, and always cruelty to the marginalised, the 'others'. How all the right wingers hand-wringing over the idea of 'socialist communisms!!1!' can't see that, I don't know.

It's too late for the US I fear, and time is rapidly running out for the UK if they don't pull their finger out and have another referendum before the self immolation of Brexit.

Rikyboy , 30 Oct 2018 23:07
All over the world, failed neoliberalism is being replaced by right-wing populist nationalism & I don't think "repairing democratic institutions" is at the top of their to-do list.

If Australia does swing the pendulum to the left, it, along with NZ, will be one of the few countries to do so. De-privatising will not be easy & will be met with a huge reactionary backlash. They'll need to tread very carefully if they want to stay in government.

jclucas , 30 Oct 2018 23:02
Neoliberalism may be dead but the neoliberals in the government will never admit it as they seamlessly transition to authoritarian nationalism with populist promises - and failure to deliver on them.

The neoliberal project was always a philosophical cover for crony capitalism that betrayed the public interest by rewarding vested interests for their patronage, perverted democracy, and served as a mechanism for perverting the natural function of an economy - to fairly distribute goods, resources, and services throughout society - to favor the welfare of the few over the many.

The self-interested culture of neoliberalism - the cult of the individual that denies the common good - pervades every aspect of Australia's life as a nation - business, politics, sport, education, and health - denying and crowding out public spirit, selfless service, and societal wellbeing.

For meaningful change to occur there must be a rebirth of the conception of the public good, and the virtue and necessity of acting to realise it.

However at this stage there is not a communal recognition of what the problem is let alone how to go about repairing it. For that to happen there must be a widely accepted narrative that naturally leads to the obvious actions that must be take to redress the damage done by the neoliberal con job: decreasing economic inequality, restoring democracy, and rebuilding a sense of common cause.

Piecemeal change will not be sufficient to enact the the sweeping transformation that has to occur in every department of life. It is not enough to tax multinationals, to have a federal integrity commission, to build a renewable future, or to move to proportional representation.

Someone, some party, some coherent philosophical perspective has to explain why it must be done.

BlueThird , 30 Oct 2018 22:57
It's certainly the case that the Liberal party, in particular, are now using ideas that fall outside and to the right of neo-liberalism, but it's also obviously the case that neo-liberalism and current Liberal thinking share the same underlying goal. Namely, the transfer of wealth and power towards a narrower and narrower group of people and corporations.

That suggests the death of neo-liberalism is coming about because – having done so much damage already – it's no longer capable of delivering the required results, and that we're moving into a new phase of the death spiral. I think that can also be seen in both the US (where Trump is using the identified problems of neo-liberalism to further the same basic agenda, but with less decorum and a larger cadre of useful idiots) and the UK (where there's still a very strong possibility that Brexit will be used as an excuse to roll back great swathes of social and democratic safeguards).

Perhaps even more worrying – given the latest reports on how we're destroying habitat as well as the climate, and how much of our biodiversity is in South America, particularly the Amazon – is that Brazil is how on a similar path.

The likelihood is that the Liberal party won't get away with what they have planned, but they – and the forces behind them – certainly won't stop trying. And unfortunately it's far from obvious that the Labor party will repudiate neo-liberalism anytime soon. That they signed up for the latest iteration of TPP is hardly a good omen.

Democratic re-engagement is the better way forward from neo-liberalism, but unfortunately I think it's unlikely to be the one that we end up taking.

All of that said, the deepest problem of all is the way in which democracy and government have been corrupted, often via the media, but typically at the behest of corporations, and if there is a way forward it has to be found in addressing those interactions

tolpuddler , 30 Oct 2018 22:28
I'm certainly in favour of greater nationalisation, especially of essential services. But around the world, neo-liberalism has morphed into neo-fascism and this is where the next fight must be.
slorter , 30 Oct 2018 22:19
Well we have had 3+ decades of the dogma!

In social systems, natural selection favours cooperation. In addition, we are biased toward ethical behaviours, so cooperation and sharing are valued in human societies.

But what happens when we are forced into an economic system that makes us compete at every level? The logical outcome is societal decline or collapse.

Perhaps the worst aspect of neoliberalism was its infection of the Labor party. This has left our social infrastructure alarmingly exposed.

The consequences of four decades of financialized neoliberal trade policies were by no means equally shared. Internal and external class relations were made evident through narrowly distributed booms followed by widely distributed busts.

Globally, debt has forced policy convergence between political parties of differing ideologies. European center-left parties have pushed austerity even when ideology would suggest the opposite.

No wonder you get fascist right wing insurgence in this climate!

Thank you Richard Denniss we need to highlight this more and more and start educating the dumbed down population saturated with neoliberal snake oil!

[Dec 09, 2018] Die Weltwoche Weltwoche Online – www.weltwoche.ch Tucker Carlson Trump is not capable Die Weltwoche, Ausgabe 49-2018

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... He hasn't? ..."
"... I've come to believe that Trump's role is not as a conventional president who promises to get certain things achieved to the Congress and then does. I don't think he's capable. I don't think he's capable of sustained focus. I don't think he understands the system. I don't think the Congress is on his side. I don't think his own agencies support him. He's not going to do that. ..."
"... I think Trump's role is to begin the conversation about what actually matters. We were not having any conversation about immigration before Trump arrived in Washington. ..."
"... Trump asked basic questions like' "Why don't our borders work?" "Why should we sign a trade agreement and let the other side cheat?" Or my favorite of all, "What's the point of NATO?" The point of NATO was to keep the Soviets from invading western Europe but they haven't existed in 27 years, so what is the point? These are obvious questions that no one could answer. ..."
"... I mean let me just be clear. I'm not against an aristocratic system. I'm not against a ruling class. I think that hierarchies are natural, people create them in every society. I just think the system that we have now the meritocracy, which is based really on our education system, on a small number of colleges has produced a ruling class that doesn't have the self-awareness that you need to be wise. ..."
"... it was only after the financial crisis of 08 that I noticed that something was really out of whack, because Washington didn't really feel the crisis. ..."
"... If you leave Washington and drive to say Pittsburgh, which is a manufacturing town about three and a half hours to the west, you drive through a series of little towns that are devastated. There are no car dealerships, there are no restaurants. There's nothing. They have not recovered. I remember driving out there one day, maybe eight or nine years ago and thinking, boy, this is a disaster. ..."
"... That's kind of strange since we're the capital city in charge of making policy for everybody else... Massive inequality does not work in a democracy... ..."
"... If you make above a certain income, or if you live in my neighborhood, you have zero physical contact with other Americans. In other words, the elite in our country is physically separated in a way that's very unhealthy for a democracy, very unhealthy. ..."
"... The Democratic Party, which for 100 years was the party of average people is now the party of the rich. ..."
"... He served the purpose of bringing the middle class into the Republican Party, which had zero interest, no interest in representing them at all. Trump is intuitive, he felt, he could smell that there was this large group of voters who had no one representing them and he brought them to the Republican side, but the realignment is still ongoing. ..."
"... In other words, the Democratic Party used to represent the middle class, it no longer does, it now hates the middle class. ..."
"... I do think, going forward the Republican Party will wake up and realize these are our voters and we're going to represent them whether we want it or not. ..."
"... I am deeply suspicious of foreign adventurism, voluntary wars, wars of self-defense are not controversial, I'm for them completely, there's an invasion repellent. The idea that you would send 100,000 troops to a country to improve its political system is grotesque to me. It would've been grotesque to them. ..."
"... The Vietnam War was horrifying to them because it was a voluntary war, waged for theoretical reasons, geostrategic reasons which they rejected, and I do too. ..."
"... We can make autonomous choices about how we respond to market forces. People get crushed beneath its wheels. ..."
"... Capitalism drives change, innovation change, the old ways give way to new ways of doing things, and in the process of change the weak get hurt always, this was true in industrialization 100 years ago and it's true in the digital revolution now. What's changed is that nobody is standing up on behalf of the people who are being crushed by the change. ..."
"... In your book, you say they've vanishing but they seem to come back again. ..."
"... Have you ever seen this amount of discontent and aggression here in your lifetime? ..."
"... How close to a revolution is your country? ..."
"... The country is getting redder and bluer. ..."
"... Do you think that Europe will get in control of the migration? ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | www.weltwoche.ch

The Swiss are very suspicious of anybody who is boastful. That's why I have a question about Trump

I hate that about him. I hate that it's not my culture. I didn't grow up like that.

In your book you speak a lot about people who attack Trump, but you actually don't say very much about Trump's record.

That's true.

Do you think he has kept his promises? Has he achieved his goals?

No.

He hasn't?

No. His chief promises were that he would build the wall, de-fund planned parenthood, and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn't done any of those things. There are a lot of reasons for that, but since I finished writing the book, I've come to believe that Trump's role is not as a conventional president who promises to get certain things achieved to the Congress and then does. I don't think he's capable. I don't think he's capable of sustained focus. I don't think he understands the system. I don't think the Congress is on his side. I don't think his own agencies support him. He's not going to do that.

I think Trump's role is to begin the conversation about what actually matters. We were not having any conversation about immigration before Trump arrived in Washington. People were bothered about it in different places in the country. It's a huge country, but that was not a staple of political debate at all. Trump asked basic questions like' "Why don't our borders work?" "Why should we sign a trade agreement and let the other side cheat?" Or my favorite of all, "What's the point of NATO?" The point of NATO was to keep the Soviets from invading western Europe but they haven't existed in 27 years, so what is the point? These are obvious questions that no one could answer.

Apart from asking these very important questions has he really achieved nothing?

Not much. Not much. Much less than he should have. I've come to believe he's not capable of it.

Why should he be not capable?

Because the legislative process in this country by design is highly complex, and it's designed to be complex as a way of diffusing power, of course, because the people who framed our Constitution, founded our country, were worried about concentrations of power. They balanced it among the three branches as you know and they made it very hard to make legislation. In order to do it you really have to understand how it works and you have to be very focused on getting it done, and he knows very little about the legislative process, hasn't learned anything, hasn't and surrounded himself with people that can get it done, hasn't done all the things you need to do so. It's mostly his fault that he hasn't achieved those things. I'm not in charge of Trump.

The title of your book is "Ship of Fools". You write that an irresponsible elite has taken over America. Who is the biggest fool?

I mean let me just be clear. I'm not against an aristocratic system. I'm not against a ruling class. I think that hierarchies are natural, people create them in every society. I just think the system that we have now the meritocracy, which is based really on our education system, on a small number of colleges has produced a ruling class that doesn't have the self-awareness that you need to be wise. I'm not arguing for populism, actually. I'm arguing against populism. Populism is what you get when your leaders fail. In a democracy, the population says this is terrible and they elect someone like Trump.

When did you first notice that this elite is getting out of touch with the people?

Well, just to be clear, I'm not writing this from the perspective of an outsider. I mean I've lived in this world my whole life.

Which world exactly?

The world of affluence and the high level of education and among-- I grew up in a town called La Jolla, California in the south. It was a very affluent town and then I moved as a kid to Georgetown here in Washington. I've been here my whole life. I've always lived around people who are wielding authority, around the ruling class, and it was only after the financial crisis of 08 that I noticed that something was really out of whack, because Washington didn't really feel the crisis.

If you leave Washington and drive to say Pittsburgh, which is a manufacturing town about three and a half hours to the west, you drive through a series of little towns that are devastated. There are no car dealerships, there are no restaurants. There's nothing. They have not recovered. I remember driving out there one day, maybe eight or nine years ago and thinking, boy, this is a disaster. Rural America, America outside three or four cities is really falling apart. I thought if you're running the country, you should have a sense of that. I remember thinking to myself, nobody I know has any idea that this is happening an hour away. That's kind of strange since we're the capital city in charge of making policy for everybody else... Massive inequality does not work in a democracy... You become Venezuela.

You write about vanishing middle class. When you were born over 60 % of Americans ranked middle class. Why and when did it disappear?

If you make above a certain income, or if you live in my neighborhood, you have zero physical contact with other Americans. In other words, the elite in our country is physically separated in a way that's very unhealthy for a democracy, very unhealthy.

The Democratic Party is out of touch with the working class.

Well, that's the remarkable thing. For 100 years the Democratic Party represented wage earners, working people, normal people, middle class people, then somewhere around-- In precisely peg it to Clinton's second term in the tech boom in the Bay Area in Francisco and Silicon Valley, the Democratic Party reoriented and became the party of technology, of large corporations, and of the rich. You've really seen that change in the last 20 years where in the top 10 richest zip codes in the United States, 9 of them in the last election just went for Democrats. Out of the top 50, 42 went for Democrats. The Democratic Party, which for 100 years was the party of average people is now the party of the rich.

Donald Trump, who is often seen as this world-changing figure is actually a symptom of something that precedes him that I sometimes wonder if he even understands which is this realignment. He served the purpose of bringing the middle class into the Republican Party, which had zero interest, no interest in representing them at all. Trump is intuitive, he felt, he could smell that there was this large group of voters who had no one representing them and he brought them to the Republican side, but the realignment is still ongoing.

In other words, the Democratic Party used to represent the middle class, it no longer does, it now hates the middle class. The Republican Party which has never represented the middle class doesn't want to. That is the source of really all the confusion and the tension that you're seeing now. I do think, going forward the Republican Party will wake up and realize these are our voters and we're going to represent them whether we want it or not.

They have to, or they will lose.

They have to, or they will die. Yes.

You're writing in an almost nostalgic tone about the old liberals? People like Miss Raymond, your first-class teacher. You describe her wonderfully in the book. You say that they have vanished. What happened?

I find myself in deep sympathy with a lot of the aims of 1970s liberals. I believe in free speech, and I instinctively side with the individual against the group. I think that the individual matters, I am deeply suspicious of foreign adventurism, voluntary wars, wars of self-defense are not controversial, I'm for them completely, there's an invasion repellent. The idea that you would send 100,000 troops to a country to improve its political system is grotesque to me. It would've been grotesque to them.

The Vietnam War was horrifying to them because it was a voluntary war, waged for theoretical reasons, geostrategic reasons which they rejected, and I do too. They were also suspicious of market capitalism. They thought that somebody needed to push back against the forces of the market, not necessarily because capitalism was bad, capitalism is not bad, it's also not a religion. We don't have to follow it blindly. We can make autonomous choices about how we respond to market forces. People get crushed beneath its wheels.

Capitalism drives change, innovation change, the old ways give way to new ways of doing things, and in the process of change the weak get hurt always, this was true in industrialization 100 years ago and it's true in the digital revolution now. What's changed is that nobody is standing up on behalf of the people who are being crushed by the change.

Is that really so? Look at the grassroot movement on the left: Alexandra Ocasio Cortez and her socialist group. It is probably a 100 years ago when Americans last saw a socialist movement of substance emerging?

Yes. You're absolutely right. That's the future.

In your book, you say they've vanishing but they seem to come back again.

Well, you're absolutely right. You're incisive correct to say that the last time we saw this was 100 years ago, which was another pivot point in our economic and social history. Where, after 10,000 years of living in an Agrarian society, people moved to the cities to work in factories and that upended the social order completely. With that came huge political change and a massive reaction.

In the United States and in Western Europe labor unions moderated the forces of change and allowed us to preserve capitalism in the form that we see it now... You're seeing the exact same dynamic play out today, we have another, as I said, economic revolution, the digital age, which is changing how people work, how they make money, how families are structured. There is a huge reaction to that, of course, because there always is, because normal people can't handle change at this pace. People are once again crying out for some help. They feel threatened by the change. What bothers me is that there is no large group of sensible people asking, how can we buffer this change? How can we restrain it just enough, not to stop it, but to keep people from overreacting and becoming radical?

Talking about radical. Recently, a radical left-wing group have threatened to storm your Washington home. How is your wife? How is your family?

They are fine, they're pretty tough. They're rattled.

The Antifa-mob came right to the door of your home?

Yes, they did and threatened my wife.

Which must have been absolutely scary?

Yes, it was. My wife was born in the city, my four children were born here, we're not moving.

Your attackers have a goal, they're trying to silence you.

Of course. I would never, of course, that's a cornerstone of Western civilization is expression and freedom of conscience. You can tell me how to behave, you can force me not to sleep or take my clothes off in public, that's fine. Every society has the right to control behavior. But no one has the right to control what you believe. You can't control my conscience, that's mine alone. Only totalitarian movements do that, and that's what they're attempting. Of course, I would die first I'm never going to submit to that.

Have you ever seen this amount of discontent and aggression here in your lifetime?

No, I've never seen anything like this. What's so striking is that [chuckles] this is really... The radicalism is not on behalf of people who are actually suffering, fellow Americans who are suffering, on behalf of the 70,000 people who died of drug ODs last year, or on behalf of the people displaced by automation in GM, or whatever, on behalf of those dying American low class, it's really on behalf of theoretical goals.

They're saying that I [Tucker Carlson] am saying naughty things that shouldn't be allowed to be expressed in public. Basically, it's a totalitarian movement. Totally unhelpful. I would say childish. What they're really doing is defending the current order. They're the shock troops of the elites actually. Actually, what you're seeing is something amazing, you're seeing for the first time in history a revolution being waged against the working class. When does that happen?

Your way of debating is very tough. You're sitting there, hammering your guests. Sometimes we have a bit of a problem to understand that. For us it's a bit disturbing.

Of course, it is. It's disturbing for me too!

How tough do you need to be nowadays to have an audience?

Less, I think than sometimes we put into it or I put into it. I'm actually, in my normal life, I think a pretty gentle person. I've never had a yelling fight with my wife in 34 years. I mean, I've never yelled at my children. No, I don't ever.

Never?

Not one time. No, it's not how I communicate. I never want to be impolite. I have been impolite. I've lost my temper a couple times, but I don't want to. I don't like that. I believe in civility.

... ... ...

How close to a revolution is your country?

By revolution, let me be clear, I don't think that we're anywhere near an outbreak of civil war, armed violence between two sides for a bunch of different reasons... Testosterone levels are so low and marijuana use is so high that I think the population is probably too ... What you don't have, prerequisite fall revolution, violent revolution, is a large group of young people who are comfortable with violence and we don't have that. Maybe that will change. I hope it doesn't. I don't want violence for violence. I appall violence, but I just don't see that happening. What I see happening most likely is a kind of gradual separation of the states.

If you look at the polling on the subject, classically, traditionally, Americans had antique racial attitudes. If you say, "Would you be okay with your daughter marrying outside her race?" Most Americans, if they're being honest, would say, "no, I'm not okay with that. I'm not for that." Now the polling shows people are much more comfortable with a child marrying someone of a different race than they are marrying someone of a different political persuasion.

"I'd rather my daughter married someone who's Hispanic than liberal", someone might say. That is one measure. There are many measures, but that's one measure of how politically divided we are and I just think that over time, people will self-segregate. It's a continental country. It's a very large piece of land and you could see where certain states just become very, very different. Like if you're Conservative, are you really going to live in California in 10 years? Probably not.

Orange County is now purely Democrat.

That's exactly right. You're going to move and if you're very liberal, are you really going to want to live in Idaho? Probably not.

The country is getting redder and bluer.

Exactly.

This revolution you are warning about - What needs to be done to stop it from happening?

Just the only thing you can do in a democracy which is address the legitimate concerns of the population and think more critically and be more wise in your decision making. Get a handle on technology. Technology is the driver of the change, so sweep aside the politics, the fundamental fact about people is they can't metabolize change at this pace because as an evolutionary matter, they're not designed to, they're not. If you asked your average old person what's the most upsetting thing about being old? You expect them to say, "Well, my friends are dead". But that's not what they say. Or "I have to go to the bathroom six times a night". That's not what they say.

You know what they say? "Things are too different. This is not the country I grew up in. I don't recognize this." All people hate that. It doesn't mean you're a bigot, it means you're human. Unless you want things to fall apart, become so volatile that you can't have a working economy, you need to get a handle on the pace of change. You have to slow it down.

How important is migration in terms of change?

It's central because nothing changes the society more quickly or more permanently than bringing in a whole new population and that's not an attack on anybody. There are lots of populations- there are lots of immigrants who are much more impressive than I am. I have no doubt about that. I'm not attacking immigrants. I'm merely saying that the effect on the people who already live here is real and they're not bigots for feeling that way.
You come from an ancient country with a series of ancient cultures within it and if you woke up one morning and everyone was speaking Amharic and you didn't recognize any of your surroundings, that would be deeply upsetting to you.

What you saying, it's necessary to slow it down, control it?

You have to slow it down. Look at the Chinese. I abhor, I despise the Chinese government. However, I'm willing to acknowledge wise behavior when I see it. The Chinese would never accept this pace of demographic change not simply because they're racist, though of course, they are, but that's not the point. The point is because they don't want their society to fall apart because they're in charge of it.

The childlike faith that we have in America, and America is the worst at this, that all change is good and that progress is inevitable and if something is new and fresh and more expensive, it's got to be better.

It is kind of refreshing for Europeans that even Hillary Clinton tells Europeans, "You have got to stop this. You've got to get control of migration or you disintegrate."

John Kerry said the same thing, amazingly. They're telling the truth.

Do you think Europe is going to be able to get in control of that? We have 28 countries in the EU. And Switzerland is not a member?

So smart, so smart... You know why? Because they're mountain people. Love them. You know why? Because they're suspicious, that's what I like about them.
[laughter]

Do you think that Europe will get in control of the migration?

The EU has been doomed since the first day because it's inconsistent with human nature. The reason we have nation states is because people wanted them, it's organic. A nation-state is just a larger tribe and it's organized along lines that make sense. They evolved over thousands of years. To ignore it and destroy it because you think that you've got a better idea, is insane!

[And with that, our interview concludes. It has already run far past the allotted 40 minutes. I offer to take Carlson, who seems to be very passionate about Switzerland, on a ski run in our Alps soon. Perhaps a smoke in one of the outdoor saunas I tell him smell like rotten eggs. Ambassador Grenell is on the phone line patiently waiting.]

[Dec 08, 2018] In office, both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama rarely fought for progressive principles -- and routinely undermined them."

Dec 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Dec 5, 2018 4:54:14 PM | link

"The last two Democratic presidencies largely involved talking progressive while serving Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. The obvious differences in personalities and behavior of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama diverted attention from their underlying political similarities. In office, both men rarely fought for progressive principles -- and routinely undermined them."

Article from Truthdig: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/what-it-means-that-hillary-clinton-might-run-for-president-in-2020/

[Dec 08, 2018] How False Testimony and a Massive U.S. Propaganda Machine Bolstered George H.W. Bush's War on Iraq - YouTube

Dec 05, 2018 | www.youtube.com

https://democracynow.org - As the media memorializes George H.W. Bush, we look at the lasting impact of his 1991 invasion of Iraq and the propaganda campaign that encouraged it. Although the Gulf War technically ended in February of 1991, the U.S. war on Iraq would continue for decades, first in the form of devastating sanctions and then in the 2003 invasion launched by George W. Bush. Thousands of U.S. troops and contractors remain in Iraq. A largely forgotten aspect of Bush Sr.'s war on Iraq is the vast domestic propaganda effort before the invasion began. We look at the way U.S. media facilitated the war on Iraq with journalist John "Rick" MacArthur, president and publisher of Harper's Magazine and the author of the book "Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the 1991 Gulf War."

Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on nearly 1,400 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9AM ET: https://democracynow.org

Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today: https://democracynow.org/donate

[Dec 08, 2018] Internet as a perfect tool of inverted totalitarism: it stimulates atomizatin of individuals, creates authomatic 24x7 surveillance over population, suppresses solidarity by exceggerating non-essential differences and allow more insidious brainwashing of the population

Highly recommended!
Dec 08, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Livius Drusus , December 8, 2018 at 7:20 am

I think the Internet and the infotech revolution in general have been largely negative in their impact on the world. Ian Welsh has a blog post that largely sums up my views on the issue.

https://www.ianwelsh.net/what-the-infotechtelecom-revolution-has-actually-done/

Contrary to what many people say I think large organizations like governments and corporations have significantly more power now than before and ordinary people have less power. The Internet has made it easier to get information but you have to sift through tons of junk to get to anything decent. For every website like Naked Capitalism there are thousands pushing nonsense or trying to sell you stuff.

And even if you are more knowledgeable, so what? If you cannot put that knowledge to use what good is it? At best it makes you more well-rounded, interesting and harder to fool but in political terms knowing a lot of stuff doesn't make you more effective. In the past people didn't have access to nearly as much information but they were more willing and able to organize and fight against the powerful because it was easier to avoid detection/punishment (that is where stuff like widespread surveillance tech comes in) and because they still had a vibrant civic life and culture.

I actually think people are more atomized now than in the past and the Internet and other technologies have probably fueled this process. Despite rising populism, the Arab Spring, Occupy, the Yellow Jackets in France, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA this is all a drop in the bucket compared to just the massive social movements of the 1960s much less earlier periods. Robert Putnam argued that television, the Internet and other technologies likely helped to produce the collapse of civic life in the United States by "individualizing" people's leisure time and personally I think Putnam is right. Civic life today is very weak and I think the Internet is partially to blame.

Mark , December 8, 2018 at 12:10 pm

And even if you are more knowledgeable, so what? If you cannot put that knowledge to use what good is it?

Agreed. If anything these more knowledgeable people had a greater audience prior to the internet. Whether you were a journalist, a great economist, a great author, or a great orator you need to persist and show intellect and talent to have your message heard wide and broad.
(This is probably a little idealistic, but I think there is truth there.)

Now you need very little of this. If your most famous asset is your attractive body you can attract a greater audience than great scholars and politicians.

Rosario , December 8, 2018 at 2:56 pm

I can't speak much on authoritarianism since whatever form it takes on today is wildly different from what it was in the past. Unfortunately, it is hard to convince many people living in western societies that they are living in an authoritarian system because their metal images are goose-stepping soldiers and Fraktur print posters.

I suppose the way I can assure myself that we are living in an authoritarian society is by analyzing the endless propaganda spewed from countless, high-viewership media and entertainment outlets. It is quite simple, if the media and entertainment narratives are within a very narrow intellectual window (with lots of 600 lb. gorillas sitting in corners) than the culture and politics are being defined by powerful people with a narrow range of interests. This is not to say that forming public opinion or preferring particular political views is a new thing in Western media and entertainment, just that its application, IMO, is far more effective and subtle (and becoming more-so by the day) than it ever was in, say, NAZI Germany or the Soviet Union.

I'd put my money down that most educated Germans during NAZI rule were well aware that propaganda was being utilized to "manufacture consent" but they participated and accepted this despite the content for pragmatic/selfish reasons. Much of the NAZI propaganda played on existing German/European cultural narratives and prejudices. Leaveraging existing ideology allowed the party to necessitate their existence by framing the German as juxtaposed against the impure and unworthy. Again, ideologies that existed independent of the party not within it. Goebbels and company were just good at utilizing the technology of the time to amplify these monstrosities.

I question that being the case today. It is far more complicated. Technology is again the primary tool for manipulation, but it is possible that current technology is allowing for even greater leaps in reason and analysis. The windows for reflection and critical thought close as soon as they are opened. Seems more like the ideology is manufactured on the fly. For example, the anti-Russia narrative has some resonance with baby boomers, but how the hell is it effective with my generation (millennial) and younger? The offhand references to Putin and Russian operatives from my peers are completely from left field when considering our life experience. People in my age group had little to say about Russia three years ago. It says volumes on the subtle effectiveness of Western media machines if you can re-create the cold war within two years for an entire generation.

In addition and related to above, the West's understanding of "Freedom of Speech" is dated by about 100 years. Governments are no longer the sole source of speech suppression (more like filtering and manipulation), and the supremacy of the free-market coupled with the erroneously perceived black-and-white division between public and private have convinced the public (with nearly religious conviction) that gigantic media and entertainment organizations do not have to protect the free speech of citizens because they are not government. Public/Private is now an enormous blob. With overlapping interests mixed in with any antagonisms. It is ultimately dictated by capital and its power within both government and business. Cracking this nut will be a nightmare.

Yes, this is an authoritarian world, if measured by the distance between the populace and its governing powers, but it is an authoritarianism operating in ways that we have never seen before and using tools that are terribly effective.

[Dec 08, 2018] Our benighted nation has become a "Global" entity, which entails our young men and women being used as cannon fodder for Israel's designs

Dec 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

David Baker , says: December 4, 2018 at 9:40 pm GMT

Though I'm no friend of Michael Moore, he at least was candid about American "Judeo-Christian" adventures within foreign countries. America needs to pull in its horns, and stop fooling around with other governments.

Our benighted nation has become a "Global" entity, which entails our young men and women being used as cannon fodder for Israel's designs, in addition to furthering the campaign by Globalists to divvy up the world's resources and labor markets .

Our country is blessed with all the necessary raw materials, manufacturing capabilities, educated and motivated work forces and security to completely support our population, without the need to obtain staple supplies from foreign countries. Developing alternative energy sources should be a top priority, to free our people from the yoke of foreign oil cartels -- or the domestic variety, for that matter. Globalism has done little more than implement the enslavement of populations to mega-corporations, establishing a cabal of non-elected, inviolable potentates who wield tremendous power over our leaders to do their bidding.

[Dec 08, 2018] The zionized MIC and the "biased" truth about Russia's stance towards the West

Dec 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anya , Dec 6, 2018 11:32:15 AM | link

The zionized MIC and the "biased" truth about Russia's stance towards the West:
http://thesaker.is/why-russia-wont-invade-the-ukraine-the-baltic-statelets-or-anybody-else/

"Today, just like in 1911, Russia needs internal and external peace more than anything else, and that is not what she would get if she got involved in some foreign military adventure! In fact, attacking an alliance which includes three nuclear power would be suicidal, and the Russians are anything but suicidal."

The zionized MIC has been prevailing because of money. The uncounted and unaccountable money: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50711.htm

The practice of DoD "violates Article I Section 9 of the US Constitution, which stipulates that, "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time." ... The status quo has been generating ever-higher DoD budgets for decades...

The losers in this situation are everyone else. The Pentagon's accounting fraud diverts many billions of dollars that could be devoted to other national needs: health care, education, job creation, climate action, infrastructure modernization, and more. Indeed, the Pentagon's accounting fraud amounts to theft on a grand scale -- theft not only from America's taxpayers, but also from the nation's well-being and its future."

[Dec 08, 2018] Interview of Lamar Waldren, Historian, on the REAL H. W. Bush by Thom Hartmann

Some information about JFK assassination. The term "Bush crime family" is not a joke. Lamar Waldren is the author of book The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination The Definitive Account of the Most Controversial Crime of the Twentieth Century
Notable quotes:
"... Thus, when local news reporters pressed Atty. Dean Andrews (a Marcello atty., according to Waldron) after he was indicted by Garrison for perjury, Andrews initially sought to evade the reporter's questions. Finally he blurted out, "If they can kill the President, they can squash me like a roach." These are but a few of the revelations that were a consequence of Garrison's courage in challenging the Federal Government's narrative about the assassination. ..."
"... At the outset of Garrison's prosecution of Clay Shaw, the Federal Government openly intervened to obstruct. US Attorney General Ramsey Clark announced that the Feds had already investigated Shaw and concluded he had nothing to do with the assassination! When was this investigation? Who investigated? Why did they investigate Shaw? ..."
"... Waldron includes a most salient paragraph: "...declassified files now show that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and CIA Director Richard Helms immediately began a significant public relation counteroffensive, issuing detailed instruction on how to smear critics of the Warren Report. ..."
"... For example, in a January 4, 1967, CIA memo in which the Agency gives 53-pages of specific instructions on how to counter the growing tide of books and articles questioning the `lone-nut' conclusion...In many ways, those PR counteroffensives by the FBI and CIA would last for decades, and some writers make the case that they continue even today."(14-15) ..."
"... Important in the "get Garrison" media campaign was journalist Walter Sheridan. Waldron maintains Sheridan was sent to New Orleans by Robert Kennedy. Why would Robert Kennedy seek to destroy a DA who at least considered charging Carlos Marcello, arch-nemesis of the Kennedys? And was Robert really the dominant figure in the autopsy of his brother at Bethesda, as maintained by Waldron?(399-401) ..."
"... Because Waldron's thesis is that the Mafia had to blur the lines between two plots, an anti-Castro one in league with the CIA, and the one targeting JFK, he might have elaborated more on the CIA practices. ..."
"... Anthony Summers have documented that `nobody has ever made the flimsiest allegation that the authentic Lee Oswald had anything but good to say about John Kennedy' This is true of Oswald's interrogations, his media appearances, and his private talks."(338) ..."
Dec 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Dec 7, 2018 10:29:36 PM | link

OT, but current. Interview of Lamar Waldren, Historian, on the REAL H. W. Bush by Thom Hartmann.

http://dl.thomhartmann.com/private/podcasts/2018_1207_thp-120718-hour1.mp3

One Amazon review:

Hugh Murray, February 12, 2014

Mafcia plots

The main objection to the theory that the Mafia planned the assassination of President Kennedy has always been that it would not have had the power to cover-up its role in the murder. Nor would it have had the ability to control, curtail, and compromise the autopsy, to bamboozle all the media, to intimidate witnesses speaking to FBI agents, and to appoint a blue-ribbon commission that would issue a report with 26 volumes of documentary support, purporting to prove that the assassin was a lone-nut, never once mentioning the Mafia!

Because the Mafia clearly lacked such power, either the Warren Commission was correct in attributing the assassination to Oswald, or the cover-up and murder, were conducted by higher-ups in the US Government - like Lyndon Johnson, the CIA, the FBI, etc. Or, it was the work of Fidel Castro and/or the Soviets. Were that the case, the demand by the American public for retaliation would press our leaders to launch a large-scale invasion of Cuba, which could unleash World War III. To prevent nuclear war, American leaders chose to cover up the evidence of Communist conspiracy that culminated in Dallas. The American leaders chose cover-ups and deception in preference to the truth and nuclear war.

Waldron's purpose is to remove the chief obstacles to the view that the Mafia conspiracy resulted in the assassination of Jack Kennedy. Waldron notes that in the last days of the Eisenhower Administration, CIA and Mafia links were forged in plots to overthrow and assassinate the radical Fidel Castro in Cuba. With the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion in spring 1961, however, the newly inaugurated President Kennedy believed he had been misled by the CIA and proceeded to fire its leader, Allen Dulles. Many Cuban exiles blamed Kennedy for the failure of that mission because Kennedy had refused to support the landing with major air, and if necessary, American land support.

The Missile Crisis of the fall of 1962 nudged the world to the edge of nuclear war. Though some assumed there had been a "no invasion" pledge as part of the settlement, Waldron asserts that because Castro rejected inspection on Cuban soil, the no-invasion pledge was inoperative. Moreover, Kennedy ordered a halt to any American CIA collaboration with the Mafia, in part because his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy was leading the prosecution of organized crime, and had even used some extra-legal tactics to deport New Orleans Mafia leader, Carlos Marcello. Nevertheless, Pres. Kennedy still authorized clandestine plots to kill Castro, while simultaneously allowing top secret negotiations with the Castro regime to come to some accommodation. But if no progress in those negotiations were evident by the end of November 1963, Pres. Kennedy decided to aid a coup in Cuba staged by Gen. Juan Almeida, the head of the Cuban army and the number three official under Castro. In this coup, Fidel would be assassinated, and Almeida's new government would request military intervention from the US to complete the counter-revolution. The working date for that operation was 1 December 1963.

Unbeknownst to Kennedy and his new CIA leader, John McCone, however, the CIA's Director of Planning Operations, Richard Helms, now held the highest operational post in the agency. Helms knew of the previous CIA-Mafia collaboration toward eliminating Castro, and he ignored Kennedy's demand to cut ties with the Mafia. Instead, those earlier ties were retained and solidified between some CIA operatives and Mafia organizations in Florida (led by Santo Trafficante), Chicago (represented by Johnny Rosselli), and New Orleans (led by Marcello once he made it back to the US, probably flown in by pilot David Ferrie).

By linking the government approved assassination plots to kill Castro, with its own plots to kill Kennedy, the Mafia would make it impossible to unravel the truth without exposing the US government's own deadly secrets to the American people, AND exposing General Almeida in Cuba to the wrath of Fidel. Moreover, if the Mafia plot were successful, it could then plant false information implicating Castro as the culprit. This might lead to calls for invasion of Cuba, Soviet retaliation, and WWIII. The US government would then find it necessary to avoid war by covering up what really occurred in Dallas. Thus, the cover-up was not conducted by the Mafia, but by innocent American leaders bent upon avoiding atomic war: President Lyndon Johnson, Chief Justice Earl Warren, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, et al.

Waldron uses information garnered from tapes recorded for the FBI when Mafia chief Marcello was imprisoned; he confessed his role in the Kennedy assassination to a fellow inmate who was wearing a wire. The information was not released when originally recorded, nor in 1986 when the FBI operation concluded, nor in 1992 when the Congress passed the JFK Assassination Records Act. In 1998, the FBI released the information, but it was buried in a flood of less important documents released at the same time. Waldron's own research found the confessions in 2006 and in this book he makes an impressive case. Waldron asserts that the Mafia planned the assassination with plots in at least three cities that Kennedy would visit in the fall of 1963, and in each, a Lee Oswald-type patsy had been selected to deflect suspicion from the real killers. Chicago, Tampa-Miami, and Dallas were the three sites that Kennedy would visit where Mafia hit men were imported to crush Camelot. Waldron also refers to confessions by other Mafia leaders, including Trafficante, and Rosselli. Waldron is good at reminding readers of how, when Congress reinvestigated the Kennedy murder, several Mafioso leaders were killed in most brutal fashions the day before they were to testify. In addition, the wealthy white Russian who befriended the poor, "Marxist" Oswald in Dallas, George de Mohrenschildt, commited suicide the day before his scheduled testimony. Waldron reminds readers of the number of "coincidental" deaths when Congress reinvestigated the events in Dallas.

Waldron provided an excellent time-line studded with provocative tidbits of information. Thus, we learn that during the height of the Missile Crisis in the fall of 1962, Oswald, the "defector" to the USSR married to a Russian, gets a job in Dallas with a corporation performing sensitive photographic work for the US government, such as interpreting pictures of Cuban missile movements. (154) Furthermore, despite his "defection" and his later distribution of Fair Play for Cuba leaflets, Oswald was never placed on the FBI's Security Index.(250, 258) Another item to ponder: Waldron reveals that both Jack Ruby and Gen. Edwin Walker (the right-wing general whom Oswald allegedly shot at) were closeted homosexuals.(174) Of course, one could argue that in the 1960s almost all gays were closeted. In that era, if a man were openly homosexual, "out," he was either "in" prison or "in" a mental institution. Waldron also mentions the story of J. Edgar's alleged arrest for homosexuality.(231) Yet, Clay Shaw is barely mentioned in the book.

Before engaging in a general critique of the book, I shall point out some minor errors. Louisiana Congressman Hale Boggs, father of ABC and NPR commentator Cokie Roberts, was a US Representative, not a Senator.(31) Boggs WAS a member of the Warren Commission, but Louisiana Sen. Russell Long was NOT.(146) Also, Waldron asserts that "there were only two time periods when Oswald could have worked for Marcello as a runner: one in late April or early May 1963...and the other in late July, August, and ...September 1963,..."(181-82) But Oswald might have worked for Marcello much earlier, when he was a teenager living in New Orleans.

I disagree with Waldron's assessment that the investigation by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison hindered the investigation by mainstream media of the Kennedy assassination.(15) Though the jury quickly found Clay Shaw not guilty of conspiring to kill JFK, they told local reporters that they were convinced that JFK was a victim of a conspiracy. Garrison's prosecution showed the Zapruder film in the courtroom, eventually unwrapping it for all to see how Kennedy's head moved to the back and left when struck by the fatal shot. Under oath Dr. Pierre Finck described how doctors in Bethesda followed military orders at the expense of providing Kennedy a thorough autopsy. If the national media were hostile to Garrison, not all of the local outlets were so biased. Thus, when local news reporters pressed Atty. Dean Andrews (a Marcello atty., according to Waldron) after he was indicted by Garrison for perjury, Andrews initially sought to evade the reporter's questions. Finally he blurted out, "If they can kill the President, they can squash me like a roach." These are but a few of the revelations that were a consequence of Garrison's courage in challenging the Federal Government's narrative about the assassination.

At the outset of Garrison's prosecution of Clay Shaw, the Federal Government openly intervened to obstruct. US Attorney General Ramsey Clark announced that the Feds had already investigated Shaw and concluded he had nothing to do with the assassination! When was this investigation? Who investigated? Why did they investigate Shaw? The Feds did everything possible to obstruct the Garrison prosecution, so that crucial witnesses could flee Louisiana, and governors like Ronald Reagan of California and James Rhodes of Ohio, after consulting with federal officials, simply refused to extradite important witnesses like Gordon Novel. How could any DA win a case under such circumstances?

Even Waldron concedes, "Recently released FBI files show that in the late spring of 1967, Garrison twice privately considered indicting Marcello for the assassination of JFK but decided not to."(458) Waldron's thesis is that Marcello was guilty of the murder, and yet he claims that the only official who contemplated charging Marcello with that crime, simply hindered mainstream media investigations! Were those recently released FBI files that Waldron refers to intended to facilitate DA Garrison probe? Or to sabotage it? And had Garrison charged Marcello with killing Kennedy, would the mass media have been any more sympathetic to Garrison?

Waldron includes a most salient paragraph: "...declassified files now show that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and CIA Director Richard Helms immediately began a significant public relation counteroffensive, issuing detailed instruction on how to smear critics of the Warren Report.

For example, in a January 4, 1967, CIA memo in which the Agency gives 53-pages of specific instructions on how to counter the growing tide of books and articles questioning the `lone-nut' conclusion...In many ways, those PR counteroffensives by the FBI and CIA would last for decades, and some writers make the case that they continue even today."(14-15)

Garrison failed to convict Clay Shaw. I would contend because of the hostility of the Feds, there is no way Garrison could have convicted Marcello either. The national, main-stream media followed the marching orders of the federal government - orders issued softly through their agency operatives and friends.

Important in the "get Garrison" media campaign was journalist Walter Sheridan. Waldron maintains Sheridan was sent to New Orleans by Robert Kennedy. Why would Robert Kennedy seek to destroy a DA who at least considered charging Carlos Marcello, arch-nemesis of the Kennedys? And was Robert really the dominant figure in the autopsy of his brother at Bethesda, as maintained by Waldron?(399-401)

Because the thrust of Waldron's book is assassination by the Mafia, he mentions the murder of Guatemalan leader Castillo Armas in July 1957 by a "lone Communist" assassin, who then killed himself with the same weapon used to kill Armas. But there were rumors at the time that Armas had run afoul of the Mafia, and Rosselli was then in Guatemala.(94) Shortly after the Bay of Pigs, the strong man of the Dominican Republic, Rafael Trujillo was assassinated in what Waldron calls a gangland-type murder.(145) And since Waldron explicated MafCia assassinations, he might have expanded his all-to-brief accounts of two other assassination, even if the Mafia had nothing to do with them: - 1) the assassination of the Prime Minister in the newly independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba on 17 January 1961 (p. 136, though his name is misspelt in Waldron's index); and - 2) the assassination of South Viet Nam's Ngo Dinh Diem on 2 November 1963.(303) With Waldron's slight treatment of the latter, he evades speculation on the CIA's role in that murder and its effect on future American policy in Vietnam and any connection between Diem's demise may have had on events in Dallas. Because Waldron's thesis is that the Mafia had to blur the lines between two plots, an anti-Castro one in league with the CIA, and the one targeting JFK, he might have elaborated more on the CIA practices.

There are anomalies in Waldron's work. On the one hand, we read that: "The [New Orleans police lieutenant who talked to Oswald after his arrest with the FPCC in NO] also said that Oswald `liked the President,' a sentiment shared by most people who ever heard Oswald mention JFK;"(251) and :"...It's important to keep in mind that others such as Anthony Summers have documented that `nobody has ever made the flimsiest allegation that the authentic Lee Oswald had anything but good to say about John Kennedy' This is true of Oswald's interrogations, his media appearances, and his private talks."(338)

On the other hand, Waldron also reports that: "The head of the Ku Klux Klan told veteran newspaper report and editor Patsy Sims that he had met with Oswald in Atlanta. In her definitive history of the Klan, Sims writes that `one of her sources told her that Oswald, in the summer of 1963, had called on [Klan] Imperial Wizard James Venable in his office in Atlanta seeking the names of right-wing associates. Venable confirmed [to Sims] that he was fairly sure that Oswald had been there for that purpose.' Oswald indicated to Venable that he was on his way to Chicago. Klan leader Venable made his statement to Sims in the 1980s and it is difficult to see why Venable would make up an Oswald encounter since it tended to link Oswald with `right-wing associates,' thus potentially giving the FBI reason to interview or investigate them."

"In the 1960s, Klan leader Venable was close to an associate of Guy Banister, white supremacist Joseph Milteer, who lived in Georgia..."(286)

If this meeting did occur, it may have had more to do with the Banister-, Milteer-, far-right plot than about Oswald's personal opinion of Kennedy. Oswald may have simply been following Banister's instructions, as he had done when pretending to be a Castro-sympathizer handing out FPCC leaflets.

A related question: what was the connection between the Mafia and the racist, far-right? Clearly, some Cubans who had fled Castro's far-left oppression in Cuba, may have felt more comfortable with right end of the political spectrum. The KKK certainly inhabits that end. Milteer, who was taped predicting the assassination prior to events in Dallas, and then gloating about them, was clearly far-right. So did Milteer, who prediction of, and later gloating over, the assassination was tape-recorded. Moreover, Milteer declared that the conspiracy to kill Kennedy originated in New Orleans, backed by considerable sums, not all donated by right-wingers. Milteer mentioned only one Louisiana politician (311), but Waldron does not reveal that name. I will go on a limb to say that I suspect the politician was the leader of Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish (county), Judge Leander Perez.

In 1952 when Judge Perez decided to endorse the Republican ticket of Eisenhower and Nixon for President, Plaquemines Parish voted over 93% for the Republicans - the highest percentage of any county in the entire nation.(Glen Jeansonne, Leander Perez: Boss of the Delta, p. 194) In November 1960 when courts ordered desegregation of two New Orleans schools, Perez urged defiance, and allowed whites to escape their integrated school by attending schools in neighboring St. Bernard Parish (also Perez=dominated). In 1961 CORE began its Freedom Rides, where CORE members on buses attempted to integrate bus stations from Washington, DC, to New Orleans. Most were stopped by brutal mobs or arresting police, and one bus was burnt. This made national and international headlines. It was rumored (not Jeansonne's biography, but my memory is the source for the rest of this paragraph - HM) that Perez then induced George Lincoln Rockwell to travel from his base in Virginia through the same route as the Greyhound buses to New Orleans on his "hate bus." Rockwell was leader of the American Nazi Party. Before entering New Orleans, local police demanded that he cover some of the signs that decorated his van - "Kill Commies, Queers, and Jews!" When in May 1961 Rockwell and some of his uniformed crew were arrested for picketing the film "Exodus," there were rumors that Guy Banister, a one-time Acting Superintendent of the NO Police, paid his bail. When Judge Perez went to the Hotel Roosevelt's Blue Room (possibly the premier NO night spot at that time), Ted Lewis was performing. One of his signature acts was to sing "Me and My Shadow," while a Black dancer in black clothing danced as his shadow.

The judge was not happy with this integrated entertainment. Perhaps he was aware that Ted Lewis had been born, Theodore Friedman. To express his displeasure, the judge purposely broke glasses where the shadow was to step, causing the Black to cut his foot. In the spring of 1969 Judge Perez passed on. In Plaquemines Parish, two young Black men entered a store and announced they wanted to purchase liquor to celebrate the death of the Judge. They were quickly arrested and sentenced to 6 month's hard labor. After serving only a few months, the NAACP succeeded in curtailing the sentence.

Why would Marcello have a low-level racial extremist like Milteer aware of the plot to kill Kennedy if this were merely a Mafia operation? Does this make sense?

Let me describe several incidents related to the question I just posed. It is truly amazing how different our relatives can be from each other and from ourselves. By the late 1950s I had become an integrationist in my native New Orleans. This amounted to little more than speaking in favor of the idea in high school and then college. That changed in September 1960 when I was among the seven arrested in the first lunch-counter sit-in in New Orleans. It occurred at the large Woolworth's on Canal and Rampart Streets. When my father heard of the sit-in in progress, he left work to try to get me away. Police had cordoned off the counter area, and would not allow anyone to pass. With our arrests, and our names on p. 1 of the local paper and on national TV (we did not see it as we were still in jail), it was now clear to all that I was a nlover. Although I moved from my parents' home so as not to endanger them, it did not matter. They received phone calls in the middle of the night, threatening to bomb the home. Thank God we had no restrictive gun control laws back then. My father easily borrowed a gun and bullets from a co-worker. After a few months, the spotlight of hatred moved to the other end of the city, for in November Perez and others were instigating resistance to the court-ordered desegregation of two public schools. I was suddenly old news. My dad felt safe enough to return the gun. Upon getting it back, his co-worker asked my father, "Why did you borrow so many bullets? Only one would have done the job." I was not very popular.

But one relative sought to help, - my crazy uncle. Of course, he probably thought of me as his crazy nephew. After my arrest with CORE for integration, my uncle sought to restore honor to the family, by sending money to George Lincoln Rockwell's organization. As a young child I once overheard him moaning over some beers, "Oh, if only Hitler had won." My uncle had been in the merchant marine and had risked his life during WWII to get supplies to the nations fighting against the Axis. But he did not agree with FDR's foreign policy. Meanwhile, I had been convicted of a felony (the sit-in), and was trying to survive. I certainly was not seeking another arrest, but I did continue to participate in various demos throughout the 1960s, any one of which might result in an arrest. Finally, in 1969 my car was followed by a police helicopter, and when I let a passenger out of the auto, he was immediately arrested. I decided then it was time to leave my native city.

I would occasionally see that uncle when he visited my parents. He had a special greeting for me, "How are the burr heads doing?" This would rile me a little, but I knew him well enough just to roll my eyes. Sometimes he would speak with my dad, but sometimes he would address me, "Oh, that Bobby! They're gonna get that Bobby!" He was referring to Atty. Gen Robert Kennedy who seemed to be pushing integration. I just tried to ignore him.

After a few years, I moved back with my parents and got a job teaching 5th grade in a new, private school. Around lunch one day, Mrs. Flagg, another 5th grade teacher called me to her class room across the hall. Hers was enjoying a free period for lunch, and one of her pupils had brought in a new item, a transistor radio. She told me to listen. Most of her class was playing, making lots of noise, while she and I craned our necks above the 10-year-old and his radio. I heard the main points, but could not leave my class unattended for long.

When I returned to my class, I informed them that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. The class cheered. I was stunned. One girl placed her head on the table and cried. She was the exception. That was November 1963. Sometime after that, probably early 1964, I again encountered my uncle. "What did I tell you, huh? What did I tell you?" Honestly, I had no idea what he was talking about. Then he became more explicit, "Didn't I tell you they were going to get him?" Suddenly, shocked, I realized what he was referring to. Now, I tried a counter. "But you said they were going to get Bobby!" "Well, they got the other one instead." This time, exasperated, I finally asked, "Who is this `they' you keep talking about?" He quickly responded, "The mob out in the parish." By the mob, he meant Marcello; by "out in the parish," he meant Jefferson Parish. When he said this, my parents resided one block from the Airline Highway and the Church with the Neon Bible. We were only a few blocks from Jefferson Parish and Marcello's office in the Town and Country Motel. My uncle's response simply confirmed my view that my uncle was crazy. Who in early 1964 was linking Carlos Marcello to the Kennedy assassination? This sounded ever more absurd. When he said this, I had already earned a BA and an MA from Tulane University. My uncle had finished 5rd grade. I was a scholar. He drove a taxi. It was easy to dismiss his ravings. But years later I could only wonder, were they really ravings? Or was I too arrogant to accept information when it was handed to me?

Despite the occasional repetition and lack of footnotes, and a few minor errors, Waldron has written a book that will be difficult to ignore.

[Dec 08, 2018] Presidents, prime ministers, congresspersons and parliamentarians worldwide regularly negate the democratic will of their nation's voters by refusing to support legitimate election results. Strangely, their treasonous actions continue without serious reprisal or punishment by the voter.

Dec 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Durruti , says: December 6, 2018 at 4:00 pm GMT

"Presidents, prime ministers, congresspersons and parliamentarians worldwide regularly negate the democratic will of their nation's voters by refusing to support legitimate election results. Strangely, their treasonous actions continue without serious reprisal or punishment by the voter. This emboldens them. The reality of votes cast and "democracy" past does not does bode well for the people of the United Kingdom, their future as a nation or their hopeful return to sovereignty once called, "Brexit."

Dynamite opening paragraph by Brett Redmayne-Titley.

It defines the vital issue of -To be or not to be – for our Planet's citizens who struggle (or aught to), for functioning Democratic Republics founded upon the ideal of Liberty and Justice for All.

Titley's ending mention of the trials of the Greek nation, and others, is well placed and a tribute to his worldview, that is key to analyzing the situation in any particular corner.

"Britains should consider this arbitrary bullying of Italy and of the UK. Then they should consider the sad EU imposed current condition of Greece. Next, they might dwell on the failed outcomes of previous elections within the nearby EU nations, and how similar movements were defeated in their nation as well. Last, they must pay closest of attention to what is actually in the souls of their own politicians and what they truly support."

In America, we lost our Democratic Republic and our last Constitutional President, John F. Kennedy , in a hail of bullets in the Coup D'état of November 22, 1963.

The Citizen Yellow Vests in France , supported by their 2 leading Resistance Fighters, Dieudonné , and Alain Soral , display the next step forward in the Resistance to Tyranny.

Step 1 – Committees of Correspondence (mainstream media free – websites, & communications).

2. Step away from the TVs – & breathe the free air outside as the Citizen Militia Yellow Vests(Minutemen), regain the streets and stretch their muscles.

3. Final Step: We are Joined by free police, military, even CIA & other police agency employees, in the act of regaining their Countries, with their Sovereignty, and their Honor. We Restore Our Republics!

a. Zionist imperialist/racists to jail and awaiting Trial.

b. Cleanup & rebuilding.

c. Unbought electoral process - no $ allowed in the process (equal media access for all candidates), Debates between the candidates. Let a hundred flowers bloom (what democrat said that?)?

Something like that.

Durruti – for the Anarchist Collective

[Dec 08, 2018] Anyone who knows anything about history is that the rich were always better off than the poor, in fact the very definition of rich and poor. In this respect it never mattered if a society was capitalistic, communistic, or a theocracy,

Notable quotes:
"... Capitalism never was benign, Chrustjow worked as a miner in a commercially exploited mine, where there was little regard for safety, he abhorred capitalism. ..."
Dec 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

jilles dykstra , says: December 4, 2018 at 12:30 pm GMT

@Bill Jones Interesting to read how these idealists agree with Christian Gerondeau, 'Le CO2 est bon pour la planete, Climat, la grande manipulation', Paris 2017

Gerondeau explains how many deaths reducing CO2 emissions will cause in poor countries, simply as an example how electricity for cooking will remain too expensive for them, so cooking is done on smoky fires in confined spaces.

" to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history." " To intentionally impoverish the world. To what end, I wonder ?

Anyone who knows anything about history is that the rich were always better off than the poor, in fact the very definition of rich and poor.
In this respect it never mattered if a society was capitalistic, communistic, or a theocracy, as Tibet was.

These idealistic idiots do not understand how they created the problem they now intend to solve with creating an even bigger problem, their example is the EU, the EU is following this policy for more than twelve years now, since 2005, when the EU grabbed power through the rejected EU 'consitution'.

Capitalism is no more than deciding between consumption and investment, Robinson Crusoë invested in a fishing net by temporarily reducing consumption, he did not go fishing, but made a fishing net, expecting that his investment would make it possible to eat more fish.

Capitalism never was benign, Chrustjow worked as a miner in a commercially exploited mine, where there was little regard for safety, he abhorred capitalism.

Dutch 17th century capitalistic commerce to the far Indies, east and west, was not benign. Typically a ship left Amsterdam, near the Schreierstoren, trans 'the tower for the crying', wives, mothers and girl friends, with 300 men aboard, and returned with 100. Most of those who died were common sailors, captain and officers had a far lower mortality, mainly better food.

Our East Indies commerce also was not much fun for the people in the East, in the Banda Sea Islands massacre some 30.000 people were killed, for a monopoly on pepper, if I remember correctly.

But, as the earth developed economically, there came room for also poor people getting lives beginning to look as worth living. Engels in 1844, hope the year is right, described the conditions of working people in GB, this resulted in Das Kapital.

This room for a better life for also the poor was not given by the capitalistic system

In their struggle for a better world for anyone the idealists wanted globalisation, level playing field, anyone should be welcome anywhere, slogans like this.
Globaliation, however, is the end of the nation state, the very institution in which it was possible to provide a better life. Anyone following me until here now can see the dilemma, the end of the nation state was also the end of protection by that state against unbridled capitalism.

As the idealists cannot give up their globalisation religion they must, as those who cannot give up the biblical creation story, find an ideological way out of their dilemma. My conclusion now is 'in order to save our globalisation religion we try to destroy economic growth, by making energy very expensive, in the hope of destroying capitalism'.

Alas, better, luckily, capitalism cannot be destroyed, those who invented the first furnaces for more or less mass producing iron, they were capitalists. They saw clearly how cheap iron would bring economic growth, the plow.

In the country where the CO2 madness has struck most, my country, the Netherlands, the realisation of the poverty that drastically reducing CO2 emissions will cause, has begun. If there really is madness, I wonder.

I indeed see madness, green leftists unable to make a simple multipiclation calculations about costs, but maybe mainly political opportunism. Our dictator, Rutte, is now so hated that he needs a job outside the Netherlands, in order to qualify, either at Brussels or in New York, with the UN, has to howl with the wolves.

At the same time, we have a gas production problem,, earthquakes in the NE, houses damaged, never any decision made to solve the problem, either stop gas production, or strenghten the houses, both expensive solutions.

So, in my suspicious ideas, Rutte now tries to improve himself, at the same time solving a problem: within, say ten years, the Netherlands functions without gas, and remains prosperous; the idea he tries to sell to us. In a few years time it will emerge that we cannot have both, prosperous, and zero emission, but the time horizon for a politician is said to be five years.

[Dec 08, 2018] Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games

Highly recommended!
You can read online at epdf.tips
Dec 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard , Dec 7, 2018 2:50:07 PM | link

Came across this book which gives some excellent background to where we're at today:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Postmodern-Imperialism-Geopolitics-Great-Games/dp/098335393X

There may be a pdf available if you search.

"The game motif is useful as a metaphor for the broader rivalry between nations and economic systems with the rise of imperialism and the pursuit of world power. This game has gone through two major transformations since the days of Russian-British rivalry, with the rise first of Communism and then of Islam as world forces opposing imperialism. The main themes of Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games include:

This work brings these elements together in historical perspective with an understanding from the Arab/ Muslim world's point of view, as it is the main focus of all the "Great Games"."

Jay Dyer discusses the book here, its strengths and weaknesses:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcmrBD4Ez2c

[Dec 08, 2018] Israel is one undeniably large factor behind spending surges since 2005.

Dec 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

anon [228] Disclaimer , says: December 4, 2018 at 7:18 pm GMT

Israel is one undeniably large factor behind spending surges since 2005. Israel successfully demanded enormous increases in joint U.S.-Israeli cyber warfare expenditures and benefited from related U.S. contingency planning. Due to onerous secrecy, Americans remain unable to engage in informed public debate about whether what amounts to US subjugation to the Israeli prerogatives driving these massive expenditures should continue.

The US increased spending on the National Intelligence Program by 9 percent in fiscal year 2018 to $59.4 billion. The Military Intelligence Program surged 20 percent to $22.1 billion. NIP plus MIP beat the year 2005 expenditure record totaling $81.5 billion for fiscal year 2018.

The development of secret offensive cyber warfare programs targeting Iran are included in MIP and NIP budgets. According to the 2016 documentary Zero Days by director Alex Gibney, Israel's incessant public threats to attack Iran coupled with intense secret demands for cyber warfare targeting Iran were the catalyst for massive new US black budget spending.

Former NSA Director (1999-2005) and CIA Director (2006-2009) Michael Hayden claimed in Zero Days that the goal of any Israeli air attack against Iran's nuclear facilities would be to drag the United States into war.

by Grant Smith Posted on November 07, 2018 He is director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C.

Jon Baptist , says: December 4, 2018 at 10:38 pm GMT
There is very little spoken of the foreign threat of the Chabad network. It must be serious opposition if even the CFR "globalists" write about it. ( https://www.theglobalist.com/donald-trump-benjamin-netanyahu-democracy-corruption/ ) When I say threat, I mean global nuclear war, mass starvation, and disease. Chabad is the link binding Trump and Putin advisors. Do you think anyone belonging in this protected "religion" holds any sort of good will for the regular common folk inhabiting the world?
Art , says: December 5, 2018 at 12:59 am GMT
@Art

What chance does peace have with these people having Trump's ear: Javanka Kushner, Gina Haspel, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence, Mad Dog Mattis, and John Bolton?

Doesn't look good does it!

West Point says NO to Peace!

The warmongering bastard and West Point grad (first in class) -- Pompeo -- says NO peace for Yemeni! Trump says wars are for Israel.

West Point is Jew occupied territory. All US Army generals are pro Israel.

US to keep aiding Saudis in Yemen despite furor: Pompeo

Buenos Aires (AFP) -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed Saturday that the United States would continue suppor ting Saudi Arabia's military campaign in Yemen, despite rising outrage over the kingdom.

Speaking from a Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Pompeo acknowledged that the humanitarian crisis in Yemen -- where millions are at risk of starvation -- had reached "epic proportions" but said Washington and Riyadh were offering aid.

"The program that we're involved in today we intend to continue," Pompeo told CNN when asked about military assistance to the Saudi-led coalition.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-keep-aiding-saudis-yemen-despite-furor-pompeo-173323301.html

Think Peace -- Do No Harm -- Art

p.s. Pompeo defends MBS -- what human trash!

Art , says: December 5, 2018 at 5:15 am GMT
@JLK

All US Army generals are pro Israel

I suspect not, but they answer to politicians. Ditto the CIA.

I suspect not also -- but only privately and in secret, would they be anti-Israel. If they keep their mouth shut, they will have a six figure job waiting for them in the J-MIC. Hmm -- so much for the flag. Think Peace -- Do No Harm -- Art

ChuckOrloski , says: December 5, 2018 at 1:47 pm GMT
Fyi, The AIPAC Starship strikes back, and excluded Senator Rand Paul from meeting with Gina Haspel on the Kashoggi murder.

https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/dec/4/rand-paul-rips-deep-state-for-freezing-him-out-of-/

anon [415] Disclaimer , says: December 5, 2018 at 3:01 pm GMT
"The AIPAC Starship strikes back, and excluded Senator Rand Paul from meeting with Gina Haspel on the Kashoggi murder."

Could it not be more clear that Mossad runs our government? Didn't the military swear oaths to protect the US from enemies foreign AND domestic? Oh, and I've given up on Trump. He's an Israel-worshiping ineffective

Anon [340]